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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 1

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:40:07

Newfie wrote:BUT on a more personal note, we are sitting here in Georgetown, Exuma, Bahamas. The winds are howling for the next few days and now the sun is shining so the new 639 watts of solar are kicking along with the wind generator.

The wind gen dumps excess juice into a resistor bank to waste it. We are awash in FREE ELECTRONS!

It would sure be nice if there was some way to store all this excess energy, and not battery banks. It would be great if I could make diesel or some such energy dense medium that I could put in a Jerry can tank and keep for latter.


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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:42:12

Few people here are likely to apppreciate historic homes more than I, a lifelong viewer of the PBS series This Old House. Where I might add, they regularly transform historic homes into energy-efficient structures, and administer the blower door tests, the infrared scans, and the other tests. Where they preserve the historic charm, while increasing the efficiency. The extremes this requires are sometimes surprising - perhaps you must lift a home and demolish/rebuild the foundation. Windows are often replaced and with original style custom manufactured matching units.

Given 50 years to plan the job, and to plan for the expenses, this is not burdensome. The alternative is that you will not be able to afford your HVAC costs, the structure will be uninhabitable - and probably, destroyed by those who are desperately scavenging for wood.

Because we are running out of oil. What I am proposing is making a plan to deal with this, and the PO.com Forum members are pushing back, saying they don't want to do it, you can't make me, and if you try to make me, I will shoot you.

Never forget, the price of denial is your lifestyle and probably your life when we run out of oil. We have the technology we need to replace oil, we don't have the desire to do so, and this transformation of residences, commmercial structures, manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation can only occur BEFORE the oil runs out.

I don't LIKE what I am proposing. But I accept that an emergency exists, and must be dealt with. I am making plans to correct the energy efficiency deficits in my new Nantucket residence, and if the standards I suggested became black letter law, I would do so very quickly, probably 40 years ahead of the deadline, when construction costs were still reasonable, cheaper materials were available, and labor was available. I tend to think that few of you would even attempt to do so, leaving the looming 50 year deadline to be dealt with by your kids.

Such attitudes are the very reason why we have the infrastructure problem we have. People like YOU saying "You can't make me!" and then doing everything they can do to still live in housing that will not be a shelter for anybody when oil and gas and electricity cost 10X to 25X what they cost today.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 19:42:47

https://viewing.nyc/media/0a3bc68484b82 ... 466f898fc/


http://cwc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/1 ... Life_E.pdf

This paper presents results of a demolition survey in a major North American city that captured building age, building type, structural material and reason for demolition for 227 buildings. The findings challenge many common assumptions about building longevity, and, in particular, the relationship between structural material and service life. Although it is often believed that “durable” structural materials such as steel and concrete will provide the longest service lives for their buildings, our results suggest there is no significant relationship between the structural system and the actual useful life of the building. Reasons for demolition were instead related to changing land values, lack of suitability of the building for current needs, and lack of maintenance of various non-structural components. Only eight buildings identified a specific structural failure. Indeed, the service lives of most buildings are probably far shorter than their theoretical maximum lives; the majority of demolished steel and concrete buildings in our study were less than 50 years old. In the context of sustainable construction, this raises some interesting questions and shifts the spotlight away from durability of materials and on to
1) flexibility of design to allow future changes; 2) deconstructability; and 3) the use of more accurate life span predictions in life cycle assessment calculations on whole buildings
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 21:25:29

There is no wrong path. Rather, the world will need every source of energy to maintain a global economy that feeds a growing middle class that requires the equivalent of another earth in terms of material resources and energy.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 22:21:00

I think it's great to insulate houses wherever you can, and probably all sorts of creative solutions could be found for some of the apparently tough situations, even if they make take a toll on looks or convenience.

But the biggest actions you can take to reduce your impact are:

1) Having fewer kids
2) Go car free
3) Stop flying
4) Switch to green energy, where available (and yes, that's wind and solar mostly in most places)
5) Switch to a plant-based diet (vegan, or close to it)

Everything else is pretty much chicken scratches.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/we-re ... ate-change
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 07:44:54

I would add move to a climate that does not require heating/cooling.

I’ve often thought our expenditures are roughly proportionate to energy use. So live cheaply.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 08:36:34

The first step is to have an appreciation of the energy you use. Find out where it goes and then make a value judgement. Is it really worth all that?.

Get a Kill-o-watt meter and make a list of everything you have plugged in and how much power it uses/day. One LED light in the right place can make a noticable difference.

My entertainment and communications center is my biggest load, besides heating and cooling. It uses about 50 watts all the time. My Brother-in-law's uses 5-600 watts because he doesn't care. He leaves everything turned on except the TV.

OMG - Unplug that 20 year old fridge in the garage! Find the energy hogs and replace them. The payoff is faster than you think.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:27:51

Baha, what cooking heat sources do you use on an everyday basis? I am trying to sell the wife on induction cooking, but on Nantucket we have a functional electric range that still is in good shape, and some of the cookware is Pyrex and aluminum, and thus would have to be replaced. Plus she is fond of gas, which is an option here but not on the island - although they sell bottled propane. Induction cooking uses 50% the energy of resistence elements.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:39:27

KaiserJeep wrote:Baha, what cooking heat sources do you use on an everyday basis? I am trying to sell the wife on induction cooking, but on Nantucket we have a functional electric range that still is in good shape, and some of the cookware is Pyrex and aluminum, and thus would have to be replaced. Plus she is fond of gas, which is an option here but not on the island - although they sell bottled propane. Induction cooking uses 50% the energy of resistence elements.

I understand about the aluminum.

But the Pyrex? Is this the "exploding Pyrex" meme on the internet? If so, all glassware is subject to breakage from thermal shock (from improper use).

If it's something else, I'd like to know what, as I use various Pyrex stuff on and off.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 11:40:19

KaiserJeep wrote:Baha, what cooking heat sources do you use on an everyday basis? I am trying to sell the wife on induction cooking, but on Nantucket we have a functional electric range that still is in good shape, and some of the cookware is Pyrex and aluminum, and thus would have to be replaced. Plus she is fond of gas, which is an option here but not on the island - although they sell bottled propane. Induction cooking uses 50% the energy of resistence elements.


I'm the family chef and insist on cooking with gas for the most part. I cook every day, and bake a lot. Our (fairly new) gas (propane) range uses about 30 gallons of propane per year. When we are only using propane for cooking, a 24 gallon (100 pound) cylinder lasts us 9-10 months. Costs vary but that would be about $70 these days. So, around $90-$100/year.

We have an induction unit I use for certain meals when we have surplus PV production.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:00:37

Outcast_Searcher wrote:-snip-
I understand about the aluminum.

But the Pyrex? Is this the "exploding Pyrex" meme on the internet? If so, all glassware is subject to breakage from thermal shock (from improper use).

If it's something else, I'd like to know what, as I use various Pyrex stuff on and off.


The Pyrex is mostly bakeware, but includes some removable clamp handles for stovetop use. However as with the Pyrex glass carafes used for boiling water for coffee and tea, you must use a small wire trivet to seperate the glassware from the electric coil-type burner, or it will indeed explode. Borosilicate glass should not be exposed to point sources of heat, as it will shatter from thermal stress.

Induction cooking of course, requires that some amount of iron be present either in the multi-ply cookware or in an iron disk bonded on the bottom, for the induction field. Both my old fashioned cast iron and the new All-Clad stainless cookware are induction compatible. But if we were to swap out the electric coil range on Nantucket for an induction unit, we would retire the aluminum and Pyrex cookware that the Mother-In-Law owned.
Last edited by KaiserJeep on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:22:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:19:34

baha wrote:The first step is to have an appreciation of the energy you use. Find out where it goes and then make a value judgement. Is it really worth all that?.

Get a Kill-o-watt meter and make a list of everything you have plugged in and how much power it uses/day. One LED light in the right place can make a noticable difference.

My entertainment and communications center is my biggest load, besides heating and cooling. It uses about 50 watts all the time. My Brother-in-law's uses 5-600 watts because he doesn't care. He leaves everything turned on except the TV.

OMG - Unplug that 20 year old fridge in the garage! Find the energy hogs and replace them. The payoff is faster than you think.

I Agree. I have a Kill-A-Watt and love it. One thought, most of the complaints I've read about them are them failing after long use (days or several hours) for high-amperage applications like space heaters, etc. So I've been careful to only use it on such applications for a short time to get a sense of the current draw -- and have had no problems for years. YMMV, of course.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 12:30:55

The wife is a fan of gas cooking because of the "instant heat" nature. I appreciate it as well, and our California kitchen uses a "dual fuel" range with electric oven and broiler, but gas burners. But induction heat is even faster than gas and is all-electric, requiring that you burn nothing. Induction cooking is also 50% of the energy usage from either natural gas or conventional electric resistance burners, and 45% of propane. But there is an adjustment period as with most appliances.

I have gotten in the habit of using a "novelty grill". The George Foreman $29 model with removable grilll plates uses 1150W for a 3-minute warmup and then cooks two 1/3-lb burgers in another 4 minutes, and then the grill plates go in the dishwasher.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 14:50:32

We have an LP gas stove and most of our cookware is old fashioned cast iron. It is a wonderful source of iron in your diet.

I also have an Instant-pot that I have become fond of. It is also an efficient way to cook and makes perfect rice :)

I've been thinking about what you've said about induction stoves. Do they make a small hot plate that I could start with? I didn't know they worked with cast iron. I like the idea that I can run it with excess PV during the day.

We have an LP gas stove, a gas clothes dryer that doesn't get used much, and a gas heater that I have turned on once so far this winter for 2 hours. Our 120 gallon LP gas tank has been filled once in the last two years and it was half full.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
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https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 15:27:28

Our induction burner is like this: https://www.walmart.com/ip/GForce-Porta ... /437273496

Image

Works great, especially with cast iron. Induction pots and pans have to contain ferrous metal like iron, steel, and stainless works well too. Some aluminum cookware now has an embedded steel plate to work with induction. Induction compatible cookware usually has a symbol like this:
Image
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 16:06:45

Yep, I like it. And $40 is reasonable. It never hurts to have options.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 17:07:50

I s been a big fan of a COMBINATION microwave/convection oven. I’ve had several over the years. Using the combination setting it cooks roaster chickens in short order and to absolute perfection. Using convection only you can make pizza and baked goods. And microwave only is as you would expect. For many years I used our gas oven to store stationary and used the combo unit exclusively for baking/roasting.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convection_microwave

Elsewhere a guy living on a boat kept scrupulous records of energy use and became convienced that it was cheaper to run a small microwave off an inverted than use propane. The electricity was free. Aussie IIRC. I can’t fecall if he had an electric also.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Jan 2018, 17:19:08

Perhaps you should read this before investing in a portable induction cooker:
http://www.magneticcooky.com/best-portable-induction-cooktop/

Also, for portable units, stick with a single burner unit. Double burners are limited to lower heat settings because of the limitation of the single power cord. As with all electric cooktops, these are best on circuits not shared with refrigerators or freezers, many are 1500-1800 watts and work best on a 20A branch circuit. If you decide to add a built-in unit, use a dual burner or quad burner 220V.

I have thought about putting a dual burner induction unit next to a dual gas burner in Wisconsin. It's nice to have cooking fuel options. But the Nantucket place has no propane appliances at all, not even a BBQ, the whole house runs on a single oil burner and a 100A electricity feed from a pole transformer at the road, and a buried cable to the house.

BTW, the best induction units outperform high BTU natural gas burners. It's not a lifechanging difference, maybe 2-4 minutes faster to boil 6 quarts of water, but I thought to mention it because gas burners have always enjoyed the "instant heat" reputation, and now modern induction ranges are the fastest. Add that to the 50% energy savings, and induction is much preferred IMHO. However there are the non-magnetic cookware limitations. You can get a steel disc that will heat up under a non-magnetic pot, but it will leave you with a hot steel disk in place that you cannot touch after cooking.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 17 Jan 2018, 17:40:56

Texas (and in particular Houston) just got hit with a polar blast twice within a few weeks. Will be a while to see the stats posted. But no surprise if we had record high electricity consumption. And the way these fronts blow in maybe State record high wind power out put. Maybe up from our average 12% to as much as 40%. Doesn't last long but damn good timing.

Now if we can just 40 mph winds in August when everyone is running their AC full throttle. LOL. But solar is finally coming on.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby jawagord » Wed 17 Jan 2018, 20:31:17

ROCKMAN wrote:Texas (and in particular Houston) just got hit with a polar blast twice within a few weeks. Will be a while to see the stats posted. But no surprise if we had record high electricity consumption. And the way these fronts blow in maybe State record high wind power out put. Maybe up from our average 12% to as much as 40%. Doesn't last long but damn good timing.

Now if we can just 40 mph winds in August when everyone is running their AC full throttle. LOL. But solar is finally coming on.


It's likely those 40 mph wind speeds are beyond the generators capability to convert into more power and the turbine blades will be adjusted to limit generator output to its rated capacity. But longer sustained winds over a greater area might still get you that record.

http://www.wind-power-program.com/turbi ... istics.htm
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