Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 31 Jan 2018, 12:03:20

I would interject another dose of reality here. The VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) in Santa Clara Valley (larger than and containing Silicon Valley) recently completed (2013-2015) evaluation of alternative bus powertrain technologies for the streets portion of their mass transit system. They were interested in replacing their aging fleet of conventional diesel powered busses, and VERY interested in eliminatating carbon emissions from the valley if at all possible.

It wasn't possible. The alternatives in the 2 year test were:

1) New technology diesel powertrains with DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) injection to reduce emissions.
2) New Tech diesel with DEF and Hybrid (electric battery) powertrains.
3) Flywheel mechanical energy storage between bus stops.
4) Hydrogen fuel cell electric busses.
5) Lithium BEV powertrain.
6) Compressed natural gas with ICE spark motor (i.e. NOT diesel).
7) Overhead electric trolley (similar to the light rail they also run, and a favorite contender).
(I think that's all, but I didn't look it up, that's from memory.)

They gave a fair 24 month test including maintenance, but they deliberately decided to exclude the infrastructure buildout. There was one bus route with flywheel winders, one hydrogen filling station at a VTA maintenance yard, and one route with overhead trolley wires.

#2 (New Tech diesel with hybrid power plants) was the hands-down winner. Hydrogen was exposed as more suitable for NASA than VTA, and CNG was a distant second place contender, relatively low in carbon emissions. I followed this testing for two years and I'm satisfied that it was even-handed and fair, including costs apportioned for carbon emissions in all cases.

These are replacing the bus fleet:
Image
....and fortunately for the taxpayer, the infrastructure for the existing conventional busses is pretty much the same as required for the Hybrid new tech diesels, with the addition of DEF distribution, and the need to fill up two tanks (one of diesel fuel and one of DEF).

Expected savings are 25% of the fuel consumed by conventional busses, and about half of the carbon emissions. The new Hybrid busses have a purchase price of $400,000 in the small size, up to $600,000 for the larger articulated busses used as airport parking shuttles. Just for comparison, the hydrogen busses fell from $3.5M in 2013 to $2.5M in 2015, after significant re-design that invalidated the maintenance cost analysis for hydrogen.

THIS is the type of infrastructure renewal that makes dollars and sense today. Don't forget that the VTA had already completed a light rail system (similar to but newer than BART in SF) and was really really motivated by SIG Alerts (i.e. smoggy days which required every possible person to telecommute). Most urban areas would require construction of both the electric trains and the purchase of a new bus fleet ($$$$).

The very bad news: Today with the new Hybrid busses, the system is 100% powered by petroleum. There is not enough biodiesel in the whole state to power this one urban transit system. Not to mention, we also have the older conventional diesel-electric commuter trains in the valley still (CALTRAIN and AMTRAK).
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 06 Feb 2018, 16:20:01

I didn't mean for the above report on mass transit to completely stifle discussion. The facts are that here in tech savvy and ever-so-green California, we couldn't find viable alternatives to a 100% petroleum powered VTA bus system.

The already-built, electric-powered VTA light rail system in the Santa Clara Valley is agreeably clean, quiet, and comfortable. Yet it only approaches 100% average occupancy twice per day when people are commuting to work and back. Note that I'm not talking about "standing room only", either, I'm talking about seats being full. In the two decades since the system was completed, high and medium density housing has been built around and adjacent to the light rail stations, without changing the train occupancy very much.

The roads are more choked than ever with cars and SUVs, many of them single occupancy vehicles.

The electric grid in California is clearly improving from year to year, with more energy from renewable sources as time passes. The transportation systems seem locked in time, without change.

There does not seem to be any hope that things will even change any time soon, with the fracking boom, we appear to have lost most of the fear that an unstable Middle East will imperil our fuel supplies. When it comes to gasoline and diesel, it's still burn, baby, burn.
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 07 Feb 2018, 08:14:21

KaiserJeep wrote: The transportation systems seem locked in time, without change.

There does not seem to be any hope that things will even change any time soon, with the fracking boom, we appear to have lost most of the fear that an unstable Middle East will imperil our fuel supplies. When it comes to gasoline and diesel, it's still burn, baby, burn.


I agree the American Public (tm) have lost their fear of unrest in the Middle East. However I believe this loss of fear is a false security because any major disruption of middle east exports would instantly reveal just how little spare capacity actually exists in the system outside the Persian Gulf. Take those 3 MM/bbl/d of Saudi exports out of the picture for just a week and you are talking about a 21 MM/bbl draw on the international SPR system. We can deal with that for a week, maybe even a couple months, but a real event that disrupts the Persian Gulf exports by very much for very long and we will quickly find ourselves in very real trouble. It doesn't even have to be a man made disaster, though that is the most likely scenario. An Earthquake that messes up the export terminals in the Gulf, or a freak weather event and we are in real trouble. Not to mention what happens if Iran believes they are going to loose power and decides to launch a nuclear armed cruise missile at the export terminal and erases it off the map. For crying out loud the USA deployed nuclear armed cruise missiles able to pull something like that off in 1952, does anyone seriously think the Iranians are so 'backward' they can not deploy 1952 level technology in 2018?

The world is a dangerous place but if you get your knowledge from reality TV and a news media obsessed with a non-story about Russia stealing the throne, er I mean election, from Hillary Clinton what danger do you know about?
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
User avatar
Tanada
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14815
Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 02:00:00
Location: South West shore Lake Erie, OH, USA

Re: Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 07 Feb 2018, 13:42:28

:oops: Don't I know it. I knew that the oil tank on Nantucket was mostly full, even after an additional two weeks of hot water and space heating while we were there. But I could not resist having it topped off, just for the comfort of a full tank. So they came out and added 34 gallons to a 500 gallon tank that hadn't been topped off in 3+ years, because the MIL was hospitalized for 2 years before dying. The minimum delivery not being met, they stung me with a $100 service charge. :oops:

So I insisted that they repair the tank guage while they were there (they had a service contract on the furnace).
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

The Guardian view on fusion: A moment of truth

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 18 Mar 2018, 19:32:37


There has been a lot of buzz about fusion in the past few days, after the announcement of "a dramatic leap forward" from a collaboration between MIT and a newly formed private company, followed by declarations that "the world's energy systems will be transformed." Bob Mumgaard, CEO of the private company involved—Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which has attracted $50 million in support from an Italian energy company—said: “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed, and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.” Such projections may be overly optimistic. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been examining the commercial exploitation of fusion as an energy source for some time; publishing a story a year ago in these pages about even the desirability of such technology


The Guardian view on fusion: A moment of truth
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
AdamB
Volunteer
Volunteer
 
Posts: 4304
Joined: Mon 28 Dec 2015, 16:10:26

Re: The Guardian view on fusion: A moment of truth

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 19 Mar 2018, 11:40:46

AdamB wrote:

There has been a lot of buzz about fusion in the past few days, after the announcement of "a dramatic leap forward" ....


The Guardian view on fusion: A moment of truth


How about less Musk-like empty declarations of great things to come, and FAR more real world progress with real world demonstrations of things like stability, energy break-even, etc? You know, the kinds of simple yardsticks that would show hot fusion actually WORKING? (At all, much less in a way that would allow practical commercial application).

If yapping about future dreams of success really solved problems, politics would cure all ills (such as poverty). And yet, here we are.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 20:26:42

Re: Let’s Talk Candidly About Energy

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 19 Mar 2018, 14:39:10

AdamB, I don't know where you are getting your information, but hot fusion has never even come close to breaking even when it comes to energy production. We must face the possibility - indeed the probability - that it never will.
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Previous

Return to Conservation & Efficiency

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests