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Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:51 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 11:44:34 UTC, Tom Gardner wrote:
Quote:
On 10/01/17 11:26, rickman wrote:
Photovoltaic solar is already producing electricity at a profit.

"Costs" are a very variable concept. IMNSHO renewables costs
ought to include the cost of keeping conventional plant available
for when the renewable has gone AWOL.


At the risk of stating the obvious, if they're genuinely profitable then any need for subsidy is over. Let them proliferate in the market, and the manufacturers fund their own research. What do you mean they're not?


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:55 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 11:26:22 UTC, rickman wrote:
Quote:
On 1/6/2017 11:13 PM, tabbypurr wrote:
On Saturday, 7 January 2017 00:53:01 UTC, bill....@ieee.org wrote:

Wind turbines and photovoltaic cells are perfectly viable. Thermal solar power stations with big tanks of molten nitrate salts have been built - essentially as prototypes - and are generating power. Your idea of viability seems to be that if something hasn't already dominated the industry, it hasn't shown itself to be viable.

That's a rather brainless comment.

Your reply seems to match your claim. Why are these technologies
unlikely to be viable? Photovoltaic solar is already producing
electricity at a profit. The costs will continue to fall and
installations will increase.

One nice thing about photovoltaic is that it matches the timing of the
work day. That means we can stop discouraging electricity use during
the day which will be business friendly. It also can provide power to
charge electric cars which don't need power on demand some 90+% of the
time. They can be charged at a time that best suits supply.


Peak electricity use here is in the evening in winter. Solar PV output then? Zero. Here it would not replace a single watt of conventional generation. So loads more generating plant & the endless stream of activity that goes to support it, AND more grid capacity.

And fwliw charging cars overnight makes far more sense than daytime charging. If you don't know why you're in much the same camp as Bill.


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:59 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 11:58:11 UTC, Sylvia Else wrote:
Quote:
On 5/01/2017 2:00 PM, bill.sloman_at_ieee.org wrote:

Mass air-tourism does seem to be a luxury that we will all have to
give up until somebody designs a plane bulbous enough to accommodate
liquid hydrogen fuel tanks - liquid hydrogen offers good energy
density per unit mass, but not per unit volume.

There's no great point in running them on hydrogen, given that the
hydrogen has to be produced in a way that consumes energy. The existing
jet engine technology will pretty much run on bio-diesel out of the box,
with at most a few tweaks.

Sylvia.


Hydrogen filled lighter than air machines have potential. Hindenberg has terrified people, but in reality it's not hard to not make the same mistakes twice - the Hindenberg was a crude and ill researched machine by today's standards. And the hard truth is all other types of air transport have the same horrible results as the Hindenberg at times.


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:04 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 19:14:14 UTC, John Larkin wrote:
Quote:
On Tue, 10 Jan 2017 03:43:43 -0800 (PST), jurb6006_at_gmail.com wrote:

"Extraordinarily long-winded "solution". "

Yeah, and with very little substance. Reads more like a sociology textbook in one of those feegood countries.

Have you ever read a sociology textbook? I have. Everyone should.
Amazing nonsense.


I've read medical & psych research papers. Both mostly cobblers unfortunately, typically the former mind bogglingly lost some place and the latter swung as hard as someone could manage in the direction of profit.


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:07 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 20:59:55 UTC, rickman wrote:
Quote:
On 1/10/2017 6:44 AM, Tom Gardner wrote:
On 10/01/17 11:26, rickman wrote:
Photovoltaic solar is already producing electricity at a profit.

"Costs" are a very variable concept. IMNSHO renewables costs
ought to include the cost of keeping conventional plant available
for when the renewable has gone AWOL.

Depending on the role of the renewable energy. I believe I've already
indicated photovoltaic can be used for some particular purposes that
match its output closely. If the sun doesn't shine for a few days there
are many car uses that won't need to charge for those few days. They
get a cheaper rate than uses that require energy on a schedule or at
inconvenient times.

This is not a new concept, we just don't bother much with it when we
burn dinosaurs. My family house had this in the 60's.


It's not new, and it's yet another of the glossed over prices to pay for this kind of technology.


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:09 am   



On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 21:28:15 UTC, mako...@yahoo.com wrote:

Quote:
I would agree with that except..

1) the external costs (if any) of emitting CO2 are NOT well established, is CO2 really "pollution"?

2) the revenue neutral tax solution proposed by the scientists to impose an external cost on CO2 has been bastardized by the politicians into a money grabbing scheme.

If the proposals were for truly revenue neutral tax on CO2 and govt money for pure research of alternative and renewable energy, a lot more people including myself would no longer oppose it.


If people want to contribute a donation to such work they can. Almost everyone chooses not to. That's the reality of what people want.


NT


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:26 am   



On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 11:51:21 AM UTC+11, tabb...@gmail.com wrote:
Quote:
On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 11:44:34 UTC, Tom Gardner wrote:
On 10/01/17 11:26, rickman wrote:
Photovoltaic solar is already producing electricity at a profit.

"Costs" are a very variable concept. IMNSHO renewables costs
ought to include the cost of keeping conventional plant available
for when the renewable has gone AWOL.

At the risk of stating the obvious, if they're genuinely profitable then any need for subsidy is over.


Photovoltaic cells are now manufactured in large enough volume to make the power they generate essentially competitive with fossil fuel burning power stations. It's not as dispatchable. If we upped the volume produced by a factor of 100 - which is what would be required to let them generate enough power to supply all our needs, the unit cost per cell would be reduced by a factor of four.

What we'd save on what we pay for fossil carbon would pay for quite a bit of dispatchable back-up generation.

This can't be absolutely guaranteed, but the last two tenfold increases in manufacturing scale have had precisely this effect.

It will take deliberate subsidy to get this to happen - it did in Germany around 2000, and again in China more recently - but the investment was recovered rapidly.

Both investments were eventually "genuinely profitable", but were a bit big for venture capitalists. Governments are a bit too susceptible to the influence of people who are making a lot of money digging up fossil carbon to be all that interested in making a large investment that will cut the fossil fuel cash flow.

> Let them proliferate in the market, and the manufacturers fund their own research. What do you mean they're not?

The market is too small to fund the final step to manufacturing renewable energy generation on a scale that could slow down global warming.

It's a bit silly really - 10 metres of sea level rise, when it happens, is going to wipe out valuable real estate on a scale that beggars the investment that might stop it, but the market doesn't bother looking all that far ahead.

NT doesn't know anything about any of this, but he's convinced that what he does know is all that he - or anybody else - needs to know.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:47 am   



On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 8:28:15 AM UTC+11, mako...@yahoo.com wrote:
Quote:
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 3:08:03 PM UTC-5, whit3rd wrote:
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:13:43 AM UTC-8, mako...@yahoo.com wrote:

... Why are these technologies
unlikely to be viable? Photovoltaic solar is already producing
electricity at a profit.

if / when the technology is technically and __economically__ viable, then it will be used by choice. no argument and no problem...

the point of the discussion is, should the government force these choices.

Yes. In the case of pollution, where no external cost to the producer is evident in
a balance sheet, ....


I would agree with that except..

1) the external costs (if any) of emitting CO2 are NOT well established, is CO2 really "pollution"?


The external costs of emitting more CO2 are extremely well established. They are only now starting to bite, but we've seen enough that anybody with an open mind can see that we don't want them to get worse.

The denialist propaganda machine - financed by the fossil carbon extraction industries - has succeeded in blunting the impact of this information on public opinion, but CO2 really is pollution. 270ppm in the atmosphere didn't do anybody any harm - it had been at that level since we moved into the current inter-glacial. The current 400ppm is good for more intense cyclones in the tropics, does seem to be melting the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, and does seem to have started moving rainfall patterns aroud.

More looks like a really bad idea.

> 2) the revenue neutral tax solution proposed by the scientists to impose an external cost on CO2 has been bastardized by the politicians into a money grabbing scheme.

Where? As far as I know, there aren't any effective schemes for imposing external costs on CO2 emissions. There are plenty of schemes around, but none of them seem to charge enough to have any perceptible effect.

> If the proposals were for truly revenue neutral tax on CO2 and govt money for pure research of alternative and renewable energy, a lot more people including myself would no longer oppose it.

A truly revenue neutral tax is impossible. If nothing else, a tax costs money to collect. It's also the kind of thing that is put up to buy off opposition - if you are going to set up a new tax collecting system, you'd be better off to compensate for its effect by retiring some other tax scheme that wasn't as useful to society.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney

rickman
Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:59 am   



On 1/10/2017 6:44 AM, Tom Gardner wrote:
Quote:
On 10/01/17 11:26, rickman wrote:
Photovoltaic solar is already producing electricity at a profit.

"Costs" are a very variable concept. IMNSHO renewables costs
ought to include the cost of keeping conventional plant available
for when the renewable has gone AWOL.


Depending on the role of the renewable energy. I believe I've already
indicated photovoltaic can be used for some particular purposes that
match its output closely. If the sun doesn't shine for a few days there
are many car uses that won't need to charge for those few days. They
get a cheaper rate than uses that require energy on a schedule or at
inconvenient times.

This is not a new concept, we just don't bother much with it when we
burn dinosaurs. My family house had this in the 60's.


Quote:
One nice thing about photovoltaic is that it matches the timing of the
work
day.

.... in some places. In higher latitudes that is only vaguely true.


Higher latitude meaning above the Artic circle?


Quote:
It also can provide power to charge electric cars
which don't need power on demand some 90+% of the time. They can be
charged at
a time that best suits supply.

There's a little truth to that, provided you only want to
drive in summer Smile


I didn't realize the sun stopped shining in the winter. Funny, my cats
haven't figured this out and continue to lay in front of the window. In
fact, they get more light and heat in the winter because of the foliage.

--

Rick C

rickman
Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:04 am   



On 1/10/2017 3:10 PM, whit3rd wrote:
Quote:
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 11:12:54 AM UTC-8, John Larkin wrote:

The best way to store hydrogen is to stick it to carbon.

Yeah, by physisorption. Chemical bonding makes the next step,
a fuel cell, more difficult. Graphite, though, might not be the best choice
for an intercalation storage medium.


He is suggesting we are better off burning hydrocarbons in ignorance of
the problem it creates by releasing greenhouse gasses and adding to AGW.

--

Rick C

rickman
Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:33 am   



On 1/10/2017 5:28 PM, mrdarrett_at_gmail.com wrote:
Quote:
On Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 6:11:27 PM UTC-8, Jim Thompson wrote:
On Thu, 5 Jan 2017 11:03:31 +1000, Adrian Jansen <adrian_at_qq.vv.net
wrote:

On 4/01/2017 1:06 PM, bill.sloman_at_ieee.org wrote:
Interesting article on the "tragedy of the commons" and what kind of international CO2 emission regulation system might work.

http://www.pnas.org/content/114/1/7.full

As usual in engineering-type problems, the devil is in the fine detail, and this article goes deep enough to be interesting.

Interesting article.

Here is my take on a way to improve CO2 recycling, and cut the total
fossil fuel input:

There are 3 main systems where we use energy.
Ground transport, cars, trucks, etc
Air transport, airplanes
Fixed base ( non - nuclear ) power stations, the electricity supply.
These are roughly equal in size, and contribute about the same both to
total energy and total co2 production.
So some significant reduction in co2 generation from any one of these
would help reduce co2 emissions globally.

Ground transport mostly uses liquid fuel, oil derived, and its pretty
efficient in terms of energy use, but cannot easily store or cycle the
co2 produced. The extra work to do that would kill the efficiency and
raise the cost of transport very significantly.
There is the possibility though to replace fuel burning with
battery/electric systems, at least for short haul. And battery
technology is still improving. But that places an even heavier load on
power stations, to generate the electricity required. And the total
efficiency drops, so the fossil fuel input and co2 output from the base
stations goes up significantly.

Air transport is similar to ground, but the energy density required,
and the recycling problem, is even higher. I really doubt there is much
room to change there. Best would be just to limit air transport to some
acceptable level, to limit the total load.

But fixed base power stations have a unique possibility to be improved.

We have plenty of energy available from the sun, pv, heat, wind, etc.
What we dont have is a good cheap, efficient way of storing it for use
when no sun, eg night, cloudy day, etc. Electric batteries at the size,
energy density and lifetime we need are only just barely possible for
small installations. The chemistry puts a hard limit on the energy
density, and we are already pretty much at that limit. Safety
considerations are also an issue with more exotic chemistry.
So instead we burn fossil fuel, and throw the co2 into the atmosphere.
2 effects from that, we lose the non renewable fossil fuel, and we add
co2 to the atmosphere. Imho the first of these is more important than
the second, since eventually we will run out of fuel. That will fix the
second problem too.

There is a lot of work being done on carbon capture, after burning the
fuel, but almost all on permanently storing the carbon in some
inaccessible place, so it wont end up in the atmosphere. But that means
we have to dig up more fossil fuel, and cope with the mess that makes,
as well as finding a place to store the co2. Both of these are really
difficult problems.

So far all the proposals I have seen for carbon capture suffer from
serious efficiency problems. If you burn fossil fuel, and use a
significant part of the energy processing the carbon into permanent
storable form, you dont get enough energy left over to run civilisation.
Thats a dead end. As well nobody seems to take account of the fact that
co2 is roughly 3 times the mass of the original carbon ( as coal ). So
if you dig up and burn 1 million tons of coal, and capture all the co2,
you get 3 million tons of co2. Coal has density roughly 2.0, CO2 as
liquid under pressure has density 1.1. So the 3 million tons of C02 has
volume roughly 6 x the volume of coal mined. Where are you going to put
it ? It sure wont fit in the hole you got the coal from.

But there may be a better way. Hydrocarbon fuel (chxx, eg diesel) is an
ideal energy store, with a very high energy density, much higher than
any electric battery. Wikipedia gives energy density of lithium
rechargable battery at around 1.8 Mj/kg. Diesel is around 48. So why
not convert co2 to chxx using the energy in sunlight, the hydrogen of
course we can get from water, of which we have plenty, and even that is
recyclable, if it matters, using a suitable process. But only enough to
create a reservoir of fuel to use at night, and over a couple of weeks,
to allow for weather events. Recapture the co2 in a fully closed cycle,
and use the energy from the sun both as primary source, and to convert
the co2 back to chxx. Then the chxx becomes the energy store, much
easier to handle using existing technology than big electric batteries.
So the whole system is still driven by solar energy, whether as pv or
heat, depending on what is needed both to run civilisation, and the
chxx-co2 cycle is purely an energy store, using well known technology,
tanks, pumps, gas turbines, etc to do the storage and conversion. The
only piece missing is the co2 to chxx chemical process. That process
has already been done, at least to make methanol, which can either be
used directly, or processed further into chxx.

All we need now is the will and the planning to convert our major ground
based power systems over to this form of generation. At least the
technology for each part is already available, we just have to rearrange
the components into the correct configuration.

Extraordinarily long-winded "solution". Disposing of all leftists
would be easier, more fun, and more efficient reduction of energy
consumption >:-}

...Jim Thompson


While that also sounds interesting, word is that the Saudis only have 5 years of oil left.


Whose word? Just give it a little thought. If they only had 5 years of
oil left they wouldn't be pumping it like there's no tomorrow. They
would be hoarding it. Consider it to be an investment. If you won the
lottery you might splurge some of it initially, then you would get
smarter and once you were down to your last million or so you would get
*very* frugal with it.

--

Rick C


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:56 am   



On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:20:47 PM UTC+11, John Larkin wrote:
Quote:
On Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:10:10 -0800 (PST), whit3rd <whit3rd_at_gmail.com
wrote:

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 11:12:54 AM UTC-8, John Larkin wrote:

The best way to store hydrogen is to stick it to carbon.

Yeah, by physisorption. Chemical bonding makes the next step,
a fuel cell, more difficult. Graphite, though, might not be the best choice
for an intercalation storage medium.

The fuel cell has been the power source of the future since 1838. And
still is.


For people that can afford platinum (or other noble metal) electrodes, fuel cells have niche applications right now.

There are electrochemists tinkering with ways of making cheaper electrode materials - as there have been since 1838 - but they now have a bigger armoury of tools than they did back then, and the tinkering is getting bit closer to material design.

John Larkin does like to extrapolate from a past he knows very little about to a future that he imagines without much help from better-informed opinion.

This would be less irritating if he did it less often and less publicly.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:03 am   



On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:07:28 PM UTC+11, tabb...@gmail.com wrote:
Quote:
On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 20:59:55 UTC, rickman wrote:
On 1/10/2017 6:44 AM, Tom Gardner wrote:
On 10/01/17 11:26, rickman wrote:
Photovoltaic solar is already producing electricity at a profit.

"Costs" are a very variable concept. IMNSHO renewables costs
ought to include the cost of keeping conventional plant available
for when the renewable has gone AWOL.

Depending on the role of the renewable energy. I believe I've already
indicated photovoltaic can be used for some particular purposes that
match its output closely. If the sun doesn't shine for a few days there
are many car uses that won't need to charge for those few days. They
get a cheaper rate than uses that require energy on a schedule or at
inconvenient times.

This is not a new concept, we just don't bother much with it when we
burn dinosaurs. My family house had this in the 60's.

It's not new, and it's yet another of the glossed over prices to pay for this kind of technology.


NT is happy to gloss over the price of not moving over to renewable energy sources, less happy about paying for any extra cost that might come up along the way.

If his waterfront property was eventually going to be submerged by the 10 metre sea level rise that is now looking pretty much inevitable, one could see it as poetic justice. Since he will probably be dead before this happens, justice will probably be too delayed to be particularly satisfying.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney


Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:13 am   



On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:09:46 PM UTC+11, tabb...@gmail.com wrote:
Quote:
On Tuesday, 10 January 2017 21:28:15 UTC, mako...@yahoo.com wrote:

I would agree with that except..

1) the external costs (if any) of emitting CO2 are NOT well established, is CO2 really "pollution"?

2) the revenue neutral tax solution proposed by the scientists to impose an external cost on CO2 has been bastardized by the politicians into a money grabbing scheme.

If the proposals were for truly revenue neutral tax on CO2 and govt money for pure research of alternative and renewable energy, a lot more people including myself would no longer oppose it.

If people want to contribute a donation to such work they can. Almost everyone chooses not to. That's the reality of what people want.


"What people want" has been unsubtly influenced by climate change denial propaganda for a couple of decades now - every last bit of it bought and paid for by the fossil carbon extraction industry, out of the profits they make out of making climate change even more dramatic.

NT seems to have absorbed every last bit of that propaganda - he seems to be a gullible as John Larkin, if less inclined to post links to denialist web-sites (or to any kind of traceable evidence - he's as willing to rely on his own built-in misinformation as krw).

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney

Sylvia Else
Guest

Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:40 am   



On 11/01/2017 8:04 AM, rickman wrote:
Quote:
On 1/10/2017 3:10 PM, whit3rd wrote:
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 11:12:54 AM UTC-8, John Larkin wrote:

The best way to store hydrogen is to stick it to carbon.

Yeah, by physisorption. Chemical bonding makes the next step,
a fuel cell, more difficult. Graphite, though, might not be the best
choice
for an intercalation storage medium.

He is suggesting we are better off burning hydrocarbons in ignorance of
the problem it creates by releasing greenhouse gasses and adding to AGW.


Since the production of bio-diesel removes carbon dioxide from the air,
burning it just returns that, with no net increase, particularly if any
additional energy inputs required for production are also derived from
bio-diesel, or other renewable source.

Sylvia.

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