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Portugal's 11 Megawatt Solar Electric Plant Goes Online

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Mo Heat, Mar 28, 2007.

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  1. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Government subsidies made it possible. Seems like we should shift all petroleum (and other questionable) subsidies to alternative energy to stimulate more of this type construction. We probably would if we (or the Legislators) were serious about alternative energy sources, which probably says a lot.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSL2849214220070328

    Anybody see Bill Bradley on MTPress last Sunday? I liked his idea of taxing things we want to discourage and subsidizing those we want to encourage. Hasn't that always been a primary (or at least a secondary) purpose of taxation (sin taxes, etc.)? Somewhere along the line, that tax philosophy seems to have been forgotten. I also liked his idea of a dollar a gallon tax on gasoline, but I think he proposed using it to cut general spending, which always seems to create one more pool of dollars for additional spending. With gasoline seemingly headed for $3 a gallon in the next couple years, an additional dollar a gallon would be a $4 a gallon gas price. That should cut down on Sunday driving and encourage daily trip consolidations, as well as a much more serious interest in high milage (or electric, etc.) vehicles. Unfortunately, it would likely just be more money for our elite legislators to blow on pet projects. Something's got to give!

    Anybody see the 60 Minutes (I think) blurb on that Senator / Doctor that is unilaterally trying to cut pork barrel bill add-ons by calling Senators out on the Senate floor? Man, does that get them steamed! We need more guys like that. I think there is one other from Wyoming. Unfortunately, my MO Senator, Kitt Bond, was bashing the good Doctor, who has also pledged to serve a couple terms and go home.

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  2. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    I think all to often some of these Government funded alternate energy projects are really something like this.
    We need a 20 million dollars to rediscover what cost our great grand father a 1000 dollars to discover but we were not smart enough ask him about it while he was alive.

    Not PV but an example of some alternate energy in 1913.
    http://www.nelmes.fsnet.co.uk/paxman/suctngas.htm
    What is needed to get serious about alternate energy sources is gasoline and diesel at $8 or $10 a gallon.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was just in the Bay area I noticed a lot of areas where it said "high wind warning" especially around the northern bay. No windmills in sight...and the areas are already developed and semi-industrial.

    I would love to see a massive wind farm and PV effort, and also small scale water projects. Even seasonal (spring/snow melt) generation projects would be useful if we can produce the generation equipment cheap enough.

    And then, of course, we want some small scale wood burning gasification electric generators. Now THAT would be an OK OWB.

    In WWII Ford bragged that you basically fed raw material into one end of the River Rouge plant and bombers came out the other end....down to the rubber in the tires!

    What about some massive new factories powered by solar, water and wind that produce MORE solar, water and wind machines? When you look around you can see so much energy....just a matter of harvesting a small % of it.
  4. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I assume that was Tom Coburn, R-OK (an Ob-Gyn). He's one of the few small-government "true believers" in Congress. (A bit of a nut job on other issues, IMNSHO, but I do like him for calling out the rest of congress.) Not sure how safe his job is considering he refuses to get pork for his own state as well.
  5. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    (a clip...not to single you out or anything MO...but you "opened it for discussion")
    To quote MO:
    I think you are not alone in this view...alot of people probably have the same idea (I do) ...the only problem is when the "cheerleaders get involved" (like our 'counterparts over in a certain other forum I'm not going to name). Anyway it could never happen (currently) in this country...unless we ALL demanded more ACCOUNTABILITY from our elected officials. By accountability I mean "Yeah..Mr X I'll support the idea and support you...as long as the money gets spent where it should be spent...not on Corporate welfare not on 'tax breaks' to companies that have no desire to invest in new ideas (i.e. the future of our great nation)...catchy little sound bites aren't going to cut it...the money goes into SMALL BUSINESS not plagued with the mentality of why bother 'fixin it'...we're making money...and ohhh yeah while your at it I want the US energy policy to be revamped with extended range price controls set forth by a commitee of 'the average Mr and MRs John Q taxpayer!"
    "We The People" demanded just such things in the past with "Trust Busting". Standard Oil...being front and center the biggest offender...The little guy being "The Railroads"...which suffered for thirty years like a starving dog tied to a post that "People just forgot about". Until the Staggers Act of 1980...but by then it was too late they went bust...30 years of unfair government imposed restrictions...while this country spent BILLIONS of your tax dollars unfairly "Helping the competition" under the guise of "for the people" (The interstate highway system of this country is by far the worst example of "lynch mob mentality" at it's finest) and what happened to the great railroad backbone of this country? It got swallowed up for pennies on the dollar by greedy bankers...many of whom are direct decendants of the robber barons that upset the people in the first place.

    Sorry for the rant...something has to change! But change it wisely...after spirited discussion...and in unity.

    No repeats of the 1970's folks...The other side has a better stratedgy...and a better hand. As opposed to a "tax" I would propose a "Competitive Competition Clause Levy". A committee (made of 3 members per state with no political or economic interest other than survival) reviews the numbers and starts with a levy of $1 gallon "Phased in over 60 days". This money is to be placed in a "trust" with up to 50% allowed to go out into the market in the form of low interest loans to "startup companies". An additional 10% to be provided to "other interests at market rates...backed by a 20% interest in their corporate holdings. The remaining 40% to be held to offset conventional supply if need be. This of course would be backed by a process that would not let "conventional energy" drop below limits: In theory:
    If gas hits $4.00/gallon tommorow...next week it can't go back to $2.00 when someone figures out "table top fusion" but can't get it to market. The vision: A level playing field...No repeat of the 1970's (or 80's) when our "Friends from OPEC" decided to squash alternatives by flooding the market with cheap oil. People have had "better ideas" for over 30 years...but as long as the golden rule applies (he who has the gold makes the rules)...The little guy that invests his whole life into trying to make other peoples lives better...gets priced out of competition...

    The little guy can fight back...he just has to do it smarter.

    My favorite saying..."If you Bought it...A truck brought it!!!" yeah thanks for destroying my country and making me pay for it!

    .....May the Rock Island Line R.I.P.

    American hallmark: "Hard work...a solid plan...and a desire...beats all...someday it comes full circle when you earn it!"

    I've got nothing against the men and women that are the backbone of trucking (and it's current importance to the US economy)...but your industry became what it is today not by hard work fair competition and a sound business plan..but because the people paid for it! The future is bright for the concept of trucking...keep this thought in mind...it is a source of hope:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiTbaM0bdZg
  6. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I know they have a big one on the freeway that goes east from Oakland - about 30 minutes away if I recall correctly. It is a rather ugly area out there so I guess it was an easy sell.

    I am not so convinced I'd want them everywhere... as you say, there are plenty of unattractive places they can go. But if they start going up on scenic ridges and mountains, it'll cause the kind of backlash that has been observed in parts of NY.

    -Colin
  7. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Most wind generators I ever saw in my life: on I-10 about 200 miles from El Paso, TX and heading west....I counted over 300 but many were NOT turning.........
  8. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    I think someone in the article got carried away when they said:

    "But as far as we know -- thanks to great Portuguese sunshine and high technology -- this plant right here in Serpa is expected to produce the most power -- more than 20 gigawatt-hours per hour," Walsh said..........

    If it produces 11 Mega Watts then it's output in 1 hr is 11 Mega Watt hrs/hr, not the 20 Giga Watts stated....20 Giga Watts is 20,000 Mega Watts which is 20 conventional large power plants........no way......
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Denmark has thousands off the coast and they are all turning!

    I agree with NY that you don't want to put them all along treed ridges and mountains - and the air flow is messed up there anyway. The coasts are ideal, as well as the "bare" unpopulated hills at certain places in the west. Since they are usually sited all together (in a pass, for instance), it does not mess up the view as much. Also, we have to decide if an oil refinery would look worse! If we want the energy, we have to get it somewhere.
  10. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Cool video. I didn't realize you could move trucks like that.

    Not to pick on you or the railroads, everything really depends on your perspecitive after all. If you're a RR man you feel as you do, if you're a Linux or other OS buff you probably dislike MS, if you are a trucker you probably dislike the oil companies.

    And I'm not biased against RR's either. I have a genuine RR pocket watch and my grandfather's brass locker tag as important mementos (see: photo). Both my grandfathers were RR men. One a section foreman, the other something below that. My uncle and dad worked summer RR jobs. I received a Lionel electric diesel model 'O' train when I was two and still have it today. I love trains and RR's, but... The RR's are not without sin. They made their own bed. AND... They colluded with Rockefeller to create perhaps the most powerful virtual monopoly in America's history, excluding Microsoft that is. ;)

    Heres' an excerpt from Stanford edu link:

    http://cse.stanford.edu/classes/cs201/Projects/corporate-monopolies/development_rrmon.html

    With these huge stores of capital, the railroad companies were able to finance political campaigns through whatever and whomever was needed in government. With this control in Washington, there was no way to stop the overwhelming control of this industry over society. The entire nation was subject to the whims of this monopoly.

    and

    Though this initial legislation and controlling bodies were mainly ineffectual, the incredibly hazardous effects of monopolies were certainly realized. The actions of the railroad companies dictated how nearly every citizen in the West (and a majority in the East) performed their businesses and lived their lives. They were powerless to avoid this conglomeration (or conspiracy) of individual companies.

    RR's had a virtual monopoly. That is, not one company, but a collusion of RR companies and other vertically and horizontally integrated industries related to the RR's, all working together to squash anyone who opposed them.

    But I do agree that GM did the same thing by getting their chairman (or a director, I don't remember which) appointed as Ike's Secretary of Transportation. He's the guy that proposed and sold the Interstate Highway system as a national defense project. He of course, didn't care much for RR's. He was a car man.

    Power seems to be abused by all who have it. I even noticed when I had a little that it somewhat corrupted me... until it was taken away and I could see what had happened. It's a weird thing. And that is why our Constitution was such a wonderful document, when it was still the law of the land. It has since been largely usurped by powerful interests for their own benefit and largely to the detriment of "the little guy" like RR's. ;)

    Attached Files:

  11. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Ok Mo....nobody but an engineer would notice this...clicked on your "my ride" photo and I see a dangerous duo......a motorcycle and in lower left-hand corner a case of Bud....LOL...
  12. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Mo...

    I'm not saying they ("the railroads") were snow white...The "charachters" along the history timeline were both good and bad...but the turn this country took in the 1950's cost this country far more than it has saved. Personally, I think the miles after miles of track that have been torn up over the last forty years is pure waste. I'm surprised there are no federal programs to "bank" these (future) potentially viable lines...abandonments are still widespread.

    Nice timepiece MO...thanks for sharing the story on it...treasure it!
  13. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    Keyman those abandonments in most states are banked. Track can be taken up but easements are still in place and corridors are put to use as trails for the interim.

    Railbanking
  14. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Key, Here's a RR trivia question for you.

    Whats the unique difference between an old mechanical railroad pocket watch carried by all RR men and a typical mechanical pocket watch from the same period that would be carried by an average Joe?

    I'm not talking about jewels or accuracy. And quartz movements hadn't yet been invented. Pocket watches were commonly carried by men through the 50's, but RR pocket watches had one unique characteristic found on almost no other watch. It was of vital importance to the timely and safe functioning of a RR.
  15. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    As an enlightened sage once said to me, "Once you set foot upon the path, you see it everywhere." ;)

    You're on your way, Cast. ;)
  16. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I think they must have meant per year. It would be bizarre to talk about units of GWhr/hr, which as you point out, is just GW. But at 11MW you would get 20GWhr in 1818 hours, or an average of 5 hours a day for 365 days.
  17. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Anyone... anyone... Bueller?
  18. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Well, wikipedia says that 1893 standards included:
    and that
    Is it in there somewhere?
  19. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    :) Ceritified Movement? :) MO you sneaky clever man you...lol I'm guessing that was the "trivia question" you were hinting at. Certified/precision movement is what your hinting at? Or the fact "certain roads'.." (SP for example) had a specific (internal) department for certifing the manufacturer, type of movement, date made...and when it was "certified" by the company...said form being required to be carried "on your person" at all times...yup lotsa history in these regards. But then again look at what it brought: Standardized Time, lives are "on the line"..."runs like clock work" etc.
    ..There's a 'local' in these here parts...from 'The Ham'...(Ashburnham MA) that is a proffessor at Fitchburgh state college that did a nice article in 'Trains' magazine a few years back that went into "vast detail" and was very informative on the subject.
    A "railroad timepiece" (Hamilton was a 'favorite' among the 'men of iron') was the basic foundation...and the 'Form-19' was the order. Still used today...but 'train orders' (Form 19's) aren't as critical as they once were.

    Now my 'trivia question to you MO': In railroad terms there are colorfull sayings part of our everyday life...some aren't.... like "Joining the birds..." What is meant by the saying: "..(to)Put er' in the 'big hole'" ??? Why is it signifigant...and why is it 'dreaded'???

    "Key ain't 'wet behind the ears' when it comes to 'choo-choo's'...you gonna have to get up pretty early in the morning to 'stump him'....when it comes to railroads" lol :)
  20. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Interesting article in regards to time:

    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5748/

    Good article on the #4 which started the whole thing:

    http://www.pocketwatcher.org/category/railroad_grade/

    I think this is written by the same guy:

    http://www.pockethorology.org/Railroad/Railroad.htm

    Probably the best written article:

    http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohwcl/localarticles/timebegan.htm

    MO? To "Trully answer your question": Stamping "Raillroad standard", the fact the 12 o'clock, is under the winder, and on and on...were you hinting to the fact the glass has to be removed to access the set lever (can't inadvertantly change the time)?

    Did you ever "talk shop" with them(your grandfathers')???...Forget the questions above...thats the ops side of the house...track work? Here's a good one...what is the "definition" of "wide gauge"?

    Along with the watch? Do you have one of the "library cards" issued by the RR he worked for? (The 'pocket certificate' if required???)

    Were you looking for the answer "leverset" so it can't be accidentally changed?
    http://www.timemachinewatch.com/setwatch.htm
  21. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    That sounds about right for a nontracking system.

    I wonder how the numbers work out for a tracking system?

    On small home systems it is usually better to just add a panel or two for more power.
    Then as the size of the system grows it seems it is better to have a tracking system, but on very large systems they go back to stationary mounts.
    I am guessing that with very large systems the cost of the land is a much bigger factor and tracking systems need more space between rows to avoid shadows.
  22. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Actually, you do have to talk about MW-hrs/hr to be meaningful...here's why......I can generate 11 MW-hrs (an energy term) using a bicycle driven generator.....I generate a few watts output and I take decades to do it, ending up with 11 MW-hrs of energy produced. I cannot however, generate 11 MW (an instantaneous power term)......... side note...when they "read your power meter" they're actually reading your "energy meter".

    Kilo watts or Mega Watts is a "power" term and is an "instantaneous" term...that is, you can either generate 11 MW (in this solar example) or you can't and it has nothing to do with time. It's like a car engine...it can either produce 100 HP or it can't and it has nothing to do with time. Now, when we multiply "time" by Mega-watts or HP, we get an "energy" term of MW-hrs but it helps to know the time over which it was generated. Put another way, I can erect one, 100 watt solar panel and with light shining say 10 hrs per day, I can also generate 20,000 Mega-watt hours of energy....but it will take me about 20 million days to do so......so we have to know the time over which the energy is generated.

    You're correct that the 20,000MW-hrs is energy over a year....
  23. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, but as the time period gets smaller then the average and instantaneous values converge. Here an hour is a "short" time over which one might expect instantaneous power to be relatively constant, so GWhr/hr and GW are essentially the same. That's why I said it was bizarre to use those units (and what indicated that it was a typo). GWhr/year, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense because obviously the instantaneous power varies a lot over a year (or even a day).

    All of which would have been simplified if they hadn't decided to base our standard unit of electrical energy (W-hr) on a power over time but rather than on a true energy unit like the Joule. (1W=1J/s, 1kW-hr=3.6MJ)

    Did you inadvertantly edit my quote? I had units of 20GWhr but in the quote it's (incorrectly) 20GW.
  24. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Nope. Nope. Nope. But you nail it in your next post. I'll reply there.

    Never heard it, but I'll guess. Either a big maintenance with "big hole" being the pit under the train where the repair man accessed the undercarriage, or more likely, a decommissioning of an engine, always a 'dreaded' time for RR folks.
  25. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Must have gone up there to copy the line and rubbed out the "hr" part...sorry........also went back and hit "quote" to see if the software failed to copy it but it does copy what you originally had so I must have "fat-fingered" it...LOL

    as for the units....all the same to me....one is power (instantaneous....i.e., Watts or J/sec) and one is energy (W-hr or J)
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