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The Terminator Terminates car emmissions.....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, May 18, 2009.

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  1. Hakusan

    Hakusan New Member

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    As usual, it will be individuals to show our leaders the way. Unfortunately, most renewable technology require high capital costs--I simply cannot afford most of the technology I would gladly use. This prevents me from charging my imaginary electric from solar panels I cannot afford. However, I am not resigned to defeat, I do what I can. But until this technology becomes affordable for the average citizen, then the transformation of our society will not be possible.

    I believe renewable energy can do for power distribution what the internet did for computing. Imagine every household tied into the grid producing enough power where the need for centralized power generation as we know it is unnecessary. I would like local power cooperatives to spring up in the US and around the world in the way they work in Denmark.

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  2. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    of course having PV (solar) cells on everyones roof would be great, except for the fact that as as far as I know the energy required to produce the cells is equal to or a little less than the energy extracted during their lifetime. and the manufacturing process is not so eco-friendly, just like the horrible damage created by the manufacturing and disposal of batteries for hybrid cars. It just moves the mess to canada, china, and india, (same as the argument against nukes, it puts the impact in your back yard instead of WV, TN, PA, and other redneck areas)
  3. Hakusan

    Hakusan New Member

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    I would like to see the source of this information. Can you cite the source?
  4. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    the source is old, I read it back in the early 90's in one of my dads engeneering magazines, according to wikipedia the current energy production is equal to the consumed energy after 1-4 years or so depending on effeciency, a PV cell should last 25 years up to 35. Of course the effeciency is effected by how much sun you get, up here in ME during the winter the angle of the sun won't give very good power, 33% efficiency is normal today, some experimental cells get up to 40.8% but that is under lab conditions with 326 times the sun input of light. the cheap plastic cells can have efficiency of only5% (like the garden lights from wallyworld)
    Solar still will require the grid to make up for heavy loads like AC, and night, when all those plug in cars will be plugged in. You still run into the energy storage density to weight problem, there still isn't a storage density better than diesel or gas for transportation, why don't we focus on the remaining 80% of fuel usage on heat and power instead of the very costly and mostly unhelpful transportation "improvements".
    I still think we should follow the french and go with 60+% nuke electricity, a win for those of us who want energy independence, and for those who believe in carbon slavery.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    When and if this is ever possible again, it would probaby be a good idea. That day is far away and extremely unlikely however.
  6. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    The problem is Obama and the liberals are hell bent on going with biofuel and electric cars, even if it's not the best way to do it. In 2003 George Bush started the hydrogen fuel initiative. Six years later most every major manufacturer has a hydrogen car. Honda is delivering about 200 of them a year to people in southern California where there are refueling stations. Obama just cut funding to it. Why waste more time and money developing a product when we have one now that will reduce pollution.

    Another thing they don't tell is that we can't pump alcohol based fuels in our gasoline pipelines. It's too corrosive. Even the 10% ethanol that is in gasoline now is added at the distribution centers and not the refineries. So you can't use the argument that we don't have the means to distribute hydrogen, when we don't have the means to distribute alcohol either.


    I read an interesting article online. The guy posted his math too. I half way followed his math, enough to tell he wasn't making something up. Did you know that our paved roads are only 3% reflective to ultraviolet light? If we could add a coating of some sort to get the UV reflectivity up to 85%, we would bounce more heat from the Sun back out of our atomosphere than all of the heat generated by all of the electricity we use in the United States. If it's about global warming then why not to this and not change our life styles.

    Did you know that PETG the plastic that Soda bottles are made out of can be easily broken down into gasoline? China has mini plants all over their country that turn waste plastic into gasoline. They also have a few megaplants that turn the waste plastic they buy from us into gasoline. They get about a gallon of gasoline out of 9 pounds of plastic.

    Something is going on with our leaders, but I don't think they are doing what they're doing for the sake of the Earth. They have to have some other motive. Too much stuff they're doing doesn't make sense.
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I have serious problems with this entire premise. To start with, do you realise that almost all of our energy comes from the Sun? The Sun is the source of most of our energy, including heat. Oil, coal, natural gas, firewood, and wind power are all directly derived from sunlight, which hits the earth with an average intensity of 1000 watts per square meter. It is for this reason the photvoltaic and solar thermal energy makes sense. The Earth is constantly bombarded with solar energy, more than enough to provide abundant mountsf energy for every human being. We can either utilize this energy or we can allow those same electrons to warm the Earth. Reflecting them back into space so you don't have to "change your lifestyle" is not nessasary. If you don't like dirty coal plants(let me assure you, I am not in favor of burning coal, either, for a variety of reasons)then how can you be against solar energy?
    As far as hydrogen goes, please look into this more. I think you will find that the Bush plan for hydrogen involved deriving hydrogen from petroleum, for a net gain of... nothing. If you are going to split hydrogen from oil, you may as well burn gasoline, whether it is made from plastic bottles (oil), or oil. Clean hydrogen can ONLY be made from water (H2O). The reason this is not yet viable is that the energy needed to bust hydrogen from water is more expensive than the value of the hydrogen produced. This is due to a law of physics known as Conservation of Matter. The Bush hydrogen economy , unfortunately, was a scam, a feel good measure intended only to muddy the waters and continue our irational dependence on oil.
    If you actualy want to burn hydrogen in cars, and still have your exxon-mobil shares continue to pay dividends forever, then convince them to become ENERGY companies instead of oil companies. If the big oil companies were to build massive thermal-solar plants. with some of their abundant profits, they could eventualy use electricity with no fuel cost(the key to a hydrogen economy) to spit water into hydrogen, and sell the hydrogen at their already extensive distribution networks.
  8. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    You know, sometimes I find it very frustrating being a Libertarian... Philosophically I am very much opposed to compulsory schooling, yet every time I hear someone spouting about the "wonders of Hydrogen as a fuel," or how "Solar power will solve the energy crisis" I find myself really wishing there was some entity that could force them back into school for some serious remedial education, since they obviously didn't get it the first time around...

    Start with elementary math... A BIG solar project is a few megawatt capacity, ditto a wind farm... However when building a smallish power plant, they are usually talking on the order of HUNDREDS of megawatts, if not more... Even a really big power plant will fit on a site that is only a few acres - but figure the land requirements for even a ONE megawatt solar facility - using the hypothetically perfect panel (which doesn't exist, standard commercial panels are actually around 17-18% - or 170 watts of electric output per 1,000 watts of solar input) The previous poster claimed 1,000W per square meter - so you would need ONE THOUSAND square meters per megawatt, just for collector area, not counting space for service access, space between panels, etc... If you go back to reality, and use todays figures, five or six times that amount. There are 4,047 square meters per acre, so about 1.5 acres per Megawatt, just for the collectors.

    In our town, we are currently having a battle over an effort to build a small "peaking" power plant - "Only" 348 megawatts capacity... To do that with solar, about 500 acres minimum - the proposed site for this fossil fuel plant - less than 10... But that 500 acre solar plant would only make the 348mw PEAK production i.e. you get far less if it's raining, and NOTHING when the sun goes down - the fossil plant can make its full advertised output anytime it needs to...

    How many square miles do you want to dedicate to solar panels? - And how are you going to get those acres away from all the other people that want to "preserve the open spaces" and so on...

    Slightly more advanced math... Orders of Magnitude... Current solar capacity? a tiny fraction of a percent... But installed capacity is growing rapidly... Under the most ambitious of gov't subsidized (because it doesn't make economic sense without the subsidies, and even with them isn't that great) programs, in ten years we might get to ONE percent of current grid capacity... Of course those same gov't projections say that we will need to increase our total capacity by 20-30% over the same period of time... Sounds like installed solar is going to stay at the fraction of one percent range for the forseeable future...

    Wind has similar numbers, both in terms of production scale, and in terms of it's growth rate.

    Now Hydrogen needs a bit of Physics 101, and perhaps a touch of chemistry, but mostly the laws of thermodynamics....

    First, the chemistry... In simple terms the Hydrogen concept is contained in the equation: Water + Energy in = Hydrogen (and oxygen which is usually thrown away), followed by moving the hydrogen to someplace else, and then reversing the equation to get: Hydrogen + Oxygen = Water plus Energy out.... Doesn't really matter what the trimmings are, how you perform the reactions, etc., the bottom line is always that equation.

    But, no matter how good the extraction process is, you can NEVER get more potential energy out of the system as Hydrogen than you put into the process, even in the best theoretically perfect system. In actual practice, our conversions are FAR from perfect, so it takes a LOT more energy input than what you will get for hydrogen out....

    Then you have to move the hydrogen someplace else... that takes yet more energy - and the nature of hydrogen makes the process of moving it worse from an energy perspective than just about any other fuel... NONE of our existing pipe infrastructure can handle hydrogen - the ONLY way we can move it is to put it in a container, then carry the container around... But hydrogen is bulky stuff - even liquefied (a process that takes MORE energy BTW) it still takes a lot of volume per unit of energy - so you need a lot more containers than you do liquid fuels, or even fossil gasses. Ignoring the weight of the containers (and a hydrogen container needs more strength than most others, thus more money to make it, and more energy to move it) just the larger number of containers boosts the energy cost of transport...

    Finally you get to burn or otherwise try to get your energy back out of the hydrogen... Once again, those nasty laws of thermodynamics pop up - you can't get more useable energy out of the hydrogen than it had to start with, and in actual practice will get a lot less...

    So hydrogen loses energy at EVERY step along the way, and this is supposed to be good? Where did the extra energy come from? The fraction of a percent of installed capacity solar systems? The fraction of a percent of installed capacity wind systems? Or perhaps some of those inefficient fossil fuel systems?

    Net energy output of delivered hydrogen makes alcohol look like a GOOD fuel...

    Remember that for all their negatives, fossil fuels deliver MORE energy at the point of use than it took to get them TO the point of use....

    If you don't get that result, then you have less energy in the end than what you started with.

    In essence, to get an energy benefit from hydrogen, you need to get a physical break through of the same sort that would produce a perpetual motion machine...

    And at least some of us learned about those in school the FIRST time around...

    Gooserider
  9. Hakusan

    Hakusan New Member

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  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Hey Gooserider, good to here from you. From what I understand, true libertarians don't get out much.

    Did you read what I said? I was trying to convince the other poster that the hydrogen economy is not practical, which is why President Obama stopped funding it.

    As to your dismisal of solar thermal (not photovoltaic as you infered), kindly google solar thermal plants under construction in U.S.
    There, if you are so inclined, you will read about solar thermal plants either under constrution or lisenced on the order of 8.5 GIGA-watts, with a total of 14.5 GIGA-watts scheduled to come online by 2014. Remember that number (giga) from school? Thats a lot of zeros.

    Yes real estate is pretty pricey here in Mass, but it is still a big world, and much of it is populated much less densely than here.
    By the way, the roof of my house is 2000 sq ft. How many watts is that? More than I use every day? thats what I thought. It is past my bed time, or I would start telling you about my latest perpetu...oops I mean design.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Goose, no doubt many conventional power plants are small. But how much coal does it take to keep 'em fueled? That coal and the railroad that brings it, and the ash left over and the air pollution (causing sickness and death) has to all be taken into account. I know Libertarians believe in paying the TRUE cost of things, and would be amazed if they felt fine when the mess (coal) was created somewhere else.

    As to wind farms, we just put up a 1.5 MW here in Portsmouth RI. The plans are for dozens if not eventually hundreds out in the sound. That is a lot of power.

    No one with any math skills thinks we can instantly change our fuel base. But we can move to bridge fuel (nat gas) while cleaning up older coal and oil plants AND make sure that going forward we use wind, solar, biomass and other locally available fuels when possible.

    BTW, solar THERMAL plants in the Southwest and Israel are just now passing the 100 MEGAWATT size. They generate electricity for rates competitive with other fuels.
    Mirrors are made of SAND. The plants sit in deserts. What's not to like?

    As a talking point, it would take 90 miles square of desert plants in the southwest to provide electric for the ENTIRE USA.

    I would venture to say that all the coal mining, uranium mining, waste, oil pumping and other things we do today to generate that electric end up screwing up a LOT more land than that, AND land which has a much higher value (take a good tour of KY coal mines some time).
  13. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    This is all great news. However, I think the push, novelty, scare- whatever ya call it has worn off. I remember back in Jr High and early High school everyone thought we were running outta natural gas, thus the run for solar heating was on and every flower child was driving a Subaru wagon. But here some 28 years later I see those same flower children that claimed the sky was falling driving around in Nissan Muran's, porsche cheyenne and Lexus RX10's. Sure there's a few die hard individuals upholding the cause buzzing around in their Smat Car once in awhile to be seen in. My how things have changed..................
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Somewhat true, WM, which is why we cannot rely on consumer behavior alone to create our energy decisions for us.
    An anti-libertarian stance, but I think some things are too big and important to be left completely to the vulgarities of the marketplace. There must be some planning and forethought since these things (movements toward conservation, etc.) take a LOT of time and companies are unlikely to invest in them if we are gonna see $1.00 oil next month
  15. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    You guys should really read up on hydrogen production. You all are refering to electrolysis and stating that is takes more energy to crack the water than you get in return from the hydrogen. This isn't true anymore. With the use of catylsts they are able to crack it with much less energy. Still electrolysis is not the best way. There are nuclear power plants that can generate hydrogen instead of electricty. You generate the electricity in the day time when you need peak power and generate the hydrogen when the plant would normallly idle down some. There are many more ways of producing hydrogen now than there were just a few years ago. One allows you to generate it on the spot from water. Here's the link.

    http://www.physorg.com/news98556080.html
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm....it was always my understanding that the nuke reactors were kept at 100% unless shutdown completely. Thats why peaker plants were designed to go online/offline at the snap of a finger, to take up the peak loads and shut down when they are not needed.

    I am not disputing the fact that nuke power is a good fuel to create hydrogen, just that my understanding of reactors tell my that they don't grab a knob on the wall an dim the output. The same zoomies are present at all times, its how much the control rods allow to live or absorb that adjusts the reaction output. Dunno.
  17. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    ''

    A reactor can be controlled but it's not done easily or quickly. The point is the reactor generates heat and we can use that heat to turn steam turbines or we can use the heat to do thermocracking of water to get hydrogen and oxygen. Right now during low peak hours, the reactors generate the heat but it's not used. It spins the turbines and all but they don't extract electricity out of it because they dont need it.
  18. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    GE is working on a "filter" that at the high temps present in nuclear plants will seperate the hydrogen and oxygen. The "filter" has a catalyst that causes the reaction. (from a company magazine from GE back when my dad worked for them) There is also the possibility of using square wave pulse electrolosis, instead of constant current like most of us saw in chemistry class, (it is the root of stanley meyers water fueled car idea) you pulse electric current at the harmonic frequency of a water molecule, from what I have read about his work (oh yeah, he was killed? and his patents bought up by big oil for all of you conspiracy types)
    of course if you believe what his followers say we don't need any more oil at all, all you get is water vapor from the exhaust. (wait! water vapor is one of the biggest "green house gasses")
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Oil is on it'ts way up again.
  20. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    That's a very simplistic statement. Could you present the supporting documentation? How would you propose to solve the problem presented every evening? And the distribution of that solar power from the desert 2500 miles to the East Coast?

    I've spent the past few minutes reading this topic. Now that the power production / distribution problems have been solved, let me ask if anyone posting here is an electrical engineer? Anyone ever worked in a power plant of any kind? I've worked in the electrical construction industry for 34 years. Our company has installed generators at base load plants. We've worked on peak shaving projects etc. Anyone here ever been inside a windmill? I have. Two weeks ago I went in an old noisy 1.5 MW design built about 10 years ago. Much quieter than a Coal or Gas plant. The new generation 3 MW type windmills that went up 2 miles from our shop cannot be heard until you are less than 200 yards from them. And when we are around windmills they don't require us to sign liability waivers for health hazards such as mercury like they do at coal plants. If you are the gambling type, put your money on windmills, geothermal and nuclear. China signed an agreement in 2007 to purchase 4 AP1000 nuclear power plants from Westinghouse and has plans to have 100 in operation by 2020.

    The hurtles are numerous and the solutions are just as varied. And, if you want electric cars, build more power plants. It will make you feel warm and fuzzy, and we appreciate the work. At least we're burning North American derived fuels at the plants vs. sending our money to the middle east or the Venezuelan dictator for crude oil.

    Solar energy is much more suitable on an individual basis for hot water at a home than for electrical energy on a large scale.
  21. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    90 square miles of perfectly good roof tops probably already exist, and then you dont necessarily have to worry so much about a long distance transmission. Solar voltaic today isn't the best thing since sliced bread but, it does have some of the greatest potential for improvement over the next decade. Materials engineering is advancing rapidly and solar stands to gain the most (currently its not so efficient, so by default, it has a lot of improvemnt potential). The argument that solar is useless at night can be rebutted with the observation that in the southwest a good number of windmills don't turn until the afternoon when the cooler air starts to roll down the mountains (at sea things are different, i know). Once we can get PV to be cost effective and widespead its hard for the NIMBY's to fight it. I personally like windmills. They look cool. I think 400 acres of multi-colored windmills would be a sight to behold, alas, I think i will never see such a sight (seems white is awfully popular).
  22. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    http://tinyurl.com/cykf7v
  23. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    "...Obama's a dumbass..." C'mon Karl, I would judge from your writing that you are much smarter than your statement indicates. Obama received his Bachelor of Laws and Doctor of Laws degrees from Harvard University. He was editor of the "Harvard Law Review". He taught Constitutional law at the very prestegious University of Chicago. His ability to dissect and understand problems while searching for best solutions and his ability to speak have been described as "brilliant" by many who study presidents.

    You might disagree with some decisions he has made, as I do. You might dislike him. You might disagree with his policies on energy, the military, the economy, healthcare, and the whole host of other issues he is currently tackling. You might even believe he is the worst President in the history of our often times great Republic; but a "dumbass" he is not. You do yourself a disservice by saying he is.

    Best wishes,

    John_M
  24. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    New info on solar (to me anyway) we can't build enough PV cells in this country to help, the EPA (another strand in americas choke leash) won't let enough silicon be made to support the building of new plants for PV production, instead India, and China are building plants to produce PV thanks to our idiotic regulations. So we are going to save our selves from foriegn oil by buying foriegn PV cells, and wind, (even though both have their dead times) while we help the U.A.E set up nukes, and the current brain trust in DC thinks Iran needs nukes also. (even though both are sitting on huge amounts of NG and crude, but we can't build our own nukes)
  25. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    First of all any amount helps.
    Second, regardless of where it is made, it still helps.
    Third, are you talking about silicon carbide? Different animal.
    Fourth, Where did you get this info? I couldn't find it.
    Fith, Photo-voltiac is just one of many methods of reducing dependence upon foriegn oil.
    Sixth, The present administration has little or no controll over siting new Nukes in this country, and in fact, Obama's new head of the EPA is highly in favor of them. The reasons new Nukes are not being built are entirely practical, not political.
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