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A new look on global warming

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by NOG (No Other Gods), Mar 6, 2008.

  1. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Drew,
    So payback on just 1 $500 panel is 18 YEARS. Now figure out how long that $8,500- $25,000 system is gonna take you to recoup your money.

    Also
    So wow, they get 250KwH from there solar panels per year(which is a very small system. the 2 1Kw systems i was talking about put out 3,285 KwH per year total). Just half of the average yearly use is 6,437.87 KwH
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Take a look at the offerings on the very website you used in your earlier link. The KwH figures listed for their offerings are monthly, not annual, and are based on 5 sun hours per day (so the figures don't need to be adjusted down very much). I have no idea who makes their panels, but using the figures that this company provides, 250 KWH per month (3000 per year) appears easilly attainable with a 10K investment. This doesn't factor in tax cuts or credits (a Federal tax credit of 30% of the equipment's cost is given on most Solar Panel purchases -- some states will also offer credits and/or cuts), or the simple fact that without knowing who made their panels, it is possible that their unit was even cheaper than this company's offerings.

    As to why their energy consumption figures are below average, well, they're old, there are only two of them, they don't have a computer or an air conditioner, they get those snazzy energy saver appliances, and they make every effort to keep their energy consumption down. To you or me, this may seem unreasonable (you can pry my computer, Air Conditioner, HDTV with surround sound and my Playstation 2 from my cold, dead hands, thank-you-very-much), but that's how they choose to live.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  3. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    A single 1Kw system costs $8,500 - 10,000 & you need 2 of them to get 3,285 KwH per year(thats 273.75 KwH per month BTW)
    The 30% discount is only good for up to $1,500 back to you for your house(but up to 30% of the total cost if you are a business)
    There are some good state by state programs but not everyone qualifies.
    This link is to a page of incentives for the seattle area, you might want to check some of them out for them as they may qualify.
     
  4. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Microbial alcohol production is a revived industry, showing promising possibilities to offer an alternative energy source. Plants convert solar energy way better than we can at the moment, and they produce the fuel to feed the microbial fermentation process. I heard on discovery, that the oldest cars were designed to run on alcohol as well as petroleum, so perhaps we need to take a step backward to redesign the engines. There were races held with new alcohol-based fuel engines, and the speed results were surprising. I saw it all on Discovery or NG, so no links:p.
     
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  5. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Well, considering that current turbines, designed in the US, are already having problems with motor durrability and blade stress fractures in any area that has regularly variable wind, I have to say that engineer doesn't know what he's talking about. In the case of turbines, the problem would be less the total wind speed, which would be easily accomodated for, but rather the rapidly shifting speed and direction producing cyclical stress on the blades. I'd guess a Category 1 hurricane of any durraction could produce many times more damage through this method than even a Cat5 hurricane through just wind speed.

    As to solar power, no electric heating, no air conditioning, no computer... Yes, I can understand solar power providing most if not all of what they need, but again, you may as well be talking about pre-industrial power needs. It's not exactly sufficient for even conservative uses of most people today.

    Coin, I'm more interested in algae that can be processed into bio-diesel. They can get 95% of biomass converted, and the remaining 55 can be converted to ethanol like you were talking about. Of course, it's still putting CO2 into the air, but it's CO2 that was recently taken out of the air (thanks to the Carbon Cycle). In addition, it can be fed on wastewater! A local wastewater treatment plant is running an experiment on growing them as part of their Biological Nutrient Reduction process now.
     
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  6. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    The point, NOG, is that we should be taking a holistic approach to our energy needs. As we improve insulation and energy efficiency standards for our appliances and continue to improve and expand on greener forms of energy, we can work towards solving these problems. You can't just compare a single "green" solution to fossil fuels, because no one is advocating replacing fossil fuels with a single "green" solution.

    Where applicable, geothermal energy should be used. Where applicable, wind energy should be used. Where applicable, solar energy should be used. Nuclear energy is also starting to make strides in the right direction. Check out the generation IV and V design specs (I spoilered it if you don't want to follow the link). These reactors actually start with depleted uranium, essentially mitigating the nuclear waste dilemma.

    Of all carbon-free energy sources, nuclear power is the only one that's already working on a large scale, generating 21 percent of America's electricity. It's also the one that freaks people out the most. Memories of Chernobyl, fears of terrorists getting nuclear material, and unease over waste that stays radioactive for tens of thousands of years all mean that before nuclear power can be expanded on an order needed to meet greenhouse-gas-reduction targets, engineers will need to build new reactors that help mitigate the unique dangers of nuclear fission.

    In the short term, we'll have to settle for so-called Generation III+ reactors — simpler, safer and cheaper versions of the water-cooled behemoths that dot the landscape today. But 20 to 30 years down the line, things start to get much more interesting. Here's a look at the next few decades of nuclear power.

    Generation III+
    Design: Pressurized water
    How it Works: Like today's reactors, these bathe enriched uranium fuel in water that absorbs heat to make steam.
    Promise: Gen III+ pressurized-water reactors add "passive" safety mechanisms that cool the reactor if the plant loses power. For example, in an emergency, water flows from an extra tank above the reactor, driven by gravity.
    Problems: Radioactive waste takes years to cool before it can be stored in underground repositories, which still don't exist.
    Status: Mitsubishi-Westinghouse, which developed the design, has received approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and has signed contracts to build six reactors in the U.S. and four in China.

    Generation IV
    Design: Pebble bed
    How it Works: Tennis-ball-size graphite spheres (pebbles) filled with uranium dioxide fuel capsules are stacked in the reactor like gumballs, where they start a nuclear reaction. A pump sends helium into the reactor, where it flows around the pebbles, absorbs heat, and then drives a turbine.
    Promise: If the coolant is lost, the graphite pebbles absorb enough heat to prevent the fuel from melting down.
    Problems: A single reactor requires billions of perfectly manufactured fuel capsules. If oxygen seeps in, the fuel can catch fire. The reactor uses enriched uranium (also good for making bombs) and produces radioactive waste.
    Status: Researchers have built and run small test reactors, but the design hasn't been commercialized.

    Generation V

    Design: Traveling wave
    How it Works: Enriched uranium starts the process, releasing neutrons that help convert scrap depleted uranium (left over from enrichment plants) into plutonium. The plutonium releases yet more neutrons that convert more depleted uranium into usable fuel [see illustration above].
    Promise: Very little enriched uranium is required, and there is already enough to last for centuries using this technology.
    Problems: Cooling the reactor could require molten sodium, which catches fire if it comes into contact with oxygen or water. No one has built even an experimental traveling-wave reactor.
    Status: A think tank called Intellectual Ventures wants to build a plant by 2020, but outside experts are skeptical, saying it could take decades.

    Back to wind, though. The fact that it "isn't difficult to engineer" an off-shore turbine that can handle a cat-5 hurricane doesn't negate the fact that we currently haven't done so. This engineer is likely speaking long-term, and if we can split an atom, generate virtually unlimited energy by enriching uranium, engineer a vehicle that can handle the intense pressures felt at the bottom of the ocean, and put a man on the moon and bring him back safely, I'm pretty damn sure we'll be able to figure out how to engineer a turbine that can handle a little extra wind. Measured against those feats of engineering, making a better turbine seems pretty minor by comparison.
     
  7. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Agreed completely, but my point is that, even allowing for maximum practical usage of all alternative energies, we're still probably a decade or more away from making fossil fuels go the way of the dinosaurs (sorry, couldn't resist). This goes back to what I was saying about a careful, planned approach. The Cap-and-Trade systems that are being proposed today aren't careful or planned to preserve our economy or power supply. They're rushed and paniced. A careful and planned process would provide substantial tax cuts for alternative energy development, legislate limits on the percentage of power a state can get from fossil fuels, based on a case-by-case basis, etc.

    Also, the reactors we have now are plenty safe, so the Reactor III isn't a big deal, and the others are, unfortunately, decades away themselves according to the article.

    :lol: I'm sorry, and I don't mean to sound arrogant, but this just shows how little you understand the problem. Building something which is designed to catch the wind so that it can resist the stress cycles found in hurricanes is easily as big a challenge as, if not a bigger challenge than, building a manned submersible that can reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep, which we've only done once, and it was only there for a few minutes.

    Mind you, I'm not agruing we should give up at all. I'm just saying that too many people advocate a forced rush today which will end up having the same consequences to our economy and power supply that yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater has to the patrons. It's a reckless, fear-based reaction backed by poor science and outlandish claims.
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    At least a decade. Probably longer. I wonder who you're trying to convince with this one, since I have yet to hear anyone suggest that we abandon fossil fuels tomorrow.

    I'm sorry, and I don't mean to sound arrogant, but why exactly is your word of more value than the word of Willet Kempton and his research team? After all, they have spent a great deal of time studying the workings of off-shore wind turbines and other green energy solutions, and his team has determined that engineering a wind turbine that can withstand a Cat-5 hurricane won't be terribly difficult to accomplish. Again, at the risk of sounding arrogant, who are you to tell me that Kempton and his research team don't know what they are talking about without at least looking at their research and specs and talking to the engineers tasked with actually developing the damn thing first? I get that you're an engineer and I'm not, but it isn't your word against mine, here. It's your word against theirs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  9. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Many, many people in the Global Warming movement. And yes, I have heard that proposed, by educated individuals who know exactly what it would mean for the US. I don't know exactly how you or Coin or Rags feel on the issue.

    That's a good point, but let me put it this way. I don't challenge that they could design and build a wind turbine that would survive a Cat5 hurricane. I challenge that they could design and build one that could survive 2 years in the Gulf, much less the Atlantic, without MASSIVE repair and maintenance costs. I do believe they could design one that could withstand a single storm, but my point is that single storms aren't the issue, it's the prolonged exposure. That said, I'd expect a single hurricane of almost any strength to about half the lifespan of such a turbine.
     
  10. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    This is likely hopeful talk by individuals intending to inspire the public. Perhaps it is intentionally misinforming:o... But when no progress has been made after a while, the impatience from the public will hopefully be a drive for governments and corporations to do something.
    Well, I'm no engineer, but... wouldn't a windmill sturdy enough require much more initial construction, and much less repair?:hmm: The trick is, to make a durable and cost-effective turbine that is still feasible from the get-go. I can imagine that cleaning and upgrades become more difficult, the sturdier you make it.
     
  11. Heaven Net Banned

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    Obama's Climate Team Moves to Regulate Greenhouse Gases as Research Shows Global Warming Continues at High Rates

    President Barack Obama's new Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson has moved to put CO2 and other greenhouse gases under regulation by the Clean Air Act. In one of the most anticipated early actions by the new Administration, the EPA issued a proposed finding on April 17 that these gases endanger human health and well-being. When made final, this will clear the way for regulation of vehicle exhaust, which is the source of about 30 percent of US carbon dioxide emissions.

    This is one of the most visible of the climate actions springing from members of the President's new Cabinet, which includes leading scientists and informed diplomats. As they took their posts, working scientists announced in two international meetings that many factors in rapid global warming were getting worse or running at rates which only a few years ago were thought to be extreme.

    Besides Jackson, who an was an experienced state environment leader before taking over at EPA, Obama appointed former EPA head Carol Browner to a new post of White House climate and energy chief; Nobel Prize winner Stephen Chu as Secretary of Energy; Harvard professor John Holdren, who has been outspoken on the dangers of climate disruption, as Presidential science advisor; and acclaimed ocean scientist Jane Lubchenco as head of NOAA.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton replaced George Bush's footdragging international climate negotiators with a team lead by Todd Stern. One of his first actions was to announce to international climate talks in Bonn that "the science is clear, and the threat is real. The facts on the ground are outstripping the worst case scenarios. The costs of inaction-or inadequate actions-are unacceptable." The Bonn talks are preliminary to crucial UN Climate Convention meetings in Copenhagen in December [[ link: http://unfccc.int/2860.php ]], at which nations have promised to agree to sharp limits on greenhouse gases, replacing the Kyoto Protocol. Many national issues and roadblocks remain, however, prime of which is the world recession which dominates other international meetings.

    The EPA finding, although initially focused directly on vehicle emissions, will lead under the Clean Air Act to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, source of nearly half of American CO2. Congress is also proposing control of emissions using a cap and trade process familiar to many from previous Clean Air Act procedures to limit sulphur pollution from coal burning plants. A comprehensive climate and energy bill, drafted by Rep. Henry Waxman of California and Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, will be debated in the House this spring. Reactions to the proposed legislation are being posted by many business and environmental groups and will surely intensify as the bill is amended and moves toward a vote later this year.

    The urgency of climate action is even greater now because some recent observations are at or beyond the highest projections of previous reports. Scientific studies updating the IPCC assessment of 2007 show that more CO2 is being put into the air than ever before. Rates of change of global mean temperature, sea level rise, ice sheet changes in Greenland and the edges of Antarctica, and ocean chemical changes are running at the highest projections of the 2007 IPCC. In February 2009 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Chris Field of the Carnegie Institute also reported that some major ways that the earth naturally absorbs CO2 were less efficient now, leaving more of the gas in the air. I heard him say that because of all this, we are "on a trajectory of climate... that has not been explored."

    Not every indication of climate is changing this rapidly, but most scientists now predict a 5 degree F or more temperature increase and at least three feet of sea level rise before 2100 if things continue in this way. The changes documented in these website pages and my book occurred during a time of just over one degree of warming.

    Every citizen of the world needs to be aware of rapid climate change:

    1. Understand the problem, its causes and threats.
    2. Let your leaders know the facts and that you expect them to act.
    3. Do something today to reduce greenhouse gas output -- please Take Action
     
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  12. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Of course this is the same EPA that suppressed a climate change report from Congress because it disagreed with the administration's position. See earlier posts.
     
  13. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Also see earlier posts (joacquin i think) to read that the States is one of the few nations where politicians enter into discussion with the global scientific community, presenting their own 'researchers' to reassure the public that there is no problem. How dare the EPA disagree with the administration's position?!? The US gov't can be trusted implicitly:lol:.
    It's quite disturbing how U.S. politicians see AGW as a politically motivated agenda, completely ignoring the realities of the problem.
     
  14. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    That's the problem with stress cycles and microfractures. They're not really a matter of strength. Basically, we're talking about designing the turbine to resist the ravages of time (a very good analogy, actually). The only way to really do it is t overbuild the turbine, to make everything thicker, much thicker, than it needs to be. The problem is, thicker means heavier means less efficient turbine.

    Heaven Nest, could you link the original site for that article?

    Yes, yes it is, but considering the potential impacts of proposed climate actions, I think it's equally disturbing when politicians don't get involved.
     
  15. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    What about going the other way on this? Underbuild the turbine, so it will pop off from even the weakest of hurricanes, but it's also dirt-cheap to replace the mast and blades:bigeyes:. And the broken windmills can perhaps be recovered after a storm, and recycled... just a thought.
     
  16. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    ... It's never cheap to sail a massive turbine blade out several miles to sea, lift it up 100 feet or more (the more the better for the turbine efficiency), get people out there, and re-attach it. Plus, the issue isn't just the blades, but the nacelle, too.
     
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