Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 107   Go Down

Author Topic: The American Constitution  (Read 98917 times)

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #840 on: June 26, 2019, 09:27:52 am »

Follow up on renewable energy from Germany. Due to breezier weather than usual, last year they achieved very respectable results from their wind farms.

https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/windkraft-boom-oekostrom-anteil-in-deutschland-steigt-auf-rekordwert-a-1274318.html

What good is it?   With 40% of their electric grid on renewables, they're still producing the same amount of CO2.  And it's costing Germans 2-1/2 times what America pays for electricity.  Germany pays more for electricity than other European countries even though they have one of the highest renewable grids.  If this example is what happens  with renewables, we're chasing them down Alice's rabbit hole. It's no solution to the problem. 

LesPalenik

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5301
    • advantica blog
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #841 on: June 26, 2019, 09:30:13 am »

We have already far past the inflection point on gains in the efficiency of solar and wind.  Future gains will be very small while require larger and larger investments.  The physicists whom I have listened to who have looked into this all agree.  We are near the capacity of what solar and wind can give us.  Not to mention, why rely on a technology that only produces power 10% to 30% of the time. 

Insofar as batteries, they are a horrible option.  As mentioned before you loose 20% to 40% of power when you charge a battery and use the energy later.  Having a modern grid to draw power from is a much better and cheaper option.  For this to work, you need a base line power source, which wind and solar will never be due their intermittency.  Only nuclear and fossil fuels can do this. 

I should add, I think solar is great on roofs, but not in solar farms.  If you own a single family house and you want to install solar panels, I would be all for it.  If it was not that my roof will need to be replaced in a hand full of years, I would consider it.  But I'm not installing panels only to have to have them removed and reinstalled when the roof is replaced.  However, solar farms make no sense.  There are much better uses of land, even if you just leave it alone for nature to use, especially when you consider a nuclear plant used significantly less land and produces a lot of power on demand.  I am against wind turbines anywhere.  They kill large predator birds regardless of position, which is not good for the environment.

Every little bit helps. I have retired friends (couple) who live in the summer for 6 months in a rather large and modern house on an island in Georgian Bay (part of Lake Huron). Totally off the grid. Several solar panels, few batteries, airtight wood stove for heat and light cooking, propane gas stove and outdoor BBQ, gas generator for outdoor power tools. Quite comfortable home with hot water, toilets emptying into a septic tank, laundry machine, super-efficient fridge, equally super-efficient freezer, phones and laptop computers. Once or twice a week, they drive their little boat to the marina on the mainland, and from there they drive their Corolla Matrix to the supermarket in the nearest town. Very happy with a very small environmental footprint. In the winter, they are in Mexico. 

As to the solar panels on my roof, I feel the same way as you, no point installing it now, if I'll have to replace the shingles within 10 years.
But new solar panels which will double as insulated roof tiles and will last a long time, would be a very practical alternative to shingles which need to be replaced every 15-20 years.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 09:46:54 am by LesPalenik »
Logged

JoeKitchen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4966
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #842 on: June 26, 2019, 09:30:18 am »

What good is it?   With 40% of their electric grid on renewables, they're still producing the same amount of CO2.  And it's costing Germans 2-1/2 times what America pays for electricity.  Germany pays more for electricity than other European countries even though they have one of the highest renewable grids.  If this example is what happens  with renewables, we're chasing them down Alice's rabbit hole. It's no solution to the problem.

+1
Logged
"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent

RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15859
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #843 on: June 26, 2019, 09:34:17 am »

Which still beats wasting 100% of the solar/wind energy because it isn't harvested, to begin with.

Unless you live in a city where you can't do it, Bart. look out at the fields and see the crops and the cows harvesting solar energy. We harvest solar energy constantly.

Quote
And in the longer term, Thorium reactors look promising.

Yes.
Logged
Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #844 on: June 26, 2019, 09:52:14 am »

Please stop kidding yourself. 

Why spend so much money on wind and solar and then so much more on batteries, or whatever else, when you know you will be loosing at least 20% of the power generated.  It makes no damn sense.  Just spend the money on a reliable base load power source, such as nuclear. 

Hydro-basin and using water storage to spin turbines later can only work when there is a dam like design.  These are expensive to build.  Plus, you can't use salt water due to it corrosiveness.  So you need to use fresh water, and there are a lot better things to do with fresh water then letting it sit somewhere.  (Fresh water is only 1% of the total amount of water on the planet and is more valuable then people think.) 

Converting water to Hydrogen requires a lot of energy, which is why nearly all commercially available hydrogen comes from other sources, like fossil fuels.  I don't see this working either. 

I don't know how much energy it takes to compress gas, but I am assuming a lot more then can be harvested by releasing it. 

You're whole argument that wind blows somewhere and the sun shines somewhere ignores the financial fact that in order to take advantage of that, you need to build many multiple wind/solar farms and long range transmission lines with the knowledge that most of the time, the majority of them will not be producing and transporting power.  This is an incredible waste of resources.  Not to mention the shear amount of land required for a plan like this will put a great toll on the environment. 

Tidal energy is a lost cause; on the small scale, it may work, but not so great.  The reason, since waves don't actually move the water laterally (only up and down), you cant just place a turbine in the water and have it spin.  You need to build a devise which takes advantage of the vertical movement of the water and then transfers the energy through levers and gears to a turbine.  This makes it it a fairly complex machine that needs to be built with many points for failure over time.  Not to mention having something constantly half submerged half exposed in a salt water environment will greatly accurate rust and deterioration. 

Geothermal is great, where you can use it.  Unfortunately these areas are not so common. 

Yes, Thorium reactors do look promising.  We have good nuclear technology now, and that is where we should be putting our money in while waiting for Thorium reactors to become available. 

NYC tried tidal production of electricity in an experiment.  They installed a generator underwater in the East River by the 59th Street Bridge.  Since the East River (and Hudson Rover) are not rivers, but tidal estuaries that flow both ways depending on the time of day and tides, the generator would get the horizontal flow to move the turbine blades.  Then when the tide reversed, the generator would turn 180 degrees and capture the flow from the other direction.  They were able to produce enough electricity to light a small nearby supermarket.  I don;t know what happened to the project, but I haven't heard about it in decades. 

Another long term energy and financial savings project in NYC has been in effect for decades.  Con Ed, our utility, produces electricity for much of the city in their carbon burning plants.  The steam produced to turn the electric turbines is not let to escape into the atmosphere.  Rather, it is pumped in huge underground steam pipes throughout the city (mainly Manhattan) to office other commercial and industrial buildings.  (If you visited Manhattan, especially in winter, you may have noticed steam coming from the manholes or where underground work is going on).  They use the steam to heat and provide the energy for steam absorbers that product air conditioning in the building.  So less electricity is needed to run the city's buildings.  Of course, Con Ed charges for both the electricity and the steam they furnish even though the steam is just a by-product of the need to produce electricity.  So it's a win-win for them too. 

Another energy conservation idea was the Citicorp Bldg.  That's the one with the 45 degree slanted roof.  The idea was to install solar panels on it to provide electricity.  Frankly, it was a publicity stunt because the power generated would have only provided enough power for one of its 59 floors.   Of course, the shape of its roof has now made it one of the Big Apple's icons. 

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Foe8sE57wqiNDYQu_FAXNDXqyOk=/0x0:2304x1536/1200x800/filters:focal(968x584:1336x952)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/52174507/1108781537_c640d20c1e_o.0.jpeg

JoeKitchen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4966
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #845 on: June 26, 2019, 10:00:14 am »

NYC tried tidal production of electricity in an experiment.  They installed a generator underwater in the East River by the 59th Street Bridge.  Since the East River (and Hudson Rover) are not rivers, but tidal estuaries that flow both ways depending on the time of day and tides, the generator would get the horizontal flow to move the turbine blades.  Then when the tide reversed, the generator would turn 180 degrees and capture the flow from the other direction.  They were able to produce enough electricity to light a small nearby supermarket.  I don;t know what happened to the project, but I haven't heard about it in decades. 

Another long term energy and financial savings project in NYC has been in effect for decades.  Con Ed, our utility, produces electricity for much of the city in their carbon burning plants.  The steam produced to turn the electric turbines is not let to escape into the atmosphere.  Rather, it is pumped in huge underground steam pipes throughout the city (mainly Manhattan) to office other commercial and industrial buildings.  (If you visited Manhattan, especially in winter, you may have noticed steam coming from the manholes or where underground work is going on).  They use the steam to heat and provide the energy for steam absorbers that product air conditioning in the building.  So less electricity is needed to run the city's buildings.  Of course, Con Ed charges for both the electricity and the steam they furnish even though the steam is just a by-product of the need to produce electricity.  So it's a win-win for them too. 

Another energy conservation idea was the Citicorp Bldg.  That's the one with the 45 degree slanted roof.  The idea was to install solar panels on it to provide electricity.  Frankly, it was a publicity stunt because the power generated would have only provided enough power for one of its 59 floors.   Of course, the shape of its roof has now made it one of the Big Apple's icons. 

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Foe8sE57wqiNDYQu_FAXNDXqyOk=/0x0:2304x1536/1200x800/filters:focal(968x584:1336x952)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/52174507/1108781537_c640d20c1e_o.0.jpeg

With regards to tidal energy, I was talking about the most common approach of placing something in the ocean near the coast to take advantage of the waves.  The only issue is that even fairly close to the coast, the water does not really move laterally.  It only starts moving towards the coast when the depth is 3 or 4 feet, where the crest starts to break, and there it is too low for a turbine to fit. 

With a tidal estuaries it could produce some electricity, but I have to wonder how much it could actually produce.  What would be the ROI.  Judging by the fact that NYC gave up on the project, it must not be that great.  Not to mention damming up the whole tidal estuary with turbines is not an environmentally friendly thing to do. 

Of course, I think we are all for more efficient uses of energy like you sited above. 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 10:04:39 am by JoeKitchen »
Logged
"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #846 on: June 26, 2019, 10:16:15 am »

With regards to tidal energy, I was talking about the most common approach of placing something in the ocean near the coast to take advantage of the waves.  The only issue is that even fairly close to the coast, the water does not really move laterally.  It only starts moving towards the coast when the depth is 3 or 4 feet, where the crest starts to break, and there it is too low for a turbine to fit. 

With a tidal estuaries it could produce some electricity, but I have to wonder how much it could actually produce.  What would be the ROI.  Judging by the fact that NYC gave up on the project, it must not be that great.  Not to mention damming up the whole tidal estuary with turbines is not an environmentally friendly thing to do. 

Of course, I think we are all for more efficient uses of energy like you sited above. 

Just remembered another energy savings application I was involved with 45 years ago.  NY Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, a huge medical facility with loads of buildings located on Manhattan's upper west side, uses the Hudson River to cool its buildings in the summer.  The 55 degree Hudson River salt water is pumped up from the river with huge 450hp pumps installed 50 feet underground in the park next to the river, to heat exchangers in the buildings.  These circulate cold water through the cooling coils in the HVAC air distribution systems.  And everyone stays cool during the summer.  Imagine how much carbon was saved from burning over the decades.  This was not mandated by government.  It was a smart investment made by private industry. 

Of course, this system works unlike some of the others I mentioned.  There has to be a good return on investment, otherwise it won't get done.  It's a waste if it costs too much as many of the renewables do now. 

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #847 on: June 26, 2019, 10:20:59 am »

Every little bit helps. I have retired friends (couple) who live in the summer for 6 months in a rather large and modern house on an island in Georgian Bay (part of Lake Huron). Totally off the grid. Several solar panels, few batteries, airtight wood stove for heat and light cooking, propane gas stove and outdoor BBQ, gas generator for outdoor power tools. Quite comfortable home with hot water, toilets emptying into a septic tank, laundry machine, super-efficient fridge, equally super-efficient freezer, phones and laptop computers. Once or twice a week, they drive their little boat to the marina on the mainland, and from there they drive their Corolla Matrix to the supermarket in the nearest town. Very happy with a very small environmental footprint. In the winter, they are in Mexico. 

As to the solar panels on my roof, I feel the same way as you, no point installing it now, if I'll have to replace the shingles within 10 years.
But new solar panels which will double as insulated roof tiles and will last a long time, would be a very practical alternative to shingles which need to be replaced every 15-20 years.

I investigated adding solar to my roof.  It turns out, my 10-year old house is so energy efficient, it really doesn;t pay to install solar even with the government rebates. The insulation is great and I switched over all my lighting to LEDs.   The payback now would be something like 20+ years.  Beside roof replacement issues, you have to deal with maintenance, repairs, batteries that lose their efficiency, etc.  Frankly, it would be a big headache. 

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #848 on: June 26, 2019, 10:23:45 am »

...

With a tidal estuaries it could produce some electricity, but I have to wonder how much it could actually produce.  What would be the ROI.  Judging by the fact that NYC gave up on the project, it must not be that great.  Not to mention damming up the whole tidal estuary with turbines is not an environmentally friendly thing to do.  ...

I think Mob bodies floating down the river were clogging up the turbines.  :)

RSL

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15859
    • http://www.russ-lewis.com
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #849 on: June 26, 2019, 10:32:11 am »

I investigated adding solar to my roof.  It turns out, my 10-year old house is so energy efficient, it really doesn;t pay to install solar even with the government rebates. The insulation is great and I switched over all my lighting to LEDs.   The payback now would be something like 20+ years.  Beside roof replacement issues, you have to deal with maintenance, repairs, batteries that lose their efficiency, etc.  Frankly, it would be a big headache.

Alan, I'll bet you'd agree that we all ought to stop saying "government rebates," and call a spade a spade: "taxpayer rebates." Robin Hood didn't have a corner on the extraction market."
Logged
Russ Lewis  www.russ-lewis.com.

JoeKitchen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4966
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #850 on: June 26, 2019, 11:22:21 am »

I investigated adding solar to my roof.  It turns out, my 10-year old house is so energy efficient, it really doesn;t pay to install solar even with the government rebates. The insulation is great and I switched over all my lighting to LEDs.   The payback now would be something like 20+ years.  Beside roof replacement issues, you have to deal with maintenance, repairs, batteries that lose their efficiency, etc.  Frankly, it would be a big headache.

Well this is good to know.

We had to completely replace the roof in our foyer last autumn, plywood and all, and added R30 insulation when we did.  We did this in November and our foyer went from cool and breezy to warm and comfortable.  I plan on doing the same with the main roof. 

I live in a row house and have a flat roof with no attic, so I cant do this unless the roof is up or our plaster and lath ceiling is down.  I have no intention of removing the plaster; did that in the kitchen and what a dusty mess that was, so looks like I will be waiting. 

Just as an aside, if you own an older house with plaster and you need to replace a wall, I highly recommend using real plaster and lath.  Our kitchen walls are drywall and they fell cheap.  My other plaster walls are solid.  I wish I could back and use real plaster and lath in the kitchen. 
Logged
"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #851 on: June 26, 2019, 11:38:51 am »

Alan, I'll bet you'd agree that we all ought to stop saying "government rebates," and call a spade a spade: "taxpayer rebates." Robin Hood didn't have a corner on the extraction market."

That's true.  The bad thing is that it's mainly richer people who take advantage of solar panels and rebates.  Poorer people can't afford the panels but continue to pay taxes that the richer people get with the rebates.  So from a social standpoint, energy rebates favor the rich not the people who need a break.  (Like rebates for $100,000 electric Tesla's.)


Additionally, because carbon plants have to continue to operate to provide power when renewables don;t work at night or when the wind doesn;t blow, electric companies have to charge more per KWH because they're selling less carbon produced electricity.  After all, they still have to run and maintain their carbon plants.  They also have to pay renewable homes which send power back into the grid from their roof solar panels.  So the poorer people who can't afford higher rates and are still on grid power pay more for electricity.  Meanwhile, the rich people with the panels pay less.  But you won't hear about this unfairness from the press or politicians so biased is their reporting.

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15850
    • Flicker photos
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #852 on: June 26, 2019, 11:56:50 am »

Well this is good to know.

We had to completely replace the roof in our foyer last autumn, plywood and all, and added R30 insulation when we did.  We did this in November and our foyer went from cool and breezy to warm and comfortable.  I plan on doing the same with the main roof. 

I live in a row house and have a flat roof with no attic, so I cant do this unless the roof is up or our plaster and lath ceiling is down.  I have no intention of removing the plaster; did that in the kitchen and what a dusty mess that was, so looks like I will be waiting. 

Just as an aside, if you own an older house with plaster and you need to replace a wall, I highly recommend using real plaster and lath.  Our kitchen walls are drywall and they fell cheap.  My other plaster walls are solid.  I wish I could back and use real plaster and lath in the kitchen. 

Good luck with your construction.  When my wife I considered moving 6 years ago to where we are now, I estimated spending $300 month on electric and gas utilities.  I'm actually spending around $175 due to the insulation efficiency of my single-family home.  (double pane windows and 6 inch insulation to the attic ceiling, garage, and all exterior walls. I also switched to LED lighting.)  It's been a pleasant surprise.  On the other hand, I just spent $1900 for repairs to my air conditioning system.  It's only ten years old and should not have had problems.  They don't make things like they use too.  I wonder what it costs to maintain a solar panel system over twenty years?  Another cost politicians and the media don;t talk about.

JoeKitchen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4966
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #853 on: June 26, 2019, 12:20:47 pm »

Thanks! 

My wife and I were budgeting about $36K for the renovations, but ended up spending around $48K.  Ultimately I was being a little short on the kitchen.  We were planning on just replacing the cabinets and appliances, but after getting the old cabinets down, the plaster was in really bad shape.  So that had to go, then we noticed the nearly 100 years old framing needed to be replaced.  And then the subfloor under the sink folded in half.  Thankfully none of the joist were damaged.  We also had to rewire the house, replace all major plumbing, a radiator, and repaint the entire interior, which needed about 35 gallons of paint.  You don't quite realize how expensive paint is until you need to repaint the entire building. 

We were expecting a lot of work when we put in the bid, so this was not a surprise.  Also, the house is in good shape from a foundation and engineering standpoint, it was just cosmetically nothing was done to it since the 70s.  We were the only bidders too, so we got them down a pretty decent amount, and bought the house about $100K lower then market value for a house that is now in the shape that ours is.  Also, we'd rather have it this way, especially with the kitchen.  So many kitchens done by flipper make no sense. 

I wish I could insulate my two exterior walls, but they are double wythe baring brick and you should never insulate baring brick walls except with closed cell foam.  We looked into this, and the cost is just not worth what I would save in the long run. 
Logged
"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent

LesPalenik

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5301
    • advantica blog
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #854 on: June 26, 2019, 12:21:29 pm »

We should ask Rob to change the title of this thread to something more appropriate.
Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17913
  • When everyone thinks the same, nobody thinks
    • My website
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #855 on: June 26, 2019, 12:23:36 pm »

We should ask Rob to change the title of this thread to something more appropriate.

The American Constitution Construction

?

jeremyrh

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2510
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #856 on: June 26, 2019, 01:12:54 pm »

We should ask Rob to change the title of this thread to something more appropriate.

Looney Tunes Echo Chamber ??
Logged

LesPalenik

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5301
    • advantica blog
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #857 on: June 26, 2019, 01:22:26 pm »

The American Constitution Construction

?
Construction sounds better than Constipation
Logged

JoeKitchen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4966
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #858 on: June 26, 2019, 01:22:58 pm »

Construction sounds better than Constipation

Eating too much cheese again? 
Logged
"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent

James Clark

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2336
Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #859 on: June 26, 2019, 03:00:07 pm »

Thanks! 

My wife and I were budgeting about $36K for the renovations, but ended up spending around $48K.  Ultimately I was being a little short on the kitchen.  We were planning on just replacing the cabinets and appliances, but after getting the old cabinets down, the plaster was in really bad shape.  So that had to go, then we noticed the nearly 100 years old framing needed to be replaced.  And then the subfloor under the sink folded in half.  Thankfully none of the joist were damaged.  We also had to rewire the house, replace all major plumbing, a radiator, and repaint the entire interior, which needed about 35 gallons of paint.  You don't quite realize how expensive paint is until you need to repaint the entire building. 


You did all of that for 48K ???????  Wow.  We're doing the same right now and the painting bid was 13.5k alone. (Joe's not kidding about paint, y'all)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 03:13:52 pm by James Clark »
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 107   Go Up