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The future of energy (if any)

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
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The future of energy (if any)

#1 Postby Alan H » November 24th, 2012, 11:40 pm

This is fascinating: How the Laws of Physics Constrain Our Sustainable Energy Options

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Fia
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#2 Postby Fia » November 25th, 2012, 12:35 am

Yes indeed, as he said
we need a plan that adds up
He didn't have a pretty graph for wave/tidal power I notice, which is probably the most constant power source our islands have. But what we actually need is a mix of renewables. And folk taking lifestyle changes, like not expecting to wander round their homes in winter barefoot in summer clothes, walking, cycling or public transporting, actually turning things of etc etc.

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#3 Postby Dave B » November 25th, 2012, 10:44 am

He did not have a graph for tidal but there was a line on that global power graph for it, just not mentioned. I would have expected him to include that n his descriptions though and find it a bit strange that he did not. Neither did it appear in the "source mix" graphic at the end. Hmmm.

Yes, agree with you, Fia, that a mix of energy sources, each area using that which is suitable for it, is the way. There is also a case for more local power generation as "combined heat and power" I think, a field that is still open to development. A person from some company installing gas turbine (yes, there are problems there I know) CHP units said that a London Hospital was saving a great deal by generating its own power and using the waste heat for other purposes, modern heat extraction systems are very efficient. Gas turbines can run on almost any flammable liquid/mix, including filtered chip oil I think!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#4 Postby Alan H » May 27th, 2015, 11:14 am

This wind turbine has no blades — and that’s why it’s better
Instead of capturing energy via the circular motion of a propeller, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. Vorticity has long been considered the enemy of architects and engineers, who actively try to design their way around these whirlpools of wind. And for good reason: With enough wind, vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion in structures, which, in some cases, like the … Tacoma Narrows Bridge, can cause their eventual collapse.

At the base of the cone are two rings of repelling magnets, which act as a sort of nonelectrical motor. When the cone oscillates one way, the repelling magnets pull it in the other direction, like a slight nudge to boost the mast’s movement regardless of wind speed. This kinetic energy is then converted into electricity via an alternator that multiplies the frequency of the mast’s oscillation to improve the energy-gathering efficiency.
The result is a turbine that’s 50 percent less expensive than a bladed one, nearly silent, and, as one of the turbine’s engineers put it, “looks like asparagus” (sorry, Quixote). And while each Vortex turbine is also 30 percent less efficient at capturing energy, wind farms can double the number of turbines that occupy a given area if they go bladeless. That’s a net energy gain of 40 percent for you non-mathletes out there.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#5 Postby Dave B » May 27th, 2015, 1:14 pm

Powerful things, vortexes, rip buildings and chimneys apart.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#6 Postby Alan H » May 27th, 2015, 1:37 pm

Dave B wrote:Powerful things, vortexes, rip buildings and chimneys apart.
And bridges.

It's a fascinating concept though and one that should eliminate many of the complaints by the naysayers.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#7 Postby Dave B » May 27th, 2015, 5:21 pm

Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:Powerful things, vortexes, rip buildings and chimneys apart.
And bridges.

It's a fascinating concept though and one that should eliminate many of the complaints by the naysayers.
Yeah!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Nick
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#8 Postby Nick » May 27th, 2015, 10:45 pm

Fia wrote:Yes indeed, as he said
we need a plan that adds up
He didn't have a pretty graph for wave/tidal power I notice, which is probably the most constant power source our islands have.
It may be constant, but, though in total it is large, because of the volume of water involved, the power output is extremely low. Not worth persuing frankly.

But what we actually need is a mix of renewables.
So long as you don'tcomplain about doubling energy costs. It'll kill grannies, y'know.

And folk taking lifestyle changes, like not expecting to wander round their homes in winter barefoot in summer clothes, walking, cycling or public transporting, actually turning things of etc etc.
As someone who is furry on the outside, with layers of blubber on the inside, I'm right with ou. But the effect of such actions would be just a few years. Not worth it.

The best option we have is from technology as yet undiscovered. Time to stop the wasteful subsidising of renewables. Research is what we need.

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Alan H
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#9 Postby Alan H » May 28th, 2015, 12:01 am

:headbang:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#10 Postby Dave B » May 28th, 2015, 9:50 am

I'll join you, Alan.
:headbang:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Nick
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#11 Postby Nick » May 28th, 2015, 11:17 am

All you've done is hurt your heads.... Not very illuminating.

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animist
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#12 Postby animist » May 28th, 2015, 12:45 pm

Nick wrote:The best option we have is from technology as yet undiscovered.
and if it never is? The Micawber principle of waiting for something to turn up is not a good idea. And even if it does, as with fracking, there is usually some sort of unforeseen cost:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/us/ok ... .html?_r=0

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#13 Postby Dave B » May 28th, 2015, 4:12 pm

Nick wrote:All you've done is hurt your heads.... Not very illuminating.
Nick, "technology not yet discovered" is as dependable as faster-than-light travel and all other future-myths.

It cannot be said that we know all forms energy takes (and "Black Energy" is a misnomer for "Invisible matter") but we have enough knowledge and computing power to fill in most of the gaps. Fusion energy is our best bet but don't take shares in it, unless you want your grandkids to, possibly, benefit.

With computer modelling the days of the sudden marvellous discovery, in physics at least, is almost certainly dead. I admit though, with the Chinese, it would probavly be on the open market within a year if one were made.

Stick to counting the beans, Nick.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#14 Postby Dave B » May 28th, 2015, 7:16 pm

Dave B wrote:
Nick wrote:All you've done is hurt your heads.... Not very illuminating.
Nick, "technology not yet discovered" is as dependable as faster-than-light travel and all other future-myths.

It cannot be said that we know all forms energy takes (and "Black Energy" is a misnomer for "Invisible matter") but we have enough knowledge and computing power to fill in most of the gaps. Fusion energy is our best bet but don't take shares in it, unless you want your grandkids to, possibly, benefit.

With computer modelling the days of the sudden marvellous discovery, in physics at least, is almost certainly dead. I admit though, with the Chinese, it would probavly be on the open market within a year if one were made.

Stick to counting the beans, Nick.
I should have reiterated what animist said, we need either a growth of energy to match the growth in population or . . . Energy can equal food, water, health, work and other necessary things. But, guess what, it has to be paid for - with enough profits for the fat cats.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Nick
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#15 Postby Nick » May 28th, 2015, 11:03 pm

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:The best option we have is from technology as yet undiscovered.
and if it never is?
Hmmm... Oh dear. I have not made myself clear. I am not talking about unknown unknowns, but known unknowns. There are a number of avenues of research which are likely to yield better solutions than existing green options. For example, hydrogen, or carbon capture, more efficient batteries, fusion (which is always just 10 years away, it seems) and other things I don't understand. Sure, experiment with other "green" technologies (solar is improving, and becoming cheaper), but to spend billions on just multiplying inadequate technology is a waste. Much better to spend it on research.

The Micawber principle of waiting for something to turn up is not a good idea.
Something usually does turn up, but it is not because we have just waited, but because scientists have been beavering away.

And even if it does, as with fracking, there is usually some sort of unforeseen cost:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/us/ok ... .html?_r=0
Everything has a cost. That's life. But in general, the benefits outweigh the costs. Nuclear power is dangerous, but it has proved comparatively, extremely safe, in spite of the accidents. When you think that thousands of coal miners die every year, thousands die from pollution, or cold, then we need to make choices. Tough choices.

And as for fracking causing earthquakes, mining is so vastly more disruptive and dangerous. Are you now, all these years later, going to thank Margaret Thatcher for not perpetuating such a dangerous industry...? :wink:

And those "earth-quakes".... Let's have a look....

Under 3 on the Richter scale: no worse than a truck going by. under 4: may dislodge something from a shelf. Under 5: damage none to slight for buildings of UK standards.

Yup. I'll trade that for the deaths we see in other parts of the energy business. Except that there seems to be no evidence that fracking causes significant earth quakes. Sure, it causes some, but that is what it is designed to do. But trivial compared to the damage caused by coal mining, or deaths from off-shore oil, say.

Or should we now ban cars, which kill thousands every year...?

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animist
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#16 Postby animist » May 31st, 2015, 11:50 am

Nick wrote: I am not talking about unknown unknowns, but known unknowns.
not a good idea to take your concepts from Donald Rumsfeld
Nick wrote: There are a number of avenues of research which are likely to yield better solutions than existing green options. For example, hydrogen, or carbon capture, more efficient batteries, fusion (which is always just 10 years away, it seems) and other things I don't understand. Sure, experiment with other "green" technologies (solar is improving, and becoming cheaper), but to spend billions on just multiplying inadequate technology is a waste. Much better to spend it on research.

we probably agree that research is good in any area of energy technology which reduces environmental impact
Nick wrote: Something usually does turn up, but it is not because we have just waited, but because scientists have been beavering away. waiting for something to turn up, then, is like most things a relative concept, and does not mean inaction

fair enough. But trusting to science to improve technologies based on fossil fuels is Micawberish (as you imply, everything is relative) in the sense that it limits the scope of research effort; in contrast subsidies for clean alternatives and and should prioritise research on those alternatives

thundril
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#17 Postby thundril » May 31st, 2015, 12:17 pm

Reviewing potential energy savings by radical redesign of entire systems (eg traffic) is surely overdue?

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Dave B
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#18 Postby Dave B » May 31st, 2015, 1:11 pm

thundril wrote:Reviewing potential energy savings by radical redesign of entire systems (eg traffic) is surely overdue?
Yup!!

The other thing is: by the time all the materials needed for, say, a wind turbine have been mined/accessed, transported, processed into usuable forms, transported, machined/manufactured into actual parts, transported again and then erected, how big is the carbon debt that turbine has accrued before it even generates 1 Watt? Then, considering maintenance and spares etc, how much does it actually pay back, over its working life, given the unreliability of its primary energy source?

Tidal power is better in terms of prime energy reliability, I wonder how it stands in terms of production debt.
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#19 Postby animist » May 31st, 2015, 5:49 pm

Nick wrote:Everything has a cost. That's life. But in general, the benefits outweigh the costs. Nuclear power is dangerous, but it has proved comparatively, extremely safe, in spite of the accidents. When you think that thousands of coal miners die every year, thousands die from pollution, or cold, then we need to make choices. Tough choices.

agree I think - some Greens now support nuclear power
Nick wrote:And as for fracking causing earthquakes, mining is so vastly more disruptive and dangerous. Are you now, all these years later, going to thank Margaret Thatcher for not perpetuating such a dangerous industry...? :wink:

And those "earth-quakes".... Let's have a look....

Under 3 on the Richter scale: no worse than a truck going by. under 4: may dislodge something from a shelf. Under 5: damage none to slight for buildings of UK standards.

Yup. I'll trade that for the deaths we see in other parts of the energy business. Except that there seems to be no evidence that fracking causes significant earth quakes. Sure, it causes some, but that is what it is designed to do. But trivial compared to the damage caused by coal mining, or deaths from off-shore oil, say.

Or should we now ban cars, which kill thousands every year...?
re cars, please don't keep making rhetorical suggestions: I am not aware that anyone suggests immediate abolition of cars. Mining - yes, we should attempt to replace it by safer and cleaner energy-producing activities. The fact that mining may be less safe than fracking is hardly a good reason for the latter, though, and while the earthquakes may not be severe (so far) the point I was trying to make is that, judging from the strenuous efforts of the oil industry to deny any link with fracking, this increase in their frequency was not anticipated

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Alan H
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Re: The future of energy (if any)

#20 Postby Alan H » June 6th, 2015, 11:40 pm

Five Surprising Public Health Facts About Fukushima
So what are the real “lessons of Fukushima?” The Fukushima accident did spotlight safety issues, including the need to pay more attention to tsunami records, stash backup generators beyond floodwaters, and install better vents. But its modest consequences should reassure us that the apocalyptic anxieties surrounding nuclear energy are fundamentally off base. The second lesson is that the first lesson isn’t getting through to people. Visceral fears stoked by the release continue to cloud perceptions and shape politics.

What people need, but rarely get, is information that lets them understand the continuum of risk posed by different radiation levels and assess for themselves how acceptable the risks are. Once we do that we can situate nuclear accidents on a familiar spectrum of risk. Radioactive contamination works like other mild toxins — alcohol, car exhaust, trans fat — that we live with every day: a huge dose can kill us; a modest dose poses modest risks; a tiny dose is innocuous.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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