Discussion:
Art, where's the buzz on nanotech saving America today?
(too old to reply)
rrc
2006-03-27 02:58:47 UTC
Permalink
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?

If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?

There's a strange silence on the messiah of nanotechnology and it seems
to be prevalent with the current misdirection of energy related stories.
BMJ
2006-03-27 03:46:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
Actually, it's very much alive and well. My alma mater recently built a
nice and shiny new building dedicated to it.

But I agree that it doesn't get a lot of attention from the media
nowadays. For one thing, it's a field that's awash with money, so it
doesn't have to go shilling for it any more. On top of that, the
attention span of the general public with respect so such things is five
years at best and since nanotech's been around for at least that long,
it had its hour upon the stage.
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have noticed
that biofuels are presently in fashion as almost every other day, one
hears about ethanol and what can be used as feedstock for it. Hybrid
motor vehicles are getting about as much attention as well.
Post by rrc
There's a strange silence on the messiah of nanotechnology and it seems
to be prevalent with the current misdirection of energy related stories.
Typically, when something new comes on the scene or suddenly gets a lot
of attention from the media, it's initially portrayed as "new" and
"revolutionary". This is followed by promises, often outlandish, that
it will herald a bright, shiny tomorrow. (That's nothing new. Look at
some old issues of magazines such as "Popular Science" and you'll see
how everything from basement nuclear reactors to flying cars were
forecast to be commonplace by now.) After that, there are whispers that
the promises may not be fulfilled according to schedule, if at all, and
then the whole issue slowly fades away as public attention is directed
to something else.

What's happened to nanotech is hardly new.
Straydog
2006-03-27 11:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
Well, as far as I'm concerned we really do have very very small cell
phones now, thumbnail sized hard drives, iPods and nanopods, RFID chips
that are small and cheap, and I've seen these military spy planes that
fly a TV camera over enemy teritory and they are the size of model
airplanes (one foot wingspans). But robots that go through your blood
vessels and chop away the cholesterol plaques....not in my lifetime. Borg
implants? not in my lifetime. Other things: check the CIA. But it would be
helpful to make a list of subminiature things that are already here and
notice the stuff in Popular Science that won't come for years, if ever.
Actually, it's very much alive and well. My alma mater recently built a nice
and shiny new building dedicated to it.
But I agree that it doesn't get a lot of attention from the media nowadays.
For one thing, it's a field that's awash with money, so it doesn't have to go
shilling for it any more. On top of that, the attention span of the general
public with respect so such things is five years at best and since nanotech's
been around for at least that long, it had its hour upon the stage.
Its a good buzzword. But, I think "The China Price" is a better buzz
phrase.
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate change
and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have noticed that
biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.

are presently in fashion as almost every other day, one hears about
ethanol and what can be used as feedstock for it. Hybrid motor vehicles are
getting about as much attention as well.
Post by rrc
There's a strange silence on the messiah of nanotechnology and it seems
to be prevalent with the current misdirection of energy related stories.
Everyone is preoccupied with Paris Hilton and "Sex In The City".
Typically, when something new comes on the scene or suddenly gets a lot of
attention from the media, it's initially portrayed as "new" and
"revolutionary". This is followed by promises, often outlandish, that it
will herald a bright, shiny tomorrow. (That's nothing new. Look at some old
issues of magazines such as "Popular Science" and you'll see how everything
from basement nuclear reactors to flying cars
And, atomic powered cars and airplanes, too.

were forecast to be commonplace
by now.) After that, there are whispers that the promises may not be
fulfilled according to schedule, if at all, and then the whole issue slowly
fades away as public attention is directed to something else.
What's happened to nanotech is hardly new.
I'm sure it will go to some endpoint. They've even got water-cooled CPUs
in the big high spec computers now. Its an "excess."
rrc
2006-03-27 16:18:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
Well, as far as I'm concerned we really do have very very small cell
phones now, thumbnail sized hard drives, iPods and nanopods, RFID chips
that are small and cheap, and I've seen these military spy planes that
fly a TV camera over enemy teritory and they are the size of model
airplanes (one foot wingspans). But robots that go through your blood
vessels and chop away the cholesterol plaques....not in my lifetime. Borg
implants? not in my lifetime. Other things: check the CIA. But it would be
helpful to make a list of subminiature things that are already here and
notice the stuff in Popular Science that won't come for years, if ever.
The truth of the matter is that stain resistant pants and rugs are the
main micro-to-nanotech products that's been commercialized and it
hasn't unleashed a tsunami of jobs for the next generation of S&Es as
promised by the spinsters during the IT implosion.

The other iPod like gadgets are simply the next generation of a similar
line of products but with cuter ads.

I think that nano's a dud and the RE bubble et al has numbed people's
mind as to the future of our economy as being one asset bubble to
another. I believe we really are seeing the end of days.
Straydog
2006-03-27 19:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
Well, as far as I'm concerned we really do have very very small cell
phones now, thumbnail sized hard drives, iPods and nanopods, RFID chips
that are small and cheap, and I've seen these military spy planes that
fly a TV camera over enemy teritory and they are the size of model
airplanes (one foot wingspans). But robots that go through your blood
vessels and chop away the cholesterol plaques....not in my lifetime. Borg
implants? not in my lifetime. Other things: check the CIA. But it would be
helpful to make a list of subminiature things that are already here and
notice the stuff in Popular Science that won't come for years, if ever.
The truth of the matter is that stain resistant pants and rugs are the
main micro-to-nanotech products that's been commercialized and it
hasn't unleashed a tsunami of jobs for the next generation of S&Es as
promised by the spinsters during the IT implosion.
Well, the spinmeisters (the capitalist world's version of the communist
world's "propaganda ministers") all dish this crap out in the name of
making money by convincing underlings that they need some new damned thing
more than they need to save their money. Whatever is being made, its going
to be made over in China, etc. What these guys don't tell us is what is
going to happen maybe in 10-20 years when Chinese factories are all
reved-up and productivity is so high that they are laying off Chinese
factory workers as fast, then, as we are now, here in the West.

All that iPod crap is being made somewhere over in Asia, not by Apple.
They just come up with the specs and rake in the net profits.
Post by rrc
The other iPod like gadgets are simply the next generation of a similar
line of products but with cuter ads.
Well, its obvious that "smaller" will get people to buy the new thing, and
"cheaper" will get other people to buy the new thing. Will any of them
last more than, say, five years?
Post by rrc
I think that nano's a dud and the RE bubble et al has numbed people's
mind as to the future of our economy as being one asset bubble to
another. I believe we really are seeing the end of days.
Humpf...premature wishful thinking. I wish you are right, but I think
you're wrong. Weve got all this AADHD and it needs some new thing to come
out every 6 months -year or it gets bored and we have post X,Y gen blues
because there is not some new Jack-in-the-Box to "entertain" everyone.
Maybe the drug companies will come up with a new "soma" tablet (Brave New
World).

I'm waiting ....oooops...its already here. I was going to say "Borg
implant jewelry" but I just realized that the "body piercing generation
already latched onto that theme. Rings of metal into the flesh: just
think, no batteries, no glitches, no spyware, no viruses, etc. !!!!
BMJ
2006-03-27 19:38:37 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
The truth of the matter is that stain resistant pants and rugs are the
main micro-to-nanotech products that's been commercialized and it
hasn't unleashed a tsunami of jobs for the next generation of S&Es as
promised by the spinsters during the IT implosion.
Well, the spinmeisters (the capitalist world's version of the communist
world's "propaganda ministers") all dish this crap out in the name of
making money by convincing underlings that they need some new damned
thing more than they need to save their money. Whatever is being made,
its going to be made over in China, etc.
Here's something you'll like, Art. I heard on the BBC World Service
this morning that a cellphone manufacturer is going to make its product
more "recyclable". The case is going to be made from a biodegradable
plastic and will contain a sunflower seed. The idea is that, rather
than chucking the phone into the dustbin, someone merely "plants" it in
the ground. No mention of what's going to happen to the electronic
bits, though.

What these guys don't tell us
Post by Straydog
is what is going to happen maybe in 10-20 years when Chinese factories
are all reved-up and productivity is so high that they are laying off
Chinese factory workers as fast, then, as we are now, here in the West.
Just like what's happening in the Mexican states along its northern
border. Remember how, courtesy of the original Free Trade Agreement and
then NAFTA, how factories began springing up there some twenty years
ago? Many of them are being shut down, dismantled, and shipped overseas
with the people who worked there being made redundant.
Post by Straydog
All that iPod crap is being made somewhere over in Asia, not by Apple.
They just come up with the specs and rake in the net profits.
That's hardly new. VCRs, for example, were being produced in Asia
twenty years ago and sold in North America with some other company's
insignia slapped on it.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
The other iPod like gadgets are simply the next generation of a similar
line of products but with cuter ads.
Well, its obvious that "smaller" will get people to buy the new thing,
and "cheaper" will get other people to buy the new thing. Will any of
them last more than, say, five years?
It's all in the marketing. Years ago, it was flashy colours or some new
style. Making things smaller and selling thm on that basis is more of
the same.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
I think that nano's a dud and the RE bubble et al has numbed people's
mind as to the future of our economy as being one asset bubble to
another. I believe we really are seeing the end of days.
Humpf...premature wishful thinking. I wish you are right, but I think
you're wrong. Weve got all this AADHD and it needs some new thing to
come out every 6 months -year or it gets bored and we have post X,Y gen
blues because there is not some new Jack-in-the-Box to "entertain"
everyone. Maybe the drug companies will come up with a new "soma" tablet
(Brave New World).
I go to my apartment complex's weight room three times a week. I bring
along a portable stereo because I like to listen to Radio Two's early
morning classical music program while I have my workout and the place
has only a TV.

Whenever some young kid comes along, he or she almost always has either
a portable CD player or an iPod-like device with them, often played loud
enough that I can hear it from a few paces away. Those who don't
usually just grit their teeth as I listen to my Mozart or Bach until I
leave, whereupon someone switches on the TV in order to watch this
country's counterpart to MTV.
Post by Straydog
I'm waiting ....oooops...its already here. I was going to say "Borg
implant jewelry" but I just realized that the "body piercing generation
already latched onto that theme. Rings of metal into the flesh: just
think, no batteries, no glitches, no spyware, no viruses, etc. !!!!
Who knows what's in that tattooing dye, eh?
Straydog
2006-03-27 21:28:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
The truth of the matter is that stain resistant pants and rugs are the
main micro-to-nanotech products that's been commercialized and it
hasn't unleashed a tsunami of jobs for the next generation of S&Es as
promised by the spinsters during the IT implosion.
Well, the spinmeisters (the capitalist world's version of the communist
world's "propaganda ministers") all dish this crap out in the name of
making money by convincing underlings that they need some new damned thing
more than they need to save their money. Whatever is being made, its going
to be made over in China, etc.
Here's something you'll like, Art. I heard on the BBC World Service this
morning that a cellphone manufacturer is going to make its product more
"recyclable". The case is going to be made from a biodegradable plastic and
will contain a sunflower seed. The idea is that, rather than chucking the
phone into the dustbin, someone merely "plants" it in the ground. No mention
of what's going to happen to the electronic bits, though.
Sounds like an April 1 announcement...but...maybe someday.....????
Post by BMJ
What these guys don't tell us
Post by Straydog
is what is going to happen maybe in 10-20 years when Chinese factories are
all reved-up and productivity is so high that they are laying off Chinese
factory workers as fast, then, as we are now, here in the West.
Just like what's happening in the Mexican states along its northern border.
Remember how, courtesy of the original Free Trade Agreement and then NAFTA,
how factories began springing up there some twenty years ago? Many of them
are being shut down, dismantled, and shipped overseas with the people who
worked there being made redundant.
Yep, I heard of some old steel plant in Germany that happened to. The
whole plant was taken appart, put into containers, and shipped to
China.!!!
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
All that iPod crap is being made somewhere over in Asia, not by Apple. They
just come up with the specs and rake in the net profits.
That's hardly new. VCRs, for example, were being produced in Asia twenty
years ago and sold in North America with some other company's insignia
slapped on it.
Yep, I'm seeing them in Kmarts and Walmarts. Old US brand name, slapped on
boxes and little print "Made in China"
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
The other iPod like gadgets are simply the next generation of a similar
line of products but with cuter ads.
Well, its obvious that "smaller" will get people to buy the new thing, and
"cheaper" will get other people to buy the new thing. Will any of them last
more than, say, five years?
It's all in the marketing. Years ago, it was flashy colours or some new
style. Making things smaller and selling thm on that basis is more of the
same.
Hah.
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
I think that nano's a dud and the RE bubble et al has numbed people's
mind as to the future of our economy as being one asset bubble to
another. I believe we really are seeing the end of days.
Humpf...premature wishful thinking. I wish you are right, but I think
you're wrong. Weve got all this AADHD and it needs some new thing to come
out every 6 months -year or it gets bored and we have post X,Y gen blues
because there is not some new Jack-in-the-Box to "entertain" everyone.
Maybe the drug companies will come up with a new "soma" tablet (Brave New
World).
I go to my apartment complex's weight room three times a week. I bring along
a portable stereo because I like to listen to Radio Two's early morning
classical music program while I have my workout and the place has only a TV.
Whenever some young kid comes along, he or she almost always has either a
portable CD player or an iPod-like device with them, often played loud enough
that I can hear it from a few paces away. Those who don't usually just grit
their teeth as I listen to my Mozart or Bach until I leave, whereupon someone
switches on the TV in order to watch this country's counterpart to MTV.
Take you big HIFI amp (50-100 watts) and big room speakers on a two wheel
cart and blow them away with some Baroque trumpet music (Stozel's
Concerto Grosso for 16 trumpets, 8 horns, 32 bassoons, and 24 clavicords,
etc.)!
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
I'm waiting ....oooops...its already here. I was going to say "Borg implant
jewelry" but I just realized that the "body piercing generation already
latched onto that theme. Rings of metal into the flesh: just think, no
batteries, no glitches, no spyware, no viruses, etc. !!!!
Who knows what's in that tattooing dye, eh?
The kids don't care. It's "in".
Threeducks
2006-03-28 01:07:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
Well, as far as I'm concerned we really do have very very small cell
phones now, thumbnail sized hard drives, iPods and nanopods, RFID chips
that are small and cheap, and I've seen these military spy planes that
fly a TV camera over enemy teritory and they are the size of model
airplanes (one foot wingspans). But robots that go through your blood
vessels and chop away the cholesterol plaques....not in my lifetime.
Borg implants? not in my lifetime. Other things: check the CIA. But it
would be helpful to make a list of subminiature things that are already
here and notice the stuff in Popular Science that won't come for years,
if ever.
Post by BMJ
Actually, it's very much alive and well. My alma mater recently built
a nice and shiny new building dedicated to it.
But I agree that it doesn't get a lot of attention from the media
nowadays. For one thing, it's a field that's awash with money, so it
doesn't have to go shilling for it any more. On top of that, the
attention span of the general public with respect so such things is
five years at best and since nanotech's been around for at least that
long, it had its hour upon the stage.
Its a good buzzword. But, I think "The China Price" is a better buzz
phrase.
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
BMJ
2006-03-28 02:13:30 UTC
Permalink
Threeducks wrote:

<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Why?

There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?

At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
rrc
2006-03-28 03:07:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
Post by Threeducks
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
As much as I tend to argue with Threeducks, I'm in agreement here.
Biofuels will mainly be for rural dwellings than for any urban center.

As for petroleum, for the near future, there's the Alberta sand tars
and for the long haul,
there's synfuel, coal to gasoline,
http://www.fossil.energy.gov/aboutus/history/syntheticfuels_history.html
and the US has two centuries of coal underground.

Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
BMJ
2006-03-28 03:45:33 UTC
Permalink
rrc wrote:

<snip>
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by Threeducks
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
As much as I tend to argue with Threeducks, I'm in agreement here.
Biofuels will mainly be for rural dwellings than for any urban center.
Many biofuels are produced from agricultural crops which are subject to
the effects of weather and economics. Those could be converted into
fuel if either an excess was produced during a season or if the market
price wouldn't make it worthwhile to sell.

There might not be enough to completely support an urban market right
now, but an effort in that direction has been made through the
availability of hybrid fuels for several years.
Post by rrc
As for petroleum, for the near future, there's the Alberta sand tars
and for the long haul,
there's synfuel, coal to gasoline,
http://www.fossil.energy.gov/aboutus/history/syntheticfuels_history.html
and the US has two centuries of coal underground.
The Alberta tar sands depend upon the price of oil in order to be a
viable source as they are enormously expensive to excavate and process.
It's a hydrocarbon source which will eventually be exhausted. At the
same time, people in the Fort McMurray area have complained about the
pollution that the tar sands plants produce, so there's hardly any gain
there.

Coal, too, has its drawbacks. Again, it's a limited resource, and it,
too, is far from a clean fuel.
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
rrc
2006-03-28 04:34:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end. It would have to be a collection of
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.

So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200. And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
BMJ
2006-03-28 05:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
How so? There are some promising developments with new PV materials as
well as module designs, so I won't write them off just yet.
Unfortunately, a lot of systems are improperly designed, so people
expecting miracles from such are likely to be disappointed.

It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
I first read about Peter Glaser's concept in the late '70s and thought
it impractical and far-fetched. What astonished me about it was that
there were people who thought it to be credible. Small independent
terrestrial systems are far more effective and less costly.
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
That assumes the following.

1. The price of oil will remain at levels to make these projects
worthwhile. Let the price go down to, say, $40/bbl and the plants will
have to be mothballed.

2. The technlogies behind those plants are feasible. Over the years,
I've heard of all sorts of different approaches to this, many of which,
thankfully, never got off the drawing boards.

3. The reserves believed to exist are actually there and are at an
economical depth. As the formations closest to the surface become
exhausted, the plants will have to be overhauled to enable extraction
further down.

4. The plants operate reliably for extended periods of time. Over the
years, the Suncor and Syncrude plants have been shut down due to
maintenance or fire. Due to the sand, mechanical parts wear out much
quicker in that setting than elsewhere.

The tar sands sound all nice and good, but I wouldn't bet the farm on them.
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200. And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
We've been promised breakthroughs in nuclear fusion for at least the
past generation and are still nowhere close. It's one of those
in-another-x-years technologies which sounds nice, but I'll believe it
when I see it. I also doubt that ITER is going to result in any major
advances.

We can make far better use of the fuel available to us through
conservation and changes in our personal habits. For example, I cycle a
lot, which means I don't have to use my car. It doesn't cost me
anything, I get exercise, and I'm not burning any hydrocarbon fuel.
What's not to like about that?
Threeducks
2006-03-28 12:02:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
How so? There are some promising developments with new PV materials as
well as module designs, so I won't write them off just yet.
Unfortunately, a lot of systems are improperly designed, so people
expecting miracles from such are likely to be disappointed.
It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
I first read about Peter Glaser's concept in the late '70s and thought
it impractical and far-fetched. What astonished me about it was that
there were people who thought it to be credible. Small independent
terrestrial systems are far more effective and less costly.
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
That assumes the following.
1. The price of oil will remain at levels to make these projects
worthwhile. Let the price go down to, say, $40/bbl and the plants will
have to be mothballed.
2. The technlogies behind those plants are feasible. Over the years,
I've heard of all sorts of different approaches to this, many of which,
thankfully, never got off the drawing boards.
3. The reserves believed to exist are actually there and are at an
economical depth. As the formations closest to the surface become
exhausted, the plants will have to be overhauled to enable extraction
further down.
4. The plants operate reliably for extended periods of time. Over the
years, the Suncor and Syncrude plants have been shut down due to
maintenance or fire. Due to the sand, mechanical parts wear out much
quicker in that setting than elsewhere.
The tar sands sound all nice and good, but I wouldn't bet the farm on them.
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200. And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
We've been promised breakthroughs in nuclear fusion for at least the
past generation and are still nowhere close. It's one of those
in-another-x-years technologies which sounds nice, but I'll believe it
when I see it. I also doubt that ITER is going to result in any major
advances.
We can make far better use of the fuel available to us through
conservation and changes in our personal habits. For example, I cycle a
lot, which means I don't have to use my car. It doesn't cost me
anything, I get exercise, and I'm not burning any hydrocarbon fuel.
What's not to like about that?
There you go, which is why I'm not terribly worried about running out of
oil anytime soon. Simply by buying Honda Civics, we could add 10-20 to
the MPG we get out of a typical car. More if you are currently driving
a truck back and forth to work because it looks cool. Hybrids are
getting 40-50 MPG. The technology is already here to significantly
reduce our use of oil. When true shortages hit, people will change
their ways because they won't be able to afford driving a truck that
gets 12 MPG. If we actually got serious about alternative energy or
fuel economy, we could make significant advances, but the general public
won't buy into it until we have another crisis like 1973.
BMJ
2006-03-28 15:02:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
How so? There are some promising developments with new PV materials
as well as module designs, so I won't write them off just yet.
Unfortunately, a lot of systems are improperly designed, so people
expecting miracles from such are likely to be disappointed.
It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
I first read about Peter Glaser's concept in the late '70s and thought
it impractical and far-fetched. What astonished me about it was that
there were people who thought it to be credible. Small independent
terrestrial systems are far more effective and less costly.
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
That assumes the following.
1. The price of oil will remain at levels to make these projects
worthwhile. Let the price go down to, say, $40/bbl and the plants
will have to be mothballed.
2. The technlogies behind those plants are feasible. Over the years,
I've heard of all sorts of different approaches to this, many of
which, thankfully, never got off the drawing boards.
3. The reserves believed to exist are actually there and are at an
economical depth. As the formations closest to the surface become
exhausted, the plants will have to be overhauled to enable extraction
further down.
4. The plants operate reliably for extended periods of time. Over
the years, the Suncor and Syncrude plants have been shut down due to
maintenance or fire. Due to the sand, mechanical parts wear out much
quicker in that setting than elsewhere.
The tar sands sound all nice and good, but I wouldn't bet the farm on them.
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200. And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
We've been promised breakthroughs in nuclear fusion for at least the
past generation and are still nowhere close. It's one of those
in-another-x-years technologies which sounds nice, but I'll believe it
when I see it. I also doubt that ITER is going to result in any major
advances.
We can make far better use of the fuel available to us through
conservation and changes in our personal habits. For example, I cycle
a lot, which means I don't have to use my car. It doesn't cost me
anything, I get exercise, and I'm not burning any hydrocarbon fuel.
What's not to like about that?
There you go, which is why I'm not terribly worried about running out of
oil anytime soon.
Based on current rates of consumption, methods of oil and gas
extraction, and estimated reserves, there could be less than fifty years
supply left. We may have already passed the point of peak production.

The main problem is in determining how much is still remaining in the
ground. Many holes that are drilled based on promising data turn out to
be dry. In addition, methods of secondary and tertiary production
aren't always completely effective.

Simply by buying Honda Civics, we could add 10-20 to
Post by Threeducks
the MPG we get out of a typical car. More if you are currently driving
a truck back and forth to work because it looks cool.
That's not a technical matter, but a problem of human nature.

Hybrids are
Post by Threeducks
getting 40-50 MPG. The technology is already here to significantly
reduce our use of oil. When true shortages hit, people will change
their ways because they won't be able to afford driving a truck that
gets 12 MPG.
That assumes that people are willing to change. I lived through the
energy "crisis" of the '70s and few people I knew were prepared to make
sacrifices.

If we actually got serious about alternative energy or
Post by Threeducks
fuel economy, we could make significant advances, but the general public
won't buy into it until we have another crisis like 1973.
That crisis was deliberately manufactured by the Seven Sisters.
Straydog
2006-03-28 12:24:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
You guys are not reading the newspapers. I don't have it handy, but there
were about two WSJ articles where out in california quite a few new homes
have solar panels built in (they get a tax break, I think) as a supplement
in case they have brownouts or rolling blackouts and everyone is happy
with the direction this is going in. Its got a long way to go but the
technology is already here and been here for 1-2 decades.

It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
Now that is a bad idea. Mis-sim the microwaves and you'll be frying
people. What a hijack target. Don't put all your eggs in one high-tech
basket.
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
You don't know what exploratory ocean drilling is going to come up with.
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200.
Too early to predict.

And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
Post by rrc
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
rrc
2006-03-28 13:36:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
Now that is a bad idea. Mis-sim the microwaves and you'll be frying
people. What a hijack target. Don't put all your eggs in one high-tech
basket.
Art, this is the 23rd century where Big Brother is normal so terror
cells can't froliferate outside of James Bond type of Blofeld/SPECTRE
villians. In other words, one of these stations will become a potential
Golden Eye which is a better task for our super sleuths.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
You don't know what exploratory ocean drilling is going to come up with.
Of course deep seas exploration is there but I was commenting on
existing oil reserves that have barely been recovered.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200.
Too early to predict.
During Apartheid in SA, Sasol did exactly that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher-Tropsch_process

http://www.caia.co.za/chsahs03.htm
Post by rrc
And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
Post by rrc
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
I'll give fusion reactors another century and if they can't get it to
work by then, I'm giving up because this Tokamak work is looking
fruitless.
Straydog
2006-03-28 14:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
Now that is a bad idea. Mis-sim the microwaves and you'll be frying
people. What a hijack target. Don't put all your eggs in one high-tech
basket.
Art, this is the 23rd century where Big Brother is normal so terror
cells can't froliferate outside of James Bond type of Blofeld/SPECTRE
villians.
Nah, its really the 21st century where the likes of Bill Gates has
everyone by the neck with DRM, registerware, lawyers, PR agents, rip-offs,
etc., and the terrorists just use ordinary chemical explosives, but the
21st century hackers use DDOS and DOS attack-threats to extort money from
ISPs, businesses, and use phishing scams and trojanized websites to screw
the rest of us.

In other words, one of these stations will become a potential
Post by rrc
Golden Eye which is a better task for our super sleuths.
Mis-aiming a giant microwave beam might NOT be a high-tech accomplishment
of terrorists, but might be a high probability result of some stupid
computer glitch or software bug. Talk about the human race shooting itself
in the foot!!!!
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
You don't know what exploratory ocean drilling is going to come up with.
Of course deep seas exploration is there but I was commenting on
existing oil reserves that have barely been recovered.
OK.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200.
Too early to predict.
During Apartheid in SA, Sasol did exactly that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher-Tropsch_process
http://www.caia.co.za/chsahs03.htm
I'll put my money on the corn->oil route. They've already got a $2 bil
working plant in Brazil. Been running now for something like a few years.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
Post by rrc
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
I'll give fusion reactors another century and if they can't get it to
work by then, I'm giving up because this Tokamak work is looking
fruitless.
Theyve had 50 years to get this to work and there is not even a credible
production geometry on anyone's drawing board. Talk about shutting down
social security? They should have shut down CTR at least a decade ago.
rrc
2006-03-28 15:37:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
In other words, one of these stations will become a potential
Post by rrc
Golden Eye which is a better task for our super sleuths.
Mis-aiming a giant microwave beam might NOT be a high-tech accomplishment
of terrorists, but might be a high probability result of some stupid
computer glitch or software bug. Talk about the human race shooting itself
in the foot!!!!
Yeah, those are the risks one takes for an everlasting source of power,
the Sun and the Earth's outer orbital solar radiation unless the
geothermal teams can hook up them thermocouples to the volcanos and/or
mantle/crust interface.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
I'll give fusion reactors another century and if they can't get it to
work by then, I'm giving up because this Tokamak work is looking
fruitless.
Theyve had 50 years to get this to work and there is not even a credible
production geometry on anyone's drawing board. Talk about shutting down
social security? They should have shut down CTR at least a decade ago.
True, but I discount the 80s and 90s where the project was truely going
nowhere. Those were the cheap oil/no nukes generation where the only
reason for a Tokamak was to get residual funding from the DOE. So, its
really 30 or so years and add another 100 and perhaps we'll see
something.
Straydog
2006-03-28 16:52:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
In other words, one of these stations will become a potential
Post by rrc
Golden Eye which is a better task for our super sleuths.
Mis-aiming a giant microwave beam might NOT be a high-tech accomplishment
of terrorists, but might be a high probability result of some stupid
computer glitch or software bug. Talk about the human race shooting itself
in the foot!!!!
Yeah, those are the risks one takes for an everlasting source of power,
the Sun and the Earth's outer orbital solar radiation unless the
geothermal teams can hook up them thermocouples to the volcanos and/or
mantle/crust interface.
You forgot tides: always there. I've read of some efforts, again best so
far, to harness tide power. They might have finally figured this one out,
too. No smoke, no greenhouse gases, no radioactivity, no whirling blades
to chop up birds and mess up TV signal propagation, etc.
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
Post by rrc
I'll give fusion reactors another century and if they can't get it to
work by then, I'm giving up because this Tokamak work is looking
fruitless.
Theyve had 50 years to get this to work and there is not even a credible
production geometry on anyone's drawing board. Talk about shutting down
social security? They should have shut down CTR at least a decade ago.
True, but I discount the 80s and 90s where the project was truely going
nowhere. Those were the cheap oil/no nukes generation where the only
reason for a Tokamak was to get residual funding from the DOE. So, its
really 30 or so years and add another 100 and perhaps we'll see
something.
Hah.
BMJ
2006-03-28 17:18:43 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Yeah, those are the risks one takes for an everlasting source of power,
the Sun and the Earth's outer orbital solar radiation unless the
geothermal teams can hook up them thermocouples to the volcanos and/or
mantle/crust interface.
You forgot tides: always there. I've read of some efforts, again best so
far, to harness tide power. They might have finally figured this one
out, too. No smoke, no greenhouse gases, no radioactivity, no whirling
blades to chop up birds and mess up TV signal propagation, etc.
Iceland makes extensive use of the geothermal energy it has available.
From what I understand, the power stations are of conventional design
except that they don't require boilers to generate steam.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
I'll give fusion reactors another century and if they can't get it to
work by then, I'm giving up because this Tokamak work is looking
fruitless.
Theyve had 50 years to get this to work and there is not even a credible
production geometry on anyone's drawing board. Talk about shutting down
social security? They should have shut down CTR at least a decade ago.
True, but I discount the 80s and 90s where the project was truely going
nowhere. Those were the cheap oil/no nukes generation where the only
reason for a Tokamak was to get residual funding from the DOE. So, its
really 30 or so years and add another 100 and perhaps we'll see
something.
Hah.
And then there's the ITER. It could prove to be another white elephant,
with a lot of money spent without much progress made.
BMJ
2006-03-29 22:32:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
You guys are not reading the newspapers. I don't have it handy, but
there were about two WSJ articles where out in california quite a few
new homes have solar panels built in (they get a tax break, I think) as
a supplement
in case they have brownouts or rolling blackouts and everyone is happy
with the direction this is going in. Its got a long way to go but the
technology is already here and been here for 1-2 decades.
I know what you're referring to as, if I remember correctly, it has the
backing of the governor. What I meant was about how systems are
designed and what the present technology is like.

PV modules can convert only a small fraction of the available insolation
into electricity. One of the main limitations is the semiconductor
materials that are used. Until something more efficient becomes
available, there's little that can be done about it.

PV module capacities are, at the most, on the order of a few hundred
peak watts. That means that if one were to use them to, say, power a
house, they would need a large area of land to properly site and space
them. Building them into houses restricts their usefulness as their
orientations would be fixed. In order to better utilize the available
insolation over the year, the elevation angle should change to follow
the angle of the sun with respect to the horizon. In some cases,
modules can be set up to follow the sun during the day using solar
trackers, but that can make the installation more expensive.

A lot of systems are over-sized, so that means that a lot of the power
they produce could be wasted after meeting the required load demand.
Some of it can be stored, but that's limited by battery size as well as
the charging current. (Avoiding gassing is important, particularly if
one uses, say, lead-acid batteries.) Unless one has either an auxiliary
load, which operates if the power is available, or it can be put into a
utility grid (obtaining permission to do that can prove to be a
regulatory headache), whatever's left is often dissipated.
Post by Straydog
It would have to be a collection of
Post by rrc
lunar or orbital systems which then "microwaves" the solar radiation
back to the surface for power.
Now that is a bad idea. Mis-sim the microwaves and you'll be frying
people. What a hijack target. Don't put all your eggs in one high-tech
basket.
Post by rrc
So the cycle I see is Alberta/Siberian/Kazakh oil from here till 2030.
You don't know what exploratory ocean drilling is going to come up with.
Offshore drilling is expensive and risky. A blowout can be very
difficult to put out, as people found out in Mexico in 1979. Icebergs
can be a hazard in some locations, such as off the shore of
Newfoundland. Rigs can sink during storms, as Canadians found out when
the "Ocean Ranger" went down with all hands in 1982. Even if oil or gas
is found, the reserves need to be sufficiently large to make the hole
financially worthwhile.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Modern Fischer-Tropsch coal->to->petroleum synfuels from 2025 till
2200.
Too early to predict.
Synthetic fuels from coal are a viable option in some locations,
provided the seams are large enough to sustain production for several
decades.
Post by Straydog
And then afterwards, a network of extraterrestrial solar stations
Post by rrc
pooling energy for the surface along with limited fusion facilities.
Straydog
2006-03-30 00:05:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
Afterwards, that is if there's a world in the 23rd century, we'll have
innovate in the solar realm that is if they're not suffering from
another "S&E shortage" during that time.
One of the present drawbacks with photovoltaics is the relatively low
conversion efficiency of modules. This means that a PV installation
will require significant areas of land. In addition, renewable systems
require a large initial capital expenditure when compared with existing
systems. (I investigated the economic optimization of hybrid renewable
systems for my Ph. D.)
That's why I'd placed the 23rd century as a caveat. Present day
photovoltaics are pretty dead end.
You guys are not reading the newspapers. I don't have it handy, but there
were about two WSJ articles where out in california quite a few new homes
have solar panels built in (they get a tax break, I think) as a supplement
in case they have brownouts or rolling blackouts and everyone is happy with
the direction this is going in. Its got a long way to go but the technology
is already here and been here for 1-2 decades.
I know what you're referring to as, if I remember correctly, it has the
backing of the governor. What I meant was about how systems are designed and
what the present technology is like.
PV modules can convert only a small fraction of the available insolation into
electricity. One of the main limitations is the semiconductor materials that
are used. Until something more efficient becomes available, there's little
that can be done about it.
Everyone knows this. The point is that solar power is now, in low unit
quantities, a $7 per watt source of renewable energy. Last night I looked
up the electric generation capacity in the USA and made a very very very
rough calculation that if the DoD budget were diverted to solar power
generation, we could be totally off non-renewable, non-radioactive, no
waste products energy sources in about 100 years. That is all with
_existing_ technology, the _existing_ conversion efficiency, and no unknowns o
r breakthroughs needed. If we had started some 30 years ago, we would be
about 1/3 the way and research of all kinds might have improved cost/unit
figures and maybe even lifetime and efficiency.
Post by BMJ
PV module capacities are, at the most, on the order of a few hundred peak
watts. That means that if one were to use them to, say, power a house, they
would need a large area of land to properly site and space them.
I made rough calculations and found that about 1/2 of the area that is
needed is already on 1-story house roofs. The rest could be obtained by
using a "fence" behind the house. I thought about this for our retirement
house but at my age would not recoup the investment before I died. It
would take commitment at an early age.

Building
Post by BMJ
them into houses restricts their usefulness as their orientations would be
fixed. In order to better utilize the available insolation over the year,
the elevation angle should change to follow the angle of the sun with respect
to the horizon. In some cases, modules can be set up to follow the sun
during the day using solar trackers, but that can make the installation more
expensive.
My brother got into the panels about 10+ years ago. Gets about 1/3 of all
of his electricity needs. And, he used only a fraction of his house roof.
Post by BMJ
A lot of systems are over-sized, so that means that a lot of the power they
produce could be wasted after meeting the required load demand.
Or fed back into the grid and make money for the owner.

Some of it
Post by BMJ
can be stored, but that's limited by battery size as well as the charging
current. (Avoiding gassing is important, particularly if one uses, say,
lead-acid batteries.) Unless one has either an auxiliary load, which
operates if the power is available, or it can be put into a utility grid
(obtaining permission to do that can prove to be a regulatory headache),
At least in some areas the laws are already on the books to just read the
meter even if it runs backwards and pay the owner.
Post by BMJ
whatever's left is often dissipated.
Better put on the thinking cap and do something with it. At least I would.
BMJ
2006-03-30 01:00:51 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
You guys are not reading the newspapers. I don't have it handy, but
there were about two WSJ articles where out in california quite a few
new homes have solar panels built in (they get a tax break, I think)
as a supplement
in case they have brownouts or rolling blackouts and everyone is
happy with the direction this is going in. Its got a long way to go
but the technology is already here and been here for 1-2 decades.
I know what you're referring to as, if I remember correctly, it has
the backing of the governor. What I meant was about how systems are
designed and what the present technology is like.
PV modules can convert only a small fraction of the available
insolation into electricity. One of the main limitations is the
semiconductor materials that are used. Until something more efficient
becomes available, there's little that can be done about it.
Everyone knows this. The point is that solar power is now, in low unit
quantities, a $7 per watt source of renewable energy.
Compared with about $1/W for a liquid-fuelled IC engine generator.

Last night I
Post by Straydog
looked up the electric generation capacity in the USA and made a very
very very rough calculation that if the DoD budget were diverted to
solar power generation, we could be totally off non-renewable,
non-radioactive, no waste products energy sources in about 100 years.
That is all with
_existing_ technology, the _existing_ conversion efficiency, and no unknowns o
r breakthroughs needed. If we had started some 30 years ago, we would be
about 1/3 the way and research of all kinds might have improved cost/unit
figures and maybe even lifetime and efficiency.
Back then, PV and WTGs weren't economically competitive with
conventional energy sources, plus many people had a "What, me worry?"
attitude, along with lots of NIMBY.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
PV module capacities are, at the most, on the order of a few hundred
peak watts. That means that if one were to use them to, say, power a
house, they would need a large area of land to properly site and space
them.
I made rough calculations and found that about 1/2 of the area that is
needed is already on 1-story house roofs.
But, as I mentioned earlier, they won't be as effective as those modules
that have variable tilt angles and, possibly, trackers. This assumes
that the modules are located in flat open areas. Locating them in
surroundings where there are reflective surfaces or, for that matter,
anything which shades them changes their performance.

The rest could be obtained by
Post by Straydog
using a "fence" behind the house. I thought about this for our
retirement house but at my age would not recoup the investment before I
died. It would take commitment at an early age.
Building
Post by BMJ
them into houses restricts their usefulness as their orientations
would be fixed. In order to better utilize the available insolation
over the year, the elevation angle should change to follow the angle
of the sun with respect to the horizon. In some cases, modules can be
set up to follow the sun during the day using solar trackers, but that
can make the installation more expensive.
My brother got into the panels about 10+ years ago. Gets about 1/3 of
all of his electricity needs. And, he used only a fraction of his house
roof.
There are several ways one can accomplish this. One is to reduce
overall load demand at a given time, which, depending on what essential
appliances one has (such as a fridge or stove), might not be that easy.
Another is to shift the use of such appliances or, for that matter,
peak load demand to a more convenient time of day. That's something I
plan on investigating.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
A lot of systems are over-sized, so that means that a lot of the power
they produce could be wasted after meeting the required load demand.
Or fed back into the grid and make money for the owner.
Subject to applicable regulations. There are people, however, who
attach their PV systems to the grid without permission. Doing that is
very foolish as their connections are often of poor quality and would
never pass inspection even if they were legitimate.
Post by Straydog
Some of it
Post by BMJ
can be stored, but that's limited by battery size as well as the
charging current. (Avoiding gassing is important, particularly if one
uses, say, lead-acid batteries.) Unless one has either an auxiliary
load, which operates if the power is available, or it can be put into
a utility grid (obtaining permission to do that can prove to be a
regulatory headache),
At least in some areas the laws are already on the books to just read
the meter even if it runs backwards and pay the owner.
I know of someone who set up his house to run on PV and sell the excess
back into the grid. Getting permission, not just from civil authorities
but his neighbours as well, took him several years.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
whatever's left is often dissipated.
Better put on the thinking cap and do something with it. At least I would.
Optimizing the surplus or deficit is critical. That was one of the
things I investigated for my thesis and which I'm working on right now.
Straydog
2006-03-30 01:45:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
You guys are not reading the newspapers. I don't have it handy, but there
were about two WSJ articles where out in california quite a few new homes
have solar panels built in (they get a tax break, I think) as a supplement
in case they have brownouts or rolling blackouts and everyone is happy
with the direction this is going in. Its got a long way to go but the
technology is already here and been here for 1-2 decades.
I know what you're referring to as, if I remember correctly, it has the
backing of the governor. What I meant was about how systems are designed
and what the present technology is like.
PV modules can convert only a small fraction of the available insolation
into electricity. One of the main limitations is the semiconductor
materials that are used. Until something more efficient becomes
available, there's little that can be done about it.
Everyone knows this. The point is that solar power is now, in low unit
quantities, a $7 per watt source of renewable energy.
Compared with about $1/W for a liquid-fuelled IC engine generator.
Which will cost $X/W, _additional_, in costs for fuel, maintenance, and
_permanent_ loss in non-renewable resources.
Post by BMJ
Last night I
Post by Straydog
looked up the electric generation capacity in the USA and made a very very
very rough calculation that if the DoD budget were diverted to solar power
generation, we could be totally off non-renewable, non-radioactive, no
waste products energy sources in about 100 years. That is all with
_existing_ technology, the _existing_ conversion efficiency, and no unknowns o
r breakthroughs needed. If we had started some 30 years ago, we would be
about 1/3 the way and research of all kinds might have improved cost/unit
figures and maybe even lifetime and efficiency.
Back then, PV and WTGs weren't economically competitive with conventional
energy sources, plus many people had a "What, me worry?" attitude, along with
lots of NIMBY.
This is where tax credits, deductions, subsidies and other breaks can/do
come into the picture. What bothers me the most are the simple "economist"
arguments based on the inability of economics to place a dollar value on
what-do-you-do-when-the-non-renewable-resources-are-gone situation. When
that petroleum is gone, its gone. When we have so much radioactive waste
from nukes that the earth glows at night and we've all become mutant
cockroaches, will life be worth anything?
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
PV module capacities are, at the most, on the order of a few hundred peak
watts. That means that if one were to use them to, say, power a house,
they would need a large area of land to properly site and space them.
I made rough calculations and found that about 1/2 of the area that is
needed is already on 1-story house roofs.
But, as I mentioned earlier, they won't be as effective as those modules that
have variable tilt angles and, possibly, trackers.
Most of the stuff I've seen in photos don't track, but its a start.

This assumes that the
Post by BMJ
modules are located in flat open areas. Locating them in surroundings where
there are reflective surfaces or, for that matter, anything which shades them
changes their performance.
My brother's setup was also fixed and he knew he was not getting 100% out
of the installation. So, he was still happy with what he got (and his deep
cycle golf cart batteries, inverter, etc.).
Post by BMJ
The rest could be obtained by
Post by Straydog
using a "fence" behind the house. I thought about this for our retirement
house but at my age would not recoup the investment before I died. It would
take commitment at an early age.
Building
Post by BMJ
them into houses restricts their usefulness as their orientations would be
fixed. In order to better utilize the available insolation over the year,
the elevation angle should change to follow the angle of the sun with
respect to the horizon. In some cases, modules can be set up to follow
the sun during the day using solar trackers, but that can make the
installation more expensive.
My brother got into the panels about 10+ years ago. Gets about 1/3 of all
of his electricity needs. And, he used only a fraction of his house roof.
There are several ways one can accomplish this. One is to reduce overall
load demand at a given time, which, depending on what essential appliances
one has (such as a fridge or stove), might not be that easy. Another is to
shift the use of such appliances or, for that matter, peak load demand to a
more convenient time of day. That's something I plan on investigating.
Certainly one can make up deficiencies with load management. It does not
take a PhD to come up with practical solutions.
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
A lot of systems are over-sized, so that means that a lot of the power
they produce could be wasted after meeting the required load demand.
Or fed back into the grid and make money for the owner.
Subject to applicable regulations.
All depends on what the situation is in your area.

There are people, however, who attach
Post by BMJ
their PV systems to the grid without permission.
For at least the areas I've been aware of where the laws apply, they can't
refuse.

Doing that is very foolish
Post by BMJ
as their connections are often of poor quality and would never pass
inspection even if they were legitimate.
That's not MY problem.
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Some of it
Post by BMJ
can be stored, but that's limited by battery size as well as the charging
current. (Avoiding gassing is important, particularly if one uses, say,
lead-acid batteries.) Unless one has either an auxiliary load, which
operates if the power is available, or it can be put into a utility grid
(obtaining permission to do that can prove to be a regulatory headache),
At least in some areas the laws are already on the books to just read the
meter even if it runs backwards and pay the owner.
I know of someone who set up his house to run on PV and sell the excess back
into the grid. Getting permission, not just from civil authorities but his
neighbours as well, took him several years.
That, too, is not MY problem.
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
whatever's left is often dissipated.
Better put on the thinking cap and do something with it. At least I would.
Optimizing the surplus or deficit is critical. That was one of the things I
investigated for my thesis and which I'm working on right now.
Anyone who looks into this just needs to do his homework. The technology,
as far as I'm concerned, is NOT rocket science.
BMJ
2006-03-30 02:42:39 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Everyone knows this. The point is that solar power is now, in low
unit quantities, a $7 per watt source of renewable energy.
Compared with about $1/W for a liquid-fuelled IC engine generator.
Which will cost $X/W, _additional_, in costs for fuel, maintenance, and
_permanent_ loss in non-renewable resources.
True, but the operating expenses are minimal with PV but with an IC
generator, one doesn't have to go outside and either brush off snow or
hose it down to wash off dust.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Back then, PV and WTGs weren't economically competitive with
conventional energy sources, plus many people had a "What, me worry?"
attitude, along with lots of NIMBY.
This is where tax credits, deductions, subsidies and other breaks can/do
come into the picture.
Until the environmentalists get into the picture. Some of the arguments
against placing WTGs offshore are completely absurd, including
"spoiling" one's view.

What bothers me the most are the simple
Post by Straydog
"economist" arguments based on the inability of economics to place a
dollar value on what-do-you-do-when-the-non-renewable-resources-are-gone
situation. When that petroleum is gone, its gone. When we have so much
radioactive waste from nukes that the earth glows at night and we've all
become mutant cockroaches, will life be worth anything?
That's one reason why I find the arguments that nuclear power is "green"
completely laughable. A buddy of mine who used to work in that business
figures that the industry's on its last legs and this is a final attempt
to stay alive.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
I made rough calculations and found that about 1/2 of the area that
is needed is already on 1-story house roofs.
But, as I mentioned earlier, they won't be as effective as those
modules that have variable tilt angles and, possibly, trackers.
Most of the stuff I've seen in photos don't track, but its a start.
On the other hand, there is still considerable light available in the
evenings due to diffuse radiation as well as light that's reflected off
surrounding buildings or landscape. Estimating that, however, can be
tricky.
Post by Straydog
This assumes that the
Post by BMJ
modules are located in flat open areas. Locating them in surroundings
where there are reflective surfaces or, for that matter, anything
which shades them changes their performance.
My brother's setup was also fixed and he knew he was not getting 100%
out of the installation. So, he was still happy with what he got (and
his deep cycle golf cart batteries, inverter, etc.).
A fixed installation is cheaper because no tracker's required. If the
modules are installed at a reasonable angle, they can produce decent
amounts of power.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
There are several ways one can accomplish this. One is to reduce
overall load demand at a given time, which, depending on what
essential appliances one has (such as a fridge or stove), might not be
that easy. Another is to shift the use of such appliances or, for
that matter, peak load demand to a more convenient time of day.
That's something I plan on investigating.
Certainly one can make up deficiencies with load management. It does not
take a PhD to come up with practical solutions.
Actually, what I'm interested in is the optimization of these sorts of
systems and examining how factors such as component prices affect the
configuration one obtains. Also, the location of the installation (or,
rather, the availability of wind and sunlight at the site) can make an
enormous difference in what one has. I looked at several locations in
western Canada and got some interesting results.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Or fed back into the grid and make money for the owner.
Subject to applicable regulations.
All depends on what the situation is in your area.
There are people, however, who attach
Post by BMJ
their PV systems to the grid without permission.
For at least the areas I've been aware of where the laws apply, they
can't refuse.
Again, the key word is *applicable*.
Post by Straydog
Doing that is very foolish
Post by BMJ
as their connections are often of poor quality and would never pass
inspection even if they were legitimate.
That's not MY problem.
It would be if someone's system malfunctions and brings down the grid in
your area.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
I know of someone who set up his house to run on PV and sell the
excess back into the grid. Getting permission, not just from civil
authorities but his neighbours as well, took him several years.
That, too, is not MY problem.
Again, he had to conform to the local regulations and bylaws in order to
become a recognized power producer.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
whatever's left is often dissipated.
Better put on the thinking cap and do something with it. At least I would.
Optimizing the surplus or deficit is critical. That was one of the
things I investigated for my thesis and which I'm working on right now.
Anyone who looks into this just needs to do his homework. The
technology, as far as I'm concerned, is NOT rocket science.
Actually, it's not as simple as that, nor is the solution
straightforward, depending on how one models the system. Some of the
equations I used to describe the system I was looking at were
non-linear, which makes it a more difficult problem to solve. There are
several parameters which can be varied and it's not immediately known
how changing one, and by how much, affects the solution.
Straydog
2006-03-30 12:41:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Everyone knows this. The point is that solar power is now, in low unit
quantities, a $7 per watt source of renewable energy.
Compared with about $1/W for a liquid-fuelled IC engine generator.
Which will cost $X/W, _additional_, in costs for fuel, maintenance, and
_permanent_ loss in non-renewable resources.
True, but the operating expenses are minimal with PV but with an IC
generator, one doesn't have to go outside and either brush off snow or hose
it down to wash off dust.
Snow and dust will also hinder, damage, or render--in one way or another--
the IC generator, and the IC generator will need a lot more maintenance
because of oil, moving parts, spark plug or glow plug replacement, air
filters, other filters, bearings, and a ton of moise, exhaust products,
air polution, waste crankcase oil, the need to replace rings, valve seats,
etc.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Back then, PV and WTGs weren't economically competitive with conventional
energy sources, plus many people had a "What, me worry?" attitude, along
with lots of NIMBY.
This is where tax credits, deductions, subsidies and other breaks can/do
come into the picture.
Until the environmentalists get into the picture. Some of the arguments
against placing WTGs offshore are completely absurd, including "spoiling"
one's view.
Well, that IS a consideration.
Post by BMJ
What bothers me the most are the simple
Post by Straydog
"economist" arguments based on the inability of economics to place a dollar
value on what-do-you-do-when-the-non-renewable-resources-are-gone
situation. When that petroleum is gone, its gone. When we have so much
radioactive waste from nukes that the earth glows at night and we've all
become mutant cockroaches, will life be worth anything?
That's one reason why I find the arguments that nuclear power is "green"
completely laughable. A buddy of mine who used to work in that business
figures that the industry's on its last legs and this is a final attempt to
stay alive.
I spent almost two years studying radioactivity in connection with
megaprojects: its bad stuff and it will be around for 50,000- 500,000
years.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
I made rough calculations and found that about 1/2 of the area that is
needed is already on 1-story house roofs.
But, as I mentioned earlier, they won't be as effective as those modules
that have variable tilt angles and, possibly, trackers.
Most of the stuff I've seen in photos don't track, but its a start.
On the other hand, there is still considerable light available in the
evenings due to diffuse radiation as well as light that's reflected off
surrounding buildings or landscape. Estimating that, however, can be tricky.
Simplest to just write off the night.
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
This assumes that the
Post by BMJ
modules are located in flat open areas. Locating them in surroundings
where there are reflective surfaces or, for that matter, anything which
shades them changes their performance.
My brother's setup was also fixed and he knew he was not getting 100% out
of the installation. So, he was still happy with what he got (and his deep
cycle golf cart batteries, inverter, etc.).
A fixed installation is cheaper because no tracker's required. If the
modules are installed at a reasonable angle, they can produce decent amounts
of power.
Sure.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
There are several ways one can accomplish this. One is to reduce overall
load demand at a given time, which, depending on what essential appliances
one has (such as a fridge or stove), might not be that easy. Another is
to shift the use of such appliances or, for that matter, peak load demand
to a more convenient time of day. That's something I plan on
investigating.
Certainly one can make up deficiencies with load management. It does not
take a PhD to come up with practical solutions.
Actually, what I'm interested in is the optimization of these sorts of
systems and examining how factors such as component prices affect the
configuration one obtains. Also, the location of the installation (or,
rather, the availability of wind and sunlight at the site) can make an
enormous difference in what one has. I looked at several locations in
western Canada and got some interesting results.
Have at it.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Or fed back into the grid and make money for the owner.
Subject to applicable regulations.
All depends on what the situation is in your area.
There are people, however, who attach
Post by BMJ
their PV systems to the grid without permission.
For at least the areas I've been aware of where the laws apply, they can't
refuse.
Again, the key word is *applicable*.
Post by Straydog
Doing that is very foolish
Post by BMJ
as their connections are often of poor quality and would never pass
inspection even if they were legitimate.
That's not MY problem.
It would be if someone's system malfunctions and brings down the grid in your
area.
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
I know of someone who set up his house to run on PV and sell the excess
back into the grid. Getting permission, not just from civil authorities
but his neighbours as well, took him several years.
That, too, is not MY problem.
Again, he had to conform to the local regulations and bylaws in order to
become a recognized power producer.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
whatever's left is often dissipated.
Better put on the thinking cap and do something with it. At least I would.
Optimizing the surplus or deficit is critical. That was one of the things
I investigated for my thesis and which I'm working on right now.
Anyone who looks into this just needs to do his homework. The technology,
as far as I'm concerned, is NOT rocket science.
Actually, it's not as simple as that, nor is the solution straightforward,
depending on how one models the system. Some of the equations I used to
describe the system I was looking at were non-linear, which makes it a more
difficult problem to solve. There are several parameters which can be varied
and it's not immediately known how changing one, and by how much, affects the
solution.
BMJ
2006-03-30 14:54:22 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
True, but the operating expenses are minimal with PV but with an IC
generator, one doesn't have to go outside and either brush off snow or
hose it down to wash off dust.
Snow and dust will also hinder, damage, or render--in one way or
another-- the IC generator,
Not if it's kept inside an enclosure.

and the IC generator will need a lot more
Post by Straydog
maintenance because of oil, moving parts, spark plug or glow plug
replacement, air filters, other filters, bearings, and a ton of moise,
exhaust products, air polution, waste crankcase oil, the need to replace
rings, valve seats, etc.
True, but these are normal operating expenses.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Until the environmentalists get into the picture. Some of the
arguments against placing WTGs offshore are completely absurd,
including "spoiling" one's view.
Well, that IS a consideration.
In what way?

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
That's one reason why I find the arguments that nuclear power is
"green" completely laughable. A buddy of mine who used to work in
that business figures that the industry's on its last legs and this is
a final attempt to stay alive.
I spent almost two years studying radioactivity in connection with
megaprojects: its bad stuff and it will be around for 50,000- 500,000
years.
In addition, where to store the waste is also a subject of debate.
Finding a location that will be geologically stable during that time is
difficult.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Most of the stuff I've seen in photos don't track, but its a start.
On the other hand, there is still considerable light available in the
evenings due to diffuse radiation as well as light that's reflected
off surrounding buildings or landscape. Estimating that, however, can
be tricky.
Simplest to just write off the night.
Actually, depending upon location and surrounding topography, PV modules
can produce power, though at significantly reduced levels, well after
sunset because of atmospheric refraction as well as reflection from
clouds and hills.

<snip>
Straydog
2006-03-30 15:43:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
True, but the operating expenses are minimal with PV but with an IC
generator, one doesn't have to go outside and either brush off snow or
hose it down to wash off dust.
Snow and dust will also hinder, damage, or render--in one way or another--
the IC generator,
Not if it's kept inside an enclosure.
Then that will increase the cost, and the cost of maintenance, plus you
will have to pipe in air and pipe out exhaust and heat. Then you'll have
to worry about gas lines, gas tanks, water in the gas, and other things.
Post by BMJ
and the IC generator will need a lot more
Post by Straydog
maintenance because of oil, moving parts, spark plug or glow plug
replacement, air filters, other filters, bearings, and a ton of moise,
exhaust products, air polution, waste crankcase oil, the need to replace
rings, valve seats, etc.
True, but these are normal operating expenses.
All dumped with solar.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Until the environmentalists get into the picture. Some of the arguments
against placing WTGs offshore are completely absurd, including "spoiling"
one's view.
Well, that IS a consideration.
In what way?
What would a "perfect world" be if there was some imperfection somewhere?
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
That's one reason why I find the arguments that nuclear power is "green"
completely laughable. A buddy of mine who used to work in that business
figures that the industry's on its last legs and this is a final attempt
to stay alive.
I spent almost two years studying radioactivity in connection with
megaprojects: its bad stuff and it will be around for 50,000- 500,000
years.
In addition, where to store the waste is also a subject of debate. Finding a
location that will be geologically stable during that time is difficult.
And, nobody wants it stored in their back yard.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Most of the stuff I've seen in photos don't track, but its a start.
On the other hand, there is still considerable light available in the
evenings due to diffuse radiation as well as light that's reflected off
surrounding buildings or landscape. Estimating that, however, can be tricky.
Simplest to just write off the night.
Actually, depending upon location and surrounding topography, PV modules can
produce power, though at significantly reduced levels, well after sunset
because of atmospheric refraction as well as reflection from clouds and
hills.
I'll pass on that one, but with reflectors and a moon present in the sky,
you get 1% of sunlight. A 100X collector, eg. parabolic dish, and aimed at
the solar cells, would get you juice about 50% of the nights.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
BMJ
2006-03-30 16:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Snow and dust will also hinder, damage, or render--in one way or
another-- the IC generator,
Not if it's kept inside an enclosure.
Then that will increase the cost, and the cost of maintenance, plus you
will have to pipe in air and pipe out exhaust and heat.
Those costs are minimal. There's an added advantage to being able to
use the heat produced by the IC engine for keeping the enclosure warm
during winter. Having an enclosure during that time of year is a
definite advantage. When I was building gas compressors, most of the
units were kept inside a building and the designs allowed for the inlet
air filter and exhaust silencer to be placed outside. It's not all that
complicated.

Then you'll have
to worry about gas lines, gas tanks, water in the gas, and other things.
Fuel lines and tanks are all part of the capital expense. Having an
enclosure can prevent water from condensing and freezing in the fuel lines.
Post by BMJ
and the IC generator will need a lot more
Post by Straydog
maintenance because of oil, moving parts, spark plug or glow plug
replacement, air filters, other filters, bearings, and a ton of
moise, exhaust products, air polution, waste crankcase oil, the need
to replace rings, valve seats, etc.
True, but these are normal operating expenses.
All dumped with solar.
An accurate comparison can be made if the costs are spread out over,
say, twenty years and then compared on an annual basis. The IC engine
generator is still cheaper.

<snip>
Post by BMJ
Actually, depending upon location and surrounding topography, PV
modules can produce power, though at significantly reduced levels,
well after sunset because of atmospheric refraction as well as
reflection from clouds and hills.
I'll pass on that one, but with reflectors and a moon present in the
sky, you get 1% of sunlight. A 100X collector, eg. parabolic dish, and
aimed at the solar cells, would get you juice about 50% of the nights.
For some of the weather data that I examined for my Ph. D. research,
reflected sunlight was as much as 10% of the incident insolation,
depending upon the local albedo. That's just what's available for
conversion. What the module does with it is another story.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Straydog
2006-03-30 19:16:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
Snow and dust will also hinder, damage, or render--in one way or
another-- the IC generator,
Not if it's kept inside an enclosure.
Then that will increase the cost, and the cost of maintenance, plus you
will have to pipe in air and pipe out exhaust and heat.
Those costs are minimal. There's an added advantage to being able to use the
heat produced by the IC engine for keeping the enclosure warm during winter.
And, overheated in the summer?
Post by BMJ
Having an enclosure during that time of year is a definite advantage. When I
was building gas compressors, most of the units were kept inside a building
and the designs allowed for the inlet air filter and exhaust silencer to be
placed outside. It's not all that complicated.
Best reason is control sound.
Post by BMJ
Then you'll have
to worry about gas lines, gas tanks, water in the gas, and other things.
Fuel lines and tanks are all part of the capital expense. Having an
enclosure can prevent water from condensing and freezing in the fuel lines.
So, it adds to the $X/watt cost.
Post by BMJ
Post by BMJ
and the IC generator will need a lot more
Post by Straydog
maintenance because of oil, moving parts, spark plug or glow plug
replacement, air filters, other filters, bearings, and a ton of moise,
exhaust products, air polution, waste crankcase oil, the need to replace
rings, valve seats, etc.
True, but these are normal operating expenses.
All dumped with solar.
An accurate comparison can be made if the costs are spread out over, say,
twenty years and then compared on an annual basis. The IC engine generator
is still cheaper.
All at the expense of accelerating the depletion of a non-renewable
resource. All foolish.
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by BMJ
Actually, depending upon location and surrounding topography, PV modules
can produce power, though at significantly reduced levels, well after
sunset because of atmospheric refraction as well as reflection from clouds
and hills.
I'll pass on that one, but with reflectors and a moon present in the sky,
you get 1% of sunlight. A 100X collector, eg. parabolic dish, and aimed at
the solar cells, would get you juice about 50% of the nights.
For some of the weather data that I examined for my Ph. D. research,
reflected sunlight was as much as 10% of the incident insolation, depending
upon the local albedo. That's just what's available for conversion. What
the module does with it is another story.
fine.
Post by BMJ
Post by BMJ
<snip>
BMJ
2006-03-30 20:30:42 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Those costs are minimal. There's an added advantage to being able to
use the heat produced by the IC engine for keeping the enclosure warm
during winter.
And, overheated in the summer?
It depends on what one uses for removing the heat from the engine.
During the summer, it could be cooled by a natural convection radiator.
During the winter, that radiator could be blocked off by a pair of
valves and the coolant routed through a heater to keep the enclosure warm.

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Fuel lines and tanks are all part of the capital expense. Having an
enclosure can prevent water from condensing and freezing in the fuel lines.
So, it adds to the $X/watt cost.
That's understood, but it's still cheaper than either PV or wind.
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
An accurate comparison can be made if the costs are spread out over,
say, twenty years and then compared on an annual basis. The IC engine
generator is still cheaper.
All at the expense of accelerating the depletion of a non-renewable
resource. All foolish.
Provided one can put a monetary figure on that resource. It's hard to
compete against alternatives which are, in the long run, considerably
cheaper, regardless of where they derive their original energy. For
example, a brand new power line can cost on the order of $20,000 CDN/km.
A PV/WTG installation for, say, a two-person household could cost
about $20,000, which means that one would have to be a considerable
distance from a utility grid to make something like this financially viable.

<snip>
Threeducks
2006-03-28 11:54:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are
basically converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I
applaud their efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol
is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
If it takes more energy to make energy, that's dumb. Is there going to
be a net gain energywise when you're all done? I'm not convinced there
will be. Solar is good, so is windpower. Converting garbage, such as
turkey guts, into ethanol or bio-diesel is a good idea. Except that
bio-diesels typically gel around 32 F, which is a real problem for
anyone driving a vehicle north of the Mason-Dixon line. But spending a
tremendous amount of energy (fuel, fertilizer, etc) to grow corn and
then distill it to ethanol? Not so smart.
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-28 12:19:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are
basically converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I
applaud their efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol
is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
If it takes more energy to make energy, that's dumb. Is there going to
it doesn't. It involves utilizing unused land and unemployed people
(not to mention starving farmers) to produce sugar and ethanol.
Post by Threeducks
be a net gain energywise when you're all done? I'm not convinced there
will be. Solar is good, so is windpower. Converting garbage, such as
turkey guts, into ethanol or bio-diesel is a good idea. Except that
don't think this involves converting garbage to fuel. It involves
converting a by product of cane sugar to fuel.
Post by Threeducks
bio-diesels typically gel around 32 F, which is a real problem for
anyone driving a vehicle north of the Mason-Dixon line. But spending a
tremendous amount of energy (fuel, fertilizer, etc) to grow corn and
then distill it to ethanol? Not so smart.
In India -they don't use petrol consuming tractors everywhere. Usually,
they use the ox to tow the land. The land being mentioned is often
afflicted by floods causing lost crops. So, if they grow sugar instead
-not only will they be able to utilize the land, but also produce
energy. It is a perfectly reasonable idea given that we are an
energy-deficient country.

regards
-kamal
Straydog
2006-03-28 14:38:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Threeducks
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are
basically converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I
applaud their efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol
is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if
there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large
they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's
going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
If it takes more energy to make energy, that's dumb. Is there going to
it doesn't. It involves utilizing unused land and unemployed people
(not to mention starving farmers) to produce sugar and ethanol.
I happen to agree more with Kamal this time than TD. No process is 100%
efficient anyway. For TD: "Net gain"? You mean you're going to violate
laws of thermodynamics? Even pumping, shipping, and refining oil takes
energy; what it sells for has to pay the pumping, shipping, and refining
and have left over for net profit.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Threeducks
be a net gain energywise when you're all done? I'm not convinced there
will be. Solar is good, so is windpower. Converting garbage, such as
turkey guts, into ethanol or bio-diesel is a good idea. Except that
don't think this involves converting garbage to fuel. It involves
converting a by product of cane sugar to fuel.
Anything organic that metabolic processes can use as an energy substrate
will produce a metabolic endproduct. Fermenting sugar to alcohol (to make
wine, beer) has been known since before ancient Babylon times. Our shit
and piss that goes into septic tanks does get metabolized to flamable gas
and an almost infinitesimal number of hippie-freak people actually do have
plastic pipes from their septic tanks to their stoves in their houses.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Threeducks
bio-diesels typically gel around 32 F, which is a real problem for
anyone driving a vehicle north of the Mason-Dixon line. But spending a
tremendous amount of energy (fuel, fertilizer, etc) to grow corn and
then distill it to ethanol? Not so smart.
In India -they don't use petrol consuming tractors everywhere. Usually,
they use the ox to tow the land. The land being mentioned is often
afflicted by floods causing lost crops. So, if they grow sugar instead
-not only will they be able to utilize the land, but also produce
energy. It is a perfectly reasonable idea given that we are an
energy-deficient country.
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
regards
-kamal
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-29 08:23:09 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world, and it
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out and
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life. That kind of
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming or basic research.

regards
-kamal
Straydog
2006-03-29 14:09:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Europe _taxes_ its gas to death. It effectively suppresses their urge to
drive any more than needed AND privides their government with a lot of
extra money for various nice things.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world,
Image? Just yesterday or the day before in the WSJ it showed data on
greenhouse gas production by the top 10 or so producers. Guess what the
order was something like US, Europe, Japan, China, India and the rate of
increase was like 200% per year for YOUR India (with all your "poor"
Indians buying cars, cell phones, computers, and TV/electronics), you are
becoming not just filthy/overpopulated but also resource consuming,
enviromental poluting pigs just like the USA, where the increase per year
is much less than YOUR contry or China (where there is a vast increase,
also, in oil use and greenhouse gasses). So, along with YOUR image of
discrimination against the "castless" Dalits (thanks to Pratap's
explanations), manipulating your own Rupee (its not fully convertible),
lobbying OUR politicians for YOUR gain, you guys definitely have
halos over your head that show a lot of rust, dust, and corrosion.

and it
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out
I think its impossible to keep the (poor) immigrants out, and the rich
ones are, as far as I'm concerned, welcome to come and bring their money
and help our economy instead of being a parasite.

and
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life.
Your idea of our people leaving the cities and go live in tents or caves
out the country and plant seeds on little plots and live like serfs is
unreal. Why don't you tell all of your progressive fellow Indians who want
cars, electronics, refrigerators, and electricity that they are wanting
the wrong things; tell them they should live in dust and dirt for the rest
of their lives and forget some basic material things (people have a right
to ask for if they can afford them) and see what mud they throw in your
face.

That kind of
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming
I thought you said all this farming was originally invented in India
thousands of years ago? And, nobody else in the world ever invented
farming?
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
or basic research.
Nobody does basic research any more. Its all geared to profit, now.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
regards
-kamal
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-30 04:38:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Europe _taxes_ its gas to death. It effectively suppresses their urge to
drive any more than needed AND privides their government with a lot of
extra money for various nice things.
that isn't tbe reason for the difference in pricing. It costs less to
buy gas in the USA than in oil producing countries themselves!!
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world,
Image? Just yesterday or the day before in the WSJ it showed data on
greenhouse gas production by the top 10 or so producers. Guess what the
order was something like US, Europe, Japan, China, India and the rate of
increase was like 200% per year for YOUR India (with all your "poor"
Indians buying cars, cell phones, computers, and TV/electronics), you are
becoming not just filthy/overpopulated but also resource consuming,
enviromental poluting pigs just like the USA, where the increase per year
yeah -as the economy opens up, it will rise in per capita
income/consumption in line with the country's productivity. Some of the
E. asian countries that were formerly castigated by americans as public
enemy no.1 also went though the same process and ended up providing a
market for american companies.
Post by Straydog
is much less than YOUR contry or China (where there is a vast increase,
also, in oil use and greenhouse gasses). So, along with YOUR image of
discrimination against the "castless" Dalits (thanks to Pratap's
the thing about affirmative action is that it is often roiled in the
politics of revenge. I have proved it to him conclusively that the
system allows people to elect their own representatives (and they
already have!!). Elected representatives are answerable to their voters
-and that is the most effective way of fixing problems.
Post by Straydog
explanations), manipulating your own Rupee (its not fully convertible),
do you know what capital account convertibility allows? It is not a
sign of manipulation and for the past couple of years -it has been
heading higher without pressure from the US, the way they seem to be
doing to China. The higher the rupee rises, the greater the purchasing
power of the country and the sooner we will be able to fix problems.
Post by Straydog
lobbying OUR politicians for YOUR gain, you guys definitely have
halos over your head that show a lot of rust, dust, and corrosion.
I knwo of companies that are sending work to India -and they are doing
so on their own.
If they find it cheaper to get work done here -they will do so without
anybody being bribed.
Post by Straydog
and it
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out
I think its impossible to keep the (poor) immigrants out, and the rich
ones are, as far as I'm concerned, welcome to come and bring their money
and help our economy instead of being a parasite.
why? I thought you said the world loves your dollars and that itself
entitles you to a better std of living. Just keep printing all you
want, and you can keep out foreigners of all types.
Post by Straydog
and
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life.
Your idea of our people leaving the cities and go live in tents or caves
out the country and plant seeds on little plots and live like serfs is
unreal.
I believe american farmers didn't live like serfs 50+ yrs back.
Stanford Univeristy was built by a californian farmer in memory of his
son and he was stinking rich.
Post by Straydog
Why don't you tell all of your progressive fellow Indians who want
cars, electronics, refrigerators, and electricity that they are wanting
the wrong things; tell them they should live in dust and dirt for the rest
of their lives and forget some basic material things (people have a right
to ask for if they can afford them) and see what mud they throw in your
face.
we have more people than the land can support if all of them took to
farming.
The converse holds true for you -lots of land and not enough people to
use it, which is why you have agricultural workers brought in from
overseas.
Post by Straydog
That kind of
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming
I thought you said all this farming was originally invented in India
thousands of years ago? And, nobody else in the world ever invented
farming?
never did I say that. Farming originated in Babylon -and moved to other
parts of the world from there.
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
or basic research.
Nobody does basic research any more. Its all geared to profit, now.
Many profit making companies do basic research. IBM does a lot of basic
research and some of their employees have won Nobel prizes doing so.
(It can yield a profit sometimes -but there is no way to know that
before hand). Since your cost of living is so off the mark -you had
better stick to doing things that are not cost sensitive or involve
physical presence in the US.

regards
-kamal
Straydog
2006-03-30 13:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Europe _taxes_ its gas to death. It effectively suppresses their urge to
drive any more than needed AND privides their government with a lot of
extra money for various nice things.
that isn't tbe reason for the difference in pricing. It costs less to
buy gas in the USA than in oil producing countries themselves!!
We were originally talking about (above) the USA vs European gas prices.
All what I've read deals with taxation between those two areas. What they
do in OPC I don't care and its a separate topic that needs to consider
other factors at work in those societies.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world,
Image? Just yesterday or the day before in the WSJ it showed data on
greenhouse gas production by the top 10 or so producers. Guess what the
order was something like US, Europe, Japan, China, India and the rate of
increase was like 200% per year for YOUR India (with all your "poor"
Indians buying cars, cell phones, computers, and TV/electronics), you are
becoming not just filthy/overpopulated but also resource consuming,
enviromental poluting pigs just like the USA, where the increase per year
yeah -as the economy opens up, it will rise in per capita
income/consumption in line with the country's productivity. Some of the
E. asian countries that were formerly castigated by americans as public
enemy no.1 also went though the same process and ended up providing a
market for american companies.
And, here again, we were talking about the "USA image" around the world,
and all these (including YOUR country) LDCs are going to be big _pigs_
just like the USA.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
is much less than YOUR contry or China (where there is a vast increase,
also, in oil use and greenhouse gasses). So, along with YOUR image of
discrimination against the "castless" Dalits (thanks to Pratap's
the thing about affirmative action is that it is often roiled in the
politics of revenge. I have proved it to him conclusively that the
system allows people to elect their own representatives (and they
already have!!).
I read all the same posts by both of you and, yet again, you totally
ignore the fact that _laws_ can be in existence and _enforcement_ &
_implementation_ is not in existence.

Elected representatives are answerable to their voters
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
-and that is the most effective way of fixing problems.
Yeah, sure, just like in the USA. Get elected, then go do whatever you
want including tell the world that there are WMD in Iraq and get away with
it.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
explanations), manipulating your own Rupee (its not fully convertible),
do you know what capital account convertibility allows? It is not a
sign of manipulation and for the past couple of years -it has been
heading higher without pressure from the US,
What a lie. I've been watching the Rs/US$ exchange for a year; no change
at all.

the way they seem to be
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
doing to China.
Oh, the China situation is very interesting.

The higher the rupee rises, the greater the purchasing
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
power of the country and the sooner we will be able to fix problems.
All hot air.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
lobbying OUR politicians for YOUR gain, you guys definitely have
halos over your head that show a lot of rust, dust, and corrosion.
I knwo of companies that are sending work to India -and they are doing
so on their own.
And, I gave the report about offshoring failure rate which is very high
and includes reports from many companies and I cited the sources.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
If they find it cheaper to get work done here -they will do so without
anybody being bribed.
Cheaper but not as good.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
and it
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out
I think its impossible to keep the (poor) immigrants out, and the rich
ones are, as far as I'm concerned, welcome to come and bring their money
and help our economy instead of being a parasite.
why? I thought you said the world loves your dollars
Just look at the business cash flow we generate for everyone.

and that itself
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
entitles you to a better std of living.
Why not?

Just keep printing all you
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
want,
We already do this and we're generally very happy with this.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
and you can keep out foreigners of all types.
They all still want to come here, anyway, and enjoy the fun.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
and
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life.
Your idea of our people leaving the cities and go live in tents or caves
out the country and plant seeds on little plots and live like serfs is
unreal.
I believe american farmers didn't live like serfs 50+ yrs back.
50+ years back there were a lot more family farmers and very little
agribusiness. You don't know the difference.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Stanford Univeristy was built by a californian farmer in memory of his
son and he was stinking rich.
Oh, wonderful statistics: a sample size of one.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Why don't you tell all of your progressive fellow Indians who want
cars, electronics, refrigerators, and electricity that they are wanting
the wrong things; tell them they should live in dust and dirt for the rest
of their lives and forget some basic material things (people have a right
to ask for if they can afford them) and see what mud they throw in your
face.
we have more people than the land can support if all of them took to
farming.
That is YOUR problem.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
The converse holds true for you -lots of land and not enough people to
use it, which is why you have agricultural workers brought in from
overseas.
No, most come from the south. Its a fact.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
That kind of
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming
I thought you said all this farming was originally invented in India
thousands of years ago? And, nobody else in the world ever invented
farming?
never did I say that.
You talked about all agricultural discoveries coming from India.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Farming originated in Babylon -and moved to other
parts of the world from there.
Actually, from my readings, agronomy developed in multiple areas around
the world and not just Babylon but also before Babylon. Shall I list the
book titles? Including Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel".
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
or basic research.
Nobody does basic research any more. Its all geared to profit, now.
Many profit making companies do basic research.
OK, name just one company and name just one basic research project that is
not geared, directly, to a profit-making product or service.

IBM does a lot of basic
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
research
All research privately funded has to bee seen by management as having a
product or service somewhere on the horizon.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
and some of their employees have won Nobel prizes doing so.
You may be thiniking of old Bell Labs, which became Lucent, and no longer
does basic research. DuPont used to to basic research, too. No longer.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
(It can yield a profit sometimes -but there is no way to know that
before hand).
I'd really like you to name and describe some basic research any major
company is doing today. Even the start-ups all have a profit-motivation in
all of their R&D.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Since your cost of living is so off the mark
I think the trade-off between COL and SOL is going to be difficult to
control. The lowest 20% in the USA is falling behind inflation. But, I'll
bet the same will happen in India; you will always have a large population
in poverty.

-you had
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
better stick to doing things that are not cost sensitive or involve
physical presence in the US.
It all depends on whether we can print money fast enough. And, printing
money is something that a lot of countries do. Maybe you just wait and
maybe India will start printing money, too, to support your rising
standard of living.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
regards
-kamal
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-30 13:30:50 UTC
Permalink
the only reason why i replied is because there was something besides a
pissing match at the end =and there still is. so here goes a big snip.
[snip]
Post by Straydog
OK, name just one company and name just one basic research project that is
not geared, directly, to a profit-making product or service.
I could name IBM and Lucent (which owns Bell Labs and that hasn't been
dismantled yet).
Post by Straydog
IBM does a lot of basic
Post by rrc
research
All research privately funded has to bee seen by management as having a
product or service somewhere on the horizon.
No -the scanning tunnel microscope was invented in Zurich and didn't
produce any commercial product/service. People hired by IBM Research
get an agenda of where they should be going, but not many constraints
on what inventions that can come up with. In fact, the bulk of their
inventions/patents have little commercial value. Bell labs is even
worse in terms of mapping innovations to products.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
and some of their employees have won Nobel prizes doing so.
You may be thiniking of old Bell Labs, which became Lucent, and no longer
does basic research. DuPont used to to basic research, too. No longer.
it does. They just have greater constraints on how much they can spend
on research than when they were devoid of competition.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
(It can yield a profit sometimes -but there is no way to know that
before hand).
I'd really like you to name and describe some basic research any major
company is doing today. Even the start-ups all have a profit-motivation in
all of their R&D.
The aim is to keep costs down and leverage research into money spinning
products/services. But as you probably know, neither is it guaranteed
that something good in an academic sense will ever come out -nor is it
guaranteed that what does come out will be of any commercial value.
When they opt to do that research, they are committing to spending
money with no returns in sight. it means that they would like something
but that without an assurance, they are still willing to spend on it. I
dunno why you should have a problem with that.
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Since your cost of living is so off the mark
I think the trade-off between COL and SOL is going to be difficult to
control. The lowest 20% in the USA is falling behind inflation. But, I'll
bet the same will happen in India; you will always have a large population
in poverty.
yeah -the US economy is bloated and the ones most vulnerable are the
first ones to fall prey to it.
Post by Straydog
-you had
Post by rrc
better stick to doing things that are not cost sensitive or involve
physical presence in the US.
It all depends on whether we can print money fast enough. And, printing
money is something that a lot of countries do. Maybe you just wait and
maybe India will start printing money, too, to support your rising
standard of living.
if printing money is going to eradicate poverty ans make everybody a
millionaire, paper pulp would be the most precious commodity on earth
as every central bank will try to procure as much paper pulp as
possible. The notes being printed by your govt are promsory notes -like
a credit card balance. The more you are willing to spend your card, the
more points/credit you will get -but at some pt, you will have to find
a way to repay the bills. That will have to come by way of tradeable
goods/services (like housing mortgages, buildings, toll roads etc..)
-and if you understand that this country of 300 million normal people
has been consuming 40%+ of the world's goods/services every year for
decades -you should understand that the danger of default is VERY HIGH.

regards
-kamal
Straydog
2006-03-30 15:39:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
the only reason why i replied is because there was something besides a
pissing match
Its really just that your answers and statements are weak and sometimes
wrong...

at the end =and there still is. so here goes a big snip.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
OK, name just one company and name just one basic research project that is
not geared, directly, to a profit-making product or service.
I could name IBM and Lucent (which owns Bell Labs and that hasn't been
dismantled yet).
Bell Labs was reorganized years ago and all projects that they could not
see a practical endpoint were terminated. There was an article about this
in the WSJ a few years ago.

And, where is the "one basic research project that is not geared,
directly, to a profit-making product or service? Nobody in private
industry (and most people even in academia) is doing basic research.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
IBM does a lot of basic
Post by rrc
research
All research privately funded has to bee seen by management as having a
product or service somewhere on the horizon.
No -the scanning tunnel microscope was invented in Zurich
By what private company?

and didn't
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
produce any commercial product/service.
That was a long time ago.

People hired by IBM Research
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
get an agenda of where they should be going, but not many constraints
on what inventions that can come up with. In fact, the bulk of their
inventions/patents have little commercial value. Bell labs is even
worse in terms of mapping innovations to products.
I'd like to see a reference to that. Everything I've read or heard says
there has to be very high relevance to making a product. In fact how about
describing just one patent that does not have commercial value! Or, how
about --like patents are supposed to do--doing "something useful".
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
and some of their employees have won Nobel prizes doing so.
You may be thiniking of old Bell Labs, which became Lucent, and no longer
does basic research. DuPont used to to basic research, too. No longer.
it does.
Sorry, you're wrong. And, DuPont's lab in Wilmington is shut down. New lab
in China: all geared to making products. Says so in the newspapers.

They just have greater constraints on how much they can spend
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
on research than when they were devoid of competition.
You're wrong on that, too. And, even in pharma: the goal is to get a drug
out on the market and all the basic research has to be done (already, by
academia). And, I once worked at a lab where this was also the case but
they also let PhDs write grants for "investigator-originated" research
(basic) but for all the other projects it was _development_ of a product.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
(It can yield a profit sometimes -but there is no way to know that
before hand).
I'd really like you to name and describe some basic research any major
company is doing today. Even the start-ups all have a profit-motivation in
all of their R&D.
The aim is to keep costs down and leverage research into money spinning
products/services.
You still have not named anything that is basic only.

But as you probably know, neither is it guaranteed
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
that something good in an academic sense will ever come out -nor is it
guaranteed that what does come out will be of any commercial value.
When they opt to do that research, they are committing to spending
money with no returns in sight. it means that they would like something
but that without an assurance, they are still willing to spend on it. I
dunno why you should have a problem with that.
Its in the past. Today, more than ever before, the aim is to have a
product as soon as possible. You can't even name an Indian company that is
doing any kind of (real) basic research. I'll even bet your universities
are gearing their faculty towards anything that will attract US$ or other
foreign money. This is going on all over: export research work, import
money (just another phrase for the reverse of offshoring).
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
Post by rrc
Since your cost of living is so off the mark
I think the trade-off between COL and SOL is going to be difficult to
control. The lowest 20% in the USA is falling behind inflation. But, I'll
bet the same will happen in India; you will always have a large population
in poverty.
yeah -the US economy is bloated and the ones most vulnerable are the
first ones to fall prey to it.
Well, its been going on for decades and people have been predicting for
decades its demise. Those predictions seem to be premature. But then, you
still don't understand that the Great Depression was world-wide. Every
exporting country got hit and hurt. If we have something like this again,
don't have the false hope that India will escape. If the US economy tanks,
all that US$ flowing into India will tank as well.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Straydog
-you had
Post by rrc
better stick to doing things that are not cost sensitive or involve
physical presence in the US.
It all depends on whether we can print money fast enough. And, printing
money is something that a lot of countries do. Maybe you just wait and
maybe India will start printing money, too, to support your rising
standard of living.
if printing money is going to eradicate poverty ans make everybody a
millionaire,
Nah, I don't think so. It will just make the rich richer, the poor poorer,
just as it always did.

paper pulp would be the most precious commodity on earth
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
as every central bank will try to procure as much paper pulp as
possible.
You're wrong on that, too. Today, "money" is created in computer memories
in banks. You have to read up on how banks work. I'll bet a lot of money
that you have fractional reserve banking in India, too. Just wait till
your economy revs up. You'll be doing it, too. And, reports in our media
indicate that you Indians are getting credit cards, borrowing on credit,
buying cars on credit, everything. Soon, you will be a society just like
ours (except the Dalits will be at the bottom and homeless).

The notes being printed by your govt are promsory notes -like
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
a credit card balance. The more you are willing to spend your card, the
more points/credit you will get -but at some pt, you will have to find
a way to repay the bills.
You know, I don't like it personally, but it is a valid philosophy that
people can just say "I don't care, I'll take this new house and be in debt
for the rest of my life and I'll be happy" instead of "I can't afford this
new house, so I will live in dust and dirt for the rest of my life".

That will have to come by way of tradeable
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
goods/services (like housing mortgages, buildings, toll roads etc..)
-and if you understand that this country of 300 million normal people
has been consuming 40%+ of the world's goods/services every year for
decades -you should understand that the danger of default is VERY HIGH.
And, I will put this all right back at your feet and say: "OK, see if I
care, its all been working like this for decades or more and you can't
prove that its not going to work." And, more than that, I'll bet that in
another decade or two (at most), your own country, at 8-10% GDP growth per
year, is going to be in exactly the same situation. And, you will be
eating your own words.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
regards
-kamal
Threeducks
2006-03-30 23:07:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world, and it
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out and
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life. That kind of
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming or basic research.
What people haven't figure out here is just how much land area do you
need to cover with corn or whatever else to generate enough ethanol to
replace gasoline as a motor vehicle fuel. It is a non-trival amount.
Are you going to make corn a scare resource so I can no longer buy it to
eat at the grocery store?
Straydog
2006-03-31 01:07:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Straydog
If the price of gas in Europe ($5/gal?) ever came into widespread pricing
how far are you from that? How could a fungible commodity have 2
different pricings?
Post by Straydog
in the USA, you'd have tons of people go into farming to grow that corn.
And, yes, I think, too, its a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
yeah -that will help you to improve your image around the world, and it
will also reinforce the argument that keeping immigrants out and
utilizing the land is what it takes to live a better life. That kind of
brings us back to what I had suggested originally -go back to what you
have been good at -either farming or basic research.
What people haven't figure out here is just how much land area do you need to
cover with corn or whatever else to generate enough ethanol to replace
gasoline as a motor vehicle fuel. It is a non-trival amount. Are you going
to make corn a scare resource so I can no longer buy it to eat at the grocery
store?
I made a back of the envelope calculation when I started graduate school
about 1970 that if we burned wood (from harvested trees) in electric power
plants instead of coal, then it would take a forest area the size of the
state of California to generate the heat, converted at something like 50%,
to generate all the electricity needed by the USA. Now, that included
dividing that land area into 50 equal sized areas so you could plant tree
seeds on plot 1, the trees on plot 2 were one year old, the trees on plot
3 were two years old...and trees on plot 50 were ready to be harvested and
sent on the conveyor belt into the furnaces and then replanted the same
year. Now, the whole infrastructure to support that was NOT calculated
into the equation, but it shows that wood, derived from the ultimate
permanent energy source, the sun, and recycled basic elements (CONH), at
least to a first approximation, would allow all of our electricity to come
from a renewable source. However, there would be a lot of ash and smoke.
But, the principal is there.
BMJ
2006-03-28 14:54:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are
basically converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I
applaud their efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol
is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows
if there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how
large they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone,
what's going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
If it takes more energy to make energy, that's dumb. Is there going to
be a net gain energywise when you're all done?
In that case, tar sands and heavy oil might turn out to be white
elephants. Extracting them requires enormous amounts of money and
energy, and then there's the post-extraction processing that's required
to make them useful.

I'm not convinced there
Post by Threeducks
will be. Solar is good, so is windpower.
Agreed, but they are variable in their output. However, that doesn't
have to be a problem provided one chooses a suitable location to install
the PV modules and wind turbine generators.

Converting garbage, such as
Post by Threeducks
turkey guts, into ethanol or bio-diesel is a good idea. Except that
bio-diesels typically gel around 32 F, which is a real problem for
anyone driving a vehicle north of the Mason-Dixon line.
That's why one uses glow plugs in diesel engines.

But spending a
Post by Threeducks
tremendous amount of energy (fuel, fertilizer, etc) to grow corn and
then distill it to ethanol? Not so smart.
Is that an insurmountable problem? I hardly think so. But there's more
to this than just thermodynamics. If one does more environmental damage
using fossil fuel than with bio-diesel, where's the advantage?
Straydog
2006-03-28 12:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Why?
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and when the
peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if there any new
reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large they are. Once
the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
I've already made, many times, the statement that if we took all the
billions spent on CTR, and spent it on solar cells, then we'd probably
have several percent of our nation's electricity supply converted to
renewable energy by now.
BMJ
2006-03-28 15:05:13 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and
when the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows
if there any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how
large they are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone,
what's going to replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
I've already made, many times, the statement that if we took all the
billions spent on CTR, and spent it on solar cells, then we'd probably
have several percent of our nation's electricity supply converted to
renewable energy by now.
One word: politics.
Straydog
2006-03-28 16:48:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by BMJ
<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
There's been an on-going debate about how much petroleum is left and when
the peak in production has occurred or will occur. Nobody knows if there
any new reserves will be found, where they might be, and how large they
are. Once the known reserves of hydrocarbons are gone, what's going to
replace them?
At least with biofuels, there's going to be a renewable supply of feedstock.
I've already made, many times, the statement that if we took all the
billions spent on CTR, and spent it on solar cells, then we'd probably have
several percent of our nation's electricity supply converted to renewable
energy by now.
One word: politics.
And, I'd qualify that as fadism (or, any and all progress; any and all
high-tech-sexy solutions to any problem) is the one and only way to go.
BMJ
2006-03-30 20:35:18 UTC
Permalink
Straydog wrote:

<snip>
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by Straydog
I've already made, many times, the statement that if we took all the
billions spent on CTR, and spent it on solar cells, then we'd
probably have several percent of our nation's electricity supply
converted to renewable energy by now.
One word: politics.
And, I'd qualify that as fadism (or, any and all progress; any and all
high-tech-sexy solutions to any problem) is the one and only way to go.
Some thirty years ago, when the rumours were in circulation that we were
going to run out of oil by the end of the last century, all sorts of
power generation concepts were proposed as alternatives ranging from PV
and wind to biofuels, though there were several which were rather
far-fetched. The orbiting PV plants that were discussed earlier in the
thread were among them.

Governments were only too eager to make funding for such ideas freely
available. This lasted until the early '80s when we were swimming in
cheap oil. The projects were shelved and the funding disappeared.

Next idea....
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-28 08:46:36 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Not necessarily. Have a look at this link has to say:-

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397011.cms

regards
-kamal
Threeducks
2006-03-28 12:04:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Not necessarily. Have a look at this link has to say:-
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397011.cms
regards
-kamal
That link doesn't say anything about the overall thermodynamics of the
process and how it compares to refining oil.
Kamal R. Prasad
2006-03-28 13:53:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Not necessarily. Have a look at this link has to say:-
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397011.cms
regards
-kamal
That link doesn't say anything about the overall thermodynamics of the
process and how it compares to refining oil.
it says something about the financial viability of producing ethanol to
meet our enegrgy requirements. It isn't a failed concept as you claim
it to be. Solar and wind energy are highly capital intensive. In
contrast, ethanol is a lot more financially viable. BTW-I might have
replied by mistake to one of your posts on this thread.

regards
-kamal
Straydog
2006-03-28 14:48:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Threeducks
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Not necessarily. Have a look at this link has to say:-
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397011.cms
regards
-kamal
That link doesn't say anything about the overall thermodynamics of the
process and how it compares to refining oil.
it says something about the financial viability of producing ethanol to
meet our enegrgy requirements. It isn't a failed concept as you claim
it to be. Solar and wind energy are highly capital intensive. In
contrast, ethanol is a lot more financially viable. BTW-I might have
replied by mistake to one of your posts on this thread.
I agree with Kamal on this one, too. But, I'd rather say solar is higher
tech, not capital intensive. They have been making alcohol for thousands
of years; you don't need high tech stuff. Wind? From all I'm reading,
they've finally figured out how to make this economical. Around not too
far from where we live there are already some very large windmills gone
up. And, I'm all for getting off the non-renewable resources.
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
regards
-kamal
Threeducks
2006-03-30 22:57:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
Post by Threeducks
Post by Kamal R. Prasad
[snip]
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG. The guys who are basically
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
Not necessarily. Have a look at this link has to say:-
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397011.cms
regards
-kamal
That link doesn't say anything about the overall thermodynamics of the
process and how it compares to refining oil.
it says something about the financial viability of producing ethanol to
meet our enegrgy requirements. It isn't a failed concept as you claim
it to be. Solar and wind energy are highly capital intensive. In
contrast, ethanol is a lot more financially viable. BTW-I might have
replied by mistake to one of your posts on this thread.
I have a PhD in chemical engineering and my area of expertise is
thermodynamics. Your expertise is in what? Look at the overall energy
balance (this is something I could make undergraduates do in their
thermo class) and what does it tell you?
Straydog
2006-03-28 12:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have noticed
that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG.
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the remaining
petroleum will either be already burned up or so prohibitively expensive
that we will have no choice but to burn something else, whether it be coal
or renewable? Surely even if you made the assumption that all of the earth
is pure oil, then at our present burn rate any kid who can calculate
simple algebra would be able to predict the day when it will all be burned
up.

The guys who are basically
Post by Threeducks
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard on NPR
radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more percapita
electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
Threeducks
2006-03-30 23:03:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with
climate change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may
have noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG.
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the remaining
petroleum will either be already burned up or so prohibitively expensive
that we will have no choice but to burn something else, whether it be
coal or renewable? Surely even if you made the assumption that all of
the earth is pure oil, then at our present burn rate any kid who can
calculate simple algebra would be able to predict the day when it will
all be burned up.
I don't deny that we will eventually run out of oil. However, it takes
energy to make ethanol. Does it take more energy to make ethanol than
it does gasoline? The power you get out of a gallon of ethanol is less
than a gallon of gasoline, so you have to burn more. Ethanol is
currently more expensive than gasoline. How are you going to get people
to use something that gives you less performance and less MPG and costs
more money?

We have an infinite amount of sun coming down. That isn't going to run
out. Wind isn't going to run out, either. Corn? That takes energy to
grow and we may very well run out of that.
Post by Straydog
The guys who are basically
Post by Threeducks
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard on
NPR radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more
percapita electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
We could just line solar cells up in the desert if we wanted to. Plenty
of sun and land out there. Even if the efficiency is low, if you have
enough panels you can generate a lot of electricity.
BMJ
2006-03-31 00:06:33 UTC
Permalink
Threeducks wrote:

<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the
remaining petroleum will either be already burned up or so
prohibitively expensive that we will have no choice but to burn
something else, whether it be coal or renewable? Surely even if you
made the assumption that all of the earth is pure oil, then at our
present burn rate any kid who can calculate simple algebra would be
able to predict the day when it will all be burned up.
I don't deny that we will eventually run out of oil. However, it takes
energy to make ethanol.
That's debatable.

Does it take more energy to make ethanol than
Post by Threeducks
it does gasoline? The power you get out of a gallon of ethanol is less
than a gallon of gasoline, so you have to burn more.
On the other hand, how efficiently is it burned? If you require more
excess oxygen to burn a litre of gasoline compared with the same amount
of ethanol, there's little benefit. After all, some of the energy
released in the combustion reaction goes to heating up that excess
oxygen as well as the combustion products.

Ethanol is
Post by Threeducks
currently more expensive than gasoline.
That's largely due to availability of supply. What's involved in
producing the feedstock for gasoline? One has to first determine where
it might be, conduct geophysical tests to locate potential formations,
and then actually drill a hole. If there's nothing coming out, one has
to try additional methods to coax anything out, if it's there, such as
acidizing or fracturing the formation. If one does have a hole that
produces, then one has to lay pipe in order to get it to the refinery.

Producing corn or grain, on the other hand, is simply an agricultural
operation and certainly takes less time and money.

How are you going to get people
Post by Threeducks
to use something that gives you less performance and less MPG and costs
more money?
We have an infinite amount of sun coming down.
Roughly 1000 W/m^2 at ground level.

That isn't going to run
Post by Threeducks
out. Wind isn't going to run out, either. Corn? That takes energy to
grow and we may very well run out of that.
Corn or land?

<snip>
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard on
NPR radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more
percapita electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
We could just line solar cells up in the desert if we wanted to. Plenty
of sun and land out there. Even if the efficiency is low, if you have
enough panels you can generate a lot of electricity.
As I mentioned in other posts, a PV installation doesn't just consist of
putting a bunch of PV modules somewhere and expecting them to produce
power. One as to take into account the location, the availability of
insolation (and the ratio of beam to diffuse radiation), and the
surrounding landscape. Then there's the issue of whether one wants to
track the sun either with respect to azimuth or tilt angle.

Many systems are improperly designed, often resulting in excess power
being produced with no load to use it. Also, PV efficiency decreases
with temperature but increases with insolation. One should also account
for the the load, particularly for those times of peak demand. It might
be cheaper to use, say, a diesel genset for load topping.
Straydog
2006-03-31 01:00:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have noticed
that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol. Today.
Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG.
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the remaining
petroleum will either be already burned up or so prohibitively expensive
that we will have no choice but to burn something else, whether it be coal
or renewable? Surely even if you made the assumption that all of the earth
is pure oil, then at our present burn rate any kid who can calculate simple
algebra would be able to predict the day when it will all be burned up.
I don't deny that we will eventually run out of oil. However, it takes
energy to make ethanol. Does it take more energy to make ethanol than it
does gasoline? The power you get out of a gallon of ethanol is less than a
gallon of gasoline, so you have to burn more. Ethanol is currently more
expensive than gasoline. How are you going to get people to use something
that gives you less performance and less MPG and costs more money?
There are, to me, three factors at play here: i) Brazil has, right now,
accomplished, if I read the article correctly and it was written
correctly, the replacement of 20% of what goes into car gastanks with
corn-derived ethanol, which means this is not a pipe dream but a working
demonstration of feasibility on a large scale, ii) some $2 billion dollars
went into this and that money came from loans (and some form of subsidy,
IIRC) made for the purpose of building up this infrastructure, iii) pure,
self-supporting "economics" need not be a prime factor if it is determined
that a subsidy, tax incentive, or other "imperitive" is utilized to "make
the wheels turn." This last item, iii, is important because modern
societies really _do_ vote money for projects that are not or never will
be "self-supporting economic" machines. Our whole Department of Defense
consumes about $500 bil/year (not counting DoE nuclear weapons budgets)
and has virtually zero $ ROI (so the rationalization has to be for other
reasons, and in the context of our current little discussions here it has
to be aimed at "dealing with" the eventual extinction of petroleum
resources and the future price increases that will put gasoline out of the
reach of the majority of people). OK?
Post by Threeducks
We have an infinite amount of sun coming down. That isn't going to run out.
Wind isn't going to run out, either. Corn? That takes energy to grow and we
may very well run out of that.
There are a number of oils that come from plants. some cooking oils at the
grocery store are from plants and are not outrageously priced and are
quite pure and maybe a little thicker than diesel fuel. I don't know the
numbers but if gasoline (recall that India and China are just discovering
_cars_ and they like them very much, so the demand for gas is already
going up) prices go up another buck or two per gallon, I'm going to think
that a lot of farmers are going to get out their pensils and papers and
start figuring how to grow this stuff and get oils out if it, and sell
what's left over for some other use.
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
The guys who are basically
Post by Threeducks
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard on NPR
radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more percapita
electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
We could just line solar cells up in the desert if we wanted to. Plenty of
sun and land out there. Even if the efficiency is low, if you have enough
panels you can generate a lot of electricity.
And, as I suggested, if DoD budgets were made available for
solar panelization in our badlands & deserts, we'd already have a large
fraction of our electricity completely off non-renewable resources. And,
all the technology is already in our hands. No breakthroughs, like CTR,
are needed. And, no filthy smoke, exhaust, polution, ashes, radioactivity,
etc.

If there is any trick in all of this, its political willpower and doing it
the way the Brazilians did it without making a government boondoggle out
of it.
Threeducks
2006-03-31 02:12:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with
climate change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You
may have noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy.
All reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive
than regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG.
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the
remaining petroleum will either be already burned up or so
prohibitively expensive that we will have no choice but to burn
something else, whether it be coal or renewable? Surely even if you
made the assumption that all of the earth is pure oil, then at our
present burn rate any kid who can calculate simple algebra would be
able to predict the day when it will all be burned up.
I don't deny that we will eventually run out of oil. However, it
takes energy to make ethanol. Does it take more energy to make
ethanol than it does gasoline? The power you get out of a gallon of
ethanol is less than a gallon of gasoline, so you have to burn more.
Ethanol is currently more expensive than gasoline. How are you going
to get people to use something that gives you less performance and
less MPG and costs more money?
There are, to me, three factors at play here: i) Brazil has, right now,
accomplished, if I read the article correctly and it was written
correctly, the replacement of 20% of what goes into car gastanks with
corn-derived ethanol, which means this is not a pipe dream but a working
demonstration of feasibility on a large scale, ii) some $2 billion
dollars went into this and that money came from loans (and some form of
subsidy, IIRC) made for the purpose of building up this infrastructure,
iii) pure, self-supporting "economics" need not be a prime factor if it
is determined that a subsidy, tax incentive, or other "imperitive" is
utilized to "make the wheels turn." This last item, iii, is important
because modern societies really _do_ vote money for projects that are
not or never will be "self-supporting economic" machines. Our whole
Department of Defense consumes about $500 bil/year (not counting DoE
nuclear weapons budgets) and has virtually zero $ ROI (so the
rationalization has to be for other reasons, and in the context of our
current little discussions here it has to be aimed at "dealing with" the
eventual extinction of petroleum resources and the future price
increases that will put gasoline out of the reach of the majority of
people). OK?
Post by Threeducks
We have an infinite amount of sun coming down. That isn't going to
run out. Wind isn't going to run out, either. Corn? That takes
energy to grow and we may very well run out of that.
There are a number of oils that come from plants. some cooking oils at
the grocery store are from plants and are not outrageously priced and
are quite pure and maybe a little thicker than diesel fuel. I don't know
the
numbers but if gasoline (recall that India and China are just discovering
_cars_ and they like them very much, so the demand for gas is already
going up) prices go up another buck or two per gallon, I'm going to think
that a lot of farmers are going to get out their pensils and papers and
start figuring how to grow this stuff and get oils out if it, and sell
what's left over for some other use.
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
The guys who are basically
Post by Threeducks
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard
on NPR radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more
percapita electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
We could just line solar cells up in the desert if we wanted to.
Plenty of sun and land out there. Even if the efficiency is low, if
you have enough panels you can generate a lot of electricity.
And, as I suggested, if DoD budgets were made available for solar
panelization in our badlands & deserts, we'd already have a large
fraction of our electricity completely off non-renewable resources. And,
all the technology is already in our hands. No breakthroughs, like CTR,
are needed. And, no filthy smoke, exhaust, polution, ashes,
radioactivity, etc.
If there is any trick in all of this, its political willpower and doing
it the way the Brazilians did it without making a government boondoggle
out of it.
The culture in Europe, Brazil, wherever is completely different from the
US. Nowhere do people love their cars like they do in the US. We have
made significant advances in engine technology over the last 20 years.
Guess where it went? All of that added efficiency was gobbled up in
higher horsepower engines and larger vehicles. NYTimes had an article
on that today, BTW. In Brazil people are driving glorified golf carts,
they use public transportation, etc. Not much political will is needed
to push ethanol in Brazil. In the US, public transportation is almost
viewed as being un-American.

Our government doesn't even have the political will to increase fuel
economy standards even though the techonology is there and the cars
could be built today. They are not going to switch fuels on us until we
actually run out of gasoline.
Straydog
2006-03-31 12:54:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
Post by BMJ
Post by rrc
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
It isn't so much the hydrogen economy but anything to do with climate
change and what can be done to reduce its effects. You may have
noticed that biofuels
In Brazil, 20% of what goes into gastanks of cars is bio-ethanol.
Today. Already. And, just about market priced with gas. No fantasy. All
reality.
I'm not convinced this stuff is the way to go. It's more expensive than
regular gasoline, and you get fewer MPG.
Do you deny that there will one day be a planet earth and the remaining
petroleum will either be already burned up or so prohibitively expensive
that we will have no choice but to burn something else, whether it be
coal or renewable? Surely even if you made the assumption that all of the
earth is pure oil, then at our present burn rate any kid who can
calculate simple algebra would be able to predict the day when it will
all be burned up.
I don't deny that we will eventually run out of oil. However, it takes
energy to make ethanol. Does it take more energy to make ethanol than it
does gasoline? The power you get out of a gallon of ethanol is less than
a gallon of gasoline, so you have to burn more. Ethanol is currently more
expensive than gasoline. How are you going to get people to use something
that gives you less performance and less MPG and costs more money?
There are, to me, three factors at play here: i) Brazil has, right now,
accomplished, if I read the article correctly and it was written correctly,
the replacement of 20% of what goes into car gastanks with corn-derived
ethanol, which means this is not a pipe dream but a working demonstration
of feasibility on a large scale, ii) some $2 billion dollars went into this
and that money came from loans (and some form of subsidy, IIRC) made for
the purpose of building up this infrastructure, iii) pure, self-supporting
"economics" need not be a prime factor if it is determined that a subsidy,
tax incentive, or other "imperitive" is utilized to "make the wheels turn."
This last item, iii, is important because modern societies really _do_ vote
money for projects that are not or never will be "self-supporting economic"
machines. Our whole Department of Defense consumes about $500 bil/year (not
counting DoE nuclear weapons budgets) and has virtually zero $ ROI (so the
rationalization has to be for other reasons, and in the context of our
current little discussions here it has to be aimed at "dealing with" the
eventual extinction of petroleum resources and the future price increases
that will put gasoline out of the reach of the majority of people). OK?
Post by Threeducks
We have an infinite amount of sun coming down. That isn't going to run
out. Wind isn't going to run out, either. Corn? That takes energy to
grow and we may very well run out of that.
There are a number of oils that come from plants. some cooking oils at the
grocery store are from plants and are not outrageously priced and are quite
pure and maybe a little thicker than diesel fuel. I don't know the
numbers but if gasoline (recall that India and China are just discovering
_cars_ and they like them very much, so the demand for gas is already
going up) prices go up another buck or two per gallon, I'm going to think
that a lot of farmers are going to get out their pensils and papers and
start figuring how to grow this stuff and get oils out if it, and sell
what's left over for some other use.
Post by Threeducks
Post by Straydog
The guys who are basically
Post by Threeducks
converting garbage to ethanol may have a market (and I applaud their
efforts), but the idea of growing corn to make ethanol is a dumb one.
We'd better start somewhere and Brazil is ahead of us. I also heard on
NPR radio some years ago that, of all places, Kenya generates more
percapita electricity by solar cells than anywhere else in the world.
We could just line solar cells up in the desert if we wanted to. Plenty
of sun and land out there. Even if the efficiency is low, if you have
enough panels you can generate a lot of electricity.
And, as I suggested, if DoD budgets were made available for solar
panelization in our badlands & deserts, we'd already have a large fraction
of our electricity completely off non-renewable resources. And, all the
technology is already in our hands. No breakthroughs, like CTR, are needed.
And, no filthy smoke, exhaust, polution, ashes, radioactivity, etc.
If there is any trick in all of this, its political willpower and doing it
the way the Brazilians did it without making a government boondoggle out of
it.
The culture in Europe, Brazil, wherever is completely different from the US.
Nowhere do people love their cars like they do in the US.
I think part of it is the high cost of gas, but in Europe you also have a
sports car mindset that is not in the USA. And, yes, that means they love
their cars; maybe in a different way and by fewer people, but there is
that component, too.

We have made
significant advances in engine technology over the last 20 years. Guess where
it went?
Into patents, that were bought up by the Detroit names, and then locked in
safes to keep them off the markets. I read a book about this back in the
'60s. Nothing has changed.

All of that added efficiency was gobbled up in higher horsepower
engines and larger vehicles.
Yes, the USA culture is a "voom, voom, voom" mindset.

NYTimes had an article on that today, BTW. In
Brazil people are driving glorified golf carts, they use public
transportation, etc. Not much political will is needed to push ethanol in
Brazil.
Then I say let Brazil show the world.

In the US, public transportation is almost viewed as being
un-American.
Yes, that is a long sad story, too.
Our government doesn't even have the political will to increase fuel economy
standards even though the techonology is there and the cars could be built
today.
The auto comapanies spend millions lobbying our politicos to leave
everything alone. And, I'll bet the auto companies own a lot of oil stock
and vice versa.

They are not going to switch fuels on us until we actually run out of
gasoline.
Alas, I think you are right.

Threeducks
2006-03-28 01:04:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
There's a strange silence on the messiah of nanotechnology and it seems
to be prevalent with the current misdirection of energy related stories.
Many academics have their hands in nanotechnology and a lot of advances
are being made. However, these are not things that turn into products
overnight. I never believed that this was going to be the messiah, but
advances will be made that eventually lead to great products.
BMJ
2006-03-28 02:04:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Post by rrc
Art, back during the IT collapse of '01 and '02, nanotechnology was
heralded as the future savior of the nation. Well... where's all the
buzz nowadays?
If anything, nano's dead and has been replaced by the hydrogen economy
and other high oil price chicanery cerca late 70s malarkey. What gives?
Have the spin doctors on Charlie Rose lost their will to b.s. till they
drop?
There's a strange silence on the messiah of nanotechnology and it seems
to be prevalent with the current misdirection of energy related stories.
Many academics have their hands in nanotechnology and a lot of advances
are being made. However, these are not things that turn into products
overnight. I never believed that this was going to be the messiah, but
advances will be made that eventually lead to great products.
That's not, however, what the general public hears. It's been told all
sorts of "Oooh!" and "Aaaah!" stories about how everyone's life will be
revolutionized, how bright and shiny their tomorrows will be, and that
they will be rolling in wealth within a few years. It remains that way
for a few years and then fades into the background as attention is
shifted to whatever is deemed the "next big thing". John Q. Public
never hears about how the promises that were made were often far-fetched
and have no basis in reality, that the dazzling new machines that were
forecast will be a long way off (if they were ever feasible to begin
with), that the progress made is hampered by unforeseen problems or
factors that no one ever counted on, and that the science is not
well-understood.

I've known people who've been horsing around with this stuff for the
better part of a decade. They produced lots of papers and a few
graduate theses, but nothing tangible. I don't think they ever had any
intention of doing anything useful with it others than justifying their
paycheques.
rrc
2006-03-28 03:14:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Threeducks
Many academics have their hands in nanotechnology and a lot of advances
are being made. However, these are not things that turn into products
overnight. I never believed that this was going to be the messiah, but
advances will be made that eventually lead to great products.
Yeah, but nano is really surface chemistry, catalysis, and solid state
physics/material science. Those areas of research have been around for
ages. There are even some nanotechnology apologists who say that the
catalytic converter was the world's first nano-product. How absurd is
that?
BMJ
2006-03-28 03:51:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by Threeducks
Many academics have their hands in nanotechnology and a lot of advances
are being made. However, these are not things that turn into products
overnight. I never believed that this was going to be the messiah, but
advances will be made that eventually lead to great products.
Yeah, but nano is really surface chemistry, catalysis, and solid state
physics/material science. Those areas of research have been around for
ages. There are even some nanotechnology apologists who say that the
catalytic converter was the world's first nano-product. How absurd is
that?
A related area that's of interest are micromachined devices. So far,
there have been some things that have come out of that work, such as
transducers and switches. In addition, there's a lot of research being
conducted on quantum dots, which may have a number of applications.
Threeducks
2006-03-28 12:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by rrc
Post by Threeducks
Many academics have their hands in nanotechnology and a lot of advances
are being made. However, these are not things that turn into products
overnight. I never believed that this was going to be the messiah, but
advances will be made that eventually lead to great products.
Yeah, but nano is really surface chemistry, catalysis, and solid state
physics/material science. Those areas of research have been around for
ages. There are even some nanotechnology apologists who say that the
catalytic converter was the world's first nano-product. How absurd is
that?
Heh, heh. All of us academics know that. But nano is hot, so we
relabel everything we were doing before as "nano" so we can get it funded.
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