Fred Linn's Comments

October 04, 2013

Reenergizing Cities with Solar Energy

@ Phil---------yup!


The ancient Anasazi Indians in the desert southwest of the US built their cliff dwelling pueblos on south facing cliffs. In the winter, the sun is in the south on the pueblo and the face of the cliff that acts as a giant heat sink, absorbing and moderating the sun's energy to provide warmth slowly over the day/night solar cycle. In the summer, the sun moves to a more northerly azimuth, leaving the pueblo and cliff face in a shadow, thus cooling the interior of the pueblo below the outside ambient temperature. The interior of the Anasazi pueblos maintained temperatures of up to 40*F above or below the outside temperature. The Anasazi made economic use of this by not having to carry firewood to heat with chopped by hand with stone axes up ladders to their cliff dwellings.
The Anasazi have been gone for over 800 years, but the pueblos that they built using entirely stone age technology are still heating and cooling today. The Anasazi never paid one penny for electrical service, and in all the time that they have been gone, the power company has not sent even one delinquent or over due notice.

Thermal storage works well, the cost is low----and easily doable even with stone age technology.

October 02, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Patsu Hot Springs------------

$186,000 (cost) / 60 MW = $3100/MW

$7,000,000,000 / 1,200 MW = $583,333/MW

http://southeast.construction.com/southeast_construction_projects/2013/0821-builders-of-vogtle-nuclear-plant-face-growing-costs-concerns.asp

I CAN"T believe it---everybody check my numbers, I MUST be doing something wrong.

Is nuclear REALLY that much more expensive or am I making a mistake?

October 02, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Geothermal would have no fuel or special handling(storage costs)---which would not be included in these numbers.

But I'd think that would add up to a hefty sum over time.

October 02, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Sorry, the numbers get a little mind boggling at this level.

October 02, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Another point is, Vogtle project is already over 14 months behind and still losing ground and running over budget.

We'd have to drill a lot of holes to match the power output of Vogtle, but I think natural gas and petroleum drilling shows that this can still be done in far less time than it takes to build two reactors.

October 05, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Jeff-----------$7 Billion EACH----the cost estimate on the NRC application was $14 Billion for the pair.

It is not clear from the articles I've read, but I am assuming the cost overruns so far(since April) amounting to $600 Million is for both reactors together.

------------" The author lists many of the challenges of geothermal. Another is the tendency of the resource to decline over time."---------------

It wouldn't be a matter of the resource declining-------------that would be constant, it would be a matter of trying to take too much energy out over too short a time frame, not allowing adequate regeneration time.

The answer of coarse, would be to expand the field area enough to allow the amount of energy removed more time to regenerate. (that would be more time per unit of area per unit of energy)

October 08, 2013

Movin' and Shakin': Geothermal Projects Face a Rocky Road

Thanks for the check up Stan.

October 01, 2013

Top 10 Scariest Challenges for the Biofuels Industry

Cliff----------" 8. CO2 and non-potable water are not feedstock, they are raw materials. They have zero energy content to work with. They are combustion products and all the energy to reform them into hydrocarbons must be added back in from other sources. Where that energy comes from is the true feedstock. The fact is that most of the energy for biofuels at scale is stolen from fossil fuels. That is the reality that dooms this whole sector."------------

???????????

--------" They are combustion products and all the energy to reform them into hydrocarbons must be added back in from other sources."----------

That would be green plants---using sunlight---by means of photosynthesis.

------" The fact is that most of the energy for biofuels at scale is stolen from fossil fuels."-------

The fact is, nature was producing biofuels at a far larger scale than humans have ever dreamed of for hundreds of millions of years, and are today as well. Biofuels ran the world long before fossil fuels were ever heard of........................or even formed.

October 01, 2013

Top 10 Scariest Challenges for the Biofuels Industry

Cliff----------" Converting sugars and starches to alcohol is relatively easy, but is barely profitable with even the current regime of subsidies"------------
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Then we need to change the economics. Fortunately, that is easy to do using alcohol base fuels. The key to thermal efficiency with ICEs is compression, the higher the compression, the greater the efficiency. We can easily double the thermal efficiency of the internal combustion engines we use now by using alcohol as a fuel instead of gasoline. Double the efficiency of the fuel, and you cut the cost in half. We are doing it right now----and we have been doing it for the last 50 years.

October 01, 2013

Top 10 Scariest Challenges for the Biofuels Industry

--------" Easily doubling thermal efficiency of an ICE is easy?
Perhaps in the lab under ideal conditions"-------------

The fastest, most advanced race cars in the world----The Indy League Racing Circuit---all run on 100% ethanol. And have run on all alcohol base fuels for 50 years. Petroleum base fuels do not have the octane necessary to withstand the high compression without preignition that would destroy the engines otherwise. The Indy 500 race is run entirely without the use of one drop of petroleum base fuel(as are all Indy League events).

-----------" If ethanol has only about 60% of the energy content (thermal lower heating value that you refer to) and you double the efficiency (highly questionable at best since there is far more in play than compression ratio) aren't you still back to square one?"-------------

Ethanol contains 77,000 BTU per gallon, gasoline about 100,000(gasoline is E10, 10% ethanol).
But ethanol has a comparative octane rating of ~115 vs. regular gasoline(85 to 87 octane). This translates into a maximum compression ratio of 24:1 for ethanol vs. about 10:1 for gasoline. This means that it is possible to achieve TEs of 50% using ethanol vs. only 20% for gasoline. Set up to run on high compression with ethanol, real world, you can double the miles per gallon---then, even with the difference in BTU content, you can still go about 40 to 50% further on a gallon of ethanol than gasoline.

------------"Gasoline from crude oil (Satan's honey) giving twenty miles on one gallon @ $1/gallon"--------------

Where are you buying your gas? I'm sure everyone would like to fill up there.

WTIC in currently selling at $102.33 bbl, and there are 42 gallons in a barrel.

$102.33 / 42 = $2.44/gallon cost of crude oil before refining----and that allows 0 for refining energy input and loss.

The current commodity price of ethanol is $1.91/gallon-----and ethanol is a finished product, ready for use.

http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/ethanol.aspx

http://www.oil-price.net/

-------------"............... we just ignore the massive damage growing the corn (with more massive subsidizes or other bio mass as well as the coal fired electricity (with more subsidizes) and natural gas (with more off balance sheet expenses to the environment) needed to process it."---------

Humans can not eat dent corn that ethanol is made from. Dent(field) corn contains about 2 to 4% protein. After it has been milled and fermented the resulting ethanol is taken off, distilled. The resulting mash is dried to produce DDG which has a protein content of 25 to 30% and is used as a low cost replacement for soy meal. It is low cost(about 1/2 the price of soy meal) because corn is about 3X as productive per acre as soy. The resulting DDG is used as a high protein, high nutrient density additive in all kinds of animal feeds---the purpose for which the corn was grown in the first place----the ethanol is just an added bonus that must be removed anyway so you don't end up with herds of drunk cattle, pigs or turkeys. If you have ever had a flock of drunk turkeys over at your house on a Friday night, you can easily see the need to remove the ethanol.
If you want to replace the protein from the ethanol production into the food chain, you will have to double the acreage under cultivation and double the cost to replace it with soy. DDG is used in feeds for all types of livestock, cattle, swine, fowl, fish---even used in pet foods. It is also used to produce high nutritional value human foods such as eggs and dairy products, TP vegetarian foods and supplements.

----------" .......... as well as the coal fired electricity (with more subsidizes) and natural gas (with more off balance sheet expenses to the environment) needed to process it."-----------

Wind and solar do not need coal or natural gas to produce electricity. Places where corn is grown have plenty of wind and solar energy available, both come from the sun, which is also where the energy in the corn comes from.

October 01, 2013

Top 10 Scariest Challenges for the Biofuels Industry

BTW---it is LINN, not LANE----Jim Lane wrote the article, I just commented.

Fred Linn

Fred Linn

I am a cardiopulmonary technologist and registered respiratory therapist. I have been a practitioner and teacher of allied health sciences for 40 years. I have been a teacher in the didactic fields of physics and chemistry and active as...

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