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Engineer-Poet
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It'll sell for $10k/ton until the market is saturated. That is how markets work. The quantity that can be sold for even $1000/ton is far less than it would take to pull 10 ppm of CO2 out of the atmosphere. OTOH if these cells can be run as batteries the market would expand massively. Large amounts of carbon held in inventory in batteries is a distinct possibility. Gail Tverberg's apocalypse vision is that shortages of materials will cause the collapse of industrial civilization as the energy inputs become unsustainable. But here we apparently are, with a source of carbon nanofibers for possibly less than a dollar per pound. CNTs at least can be doped to be as conductive as copper. If these fibers can be similarly treated (perhaps by doping the carbonate melt) then the replacement for copper and aluminum wiring can literally be pulled out of the air. At that point there is no possible issue of shortage.
If this arrives on schedule, the replacement battery for my Fusion Energi at the 8-year mark could be 2/3 the size with double the capacity. About the only thing I could want at that point is a fast-charge option.
As an owner of a "plug-in gasser", my options to displace gas are constrained more by charging rate and opportunities than much else. If there was a Supercharger for a Fusion Energi that could bring the battery to full charge in 20 minutes, and it was available most everywhere you wished to stop, I would burn much less gas. As it is, even Level 2 charging is scarce outside of certain urban areas.
you might want to read a paper written by other engineers Mark Zachary Jacobson is an "environmental" engineer, whose PhD dissertation was on air pollution. He went on to be a professional academic. He isn't qualified to design an industrial plant of any type and he has no experience or other qualifications to opine on things nuclear; if he ever had a PE certification it would have been revoked over his public positions. This is the caliber of Bob's prophet.
REs + 24/7 storage cost is going the other way and will soon be less than 50% the equivalent nuclear cost. Not going to happen, Harvey. Truly substituting for nuclear's capabilities requires seasonal storage, which is uneconomic until costs fall to a few dollars per kWh. Materials alone for most batteries are much more than that. This is quite literally impossible. Ontario, Canada has a major problem with its older (18) CANDUs What trouble? They're all back on-line now that the Bruce Point refurbishment is complete; that's how Nanticoke was made surplus and shut down. most USA's units will soon be in the same situation. US nuclear plants are meticulously maintained and upgraded; most of them will be re-licensed for a further 20 years because they will be literally better than new. France is seriously considering the replacement of 50% of its existing 58 NPPs with REs + 24/7 storage. French energy minister Segolene Royal says "get serious". Germany is phasing out all its NPPs. A romantic movement, un-tempered by facts or reason. The last big German romantic movement ended in a big crash in 1945, which would put you off uncritical praise for German romantic movements if you had any sense. Seriously, these people believe they have to kill nuclear power or else they might die if a tsunami comes up the Rhine. You subscribe to a lot of crazy notions too, so maybe they're good company for you. Japan is having strong resistance to restart its NPPs. And a very strong movement to re-start them, because the Japanese economy will collapse from the cost of imported fuel if they don't. Are all those (smart) people wrong? Yes, they're wrong. They're only "smart" in political terms; if they bothered to look at the bare facts instead of polling results, they would know that the previous generation of technocrats had it right the first time.
Cellulosic biofuels are no panacea; they are severely limited by net primary productivity. Something else has to do the heavy lifting.
They'd go to 20 g/liter by increasing the cellulose loading. This increases the yield per unit fermenter volume, cutting costs. So far I don't see anything about extracting isobutanol from the broth continuously. To do this would probably require extraction into another liquid; the boiling points are so close that distillation looks troublesome, and isobutanol has the higher boiling point so it would concentrate in the bottoms.
You are so blinded by your love of nuclear energy Projecting again. "Renewables" were the majority of human energy use up to the 19th century, and they caused immense problems including widespread ecological damage from deforestation. Coal literally saved Europe's forests. You are unable to deal with the failures of "renewables" rationally because you are either ideologically or financially locked into them. This is why I keep asking you to SHOW ME WHERE IT'S BEEN DONE, and you never give me an answer. Show me something that can run our industrial society without air emissions as well as nuclear power, and I'll love it just as much. SHOW ME. That means an existence proof, not a Jacobson paper where he hand-waves intermittency away. you are unable to think rationally and problem solve. There is a solution to solar intermittency: go up into space where clouds and night are not a factor. As a rule, "greens" hate this idea. Don't like my solution? YOU come up with one or shut up. I'm not going to spend my time rebutting your foolishness. I will spend a modicum of time listing and mocking your foolishness, which you are afraid to let me do on Cleantechnica. You are right to be afraid; I would not hesitate to turn you into a laughingstock on your own site.
I would think most engineers would look at what could be built rather than looking at what has been built to date and stopping there. That's why you're not an engineer. Engineers begin by defining the problem and then examining solution elements for, among other essentials, fitness for purpose. An intermittent source of power which can disappear for weeks on end is quite literally not good for very much; the only thing it can truly do is displace some (far from all or even most) fuel consumption in dispatchable generators, or water behind dams. If it's arriving when you have a surfeit of water (spring melt) and need to run the hydro at max, it's totally useless. The Pacific and Intermountain Interties are in place. And they were exporting power all the time, not bringing in wind or solar from California to the dark and becalmed BPA. Those exports were roughly equal to the thermal generation, so if you got rid of the fossil-burners and the CGS nuke plant BPA would have had no surplus. Before you look at a period of low wind in one part of the Western grid and declare renewables impossible it would be wise to expand your thinking to a modernized grid which can shift larger amounts of power from where it is available to where it is needed. Wrong problem definition, Bob. The problem is not "how do we try to run everything on generation with the crap characteristics of wind and solar"; if you think that way, you create problems rather than solving them. Every dollar spent on lines to move power from one area of intermittent surplus to another of intermittent deficit is a dollar that can't buy carbon-free generation. Rube Goldberg schemes can't do the job period. It seems to me that you have an enormous desire to find a role for nuclear energy.... That desire puts blinders on your imagination and understanding of what is happening around the world. Thanks for the textbook example of projection, Bob. "Green" policy has been to cram "renewables" onto the grid regardless of the problems they cause. They are truly without a role. Nuclear's role is simple: it supplies carbon-free base-load generation and reactive power, replacing coal-fired plants and eliminating all their emissions. There are multiple places where nuclear power has been doing for decades what "greens" like you can only claim "renewables" can do, and despite decades of policy supremacy and billions in spending you still have no proof it can be done at all. in spite of its high cost and associated problems. The high costs and long schedules were a consequence of a major policy shift. My solution is simple: change the policy back. We especially need to revisit the basis for so much of this policy, which assumes that all radiation is harmful. We know this is false now, and also how the Rockefeller-financed committee which came up with that conclusion committed scientific fraud. In short, the entire threat model used to justify the ever-more-stringent radiation protection regs is bogus and is actually doing large amounts of harm by denying e.g. sufficiently well-resolved medical images to allow accurate diagnosis and treatment. That desire puts blinders on your imagination and understanding of what is happening around the world. Your desire to see everything "renewable" makes you miss the fact that nuclear power can do everything from supplying motive power, fresh water and air for months at a time to a crew hundreds of feet deep in the ocean to powering a space buggy on Mars and probes out at the extreme reaches of the Solar system. Nuclear power is capable of supplying the electric power, space heat and even the fresh water of entire cities 24/7/365 with no air emissions, carbon or otherwise. "Renewables" cannot do this. It is a question of fitness for purpose, and the Cleantechnica-approved methods fail.
Bob non-answers with: Pacific Intertie. READ IT AGAIN, BOB. On the Friday 1/17 load peak at about 8 AM, BPA load was about 8500 MW while total generation was about 14000 MW. There was no California wind or solar riding to BPA's rescue that day, or any day; the Pacific intertie was feeding California's needs with BPA exports to the tune of over 5 gigawatts. Generation consistently exceeded load for the entire 2 weeks. This is obvious if you just bother to look at the data. Seriously, the only thing more delusional than you "Cleantechica" people is giving you any authority whatsoever over energy supplies. Your disconnect from reality would lead to disaster in short order.
e-p, you claim that wind and solar go away for weeks at a time and in support you link an example where wind dropped low for 7 days. Read it again, especially the updates. Wind was effectively zero from 1/16/2014 to about 6 AM 1/29/2014—nearly two weeks. Even a couple DAYS AWOL spells major trouble for your EV-dependent scheme (or maybe you expect to supply wind on demand from teams of professional hand-wavers like yourself). You fail to demonstrate that wind was absent for the entire Western grid for that period Only every wind farm in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and parts of 6 other states. What evidence do YOU have that there was sufficient wind nearby (where a grid of reasonable cost could reach) to make up for that deficiency? and that there was no solar input. It was January in the northwest, Bob. JAN-YOU-AIR-EEE. Seasons, do you understand them? You keep dreaming your nuclear dream. The rest of the world is moving to renewable energy. Moving to lignite, you mean. Germany's power is grossly dirty, as is Denmark's. Meanwhile China, Russia and S. Korea are building nuclear like nobody's business and selling it internationally. The UAE has two units scheduled to go on-line in 2017 and 2018, with 2 more planned. Even Saudi Arabia has plans for SIXTEEN reactors but has tabled them (likely due to low oil revenues).
There's the glut of diesel being produced in the Middle East, and there's also the summer driving season in the US and the "renewable" fuels mandate which makes it costlier to meet the vapor-pressure limit required of summer fuels.
Is there anything more extreme than 180 degrees wrong? There's being 180° wrong AND banning your challengers from your blog. Speaking of which, are you ever going to admit you were wrong to do that, or is Cleantechnica implicitly an echo chamber? There is no need for always-on electricity for EV charging. In fact, EVs should be a massive dispatchable load which will allow much higher wind and solar grid penetration without storage. The unstated assumption here is that EVs exist to make certain generation (wind and solar) feasible. This is 180° opposite the truth: the generation exists to serve the loads, of which the EVs are one. Generation which can go AWOL for weeks at a time is useless for keeping EVs with today's limited ranges working at their primary job (moving people and goods around). PHEVs have far greater near-term potential for displacing liquid fuels, but they require just-in-time delivery of power even more than EVs. Only when they are parked for long, predictable periods can they be used as dispatchable loads. Nuclear power out-classes all the unreliables in carbon-displacement capability; all the grids in the world which achieve carbon emissions less than 100 grams per kWh use some combination of nuclear and hydropower. Having predictable power surpluses almost every night allows a massive EV fleet to rely on that power being available. No such reliance can be placed on wind, solar or any combination.
Then you need the always-on electricity to charge those cars, which Bob's non-solution is inherently incapable of supplying.
I may be the only poster on this forum with enough sense to highlight the differences between PHEV, BEV and FCEV. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. I'm just a little tired of repeating myself to purists here who must think electricity is magically delivered out of wall outlets, won't plan for a worst case scenario of emergency grid failure I was without grid for 3 days and still managed to make ice for my drinks. nor consider how to first conserve and in the long term equitably distribute inevitably scarce energy resources. Scarcity of energy is an artificial situation produced by anti-competitive actions by the fossil industries. The offspring of the Integral Fast Reactor are more than capable of running the entire world on a few thousand tons of uranium per year, while there is already 2-4 billion tons of it in the oceans and rivers add another 32,000 tons of it each year. If 99% of uranium can be utilized in fast reactors requiring no enrichment, the cost of nuclear fuel even at a uranium price upwards of $200/lb falls down to a hundredth of a cent per kWh or so. If you want to know why we have on-going air pollution, steeply rising CO2 and costly electricity, look at PSR, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club. They are the front organizations for the forces which stopped the replacement of coal and natural gas by nuclear power.
We live in a time of rather severe weather due to climate change, just watch the news w/tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and huge fires News?! I was in the middle of it; I'm back on-line after 3 days without grid power. I foresee the need for a standby generator for very occasional use. It was mighty handy, but gasoline + oxygen = gummy carburetor and it took me several hours of fiddling and cleaning to return it to working condition.
A fairly small battery can supply all the energy needed to start a truck engine, but it can't dump it out fast enough to do the cranking (especially when it's cold). The ultracap can be charged over a longer period of time (tens of seconds or minutes) to supply the pulse of power needed to get the engine cranked over fast and started.
This looks like a great way to bypass the driveability issues of a turbo-Miller cycle while keeping the efficiency gains. It could wind up all over.
You'd think the people promoting wind-to-H2 and PV-to-H2 would show a little skepticism because of the lack of actual existence proofs of their scheme, but that doesn't seem to bother any of them.
Yesterday I had a situation proving the superiority of cable-based chargers. Two vehicles were parked on either side of the charger. One was presumably fully-charged, and the other finished charging while I was there. I was able to park on the far side of the first vehicle and snake the cable around it to charge my own. This would have been impossible with a wireless charger. The first vehicle parked on the charging pad would have monopolized it, and no other vehicle would have had an opportunity to charge.
You went 70k miles without changing the oil? Oil is supposed to be changed on a schedule even if you're not using the engine. My Fusion Energi has had several oil changes in its 2 years and 25,000 miles. I'm not achieving 90% electric operation, closer to 70%, but that's not bad given the paucity of charging opportunities. I keep seeing the "last-yard problem"; there's electricity going to the building or pole or something just a short distance away (sometimes only feet), but I can't get any for the car.
Dispersed, small battery EVs matched to rooftop PVs can significantly reduce the need for centralized power sources. Only for very small values of "significant". Rooftop PV is not a reliable source of energy for anything, and small-battery EVs require a charge after just a few dozen miles. Such a system will rely on its other generators for the bulk of its power. What the people pushing this sort of thing are doing is (a) trying to kill carbon-free nuclear power because it is "centralized", and (b) promoting carbon-spewing natural gas because its plants can be small and "decentralized". Wittingly or not, they carry water for FF interests.
Yes, Tesla has won the race. Three days ago I spotted a Model S on the order of 350 miles from its home base. I checked and found that there are multiple Superchargers on the route. Ironically, the biggest difficulty the Tesla appeared to have is the OpConnect charger at the destination, which has one or more ports down quite regularly. The car was charging on the port normally associated with a different space than the one where it was parked. If neither Level 2 port was working, the driver would have been in a pickle.
Cellulosic ethanol was mandated by the EPA to be put in motor fuel, but the blenders could not comply because there was no such ethanol to be had; they had to sue to have the rule and its penalties thrown out. These "next-generation biofuels" are much more difficult and costly than their advocates will ever admit.
Ahem, wind, solar and PHEV 'small battery' storage offers benefits and advantages that nuclear insanity cannot. That "nuclear insanity" has produced the only near-zero carbon electric grids on earth that aren't almost totally hydro. "Small battery" cannot buffer the drastic unreliability of the so-called "renewables", wind and solar. If you have to deny the result of the Cold Equations, it means you are the crazy one. The most resilient utility grid incorporates decentralized sources of energy, most notably rooftop solar Not one such grid can rely on "decentralized" energy, because it is not reliable. This does not mean I don't think it can't be valuable in a crisis; I said so years ago (and tagged it when I found someone putting it into practice). But it's not a cure-all. The most resilient utility grid incorporates decentralized sources of energy, most notably rooftop solar, which offers the lifesaving advantage of supplying a limited amount of power in grid failure. Most rooftop PV is grid-tied w/o storage and cannot operate stand-alone; it's totally useless in a grid outage. The PHEV is already taken care of by the regular hardware. Who's going to buy a second set of power-conversion hardware to use a car as the energy storage system just for grid outages? The limited amount of power a PHEV + rooftop PV provides also reduces fuel/energy consumption and vehicle miles travelled. The PHEV can replace a lot more liquid fuel if it can charge 24/7, not just when the sun is shining. Nuclear+PHEV is better.