What climate change is not

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by billvon, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,883
    Agreed.
    Agreed 100%. So do we use a process that generates tons of nuclear waste from every terawatt of electricity generated, or a process that generates three kilograms of nuclear waste for every terawatt of electricity generated? I'd prefer the latter. How about you?

    Better yet - reuse the fuel over and over again.
    Yep, like Chernobyl. Fortunately we don't use RBMK reactors.

    Let's look at the biggest nuclear disaster ever in the US - Three Mile Island. How many square miles of permanently irradiated dead spots are there near that reactor site?
    Again, I am happy to be called insane by you.
    We don't have any RBMK reactors. If you want to clean up the mess at Chernobyl, be my guest.
     
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yep. There's a lot more to be done.
    Right. I use (and recommend) those devices all the time to other people who are concerned about electrical waste.
    We generate a few kwhr a month more than we use. (On average; during the winter we use more than we generate and during the summer we generate a lot more than we use.) We don't get much money back for it (they use the "avoided cost" which always comes to few cents a kwhr) but it offsets our natural gas use. We just switched to an instantaneous hot water heater which has saved a fair amount; our gas bill went up a lot when the kids started washing their own hands and taking their own baths.
     
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  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    It's undoubtedly been analyzed, extensively, but it seems that higher payment for surplus energy produced by solar panels might incentivize. But then, power companies are private and for profit, so...

    I forgot to mention a 20 gallon water heater, that is part of my power consumption in this moment. We were going to switch to instantaneous a couple years back, but we literally lack sufficient power for the electrical and the propane ones seemed problematic. Actually, I don't recall specifically why I ruled out the propane.

    I suppose kids might account for increased energy consumption incommensurable with that of regular people (by which I mean adults). "Rumor" has it that households with kids do laundry way more often. I'm not really sure why exactly that may be, but perhaps?
     
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  7. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Academic understandings of such matters can only get a person so far. Some people regard more as, among other things, comfort and security. For me, more has always been stress-inducing and annoying. And I've been told that i really don't understand addiction.

    Still, tremendous--or even infinite--material wants do not emerge in a vacuum or in isolation. American culture is hardly the sole culprit, but even de Tocqueville identified acquisitiveness as a defining trait of Americans nearly 200 years back. Not designating it as a pathology was a huge mistake.



    Edit: Dammit. Dude didn't put lyrics in video, rather, in comments.


    Eat, drink, and be merry
    For tomorrow we die
    Eat electricity
    Drink five of the seven seas
    Here is paralyzed sleet
    Here is bubble bath rain
    Acrid stench and festering tongue
    New York to Moscow, Nairobi in flames

    I don't know either
    What is the answer?
    We were told to expect more
    And now that we've got more
    We want more
    We want more

    We have moved from A to X
    This welfare state is our progress
    The size of it all carries us along
    More equals better, it's what we want
    Our energy is endless, it seems
    It's there when we need it
    We've got men on the job

    We finance clinics to research
    A cure for cancer, our least vague fear
    A new kind of water
    A new way of breathing
    Always, somehow, a wonder cure-all
    Turns up when we need it
    We've got men on the job

    You know from experience
    The creature comforts, a house that's warm
    Your body would choose all this
    Of course! It's innate, we're selfish
    But what if there's not enough to go round?
    Defense is needed, they've got some odd men in odd jobs

    We have moved from A to Z
    This nuclear state is our demise
    Fly away Peter, hide away Paul
    Who can watch as the Earth burns, shatters, and dies?
    Fail-safe, foolproof, we've heard that before
    Good sense is needed
    Let's hope we've got men on the job

    The size of it all carries us along
    More equals better, it's what we want
    You know from experience
    Your body would choose all this
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,943
    Think I have a copy of my paper somewhere. Will see if I can find it. If I can I won't be relying on memory

    But for the moment (from memory) billiard ball reactors are exactly that. Billiard ball size and air cooled

    Hence not enough to produce large amounts of power. I'm sure I had to provide a link to the full details of the reactor. You may have to wait for me to find my paper as I am returning to Bali and my energy is being directed there

    Cheers

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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,883
    Oh, you are thinking of a pebble bed HTGR. Yes, although not air cooled - helium cooled. (Red hot graphite balls in air have an obvious issue.)
    They can produce quite a bit of power. Two other pluses are that the coolant temperature is enough to provide process heat for things like cement kilns and thermal dissociation of water, and much easier refueling (just add balls.) IMO HTGR's are the only way we will practically get to a hydrogen economy. On the downside, any air that gets in the primary coolant loop can cause very bad things to happen.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,883
    Yeah, they exist in a sort of limbo between private and public. They are run as private companies but have to follow rules (rate schedules, mainly) set by regulators.

    At my last company we talked to our local utility about kicking off a smart grid project. They were open to it but said "honestly we can't spend money on it unless someone passes a law that tells us we have to do it. The PUC keeps too close an eye on our expenditures."
    Laundry, dishes, food purchases - all have gone up by at least 3x. (And that's just for two kids.)
     
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,311
    there is no reason to hug the coastline... tidal resources are virtually any where... and do not have to be only on the surface. Just a water pressure differential on the ocean floor would be sufficient.
    Also, because it is a low density source it would deploy a many small inputs can generate significant outputs type paradigm.

    Ie. IDEA: Measure pressure differentials on ocean floor in significant tidal areas. Install devices that capitalize on those pressure differentials on ocean floor. No waste products to store...minimal moving parts, durable and recyclable materials. No threat of poisoning our wold with nuclear waste and accidents.
    For example:
    Think pressure panel as you think of a solar panel to generate electricity.
    Pressure farming instead of just solar farming.

    Philosophically Nuclear power is "all eggs in the one basket" where as I am suggesting that we just have eggs and no basket...

    The point of my post is about how there are many possibilities to replace Nuclear poisoning if only we choose to look for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,883
    Tidal ranges are much higher near the coasts. In the middle of the ocean you see very small (even zero) tidal ranges.
    Right. Financially it would mean "a very large number of large, expensive devices are required before any significant output is seen" sort of thing.

    And keep in mind that the tide isn't always coming in or going out. Any system is going to have some dead time where flows have to go to zero and reverse.
    Nope. Nuclear should not make up more than 40% of our energy; it is best suited for base load generation.
    Sure. You could replace "nuclear poisoning" with "killing our coasts" or "coal poisoning" or "explosive natural gas death." There's no such thing as a free lunch.
     
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    23,311
    Unless we as a race think out side the box of our preconceptions we ain't got much of a future...
    Nuclear energy is not very smart at all...
    Need to get smarter...
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,883
    Agreed. Next generation nuclear, renewables and biogas for peaker plants in the future. In the meantime, use the best of what we have.
     
  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks

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  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    smart application of the piezoelectric effect making use of oceanic pressure differential would probably solve most of the problems we have regards energy.

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,883
    Do the math for an average 20cm tidal range out in the ocean somewhere. How much power could you harvest with a square meter of piezo material? Let's assume an efficiency of 50% (way higher than possible now, but just for argument's sake.) How many joules per day?
     
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    23,311
    No idea... but you miss my point.
    Do you have any idea how much we have to change in the next 20 or so years to survive as a race?
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,915
    Interestingly, this is about the time frame where human expansion has reached it limits of exponential growth at about 10-12 billion.
    This is estimated to be the limit of humans the earth can accommodate at our current behaviors and the ending of available oil reserves. Major changes in the making. Maybe war, if pandemics prove ineffective (as a function of natural selection)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    23,311
    The typical tidal range in the open ocean is about 0.6 metres (2 feet).[citation needed] Closer to the coast, this range is much greater. Coastal tidal ranges vary globally and can differ anywhere from near zero to over 16 metres.[3] The exact range depends on the volume of water adjacent to the coast, and the geography of the basin the water sits in. Larger bodies of water have higher ranges, and the geography can act as a funnel amplifying or dispersing the tide.[4] The world's largest tidal range of 16.3 metres (53.5 feet) occurs in Bay of Fundy, Canada,[3][5] and the United Kingdom regularly experiences tidal ranges up to 15 metres (49 feet) between England and Wales in the Severn Estuary.[6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_range

    not 20cm...
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,883
    Well, my point is that if you decide to go with low density energy sources that we don't have the resources or time to pull off, then in 20 years we are no better off. Even today, tidal generators generate tiny amounts of energy.
    If you pick your location well. But on average. . . .

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    A huge amount.

    But you are squeamish about nuclear. And other people are squeamish about wind. (o the poor birds, and it causes cancer.) And other people are squeamish about solar. And you add all that up and we don't change, because whatabout this and whatabout that.

    Are YOU willing to make the hard calls to switch away from fossil fuels, even if it means more nuclear?
     
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,915
    In 45 years we (our children) won't have a choice anymore. We'll be out of oil, period.

    ENERGY
    https://www.worldometers.info/
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,883
    Well, we keep predicting peak oil and it never happens. I have a chart in my office, published in 1990, that showed all the estimates for peak oil. They ranged between 1999 and 2015. The authors were certain it would be one of them.

    And we literally never will run out; it will simply become so expensive that other sources are cheaper and we will switch to them, one use at a time. The key is getting us to a place (via solar, nuclear, wind, biogas, biofuels, hydrogen etc) where that transition is less painful than it would be today.
     

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