YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis


by russ_watters
Tags: crisis, energy
engware
engware is offline
#163
Jun2-08, 12:45 PM
P: 62
shamrock5585:

Thank you very much for your positive and negative feedback to my input.

As long as the concept is self sustainable and generates revenues, I just do not understand what the "expensive project" atribute has to do with the concept and/or idea that solves and/or brings to the table ...

When you get a chance, please check out the US DOE web sites at:
http://www.energy.gov
http://www.fossil.energy.gov

In my opinion, such US DOE web sites should provide you with enough information so that you can find out the status of current technologies is and what the future direction of energy technologies is.

Thanks,

Gordan
iced_maggot
iced_maggot is offline
#164
Jun5-08, 09:27 AM
P: 10
Realistically and without the gift of foresight, I am a firm believer that in the long term the solution will be nuclear whether that is fission or fusion in some way form or another. That is unless someone decides to build a dyson sphere somehow but that probably isn't going to happen.

Also I couldn't read through all the posts here but a few people suggested organic fuels like ethanol and what not. This is a short term and limited solution not a permanent one as whilst it might help solve (keyword help solve, not solve) one problem food prices will skyrocket along with it inflation and this will create another problem. Even if non-food crops are used farmers will have a bigger incentive to not grow food crops and to grow the crops that create fuel as the need for energy will be so great.

Another option would be to use waste biomass however I do remember reading on an article somewhere (cant remember the link) that using waste biomass comes very close to if not crosses the line require in terms of input/output energy, i.e. it comes very close to using up more energy to create than it produces (BTW, this only refers to the use of corn waste as is the case in the US, other waste crops might be better, I'm not sure. Ive heard Elephant grass is quite high yield).

Just food for though, pun absolutely intended.

Iced
h.g.Whiz
h.g.Whiz is offline
#165
Jun21-08, 01:02 AM
P: 16
I heard lignite was supposed to bring oil down to 30$ a barrel within the next two years
nuby
nuby is offline
#166
Jul6-08, 09:09 PM
P: 364
To save energy..

Why don't cars have a built in waste heat energy recovery systems? i.e., a steam engine type booster that can convert heat into mechanical energy.. Is this really that difficult to implement? Seems like this could improve fuel efficiency by quite a bit.

Next thought.
How about energy recovery system from breaking, with hydrollics, flywheel, or magnetic/generator device.. I know this is in some hybrid vehicles today, but why wasn't it here 20 years ago? Sounds like the start of an energy crisis.
Sam Lee
Sam Lee is offline
#167
Jul21-08, 12:41 AM
P: 19
For immediate short term fix, we should stop driving and start taking public transport like the bus or train. By taking public transport, we will reduce transport energy usage by more than 90%. The demand will drop and price of oil will fall.

That might give us a few more decades to find better solutions.
russ_watters
russ_watters is online now
#168
Jul21-08, 12:54 AM
Mentor
P: 21,994
Unfortunately, that isn't an option for people like me who don't live in cities with good public transportation.
vanesch
vanesch is offline
#169
Jul21-08, 03:52 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 6,238
Quote Quote by Mike Nagle View Post
Are you saying that waste and proliferation are just politics???
Yes, definitely. The waste is a non-problem, which has been discussed over and over again. Proliferation is not an issue in countries that already have nuclear weapons, or that don't have any desire to make some (take most Western countries that are not nuclear powers). It is only an issue with a very limited set of states. Of course, one has to be careful with sensitive materials. But with sufficient care, the remaining risk of proliferation can be brought below the probability that a country will develop its own nukes, at which point, nuclear power is not the main vector of proliferation (which it has never been, btw).
mheslep
mheslep is online now
#170
Jul21-08, 11:44 AM
PF Gold
P: 3,021
Quote Quote by Sam Lee View Post
For immediate short term fix, we should stop driving and start taking public transport like the bus or train. By taking public transport, we will reduce transport energy usage by more than 90%. ...
Could you show a source that shows public transportation will reduce usage by 90%, if any at all?
mheslep
mheslep is online now
#171
Jul21-08, 05:58 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,021
A mass transit follow up. Energy efficiency of mass transit is not impressive. Cars are more efficient than buses, commuter rail is a little better than cars.

DoE Transportation Energy Data Book
Chapter 2, Energy
http://cta.ornl.gov/data/tedb27/Edition27_Chapter02.pdf
Table 2.12, pg 2-14

Energy used (BTUs) per passenger per mile
Cars: 3512
Personal Trucks: 3944
Buses: 4235 (20% worse than cars, buses are the most inefficient of all DoE listed means of commuter transportation)
Rail, commuter: 2996 (15% better than cars)

Issues of congestion, pollution, and growth planning are another matter.
Sam Lee
Sam Lee is offline
#172
Aug4-08, 04:13 AM
P: 19
From a pure science perspective, a bus is more efficient than a car.
A bus carrying a full load of 40 passengers will use less energy than 10 cars, each car carrying a full load of 4 passengers, when they travel the same distances.

And 4 people in a car will be more efficient than 4 cars with only one driver each, when they travel the same distances.
mheslep
mheslep is online now
#173
Aug4-08, 11:52 AM
PF Gold
P: 3,021
Quote Quote by Sam Lee View Post
From a pure science perspective, a bus is more efficient than a car.
A bus carrying a full load of 40 passengers will use less energy than 10 cars, each car carrying a full load of 4 passengers, when they travel the same distances.

And 4 people in a car will be more efficient than 4 cars with only one driver each, when they travel the same distances.
Perhaps, but that doesn't have much to do with a practical assessment of efficiency. Some significant percentage of busses are always driving around with few people on board besides the driver (or no one to/from the bus barn), and they are making many, many more energy burning stops and starts than the four passenger car making the same commute. So given a bus that is already funded and going to be driving around empty or full, it is perhaps justifiable for one to use the bus vs your car, but not to support increasing the number of them on the road, strictly from an energy usage perspective. Congestion, mobility for those w/ out other means, etc are another story.
Sam Lee
Sam Lee is offline
#174
Aug5-08, 04:56 AM
P: 19
Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
So given a bus that is already funded and going to be driving around empty or full, it is perhaps justifiable for one to use the bus vs your car
That is precisely the point. Start using public transport instead of driving whenever feasible. That will save lots of oil and reduce carbon emissions.
mheslep
mheslep is online now
#175
Aug5-08, 12:15 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,021
Quote Quote by Sam Lee View Post
That is precisely the point. Start using public transport instead of driving whenever feasible. That will save lots of oil and reduce carbon emissions.
No the point is blanket statements like this are not possible. Just saying go go public transport leads to more buses which will not save lots of oil and reduce carbon emissions. You'll do more for the energy cause in your (average) car rather than buying another bus. You can say take the train whenever feasible, just barely.
Constructe
Constructe is offline
#176
Sep2-08, 09:44 AM
P: 25
Are you including all our exported energy dependence like the fact that we consume so much overseas that we are responsible for like 50% of China's energy useage and pollution? If not, our energy solution will go something like this. A declining population caused by weater related disasters and pollution even if we cut carbon emmisions in the US to 0. Lower consumption due to increasingly scarce goods and the fact that our money is being owned by everyone overseas (all we have is debt). So in the end, conservation or not, we will not be able to afford too much power besides hydroelectric. We basically burn about everything we can get in our country or countries we invade (Canada has lots of wood). Sounds silly grim but I bet your children's kids won't think that when they have kids. They will probably ask, "Why didn't you do something about it back when you could of?"

Af course we could build tons of nuclear power plants willy nilly and set up mass transit all over and encourage people to live close together. That will help alot whit the gas problem. And we won't need air conditioning except on the top of the rocky mountains and in Alaska anymore. That will save loads of electricity if you don't mind no air conditioning. Now onto brighter topics... lol.
Alfi
Alfi is offline
#177
Sep6-08, 11:38 AM
P: 151
Quote Quote by ohwilleke View Post
Late to the party here but a few points:

(1) There are multiple energy markets that are currently only tangentially linked.
(2) There are muliple environmental, cost, supply and safety concerns.

Supply


Multiple Markets


The Non-Transportation Market


The Transportation Market


Air


Rail


Roads


wow.
nice post.
That took time, effort and thought.

thank you




if I may ask.
1) Do you think one presidential candidate or the other is better at understanding what you posted?
2) same question about the running mate for each.
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#178
Sep7-08, 04:16 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,492
Quote Quote by nuby View Post
To save energy..

Why don't cars have a built in waste heat energy recovery systems? i.e., a steam engine type booster that can convert heat into mechanical energy..
Carnot efficiency.
wildman
wildman is offline
#179
Sep7-08, 11:14 PM
P: 252
Here is an interesting proposal from the CEO of the Bonneville Power Administration a few years ago:

He proposed building additional power houses on the large dams in the Pacific Northwest to capture the lost energy from the spring runoff (which is a huge amount of water). This power would be then converted into hydrogen which can be shipped to Texas in gas pipelines. Once in Texas, the hydrogen would be piped into the salt domes where natural gas has already been extracted. This hydrogen would then be pumped out when needed. I can't find the link but I recall that he said that all the oil used by cars in the US could be replaced with this hydrogen.
wildman
wildman is offline
#180
Sep7-08, 11:19 PM
P: 252
Here's the link:

http://www.bluefish.org/todrivea.htm

And keep in mind that the article was written by Jack Robertson the deputy CEO of Bonneville Power. This isn't some dreaming hippie freak.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Solutions to the energy crisis / global warming problem Earth 10
EMF Crisis Biology 4
Split from YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis Current Events 42