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YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

by russ_watters
Tags: crisis, energy
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Crazymechanic
#883
Feb15-13, 03:57 AM
P: 853
Hello there

Ok even with out the gero engines and all other interesting but useless crap we can make a oil consumption reduction and also the reduction in the green house gasses.
What I'm about to say , well if russ wants to ban my post for that fine as not being too scientific but we should remember that the way we live and our energy demand , usage goes hand to hand not only with what science can offer us, but also with our thinking and in what we believe in.For example we have to end the childish thing about those huge v8 v10 or whatnot, those times are over now we have to grow up and start to think rationally.
For a everyday car , a car that is used as a means of transportation from point A to B there is no need for unnecessary bling blings , chromes , huge loud engines and so on , I'm not pushing anybody to buy a german product and I am not german myself but we have to admit they make quite nice and advanced cars and you can have a 1,9 tdi (turbodiesel) or like I had 1,6 gasoline and use like maximum 6/7 liters per 100km. and that is 5 people in a car driving at speed up to 120 km/h. Also LPG is worth consideing, my friend drives and LPG car and he gets like only half the money he was putting in while on gasoline.
So firstly we need to put our big toys in the garage for hobby hours and weekends and in everyday traffic use only as much fuel and capacity as we need not bigger.
I think it is a huge waste of resources and the car itself if one guy is driving around in a dodge ram without any stuff to bring with him and yet I have seen guys like these even here in europe.
So firstly we have to stop our selfish thinking and use the resources we have right now as careful as possible.

Speaking about nuclear , I am totally with Russ on this.There is nothing bad about it , again it's not the things that are bad or good it's us.Things are just things.Nuclear reactions happen everywhere in space, we are alive because of them in the sun, and if we act like grown ups with responsibility and extreme care we can have them here on earth with no problem.
I think nothing much will change unless there will be huge campaigns to educate the general public about all the myths and stupidity they believe in.They should be told that mcdonalds is doing a lot more harm to their health than an average nuke plant somewhere there in the world. Also I think the general public skepticism about the nuclear thing is also due to the fact that when something happens with a nuclear power station it makes the national news around the world big time.Everybody's counting the injured and spreading fear with no scientific backing on the facts.
Yet the bad stuff that comes from burning coal and fossil fuels it is happening over long long periods of time and there is no such sudden blast and maybe that's why people are not aware of the dangers.
Someone should make a study even though it would not be an easy one if possible at all about the impact on nuclear power vs the impact on coal and fossil , I think speaking of dollars that went to clean up the places were something went wrong the fossil fuels wins.

To summarize we have to change our way of thinking mostly and then the energy things will come after that.And no offense to russ or anyone else but the days are over when someone could just say that well this is an americam problem or thing, no it's the thing of the world it's not like we would live galaxies apart.
At the start of this thread you threw some billion numbers around for the plans needed to come.Well if we could stop the wars for a while both the muslim side the american side and all other imagine how many billions of dollars could be used for fusion research and development.Firstly it's all in the head.As long as crazy little people will run around with waving guns and some other not so crazy people will try to stop them it will be like playing hide and seek , huge money is being spent , news , media are wasting tons of paper on it , people are wasting their time watching this whole thing while he lonely deuterium atom sits and is being bored because nobody is ready to give him the money and resources needed for him to reveal his "magic" as soon as possible.and those are billions of dollars spent on weapons , war and all the fuel and resources needed for that.Atleast the cold war was more useful in this way as it tried to deliver better and better newer technologies from both sides.And it somehow took us to the space (USSR) and later to the moon (USA) also the russians developed the tokamak fusion device , I'm not sure if it was meant for military purposes in the first place but now it is the base for ITER and what is going on right there.
Right now were just fighting over some guys with a strong belief in the middle of the desert and with lots of oil beneath them that yet is no an answer to our problems in the long term more like a bandage for the already dead body.

Speaking about solar and wind , well I personally think wind power could be used on farm and countryside were the visual impact and space is much more affordable things.Also solar panels on farms roofs why not.That would put the electric grid power more to the populated areas like cities and factories where the power is really needed and lots of it and where a solar panel or a wind turbine would not be an option.
Low-Q
#884
Feb18-13, 01:47 PM
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P: 244
Thanks for wise words Crazymechanic. I'm afraid money is controlling where we're heading.

One of the problems with converting to fuel efficient engines, is the cost of conversion, cost of a new car with this technology. Not expencive because of difficult technology, but because manufacturers know the price of the alternative, and turns up the cost till the break even point.

Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but let me range the top three major economical interests on the planet:
1. Weapons
2. Drugs
3. Oil

What WE can control (For a while) is, as you say, don't use big engines on big heavy cars.
Acceleration of mass is consuming gasoline we cannot get back by retardation - like electric cars mostly does. Stramlined cars is also a good thing. But again expensive design (Even if it does not cost more to make a good looking car vs. an ugly car).

If you don't NEED to use the car, then use a bicycle, take a walk. Get your clothes on and keep the indoor temperature as low as possible if its cold outside. Take your clothes of if it is too hot in the summer, and stop the air conditioning for a while or two. Take the neccessary time in the shower. If you use the bath tub, don't poor out the water before it has reached room temperature. Keep non-living rooms cool, turn of the lights. Air dry the laundry.
Everyone already knows this ofcourse, but do it more often if you want to see results.

Vidar
Low-Q
#885
Feb18-13, 02:11 PM
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Quote Quote by AlephZero View Post
If you look at the drawings in this thread, it's not hard to see why IMO.

Assuming the working gas is a uniform pressure at each instant in time, figure out the directions of the resultant forces on the two rotors. Then convert those force directions to torques about the central axis.

Compare with a Wankel engine, or a conventional piston engine, and see which design wins in converting the same gas pressure into useful work.

Of course that reasoning why a gerotor would make a poor engine is the exact same reasoning why it makes a good fluid pump.
It is just a matter of will and minor engineering to make this an efficient engine. Positive displacement engines already exist in pneumatic powertools, however the air/diesel/gasoline mixdure is sucked in, compressed and combusted in one revolution instead of having supplied high pressure air from outside. The combustion is the pressure which runs the motor - just like in any piston engine. I'm not saying this is a good idea, just an idea that will work with as few components as it is possible to have in an engine - two rotating parts with two different central axis in order to make torque possible.

Vidar
Crazymechanic
#886
Feb19-13, 04:47 AM
P: 853
Well weapons is both an interest for nations security and also for the criminal world but there is a big difference.
Drugs , well whoever considers that a business has failed since the very thought came into his mind.Drugs , weapons sales and human trafficking are the kind of business which is done by people who either have no better brain to achieve something in other more complicated fields like science or who just care for alot of money but are not ready to sacrifice something from their own life, like learning and knowledge.This thread is not about those reasons but I must say that the human selfishness is playing a large role not only why we have wars and all kinds of criminal activity in the world but it's also playing a large role in the energy crisis , because energy is just as much as it is the resources are finite and we have to use them responsibly.
There is another issue that right now we are still living in a consumer type oriented society I think the future will bring changes to that as we have to realize that sharing and cutting your self comfort is not only because prices for that comfort like energy will be higher but also the environment will and is already showing signs of that.


Speaking about the engine you presented @Low-Q I really don't think it will work with much efficiency nor do I think that it is some kind of alternative to anything.
Honestly speaking we can ofcourse imagine that one day people will wait for water to completely give it's heat off to the room or turn of air conditioning just to enjoy a few extra degrees and stuff like that but let's be real the general public doesn't live, hasn't lived and probably won't live like that.There are many reasons for that I won't go inot them now but fact is fact.
I think we have to use the resources we have right now with as much care as we can while we haven't invented better ones.
Speaking about electric cars there are two factors in play the first one is how do we make the battery or energy storage technology so great that the mileage and recharging is atleast slightly comparable to that of existing gas/diesel engines.
The second problem is how do we produce the electricity in future.If we just introduce clean electric cars to the public but still continue to produce that electricity in coal power plants it is then useless to have an electric car, as the electricity is coming from a "dirty" source.
basically real time physics is no wonderland I think the best we can is to maximize the energy output of solar panels and use them in our building designs and house roofpanels.
Top use wind power in countryside where it does not hurt that much to have a large spinning blade up in the sky.
Use nuclear power for the main grid , new generation safe nuclear reactors.No problem.
And as long as we have fossil fuels with us keep them as efficiently used as possible stop the power is cool thing and just use them as careful as we can, I think the price of the oil and the problems associated with it will regulate the usage themselves, they already are doing that.We all know there will be no more cheap oil so we have nothing but to start to understand that and count our options.
Also we could use more LPG in our vehicles as gas produces far less pollution when burned and is also cheaper to drive atleast for now.
And then there is FUSION ofcourse but for now on we still have like some 30 years for the real deal if there ever will be one.Sad to say but just because we know how it works and have made it to blow in a H bomb doesn't really help that much making it a viable and real source for civil electricity purposes.One day ofcourse the questions is when that day is going to come and how are we going to live and change our mindsets till that day.
Felchi
#887
Feb24-13, 02:40 PM
P: 25
Funnily, I haven't heard much discussion about geothermal or tidal energy. While nuclear has few advantages we have to keep in mind that there are risks associated with it and acting like "grown ups with responsibility and extreme care" won't erase human error.

As a side note, why do power plants allow steam to turn turbines and then escape into the atmosphere? Can't they have the steam condense and pour it back down into another set of turbines? Wouldn't this recycle the water used?
Most Curious
#888
Feb24-13, 04:06 PM
P: 55
You are mistaken. Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants DO recover the turbine exhaust and condense the steam, recycling the water. That water is super pure and a fair amount has been invested in processing it. The condensers are actually good enough to pull a vaccum on the turbine outlet. Geothermal plants are a bit different and I do not know enough about their cycle to comment.

Tidal? So far no practical and effective method has emerged to capture much of that energy. Geothermal is very location dependent. Not all that many places that it is practical. Same for hydro.

In practical terms, fossil and nuclear are likely the primary source of electrical energy far into the future.
OmCheeto
#889
Feb24-13, 05:14 PM
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Quote Quote by Most Curious View Post
...
Tidal? So far no practical and effective method has emerged to capture much of that energy. ....
I watched a video of Chris Hadfield this morning. He said something to the effect, that we are in a transitional period. (His comment was totally unrelated to the energy crisis, but everything I see, hear, and think about, is a metaphor for something else.)

One only needs to have the will, and the energy will be captured.

Of course, one needs waves.

Kitzhaber Thanks LCDC, Stakeholders For Adopting Guidelines On Limited Wave Energy Development

By Albany Tribune -- (January 28, 2013)
With the LCDCís decision, Oregonís Territorial Sea Plan now guides the siting of wave energy and other forms of marine renewable energy to areas that pose the least conflict with existing ocean uses and natural resources.
-----------------------
Besides being our governor, John also serves as the director of the Center for Evidence Based Policy.
I like the idea of evidence based policy.
I like to think that that is the reason I voted for him for governor.
I would like to see him run for president one day, but he likes blue jeans.
I'm not sure he would like Washington DC, nor they, him.
Though he did get invited, and accepted the invitation to, the president's inauguration.
He got to sit with Michelle.
Crazymechanic
#890
Feb27-13, 04:28 AM
P: 853
The thing is we need something that can produce alot of energy in a small as possible space.
If the amount of people on this planet would be like a 50 million then we could have wind farms and solar panels all around the globe but that is not the case.
We have to somehow manage to produce the needed energy in a small space.Pretty much nuclear is the answer.
Ofcourse there is a chance of human error but then again we all have to pay for our mistakes that's just the way this world operates.
There is no free path to happiness someone always has to sacrifice something even his life in some cases.Well that would go into philosophy that's why i'm about to leave it there.
Felchi
#891
Feb27-13, 01:08 PM
P: 25
Isn't there an issue with nuclear waste?
Crazymechanic
#892
Mar2-13, 11:21 AM
P: 853
in terms of radioactivity and danger yes.
But in terms of the waste amount vs. the energy that it produced it's a winner.
By the way I'm pretty sure that waste can be reproduced and used as MOX fuel , it's rather a political thing not so much of a science problem.
Felchi
#893
Mar3-13, 02:30 PM
P: 25
Not to be overly sadistic or cynical, but in that case the solution would appear to be:

1. Place nuclear power plants in isolated, uninhabited areas e.g. the Sahara and other deserts

2. Place nuclear power plants in obscure, poor communities where acccidents can easily be covered up.

3. Place nuclear power plants in Third World Countries where workers can be outsourced and if something catastrophic happens, most of the world won't care. Which is sad, but likely.

Drawing power from various sources (e.g. wind, tidal, geothermal) seems to be a good idea, as to prevent excessive reliance on one power source.
OmCheeto
#894
Mar3-13, 03:20 PM
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Quote Quote by Felchi View Post
Not to be overly sadistic or cynical, but in that case the solution would appear to be:

1. Place nuclear power plants in isolated, uninhabited areas e.g. the Sahara and other deserts

2. Place nuclear power plants in obscure, poor communities where acccidents can easily be covered up.

3. Place nuclear power plants in Third World Countries where workers can be outsourced and if something catastrophic happens, most of the world won't care. Which is sad, but likely.

Drawing power from various sources (e.g. wind, tidal, geothermal) seems to be a good idea, as to prevent excessive reliance on one power source.
Your post strikes me as what is already going on across the globe.

And this also reminds me of an incident where a PF'er and I came to have a severe disagreement. Being that we are both advocates of Nuclear energy, I found it a bit difficult to call him out on what I've always considered one of my pet peeves: "Not in my backyard"

I do not have a problem with the closure of Yucca Mountain. I also don't have a problem with keeping Nuclear waste on site, in the facility that generated it. I understand that there are financial considerations, but I don't like(aka: hate) the idea of shipping one's problems "somewhere else". (google "7th generation"...)

I'm pretty sure I disagree with 99% of the people in my state, when I say that I have no problem with drilling for Natural gas off of our coastline. Canada is being shredded for its precious "Coal Tar" oil. I personally find it obscene. But people in my state run around in gasoline powered cars everyday, and they're now saying; "We shouldn't let train loads of coal run through our state, to export to China, because, it's dirty", makes me want to puke.

I don't like hypocrisy.

--------------------
ok to delete.

ps. only 450 days, until, "something wonderful" happens.
russ_watters
#895
Mar3-13, 03:57 PM
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Quote Quote by Felchi View Post
Not to be overly sadistic or cynical, but in that case the solution would appear to be:

1. Place nuclear power plants in isolated, uninhabited areas e.g. the Sahara and other deserts
Conspiracy theory nonsense aside, I don't see how this follows. Coal power kills roughly 15,000 a year in the United States alone, 170,000 people globally. The worst that can be said about nuclear power is that it likely killed a few thousand people due to excess cancers from Chernobyl, but these are un-provable as they are too small and widely dispersed to be extracted reliably from statistics.

There are no accident scenarios possible that can bring nuclear power into the same order of magnitude, even if we increase it by an order of magnitude to provide most of the world's power. Not even an annual Chernobyl or Fukushima would do it.

So far, wind and solar have killed more than nuclear has!
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamescon...e-always-paid/
[edit] I read those numbers wrong - those are deaths per trillion kWh. They are normalized to account for differences in production. The US makes about 2 trillion kWh in coal power per year.

Also, these numbers include deaths by workers during construction, mining and production of the power.
Redbelly98
#896
Mar4-13, 04:01 PM
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Quote Quote by Felchi View Post
1. Place nuclear power plants in isolated, uninhabited areas e.g. the Sahara and other deserts.
Locating them in the desert would make it difficult to supply the water that is to be heated.
mheslep
#897
Mar4-13, 05:37 PM
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Quote Quote by Redbelly98 View Post
Locating them in the desert would make it difficult to supply the water that is to be heated.
Yes, for the current Rankine cycle, low temperature designs. But high temperature reactors are theoretically possible and they could work on a Brayton cycle without water.
mheslep
#898
Mar6-13, 06:06 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Yes, for the current Rankine cycle, low temperature designs. But high temperature reactors are theoretically possible and they could work on a Brayton cycle without water.
Interestingly a high temp experimental reactor has recently been approved - the HT3R in Texas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HT3R
Traxfam
#899
Mar16-13, 05:49 PM
P: 7
Here is a different type of plan to fix the energy crisis, best of all it doesn't require any new technology (in the long run it would drive technology change). In three easy steps.

Step 1: Tax Coal at 10%, Natural Gas at 2%, all other fossil fuels somewhere in between depending on carbon emmissions, renewable carbon sources (biomass, ethanol, biodiesel, methane generated from renewables, etc) would be exempt from the tax.

Step 2: Tax goes up by 1% per year

Step 3: 60% of revenue generated is used to finance non carbon renewables in the form of tax credits, 20% is used to finance research into noncarbon alternatives, and 20% for administrative cost.
USAGeorge
#900
Mar16-13, 07:16 PM
P: 3
Forget about solar and windmills fund led lights,USA made by subsidy and regulation.....
Lighting is apx 17% of electric use and LED lights use 90% less energy. That translates to a 15% reduction of electric use for every household in the USA. Energy problem resolved for the near term.


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