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YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

  1. Oct 18, 2016 #1361

    OmCheeto

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    Sorry to turn this political:rolleyes:, but, as Shakespeare once said; "Let's kill all the [unethical] lawyers". [ref]

    ps. In my own defense, as a notalawyer, I would say that electing people who share our values, is one way to fix the energy crisis.
     
  2. Oct 18, 2016 #1362
    On the flip side, I may not have started this project if it weren't for Florida's silly laws regarding solar. The main hang up here has been the fact that you cannot sell electricity by the kWh (usage), unless you are one of the designated utilities. Yes, it does add a safety factor, but it's slowed down many of the ways that solar has come on to market, especially PPAs, which are illegal here.

    But, there are still some ways to build it, and I even double checked with the commission to make sure. Apart from buying it outright, you can lease whole systems, or tie the costs into rent (ultimately not charging for electric, and simply adjusting your rent for demand...). I actually started with the lease idea a few years ago, but ended up figuring the rental way was better for me personally. So they kind of unintentionally railroaded me into this, and it looks like it'll do very well.
     
  3. Oct 18, 2016 #1363
    I was mentioned here. What is this thread even about? I'm lost. How can I join the conversation :confused:. :biggrin:
     
  4. Oct 18, 2016 #1364

    anorlunda

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    Whoa, are you sure that you know what you're talking about? To buy/sell on the wholesale market, you must qualify as a market participant. That includes many stringent requirements including bonding for credit risks. In my state, it also means connecting to the grid at transmission voltages (>75kV). That bar is too high for most businesses to qualify for, not to mention individuals.

    What state are you talking about? Have you actually qualified to buy or sell wholesale electricity?
     
  5. Oct 18, 2016 #1365

    OmCheeto

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    Obviously, the gods of PF have picked you as a prophet, and sent you a message; "To build a house, think beyond just the sticks and rocks that will hold it together. Your job now, is to start a thread, entitled: "The house that PF built"."

    It will be a house, connected to other houses.
    And all of those houses, though in different places, with different needs, and not quite the same, will negate the requirement of non-renewable resources.

    You can of course, decline the offer.
     
  6. Oct 18, 2016 #1366
    I'm in Florida, and ironically, the reason solar isn't big here is precisely because you can't sell electricity, even PPAs. There are certain interconnection requirements, but it's not really about that. We do have net metering, but any additional production is either paid off at the end of a year, or when the account is closed. The payoff date is some time in February. So if I'm producing 120MWh through the year, but the tenants only use 100MWh, then they will keep rolling it over through the year until February, when they pay off the remaining credit at the COG-1 level, which is basically just the average wholesale cost for that year. That's for everything under 2MW.

    Even with larger complexes of 20 buildings/200ish units, I'll still be a bit under 2 MW. Anything above does have much more strict requirements, though, that are somewhat similar to running a commercial power plant.

    EDIT: Oh, and if you're talking about the 6c equivalent, that stays on site. It's just wasting energy through pumped storage. The energy would be better used by someone else, but it might end up financially better for me to do that way. I'd rather be able to set up a well-regulated mini-grid with my neighbors, which would use the electricity well, and also give them a little backup in case the grid goes out from one of the many lightning strikes we get. But that type of system won't fly in Florida, even though it's potentially more robust for the grid.
     
  7. Oct 18, 2016 #1367

    anorlunda

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    You should check those requirements carefully, they may be a bigger deal than you think.

    On second thought, some states might allow residential customers to do net metering at wholesale rates. They are still retail customers but they sell at the wholesale rate and buy at the retail rate.

    What I was thinking of was becoming qualified to buy/sell directly on the wholesale market. In my state, NY, anyone wanting to do that must meet the same financial requirements as a utility or a power plant, and to get wholesale electricity physically you basically must build your own transmission substation. But that could be different in different states.

    Being able to sell to neighbors is very appealing, but safety requirements alone make it impractical. Also, for the government to have the authority to regulate the utility, it must first grant the utility a legal monopoly in their service area. That blocks you from competing with them.
     
  8. Oct 26, 2016 #1368

    Astronuc

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    Not sure if this belongs in this thread, but -

    The Ten Biggest Power Plants In America -- Not What You Think (The metric is kWh/yr in 2014). The article has an interesting table on capacity factor (CF).
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesco...merica-not-what-everyone-claims/#60e93b2d2107

    Conca is pro-nuclear.

    FYI - CCGT: Breaking the 60 per cent efficiency barrier (article from March 2010)
    http://www.powerengineeringint.com/...aking-the-60-per-cent-efficiency-barrier.html

    GE and Siemens have been in a race to provided CCGT with > 60% thermal efficiency.

    April 2014 (Power Technology) - The 1,520MW Futtsu-4 was commissioned between 2008 and 2010, and consists of three GE 109H combined cycle systems with 58.6% design thermal efficiency.
    http://www.power-technology.com/fea...atural-gas-power-plants-in-the-world-4214992/
     
  9. Nov 24, 2016 #1369

    Astronuc

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    A colleague showed me a site for Bonneville Power Authority, which provides data on wind, hydropower, and thermal generation (thermal = fossil and nuclear).

    As with any transmission and distribution system, BPA must balance the supply (generation) with the load (consumption). It's trickier with the variability of the wind, which jumps or drops somewhat unpredictably.

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/
    https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg.aspx

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/Operations/Wind/baltwg3.aspx
     
  10. Nov 24, 2016 #1370

    anorlunda

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    Thanks for sharing the data. It is trickier still because they are exporting a lot of power, thus balancing other people's grids. The third link shows an additional curve labeled interchange which accounts for those exports.
     
  11. Nov 24, 2016 #1371

    mheslep

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    One fairly certain outcome with wind, is that if one waits long enough, a several days long period will occur where there is no wind at all over a vast area. From the same BPA data, see two years ago in November where BPA wind dropped to nothing for 7 days. The hard to see flat green line at the bottom of the graff is wind. BPA states it has 5000 MW of wind capacity.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Nov 25, 2016 #1372

    mfb

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    With so much hydro available, balancing the grid is quite easy.
     
  13. Nov 25, 2016 #1373

    mheslep

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    Up to a point, say 20-30% share load from wind. But I doubt BPA could manage to ever use wind to eliminate all of its thermal fleet despite all that NW hydro. Hydro has a high capacity value, so if there's excess its going to find a full time buyer. In this case thats California. Wind's intermitent nature always seems to guarantee lifetime jobs for coal and gas plants (as in Germany: same coal capacity today as it had 14 years ago). Nuclear can permanently retire fossil though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  14. Dec 25, 2016 #1374
    I advocate nuclear power. Of course I am very interested in fusion research. I have been studying tokamak design. But for now fission is the way to go.

    By way of education and motivation for people learning about this field, I would like to offer this link which shows where we already were in 1958. This is an old movie but it's fascinating from an educational standpoint and quite beautiful. Maybe students would enjoy it and get interested in nuclear power.



    France has had a very successful program. I think France developed its nuclear energy program in a sensible way. I like their idea of starting out with a single reactor type and educating the technicians centrally on that one type. At least that is the information I have seen on their early systems. Maybe someone who knows about French nuclear power can comment.

    In my opinion our current energy problems are not scientific or technical at all. They are political, social, and ultimately philosophical. But I don't want to get into that in a science forum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  15. Dec 27, 2016 #1375
    Why would anyone use flourescent light bulbs when LED lamps are available?
     
  16. Dec 27, 2016 #1376

    mfb

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    LEDs are great, and they are now so cheap that I don't see an argument to buy anything else. They switch on instantly, last forever, their electricity consumption is negligible, and they are available with whatever color you want.


    How many physicists does it need to change an LED light?

    Pointless question, you don't have to change it.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2017 #1377

    Vanadium 50

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    I replaced three 25W incandescents in a ceiling fan with three 3W LED's. They lasted maybe 500 hours. That's 1% of what the vendor claimed. Still under warranty, but I would have to pay shipping both directions, which is more than the cost of the bulbs.

    The failure was clearly in the power supply. It was hot every time, and was actually discolored from the heat once.
     
  18. Jan 1, 2017 #1378

    OmCheeto

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    Caveat emptor.
    Also, according to Google translate:
    "You get what you pay for" = "Quod pro vobis"

    We had a similar discussion just a couple of years ago:

    The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics
    I have LED lights that have been on almost continuously since I purchased them, years ago.
     
  19. Jan 1, 2017 #1379

    anorlunda

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    What power supply? Do you mean the base of the LED bulb?

    Are you sure that you are feeding the bulbs with AC power and not half wave rectified DC?

    Have you tried putting the same 25 w LED bulbs in an ordinary lamp socket rather than in the ceiling fan?

    Since you had three similar failures at similar low-life hours, it suggests something funky and not just a simple case of bulb lifetime.
     
  20. Jan 18, 2017 #1380

    jim hardy

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    Electronics being in the base, and in a ceiling fan they're almost surely base-up, the electronics gets bathed in whatever heat accumulates in the glass globe.

    CFL's suffered a lot from that and early ones said to not install them that way.

    But a dimmer is certain death to them, every chopped half-sinewave cycle gives a startup-like inrush.
     
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