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Offline billinthewoods

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #25 on: 05/12/2010 22:30:11 »
i have a wind genny that i built, the problem is that it is homemade from an old electric scooter, it needs waaaaaay too much wind to get it moving.

i also have the problem of solar panels. ill be exstatic if someone can show me otherwise, but living in gloomy wales in the uk i have a real problem getting any real sunshine, i dont see it being a good way of spending my money.
like i say, please, please, please can someone show me a solra panel that doesnt need light to make electricity lol. till then ill keep burning off my candles at a rate of knots and going to bed early
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #26 on: 05/12/2010 23:51:45 »
Bill,

You could do what they did not so long ago. Get a couple of cows and put them in a byre next to your bedroom. My mother told me this was a very effective method of home heating.
 

Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #27 on: 06/12/2010 07:56:02 »
i have a wicked awesome stove to heat, but beef does taste good.
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #28 on: 06/12/2010 15:14:38 »
Bill,
You mentioned that you make biodiesel. I don;t know how much you're able to make, but you could use it in old genset if you've got enough spare.
Personally, I'm quite keen to try wood-gas for domestic electricity production (plus waste heat for hot-water/heating).

Concentrated solar may bring the costs of PV generation down for cloudy Wales...  I like the solar-trough approach due to only needing single axis tracking.
 

Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #29 on: 06/12/2010 22:05:23 »
slow down there peppercorn
"
Concentrated solar may bring the costs of PV generation down for cloudy Wales...  I like the solar-trough approach due to only needing single axis tracking."
translate for me lol.

i make 150l of bio at a time, it is enough to keep the vehicles running and for use in a backup generator. unfortunately, if we use it to make electricity too often it doesnt work out any cheaper than an electricity supplier
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #30 on: 07/12/2010 01:50:33 »
There is a bio diesel company in my area and it has a lot of customers driving old Mercedes diesels. It is a status symbol here to have a nifty old car that smells like french fries (chips) when it drives by. I know the owner of the company and he is a very serious (and nice) person, however I always thought that the modification to run a diesel directly off of the oil, as the engine was originally designed to do, and just skip the cost of converting vegetable oil to diesel makes more sense.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2010 01:54:29 by SteveFish »
 

Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #31 on: 07/12/2010 10:29:32 »
with our deisel there is no mod. you put the bio straight in, it goes a bit thick in the winter, add normal white deisel or a dash of petrol and away you go.
no engine mod. it costs 40 something pence per litre to buy waste oil and about 25 pence per litre to refine it. with costs on top it is about 75p/ltr as opposed to the current £1.25.9/ltr.
the start-up equipment to make 150L at a time cost about £200

however i will grant you that any vehicle newer than about 2003 does seem to have problems with the bio, i think the engines are getting to hi-tech and in many ways a lot like petrol engines, too computerised and not enough old fashioned combustion
« Last Edit: 07/12/2010 10:31:42 by billinthewoods »
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #32 on: 07/12/2010 12:20:11 »
slow down there peppercorn
"Concentrated solar may bring the costs of PV generation down for cloudy Wales...  I like the solar-trough approach due to only needing single axis tracking."
translate for me lol.



Not a trough but does have fairly simple tracking tech.
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #33 on: 07/12/2010 13:05:36 »
I suppose my question is why concentrated solar would be so much better than "regular" solar on a cloudy day.

I've been wanting to experiment with some of the Sanyo bifacial solar panels, with the idea that the back side will be able to generate a higher percentage of the power on a cloudy day.  However, some of the other brands are getting to be significantly less expensive, so I'm re-thinking some of my goals.
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #34 on: 07/12/2010 14:40:59 »
I suppose my question is why concentrated solar would be so much better than "regular" solar on a cloudy day.
A good question. On a completely overcast day - very little.
The advantage in my mind is for the the person who is good with their hands.  Buying a much smaller and less expensive (for the same output) high-temperature pv panel that can generate as many Watts with a concentrator seems a better use of investment, especially in a lower sunlight area.  This applies as long as the tracking and concentrating mechanism can be made on a shoe-string.


I've been wanting to experiment with some of the Sanyo bifacial solar panels, with the idea that the back side will be able to generate a higher percentage of the power on a cloudy day.  However, some of the other brands are getting to be significantly less expensive, so I'm re-thinking some of my goals.

Other panel designs will recover more ambient light (a remarkable amount of bluer spectrum light makes it through the cloud) by moving the focused spectrum towards the blue end or having three 'doped' regions on the substrate to 'catch' red, green and blue light when available.
 

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Offline k.anderson3454

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« Reply #35 on: 08/12/2010 00:27:24 »
Shrunk
We have so many renewable energy. Nature is indeed very amazing.
 

Offline glenncz

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« Reply #36 on: 08/12/2010 00:46:13 »
Renewable's are only renewable as long as politicians decide that their construction and operation is worth the enormous tax breaks and incentives that they receive.  Because almost no country has money to pay for anything, it means that we construct renewable energy makers by either decreasing federal spending on other services or by placing the costs on the federal decific, meaning we are taking a loan which we plan on paying the interest on forever. 

You see the word renewable is just a "clever" word, because no "person" would ever use their money to construct a renewable energy maker, because there is no such thing.  The only reason a person buys renewable energy or builds a renewable energy maker, is because the gov't pays a very substantial amount of the cost, otherwise it would never make near the energy to make it plausible, let alone renewable. 

The word Renewable is a very clever word!  You would think that by its' definition that a renewable energy source contributes energy to our society, when in fact, they take energy and wealth from our society, in every case, that is why such a clever word was coined for deception, and it has worked quite well.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 00:49:53 by glenncz »
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #37 on: 08/12/2010 01:04:26 »
Glenncz:

Your information is faulty. There are subsidies for renewable energy, but there are even greater ones for oil, coal and nuclear. In any case the fossil fuels are running out and getting more expensive, while renewables are getting more efficient and less expensive.

Steve
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #38 on: 08/12/2010 01:06:53 »
The only reason a person buys renewable energy or builds a renewable energy maker, is because the gov't pays a very substantial amount of the cost, otherwise it would never make near the energy to make it plausible, let alone renewable.

You clearly have absolutely no idea what the term 'Renewable Energy' means.
I particularly like "renewable energy maker" :D

Just out of interest what category of energy generation would you put the Hoover Dam in?
Would you say that it's energy contribution has not been substantial, plausible or renewed in the last 70 years?
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #39 on: 08/12/2010 01:16:49 »
Just out of interest what category of energy generation would you put the Hoover Dam in?

Sheesh Peppercorn. That's an easy one. Obviously, it's vacuum energy.

There's another one in Sweden called the Electrolux Dam.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 01:20:40 by Geezer »
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #40 on: 08/12/2010 01:45:16 »
Sheesh Peppercorn. That's an easy one. Obviously, it's vacuum energy.
There's another one in Sweden called the Electrolux Dam.

:D Good grief!  It;s far too late (here) for that kind of humour ::)
On the same lines, I'd argue that building the Hoover Dam was an important part of the US domestic policy :D
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #41 on: 08/12/2010 02:10:49 »
Sheesh Peppercorn. That's an easy one. Obviously, it's vacuum energy.
There's another one in Sweden called the Electrolux Dam.

:D Good grief!  It;s far too late (here) for that kind of humour ::)
On the same lines, I'd argue that building the Hoover Dam was an important part of the US domestic policy :D

Not a lot of people know that the Hoover Dam was actually financed by the vacuum cleaner company of the same name because they needed a lot of juice to power all the bleeding vacuum cleaners they were flogging.
 

Offline Don_1

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #42 on: 08/12/2010 08:02:45 »
How many Hoover dams are there?

Hoover Junior

Hoover Senior

Hoover J Edgar

Hoover bloody noisy
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 08:05:05 by Don_1 »
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #43 on: 08/12/2010 09:29:05 »
The only reason a person buys renewable energy or builds a renewable energy maker, is because the gov't pays a very substantial amount of the cost, otherwise it would never make near the energy to make it plausible, let alone renewable.

You clearly have absolutely no idea what the term 'Renewable Energy' means.
I particularly like "renewable energy maker" :D

Just out of interest what category of energy generation would you put the Hoover Dam in?
Would you say that it's energy contribution has not been substantial, plausible or renewed in the last 70 years?
Keep in mind that the US Government built the Hoover Dam, Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, John Day Dam, and most of the other BIG dams in the USA.

I assume they are all "paid off"... and perhaps even turn a profit now.  Oops, Boneville was built in 1933, and we're still paying on it (although they do cite some capital improvements in 1982).  Anyway, unlike the national debt, built into the rate plan, they should eventually get paid off.  But, I suppose few business plans could include a century to pay back the capitalization cost.
 

Offline glenncz

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« Reply #44 on: 08/12/2010 11:41:33 »
Glenncz:

Your information is faulty. There are subsidies for renewable energy, but there are even greater ones for oil, coal and nuclear. In any case the fossil fuels are running out and getting more expensive, while renewables are getting more efficient and less expensive.

Steve

"Belief" in renewable energy is always based on ignorance.  Per unit of production, wind/solar are subsidized per unit of production by MANY multitudes.
newbielink:http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/chap5.pdf [nonactive]  page 16. 
We are not running out of coal and oil.  The facts are they are not getting more expensive, their price has just risen by inflation.  Coal and oil are very, very plentiful and cheap!
Now what is expensive and "rare" are the components of so-called renewable energy machines.  These gadget are  made out of Rare-Earth Mineral which are already rare and expensive, that is why they are called Rare-Earth Minerals.  It appears our society is choosing to use up these rare elements right now, because they are afraid of running out of plentiful oil, gas and coal later.  We have a 40 year supply of oil in the ground now, just like we had 20 years ago.
Already we are being held hostage by foreign Gov'ts (China) because we don't mine these rare earth minerals in the US. 
newbielink:http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2010/11/15/rare-earth-fight.html [nonactive]
How can we possibly be energy dependent with wind/solar when we are already being held hostage right now? Also, I forgot to add, one of the reasons electric cars are so expensive is also because of rare earth elements. 
Sorry, about including hydro while exposing renewable energy.  But understand, our new environmentally friendly society does not include hydro as friendly power anymore.  I would certainly assume that Hoover Dam has been paid off MANY MANY times over, and it is still working like it should 60 years later. While ALL the turbines and solar we build right now will be simply JUNK in 30 years.  They will be ghosts
newbielink:http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html [nonactive]
 and a tribute to the foolishness of this era.  We will be leaving our children a terrible legacy to clean up.
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #45 on: 08/12/2010 14:57:20 »
The facts are they are not getting more expensive, their price has just risen by inflation.  Coal and oil are very, very plentiful and cheap!
I'm pretty sure the price of oil has risen a lot faster than inflation in recent years.
And if they are so plentiful then why are companies (BP for example) making taking greater risks than ever to extract it from challenging environments.

Also ignoring how supposedly "plentiful and cheap" they are, there is a further (little) concern over their climatic impacts to take into account.
I find a particular irony in the you saying "[Wind] will be leaving our children a terrible legacy to clean up".

Your rhetoric seem to point to a particularly North-American-centric view of resources and world politics, which I think is a detraction when attempting to answer the OP.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 14:59:06 by peppercorn »
 

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Offline bobbiesoxer

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« Reply #46 on: 08/12/2010 15:15:00 »
Shrunk
Solar heating is one that's gained tremendous popularity in the Canadian consumer market recently. Because we have extremely cold winters, gas and heating costs are especially an issue. What companies are doing nowadays are creating energy efficient windows, doors, and window treatments. There's a variety of different products but the ones I got were [Spam], which uses natural light to conserve the heat in your home. I find it's most effective when cracks are filled with insulation tape, to prevent excess heat from escaping your home in the winter. Canada definitely needs to find more forms of renewable energy sources, especially in the winter when our energy usage is at its peak.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 15:21:52 by peppercorn »
 

Offline dirkman

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« Reply #47 on: 08/12/2010 15:17:15 »
  Perhaps the actual search should not be for "renewable" energy sources but rather for "sustainable" energy sources.  This would be more in line with how we use the resources we have rather than making new ones.  For instance solar energy (per unit) is not cost effective at the moment due to various factors primarily related to production costs and efficiency.  However, there are groups who are developing low cost "printable" PV cells that are "cheap" and easy to make. newbielink:http://www.csiro.au/news/Trials-for-printable-plastic-solar-cells.html [nonactive].  They are not as efficient as traditional PV cells (yet), but one can make large amounts of them and mount then almost anywhere since they are flexible.  In cases like this quantity is better than quality.

  I mention this as sustainable source since one could cover one's roof and use the power to maintain (not base load) but the transient energy requirements of our digital age (phones, cameras, "iPods", netbooks and the various other portable devices that seem to come out every year).  This is so we can conserve (or sustain longer) the large energy production sources for base load.

  And let us not forget, I can't remember if it was mentioned earlier or not, that there is no one solution.  Unless the fusion nut get's cracked we will have to depend on the various energy sources available using whatever is suitable in a region.

- Dirk
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 15:27:00 by peppercorn »
 

Offline glenncz

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« Reply #48 on: 08/12/2010 16:01:49 »
The facts are they are not getting more expensive, their price has just risen by inflation.  Coal and oil are very, very plentiful and cheap!
I'm pretty sure the price of oil has risen a lot faster than inflation in recent years.
Also ignoring how supposedly "plentiful and cheap" they are, there is a further (little) concern over their climatic impacts to take into account.
I find a particular irony in the you saying "[Wind] will be leaving our children a terrible legacy to clean up".
Yes oil is incredibly cheap.  Consider that you could buy a vehicle that gets 30mpg and drive it 200 miles for a mere $21.00, that is incredible! 
Regarding Climate Change and Renewables.  This thread is not one to debate Global Warming, however, I can absolutely, positively assure you beyond and reasonable doubt whatsoever, that solar and wind gadgets will not play any major role in decreasing our output of CO2.  Considering world population growth and the constant pressure to increase the standard of living world-wide, which will only come about using traditional energy sources, (ie. ones that actually work), you can try try try as hard as you want, but our civilization will not appreciably decrease CO2 output using renewables.  Just simply consider that solar/wind play not role in heating, transportation fuel, industrial use etc, and only play a very minor role in creating electricity. 

Here is a recent article from our legislators.
newbielink:http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/131049-senate-dems-press-for-lame-duck-action-on-renewable-power-grants [nonactive]
It is quite simple.  No enormous subsidies, meaning - the gadgets don't make enough energy to pay for themselves, so there is a simple slight of hand, we just borrow the money from China and pay for this energy Forever! in the way of interest payments and decreased value in our dollar.  All the while, we have cut payments to vital functions of our society, like helping the poor, building infrastructure, providing health care > a thousand areas in which funding is being cut, and we have the money for "spinning machines".  Oh well, guess we have to save the world don't we!

Don't worry about it, the kids and grandchildren will clean up this mess.  And they will have the mess of many thousands of wind turbines literring our landscape like they do in California.  Junk Piles in Palm Spring and Altamont Pass.  Here, read about them, 5,000 of them, built because of "favorable tax policies". Just like now!
newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_Wind_Farm [nonactive]
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 16:03:33 by glenncz »
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #49 on: 08/12/2010 17:03:55 »
The facts are they are not getting more expensive, their price has just risen by inflation.  Coal and oil are very, very plentiful and cheap!
I'm pretty sure the price of oil has risen a lot faster than inflation in recent years.
Again, I repeat the rebuttal.

I can absolutely, positively assure you beyond and reasonable doubt whatsoever, that solar and wind gadgets will not play any major role in decreasing our output of CO2.
Well, a statement as forthright as that will obviously be backed up by a numerical analysis of the worldwide situation. ... mmmm??

Considering world population growth and the constant pressure to increase the standard of living world-wide [nothing can/will be done.]
That strikes me as an unnecessarily defeatist attitude.
We, more than likely, don't have the luxury to allow our 'grandkids' to clear this mess up, so, if as you suggest, we all live full-throttle until (first the poorest countries) we are all well past the point of no return (at which point the population crashes) then there aren't going to be all that many 'kids to clean it up, are there?

[Renewables can't be used for] heating, transportation fuel, industrial use etc, and only play a very minor role in creating electricity.
They can be used sensibly in cooling, hydrogen-production, plus other non-electrical supply.  And who's to say how cheap ubiquitous multi-surface PV will change the domestic electricity landscape.


All your definite statements seem a little thin on real world numbers, as well as purposely pessimistic on technological improvements on the horizon.

If you have a problem with the use of public funds, etc in your particular small corner of the world, then fair enough. But I don't see how you can damn the whole undertaking so completely.
 

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