What renewable energy sources are there?

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Offline adrianne

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« on: 30/10/2010 13:43:23 »
I am preparing a presentation on various types of renewable energy resources. The content available on internet is all hocus pocus and I am quite unable to find detailed and systematic information. Some sites that I found helpful are [these companies that will pay me if I SPAM you with their links!]. Please help me in completing my presentation by suggesting where can I find more information?
« Last Edit: 10/11/2010 21:02:39 by chris »

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Offline Don_1

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Re: What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #1 on: 30/10/2010 14:36:18 »
If you are in the UK or can get here, there is a conference & exhibition in Glasgow on renewables on 2nd - 4th of Nov 2010.
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Offline GBO

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Re: What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #2 on: 10/11/2010 05:51:46 »
A presentation of renewable energy is indeed interesting.  However, you may want to review the history of man and energy first.  Man kinds first energy was fire from burning wood.  Whale oil popped up but one cannot really classify that as energy.  A source of light might be more accurate.  Coal is next powering the steam engine for its time a ground breaking technology.  But, was coal the next in line because we ran out of wood?  Hardly, coal was better and abundant and wood was still in full supply.  Gasoline came on the scene.  Far more energy robust then coal.  The internal combustion engine revolution happened not because we ran out of coal.  Gasoline became much more efficient then coal.  Much more economical to power cars and trucks.  And, that is really the rub here.  Economics plays a huge roll in how man uses energy. That is where the renewable sources fall short. So, from history we learn that one form of energy used by man was replaced not because we ran out of the first energy source. It was replaced because another more efficient energy that was ultimately a better economical choice.   I see nothing in the future that would replace this model. 
« Last Edit: 10/11/2010 05:55:20 by GBO »

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SteveFish

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Re: What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #3 on: 10/11/2010 15:38:32 »
GBO:

The model is working just fine. Fossil fuels are finite, so as the developed world continues its high rate of consumption and the demands of the developing world are rapidly increasing, consumer costs will continue to go up at an accelerating rate. In contrast, renewable costs are rapidly declining and will soon be less expensive than fossil fuels. Some already are if you take the long view. For example, I have invested in 2 KW of high quality PV solar panels that should easily last for more than 30 years. What I have done is buy 30 years of electricity, but at a price that will not go up. At current electricity prices my investment will be paid off in 10 years (5 years to go and getting shorter as prices increase) after which I have 20 plus years of free power.

You should really spend some time to get current estimates of the various fossil fuel reserves and then you will be interested in investing in renewables while the price is low.

Steve

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Offline CliffordK

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #4 on: 02/12/2010 15:27:03 »
If you are looking at renewable energy sources....

  • Hydroelectric.  Fallen out of favor a bit due to fish migration issues, but still an important energy source.
  • Tidal and Wave energy.  A few projects now. 
  • Wood.
  • Hogfuel used to be a cheap forest byproduct, but less available now
  • Wood Pellets, Grass Pellets, Straw Pellets, etc.
  • Wind
  • Solar Electric
  • Solar Hot Water
  • Solar Heating
  • Ethanol (and other alcohols).  Note a lot of controversy over Ethanol in particular.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Biodiesel
  • Various cracked biofuels.
  • Electric Vehicles (if the primary source of energy was renewable).
  • Hydrogen Vehicles (if the primary source of energy was renewable).
  • Landfill Gas
  • Other sources of Biogas
  • Woodgas (you can even power a car on woodgas).
  • Geothermal
  • Does a bicycle count?
  • Any heat differential could potentially be used by a Sterling Engine, although not widely adopted at this time as it may not be applicable to large powerplants.
  • Does a Clothes Line Count?

Another aspect is efficient building.

For example, lots of insulation, or building a partially underground structure to utilize the temperature of the earth for heating, cooling, insulation, or as a heat sink.

I've seen drawings of the use of a heat chimney and underground piping to cool houses.

« Last Edit: 02/12/2010 15:37:00 by CliffordK »

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Offline Geezer

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #5 on: 02/12/2010 22:17:04 »
The Stirling engine was invented by a Scottish inventor of the same name.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline billinthewoods

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #6 on: 04/12/2010 12:02:46 »
PAR-CHAR™!!!

i made a similar reply just now on another post, it was rather ranty so ill keep this short.

coppice woodland
charcoal
use in good wood burners (not 3 chamber burning multi-copout-fuel stoves)
grow coppice for another 5-10 years (depending on species of tree)
re-coppice
charcoal

use woodland for bees, hazel for furniture, ash for burning and everything else for growing food and producing energy.
of course that does just nail heat energy. we should be asking the Africans how best to produce cheap and sustainable electricity!!! a country that we consider third world can easier produce a wind turbine to make light whereas in this country you have to get enormous loans and pay extortionate costs for simple dynos and converters.
bio fuel for engines, without a doubt 60p/ltr YES PLEASE!!!! we have just set up our own plant and will be producing it before the new year.
hope it helps

bill

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Offline Don_1

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #7 on: 05/12/2010 01:43:58 »
Hydroelectric - all very well, but there are more than just fish migration problems associated with this.

Tidal & wave - I'm not sure this would be economical in production or maintenance.

Wood, grass, straw etc. - Could not get anywhere close to demand.

Wind - OK, so long as the wind blows.

Solar - Only reliable in certain regions and even then, only during daylight hours.

Ethanol, veg oil, biodiesel - Not very eco friendly. 1000's of acres of the Borneo forest have been cut down already to produce Palm oil. It is estimated that an area the size of South America would be required to grow sufficient crops to supply the USA alone with biodiesel.

Electric and Hydrogen vehicles = both come back to the original problem.

Landfill gas - Unstable and unreliable.

Biogas - Same problem as with biodiesel.

Geothermal - Real possibilities.

Cycle and 'Pedopower' - OK for charging batteries, but not much more.

Best short term solution - Drastic reduction of consumption. The '24/7 global' world cannot be sustained. Like it or not, we will need to revert to older practices, such as, up with the sun and to bed when it goes down and sourcing from local producers. We cannot justify flying tomatoes, apples, oranges etc half way around the world.

Perhaps the best long term solution might be to find a way to utilise gravity as a source of power. It's everywhere, it's constant and it's genuinely a 'renewable' power. Finding a way to harness it, however, will prove a tall order.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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SteveFish

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #8 on: 05/12/2010 03:40:47 »
Don_1:

I hear you. I think an intelligent approach including conservation (the low hanging fruit) and a mix of renewables could work to maintain something similar to what we have now and include developing nations. However, I said intelligent....

Steve

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #9 on: 05/12/2010 05:51:16 »
Don,

Earth gravity alone won't get us very far, although it is a good way of storing energy temporarily with pumped storage hydroelectric systems, but tidal systems already are a method of tapping energy from the Earth/Moon gravitational system, although it could be argued that it's really tapping into the kinetic energy of the Earth/Moon system. I think they recently installed a huge underwater turbine off the coast of Scotland to produce electricity from tidal action.

BTW - geothermal systems have a downside too. They cause earthquakes.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #10 on: 05/12/2010 06:13:14 »
The UK has 3149 wind turbines which, together with other renewables, produce less than 10% of our current consumption. There are just over 31 million cars on our roads. Heathrow Airport alone handles 480,000 aircraft per year (around 67 million passengers).

Oil reserves will become increasingly more difficult and expensive to extract. The more difficult to access fields, which have been ignored in the past, are already attracting the attention of oil companies. The recent escapade in the Gulf of Mexico by BP is evidence of these facts.

This year has seen the first fall in the number of cars on British roads since the 1950's. With fuel prices at around £1.20 per Ltr now and increases expected next year, car use has decreased and will decrease further in the future. The increased price of fuel is partly to blame for the increases in food prices, due to the higher distribution costs. The US has been cushioned against the rising cost of oil by virtue of its own production, but there is obviously concern that these reserves may not be so plentiful in the not too distant future. Again, I think the BP escapade is evidence of this. The US authorities allowed this risky deep water drilling to
go ahead in order to back up American oil production.

Steve, you are fortunate enough to have been able to purchase solar panels which will pay for themselves in ten years. In the UK such a panel would cost a little under £8000.00 The simple fact is that here and in the US, there are a great many people who simply cannot afford such an outlay, even with a government subsidy. A cheaper unit at around £1000.00 is available, but would it perform so well and last so long? You would also have to question whether the outlay is worth it for something which can just about boil a kettle.


The model is working just fine.

I disagree. The current model is coping, just about. But is under enormous pressure and the situation will only get worse as the 'emerging nations' demand more.

The people of India, China and the like, are beginning to see how very comfortably the west lives and they are realising that it is all off the back of their cheap labour. They are beginning to demand a better standard of living, which we will have to pay for. So say goodbye to the cheap imports. And of course, as their standard of living improves, they will want cars, motorcycles and holidays in far flung corners of the world. This will put still more strain on the oil situation.

The only way to deter India, China and the rest from high consumption of oil is by our own example. Until we can find a suitable substitute for oil, we must reduce our consumption.

If we continue to use energy at the current increasing rate, the cost will bring about a global collapse far worse than the one we are in now. The futuristic fictional inequality of the energy haves and have nots could become reality.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2010 06:15:36 by Don_1 »
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Offline Don_1

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« Reply #11 on: 05/12/2010 06:23:12 »
.....geothermal systems have a downside too. They cause earthquakes.

I was rather thinking of where geothermal activity already breaks through the crust, as I think Iceland does, using the hot water for heating.
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #12 on: 05/12/2010 06:31:19 »
I think they recently installed a huge underwater turbine off the coast of Scotland to produce electricity from tidal action.

At a cost of £50 million it will generate enough power for 1000 homes. They still don't know how it will stand up to the elements yet. Presumably, if it all goes to plan, future turbines will cost a whole lot less, but I don't think they are saying what the cost would be.
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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #13 on: 05/12/2010 09:14:09 »
There are different types of tidal generators.

One of the oldest ones is the Rance tidal plant that has been in operation since 1966, and according to reports, it has paid off its capital cost.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_tidal_power_plant

Notes do indicate that changing the tidal flow has changed the eco-systems, and one has to determine if that is acceptable. 

Certainly there are different types of generators, from classic "Dam" types to less intrusive "Flow" types.

If I was considering Tidal Generation, I'd consider a dam, or a series of dams across the Baja Peninsula.  It would be a monumental task, but should be able to generate a tremendous amount of energy.  And, yes, I'm sure there are some fish that would not deal well with it.

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Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #14 on: 05/12/2010 09:32:39 »
unfortunately i think we always come back to the problem of- energy consumption damages some form of environment.
we build wind turbines, its bad for birds, we build offshore farms, its bad for fish, we build nuclear, its bad for us, we burn coal its bad for everything.
also unfortunate is the fact that any industry that makes even the least damaging technology, in my opinion photovoltaics, causes damage in order to make them. plastics, glass, metals, all materials that need an industry to make and utilise.
catch 22 methinks.
personally i think that we need to become more individual with our energy usage and production, rather than large plants we need smaller, home specific plants.
we use 2 waterwheels, they generate 9 kw. we have had to divert the water by a very small amount, we cut out only a small stream and the water goes directly back into its original watercourse, its not ideal but its the best available to us.
we also use biodeisel, which is not palm oil it is recycled chip oil.

this is enough to power a yurt, 2 small homes with 2 small people in each and our mushroom factory. the deisel powers 3 cars also. all in all it has cost us about 15k.

we applied for a carbon trust grant but they forwarded us to "their contractors" and they then offered us an interest free £40,000 loan to do the very same. therein lies the cost problem, overcharging contractors and customer tied into it.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2010 09:36:18 by billinthewoods »

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #15 on: 05/12/2010 11:45:21 »

personally i think that we need to become more individual with our energy usage and production, rather than large plants we need smaller, home specific plants.

I wouldn't entirely disagree with you on that Bill, but, as you have discovered, there are considerable financial constraints which would put such systems well beyond the reach of the vast majority and it is not only a financial barrier. There is also the lack of space. In cities with high population concentrations, such as London, Cardiff, Paris, New York, Berlin etc etc, there simply isn't the space available for such systems.

It is estimated that the average American requires 1.2 acres for sustenance, I should think we Europeans aren't far behind. But this does not include energy requirements. Vast swathes of wild forest have been devastated for food and materials production and very much more is now falling to biodiesel production. This presents many problems for wildlife. Apart from the lack of space for the simple acts of everyday life, these vast swathes of human encroachment leave isolated pockets of wildlife, which restricts healthy mixed gene pools. Also, these vast areas of monoculture can be damaging to the environment and, perhaps, in the long term to themselves.

Using an assortment of renewables may be the answer in the short term, but unless we can find an energy source to replace oil in the not too distant future, I think mankind will have little or no option but to desert the big cities and towns and revert to a well dispersed, locally sustained society.


Some might say I paint a bleak and simplistic picture of the future, but I would challenge them to give me an example of a genuinely eco friendly energy source which is affordable, practical and can fulfils the task which oil currently does.
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Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #16 on: 05/12/2010 13:27:22 »
its a stinker aint it. the only real answer to energy consumption and "saving our planet" is to have less people, and thats been tried by a few unsavoury types and is entirely NOT the way forward.
ill do a damn sight more than shake the hand of the man, or woman, that finds the answer, but i dont see it coming any time soon.

i for one am glad i have my hovel that i can retreat to and pay nothing for electricity or food, apart from the obvious startups. i higly recommend such a life but couldnt do it without people still working in industry to provide me with the materials and science i need.
ever increasing catch 22.

i watched a program, wallace and gromit something or other, an African guy built a wind turbine to pump water and provide electricty with extremely low costs. we have to pay high costs because of the world we live in. wind turbines and the associated equipment are expensive to us because of supply and demand. having said that, you try building one big enough to power London out of drain pipe and bicycle wheels lol

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #17 on: 05/12/2010 14:24:23 »
Stone the crows Bill, I do believe you may have inadvertently killed two birds with one stone here. (Oh look, a pun slipped in there.) How to solve London’s energy requirements and what to do with the Olympic stadia once the 2012 games are over.
I shall get on to this straight away.

Mr Ken Livingstone
Former Mayor of London & champion of the 2012 London Olympics
C/o The Knut Hutch
Home for booted out and moronic ex politicians
Expenses Paid House,
Conalot Rd
Swindle
Payitbackshire
TH3 1VE

Dear Mr Livingstone,

Further to my letter re the cost to London ratepayers of their contributions to the Olympic event.

I am now willing to forego the repayment of my contribution to this event (currently standing at 265 Walnut Whips + interest = 287 Walnut Whips) in favour of free energy which will be supplied by the Olympic Heritage Foundation when the Olympic stadia become the next pain in the arse Millennium Dome dilemma.

Here is the plan……………

Yours hungry for a bit of chocy,

Don_1

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Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #18 on: 05/12/2010 14:47:08 »
if there arent enough plastic pipes to go round then Thames water could stick a wheel in front of every leak they find.
cant help but feel this thread going ever-so-slightly awry

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #19 on: 05/12/2010 15:07:14 »
A little levity, even in serious matters, helps keep me from going completely bonkers.

.... Thames water could stick a wheel in front of every leak they find.

I don't think there are enough water wheels in the world!

But you have hit on another energy problem; waste. I wonder if anyone has calculated how much energy is wasted due to water leaks, over supply of foodstuffs etc. It is estimated that 20% of the food the UK produces and imports goes to waste.
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #20 on: 05/12/2010 15:10:54 »
...... helps keep me from going completely bonkers.

I have a nasty feeling I may regret writting that.
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Offline billinthewoods

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« Reply #21 on: 05/12/2010 18:03:20 »
...... helps keep me from going completely bonkers.

I have a nasty feeling I may regret writting that.

i think you may be right.


i dont think its possible to eradicate waste. luckily by using such methods as hydro, wind and light, with the latter 2 there is no problem with waste and with the former the waste can be used for other things.
im sorry that i come back to it but, before the water goes back into the system we have it drop into a "bath/pot/tub" we use that as drinking water, the rest goes back into the watercourse.
and again, i realise that this is not entierly possible in the mainstream (see what i did there?) its easily done on a local level.
wood, wood, wood. it heats, the charcoal can filter and be used on the land, the re-gen can be used for crafts, any waste can be burned, coppice is a damn sight better for the environment than overgrown, overplanted woodland. thats why i live in the woods and why wood is my best friend (no hidden meaning intended)

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #22 on: 05/12/2010 18:11:47 »
Why don't they convert that bloody silly London wheel thing into a giant windmill? It ought to be good for a couple of watts  [;D]

Ah yes Don. See your point about geothermal on the Earth's surface.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2010 20:57:03 by Geezer »
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SteveFish

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« Reply #23 on: 05/12/2010 20:33:37 »
I hate to disturb the Bill and Don show, but...

The model I said was working just fine was clearly referring to the fact that people will buy what is least expensive. Renewables are rapidly moving to be less expensive than Fossil fuels, and some are already. If the US were to cut out all the corporate welfare going to fossil fuel and nuclear corporations this process would go faster here.

Solar PV panels compete very well with commercial power in areas where there is plenty of sun. My example of having 2K of PV was actually my total investment. My wife and I are living on 900 watts of panels, and we also share this same system with my daughter and her family next door. 450 watts/household is about what all my closest neighbors have. When I switched over to PV and had to think about how I was spending my power the demand dropped dramatically, and my quality of life actually improved. We and our daughter's household each have separate satellite internet and 5 computers between us. We don't have TV but we both have DVD players and screens. We have blenders, clothes washers, microwaves and other such stuff. All it took was a small change in attitude and planning. The rest of the PV I purchased for the new house that I am constructing myself. It is partly set up to run power tools. As the cost of electricity goes up, I am laughing.

Commercial solar thermal electric can store heat in order to provide continuous power.

The bird kill from big wind generators is minuscule. One of the early fields, I think at Altamont, was put in a major bird flyway, but others that are not in a flyway don't kill many birds.

A geothermal electric plant in Switzerland, near a population center, caused a 3 Richter scale quake. Around here this would not even make the local news, and we talk about how they are fun. Fortunately, there are plenty of regions for dry hot rock wells that are far away from population centers.

What is needed to make all of the separate commercial scale renewables work is a smart grid and the new very high voltage DC transmission lines in order to connect regions together that are far apart. I think I saw a plan to put solar in Africa and send the power to Europe and there is a plan on the east coast of the US to put a string of offshore wind mills that would cover a big enough north/south region so that the system would produce continuous power.

The most important thing to make renewables work is conservation, insulation, and solar thermal hot water and yes, as much as is possible, distributed electrical power at the household and community level.

All that said, I am pretty pessimistic. There are organizations who are actively working very hard to keep this from happening just to squeeze more profit from fossil fuels.

Steve
« Last Edit: 05/12/2010 20:39:58 by SteveFish »

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #24 on: 05/12/2010 21:54:26 »
I do like the idea of distributed power generation.

And, think that all new construction should include a $10K (or more) solar electric, and solar Hot Water system (at least where you get a reasonable amount of sunshine).

Also consider passive cooling in the locations that need it.

Wind power is great where one has wind...  I never seem to have a lot of wind down near the ground where I'm at, and many lots aren't setup for personal wind generators.

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Offline billinthewoods

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« 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

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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

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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 »

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Offline billinthewoods

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What renewable energy sources are there?
« 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 »

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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.

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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.

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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 »
We have so many renewable energy. Nature is indeed very amazing.

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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 »

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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

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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?

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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 »
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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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]

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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.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force æther.

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Offline Don_1

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« 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 »
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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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.

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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.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/chap5.pdf  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. 
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stories/2010/11/15/rare-earth-fight.html
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
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html
 and a tribute to the foolishness of this era.  We will be leaving our children a terrible legacy to clean up.

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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 »
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 »

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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. Trials-for-printable-plastic-solar-cells.  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 »

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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.
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/131049-senate-dems-press-for-lame-duck-action-on-renewable-power-grants
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!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_Wind_Farm
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 16:03:33 by glenncz »

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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.