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Millman
08-17-2001, 10:33 AM
Evan, I said before that you're a good machinist; are you also a physisist with qualifications, or are you like me; You do a lot of experimenting? Inventors are not respected in their lifetimes. Keep up the good work!

------------------
BFH

SJorgensen
08-17-2001, 10:47 AM
It seems to me that homes that are built in areas that suffer winter should be designed to store the summer heat in large masses of earth and rock insulated by at least a foot thick slab of polystyrene foam. 40 or 50 yards of rock and earth could absorb the summer heat and then all winter long could provide a comfortable environment.

Recently in Salt Lake City the government had a new freeway system built. At first we were told that it was the best designed freeway plan ever, because of new computer technology. Later they introduced the term "design and build" which meant design on the fly. Which also means that they didn't have it designed before they started. I only mention this because of the interesting use of styrofoam in the construction of the freeway onramps and offramps in Salt Lake City. They used huge blocks of styrofoam! I would have thought earth fill would have worked better, but I think they used styrofoam instead. It sounds crazy. When I'm waiting at the light on the offramp my car is bouncing up and down as trucks go by. Styrofoam must be a cheap as fill dirt. I remember seeing huge blocks of styrofoam during the construction. I'm serious. I think they used styrofoam as fill. Does anyone know something about this?

Evan
08-17-2001, 11:28 AM
I didn't know that BBS diseases were catching. WTF happened?

debequem
02-02-2006, 10:40 AM
Energy Independence – They’re Back!

While there is no one single magic wand to the problem, the return of the nuclear power plant may be a reality. I lifted this partial article (under the fair use clause) from Physics Today. There is also a new power plant technology that can use existing nuclear waste and does not produce long term waste (by-products have a half-life short enough that the by-products only need containment for about 120 years). I think it may be the fast neutron reactor and the by-products are not usable for a nuclear bomb. Article follows:
The US nuclear power industry has been virtually frozen since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, but in the US Congress 2005 energy bill, tax credits worth $3.1 billion, along with liability protection and compensation for legislative delays, were added for the industry. On 30 December 2005, for the first time in years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) certified the design of a new reactor—the 1000-MW Westinghouse advanced passive (AP) reactor.
Six US power-plant operators are preparing combined construction and operating license (COL) requests to the NRC that could restart construction in the next five years. NuStart Energy, a consortium of nine nuclear energy companies, submitted plans for a General Electric simplified boiling water reactor at the Grand Gulf nuclear station near Port Gibson, Mississippi, and an AP-1000 reactor at the Bellefonte nuclear plant near Scottsboro, Alabama.
Two AP-1000 reactors may be built in the Carolinas by Duke Energy, along with another reactor by Progress Energy. "Preparing this application provides us the option to continue using a diverse fuel mix in the future," says Brew Barron, Duke Energy's chief nuclear officer.
Constellation Energy of Baltimore, Maryland, is in partnership with AREVA, a large French–German engineering firm, to submit COL requests for a European PWR at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant site in southern Maryland and the Nine Mile Point nuclear plant in Oswego, New York. Entergy, another NuStart member, announced it was preparing its own COL request for a new reactor at its River Bend Station power plant in St. Francisville, Louisiana. On 6 December, two electric utilities, Scana Corp and Santee Cooper, filed a letter of intent with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two new reactors north of Columbia, South Carolina, to meet growing regional power demands.
According to representatives of the electric utilities involved, the US government and the reactor technology suppliers are paying for most of the $150 million the certification process costs. "The utilities are waiting to see if they can get any more subsidies out of the government," says Lyman, "so it's still premature to say if any of them will go ahead." A satisfactory means for disposal of their radioactive waste products has not yet been announced.
But the nuclear power industry believes the first new US order is only two years away. Says NuStart Energy president Marilyn Kray, "Our country needs these advanced nuclear plants."
Paul Guinnessy

Evan
02-02-2006, 10:58 AM
Re-inventing the wheel are we? Canada already has a superior design and has had for many years. Possibly the number one feature that makes it attractive is that it can't be used to make bombs.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
CANDU-specific features and advantages

Use of natural uranium as a fuel

* CANDU is the most efficient of all reactors in using uranium: it uses about 15% less uranium than a pressurized water reactor for each megawatt of electricity produced
* Use of natural uranium widens the source of supply and makes fuel fabrication easier. Most countries can manufacture the relatively inexpensive fuel
* There is no need for uranium enrichment facility
* Fuel reprocessing is not needed, so costs, facilities and waste disposal associated with reprocessing are avoided
* CANDU reactors can be fuelled with a number of other low-fissile content fuels, including spent fuel from light water reactors. This reduces dependency on uranium in the event of future supply shortages and price increases

Use of heavy water as a moderator

* Heavy water (deuterium oxide) is highly efficient because of its low neutron absorption and affords the highest neutron economy of all commercial reactor systems. As a result chain reaction in the reactor is possible with natural uranium fuel
* Heavy water used in CANDU reactors is readily available. It can be produced locally, using proven technology. Heavy water lasts beyond the life of the plant and can be re-used

CANDU reactor core design

* Reactor core comprising small diameter fuel channels rather that one large pressure vessel
* Allows on-power refueling - extremely high capability factors are possible
* The moveable fuel bundles in the pressure tubes allow maximum burn-up of all the fuel in the reactor core
* Extends life expectancy of the reactor because major core components like fuel channels are accessible for repairs when needed
</font>

http://www.candu.org/candu_reactors.html

Spin Doctor
02-02-2006, 11:16 AM
I'm all for energy independence but I question that any new nuclear plants will be built in the US any time soon. The spector of Three Mile Island much less Chernobol (sp) continue to haunt the minds of most people. There could be a reactor design so safe that one could walk through it and the spector would still be there. At one time the Pebble Bed looked as though it might revive the nuclear industry but I don't think it will do it. IIRC research on the Fast Neutron Reactor was being conducted during the Clinton Adminstration as a means to help solve the nuclear waste issue but was killed. I do remember that 60 Minutes did a piece on it. If this type of reactor could be built and reduce the waste problem significantly we would be stupid not to take advantage of them. But there are other options in the energy field besides nuclear. Biogas from land fills along with all of the other standbys, solar (includes active, passive, wind and wave)and geothermal. But one thing that most alternative energy advocates fail to understand is that all of these with the possible exception of geothermal is actually nuclear based. Its just that the reactor is 93 million miles away. Research should be conducted to make these sources more efficent . But at the same time I think we should be devoting more research into fusion. The current trend of fusion research is towards larger and larger research reactors that would have no comercial appliction and would rely on the heat transfer processes the fission plants do. Neutrons slamming into materials with heat transfer systems to generate steam to turn turbines. these plants if they ever worked would have a lot of the same waste problems as the current fission plants. If one is going to do that I would just as soon see solar plants doing the same thing. One thing I think we should do with fusion research is take it away from the Department of Energy and turn it over to the Navy with the mission of building a reactor that could fit into a ships hull. This would focus the research into unconventional reactor types. Two likely avenues for research are the Farnsworth/Hirsch magnetic or electric inertial confinement and the ultra sonic implosion. Would they really work? I don't know, but the idea of spending a couple of billion in finding out is not unreasonable considering the amount that has been spent of fusion research already. But even with out fusion the ability of Western Society to wean itself off of petroleum is there. It lacks not the ability but the will to do so

Rustybolt
02-02-2006, 11:45 AM
Either burn atoms or fossil fuel. I think for safety and environmental resons we should build more nuclear plants.

Evan
02-02-2006, 11:48 AM
Hydroelectric works well.

J Tiers
02-02-2006, 12:05 PM
The reactor type in question is the "IFR", and is different from the "CANDU" as I understand that technology.

It does not just burn uranium more efficiently, it can use every isotope until you get down to (IIRC) iron.

"Uranium only" reactors produce the long-lived "nuclear waste", which is just that. At least 80% of the energy is still in there, and cocooning it in an unusable form forever in Nevada is the stupidest idea ever invented by an academic or government person.

The IFR produces far less "waste", and what it does produce is much shorter-lived radio-active material. Storage and protection is thus less of a problem, you don't have to protect forever.

Plus, the "contaminants" (lower level products) stay in the fuel, thru re-processing, which is used simply to remove spent, inactive products. The "mess" goes back in to be "burnt" to lower and lower level material. The "mess" can't be used to make a bomb with present technology, aside from its pure use as a "poison" in a dirty bomb, which is true of everything radioactive, even naturally occurring ore.

Clinton and congress killed research on the IFR just prior to building a test plant. That was because technically it is a "breeder" reactor, and "everyone" knows those are for making bombs.... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

Nobody in congress wanted to be painted as a radical nuclear freak "making bomb reactors", even though the IFR is no good for that.

Sure, it "breeds" plutonium, etc. And promptly "burns" it too. At no time is bomb quality plutonium or other product available.

You can look it up, it was even discussed here a year or two back, the links are in teh archives somewhere.


[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 02-02-2006).]

cam m
02-02-2006, 12:30 PM
If the Candu reactor is so good (ie safe, clean, and efficient), why can't we get approval to build one in our own country?

Cam

railfancwb
02-02-2006, 12:35 PM
If we have many more coal mine disasters with loss of life, such as January's two in West Virginia, maybe folks will begin to realize that coal firing generators isn't as safe as believed. Charles

Evan
02-02-2006, 12:39 PM
It's the "we don't want no atoms 'round here" syndrome.

sauer38h
02-02-2006, 01:01 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by J Tiers:

It does not just burn uranium more efficiently, it can use every isotope until you get down to (IIRC) iron.

"Uranium only" reactors produce the long-lived "nuclear waste", which is just that. At least 80% of the energy is still in there, and cocooning it in an unusable form forever in Nevada is the stupidest idea ever invented by an academic or government person.

The IFR produces far less "waste", and what it does produce is much shorter-lived radio-active material. Storage and protection is thus less of a problem, you don't have to protect forever.

Plus, the "contaminants" (lower level products) stay in the fuel, thru re-processing, which is used simply to remove spent, inactive products.</font>

Yes, iron-56 is the lightest atom which releases energy when it's split. And it's true that the daughter isotopes have plenty of energy left. But the fact that they're shorter-lived is what makes them dangerous. U-238 has a half-life of four and a half billion years. U-235 has a half-life of just over 700 million years. The "hotter" isotopes will eventually release the same amount of radiation, but will do it in a much shorter time. The total radiation damage that one mole of U-238 would do in a time far exceeding the lifetime of the human race could be done by a mole of, say, strontium-90 in about 28 years. That makes the strontium-90 far more dangerous than the parent uranium. Now it is difficult to sustain a chain reaction in a fuel which is made up of a jumble of different isotopes, because some won't sustain a chain reaction no matter what; your "critical mass" (a misnomer - it's a geometric property, rather than a function of mass) of uranium goes to hell (so no more chain reaction there); and other isotopes will sustain a chain reaction but not with the same neutron energies as any uranium isotope. That is, the structure of your neutron moderators must be different for the different isotopes. So for efficient use the isotopes must be separated ("reprocessed" in newspaper-speak), and the different isotopes used to fuel reactors with different construction and operational details. Separation can be done chemically (unlike the problem of separating isotopes of an element), and would be a relatively easy task, except that they're radiologically hot, much hotter than uranium fuel. Which makes them difficult to handle.

And of course even if all the energy of all the daughter isotopes can be used, the major waste product will still be some isotope of iron. Lighter elemental waste products may become spontaneously stable by neutron emission, and if that happens in a reasonable time, then storing the waste for a decade or so should give it time to render itself safe. For example, sodium-22, the most stable of the 18 or so radioactive isotopes of sodium, has a half-life of two and a half years. These light-element (lighter than iron-56) isotopes don't split when they decay, they just release a neutron or two and settle down to being some other isotope of sodium.

Interesting problems. I don't believe a word of any news releases about these things, though - the chances of a reporter or PR type understanding any of it are zilch.

Evan
02-02-2006, 01:31 PM
The CANDU does a pretty good job of burning light water reactor "waste".


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Studies using the unadjusted mix of plutonium and actinides from spent LWR fuel show a net destruction efficiency of 60% for the total actinide inventory, and 90% for the fissile inventory.</font>

http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/brat_fuel.htm

Rustybolt
02-02-2006, 01:35 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Hydroelectric works well.</font>

Environmentalists don't like hydroelectric. It ruins the view.
The you have places like the midwest.There is no appreciable drop of any major river to provide enough power to power anything.
There was a big move here(Kane county Illinois) to build a windfarm. Nobody wanted the windmills in their back yard. So instead a 'peaker' plant was built. Those are basically 747 engines powerd by natural gas. One giant step backward.

Dawai
02-02-2006, 01:43 PM
Rusty:

two years ago I went and calibrated the instruments on a Peaker plant.

No, not a jet engine. They burn natural gas, inject water into the flame-heated area and steam actually spins the turbine.

Problems? The great big gear train. Seems the temporary "surge" generators get surrounded by electrical demand and run full time. The gear train behind the turbine is the part that catches hell. Any gears that large have spots, especially with the poor steels we get these days. SOund like a dump truck, most of them do.

Or at least the ones I Have worked on are. Computer ran, monitored. Just like a jet engine they have to be spun up to speed before firing off. They sure whine like one.

My certifications to calibrate instruments to Goverment spec has expired. I am just a tech/electrician now.

Installation was to protect America from being dependent on SINGLE source power from hydroelectric plants. Terrorist worries.

kf1002002
02-02-2006, 01:50 PM
It's interesting to see that nuclear power is in slow revival. When you think it through it is probably the only process capable of supplying the energy we need IN THE QUANTITY WE NEED.
There is much talk of hydrogen fuelled vehicles but very little talk of where the hydrogen is to come from. It can be made by displacement from water but this requires various metals, some exotic which have better uses and in addition leaves various byproducts which are a problem and besides it takes as much energy as the hydrogen produces. Electrolysis of water is about the best source and its byproduct is oxygen which is very useful. This leaves us with the pesky problem of where to get the energy. Geothermal, other than in Iceland and New Zealand will require, in most places VERY deep wells and is probably best for carefully selected locations, such as Nevada in the US. Solar power and wind mills will require far more land than anyone realizes to supply enough energy to keep everything going. This leaves nuclear power and the only choice is to work around the problems to produce a viable system--several others in this conversation have pointed out the fixes being explored. The Candu reactor or its progeny is one of the best options in current operation although it has its issues re spent fuel disposal. In the one case of a blowup which could have become a three mile island the contaminated steam stayed inside the containment building, the safety provisions worked and it was eventually cleaned up by applying a lot of money. Modern versions of it are being built in several countries outside the US. I expect the NIH factor is keeping it out of the States same as robertson screws for 75 years or more.

Ken

Evan
02-02-2006, 02:01 PM
I say build CANDU (or new equivalent) reactors next to existing LWR reactors. That should be easier to get approval for. Then fuel the CANDUs with the huge amounts of accumulated "spent" LWR waste currently being stored onsite at the LWRs. According to tests the LWR waste can be used in a CANDU to generate just as much electricity as was originally generated in the LWR reactor in the first place. You are then left with a MUCH smaller amount of nasty stuff to haul to Yucca Mtn.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
CANDU technology offers another unique option for the back end of the LWR fuel cycle, which completely avoids the need for wet reprocessing and fissile-material recovery. The "DUPIC" fuel cycle, or "direct use of spent PWR fuel in CANDU", utilizes the non-separated, non-enhanced waste product of LWRs directly as CANDU fuel (Keil, 1992).

The transfer from LWR to CANDU can be literally "direct", involving only the cutting of spent LWR fuel rods to CANDU length (~50 cm), resealing (or double-sheathing), and reengineering into cylindrical bundles suitable for CANDU geometry.
</font>

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 02-02-2006).]

Duct Taper
02-02-2006, 02:13 PM
Wind farms are visual pollution and they kill birds. There is a trade-off for everything. Don't the tree-huggers understand this?

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-02-2006, 02:21 PM
Full Throttle in a solid concentrate form can be used to induce and maintain cold fusion.

debequem
02-02-2006, 02:25 PM
... and it will improve your love life!

Show me the neutrons!


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb:
Full Throttle in a solid concentrate form can be used to induce and maintain cold fusion.</font>

crossthreaded
02-02-2006, 02:31 PM
There is a vast amount of desolate land in the Southwest, 70-80% government owned, & currently occupied by cattle, grazing 1 to 5-10 acres. It is particularly suited to solar power, especially the bottoms of open pit mines, which are owned by global corportions that decided they are now foreign owned, so don't have to continue health & pension benefite in the US. They would be great sites for solar, nuclear or any bad neighbor industries like nuclear power. Since energy prices doubled again in the last year, I can only think Government action in the form of tax laws & environmental restrictions is all that prevents their use. When the present US administration times out in 3 year (what a long wait), we should take extra care that we NEVER elect anyone from an oil clan again.

Dawai
02-02-2006, 03:22 PM
Moved into the old Combustion, where they used to make nuclear vessels.

&lt;quote&gt;
Senator Is Running Against the Wind
Tennessee's Alexander Makes
An Environmental Case Against
Proposal to Boost Turbine Use
By JOHN J. FIALKA
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
June 21, 2005

WASHINGTON -- As Congress moves toward passage of an energy bill, Lamar Alexander has taken to tilting at windmills.

More and more policymakers are embracing the $7 billion wind-power industry as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. Mr. Alexander, a Republican senator from Tennessee, says wind energy poses its own environmental threat, calling wind-powered turbines "gigantic public nuisances."

On the Senate floor last Thursday, Mr. Alexander fought a Democratic-led proposal to require utilities to produce more power from wind and other "renewable energy resources." He lost 52-48.

This week, he promises, he will be back, pushing an amendment to restrict the location of wind-turbine complexes and a plan to block a proposed $3.7 billion tax credit, most of which will subsidize wind-power producers.

Compared with other emerging renewable-energy sources in the U.S., wind power is a giant, growing about 25% each year because, with its subsidies, it is increasingly cost-competitive with natural-gas-fired power in some states. Sen. Alexander says he wants to remove wind power's subsidies before it gets bigger. "We are ruining the outdoors for no good reason," he said during an interview. "These aren't your grandmother's windmills."

That is so: A modern wind generator stands on a 300-foot tower with flashing red lights that can be seen for more than 20 miles. Its blades are 95 feet long and when the wind is blowing it can generate enough electricity to power 500 homes. Since wind comes and goes, it normally operates at about 35% of capacity.

Because it produces no pollution, wind-powered energy has been sacrosanct for three decades among Congressional lawmakers, who have provided multibillion-dollar subsidies. Though wind still produces less than 1% of the nation's electricity, environmental groups champion it as an alternative to coal and nuclear-power plants. Wind power is booming in the West and Midwest, which have ample wind, though not in areas of the nation where there is relatively little -- particularly the Southeast.

The proposal Sen. Alexander failed to stop last week establishes a "national renewable portfolio standard." It would require large utilities to generate 10% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020, a requirement financed by a small increase in electricity rates. Energy companies that don't generate renewable power would have to buy credits from those that do, which would be an incentive to use wind, geothermal, solar and other sources.

Mr. Alexander says that would spell an environmental "disaster" for the Southeast, where strong wind exists mainly on mountaintops. In a recent speech he envisioned hundreds of turbines "with their flashing red lights atop the blue ridges of Virginia, above the Shenandoah Valley, along the foothills of the great Smoky Mountains...and down the Tennessee River Gorge." The sound of these machines, the senator said, is like "a brick wrapped in a towel tumbling in a clothes drier on a perpetual basis."

&lt;end quote&gt;

YEAH, ain't he one of the ones TENNSSEE WALTZ corruption caught? I think he refuses to step down from office.

Aerisyn? moved into the HUGE building there off the river, they have access to river barge shipments, utilities were already in place. My ex-wifes new boyfriend is a super there. I tried to get my son to go to work for them.

It is the future, not a pissy toy. The more they put up, the less dependent on oil. To hell with "looks" as Mr Alexander says. He probably got a fat envelope under the table to resist.

[This message has been edited by David E Cofer (edited 02-02-2006).]

Evan
02-02-2006, 03:28 PM
You sure don't want to live near a wind turbine. The sound will drive you nuts.

J Tiers
02-02-2006, 03:49 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sauer38h:
So for efficient use the isotopes must be separated ("reprocessed" in newspaper-speak), and the different isotopes used to fuel reactors with different construction and operational details.
[B]</font>

Suggest you read up on the IFR..... there is apparently NOT a split into pure materials and sent all over.... it all goes back in the same unit......

And, it is NOT "some reporter" who put out the info .... the stuff I got is from various physicist's comments and papers available on teh web and elsewhere. The original work was done at Argonne, some press releases from them also....... looking good until Clinton et al killed it.



<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sauer38h:
[B]
And of course even if all the energy of all the daughter isotopes can be used, the major waste product will still be some isotope of iron. Lighter elemental waste products may become spontaneously stable by neutron emission, and if that happens in a reasonable time, then storing the waste for a decade or so should give it time to render itself safe. For example, sodium-22, the most stable of the 18 or so radioactive isotopes of sodium, has a half-life of two and a half years. These light-element (lighter than iron-56) isotopes don't split when they decay, they just release a neutron or two and settle down to being some other isotope of sodium.
</font>

Which is pretty much why the output of the IFR is MUCH easier to handle than the "waste" (in every sense) coming from a traditional nuc.

No need to believe me, the info is available.

tattoomike68
02-02-2006, 03:58 PM
Just out of town we have a 450 MW 450 turbine wind farm on the washington-oregon state line, there are more along the columbia river gorge.
the wind blows like crazy there, if the wind were to stop all at once everyone would fall over. sailing and windsurfing is popular there.

I would like to see a few thousand more wind turbines.

Dawai
02-02-2006, 04:07 PM
Rusty:

I may have spoken out of turn. The military jet-generators do have a aircraft engine. I remember now working on one of them about-ish 92? They ran with a optomux style Ip addressable control. I built some control panels. You could access the waveform, the synch, the voltage readouts from anywhere.

I never have seen one in civilian duty thou, they all are the GE turbines I described above. None are on tractor-trailers like the Military jobs.

You kinda know how bad I am to take things apart? I was told at the peaker plant, not to take anything apart to see how it works. Trying to remember the last town? West of Nashville, North of Loretta Lynns home?.

I was there, I worked during a thanksgiving Holiday, 16 hours a day, and they did not have a PA to make my payroll till about a week later. It was unsure if I would get paid till the last days. I told them I would be happy to take all the calibration tools home. they had a nice tool trailer. I would have too, I have before.

I worked for one outfit, they did general construction. Payroll checks bounced, people took cranes home, backhoes, trucks. The GF called everyone, came back and finished the job with the Other guys equipment. He still is in business.

Fasttrack
02-02-2006, 04:38 PM
"If the Candu reactor is so good (ie safe, clean, and efficient), why can't we get approval to build one in our own country?
Cam"

There are several major problems that commercial nuclear power companies face, including zoning and funding. They feel that the start up costs of a new reactor, especially a CANDU reactor are much to high; they cite heavy water as being an unneeded expense among other things. Having a father who is a nuclear engineer on site, he has never agreed with this, but then thats why he's not an adminstrator or buisnessman http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Fasttrack
02-02-2006, 04:52 PM
Regarding fusion:

I am not saying its not worth a lot of research and consideration, but:
To maintain a chain reaction fusion reaction of dueterium and tritium an enthalpy of 40,000,000 kelvin must be maintained; thats 40,000,273.15 degrees celcius. In case you havent guessed, thats pretty hard to contain...as soon as the plasma touches something, woosh its gone. Sorta cause problems. Currently machines called tokamaks can use huge magnetic fields to help contain and redirect the electrically conductive plasma, but as yeat we've only gotten to abou 3000000 kelvin. Got a aways to go http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

"The current trend of fusion research is towards larger and larger research reactors that would have no comercial appliction and would rely on the heat transfer processes the fission plants do. Neutrons slamming into materials with heat transfer systems to generate steam to turn turbines."

you sure your not mixed up with particle accelerators that do research on sub-atomic particles and the univers? 'cause most tokamaks fit in a large room. also the neutrons in fission (there arnt any in fusion) are moving very slow (in a thermal or moderated reactor), infact they are thermal neutrons, moving at the same speed the uranium atoms are. The heat comes from the kinetic energy of the flying pieces after the uranium splits. They go flying apart at 200MeV at hit things thus raising temp. In fusion that temp is all released due to mass defect and nuclear binding energies. If your not sure about those i'd be happy to explain more, but i figure i've typed enough already, should be easy to find on google http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif no offense meant just explaining

Evan
02-02-2006, 04:59 PM
"also the neutrons in fission (there arnt any in fusion)"

WHAT?

Fasttrack
02-02-2006, 05:10 PM
sorry, should have clarified what i meant. Yes neutrons are given off during fusion, however they are not involved in mediating the process. They are merely a by product of the reaction. Obviously they are involved in, and indeed solely responsible for, the fission of uranium.

Fasttrack
02-02-2006, 05:13 PM
i kinda typed myself off on a tangent i think, but nevertheless the nuetrons emitted from both fission process (which are begin at about 1-2MeV are slowed to a thermal state - the process of which has almost no impact on the heat of the reaction) and the fusion process are not responsible for heat. The heat from fusion is generated solely from the mass defect and radiated via photons.

irontoart
02-02-2006, 05:25 PM
Just heard on the news tonight that Ontario will be unable to produce as much power as it uses by 2008. The big problem is the government shutting down the coal fired plants and the fact that are nucs are getting to old. They had a mayor on from the Bruce area where they already have some old nucs asking Ontario to consider building some new nuclear plants there.

uute
02-02-2006, 06:29 PM
I fear you're all right, the nukes are comming. It will be the way they end up melting tar sands, then Canada will be the pits - Literally!

I believe we could do it w/ wind & solar. Electrolyze water to hydregen, convert to nat gas - distribute!

Yes, that's a LOT of wind turbines & lousy conversion eff. but it don't leave no mess for our great great great great great grand kids to clean up. And no Saudi bill to pay niether.

And hopfully the farmers will get a piece of the action, then fewer acres of prime topsoil will get paved over cuz won't everyone be wantin to live next to them turbines.

Big problem in US is we have to waste 3 barrels to smoke one. Gimme GImme GIMME! Gotta piss it away before my neibor Fred does!

uute

wierdscience
02-02-2006, 07:57 PM
A very interesting page at the DOE.

http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/index.html

In particular checkout the combustion and carbon sequestration links.

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 02-02-2006).]

x39
02-02-2006, 08:30 PM
I'd like to see a tide powered hydro electric plant in Passamaquoddy Bay between Maine and New Brunswick. The tides there are something like 17 feet on average. I've read estimates that all that water moving in and out twice a day could provide enough energy for most of the Northeast.

lugnut
02-02-2006, 09:37 PM
I'm going to throw this in the ring for you guys to read. In my other life (the working one) I worked at the INL for 27 years, and I think that nuke power is going to be a big thing in weening us from oil.
Nuclear Energy Could Help Solve the Nation's Energy Crisis


February 1, 2006

By Mary Sturgill

In the state of the union address last night the president outlined his energy plan. And If he gets his way, it could be a boon to the INL and nuclear research in Idaho.

The experts say that nuclear energy, along with other alternative energies, will play an important role in what they call the nation's energy portfolio.

The President's goal...to break the addiction he says Americans have to eastern oil. Kathy McCarthy of the INL nuclear programs agrees, "I would say that we are addicted to oil, I have two cars at my house and I like to drive both of them." But. the INL's research into nuclear energy will play a huge part in America's rehabilitation plan. One way nuclear energy can help is with electric cars. Kathy McCarthy explains, "If you do increase electricity an option is to plug in hybrids that are developed but they need an energy source, they need more electricity and nuclear is the right clear way to do that."

One goal is to reach the point where we have a hydrogen economy. Researchers can use nuclear energy to produce Hydrogen that will improve the quality of lower grade crude oil so its usable. Kathy McCarthy explains how that works, "The lower the quality of crude oil, the more hydrogen it takes to get it into a shape you can use it in our cars, so it basically helps you with a resource that you've got."

We also have the nuclear ability to produce hydrogen to make synthetic fuel. Kathy McCarthy says that technology has been around for a while, "This was done during world war two.The Germans have done it so we can take basically C02 and turn that into gasoline to power our cars."

Kathy McCarthy also says and with the cost of crude oil it's a matter of economics, "We're starting to get to the point where the cost of a barrel of oil makes it pretty competitive to produce these synthetic fuels.

The INL is taking the lead on hydrogen research. in "a process that's called High temperature electrolysis." -Kathy McCarthy

Experts say that nuclear energy is the way to cure America's addiction to oil. "So expanding that makes all the sense in the world and I think we are going in the right direction." -Kathy McCarthy.

And as the lead laboratory for nuclear energy research the INL is looking to advance the mission of solving the nation's energy crisis.


© 2005 Fisher Communications, Inc.

uute
02-02-2006, 11:43 PM
Hate to hear it. Hate to hear it.

Biggest problem w/ nuclear is people. Human nature is about the only human constant. How do the old machinist's say it: "How come you never have the time to do it right, but always have the time to do it over?".

Shortcuts, laziness & neglect cannot be legislated away (consider the recent coal mine deaths, and we know a lot more about mining caol). Nuclear accidents take a huge toll. Consider this also, Katrina devistated how many sq miles, for maybe 5 or 10 years. Chernoble ruined howmany Thousand sq miles for 1000 years, some for 10s of thousands of years. Christ was only 2000 years ago.

uute

uute
02-02-2006, 11:51 PM
What was the story about that first test reactor in Idaho in the early 50s.

Oh ya, it got away from them, melted down & caught fire. Killed several, radiated several more firefighters.

First guy got real sick, what to do? Stuffed him in an abulance, drove him out into the prarie, left him to die.

Later they buried the whole facility. No worries mate.

Bet its still hot, and unmarked.

uute
02-02-2006, 11:56 PM
Here in Colorado, had a lot of nat gas traped in rock. set off three undergroud nukes to break it loose. Worked great, lots of radioactive gas was released. I suspect they're pumping some of it to market now (drilling is currently booming in those areas)

J Tiers
02-03-2006, 12:05 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by uute:
Chernoble ruined howmany Thousand sq miles for 1000 years, some for 10s of thousands of years. Christ was only 2000 years ago.

uute</font>

We don't allow the Chernobyl style reactor. A lot of that problem was that the graphite pile burned, sending a huge thermal plume out for a long time.

It had NO containment vessel. The "accident" was actually deliberate, in that a test of the no-power recovery was being made, but was not a safe test, as there really was no recovery from it..... The one calling the shots was a person NOT to say "no" to... lots of those types over there....

Info from book written by a physicist who was there at the time and knew what was being done.

greywynd
02-03-2006, 12:15 AM
Well, let's face it, there is no "ONE" answer to the production of energy we WANT. (I really hate it when people say we NEED it....there wasn't any of this 150 years ago). Let's face it, having electricity is a want, we have made it into something that we NEED, rather than something that's a nice bonus to have.

During the blackout of the northeast a couple years back, I would have been quite content if the power had remained out for a few days....the only thing that would have really bothered us would have been the food in the fridge and freezer. Environmentalists scream about saving power.....I wonder how many of them would buy a real 'icebox' and the ice cut from the lakes and rivers to cool it?

The answers lie in many places. Locally, there are proposals to build small hydro-electric plants. There are many places throughout Canada and the U.S. where there are dams that were used for lumber mills, flour mills and the like. The dams are already built!! There are probably 20 or more of these within an hours drive of my house. A current proposal in the area will use a canal parallel to a river, bypassing two dams to go to the powerhouse. (I understand it to be about 600' long.) The powerhouse would be in the neighbourhood of 3-4000 square feet. So, relatively speaking, not much more of an environmental impact than building a large house on an 'estate'. No water levels will change (this is actually based on a navigable waterway, so it can't change any more than a couple inches.) If I recall correctly, it should provide enough power for about 2000 homes.

If all the small dams in North America were developed and used in this capacity, it would likely go a long way to helping the electricity problem.

I also believe that we, as consumers, need to join together and do 'our part'. Solar panels, for example. If enough were purchased that mass manufacturing brings the prices down, and a half dozen or dozen panels were placed on the roof of every house, more on rooftops of public and commercial buildings.....how much power could we create?

I'd love to put up a small personal windmill someday. I've seen windmills with propellers ranging from 2' across to huge.

"OPG's Pickering Wind Generating Station, one of North America's largest wind turbines, a 1.8 MW, 117-metre high wind machine commissioned in 2001. In 2002 it produced about 2.9 gigawatt hours of electricity during its first full year of operation."

Now, I've walked near, and up to the base of this windmill. Yep, it makes noise. So much, that, when 800-1000 yards away in the neighbouring park, it can't be heard any more. Directly underneath it, or very close by, you can hear the tips of the propeller whizzing by.

So, what do we do?? One of the things that I'm trying to instill in our family is energy conservation. Don't use it unless you need it. Even with the rising costs of electricity, our bill hasn't increased at teh same rate, because we keep finding ways to save. One of the things this year was to blow more insulation into the attic. Ok, I have an oil furnace and a wood stove. Guess what though, the less the furnace runs, the less the electric fan in it runs. Bingo, saved on both costs.

Personally, I'm waiting until storage battery prices come down some more, than I will start with some solar and some small personal windmills. Seeing as we have a small horse barn separate from the house, my plan is to see if I can make the barn self sufficient first.....then expand and fine tune the system to the house. Will I ever go stand alone, or off grid? Well, with my tig welder requiring 60 amps?, not likely fully, but if I can reduce our consumption to a minimum, or get to a point where I have excess, maybe I can balance it out.

Sorry about the long winded post.

lugnut
02-03-2006, 12:26 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by uute:
What was the story about that first test reactor in Idaho in the early 50s.

Oh ya, it got away from them, melted down & caught fire. Killed several, radiated several more firefighters.

First guy got real sick, what to do? Stuffed him in an abulance, drove him out into the prarie, left him to die.

Later they buried the whole facility. No worries mate.

Bet its still hot, and unmarked.</font>

I,m sorry uute, you don't even have a clue as to what happened at the Army run SL-1 reactor. And it's stories like yours that have made the public afraid of nuke power. I'll have to admit that if the good old gov. had of made things more public instead of trying to make it so secret, the public wouldn't be so afraid of it.
Mel

electromotive17
02-03-2006, 04:19 AM
nuke plant in idaho junked can you give the real story on this so we understand it,

Your Old Dog
02-03-2006, 06:00 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
You sure don't want to live near a wind turbine. The sound will drive you nuts.</font>

Our Town is going thru that debate now. The windmill company promissed them a kickback to go towards the town taxes. It amounts to about .004% of the budget! BUT, because it can be considered a taxbreak for senior homeowners we're are getting ready to sell our souls. I think they look like hell in rural america. Where we are we don't even have to look at cellphone towers till the cows start getting cellphones for pasture tracking.

And how come Anwar (sp) is called "pristine" and not "desolate", "backwoods", or maybe "wasteland"? Who got to do the naming thing? Ted Kennedy? Was he ever there?

Kansas_Farmer
02-03-2006, 07:36 AM
For me, out here....

Solar isn't a bad idea, sun shines most of the time...wind is fair, damn wind blows all the time..but it's just not me.

I'd like to get or build a 50hp boiler, put a 11"x11" recip on it, and turn someones old worn out 35-40KW genny with it. Use the exhaust to heat the house and shop in the winter, use the power all the time.

The boiler would need to be new, but the engine could be off a old Case or other thing, overhaul it and put her back to work.

Burn corn and waste oil in it.

Dawai
02-03-2006, 09:31 AM
KF:

The coils inside the last smallish boiler I worked on were "wound" schedule 80 pipe. This was in between several condensate like larger pipes. Exhaust passed through them. I think these are called "flash" boilers cause they don't take long to heat up at all.

The bender I have could replicate them. I can't see well enough to weld them up. Maybe on a good day. Rolling coils of pipe is not any fun. I did a spiral staircase for some people about fifteen years ago. I used a conduit bender. OHH my god.. Multi-shot, multi-angle every six inches for twenty feet of pipe.
that was definitely a job for a hydraulic roll bender.

Dawai
02-03-2006, 09:44 AM
Yeah, look for motels being torn down. The 1,000+ gallon hot water heater is a small boiler.

there was one at the furniture auction, they used it to heat the wash water. It sold for $25. No other bids. If I had been thinking I would have bought it, removed the gas trane and sold it. Gave the rest to a scrappy. The boiler controls, nowadays are computerized. Cost wads of money. Still they have blocking valves and throttle valves on them, ignitors, peepers, all kinds of expensive controls.

Rustybolt
02-03-2006, 10:00 AM
When it comes to energy, everything is a trade off. Industry, any industry, needs electricity, large amounts of it. It's the reason aluminum smelters are built close to their source of power.While you may decry nuclear energy it is still the biggest value in the smallest package.It is also, I think, our fastest road to innovation. Let's face it wind technology to generate electricity is a hundred years old. All you can do is improve by degree.If we don't get on board with the latest technology and innovate from there then the future is going to belong to the society that can and we'll be left in the dust.To grow technology can only go forward. To go backward is to invite decay.Thats my opinion. So there.

Dawai
02-03-2006, 11:00 AM
The thing is to Diversify. USE all the technology. Not just one.

Nuclear power is good, but, The threats to enviroment workers is there. The clothes they gave me to wear in dressout were dirty, crap all over them. If dirt was present, guess what. The stuff was not clean, they would not pass the monitors, meaning they were hotter than the plant I worked in. Just waving them close to the exit monitors set them off.

And times, yeah they don't care. They decided lost labor was going into dressout, so they opened up the "can" to street clothes after a survey. People wore thier crapped out stuff home. I had a ed (Electronic Detector) fail twice. I had one that beeped in a clean area.

I have worked ONE nuclear job. After the security guard almost shot several people after a crane ran through a power line (jacked a round and pointed the weapon), I was about done. When the super sent me under a suspended crane load I was. WHen the power lines were knocked down, jets were scrambled out of Lovell field. I didn't even know they had military jets there (civilian airport). Mark said they hit the runway at 50mph and turned the corner and hit afterburners and headed to Sequoah. I can only guess what kind of munitions they had onboard. (napalm?)

People welding in the top of the can, smoke was about three feet from the can top, between the concrete outer and the can inner, preparing to lift out the roof to change out the generators. SMOKE was so thick I could barely breathe. Reading the MSDS on Lincoln fleetweld rods, OHH MY GOD.. Worst thing there is to breathe without fresh air. I refused to go to the top of the can any more. I didn't publish the fact or it would have stopped the job, but I guarantee all the millwrights and fitters on top are sick now.
ThEN, labeled as a troublemaker, meaning smart enough to look out for my own saftey I was gave some harsh treatment. I was invited by the "regulars" not to come back. Kinda like a sock party in bootcamp. Except nobody hit me. Dropped things close twice, told to hook things up "wrong" three times, I refused. One was a male plug to power, he wanted to power it up and lay it there on the ground. yeah right, that'd killed someone. The same super had already hooked up transformers wrong, and then they made him a foreman.

You can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year working in the nuclear industry. Pay attention if you do.

Screw them guys and the money.
The Stupid security guards being paid $10 a hour, hired off the street with no police or military background. Yeah. That is who I want to give a gun to, a idiot. I woke one up three times one day, he got angry. That is how the terrorists will infiltrate a plant. Through them. They are the most danger in a nuke plant.

You won't get this old boy back in one. My thyroid malfunctioned soon after working there. No connection of course.

They need more robotics to do the work in them and less people. I guess people are cheaper, especially if they go off, get sick and die alone and nobody is wiser.
A idiot, Laborer about 18 who walked up and held the weld on cover in place while the fitters welded it in, he volunteered for "that" job cause he got easy jobs thereafter. They said the internals glowed like a spotlight with visible glow. He didn't mind walking up and getting a years dose. It ain't how much you get, it's how much you get in a time frame. What a fool. Perhaps being so young he thought he was bulleproof. The sealed "HOT" steam generators are now entombed there on the site in bunkers.

TVA, has the best saftey record in the books. They have a yearly limit on dosage of 1/10th the national requirements for nuclear workers. Thier plants are the safest in the world.

I have no problem with TVA, they are good people, good organization. I won't work nuke again thou. I like TVA Hydro the best.
They expect me to work, I do, they take care of me while I am there. Even going the extra mile to invite me to thier dinners and such. What a family, working there is like a close nit group. Hell, they even gave me a ride on thier railroad around a mountain in Ocoee.

Dawai
02-03-2006, 11:11 AM
I just had to post that, Coal miners are not the only "energy" workers in danger.

The guys maintaining the electro-hydro plants, the nuclear plants, the windmills, the high voltage lines are well trained and Bypass about 99.99 percent of the dangers through education.

Most times, they are feeding thier family. They know the danger, just used to it.

Nothing comes cheap. I strongly reccomend using the "Green power" where possible. Smaller houses, better insulation, better heating, smaller cars. It will be the only way you can afford life in a few years as China takes more and more of the worlds oil and uses it to compete.

Spin Doctor
02-03-2006, 11:59 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Fasttrack:
[B]Regarding fusion:

I am not saying its not worth a lot of research and consideration, but:
To maintain a chain reaction fusion reaction of dueterium and tritium an enthalpy of 40,000,000 kelvin must be maintained; thats 40,000,273.15 degrees celcius. In case you havent guessed, thats pretty hard to contain...as soon as the plasma touches something, woosh its gone. Sorta cause problems. Currently machines called tokamaks can use huge magnetic fields to help contain and redirect the electrically conductive plasma, but as yeat we've only gotten to abou 3000000 kelvin. Got a aways to go /B]</font>

The following is a quote from an article on inertial confinment fusion research being done by Dr Robert Bussard

"There are a variety of other potential fusion fuels for which the necessary temperatures for fusion are simply too high to be achieved by the thermonuclear technologies DOE is currently pursuing. How do we know about these reactions? We have been doing them since 1928, using extremely simple devices called linear accelerators . Charged particles can be made to accelerate to enormous velocities and energies by means of simple electric fields. By charging a grid to a few hundred thousand volts, you can accelerate protons or other light nuclei fast enough to fuse with almost any element in the periodic table. True, it takes far more energy to run such a device than it produces, but the equipment is extremely simple, and the "temperatures' achieved are easily sufficient to produce most transmutation reactions between nuclei.

Let's bury this "temperature" nonsense right here and now. While you may have heard a figure of something like fifty or a hundred million degrees being required to produce fusion, in fact few researchers use those numbers except to impress the public. The units of temperature they use are "electron volts," which are easily understood in terms of linear accelerator operation. For every electron's worth of charge on a particle, multiply by the volts on the accelerating grid to get electron-volts of energy. For purposes of impressing your friends, for each electron volt, multiply by 11,604 to get degrees Kelvin. You may be amused to know the electrons hitting the screen of the typical television set are around 200 million degrees according to this scheme, and 50 million degrees is a paltry 4300 electron volts"

In the past this the inertial confinment type reactor was researched in the early days of fusion research. At the time the results were not promising. The work Bussard was doing looked to be achieving much better results that exceeded expectations and he was looking to scale up the reactor size looking for break even. Also he was looking at reaction cycles that allow the direct conversion of the fusion products to elctricity. No turbines and no waste by products as far as I know. Now the article digresses in some Buck Rodgers stuff but given the place it was published that is to be expected. But one thing about fusors (the general name for this type of reactor) is that they are sold commercialy as neutron source generators. Would they be practicle? I don't know. But given what we spend on energy every single day in the US much less the West (this includes IMO Japan, South Korea, Canada along with Europe) the idea of throwing a couple of billion dollars into some research on this is not out of line. A coupe of billion is a lot to the guy on the street but in terms of our overall Federal budgets much less our economies it is chicken feed. As a way to put this in perspective in 2004 L'Oreal, the cosmetics firm had gross revenues from sales of 14.53 Billion Euros or close to 16 Billion Dollars. Now this is just one cosmetic company. Think of all the others. If we as a society are willing to spend that much cash on beauty items then I think we can for damn well afford what it takes for Energy Independence

http://torsatron.tripod.com/fusor/fusor.html

http://www.loreal.com/_en/_ww/group/factsfigures/index.aspx

TECHSHOP
02-03-2006, 01:02 PM
I don't think will be the technical or the lack of money that keeps nuc power from "happening" in the states.

It will be the people swayed by the other industries lobbyists and their short-term bought and payed for politicians.

The best we can hope for is Canada to move forward, and then US will import the electrons.

------------------
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

dvideo
02-03-2006, 08:50 PM
Cofer speaks gospel - right from the front. I started out in NE at UT Knoxville. Bailed out as a Senior - because I saw that the industry was going dead.

The people running things have the mindset of cost reduction that says "what can I ship to India" to cut my cost. People with welders are just an expense to them. There is surreal amounts of money in the business - enough to make it the best and safest power business in ever known to man. But the leadership has to understand that this stuff is not like a box of coal needing to be moved. Cofer put his finger exactly on the sharp edge.

Once upon a time, Jimmy Carter appointed a "environmentalist boss" of TVA. Canceled 17 nuke plants. Got rid of most of engineering. Began "they are just meat" process of managment. Big mistake. ALcoa is about gone now from Maryville. My brother says all that is left is AL recycling. How much Cabon and SO4 is pumped out by coal burners and gas burners? I figured it out one time..... amazing...

I get my TXU power bill in Dallas, now. It's not $0.02 a KWH - like it would be with real Nukes.... guess who profits.

I can't say as I know how to change all the situation. I do know there are parts to be tweaked. Each of us has to do our part - because those in positions of real responsibiity and power WON'T. I used to think they should burn in H$#*^*ll. Now, I think they should work on repairing steam leaks in heat exchangers at certain power plants. Like reaping the reward for blown responsibility...

-- just my $0.02 worth...

--jerry

uute
02-04-2006, 12:14 AM
J Tiers - on Chernobyl, true, we have (hopefully) better reactor designs, but my points were: people do some incredibly stupid things - like that test in Chernobyl. "Yea, lets try to blow it up, then see if we can stop it in mid exlosion! Be a good exercise!"

Second, when goes wrong, the consequences can be quite dire. And pretty much irreversable.

Lugnut wrote:

&gt;&gt;I,m sorry uute, you don't even have a clue as to what happened at the Army run SL-1 reactor.

Perhaps, but then niether did the three men killed there.


Kansas_Farmer: ever consider Producer Gas?
uute

[This message has been edited by uute (edited 02-04-2006).]

[This message has been edited by uute (edited 02-04-2006).]

Bguns
02-04-2006, 12:43 AM
SL-1 stuff
http://www.radiationworks.com/sl1reactor.htm
http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=123182
I still think Nuke tech is better than Wind.
As a retired Army soldier Just don't let military design them http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Evan
02-04-2006, 12:45 AM
At Chernobyl they ran an unauthorized low power test. That design is unstable at low power. When the power is ramped back up it doesn't respond quickly. It's easy to pull the rods too far and then it suddenly runs away. It's a really unsafe design and there is no way that anything like that would be allowed here.

The CANDU is basically meltdown proof. It won't melt down in a loss of coolant accident because it is surrounded with thousands of gallons of light water as shielding. No matter what happens the fuel packages will not reach the melting temperature of the fuel. It runs at a fairly low power density. If the heavy water moderator is lost the reaction stops and all you have is a pile of unenriched uranium (or just about any fissionable fuel you wish to put in it, including thorium).

You could build one of these beside every existing nuke plant in the US for less than the cost of a reprocessing plant most likely and just cut up the old fuel rods and feed them to the CANDU.

J Tiers
02-04-2006, 12:55 AM
IFR links

From Argonne:
http://www.anlw.anl.gov/anlw_history/reactors/ifr.html

From Berekely
http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/designs/ifr/anlw.html

From elsewhere
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA378.html

Evan
02-04-2006, 01:09 AM
Like I said, reinventing the wheel. Virtually every advantage cited for the IFR already exists in the CANDU. As well, the CANDU can burn a wider variety of fuels and can use thorium without modification. It then acts as a breeder turning the thorium into U233 which then burns. Thorium is three times more plentiful then uranium.

uute
02-10-2006, 05:27 PM
Followed your links Evan, CANDU sounds great!!

Things usually do in the sales flyer! Now if you don't think this is a sales flyer, check the timeline of significant events. Strangely missing is the partial melt down of the NRX reactor at Chalk River in 1952:

&lt;QUOTE&gt;

NRX Reactor at Chalk River, Canada

The events of December 12, 1952 at this experimental heavy water-moderated nuclear reactor make a wild tale of the type of common-mode failures which make everyone nervous about nuclear reactors. First, four valves which kept air pressure from raising the control rods were opened in error by an operator. The supervisor noted warning lights and rushed to the basement to close the valves. Once he had closed them, he assumed that the rods had dropped back, but they hadn't dropped fully - they had dropped only far enough to shut off the warning lights.

The supervisor, realizing that the reaction was still on, called the control room to order the operator to push buttons 4 and 3 to stop the reactor, but mistakenly said 4 and 1! The operator rushed off to do it before he could correct his mistake. Button 1 raised 4 banks of control rods, causing the reaction rate to double every 2 seconds. This buildup was noted after about 20 seconds and the reactor was scrammed. Because of the air pressure problem, the control rods didn't go all the way down. After about 44 seconds, the plant physicist dumped the heavy water to kill the moderation and stop the reaction. This dumped tons of radioactive water into the basement. About 3 minutes later, the 4 ton lid blew off the reactor, spurting radioactive water and setting off alarms warning of lethal radiation levels. The building was evacuated. This incident included a hydrogen-oxygen explosion and the melting of some uranium fuel, yet the release was contained. It's just that the days when everything goes wrong at the nuclear plant are pretty scary.

&lt;END QUOTE&gt;
fr: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/nucacc.html

I got 2 more for you,

First, how did the Indians get the bomb???

They enriched thier material in a reactor provided to them -- by Canada!

Second, it does seem true that the CANDU 6 reactor seems to be considered about as safe a reactor design as anyone has come up with. So safe in fact, that AECL's "Next Generation" reactors are moving to light water & enriched uranium. Perhaps present CANDU reactors are so safe that more risk is accetable?

I do concede that it seems Canada has done a much better job with the atoms so far, but then they are releasing their domestic reactors to private operators - and the vararies of the market!

uute

dvideo
02-10-2006, 05:46 PM
uute....

Evan simply lays the facts out. It's not a sales brochure.

In your commentary, you mix a lot of unrelated stuff together and pronounce it "unsafe". I suppose some will think what I say is a personal attack - but it's not. Anyone can take a random scrabble box of chopped up items and build a story. That doesn't mean the story is relevant, true, accurate or useful. The punctation might be right. The grammar might be good. But, as Oprah "discovers" - it doesn't make it true.

Bottom line is that we all want the cheapest, safest power that won't croak our local enviroment. One rule - would you live next to such a plant, all things being equal? I won't live under power lines. I won't live within 10 miles of a coal or gas burning plant. I would rather be 100+ miles from a paper plant (been to Texarkana, TX)?

I would live near a CANDU.

SO don't chop factoids and think you have ravoili.

Nukes done right make $0.02 a KWH electricity. What do you pay now - and how much damage does that power pay? CANDUs are Safer than coal or hydro - or solar on the roof - or wind. Don't mean we should not do these other things, either. Power Generation is best served by the combination.

If you understand how much Carbon, poison gas, ash, and sheer radioactivity a coal plant puts out... Cubic miles of the crap - it can really cause you to think.

Cofer can tell about ways good things can be screwed up in Nukes. He is right there - but at least in the case of TVA, it was the "environmentalist" manager to caused the quality to get dumped.

--jerry

Evan
02-10-2006, 05:46 PM
Well, I would certainly hope we aren't still building them the same as we did in 1945. That's when the Chalk River plant started operation. That isn't applicable to present day discussions of nuclear technology.

Current CANDU designs don't even need operators. They are fully automatic including all phases of startup and shutdown in all circumstances.

As for India, they did not use the CANDU to enrich uranium. All nuclear reactors burning uranium convert some of it to plutonium during the fuel cycle, CANDU included. The Indians took partly spent fuel bundles and recovered the plutonium from them. This requires build a reprocessing plant, no simple task. Anybody with a uranium reactor of any type has this potential if they have the tech to build a reprocessing plant.

The point is that the CANDU does not burn enriched uranium and the fuel cannot be used to build a uranium bomb without a full blown uranium enrichment facility. Uranium bombs are far easier to build than plutonium bombs. Given the fissionables I could build one. CANDU prevents that scenario.

Fasttrack
02-10-2006, 05:48 PM
"nuke plant in idaho junked can you give the real story on this so we understand it, "

SL-1 was a military test reactor. During a supposedly routine control rod operation, something when terribly wrong. One of the control rods jammed (in and of itself no problem because it was in the reactor absorbing neutrons) The last account i saw, written in "Nuclear Reactor Materials" by Charles O. Smith, indicated that one of the three men present manually tried to remove the jamned control rod. It is believed he manually moved it by about 50 centimeters at which point the reactor became so hot in a fraction of a second that if flash boiled a large amount of coolant causing an explosion. Incidently, the man trying to remove the control rod was impalled on the ceiling. oops. note to self: dont manually try and remove control rods! of course this was all in a containment building, so besides the mess and three dead boys (only 25 or so) it was too big a deal; at least compared to what can happen if we are not appropriately careful.

railfancwb
02-10-2006, 05:52 PM
David -

Alexander is not one of the numerous Tennessee elected officials caught red handed by various stings in recent years. He is probably as close to "squeeky clean" as you are likely to find in a politician.

Charles

Fasttrack
02-10-2006, 05:59 PM
"I am not saying its not worth a lot of research and consideration, but:
To maintain a chain reaction fusion reaction of dueterium and tritium an enthalpy of 40,000,000 kelvin must be maintained; thats 40,000,273.15 degrees celcius. In case you havent guessed, thats pretty hard to contain...as soon as the plasma touches something, woosh its gone. Sorta cause problems. Currently machines called tokamaks can use huge magnetic fields to help contain and redirect the electrically conductive plasma, but as yeat we've only gotten to abou 3000000 kelvin. Got a aways to go /B]"

At 40000000 kelvin we're not talking temps, we're talking energy. Kelvin is a unit of measurment of the kinetic energy of a particle, temperature is the change in kinetic energy (calibrated around 0 degrees celcius or the freezing point of water). At 40000000 kelvin, an enormous amount of electrical engergy is required to contain these particles; at these enregies, the plasma, if not contained by fields, would destroy the machinery / equipment. Sure particle accelerators have been "fusing" stuff for generations, but thats known as transmutations, or synthesis of transuranium elements. We dont do it to produce power. Accelerators can now easily produce 30TeV (trillion electron volts) like brookhavens linear accelerator who first absorbed the quark gloun plasma of our universe, but thats for a couple of atoms. When you talk about making a self sustaining reaction you are talking about a large quantity of gas pocessing an average kinetic energy of 40000000 kelvin. Collectively, the amount of energy in kilojoules that such a gas would contain is incredible. That is far more dangerous than nuclear power. Consider the fusion bomb, it used the 200MeV of a nuclear bomb to start a chain fusion reaction of hydrogen, but as soon as that started, we had no way of controlling it. Not only are we talking about incredible energies that would vaporize any solid, but we dont have a way to slow down the reaction like we can by absorbing neutrons in a nuclear reaction. Again it is an important field of study, but we have to be realistic about seeing this form of power anytime soon. Please dont get me wrong, it is fascinating and important, just its not likely to happen in our lifetimes.

Fasttrack
02-10-2006, 06:06 PM
Uute - the likely hood of any kind of incident even remotely similiar to those you have cited are very slim nowdays, i am sure many on this board can explain in depth why this is and i'll leave them to it. As an interesting side note, something i always found sort of ammusing:

in a reactor, when all of the controll rods are shoved in to stop the reaction, this is known as a "SCRAM". They have special "SCRAM" procedures that instantly kill the reaction and it can be done manually or when certain values on various censors exceed norms. If you read a procedure, text book or manual, "scram" is always written as "SCRAM" because it is actually an acronym from the days of Enrico Fermi and the first pile under the chicago stadium. As a safety precaution, Fermi employed men to stand above the pile with fire axes so that, in the event of an emergency, they could cut the ropes that were holding buckets of cadmium salts and extra controll rods so they would fall into/on the pile and kill the reaction. He also gave them a special occupational title: Suicidal Control Rod Axe Man. Although a joke, the term stuck and it has now become an industry standard.

Evan
02-10-2006, 06:27 PM
Current CANDU designs cannot melt down in any accident scenario. No matter what happens the fuel oxide will not heat to the melting point.

dvideo
02-11-2006, 01:43 PM
Let's add some fuel to the fire... :&gt;

Coal plants burn... coal... There is a large volume of Radon in many coal seams. Burn it... and out the stack it goes. Runs out there is a lot of RADON in coal. I had a friend in college - he and his entire family spent a lot of time durning the summer in the basement - it was cool. Thier basement was bricked with Chatanooga Shale. That shale was rich in Radon. Radon detectors are built and sold for homes these days.. Only use of home radiation detectors I know of - that is worth spending money on..... Anyway... my friend got cancer - as a college age person - an a tumor the size of a football. His family ALL died from or got serious cancers...

More Radon goes out the stack of a Coal plant than you would believe... And just what do you do with 3 million tons of highly toxic coal ash per yer? Have you set down and calculated the actual cubic volume of a million tons of poision gas?

real numbers make you a nuclear advocate REAL FAST....

Hydo you might say....? Rivers silt up. Design life of impounded lakes is not that long.... Some TVA lakes are past design life now. For example... In Kentucky, there is a dam on the Tennesse River. Big Dam. Lots of Hydro. Built in the 1940's. WHen the design life is reached.... the 100+ miles of lake behind the dam will be mostly silted up. What do you do with the silt - where to put it? The flood control aspect of the DAM is gone... Let it go - and the Atachafalya cutoff becomes the main river channel of the Mississippi. No doubt about it... Want to write off Baton Rouge? New Orleans? and everything past the Mississippi - La. line (the horizontal line at the bottom of a Mississippi map). Again.. these are problems waiting for harvest. No speculations. Replace the power with Nukes... have a planned drain of the basin - an you might get another 200+ years of life from the lake....

Salmon: Do you like? I do. Big dams on the Columbia - have almost wiped them out. From riches - to just about nothing.. I would take the dams out - or heavily convert to flood control - and replace with Nukes... Do you like Salmon?

Air head thinking does bad things in government. Air head complaints do nothing to fix anything...

--jerry

Rich Carlstedt
02-11-2006, 10:54 PM
Some one out there that likes wind power..
can you send me 5 bucks..I will return a dollar to you and I know you will call it a good deal, because you also believe windpower is a cheap source of energy.
is it a deal ?

Quoted earlier
"with its subsidies, it is increasingly cost-competitive with natural-gas-fired power in some states. .

Note the words...with its 'Subsidies"..
Wind power cannot survive without "our" TAX money going to offset the generating costs.

Isn't it funny, with all the rules against nuclear, it still does it at .02 a KWH.
Wind costs up to .20 KWH but you never see it in the BS passed around.
20 years ago Outside Benecia California where the winds howl thru the gap in the mountains , they built one of the worlds largest wind generators. Blades were about 100 feet long and the generator chassis was the size of a railroad boxcar.
they had the best wind conditions.
Guess what, it is no longer there.
If it was so cheap to run, why is it gone?
Does the word expired "tax credits" say anything
Send me your 5 bucks ASAP so I can make you happier

you want to use my tax money to support a fraud, I might as well reciprocate

Rich Carlstedt
02-11-2006, 11:03 PM
Almost forgot..repeat again
"with its subsidies, it is increasingly cost-competitive with natural-gas-fired power in some states.
So what makes folks think Natural gas is cheap?
A California Electric Comapany built a gas generator plant just a few miles away, and the Wisconsin Utilities are now required by law to buy power from them at over 12 Cents a KWH.
My electric rate was around 6 cents a KWH.
The California plant also charges a gas surcharge.
I use to pay 6 cents, and now pay 10 cents....and that makes No Cents ( pun_)
And guess what they are forcasting for rates?

dvideo
02-12-2006, 10:43 AM
I see rates going up past 0.15 to 0ver 0.20. I don't have inside information - I do know that with Oil going up in price - people will burn other stuff.. so there will be availablity issues for coal and gas - it will go up too...

There are very good places for wind, solar, and especially geothermal.

If you have a sailboat, and are out a bit... you need those solar or wind engines for electric top off. If you have a home distanced from the grid, then you have to consider...

the real big advantage IMHO - is that once you start thinking about low power things in a ahoome - then your power use goes goes down as you junk high power things... SO the most important home power item might just be (a) a power meter to see what thigs burn and (b) instruments to tell you where heat/cooling "escape" from your house. "Don't waste" is the best power source I know of...

=--jr

Evan
02-12-2006, 11:36 PM
What you need is one of these. It's a portable 15amp 117 vac Sangamo watt hour meter. Good way to find out how much juice the fridge/furnace/TV/computer/etc really draws. It reads directly in kilowatt hours and the scale on the disk gives kilowatt hours by counting how many revs in a minute with an accuracy of about 10 watt hours. I had it calibrated by the power company for free.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/sangamo.jpg

BTW, although I own this one your power company may have one they will loan you.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 02-12-2006).]

rsr911
02-12-2006, 11:50 PM
Question: How many nuclear subs, battleships, and aircraft carriers does the US have? How many deadly accidents have we had in the history of said vessels? I'm curious really.

Seems to me we should look at all alternatives. Nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, geothermal, wind etc.

The problem as I understand it though isn't so much making electricity to power homes as it is the energy comsumed by motor vehicles of all sorts (aircraft included). In those cases we should do the same, bio-diesel, E85, hydrogen fuelcells, hybrids, multifuel vehicles, etc.

I have to believe with more modern technology that a "safe" nuke plant can be built and if so I'd live next door, well maybe not right next door as I wouldn't want to live next door to any commercial facility but within reason say within 2-10 miles.

------------------
-Christian D. Sokolowski

kf1002002
02-13-2006, 10:41 AM
Evan
The watt-hour meter you show is a good idea and our local utility lends something similar.
One quibble though--The dials show watt hours and counting turns of the disk per unit time will give you watts. If you look around on the face of the meter you should find the statement "Kh= ---". This Kh is the watt hours per revolution of the disk so what you do is count the revolutions per hour, multiply by Kh and that gives the watts. Of course it is easier to count seconds per revolution and convert this to revolutions per hour.

Ken

uute
02-16-2006, 12:56 AM
Guys, I never touted coal. Nasty stuff, but I they may come up w/ better ways to use it, as they have been for hundreds of years. Not great, but acceptable.

rsr911 - All true - transportation will be even tougher, but electric & space heating are good place to get ahead now.

Evan - Look again, Canada is already working toward enriched uranium in CANDU reactors to boost output. But your real concern should rally be when the US Gov rams through Nukes. Cuz when we blow it, you'll all share in the fallout.

We don't build bridges the way we did in the '40s either, but they still fall down occasionally (see the Gulf coast). And we don't make wind turbines like they used to either. They're right in the competitive mix now, though the operators will suck up Gov money as long as possible. They get about a penny on the billion$ compared to Coal, Gas, Oil, and Hydro. Gulf oil alone is getting off on $8 billion just in free royalties over the next few years, that's close to the size of the whole wind industry.

Many here would gladly pay double for a Bridgeport over a chinese clone, I'd pay double plus to breath wind over fallout.

One really bad thing about reactors - they react quick! 30 seconds to 3 minutes isn't much time to think through a control senario. And the results are really not knowable or even imagineable. I don't believe the operators at Three Mile Island were a bunch of numbskulls, yet they come quite close to a true catastrophy.

Now we can add people that actually want to release radioactive material all over, and plans to trasport nuke waste across the country to the hole in NV. But then, ben Laden would never hit the train w/ a plane, a bomb, or just an RPG. They've had hundreds of practice shots each month in Iraq, never hit anything too consequencial.

Ya, we'll end up w/ them, cuz that's where the money is. And one day FEMA will be wondering how to make a city stop glowing. If I'm lucky, I'll be dead before then, but your kids won't be.

uute

Peter S
02-16-2006, 03:33 AM
I was listening to a BBC radio programme about China and their energy problems. A few figures that I think are correct from memory:

-8 out of the worlds 10 most polluted cities are in China.

-They are commisioning coal-fired power plants at the rate of 1 per week. (No idea of sizes).

-They are mining 2 billion tons of coal per year (USA around 1 billion tons).

If the 1 power station per week sounds unbelievable, I heard another recent programme about the construction presently taking place in Beijing prior to the Olympics. There is "more construction" (whatever that means) taking place at present in this one city than the whole of Europe in the last 2 years.

An astonishing country, but with some big problems too.

Rustybolt
02-16-2006, 07:58 AM
"Guys, I never touted coal. Nasty stuff, but I they may come up w/ better ways to use it, as they have been for hundreds of years. Not great, but acceptable."

With the advent of more nuclear power plants, coal can be more cheaply converted into gasoline and diesel fuel.

Evan
02-16-2006, 09:57 AM
"-They are commisioning coal-fired power plants at the rate of 1 per week. (No idea of sizes)."

On the other hand China is building new nuclear plants too. They plan on quadrupling nuclear power output to 16 gigawatts by 2010. They plan to double that by 2015. They have also designed, built and tested their own high temperature pebble bed gas cooled reactor. It is meltdown proof and "walk-away-safe". That aspect has been tested too.

Thier long term plan is to install about 300 gigawatts of nuclear capacity, about equal to the entire nuclear capacity of the world today.

Dawai
02-16-2006, 11:12 AM
Evan:

I thought all us old electricians had made all the 120 antique meters into lamps years ago.

The nuke in Nothern Alabama was left, just abandoned. Millions in investment. All the instruments are now antique and no longer serviceable. I am still confused. TVA just walked away without completetion.

I like nuke power, I will not work in another with a contractor. More bots, less people are needed. Just the guy pushing the slipper sweeper could be a small bot. AND they have done more to clean up the plants than anything else. Keep it clean, keep all the dust and crapola picked up.

Robotic technology costs money.
we should be cultivating the moon with bots for future habitats. AND other places too. Mars, other places. Living in a dome would not be a lot worse than a city.
Humans can not take prolonged non=weight and extreme g forces. it has gotten to the point where the limiting factor of a plane is the pilot. ANd lose the plane, lose the experienced pilot.

Bots are not being developed as they should. EVEN a damn book on the subject is a hundred dollars. NOW how is a student supposed to purchase one. THERE are millions of genius'es walking among us. I am not one.
I am one of them individuals that is stubborn as a goat.

Technology is wasted if not developed. We are degrading our race as humans by not making educational materiel available to all who wish to learn. In CHina the teachers are respected members of society. Here, we starve them. The lady teachers I know can't even afford a pair of tennis shoes in the middle of the week.

uute
02-17-2006, 03:07 AM
RustyBolt- With enough power, nuke or not, you can turn water into gasoline. But we'll probably use coal.

you laugh at wind, you'll roll over this one, but solar is actually the grail! It is already competitive as a source. Honestly! (I hear you laughing).

"Then how come..." Cause ALL the cost is up front, but spread ove 30 years, you come out ahead. And then storage kills it if you have to store power for night use (Often it can feed the grid during day @ high price, draw from grid in dark @ low price - then it IS a moneymaker!)

You've guessed I hate em, but gasoline from water would be the best of a rotten situation, cause you could site em far away from most people. fuel transport would be even risky-er, though.

I'll try to make http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif my last word, but this has been a good rant (at least for me)
uute

Peter S
02-17-2006, 05:03 AM
Evan,

Yes, there was another programme on today (its a special energy feature week on the BBC World Service!), I think there are 40 new Nuclear stations planned or underway in China at present - but they will in total still only supply a small amount of the countries power needs (16%?).
Finland is building the only new nuclear plant in Europe at present, but they had to first provide a solution for their waste storage (underground?)

bpsbtoolman
02-17-2006, 07:16 AM
In northern Michigan some years after being maried for 29 years my wife died. Afrer a few years I got maried again and at 62 and retired, I built, mostly by myself a 4 level superinsulated house from a Canada design. Walls 12" thick insulated and energy truses for 16"insulation. 2" of strofoam outside wooden basement panels. I installed a wood stove in a 24' X 24' recreation room below the 3 bedrooms and bent a stainless steel pipe and installed it in the firebox and hooked up a thermalsyphon system to my hot water heater. Even tho I had a regular gas furnace except for leaving the house for over 12 hours this system burning wood kept the large house comfortable.
I had built this house and thought I would live in it for the rest of my life, but my wife had other ideas and we split. I sold the house and moved near my kids in Western Michigan.Then at 67 I was bored to death and even tho I said I would never build another house I have done it mostly by myself. Its a nice house but not like the other one. I had considered using a ground water based heat pump heating system and had a well dug for it. When I found the water was so hard I was afraid the heat exchangers would foul very soon and elected for a gas heating system.
Now at near 82 I wished I had considered a ground pipe loop that circulates an antifreeze liquid that does not foul the system. Now I get to the real point of this ground base system. With gas and oil prices rising over 200 -300 % over the last 10 years and coal only rising about 5 %, I am sure coal and necular electric power and the newer very high eficiency heat pumps will be more economical than most other systems. In Michigan not enough sunny days for solar heating so lots of insulation and passive solar can work somewhat to save some heat costs.
Maybe not to late to dig up my back yard and install ground based heat coil and install a heat pump. (at 82 LOL).
Walt

JCHannum
02-17-2006, 08:41 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
[B
On the other hand China is building new nuclear plants too. They plan on quadrupling nuclear power output to 16 gigawatts by 2010. They plan to double that by 2015. They have also designed, built and tested their own high temperature pebble bed gas cooled reactor. It is meltdown proof and "walk-away-safe". That aspect has been tested too.
[/B]</font>

Available soon at your local Harbor Freight.

Rustybolt
02-17-2006, 08:47 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by uute:
RustyBolt- With enough power, nuke or not, you can turn water into gasoline. But we'll probably use coal.

you laugh at wind, you'll roll over this one, but solar is actually the grail! It is already competitive as a source. Honestly! (I hear you laughing).

"Then how come..." Cause ALL the cost is up front, but spread ove 30 years, you come out ahead. And then storage kills it if you have to store power for night use (Often it can feed the grid during day @ high price, draw from grid in dark @ low price - then it IS a moneymaker!)

You've guessed I hate em, but gasoline from water would be the best of a rotten situation, cause you could site em far away from most people. fuel transport would be even risky-er, though.

I'll try to make http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif my last word, but this has been a good rant (at least for me)
uute</font>

It's a matter of cost and reliability. Nuke plants to supply a city are compact and steady,compared to a solar array and the electricity storage facilities. As an example.When Fermi Lab needs electricity, It needs huge amounts and right now,(Usually at 2 AM), That's why a nuke plant is used.
Sorry. But until a sustainable fusion reaction is achieved nuke is our best bet.

Paul F
02-17-2006, 12:59 PM
This is a good thread...

As others have stated, there is no ONE answer to the problem of using too much IMPORTED oil.

We're ALWAYS going to need oil, for petrochemicals more than for fuel.

ALL replacements for oil as a fuel have problems.
No ONE solution is going to be a magic bullet.

Here are five things we could do that would go a very long way towards cutting our dependance on foreign oil;

1) Tax credits for new and existing homes installing rooftop solar. Both solar electric cells and solar water/heat. This is dependant on area, of course.
It's not practical to fully power an average home with solar electric right now, so set the bar at (arbitrarily arrived at number) 20%. If your rooftop supplies 20% on average of your power, you get a steep cut in your property taxes.

2) More Nuclear Power.
I won't beat this dead horse much... this arguement is already going.
Three Mile Island was 25 years ago, in a reactor designed 40 years ago, in a station managed by monkeys in suits.
We can do better.
This is one of the few areas where I greatly admire the French... France gets 70% of it's electricity from Nuclear.

3) Improve hybrid vehicles.
This is a thread by itself...
They've already improved significantly in just the last few years. They need to be better. They need more power for those of us that need it. They need models big enough to tote all the crap I carry in my Nissan Pathfinder.
If states were smart, they'd say "no sales taxes on Hybrid or Electric vehichles". They're not smart, they're governments, so it wouldn't happen.

4) Increase gas taxes in a planned and very public schedule. (Honestly, I'm of two minds on this one... I HATE "special" tarriff-taxes on products...).
Make it federal law that gasoline/diesel taxes will rise at 1% this year, 2% next year, 3% the following, etc.
This will encourage people to buy newer, more fuel efficient, vehicles WITHOUT the sudden shock of "instant" gas tax hikes which would bankrupt a heck of a lot of people (including me... I can't afford a new car NOW, but I CAN look ahead to buying a new one in 5 years...).

5) Solar and wind "farms" in large areas where they are practical. Now, I'm not a big fan of wind power... In areas of California where they have 'em, most of the time I see well over half of them not turning, and down for maintenance..
Solar farms have their problems too... but they are considerably better and more efficient than they were 20 years ago.


Them's my thoughts...

Paul F.

uute
02-17-2006, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by Evan:
On the other hand China is building new nuclear plants too.

Originally posted by JCHannum:
Available soon at your local Harbor Freight.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Best laugh of this thread!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Rich Carlstedt
02-17-2006, 11:53 PM
Is this term
"Energy Independence "– an oxymoron ?

No matter how much you reduce, we will always be "dependent" on energy.
Like it or not, the difference between us and say an African country is we use energy to make products. They do not.
This difference creates a higher standard of living for us.
we can reduce our use, till we live like they do, in clay houses with grass roofs.

Interesting how people who want reductions do not Committ to HOW FAR they want us to go!!
They envision a Utopeia, where everyone runs around in hybreds and we are all happy.
This "dream" is so far out of reality , that it is hard for me to even comprehend.
Yes, we use a lot of energy, and yes we can cut back, and yes there is new techknology out there..BUT
Do not expect me to pay higher taxes to achieve your goals.
Do not expect me to drive a little bitty car when I know a bigger one will save my life, as it HAS (3 months in the hospital, the offender "cause" was killed in their smaller car)
Do not expect me to agree that conservation is the "only way". How would you like it when you want a raise, and the boss says "hey...you need to save more !" makes sense right ! (only in your world maybe )
And while we diddle away the energy, the rest of the world goes past us, and we
Loose jobs, loose work and eventually our standard of living.

Next time you gripe about a steel mill shutting down due to foriegn competition, ask yourself...would they close the doors if they paid 2 cents for electricity instead of 12 cents..it's happening..!

Rich Carlstedt
02-17-2006, 11:55 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt:
Is this term
"Energy Independence "– an oxymoron ?

No matter how much you reduce, we will always be "dependent" on energy.
Like it or not, the difference between us and say an African country is we use energy to make products. They do not.
This difference creates a higher standard of living for us.
we can reduce our use, till we live like they do, in clay houses with grass roofs.

Interesting how people who want reductions do not Committ to HOW FAR they want us to go!!
They envision a Utopeia, where everyone runs around in hybreds and we are all happy.
This "dream" is so far out of reality , that it is hard for me to even comprehend.
Yes, we use a lot of energy, and yes we can cut back, and yes there is new technology out there..BUT
Do not expect me to pay higher taxes to achieve your goals.
Do not expect me to drive a little bitty car when I know a bigger one will save my life, as it HAS (3 months in the hospital, the offender "cause" was killed in their smaller car)
Do not expect me to agree that conservation is the "only way". How would you like it when you want a raise, and the boss says "hey...you need to save more !" makes sense right ! (only in your world maybe )
And while we diddle away the energy, the rest of the world goes past us, and we
Loose jobs, loose work and eventually our standard of living.

Next time you gripe about a steel mill shutting down due to foriegn competition, ask yourself...would they close the doors if they paid 2 cents for electricity instead of 12 cents..it's happening..!</font>

Evan
02-18-2006, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Evan:
On the other hand China is building new nuclear plants too.

Originally posted by JCHannum:
Available soon at your local Harbor Freight.

Best laugh of this thread!!

---------------------------------

Heh heh. Ever heard of the Canadian Slowpoke reactor? It can be trucked around and puts out up to 11 megawatts. It is licenced for fully unattended operation.

Rooter
02-18-2006, 02:00 AM
As a Reactor Operator, the only thing that scares me as far as building more Nuke plants is "Deregulation". Show me anywhere that deregulation has, in the end, made things better. Does the end user price go down ??? No. Are the workers better off ??? No.
Corporate greed in a deregulated market where there is no hope of any real compitition keeps the price up and when it becomes a monopoly through mergers and takeovers the price goes even higher, worker pay and benefits go down, work forces are reduced, and equipment is ran into the ground.
I know, we patch everything at work instead of fixing or replacing it.
People are forgetting the past sins of Nuclear power allowing the current trend for building new plants, but if the ones that are already running keep getting pushed to the limits with low maintenace and ran harder with power uprates, another TMI is right around the corner. If plants are not built and up and running, they will die on the drawing board.
Personnally, I think advances in hydrogen as a fuel will be the wave of the future. Many issues that currently stiffle its viability are on the verge of being conquered. Nuclear energy is the only thing I'm aware of that has more energy per unit mass than hydrogen, but burn hydrogen and the only waste you get is water which can be used to make more hydrogen. All that stands in the way is 1)a way to produce it that doesn't require fossil fuels and 2) a viable way to store and transport it.

Evan
02-18-2006, 08:24 AM
The "hydrogen economy" is a scam. It can be made to work, sort of. It is the worst possible solution and the problems that make it so cannot be overcome by technology. It simply isn't suitable as a practical fuel for powering cars and light trucks. It doesn't have the required power density, even in liquid form. You can't store enough hydrogen in a small vehicle to give it a reasonable range.

Also, where do you get the hydrogen?

Heres a quote of myself from an old thread:

There are four industrially usable ways to make hydrogen.

1: Steam reforming and catalytic cracking of methane. Economically stupid as the methane is perfectly suitable as a fuel in the first place. It also doesn't eliminate CO2 pollution as that is a byproduct of the process. It merely moves the pollution around. It also depends on limited fossil fuel reserves.

2: Heavy oil oxidation. Same problems as above. The oil is better used as bunker fuel and plastic feedstock.

3: Methanol reformation. Similar problems as above but is based on easily renewable resources IF we can afford to allocate those resources (farm land). It also produces CO2 pollution.

4: Electrolysis. Requires large amounts of expensive electricity. In North America such electricity is not available. The only feasible source for the needed electricity would be the construction of hundreds of nuclear power plants. This is not a cost effective option now or in the future. If the entire infrastructure cost of implementing hydrogen fuel systems is taken into account then hydrogen looks like the worst possible alternative.

While I am in favor of the proper use of nuclear power I am opposed to its use unless a full solution is implemented to take care of the waste products. We don't currently have such a solution in place. Building hundreds of nuclear plants to produce hydrogen without consideration of the waste disposal problem is like adding a bathroom to your house with no sewage drain.

Also, we don't have enough clean fresh water to supply the basic feedstock for hydrogen produced by electrolysis.

Incidentally, a reactor like the Slowpoke design can be used to "make" natural gas. It puts out 11 megawatts of usable process heat. This is trivial to use to make high temperature steam. Currently the tar sands in Alberta are one of the worlds largest reserves of oil. The oil is more expensive to produce as it must be recovered by steam injection. Cost is about $12 to $18 per barrel as compared to $2 for oil in Saudi Arabia. While still economical in today's economy the steam used for injection is produced by burning large amount of methane (natural gas). This is a waste of resources. This natural gas could be freed up for other uses by using small portable nuclear reactors such as the Slowpoke design to produce the process heat.

Rich Carlstedt
02-18-2006, 09:52 AM
Evan, you said
"The "hydrogen economy" is a scam. It can be made to work, sort of. It is the worst possible solution and the problems that make it so cannot be overcome by technology. It simply isn't suitable as a practical fuel for powering cars and light trucks. It doesn't have the required power density, even in liquid form. You can't store enough hydrogen in a small vehicle to give it a reasonable range."

RIGHT ON EVAN!

Lets keep things simple, but no one listens
The cheapest and most enviormental friendly method is:
Solid fuels for stationary plants
Liquid Fuels for mobile machines
Gas fuels for home heating via pipelines.

But everyone wants to complicate issues!

Rooter
02-18-2006, 10:55 AM
Evan and Rich
You say the hydrogen economy is a scam. Your point of not having the required power density is correct as I originally stated. This is only due to the fact that for a given volume, moreenergy can be stored in the form of gasoline than hydrogen gas. However, for the same mass, hydrogen puts gasoline to shame. Gasoline and Diesel are hydrocarbons, basically hydrogen and carbon.
I don't have all the answers, wish I did, wouldn't have to work anymore. For a possible example though, lets say some genius developes a catalyst that allows you to split water via electrolysis at very small electrical voltages and currents. We now can easily produce hydrogen for use in automobiles on the go, storage problem gone. Now we burn the hydrogen to heat some new compound impervious to temperature stresses (if you don't believe this, read a book called "Hacking Matter") and inject water onto this heated compound. The water flashes to steam applying power to our engine. Now another process takes this steam and, as in the first example, converts this steam to hydrogen to combust for extra power or aid in heating the impervious compound.
I'll admit this is all currently fantasy, but so was the possibility of flight and space travel not too many years ago.

Evan
02-18-2006, 11:10 AM
"However, for the same mass, hydrogen puts gasoline to shame. "

That isn't relevant. What matters is energy density. That is a physical attribute of the element that cannot be changed. There is no technical solution to that problem and it affects the economics of hydrogen as a method of storing energy at all points in the process.

Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's an energy storage medium. There is not and will not be any "magic" catalytic process to break apart a water molecule that somehow uses less energy than the binding energy of the molecule. This isn't a technical problem like spaceflight, it's rooted in the basic laws of physics.

There is no way to make hydrogen any denser than liquid hydrogen (never mind metallic hydrogen). Even then it has less energy density than gasoline and there are huge losses inherent in the process of liquifying it that are also governed by phsical laws that cannot be circumvented. It is completely impractical to use in gas form and liquid form has insurmountable obstacles to its use.

A gallon of gasoline contains more hydrogen than a gallon of liquid hydrogen. A gallon of gasoline contains about three times the energy of a gallon of liquid H2. Liquid H2 simply isn't a feasible alternative to other fuels because of all the transport, storage and handling issues as well as the terrible energy density and the horrible energy economics of making it. Gaseous H2 isn't even in the running at all.

uute
02-18-2006, 01:41 PM
Evan: I was thinking of the quality of chinese items at HF, and how thier reactors would come out - that's what made me laugh!

I knew you can make very small ractors - seen one design for RR engines once. Russians do it alot, I think. Not much containment on those I bet. (got to wonder about containment on research reactors too, at one time there were somthing like 100 research & military reactors sans containmentin US! '80s or so, don't know if it was ever addressed)

I believe your're right about the tar sands - at least it will be better than mining them in huge open pits.

H2 economy: convert it to methane - energy penalty but distribution / utility gains. Need to save oil to fly - got to be the toughest, how to fly on alteratives, solid rockets maybe?? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Anyway, we'd have plenty for trucks, busses & planes if we could do something about cars. Same w/ electric, free the houses - feed industry.

Doubt we'll break fossil fuels in my life, but we sure could knock em down to a managable level. If the US could import oil from Mars, we'd do that before trying anything cleaner - Exxon gaurds the tiller.

uute

uute
02-18-2006, 01:49 PM
Rooter - This is why I am against nuclear, its not the technology. The waste is BAD - for a long time, but even that I might be conviced about.

But regulated or not, complacency & greed trump even terror over time. Every additional plant increases the danger, increases the waste, and distributes knowaledge & materials more broadly for the enemies of humanity to access.

That's why I cannot condone nukes - not cause the power is not good. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

railfancwb
02-18-2006, 04:12 PM
Storing energy...

TVA has a manmade lake which replaced a mountain top near Chatanooga -- Raccoon Mountain I think. They run their nucs and coal plants at a steady rate, pumping Tennessee River water to the top of the mountain when demand is low and letting the water run back downhill when demand is high. Uses reversable turbine/pumps.

The original solar power is better known as Hydroelectric...sun evaporates water which comes back as rain and is stored behind dams and then released to generate electricity. Unlike nucs and coal burners, hydro can be truned on and off rather easily, so this includes storage as well.

In the States, the easy large hydroelectric projects have all been done. At one time there was talk about another dam or two in Grand Canyon, but that didn't pass the smell test then and certainly wouldn't now. However, there are numerous old, small dams still in place where water running through the spillway could be diverted through a turbo generator or two. The old mill towns in New England have possibilities as do a number of places in Tennessee.

Charles

Rooter
02-18-2006, 05:21 PM
Eva
"What matters is energy density" ???
Is that why NASA uses gasoline powered rockets ??? Oh I'm sorry, they use hydrogen powered rockets.
I know what you're trying to say. In the context you talk about, hydrogen is nothing more than a "storage medium" in the ways we currently produce and use it. As far as the laws of physics, I know you can't get something for nothing. That said, catalysts are used every day to separate molecules. Yes additional energy is still required, but catalysts can be used to aid the process requiring less external energy. And I'm not talking about some magic material to break the binding energy with no other input, the source of which could be solar generated or nuclear or coal.
Even gasoline required energy to be distilled from crude oil.
And who knows, space is fully of free hydrogen. Very sparse, but fills the majority of it according to scientists.. As we probe further into space, the requirement to obtain fuel away from earth will quite possibly lead to ways of collecting, storing, and transporting it even for use here on Earth.

Evan
02-18-2006, 07:21 PM
"Is that why NASA uses gasoline powered rockets ??? Oh I'm sorry, they use hydrogen powered rockets.
I know what you're trying to say. "


A rocket has an entirely different requirement than a ground vehicle. It must take the fuel mass it requires and lift it out of the gravitational well. In this case the mass/energy ratio is all important. BTW, have you noticed how large the external tank is compared to the vehicle (shuttle)?

Think compact car with a fuel trailer.

"Yes additional energy is still required, but catalysts can be used to aid the process requiring less external energy."

Electrolysis is already over 80% efficient in real world applications. There isn't much to be gained by other means. To start with about 60% of the input energy goes to making oxygen which serves no purpose. And, no, you can't burn it back with the hydrogen economically. It's dangerous, would have to be a cryogenic liquid also and would require double the distribution system. Not gonna happen.



[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 02-18-2006).]

wierdscience
02-18-2006, 08:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rooter:
Eva
"What matters is energy density" ???
Is that why NASA uses gasoline powered rockets ??? Oh I'm sorry, they use hydrogen powered rockets.
.</font>

Actually the Saturn rockets used Kerosene and LOX on the first stage,reason,hydrogen cannot compete with a dense hydrocarbon.The Shuttle uses solid rocket boosters along with it's own liquid fueled engines to achieve orbit.

There is a logical reason to use Lox/hydrogen out side of Earth's atmosphere,not only do you have fuel for propulsion,but also electricity and drinking water via fuel cells.

I agree with Evan and Rich on this one,hydrogen economy is a joke.

Besides,can you honestly see some bubble headed blonde hooking up a hydrogen line to her car http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Rooter
02-18-2006, 11:24 PM
All I know is oil will not last forever. Solar is the real joke to me. At current technology, one would have to cover an entire state to supply one major city. Double the efficiency and you only have to cover half the state.
Wind generators ??? get real. The only reason power companies put them up is to appease the tree huggers and for tax relief. They cost more to buy, put up, and maintain than will ever be recovered in generation.
As far as automobiles:
Electric car may work if you live in a town/city and don't have to drive more than 25 miles on any day.
Pure ethanol poses many problems for car manufacturers as well as it's source being corn and beens (bio diesel)which are also used for food and many other things not to mention our capacity to produce these is already close to maximum.
Other than hydrogen what is there ??? Everyone is so quick to discount it saying "It's a joke".
Our society as is requires energy and lots of it, so unless we plan on going back to living in caves, burning trees for warmth, and riding beasts of burden, we better come up with something else. And since hydrogen is not only the most abundant thing on this planet, but the universe as well, it seems the logical thing to use.
Something else that strikes me odd is that the same people who think a hydrogen economy is a joke seem to think the holy grail is fusion (putting 2 hydrogen atom together). Works great for the Sun, but I don't think I want to climb behind the wheel of something with an engine cooking along at 300,000,000+ degrees.

Rooter
02-18-2006, 11:56 PM
Here's some more data for you I found at: http://qt.promci.qc.ca/QTHydrogene.html. As I said before the energy density of hydrogen puts gasoline to shame, it's the energy per unit volume that's the killer.

Manufactured hydrogen has a good potential as fuel, but not by all means.
Hydrogen stores 2.7 watt hours per STP liter and 39,000 watt hours per kilogram.
Gasoline stores 9000 watt hours per liter and 13,000 watt hours per kilogram.
The energy density of hydrogen is 39,000 watt hours per kilogram, less the containment weight.
Gasoline is 13,000 watt hours per kilogram.
Lead batteries are around 30 watt hours per kilogram. Best batteries are around 330.

Hydrogen has been at the forefront of research at the atomic level due to its simplicity. Read the book "Hydrogen - the essential element" by John S. Rigden
Scientist also believe all matter was once hydrogen that was squeezed and heated, and joined together in astronomical cookers aka stars.

Rich Carlstedt
02-19-2006, 12:22 AM
Rooter
The reason the Hydrogen economy will never work, is simple.
"there is no free lunch"
I am not trying to be arragant, but we need to look at the chemical process, and use chemical equations .
We take fuel ( OIL) and ignite it.
It produces heat (power) and gas (Co2CoH2O etc)which we call waste.
now reverse the process, and take the same gases and add the heat, and produce oil !
so you have
Mass =gas + energy= gas - energy=Mass.
The laws of conservation of energy and mass tell us that nothing can be destroyed, only converted.
Now apply that logic to the preposition you stated. whereby Hydrogen is created (?) through water and a metal hydride and then burned to create heat, which makes steam, which makes hydrogen ????
H2O + power=Hydrogen=heat +gas= steam (power)= hydrogen
In another time, this was called perpetual motion.
this free lunch concept is everywhere. The proponents of Hydrogen do not even mention that OIL is used today for hydrogen generation --Hello !
You can say that water works, and it does, but its also about 3 times less efficent.
However this little (!)cost difference is never mentioned. ( we don't want to say we use oil to make hydrogen so we don't have to use oil !!)why that would be hypocritical

I have every hope that the issue is solved, but displacing the Laws of Physics is only a pipe dream. Am I against pipedreams ..NO
, but do not let them cloud the issue on something so relevant as our future standard of living.

Evan
02-19-2006, 12:23 AM
Rooter said:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Other than hydrogen what is there ??? Everyone is so quick to discount it saying "It's a joke"....

And since hydrogen is not only the most abundant thing on this planet, but the universe as well, it seems the logical thing to use."</font>

Hydrogen is not a joke. The problem is the laws of physics make it impractical except for certain uses. It may be useful for operating busses in cities where there is plenty of room for the fuel in the vehicle. That's what Ballard Power in Vancouver has been experimenting with for some time now. That may make sense simply as a way to shift the pollution out of the city center. Currently it doen't reduce pollution, it only moves it elsewhere.

Hydrogen doesn't make the least sense for powering small vehicles and there is no solution to that problem, period. Like it or not, it isn't practical or economical. The problems are numerous and insurmountable.

While hydrogen is very abundant free hydrogen is practically non-existent. And, that's only the first of a long list of show stoppers.

You can't electrolyze salt water, it must be desalinated first or you must use fresh water unless you have a plan to deal with a lot of chlorine.

Electrolysis requires energy input equal to or greater than the binding energy of the H2O. Current overall efficiency of hydrogen production is around 30% when the efficiency of the power source is taken into account. It may be possible to raise that as high as 50%.

Hydrogen must be liquified for transport as there is no feasible way to transport it as a gas. Liquifying hydrogen requires energy approximately equivalent to 1/2 of the hydrogen liquified. This cannot be improved, it is governed by the laws of thermodynamics.

Even in a cryogenic liquid state it has only 1/3 the energy density of gasoline. Together with the very expensive tankers needed to handle and transport it it would take four trips hauling hydrogen for every one hauling gasoline. Cryogenic pipelines are not feasible.

Once delivered to a distribution point product loss occurs at the rate of about 10% to 20% per day. This is unavoidable.

An average car has room for enough liquid hydrogen to drive perhaps 100 to 150 km. The tank to hold it will cost perhaps 200 to 500 times as much as an ordinary gasoline tank.

If the vehicle is parked for a week or so without being used the tank will be empty due to evaporation.

It isn't possible to store any usable quantity of hydrogen in a vehicle as a gas. Metal hydrides are expensive, heavy, have even lower volumetric energy density than LH2, take a long time to recharge (hours) and recharging results in wasted energy in the form of heat.

The necessary infrastructure to make, transport and deliver hydrogen doesn't exist. Building it would be phenomenally expensive. Old infrastructure cannot be converted.

The necessary service industries to support that infrastructure do not exist.

Every one of these points is by itself a showstopper. Taken together I find it incredible that anybody is even talking about the possibility of hydrogen powered cars. That is why I consider it a scam. That's the only explanation for all the noise about hydrogen.

Rich Carlstedt
02-19-2006, 12:24 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt:
Rooter
The reason the Hydrogen economy will never work, is simple.
"there is no free lunch"
I am not trying to be arragant, but we need to look at the chemical process, and use chemical equations .
We take fuel ( OIL) and ignite it.
It produces heat (power) and gas (Co2CoH2O etc)which we call waste.
now reverse the process, and take the same gases and add the heat, and produce oil !
so you have
Mass =gas + energy= gas - energy=Mass.
The laws of conservation of energy and mass tell us that nothing can be destroyed, only converted.
Now apply that logic to the preposition you stated. whereby Hydrogen is created (?) through water and a metal hydride and then burned to create heat, which makes steam, which makes hydrogen ????
H2O + power=Hydrogen=heat +gas= steam (power)= hydrogen
In another time, this was called perpetual motion.
this free lunch concept is everywhere. The proponents of Hydrogen do not even mention that OIL is used today for hydrogen generation --Hello !
You can say that water works, and it does, but its also about 3 times less efficent.
However this little (!)cost difference is never mentioned. ( we don't want to say we use oil to make hydrogen so we don't have to use oil !!)why that would be hypocritical

I have every hope that the issue is solved, but displacing the Laws of Physics is only a pipe dream. Am I against pipedreams ..NO
, but do not let them cloud the issue on something so relevant as our future standard of living.</font>

Thanks for your provocative thoughts..however

rich

uute
02-19-2006, 12:32 AM
Rooter: zinc-air batteries are on par w/ gasoline for energy density. I believe the efficientcy (charge/ discharge) is pretty good too.

Army was using them for small stuff, disposable there.

Recharge requires a remanufacture though. Wish I knew more about this one.

Solid fuel is also difficult to handle.

uute
02-19-2006, 12:51 AM
Then again Evan, curent ICEs aren't much beter than 30% efficient & mideast oil can require up to 7 barrels to deliver one (even you said Saudi oil comes up at a couple $s per barrel, yet tarsands compete at $15, transport & refining suck up part of this difference).

Fuelcell / electric drivtrain can be much more efficient, thus requiring less fuel to be hauled around w/ vehicle.

I know none of this will be price competitive w/ oil till it runs out (or China buys control w/ all our former money - and they ARE), but there are other reasons. Climate changeis, IMHO, a big one. Gov won't do it, it will take someone w/ a truely bright idea & God on their side.

Then again, Bill Gates did it to computing, w/ neither of the above! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

uute
02-19-2006, 01:00 AM
On solar: Actually the biggest problem is that you can own it yourself. Utilities don't like that idea - no monthly bill. Better get our (utility owned) congressmen on that one!

Yes, it takes some room & generates in a low density manner, but it is about as clean as you can get, very reliable, and getting better all the time. It will be a good part of the solution eventually.

Evan
02-19-2006, 08:53 AM
"mideast oil can require up to 7 barrels to deliver one"

???? I'm curious where that number comes from. The cost to deliver a barrel of Saudi oil to North America is only a few dollars plus a couple of dollars to dig a well and pump it.

If the very poor overall efficiency of hydrogen were the only drawback we could live with that, although much less well. That isn't a real show stopper, although most people would consider fuel at 20$ per gallon to be one. It isn't even possible to assign a real cost per mile to drive a hydrogen vehicle since we have no clue what the total costs would be to try and implement it. It would be extreme and the net result would be essentially unusuable within our current expectations of what a vehicle does.

Rustybolt
02-19-2006, 10:03 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt:
Evan, you said
"The "hydrogen economy" is a scam. It can be made to work, sort of. It is the worst possible solution and the problems that make it so cannot be overcome by technology. It simply isn't suitable as a practical fuel for powering cars and light trucks. It doesn't have the required power density, even in liquid form. You can't store enough hydrogen in a small vehicle to give it a reasonable range."

RIGHT ON EVAN!

Lets keep things simple, but no one listens
The cheapest and most enviormental friendly method is:
Solid fuels for stationary plants
Liquid Fuels for mobile machines
Gas fuels for home heating via pipelines.

But everyone wants to complicate issues!

</font>


And they seem to miss out on the 'economy of scale'as well. Not to mention that if there was a buck to made from it, someone would already be doing it.

Rooter
02-19-2006, 11:31 AM
Good debate, but I have to go refuel a nuke reactor. 12 hour nights, 7 nights a week for the next month. Lots of money for new toys, but the rest really sucks. Nothing but eat, sleep, and work.
One last thought though on the "Laws of Phisics". They were created from mathematical formulas that explained phenomena as we observed them. Put everything in a neat, nice, little package. However, as we probe space and subatomic particles, scientists a stuggling to explain observations with the current laws, they just don't fit well.
Take a magnet, in about every household, and have been known about for thousands of years. Yet even today, scientists cannot fully explain magnetism. Think about that magnet stuck to your refrigerator. The laws or physics say work is "mass in motion", so that magnet is not doing work. So if no energy is being expended, what holds it up there ??? Some would say subatomic particle bonding. To me, it's still counteracting gravity and therefore expending energy to do so. Yet the magnet never lets go hence, run out of enegy and doesn't shrink (mass/energy conversion) so there has to be something else going on there.
As far as your conspiracy theory uute, I must admit it has crossed my mind. I mean take drug companies. Say one comes up with a cure for the common cold. What do they do ??? They make billions selling cold and flu remedies that only ease the symptoms. What's to be gained by providing a cure.
Before everyone jumps on me, I don't truely believe this to be the case, but it is food for thought.
Catch you later, say a month or so.

Evan
02-19-2006, 12:31 PM
Heh. Let's not get started on magnets. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif I will say though it isn't doing any work stuck to the fridge any more than a cookbook sitting on top of the fridge is.

kf1002002
02-19-2006, 12:38 PM
Rooter
I'm not really convinced by your magnet on the refrigerator analog. The magnetism is stored energy and is not used when velocity is 0. In fact you can get the same result with a dab of glue on anything to stick it to the refrigerator and if you use the right glue it is much stronger than the magnet.
Ken

nheng
02-19-2006, 01:02 PM
"To me, it's still counteracting gravity and therefore expending energy to do so"

I agree http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif The magnet has lines of flux between it and the surface it is applying its force against. We as a civilization just aren't advanced enough to know how to extract energy from the "static" field.

BTW, Does anyone remember Atmos clocks, extracting their perpetual timekeeping from the minute changes in atmospheric pressure throughout the day?

Convert atmospheric pressure changes (on a GRAND scale) to mechanical motion, apply to your static magnetic field and voila ... energy as we now know it http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

TECHSHOP
02-19-2006, 03:07 PM
I have used CNG Big Gov vehicles, and it was a PITA. Hydrogen would be an incredible hurdle for consumers to adopt. The switch grass to fuel, might (eventually) work economically, but Big Indi would have a "problem", not just oil, but also agri and chemical giants. They will all want some kind of "tax supported" help.



------------------
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

uute
02-19-2006, 03:18 PM
Evan responded:
&gt;&gt;"mideast oil can require up to 7 barrels to deliver one"

&gt;???? I'm curious where that number comes from.

Almost had to be in a study cited in either HomePower or Solar Today. Not sure I can find it, but I'll try.

and no, the figure is not the average, but worst case - went something like you say:

a. $2 gets you a barrel of crude in the desert
b. why $2? Used a barrel's worth drilling & pumping - thats 1 for 1 or 2 barrels total, still at the well head
c. takes a barrel to move it to terminal, 1/2 barrel to ship to east coast
d. 2 more to refine heavy sour crude
e. a barrel to distribute by truck
f. anothe barrel or 2 to transport fuel: to rig, pipeline, tanker, refinery, delivery truck.

So desert oil comes out around $14-15, Saudi's want $10-15 profit, need to see $25 (heavy goo). Iran, China, Nigeria, & terrorists add big premium.

I'll try to find the study reference.

Evan
02-19-2006, 04:40 PM
You can't get numbers like that in the worst possible case. Tar sands oil is the worst case currently to produce. That takes much less than a barrel per barrel at the pipline head. Pipelines are really efficient but so are super tankers. Even loading every possible bit of infrastructure cost oil costs less than a barrel per barrel to produce.

Total finding cost, production cost, tranportation cost, refining cost and marketing cost (profits excluded) are less than one dollar US for a gallon of gasoline. That's an average so some costs are higher and some lower. If it cost a barrel of oil to produce and refine a barrel of oil the price would be nearly double what it is now.
----------------

BTW, magnets don't store energy. Magnetized material has the same net energy as unmagnetized material. The only difference is the alignment of the domains. That takes energy but it isn't stored in the magnet. In fact, demagnetizing a magnet requires an energy input, again, same as magnetizing it.

Arcane
02-19-2006, 05:30 PM
to quote nheng Convert atmospheric pressure changes (on a GRAND scale) to mechanical motion, apply to your static magnetic field and voila ... energy as we now know it
Dang! That sounds like....wind power!
Atmospheric pressure change....wind
mechanical motion....blades/gearbox, etc
magnetic field.....generator
energy as we now know it...electricity!
(sorry nheng..I couldn`t help being a smartarse. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif )

Arcane
02-19-2006, 05:44 PM
and to quote Evan... Heh. Let's not get started on magnets. I will say though it isn't doing any work stuck to the fridge any more than a cookbook sitting on top of the fridge is.

I wish you were wrong, that way if the boss caught me just SITTING there at my desk and he asked what I was doing, I could honestly tell him I was working!

dvideo
02-20-2006, 09:32 AM
Best pratical stuff for "homes" I've seen is on sailboats...

No big regulatory infrastrucuture to oppose (ie, no Exxons, Road Tax Collectors, Gas Stations, tire companies, etc) doing what is right. No big gov't subsidies to confuse what makes sense....

Good combination solutions of solar, wind, diesel (ie, the grid), windmills, local "hydro", space, and common sense.

Tread lightly: be efficient, low cost, have common sense, and do all you need to do. Sailboat power systems are rapidly evolving - and can be applied a lot of places.....

--jerry

uute
02-20-2006, 09:44 PM
Evan, at $2 a barrel, thats about 5 cent a gallon at the well. 7x is only 14 cents. you get what, about 1/2 in gasoline, makes 28 cents. If oil is 1/3 the cost - you're around 84 cents.

Still looking for the reference, but does anyone know what were paying for fuel in Iraq?

I know it seems like a lot, but sure seems like it was 7x.

uute

SJorgensen
02-20-2006, 10:30 PM
This is a great thread. I haven't read all of it yet but I'll try to.

Evan recounted the hurdles and seemingly insurmountable problems with hydrogen fuel. He might be right, yet his entire perspective is about how it CAN'T be done. One day a man of Evan's talents and knowledge will think outside the box, and not convince himself as to why it can't be done. He will ask himself HOW it CAN be done.

We depend on compounds of hydrogen and carbon that took eons to come about. Yet we have been able to turn carbon into diamonds synthetically in a much shorter time. I wonder if a practical chemical or mechanical/chemical solution to creating a very dense synthetic hydrogen fuel, or hydrocarbon fuel, isn't possible. It might require the ability to manufacture materials in environments that we can't yet imagine. Like a process that might be done at the bottom of the ocean or even in a geothermal vent.

Still Evan's use of the term "insurmountable" isn't the same as him saying that it is "impossible." In fact it is like him saying it is "economically unfeasible." Economics is dependent on so many things, and these things change all the time.

The other problem with hydrocarbon fuel is the byproduct of carbon monoxide which reverts to carbon dioxide and is building up in the atmosphere. We need to sequester the CO2 and turn it into calcium carbonate. This can be done using a compound like quicklime or calcium hydroxide.

Now I realize that the production of calcium hydroxide requires the release of CO2. The advantage is that this can be done in a factory where the gas can be captured.

Changes must be made, and I hope that some technological innovation really BREAKS the current oil economy, and provides a cheap source of clean energy for everyone.

I also believe that those who own the energy industry now would wage war on any country or group or individual, to prevent this from happening.

One of my favorite concepts is a solar panel canopy installed in areas in the middle of the great deserts. The panels would absorb solar energy and also create shade and cooler temperatures underneath which would allow a new ecology and plant growth. These would be oasis in the deserts.


[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 02-20-2006).]

Evan
02-21-2006, 12:50 AM
If you go back and read my posts again you will see that I said hydrogen can't be used as an acceptable fuel for small personal vehicles. Large vehicles like trucks and especially buses may be practical if all the merits/demerits are taken into account.

For a bus fleet you only need one fueling point.

Fueling will be done by trained personnel only.

A bus has room for enough fuel even with as low a density as hydrogen.

Using hydrogen, even if made from dino fuel, removes the pollution from city cores.

Fueling just buses makes sense as it doesn't require a wholesale reconstruction of the vehicle fuel infrastructure.

Evaporation of cryogenic fuel isn't a problem as it will be used before losses are significant. Fuel use is highly regular and predictable.

Transportation of hydrogen to the fueling point is greatly simplified as the fueling point can be placed in a convenient industrial area. Only one or two such points would be needed in a city.


This is mostly not the case with personal vehicles. In particular there are just two items that make it a non starter for personal vehicles. This isn't a negative point of view and "thinking outside the box" isn't going to change the laws of physics. The realistic fact is that there is no way to provide anything close to sufficent fuel density with hydrogen unless you use cryogenic liquid hydrogen. Nobody is going to accept a daily driver that evaporates all its fuel if left sitting for a week.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
While some researchers are working on tanks that will safely hold both gas and liquid hydrogen at pressures up to 10,000 pounds per square inch, "we're reaching the technological limits of gas and liquid storage" of hydrogen, says Angela Lueking, assistant professor of energy and geo-environmental engineering at Penn State.

http://www.rps.psu.edu/hydrogen/form.html
</font>

A lot of work is being done on solid state storage systems but none show any promise of even equalling the density of LH2. Even LH2 just plain sucks as a small vehicle fuel. It takes four times as many gallons in a highly expensive insulated tank to equal the energy capacity of gasoline. To equal the driving mileage of gasoline takes 5 to 6 times the capacity because the liquid hydrogen must be evaporated from near absolute zero to ambient for use. That requires a large portion of the heat the engine generates, even beyond the waste heat of the engine.

And it is still empty if you park it for a week.

dvideo
02-21-2006, 10:37 PM
uute - might think we disagree with all that he is saying... That's sure not the case.

Solar, done right, is an absolutely great, cheap way to do things... The big trick is to look for direct use - not conversion technologies...

EG: you have windows - to let in sunlight - so you *don't* have to run light bulbs...... This was used in the *old days* by many cultures - just reflect light (via concave shiny surface) into a building - then use the reflected light to illumintae.. several reflectors - more light & better diffusion... Cost more to heat or cool - but it's a net benefit.

There are light pipes today - to collect, send light down a pipe, and diffuse in the house... For sure, there are considerations - but you get the idea. No conversions...

My daughter (9) asked questions about solar heating - I answered and her mom helped build a science fair project. First in Flass, Grand Prize for school. On to the next level...... The project: Since a wall has to be insulated anyway, build a insulated box - 3x7'. Put clear cover (PVC or Polycarbonate) over the open face. Seal. Cut round hole in bottom - round hole in top. Put pinwheel on top hole. take outside - in the sun. At 4:00 on a 60 degree Jan day - it was 90 in the box and the pinwheel almost flew off the mount. The air was HOT. A wall of these things is cheap to build - and can heat a shop, garage, or someone's home. Cold air in the bottom - hot air out the top.

As you said... the Power Company doesn't make a nickel off it. Carefully done, it's dirt cheap. Could stand improvement, but it was a pretty good idea for a 9 year old.

If enough people can think up simple ideas that work, post them (eg - Homepower) - with real numbers - no politics - then these ideas can really spread.

FWIW - Just got my National Geographic again. Mr. Peabody is hard at it hauling away large sections of W. Virginia, Tenn, KY, and the like.. That's one real cost of the political destruction of Nuke Power. I like W. Va. Don't really want to see it hauled off and burned.

--jerry

Evan
02-21-2006, 11:48 PM
"There are light pipes today - to collect, send light down a pipe, and diffuse in the house... For sure, there are considerations - but you get the idea. No conversions... "

There are even simpler solutions that are really cheap and easy for some situations. I use a heliostat to supplement lighting. It cost maybe $25.00.

This is what it does:

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/helio1.jpg


This is what does it:

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/helio2.jpg

It's just a mirror on an adjustable stand. During spring and fall I adjust it every couple of weeks. Someday I might build a sun tracker for it, solar powered of course.

dvideo
02-22-2006, 02:47 PM
Evan......

Very nifty... Tracking and some diffusion would be interesting to see...

The point is that when you convert power - you are lucky to get 30% +/- efficiency. The rest is "waste". If you can use the "waste" - great...! Avoiding the conversion works great...

If one did a "cost analysis" of a reflector - compared to light bulbs..... It probalby works out pretty well... The fixture may cost $25 to do - but bulbs, fixtures, and power cost $$ too....

--jerry

Evan
02-22-2006, 03:00 PM
That "fixture" has been providing about 500 watts of light for about 2 hours each day every sunny day of the year for a decade or so. It keeps my Ficus Benjamina tree alive. That's about one kilowatt hour of power each day, maybe 100 kwh per year. At .07 per kwh thats maybe $70 worth of power saved in ten years and a nice healthy tree that makes my living room a nicer place to be.

We also don't bother with a christmas tree any more, just hang a few decorations on the Ficus... More money saved. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

railfancwb
02-22-2006, 04:10 PM
FWIW, I saw in the latest issue of "Railfan" that a New England power plant is importing coal from South Africa in an effort to reduce harmful emission in the smoke. 40,000 tons initially and, if justified by tests, 300,000 million tons over the next year (or maybe two years). Needless to say, this does wonders for USA employment and balance of trade, not to memtion energy independence -- the initial topic of the thread. Charles

Rustybolt
02-22-2006, 04:29 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by railfancwb:
FWIW, I saw in the latest issue of "Railfan" that a New England power plant is importing coal from South Africa in an effort to reduce harmful emission in the smoke. 40,000 tons initially and, if justified by tests, 300,000 million tons over the next year (or maybe two years). Needless to say, this does wonders for USA employment and balance of trade, not to memtion energy independence -- the initial topic of the thread. Charles</font>


Because Illinois coal is so high in sulfer. Illinois power plants must burn low sulfer coal from Colorado. Wisconsin, however, uses Illinois coal.

uute
02-28-2006, 12:42 PM
Hey Evan, been needin to appologize for the cheap shot on Canada's research reactor being used for India's first Bomb, had secretly wondered how they beat the US to "assisting" anyone to get the Bomb!

Now I get the double dip of crow! Bush is in India trying to suve our Nuke's (utility type) into India to comensate for giving Pakistan F-16s. He figures he can arm India w/ F-16s too, maybe start another arms race to keep our defense industry busy.

Be the first time India & Pakistan will be united since Alex the Great, when they both turn our weapons back on US. That seems to be the object of our arming the world, so we can expend our treasure & life blood trying to retreave theose same arms later - at a profit to Boeing & Lockheed!

still looking for the piece on oil, down to thinking it was "embodied energy" of the gasoline, but not ready to capitulate yet.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

uute

PS. Xcel (our utility here) says that residents using 100% wind generated electricity were paying $10 LESS per month during the high price of nat gas than regular elec customers. (usually pay a bit more). Now it is more like $4.00 per month LESS, but may go back to a bit more if gas prices stay down. Wind Competes NOW!!

Evan
02-28-2006, 02:01 PM
I'm curious, do their lights go out when the wind isn't blowing?

dvideo
02-28-2006, 05:56 PM
Evan! there are politicians! the wind never stops blowing...!!

One could collect the lot and test out rectal thermocouples as a battery recharge source, too! :&gt;

--jerry

dicks42000
02-28-2006, 07:10 PM
Gentlemen;
Optimum Controls Svcs. here in Vancouver will donate all the thermocouples necessary for insertion into all politicians who are seen as a potential thermal energy source. Maybe all the electrically qualified members here would assist with connections to some sort of metering device, protection and the local grid...
Great fun, unless you're a useless politico...

sdeering
02-28-2006, 09:46 PM
Just thought I would add my 2 cents.
I read almost all of the posts so if these were mentioned I'm doing it again.

I think when the environment is totally f-cked up humanity/government; what ever you want to call it will no longer be able to deny the problem and will be forced to do something about it. Maybe things will revert back to the (not so long ago) old days, when you had to pump your own water and take a crap on the frost covered seat in the outhouse.

The quick dollar is what prevents humanity from cleaning up. Make a million die and leave the mess behind nobody gives a sh-t. The problem is going to be left for our children and theirs to deal with. Sorry when I think of the way things are going energy wise it always depresses me. I some day would like to repay the good old mother earth , some how??????

When I have time for TV I usually watch Discovery. What great programs. How It’s Made my favorite and Bike builders I likeey.

A recent program was on a tidal generator well more of a wave generator. Looks like a large buoy, bobs up and down in the ocean, generates electricity, float a couple thousand of these and wala. Definitely clean power there, as long as the pist yot driver doesn’t run over one.

One that I may try in the future is a solar concentrator. I have collected a couple of old sat. dishes. The tracker is what is holding me back. Use these to heat water or maybe even make steam.

Now for the far fetched:
A pulsed DC electric motor making more power than it uses. Adams motor.
Hmmmm even if some wonder machine did work would it really help humanity……

Recently on Discovery, a man clamed he has a similar working generator. He has it all decorated with flashing lights, looks like it belongs in the circus, and he wonders why nobody will take him seriously. What a dumb ass.

The noble gas engine by Mr. Pap. This is an interesting one not quite free energy but close. Most likely a get rich scheme by Pap. He supposedly did kill a couple of men when his engine blew up? Must have been something going on inside them cylinders??? He never gave up his plans and took them to the grave.

O ya another one on Discovery. A man made a huge faris wheel looking contraption. It had a trip at the top and a trip at the bottom and hundreds of weights around the perimeter. The top trip would raise a weight and the bottom trip would lower a weight. He claimed one half of the wheel that had the weight farther out was heavier than the other half that had the weight in and it perpetually turned. I’ll bite? The guy that was giving I think 10000 beans to whoever proved a free power design didn’t bite though.

I actually built the Adams motor and it runs at 200%. The next experiment will be with Pap's engine. Just kidding about the Adams, I did build one but no extra power created dam it...
Stephen

Evan
03-01-2006, 12:48 AM
The patent records are filled with "free energy" machines. Even though the Patent Office won't grant a patent for a perpetual motion machine without a working model they will grant one for the same thing called something else. Except for a perpetual motion machine there is no requirement that an invention actuallys works as claimed in order to be granted a patent.

Oh, incidentally, none of the "free energy" machines really work. None. Nada. Not even close. It has something to do with the laws of thermodynamics which in short are:

1: You can't win.

2: You can't even break even.

3: You can't leave the game either.

sdeering
03-01-2006, 07:37 AM
I remember years ago I worked at a GM dealership. A peddler sopped by selling the fuel miser. It had a magnet inside a tube, supposedly lined up the fuel molecules so they burned more efficiently. Cam you say scam.
Stephen

dvideo
03-01-2006, 01:30 PM
2nd Law of Thermo is a usful thing to know... Once you realize what you can do with it..... you say... "look at all the "conversion waste energy" that I can do something with...

Evan has a cool reflective light source... . no conversion - just diversion.. that is the "right" principal. Catching and storing/uwing the excess....

Harvest the sun's heat - by cookers, water heaters, "hot boxes", air movers... pretty good stuff.... not expensive to do & saves money.

warm water grows catfish down pipe from the power plant... Shrimp ponds, etc..

I saw a piece on "highly salanic" water heating... Dead Sea salt water pond - very saline. Turns out that hot water sinks in such things. So you can use it to heat water to VERY HIGH temperatures. Not sure how tough on the metal it is... would even Satinless 416 stand up? With such balanced systems - you could grow shrimp like mad - and generate power from pools. Wicked thoughts - low cost, high tech.

--jerry

Evan
03-01-2006, 02:27 PM
Jerry,

That isn't the only energy saving device we use. As usual, we have very good insulation, especially over the colder areas of the house. When I added more to the fiberglass insulation in the attic I put down a layer of aluminum foil, just loose on top of the existing batts. That serves as reflective insulation and is equal to around R3 by itself.

In the summer we have some south facing windows including a sliding glass door to the deck. We have a bamboo blind that rolls down from the soffit to cover it when that sun is hot. I painted the exterior side of the blind with shiny aluminum paint so it reflects as much heat as possible. The blind is position about 2 feet from the door so it is still easy to go in and out.

We have our own sewage treatment system including lagoon so we have a lot of incentive to keep it functioning properly. Nothing toxic (especially including bleach!) ever goes down the drain. As long as the lagoon is nice and green and the algae are doing their job it is odorless. Sewage treatment would be incredibly less costly and easier to do if everyone did the same.

We never waste water even though we have plenty. That wasn't the case years ago when we lived in another house that had a well that could only supply maybe 50 gallons per day.

Most all of the lighting in our house is compact fluorescent or standard fluorescent, including reading lights. They have some very nice CF lights now with natural color temperatures.

We have three sources of heat including electric baseboard, natural gas and a wood burning stove. We use all three as required and for best economy. One thing we have is electric chair blankets that we sit on when in the living room. These keep you toasty and we can turn down the heat a bunch which saves a bundle.

All windows are double glazed and outside doors are insulated. All weather stripping is in good shape and the wood stove and natural gas heater have their own outside makeup air supply. We keep doors closed to rooms not in use and they aren't heated if not needed. We have three ceiling fans to keep the air mixed up and avoid cold spots. This allows the heat to be turned down without sacrificing comfort as the warm air doesn't pool at the ceiling.

Our heating bill right now is about $200 per month and that is with temps down to -20. If it goes colder I fire up the wood stove and the bill doesn't go up.

We have heavy insulated curtains that we draw at night in the winter and they really cut the heat loss through the windows. If our natural gas prices go up much more (which it seems they will) I'll be looking for more alternatives.

Wind power isn't practical as we have many tall trees which make it impossible to harness the wind without a 150 foot mast, not feasible. Solar is a possibility for water preheat during summer and may be in the cards. Ground loop heat pump isn't a good option as the soil temps are too low for good efficiency and the soil is too dry here. Heat exchange pumping from our well isn't economic as it is a 350 ft deep well and pumping cost would eat up any savings plus the water is very cold. I run the hot water heater at 120 degrees to minimize cost plus any waste heat from it simply heats my shop area, something that is required anyway.

We don't have a lot of good alternative energy options around here because of the climate and the specific soil and terrain conditions. Even small scale water power is highly problematic for those with the right stream (not us) because extreme cold freezes everything solid in winter. Solar in winter is not viable since during December the sun is never more than 15 degrees above the horizon and really from October to April it is not useful except for supplemental lighting as I have with my heliostat.

Except during mid winter our daily driver is a 4 cylinder PT Cruiser and my wife and I always commute together each day. We rarely have occasion to drive two vehicles the same day. We have never owned an eight cylinder engined vehicle.

I sure would like to come up with some cost effective ways to have more independence from the energy cartels but not many options exist that are at all compatible with our chosen lifestyle. I'm not willing to give up my shop and indoor plumbing with hot water.

The one consolation I have is that I am able to make some nice returns by investing in the energy cartels at the right times. It's always nice to make a 9% return on investment in 5 days. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

BillJ
03-01-2006, 05:41 PM
Well, I'm not pie-in-the sky enough to think that using less power will solve all our problems, but it's surely the way to start.

- Some friends went to New York in the summer, walked past department stores with their doors propped open and the air conditioned air pouring out onto the sidewalk.

- My daughter lives in Calgary. Cold winters. Clear skies. Lots of new construction, and no consideration whatsoever given to how these houses will be heated when fossil fuels are too expensive. They could just as easily design and orient them so that they could in future be converted to passive solar heat, but there's no incentive to. I imagine that's the case all throughout the prairie states and provinces.

Nuclear reactors? Maybe, but first we need to create incentives for better use of the energy that's available now. Our leaders won't do it of course, because of the oil lobby. Consider the magnitude of that crime compared to the "great crimes" in the history books.

Rooter
03-02-2006, 01:44 AM
Hi again fellas, got a chance to catch up on the debate here while eating my "FREE Lunch".;D
Sorry, couldn't help myself.
I understand the laws of physics and I know all to well that you don't get something for nothing.
However.....
Many things in nature defy the laws of physics or at least appear to given our current technology and understanding.
I don't know if a hydrogen economy will ever be viable or not, but if the biggest engine known to man -the Universe- is driven by the simplest atom known to man -hydrogen-, I for one will not discount the possibility that we too may one day find a way.

Doc Nickel
03-02-2006, 03:44 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rooter:
Many things in nature defy the laws of physics or at least appear to given our current technology and understanding.</font>

-No, they don't. Entropy still rules, but the Earth is not a closed system. It receives vast amounts of energy from the sun, and that is what powers... well, everything.

What do you consider to be defying, or even just appearing to defy, our understanding of physics?


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I don't know if a hydrogen economy will ever be viable or not, but if the biggest engine known to man -the Universe- is driven by the simplest atom known to man -hydrogen-, I for one will not discount the possibility that we too may one day find a way.</font>

-While that's a somewhat poetic way of thinking about it, from a pragmatic standpoint, the "hydrogen economy" still doesn't work. Basically because hydrogen is almost never found in a free state here on earth, and because of that, it will always take more energy to free that hydrogen than we'll gain by then burning it.

The analogy is simple: If you use $2 in gas to drive to a different supermarket to save fifty cents on eggs, you really haven't actually saved any money, have you?

Doc.

Rooter
03-02-2006, 04:24 AM
Yet another caught in the quagmire of a paradyme.
The analogy is simple: If you use $2 in gas to drive to a different supermarket to save fifty cents on eggs, you really haven't actually saved any money, have you?

Only if all you pick up is the eggs.

Doc Nickel
03-02-2006, 04:43 AM
And you said that some things appear to "defy" physics, without additional modifiers to your statement.

You can pick nits with my analogy, or you can explain yours, doesn't matter to me.

Doc.

Rooter
03-02-2006, 06:06 AM
OK, here goes.
I once thought along the same lines as most of you.
Now, for example, think of fission or fusion. The energy comes from the mass defect of splitting an atom or shoving two together. Basically mass to energy conversion. The greater the mass defect, the more usable energy released.
Combining hydrogen and oxygen gives the same effect, granted it uses a chemical process and the 'Mass Defect", if you will, is only the power used to split it apart in the first place (actually a little less due to inefficiencies).
Just like an ICE uses oxygen and gas (basically hydrogen and carbon) in a chemical reaction to produce usable energy, why is it so implausible to think that someday someone could find or produce some element that when combined with hydrogen or what ever to produce usable energy.
I try to think "Out of the Box" most of the time, Iguess because I've been trained to do that for so many years and I look at the fact that most modern fuels are some hydrogen based material.
So in essence, we already have a hydrogen based economy so why not keep looking there for an answer.
As a society, the reason comes down to the same narrow minded, in the same old box thinking that a lot of you have displayed here.

ulav8r
03-02-2006, 07:33 AM
I will confess to not being very smart, but what is a mass defect? I have never seen a defect in any mass that I looked at, except Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, etc.

Evan
03-02-2006, 08:22 AM
The mass defect is the difference in mass from before and after an energy producing reaction occurs. After any reaction between atoms occurs that produces energy some of the mass is carried away as energy resulting in a lower mass for the participating atoms and daughter products. This applies to fission, fusion and chemical burning as well although in chemical burning the constituent atoms remain unchanged except for the remaining binding energy level. However, binding energy has mass so when it is released the mass of the atoms reduces even though the number of atoms doesn't.

There isn't any chance of discovering some "new" element or some previously "unsuspected" reaction with hydrogen. The properties of the elements and the possible combinations and the energies involved are extremely well characterized and understood to the subatomic level.

lynnl
03-02-2006, 09:07 AM
quote:
There isn't any chance of discovering some "new" element or some previously "unsuspected" reaction with hydrogen. The properties of the elements and the possible combinations and the energies involved are extremely well characterized and understood to the subatomic level"

Evan I'm disappointed in you. That has always been the prevailing situation prior to every TRULY NEW discovery. We can't rule out all things that we know nothing about.

But speaking of hydrogen: A few weeks back I saw a short clip on one of the TV news shows describing Iceland's progress, using their abundent geothermal heat to split water into H and O2. They already are operating some city buses on hydrogen, and have plans to be fully oil independent within the next 15-20 years. Obviously theirs is a unique situation. But it's a step forward anyway.

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 03-02-2006).]

railfancwb
03-02-2006, 09:12 AM
A limited use of hydrogen as an energy store is certainly possible. In the case of Iceland, they are converting "waste" energy into hydrogen, and thus the numbers work. In the case of the USA, building a number of breeder reactors (or possibly the Canadian-style reactors mentioned earlier) could do the same thing with the bomb warheads lying around. Charles

Evan
03-02-2006, 09:44 AM
Lynn,

It is possible to know all there is to know about some things. Everyday chemical reactions between elements pretty much fall into that category. I can't think of any suprises that have turned up in the last 50 years or so.

As for Iceland, theirs is indeed a unique situation. They have abundant power from geothermal and hydroelectric and a small population. Efficiency is of no concern and distribution is trivial. I was there once but didn't get a chance to look around as we only stopped at the airport to refuel. I did get a chance to check out some of the shops at the airport and would really like to go back and see the country.

[added]

There is one suprise but it is more of a structural thing. That is fullerenes (buckyballs). They do have some very interesting properties. They aren't exactly new though as they occur naturally.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-02-2006).]

dvideo
03-02-2006, 01:46 PM
Evan...

About the only big thing I see you doing that makes sense is Geothermal loops.. and I don't know if that would matter or be economically viable.....

I have a lot of hope out for LED light sourcing.. I think that will make some big differences... Low power PCs, too...

Just to get in the right frame of mind.. I have been reading Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual (Hardcover)". It is a MASTERPIECE of "how to" on sailboats. It is also a BIBLE (!!**!!) of how to approach home power use. As an engineer, I find it a extraordinary introduction to all things power, lighting, heating, and cooling for "living the light footprint":
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071432388/qid=1141328678/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-5616125-3735016?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

The key point is that one can rank order things to make "return on investment" and "logical - simple" efforts to minimze our "footprints".

The money I SAVE is my own.. and I think that is great. Giving the bloodsucking power companies the heave-ho is a good thing, too. What our own TXU has done to make it easy to "cut off the less fortunate" could see a lot of people die when heat and cold waves come to Dallas. Their Glass Tower has just too high a cost.

--jerry

Evan
03-02-2006, 02:25 PM
I have a friend down the road that put in a geothermal loop system. It was very expensive and required a very large loop. It is slightly better than 1 to 1 efficiency but no better than 2 to 1 at the best. He is near the bottom of the valley and I am on top of a hill. The ground at my place is impermeable clay under maybe 6 inches of topsoil (I use that term loosely) and it is bone dry. The poor thermal conduction and dryness makes that a no-go as no advantage would be gained.

BobWarfield
03-02-2006, 07:07 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Everyday chemical reactions between elements pretty much fall into that category. I can't think of any suprises that have turned up in the last 50 years or so.

[added]

There is one suprise but it is more of a structural thing. That is fullerenes (buckyballs). They do have some very interesting properties. They aren't exactly new though as they occur naturally.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-02-2006).]</font>

Weellllll, the buckyball comment seems to me leaves the door open to refute this observation. Organic chemistry, particularly as it applies to substances found in living organisms, has developed considerably in the last 50 years. So has the understanding of how catalysts work. We still don't understand protein folding very well, nor are we very good at designing drugs to have specific interactions except through trial and error. Those are all pretty basic chemical reactions.

They used to use battery technology as a great example of something that just wasn't going to change much. Yet, we've seen quite a bit of evolution in battery chemistry in the last 50 years. That's also pretty basic stuff.

Metals and their alloys, another topic suitable for this board, continue to evolve pretty rapidly. Titanium is a very common element, but its only been since the cold war that we have gotten very good at working with it. Graphite composites and bucky ball structures are even newer.

Silicon in chips is little more than sand, but the chemistry required to make the chips has seen tremendous evolution in 50 years.

Never say never unless you are really, really sure!

With all that said, we are not going to exceed the laws of thermodynamics, but there are so many ways to get clever within the laws. The big trend I see that may be relevant is decentralization and smart devices. Look at the trend from land lines to wireless. Look at how much more important all of the battery operated devices are relative to plugging into a hard wire. Perhaps the decentralization trend will extend to energy in some way. Smart devices use a lot less energy.

Heck, I think even machine tools will go the decentralization route some day. The idea that you can have a CNC machine sitting in your garage would have been ludicrous not that long ago. Many things become information. Gold became 1's and 0's for money. Why not material goods? With enough decentralized machining facilities, why transport anything but raw materials if you can make it just in time and exactly to your specs? It sounds far fetched but there is a group at MIT working on exactly this idea.

I read elsewhere about a guy in the Army who took his CNC converted Asian mill and lathe to Iraq. His CO loves him because he makes all kinds of goodies without having to wait for logistics. On a battlefield, scrap metal is plentiful and high quality! Can you imagine mounting tools in the back of a truck and having the CAD/CAM for all the parts of every piece of machinery needed by a division? Instead of waiting for 1 of the 2 million spare parts to move from some warehouse they've probably lost track of and where the parts have been deteriorating, you can have it right now by loading some stock and punching a button.

I like that idea!

Best,

BW

railfancwb
03-02-2006, 07:36 PM
The universe is driven by the hydrogen to helium atomic (not chemical) reaction. We can duplicate the reaction on earth -- it is called a hydrogen bomb. There have been (and probably continue to be) experiments to make such reactions useful for power generation. If achieved, that could be the answer to the energy dilemma. Charles

dvideo
03-02-2006, 09:31 PM
Everyone wants big, continous Fusion Plants.

I want a 4 cylinder, Fusion "banger". Just like "back to the future". much easier to build... cheap, too...

Evan
03-03-2006, 12:37 AM
"Weellllll, the buckyball comment seems to me leaves the door open to refute this observation. Organic chemistry, particularly as it applies to substances found in living organisms, has developed considerably in the last 50 years. So has the understanding of how catalysts work. We still don't understand protein folding very well, nor are we very good at designing drugs to have specific interactions except through trial and error. Those are all pretty basic chemical reactions. "

That isn't relevant to the issue. I wouldn't regard those examples as "basic" chemical reactions at all, particularly protein folding. I was refering to the energies involved in reacting two or more elements. That is nailed down tight. We know exactly to many decimals how much binding energy is involved in all the possible reactions that we can use to generate power including the energies in practical nuclear reactions. Unless somebody invents a Mr. Fusion and a Flux Capacitor there isn't a lot to add to that area of physics.

The reason for the buckyball comment is that it shows some promise as a solid state storage medium for hydrogen. One slight hitch is that C-60 costs $25,000.00 per pound.

uute
03-03-2006, 02:48 AM
Since you guys brought up thermocouples (won't even touch the politicians), I'll throw out one more.

There is a commerial unit that uses a whole bunch of thermal-piles to generate electricity. Made for use where small amounts of electric are needed in a space that requires heating. Combinatinon heater/generator. Can't remember available output, it was modest.

No, I don't think this will save the world, just that it is interesting.

uute

gkman11
03-03-2006, 06:21 AM
Re: Ground source heat pump.
The average,year-round, temperature here in the plains is very comfortable. The bad news is that it swings from -15F to +105F. Given enough earth to store heat in the summer and reclaim it in the winter, the only energy cost is storing and retreiving (via heat pump). Storing heat in summer results in air conditioning (recovering "cool" stored in winter).

All well and good until you get to the details. Local contractors are digging a ditch 8' x 8' and installing coils of some kind of heat conductive plastic pipe (thousands of feet) to store/retrive heat from the ground. I remember our airport installing miles of direct burial wire around the runways only to have burrowing rodents chew into it rendering it all useless. I've heard that many of the ground source heat pump systems are leaking and out of service and I suspect the same cause.

A good idea but I don't want to be a guiney pig until they get the bugs worked out.

[This message has been edited by gkman11 (edited 03-03-2006).]

Evan
03-03-2006, 08:28 AM
"There is a commerial unit that uses a whole bunch of thermal-piles to generate electricity."

Yes there is. It can use just about any source of heat too. This is something I have had on the back burner for some time. It uses Peltier effect modules, similar to what are used in a Koolatron. I contacted an engineer at a company that makes high temp Peltier modules and have some engineering samples to work with. They can take up to 600F.

What I have in mind is an aluminum pot for camping that has such modules built into the base. The stove or campfire supplies the hot side heat and a boiling liquid (water, soup etc) in the pot is the cold side. It should be able to supply 12vdc at about 2 amps, good for charging batteries. Just plug in to the jack in the end of the handle. The reason I thought of this was because I used to do a lot of deep wilderness canoe camping for a week or more at a time. I needed something to recharge camcorder batteries.

Rooter
03-03-2006, 10:21 PM
Evan,
You said:
"I was refering to the energies involved in reacting two or more elements. That is nailed down tight. We know exactly to many decimals how much binding energy is involved in all the possible reactions that we can use to generate power including the energies in practical nuclear reactions".
Since you speak of buckballs, maybe you are familiar with quantum dots.
The book I read on the subject talks of scientists building artificial atoms in the transuranic range and in some a phenomena called "Electron Bunching" has been observed.
This is where electrons slip in and out of the artificial atom with "ZERO ENERGY COST".
Seems to me like something for nothing here.

uute
03-03-2006, 11:57 PM
Evan, you never cease to amaze me.

High Temp Peltiers! Wow. I don't think the one I seen used anything but plain ole thermal piles (750mvs worht of theralcouples). Was built into a wall heater unit using LP or nat.

Sauce pan that charges batteries. Think you let that one out into the Public Domain too soon?!!? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

uute
PS You know, I think the interest in this thread is a hopeful sign.

Evan
03-04-2006, 12:44 AM
Wait until you see my design for a refrigerator (not an insulated box but an actual cooling system) that will cost less than $50 to build, weighs less than 20 lbs and requires no power source (not even solar). It operates on well proven principles, uses cheap materials and is easy to build. It would be perfect for third world countries for vaccine storage and the daily user intervention required can be performed by a 5 year old. No, no generator either or other power used at all, no pumping, nothing.

I have a prototype partially built. I should finish it and test it this summer. This design has no precedent. Don't ask how it works, I'm not telling until I test. If it works as I expect then a patent is in order. Then it will be donated to whomever can make the best use of it.

As for the pot, I still have a year to patent it after disclosing it before it falls into the public domain.

uute
03-04-2006, 01:04 AM
Quite interesting! Are the Canadian patent laws better than in US? (Don't see how your system could possibly be worse, even if it were based on the Chinese model) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

In any case, I'll pray for your success. I'm not that religious, but all Gods children deserve a few of technologies benefits.

uute

Stick
03-04-2006, 10:15 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Rooter:
Yet another caught in the quagmire of a paradyme.
The analogy is simple: If you use $2 in gas to drive to a different supermarket to save fifty cents on eggs, you really haven't actually saved any money, have you?

Only if all you pick up is the eggs.</font>

And if you had your own chickens you wouldn't need to drive to the store for eggs.



[This message has been edited by Stick (edited 03-04-2006).]