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Still Waters

Global warming “can be reversed"

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I don't think we have to. Wind technology can do it now. All we need is to conversion strategy - and I think I know one that would work, at least in the US.

Doug

Seeing that the Germans have managed to get in these few years up to 25-29% of renewable energy consumption (and growing as we talk) I fail to see why we can't do it.

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Seeing that the Germans have managed to get in these few years up to 25-29% of renewable energy consumption (and growing as we talk) I fail to see why we can't do it.

Germany is turning back to coal, and Germany is not the only one, western countries are turning back towards the reliable and cheaper fossil fuels. world wide fossil fuels being used went up 6%. and for coal alone, coal energy used world wide accounts for just over 30%.

the Green movement can never be taken serious when it comes to the serious business of running a country and their economies. they'd have us bankrupt and sitting in the dark. whats the point in reducing emissions which includes all green house gases by 0.0001% of the total atmosphere. as a percentage. -

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Germany is turning back to coal, and Germany is not the only one, western countries are turning back towards the reliable and cheaper fossil fuels. world wide fossil fuels being used went up 6%. and for coal alone, coal energy used world wide accounts for just over 30%.

the Green movement can never be taken serious when it comes to the serious business of running a country and their economies. they'd have us bankrupt and sitting in the dark. whats the point in reducing emissions which includes all green house gases by 0.0001% of the total atmosphere. as a percentage. -

Germany never turned away from coal. And their consumption has remained pretty stable:

DEELEC.jpg

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Seeing that the Germans have managed to get in these few years up to 25-29% of renewable energy consumption (and growing as we talk) I fail to see why we can't do it.

As you stated yourself, germanies coal use is the same. So if they're producing more renewable energy. That means that they need more power or they cut someplace else.

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We have had globial warming for the last ten thousand years. Humans have been pumping co2 from factories for about two hundred years. We have been keeping track of the climate for around fifty years. I don't about the doom and gloom crowd, but I don't think we have been keeping track of the climate long enough.

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We have had globial warming for the last ten thousand years. Humans have been pumping co2 from factories for about two hundred years. We have been keeping track of the climate for around fifty years. I don't about the doom and gloom crowd, but I don't think we have been keeping track of the climate long enough.

Temps were in a steady slow decline with up and downs over the last 8 thousand years or so (after a spike after the last ice age), the last two hundred years are in sharp contrast to this gradual decline and show temperatures rising faster than they have over that whole post glacial period.

The climate changes argument just doesn't account for what has happened in the anthropogenic period.

Br Cornelius

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Just that we are at the peak of the warming trend. It was one of the charts used to prove man did it two years ago

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There is a problem; it may not be as severe as some say it is, but it is a problem. It would be nice if governments worked out how to deal with it and acted in a unified way. That does not seem to be in the cards.

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Germany is turning back to coal, and Germany is not the only one, western countries are turning back towards the reliable and cheaper fossil fuels. world wide fossil fuels being used went up 6%. and for coal alone, coal energy used world wide accounts for just over 30%.

the Green movement can never be taken serious when it comes to the serious business of running a country and their economies. they'd have us bankrupt and sitting in the dark. whats the point in reducing emissions which includes all green house gases by 0.0001% of the total atmosphere. as a percentage. -

I dont know how recent or accurate your data is Steve.

"Opponents of renewables in North America are pouncing on the news of a new coal plant in Germany, especially because German Environmental Minister Peter Altmaier cut the ribbon, so to speak. Altmaier said Germany will need the conventional fossil power plants for “decades to come,” though he did not say it was, as Fox Business put it, to “complement unreliable and intermittent renewable energies such as wind and solar power.” In fact, he stated that “fossil energy and renewables should not be played as cards against each other” and that we have to move beyond “making enemies of the two.”

It took six years to build the plant, meaning that the process started in 2006. It is by no means a reaction to the nuclear phaseout of 2011. And as Altmaier himself points out, the new plant can ramp up and down by 150 megawatts within five minutes and by 500 megawatts within 15, making it a flexible complement to intermittant renewables. In the area, 12 coal plants more than 40 years old have been decommissioned, and the new 2,200 megawatt plant is to directly replace 16 older 150 megawatts blocks by the end of this year, so 2,200 megawatts of new, more flexible, somewhat cleaner capacity (the new plant has an efficiency of 43 percent, whereas 35 percent would be considered ambitious for most old coal plants) is directly replacing 2,400 old megawatts.

Germany has a target of 35 percent renewable power by 2020, rising to 85 percent by 2050 – meaning that 65 percent of its power supply will be conventional in 2020, and the country will still have 15 percent conventional power by mid-century. Obviously, Germany needs to build some new conventional power plants to reach even that ambitious goal for renewables"

Source: http://climatecrocks.com/2013/05/15/no-more-coal-plants-in-germany/

This site links to all of its sources for data, so cannot be described as "Fringe".

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I certainly don't agree with coal fired power stations. The stupid South African government have just bought a few more.

We have nothing to replace them. So if you like cold milk, you'll have to put up with them or go back to the old ice boxes.

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the Green movement can never be taken serious when it comes to the serious business of running a country and their economies. they'd have us bankrupt and sitting in the dark. whats the point in reducing emissions which includes all green house gases by 0.0001% of the total atmosphere. as a percentage. -

Estimates are that the US will be generating 20% of its power from wind by 2030. There is no reason why we couldn't double or triple that. Wind is cheaper than coal and oil and possibly cheaper than gas (I think). We can minimize the base load problem with a modern grid that can shunt power from where it is being generated to where it is needed. By building surplus capacity and using that surplus to generate hydrogen, we can have a power source for times when the wind isn't blowing. And hydrogen can be burned in vehicles like natural gas and at a far lower cost than gasoline (Think fill your tank for $3.00.). Once hydrogen powered vehicles are available, home wind chargers could be used to generate hydrogen for free (not counting purchase cost).

So what problems do you see with this strategy? Be specific. I think we can have unlimited power at a very low cost (far less than we're paying now) if we get with it. The only reason I can think of for opposing this is owning stock in an oil or coal company. Which brings up something: don't you Brits have a retirement program that is heavily invested in oil? Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

Doug

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Posted (edited)

I agree with the bulk of what Doug says, but on the subject of the Hydrogen economy I have to strongly disagree.

There are fundamental technical problems which mean that Hydrogen as an energy carrier will probably never mature as an industry. This is primarily due to the fact that Hydrogen enbrittles anything it comes into contact with including the tanks and pipes it is transported in. This makes it intrinsically dangerous and means the maintenance and infrastructure replacement costs are significantly higher than for petrochemicals.

This is not to say that other forms of energy storage cannot be used to stabilize the "Renewables" grid.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

I agree with the bulk of what Doug says, but on the subject of the Hydrogen economy I have to strongly disagree.

There are fundamental technical problems which mean that Hydrogen as an energy carrier will probably never mature as an industry. This is primarily due to the fact that Hydrogen enbrittles anything it comes into contact with including the tanks and pipes it is transported in. This makes it intrinsically dangerous and means the maintenance and infrastructure replacement costs are significantly higher than for petrochemicals.

This is not to say that other forms of energy storage cannot be used to stabilize the "Renewables" grid.

Br Cornelius

There's a paper on hydrogen storage written decades ago. We've known how to do it for 50 years. I know the guy who wrote it. He's living in a local nursing home. I'll see if I can dig up a reference for you.

Doug

Cunningham, C. M. and H. L. Johnston. 1958. The surface catalysis of the ortho- to para-conversion in liquid hydrogen by paramagnetic oxides on alumina. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 80(10), pp. 2377-2382.

Edited by Doug1o29

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Posted (edited)

It maybe technically possible (though at considerable cost in maintaining infrastructure), but in a basic physics sense a hydrogen economy is massivel;y wasteful compared to a pure EV or electricity economy;

http://phys.org/news85074285.html

"In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen."

HydrogenChart.jpg

“In the market place, hydrogen would have to compete with its own source of energy, i.e. with ("green") electricity from the grid,” he says. “For this reason, creating a new energy carrier is a no-win solution. We have to solve an energy problem not an energy carrier problem."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news85074285.html#jCp

In the market place, hydrogen would have to compete with its own source of energy, i.e. with ("green") electricity from the grid,” he says. “For this reason, creating a new energy carrier is a no-win solution. We have to solve an energy problem not an energy carrier problem."

.........

Also, hydrogen is not a source of energy, but only a carrier of energy. As a carrier, it plays a role similar to that of water in a hydraulic heating system or electrons in a copper wire. When delivering hydrogen, whether by truck or pipeline, the energy costs are several times that for established energy carriers like natural gas or gasoline. Even the most efficient fuel cells cannot recover these losses, Bossel found. For comparison, the "wind-to-wheel" efficiency is at least three times greater for electric cars than for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Considering the significant technical challenges of realizing a hydrogen economy - it would be far more efficient to concentrate on improving battery efficiency and tripling the work produced from our renewables.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

It maybe technically possible (though at considerable cost in maintaining infrastructure), but in a basic physics sense a hydrogen economy is massivel;y wasteful compared to a pure EV or electricity economy;

Agreed. But the intent is to run most of the economy directly on wind-generated electricity. The Milwaukee Road was powered by electricity all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Avery, Idaho. Electricity is a viable alternative for railroads. There are many economies of scale here. By using reverse polarity as a brake, the train going downhill is generating power for the one going uphill; the one stopping is powering the one speeding up. There are no onboard generators or fuel to add weight. Refer cars can be powered through the catenaries and don't need their own fuel supplies (120,000 gallons of diesel for a cross-country 100-car train).

Hydrogen would be reserved for generating base load (This could also be done with natural gas.) and for highway transportation. Small vehicles would be hydrogen-powered. Whether larger ones would be, I haven't looked into, but at least some petroleum power would probably still be used, especially with large construction vehicles. But large vehicles are relatively few in number, so their total contribution to pollution is smaller.

With wind powered backyard hydrogen generators, once the purchase cost is amortized, the hydrogen is free (not counting the cost of water). Sulfuric acid is used as a catalyst and will occasionally need to be renewed, but acid is cheap (thanks to pollution control laws) and its usefulness can be prolonged by using clean water. Or, one could run one's own hydrogen generator using electricity from the grid (With cheap wind-powered electricity, it may not be economical to use a home-based wind system.).

I don't see any insurmountable problems here.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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I'm no expert by any stretch of the word. I generally avoid the debates on climate change because I am not that knowledgeable and I have an unusual viewpoint on the whole affair.

@BR Cornelius.

To my understanding, the problem that comes with improving battery life and efficiency is that in order to do that, it requires new levels of industrialization that can be just as polluting and damaging to the environment. Rare element mining and then the refining ends up pumping as much pollution and toxins in the environment as the common energy production methods...so it is a lose-lose.

I have nothing to back this up...just something I recall seeing a report on.

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I'm no expert by any stretch of the word. I generally avoid the debates on climate change because I am not that knowledgeable and I have an unusual viewpoint on the whole affair.

@BR Cornelius.

To my understanding, the problem that comes with improving battery life and efficiency is that in order to do that, it requires new levels of industrialization that can be just as polluting and damaging to the environment. Rare element mining and then the refining ends up pumping as much pollution and toxins in the environment as the common energy production methods...so it is a lose-lose.

I have nothing to back this up...just something I recall seeing a report on.

the problem with batteries so far is that they have been open cycle - that means that there is a constant need for new resources as old resources are lost to landfill. Its relatively simple and very economical to close that loop and only lose a fraction of the resource input. A battery maybe dead at the end of its life - but it has lost none of its essential raw materials and it is always cheaper to recycle these than to mine new resources. Close the battery loop and the whole situation changes.

Batteries have come on a long way since the simple lead acid days - but they can still come on a huge step further. The main area of research at the moment is to use atmospheric oxygen to drive the process. As it is Lithium Ion batteries carry their own oxygen supply which makes them at least twice as big as they would otherwise need to be. We are a lot nearer to perfecting the next huge step up in battery technology than we are to seeing Hydrogen infrastructure rolled out.

It also need a critical mass of EV cars to make the whole situation more practical - for all of the reasons described above - it is only sensible for batteries to be leased and have interchangable battery packs which are hired for a specific trip. This requires batteries to be standardized across all manufacturers and for at least a quarter of all vehicles to be EV for economies of scale to kick in. This is the model that Renault is attempting to run - but the cost of their battery lease system is higher than the cost of petrol at the moment. If you take away the running cost advantage of EV then take up will remain extremely slow. This is definitely one of those strategic objective which may require market intervention to generate the critical mass.

The basic fact is that personal petrochemical transport will become unaffordable in the next few decades, the world of transport will be divided up between long distance public transport, hire cars for one off long distance journeys and EV's for everything else. The status quo is not affordable or sustainable.

I still contend that hydrogen just will not be able to compete with any of these options.

Br Cornelius

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To my general view there are several categories of problems. First there are technological hurdles, and I see so many possible possibilities on the horizon that something will work out -- even if we see a reduction in global living standards for awhile (not a minor thing to the poor who get hit hardest).

More important are economic problems; those of entrenched industries using their turf and their patents and so on to prevent the arrival of new technologies.

Finally there are political hurdles -- civil unrest and behaviors by states to protest their advantages at the expense of other states/

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I still contend that hydrogen just will not be able to compete with any of these options.

Hydrogen is only one component of the mix and for the most-part, doesn't have to compete at all. One could also store surplus wind energy by pumping water uphill into a reservoir and generating power with it when the wind isn't blowing.

At any rate, I intend to give this some serious study.

Doug

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Posted (edited)

Hydrogen is only one component of the mix and for the most-part, doesn't have to compete at all. One could also store surplus wind energy by pumping water uphill into a reservoir and generating power with it when the wind isn't blowing.

At any rate, I intend to give this some serious study.

Doug

Pumped storage is a proven technology with huge potential for expansion. Coupled with HVDC grids this allows whole continent renewables networks with storage at optimum nodes. The EU has an active policy to create such a HVDC grid with the aim of greatest renewables diversity. It is also a massive incentive to spread peace across large regions since the infrastructure becomes so interdependent that grid stability relies on political stability.

Prosperity through cooperation - natures blueprint.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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the problem with batteries so far is that they have been open cycle

Hydrogen does not require batteries, except starter batteries for the engines that burn the hydrogen. Engines that can remain permanently connected to the grid don't need batteries at all.

The basic fact is that personal petrochemical transport will become unaffordable in the next few decades, the world of transport will be divided up between long distance public transport, hire cars for one off long distance journeys and EV's for everything else. The status quo is not affordable or sustainable.

I am ready to buy an electric vehicle as soon as they come up with one that is affordable, efficient enough to amortize its cost in a reasonable amount of time and has a range of at least 350 miles - a Prius does not fill the bill. But even then, I will need a different vehicle to go visit my mother who lives 1100 miles from here. I suspect that electric vehicles for a trip like that would be very expensive and take a lot of time at "fuel" stops.

I still contend that hydrogen just will not be able to compete with any of these options.

Br Cornelius

Maybe. But it certainly needs to be checked out.

One question: is your concern about hydrogen rendering storage containers brittle, due to cold temperatures when the pressure is released?

Using modern storage methods, hydrogen would be stored in iron containers on the surface of iron oxide molecules at low pressure. In the event of rupture, there are a few seconds of vulnerability to fire until the hydrogen disperses. But if fire doesn't erupt within the first ten seconds, the danger vanishes. Even if fire does occur, there isn't enough hydrogen to burn ten seconds after release.

Doug

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Posted (edited)

Hydrogen does not require batteries, except starter batteries for the engines that burn the hydrogen. Engines that can remain permanently connected to the grid don't need batteries at all.

I am ready to buy an electric vehicle as soon as they come up with one that is affordable, efficient enough to amortize its cost in a reasonable amount of time and has a range of at least 350 miles - a Prius does not fill the bill. But even then, I will need a different vehicle to go visit my mother who lives 1100 miles from here. I suspect that electric vehicles for a trip like that would be very expensive and take a lot of time at "fuel" stops.

Maybe. But it certainly needs to be checked out.

One question: is your concern about hydrogen rendering storage containers brittle, due to cold temperatures when the pressure is released?

Using modern storage methods, hydrogen would be stored in iron containers on the surface of iron oxide molecules at low pressure. In the event of rupture, there are a few seconds of vulnerability to fire until the hydrogen disperses. But if fire doesn't erupt within the first ten seconds, the danger vanishes. Even if fire does occur, there isn't enough hydrogen to burn ten seconds after release.

Doug

My concern with Hydrogen is that it is so reactive it damages the bonds within the containment medium. It is only an efficient storer of energy when compressed to a liquid because it has a relatively low energy density as a gas and so requires huge volumes of storage (very expensive) to contain. As described in the article I linked to, it is both unavoidable and necessary to vent a certain amount of the hydrogen for it to remain in safe state - which means that cannot be considered as anything other than a short term buffer, and an inefficient one at that.

The real issue is that its a massively inefficient method of storing energy because of its various parasitic losses at each stage, and if stored and transported in its liquid form it will destroy the distribution network in a relatively short time.

..........

The reason I said the personal transport market will be segmented into short distance EV's, pubnlic transport and long distance car hire - is because the long distance cars will undoubtedly remain Petrol/diesel and they will only be affordable for one off journeys. The future cannot be imagined by looking to the past/present.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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My concern with Hydrogen is that it is so reactive it damages the bonds within the containment medium. It is only an efficient storer of energy when compressed to a liquid because it has a relatively low energy density as a gas and so requires huge volumes of storage (very expensive) to contain. As described in the article I linked to, it is both unavoidable and necessary to vent a certain amount of the hydrogen for it to remain in safe state - which means that cannot be considered as anything other than a short term buffer, and an inefficient one at that.

The real issue is that its a massively inefficient method of storing energy because of its various parasitic losses at each stage, and if stored and transported in its liquid form it will destroy the distribution network in a relatively short time.

I'm not sure how much, if any, would be lost to venting hydrogen stored in the way I describe, but I suspect there would be some. Something else to check out.

I do not propose storing it as a liquid, but as a gas on the surface of iron-oxide molecules. In this form it has an energy density comparable to gasoline. It would still require a tank, probably iron, and I'm wondering if hydrogen can degrade an iron tank as you describe (What about a lined tank?). Also, greater density can be achieved by giving all atoms the same spin resonance. In this form it is much less volatile and stores for longer periods.

If used as a backup to wind, most storage would be in industrial locations where better materials could be used. I imagine a driver could not leave his car for long periods without losing the hydrogen to evaporation.

The reason I said the personal transport market will be segmented into short distance EV's, pubnlic transport and long distance car hire - is because the long distance cars will undoubtedly remain Petrol/diesel and they will only be affordable for one off journeys. The future cannot be imagined by looking to the past/present.

Br Cornelius

Maybe it can be. We're drilling a lot of gas wells around here.

Doug

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Please say why he is wrong. (I'm not saying he is right, but your assertion warrants an explanation.).

Nah, I did it on purpose. Deniers aren't required to site facts, they get to just say "no it isn't". I thought I'd try it for a change. Felt kinda good :)

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No it didn't. :w00t:

Harte

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