Environment Solar best bet forward??

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by LSUpride123, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

  2. mancha

    mancha Alabama morghulis

    While vacationing in the Caribbean this summer, I was surprised to see how many rural island homes with a couple of solar panels installed on their roofs. A guide said that they helped supply hot water. They could not provide electricity to the entire house. It sounds like a good supplement.
  3. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Puzzling "data". What is this "disqualified" shit? This contest metaphor allows the author to essentially disregard a lot of important data to push coal, which is not only an environmental disaster but ail be depleted at some point in the future. Hydro, wind and solar are always going to be players. Natural gas is going to be huge in the next 50 -100 years. Nuclear reactors are eventually going to power almost everything.

    Nuclear may be gaining traction as its environmental impact is being addressed. There is a new reactor design that uses molten salt to dissolve existing nuclear fuel which reduces radioactivity and vastly reduce the amount of waste. Such a plant could produce about 20 KG of nuclear waste (about the size of a grapefruit) rather than the 20 metric tons produced by conventional reactors. And that waste is radioactive for just a few dozen years instead of hundreds of thousands of years. Moreover this design can be fueled by the 270,00 metric tons of nuclear waste sitting around the world right now. The new reactors could "eat" that waste and turn it into 72 years worth of power.

    Even better in case of a Fukushima-type disaster . . . the plant uses liquid fuel rather than a solid fuel. So if it lost electricity, if the operators had to leave the site, the liquid fuel would drain out into an auxiliary tank, completely gravity-fed, just based on the inherent physics of the design. And it would freeze solid over the course of about two or three hours. So if it fails, it fails in a solid state rather than a meltdown liquid state or a gaseous state. It won't go anywhere.

  4. wjray

    wjray .-.. ..- -.- .

    My problem with most solar companies that advertise these days is that you only lease the panels and the set up doesn't come with batteries. I've looked into getting a full array with batteries so that we could go off the grid -- but still stay connected to sell power back, and to use when solar's not an option like at night or during extremely stormy weather.

    The problem is the cost. Somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 or more not installed. I know there are incentives and the system will eventually pay for itself, but that's a lot of cash to lay out up front.
  5. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    Natural gas is only as good as the price. Right now with low prices per MCF it works, but it really depends on demand and what the government will do.

    In my opinion, anything that is not renewable will have bigger roadblocks and end up costing the American people more to run.

    Not sure why you think coal is an "environmental disaster" @Red, but their are far worse in the US.

  6. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    The way I understand it, of the current technologies 2 can effectively be used anywhere.

    For example, Nuclear uses large amounts of water. Wind obviously relies heavily on its placement and Natural gas is dictated by infrastructure and transportation limitations.

    Coal can be brought in from anywhere and the sun effectively shines everywhere.

    I could be wrong, but that's how I look at it.
  7. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    In West Texas, there are a number of people who use Wind + Solar. Lots of wind out here and something like 280+ days of sunshine on average for Amarillo.
  8. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    So do all generating plants. No matter what the heat source, they make steam which drives turbines. Steam is water. Water is renewable and there is plenty of it.

    But there is no shortage of wind and there are many of these windy places, it is clean energy, and wind will never be depleted nor go away at night.

    Coal is even more so. It doesn't occur everywhere, it is mined by strip mining instead of wells, it must be expensively transported in trains rather than pipelines, and is extremely dirty.

    As can natural gas. It can even be compressed into a liquid and economically shipped overseas. Coal is bulky and limited in how far it can be economically shipped.

    But it is only economically feasible on industrial scales in desert ares where there is little cloud cover. Humid areas like Louisiana will never make huge mirror farms.

    In the long term, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas will simply no longer be available. Hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear will all play a part in future energy production. None add carbon or sulphur to the atmosphere.
  9. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    You are WAY over simplifying things.

    1st, water is not plentiful in all parts. Local water tables will determine this. Crops, live stock, droughts, industry and population will all determine how much water can be used.

    Power plants use 1 of two types of cooling methods. Once through or loop.

    In all cases, nuclear uses the most water in any loop. From what I know once trough, which uses the most water, is the most common types employed by US nuclear plants.

    Coal comes in second for water usage and combine cycle plants use the least amount of water.

    Again, you have to think of infrastructure. Its not there and some places can't sustain large wind farms needed for the MW's.

    You really like to generalize and simplify. Gas just doesn't come of the ground ready to go.

    It has to be separated, cleaned, processed, and then shipped to destination. Much like ALL fossil fuels.

    Solar works everywhere. You are thinking to small. You really underestimate the advances in the technology.

    If homes were equipped it would drastically reduce the load on power plants. Plants often run on peaking cycles. On rainy days, peaking plants can come on.

    Solar energy can also be stored.

    Same with wind.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  10. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Well, it is not rocket science.

    Almost all cooling water is from surface water, not from aquifers. And since all power plants need water, the distinction is moot.

    Yes, all plants need water.

    Wind turbines are relatively cheap and easily built and installed and have little affect on surrounding areas other than being eyesores to many people. Far less infrastructure than a large power plant, no matter what the fuel.

    It requires far less infrastructure, no overburden removal at all, fewer environmental impacts, far less manpower required, no restoration expenses, pipelines are far cheaper than rail transport, and wells can be installed and removed in relatively short time compared to strip mines. Detailed enough for you?

    No solar does not work everywhere not on a power plant scale. They aren't like a few panels on your roof. And even they don't work well in humid climates with lots of clouds, like Louisiana compared to Arizona.

    I quite agree, but we were comparing power plants on a commercial scale.

    Same with any power generator . . . if you have enough batteries. But it is expensive and impractical. On industrial scales power is used as soon as it is generated. Much more efficient.

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