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switching to solar power .. who's next Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 3rd December 2009
  #121
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
id wait there are 2 companies in New England that are going to revoltutionize the creation of solor panels and make them really really inexpensive. Should be in a year or so.
Err any hints then?

The King
Old 3rd December 2009
  #122
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Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Solar is actually pretty impractical. If the efficiency was there, you would see a panel on every telephone pole. I keep hearing about breakthroughs that are just around the corner that will make it practical, though. About the time we are all in flying cars.
For lighting,solar can be completely do-able, but you've got to have efficient lighting design. Solar PV does have efficiency limitations (eg its efficiency reduces significantly with the heat of the day!). The emerging technologies are sliver cells and, next, quantum dots & carbon nanotubes. Solar thermal as opposed to PV, on the other hand....

Although I don't think anyone's advocating a single solution. Again, and as said by Old Goat (#119), conservation & efficiency of energy use is paramount (both of which reduce baseload demand). Wind has very real efficiency limitations too, and ground use, access roads, etc. Though I've stayed at our state's largest windfarm – serene & I couldn't hear them at all. Whereas, miles from the state's largest coal plant is the distant roar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe
It has been proven over and over again that wind. geothermal and solar cannot, at the present time, even start to supply the energy needs of the good olde US of A let alone in the future.
Of course it can start to (see California). Apparently energy savings equivalent to the entire USA's generating of nuclear power would happen via the domestic use of clothes lines rather than electric clothes dryers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F
Well, some disappointing news in Australia. The ETS was blocked in the senate. This means Australia will go to Copenhagen without a policy that has been passed.
The worry here, politically, is we have further delayed action and now have an opposition leader yet to come up with policies for c change, favouring nuclear as "the solution", (including advocating uranium exports to India, which, by its own admission, won't separate its civil & military nuclear programs – even the US deal allows India's 8 reactors kept exclusively for military use) – all for something he doesn't even believe in.
Old 5th December 2009
  #123
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Originally Posted by Tropicana View Post
Only fools dont want to see the truth of whats really going on in Amsterdam.
I wish I could be there - definitely some truth going on heh
Gropenhagen Conference: Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
About Bill O'reilly saying the "war on drugs" is a good thing, and pointing at the Netherlands as an example of a "liberal country" gone wrong, is total utter nonsense. Ol' Bill there can go suck on his meth. (we don't have that here, gosh I wonder why...) The opposite is true actually. Under strong pressure of the american gov. the Netherlands, with a conservative rightwing christian fundamentalist government (plus some corporate dudes posing as "socialists") have tried (and succeeded in part) to wreck the working model of end user legalisation, by outlawing magic mushrooms for instance. Everybody (police, mayor, social workers, drug specialists) was against making this naturally occurring mushroom illegal. Still it continued, with a bunch of sheeple in our parliament. The result is another victory for organised crime, who now cater for the demand of the non-addictive substance. Thank you fundamentalists, for imposing your BS on us all. Hypocrites. I'm a bit irritated, please excuse this rant, I've worked as a scientific researcher in the field for years. And there is proof legalisation coupled with education, and well informed police, medics, aid workers etc. was working. Less addictions on substances, less crime (no profit) and more self awareness among dutch, that they are responsible themselves, and taking substances doesn't change that.
I was just trying to explain to my 10 year old boys yesterday why America has the highest per capita prison population in the world.
It's (really not) funny how conservatives are all about freedom when it comes to corporate rights and corporate "speech," but when it comes to individual choices (the ones they oppose), not so much. Like you said - Hypocrites. I really enjoyed it when the "states rights" Bushies refused to allow states to pass laws they didn't like. Like when they refused to allow California to enforce higher than federally mandated fuel economy standards, and when they fought against Oregon's measure 16 legalizing physician assisted suicide, and when they promised to prosecute doctors for prescribing marijuana after California legalized it for medicinal use. Reminds me of those Tea Bagger idiots who scream about the government (supposedly) taking away their Medicare and replacing it with a government health plan - I know, entirely off topic, but then again, perhaps not.
Old 5th December 2009
  #124
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Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
So a healthy debate amongst leading scientists, cyber hacked by criminals, that have then hand picked information that supports their theory and put it on the web.

A child of 3 could see though that one. Brings back memories of "weapons of mass destruction" perpetuated by the witless media.

Got any credible evidence supported by science?
Lol. I'm not sure using the WMD analogy is best suited for your argument.
Old 5th December 2009
  #125
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
It has been proven over and over again that wind. geothermal and solar cannot, at the present time, even start to supply the energy needs of the good olde US of A let alone in the future.
Are you saying that the following is entirely incorrect:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_array
In the Sahara desert, with less cloud cover and a better solar angle, one can obtain closer to 8.3 kWh/m²/day. The unpopulated area of the Sahara desert is over 9 million km², which if covered with solar panels would provide 630 terawatts total power. The Earth's current energy consumption rate is around 13.5 TW at any given moment (including oil, gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric)
(Btw, someone changed the numbers. It used to say 750 Terawatts (8.3*9) but anyway...)

Of course I don't expect that to ever happen but with 55 times more potential than the total consumption of the world in only one small region, and that based on calculations made 3 years ago, surely there are possibilities, no?

Btw, the US of A uses twice as much energy per capita and twice as much energy per produced $ of goods compared to Europe. Your comment of "let alone in the future" should be, except in the future. ;-)

I am joking btw, I do not expect the US of A to take responsibility any time soon. ;-)

Btw good post Reptil. Decriminalising and regulating all drugs would solve so many problems. The first would be any tax issues. Both on gained tax flows and on reduced costs. (Legal, prison, law enforcement, customs, crime, healthcare, etc). The second is entire countries saved (The Taliban would lose their weapons financing, idem for the FARC and now the Mexican war lords etc etc).

And here the silly CDA (Christian fundamentalists) are trying to put us back in the stone age and destroying the whole social infrastructure carefully built up over decades. *sigh*

Quote:
We do need to start thinking of this NOW and not sometime in the future if we are going to survive but with the government spending billions in Iraq and now Afghanistan and with the looming health care costs - the government spending money for pure research into alternative power is going to be at a premium.
Guess what. They don't need to. They only need to do one thing: Heavily tax carbon emissions. (Non-transferable). Companies will be paying for all the research and solutions will be appearing everywhere in no time. The carbon tax money will pay for the health care and a dozen other things.

Isn't America (and Europe to a certain extent) always touting the virtues of capitalism and free markets? Why not put it to good effect? Create a need and the solutions will come. Right now there is no need. That is why there are no solutions.

(By that I mean no financial needs. There are very clear and very real needs but only money seems to really motivate).

Alistair
Old 6th December 2009
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
id wait there are 2 companies in New England that are going to revoltutionize the creation of solor panels and make them really really inexpensive. Should be in a year or so.
Journalists need to eat, too.
Old 6th December 2009
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Are you saying that the following is entirely incorrect:



(Btw, someone changed the numbers. It used to say 750 Terawatts (8.3*9) but anyway...)

Of course I don't expect that to ever happen but with 55 times more potential than the total consumption of the world in only one small region, and that based on calculations made 3 years ago, surely there are possibilities, no?

Btw, the US of A uses twice as much energy per capita and twice as much energy per produced $ of goods compared to Europe. Your comment of "let alone in the future" should be, except in the future. ;-)

I am joking btw, I do not expect the US of A to take responsibility any time soon. ;-)

Btw good post Reptil. Decriminalising and regulating all drugs would solve so many problems. The first would be any tax issues. Both on gained tax flows and on reduced costs. (Legal, prison, law enforcement, customs, crime, healthcare, etc). The second is entire countries saved (The Taliban would lose their weapons financing, idem for the FARC and now the Mexican war lords etc etc).

And here the silly CDA (Christian fundamentalists) are trying to put us back in the stone age and destroying the whole social infrastructure carefully built up over decades. *sigh*

Guess what. They don't need to. They only need to do one thing: Heavily tax carbon emissions. (Non-transferable). Companies will be paying for all the research and solutions will be appearing everywhere in no time. The carbon tax money will pay for the health care and a dozen other things.

Isn't America (and Europe to a certain extent) always touting the virtues of capitalism and free markets? Why not put it to good effect? Create a need and the solutions will come. Right now there is no need. That is why there are no solutions.

(By that I mean no financial needs. There are very clear and very real needs but only money seems to really motivate).

Alistair
Good observations as always. Having energy where is is needed is a lot different from having energy available but not accessible as it would not be in the Sahara desert. Europe, Asia and the Americas are the prime energy users and NONE of them is anywhere near the Sahara.

The person or company that can develop an accumulator (like a battery but much more efficient at storage and recharging) will be the clear winners in the green energy field. I would venture to say that the person and or company that develops the first usable accumulator will be very wealthy and be on the same inventors list as Bell and Edison.

You live in the Netherlands. Are they building a lot of wind farms on the dikes along the north sea? It would seem that that would be a great place to build a giant wind farm. When I was in your country in 1990 I was at the the top of the dike in the Zuyder Zee area and was amazed at the wind that was always blowing.

As for using energy in the US of A you are of course correct we do use a lot more energy per capita than any other spot on the globe but many Americans are learning the hard way that if we don't conserve energy we have to pay for it and it will only be worse in the future. Saving money is a GREAT teaching tool.
Old 6th December 2009
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Good observations as always. Having energy where is is needed is a lot different from having energy available but not accessible as it would not be in the Sahara desert. Europe, Asia and the Americas are the prime energy users and NONE of them is anywhere near the Sahara.
There is a Pan-European electricity grid. (National and international electricity providers can pump energy into each other's networks to cater for peaks and slumps). I don't see why power lines can't be drawn from the Sahel to the south of Europe.

There are gas and oil pipelines going all the way into Siberia! Surely power lines can't be any harder than transporting actual physical gases and liquids? There are telecommunication cables (both fibber and copper) crossing the Atlantic and Pacific! I really do not see any technical reasons why electricity generated in one area could not be transported to other areas. Admittedly I am no expert.

Quote:
The person or company that can develop an accumulator (like a battery but much more efficient at storage and recharging) will be the clear winners in the green energy field. I would venture to say that the person and or company that develops the first usable accumulator will be very wealthy and be on the same inventors list as Bell and Edison.
Or a chemical "accumulator". For instance hydrogen. Generating hydrogen by electrolyse is very inefficient but maybe gains can be made there...

Quote:
You live in the Netherlands. Are they building a lot of wind farms on the dikes along the north sea? It would seem that that would be a great place to build a giant wind farm.
On the dikes, out at sea off the coast and in land.






Quote:
As for using energy in the US of A you are of course correct we do use a lot more energy per capita than any other spot on the globe but many Americans are learning the hard way that if we don't conserve energy we have to pay for it and it will only be worse in the future. Saving money is a GREAT teaching tool.
Indeed. Political will is always the problem everywhere. If the US government allowed gas to go up to it's legitimate price, people would not be interested in SUVs, the higher transport costs would affect how people live, work, what they buy etc. Unfortunately politicians are always more interested in getting re-elected than in governing and making the right decisions.

Alistair
Old 6th December 2009
  #129
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If h2 is not the solution maybe the new redox flow fluid battery's will be we'll see
Old 6th December 2009
  #130
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Alister

It is harder to transport electricity long distances. It can be done but you have to go for some really high voltages. The distance from the Sahara desert to the European electric grid is quite far especially if you have to go over land. Oil, gas and natural gas can be sent much farther without problems (you still need pumps but it is easier to do). The whole of the USA is somewhat tied together into one big grid made up of smaller grids but we are not importing electric from the West cost to the East coast. If something goes wrong, like the blackout of the Northeast, a couple of years ago it can take down big parts of the whole country. However I agree with your premise.


Thanks for the pics they look great! and I bet they generate a lot of power.
Old 7th December 2009
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Alister

It is harder to transport electricity long distances.
Actually according to this (which confirms what I expected) it isn't at all: Electric power transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
It can be done but you have to go for some really high voltages.
That doesn't make it expensive. High voltage, low amperage.

Quote:
The distance from the Sahara desert to the European electric grid is quite far especially if you have to go over land.
"As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for electricity was 7,000 km (4,300 mi)".

The Sahara is less than 2000Km from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. Spain's power grid is already interconnected with Morocco's halving the distance.

It seems the only problem, as usual, is political will...

Of course this would never be the only solution but it could be part of the puzzle.

Quote:
Oil, gas and natural gas can be sent much farther without problems (you still need pumps but it is easier to do). The whole of the USA is somewhat tied together into one big grid made up of smaller grids but we are not importing electric from the West cost to the East coast. If something goes wrong, like the blackout of the Northeast, a couple of years ago it can take down big parts of the whole country. However I agree with your premise.
I believe things are q bit more modern in Europe. The smaller distances undoubtedly help.

Quote:
Thanks for the pics they look great! and I bet they generate a lot of power.
Not enough yet. We need much more!

Alistair
Old 7th December 2009
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Or a chemical "accumulator". For instance hydrogen. Generating hydrogen by electrolyse is very inefficient but maybe gains can be made there...
If you can make gains there you're probably are settled for the rest of your life and your kin as well. But chances are rather slim that any of use would have a degree on nano-mechanical chemistry.
Old 7th December 2009
  #133
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Might actually have someone install some solar panels on the roof next year.
Would be cool if the studios and cooling system could be powered by the sun during the summer months.

DP Engineering AB

There is a 60% subvention of the cost in Sweden for such investements this year, hopefully it will
continue next year.

Old 8th December 2009
  #134
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If you can't do your studio, you can always look at your car. There seem to be a great many options out there. Mostly it's guys DIY (which is way ahead of the curve as usual) but even here in Oz there are places like this:

Electric Car Conversions Australia : Convert My Car To Electric : Australian Green Cars : Hybrid Vehicles For Sale : Buy Your Electric Car : Eve Motor

Or you can ride a bike.

The King
Old 8th December 2009
  #135
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I totally use it as a selling point that the studio here is literally surrounded by a tram route, bus route, train line and a major bicycle path...
Old 8th December 2009
  #136
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I'm saving for a Tesla
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Old 8th December 2009
  #137
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Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
I totally use it as a selling point that the studio here is literally surrounded by a tram route, bus route, train line and a major bicycle path...
It's just impossible to find in a car because Tinning street is divided by a railway track.
Old 8th December 2009
  #138
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I did initially have trouble finding your place when I flew past on the bus...

Our map's on the website for out of towners (even Sydnesians). I simply say "park near or alongside the train line".
Old 8th December 2009
  #139
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Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
I'm saving for a Tesla
Me Too!
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Old 12th December 2009
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voidtunes View Post
Something like 31000 science gurus have come forward to admit this fact since a 20year old MIT study confimed it!
Very sloppy. Do the research on who these people actually are - if many of them exist at all. But wait ... it's been done for you. Here you go:

Climate change consensus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and

Oregon Petition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

where this pretty well sums it up:

Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition —- one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

Spreading disinformation doesn't help anyone.

B
Old 12th December 2009
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
Spreading disinformation doesn't help anyone.
B
It has, for millenia.
People have been suckered into religions,wars,communism,democracy,ponzi schemes,stock trade etc. for ages.

That doesn't mean you can't put solar cells on your roof. By all means, if you can save money that way its fine. If you can insulate your house/studio better you'll save on that as well including not having to use an airco during the summer. If you try and avoid using your car(s) as much as possible you'll save money as well. Same goes for transferring tracks from/to customers. If you can do it on the internet you'll save money as well not shipping it.
If you become less dependent and can provide for energy yourself you also reap the long term benefits when fossil fuel prices are rising fast and develop into an interlude of a whole new era for man kind.
Old 12th December 2009
  #142
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Whether global warming is caused by Homo sapiens or Mother Nature who cares? The world wide temperature is going up. Icebergs are melting at an alarming rate and glaciers are withdrawing. The use of fossil fuels is going up. China and India are getting wealthier and with that wealth comes more consumption of fossil fuels for their cars and buses and airplanes. We only have one planet. We cannot go to somewhere else (at least so far) so we have to protect the one we are on.

Unfortunately in the USA we live in a very BIG country with lots of space in between towns. If you want to get from point A to point B you have to do one of the following:

1. Walk

2. Fly

3. Take a train

4. Drive a Car

5. Take a boat

Except for #1, guess what, all of the require the use of fossil fuel. If you want lights in your house/studio/place of business you have to get you electric from:

1. Electric Generation plants

3. Nuclear Energy

3. Hydro Electric plants

4. Solar Power

5. Wind turbines

6. A Hand cranked or Pedal powered apparatus.

Only one of these #1 requires the use of fossil fuel.

In the town I live in (pop 7500) we use to have direct rail transportation in the middle of the town. That is gone and we now have a nice bike path that leads nowhere in its place. We use to have an interurban train that went between my city and three larger cites to the North and that is gone as well. The bus system that services our town is slowly going bankrupt since no one wants to pay what they are charging and wait out in the cold or the heat for them to show up.

I once estimated that if I wanted to use "public transportation" to visit my parents it would take me about 4 hours in one direction which is a distance of 25 miles and I can make it there in just under one hour by car. Nothing in this area is connected. If you have to go anywhere you have to make a lot of detours and do a lot of waiting if you want to take public transportation. If you go to larger cities everything is somewhat connected.

AMTRACK is going bust. A lot of the freight rail lines are going bust. Long distance transportation is mostly done by air. The city I was born in had direct street car access to the large city north of us and it was always an adventure I looked forward to. As soon as cars became more prevalent in the 50's they took up all the tracks and canceled the service. We later found out, thanks to a newspaper editorial, that the American car companies had paid for all the track removal because they were afraid that they could be reactivated if needed and the car companies did not want that to happen.

The city I live in is located about 30 miles from anywhere so if I need anything major or electronic I have to drive my car. When I was in Holland and Scotland I was amazed at the rail and streetcars I saw and used for transportation. I could go anywhere in a matter of minutes and the schedules had been worked out with a five minute wait time built in. Of course Scotland and Holland are no where near as big as the US. One thing that drives this amazing public transportation system in Europe and GB is the high cost of fossil fuel which is about two to three times what it is here.

I think it is time for all of us to do our part to save energy. Vehicles like Hummers and Ford Expeditions should no longer be made. They are gas guzzlers and don't do a lot for the environment. People should car pool more. Fast rail and other forms of public transportation should be encouraged. Homes should be weather proofed and if people cannot afford to do that they should be able to get a low interest rate loan for the project. Cars and buses should be made more fuel efficient and we should be looking forward to a time when we no longer have fossil fuel and research into alternative power source should be at the top of the agenda. We spend a heck of a lot more on the Iraq war in one year than we spend on alternative energy research. Iraq war spending vs. spending on renewable energy That is NOT really a good way to spend money.

Sorry about the soap box but...it is time to get cracking!
Old 12th December 2009
  #143
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Hey Thomas,

Again politics. If US politicians had the guts to make fuel the right price, those cars would be off the roads in no time. Or even better, they should be illegal.

My ex is a tour guide. Many US tourists ask her why they don't see any American cars anywhere. I told her it was because they were crap. heh Of course that answer won't do so I researched it a bit and it is actually because most American cars are not legal in most places outside the US. (Don't be confused by the fords etc you see in Europe, they are specifically designed for the European market).

The main reason is fuel consumption and emission standards:


I always smirk when I read Californians saying how good their standards are. What they don't realize is that their standards only look good compared to the abysmal standards of the US as a whole. The Californian standards are actually way below Chinese standards let alone Japanese or European standards.

A decade from now, the US will not have reached the EU standards from a decade ago. Shocking really.

Oh well... I go everywhere by public transport. I'm not guilty.

Alistair
Old 5th March 2010
  #144
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I promised myself I would go solar as soon as I finished my plate of whale sashimi. But then I found out there hasn't been any warming since 1998 (cf. Phil Jones email to Michael Mann et al), so I just ordered another plate to celebrate.

On a parting note, for anyone who is still so stubbornly and inexplicably certain of that which so many of us now hold in utter contempt: Met Office ends season forecasts – no more “BBQ summers” « Watts Up With That?
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