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Electricity and Energy generation

Started by FlyinBrian, July 26, 2020, 09:06:05 am

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FlyinBrian

I have had an interest in Energy since I did my OU techie stuff. I try to follow the various technologies but it is hard to make sense of all the claims, hypes, and commercial posturing plus of course the hyperbole spouted by the Gov't.

I doubt I will be around to see the death of oil and gas although it seems there is a push to move away from using gas to electricity for domestic heating and HW. A friend has a new house and it does not have a gas supply. Healing and HW are by means of an air source heat pump and a limited backup using 'lectric. It averages £50 a month to run over the last two years, ohk its fairly small but I think that is very good.

A bit more to the point and in keeping with this thread, we will all need to be able to charge cars before long.

Where do you think the future is for Energy "production"
Solar has come a long way with Photo Voltaic cells (PVC) panels being c 20% efficient now compared to 2-3% when I had them installed in my old house in 2011.

We just need to be able to store what is generated and batteries are expensive and if not installed, maintained and handled proper they suffer from short life.

Wind farms - I have heard that they will never re-coup their costs and its only subsidies that make em viable.

Heat pumps, ground or air sourced? Ground source takes up a big area for piping so probably out of the running except for new builds and those with large properties and cash rserves (just as it ever was)

Energy Storage???
Lithium batteries are still being touted to store solar/wind produced electricity but - how about heat storage using water/ rocks / chemicals; heated with solar / wind then converted to electricity using existing technology.


Totally silly question.

Re: Ground source heat pumps
How much heat can be taken from the earth before we have some other form of climatic catastrophe or will the on going heating from the sun be enough to balance out, I understood the heat hitting the earth from the sun disappeared at night into then out of the atmosphere.

TBC




Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

meharibear

Thoughtful stuff on RCMF, not concerning R/C?  Who could have imagined it?  Seriously though, one issue with renewable energy which has always stuck in the back of my mind concerns wind power.  With some of the prevailing winds being caused by the rotation of the earth, is it possible that building sufficient wind farms would actually slow that rotation?  And, if it is, how much reduction would it take to have a serious effect of life on earth?  Finally, what effects might we see?
Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.  (Terry Pratchett)

paulinfrance

France keeps on about going green, a load of rubbish, maybe a 200€ grant from the government for 20.000€ Worth of solar panels and buying back at 0.10€ a kilowatt hour, going abroad ( poor countries and not so poor ) I see every building with a solar hot water system on the roofs, nothing here, it's all about company's making money and taxes,,  :''
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

itsme

This is the only answer to the carbon problem. It keeps creeping closer, but needs the entire world to go for it. Money gets in the way. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03039-9

PDR

Quote from: meharibear on July 26, 2020, 10:02:26 amWith some of the prevailing winds being caused by the rotation of the earth, is it possible that building sufficient wind farms would actually slow that rotation?

Prevailing winds are not caused by rotation of the earth (not on the sense you mean) - if you imagined that the wind was due to the earth rotating while the atmosphere wasn't then consider that the drag would have long since accelerated the whole atmosphere up to an equilibrium state (either over millions of years if you're an evidence-based person or 6004 years if you're more inclined to creationism).

Prevailing winds DO result from the earth's rotation - it's the day/night heating/cooling cycle and how this behaves differently over water, land, ice/snow etc that causes air to expand/rise/soak up water etc. When the air soaks up water it becomes lighter and rises until it hits the altitude where the lower pressure causes the water to condense out (which is why clouds it at a specific level even though the air under and over them is constantly rising). When the air rises it creates a void (simplistic view) that makes the air around it rush in, causing surface winds. at night the surface hands its heat back to the atmosphere, so there's a day/night cycle.

Then you consider that land and sea warm up and cool down at different rates, so other than at mid-day or mid-night they will be at different temperatures, handing heat back to the atmosphere at different rates, so there is ALWAYS some temperature difference which causes the rising/falling of air that appears as winds. Of course the appearance of actual clouds complicates this further, by varying the amount of heat available to a particular bit of land or sea.

Finally there is the fact that when air rushes into the void created by rising air it almost never moves in a straight line - any air coming from north or south of the void will have a different angular velocity, so when it moves towards the void it curves against rotation (if it's moving towards the equator) or with the rotation (if moving away from the equator) as described by Mr Coriolis. These curves mean that when air rises the incoming air has lateral velocities so that when they get to the void they form a vortex. This is how Hurricanes and Tornados form - hot, moist air rises rapidly causing surrounding air to rush in. While rushing in it draws up more water making it rise etc etc until you get this huge self-sustaining vortex (it's a triple-integral expression that mathematicians find cute). That's why hurricanes form over warm equatorial water rather than over land.

So that's how winds work. You can see that extracting wind energy won't slow the rotation of the planet because that's not how the prevailing winds are caused. The issue of whether extracting wind energy can change the *weather* is less clear. In global terms it's unlikely because we could never build enough turbines to extract anything but a tiny fraction of the total wind energy even if we really needed that much energy (it's an easy sum to do - happy to detail it of you wish). But it could certainly be true that a wind turbine array might cause variations in the surface weather for a few miles downstream. If that area has a significant local weather system (eg in a valley) then it's possible the turbine array could change it.

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

PDR

Quote from: itsme on July 26, 2020, 11:37:51 amThis is the only answer to the carbon problem. It keeps creeping closer, but needs the entire world to go for it. Money gets in the way. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03039-9

It's not money that gets in the way so much as the detail that no one has yet managed to make a working fusion reactor to show that it's actually possible.

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

THE BLACKBIRD

Heating water by solar panels is very effective, in Cyprus we had to use the heater only two or three time a winter, and a new panel and hot water cylinder mounted on the same stand were around 600 euro, but in this cold and miserable Britain i dont think they would be any good
The man that never made a mistake
Never made anything

paulinfrance

Quote from: THE BLACKBIRD on July 26, 2020, 14:28:09 pmHeating water by solar panels is very effective, in Cyprus we had to use the heater only two or three time a winter, and a new panel and hot water cylinder mounted on the same stand were around 600 euro, but in this cold and miserable Britain i dont think they would be any good

 Being so miserable in England I thought that showering at 6am in cold water wouldn't make any difference,,

 Seriously,, the water comes out of the ground here at around 8°/10°, if it can get you a few degrees "free" it's always that.
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

FlyinBrian

July 26, 2020, 23:40:08 pm #8 Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 23:43:56 pm by FlyinBrian
Wow, a great response.

Sunny climates like Cyprus are obviously better for Solar but it does work here too. With an array of 13 panels on my South East facing roof in Northampton we were getting up to 18 KWH / day with an average of 8 to 10 KWh per day in the summer.
The best part of the day was 10 to 13:00 when we saw up to 5KW coming off the panels in June / July but only a few hundred Watts in winter unless very sunny
After 13:00 the sum had moved arouns the edge of the house and power tailed off. We saved c50% of our electricity usage and got paid to do it through the feed in tariff (FIT). FIT is no longer paid but PV panels are about 20% efficient now compared to the 2 to 3% they were when ours were fitted in 2009 - and the installation is cheaper now.

Re: Our needs as modellers, plus our vehicles but also applicable to storage of domestic sun and wind generated electricity. Is Lithium the only viable technology?, whats likely to be next? Hydrogen fuel cells for cars perhaps?

It seems Lithium and all the other components of a LIFE battery can be economically recycled with virtually 100% of materials being recovered. So other than the original mining and processing Lithium could be around for ever.


Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

paulinfrance

Here is a typical Summers day, panels facing South West, the light blue is electric produced, dark sent to the grid light orange from the panels (mostly the swimming pool motor ) dark orange from the grid, air conditioner and water heater( after 22h ), when I built my house I did with at the time over insulating it, the 'experts' gave me the figures of 30% just for the water heater !

 more later on my old 38.5m barge / house,, if you have nothing else to read.typical day.png
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

Brian Cooper

In Britain, we need a system that generates electricity from clouds and rain.
 ;)

RobC

How about an old fashioned water mill wheel driven by rain  with vanes attached to drive it from the wind too?  Feed it from the gutters, job done  ^-^
flying's easy - it's getting it back down in one piece that's the hard part

paulinfrance

Quote from: RobC on July 27, 2020, 11:30:11 amHow about an old fashioned water mill wheel driven by rain  with vanes attached to drive it from the wind too?  Feed it from the gutters, job done  ^-^

You will have to move the homeless first,, :-\
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

FlyinBrian

OK, Interesting and amusing stuff so far.

no one has commented on Lithium or alternatives.

If we take heat from the ground, water, and / or the air will it not affect the winds. I suppose whatever we take out goes back in some form.

About 28 years ago I did some work in Stavanger, Norway. It was the middle of Dec and os temps were minus 16. The offices were heated with heat pumps extracting heat from the sea. They also had automated window blinds and vents so the indoor temperature could be quickly adjusted. Leading edge at the time
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

firefox

I find that my electric bill is very little with my roof panels. :)
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool......

FlyinBrian

Quote from: paulinfrance on July 26, 2020, 10:03:59 amFrance keeps on about going green, a load of rubbish, maybe a 200€ grant from the government for 20.000€ Worth of solar panels and buying back at 0.10€ a kilowatt hour, going abroad ( poor countries and not so poor ) I see every building with a solar hot water system on the roofs, nothing here, it's all about company's making money and taxes,,  :''

Liberty, Fraternity, Equality..................same as it ever was; - for some!
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

FlyinBrian

Quote from: firefox on July 27, 2020, 20:20:16 pmI find that my electric bill is very little with my roof panels. :)

For the right oriented roof and modern panels you can get an amazing amount of power. AND the output of the panels is guaranteed for 25 years.

Do you have storage batterys?

Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

paulinfrance

Quote from: FlyinBrian on July 27, 2020, 20:15:34 pmOK, Interesting and amusing stuff so far.

no one has commented on Lithium or alternatives.

If we take heat from the ground, water, and / or the air will it not affect the winds. I suppose whatever we take out goes back in some form.

About 28 years ago I did some work in Stavanger, Norway. It was the middle of Dec and os temps were minus 16. The offices were heated with heat pumps extracting heat from the sea. They also had automated window blinds and vents so the indoor temperature could be quickly adjusted. Leading edge at the time


Maybe easier just to move South,,, ^-^
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

FlyinBrian

PiF. I used to live and work in the Sarf East inc London, Maidstone and Hampton on the 'ill, Got fed up of traffic, overcrowding general yobishness. Then moved to Northants and then retired and moved to Skeg for a number of reasons.

Here in Skeg I am a 250 metre stroll to the beach, As the seagull flies its even less. There is a golf club about 100m away with a decent hotel and pub attached serving reasonably priced decent beer and food. The sun rises on the front of our house and sets at the back so a postprandial glass of Vin Rouge on the patio of an evening as the sun sets is the norm. Little traffic noise except the when oiks from Leicester and Nottingham and them Ebuygums and Brummies decide to race down the road in the pimped Corsa's etc.

This year had been great until lock down was lifted then they came back with a vengeance.
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

firefox

Hi

No,
Quote from: FlyinBrian on July 28, 2020, 06:28:34 amFor the right oriented roof and modern panels you can get an amazing amount of power. AND the output of the panels is guaranteed for 25 years.

Do you have storage batterys?



Just the panels and fits!

They have been up a number of years now, I am much better off.

Looking like they will pay for themselves in 8 to 9 years.

Really must connect to them sometime and see what is happening and how they are.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool......

paulinfrance

Quote from: FlyinBrian on July 28, 2020, 16:35:06 pmPiF. I used to live and work in the Sarf East inc London, Maidstone and Hampton on the 'ill, Got fed up of traffic, overcrowding general yobishness. Then moved to Northants and then retired and moved to Skeg for a number of reasons.

Here in Skeg I am a 250 metre stroll to the beach, As the seagull flies its even less. There is a golf club about 100m away with a decent hotel and pub attached serving reasonably priced decent beer and food. The sun rises on the front of our house and sets at the back so a postprandial glass of Vin Rouge on the patio of an evening as the sun sets is the norm. Little traffic noise except the when oiks from Leicester and Nottingham and them Ebuygums and Brummies decide to race down the road in the pimped Corsa's etc.

This year had been great until lock down was lifted then they came back with a vengeance.

 OMG, what did you do to 'merit' that prison sentence ?.
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

FlyinBrian

Says the man who moved to France  ;)

Where in La Belle are you?
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

PDR

There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

paulinfrance

Quote from: FlyinBrian on July 28, 2020, 17:43:40 pmSays the man who moved to France  ;)

Where in La Belle are you?

In the South at the foot of the Cévennes hills, ^-^  I came here to educate the French,  :'' a lost cause 40 + years and I am still here,  :uk:

Ps, 35° and sunny "again",, :study:
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

THE BLACKBIRD

Skeggy voted the worst seaside town in the UK, used to go there as a kid, dragged there by my parents
The man that never made a mistake
Never made anything

FlyinBrian

July 29, 2020, 07:19:48 am #25 Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 07:21:12 am by FlyinBrian
Oh its awful here, a pic I took last year while I was walking the dog.

Three little ships at sunup_edited.jpg
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

FlyinBrian

A few more
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

itsme

I used to live near Alford, Brian. (flew and was Sec at Strubby) we only went to the beach when we got visitors. Much nicer further North, Chapel, Huttoft etc, I detested Skeg itself and Mablethorpe, but they were my working areas.

THE BLACKBIRD

I can remember that when the tide is out you cannot see the sea, its so far away
The man that never made a mistake
Never made anything

PDR

Much the same as Woomera. There was a huge beach, but the tide was always out. (about 180 miles out).

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

ludwig

A friend of mine, now deceased, was in the army back in the 50,s, and he used to go out to Woomera on a regular basis, test firing missiles.

To go back to electricity. Opposite to me a farm has a large wind turbine which feeds several small businesses on the farm. This turbine has been there for about five years. Recently they have taken down and uprated it with new innards and fancy shaped new blades. The farmer recons that the upgrade had increased output by 30%. So they are making progress.

paulinfrance

Quote from: ludwig on July 29, 2020, 23:36:27 pmA friend of mine, now deceased, was in the army back in the 50,s, and he used to go out to Woomera on a regular basis, test firing missiles.

To go back to electricity. Opposite to me a farm has a large wind turbine which feeds several small businesses on the farm. This turbine has been there for about five years. Recently they have taken down and uprated it with new innards and fancy shaped new blades. The farmer recons that the upgrade had increased output by 30%. So they are making progress.

 And putting the balsa prices up, as most of the blades are of balsa sandwich construction,,
Mode 2 THE only way to fly

FlyinBrian

Quote from: itsme on July 29, 2020, 08:46:52 amI used to live near Alford, Brian. (flew and was Sec at Strubby) we only went to the beach when we got visitors. Much nicer further North, Chapel, Huttoft etc, I detested Skeg itself and Mablethorpe, but they were my working areas.

I am in LADMAC and fly from Strubby. Being on the North Shore side of town we are not too troubled by grockels.

Skegness itself really is not so bad however the quality of holiday maker could do with some improvement. Of course if you want to shop then you need to go to Boston, Louth or Grimsby.
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

FlyinBrian

Quote from: THE BLACKBIRD on July 29, 2020, 09:21:08 amI can remember that when the tide is out you cannot see the sea, its so far away

Not true! have you ever been to Camber sands when the tide is out?
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

FlyinBrian

Quote from: PDR on July 29, 2020, 09:58:01 amMuch the same as Woomera. There was a huge beach, but the tide was always out. (about 180 miles out).

PDR

Peter, I'll have to take your word on that, can not see me visiting for a while.
Basic Research is what I do - when I don't know what I'm doing!.

itsme

Quote from: paulinfrance on July 30, 2020, 06:31:26 amAnd putting the balsa prices up, as most of the blades are of balsa sandwich construction,,

Not so much now, I believe. The technology is moving on.

PDR

IIRC the biggest consumer of balsa is refrigerated ships where vast quantities of the stuff is used to make 6" thick insulation around the cold holds. I remember a few years ago being told that >80% of the world's balsa production went into these ships.

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

paulinfrance

Quote from: PDR on July 30, 2020, 09:48:32 amIIRC the biggest consumer of balsa is refrigerated ships where vast quantities of the stuff is used to make 6" thick insulation around the cold holds. I remember a few years ago being told that >80% of the world's balsa production went into these ships.

PDR
I worked on fishing boats, and the fridges were built of foam and fibre glassed over,,
Mode 2 THE only way to fly