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Forced responses: Oct 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 October 2019

Bi-monthly open thread on climate solutions. Please try to be civil. Remember, climate science questions can be discussed on the Unforced Variations thread.

544 Responses to “Forced responses: Oct 2019”

  1. 351
    nigelj says:

    Not all posts are displaying, only 325 are displaying, not 349, so I think there’s a bug in your system.

  2. 352
    nigelj says:

    Killian @341, 342 &344

    “you really are an idiot”

    Maybe you are the idiot. Maybe we are all idiots at times.

    Regarding your comments. Steve Keen is one guy with some ideas on a circular economy. There is no consensus on his specific ideas, and he could be right or wrong. Some of what he says makes sense.

    Capitalist economies make profits in even quite long recessions when growth is zero. if profits dwindle off longer term, maybe capitalism will change towards having not for profit organisations, like AB seems to be getting at. This is an established organisational model.

    You might have said something once in detail on regenerative governance, but I haven’t seen it. Whats to stop you posting a link to something?

    The joe dale stuff is just an incoherent rant. I have no idea what you are saying.

    Permaforst and clathrates. You are probably right, at least about the permafrost. I was thinking permafrost would turn out to be a bigger issue than the IPCC assessments and I was thinking this back around 2005. Its fairly obvious stuff to me anyway. The IPCC is very conservative on some issues, where there’s even the slightest doubt, but when we have millions of hectares of arctic permafrost and several degrees of warming in the region its fairly obvious soils will break down and bacterial action will release carbon and it could be faster than people think. There are other reasons as well.

    Like I said you have some analysis skills, but you are not the only one, and some of your conclusions look like very safe bets to me. Just because I don’t shout out predictions much on this website doesn’t mean I haven’t made a few that have turned out to be correct. I rarely post predictions, because nobody is going to take my predictions seriously because I don’t have a physics degree or similar. However maybe we should be saying more.

  3. 353
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @343, it’s no mystery that electric motors are incredibly reliable, long lasing and low maintenance. I have a 25 year old washing machine still going strong, just the bearings are getting noisy. Consider the parts of an electric motor and their relative simplicity and low running temperatures, against the complexity of ICE engines and their stressful high temperatures and complicated gear boxes. Its a no brainer.

  4. 354

    Al Bundy writes @337:

    Refusing to listen isn’t proof that no ideas were mentioned.

    Putting forth an idea that fails at the physics level proves only that you don’t have anything useful to add.  You have to vet your ideas first.

    Storage can be bio/synfuel, ultra massive flywheels, and even demand reduction.

    What does demand reduction “store”, exactly?  (I’ve noticed that you don’t even try to answer these questions, probably because you can’t.)

    I have been following flywheel tech since the 1970’s.  Today they’ve made it to some applications like short-term grid energy storage and the KERS systems of Indycars.  They are power-dense but can’t hold a candle to batteries for energy density, and they have high friction losses; IOW, no good for carrying power even overnight.

    Biofuels and synfuels are two different but closely-related things.  However, synfuels are extremely lossy in practice.  Take Audi’s synthetic methane “e-gas”, made from CO2.  The best current electrolyzers eat about 43 kWh to make 1 kg of H2.  It takes ½ kg H2 to reduce 2.75 kg of CO2 to 1 kg CH4 with 2.25 kg H2O as the byproduct.  So 21.5 kWh in (77.4 MJ) yields 50.0 MJ worth of methane (lower heating value) out… of which you may be able to convert 40% to work again in an engine, for a round-trip efficiency of a dismal 25.8%.  If you burn it in a 60% efficient CCGT you can get this up to 38.7%.

    Consider what this does to your system EROEI.  The Energiewende itself claims wind has an EROEI of only 18, and PV just 6.8.  Converted to storable e-gas and used to fire a CCGT when the wind dies down, the net EROEI is 6.97 for wind and an abysmal 2.63 for PV, and that’s before counting the energy invested in the electrolyzers, methanators and CO2 capture systems (which will have their own energy demands).  You need an industrial society to build such things, but you cannot run that society on them.  Trying to is a guarantee of failure, bankruptcy and collapse.

    Biofuels are the old standby.  I love myself a good fire in the biofuel stove; it speaks to something deep down in the human psyche.  Biofuels come in 2 basic categories:  what we produce for the purpose, and byproducts of other activities.  The EROEI of byproducts is potentially very high, so it behooves us to use them.  The problem is that the supply is highly constrained, and so is the energy available.  I have my own partial solution to this, which I am trying to patent.  I think the USA could realistically get 20 quads/yr of bio-derived fuels using my scheme.

    Your frequency control argument evaporates when DC is considered.

    In DC systems voltage is the parameter which corresponds to frequency in AC systems.  They reflect the balance of energy in the system and direction of flow.  You’re going to have the same problem in a DC system, plus all the losses and extra costs of converters.  This violates the KISS principle.  Transformers are both vastly cheaper and more efficient over short hauls.

    You’re basically right about the demands of LED lighting, but you’re going to need another, higher-voltage power system to handle normal loads like refrigerators and washers without wiring with welding cable.  Can you imagine running an electric clothes dryer or stove on 12 VDC?  Doesn’t pass the laugh test, does it?  Now ponder having TWO separate electrical systems in your house just to avoid some losses in an inverter.  If you were building from scratch as an off-grid system, sure, but if you’re going to be on-grid it makes no sense.

    You’re relatively smart (for a white boy).

    Smarter than you; I understand what you’re saying, but you don’t understand me.  I pepper you with links to my sources, but you show no hint of having understood or even looked at them.

    Why refuse to learn and grow?

    I am always learning, always studying.  You are the one who can’t grow out of your ideology; you won’t even do the math to see whether or not it can work (probably because you’re afraid of proving to yourself that it can’t).

  5. 355

    Killian wrote @344:

    When you start w/ economics you’re already getting it wrong. There is no way to correct that error other than to *not* start with Economics. My informal education came via TheOilDrum. Defunct now. Years on that site with experts and scientists in various fields… and, even there, ahead of the curve.

    Probably getting most of your education from Gail Tverberg and that crew, right?

    My posts at TOD were few and far between.  I hope you got something from them too.

  6. 356
    Ke says:

    EP, #306–

    EP seems to be completely unaware that ultrafast frequency regulation is well provided by battery and flywheel storage, as for example in the projects listed here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_storage_power_station

    Yes, the installed capacity is still relatively small, but it is increasing rapidly:

    While the market for grid batteries is small compared to the other major form of grid storage, pumped hydroelectricity, it is growing very fast. For example, in the United States, the market for storage power plants in 2015 increased by 243% compared to 2014. As of June 2019, the United Kingdom’s grid has 700 MW of battery power with 70% annual growth.

    Or that wind power can provide inertia:

    The inverters that are installed with distributed generation systems and roof top solar systems have the potential to provide many of the ancillary services that are traditionally provided by spinning generators and voltage regulators. These services include reactive power compensation, voltage regulation, flicker control, active power filtering and harmonic cancellation. Wind turbines with variable-speed generators have the potential to add synthetic inertia to the grid and assist in frequency control. Hydro-Québec began requiring synthetic inertia in 2005 as the first grid operator, demanding a temporary 6% power boost when countering frequency drop by combining the power electronics with the rotational inertia of a wind turbine rotor. Similar requirements came into effect in Europe in 2016.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancillary_services_(electric_power)

    Not sure, but that may well be the reason for this empirical observation:

    …with additional renewable resources such as wind, the corresponding net load variation increases. That is, as wind capacity increases, we would also expect that more frequency regulation would be procured. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has experienced huge growth in wind over the last 20 years; however, the amount of frequency regulation ancillary service procured has decreased. We investigate why this has occurred, identifying a number of changes in the market design. The work highlights that market designs evolve to make better use of resources.

    http://engineering.utsa.edu/ataha/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2018/08/Flyer_Ross.pdf

  7. 357
    Killian says:

    Re #303 Al Bundy said Killian,
    No. The desire for growth is in no way linked to any economic system. Tis human nature.

    Correct and wrong and Straw Man all rolled into one.

    Now, consider your own words: “Tis human nature.” Yes. Many people want more, more, more. Ownership + more, more, more equals…? Ergo, yes, Capitalism is inherently growth-seeking.

    You got sooooo close… Ah, well.

    To credit one system for human nature is flawed. Capitalism, socialism, communism, and Laborism all function regardless of growth, stagnation, or contraction.

    Straw Manning a conversation is just a form of dishonesty, or really poor reading skills. Not interested in dealing with either. Tighten it up if you’re going to bother responding to people.

    Human nature? Wrong. I have pointed this out repeatedly. There are people who live within the ecological services of their lands, and have done so for millennia. It’s a sickness of “modernized” humans, not humanity.

  8. 358
    Killian says:

    Al Bundy, your machine is not going to save the world. Can’t.

    Start with Nature. Until you figure that out, you will have zero clarity on the usefulness, or not, of your engine… should it ever come into being and function as you hope.

  9. 359
    Al Bundy says:

    Mr KIA,

    Actually, heating has been solved for decades. Amory Lovin’s Rocky Mountain Institute and others have demonstrated that passive solar (the best) and/or active solar can keep houses and other buildings comfy with little non-free energy.

    My solution is to augment the above with a Caldwell cycle engine, which will turn bio/synfuel into perhaps 60% electricity and 35% usable heat for space and water heating. The electricity can be used to support those with other solutions such as ground source heat pumps.

    Your example was putridly selected. Yep, stuff was built idiotically in the past. Who cares?

    Energy isn’t just a quantity but also has quality. One should use the lowest quality energy available that will do the task at hand. Upgrading solar to electricity and then downgrading it to heat needs to be avoided, not used as a model for the future.

    Feebates are powerful. Instead of CAFE requirements, energy star, and other decreed pronouncements transfer money from the builder of a less efficient house or vehicle (or whatever) to the builder of a more efficient product. Manufacturers will compete to eat their competitors’ lunch. Much better than the current “build it barely efficient enough”.

    E-P,
    Intelligent and honorable people integrate new information especially when it conflicts with their previous position. Self made morons defend their errors as well as the conclusions they held before learning a new fact

    Please incorporate the Caldwell cycle engine into your mindspace now that UMich’s internal combustion department has offered to make it four students’ senior project. Since said engine cheaply beats combined cycle AND ramps up lickedly split your conclusions ought to immediately change. We’ll see if you’re capable of pivoting.

    On to your favorite subject. Yep, it is insane to close still viable existing nukes until coal is dead and other fossils are on their deathbed.

    And even then, there really isn’t a limit on how much energy can shunted to CO2 removal and nukes provide a precious commodity, baseload, so replacing aging nukes with modern designs makes sense.

    Guys, a big fat wedge of baseload makes the system way easier, cheaper, stable, and robust. And remember, diversity strengthens and stabilizes.

    My opinion? Whatever. We can overbuild nukes and/or overbuild renewables. But overbuilding is required because we’ve got a cleanup in aisle five situation. And it just so happens that overbuilding combined with long distance transmission and liquid-fueled engines, along with a few batteries and temporal load shifting (pricing that rewards energy consumers for choosing off-peak hours) eliminates intermittency issues. Add in E-P’s PHEVs to grid concept and the duck curve and the doldrums are slain.

  10. 360

    …it is insane to close still viable existing nukes until coal is dead and other fossils are on their deathbed.

    Agreed. And it’s not going to happen (except in Germany). Which is why I think arguing about 100% renewable energy is arguing a moot point, at least in the context of what is realistically going to happen in the next two or three decades.

    Inversely, we’re not going to see a massive buildout of nuclear power anywhere, either (though we’ll definitely see China and Russia, and probabaly Turkey, enlarging their fleets). The World Nuclear Association is pushing for a 25% share in the global energy mix. You can read about it here, along with some nuclear news:

    https://www.world-nuclear.org/getattachment/Our-Association/Publications/Annual-Reports-and-Brochures/At-Work-Annual-Report-2019/at-work-2019-may-edition.pdf.aspx

    But whether their hopes pan out or not, growth in renewable energy capacity is going to outstrip nuclear by a very large margin. Consequently, the future energy mix is going to be, er, mixed.

  11. 361

    Ke writes @356:

    EP seems to be completely unaware that ultrafast frequency regulation is well provided by battery and flywheel storage

    You seem to be completely unaware that I addressed that very issue in comment 308, albeit in language you did not recognize:

    AC Propulsion ran a test of vehicle-to-grid regulation service almost 2 decades ago.  We don’t even need to back-feed; simply ramping chargers up and down to offset other generation/demand imbalances can handle quite a bit of the minute-to-minute frequency error on the grid.

    You also didn’t recognize that flywheels and stationary batteries (and synchronous condensers) are extra-cost elements which increase the cost of “renewables”, but are typically charged to everyone.

    The massive scale means dealing with these problems is going to be EXPEN$IVE.  This means we have to find every economy we can.  Making vehicle traction batteries do double duty for grid regulation when they’re plugged in is one way to get large benefits for little additional cost.

    Or that wind power can provide inertia

    Okay, that’s new.  But consider this:  If the WT is turning at optimum RPMs for the wind speed, and you slow it down to tap the inertia for instantaneous frequency control, it is now turning at less-than-optimal speed and its net power output decreases.  You have just exacerbated the power-deficit that caused the under-frequency condition in the first place.  Of course, you could let the WT run at a slight overspeed to be on the right side of the power output curve… but that would require spilling some of your output all the time.

    None of this stuff is simple.

  12. 362
  13. 363
    Al Bundy says:

    E-P,
    Don’t be a doofus. I generally answer.

    “Demand reduction” was speaking about times when it’s harder to supply the grid. That often results in temporal transfer. Your stuff waits until electrons are cheap. Demand reduction when the grid is stressed is virtual storage.

    You suffer from gotchaitis, resulting in your not considering the whole conversation. I find it hard to believe that you’re too sub-brilliant to unpack “and even demand reduction”. The “and even” is a hint that DR is different. I offered an entertaining puzzle/loop back to previous points. You failed because you chose to read with hostility?

  14. 364
    nigelj says:

    A lot of posts are still not displaying, unless you post a new comment then they mysteriously appear. Would be good if you could fix the problem.

    [Response: Can you be more specific? Could be related to the cache settings… – gavin]

  15. 365
    nigelj says:

    Killian @357, there is no question that hunter gatherer society work’s sustainably and is a relatively peaceful and sharing society. I doubt that its some sort of deliberate moral choice and I see no evidence of this. One possible explanation and the simplest explanation is it is due to their circumstances as follows:

    1)Hunter gatherer numbers are relatively small so they never take more than the natural environment than it has to give.

    2)Infant mortality is high so you don’t get a population explosion and therefore increased demand and the problems that brings.

    3) Hunter gatherer technology is so simple that you simply have to live sustainably to survive. They cant take too much and store large surpluses for long.

    4)Tribal groups were so small that sharing and trust develops naturally.

    5)Their society didn’t have enough goods to lead to significant wealth inequality. Without much inequality conflicts were limited.

    Once you transition to a farming based society, all this changes towards population growth, economic growth, wealth acquisition, inequality, and conflict between groups. It doesn’t always but it tends to. This becomes further amplified with industrial society.

    So why do some hunter gatherer societies persist even today? People resist change.

    Industrial society has some options to reduce inequality with fair pay agreements and wealth redistribution and we can obviously do a lot to be more sustainable by farming differently.

    But to get back completely to all the values and characteristics of hunter gatherer society, I suspect we would have to literally ‘become’ hunter gatherers. Right now this isn’t possible even if we wanted because of the size of human populations.

    Personally I think modern society has some advantages and technology is rather useful, and we are more likely going to try to preserve those things while reducing environmental impacts while wasting less and with smaller population numbers in a sort of hybrid system. Future generations will have to adopt a simpler life as resources decline. So be it.

  16. 366
    nigelj says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/nov/09/doomism-new-tactic-fossil-fuel-lobby

    The battle between climate change deniers and the environment movement has entered a new, pernicious phase. That is the stark warning of one of the world’s leading climate experts, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

    Mann told the Observer that although flat rejection of global warming was becoming increasingly hard to maintain in the face of mounting evidence, this did not mean climate change deniers were giving up the fight.

    “First of all, there is an attempt being made by them to deflect attention away from finding policy solutions to global warming towards promoting individual behaviour changes that affect people’s diets, travel choices and other personal behaviour,” said Mann. “This is a deflection campaign and a lot of well-meaning people have been taken in by it.”

    Mann stressed that individual actions – eating less meat or avoiding air travel – were important in the battle against global warming. However, they should be seen as additional ways to combat global warming rather than as a substitute for policy reform.

    “We should also be aware how the forces of denial are exploiting the lifestyle change movement to get their supporters to argue with each other. It takes pressure off attempts to regulate the fossil fuel industry. This approach is a softer form of denial and in many ways it is more pernicious.”

  17. 367
    nigelj says:

    Killian says “Al Bundy, your machine is not going to save the world. Can’t.”

    A perfect example of a straw man.

  18. 368
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,
    I don’t see all the comments either.

    E-P,
    Nearly all of your concerns aren’t applicable to my comments. We agree on lots but you take my full-stopped points, remove the brakes, and shove the resulting strawman off a cliff. You also take subsections out of systems instead of looking at the whole. I talk DC backbone, grid, and loads and you reply that converting to AC and back is costly and inefficient. Duh. That’s what the concept eliminates.

    It’s revealing that you think I think 12 volts is adequate. Yep, you’re smarter than a guy who thinks such nonsense. Open your eyes.

    It’s funny that you scream about the impossibility of gathering enough feedstock for biofuel and then note that you’re homing in on a solution. Remember my forestry comments? By the way, biofuel is not limited to natural net primary productivity. Algae to biodiesel, for example.

    Since you asked, the purpose of storage is smoothing. You can build a battery or shed/add/advance/delay loads as primary generation varies as nature decides. Virtual storage if you will. You knew what I meant.

    You implied that DC voltage regulation is as difficult and critical as AC frequency regulation. I don’t know for sure, but my phone disagrees. Is it wrong? Cites, please.

    Killian,
    Naw. The folks who lived without growth did so because growth was impossible. Offer a caveman a freezer for food storage and he’ll refuse?

    All,
    The desire for growth is largely individual, with cohort replacement resetting the scale. Companies and societies are measured but frankly, my guess is that most people wouldn’t be terribly bothered if the GNP went down if that decline were linked to personal growth.

  19. 369
    Killian says:

    Re #355 Engineer-Poet said Killian wrote @344:

    My informal education came via TheOilDrum.

    Probably getting most of your education from Gail Tverberg and that crew, right?

    My posts at TOD were few and far between. I hope you got something from them too.

    Gail? Not so much. Her posts were typically technical rather than truly systemic, and I found her inconsistent and often disagreed with her analysis. It was like she was trying too hard or something to be unique.

    Others were a good intro to heterodox economics, and if one hasn’t delved into Minsky, Daly, etc., and don’t understand that heterodox economics are far superior to neo-classical, then one is bound to think of the economy much like everyone here does, i.e. incorrectly.

    And, as I recently pointed out about correcting perhaps the best heterodox economist there is, even they get it wrong. So, if one is a neo-classicist or Chicago School, et al., one is at least two degrees of separation from reality. Beyond simple Minskyite economics is Daly and what is now called Circular or Doughnut economics, but those people still think you can have ownership and profit and also have sustainability and equity. They are wrong on the face of it, but god knows it’s really hard to get people’s thinking past 900 years of growth.

    As for you, I don’t recall the moniker, so who knows? But, if you spewed the same crap there you do here, then no. However, perhaps you wrote on broader issues and there was something to glean…

  20. 370
    Killian says:

    Re #367 nigelj said Killian says “Al Bundy, your machine is not going to save the world. Can’t.”

    A perfect example of a straw man.

    You are so very unskilled.

    The straw man is a fallacy in which an opponent’s argument is overstated or misrepresented in order to be more easily attacked or refuted. The technique often takes quotes out of context or, more often, incorrectly paraphrases or summarizes an opponent’s position. Then after “defeating” the position, the attacker claims to have beaten the real thing.

    Although the term straw man is a recent coinage, the concept is ancient. In the “Topics,” Aristotle acknowledges “that in argument it would be inappropriate to interpret as someone’s position an opinion that he did not express or is not committed to, in virtue of what he said,” according to Douglas Walton in “Methods of Argumentation.” The name of the fallacy represents the idea that although a straw man may look like a human, it won’t put up any resistance in a fight.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/straw-man-fallacy-1692144

    1. I didn’t say he made that claim.

    2. He has absolutely stated it is a significant improvement over current engines.

    3. Implication, given he suggests an engine as at least part of the solution, is tech can solve the problem and that resources are not at issue given…

    4. he has said there could be one in our homes, implying something on the order of 1 billion of the things might be made.

    Given all this, my statement was a casual, slightly hyperbolic restatement of his own statements that is in essence correct, but that was not addressing his claims at all, but WAS addressing what I have consistently said for a decade on these pages: Resource limits constrain any tech response to climate.

    So, try not to expose your ignorance quite so often and so clearly. Context. I am always and forever focusing on regenerativeness. I don’t give the slightest damn whether anyone is right or wrong just for them to be right or wrong, but only on the issue itself. Therefore, the Straw Man is not a tactic I employ, unlike you. In fact, your little snit here was… a Straw Man because you couldn’t be bothered to consider what it is I am constantly addressing: Is it regenerative or not? No? Then it can’t save us.

    Has he designed a better engine? I hope so. Can it impact our response to climate significantly? No. For the reasons stated, ad nauseum, but which you *still* do not grasp.

    Stop tring me; you always fail.

  21. 371
    Killian says:

    Al Bundy said The folks who lived without growth did so because growth was impossible. Offer a caveman a freezer for food storage and he’ll refuse?

    This is willfully ignorant, aka denial. Get your ego out of the game.

    What should development mean for those who are largely self-sufficient, getting their own food and building their dwellings where the water is still clean – like many of the world’s 150 million tribal people? Has development got anything helpful for them, or has it simply got it in for them?

    It’s easy to see where it has led. Leaving aside the millions who succumbed to the colonial invasion, in some of the world’s most “developed” countries (Australia, Canada and the US) development has turned most of the survivors into dispossessed paupers.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/nov/25/indigenous-peoples-benefit-development-tribal

  22. 372
    Killian says:

    Re #352 nigelj said Killian @341, 342 &344

    “you really are an idiot”

    Maybe you are the idiot. Maybe we are all idiots at times.

    Regarding your comments. Steve Keen is one guy with some ideas on a circular economy.

    Stupid fallacy. Implication he’s only one, so unlikely to be/can’t be correct. Stupid.

    There is no consensus on his specific ideas

    Stupid. Heterodox, by definition, is still in the minorty, which tells us nothing about accuracy. Stupid.

    Heterodox economists are clearly more accurate than the traditional economists. If you think otherwise, you’re an idiot wrt economics – which is something you have proven over and over again with your ignorant, wasteful of space posts on Capitalism.

    Then, not understanding the implications of your own words: “Some of what he says makes sense.” The logic here is absolute: You have determined he is mostly wrong as only some of what he says makes sense… to you… someone absolutely, demonstrably out to lunch on economics. Yet you claim this expertise that is greater than Keen’s. Please not, I offered a very specific critique. I did not claim to discount any other aspect of his views, yet you, who has repeatedly demonstrated an extremely poor understanding of economics claim most of what he says doesn’t make sense.

    Good lord…

    On FCI, it’s crystal clear. You were not told the content of the White Paper in specific, but the results of them not following my analysis is clear to anyone with a 6th Grade education or higher, but as an employee at the time I have a responsibility to not be too specific. You are free to contact the company.

    I was thinking permafrost would turn out to be a bigger issue than the IPCC assessments and I was thinking this back around 2005. Its fairly obvious stuff to me anyway

    Suuuure you were. Except there’s no documentation. Even if so, the issue is not whether they are an issue. Everybody knows that. It’s the time line. and on that, you have not been here making statements on short-term changes since @ 2007. I have.

    Stop challenging me. You have been, and will always be, wrong.

  23. 373
    Mr. Know It All says:

    359 – Al Bundy
    “Your example was putridly selected. Yep, stuff was built idiotically in the past. Who cares?”

    Close to 100% of existing homes are not passive solar – THAT is why my example matters.

    Passive solar is best, as you indicated, but when the sun doesn’t shine for a week, gotta come up with something else. ;) Yes, the example I used was a typical existing, older home, with R-11 roof, R-8 walls, and night indoor temp of 55 F. Many homes would be worse than this; yes, they could all be improved for big $$. zebra wanted to know about battery size – my example merely provided a rough idea of battery size needed to solve the heating problem.
    ;)

    “Approximately 2/3 of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. were built before 1980, with 40% built before 1970…”

    source:
    https://eyeonhousing.org/2015/08/the-aging-housing-stock-2/

    EXCELLENT book on passive solar homes with instructions on how to do the calculations:

    https://www.amazon.com/Passive-Solar-House-Complete-Heating/dp/1933392037/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Passive+Solar+house&qid=1573961305&sr=8-1

  24. 374
    Killian says:

    305 Al Bundy said E-P,
    You speak AC. I’m not an EE but I’m edging towards the DC side. The circuit breaker and transformer issues are solved. Frankly, I’m bending towards an all DC system. All those vampire loads go away. Motors’ efficiency skyrockets. Are you saying that we should stick with AC, including for long distance power transmission?

    No, you’re on the right path. Motor to battery to load. Could charge old car batteries, etc., and directly power 12v lighting, etc., as I’ve seen people do in their off-grid homes: PV to DC motor or PV to battery to DC motor/wev lights.

    K.I.S.S.

    Above all, you should be aiming for something anyone can use, anywhere. Well, not in a typical U.S. home, but the U.S. needs to stop thumbing it’s ose at the rest of the world and get with the more sustainable program.

  25. 375
    David B. Benson says:

    Posts 326—350 fail to display.

  26. 376
    Mr. Know It All says:

    371 – Killian

    There’s still hope for your Utopia, achieved via EMPs:

    http://www.onesecondafter.com/

    Available in libraries, book stores, amazon, etc.

    ;)

  27. 377
    nigelj says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec

    Desertec is a proposal for a huge solar power electricity project for north africa to supply Europe’s electricity needs. It uses a direct current transmission system. I have no idea how feasible it is, (probably comes down to costs) but its relevant to discussions.

  28. 378
    nigelj says:

    Gavin @364, only 358 comments appear even although the thread says 371 are posted. Now if I post a comment the invisible comments do appear but I dont always want to be posting a comment to read anything. This is the case on a couple of browsers and computers, so I dont think the problem is at my end. It is clear others are having the same issue.

  29. 379
    nigelj says:

    Killian @370, stop nit picking. It was a straw man.

    And you have promoted a “technology bridge” and lists of appropriate technology. A small motor using biofuels could fit this reasonably well. If we have technology it should obviously work as well as possible and be as sustainable as possible should it not?

    It doesn’t have to be used in every home but would be good for health care centres.

    Your trouble is your endlessly contradictory ideas, but you cant see it because you just aren’t as smart as you like to think you are. You should probably stick to just thinking about agriculture. That’s your limit.

  30. 380
    Killian says:

    Your attention, please.

    Do you see any way we change course?
    Well, we could. I could design you the global system today without any horrible loss of standard of living all around the world. Consuming 30, 40, 50 percent less of everything what we are consuming. Be it water, or steel, or energy, but we are not willing to go down that route. Technically, it doesn’t require any new inventions, nothing, and it will actually save us money in many ways.

    Did you hear an echo?

    Link: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/09/vaclav-smil-on-the-need-to-abandon-growth.html

  31. 381
    Killian says:

    Re #376 Mr. Know It All said 371 – Killian

    There’s still hope for your Utopia, achieved via EMPs:

    http://www.onesecondafter.com/

    Available in libraries, book stores, amazon, etc.

    ;)

    Don’t give the Deep Green Resistance nutters any ammo…

    though as a last resort… Problem of scale, however… like everything else.

  32. 382
    nigelj says:

    Killian is right hunter gatherer lifestyles were also very egalitarian. But this was only because their economies are so simple so they don’t require an organisational hierarchy.

    This is why modern experiments with egalitarian societies mostly fail, whether it be lifestyle communities or socialist collectivist societies. All these societies have complex economies even those who try to get away from capitalism and technology, so egalitarian structures are always in tension with how their economies actually work.

    You really just have to work at making leadership fully accountable for mistakes and corruption, or alternatively go back to living like a hunter gatherer, if that’s your thing.

  33. 383
    nigelj says:

    Killian @372, interesting how you downplay consensus views on economics, but seem happy to accept the consensus view on climate change. Confirmation bias.

    You cannot dismiss economics as a whole just because you don’t like some aspects of it. Economic analysis is a proven and powerful tool. If you focused specifically on problem areas you might start to have some credibility. But you never listen.

  34. 384
    nigelj says:

    More posts failing to display, including everything after 371. They only appeared when I posted a comment. I realise bugs happen, but it would be nice if this website actually acknowledged there’s a problem, especially as several people have mentioned it. Getting tired of it.

  35. 385
    nigelj says:

    Killian says “I could design you the global system today without any horrible loss of standard of living all around the world. Consuming 30, 40, 50 percent less of everything what we are consuming. ”

    Anyone can do that. For example you can have smaller cars and homes, fewer gadgets, more wall insulation, use of heat pumps, passive solar design, build with timber more than steel, more efficient engines, etcetera. This is low hanging fruit that is easy and doesn’t degrade lifestyles too much.

    Getting above 50% will be harder, for example how many people would give up cars, stoves, fridges and televisions? So we still need to build a lot of renewable energy. Sorry Killian that’s how it is.

    The link to “Vaclav Smil: We Must Leave Growth Behind” seems to relate more to economic growth than actually reducing use of resources as such, but I haven’t read it all.

  36. 386
    nigelj says:

    Killian @380, sorry I meant Killian posted a quote.

  37. 387
    Thomas says:

    I prefer to hear people who know what they are talking about and speak sensibly about that than those who do not.

    A case in point is Gavin: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/11/10-years-on/

    Another is Kevin Anderson who gets into the weeds of politics & the UNFCCC COP system while not ignoring the Data or the Science.

    Richard Pauli
    1 day ago
    Excellent interview. Thank you . One comment ~34 mins – well engaged nations are reticent to act globally because of the experience of nuclear weapons proliferation and the threat of atomic annihilation – in that case everyone just held their breath, some minor negotiations worked and now that problem is out of our concern. Everyone mistakenly thinks the same thing will happen with global warming. We have not learned this is progressively destabilizing. A completely different problem.

    Shanti
    2 weeks ago
    Just want to say a huge THANK YOU to Professor Kevin Anderson. I’ve been watching his numerous presentations online for several years. I’m also reading his tweets daily @kevinclimate.

    Kevin Anderson Truth about Climate Crisis Part 1
    979 views •28 Oct 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcsVO9bKTpU
    Kevin Anderson, Reversing Climate Crisis, part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FIwvYUuTOU

    For those with ears that hear.

  38. 388

    Killian wrote @357:

    Human nature? Wrong. I have pointed this out repeatedly. There are people who live within the ecological services of their lands, and have done so for millennia. It’s a sickness of “modernized” humans, not humanity.

    And right there you capture the essence of Ecomodernism.  The romantic view of “living off the land” pulls everything FROM nature, no matter what damages it causes TO nature.  Ecomodernism prizes living off things that nature DOESN’T need, to give humanity what it wants while leaving nature mostly to itself and taking only what’s necessary.

    Nature has no use for uranium.  Nature is not harmed by small amounts of radiation.  Nuclear energy is perfectly consonant with living lightly upon the earth; 7 billion humans living “organically” is not.

    Killian @258:  Spot on.

  39. 389

    Al Bundy writes @359:

    E-P,

    Please incorporate the Caldwell cycle engine into your mindspace now that UMich’s internal combustion department has offered to make it four students’ senior project. Since said engine cheaply beats combined cycle AND ramps up lickedly split your conclusions ought to immediately change. We’ll see if you’re capable of pivoting.

    FYI, the term is “lickety-split”.

    A search for “Caldwell cycle engine” at Startpage.com turns up THIS discussion thread… and nothing else.  So do please explain WTF you are talking about, Mr. Crank.  The degraded state of the University of Michigan, unfortunately, has to be accepted given the decay of science in universities.

    Intelligent and honorable people integrate new information especially when it conflicts with their previous position. Self made morons defend their errors as well as the conclusions they held before learning a new fact

    Intelligent and honorable people do not cite “concepts” which are not only un-referenced, but cannot be found with reasonable effort.

    If you expect people to understand you, you have to DEFINE YOUR TERMS.  “Caldwell cycle engine” is undefined.  Stop being a worthless a***ole and define it.  Hard-link to where it is described.  As things are, it appears that no one but you has any idea WTF you mean by it.

    And speaking of removed comments, I am 100% certain that I saw a comment from you teling me that I better do… something.  It was totally ridiculous, and I was going to mock the living shit out of it including the implied threat.  But that comment is nowhere I can see now.

    Gavin, did you nuke it?  Can you put it back, with a link?  Because I TOTALLY want to ridicule it and its author in the terms they deserve.  That crap NEEDS to be demolished, not hidden.

  40. 390
    David B. Benson says:

    Wind turbines for ancillary services, such as frequency regulation? The short answer is no. A longer answer is to use curtailment, as was done and maybe still is in Spain. The modern answer is to equip the wind farm with a short duration, nominally 1 hour, battery. The battery capacity is at least that of the wind farm. This has been shown repeatedly to work and work much better than the older grid with neither wind farm nor battery. Some of this is good for grid stability. I notice this every time there is a nearby lighting storm; no more flicker.

  41. 391
    nigelj says:

    From #387 Richard Pauli says “Excellent interview. Thank you . One comment ~34 mins – well engaged nations are reticent to act globally because of the experience of nuclear weapons proliferation and the threat of atomic annihilation – in that case everyone just held their breath, some minor negotiations worked and now that problem is out of our concern. Everyone mistakenly thinks the same thing will happen with global warming. We have not learned this is progressively destabilizing. A completely different problem.”

    This is perceptive reasoning, but we still have to keep trying to get better international agreements because if there’s no sense that everyone is prepared to move together, no one country will do anything because they will feel its a wasted effort at considerable cost, especially if the larger emitters arent in agreements. I hear this all the time, and it’s an understandable reaction, although I have still reduced my own carbon footprint out of a sense of at least doing something.

    Kevin Anderson talks about 4 degrees or so being an extinction level event for parts of the world, the tropics and this is fair comment. However people dont just lie down and die. We could see a considerable refugee crisis, that will be a decades long problem for everyone. One possible outcome could be a panicky exercise in high risk geoengineering.

    But Anderson has some truly silly ideas. Anderson says this on his wikipedia bio “In a story in The Daily Telegraph of London preceding the 2010 COP 16 climate summit in Cancun, he said that politicians should consider a rationing system like the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s, meaning not necessarily a recession or a worse lifestyle but making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating. “Our emissions were a lot less ten years ago and we got by ok then.”[8]

    What do people think are the chances of politicians in democratic countries introducing rationing? Zero? Near zero? You would need a world war for this to happen and solid public support that simply doesn’t exist, not even slightly.

    People who have good public transport services already use it. You cant expect people to use terrible services.

    People I know including middle class people already wear jumpers in winter indoors.

    Emissions are indeed higher now than 10 years ago but generally more so in POOR countries because they are trying to develop the basics of life. Doh! You cant really blame them for this, so we have a huge problem, although at least they can build clean electricity grids as they develop.

    I sound like a sceptic, bit I’m really saying it comes down to what the IPCC says, namely renewable electricity grids, low carbon cement etc. These things are achievable, while lifestyle changes are hard work beyond a certain point. Of course we do need both.

    There are some lifestyle changes that make sense and look achievable, because they are affordable and have multiple advantages and dont hugely degrade lifestyles, such as lower meat consumption, passive solar homes, buying more efficient heating systems, flying less, etc. We could make others affordable if we wanted, like electric and hybrid cars.

    Anderson supports closing nuclear power stations, which makes no sense at all, and I say this as someone who has been a little bit of a nuclear power sceptic over the years. But right now we need what works, and is zero carbon or near to it. Theres nothing wrong with a hybrid system that combines renewable electricity grids with storage and nuclear power, as others have pointed out. There’s an old saying “dont make the perfect the enemy of the good”.

  42. 392
    Al Bundy says:

    E-P 329,

    Thanks for your take on the DC/AC question. Yeah, AC circuit breakers take advantage of AC’s voltage going to zero many times per second so they more-or-less remain-stopped while DC is doing the full-speed-into-a-brick wall thing.

    So, assuming long distance transmission, would your initial front-runner be DC or AC, given some R&D before construction?
    ________

    E-P: Okay, NOW you have my attention. For the record, I have held in my own two hands an example of exactly what you describe. It was a ringless piston/cylinder pair made of silicon nitride which ran without a cooling jacket.

    AB: Not even remotely close. For example, my engine has rings.

    E-P: …pre-heating of the intake air by the hot cylinder walls caused a great deal of efficiency loss by increasing the compression work…They made it back by turbocompounding, but it was not the pure win…the EPA tightened the NOx limits, the engine had to run too hot to meet them…Has DEF plus SCR catalysts made this possible again?

    AB: Positive-displacement pre-compression replaces pre-heating with mid-heating, which is far less an issue. Furthermore, a height = width combustion chamber reduces combustion chamber surface area tremendously. And finally, the combustion chamber is not significantly cooled. A fraction of a fraction of a fraction.

    Note that diesels have horridly long combustion times. A hot-walled 50:1 W=H combustion chamber allows the first stage of combustion to occur during dwell (negligible ignition delay, far faster tumble, way less volume to mix fuel and air, no quenching).

    Staged combustion AND significant EGRetention reduces peak temperature below the broad +-2600F N2 ionization threshold and keeps O2 concentration low when the charge is in the 2400-2800F danger zone, starving stray nitrogen ions of oxygen.

    Yep, it is possible that a touch of SCR or 3-way will be needed. After all, the goal is essentially-zero.

    Our conversation and some reading pinged another invention (nothing to do with engines), one that could use your expertise. Care to collaborate?
    ________

    Kevin McKinney: one of the intriguing storylines is the prospect of drastically reduced maintenance costs (and improved in-service time)

    AB: You sure? Vehicles are trending towards ride-share and society is trending towards 24/7. Combustion engines can run “forever” when their oiled parts are protected from high temperature (current designs fail miserably at this), they are run at optimal RPM and torque, and rarely shut down long enough to cool off. In contrast, EVs are out of service for long periods of time every few hours of operation for charging, and shortening said time via supercharging drastically reduces efficiency while increasing wear.
    ________

    E-P,
    Wind is going offshore. Efficiency and capacity factor up, costs down. The Baltic Sea is well-suited for monster-sized turbines.

    “The Haliade-X 12 MW also features a 63% capacity factor*—five to seven points above industry standard.”

    https://www.ge.com/renewableenergy/wind-energy/offshore-wind/haliade-x-offshore-turbine

    E-P: How do you fully decarbonize with an in-house engine?

    AB: You don’t. As I keep saying and you keep ignoring when contemplating your responses, other stuff does most of the work (I said passive and active solar are the preferred methods for primary space and water heating). An engine is one way to address shortfalls. Note that this avoids a huge problem that can knock nukes offline during a heatwave: as you noted, nukes need serious cooling. And since heatwaves are when energy needs spike and heatwaves are already pushing nuke thermal tolerances to or beyond the brink…

    E-P: A sufficiently large district heating system can use a nuclear heat source

    AB: Yep. Everyone deserves some softball questions so they can show their slugging power.

    E-P: (This comment took me down a few twists and turns while I improved my understanding of the subject. Life is a learning experience.)

    AB: That’s both admirable and the problem. You improved YOUR understanding as opposed to combining OUR understandings.

  43. 393
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: The straw man is a fallacy in which an opponent’s argument is overstated or misrepresented in order to be more easily attacked or refuted…
    1. I didn’t say he made that claim.

    AB: OK. Your previous comment was unwarranted and mean. No biggie. I still act poorly far too often. However, your current comment exactly equals your definition of strawman, as shown by:

    Killian: 2. He has absolutely stated it is a significant improvement over current engines.

    3. Implication, given he suggests an engine as at least part of the solution, is tech can solve the problem and that resources are not at issue given…

    AB: Ding ding ding! Strawman. I have advocated a drastically reduced birthrate so as to draw down world population to hundreds of millions.

    Killian: 4. he has said there could be one in our homes, implying something on the order of 1 billion of the things might be made.

    AB: Ding ding ding! Strawman. I said others’ solutions, such as heat pumps, can benefit from the electricity my solution adds (this is exactly E-P’s argument, though we have different “my”s)
    _______

    Mr KIA: Close to 100% of existing homes are not passive solar – THAT is why my example matters.

    AB: Close to 100% of existing cars are not EVs – THAT is why building EVs is stupid.

    Old buildings will need replacing or upgrading, especially since R11 is far less than R11 (studs and gaps exist) and old windows are horrifically leaky. Solar can be added during the upgrade. Of course, as you said, new is easy if one does it right. But building what will need to be upgraded in 10 years is insane. Build it right right now (change building codes).
    ________

    E-P: A search for “Caldwell cycle engine” at Startpage.com turns up THIS discussion thread… and nothing else. So do please explain WTF you are talking about, Mr. Crank.

    AB: No, it’s Mr Caldwell. Why would you expect to find a provisional patent application with a search? They ain’t published for good reason.

  44. 394

    E-P 354, with no sense of irony whatsoever, tells Al: “You are the one who can’t grow out of your ideology”

    I’ll let that comment stand on its own.

  45. 395

    K 372: Heterodox economists are clearly more accurate than the traditional economists.

    BPL: Measured how? “More” is a quantitative term.

  46. 396
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Could charge old car batteries, etc., and directly power 12v lighting, etc., as I’ve seen people do in their off-grid homes: PV to DC motor or PV to battery to DC motor/wev lights.

    AB: Yeah, 12V can work with prudent planning (such as putting any largish loads, such as a super-efficient refrigerator close to the batteries). And things are improving. Battery systems are going to 36V or 48V, even in vehicles. You can do a LOT with 48V. Methinks lights, phones, et al will follow and 12V will fade away.

    E-P,

    Does AC’s sub-50-volt limit for assumed safety apply to DC sytems?

  47. 397
    mike says:

    to nigel at 383: There are fundamental differences between the reality of climate change and the social construction of economics.

    some quotes and links regarding economics:

    “Economics is generally regarded as a social science, although some critics of the field argue that economics falls short of the definition of a science for a number of reasons, including a lack of testable hypotheses, lack of consensus and inherent political overtones. Despite these arguments, economics shares the combination of qualitative and quantitative elements common to all social sciences.”

    https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/030315/economics-science.asp

    https://www.wired.com/story/econ-statbias-study/

    https://www.econlib.org/library/Topics/College/iseconomicsascience.html

    https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/13/economics-science-wang/

    No rational person questions the fundamental scientific basis for the study of climate change. Many rational people question whether economics fits with the basic description of science.

    Consensus views of socially constructed realities seem to be fundamentally different from consensus views on classic science imho.

    Cheers

    Mike

  48. 398

    China is now heating parts of the city of Haiyang with waste heat from a nuclear power plant.  An AP1000, to be specific.  Now there is a real-world example of nuclear energy both lighting and heating a city.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1170222.shtml

    Note that China acknowledged that the AP1000 design was sufficiently safe to locate INSIDE THE CITY.  Combined heat and power was obviously part of their plans for some time.

  49. 399

    Kevin McKinney writes @360:

    we’re not going to see a massive buildout of nuclear power anywhere, either (though we’ll definitely see China and Russia, and probabaly Turkey, enlarging their fleets). The World Nuclear Association is pushing for a 25% share in the global energy mix.

    WTF not?  Is it not possible?  Is it not DESIRABLE?  The UAE is in the process of displacing 5600 MW out of 14958 MW average consumption with nuclear energy.  That’s about 37.4%.  Not bad for the time frame.

    Being in a desert, the UAE no doubt has plenty of good use for desalinated water.  Reverse osmosis systems are a near-ideal dump load for the electric grid; they convert use-it-or-lose-it power into a commodity which can be stored nigh-indefinitely in tanks, pools or aquifers.  The UAE is in a very good position to just keep building more reactors until most of its energy comes from uranium.  Why shouldn’t they?  Why not 16 units on the sea there?  Why not build for the peak demand, and make ice and desalinate water and charge vehicles with the surpluses?

  50. 400

    Al Bundy writes @363:

    “Demand reduction” was speaking about times when it’s harder to supply the grid. That often results in temporal transfer. Your stuff waits until electrons are cheap. Demand reduction when the grid is stressed is virtual storage.

    I have given you examples of places and times that wind and PV “electrons” would be in very short supply for DAYS or WEEKS.  One of them covered the entire area of the Bonneville Power Administration and lasted nearly 2 weeks.  Your response was hand-waving.

    One of the things I’ve never seen you admit is that life-essential systems in our society rely on base-load electric supply.  Potable water treatment, sewage lift pumps and treatment plants, home heating furnaces (which become much more electricity-intensive when replaced by heat pumps), and bunches of other things are essential; people will DIE if they are out of service for very long.  You CANNOT make these things wait until “electrons are cheap”.

    I have a solution for them.  You have the wind from your waving hands.

    Don’t be a doofus. I generally answer.

    But never the hard, essential questions.  You won’t even answer questions about the carbon emissions from your own super-engine, and whether we can tolerate them in a carbon-poisoned world.