wind energy without windmills

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December 2nd, 2016 at 8:18:54 AM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 52
Posts: 834
Quote: Nareed
Seems too good to be true.


Actually, I think the phrase you're looking for is "easier said than done."

Quote: Wind Power Engineering & Development
According to the company, the concept of using charged water droplets to harness wind energy dates to the late 1960s. Researchers at the time had the theoretical physics down, but were unable to demonstrate a net energy positive system. Much like a good magic spell, precision is important. The key to EHD wind energy is precisely controlling the complex electric fields that form between charged droplets, the droplet source, and the ground. Failure to do so prevents the generator from creating electricity.

It took a couple of years to viably produce net positive energy, and another couple to increase efficiency, but Accio Energy maintains it is the first company to have identified how to control electric fields and produce commercially attractive power.


Apparently it ain't easy to generate usable electricity from wind and water droplets.
December 2nd, 2016 at 8:32:13 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 319
Posts: 10868
Quote: Pacomartin
But Trump has vowed to stop the war on coal in an effort to have cheaper power. Coal and Natural gas and petroleum still produce 2/3 of the country's electricity (65%), with wind less than 5%.


Coal's not coming back, given the current expansion of fracking and large natural gas deposits. Gas is a much cleaner fuel, it's cheaper, it's easier to handle and transport.

Simple point: how many households or buildings use coal as a fuel anymore? And how long since its use in homes and buildings was phased out?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 2nd, 2016 at 8:44:41 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 319
Posts: 10868
Quote: reno
Actually, I think the phrase you're looking for is "easier said than done."


That too.

Every so often there's a new release about a revolutionary new technology that will change the world, eliminate pollution, and do your taxes at a fraction of the cost of current options (does 9999/10000 count as a fraction? <w>).

Most often such stories die in a few days. Sometimes, though, they take on life, generate buzz, and even lead to actual prototypes, before realistic cost estimates and actual performance figures say otherwise. remember fuel cells? Hydrogen cars? Hydrogen fuel cells?

Then there's nuclear fusion. That would be great, perhaps. The fuel is plentiful and we'll never run out.

But.

1) It may not even be possible to set up a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction. the ones we know occur in the cores of stars.

2) While the largest byproduct of hydrogen fusion is non-radioactive, non-polluting Helium, there are some radioactive byproducts. Further, the reactor itself should slowly grow radioactive as well.

3) a joke circulating in the 70s had it that fusion is always just fifty years away. That was forty years ago.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 2nd, 2016 at 3:06:12 PM permalink
stinkingliberal
Member since: Nov 9, 2016
Threads: 17
Posts: 731
I'm surprised that solar power is taking so long to be widespread. In the US, we've got huge expanses of unused land out in the desert. Lots of sun, nobody wants it. There are three, I believe soon to be five, massive solar plants on the CA side of the border near Primm. Each is capable at full capacity of supplying the needs of a city of 250,000 people. No pollution, easy to operate, existing technology. Why are we even thinking of firing up the coal plants again?
December 2nd, 2016 at 3:28:18 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 101
Posts: 6444
Quote: stinkingliberal
I'm surprised that solar power is taking so long to be widespread. In the US, we've got huge expanses of unused land out in the desert. Lots of sun, nobody wants it. There are three, I believe soon to be five, massive solar plants on the CA side of the border near Primm. Each is capable at full capacity of supplying the needs of a city of 250,000 people. No pollution, easy to operate, existing technology. Why are we even thinking of firing up the coal plants again?


One because the cost of solar is still not competitive.

Two because of this thing called night.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
December 2nd, 2016 at 3:33:10 PM permalink
stinkingliberal
Member since: Nov 9, 2016
Threads: 17
Posts: 731
Quote: AZDuffman
One because the cost of solar is still not competitive.

Two because of this thing called night.


One, the operating costs of solar plants are much lower than those of other types of generating plants, so any greater construction costs would be made up in time. You don't have to fill train carloads with sunlight and transport them to the generation site.

Two, the fact that they can't operate for 24 hours doesn't make them any less useful. Once built, the energy they produce is pretty much a free lunch. That's better than having to continually dig coal or oil out of the ground and transport it to the plant to be burned.

Three, solar plants have virtually no emissions. If you understand the concept of negative externalities, you also understand that emissions are a cost that someone has to pay.
December 2nd, 2016 at 3:35:57 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 101
Posts: 6444
Quote: stinkingliberal
One, the operating costs of solar plants are much lower than those of other types of generating plants, so any greater construction costs would be made up in time. You don't have to fill train carloads with sunlight and transport them to the generation site.

Two, the fact that they can't operate for 24 hours doesn't make them any less useful. Once built, the energy they produce is pretty much a free lunch. That's better than having to continually dig coal or oil out of the ground and transport it to the plant to be burned.



Three, solar plants have virtually no emissions.


Please cite a source for operating costs per kWh. I will say it again. If the cost was competitive there would be no subsidies or quotas.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
December 2nd, 2016 at 3:38:02 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 107
Posts: 11127
Quote: stinkingliberal
I'm surprised that solar power is taking so long to be widespread.


Really? Why?

Wall Street Message to US Solar Companies: It's the Profitability, Stupid!

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/09/wall-street-s-loud-and-clear-message-to-us-solar-companies-it-s-the-profitability-stupid.html
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
December 2nd, 2016 at 4:22:13 PM permalink
stinkingliberal
Member since: Nov 9, 2016
Threads: 17
Posts: 731
Quote: AZDuffman
Please cite a source for operating costs per kWh. I will say it again. If the cost was competitive there would be no subsidies or quotas.


Your thinking is old re subsidies, quotas, etc. Those indeed got the industry started more than two decades ago. Now, however, it's being driven simply by being a good investment, as economies of scale have kicked in:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/wind-and-solar-are-crushing-fossil-fuels

In order to make a valid operating cost comparison, you have to factor in cost of fuel and cost of carbon emissions. Since Republicans don't believe in carbon emissions, there's a lot of misunderstanding about what the operating cost of a coal plant really is. So if you're a climate change denier, or you discount the effects of air and water pollution, the cost of carbon emissions is zero.

The cost of extracting and transporting fossil fuels also has to be taken into account.

See the "full report" from the link on this website. http://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

If you go to table 1b, the cost per Mwh for various energy generation technologies for plants entering service in 2022 (which is about when a plant that starts construction now would go online). Coal is $139.50. Solar is $84.70. (Use the before-tax-credit comparison.)

Furthermore, costs for carbon emissions are not calculated in this report, but they are estimated for coal generation to be approximately $70 per Mwh, making the cost of coal-generated power about 2 1/2 times that of solar. Whether or not you happen to believe in pollution and global warming.
December 2nd, 2016 at 4:37:44 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 107
Posts: 11127
Wall Street Message to US Solar Companies: It's the Profitability, Stupid!

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/09/wall-street-s-loud-and-clear-message-to-us-solar-companies-it-s-the-profitability-stupid.html
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
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