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#401 2019-06-01 17:47:54

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

SpaceNut,

Make the car weigh 1/3rd of what it would weigh if it were made out of steel by using CNT composites and plastics, put a 1 cubic foot 100kW fuel cell in the engine bay, electric motors in the wheels, and you're off to the races.  Energy use becomes 1/3rd of what it was and magical new battery technology that we haven't a clue how to make, even in a lab setting, is no longer required.  Sometimes people need to accept that their own ideas about how to make something work, won't work as well as they wished it would work.  I wish we had much better batteries.  Unfortunately, hundreds of billions of dollars later, we gots what we gots and we ain't got no more.

Time to try a different approach?

Nah, let's keep trying to force that square peg into that round hole over there.  We just need to blow some more money on the "solution", prior to accepting that the actual solution to putting something through a round hole, is indeed a round peg.

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#402 2019-06-01 18:46:54

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

The composites are already in use for many parts of a vehicle but they still are not replacing enough of the mass of the car to make a difference.

https://mech.utah.edu/composites_cars/
https://3dfortify.com/composites-replac … materials/
http://solarcar.stanford.edu/design/systems/composites/
https://www.ensignautobody.com/car-talk … and-beyond
https://interestingengineering.com/9-re … g-your-car
https://www.machinedesign.com/materials … al-plastic

Carbon fiber is a very strong, lightweight material used in bicycles, aircraft wings, and automotive parts. ... shape, carbon fiber can be laid over a mold and coated in resin or plastic.

Forum discusion
https://www.quora.com/Why-arent-car-bod … of-plastic
https://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions … rs-251085/

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#403 2019-06-01 21:37:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

The secondary effects of global warming is the rain which we are seeing.... Midwest floods linked to climate change are devastating US farms

The angst on farmer Twitter is palpable. Across the Midwest, torrential rains have soaked the fields, leaving the sodden soil unsuitable for planting millions of acres with corn, soybeans, and other crops, presaging a terrible harvest. Seeds are usually in the ground this time of year. But thanks to floods, unrelenting rains, hail, and scores of tornadoes—nearly 200 more than average

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#404 2019-06-02 01:52:21

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Posts: 3,108
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

kbd512,

Grid scale storage doesn't need high energy densities, it needs low cost per kW-hr and tolerance of abuse. We're not planning on moving these things once installed. Think Nickel-Iron batteries, except cheaper and using common materials (there isn't enough Nickel *down here* to build anywhere close to the number of NiFe batteries we'd need).


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#405 2019-06-02 08:39:55

SpaceNut
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#406 2019-06-02 11:44:03

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

I think the grid scale storage solution(s) are quite distinct from the vehicle storage solution(s).  Grid electric storage is not weight or volume-constrained,  vehicle storage is.  That's an enormous difference.

For grid scale electric storage,  there are many possible candidate technologies,  at varying states of readiness (some rather low still,  others more ready) to scale up and apply.  There's various battery technologies,  there's various fuel cell technologies,  there's mechanical storage technologies like flywheels and two-reservoir pumped water technologies.  There's even something called a "flow battery",  which is unlike any other battery at all.

A few postings back,  I suggested we do a "Manhattan Project" to solve the grid-scale storage problem with renewable intermittency.  I didn't say how.  But done right,  such a project would look at developing all of the above ideas (and more besides),  with a notion to pick at least one (and likely a few) to actually apply.

All these ideas have good points as solutions for grid-scale storage.  Until you try,  you don't know which might work the best. 

I'm rather intrigued by the notion of the flow battery,  which is really not a battery technology at all.  At its heart is a reversible chemical reactor.  There are two tank farms,  one for products,  the other for reactants.  There is a 2-way electric connection between it and the grid,  which may or may not involve power conversion and conditioning (I dunno,  it's outside what I am familiar with).

When there is renewable capacity available,  products plus electricity (I think it's DC,  but I really don't know) produce reactants.  When there is a shortfall of renewable capacity,  reactants produce products plus electricity.  It serves the function of battery storage,  but it really is not a battery at all in the conventional sense. 

The beauty of it is that we already know how to build tank farms of enormous size,  and we already know a lot about scaling up chemical reactors (I don't,  but the chemical engineers do).  All we need do is pick the right chemicals to be products and reactants that can use simple tank farm storage. 

You size the tank farms to cover the 3-sigma max expected interval of wind-don't-blow or sun-don't-shine.  The reactor is sized to cover the power of the renewable installation. Pretty simple,  really.

Safety and reliability are a big part of this.  You don't want a dangerous or exotic combination.  You want something you can really handle.

To the best of my knowledge,  there are some lab experiments out there that have been successful with a few combinations of several candidate chemicals.  This is lab scale.  It is begging for development,  and it offers a very attractive potential for ultimate success,  because scientific feasibility is already demonstrated. 

Left to normal procedures,  this stuff is decades away.  Which is why I suggested a "Manhattan Project" to get in done in a handful of years instead,  like the atomic bomb.

Solve this intermittency problem,  and renewables can be far beyond 15% of your grid electricity mix.  Between them,  modernized nukes,  and fracked natural gas,  we really can reduce emissions,  still have cleaner air,  and increase the total electric power available significantly. 

Transportation is half our energy use,  so I really do mean "significantly" increase our electricity capacity,  by something exceeding factor 2. That makes an electric vehicle fleet far more feasible to consider.

What's not to like?  Ain't it worth a few $billion over 5 years or so to go find out?

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-06-02 12:02:17)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#407 2019-06-02 14:01:56

kbd512
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

Terraformer,

Given that the storage requirement for practical grid energy storage consists of many GigaWatt-hours, a mix of favorable characteristics in whatever energy storage medium is selected is required.

1. round-trip energy conversion efficiency
2. decent energy density to extend the duration over which the battery can continue to provide power
3. significant power density to meet surge or transient power demands
4. extended duty cycle life for years of reliable operation with minimal maintenance
5. reasonably low cost, given the scale at which the technology must be deployed

If this was just about cost, then we would've built giant banks of Lead-acid batteries across the country.  Since we didn't do that, that must mean that all of those aforementioned characteristics are important.  The cost of any battery-based grid energy storage solution is so far above that of any fossil fuel solution that we don't currently have any practical battery technology to fill this role.  We don't even have something on the drawing board that might be practical.

GW,

We've had a continuous Manhattan level effort devoted to batteries for decades now.  Hundreds of billions of dollars have been pumped into battery technology from around the world.  Every major university on the planet, a plethora of private corporations, and most nation-state governments are all researching better battery technology.  So, what you proposed has essentially already been happening for about as long as I've been alive.

EIA's Report on the US Battery Storage Market:

U.S. Battery Storage Market Trends

Different Types of Redox Batteries:

How three battery types work in grid-scale energy storage systems

I can tell you exactly "what's not to like" with a single-focus Manhattan-style project.  If we're no closer to a practical solution after blowing our cash wad on these elusive "better batteries" after another five years of extreme effort, then all the time / money / resources expended were squandered, we're right back to square one, and also have no more money left to pursue a practical alternative, such as better fuel cells.

I have a slightly modified proposal.  For every dollar we spend on new battery technology development, which thus far hasn't yielded any game changing technologies, perhaps we should devote an equal amount of money to fuel cells and then see where both technologies are in another 5 years.

New fuel cell could help fix the renewable energy storage problem

Now, two research teams have made key strides in improving this efficiency. They both focused on making improvements to the air electrode, because the nickel-based fuel electrode did a good enough job. In January, researchers led by chemist Sossina Haile at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, reported in Energy & Environmental Science that they came up with a fuel electrode made from a ceramic alloy containing six elements that harnessed 76% of its electricity to split water molecules. And in today’s issue of Nature Energy, Ryan O’Hayre, a chemist at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, reports that his team has done one better. Their ceramic alloy electrode, made up of five elements, harnesses as much as 98% of the energy it’s fed to split water.

The O’Hayre group’s latest work is “impressive,” Haile says. “The electricity you are putting in is making H2 and not heating up your system. They did a really good job with that.” Still, she cautions, both her new device and the one from the O’Hayre lab are small laboratory demonstrations. For the technology to have a societal impact, researchers will need to scale up the button-size devices, a process that typically reduces performance. If engineers can make that happen, the cost of storing renewable energy could drop precipitously, helping utilities do away with their dependence on fossil fuels.

Highly efficient reversible protonic ceramic electrochemical cells for power generation and fuel production

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#408 2019-06-02 17:58:33

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

As I imagined it,  multiple storage approaches would be the scope of the project.  The idea of a "Manhattan Project" style was to greatly increase the funding and especially the manpower,  so that effective testing and screening could happen much faster than it usually does. 

I described the flow battery because it shows great promise,  but is still at the lab experiment stage.  It would just be one of the many approaches to work on,  including fuel cells of multiple types. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#409 2019-06-02 19:21:54

SpaceNut
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Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

Much like the national electrical grid, some one or agency must be accountable for the storage and reclaiming of what ever method is used for the retrieval of the energy. So would putting the onous of the store for late in the same hands to create the energy in the first place would seem the fit. That said electrical companies need to up the levels of wind and solar plus any other which are part of there mix of energy supplying methods.

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#410 2019-06-02 21:48:25

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 3,653
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

The experience-based limiting figure developed by the Europeans (who got there before we did) is renewable electricity no more than about 15% of total electricity.  That limiting value comes about from the intermittency problem. 

Here in Texas,  we are running 16% renewable,  and ERCOT says summer capacity margins are going to be down to about 7%,  instead of the 13% margin they like to run.  That's the intermittency problem in action,  because you need an adequate capacity margin to cover equipment failures,  downtime for repairs,  etc,  PLUS the intermittency of your renewables. It really needs to go up a bit,  not down.

Develop a practical grid-scale storage solution to overcome the intermittency of your renewables,  and they can be a higher percentage of your mix.  Simple as that.  And just as hard to do as you might imagine.  Your storage capacity must equal the plant output power times the time interval you expect to cover.  These are HUGE numbers!

Now,  as I said above,  if you seriously consider converting to an electric vehicle fleet,  you must raise total capacity while maintaining capacity margin!  Here in the US,  about half our energy is electricity production,  and about the other half is liquid fuels for transportation.  To go electric fleet,  we would literally have to double generating capacity.

You ain't doubling nothing out of hydro,  we have already dammed all the dammable rivers,  if you will excuse my choice of words.  You won't get it out of petroleum,  without essentially all the increase coming from imports.  That will drive oil prices sky high.  You might get some of it from natural gas,  but not a factor 2 increase.  We don't have enough water as it is,  much less double frack water that is directly competing with current drinking and agriculture.

The capacity increase will mainly have to come from renewables and nuclear,  plus as much gas as we can manage to frack.  Without them,  there is no realistic hope of ever achieving an electric vehicle fleet. It means we MUST have a grid scale storage means,  and we have to ditch the irrational fears about nuclear while at the same time relieving the pressure on safety that is posed by $bottom $line thinking. 

That's a very tall order.  It can be done,  but the grid scale storage solution cannot be available in any sort of a timely fashion without some sort of a Manhattan Project-like effort. It's the missing piece,  we already have everything else.  That's why I suggested what I did,  in the posts above.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-06-02 21:52:46)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#411 2019-06-04 18:59:21

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

I forgot that the Oceans have disolve co2 in it and that we could harvest it with solar so as to capture the co2.
Massive Artificial Islands Could Extract CO2 From Seawater To Produce Renewable Energy, Study Says

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019 … 1902335116

“solar methanol islands” would be outfitted with solar and wind energy infrastructure capable of powering the production of hydrogen and the extraction of carbon dioxide (CO2) from seawater in order to create liquid methanol fuel. In return, the islands would possibly store the power in methanol fuel cells located in places that ships would pick it up and transport it for use in powering existing gas turbines and modified diesel engines, among others. Altogether, the process would allow for energy use without net CO2 emissions, potentially curbing the effects of climate change.

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#412 2019-06-04 21:00:24

kbd512
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

GW,

I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have to double production capacity to serve an all-electric transportation fleet, assuming we had grid storage.  A Tesla Model S uses about 250Wh per mile and it's a heavy steel car, heavier than the Chevy Silverado I drove before it was stolen.  Although Americans love horsepower, I think 518hp is a bit excessive for a Silverado.  I managed to get by just fine with my paltry 305hp and that was more than enough to do 75mph, all day, every day.  The idea that everything needs to go from 0 to 60 as fast as a drag racing car is, well, a little silly.  However, I'm quite certain that my admonishment to "tone it down a bit" will be studiously ignored by Tesla and all others.  If you're wondering why these electric vehicles cost so much, that'd be part of the reason.  Need vs want.

In 2017, all motor vehicles on American roads drove an estimate 3.2 trillion (3,212,347,000,000) miles.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics - U.S. Vehicle-Miles

3,212,347,000,000 miles * 250Wh = 803,086,750,000,000Wh (803.08675TWh)

Essentially, this assumes we're all driving Silverados with horsepower numbers more suitable for drag racing than every day driving.  807TWh per year is approximately the output of all 98 nuclear reactors operating in the US, which provides roughly 20% of our power.  Even if we doubled that to 500Wh per mile, assuming we all wanted to drive trucks or SUV's that would fly if you put wings on them, we're still only talking about 40% more power generation for a 100% electric fleet.  If new electric vehicles incorporated CNT technology, captured from Haber-Bosch instead of making more steel, then 20% is probably the absolute maximum that it could be.  As always, doing the math is required to understand the nature of the problem.  To your point, 800TWh is still a VERY big number.  I don't think electric ships and aircraft are practical at this point, so those will still be entirely fossil fuel powered until someone with some clout gets the bright idea that fuel cells can and do work in those applications.  If we also included aircraft / ships / trains, then yeah, I could see having to double our electrical output capacity.  Right now, that's exactly what you called it- a pipe dream.

Speaking of honesty in advertising, Elon Musk either isn't very good at math or is woefully ignorant of how many miles Americans drive each year.  The following was from back in 2011, but he was still way, way off.

Do Gasoline Based Cars Really Use More Electricity than Electric Vehicles Do?

Business Insider published an interview today with Tesla founder Elon Musk in which Musk makes a striking claim: “You have enough electricity to power all the cars in the country if you stop refining gasoline,” he asserts. “You take an average of 5 kilowatt hours to refine [one gallon of] gasoline, something like the [Tesla] Model S can go 20 miles on 5 kilowatt hours.”

...

This is consistent with refinery data. The Department of Energy estimates that refiners used 47 TWh of electricity in 2001 to produce refined products from 5.3 billion barrels of oil. Assuming  that you get 42 gallons of refined products from each barrel of oil, this works out to about 0.2 kilowatt hours of electricity used for each gallon of gasoline produced.

47TWh to power every car in America, Elon?  Yeah... math... that thing that nobody ever wants to do.

Assuming we could find a suitable battery technology as efficient as Lithium-ion, but with significantly less cost and significantly better energy density, the battery energy conversion from electricity to mechanical horsepower is far more efficient than any piston combustion engine in existence.  We just need a battery technology with more than double the energy density of today's Lithium-ion batteries and a total pack weight that's about half of what it currently is, that's essentially free to produce, and then we could make battery powered vehicles at the same price point and weight as today's gas powered vehicles.  No sweat, right?

With respect to nuclear power, I don't actually believe that enough of our climate crusaders want a viable solution to the problem to reach a critical mass.  I just think they want an impossible task that produces impossible solutions to continue to spend money to support their agenda, which very clearly has nothing to do with reducing CO2 emissions if we take stock of the results.  France had CO2-free electricity before anyone in Germany thought that might actually be a good idea, but they didn't do it with solar panels and wind turbines.

I suspect it won't be long before we start shutting down our own nuclear reactors to appease our own communists, much the same as Germany did.  Unfortunately, America and Germany share a common problem.  We have far too many people who can't count.  Anyway, I'm a glorified bean counter by trade and I've noticed that we seem to be short a few beans in the energy production department if we're at all serious about resolving this climate change problem.

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#413 2019-06-06 12:16:20

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

Hi Kbd512:

Your numbers are probably better than mine.  Mine were just guessed off of half electricity generation,  half all forms of transportation,  and not much else.  That's quite crude. 

I think what it goes to prove is that progress is gradual change in increments,  not a sudden dramatic shift.  The only real trouble is that we're likely too late getting started to affect whatever the climate is going to do over the next century or two. 

But even if that weren't much of an issue,  we still have the question of air and water pollution,  both of which point to using cleaner sources of power,  without so much much particulates and nasty chemicals.  Been down that road before with high-sulfur oil and coal,  and acid rain.  We're still going down the road of PM2.5 particulate,  which seems to cause a lot of problems fairly similarly to the way heavy metals,  freons,  and lead did.

I tend to think of grid energy storage in quite different terms than vehicle energy storage.  Some sort of high energy density thing like a fuel cell or a battery looks good for vehicles,  while the grid storage thing depends more on just being able to practically build and buy really huge,  massive items.

That last is why I suggested the "flow battery" for a promising grid storage technology to develop.  We can essentially build tank farms of fairly-unlimited size.  The reactor gets sized by power,  the tank farms by energy.  We already know how to build very large examples of both.

Given a grid energy storage solution to eliminate the intermittency of wind and solar,  they can be a much larger fraction of the total generating mix,  with a marked reduction in the objectionable pollutants that we know of.  But I think we'll need natural gas and nuclear to go with them.  Not all the eggs in one basket,  so to speak.

It means we need to reuse frack water,  and base it off high-salinity brine,  not fresh water the way we do now.  It also means we need nuke plants built to withstand geological,  not historical,  risks of earthquakes and tidal waves.  Not doing that is precisely why Fukushima happened.

And we need the safety in design and quality in construction not to be hampered by $unconstrained $bottom $line $thinking,  which is the usual cause of problems with nuke generating plants today.  The track record of the Navy nuclear program shows that this really can be done,  but it is not the cheapest thing to do,  until you actually account for the true costs of problems you could have avoided.

That being said,  I think Chernobyl was a sort of outlier:  a known bad design with no effective containment,  operated anyway just for bureaucratic convenience. 

Three Mile Island falls at least somewhat in the "$bottom $line $thinking" bin,  and actually released very little radioactivity,  in spite of suffering a core meltdown.  There was never a problem experienced at the Glenn Rose plant within 60 miles of me,  but I do remember its construction was delayed by re-dos over bad quality for a variety of components and subsystems. 

That falls in the "$bottom $line $thinking" bin.  The overall cost would actually have been lower if such skimping had been avoided in the first place.  But "professional managers" never seem to learn anything but up-front money.  That's an education problem we could certainly fix.  In the business school stuff I saw (admittedly long ago now),  short-term money was everything,  and ethics was a joke. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-06-06 12:22:17)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#414 2019-06-06 19:27:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

We are onto something when California has too much solar power. That might be good for ratepayers


Microgrids can help maximize efficiency of renewable energy consumption

"The next step is to address a more complex scenario where residential users are eventually equipped with energy storage systems, whose capacities are reallocated among users. In this case the energy management aims at defining a control strategy that additionally ensures an optimal energy storage sharing, while simultaneously planning the consumption profile of the controllable appliances, the exchanged renewable energy among users, and energy to be bought/sold from the distribution network,"

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#415 2019-06-07 17:19:48

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

I remember early on the removal of pollution regulations as they were said to be limiting profits and hurting america and americans. Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits

So which is the fake news as all I saw was the tearing down of the previous presidents accomplishments of name and little of anything else since we know that we need to regulate output since we are turning up the heat....

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#416 2019-06-08 12:57:47

kbd512
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

GW,

We already recycle frack water as many times as we can.  Water costs money and pumping or trucking water in costs a lot more.  We already use brine wherever practical.  Sea water is one of the least expensive fluids available, so try to imagine that a company that wants to maximize profits will use it wherever it's practical to do so.  We already take as much Sulfur out of the fuel products as we can.  The Sulfur byproducts don't just affect the environment- they don't do anything good to the refining machinery, either.

Regarding the use of batteries in vehicles, the 85kWh battery pack used by the Tesla Model S weighs 540kg.  Of that 540kg, only 348kg is comprised of the 7,104 Panasonic 18650 cells.  That means 192kg worth of weight is in the rest of the pack modules.  In contrast, Intelligent Energy's 100kWe fuel cell weighs 33.3kg.  Toyota's 114kWe fuel cell, a prior generation of technology, weighs 57kg.  The combined weight of the pair of H2 tanks aboard the Toyota Mirai is 87.5kg and they carry 5kg of GH2.  The 5kg of GH2 is cracked from LNH3 at refilling stations using the aforementioned plasma cracker technology.  So, a complete H2 power plant, using Intelligent Energy's fuel cell (also installed in H2 vehicle applications), would weigh in at just 159.1kg, which is less than the weight of the packaging around the batteries, never mind the batteries themselves.  After a given power output level has been dictated to an auto manufacturer by the complete power plant solution, the total weight of that system and the vehicle drives performance.  The Tesla's / Panasonic's batteries weigh as much as four 87kg / 191lb occupants.

For a Truck or SUV, which are the most popular types of vehicles in America, both the H2 tanks and fuel cells would easily fit inside the engine bay.  In a crash, the small quantity of H2 would either disperse or detonate.  So long as the engine bay is designed to withstand small GH2 detonations, the types of consuming fires we see from liquid hydrocarbons and batteries would be very unlikely.  For now, the use of steel in the chassis and body work is the only thing holding back better automotive fuel cell technology.  Steel is cheap, but it comes at a cost to the environment in terms of the energy costs for mining and refining it, machining it into useful structural parts, and the enormous energy costs dictated by heavy machines requiring far more power to operate with acceptable performance levels than lighter materials would permit.

Using fuel cells and the Haber-Bosch process to produce storable LNH3 is a much more efficient solution than batteries with energy densities that we don't know how to make or internal combustion engines that don't efficiently convert heat into power.  Haber-Bosch can produce LNH3 from natural gas, the CO2 from the process can be captured for making CNT, split to atomically fine and exceptionally pure Carbon powder base stock for CNT's that achieve near theoretical strength (already demonstrated at lab scale), the LNH3 can be transported to fueling stations by trucks or pumped through pipes, and the H2 content can be cracked at the fueling stations using plasma crackers.  Unlike Lithium or even natural gas, we're never going to run out of H2 as long as we have water.  Either solar panels or wind turbines can use excess power during the day to make LNH3 and nuclear reactors can provide process heat and power at night.  Last I heard, we're in no danger of running out of Uranium or Thorium for a few thousand years or so, even if we stopped mining it and just used up all the energy in existing stocks that we've already taken out of the ground.  Given another millennia of technological progress, we can probably more than make up for today's poor performing batteries / solar panels / fuel cells / nuclear reactors.

My approach to this overall problem is to centralize CO2 emissions, capture and convert the CO2 into extremely valuable structural materials, and then use the LNH3 produced by the Haber-Bosch process as an easily storable / transportable energy dense liquid fuel suitable for direct (power plant) or indirect (motor vehicle) consumption.  Haber-Bosch uses existing technology to solve the CO2 emissions problem, rather than technology we've never been able to produce, even at lab scale for demonstration purposes.  I've no doubt that improved battery technology could take over when it's ready to do so, but we're not even close to a practical battery technology and likely won't be for decades to come, if past performance is any indicator of reasonable expectations from potential future results.

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#417 2019-06-08 16:09:41

SpaceNut
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

The measurement of a critical gas have been way off, it would seem Industrial methane emissions are 100 times higher than reported, researchers say

Of course West Coast braces for heat wave, raising fears of wildfires in Northern California

I believe that last years wild fires were also continued in part by electrical systems not being shutdown.... PG&E shuts power to lower wildfire risks in Northern California:

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#418 2019-06-08 17:33:40

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 3,653
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Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

I ran a search on the internet about fracking,  and I saw less evidence of reuse than any of us want to see.  I also saw less evidence about brine use as the source material than any of us want to see.  Not that reuse and brine sourcing don't occur,  because they do.  But not yet enough to make a real difference. 

The main impediment seems to me to be radioactivity in the very briny water that comes back up out of the frack wells.  It's not strong radioactivity,  but it is enough to create a hazard the oil and gas industry is not yet willing to address. 

Typically,  the well backwash brine is about 10 times the salinity of sea water.  The radioactivity level is not all that high,  but it will expose a film badge.  Handling it is not that hard,  but the quantities are very,  very large.  Handling mild radioactivity in liquid volumes that large is something not yet addressed.  And frack water quantities are very large indeed. 

This is something that can be done properly,  given adequate regulations and criteria.  It simply need not be all that expensive to do "right",  either.  But $bottom $line $thinking cannot be trusted to do this right,  any more than $bottom $line $thinking was trustable to do safe nuclear power right. 

As in most constrained optimizations,  the applied constraints utterly drive the "optimal" solution.  Proper constraints have yet to be applied to the fracked oil and gas industry.  We need those products,  but we don't need the messes those industries want to leave behind. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-06-08 17:38:18)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#419 2019-06-09 23:56:57

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

GW,

If you have knowledge of a cost-effective solution, would you be willing to share that with one of the largest drilling companies in the world?

I presume you've already worked on solutions supporting your assertions and have tested those solutions at some point, as all talk is quite cheap.

Is that the case here?

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#420 2019-06-10 11:38:57

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

No,  I do not have an optimal solution.  The problem is that no one does. 

What I was trying to point out was that in constrained optimization,  it is the applied constraints that drive the "optimal" solution.  This is true in any venue,  be it applied math or any type of business. 

The trouble with fracked oil and gas is that we have yet to figure out which constraints to apply,  much less what the optimal solution might be.  The lack of constraints is what $bottom $line $thinking is all about,  to which we can usually attribute the messes not cleaned up.   

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#421 2019-06-10 19:19:34

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

Cost always wins out for constraints to make a profit....

One could have all parking lot drains sent to a collection system to send to these cracking facitlity locations as these would have all sorts of vehicle contaminants in it if pollution sequestration was the goal....

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#422 2019-06-10 20:02:03

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,962

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

GW,

After all that pontificating about "$bottom $line $thinking", I thought you might actually have a solution.  According to you, nobody has a solution.  If that's the case, then is it even conceivable to you that perhaps "$no $solution $available $after $billions $expended $thinking" could be at play here?  Why do you think I keep saying that it would be a really good idea to try development of practical alternatives to batteries, which are presently woefully short of ever replacing fossil fuels, and combustion engines?  It couldn't be that I prioritize results over dogma, could it?

It's always a bit strange to me when people complain about money being prioritized over everything else, but present no alternative solutions.  What makes such people think that others are not actively working on solutions to such problems?  How long did it take for "Star Trek" pocket computers to become a reality?  Is it possible that sometimes a solution can't be had for any reasonable amount of money, nor any amount of money, period?

Perhaps everyone really wanted an iPhone / Star Trek communicator in 1968, but the amount of time, money, and effort that had to be expended to achieve that goal amounted to half a century of microelectronics advancements, trillions of dollars expended, and many millions of man-years of research and development effort.  Anyone who thought that making an "iPhone" would be practical in 1968 had to wait half a century until it actually was practical.  Oddly enough, our evil capitalist system, with it's notorious "$bottom $line $thinking", was responsible for that feat of engineering and far too many others to even count.  The computers that the "$progress $at $any $cost" communists produced, up through the end of the Cold War, weren't even funny jokes.  They had to steal or buy computer technology from us to even know what a real computer was, because they were clueless.

Anyhow, "bottom line thinking" is really about efficiency.  The efficiency and utility of a product ultimately determines winners and losers in a free market system.  That said, it's always possible to take efficiency too far to be practical, or of much utility to the people who have to live with the results.

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#423 2019-06-11 08:31:35

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,653
Website

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

Look,  what I call "$bottom $line $thinking" is something I have observed over my lifetime about the ways business gets conducted,  not just in this country,  but around the world.  It's quite understandable,  although a lot of us find it undesirable.  It is only considering the money,  not the ethics. 

It is why cheaper bad-quality welds and lower-strength concrete got used at the Glen Rose power plant,  until the regulators caught them and forced them to do it right.  There was a huge stink over it,  precisely because "lots of profit was lost".  It would not have been lost,  had the job been done right in the first place.  The lure of extra money quite frankly overwhelmed ethics. It always does.

That chase for every last bit of money,  no matter the ethics,  is where the clamor to "deregulate industry" really comes from.  Giant corporations tend to be more this way than smaller entities (there is something about the anonymity of a big organization that allows individuals to do evil to others,  that they would never do one-on-one in the street). These are just observations on human behavior. 

That being said,  it is always in order to re-examine the regulations we do impose on business,  in order to do our best to see that they are appropriate and effective.  But,  we cannot do without any regulation on business,  for there are millennia of history with market economies that shows unregulated economies always devolve to slavery with a few pirates at the top in control. The regulations substitute for the ethical conscience that so many organizations so apparently lack. All organizations suffer from this;  for example,  that's why there is a Uniform Code of Military Justice.  There has to be.

We may differ in our politics,  but I don't really think you can argue about why business needs regulations to substitute for the ethical conscience that organizations lack.  My phrase "$bottom $line $thinking refers to what you get when you don't have those regulations,  or you don't obey them,  nothing more than that.

All that being said,  of course a business exists to make money.  But it is not a simple optimization,  it must be constrained,  by the regulations that impose ethical behavior limits.  If the regulations are not proper,  then it is time to cease re-electing those who fail to re-address them. Simple as that.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-06-11 08:37:15)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#424 2019-06-16 17:36:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

NASA explores our changing freshwater world

Evaporating from warm tropical oceans, freshwater condenses into clouds, circulating on the winds where a portion of it falls as rain or snow. On the ground, freshwater is stored in ice, snow, rivers and lakes. Or, it soaks into the ground, disappearing from view to infiltrate into soils and aquifers.

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#425 2019-06-25 20:08:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,181

Re: When Science becomes perverted by Politics.

As a function of being to hot in local areas the once wet areas will dry out and of course this is bound to happen....Everglades wildfire briefly closes Alligator Alley as fire spreads to 32,000 acres

Which means California and other locations are going to burn due to heat waves that are still coming...

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