Global warming

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Frank, Oct 22, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. hoho

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Estonia
    But what about the 50 years following the moment when nuclear plants are finished?
     
  2. Sxotty

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    4,904
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    PA USA
    Because being reliant on them for natural gas has been such a panacea for the EU.

    The study I showed you showed wind farms in ERCOT using actual output and weather data to predict wind farm output all across the central part of the country. It was more than a few hundred miles. It also talked about wind droughts in the entire US.
     
  3. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sittard, the Netherlands
    @Mintmaster:

    Sorry if I came off a bit irritated at you in my last post. I really do appreciate it a lot that you actually went through the document and gave your feedback.

    It's not you, it's just me and my way of debating things. I'm under the opinion that it is no use to try and have people agree to my point of view. Because they might simply do that to make me shut up.

    I think it's more interesting to see how far I have to go out to the other extreme and see who is telling me that things are actually where I agree with them.

    :)

    Sorry about that. I do value your opinion a lot. I just can't help overdoing it sometimes.


    And I value people most if they make up their own mind about things, which you certainly do.
     
  4. Mintmaster

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,897
    Likes Received:
    87
    Almost everything in life is an engineering problem. The issue here is that it's a decades old, highly lucrative engineering problem, and we still don't have a solution that competes with natural gas except where nature helps us out with free hydro reservoirs.
    Do you even look at any of the data I present to you? Lulls in wind last days or weeks, and while there is a diurnal component to variation on average, total variation is far larger. Whatever capacity you're trying to replace with renewables, you need at least 90% of that as gas backup.

    I just showed you data for 1500+ miles. 2500 miles not going to be much different. Two weather fronts is not enough, even if they were 100% independent (they aren't). I unfortunately can't find daily US-wide data, but there's no reason to suggest that there's anything special about the US compared to Europe, so the onus is on you to prove otherwise (I found monthly data that suggests worse variability in the US). Even if you had two completely independent regions with characteristics of the Europe data, you'd still have a >5x range in daily production.

    If you bothered to follow my math, you would have realized that everything I did was cumulative, and had the long term in mind.

    What you don't understand is that a nuclear solution has far better long term potential for GHG reduction. Once you build wind+gas, you're not going to replace them until they die. Once again, every kWh produced by wind will necessitate 1-3 kWh by natural gas, depending on how much wind you want to waste. The reason my example stops at 2030 is that by then we could alternatively build enough nuclear to produce the same amount of clean energy, and from there we could keep on going without a 25% limit. Your solution runs into a wall from 2030-2070 in the amount of GHG it can save unless there is a miracle in energy storage. The nuclear solution takes 20 years to match that rate, but from there starts surpassing it.

    That's your objection to nuclear, right? 15 year build time? Lost emission savings until power production starts and matches the renewable solution? Well, I just quantified that for you as <2 ppm. By the end of the century, the nuclear solution will surpass the wind+gas solution in GHG savings by a mile.
     
  5. hoho

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Estonia
    Generally intelligent people do tend to change their options when given good enough reasons. Something you haven't given so far.
    Obviously people have to make up their mind and actually base it on various sources and have an open mind when reading them. To me your posts in this thread look like if you first made up your mind and then found a couple of (extremely questionable) sources to back it up.
     
  6. Lux_

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry to chime in
    You are dismissing the very real problem. Energy storage is largely unsolved, except in special naturally favourable cases. For example hydro-pump stations in the mountains of Norway where the valleys are situated just right. And even then your capacity is quite limited. People have tried many things, but in the end the solutions have to be cheaper than building another coal-based station. And this is the part where storage comes short: it turns out that multiple energy conversions in the storage process are not exactly free. You call it „engineering problem“, some call it „fundamental problem“, but the problem is not solved.

    There are legal ways to make coal stations more expensive. But recent fracking „revolution“ has made also the LPG quite attractive reserve (not main) power generator. LPG stations doesn’t need much land and can be near major consumers/lines. So the storage has to be comparable to LPG stations. If you have any proposals, there’s real fortune to be made.

    Oh, I almost forgot – power lines. Surprisingly hard nut to crack, it would seem. For example Germany is almost ready to use wind sea power of Nordsea. Even many of the generators already stand in the sea. The only thing missing – power lines to connect these to the grid. In any case (solar, wind or storage) the new lines have to pass areas with human population and locals are always against „monster masts“ as the NIMBY-crowd calls these. The historical data, taking in consideration progress in cable tech, says that underground cables end up consting 10 times more than overhead lines.

    So – you have came up with some storage solution and the price of GW is comparable to LPG. If the storage needs room, it has to be „far away“ and you have to factor in new lines, substations and their maintenance, the equipment costs so much more than the price of copper and can be quite fragile. A real example: a 65-mile DC transmission line (mainly used in winter) has had 11 registered outages with durations up to several days during last 12 months, all of these because of substations, none because of cable itself. Still profitable? Factor in line losses for every 1000 km and transformation losses.

    Even without politics: where exactly would the power come from? Where would you like to build these lines and what would the landowners think of that? The transmission would be in DC and both ends need some expensive converter stations.
    The receiving end ends up paying quite hefty price for the storage, which may end up way higher than LPG or even coal (yay for coal lobby!) stations.
    The russians already have some interesting proposals. Look up where Kaliningrad is on the map: next to Germany and Poland. Russians are building 2 nuclear reactors there. Not everybody is thrilled.
    Finland imports very much nuclear energy from Russia. Prefers to build another 2 nuclear reactors of their own. Fun fact: local provinces competed for being choosen as a site for new nuclear plant. Quite unique I would say.

    Distributed energy system sounds really good until you go ahead and try to build it and add up the costs (see the germans and their idle wind generators far away at the sea).
     
  7. Sxotty

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    4,904
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    PA USA
    @ lux China had about 1/3rd of their wind turbines no even connected to the grid at one point :)
     
  8. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,903
    Likes Received:
    218
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    No, you haven't. The issue is that when we build renewable energy infrastructure right now, that infrastructure is there to stay. The CO2 savings we obtain is compounded every year thereafter. And beyond that we learn better how to construct efficient and inexpensive renewable energy resources. There literally is no downside to going all-in on renewable energy right now.

    And yet you still claim that there is. There is something wrong with you.
     
  9. Mintmaster

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,897
    Likes Received:
    87
    Do you have reading comprehension problems, or are you just inept at math? Read it again.

    I thought I could skip the details given that you are a physicist, but let me break it down for you. If you get 200GW online per year for the next 8 years, you'll start at 500 TWh per year (I used 29% CF) and by the time all 1.6TW is constructed you'll have 4000 TWh/yr produced. That means a cumulative 16k TWh by 2020 and 56k TWh cumulative by 2030. Note that for my assumption of 16k TWh/yr total consumption among first world countries, that'll be something like 1.5TW at night and 2TW during the day. Some of that is currently existing nuclear and hydro, so this 1.6TW of new renewable is already an interconnected overbuild that hit the limit in 2020. You have to make sure you have ~1TW of new natural gas capacity to go with it.

    Now, why did I stop at 2030? We could build 0.5TW of nuclear instead and it would get online before then, after which it would also produce 4k TWh of clean energy per year. Or we could build at our current rate (~50GW/yr of renewables) for 5-10 years, and make a better decision when the optimal solutions are more clear (this would result in even less than 1.5ppm), and ramp up to 4k TWh/yr by 2030. Either way, post 2030 we get no advantage from going all-in now, as that solution hit the renewable limit 10 years earlier.

    You, however, oppose this flexibility to save two hundredths of a degree in global warming.
    When you keep your head in the sand and pretend energy storage will be free, of course you think that. In reality, going all-in replaces all our coal and builds a bunch of new natural gas capacity by 2020. You're not going to tear those down, so you're stuck with them until 2060 at least. Until then, for every kWh produced by wind/solar, you produce 1-2kWh with natural gas.

    With the nuclear option, OTOH, we only built 0.5TW as opposed to 1.6TW to hit the same 4k TWh/yr of additional clean energy generation in 2030, and it's baseload power. You're free to do whatever you want to replace the rest of the fossil fuel energy. Maybe LFTR is viable. Maybe ITER is promising. Maybe thermal solar is affordable, high-altitude wind is less intermittent, CCS is found to work in certain locations, etc.

    There are three main points that you keep ducking:
    1. Energy storage is much more expensive than natural gas for the foreseeable future, so it creates a limit in the amount of usable wind/solar capacity
    2. Replacing coal/gas with renewables in the next decade will need new natural gas plants to fill in the gaps.
     
  10. Blazkowicz

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,607
    Likes Received:
    256
    I feel like there should be a global Manhattan Project of kind to build SMRs, i.e. Small Modular Reactors. a term that describes those naval-derived reactors that would make for smaller, cheapers plants.

    give them to China, Iran, african countries etc.
    create an international nuclear wasteland facility, in some place worthless like the Clipperton islands or an US desert.
    guard plants and facilities with UN military forces if needed.

    do fucking something. nations put together agreed to waste $100 billions on a space station, so let's spend $100 billions on something useful. share and cooperate. spend another $100 billions on batteries and capacitors. batteries aren't even good enough for a bicycle right now, I'd like it better with 200 kilometers range.
     
  11. Lux_

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's not like there's no research on battery tech. It's a problem everyone is trying to solve, yet single digit advancements in efficiency are big deal. But keep in mind that you are talking about device that:
    *) has very big energy density and is rechargeable;
    *) is cheap and simple enough to mass produce;
    *) doesn't blow up when microdefects appear or is handled extremely carelessly.

    Or this is a poster child of planned obsolescence.
     
  12. MfA

    MfA
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    6,816
    Likes Received:
    480
    IMO batteries are a purely transitional technology ... methane is the future.
     
  13. hoho

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Estonia
    Difference is that ISS was mostly engineering effort and getting stuff to orbit with relatively little research needed. You can't buy breakthroughs for money, at least not what's needed for the things you are asking for. Though obviously money does help, just not all that much.
     
  14. Blazkowicz

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,607
    Likes Received:
    256
    you have more than fair points.
    though the idea about mini nuke plants is exactly an engineering problem - and a hell of a political one that needs acceptance, willingness to transfer technology, uranium enrichment deals, dealing with the nuclear poop for decades and centuries.

    or ammonia? it's a simple liquid fuel, can be made from electricity (that has been done for at least 100 years). the electricity use is wasteful I guess but handling the fuel looks easier.
     
  15. MfA

    MfA
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    6,816
    Likes Received:
    480
    A little liquid methane dripping off your gas tank inlet after filling is no big deal, a little liquid ammonia is at the very least going to stink to high heaven ... probably not going to be healthy either. Gas tank punctures would instantly become a whole lot more hazardous too.

    At least in my country we already have a sizeable natural gas infrastructure which could handle pressurized methane.
     
    #1495 MfA, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  16. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sittard, the Netherlands
    That goes both ways. I'm not impressed either. It's only much harder for me to find impressive links.

    Then again, this argument/discussion goes back many years and threads. When you read all of those (on this board), you can see how my evaluation evolves over time.

    It isn't and hasn't been as single-minded as you think it is.
     
  17. hoho

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Estonia
    So mintmaster picking up the paper claim by claim and telling why exactly it's questionable at best and completely wrong more often isn't good enough?
     
  18. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sittard, the Netherlands
    Methane is better than hydrogen and in the same ballpark as biofuels. And they're all fine when Big Oil requires you to fill up at the gas station, regularly. And your government can extract the right amount of taxes.

    But there is still a lot of things that can be done with batteries. Except for building better power grids and energy exchanges, batteries are the way to go.

    To beyond where they become more hazardous than nuclear power, as they don't suffer from "N-word" hysterics. They mainly burn or explode, they don't emit radiation.

    But that's where the real power unlock happens. Nuclear, not chemical. We're taking about more than three orders of magnitude here.

    Nuclear power is pretty much a taboo and so strictly regulated that it will take a very long time before you can run your car off it.

    We know how to use it, but we're pretty much forbidden to use it in everyday appliances, like cars.

    And without that acceptance, it's worse than a very uphill battle.


    In short: the engineering problems are clear. We can do it. And it's the only way forward. But you'll be burned on the stake for suggesting it.


    For fusion, you can cross the Coulomb barrier in multiple ways. Excessive heat (millions of degrees) is the accepted solution. Because that's what the Sun does.

    But the Engineering solution would definitely be electrical. It's so much simpler and controllable. And you can pump all those Mega electron Volts into the particles by simply... breaking them down into ions and applying those Mega Volts directly. You can even aim, when you do it like that.

    You just have to think differently: not trying to create a Sun, where fusion might happen sometime, randomly, hopefully, but simply shooting a single (Deuterium/Tritium/Alpha/Helium3) particle very hard straight into another one, through electromagnetic acceleration. Miniaturize and parallelize as needed.
     
  19. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,187
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sittard, the Netherlands
    Is there anything I can post that might change your view?
     
  20. MfA

    MfA
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    6,816
    Likes Received:
    480
    The problem is that no matter how well you aim, you're going to miss a lot. Have you done the math to know for sure you can get a positive energy balance without recycling the kinetic energy? Hot plasma does that naturally, with an accelerator you need linearly oscillating or circulating beams to recycle the kinetic energy when you miss, not trivial in small spaces. Then we get to the problem that the only clean burning fusion fuel is on the moon.

    Portable fission power is easier, but slightly insane.

    BTW, I was talking about methane as a (portable) energy storage medium ... not as a fossil power source. Even if we go nuclear I still think the future is methane for portable energy storage.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...