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Old 06-20-2017, 09:49 AM   #101
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92°F... Note to HP - mate, never come to Oz. You would, without doubt, die! 33°C = mild summer, and the "hot weather" policy in schools and sports hasn't even kicked in yet!

And the fan might not work - this summer (which is five months away) governments and power authorities are still figuring out how to get sufficient power generation to see us all through the peak load period. Last year my entire state shut down for 24 hours, some parts for over a week - a storm brought down some high voltage transmission lines, and the fail safe systems then triggered a cascade of load tripping. Tons of fun.
After all the fuss and palaver over "green" generation of energy ? I'm rather surprised that the middle "desert" in Oz ain't cluttered with solar panels.
I ain't lookin' forward to some prat's idea of "green" energy in the dead centre of a real winter storm; turning off a generator . . ..



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It's the middle of the night. I should be asleep.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:24 AM   #102
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After all the fuss and palaver over "green" generation of energy ? I'm rather surprised that the middle "desert" in Oz ain't cluttered with solar panels.
We're getting to that point here, but new installations are a large investment, so it doesn't happen quickly. I imagine that Oz has the same problem we do. The areas where you can get a lot of inexpensive land to put the arrays (or windmills) are nowhere near the power grid, so the investment includes the cost of large, high-capacity extensions of the power grid. It's proven difficult to get those extensions permitted.

Our local power company has a few large arrays, but they're also taking the angle of subsidizing construction of small rooftop arrays. A lot of people with rooftop arrays generate more power than they use, so they're paid by the power company.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #103
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Our local power company has a few large arrays, but they're also taking the angle of subsidizing construction of small rooftop arrays. A lot of people with rooftop arrays generate more power than they use, so they're paid by the power company.

There's a bit of a snag there, I'm thinking.
Figures quoted for the UK a year or two ago had it that the cost (net) for your house was about 25 grand, and you'd pay back the loan over a number of years (25 was quoted).

Note that you're still 'Paying'

Furthermore, the solar cells are not as efficient as one might think. Now, obviously this is less of a problem in the desert or other sunny climes but round my neck of the woods (52degrees north) it's bit more important; add to that the 'life' of the cells is about 20-25 years and it becomes apparent that there's something not quite so good for the householder. He's still paying out, even when his 'surplus' electricity is being exported to the National Grid. Lets face it, no way is he goin' to make a profit!

If the scheme was that good, I'm fairly sure that most, if not all, of the 'governmental' buildings, Hospitals, Air & Sea ports would be littered with whacking great panels generating whatever they can for the greater good.
They ain't; as far as I can see.

Now then, a nice coffee is needed. . . .
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:04 PM   #104
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Drove through Vermont a while back, and found a lot of good farmland covered in panels - "energy farms: they seem to call them. A couple of weeks ago I drove through NY and found an organized group trying to keep farmland for crops. I wonder where we'll end up.

And speaking of farms, I heard on NPR about a survey that found 14% of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows!
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:32 PM   #105
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If the scheme was that good, I'm fairly sure that most, if not all, of the 'governmental' buildings, Hospitals, Air & Sea ports would be littered with whacking great panels generating whatever they can for the greater good.
This is one of the sunniest cities on earth. The solar cells work very well, and with new manufacturing technology their costs have dropped. There are thousands of square miles around here that have little use (no water) and so enormous areas available for solar construction. The largest array I've seen was about 1-kilometer square (100 hectares), and there are larger ones.

We have friends who've had roof-top solar panels for years, and they don't usually pay power bills.

The subsidy program the local power company offers means that they are thoroughly invested in the program, because it's the value of the excess energy produced that pays for the program. My daughter and her husband are having roof-top arrays installed under that program.

And panels are on a lot of public buildings. The parking structure at the airport is covered with them and at the exit from the secure area they have a display of the energy produced by the panels. I was impressed.

At some point we'll find out that you can't extract 2-3% of the incident energy from the environment without having downwind environmental consequences. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
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I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 03:47 PM   #106
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We have solar panels on our last house. They didn't pay for themselves. The people who bought the house tore them out. They were for the heating system. If solar panels to heat the water were as prevalent here as they are in the Mediterranean, they might be worthwhile. Our current house is under tree coverage--the whole lot is--so no utility for solar panels.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:27 PM   #107
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We have solar panels on our last house. They didn't pay for themselves. The people who bought the house tore them out. They were for the heating system. If solar panels to heat the water were as prevalent here as they are in the Mediterranean, they might be worthwhile. Our current house is under tree coverage--the whole lot is--so no utility for solar panels.
Those things used to be common here because the state gave a tax subsidy for them. They dropped the subsidy, no more were built and almost all of the existing systems have since been removed. The ones that I still see now and then probably aren't connected.

I understand that solar stills and solar ovens work in the right places. Solar electric panels work in small-scale installations where they didn't work ten years ago mostly because the production and installation costs dropped and batteries have improved.

Now we have solar panels running all kinds of small-demand devices: gates, outdoor lights, traffic signs, telemetric sensors, and any number of other devices. No-one here puts windmills on stock wells anymore; they use solar powered pumps. I don't see wires running to things, I see solar panels attached.
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My Valentines Day contest entry was Her Bodyguard (and his Dirty Valentine). It's a little brother/sister love story.
My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 05:26 PM   #108
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My daughter, who works for a power company (a very BIG power company) says that the industry is just waiting for sufficiently efficient batteries to come along. When they do, the whole world will be powered on sun and wind . . . except maybe the poles.

And the guy who invented the lithium-ion battery has just filed for a new patent. If you haven't sold your coal holdings get busy and dump them. And start watching the natural gas futures. This could get interesting.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:34 PM   #109
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And speaking of farms, I heard on NPR about a survey that found 14% of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows!
I thought that was when they fed the cows kahlua.
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Old 06-20-2017, 05:45 PM   #110
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My daughter, who works for a power company (a very BIG power company) says that the industry is just waiting for sufficiently efficient batteries to come along. When they do, the whole world will be powered on sun and wind . . . except maybe the poles.

And the guy who invented the lithium-ion battery has just filed for a new patent. If you haven't sold your coal holdings get busy and dump them. And start watching the natural gas futures. This could get interesting.
I was just wondering how large commercial solar plants are these days. The largest plants (in China and India) are now a GW and larger and cover 40+ square km. The largest in the US is under 600 MW.

It's looks like the size of the largest plant has been doubling every few years.
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My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 06:10 PM   #111
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I thought that was when they fed the cows kahlua.
Young lady, do I have to explain the difference between flatland cows and hill cows again?

We have two very, very large ranches in South Texas. They both run from near Corpus Christi to Brownsville. The Kings Ranch on the north side does cattle, oil and gas, and guided hunting. The Kennedy Ranch to the south used to do the same but now has dropped cattle as being more trouble than they are worth and went to wind power. If they are not the largest wind farm in the world, they soon will be as they keep on building them.

From the highway that splits the two ranches you can only see a few of the towers. Make a run along the coast and it is a whole other story. It's not quite wall to wall and three deep for a couple hundred miles but it is getting close.I'd love to get a look at the books on that project.

Ok, finishing up the coffee here and got some writing done.

A fresh pot is brewing for the evening crowd and a fresh kettle is on for the tea group.

My stomach is growling but I have no idea what I want for supper and I forgot to take anything out of the freezer anyway.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:27 PM   #112
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My daughter, who works for a power company (a very BIG power company) says that the industry is just waiting for sufficiently efficient batteries to come along. When they do, the whole world will be powered on sun and wind . . . except maybe the poles.

And the guy who invented the lithium-ion battery has just filed for a new patent. If you haven't sold your coal holdings get busy and dump them. And start watching the natural gas futures. This could get interesting.
Well, this is all thoroughly updating, ain't it?
We have had a couple of Very Large wind turbines a couple of miles away.
Nobody is very confident that they'll be of any real benefit; we wondered if they are exclusively for the University Farm.
I reckon the time to get in is when the Solar Panels are better that 50% efficient. This would probably mean that the northern latitudes might benefit a bit more than currently.



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Young lady, do I have to explain the difference between flatland cows and hill cows again?

We have two very, very large ranches in South Texas. They both run from near Corpus Christi to Brownsville. The Kings Ranch on the north side does cattle, oil and gas, and guided hunting. The Kennedy Ranch to the south used to do the same but now has dropped cattle as being more trouble than they are worth and went to wind power. If they are not the largest wind farm in the world, they soon will be as they keep on building them.

From the highway that splits the two ranches you can only see a few of the towers. Make a run along the coast and it is a whole other story. It's not quite wall to wall and three deep for a couple hundred miles but it is getting close.I'd love to get a look at the books on that project.

Ok, finishing up the coffee here and got some writing done.

A fresh pot is brewing for the evening crowd and a fresh kettle is on for the tea group.

My stomach is growling but I have no idea what I want for supper and I forgot to take anything out of the freezer anyway.
You mean - the kettle is on ?
Oh goody; Tea at last.
Thank you
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:06 PM   #113
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You mean - the kettle is on ?
Oh goody; Tea at last.
Thank you
The kettle is always on. I just freshen the water ever so often. Nothing worse than tea made with stale water.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:40 PM   #114
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The Kennedy Ranch to the south used to do the same but now has dropped cattle as being more trouble than they are worth and went to wind power. If they are not the largest wind farm in the world, they soon will be as they keep on building them.
They might have competition in the panhandle. Farming has always been borderline there, but wind hasn't been. I think it's pretty much continuous windfarms now from Slater up through Lubbock, to Amarillo then west along I-25 or NE toward Pampa.

It's been a few years since I was out there. The windfarms probably aren't any smaller.

There are also huge wind farms in eastern Colorado as well. They're lined up for miles on the road south from Holbrook Az. We have a few here too, but market access is a problem.

A lot of times when I see the turbines in Texas, more than half of them are feathered out. I don't know if they don't have customers, don't have transmission capacity, or what.
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My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 09:00 PM   #115
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They might have competition in the panhandle. Farming has always been borderline there, but wind hasn't been. I think it's pretty much continuous windfarms now from Slater up through Lubbock, to Amarillo then west along I-25 or NE toward Pampa.

It's been a few years since I was out there. The windfarms probably aren't any smaller.

There are also huge wind farms in eastern Colorado as well. They're lined up for miles on the road south from Holbrook Az. We have a few here too, but market access is a problem.

A lot of times when I see the turbines in Texas, more than half of them are feathered out. I don't know if they don't have customers, don't have transmission capacity, or what.
A lot of the ones down here don't have the transmission capacity and some if not most are waiting on parts. There was some fly by night parts manufactures to start with. A lot thought regular parts would do. The elements told them they were wrong. Indoor parts don't fair well outside even if they are covered.

A friend of mine who lived on the lake shore pulled the housing and motor off an old five foot ceiling fan, added three delco alternators with the built in regulators to the frame and ran a belt around the whole mess. It's mounted on a swivel above his boat house. The three alternators keep twelve deep cycle battery charged up with no problem.

All the lights on the boathouse, upper sundeck, and pier are all sealed LEDs (and there are a ton of them), which draw 12V power. He also has an inverter to run a refrigerator, boat lift, and ceiling fans. I think he said he had less than 1500 dollars in the whole mess, including the lights.

I was surprised how well it turned even in a light breeze.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:23 PM   #116
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I was surprised how well it turned even in a light breeze.
I had a friend that lived south of Santa Fe (outside the town where David Bowie Fell to Earth) and lived off the grid. He had a windmill that drove an alternator from a WWII-vintage airplane and some solar panels here and there. I think his well was solar, but it was ganged with a wind-driven pump jack just in case. He had a battery of batteries. It was before the day of LED's, so the house was lit with low-voltage halogens. I expect that means that the house was dark a lot.

His complaint was that the whole thing required constant maintenance, which he did himself. You can pay a high price to live in an art colony. His wife was an artist.
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My Valentines Day contest entry was Her Bodyguard (and his Dirty Valentine). It's a little brother/sister love story.
My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 09:24 PM   #117
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Good evening, folks. Restless munchkin, guess I'll be doing some reading.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:38 PM   #118
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Good evening, folks. Restless munchkin, guess I'll be doing some reading.
What are you reading?
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My personal favorites are The Third Ring and Oscar's Place.
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My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by two dead flappers, so next up is a ghost story named "Love is Enough."
 

Old 06-20-2017, 09:47 PM   #119
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The first in the Hamish Macbeth series of mysteries, Death of a Gossip, by M.C. Beaton. It's not terribly original but I' m almost done.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:02 PM   #120
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There's a bit of a snag there, I'm thinking.
Figures quoted for the UK a year or two ago had it that the cost (net) for your house was about 25 grand, and you'd pay back the loan over a number of years (25 was quoted).
.
We paid Aus$18,000 for a package deal that got us 4kW solar panel gen (10 panels maybe 12-15 square metres all up, on a dead north facing roof, at exactly the right angle to maximise collection during summer) plus a 4kW reverse-cycle air con / heating unit (so $9k each system). On a bright sun day, summer and winter, our power is free, we're still giving back a trickle to the grid.

No subsidies for the spare power we generate, but it will pay for itself in less than ten years through significantly lower power bills.

The downside of solar gen and wind gen is night-time and no wind, so we still need reliable base load (which in Oz means coal or gas powered power stations, or hydro). Right now the low carbon geniuses reckon it's ok to shut down old, cheap but dirty coal powered generators, so we currently have a shortage of reliable base load, Australia wide. It's ok though, we still flog the brown coal to the Chinese for their new, cheap but cleaner coal powered gens, so somebody gets to use the coal.

I dunno what percentage of the state's power comes from domestic panel installations like ours, but in my state we're up around 50% for renewable (big wind farms mostly, that technology is pretty much nailed and can be sited near existing transmission lines).

As mentioned above, the issue is to get reliable power storage. Batteries aren't there yet, pumped hydro is looking pretty good (apparently you don't need a massive fall for the descending water).
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:14 AM   #121
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After all the fuss and palaver over "green" generation of energy ? I'm rather surprised that the middle "desert" in Oz ain't cluttered with solar panels.
I ain't lookin' forward to some prat's idea of "green" energy in the dead centre of a real winter storm; turning off a generator . . ..





So why aren't you, Madam ?
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:28 AM   #122
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...
You mean - the kettle is on ?
Oh goody; Tea at last.
Thank you
I'm not a big tea drinker, though my wife is. IMO the best tea around is Five Roses - if/when you can get it. Good, solid, well flavored garden-variety black tea ... I haven't found a better brand.
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:16 AM   #123
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Had my shower so it is time for bed. Lawn work in the AM.

Fresh coffee and kettle for the late night and morning crews.

I'll try and remember the donuts in the morning.
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:41 AM   #124
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The first in the Hamish Macbeth series of mysteries, Death of a Gossip, by M.C. Beaton. It's not terribly original but I' m almost done.
A very enjoyable author.

The doughnuts are fine, thanks
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:21 AM   #125
ishtat
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A while ago my guys did a detailed financial analysis of several solar power investment projects - I know how exciting financial analysis would be for most of you so I'll stick to a couple of conclusions.

Almost all of these projects were uneconomic at the then prices, however, the promoters had figured out - correctly in my view that with the major drop in price of panels and the tax and other concessions to be gained through government subsidies and tax write off regimes, they would become a reasonable bet. Most of these companies have other activities which can take advantage of the current concessions on capital investment.

They need two more things, firstly better storage efficiency and that is proceeding apace and secondly higher prices - considerably higher prices. It's hard to find in the accounts of the big solar companies, but if you search hard enough they all engage in a constant war against fossil fuels, especially coal. They have succeeded because no-one, in the western world at least, is gunna get money from the bank to build a coal fired station. Gas doesn't worry the solar/wind guys so much because Gas power station technology is not cheap, so it's a narrower gap for the solar/wind advocates to close.

Our conclusion was that energy will get a lot cleaner but not one tiny bit cheaper.

Now I know bits and pieces of this general argument can be picked off but in general I reckon we were right. Mebbe storage is more important than vast arrays of panels in future.

Did anyone notice that Exxon under Tillerson sold off the world's largest steaming coal mine some 3 years ago. El Cerrejon in Colombia, it produces about 60 million tons a year. And at the same time they upped their investment in Solar/wind. Reckon they know something about energy markets?

And now a coffee to get over the excitement.
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