the world needs hot fusion

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Thomas J Wheat

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Dec 1, 2002, 7:35:11 PM12/1/02
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hot fusion baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
also check out my high tech page:
http://www.geocities.com/s011023/science.html
a production of http://www.ultimateconspiracy.com
this feature article postedf from:
http://www.iter.org/

"Fusion is the energy source that powers the sun and stars. In fusion,
the nuclei of light elements, like hydrogen, fuse together to make
heavier elements - giving off tremendous amounts of energy. more

It takes extremely high temperature and pressure to force the nuclei
together and make them fuse. In the Sun and stars, massive
gravitational forces generate the conditions for fusion to occur
naturally. On Earth these conditions are much harder to achieve, and
alternative methods have to be used. more

Harnessing fusion power on Earth could be one of the best options for
long-term energy supply: more


The fuel and materials needed for a fusion plant are abundant and
essentially inexhaustible. more

The fusion process is inherently safe, and the environmental impact of
fusion power plants is tolerable. more


Conditions for Fusion

In the absence of the massive gravitational forces present in the sun
and stars, the conditions for controlled fusion on Earth can be
created using magnetic forces to confine the fusion fuel while heating
it by a variety of methods. more

Ignition occurs when enough fusion reactions take place for the
process to become self-sustaining (i.e. no heat is needed from outside
the plasma). To achieve this, the fusion fuel must be heated to
temperatures high enough (about 100 million degrees Celsius) to
overcome the natural repulsive forces of nuclei and kept dense enough
and confined for long enough to withstand energy losses. Ignition is
not essential for a fusion power reactor, and a small dependence of
the plasma operation on external heat supply gives added control over
the operating point. more

However it is desirable to operate close to ignition to minimise
external power needs. ITER therefore aims to operate on the verge of
ignition - a high external power amplification, Q > 10 (for ignition Q
= ) is sufficient to demonstrate the principles in such an
experimental device. more

Fusion Fuels

The fuels to be used are deuterium and tritium - two isotopes of
hydrogen. Deuterium occurs naturally in sea water. Tritium does not
occur naturally, but can be bred in a fusion system when the light
element, lithium, absorbs neutrons produced in the fusion reaction.
World resources of lithium are plentiful. more

Fusion Research Programmes and ITER

Scientists around the world have been working since the 1950's to
harness the energy of nuclear fusion for peaceful use. They have made
steady progress in achieving fusion, designing and building many
experimental fusion devices to test their theories and understanding.
more

Current generations of experimental fusion machines have been able to
generate small amounts of energy from fusion. more ITER is expected to
produce energy at the level of a small fusion power plant and to
address the key technical challenges involved in making fusion a
practical energy source. It represents the logical next step for all
the leading programmes and is a necessary precursor to the
demonstration of electricity generation from fusion power. A (7 minute
- 5 MB) film shows how the ITER plant might look.

ITER has a key position in the fusion research programmes of its
partipants. It relies on output from vigorous base programmes in the
Parties. At the same time ITER helps to strengthen those programmes by
focussing on concrete, reactor-relevant issues and by providing a
lively multi-party framework for rigorous consideration and resolution
of the major scientific issues. more

Further information can be found in a compilation of frequently asked
questions.

updated October 2002

-------------------------------
YES we need an international coalition to build this thing!!!!!!!!!!!
--------------------------------------------------------------
Marshall N. Rosenbluth
I agree with Thomas Stix and Andrew Sessler on many of their key
conclusions: the potential importance of fusion as one of a very
limited number of future energy possibilities, the great progress that
has already been made, the need to diversify and explore alternate
fusion approaches and basic plasma science, the key importance of
exploiting existing facilities, the opportunities being opened up by
rapid advances in parallel computation, the critical need for a
burning-plasma environment for experimental study and the necessity
for international collaboration.
How to proceed using limited resources involves subjective judgment,
and here I disagree strongly with the Stix/Sessler point of view
regarding the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.

There is not space here to engage in any meaningful discussion of the
very complex physics problems underlying ITER design. The technical
discussion presented by Stix and Sessler is a laundry list of
well-known issues being addressed in the course of the ongoing ITER
Engineering Design Activities (EDA). They do not identify any
showstoppers; nor do they attempt to quantitatively assess the likely
success of the EDA's proposed solutions, which are still evolving
through an international R&D effort aimed at providing a "physics and
engineering basis" for ITER construction by the end of the EDA, two
and one-half years from now. A great number of theoretical and
experimental tasks have been proposed for this period. Many of the
issues are generic to most fusion reactor designs---high-heat-load
divertors, 14-MeV neutron effects, multimegampere disruptions,
confinement at the reactor scale and so on. Many of these issues are
being faced in a realistic way for the first time by ITER designers
with the help of the international fusion community. Stix and Sessler
appear to be prejudging the outcome of the EDA design effort as
unsatisfactory, and even prejudging the political reactions of the
European Community and Japan to this outcome.

In my opinion, Stix and Sessler seriously misstate the recommendations
of the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee for ITER review.[1] The
committee's executive summary recommendation is to "Plan for the
review of the ITER EDA and its results and establish criteria for a
decision on future US participation." Clearly, such a final review of
results can only come at the end of the EDA. In appendix G of the
committee's report, mechanisms for this planning are spelled out,
including a proposal that "The U.S. program should consider launching
an assessment of the ITER detail[ed] design [end of 1996] modeled
after the European Domestic Assessment of the ITER Interim design
[1995]."[1] The European assessment was quite favorable and useful in
highlighting certain areas for more intense study. Such US reviews of
intermediate ITER milestones would certainly be important in preparing
the US for the required in-depth final review.

The work of the ITER design team is monitored by a technical advisory
committee of distinguished fusion scientists and engineers from the
four international partners who judged the interim (midpoint) design
to be satisfactory progress towards fulfilling ITER's objectives. The
physics issues are being addressed with the assistance of seven
international expert groups composed of non-ITER personnel. ITER needs
and welcomes more active participation by the worldwide fusion
community.

It is my conviction, shared by my ITER coworkers, that the nonlinear
physics and novel engineering issues of fusion are so complex that
only a real experiment at the approximate parameters required for
ignition will ever resolve them quantitatively. In fact, it is
precisely the existence of the laundry list of physics issues that
justifies a realistic ignition experiment. This has been the position
of the US fusion community for over a decade. It is critical that ITER
be designed with sufficient flexibility, and I believe it has been, to
incorporate new physics knowledge as it evolves in existing facilities
or in early ITER experiments. (Stix and Sessler cite reversed-shear
confinement improvement and alpha channeling as good examples.) Of
course, it may turn out that a new idea is so successful that, with
hindsight, ITER could safely be redesigned to be smaller and less
expensive than the present conventional design. It seems to me,
however, that fusion research requires a test bed such as ITER that we
could use to design a desirable reactor by interpolation rather than
continual extrapolation from undersized experiments. It will always be
possible to argue for indefinite delays in building such a test bed
while awaiting more perfect knowledge.

Thus the issues raised by Stix and Sessler are real and well
recognized, but the conclusions they draw are a subjective judgment as
to what constitutes a reasonable next step. If objective phrases were
substituted for the pejorative terms they use---"premature,"
"genuinely huge," "immense cost," "enormous power," "extremely
stringent," "over-ambitious," "immense emphasis" among others---then
one might reach the same conclusions as most of the international
fusion community has in proposing ITER as its next step.

Conceptual designs similar to ITER's, and with similar objectives,
were earlier proposed by the European Community (Next European Torus)
and Japan (Fusion Experimental Reactor) as national programs, now
superseded by the international ITER. The US fusion research community
has long agreed that a not-too-long-delayed ignition or near-ignition
experiment is crucial for fusion development. There was support in the
1980s in the US for an ITER-style national machine, but there was more
support for a nonsuperconducting short-pulse ignition physics
experiment such as BPX (which, for budgetary reasons, ended up not
being constructed). This line of development was again recommended in
the recent study by the President's Committee of Advisers on Science
and Technology, which proposed an international cryogenic copper,
100-second-pulse experiment, which could meet many ITER physics
objectives at 40% of ITER's cost. In contrast to the views of almost
all my ITER colleagues, this seems to me to be a very reasonable
proposal, but not one that the US can expect to impose on its
partners, who strongly prefer a design incorporating more technology,
especially superconducting magnets, allowing 1000-second pulses,
possibly steady-state operation, and high neutron fluence. This
preference arises naturally, especially in the case of Japan, from a
more urgent perceived energy need and a desire for nondefense-oriented
joint government/industrial high-technology development.

I fear that Stix and Sessler have not come to terms with today's
realities. With the US program now perhaps 15% of the world fusion
program, probably slipping to the 10% level in the near future, we can
no longer dictate the nature of the international fusion program.
Rather, as suggested by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee, we have
to exploit and nourish our scientific strengths as best we can on our
declining budgets by strengthening theory and computational efforts,
exploring alternate fusion concepts and testing new ideas on existing
facilities or modest new ones.[1] But, what is equally important, we
must seek to contribute to and benefit from the crucial large
experiments existing or being built (alas!) abroad. They include the
JT-60 upgrade tokamak in Japan; the Joint European Torus, which, if
desired, might be upgraded much more plausibly than US facilities to a
short-pulse high-gain (Q = 5) experiment; the German and Japanese
stellarators; Ignitor, should it actually be constructed (as I very
much hope it will); and, of course, most important of all---ITER.

Stix and Sessler allude to a much-discussed hypothetical but quite
plausible scenario in which Japan assumes the major financial role in
constructing ITER, with US support at about its present level of 20%
($55 million) of the annual US fusion budget. Stix and Sessler oppose
this as overreliance by the US on Japan's fusion program. To me, on
the other hand, it would appear to be a wonderful bargain if for 5% of
the cost we could participate in designing and experimenting on
fusion's flagship experiment.

While preserving our scientific strengths with the non-ITER 75-80% of
our fusion budget, we should also


Continue to participate in the EDA to the end (1998), making our
strong national contribution to the attempt to produce a successful
design.
At the end of the EDA, review the design critically and in depth for
technical credibility. Consensus should be possible on technical
credibility, if not on desirability. It is important to note in this
context that "success" for ITER is not sharply defined. The basic
physics and technology objectives could be met for example with a
driven burn at somewhat reduced fusion power, thereby lessening
quantitative concerns about residual physics uncertainties.
Assuming that budgetary constraints preclude full US partnership, try
to be a junior partner in ITER construction abroad, with emphasis on
scientific participation.
Should the other partners decide at some stage that they wish to
explore designs with more limited objectives, be prepared to do so.
If, after the EDA, it becomes clear that ITER will only be a perpetual
paper study and will not be constructed, then get out.
After 46 years of effort and progress, the US fusion community should
think very carefully before turning its back---for whatever
reasons---on an internationally agreed upon experiment designed as the
first exploration of the burning plasma environment.
Reference

1. Fusion Energy Advisory Committee, A Restructured Fusion Energy
Sciences Program, US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Research,
Washington, DC (27 January 1996). (back)

Charles Cagle

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Dec 2, 2002, 11:11:38 PM12/2/02
to
In article <57cf3dba.02120...@posting.google.com>, Thomas J
Wheat <thoma...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> hot fusion baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> also check out my high tech page:
> http://www.geocities.com/s011023/science.html
> a production of http://www.ultimateconspiracy.com
> this feature article postedf from:
> http://www.iter.org/
>
> "Fusion is the energy source that powers the sun and stars. In fusion,
> the nuclei of light elements, like hydrogen, fuse together to make
> heavier elements - giving off tremendous amounts of energy. more
>
> It takes extremely high temperature and pressure to force the nuclei
> together and make them fuse. In the Sun and stars, massive
> gravitational forces generate the conditions for fusion to occur
> naturally. On Earth these conditions are much harder to achieve, and
> alternative methods have to be used. more

The Fusion Energy Advisory Committee collectively have their heads up
their asses.

There is no data in existence which suggests that nuclear fusion
reactions occur because the interacting nuclei have violently collided.

There is a shit load of theoretical rambling pseudoscience which is
confused with 'evidence' but the reality remains that collisional
fusion is a myth.


That's the primary assumption that has driven three generations of
armies of welfare queens in white coats to spend upwards of $50 billion
taxpayer dollars over the last 51 years but the end result is that they
haven't built a single reactor large or small which can break even by
using engineered processes for colliding fusion fuel nuclei.

The reason it hasn't been done is because it can't be done. The
present modeling of nuclear fusion has never been correct.

Charles Cagle

Jed Rothwell

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Dec 3, 2002, 2:26:55 PM12/3/02
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The world needs hot fusion like it needs a hole in the head. Hot fusion
would produce more radioactive garbage and more risk than advanced fission
reactors. See: R. A. Krakowski et al., "Lessons Learned from the Tokamak
Advanced Reactor Innovation and Evaluation Study (ARIES)," Los Alamos
National Laboratory, LA-UR-93-4217, December 8, 1993.

We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the rate
wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in the
world in 30 years. Other renewable sources are abundant. In any case, if
cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been, it will
soon become practical, and it be thousands of times cheaper than any other
souce of energy, and millions of times cleaner and safer.

- Jed


Raziel

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Dec 3, 2002, 4:33:20 PM12/3/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@infinite-energy.com> wrote in message
news:3ded0...@nopics.sjc...

> The world needs hot fusion like it needs a hole in the head. Hot fusion
> would produce more radioactive garbage and more risk than advanced fission
> reactors. See: R. A. Krakowski et al., "Lessons Learned from the Tokamak
> Advanced Reactor Innovation and Evaluation Study (ARIES)," Los Alamos
> National Laboratory, LA-UR-93-4217, December 8, 1993.
>
> We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the rate
> wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in the
> world in 30 years.

that is an absurd statement.

> Other renewable sources are abundant.

another absurd statement.

> In any case, if
> cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been, it
will
> soon become practical, and it be thousands of times cheaper than any other
> souce of energy, and millions of times cleaner and safer.
>

yet more absurd statements

Raz


Jed Rothwell

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Dec 3, 2002, 5:39:51 PM12/3/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the
rate
> > wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in the
> > world in 30 years.
>
> that is an absurd statement.

No, it is simple arithmetic. When you deny it, you resemble the people in
1908 who said that horses would never replaced by automobiles. They had no
reason to think so. There was no shortage of fuel, and the price of
automobiles was falling rapidly. In 30 years world electricity requirements
will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate). Wind is now increasing at the rate of
~4,700 MW per year (nameplate). The average increase per year for the last
decade has been ~25%, and that rate is increasing. It will reach ~3.5
million MW in ~30 years. There are more than enough wind resources in North
America, China, and Europe to power the entire world. Offshore wind
resources in the North Sea could produce four times more energy than Europe
consumes. Wind-poor locations and peak-demand generators can be served with
wind-generated hydrogen fuel. The cost of wind generators is falling
rapidly. Taking into account the hidden costs of fossil fuel, such as
pollution and war, wind is already cheaper than any other source. There are
no technical limitations that would prevent wind from meeting all demand for
electricity.

See:

http://www.awea.org/

http://www.windpower.org/core.htm


> > Other renewable sources are abundant.
>
> another absurd statement.

Please note that the sun outputs 386 billion billion megawatts. Space-based
solar energy collection could easily collect enough "renewable" energy to
vaporize the entire planet Earth in a few minutes.


> > In any case, if
> > cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been, it
> will
> > soon become practical, and it be thousands of times cheaper than any
other

> > source of energy, and millions of times cleaner and safer.
> >
> yet more absurd statements

You are ignorant. I suggest you read the facts at:

http://lenr-canr.org/

- Jed


Raziel

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Dec 3, 2002, 8:24:13 PM12/3/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3ded32b1$1...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the
> rate
> > > wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in
the
> > > world in 30 years.
> >
> > that is an absurd statement.
>
> No, it is simple arithmetic. When you deny it, you resemble the people in
> 1908 who said that horses would never replaced by automobiles. They had no
> reason to think so. There was no shortage of fuel, and the price of
> automobiles was falling rapidly. In 30 years world electricity
requirements
> will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate). Wind is now increasing at the rate of
> ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).

And you think it can and will continue at that rate?

> The average increase per year for the last
> decade has been ~25%, and that rate is increasing.

The average increase per year in the stock market in the late 90's was that
high as well...

> It will reach ~3.5 million MW in ~30 years.

under your invalid assumptions, perhaps.

> There are more than enough wind resources in North
> America, China, and Europe to power the entire world.

provided of course that you don't mind generating all of your power a long
distance from where it is used.

> Offshore wind
> resources in the North Sea could produce four times more energy than
Europe
> consumes.

produce all you want. how are you going to distribute it? potential
production is useless without distribution.

> Wind-poor locations and peak-demand generators can be served with
> wind-generated hydrogen fuel.

perhaps, but the cost of changing the entire infrastructure will be quite
high.

> The cost of wind generators is falling rapidly.

and?

> Taking into account the hidden costs of fossil fuel, such as
> pollution and war, wind is already cheaper than any other source. There
are
> no technical limitations that would prevent wind from meeting all demand
for
> electricity.
>

There are no technical limitations that prevent alot of things, such as
going to Mars.

Don't get me wrong. Wind is great, solar is great, but they are only pieces
of the puzzle.

> See:
>
> http://www.awea.org/
>
> http://www.windpower.org/core.htm
>
>
> > > Other renewable sources are abundant.
> >
> > another absurd statement.
>
> Please note that the sun outputs 386 billion billion megawatts.

yes it does. but, so?

> Space-based
> solar energy collection could easily collect enough "renewable" energy to
> vaporize the entire planet Earth in a few minutes.
>

ooooook. That is all fine and good, but how do you plan to get it down
here?


>
> > > In any case, if
> > > cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been,

you make the assumption that cold fusion is even possible.

> > it will
> > > soon become practical, and it be thousands of times cheaper than any
> other
> > > source of energy, and millions of times cleaner and safer.
> > >
> > yet more absurd statements
>
> You are ignorant. I suggest you read the facts at:
>

quite the contrary, people who make grand sweeping statements like those you
have made are ignorant. There is no single source of energy that is the
be-all end-all of electricity production.

> http://lenr-canr.org/
>
Raz


Jed Rothwell

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Dec 4, 2002, 10:05:44 AM12/4/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate). Wind is now increasing at the rate of
> > ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).
>
> And you think it can and will continue at that rate?

Yes. As far as I know, there are no technical, economic or resource
limitations that would prevent this expansion. If fission were expanding at
this rate, and we were building 4.5 new fission reactors per year, no one
would suggest it cannot expand indefinitely, until market saturation is
reached. There is no shortage of uranium, or wind.


> > The average increase per year for the last
> > decade has been ~25%, and that rate is increasing.
>
> The average increase per year in the stock market in the late 90's was
that
> high as well...

Stock markets do not resemble technology. When automobile mass production
began in 1908, and personal computer mass production began circa 1980, there
were no limitations that prevented production from continuing until nearly
everyone in the U.S. who wanted a car (or computer) had one.


> > It will reach ~3.5 million MW in ~30 years.
>
> under your invalid assumptions, perhaps.

These are not my assumptions; they are made by EPRI, the DoE and other
experts. You have not shown why they are invalid.


> > There are more than enough wind resources in North
> > America, China, and Europe to power the entire world.
>
> provided of course that you don't mind generating all of your power a long
> distance from where it is used.

We do not mind doing that. At present, we generate fission power far from
where it is used, and we transport coal and oil halfway across the world in
some cases in order to generate electricity from it. The use of wind power
would greatly reduce the total mass of transported fuel and it will reduce
the size of the overall infrastructure (counting the fuel production
infrastructure: mines, railroads and whatnot).


> > Offshore wind
> > resources in the North Sea could produce four times more energy than
> Europe
> > consumes.
>
> produce all you want. how are you going to distribute it? potential
> production is useless without distribution.

The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building 520
MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
years. In places far from windy locations, hydrogen transport or high
temperature superconducting cables may be feasible. The cost will be high,
but nowhere near as high as the death, destruction, war and terrorism from
oil and coal.


> > Wind-poor locations and peak-demand generators can be served with
> > wind-generated hydrogen fuel.
>
> perhaps, but the cost of changing the entire infrastructure will be quite
> high.

Not really. The infrastructure wears out and has to be replaced every
generation in any case. It may be possible to upgrade and reline natural gas
pipelines to carry hydrogen. In the U.S., underpopulated areas of the
country such as Texas and North Dakota that now produce natural gas and ship
it to population centers happen to have enough wind resources to supply all
of North America with wind generated hydrogen.


> > The cost of wind generators is falling rapidly.
>
> and?

Nothing will prevent it from falling to about half or one-third the cost of
coal, oil, gas and fission power.


> > Taking into account the hidden costs of fossil fuel, such as
> > pollution and war, wind is already cheaper than any other source. There
> are
> > no technical limitations that would prevent wind from meeting all demand
> for
> > electricity.
> >
> There are no technical limitations that prevent alot of things, such as
> going to Mars.

But there is no economic incentive to do so, and we are not at war over the
issue, whereas we *are* at war over oil. If we could defeat Bin Laden and
free the U.S. from Middle East oil by sending a manned mission to Mars,
there would be people on Mars within two years.


> > Space-based
> > solar energy collection could easily collect enough "renewable" energy
to
> > vaporize the entire planet Earth in a few minutes.
> >
> ooooook. That is all fine and good, but how do you plan to get it down
> here?

I do not know much about this, but I believe microwave transmission from
low-orbit collectors has been proposed. I am sure there are many potential
solutions.


> > > > In any case, if
> > > > cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been,
>
> you make the assumption that cold fusion is even possible.

I make the assertion (not assumption) because I know for a fact it is
possible. I have seen and measured cold fusion reactions myself on several
occasions, and I have read, translated and edited hundreds of papers about
it. Whether it can be made into a practical form of energy is an open
question. However, people are remarkably creative and resourceful. They can
do just about anything that can be done.


> > You are ignorant. I suggest you read the facts at:
> >
> quite the contrary, people who make grand sweeping statements like those
you
> have made are ignorant.

You have no evidence for that assertion. You have not critiqued or found
fault with the cold fusion literature. (Or if you have, I have not read your
publications, which is unlikely.) You cannot simply claim that cold fusion
is or is not possible. You have to back up this statement with evidence and
arguments.


> There is no single source of energy that is the
> be-all end-all of electricity production.

If cold fusion can be made practical, it will be the be-all, end-all source
of energy for electricity, transportation, space heating, and all other
sectors.

- Jed


Xavier Llobet

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Dec 4, 2002, 11:22:31 AM12/4/02
to
In article <3dee19c1$1...@nopics.sjc>,
"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate). Wind is now increasing at the rate of
> > > ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).
> >
> > And you think it can and will continue at that rate?
>
> Yes. As far as I know, there are no technical, economic or resource
> limitations that would prevent this expansion.

[...]

> The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building 520
> MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> years.

I heard in a meeting that 15% is the upper limit for the contribution of
the wind (or any "rapid" fluctuating source) to the power grid
(instabilities appear above this value), and that Danemark is
downscaling the wind power plants construction plan. Anybody may confirm
or debunk?

--
_xavier
--
Only one "o" in my e-mail address

Jed Rothwell

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Dec 4, 2002, 12:22:15 PM12/4/02
to
Xavier Llobet writes:

> > The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building
520
> > MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> > years.
>
> I heard in a meeting that 15% is the upper limit for the contribution of

> the wind (or any "rapid" fluctuating source) to the power grid . . .

Since wind already supplies 25% of the power in some areas, this cannot be
true. Before large scale wind was developed some people thought there might
a limitation of around 15%. They should have known better. Demand fluctuates
considerably when large factory machinery turns on and off and the weather
changes, but this has not been a problem for steady-state baseline fission
reactors. On a very large scale -- state-wide or continental scale -- wind
production does not fluctuate much. The sun warms the air, and the air
always goes someplace. If the wind is not blowing in Northern California it
will be in Southern California. Offshore wind is steadier than wind on land,
so production is more reliable, and the overall lifetime cost of the
equipment is lower. This is why it was possible to power all oceanic
transportation -- millions of tons of ships -- exclusively with wind until
1860. Wind powered sailing ships remained competitive with steam until 1900
for some commodities along some trade routes.

Actually, the biggest problem occurs when the wind blows too much, in
storms, and the turbines have to be feathered. Storms affect other power
sources. For example, one of California's largest fission reactors was shut
down a few years ago when a storm in the Pacific coast tore kelp from the
ocean floor, which clogged the reactor cooling water intake pipe.

I suppose wind production above ~50% of total demand would require some sort
of large buffer such as hydrogen production with dispatchable fuel cells.
The buffers now used to smooth the difference between steady-state fission
production and fluctuating demand would not suffice. Improved communication
and coordination between large scale factory users and power producers can
also smooth out demand spikes. This is being done already, with conventional
generation. The power companies in California have plans to connect to
thousands of houses via Internet, so the power company will be able to
switch off thousands of air conditioners for short periods. (This may
already be implemented.)


> (instabilities appear above this value), and that Denmark is


> downscaling the wind power plants construction plan.

This is a political decision, made by right wing politicians opposed to
environmentalism. It is similar the Bush administration opposition to
improvements in automobile fuel efficiency (CAFE standards). U.S. automobile
fuel efficiency has not improved in 20 years, and in fact it is declining.
Obviously, technology has improved since 1980, and it would be easy to
improve fuel efficiency even in SUVs and other heavy vehicles. In fact,
efficiency could be easily be raised from 20% to 40% using hybrid engines.
They were developed in 1906, and they have been used in most railroad
engines since the late 1940s. Japanese auto manufactures sell hybrid
automobiles, but U.S. manufactures do not. Fuel cell engines using
reformulated gasoline would be ~50% efficient. These and other technologies
could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed worldwide
they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda. They would reduce
pollution, save consumers billions of dollars, reduce energy costs
worldwide, and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die
for lack of energy. However, the administration seems to oppose all
innovation, conservation and efficiency, and it has gutted research funding
for improved automobiles. I suspect this may be because Bush and Cheney have
close ties to the oil industry. As Cheney said: "Conservation may be a sign
of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound,
comprehensive energy policy." -- in a speech in Toronto, Canada, May 1,
2001. Later in 2001 conservation in California cut electric power
consumption drastically, put a quick end to the so-called "crisis," and
helped bankrupt Enron, one of the administration's largest supporters and
campaign contributors, so it turns out Cheney was wrong.

- Jed


Raziel

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 5:04:13 PM12/4/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3dee39be$1...@nopics.sjc...

> Xavier Llobet writes:
>
> > > The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building
> 520
> > > MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> > > years.
> >
> > I heard in a meeting that 15% is the upper limit for the contribution of
> > the wind (or any "rapid" fluctuating source) to the power grid . . .
>
> Since wind already supplies 25% of the power in some areas, this cannot be
> true.

be careful using percentages like this. Just because in 'one area' wind is
prevalent, does not mean that it can be prevalent like that everywhere.
Wind has the same problem as solar, it is NOT constant, and never will be.
Fluctuations must be made up for by alternate sources of power, and the
power grid (and companies) are not going to rely soley on a source of power
that can fluctuate as the wind blows (pardon the pun ;). If wind supplies
25% of power from an area, that is only because it can be backed up by power
coming from other sources in the event of a wind outage. Now there are
methods of 'storing' power, via hydro pumps and such, but to my knowledge
there are very few places where it is viable to do both wind with a hydro
backup at the same site. You will also argue that hydrogen can be used, but
again, if you are going to do that, then you are better off in the long run
just using the wind to generate hydrogen and burning that at power plants.
Perhaps this is the solution you desire?

> Before large scale wind was developed some people thought there might
> a limitation of around 15%. They should have known better. Demand
fluctuates
> considerably when large factory machinery turns on and off and the weather
> changes, but this has not been a problem for steady-state baseline fission
> reactors.

Correct, precicely because they are steady state. Fission reactors are not
affected by changes in the weather. Wind and solar are. Hell, hydro can
be. Something needs to be available to take up the slack.

> On a very large scale -- state-wide or continental scale -- wind
> production does not fluctuate much. The sun warms the air, and the air
> always goes someplace. If the wind is not blowing in Northern California
it
> will be in Southern California. Offshore wind is steadier than wind on
land,
> so production is more reliable, and the overall lifetime cost of the
> equipment is lower.

That doesn't mean that you can necessarily put the power on the grid where
you want it when you want it. You have to have sources available to pick up
the slack locally.

> This is why it was possible to power all oceanic
> transportation -- millions of tons of ships -- exclusively with wind until
> 1860. Wind powered sailing ships remained competitive with steam until
1900
> for some commodities along some trade routes.
>

the key words are 'was' and 'some'. Wind even on the ocean is unreliable.

> Actually, the biggest problem occurs when the wind blows too much, in
> storms, and the turbines have to be feathered. Storms affect other power
> sources. For example, one of California's largest fission reactors was
shut
> down a few years ago when a storm in the Pacific coast tore kelp from the
> ocean floor, which clogged the reactor cooling water intake pipe.
>

Yep, happened right at the peak of the power 'crisis'. Also happened to
happen right when another reactor was down for scheduled maintenance. You
can see right there the need for alternative sources of power. You cannot
always assume you can get the power you need from far-away sources.

> I suppose wind production above ~50% of total demand would require some
sort
> of large buffer such as hydrogen production with dispatchable fuel cells.

not just suppose. It would be a strict requirement.

> The buffers now used to smooth the difference between steady-state fission
> production and fluctuating demand would not suffice. Improved
communication
> and coordination between large scale factory users and power producers can
> also smooth out demand spikes. This is being done already, with
conventional
> generation. The power companies in California have plans to connect to
> thousands of houses via Internet, so the power company will be able to
> switch off thousands of air conditioners for short periods. (This may
> already be implemented.)
>

If I am not mistaken (I may very well be) this was a response to an actual
shortage of capacity in California, a way to lessen the hurt of 'rolling
blackouts'.


>
> > (instabilities appear above this value), and that Denmark is
> > downscaling the wind power plants construction plan.
>
> This is a political decision, made by right wing politicians opposed to
> environmentalism.

one has nothing to do with the other.

> It is similar the Bush administration opposition to
> improvements in automobile fuel efficiency (CAFE standards).

it isn't just the Bush administration that is opposed. American consumers
are opposed. They vote quite regularly with their dollars.

> U.S. automobile
> fuel efficiency has not improved in 20 years, and in fact it is declining.

Heavier vehicles are safer. People want safety.

> Obviously, technology has improved since 1980, and it would be easy to
> improve fuel efficiency even in SUVs and other heavy vehicles. In fact,
> efficiency could be easily be raised from 20% to 40% using hybrid engines.

Those will move into the market. Such technology has to be proven first.
Things liky hybrids cannot just be forced into a market that does not want
them.

> They were developed in 1906, and they have been used in most railroad
> engines since the late 1940s. Japanese auto manufactures sell hybrid
> automobiles, but U.S. manufactures do not.

Market forces are not demanding that they do. Consumers drive this market,
not the government. As much as you may like it, the government cannot tell
people what they have to buy.

> Fuel cell engines using
> reformulated gasoline would be ~50% efficient. These and other
technologies
> could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed worldwide
> they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda.

I am not so sure that is a good thing. Think of someone like Saddam,
suddenly without his source of funds. What would he be willing to do to get
those funds back?

> They would reduce
> pollution, save consumers billions of dollars, reduce energy costs
> worldwide, and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die
> for lack of energy.

Huh? So it all comes down to the children. Isn't that nice.

> However, the administration seems to oppose all
> innovation, conservation and efficiency,

patently untrue. you obviously have bought into all of the anti-Bush
propaganda.

> and it has gutted research funding for improved automobiles.

why exactly should the government fund research that the automakers should
be doing for themselves?

> I suspect this may be because Bush and Cheney have
> close ties to the oil industry.

you are rapidly losing your credibility.

> As Cheney said: "Conservation may be a sign
> of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound,
> comprehensive energy policy." -- in a speech in Toronto, Canada, May 1,
> 2001.

which part of that statement is untrue? you may not want to hear it, but he
speaks the truth. Conservation can only get you so far, and you cannot base
your energy policy on it.

> Later in 2001 conservation in California cut electric power
> consumption drastically, put a quick end to the so-called "crisis," and
> helped bankrupt Enron, one of the administration's largest supporters and
> campaign contributors, so it turns out Cheney was wrong.
>

you seem to have your 'facts' jumbled up. Conservation in California did
not end the 'crisis'. It also did not help bankrup Enron, Enron was already
in a death spiral. For the record, Enron gave as much money to Dems as
Repubs. So, do you care to stick to facts of wind power, or would you like
to spout more left-wing propaganda?

Raz


Raziel

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 5:33:23 PM12/4/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3dee19c1$1...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate). Wind is now increasing at the rate
of
> > > ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).
> >
> > And you think it can and will continue at that rate?
>
> Yes. As far as I know, there are no technical, economic or resource
> limitations that would prevent this expansion.

I am weary of anyone claiming to be able to sustain exponential expansion
(or even linear expansion) for that kind of time period. You should also be
weary of making such claims.

> If fission were expanding at
> this rate, and we were building 4.5 new fission reactors per year, no one
> would suggest it cannot expand indefinitely, until market saturation is
> reached. There is no shortage of uranium, or wind.
>

If only we were building 4.5 new fission reactors per year. However, if we
were, I think you would find we would run out of sites quite rapidly. NIMBY
kicks in much quicker than market saturation.


>
> > > The average increase per year for the last
> > > decade has been ~25%, and that rate is increasing.
> >
> > The average increase per year in the stock market in the late 90's was
> that
> > high as well...
>
> Stock markets do not resemble technology. When automobile mass production
> began in 1908, and personal computer mass production began circa 1980,
there
> were no limitations that prevented production from continuing until nearly
> everyone in the U.S. who wanted a car (or computer) had one.
>

These are also products with a limited lifespan. Computer and car companies
could not sell millions and millions of units per year if their products
lasted 30+ years. Power plants have to do that.


>
> > > It will reach ~3.5 million MW in ~30 years.
> >
> > under your invalid assumptions, perhaps.
>
> These are not my assumptions; they are made by EPRI, the DoE and other
> experts. You have not shown why they are invalid.
>

other than the general invalidity of anyone claiming linear or exponential
growth over that period of time, no I have not. There are way too many
factors to consider to make such claims 30 years in the future.


>
> > > There are more than enough wind resources in North
> > > America, China, and Europe to power the entire world.
> >
> > provided of course that you don't mind generating all of your power a
long
> > distance from where it is used.
>
> We do not mind doing that. At present, we generate fission power far from
> where it is used, and we transport coal and oil halfway across the world
in
> some cases in order to generate electricity from it.

we don't generate fission power all that far from where it is consumed. And
we transport the coal and oil so that we CAN generate power close to where
it is consumed.

> The use of wind power
> would greatly reduce the total mass of transported fuel and it will reduce
> the size of the overall infrastructure (counting the fuel production
> infrastructure: mines, railroads and whatnot).
>

No doubt using wind power may do some of this. But again, it is only part
of the puzzle.


>
> > > Offshore wind
> > > resources in the North Sea could produce four times more energy than
> > Europe
> > > consumes.
> >
> > produce all you want. how are you going to distribute it? potential
> > production is useless without distribution.
>
> The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building 520
> MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> years.

good for Ireland. But they are not talking about running power lines all
the way across Europe to power Germany. They are talking about running
power to Ireland.

> In places far from windy locations, hydrogen transport or high
> temperature superconducting cables may be feasible.

yes as soon as someone invents a high temperature superconducting cable...
But don't hold your breath.

> The cost will be high,
> but nowhere near as high as the death, destruction, war and terrorism from
> oil and coal.
>
>
> > > Wind-poor locations and peak-demand generators can be served with
> > > wind-generated hydrogen fuel.
> >
> > perhaps, but the cost of changing the entire infrastructure will be
quite
> > high.
>
> Not really. The infrastructure wears out and has to be replaced every
> generation in any case.

it doesn't wear out all at once, and isn't replaced all at once. The
'hydrogen economy' will require parallel infrastructures for years before it
can even get off the ground. that is expensive.

> It may be possible to upgrade and reline natural gas
> pipelines to carry hydrogen.

dunno about that. Hydrogen isn't an easy gas to work with. But I'm sure
there are people with much more knowledge than I working on that sort of
thing.

> In the U.S., underpopulated areas of the
> country such as Texas and North Dakota that now produce natural gas and
ship
> it to population centers happen to have enough wind resources to supply
all
> of North America with wind generated hydrogen.
>

possibly. I will not make that claim without seeing some numbers.


>
> > > The cost of wind generators is falling rapidly.
> >
> > and?
>
> Nothing will prevent it from falling to about half or one-third the cost
of
> coal, oil, gas and fission power.
>

again, possible. Obviously they get cheaper as more are built.

>
> > > Taking into account the hidden costs of fossil fuel, such as
> > > pollution and war, wind is already cheaper than any other source.
There
> > are
> > > no technical limitations that would prevent wind from meeting all
demand
> > for
> > > electricity.
> > >
> > There are no technical limitations that prevent alot of things, such as
> > going to Mars.
>
> But there is no economic incentive to do so, and we are not at war over
the
> issue, whereas we *are* at war over oil.

we are not at war over oil. we may keep strange bed-fellows like the Saudis
because of oil, but we are not going after Bin Laden because of oil. We
only get ~10% of our oil from the middle east anyway, we could easily
produce that domestically if we wanted to.

> If we could defeat Bin Laden and
> free the U.S. from Middle East oil by sending a manned mission to Mars,
> there would be people on Mars within two years.
>
>
> > > Space-based
> > > solar energy collection could easily collect enough "renewable" energy
> to
> > > vaporize the entire planet Earth in a few minutes.
> > >
> > ooooook. That is all fine and good, but how do you plan to get it down
> > here?
>
> I do not know much about this, but I believe microwave transmission from
> low-orbit collectors has been proposed. I am sure there are many potential
> solutions.
>

there are also many more serious problems. there are many technical
problems with this, not to mention global warming issues (yes that is
correct). Solar would be great, specially if it was space based (although
reliability and repair would be serious issues), but it is just not
technically feasable.


>
> > > > > In any case, if
> > > > > cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has
been,
> >
> > you make the assumption that cold fusion is even possible.
>
> I make the assertion (not assumption) because I know for a fact it is
> possible. I have seen and measured cold fusion reactions myself on several
> occasions,

and your evidence is?

> and I have read, translated and edited hundreds of papers about it.

give me 2 of the best citations.

> Whether it can be made into a practical form of energy is an open
> question. However, people are remarkably creative and resourceful. They
can
> do just about anything that can be done.
>

that is true.


>
> > > You are ignorant. I suggest you read the facts at:
> > >
> > quite the contrary, people who make grand sweeping statements like those
> you
> > have made are ignorant.
>
> You have no evidence for that assertion. You have not critiqued or found
> fault with the cold fusion literature. (Or if you have, I have not read
your
> publications, which is unlikely.)

I have not seriously read a cold fusion paper since I was forced to read the
Pons-Fleischman paper in grad school (as an example of how not to write a
scientific publication). Since then, most cold fusion work that I have seen
is very sketchy and crackpot in nature. If you would care to site for me
2-3 of the best articles, I would read them.

> You cannot simply claim that cold fusion
> is or is not possible. You have to back up this statement with evidence
and
> arguments.
>

I have to back it up with evidence if I claim it is possible. But that is
not my claim. I claim that based on the Physics with which I am familiar,
it is not likely to be possible.


>
> > There is no single source of energy that is the
> > be-all end-all of electricity production.
>
> If cold fusion can be made practical, it will be the be-all, end-all
source
> of energy for electricity, transportation, space heating, and all other
> sectors.
>

Every power source has a downside. The trick is to find a balance.

Raz


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 6:35:30 PM12/4/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > Since wind already supplies 25% of the power in some areas, this cannot
be
> > true.
>
> be careful using percentages like this. Just because in 'one area' wind
is
> prevalent, does not mean that it can be prevalent like that everywhere.

As I noted, it would require a buffer. It is at 25%+ in some power districts
in Germany and Denmark.


> Wind has the same problem as solar, it is NOT constant, and never will be.

No energy source is constant. Nuclear power plants, for example, have to be
turned off periodically for refueling. This abruptly removes ~1000 MW for
days at a time, a much larger fluctuation than a wind farm experiences.
(Wind turbines are removed from service for maintenance one at a time.) Wind
is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night as well as
day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not distributed evenly
around the globe. It is concentrated in some areas, and absent in others,
somewhat like water. Hydroelectric power is possible because flowing water
is found in rivers, not just anywhere. Even during droughts a predictable
amount of water flows. Even during calm seasons, a predicable amount of wind
blows. Improved weather reporting will make wind even more predictable.


> Fluctuations must be made up for by alternate sources of power, and the
> power grid (and companies) are not going to rely soley on a source of
power
> that can fluctuate as the wind blows (pardon the pun ;).

Power demand fluctuates too, but this is not a major problem. Wind power in
a large grid does not fluctuate much from minute to minute. Of course the
wind might drop off at the same moment a demand spike appears, but with
better metering, remote control shut off of air conditions, and other
advanced load control techniques this problem can be addressed. It is
certainly not as bad as the fluctuation from a nuclear power plant scrams,
which occur several times a month, I think. See:

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2001/index.
html


> If wind supplies
> 25% of power from an area, that is only because it can be backed up by
power
> coming from other sources in the event of a wind outage.

That is true of all power sources including nuclear and hydroelectricity.
All power plants experience outages, both planned and unanticipated.


> Now there are
> methods of 'storing' power, via hydro pumps and such, but to my knowledge
> there are very few places where it is viable to do both wind with a hydro
> backup at the same site.

As I said, hydrogen fuel would be used for this, in fuel cells or gas
turbines. Actually, there have been tests using an idle wind turbine to
store energy for brief periods, when there is no wind. The prop is feathered
and rotated, like a flywheel.


> You will also argue that hydrogen can be used, but
> again, if you are going to do that, then you are better off in the long
run
> just using the wind to generate hydrogen and burning that at power plants.

No, this would waste a considerable amount of energy in the conversion
process, so it would require much more equipment (turbines, electrolysis
cells, and so on). See: PG&E, "Hydrogen and Electricity as Carriers of Solar
and Wind Energy for the 1990s and Beyond," 1990, and NREL, "Hydrogen Program
Plan, FY 1993 - FY 1997." In 1990, conventional electrolysis efficiency was
65%, and it was expected to reach 75% in 2020. Fuel cell efficiency was 40%
in 1990. Most are still ~40%, but some exotic fuel cells and gas turbines
reach 50 ~ 60% by now. Anyway, overall storage & recovery comes to ~39% best
case.

If the cost of wind turbine electricity falls to one-third of the cost of
coal and gas, this might be economically viable, but it will be some time
before that happens. It is, as I said, just about equal to coal and gas now,
if you ignore the cost of killing tens of thousands of people and millions
of birds with coal pollution per year.


> Perhaps this is the solution you desire?

Only for locations without enough wind, such as the Georgia and most parts
of Japan.


> > considerably when large factory machinery turns on and off and the
weather
> > changes, but this has not been a problem for steady-state baseline
fission
> > reactors.
>

> Correct, precisely because they are steady state. Fission reactors are


not
> affected by changes in the weather.

Except when they are affected by the weather. See the scram reports. Quite a
number of incidents are caused by weather and other ambient conditions.

In any case, I am not suggesting that wind power would work perfectly with
today's system, without innovations, new methods of buffering, new
Internet-based load control systems and so on. Of course wind would require
a large investment in these and other related technologies. However, the
cost would be much lower than the cost of a war for oil, or a dozen more
terrorist attacks paid for with oil profits.


> Wind and solar are. Hell, hydro can
> be. Something needs to be available to take up the slack.

Yes, hydrogen is a good choice. You can store large amount locally where the
turbines are located for a modest cost, or ship it across the country more
efficiently than other gas or liquid fuel, and more efficiently than
electricity, since the caloric content is high.


> That doesn't mean that you can necessarily put the power on the grid where
> you want it when you want it. You have to have sources available to pick
up
> the slack locally.

Yes, investment and innovation would be needed, but they are technically
feasible, and probably economical. (But you never know that until you try.)


> the key words are 'was' and 'some'. Wind even on the ocean is unreliable.

But not on all the oceans, over an area the size of northern Europe or
Ireland.


The power companies in California have plans to connect to
> > thousands of houses via Internet, so the power company will be able to
> > switch off thousands of air conditioners for short periods. (This may
> > already be implemented.)
> >
> If I am not mistaken (I may very well be) this was a response to an actual
> shortage of capacity in California, a way to lessen the hurt of 'rolling
> blackouts'.

It was done on an ad hoc, emergency basis. I believe it worked well, so the
technique and the Internet hookups are now being developed more carefully,
in a planned program with mass produced meters and so on. Consumers and the
power company learned that turning off an air conditioner for 20 minutes in
a house with no occupant at home does not inconvenience anyone.


> > It is similar the Bush administration opposition to
> > improvements in automobile fuel efficiency (CAFE standards).
>
> it isn't just the Bush administration that is opposed. American consumers
> are opposed. They vote quite regularly with their dollars.

I think the public has not been properly educated. They have not been
motivated by leadership. Japanese consumers often respond to patriotic calls
for conservation.


> > U.S. automobile
> > fuel efficiency has not improved in 20 years, and in fact it is
declining.
>
> Heavier vehicles are safer. People want safety.

Actually, a lightweight airframe can absorb much more punishment than a
steel automobile body, but it costs a great deal more. As I noted, heavier
vehicles can be made more efficient than they are. Large truck and railroad
engines are much more efficient than SUV engines.


> > Obviously, technology has improved since 1980, and it would be easy to
> > improve fuel efficiency even in SUVs and other heavy vehicles. In fact,
> > efficiency could be easily be raised from 20% to 40% using hybrid
engines.
>
> Those will move into the market. Such technology has to be proven first.

As I mentioned, hybrid engines were patented in 1906 and have been used
almost everywhere in North American railroads since the late 1940s. They
have been "proven" for 60 years!


> Things liky hybrids cannot just be forced into a market that does not want
> them.

What the market wants depends partly on leadership and inspiration. Toyota
and Honda hybrids are selling like hotcakes.


> > They were developed in 1906, and they have been used in most railroad
> > engines since the late 1940s. Japanese auto manufactures sell hybrid
> > automobiles, but U.S. manufactures do not.
>
> Market forces are not demanding that they do. Consumers drive this

market. . .

Market forces are important. Economics cannot be finessed or ignored.
However, society and people's actions and emotions are a great deal more
complicated than simple economics dictate. In the 1960s, people everywhere
in Japan simultaneously stopped using most incandescent lights, and switched
over using a kind round, compact fluorescent lights at home. That was
somewhat more economical, but people were frugal back than and seldom left
lights burning anyway. The reason they switched, en mass, was because
government and industry educated them, advertised, and appealed to their
sense of patriotism and community. In the U.S., to this day incandescent
lights are common.


> not the government. As much as you may like it, the government cannot
tell
> people what they have to buy.

Oh Yes It Can! The government gives massive price supports and unfair
advantages to coal, oil and fission power. The fission power industry is
exempt from accident insurance, unlike any other industry or private
individual. If it had to pay premiums to cover the cost of another Three
Mile Island, it would go out of business overnight. The taxpayer covers the
risk.


> > could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed
worldwide
> > they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda.
>
> I am not so sure that is a good thing. Think of someone like Saddam,
> suddenly without his source of funds. What would he be willing to do to
get
> those funds back?

Not a problem! If he stops channeling millions of dollars to his supporters,
one of his henchmen will shoot him dead in week.


> > They would reduce
> > pollution, save consumers billions of dollars, reduce energy costs
> > worldwide, and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who
die
> > for lack of energy.
>
> Huh? So it all comes down to the children. Isn't that nice.

Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much higher
rate than adults do. That isn't nice at all, and it sure as hell is not a
joke. Ask a third world parent how she feels watching a child die from
diarrhea because she cannot afford a few kilograms of kerosene to sterilize
water and cook food properly. Third world families are forced to use candles
and kerosene for light, and they spend roughly as much money for that as the
entire foreign aid budget of all first-world nations. CFL electric lights
produce ~1000 times more light per joule of energy than kerosene but they
cannot afford electricity. Do you find that funny too?


> > However, the administration seems to oppose all
> > innovation, conservation and efficiency,
>
> patently untrue. you obviously have bought into all of the anti-Bush
> propaganda.

Actually, the previous administration also blocked efforts at conservation,
as far as I know. The CAFE standards were not changed under Clinton. Both
parties are to blame.


> > and it has gutted research funding for improved automobiles.
>
> why exactly should the government fund research that the automakers should
> be doing for themselves?

Half the funding came from the automakers. They were the ones who asked the
government to gut the project. They do not want efficiency either,
apparently. Perhaps they hope to hand over a larger market share to Toyota
and Honda.


> > I suspect this may be because Bush and Cheney have
> > close ties to the oil industry.
>
> you are rapidly losing your credibility.

Okay, what is your theory? Why do you think they oppose conservation? What
do you make of Cheney's statement?

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 7:27:21 PM12/4/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > Yes. As far as I know, there are no technical, economic or resource
> > limitations that would prevent this expansion.
>
> I am weary of anyone claiming to be able to sustain exponential expansion
> (or even linear expansion) for that kind of time period. You should also
be
> weary of making such claims.

Explosive exponential expansion in markets has been common since the
industrial revolution began. Look at railroads from 1850 to 1870. Look at
automobiles from 1908 to 1929 -- they went from essentially 0% of the market
to 99%, replacing almost all horses. Look at telegraphs, minicomputers,
microcomputers, jet engines (replacing large prop airplanes), hybrid diesel
replacing steam locomotives (1949 to 1959). Thirty years is long enough for
wind power to replace nearly all generators. Of course it would make no
sense to shut down hydroelectricity (5%) or the fission reactors that are
paid for and still in good condition, but I doubt there will be many of them
left in 30 years.


> If only we were building 4.5 new fission reactors per year. However, if
we
> were, I think you would find we would run out of sites quite rapidly.
NIMBY
> kicks in much quicker than market saturation.

It is not a problem with wind turbines in the North Sea or North Dakota. I
will grant, it would become an issue if there were as many turbines as there
are long-haul trucks in North America. Most people would prefer wind
turbines to coal fired plants, coal mines, trains and so on.


> These are also products with a limited lifespan. Computer and car
companies
> could not sell millions and millions of units per year if their products
> lasted 30+ years. Power plants have to do that.

Yes, that is my point. That is why it will take at least 30 years for wind
to replace other generators. That is why wind cannot replace all generation
next year. (Plus the fact that the equipment could not be manufactured that
quickly, obviously! Realistically, it would replace ~90% in 30 years, and
the remaining 10% in 50 to 100 years. That is the pattern for things like
steam engines replacing sail, hybrid locomotives replacing steam
locomotives, and other big, expensive, live-lived equipment.

> > We do not mind doing that. At present, we generate fission power far
from
> > where it is used, and we transport coal and oil halfway across the world
> in
> > some cases in order to generate electricity from it.
>
> we don't generate fission power all that far from where it is consumed.
And
> we transport the coal and oil so that we CAN generate power close to where
> it is consumed.

As I recall about a third of the U.S. population can generate wind power
close by. Very close, in some cases. For the rest, moving hydrogen around
should not be more expensive than moving coal and natural gas.


> > The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building
520
> > MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> > years.
>
> good for Ireland. But they are not talking about running power lines all
> the way across Europe to power Germany.

German is well positioned to generate power from wind. It is the world's
largest producer, and it produces 3.5% of its present consumption from wind.
It plans to replace all nuclear power with wind soon. See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1765054.stm


> > In places far from windy locations, hydrogen transport or high
> > temperature superconducting cables may be feasible.
>
> yes as soon as someone invents a high temperature superconducting cable...
> But don't hold your breath.

Hydrogen pipelines have been use since the 1930s in Europe, for industrial
apps (not fuel).


> > Not really. The infrastructure wears out and has to be replaced every
> > generation in any case.
>
> it doesn't wear out all at once, and isn't replaced all at once.

Of course not! That's why it will 30 years to replace it with wind.


> The
> 'hydrogen economy' will require parallel infrastructures for years before
it
> can even get off the ground. that is expensive.

Yes, hydrogen would be expensive. Wind for local use does not have that
problem.


> > Nothing will prevent it from falling to about half or one-third the cost
> of
> > coal, oil, gas and fission power.
> >
> again, possible. Obviously they get cheaper as more are built.

On the other hand, so would fission, but it is politically unacceptable. Gas
and coal have probably been optimized already, to a larger extent. Wind has
just begun many potential improvements.


> > I make the assertion (not assumption) because I know for a fact it is
> > possible. I have seen and measured cold fusion reactions myself on
several
> > occasions,
>
> and your evidence is?

You will have to read the literature. I will not to sum it up in a few
paragraphs.


> > and I have read, translated and edited hundreds of papers about it.
>
> give me 2 of the best citations.

Here are four: Melvin Miles (ret. China Lake), Edmund Storms (ret. Los
Alamos), Michael McKubre (SRI), Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries).


> I have not seriously read a cold fusion paper since I was forced to read
the

> Pons-Fleischmann paper in grad school . . .

Several thousand have been published since then. You cannot judge the issue
based on the third paper on the subject published in 1989. (The first two
were in 1927 as I recall.)


> I have to back it up with evidence if I claim it is possible. But that is
> not my claim. I claim that based on the Physics with which I am familiar,
> it is not likely to be possible.

Cold fusion is based on experiments, not theory. You cannot disprove it by
citing a theory; you have to find errors in the experimental techniques.
Most of the techniques were developed in the 19th century, and are very well
understood. The signal to noise ratio in the best experiments is very high;
sigma 70 to 100 in some cases.


> > If cold fusion can be made practical, it will be the be-all, end-all
> source
> > of energy for electricity, transportation, space heating, and all other
> > sectors.
> >
> Every power source has a downside. The trick is to find a balance.

There have been long periods in human history when one technology dominated,
or was used exclusively. Wind power was the only form of ocean going
transportation, for example. Railroads dominated long-distance
transportation from 1850 to 1920. Coal was the dominant chemical fuel,
displacing wood, until oil came along. Cold fusion works on a very small
scale (suitable for batteries, pacemakers and the like), and there is no
reason to think it cannot work on a large scale. It generates very low
levels of heat sometimes, but in some cases it generates enough concentrated
heat to melt ceramic proton conductors. These are big ifs, but *if* it can
be made safe and controlled, and if it does not require significant amounts
of precious metals, I see no reason why it cannot meet the full range of
energy demands, large and small scale. Perhaps it will be used as precursor
for things like hydrogen fuel in automotive or aerospace transportation. In
any case, it will be far cheaper than any alternative.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 7:32:17 PM12/4/02
to
Let me add that the authors I listed are represented in the LENR-CANR.org
on-line library. There are some other good authors who are not in the
library, and many good papers by those authors we do not have. We have only
100 papers, including some that are not good. We have to include some of the
screwballs and anti-cold fusion fanatics, to be fair.

- Jed


Bill Snyder

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 8:18:06 PM12/4/02
to

Where's the water heater, Jeddikins?

--
Bill Snyder [This space unintentionally left blank.]

Raziel

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 8:47:28 PM12/4/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3dee9...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > Since wind already supplies 25% of the power in some areas, this
cannot
> be
> > > true.
> >
> > be careful using percentages like this. Just because in 'one area' wind
> is
> > prevalent, does not mean that it can be prevalent like that everywhere.
>
> As I noted, it would require a buffer. It is at 25%+ in some power
districts
> in Germany and Denmark.
>
>
> > Wind has the same problem as solar, it is NOT constant, and never will
be.
>
> No energy source is constant. Nuclear power plants, for example, have to
be
> turned off periodically for refueling. This abruptly removes ~1000 MW for
> days at a time, a much larger fluctuation than a wind farm experiences.

These "abrupt" removals are highly scheduled. Refueling a fission plant is
not something that happens by surprise. It is scheduled months in advance
allowing for other reactors or other sources to make up the load.

> (Wind turbines are removed from service for maintenance one at a time.)

do you think nuke plants are not?

> Wind is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night as
well as
> day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not distributed
evenly
> around the globe.

in this respect wind has an advantage over solar.

> It is concentrated in some areas, and absent in others,
> somewhat like water. Hydroelectric power is possible because flowing water
> is found in rivers, not just anywhere. Even during droughts a predictable
> amount of water flows. Even during calm seasons, a predicable amount of
wind
> blows. Improved weather reporting will make wind even more predictable.
>

I don't think weather reporting will have anything to do with it ;)


>
> > Fluctuations must be made up for by alternate sources of power, and the
> > power grid (and companies) are not going to rely soley on a source of
> power
> > that can fluctuate as the wind blows (pardon the pun ;).
>
> Power demand fluctuates too, but this is not a major problem.

It is if you cannot meet your peak demand. Even now many power districts
run diesel generators to meet peak loading requirements. Problem is in some
places these generators that are only supposed to be used to meet peak load,
are being run to meet basic load.

> Wind power in
> a large grid does not fluctuate much from minute to minute. Of course the
> wind might drop off at the same moment a demand spike appears, but with
> better metering, remote control shut off of air conditions, and other
> advanced load control techniques this problem can be addressed.

That is not a solution. One must be able to meet the peak demand, not cap
demand. If you cannot meet peak demand, then some other source must be
included to augment the base power. What you are advocating is basically a
rolling blackout when wind cannot supply the power needed.

> It is certainly not as bad as the fluctuation from a nuclear power plant
scrams,
> which occur several times a month, I think. See:
>
>
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2001/index.
> html
>

But do these plants run at full capacity? Or are other reactors/generators
able to pick up the slack for short times?


>
> > If wind supplies
> > 25% of power from an area, that is only because it can be backed up by
> power
> > coming from other sources in the event of a wind outage.
>
> That is true of all power sources including nuclear and hydroelectricity.
> All power plants experience outages, both planned and unanticipated.
>

Yes they do. And this must be taken into account. Multiple sources must be
available.


>
> > Now there are
> > methods of 'storing' power, via hydro pumps and such, but to my
knowledge
> > there are very few places where it is viable to do both wind with a
hydro
> > backup at the same site.
>
> As I said, hydrogen fuel would be used for this, in fuel cells or gas
> turbines.

How much of its power would the wind generator need to use to generate
hydrogen? Is this even economically feasable?

> Actually, there have been tests using an idle wind turbine to
> store energy for brief periods, when there is no wind. The prop is
feathered
> and rotated, like a flywheel.
>

interesting. but under a load, how long can a single generator run?


>
> > You will also argue that hydrogen can be used, but
> > again, if you are going to do that, then you are better off in the long
> run
> > just using the wind to generate hydrogen and burning that at power
plants.
>
> No, this would waste a considerable amount of energy in the conversion
> process, so it would require much more equipment (turbines, electrolysis
> cells, and so on).

then how is it economical to use some of the wind power to generate hydrogen
for 'storage'?

> See: PG&E, "Hydrogen and Electricity as Carriers of Solar
> and Wind Energy for the 1990s and Beyond," 1990, and NREL, "Hydrogen
Program
> Plan, FY 1993 - FY 1997." In 1990, conventional electrolysis efficiency
was
> 65%, and it was expected to reach 75% in 2020. Fuel cell efficiency was
40%
> in 1990. Most are still ~40%, but some exotic fuel cells and gas turbines
> reach 50 ~ 60% by now. Anyway, overall storage & recovery comes to ~39%
best
> case.
>

which leads me to believe that using some of your wind power to generate
hydrogen for use during a wind outage, or even during peaking, is probably
not feasable right now. Seems you would have to build your wind farm well
over peak demand.

> If the cost of wind turbine electricity falls to one-third of the cost of
> coal and gas, this might be economically viable, but it will be some time
> before that happens. It is, as I said, just about equal to coal and gas
now,
> if you ignore the cost of killing tens of thousands of people and millions
> of birds with coal pollution per year.
>

That cost is theoretically included in the price of oil and gas now.


>
> > Perhaps this is the solution you desire?
>
> Only for locations without enough wind, such as the Georgia and most parts
> of Japan.
>
>
> > > considerably when large factory machinery turns on and off and the
> weather
> > > changes, but this has not been a problem for steady-state baseline
> fission
> > > reactors.
> >
> > Correct, precisely because they are steady state. Fission reactors are
> not
> > affected by changes in the weather.
>
> Except when they are affected by the weather. See the scram reports. Quite
a
> number of incidents are caused by weather and other ambient conditions.
>

They are, but not on the scale of wind or solar.

> In any case, I am not suggesting that wind power would work perfectly with
> today's system, without innovations, new methods of buffering, new
> Internet-based load control systems and so on. Of course wind would
require
> a large investment in these and other related technologies. However, the
> cost would be much lower than the cost of a war for oil, or a dozen more
> terrorist attacks paid for with oil profits.
>

Wind is a piece of the puzzle, nothing more.


>
> > Wind and solar are. Hell, hydro can
> > be. Something needs to be available to take up the slack.
>
> Yes, hydrogen is a good choice. You can store large amount locally where
the
> turbines are located for a modest cost,

how long can you store it? Hydrogen tends to escape.

> or ship it across the country more efficiently than other gas or liquid
fuel,

how so?

that isn't a solution. that is a band aid to address a lack of capacity.
nothing more.

> in a planned program with mass produced meters and so on. Consumers and
the
> power company learned that turning off an air conditioner for 20 minutes
in
> a house with no occupant at home does not inconvenience anyone.
>

that may be true, but it is still a band aid. People who want to pay to
have their air conditioner on while they are not at home should be able to.
Problem in California was that the power companies were not allowed to
charge these people more for the expensive power they were using.


>
> > > It is similar the Bush administration opposition to
> > > improvements in automobile fuel efficiency (CAFE standards).
> >
> > it isn't just the Bush administration that is opposed. American
consumers
> > are opposed. They vote quite regularly with their dollars.
>
> I think the public has not been properly educated.

about a great many things....

> They have not been motivated by leadership. Japanese consumers often
respond to patriotic calls
> for conservation.
>

Japan has a far different culture than we do.


>
> > > U.S. automobile
> > > fuel efficiency has not improved in 20 years, and in fact it is
> declining.
> >
> > Heavier vehicles are safer. People want safety.
>
> Actually, a lightweight airframe can absorb much more punishment than a
> steel automobile body, but it costs a great deal more.

Yes. Airplanes cost $60M, cars cost $20k

> As I noted, heavier
> vehicles can be made more efficient than they are. Large truck and
railroad
> engines are much more efficient than SUV engines.
>

They could be. But the government has no place in forcing a company to do
so. Specially when it is not in the company's interest to do it. Right
now, the people do not want it. When the people do want it, the companies
will produce it. it is a simple market fact.


>
> > > Obviously, technology has improved since 1980, and it would be easy to
> > > improve fuel efficiency even in SUVs and other heavy vehicles. In
fact,
> > > efficiency could be easily be raised from 20% to 40% using hybrid
> engines.
> >
> > Those will move into the market. Such technology has to be proven
first.
>
> As I mentioned, hybrid engines were patented in 1906 and have been used
> almost everywhere in North American railroads since the late 1940s. They
> have been "proven" for 60 years!
>

a rail car and an automobile are far different beasts. Hybrids are
expensive. They are still being sold at a loss by the companies that make
them, and subsidized by the government. They are a great idea, and will get
cheaper as more are produced, but right now, they are just not popular in
the market.


>
> > Things liky hybrids cannot just be forced into a market that does not
want
> > them.
>
> What the market wants depends partly on leadership and inspiration. Toyota
> and Honda hybrids are selling like hotcakes.
>

only because they are subsidized so they can be sold below cost, and are a
tax writeoff. I will tell you one thing. If I have to commute in traffic
for 30-40 minutes, I would much rather sit in my car than one of those
little hybrids. My car is much more comfortable, has a better ride, handles
better, and is more responsive. When they build a hybrid that can compete
with that, I will buy one.


>
> > > They were developed in 1906, and they have been used in most railroad
> > > engines since the late 1940s. Japanese auto manufactures sell hybrid
> > > automobiles, but U.S. manufactures do not.
> >
> > Market forces are not demanding that they do. Consumers drive this
> market. . .
>
> Market forces are important. Economics cannot be finessed or ignored.
> However, society and people's actions and emotions are a great deal more
> complicated than simple economics dictate. In the 1960s, people everywhere
> in Japan simultaneously stopped using most incandescent lights, and
switched
> over using a kind round, compact fluorescent lights at home. That was
> somewhat more economical, but people were frugal back than and seldom left
> lights burning anyway. The reason they switched, en mass, was because
> government and industry educated them, advertised, and appealed to their
> sense of patriotism and community. In the U.S., to this day incandescent
> lights are common.
>

because they are superior in many applications. you cannot compare the
Japanese culture to American culture. Americans are much much more
individualist than the Japanese. It is like comparing apples and
watermelons.


>
> > not the government. As much as you may like it, the government cannot
> tell
> > people what they have to buy.
>
> Oh Yes It Can! The government gives massive price supports and unfair
> advantages to coal, oil and fission power. The fission power industry is
> exempt from accident insurance, unlike any other industry or private
> individual.

there are reasons for fission to be exempt from accident insurance. mostly
having to do with our fucked up tort law.

> If it had to pay premiums to cover the cost of another Three
> Mile Island, it would go out of business overnight. The taxpayer covers
the
> risk.
>

TMI is a joke. Talk about something that is grossly overplayed. In some
ways it is great that TMI is the poster-boy for US fission. If people were
actually not scared and ignorant of fission and TMI, we would have many more
fission plants today.


>
> > > could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed
> worldwide
> > > they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda.
> >
> > I am not so sure that is a good thing. Think of someone like Saddam,
> > suddenly without his source of funds. What would he be willing to do to
> get
> > those funds back?
>
> Not a problem! If he stops channeling millions of dollars to his
supporters,
> one of his henchmen will shoot him dead in week.
>

I would hope you are right, but he may just start a war to take more land
that is worth something.


>
> > > They would reduce
> > > pollution, save consumers billions of dollars, reduce energy costs
> > > worldwide, and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who
> die
> > > for lack of energy.
> >
> > Huh? So it all comes down to the children. Isn't that nice.
>
> Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much higher
> rate than adults do.

Where?

> That isn't nice at all, and it sure as hell is not a
> joke. Ask a third world parent how she feels watching a child die from
> diarrhea because she cannot afford a few kilograms of kerosene to
sterilize
> water and cook food properly.

Nature is a bitch.

> Third world families are forced to use candles
> and kerosene for light, and they spend roughly as much money for that as
the
> entire foreign aid budget of all first-world nations. CFL electric lights
> produce ~1000 times more light per joule of energy than kerosene but they
> cannot afford electricity. Do you find that funny too?
>

Sounds like a problem for their government. You seem to be missing a simple
point. Free electricity for all is not necessarily a good thing. It
promotes overpopulation in areas that cannot support it. Free power may not
at all be good for the world because of human overpopulation alone.


>
> > > However, the administration seems to oppose all
> > > innovation, conservation and efficiency,
> >
> > patently untrue. you obviously have bought into all of the anti-Bush
> > propaganda.
>
> Actually, the previous administration also blocked efforts at
conservation,
> as far as I know. The CAFE standards were not changed under Clinton. Both
> parties are to blame.
>

The CAFE standards are bad standards. Both administrations did exactly what
they should have done... nothing.


>
> > > and it has gutted research funding for improved automobiles.
> >
> > why exactly should the government fund research that the automakers
should
> > be doing for themselves?
>
> Half the funding came from the automakers. They were the ones who asked
the
> government to gut the project. They do not want efficiency either,
> apparently. Perhaps they hope to hand over a larger market share to Toyota
> and Honda.
>

If they do, then that is their death knell. Then again, if you ever go to
flyover country, you will see very few cars that are not GM, Ford, or Chevy.
Japanese cars are much more popular in the liberal NE and West coast.


>
> > > I suspect this may be because Bush and Cheney have
> > > close ties to the oil industry.
> >
> > you are rapidly losing your credibility.
>
> Okay, what is your theory? Why do you think they oppose conservation?

they don't.

>What do you make of Cheney's statement?
>

Cheney was exactly right. you cannot base an energy policy on conservation.
Production and capacity are paramount. Conservation can lower the amount of
production and capacity you need, but since in many cases we are already
running at or near capacity, we need to add production and capacity.
Typically you do not want to run more than 60% or so capacity, and you
definitly do not want peak demand to exceed capacity. If those things
happen conservation can only get you so far before you need to add capacity.
The US, despite conservation efforts, is woefully lacking in both production
and capacity.

Raz


Raziel

unread,
Dec 4, 2002, 9:15:44 PM12/4/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3dee9d60$1...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > Yes. As far as I know, there are no technical, economic or resource
> > > limitations that would prevent this expansion.
> >
> > I am weary of anyone claiming to be able to sustain exponential
expansion
> > (or even linear expansion) for that kind of time period. You should
also
> be
> > weary of making such claims.
>
> Explosive exponential expansion in markets has been common since the
> industrial revolution began. Look at railroads from 1850 to 1870. Look at
> automobiles from 1908 to 1929 -- they went from essentially 0% of the
market
> to 99%, replacing almost all horses. Look at telegraphs, minicomputers,
> microcomputers, jet engines (replacing large prop airplanes), hybrid
diesel
> replacing steam locomotives (1949 to 1959). Thirty years is long enough
for
> wind power to replace nearly all generators. Of course it would make no
> sense to shut down hydroelectricity (5%) or the fission reactors that are
> paid for and still in good condition, but I doubt there will be many of
them
> left in 30 years.
>
>
And even you must admit that these explosions were caused by the invention
of a new technology. Wind is not a new technology, it has just been refined
to the point where it may be economic. I would like to see wind farms come
online and show what they can do. It just seems to me that many of the
estimates I have heard from wind advocates are a bit far fetched.

>
>
>
>
> > If only we were building 4.5 new fission reactors per year. However, if
> we
> > were, I think you would find we would run out of sites quite rapidly.
> NIMBY
> > kicks in much quicker than market saturation.
>
> It is not a problem with wind turbines in the North Sea or North Dakota.

do you have something against people in ND? Maybe we should cover the
entire state of Nevada with solar panels to power SoCal while we are at it.
:)

> I will grant, it would become an issue if there were as many turbines as
there
> are long-haul trucks in North America. Most people would prefer wind
> turbines to coal fired plants, coal mines, trains and so on.
>

Probably. Depends on how loud they are and how many precious birds they
kill. Although if they kill Canadien geese, I am all for them!!


>
>
>
> > These are also products with a limited lifespan. Computer and car
> companies
> > could not sell millions and millions of units per year if their products
> > lasted 30+ years. Power plants have to do that.
>
> Yes, that is my point. That is why it will take at least 30 years for wind
> to replace other generators. That is why wind cannot replace all
generation
> next year. (Plus the fact that the equipment could not be manufactured
that
> quickly, obviously! Realistically, it would replace ~90% in 30 years, and
> the remaining 10% in 50 to 100 years. That is the pattern for things like
> steam engines replacing sail, hybrid locomotives replacing steam
> locomotives, and other big, expensive, live-lived equipment.
>

wind farm still take space. space is a commodity. most plants take up far
less space than a wind farm.


>
>
> > > We do not mind doing that. At present, we generate fission power far
> from
> > > where it is used, and we transport coal and oil halfway across the
world
> > in
> > > some cases in order to generate electricity from it.
> >
> > we don't generate fission power all that far from where it is consumed.
> And
> > we transport the coal and oil so that we CAN generate power close to
where
> > it is consumed.
>
> As I recall about a third of the U.S. population can generate wind power
> close by. Very close, in some cases. For the rest, moving hydrogen around
> should not be more expensive than moving coal and natural gas.
>

possibly.


>
> > > The North Sea is close to most population centers. Ireland is building
> 520
> > > MW of offshore wind power, which will supply 10% of its power in a few
> > > years.
> >
> > good for Ireland. But they are not talking about running power lines
all
> > the way across Europe to power Germany.
>
> German is well positioned to generate power from wind. It is the world's
> largest producer, and it produces 3.5% of its present consumption from
wind.
> It plans to replace all nuclear power with wind soon. See:
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1765054.stm
>

good for them. Let the Germans go first. If it works we can follow suit.


>
> > > In places far from windy locations, hydrogen transport or high
> > > temperature superconducting cables may be feasible.
> >
> > yes as soon as someone invents a high temperature superconducting
cable...
> > But don't hold your breath.
>
> Hydrogen pipelines have been use since the 1930s in Europe, for industrial
> apps (not fuel).
>

perhaps, but how long were they? miles, hundreds of miles? Hydrogen is
very dangerous.

Those are names not citations. Give me 2 papers to read. The best 2 you
have to offer.

>
> > I have not seriously read a cold fusion paper since I was forced to read
> the
> > Pons-Fleischmann paper in grad school . . .
>
> Several thousand have been published since then. You cannot judge the
issue
> based on the third paper on the subject published in 1989. (The first two
> were in 1927 as I recall.)
>
>
> > I have to back it up with evidence if I claim it is possible. But that
is
> > not my claim. I claim that based on the Physics with which I am
familiar,
> > it is not likely to be possible.
>
> Cold fusion is based on experiments, not theory.

you must have some theory, or how can you make any claims as to what is
happening?

> You cannot disprove it by
> citing a theory; you have to find errors in the experimental techniques.

I would have to read the papers to make that judgement.

> Most of the techniques were developed in the 19th century, and are very
well
> understood. The signal to noise ratio in the best experiments is very
high;
> sigma 70 to 100 in some cases.
>

so?


>
> > > If cold fusion can be made practical, it will be the be-all, end-all
> > source
> > > of energy for electricity, transportation, space heating, and all
other
> > > sectors.
> > >
> > Every power source has a downside. The trick is to find a balance.
>
> There have been long periods in human history when one technology
dominated,
> or was used exclusively. Wind power was the only form of ocean going
> transportation, for example. Railroads dominated long-distance
> transportation from 1850 to 1920. Coal was the dominant chemical fuel,
> displacing wood, until oil came along. Cold fusion works on a very small
> scale (suitable for batteries, pacemakers and the like), and there is no
> reason to think it cannot work on a large scale.

except that there is little reason to think that it works at all.

> It generates very low
> levels of heat sometimes, but in some cases it generates enough
concentrated
> heat to melt ceramic proton conductors.

seems as if you have no idea what is actually going on.

> These are big ifs, but *if* it can
> be made safe and controlled, and if it does not require significant
amounts
> of precious metals,

if... if i could slow an H bomb down a few orders of magnitude...

> I see no reason why it cannot meet the full range of
> energy demands, large and small scale.

I see no reason why it will work. hot fusion has a much greater chance of
becoming economically viable.

> Perhaps it will be used as precursor
> for things like hydrogen fuel in automotive or aerospace transportation.
In
> any case, it will be far cheaper than any alternative.
>

you assume.

Raz


Dieter Britz

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:42:14 AM12/5/02
to
Jed Rothwell wrote:
> Xavier Llobet writes:
[...]

>>(instabilities appear above this value), and that Denmark is
>>downscaling the wind power plants construction plan.
>
>
> This is a political decision, made by right wing politicians opposed to
> environmentalism. It is similar the Bush administration opposition to

(Kind of you to correct his actual words; he wrote "Danemark"). I have
not responded, even though I live in DK, because I wanted to know more
before I did. But: things are even more complicated than this. Wind
power has always been a favourite with the environmentalists, and in
fact it was started here in DK by a very left-wing outfit, now very
much out of favour (Tvind, you might have heard of their boss, Amdi
Petersen, who was arrested in the US and eventually sent to DK). But
now, there are other people, environmentalists in their own way, who
oppose wind mills in their neighbourhood. And, there is money in them,
so there are investors trying to talk politicians into letting them
put up very tall windmills where they should by rights be banned (they
have succeeded). As usual, as soon as finance gets into the act, the
issues shift. Reminds me of Mark Twain's autobiography, in which he
reports that it was not the people actually digging out the silver
in Nevada who made a lot of money, but financiers and lurk artists,
as we say in Australia.

ANother factor that undoubtedly plays a part here is that now DK
has a lot of North Sea gas and oil, and thus less motivation to use
alternative sources. That will come.

> reformulated gasoline would be ~50% efficient. These and other technologies
> could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed worldwide
> they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda. They would reduce

You are dreaming. The US is not the only customer in the world, you
know. Nice thought, though.

--
Dieter Britz http://www.chem.au.dk/~db

Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 10:05:53 AM12/5/02
to
Bill Snyder asks:

> Where's the water heater, Jeddikins?

All liquid cold fusion cells heat water.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 10:28:34 AM12/5/02
to
Raziel writes:

> And even you must admit that these explosions were caused by the invention
> of a new technology.

Not very new, really. Automobiles had been around for 25 years when mass
production began in 1908. Microcomputers were similar mini and mainframes.
They were an incremental improvement, rather than radical. The hybrid diesel
railroad engines that pushed aside steam engines had been in development for
about 40 years.


> Wind is not a new technology, it has just been refined
> to the point where it may be economic.

But it is now undergoing rapid changes and improvements thanks to
breakthroughs in aerospace and computers.


> wind farm still take space. space is a commodity. most plants take up
far
> less space than a wind farm.

They do take up space, and this is a problem (except for offshore
installations). But they are quite as bad as you might think compared to
coal or fission. You have to factor in the space taken up mines, fuel
production facilities, railroads and so on.


> > Hydrogen pipelines have been use since the 1930s in Europe, for
industrial
> > apps (not fuel).
> >
> perhaps, but how long were they? miles, hundreds of miles? Hydrogen is
> very dangerous.

130 miles. (P. Hoffman, "Tomorrow's Energy," p. 205. I do not think hydrogen
is as dangerous as people think. Hoffman discusses this issue in detail.
That pipeline has not had a serious accident in 50 years of operation; NASA
has hauled tons of liquid H2 for years, over hundreds of miles. NASA and SRI
did a study of 96 serious barge and tanker-trailer accidents with H2, and
found it was as safe or safer than other fuels. (Hoffman, chapter 11)


> > Here are four: Melvin Miles (ret. China Lake), Edmund Storms (ret. Los
> > Alamos), Michael McKubre (SRI), Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi Heavy
> > Industries).
> >
> Those are names not citations. Give me 2 papers to read. The best 2 you
> have to offer.

Two papers would not be enough. I suggest you read everything by those
authors in our library, and also the paper by Fritz Will. (I wish I had more
from Will.)


> > Cold fusion is based on experiments, not theory.
>
> you must have some theory, or how can you make any claims as to what is
> happening?

The theory we rely is conventional thermodynamics. We assume that
isoperibolic, flow, Seebeck and other calorimeter types work correctly. We
assume that x-ray detectors, mass spectometers and so on work correctly
according to theory and the manufacturer's specifications. Of course,
sometimes they do not, but the results have been so many times in many labs,
some have been cross-checked in blind tests at multiple labs, and many
different instrument types have been used, so instrument errors are ruled
out.


> > You cannot disprove it by
> > citing a theory; you have to find errors in the experimental techniques.
>
> I would have to read the papers to make that judgement.

Why? How can a nuclear theory prove that flow calorimeters do not work?

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 11:13:49 AM12/5/02
to
Raziel writes:

> These "abrupt" removals are highly scheduled.

Not the scrams described at that Gov't website.


> > (Wind turbines are removed from service for maintenance one at a time.)
>
> do you think nuke plants are not?

Not when the reactor is refueled.


> > blows. Improved weather reporting will make wind even more predictable.
> >
> I don't think weather reporting will have anything to do with it ;)

PG&E and others with large wind installations say weather prediction makes a
great deal of difference.


> > It is certainly not as bad as the fluctuation from a nuclear power plant
> scrams,
> > which occur several times a month, I think. See:
> >
> >
>
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2001/index.
> > html
> >
> But do these plants run at full capacity?

I believe so. Nuclear plants are run at full capacity as much as possible.
The plants are extremely expensive and the fuel is cheap, so it makes
economic sense to run them as baseline generators, at full capacity. Other
generator types are phased in and out as needed.


> > As I said, hydrogen fuel would be used for this, in fuel cells or gas
> > turbines.
>
> How much of its power would the wind generator need to use to generate

> hydrogen? Is this even economically feasible?

It is not economical now, but if the present trends continue it may be in 20
years or so.


> > No, this would waste a considerable amount of energy in the conversion
> > process, so it would require much more equipment (turbines, electrolysis
> > cells, and so on).
>
> then how is it economical to use some of the wind power to generate
hydrogen
> for 'storage'?

When the wind blows at night or at other times with low demand, the wind
generator would put aside ~40% of the energy, to be used when demand peaks,
rather than wasting 100% of it. That is different from putting aside *all*
of the energy as hydrogen, and using it elsewhere.


> > in 1990. Most are still ~40%, but some exotic fuel cells and gas
turbines
> > reach 50 ~ 60% by now. Anyway, overall storage & recovery comes to ~39%
> best
> > case.
> >
> which leads me to believe that using some of your wind power to generate
> hydrogen for use during a wind outage, or even during peaking, is probably

> not feasible right now. Seems you would have to build your wind farm well
> over peak demand.

If it is over peak demand, then obviously it makes economic sense to
generate and store hydrogen for use elsewhere (in space heating, for
example). The electrolysis and storage costs are moderate. In any case, at
present there is a great deal of other generating capacity, which will not
wear out for 20 or 30 years. There is no need to start off with a wind
generating system that would work well on a stand alone basis. You can build
that up over time, as new technology evolves.


> > Yes, hydrogen is a good choice. You can store large amount locally where
> the
> > turbines are located for a modest cost,
>
> how long can you store it? Hydrogen tends to escape.

This is not a problem, according to NASA and others with extensive
experience handling hydrogen. It used to be a problem. Embrittlement is
still an issue with steel containers. (Hoffman, chapter 9)


> > or ship it across the country more efficiently than other gas or liquid
> fuel,
>
> how so?

The caloric content is high. I mean the ratio of mass to energy. You move
fewer tons compared to other gas, liquid or solid fuels. Also, pipelines are
more compact and energy efficient than railroad trains (used for coal and
uranium ore).


> > They have not been motivated by leadership. Japanese consumers often
> respond to patriotic calls
> > for conservation.
> >
> Japan has a far different culture than we do.

It does not seem so different to me. The surface differences stand out when
you are new to the culture, but after you get used to it, similarities
dominate one's impressions. In any case, people are people, and human nature
is the same everywhere.


> They could be. But the government has no place in forcing a company to do
> so.

The government is giving lavish support to fossil fuels and nuclear power,
making fuel cheap, and distorting the market. If it will not stop
subsidizing inefficient, polluting energy production, then it should at
least devote some funding to research.

> now, the people do not want it. When the people do want it, the companies
> will produce it. it is a simple market fact.

The market is never simple, in my experience.


> because they are superior in many applications. you cannot compare the
> Japanese culture to American culture.

Sure you can!


> Americans are much much more
> individualist than the Japanese.

I do not think so. That is mainly a myth, or a fad. Americans acted (or
appeared to be) conformist in the 1950s, and then in the 1960s and 70s it
became fashionable for them to act more individualistic. I do not think they
actually changed much. Japanese culture does encourage conformism, and
people go through the motions of conforming, but it is often an act, and
Americans are often less iconoclastic than they think themselves to be.


> TMI is a joke. Talk about something that is grossly overplayed.

It was a financial disaster. It nearly bankrupted the company. No utility
will take the risk of another financial disaster on that scale.


> In some
> ways it is great that TMI is the poster-boy for US fission.

Not in my opinion. I wrote a fairly long article about in Infinite Energy
magazine, issue 40, p. 42.


> > Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much
higher
> > rate than adults do.
>
> Where?

In two-thirds of the world.


> >What do you make of Cheney's statement?
> >
> Cheney was exactly right. you cannot base an energy policy on
conservation.

Over the last 200 years, the energy efficiency of every industry and mode of
transport has increased dramatically. In the last 20 years these trends have
accelerated in most industries, and the productivity in real dollars per
joule of energy has increased. The U.S. produces far more dollars pre joule
than China, and Italy and Japan produce twice as much per joule as the U.S.:

Russia 72,133 Btu per dollar of GDP
China 34,514 Btu/$
U.S. 12,638 Btu/$
U.K. 8,365 Btu/$
Italy 6,700 Btu/$
Japan 6,523 Btu/$

Per capita consumption of energy in the U.S. has hardly increased in the
last 50 years, despite a fantastic increase in consumption. (From 229 to 350
million Btu per annum - http://www.eia.doe.gov/)

Conservation and efficiency have always been the key to productivity and
improved quality of life. No improvements have more dramatic or have had
more impact on people's lives than the improvements in energy efficiency.
Energy policy has always been based on conservation, and it has worked
splendidly. Since we are still far from the thermodynamic limits for most
industrial processes, we can anticipate even more improvements.

Of course, if cold fusion can be commercialized, conservation will suddenly
become irrelevant.


> Production and capacity are paramount.

If that were so, we would consume 10 to 50 times more energy than we did 50
years ago.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 11:34:53 AM12/5/02
to
Dieter Britz writes:

> (Kind of you to correct his actual words; he wrote "Danemark").

I make many spelling, typing and voice input errors myself, so I try to
correct obvious typos as a courtesy to others.


I have
> not responded, even though I live in DK, because I wanted to know more
> before I did. But: things are even more complicated than this.

Yes, it is complicated and nuanced. I should not try to summarize the
situation in a paragraph, but one cannot write a thesis every time.


> But
> now, there are other people, environmentalists in their own way, who
> oppose wind mills in their neighbourhood.

This is an important issue. But I think the wave of the future in wind power
will be offshore development. It is actually cheaper in the long run than
land systems. Wind towers are unsightly to some people, but this is less of
an issue at sea. Of course there are environmental concerns offshore too.


> > reformulated gasoline would be ~50% efficient. These and other
technologies
> > could easily reduce U.S. oil consumption below imports. Employed
worldwide
> > they would soon bankrupt Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda. They would
reduce
>
> You are dreaming. The US is not the only customer in the world, you
> know. Nice thought, though.

I said "employed worldwide" these technologies would bankrupt the dictators.
However, it would require a coordinated political act of will. I should have
said: "If the consuming nations wish to, they could bankrupt Saddam Hussein
and the Al-Qaeda." Most oil is used in transportation. If we improve
automotive efficiency from 20% to 40%, and if all major nations then agree
to boycott Iraq (or some other major producer), they could buy exclusively
from Russia, Venezuela, Mexico and other politically neutral countries, and
starve out Hussein.

- Jed


Peter Hanely

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 5:01:32 AM12/5/02
to
Raziel wrote:
> "Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@infinite-energy.com> wrote in message
> news:3ded0...@nopics.sjc...
>
>>The world needs hot fusion like it needs a hole in the head. Hot fusion
>>would produce more radioactive garbage and more risk than advanced fission
>>reactors. See: R. A. Krakowski et al., "Lessons Learned from the Tokamak
>>Advanced Reactor Innovation and Evaluation Study (ARIES)," Los Alamos
>>National Laboratory, LA-UR-93-4217, December 8, 1993.
>>
>>We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the rate
>>wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in the
>>world in 30 years.
>
>
> that is an absurd statement.

Fusion reactors would produce some radioactive waste from neutron
bombardment of the liner, but far less than a fission reactor.


>
>
>>Other renewable sources are abundant.
>
>
> another absurd statement.
>
>
>>In any case, if
>>cold fusion is ever funded at 1% of the levels hot fusion has been, it
>
> will
>
>>soon become practical, and it be thousands of times cheaper than any other
>>souce of energy, and millions of times cleaner and safer.
>>
>
> yet more absurd statements
>
> Raz
>
>

In principle, alternitive energy (solar, wind, ...) has an immense
amount of power to offer. Far more than mankind has any real use for.
In practice, this energy is diffuse and somewhat expensive to collect.

Raziel

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 1:15:18 PM12/5/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3def7098$1...@nopics.sjc...
It has nothing whatever to do with that. A nuclear theory can prove that a
process is a chemical process not a nuclear one though.

Raz


Raziel

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 1:36:28 PM12/5/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3def7...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > These "abrupt" removals are highly scheduled.
>
> Not the scrams described at that Gov't website.
>
you weren't talking about those. you were talking about refueling,
maintenance, etc. Those are highly scheduled operations.

>
> > > (Wind turbines are removed from service for maintenance one at a
time.)
> >
> > do you think nuke plants are not?
>
> Not when the reactor is refueled.
>
so no nuke plants anywhere have multiple reactors? are you telling me that
when Diablo is refueling, that it produces zero energy?

>
> > > blows. Improved weather reporting will make wind even more
predictable.
> > >
> > I don't think weather reporting will have anything to do with it ;)
>
> PG&E and others with large wind installations say weather prediction makes
a
> great deal of difference.
>
prediction and reporting are very different things.

>
> > > It is certainly not as bad as the fluctuation from a nuclear power
plant
> > scrams,
> > > which occur several times a month, I think. See:
> > >
> > >
> >
>
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2001/index.
> > > html
> > >
> > But do these plants run at full capacity?
>
> I believe so. Nuclear plants are run at full capacity as much as possible.
> The plants are extremely expensive and the fuel is cheap, so it makes
> economic sense to run them as baseline generators, at full capacity. Other
> generator types are phased in and out as needed.
>
You may want to look into that further.

>
> > > As I said, hydrogen fuel would be used for this, in fuel cells or gas
> > > turbines.
> >
> > How much of its power would the wind generator need to use to generate
> > hydrogen? Is this even economically feasible?
>
> It is not economical now, but if the present trends continue it may be in
20
> years or so.
>
That wasn't the question. If you have a facility that uses its extra
capacity to pump water up a hill to run through a hydro generator during
peak times or when it is down or whatever, that process has a % efficiency
(somewhere nearing ~80% I have heard). What is the efficiency of taking
excess energy, making hydrogen, then burning that hydrogen? you quote 39%
below, I believe. If so, that would not be feasable, as you would be
wasting 61% of your unused capacity.

>
> > > No, this would waste a considerable amount of energy in the conversion
> > > process, so it would require much more equipment (turbines,
electrolysis
> > > cells, and so on).
> >
> > then how is it economical to use some of the wind power to generate
> hydrogen
> > for 'storage'?
>
> When the wind blows at night or at other times with low demand, the wind
> generator would put aside ~40% of the energy, to be used when demand
peaks,

how? hydrogen? if hydrogen is only 39% efficient, that is a large waste of
excess capacity.

> rather than wasting 100% of it. That is different from putting aside *all*
> of the energy as hydrogen, and using it elsewhere.
>

It is. But hydrogen is still very wasteful compared to hydro.

indeed it is.


>
> > > or ship it across the country more efficiently than other gas or
liquid
> > fuel,
> >
> > how so?
>
> The caloric content is high. I mean the ratio of mass to energy. You move
> fewer tons compared to other gas, liquid or solid fuels. Also, pipelines
are
> more compact and energy efficient than railroad trains (used for coal and
> uranium ore).
>
>
> > > They have not been motivated by leadership. Japanese consumers often
> > respond to patriotic calls
> > > for conservation.
> > >
> > Japan has a far different culture than we do.
>
> It does not seem so different to me. The surface differences stand out
when
> you are new to the culture, but after you get used to it, similarities
> dominate one's impressions. In any case, people are people, and human
nature
> is the same everywhere.
>

The Japanese are much less individualistic as a culture.


>
> > They could be. But the government has no place in forcing a company to
do
> > so.
>
> The government is giving lavish support to fossil fuels and nuclear power,
> making fuel cheap, and distorting the market. If it will not stop
> subsidizing inefficient, polluting energy production, then it should at
> least devote some funding to research.
>
> > now, the people do not want it. When the people do want it, the
companies
> > will produce it. it is a simple market fact.
>
> The market is never simple, in my experience.
>
>
> > because they are superior in many applications. you cannot compare the
> > Japanese culture to American culture.
>
> Sure you can!

nice selective snip.


>
>
> > Americans are much much more
> > individualist than the Japanese.
>
> I do not think so. That is mainly a myth, or a fad. Americans acted (or
> appeared to be) conformist in the 1950s, and then in the 1960s and 70s it
> became fashionable for them to act more individualistic. I do not think
they
> actually changed much. Japanese culture does encourage conformism, and
> people go through the motions of conforming, but it is often an act, and
> Americans are often less iconoclastic than they think themselves to be.
>
>
> > TMI is a joke. Talk about something that is grossly overplayed.
>
> It was a financial disaster. It nearly bankrupted the company. No utility
> will take the risk of another financial disaster on that scale.
>

It was. And the reason it was is because of hysteria caused by an ignorant
media preaching to an ignorant public. One cannot insure against ignorance
of the public, nor can one insure against ignorance and bad reporting from
the media. Fission still suffers from an ignorant public and ignorant media
making the public hysteric.


>
> > In some
> > ways it is great that TMI is the poster-boy for US fission.
>
> Not in my opinion. I wrote a fairly long article about in Infinite Energy
> magazine, issue 40, p. 42.
>

If TMI is the worst nulcear disaster in US history, we are doing pretty damn
good.


>
> > > Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much
> higher
> > > rate than adults do.
> >
> > Where?
>
> In two-thirds of the world.
>

perhaps these parts of the world are overpopulated?


>
> > >What do you make of Cheney's statement?
> > >
> > Cheney was exactly right. you cannot base an energy policy on
> conservation.
>
> Over the last 200 years, the energy efficiency of every industry and mode
of
> transport has increased dramatically. In the last 20 years these trends
have
> accelerated in most industries, and the productivity in real dollars per
> joule of energy has increased. The U.S. produces far more dollars pre
joule
> than China, and Italy and Japan produce twice as much per joule as the
U.S.:
>
> Russia 72,133 Btu per dollar of GDP
> China 34,514 Btu/$
> U.S. 12,638 Btu/$
> U.K. 8,365 Btu/$
> Italy 6,700 Btu/$
> Japan 6,523 Btu/$
>
> Per capita consumption of energy in the U.S. has hardly increased in the
> last 50 years, despite a fantastic increase in consumption. (From 229 to
350
> million Btu per annum - http://www.eia.doe.gov/)
>
> Conservation and efficiency have always been the key to productivity and
> improved quality of life.

that is a nonsensical statement. Conservation has nothing to do with it.
Efficiency and productivity improve quality of life.

> No improvements have more dramatic or have had
> more impact on people's lives than the improvements in energy efficiency.

maybe.

> Energy policy has always been based on conservation, and it has worked
> splendidly.

no, it has not been based on conservation. Conservation has been a part of
energy policy.

> Since we are still far from the thermodynamic limits for most
> industrial processes, we can anticipate even more improvements.
>
> Of course, if cold fusion can be commercialized, conservation will
suddenly
> become irrelevant.
>
>
> > Production and capacity are paramount.
>
> If that were so, we would consume 10 to 50 times more energy than we did
50
> years ago.
>

no. because we do increase efficiency, and we do conserve. But
conservation is not the basis of policy. Conservation and efficiency allow
you to get more blood out of the turnip so to speak. conservation can only
go so far, there is a minimum amount of energy people need, and when
production and capacity fall below this minimum they must be increased,
further conservation cannot help. It is very simple. If you have a cup of
water, you can drink it in one gulp, or you can sip it. Either way,
eventually it is empty, and you will need to fill the cup.

Raz


Bill Snyder

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 1:41:00 PM12/5/02
to

So does my coffeepot, but I don't tout it as a new energy source.

Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 2:01:15 PM12/5/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > > > You cannot disprove it by
> > > > citing a theory; you have to find errors in the experimental
> techniques.
> > >
> > > I would have to read the papers to make that judgement.
> >
> > Why? How can a nuclear theory prove that flow calorimeters do not work?
> >
> It has nothing whatever to do with that. A nuclear theory can prove that
a
> process is a chemical process not a nuclear one though.

I do not see what you mean. Take a cell that produces x-rays and thousands
of times more heat than an equivalent mass of the best chemical fuel. After
the reaction stops, you find no trace of chemical ash in it, whereas you do
find tritium and new elements with isotopic ratios far different from those
seen in nature. You are looking at experimental proof that a nuclear
reaction occurred. That is what cold fusion experiments reveal. Theory plays
no role in this judgment. No theory can "prove" this process is chemical.

The question is, can a theory explain this cold fusion reaction? I do not
know enough about theory to judge this issue. Some experts say theory can
explain it, other say it cannot. Here is one thing I am sure of though: if a
theory predicts this reaction cannot occur, that theory must be wrong. When
theory conflicts with high-sigma, widely replicated experiments, theory
always loses, experiments always win. That is the bedrock basis of the
scientific method. If you start picking and choosing data based on your
theory, and throwing away established facts because you cannot image how to
explain them, or you invent wild, ad hoc, handwaving "explanations" to
dismiss hundreds of experiments, you invite chaos. You are practicing a form
of voodoo religion, not science.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 2:08:17 PM12/5/02
to
Bill Snyder writes:

> >All liquid cold fusion cells heat water.
>
> So does my coffeepot, but I don't tout it as a new energy source.

If your coffee pot starts outputing 101 watts more than you input, and the
excess heat continues until it adds up to 294 MJ, then you should tout it as
a new energy source. That much energy coming from a device the size of a
coffee pot cannot be caused by a chemical reaction. That is what the
coffee-pot sized reflux boiler at IMRA did. See Roulette, Roulette and Pons.

- Jed


Bill Snyder

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 2:52:24 PM12/5/02
to

Then where's the water heater?

Tom Kunich

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 2:55:44 PM12/5/02
to
"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<3ded32b1$1...@nopics.sjc>...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > We do not need any kind of nuclear or fossil fuel electricity. At the
> rate
> > > wind power is expanding, it will generate all of the electricity in the
> > > world in 30 years.
> >
> > that is an absurd statement.
>
> In 30 years world electricity requirements
> will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate).

CONTINUOUS!

> Wind is now increasing at the rate of
> ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).

PEAK SUPPLY! Don't you understand the difference? A simple drive
through the Altamont Pass area of the San Francisco Bay area will
demonstrate that:

1) Altamont Pass is one of the highest average wind areas in the US
and certainly on the Pacific coast. Yet these windmills are idle over
90% of the time.

2) The environmental problems are plain by a walk among the windmills.
Dead bird, particularly raptors abound. There seems to be no way of
getting these birds to recognize the danger.

3) The downwind noise polution is so strong that the residents of
Tracy which is 20 miles away complain. In this same vein, the visual
polution is staggering. The hill after hill after hill after hill
after hill lines and lines of windmills has changed some beautiful
terrain into some of the ugliest.

4) The cost of electricity generated by normal means is so low that
windmills are entirely cost prohibitive. They cannot successfully
compete with any other source of power save direct solar conversion
without massive government infusions of capital. They would have never
been installed in the first place without the 80's activists getting
immense tax benefits to companies that financed these boondoggles.

I'm sure that there are some areas of the globe in which windpower
makes economic sense. Used in the middle of the Sahel I'm sure that
they would be superior to other power generation forms. But your
suggestions that wind power is going to replace normal generation is
comical.

Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:03:21 PM12/5/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > Not the scrams described at that Gov't website.
> >
> you weren't talking about those. you were talking about refueling,
> maintenance, etc. Those are highly scheduled operations.

I mentioned both types of events. My point is that when a reactor is
scramed, it does shut down completely, depriving the network of much more
power than a typical unscheduled problem at a wind farm.

In a sense, the drop-offs in wind power are now "scheduled" too. They are
scheduled by mother nature. With better weather prediction, we know days in
advance that the wind will drop off and alternative sources should be made
ready. In other words, for example, we know that next week there will a lot
of extra wind, so it would be a good time to schedule maintenance on the
nuclear reactor. Seasonal variations are also predictable in many areas. It
is not so different from knowing that a reactor core is scheduled to be
refueled.


> > It is not economical now, but if the present trends continue it may be
in
> 20
> > years or so.
> >
> That wasn't the question. If you have a facility that uses its extra
> capacity to pump water up a hill to run through a hydro generator during
> peak times or when it is down or whatever, that process has a % efficiency
> (somewhere nearing ~80% I have heard).

Yes, that is the best method. If a wind farm is located near hills or
mountains suitable for this kind of storage, that would be the preferred
method. For locations far away from hills, too much power would be lost in
transmission to the hydro generator, and the extra power lines might be too
expensive, so hydrogen storage may be more cost-effective. Hydrogen storage
can be very cheap -- or even free, with naturally occurring storage, such as
depleted gas fields. An aquifer 20 miles west of Paris stores 7 billion
cubic feet of "hydrogen-rich town gas." (Hoffman, p. 200)


> What is the efficiency of taking
> excess energy, making hydrogen, then burning that hydrogen? you quote 39%
> below, I believe.

That's a rough approximation, based on a 1990 PG&E study, updated with
recent claims about fuel cells.


> If so, that would not be feasible, as you would be


> wasting 61% of your unused capacity.

It would only be useful for temporary local storage, for a few hours per day
on average. Expensive, inefficient diesel generators are used for this
purpose now. They are roughly 30% efficient.


> > When the wind blows at night or at other times with low demand, the wind
> > generator would put aside ~40% of the energy, to be used when demand
> peaks,
>
> how? hydrogen? if hydrogen is only 39% efficient, that is a large waste
of
> excess capacity.

It may be better than conventional dispatchable peak generating systems, as
I said, although it is difficult to compare them.


> The Japanese are much less individualistic as a culture.

That has not been my observation.


> > It was a financial disaster. It nearly bankrupted the company. No
utility
> > will take the risk of another financial disaster on that scale.
> >
> It was. And the reason it was is because of hysteria caused by an
ignorant
> media preaching to an ignorant public.

The clean up costs nearly bankrupted the company, not the hysteria.


> > > > Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much
> > higher
> > > > rate than adults do.
> > >
> > > Where?
> >
> > In two-thirds of the world.
> >
> perhaps these parts of the world are overpopulated?

Some are, but many are not. Some live in harsh dictatorships, such as North
Korea. Whether the cause is political, economic or social, the proximate
cause of death is often lack of energy, and the victims are mainly children.
We can ameliorate the problem even if we do not find a way to rid the world
of dictators. The toll from starvation, filthly water and easily prevented
infectious disease is roughly 50,000 people per week. Inexpensive, pollution
free energy would save millions of lives.


> > Conservation and efficiency have always been the key to productivity and
> > improved quality of life.
>
> that is a nonsensical statement. Conservation has nothing to do with it.
> Efficiency and productivity improve quality of life.

There is no practical difference between conservation and efficiency. The
two mean the same thing in most contexts: Reduced waste. Not using resources
unnecessarily.


> > > Production and capacity are paramount.
> >
> > If that were so, we would consume 10 to 50 times more energy than we did
> 50
> > years ago.
> >
> no. because we do increase efficiency, and we do conserve. But
> conservation is not the basis of policy.

It IS the basis of policy in every industry on earth! Obviously! Why do you
think steel makers, computer chip manufactures and everyone else now uses a
fraction of the energy they did a generation ago? It is not the basis of the
Clinton or Bush administration policy, but it should be. It is far cheaper
than finding new resources.


> Conservation and efficiency allow
> you to get more blood out of the turnip so to speak. conservation can
only

> go so far, there is a minimum amount of energy people need . . .

Of course. There are thermodynamic limits and practical limits. We could
reduce consumption by a factor of 3 to 5 in most industries within these
limits. There are also innovations that do an end run around this limits, by
rewriting the rules. For example, the energy used to mill and polish a
manufactured item may be reduced by improving the engine in the grinding
machine, but you might instead rewrite the rules, and eliminate this energy
use completely, with a new manufacturing technique that produces a part
exactly to specification, with no milling or polishing. Automobile
efficiency might be increased from 20% to 40% or 60%. Or we might rewrite
the rules with improved Internet video telepresence and satellite offices.
Most people might then prefer to walk a few blocks to work. This would save
thousands of times more energy than the best automobile technology. It would
also eliminate time wasted commuting, perhaps millions of man years per
year, and solve the traffic problem.

In any case, energy is the most abundant resource in the solar system. There
is no way we can ever begin to run out. However, as Arthur C. Clarke wrote
in "Profiles of the Future:" "If, as is perfectly pos貞ible, we are short of
energy two generations from now, it will be through our own incompetence. We
will be like Stone age men freezing to death on top of a coal bed."

- Jed


Tom Kunich

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:05:09 PM12/5/02
to
"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<3dee9...@nopics.sjc>...

> (Wind turbines are removed from service for maintenance one at a time.) Wind
> is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night as well as
> day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not distributed evenly
> around the globe.

The Morgan Company (I believe) built the first modern windmill just
prior to WW II. They operated it though the war and, I think, until
1949 gathering data and comparing power production prices.

They showed wind power to be so lucrative that they shut down the
windmill and released ALL of their patents into the public domain.
That ought to give you some sort of idea of what they found.

I have been told by the maintenance workers at Windpower that as much
as 25% of the windmills are broken down at any one time. Certainly
they don't produce measureable power for 90% of the time.

Tom Kunich

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:11:40 PM12/5/02
to
"Raziel" <m...@vrwc.org> wrote in message news:<asmau7$lem$1...@nntp6.u.washington.edu>...

> "Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
> news:3dee9...@nopics.sjc...
>
> > Wind is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night as
> > well as day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not
> > distributed evenly around the globe.
>
> in this respect wind has an advantage over solar.

Wrong, significant solar radiation falls on most areas for most of the
year. Wind is usually only during certain seasons. Moreover, the more
sun the better. But windmills require wind in the speed area of
between 14 and 20 mph. Below that and there is insufficient power.
Above that and the windmill must be shut down to prevent overspeeding
and destruction. On the biggest windmills the blades are approaching
the speed of sound near the tips at full output and you do not want
one of these to come apart and throw a 120 foot blade.

> Cheney was exactly right. you cannot base an energy policy on conservation.
> Production and capacity are paramount. Conservation can lower the amount of
> production and capacity you need, but since in many cases we are already
> running at or near capacity, we need to add production and capacity.
> Typically you do not want to run more than 60% or so capacity, and you
> definitly do not want peak demand to exceed capacity. If those things
> happen conservation can only get you so far before you need to add capacity.
> The US, despite conservation efforts, is woefully lacking in both production
> and capacity.

There is a problem of demand always meeting supply. Why should an
industrial building install expensive insulation or expensive
temperature control designs when heating and cooling is cheap?

We are using far too much energy per capita and that will have to
change because energy doesn't grow on trees (.......).

Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:30:05 PM12/5/02
to
Tom Kunich writes:

> > > Wind is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night
as
> > > well as day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not
> > > distributed evenly around the globe.
> >
> > in this respect wind has an advantage over solar.
>
> Wrong, significant solar radiation falls on most areas for most of the
> year.

Right, yes. That's the problem. Solar energy and total wind energy are equal
(because solar energy converts to wind), but the wind is concentrated in a
few places, so in windy places power density is higher than solar. (And in
other places it is much lower.) It resembles falling rain versus rivers.
Rain falls nearly everywhere in small amounts. A turbine that collects
rainwater as it falls in a small area would not produce useful levels of
power. But when rain is concentrated in a river, it *can* power a turbine.
Wind is concentrated in rivers of air. See:

http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/


> Wind is usually only during certain seasons.

In optimum sites it is fairly strong year round, and predictable.
Fortunately, it is often strongest when it is most needed.


> There is a problem of demand always meeting supply. Why should an
> industrial building install expensive insulation or expensive
> temperature control designs when heating and cooling is cheap?

Heating and cooling is only cheap because the government is subsidizing
fossil fuels, and encouraging waste. The biggest subsidy is the upcoming
$200 billion Gulf War Round II.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 3:46:21 PM12/5/02
to
Tom Kunich writes:

> I have been told by the maintenance workers at Windpower that as much
> as 25% of the windmills are broken down at any one time.

Perhaps you should research more formal, authoritative sources, rather than
taking their word for it. Statistics published by SRI, NREL the AWEA and
other sources show that wind installations are more reliable than fission,
coal and other conventional alternatives. That is, they require fewer
man-hours of maintenance per megawatt hour of production. This stands to
reason; they operate at more moderate speeds and temperatures. See, for
example:

http://www.awea.org/faq/reliab.html

"Modern wind turbines can be extremely reliable, with the percentage of time
that many systems are available to produce power (often called
"availability") often being 99% and more."


> Certainly
> they don't produce measureable power for 90% of the time.

They produce power 30 to 60% of the time. No one would install a megawatt
wind turbine in a location that with less wind than that. Overall average
production is 23% of nameplate power in Germany, 26% in Denmark, and 34% in
Wales. Nameplate capacity for the average U.S. nuclear plant is 1,013 MW,
and actual output is quoted ranging from 88% to 94%, or roughly 920 MW.
Source: Danish Wind Industry Association, http://www.windpower.dk/core.htm,
Existing Capacity and Planned Capacity Additions at U.S. Electric Utilities
by Energy Source, 1999, Energy Information Administration, DoE

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 4:36:51 PM12/5/02
to
Tom Kunich writes:

> > In 30 years world electricity requirements
> > will be ~3,500,000 MW (nameplate).
>
> CONTINUOUS!

No, nameplate. Not continuous, and not peak either. There is never a time
when every generator in the world is running at the full rated "nameplate"
capacity. At night demand is a fraction of the daylight peak. Generators
seldom run at 100% of nameplate capacity even during peak periods.


> > Wind is now increasing at the rate of
> > ~4,700 MW per year (nameplate).
>
> PEAK SUPPLY! Don't you understand the difference?

Yes, I do. You apparently do not understand the term "nameplate."

Actually, as it happens, I massaged that 3.5 million MW projection slightly
up to adjust for the difference between typical nameplate and actual
performance with wind versus conventional generators. I came up with the 30
year projection in a spreadsheet as follows:

I assume wind power growth will slow down to 25% on average, not the actual
growth of 28% for the last 10 years, and nothing like the explosive growth
of railroads, automobiles, televisions, and computers in their early stages.
I converted wind (nameplate) into wind (actual - 28% of nameplate), and I
converted world projected (nameplate) into world projected (actual - 60% of
nameplate). The spreadsheet showed wind crossing the 100% line sometime
between 2028 and 2036, depending on a few assumptions. That's simplistic,
but it is better than guessing.


> A simple drive
> through the Altamont Pass area of the San Francisco Bay area will
> demonstrate that:
>
> 1) Altamont Pass is one of the highest average wind areas in the US
> and certainly on the Pacific coast. Yet these windmills are idle over
> 90% of the time.

That is nonsense! No active wind farm in the world is idle that much. The
worst ones achieve 23% of nameplate performance, according the German and
U.S. DoEs. The average is 28%.


> 2) The environmental problems are plain by a walk among the windmills.
> Dead bird, particularly raptors abound. There seems to be no way of
> getting these birds to recognize the danger.

More nonsense. Coal generators, jet aircraft at airports, and glass faced
office buildings kill orders of magnitude more birds than wind generators.
Birds are evolved to avoid whacking into moving objects, such as tree
branches waving in the wind.


> 3) The downwind noise pollution is so strong that the residents of


> Tracy which is 20 miles away complain.

It would have be as noisy as a battlefield! In any case, modern wind
turbines are far quieter than the ones at Altamont. See:

http://www.windpower.dk/faqs.htm

"Large, modern wind turbines have become very quiet. At distances above 200
metres, the swishing sound of rotor blades is usually masked completely by
wind noise in the leaves of trees or shrubs. . . .

Mechanical noise has virtually disappeared from modern wind turbines. This
is due to better engineering with more concern about avoiding vibrations.
Other technical improvements include elastically dampened fastenings and
couplings of the major components in the nacelle, and to a certain extent
sound insulation. Finally, the basic components themselves, including
gearboxes, have developed considerably over the years. . . ."

Kunich's message reads exactly like the anti-wind propaganda published by
oil and coal lobbyists.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 6:07:15 PM12/5/02
to
Bill Snyder writes:

> >> So does my coffeepot, but I don't tout it as a new energy source.
> >
> >If your coffee pot starts outputing 101 watts more than you input, and
the
> >excess heat continues until it adds up to 294 MJ, then you should tout it
as
> >a new energy source. That much energy coming from a device the size of a
> >coffee pot cannot be caused by a chemical reaction. That is what the
> >coffee-pot sized reflux boiler at IMRA did. See Roulette, Roulette and
Pons.
>
> Then where's the water heater?

Do you speak language? I said: See Roulette, Roulette and Pons.

- Jed


Bill Snyder

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 6:14:31 PM12/5/02
to

Will they sell me a water heater, with a guarantee, if I do? Or is
this just the same old Rothwell BS? (Never mind, rhetorical
question.)

Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 6:49:16 PM12/5/02
to
Bill Snyder writes:

> >Do you speak language? I said: See Roulette, Roulette and Pons.
>
> Will they sell me a water heater, with a guarantee, if I do? Or is
> this just the same old Rothwell BS? (Never mind, rhetorical
> question.)

No, this is the same old Bill Snyder BS. You cannot buy a tokamak reactor or
a cloned sheep, but you would never claim these objects do not exist because
they are not for sale. You would not denounce Taleyarkhan because Oak Ridge
does not sell copies of his experiment. (Actually, YOU might denounce him
for that reason, but normal people would not.) Brookhaven Lab will not sell
you one of their microfabricated machines, but I suppose you still grant the
machines exist. There is a long list of scientific experimental objects that
everyone agrees do exist, which are not for sale for various reasons.
Examples include thermonuclear bombs, supercomputers, the Space Shuttle, and
the Mars explorer. Cold fusion devices cost the developers tens of thousands
of dollars and years of difficult labor. They are not for sale, but you can
look at pictures of them on LENR-CANR.org if you would like, in the section
titled "A Look At Experiments." Please note of the equipment shown there
costs $40,000 to $200,000, and you usually cannot observe the cold fusion
effect without it.

You apply this absurd "can't buy it" standard to deny cold fusion, and to
cold fusion alone. You would never apply it to any other discovery, because
even your fellow skeptics would say you are crazy.

- Jed


Bill Snyder

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 9:11:57 PM12/5/02
to

Nope. I apply this "can't buy it, 'cause it doesn't exist" standard
to many other quackeries: astrology, spiritualism, scientology,
dowsing, Flat Earth, Face on Mars, alien abductions, crop circles, the
Living Elvis . . .

Gordon D. Pusch

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 9:20:46 PM12/5/02
to
"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> writes:

> Tom Kunich writes:
>
>>>> Wind is much more constant than solar, because the wind blows at night
>>>> as
>>>> well as day, in all seasons of the year, and because wind is not
>>>> distributed evenly around the globe.
>>>
>>> in this respect wind has an advantage over solar.
>>
>> Wrong, significant solar radiation falls on most areas for most of the
>> year.
>
> Right, yes. That's the problem. Solar energy and total wind energy are
> equal (because solar energy converts to wind),

Sorry, wrong. The atmosphere is a heat-engine of _ABYSMALLY_ low
efficiency. Only a small fraction of the solar energy that falls
on the Earth is converted into wind energy; the overhelming majority
is simply reflected or re-radiated back into space --- as should be
blindinly obvious to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the
Second Law of Thermodynamics.


> but the wind is concentrated in a few places, so in windy places power
> density is higher than solar.

Antarctica at night during the winter, for example...


> (And in other places it is much lower.)

This case is the _NORM_, not the exception.


-- Gordon D. Pusch

perl -e '$_ = "gdpusch\@NO.xnet.SPAM.com\n"; s/NO\.//; s/SPAM\.//; print;'

Raziel

unread,
Dec 5, 2002, 10:25:25 PM12/5/02
to

"Jed Rothwell" <jedro...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3defb0fe$1...@nopics.sjc...

> Raziel writes:
>
> > > > > Children below age 5 die from dirty water and lack of heat at much
> > > higher
> > > > > rate than adults do.
> > > >
> > > > Where?
> > >
> > > In two-thirds of the world.
> > >
> > perhaps these parts of the world are overpopulated?
>
> Some are, but many are not. Some live in harsh dictatorships, such as
North
> Korea. Whether the cause is political, economic or social, the proximate
> cause of death is often lack of energy, and the victims are mainly
children.

Lack of energy has little to do with these sorts of things. Humans got
along quite fine before electricity was in wide use.

> We can ameliorate the problem even if we do not find a way to rid the
world
> of dictators. The toll from starvation, filthly water and easily prevented
> infectious disease is roughly 50,000 people per week. Inexpensive,
pollution
> free energy would save millions of lives.
>

At what cost? What is the cost to the ecosystem of human overpopulation?
What good would it really do to help people if you give a dictator cheap
energy? answer: none. It would only make the dictator stronger, and
possibly the situation worse for the people. Starvation and disease are
naturally occuring phenomena designed by Mother Nature to limit populations.
Humans are no different, just in some cases we adapt quicker.

You are confusing Government energy policy with industrial energy policy.
Government policy should be based on insuring that energy demands are met.
Industry policy will be based on the bottom line. Don't confuse the two,
they are different, apples and oranges.


>
> > Conservation and efficiency allow
> > you to get more blood out of the turnip so to speak. conservation can
> only
> > go so far, there is a minimum amount of energy people need . . .
>
> Of course. There are thermodynamic limits and practical limits. We could
> reduce consumption by a factor of 3 to 5 in most industries within these
> limits. There are also innovations that do an end run around this limits,
by
> rewriting the rules. For example, the energy used to mill and polish a
> manufactured item may be reduced by improving the engine in the grinding
> machine, but you might instead rewrite the rules, and eliminate this
energy
> use completely, with a new manufacturing technique that produces a part
> exactly to specification, with no milling or polishing. Automobile
> efficiency might be increased from 20% to 40% or 60%. Or we might rewrite
> the rules with improved Internet video telepresence and satellite offices.
> Most people might then prefer to walk a few blocks to work. This would
save
> thousands of times more energy than the best automobile technology. It
would
> also eliminate time wasted commuting, perhaps millions of man years per
> year, and solve the traffic problem.
>

And all these are industry policies that are aimed at cost savings. They
have nothing to do with the production of energy.

Raz


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 6, 2002, 9:50:54 AM12/6/02
to
Gordon D. Pusch writes:

> > Right, yes. That's the problem. Solar energy and total wind energy are
> > equal (because solar energy converts to wind),
>
> Sorry, wrong. The atmosphere is a heat-engine of _ABYSMALLY_ low
> efficiency. Only a small fraction of the solar energy that falls
> on the Earth is converted into wind energy; the overhelming majority

> is simply reflected or re-radiated back into space . . .

I meant the solar energy actually captured on the ground, not that which is
re-radiated. (Obviously the amount captured varies from place to place - but
the total captured world-wide equals the total energy in wind.) This is not
my observation. It was made by Prof. K. S. Deffeyes:

"The power per square foot in the sunshine is essentially identical to the
power per square foot in the wind. At first, I thought that was just an
accident, but solar energy may crank up the wind velocity until the average
energy density in the wind equals the average solar energy density." -
"Hubbert's Peak," (Princeton Univ. Press, 2001) p. 183

The average power per square foot of wind is very low, but since wind is not
distributed evenly worldwide the local power can be quite high. In a
hurricane it can be high enough to blow down large buildings or capsize the
biggest ships. Solar energy never concentrates to that extent. That's a good
thing! It would cook everyone and ignite gigantic fires.

- Jed


Jed Rothwell

unread,
Dec 6, 2002, 10:29:16 AM12/6/02
to
Raziel writes:

> > Some are, but many are not. Some live in harsh dictatorships, such as
> North
> > Korea. Whether the cause is political, economic or social, the proximate
> > cause of death is often lack of energy, and the victims are mainly
> children.
>
> Lack of energy has little to do with these sorts of things. Humans got
> along quite fine before electricity was in wide use.

Actually, humans did not get alone fine. They died in horrendous numbers
from easily prevented diseases. The people dying today do not need
electricity: they could use fuel for fire (kerosene or firewood). They need
fuel to boil water for tea, baby formula, and to cook food. Electricity
could substitute, but it is not necessary. (Electricity for lighting would
save huge amounts of fuel, but that is another story.) People lack fuel
because they live in urban areas where firewood is not available. Poor
people in rural areas who depend on firewood have severely deforested large
areas.


> > We can ameliorate the problem even if we do not find a way to rid the
> world
> > of dictators. The toll from starvation, filthly water and easily
prevented
> > infectious disease is roughly 50,000 people per week. Inexpensive,
> pollution
> > free energy would save millions of lives.
> >
> At what cost? What is the cost to the ecosystem of human overpopulation?

I believe you have that backward. If we could save 50,000 children a week
from untimely death by infectious disease, that would not increase the
population. It did in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but nowadays, with
widespread access to contraception, improved education of women, and old age
pensions, the opposite effect occurs. People have many children today
because children often die unexpectedly. In the third world, children are
the only reliable form of Social Security insurance. When all of the
children die, parents starve in their old age. So they have several children
to ensure that at least one will survive. However, when parents can be
reasonably sure that children will survive, and when they have some hope of
income even without surviving children, they tend to have 2 or 3 children
instead.

The dynamics that drive Malthusian population explosions, and natural
populations of wild animals, no longer apply to human society. The best way
to prevent a population explosion now is to *lower* infant mortality.
Fortunately, that is also the moral thing to do, and it saves a bunch of
money.