Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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Tom Ligon
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by Tom Ligon »

What I really think about wind turbines:

I have a place near the Mount Storm power plant in West Virginia. This is a ginormous coal burner, some 3.6 GW if memory serves. It is fed by nearby strip mines, but does not provide power to WV. It is owned by Dominion Power, which serves Virginia. This is historically WV's fate ... to be exploited for out-of-state interests, with little to show for it. Mount Storm is the hub for several large strings of wind turbines, including one going in on our mountain. The last time I looked it up, the entire worldwide power generation capacity of the company putting in the wind turbines can't even come close to the capacity of Mount Storm. The trickle of power these things make is hilariously insignificant.

The NIMBYs are up in arms, and they're using a lot of arguments, of which I'd say about 2/3 are outright falsehoods. Among these, the things are ugly and hurt property values (not true, most people kinda think they are pretty and they have almost no effect on property values). Bird killers (early ones, lower to the ground and located in mountain passes were, but these are humongous tall things with lots of ground clearance operating on mountain ridges and not on migratory routes). Noisy (you can hear them if you try hard enough, and if your mindset is to go nuts if you can hear them you will probably succeed). Stuff like that.

What is actually happening ... the neighbors are being offered bribes ... an up front payment and a yearly payment once they are running, in hopes we will sit down and shut up. I know this because we got some of that money. And I have to wonder who pays for it because the amounts are pretty substantial.

My objection is that they're not going in on their real economic merits, but due to complex tax formulae and offsets, etc, that amount to political game playing and not sound economics. If they were a good idea, they wouldn't need this malarkey.

All that rant aside, I will admit that when the wind is going, they can throttle back the boilers at Mount Storm a little, and I only wish they could do more and do it more consistently.

KitemanSA
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by KitemanSA »

Tom Ligon wrote:So I wait impatiently for something that will actually give us what we really want, like Polywells, Tri-Alpha FRC reactors, or Focus Fusion machines on line and cranking out the gigawatts.
Or LFTRs.

happyjack27
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by happyjack27 »

Tom Ligon wrote:My objection is that they're not going in on their real economic merits, but due to complex tax formulae and offsets, etc, that amount to political game playing and not sound economics. If they were a good idea, they wouldn't need this malarkey.
That doesn't neccessarily follow. Sometimes it takes a long time to offset the costs, and it may be impractical for a companyto startup without significant investments and/or incentives, despite the long-run global relative payoff being net positive. And sometimes the costs of the alternatives isn't felt 100% by the company, and the reward isn't felt 100% as income to the company. There are many good ideas that despite being good ideas, require outside input (labor, funding, etc.) to get going. For example, polywell... (also public schools, the epa, the fda, nasa, roads... the list goes on.)

JoeP
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by JoeP »

happyjack27 wrote:
Tom Ligon wrote:My objection is that they're not going in on their real economic merits, but due to complex tax formulae and offsets, etc, that amount to political game playing and not sound economics. If they were a good idea, they wouldn't need this malarkey.
That doesn't neccessarily follow. Sometimes it takes a long time to offset the costs, and it may be impractical for a companyto startup without significant investments and/or incentives, despite the long-run global relative payoff being net positive. And sometimes the costs of the alternatives isn't felt 100% by the company, and the reward isn't felt 100% as income to the company. There are many good ideas that despite being good ideas, require outside input (labor, funding, etc.) to get going. For example, polywell... (also public schools, the epa, the fda, nasa, roads... the list goes on.)
This is generally true, and I think the "doesn't necessarily" in your reply is key. Tom's point about politics clouding the motivations of the wind proponents is a key feature of any modern "green" energy initiative in this country, and is, therefore, suspect. So for this specify case.

ladajo
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

Is not the major angst for wind the offpeak storage/peak with low wind issue?

Why not do the pump the water up the mountain, and let it drain thing using wind (or other low load/low efficency when underloaded capacity at that moment) as the source?

Once you lose wind or have a surge need, you drain the water through turbines...
Once the need goes away or you want to store, you pump it back to the up again.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

happyjack27
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by happyjack27 »

JoeP wrote:
happyjack27 wrote: That doesn't neccessarily follow. Sometimes it takes a long time to offset the costs, and it may be impractical for a companyto startup without significant investments and/or incentives, despite the long-run global relative payoff being net positive. And sometimes the costs of the alternatives isn't felt 100% by the company, and the reward isn't felt 100% as income to the company. There are many good ideas that despite being good ideas, require outside input (labor, funding, etc.) to get going. For example, polywell... (also public schools, the epa, the fda, nasa, roads... the list goes on.)
This is generally true, and I think the "doesn't necessarily" in your reply is key. Tom's point about politics clouding the motivations of the wind proponents is a key feature of any modern "green" energy initiative in this country, and is, therefore, suspect. So for this specify case.
I think it would be most productive/informative to look at the science and the math with an aim towards a thorough, quantitative, and impartial assessment, and see where that leads. And I think being suspicious about a conclusion that someone reached simply because they reached that conclusion is "begging the question", and additionally can negatively impact one's impartiality.

Tom Ligon
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by Tom Ligon »

ladajo wrote:Is not the major angst for wind the offpeak storage/peak with low wind issue?

Why not do the pump the water up the mountain, and let it drain thing using wind (or other low load/low efficency when underloaded capacity at that moment) as the source?

Once you lose wind or have a surge need, you drain the water through turbines...
Once the need goes away or you want to store, you pump it back to the up again.
Actually, I've told my stock broker I'll consider stock in a little company that buys up existing small hydro plants, specifically because I see a potential to use these for pumped storage.

Here's the catch ... pumped storage can't go just anywhere. You need the right terrain. It is not much good on flat plains. Shallow reservoirs with poor head would have excessive evaporation losses. Even in the mountains, you need the right features, and many proposed damsites will prove leaky. Our WV property, for instance, has an underground cavern/stream under it that we know about but which is not on any map.

Little new hydro power is going in, because it is such a great idea that if a site could produce useful power, it probably already is. And hydro is not without environmental consequences. Most remaining sites are small. What I do see is that existing good sites can only produce power proportional to available flow x head. If used for pumped storage, the available flow increases, so this offers an opportunity for these sites to enable fickle sources such as wind, solar, and customer cogeneration, and to level loads for fission plants.

TallDave
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by TallDave »

Why not do the pump the water up the mountain, and let it drain thing using wind (or other low load/low efficency when underloaded capacity at that moment) as the source?
The losses and costs at every step would very likely make that uneconomic even in a best-case scenario. This is partly because it's gotten really expensive to build stuff here since the Hoover/TVA days, the environmental impact studies alone argh...
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Skipjack
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by Skipjack »

In Austria we have quite a few things that we call "Speicherkraftwerk". It is small dams high up in the mountains. They pump the water up with excessive power during times of low load and then use it under high pressure to drive turbines during time of peak loads. Many of them also have a natural supply of water. It is quite effective and very environmentally friendly.

ladajo
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

That is exactly what I was talking about Skip. Couldn't remember the word, just the concept and application.
The power is lost anyway for offpeak wind or solar. It can also apply to loading underutilized stations that are running below peak efficiency. Why not capture some of it?
I can see that the underutilized peak efficiency stations may number crunch out as a loss, but for unbankable lost power, it only makes sense.

Thanks.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

ladajo
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

I think that may be a good business idea.
Sell small wind turbines to homes that during off peak high wind cycles pump water up into a small water tower. This then can drain to a lower reservior via small water turbines to generate power when needed. A bunch of small turbines can make a decent kick for a home.

Kind of like dynamic windbraking if you will. I could even rig it for solar. It could also use compressed gas or a hydraulic accumulator instead of the water tank.
You could even rig the water tank to collect rainwater as a backup source of power.

Hmmm.

My idea! I said it here first! I intend to patent!
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Teahive
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by Teahive »

1 m³ of water raised by 10m is 27.3Wh of stored energy, that's about an iPad battery. A few kWh of Li-ion batteries seem like a better option than a water tower.

Pumped hydro storage only makes sense where you have the potential for huge (and deep) natural reservoirs.

Skipjack
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by Skipjack »

For small scale like home use a flywheel might be a better idea for energy storage. The system with water reservoirs makes sense for the very large scale (these artificial lakes are pretty big).

choff
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by choff »

I've heard stories of people living off grid getting visits from local authorities. They either get told they have to pay extra taxes for using alternative energy, or they get told they can't live there anymore. Sometimes the bureaucrat says the neighbours are complaining, even if the nearest lives miles away.
CHoff

ladajo
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

choff wrote:I've heard stories of people living off grid getting visits from local authorities. They either get told they have to pay extra taxes for using alternative energy, or they get told they can't live there anymore. Sometimes the bureaucrat says the neighbours are complaining, even if the nearest lives miles away.

Are they just stories?
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

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