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Maybe we are not doomed after all

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  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,373
    I would really like a water wheel with a generator by a good flowing stream/river. 24/7 generation.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    davis wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I'm not an engineer, but yes. The trouble with it is that it needs natural geography. I did the calculations once to see how much water I would need to store to power a house during the night and it was absurd. From memory something something like 27m cube dropping 1m.

    Yup - it's all about head (isn't everything in life :wink:) and with all of these things, scale is everything. I looked at getting a wind turbine for my house in Scotland but it would have taken over 20 years to pay for itself even though we had near constant wind.

    Really? I thought with smaller scale wind turbines the number of years to repay cost were in the single figures..

    The tech has undoubtedly moved on but those was the numbers back then - as I only lived there 13 years, I'm glad I didn't invest.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,553 Lives Here
    rjsterry wrote:
    Robert Llewellyn. He does a regular YouTube vlog on all things renewable/electric called Fully Charged.
    Thank you, couldn't remember his name for the life of me. Quite enjoyed the bit of the programme I did see.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,422
    FocusZing wrote:
    I would really like a water wheel with a generator by a good flowing stream/river. 24/7 generation.

    Italy has a lot of mountains and glaciers and reservoirs, yet the hydroelectric production is very very small... it's not viable for the UK and the creation of artificial basins is not ideal either
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    FocusZing wrote:
    I would really like a water wheel with a generator by a good flowing stream/river. 24/7 generation.

    Until it floods!
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    Incidentally, anyone interested in the subject might find this website worth a visit. It shows current production. Although it is worth noting that solar isn't the most reliable figure.

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

    No coal at the moment, and 35% CCGT
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    FocusZing wrote:
    Cheap cable super conductors would also greatly help with grid supply loss.

    The grid network is not a trivial thing. It is by far the greatest constraint on developing small scale generation. Replacing all its cables would be tricky.

    Not something I know much about, but the reason for the high voltage lines is to prevent losses.
  • ben@31[email protected] Posts: 2,324
    edited June 2017
    In Spain, they use a liquid salt solution to store heat from solar energy. This heats up during the day time to 285°C and then stored in huge tanks. At night or cloudy weather, they open the valves to the storage tanks so the hot liquid is used to produce steam that turns turbines. Genius idea.

    On a smaller scale, you can at least provide hot water and heating to your own house by using solar thermal.

    Im all for not being dependant on Saudi Arabia.

    I read somewhere that if we cover only 1% of the Sahara desert ( quite a useless place anyway) in solar, then it would power the entire world.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,875
    Anyone seen this?

    https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/solarroof

    If the literature is to be beleived, it is cheaper and more robust than standard roof tiles and comes with a (surprisingly small) "Powerwall" battery system.

    . . . if such technology is available out there, why isn't it being made compulsory for all new homes to be built with it? . . . it's almost like those in power have an interest in the fossil fuel industries . . .
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    In Spain, they use a liquid salt solution to store heat from solar energy. This heats up during the day time to 285°C and then stored in huge tanks. At night or cloudy weather, they open the valves to the storage tanks so the hot liquid is used to produce steam that turns turbines. Genius idea.

    On a smaller scale, you can at least provide hot water and heating to your own house by using solar thermal.

    It is heat storage though and expensive I'm guessing. Solar PV has been used for electricity because it has become cost effective. If the price of the heat storage fell like Solar PV did then it would be very helpful.

    There is a lot to be said for solar heating systems on houses though.


    Im all for not being dependant on Saudi Arabia.

    I read somewhere that if we cover only 1% of the Sahara desert ( quite a useless place anyway) in solar, then it would power the entire world.

    Here is a nice map of the world based on the sun. The Sahara is sunny, but not the best. Still, as you say it's not up to much at the moment. As ever though distribution is the problem. If you look at the map, you will see that the Ataccama desert in Chile is very sunny. So sunny in fact that lots of solar developers went there. Electricity prices during the day are now nearly zero because it is not connected with the rest of Chile. Still, I believe a solution is in progress.


    Solargis_World_DNI_solar_resource_map_en.jpg
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    It's great that the UK have achieved over 50% renewable production on a day.

    I have lived for the past 17 years not connected to the grid (by choice) my house is pv powered, yes I know it's sunnier here but that just means I need fewer panels than you would, rather than looking for the big solution, opt out, supply yourself with the power you need, take control of your consumption :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I'd like to be able to run an electric car from renewables - especially home-made power.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    I'd like to be able to run an electric car from renewables - especially home-made power.

    That's demand side storage. Very fashionable. Car, phone and laptop are the obvious ones, but there is hope that freezers and even fridges can be fine tuned to not run during peak demand. It needs smart meters first.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I'd like to be able to run an electric car from renewables - especially home-made power.

    That's demand side storage. Very fashionable. Car, phone and laptop are the obvious ones, but there is hope that freezers and even fridges can be fine tuned to not run during peak demand. It needs smart meters first.

    Absolutely - makes perfect sense to store the power in the device that will use it and charge when power is plentiful (kind of Economy 7 of old). You'd have thought that it should be relatively easy to develop fridges and, in particular, freezers to run on power at certain times (if not necessarily cheap). For fridges, do your compressing when power is cheap. Freezers - just improve insulation and thermal mass. And, as battery tech improves, more of the power hungry products in the home will be able to run on it. Smart meters ought to be the easy bit.

    Government could do more to support the demand too. Reduce VAT on the most efficient products, for instance.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,461
    There was a short ITV news item about a year ago where a German scientist had extracted CO2 out of the atmosphere and made some flammable liquid akin to Petroleum.
    There's also tons of research into CO2 extraction from the atmosphere.
    It would be great to bankrupt most of the oil producers in the middle east.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I'd like to be able to run an electric car from renewables - especially home-made power.

    That's demand side storage. Very fashionable. Car, phone and laptop are the obvious ones, but there is hope that freezers and even fridges can be fine tuned to not run during peak demand. It needs smart meters first.


    You don't have to use mains to run a fridge or freezer, I run a fridge (can be used as a freezer if required) which uses on average 240watts per 24 hrs it runs on my 24 volt solar system, brushless DC Compressor.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • TheBigBean wrote:

    Solargis_World_DNI_solar_resource_map_en.jpg

    Im surprised Western China or is it Tibet is the darkest place on Earth.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337

    Im surprised Western China or is it Tibet is the darkest place on Earth.

    If you look carefully, it's about the same as Scotland :roll: :lol::lol:
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    TheBigBean wrote:

    Solargis_World_DNI_solar_resource_map_en.jpg

    Im surprised Western China or is it Tibet is the darkest place on Earth.

    See more detailed map here. Tibet has good irradiance as it is very high. I don't know why the bit around Chengdu is so bad, but I'm guessing rain and pollution.

    http://solargis.com/assets/graphic/free ... map-en.png
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    Rumour of the first subsidy free solar park today. Poor investment in my opinion, but time will tell. Anyway, if it connects that is massive thing for UK solar.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,461
    Link please Bean.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    Here you go.

    http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/ ... ject_purch

    It's a long way from actually being built and connected, but it is a listed fund moving in that direction.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,461
    Cheers.

    I just wonder, with the current trajectory, is the Hinckley point power station a white Elephant already? What would the cost of Hinckley spread out for renewable's and incentives achieve?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,474
    This is excellent news and knocks on the head the argument that renewables can't stand on their own feet.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,473
    Pinno wrote:
    Cheers.

    I just wonder, with the current trajectory, is the Hinckley point power station a white Elephant already? What would the cost of Hinckley spread out for renewable's and incentives achieve?
    I'm surprised they aren't covering the buildings with solar panels.
    They'd have another on site backup power supply that way too.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,422
    Pinno wrote:
    Cheers.

    I just wonder, with the current trajectory, is the Hinckley point power station a white Elephant already? What would the cost of Hinckley spread out for renewable's and incentives achieve?

    I think it is. Nuclear fission is a thing of the past... the French run on fission for 70 or so % of their energy and they are not particularly well off. You still rely on commodities imported often from countries with dodgy goverments... then you have even more trouble finding a safe place to store the exhaust material... it's just not worth going that route
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    As much as I like the idea of running totally on renewables, there's no way we could be sustainable on them - a bit of winter anticyclonic gloom with little wind or light combined with high demand and we'd be stuffed. Unless and until we solve the storage issue, we're reliant on conventional forms of power generation and nuclear fission (fusion still being a pipe dream) is the best of a bad lot. I'm intrigued as to what alternative Ugo has...
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    There's a few locations in the lake district with hydro-electric generation. Kentmere is one that went through planning about 10 years ago IIRC. I think it went through. Then there's knoydart Peninsula, the village at the tip is hydro powered.

    I guess for remote or very wet areas like the lakes, highland west coast, Wales could easily have local, small scale generation using hydro schemes.

    In the lakes there's a few village halls with pv cells too.

    If transmission is the issue then local, small scale could be one solution. As a couple of friends said they were interested in renewables (very eco-conscious types). They looked at wind turbine on their roof. It's apparently possible where they lived but priced out of their reach. They were more concerned about reducing carbon footprint than return on investment. I guess it'll take people like them but with the money to realise it. The rest of us probably just talk and discuss return on investment. Nothing wrong with that but I suspect it'll take those earliest adopters to reach critical mass to make things more economical,perhaps.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,688
    Pinno wrote:
    Cheers.

    I just wonder, with the current trajectory, is the Hinckley point power station a white Elephant already? What would the cost of Hinckley spread out for renewable's and incentives achieve?

    The CFD for Hinckley is £92.50/MWh for 35 years. In the first round of CFDs onshore wind and solar were about £80/MWh for 15 years. Note that these are only a cost to the government to the extent that power prices are below the quoted strike prices. Nonetheless, it is a huge subsidy for Hinckley.

    The argument in favour of Hinckley is that it provides base load, so keeps the country running during low pressure in the winter. This argument is reasonable enough, but I would rather they had at least tried to offer some form of subsidy / pricing guarantee to storage.

    Subsidy free implies around £55/MWh, but without any guarantee, so it contains a lot of risk. It is therefore a big jump in terms of investment, and Next has only currently made a limited investment in subsidy free. I'm fairly sure that someone is going to do it though soon as I said upthread.

    Also worth noting that the industry is full of subsidies of all types, so it is not just renewables that benefits from them.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,461
    Just like Communications, energy is a national concern. Japan's rail and the new magnetic train cost a fortune to build but is still relatively cheap to travel on as it is heavily subsidised by the government as it is in everyone's interest to have good, reliable, affordable communications.
    The building of wind farms in Denmark for another example, rarely meet opposition as most of them are co-operatively owned. In fact, the co-operative ethic was born in Scandinavia. It's also prevalent in the Basque region.

    Reducing energy prices in the UK could cut costs to businesses significantly. Doesn't British businesses and industry pay nearly the highest amount per kw in Europe?
    How much of Hinckley will be owned by the state?
    Why are we relying on the profit makers to have such a huge influence in energy supply?

    Our ability to compete on a global scale is hampered by poor communications and very high energy costs. Hinckley will do little to alleviate the latter. If we increase rail use and encourage investment in rail, then it will not benefit the former either.
    Cross rail is being delivered at a massive cost but will rely on electricity. We will end up with a Concorde scenario yet again: Too long to build, over budget and under subsidised with the caveat that a minimum price needs to be met to pay off the debts and contributors associated with it. It will ultimately be more expensive than originally anticipated to use.
    Would it be correct to say that essential Nationally owned services will never materialise given the political backdrop and our record/the public's perception of Nationalisation or would that be impossible anyway as we are UK PLC and most things are owned by some company, domestic or foreign?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
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