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Bill Dufour
08-28-2019, 10:40 PM
Berkeley California just banned natural gas in new homes. This is supposed to reduce carbon emissions . Of course the local power company still burns coal to make a good percentage of the electrical. They are building new gas fired power plants to meet demand. I wonder if clothes dryers are already banned. They will pay someone $273,000 to check plans for no gas.
Bill D.
PS very few new homes get built in Berkeley anyway. I wonder if they plan to turn off the gas furnaces in all the public buildings and give them personnel electric heaters instead.

Doug Garson
08-28-2019, 11:10 PM
FYI there is one coal fired power plant in the entire state of California a 6 1/2 hour drive from Berkeley built in 1978 and it produces 0.2% of the electrical capacity. Also California is phasing out gas fired power plants as they cannot compete with solar and wind. Yes there are some under construction but there are more retirements than new construction.
https://archinect.com/news/article/150142965/gas-fired-power-plants-are-becoming-obsolete
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-california-natgas/los-angeles-abandons-new-natural-gas-plants-in-favor-of-renewables-idUSKCN1Q12C9

Bill Dufour
08-29-2019, 12:05 AM
I did not know they were so low in buying coal power these days.
Bill D

Jim Koepke
08-29-2019, 12:52 AM
I did not know they were so low in buying coal power these days.
Bill D


California and much of the west coast is powered by hydroelectric and nuclear.


jtk

Edward Dyas
08-29-2019, 9:29 AM
Given the location it doesn't surprise me. Even in Texas they are beginning to be frowned on due to safety issues. I do work for someone that has rental properties and I had to go into all of his houses that had a water heater in a closet and retro-fit ventilation into the attic because of the danger of potential gas leak.

Matt Day
08-29-2019, 9:41 AM
Not exactly the responses you were looking for was it Bill?

Steve Rozmiarek
08-29-2019, 9:59 AM
Not exactly the responses you were looking for was it Bill?

Wow, go Berkley. They just saved the planet. One of you environmentalists types explain to me how this is a noble action in any way, all I see is naivety.

Bill Dufour
08-29-2019, 10:23 AM
Given the location it doesn't surprise me. Even in Texas they are beginning to be frowned on due to safety issues. I do work for someone that has rental properties and I had to go into all of his houses that had a water heater in a closet and retro-fit ventilation into the attic because of the danger of potential gas leak.

Do you have to have CO alarms in Texas? In California several years ago they required them in all occupied dwellings. Not when the house was sold but right then. I thought this was only a California law?
Bill D.
D

Greg R Bradley
08-29-2019, 10:48 AM
Wow, go Berkley. They just saved the planet. One of you environmentalists types explain to me how this is a noble action in any way, all I see is naivety.
California legislators are the absolute masters at naivete.

Yathin Krishnappa
08-29-2019, 10:54 AM
Berkeley California just banned natural gas in new homes. This is supposed to reduce carbon emissions . Of course the local power company still burns coal to make a good percentage of the electrical.

Bill, I think a single source of pollutants (e.g., power plant) is better to manage and improve than a distributed source of pollutants (e.g, cars and houses).

I've lived in the Berkeley hills when my wife went to grad school there, and being on a fault line the natural gas lines are always a concern -- so this could be about safety as well and not just greenhouse gases.

Edward Dyas
08-29-2019, 11:14 AM
A private residence doesn't have to have them but all of the rental properties do. In Texas in private residence you don't even have to have a smoke detector if you don't want one.

Adam Herman
08-29-2019, 12:11 PM
FYI there is one coal fired power plant in the entire state of California a 6 1/2 hour drive from Berkeley built in 1978 and it produces 0.2% of the electrical capacity. Also California is phasing out gas fired power plants as they cannot compete with solar and wind. Yes there are some under construction but there are more retirements than new construction.
https://archinect.com/news/article/150142965/gas-fired-power-plants-are-becoming-obsolete
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-california-natgas/los-angeles-abandons-new-natural-gas-plants-in-favor-of-renewables-idUSKCN1Q12C9

CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA.

anything to outsource the bad stuff, and then feel all high and mighty when you say you only have 1 coal plant left in the state, then turn around and crap on all the people and industry that actually supplies your standard of living.

Jerome Stanek
08-29-2019, 12:46 PM
So if other states decide to lower the amount of electric to Cali and send it to other states what would be Cali plan. They are making it hard to deal with but that is just my opinion

Jon Nuckles
08-29-2019, 12:53 PM
CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA.

anything to outsource the bad stuff, and then feel all high and mighty when you say you only have 1 coal plant left in the state, then turn around and crap on all the people and industry that actually supplies your standard of living.

Setting aside the unfounded commentary on the mind-set of the people who passed the ordinance, let's look at the facts. Berkeley has opted in to a source of electric power that is 100% carbon-free, so they are not getting their electricity from your fossil fuel plants: cite (https://www.cityofberkeley.info/EBCE/). As a city, Berkeley does not have the authority to change California's sources of power, much less the energy policy of the United States. It is doing what it can within those limits to fight climate change. You can call these people naive, but I call them realistic. I'd call them farsighted, but it doesn't take much in the way of foresight to see that we need to change our ways to address the coming crisis.

Note to the moderators: if the discussion up to this point was not political and prohibited, I don't see how my post can be. Just some necessary factual corrective.

Mike Henderson
08-29-2019, 1:12 PM
While this is not about natural gas, I expect to see serious limits being put on the sale of gasoline powered personal vehicles within the next several years. Prices of electric vehicles are coming down, availability of charging stations is improving and the vehicles are pollution free (the pollution is at a electricity generating station where it can be better controlled). More and more solar and wind generation is coming on line and electricity storage is improving for nighttime availability.

I expect that large trucks will continue to be diesel for quite a while.

Mike

Kev Williams
08-29-2019, 1:22 PM
CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA...
less than 1/2 mile from where all our retirement toys are stored is the Lakeside Power Plant (Utah), and as I understand it, most of the power generated ends up in California.
This is a wikipedia pic of the plant circa 2008 when 'first finished':
415202

But a couple years later, *I believe* because selling power to CA was so lucrative, they built its twin sister,
left is the twin, right is the original. (pic from our boat harbor)
415203

I have nothing against gas fired plants, other than it's big to look at, this plant puffs some steam out once in awhile, I don't think it's pollution output could even be measured. However, and I don't mean this in any way political, but it's heat output CAN be measured, and the simple fact is, that heat is contributing... Windmills, dams and solar panel don't generate heat. And I'll leave it at that :)

>edit< I just noticed the Wiki pic IS of both plants, the Wiki shot is extremely 'zoomed in', squashing the field of view. Doesn't look like it but the side facing the camera is right next to a road, maybe 100' away...

Nicholas Lawrence
08-29-2019, 1:32 PM
Not sure the technology is there yet.

Even in California, natural gas appears to be providing more power than solar, wind, and hydro combined.

https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/total_system_power.html



FYI there is one coal fired power plant in the entire state of California a 6 1/2 hour drive from Berkeley built in 1978 and it produces 0.2% of the electrical capacity. Also California is phasing out gas fired power plants as they cannot compete with solar and wind. Yes there are some under construction but there are more retirements than new construction.
https://archinect.com/news/article/150142965/gas-fired-power-plants-are-becoming-obsolete
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-california-natgas/los-angeles-abandons-new-natural-gas-plants-in-favor-of-renewables-idUSKCN1Q12C9

Adam Herman
08-29-2019, 1:57 PM
Setting aside the unfounded commentary on the mind-set of the people who passed the ordinance, let's look at the facts. Berkeley has opted in to a source of electric power that is 100% carbon-free, so they are not getting their electricity from your fossil fuel plants: cite (https://www.cityofberkeley.info/EBCE/). As a city, Berkeley does not have the authority to change California's sources of power, much less the energy policy of the United States. It is doing what it can within those limits to fight climate change. You can call these people naive, but I call them realistic. I'd call them farsighted, but it doesn't take much in the way of foresight to see that we need to change our ways to address the coming crisis.

Note to the moderators: if the discussion up to this point was not political and prohibited, I don't see how my post can be. Just some necessary factual corrective.

i was replying specifically to the gentleman claiming .2 % of CA electricity was from their 1 Coal power plant. Which is just an outright misrepresentation of facts.

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 2:14 PM
Not sure the technology is there yet.

Even in California, natural gas appears to be providing more power than solar, wind, and hydro combined.

https://ww2.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/total_system_power.html
Check your calculator, California power mix large hydro + small hydro + wind +solar = 35.15 vs nat gas = 34.91 and all non fossil fuel combined = 51%. Plus wind and solar is expanding while nat gas is shrinking and it's not just the environmental concern, wind and solar have become cheaper than gas. I think the technology is here, what's holding it back is the billions invested in obsolete technology.

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 2:46 PM
CA is the largest importer of electricity in the nation, 15 terrawatts? something like that. their fossil fuel percentage when you factor in imports is still over 35%

a lot of that is from Wyoming, where they burn the coal next to the mine and have transmission lines going directly to CA.

anything to outsource the bad stuff, and then feel all high and mighty when you say you only have 1 coal plant left in the state, then turn around and crap on all the people and industry that actually supplies your standard of living.

Check your math, 34.91% is not over 35%. I agree California have always been a NIMBY state but when it comes to climate change I think they are on the right side of the issue. Yes Wyoming primarily generates electricity from coal but there are signs that is changing and the reason is not just environmental it's economics.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pacificorps-march-from-coal-toward-clean-energy-alternatives

Bill Dufour
08-29-2019, 3:06 PM
What about the theory of Hydrogen made for renewable power? How will that get shipped through non existent pipes?
I will also add they are not considering the carbon impact of replacing a electric heat pump every few decades. My floor furnace was made in 1948 and still works fine. of course the efficiency is no as high as newer models that require elctricity. In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.
Bill D.

Mike Henderson
08-29-2019, 4:40 PM
What about the theory of Hydrogen made for renewable power? How will that get shipped through non existent pipes?
I will also add they are not considering the carbon impact of replacing a electric heat pump every few decades. My floor furnace was made in 1948 and still works fine. of course the efficiency is no as high as newer models that require electricity. In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.
Bill D.

Hydrogen has a number of issues, one of which is efficiency of conversions.

Let's start with 100 units of electric power, produced by some renewable means (solar, wind, etc.) and use that to do electrolysis of water. The energy contained in the hydrogen you get from that electrolysis is about 70% of the input energy, so now you have 70 units of energy.

Then, you get to one of the major problems - how to transport the hydrogen. You either have to have a way of producing hydrogen close to where it's going to be consumed or you have to compress it and transport it. Pipeline is the cheapest but there not much hydrogen pipeline. Compressing it and transporting it by truck is expensive. Hydrogen has the lowest amount of energy per volume of fuels. But let's be generous and assume that it takes 10% of the energy to compress and transport it. That gets us to 67.5 units of energy.

Then, the hydrogen is put into a fuel cell which is about 60% efficient, and that gets us 40.5 units of energy to go into the motors on the car. The motors are about 90% so we get to use about 34.5% of the energy we started with.

Looking at an electric battery car, let's start with the same 100 units of electric power, produced from renewable sources.
Transporting that energy to the charging station uses about 5% of the energy, which gets us to 95 units of energy.

A battery is about 90% efficient so the power to the electric motors is 85.5 units of energy.
The motors are about 90% efficient so the power we get from that 100 original units of energy is about 77 units.

Due to the losses in producing and using the energy from hydrogen, hydrogen is likely to be an expensive fuel if not heavily subsidized.

Mike

[One other thing is that a battery powered car can recover some of the expended energy when the car slows down, or the car is going downhill. There's no reasonable way to recover that energy when a fuel cell is used.]

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 4:43 PM
So if other states decide to lower the amount of electric to Cali and send it to other states what would be Cali plan. They are making it hard to deal with but that is just my opinion
Don't know if the other states can or would decide to lower electrical sales to California. My understanding is electricity is a commodity sold on the open market mainly by private for profit companies. What would their incentive be to reduce sales to California? How is California making it hard for electrical producers to deal with them?

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 4:51 PM
Hydrogen has a number of issues, one of which is efficiency of conversions.

Let's start with 100 units of electric power, produced by some renewable means (solar, wind, etc.) and use that to do electrolysis of water. The energy contained in the hydrogen you get from that electrolysis is about 70% of the input energy, so now you have 70 units of energy.

Then, you get to one of the major problems - how to transport the hydrogen. You either have to have a way of producing hydrogen close to where it's going to be consumed or you have to compress it and transport it. Pipeline is the cheapest but there not much hydrogen pipeline. Compressing it and transporting it by truck is expensive. Hydrogen has the lowest amount of energy per volume of fuels. But let's be generous and assume that it takes 10% of the energy to compress and transport it. That gets us to 67.5 units of energy.

Then, the hydrogen is put into a fuel cell which is about 60% efficient, and that gets us 40.5 units of energy to go into the motors on the car. The motors are about 90% so we get to use about 34.5% of the energy we started with.

Looking at an electric battery car, let's start with the same 100 units of electric power, produced from renewable sources.
Transporting that energy to the charging station uses about 5% of the energy, which gets us to 95 units of energy.

A battery is about 90% efficient so the power to the electric motors is 85.5 units of energy.
The motors are about 90% efficient so the power we get from that 100 original units of energy is about 77 units.

Due to the losses in producing and using the energy from hydrogen, hydrogen is likely to be an expensive fuel if not heavily subsidized.

Mike

[One other thing is that a battery powered car can recover some of the expended energy when the car slows down, or the car is going downhill. There's no reasonable way to recover that energy when a fuel cell is used.]

Mike, pretty good synopsis of the hydrogen issue. I think of hydrogen as a energy storage medium not a fuel like gas or oil. The competition for hydrogen is battery storage and as batteries get better and better it's harder and harder for hydrogen to compete. It would be a challenge to think of a situation where hydrogen has an advantage over battery storage. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

Roger Feeley
08-29-2019, 5:43 PM
When we built our new house which is an accesory dwelling unit off of our daughters house, we found that routing gas to our house would be $10,000. Since we were going heat pump, all we wanted gas for was the stove. Not worth it. I had been wanting to try induction anyway and we will never look back.

Cons: We did have to replace some of our cookware. The cast iron worked but the aluminum clad stuff had to go.

Pros:
-- gas like control only better. I had to use simmer plates to get a decent simmer with gas. Turn off the burner and it's off just like gas.
-- induction heats faster than gas
-- the cooktop doesn't get as hot as with other glass cooktops. It does get hot because the pan radiates heat back. But this is not a technology where the cooktop gets really hot and imparts some of that heat to the pan.

An example: I made chocolate pudding (the cook kind) for my grandson. I looked at the clock as I walked to the fridge to get the milk (when I started). Then I checked the time when the pudding was in the fridge and the pan was clean. Total elapsed time was 9 minutes. Heating the two cups of milk was about 2 minutes of that.

My point here is that going all electric doesn't involve much sacrifice.

Malcolm Schweizer
08-29-2019, 6:20 PM
Wow. I thought natural gas was more efficient than electric and therefore better overall for the environment. Not saying I’m right, but that’s what I thought. Locally we don’t have natural gas but we have LPG and I converted my stove and water heater to LPG and am saving over $100 a month with that and LED bulbs. (Note: we have the second highest electric rate in the world so for me it’s a bigger cost savings). Our location burns diesel for power and recently converted to LPG. My opinion is that creating heat at the source from LPG is better than the power company converting it to electricity and then me concerting the electricity into heat.

BTW- just got a quote to go solar off the grid and ditch the power company except for backup.

Kev Williams
08-29-2019, 7:24 PM
My problem with all-electric is that, around here at least, the power company already wants us all to let them put power limiters on our lines that THEY control. Supposed to help stop brown-outs during hot days when everyone's AC is on full-blast. NEWS FLASH, I'm PAYING you for the electricity I need to keep my house cool, I DON'T want LESS electricity on hot days, I want MORE!

And for reference, with my home business power usage, my monthly average power use is around 3300kw, while my neighbor's average is about 600kw. I can't have my power dropped and keep working all day.

What's scary is, if they can't supply our area's power needs NOW without brownout protections in place, what if everyone around here just suddenly decided to go all-electric? And those Tesla's and Prius's don't charge themselves...

Mike Henderson
08-29-2019, 8:55 PM
My problem with all-electric is that, around here at least, the power company already wants us all to let them put power limiters on our lines that THEY control. Supposed to help stop brown-outs during hot days when everyone's AC is on full-blast. NEWS FLASH, I'm PAYING you for the electricity I need to keep my house cool, I DON'T want LESS electricity on hot days, I want MORE!

And for reference, with my home business power usage, my monthly average power use is around 3300kw, while my neighbor's average is about 600kw. I can't have my power dropped and keep working all day.

What's scary is, if they can't supply our area's power needs NOW without brownout protections in place, what if everyone around here just suddenly decided to go all-electric? And those Tesla's and Prius's don't charge themselves...

The thing about electric cars charged at home is that they're generally charged overnight when electricity demand is significantly lower. Most electric companies have rates that strongly encourage you to charge at night.

The problem for electric companies is that they have to install generating and transmission capacity for the peak demand. At night, demand is low. If they can spread out the demand, such as charging electric cars at night, they become more efficient.

Mike

[And just a side note - homes that install solar help the electric company by either supplying power back to the grid, or at least reducing or eliminating the power taken from the grid by that home during the hottest part of the day. Solar on the home is a way of helping the power company smooth out their demand problem.]

[The power company can build generating and transmission systems that are capable of supplying all the power you'd want on the days of the highest demand. But a lot of that generating and transmission capability would be wasted most of the year. And if they did do that, you (the customer) would have to pay more for your electricity all year long to support that extra capacity. The power company uses those limiting systems to reduce your power costs.]

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 9:01 PM
Wow. I thought natural gas was more efficient than electric and therefore better overall for the environment. Not saying I’m right, but that’s what I thought. Locally we don’t have natural gas but we have LPG and I converted my stove and water heater to LPG and am saving over $100 a month with that and LED bulbs. (Note: we have the second highest electric rate in the world so for me it’s a bigger cost savings). Our location burns diesel for power and recently converted to LPG. My opinion is that creating heat at the source from LPG is better than the power company converting it to electricity and then me concerting the electricity into heat.

BTW- just got a quote to go solar off the grid and ditch the power company except for backup.

I'm always amazed when I hear that islands like the US Virgin Islands don't already generate the majority of their electricity from wind and solar. I believe they are in the process of getting their by 2025.
https://www.energy.gov/eere/technology-to-market/energy-transformation-us-virgin-islands

Bruce Wrenn
08-29-2019, 9:53 PM
The biggest advantage (other than cost) to a gas turbine generated electricity is they can be brought on line in just a few a seconds. A coal fired plant has to be running 24/7/365.

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 9:57 PM
What about the theory of Hydrogen made for renewable power? How will that get shipped through non existent pipes?
I will also add they are not considering the carbon impact of replacing a electric heat pump every few decades. My floor furnace was made in 1948 and still works fine. of course the efficiency is no as high as newer models that require elctricity. In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.
Bill D.
Wow, a 1948 "floor furnace" (what's that?) still working. I'm impressed, my oldest working thing (other than my 1949 body) is a 1954 Delta Homecraft drill press.

Malcolm McLeod
08-29-2019, 10:19 PM
I think any complete conversion to renewables (wind/solar/tidal*) is vitally dependent on grid scale electrical storage, which basically doesn't currently exist due to cost and lack of supporting technology. Tho' I did read an article once about a UPS system for a US Navy warship..... forgotten the specs, but would hold up the entire ship's critical systems for something like 1-2 hours (i.e. CIC, radar, CIWS). I'm sure we could all afford one for the home & shop!!

A user 'community' has to either store it when produced, or turn the lights out when its not produced. Humans have fought the darkness for millennia. Hard to picture us going backward.

Everybody gasps at the mention, but nuclear has so many newer, safer implementations of reactors - some even self modulating IIRC - but a US license hasn't been issued in something like 30-35 years??

* I don't count hydro, since its sort of impossible to put the water back in the system upstream of the generating station. And sometimes it doesn't rain. ;)

Doug Garson
08-29-2019, 10:26 PM
My problem with all-electric is that, around here at least, the power company already wants us all to let them put power limiters on our lines that THEY control. Supposed to help stop brown-outs during hot days when everyone's AC is on full-blast. NEWS FLASH, I'm PAYING you for the electricity I need to keep my house cool, I DON'T want LESS electricity on hot days, I want MORE!

And for reference, with my home business power usage, my monthly average power use is around 3300kw, while my neighbor's average is about 600kw. I can't have my power dropped and keep working all day.

What's scary is, if they can't supply our area's power needs NOW without brownout protections in place, what if everyone around here just suddenly decided to go all-electric? And those Tesla's and Prius's don't charge themselves...
Bet the same was said about gasoline when Henry Ford introduced mass production of automobiles with gasoline powered engines.

Malcolm McLeod
08-29-2019, 11:34 PM
Bet the same was said about gasoline when Henry Ford introduced mass production of automobiles with gasoline powered engines.

I have always heard the story told that Henry picked gasoline-fueled ICEs because 'gasoline' was the light weight condensate from crude and not desirable for anything - much too volatile and dangerous - and so it was CHEAP! Ford's introduction came close on the heels of the Spindletop discovery and the resulting drop in oil prices.

Bill Dufour
08-29-2019, 11:48 PM
Well electric stoves were invented before gas stoves were invented in California around 1910?
Bill D

Doug Garson
08-30-2019, 2:10 AM
I think any complete conversion to renewables (wind/solar/tidal*) is vitally dependent on grid scale electrical storage, which basically doesn't currently exist due to cost and lack of supporting technology. Tho' I did read an article once about a UPS system for a US Navy warship..... forgotten the specs, but would hold up the entire ship's critical systems for something like 1-2 hours (i.e. CIC, radar, CIWS). I'm sure we could all afford one for the home & shop!!

A user 'community' has to either store it when produced, or turn the lights out when its not produced. Humans have fought the darkness for millennia. Hard to picture us going backward.

Everybody gasps at the mention, but nuclear has so many newer, safer implementations of reactors - some even self modulating IIRC - but a US license hasn't been issued in something like 30-35 years??

* I don't count hydro, since its sort of impossible to put the water back in the system upstream of the generating station. And sometimes it doesn't rain. ;)

Agree with some of what you say but I think you are wrong two points. One, hydro is a renewable energy source. Yes in theory a drought could reduce the ability to generate power but at least in North America, hydro is one of if not the most reliable form of power generation. Two, a grid based on renewable energy is not a step backwards and can supply power 24/7. Norway's grid is supplied 98% by renewables, Canada's grid is 67% renewable and 82% non greenhouse gas producing (ie renewable + nuclear).

John Stankus
08-30-2019, 9:16 AM
Everybody gasps at the mention, but nuclear has so many newer, safer implementations of reactors - some even self modulating IIRC - but a US license hasn't been issued in something like 30-35 years??

* I don't count hydro, since its sort of impossible to put the water back in the system upstream of the generating station. And sometimes it doesn't rain. ;)

On nuclear, the navy has some robust reactor designs, and trains folks to run them too.

There are several implementations of two level reservoirs for storage of renewables such as solar. Look up pumped storage hydroelectricity. There is about 25 GW capacity in the US and 184 GW worldwide

Pat Barry
08-30-2019, 9:36 AM
Propane ok?

Malcolm McLeod
08-30-2019, 1:01 PM
...

There are several implementations of two level reservoirs for storage of renewables such as solar. Look up pumped storage hydroelectricity. There is about 25 GW capacity in the US and 184 GW worldwide

What is the efficiency (and so cost) of this?

Malcolm McLeod
08-30-2019, 1:24 PM
Agree with some of what you say but I think you are wrong two points. One, hydro is a renewable energy source. Yes in theory a drought could reduce the ability to generate power but at least in North America, hydro is one of if not the most reliable form of power generation. Two, a grid based on renewable energy is not a step backwards and can supply power 24/7. Norway's grid is supplied 98% by renewables, Canada's grid is 67% renewable and 82% non greenhouse gas producing (ie renewable + nuclear).

No argument that hydro is reliable. But reliable and renewable are different. See other post about 'pumped hydro' -- also very possible, also very inefficient, also very expensive.

Renewable energy IS a step backward IF we have to live in the dark (my point). Ignore climate for a moment, and read up on the economic impact of this darkness.

IF solar/wind/tidal is to supply power 24/7 (no darkness!:cool:), one of perhaps 3 things needs to be incorporated:
1. We need a global grid (sun always shines somewhere; wind is usually blowing somewhere; tides are flowing ...somewhere);
2. We need to produce in excess of any instantaneous demand AND have grid-scale storage;
3. We supplement with 'scary' power sources.

Anything is possible.
You can have your project done good, fast, and cheap. Pick 2!
How much money do you have?

Doug Garson
08-30-2019, 1:52 PM
The biggest advantage (other than cost) to a gas turbine generated electricity is they can be brought on line in just a few a seconds. A coal fired plant has to be running 24/7/365.
Yes simple cycle gas turbines are much faster than a coal fired power plant but not seconds, a GE aeroderivative LM 6000 gas turbine minimum start time is 5 min while a coal fired plant is more like 10 hours and a hydro turbine is under 2 minutes.

Rick Potter
08-30-2019, 2:28 PM
We are talking about California here. Let us not forget that as long as there are burritos there will be natural gas.

Doug Garson
08-30-2019, 2:49 PM
No argument that hydro is reliable. But reliable and renewable are different. See other post about 'pumped hydro' -- also very possible, also very inefficient, also very expensive.

Renewable energy IS a step backward IF we have to live in the dark (my point). Ignore climate for a moment, and read up on the economic impact of this darkness.

IF solar/wind/tidal is to supply power 24/7 (no darkness!:cool:), one of perhaps 3 things needs to be incorporated:
1. We need a global grid (sun always shines somewhere; wind is usually blowing somewhere; tides are flowing ...somewhere);
2. We need to produce in excess of any instantaneous demand AND have grid-scale storage;
3. We supplement with 'scary' power sources.

Anything is possible.
You can have your project done good, fast, and cheap. Pick 2!
How much money do you have?

I think you are in the minority in excluding hydro from renewable power sources https://sciencing.com/facts-5778942-hydropower-non-renewable-renewable-resource-.html .
Are you suggesting Norway lives in the dark? As to your comment about ignoring climate for the moment, (seriously?) I think the problem is we have been ignoring the climate for far too long.
What's your definition of "scary" power sources? Mine includes coal fired power plants which contribute to global warming.
You can make your power project cheaper by ignoring the cost of climate change but eventually someone has to pay. The insurance industry recognizes this. https://www.ft.com/content/92e19630-aba2-11e8-8253-48106866cd8a

Bill Dufour
08-30-2019, 3:15 PM
In California hydro over 30 megawatts does not count as renewable. There are some proposals to pump Colorado river water 80 miles upstream using solar and wind power power to provide hydro storage on a big scale.
Bill D.

Mike Henderson
08-30-2019, 3:19 PM
Agree with some of what you say but I think you are wrong two points. One, hydro is a renewable energy source. Yes in theory a drought could reduce the ability to generate power but at least in North America, hydro is one of if not the most reliable form of power generation. Two, a grid based on renewable energy is not a step backwards and can supply power 24/7. Norway's grid is supplied 98% by renewables, Canada's grid is 67% renewable and 82% non greenhouse gas producing (ie renewable + nuclear).

Iceland is 100% renewable electricity (http://www.reuk.co.uk/wordpress/geothermal/renewable-energy-in-iceland/) - 87% from hydro power and 13% from geothermal. They also pipe hot (geothermal) water through the streets of Reykjavik to homes to heat the homes (they charge for the hot water). They also use it to melt the snow in the streets.

Not everyone has that much hydro, of course, but we're going more and more renewable. Regarding pumping water back into a reservoir at night - it's just a form of energy storage and is a way of storing excess electricity at night. It's difficult to modulate some of the big power generating stations so storing some of that excess electricity in the form of water in a reservoir is a good thing. It's no different than if we had giant batteries that we could charge at night.

Perhaps one day we'll have solar arrays that do nothing but power pumps that pump water during the day back into a reservoir so that the water can be use for hydro power at night. Then perhaps we wouldn't need those coal and natural gas generating plants.

Mike

Jim Koepke
08-30-2019, 3:27 PM
Well electric stoves were invented before gas stoves were invented in California around 1910?
Bill D

Your date seems to be off by about a century.


In Berkeley no homes have air conditioning just furnaces.

Do you make these things up or do you actually have a source for this?

Some homes in Berkeley, CA do have air conditioning.

Many do not because there is usually less than a week of very hot weather in Berkeley during the summer.

jtk

Doug Garson
08-30-2019, 3:34 PM
In California hydro over 30 megawatts does not count as renewable.
Bill D.

Anyone know what the reason is for this? This would presumably promote small run of river type projects (assuming there are tax breaks for renewable projects) but why not promote all hydro? Apologies to Malcolm, maybe he's not in the minority in California.

Nicholas Lawrence
08-30-2019, 3:40 PM
Talking about Norway, Canada, or Iceland as examples of how we can power California is not realistic. Can anybody point to a significant hydroelectric plant in the US that has been built in the last 30 years? Or a nuke plant? Because Norway runs on dams and nukes. Canada runs on dams, nukes, and oil.

Unless things have changed since I lived in California, the people who run the state hate dams and nukes almost as much as they hate coal.

Solar seems to be acceptable, but only as long as you put the panels on your house or an existing building. Wind is unacceptable because of the birds that run into the turbine blades.


I think you are in the minority in excluding hydro from renewable power sources https://sciencing.com/facts-5778942-hydropower-non-renewable-renewable-resource-.html .
Are you suggesting Norway lives in the dark?

Malcolm McLeod
08-30-2019, 6:34 PM
I think you are in the minority in excluding hydro from renewable power sources https://sciencing.com/facts-5778942-hydropower-non-renewable-renewable-resource-.html .
Are you suggesting Norway lives in the dark? As to your comment about ignoring climate for the moment, (seriously?) I think the problem is we have been ignoring the climate for far too long.
What's your definition of "scary" power sources? Mine includes coal fired power plants which contribute to global warming.
You can make your power project cheaper by ignoring the cost of climate change but eventually someone has to pay. The insurance industry recognizes this. https://www.ft.com/content/92e19630-aba2-11e8-8253-48106866cd8a

Lot to respond to, but will try:
Always happy to be in the minority. Lots of benefits to that!

Not suggesting Norway lives anywhere ... except in Norway of course. I do wonder what they’ll do when renewables don’t renew... but they need a nightlight (grid-scale of course)?

I never ignore the climate, in fact check it regularly.

I have no power supplies that scare me. Humans throughout history have been remarkably adept at meeting their energy needs. I doubt the future will be much different. ...burn a stick, level a forest, kill a whale, remove a mountaintop, split a little plutonium, let the wind blow, fuse some hydrogen? All have seemed prudent at one time or another. All come at a cost. And hindsight is always 20/20.

In fact, let’s wreck out the ‘gas stations’, and force all society to go all EV. Then when hindsight proves that energy density of batteries is woefully inadequate, we can pay to put them all back. ...Since we’ll let algae grow our carbon-neutral ‘gasoline‘.

And again, we can have anything we can pay for. What shall we book you as willing to contribute?

Mike Henderson
08-30-2019, 6:56 PM
Then when hindsight proves that energy density of batteries is woefully inadequate, we can pay to put them all back. ...

EVs are getting 200 to 300 miles on a charge and the car is not excessively heavy or large. Why do you think that the "energy density of batteries is woefully inadequate"? Note that batteries can be rapid charged to about 80% fairly quickly - maybe not as quick as a gas fill up but pretty quick. And improvements in the speed of charging continue to be made.

Note that we don't have to convert every vehicle to battery power to make a significant reduction in greenhouse gasses. If most vehicles are zero emission and the fossil fuel vehicles have good mitigation, we'll have made a significant improvement compared to where we are now.

We don't have to achieve "perfection" (whatever that is) - we just need to make continuous improvements.

Mike

Malcolm McLeod
08-30-2019, 7:31 PM
Agree completely.

Speculating on energy density, but something WILL be woefully inadequate. Maybe range, maybe cost, maybe disposal, maybe autism in the juvenile humming darter snail fish butterworm. Or maybe it will just mildly offend a protected class, but it will be inadequate somehow.

Oh, and I wonder how we can consider EVs as zero emission? Do they only use solar electricity? But they are to charge at night, right? ...We just need that grid-scale storage. Or maybe space-based solar arrays? Cheap ones surely.

Jon Nuckles
08-30-2019, 7:41 PM
In California hydro over 30 megawatts does not count as renewable. There are some proposals to pump Colorado river water 80 miles upstream using solar and wind power power to provide hydro storage on a big scale.
Bill D.

I am willing to bet that this exclusion relates to a definition of renewable energy sources for purposes of claiming a tax credit or some similar benefit. Whatever the reason, hydroelectric power is renewable in a real sense notwithstanding a legislative exclusion. It has environmental costs, but as long as the sun shines and rain or snow falls upstream of the dam, the power source is renewed.

Mike Henderson
08-30-2019, 8:18 PM
Oh, and I wonder how we can consider EVs as zero emission? Do they only use solar electricity? But they are to charge at night, right? ...We just need that grid-scale storage. Or maybe space-based solar arrays? Cheap ones surely.

No, charging at night improves the efficiency of the grid. The demand curve for electricity is much higher in the daytime, with peaks about 10am and 4pm. At night the demand is significantly lower. The electric company has to have generating and transmission capability to handle the peak load. Additionally, the big fossil fuel generating facilities cannot be brought on line and off line quickly so the power company has excess capacity at night.

What they do is give a cheap rate for electricity used at night (maybe 11pm to 6am). Anything they can get for that electricity is better than getting nothing. Most people who charge their electric vehicles at home program them to charge at night because of the rates.

Today, solar helps to meet the peak load during the day but the fossil fuel plants provide power in the evening. Eventually we'll get to an all renewable power grid but in the meanwhile we can make progress by encouraging the use of electric vehicles and charging them overnight.

We don't have to wait for "perfection" to make progress.

Mike

[EV are zero emission themselves but not zero emission when you consider what has to be done to manufacture them and the source of the electricity. The advantage of large fossil fuel plants is that they are a single source of emissions and it's easier and more cost effective to capture the emissions there than in millions of individual vehicles.]

Pat Barry
08-30-2019, 9:57 PM
The world needs to change the way many things are done because the current ways are environmental disasters. I think this should be clearly apparent to all, however many have their heads in the sand or darker places. Lets face it, there is way too much plastic in the environment, way too much polution in the air and water, too much mass production of animals for food to be sustainable for much longer. Our children's children will be stuck with problems created by us and our parents. Its a shame that we can't go faster with solar and wind power and convert to all electric personal vehicles even faster. There should be no excuses.

Malcolm McLeod
08-30-2019, 10:08 PM
So, in the short term, we're night-time charging 'zero-emission' vehicles with carbon-based electrical capacity (off-peak, base-load, or otherwise). But we'll feel better. Long term, still have to get to a storage solution, or a space-based PV array the size of the moon with a Telsa-beam to get it to the ground 24/7. Wonder who will run this??:confused:

Err, wait .... if this space station casts a shadow, that could lead to global cooling. Ice caps, snow in Greenland, winter in Chicago, and even receding sea-levels...? When Oprah finds out she is no longer 'beach-front', there could be REAL trouble.:eek: She might insist we have to counter with carbon. Methane even?

And I wonder how the juvenile humming darter snail fish butterworm feels about Tesla-beams? Forget perfection, I'll be glad if we can just keep Al Gore happy in his 22,000sqft house, flying to speaking fees at climate-change seminars in his Lear charter.

Well aware of peak/off-peak/base load, etc... and I hope I am being taken as (humorously) facetious. There is no simple, straight-forward solution, not even Berkeley's ban. There is only the infinite number of paths to the future.

Mike Cutler
08-30-2019, 10:32 PM
Don't know if the other states can or would decide to lower electrical sales to California. My understanding is electricity is a commodity sold on the open market mainly by private for profit companies. What would their incentive be to reduce sales to California? How is California making it hard for electrical producers to deal with them?

Yes, other utilities, in other states, have decided to lower generation output to California specifically.They specifically accomplished it by buying up instate generation stations, then idling them.
No, electricity is not a commodity across the board. It is regulated in most states. Believe me, you want it this way.
The incentive to reduce sales to California was to drive up the price. They didn't actually reduce the sale, what they did was created a false demand.
California is a very backwards business state. They set themselves up big time to be bent over a barrel in the late 90's ,early 2000's, and one of the largest utilities in the country stuck it to them . California later sued and won some of it back in in court, but the utility came out on top.
Just because you can make power cheaper, doesn't mean you're going to sell it cheap.
California made/makes it hard, because they want to control the source of generation. They want "green power", which basically does not exist. It's a made up term, just like "renewable" energy. These are feel good terms that garner votes, and sell a product.
For some reason the politicians that run the state are convinced that non fossil, non nuclear, is somehow environmentally friendly, or better. Whatever makes them feel better, or get re-elected I guess.
Take away all of the tax breaks, incentives, and deals, being thrown at solar and wind in our current climate, and let the actual cost per megawatt be known ,and they're not that attractive.
Solar power, in it's current form, if it doesn't evolve, is an environmental disaster in the making. There is very negative side to solar, that people just don't want to look at.. That panel, in even it's simplest form, is a hazardous waste product, and there is no technology, or industry currently ongoing, that can recycle them.
Hydro power is another environmental disaster. We, as a country, made a decision in the 70's to not only not build any more hydro production, but to also remove many of the dilapidated dams across the country.
Hydro make nice lakes for fishing and boating, and lots of expensive homes are built on their shores, but what will be the net environmental impact in a thousand years? Hydro is not "renewable. We destroyed entire eco-systems, that may never recover. That doesn't meet my definition of "renewable".
There is no free ride with electrical generation. Every technology and source of motive force has it's good and bad points.

I would be very impressed to see a dead stop hydro turbine,of any significant size, go from cold steel to hitting the grid in 2 minutes. That would be impressive. They're fast, but not that fast. A combined cycle gas turbine can go from cold steel to the grid really fast. That's how they make their money. They have to hit the grid quick to take advantage of energy price spikes. They are sometimes put online and taken off in just a few minutes. When the sale priice per megawatt goes from $30.00 to $1800.00, you have to be ready. Yes, the electric market can be that volatile.

Mike Henderson
08-30-2019, 11:13 PM
... and I hope I am being taken as (humorously) facetious.

It is difficult to have a serious discussion when one person is making ridiculous statements.

But perhaps that's your intent.

Mike

Malcolm McLeod
08-31-2019, 12:51 AM
It is difficult to have a serious discussion when one person is making ridiculous statements.

But perhaps that's your intent.

Mike

And yet there is some painful shred of truth in all of mine. But let's summarize others:

Solar-powered uphill pumping of water at night, so we can hydro-generate the next day at peak demand (a SWAG at total process efficiency approaching 2-3%).
Zero-emission EVs also charged at night from solar or wind, or maybe from out-of-state coal plants.
Wind turbines that are out of sight for when the wind sometimes blows (so long as no birds are maimed).
Hydro w/ no dams, no rivers obstructed, and no land flooded.
Solar panels that are apparently transparent (again, the view) or hidden on someone else's roof.
Nuclear ... well that just clearly ain't gonna happen.

Seems like enough ridiculousness to be more than one person. IMHO. But it can be me if you wish.

Jim Matthews
08-31-2019, 8:10 AM
Memories are short. If you don't live in California, or never dealt with smog in the Los Angeles basin, you might not know what all the fuss is about. If you want a "taste" of what it's like, try Beijing in heating season.

https://www.aqmd.gov/home/research/publications/50-years-of-progress

Mike Cutler
08-31-2019, 9:21 AM
Jim

I grew up in Southern California in the 60's and 70's. I sure don't miss that smog at all.

Art Mann
08-31-2019, 9:46 AM
That would be quite easy. Hydroelectric plants are very easy to throttle. The turbines turn all the time, whether they are generating power or not. In fact, they are operated in idle mode sometimes to correct the grid power factor. All you have to do to throttle up a hydro generator is open the spigot. That takes seconds.



I would be very impressed to see a dead stop hydro turbine,of any significant size, go from cold steel to hitting the grid in 2 minutes. That would be impressive. They're fast, but not that fast. A combined cycle gas turbine can go from cold steel to the grid really fast. That's how they make their money. They have to hit the grid quick to take advantage of energy price spikes. They are sometimes put online and taken off in just a few minutes. When the sale priice per megawatt goes from $30.00 to $1800.00, you have to be ready. Yes, the electric market can be that volatile.

Mike Cutler
08-31-2019, 10:01 AM
Art
Yes, I understand that.
I was referring to a dead stopped turbine, not one that was continuously spinning and only had to have the generator engaged and sync's to the grid.
I helped overhaul all the control and electrical systems for a small hydro turbine, I think it was < 300kw, most of the controls were old style relay logic with the big noisy GE HGA style relays. The sync control was more or less manual, no Seimens, or Allen Bradley PLC's.
Once the turbine was up and running and the speed controller took over, engaging the generator and syncing was quick. It's the speed/load control circuits that need a little time to smooth out. It was a horizontal shaft ,so there were hydraulic systems that had to be brought up to temp and pressure to control vibration.
We're running one of the newest generation GE Turbine controls systems at work and it's a huge step up from the 1960's vintage GE system it replaced. It's really nice.

Malcolm Schweizer
08-31-2019, 10:51 AM
I'm always amazed when I hear that islands like the US Virgin Islands don't already generate the majority of their electricity from wind and solar. I believe they are in the process of getting their by 2025.
https://www.energy.gov/eere/technology-to-market/energy-transformation-us-virgin-islands


I am equally amazed. We had a massive solar field that the same year it was completed it was totally destroyed by Irmaria (Irma and Maria). They should have used three support struts instead of two, but hind sight is 20/20. We had a test wind turbine going up at the landfill, but it was damaged on installation and that was that. The mall put up two massive wind turbines, but WAPA sued them and said that they could not sell power to their tenants because that would be an illegal municipality. Corruption won. The turbines sat unused.

My quote for 15 panels and one Tesla Powerwall plus installation came to just over $25k. I’m likely doing it. The tax break makes it worthwhile. It would make me mostly off-grid, but just at my normal usage. On laundry day and cloudy days I would likely still be using WAPA, but I’m okay with that. After Irmaria I was without power for 3 months. After Dorian for only a day and a half, but it would have been nice to have solar. I’m aware there is a risk to storm damage, but I’ll take that risk.

Mike Henderson
08-31-2019, 1:28 PM
And yet there is some painful shred of truth in all of mine. But let's summarize others:

Solar-powered uphill pumping of water at night, so we can hydro-generate the next day at peak demand (a SWAG at total process efficiency approaching 2-3%).
Zero-emission EVs also charged at night from solar or wind, or maybe from out-of-state coal plants.
Wind turbines that are out of sight for when the wind sometimes blows (so long as no birds are maimed).
Hydro w/ no dams, no rivers obstructed, and no land flooded.
Solar panels that are apparently transparent (again, the view) or hidden on someone else's roof.
Nuclear ... well that just clearly ain't gonna happen.

Seems like enough ridiculousness to be more than one person. IMHO. But it can be me if you wish.

If there is any truth in your comments it's well hidden. Let me take one of your comments - that pumped water energy storage has a 2 -3% efficiency.

1. Do you really think that all of those pumped water energy storage systems would have been built if the efficiency was only 2-3%? If there was just one you might think they made a mistake but there are many systems.

2. You can do a back of the envelope calculation of the efficiency of conversion of electrical energy to potential energy. Even taking conservative estimates for losses I'm sure you'd come up with better than 2-3%. In a perfect system all of the electrical energy would be converted to potential energy, and then back to electrical energy. Then start subtracting the losses: The motor efficiency, the pump losses, the friction in the pipe, evaporation of some of the water in the reservoir, losses in the generation of electricity from the water.

3. This is the easiest: Google "efficiency of pumped water energy storage" and see what comes up. Here's one article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity)that says the efficiency is between 70 and 80%.

If you want your comments to be taken seriously, check the accuracy of your beliefs and state what evidence you have that supports your beliefs.

Mike

[It's bad to lie to others, but it's worse to lie to ourselves.]

Malcolm McLeod
08-31-2019, 2:10 PM
... Here's one article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity)that says ... [It's bad to lie to others, but it's worse to lie to ourselves.]

Since we're accepting the citation as Gospel, please read the first paragraph in this citation very carefully. And have a wonderful holiday!

Jim Koepke
08-31-2019, 2:53 PM
Or maybe it will just mildly offend a protected class, but it will be inadequate somehow.

Could one of those "mildly offended protected classes" be the fossil fuel industry?


Since we're accepting the citation as Gospel, please read the first paragraph in this citation very carefully. And have a wonderful holiday!

Could this be to what is being referred?:


Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity allows energy from intermittent sources (such as solar, wind) and other renewables, or excess electricity from continuous base-load sources (such as coal or nuclear) to be saved for periods of higher demand.

This is a method of storing energy similar in theory to a battery. If wind turbines are producing power through the night when power isn't being used, it is a cost effective way to store energy for use when the system needs every kilowatt it can get to meet demand.

jtk

Mike Henderson
08-31-2019, 2:57 PM
Since we're accepting the citation as Gospel, please read the first paragraph in this citation very carefully. And have a wonderful holiday!

Sorry, you'll have to be more specific that that.

And if you believe the information is incorrect, please point to a reliable source that provides the information you do believe to be correct.

If it's just that you don't like Wikipedia, there are other studies available on the web. Here's one (https://sustainability.stackexchange.com/questions/5532/whats-the-average-efficiency-of-pumped-hydroelectric-energy-storage-facilities). Here's one (https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/) that includes the math. One more (https://www.hydro.org/waterpower/pumped-storage/). There seems to be quite a few studies available.

Mike

Malcolm McLeod
08-31-2019, 4:08 PM
Sorry, you'll have to be more specific that that.

And if you believe the information is incorrect, please point to a reliable source that provides the information you do believe to be correct.

If it's just that you don't like Wikipedia, there are other studies available on the web. Here's one (https://sustainability.stackexchange.com/questions/5532/whats-the-average-efficiency-of-pumped-hydroelectric-energy-storage-facilities). Here's one (https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/) that includes the math. One more (https://www.hydro.org/waterpower/pumped-storage/). There seems to be quite a few studies available.

Mike

Last one I promise.... Wikipedia is fine! All of your references are fine! Use them, live them, enjoy them.

For the reading public:
"Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest."

I was desperately attempting optimism, but my 2-3% SWAG is way off. Process efficiency is instead in the negative column (and is very different from 'economic efficiency'). Please build as many of these as you can afford.

Frank Pratt
08-31-2019, 4:16 PM
Last one I promise.... Wikipedia is fine! All of your references are fine! Use them, live them, enjoy them.

For the reading public:
"Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest."

I was desperately attempting optimism, but my 2-3% SWAG is way off. Process efficiency is instead in the negative column (and is very different from 'economic efficiency'). Please build as many of these as you can afford.

You seem unwilling, or unable, to understand the concept of, and the reason for energy storage, so your participation in this discussion is only serving to annoy and provoke others.

John Stankus
08-31-2019, 4:46 PM
Last one I promise.... Wikipedia is fine! All of your references are fine! Use them, live them, enjoy them.

For the reading public:
"Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest."

I was desperately attempting optimism, but my 2-3% SWAG is way off. Process efficiency is instead in the negative column (and is very different from 'economic efficiency'). Please build as many of these as you can afford.

Any storage method will be a net consumer of energy overall. That is- no method of storage will be 100% efficient, therefore there are losses which are consumption of energy.

Lets take the 70% efficient statement later in the article

If I put into the system 100 joules of energy into the system, the potential energy of the water moving from the lower to upper reservoir is increased but not by 100 joules since there are some inefficiencies in the pumping, when that water is released through the turbine and is used to generate power the amount of power generated is 70 joules. So we have consumed 30 joules to pump the water up and then to flow back down to reconvert to electricity. That is consumption of power. It is not consuming more power than is put in, which I think is what you are implying by "negative" efficiency.

All power storage systems will have this problem. Power storage entails using energy to change the potential energy of a system(chemical, mechanical, physical..) and then converting the potential energy to kinetic energy when you need.
It will never be 100% efficient. (thank you 2nd Law of Thermodynamics)


(I'm kind of sorry I pointed out the pumped hydroelectric storage)

Lee Schierer
08-31-2019, 7:59 PM
Folks, it looks like this topic has been pretty much beat to death and is starting to get a little border line on factual information and some of you are starting to get a little personal in your comments and responses. Everyone please take a deep breath and think for a minute before posting additional information.

Mike Henderson
08-31-2019, 8:43 PM
Last one I promise.... Wikipedia is fine! All of your references are fine! Use them, live them, enjoy them.

For the reading public:
"Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power. Although the losses of the pumping process makes the plant a net consumer of energy overall, the system increases revenue by selling more electricity during periods of peak demand, when electricity prices are highest."

I was desperately attempting optimism, but my 2-3% SWAG is way off. Process efficiency is instead in the negative column (and is very different from 'economic efficiency'). Please build as many of these as you can afford.

Batteries are net consumers of energy. You get out less than you put in. But batteries provide value.

I don't think you understand the concepts of energy storage.

Mike

[Suppose that at night you can buy energy for $1 per unit so you buy 100 units for $100. But during the hottest part of the day, you can sell the 70 units that you get from your storage system for $10 per unit, or $700. It costs quite a bit to build the energy storage system and that profit is the reward for taking the risk and investing in energy storage.]

Jim Koepke
08-31-2019, 8:57 PM
Batteries are net consumers of energy. You get out less than you put in. But batteries provide value.

I don't think you understand the concepts of energy storage.

Mike

There is also a need to understand when wind generators are spinning at night with no one using their output they may as well be used inefficiently to pump water up to a holding facility to allow it to produce more energy when the system is straining to provide for the demand.

The equation to consider is the practicality of using energy at a cost of 10¢ a kilowatt hour to store energy with the ability to be sold during a high use period for two, three or more times as much per kilowatt hour.

It may be an inefficient use of energy but it is profitable for the electric supply system.

jtk

Bruce Volden
09-02-2019, 7:03 PM
Folks, it looks like this topic has been pretty much beat to death and is starting to get a little border line on factual information and some of you are starting to get a little personal in your comments and responses. Everyone please take a deep breath and think for a minute before posting additional information.

YEP! Let's move on to something less contentious ---um climate change?

Bruce

Bill Dufour
09-02-2019, 8:38 PM
Within the last year I read about a German? proposal for a energy storage system that can be built anywhere. it is just an electric tower crane that picks up heavy concrete blocks and stacks them up into massive towers around the crane. When energy is needed it picks them up, one at a time, and lowers them to the ground. This lowering uses dynamic brakes to make power on the way down. Of course not much useful energy until you get to the blocks up really high with a long way to fall. Not very safe in a earthquake or high wind.
Bill D.

On edit: They claim 85% efficiency!

https://qz.com/1355672/stacking-concrete-blocks-is-a-surprisingly-efficient-way-to-store-energy/

Doug Garson
09-03-2019, 4:46 PM
That's pretty good for a low tech and probably relatively low cost method. Sometimes simple is good.

Richard Gerhard
09-03-2019, 11:18 PM
I didn't think Berkley,Ca had any available space/lots to build a home unless one got torn down.

Mike Henderson
09-04-2019, 12:34 AM
I didn't think Berkeley,Ca had any available space/lots to build a home unless one got torn down.

I suspect that's pretty common. Around LA people often purchase an older home, demo it, and build a MacMansion. Especially in areas that are being gentrified.

Even where I live (in Orange County south of LA) it's not uncommon to see a house razed and a new one built. Sometimes we ask ourselves, "Why?" because the old house looked pretty good.

Mike

Frank Pratt
09-04-2019, 10:43 AM
I suspect that's pretty common. Around LA people often purchase an older home, demo it, and build a MacMansion. Especially in areas that are being gentrified.

Even where I live (in Orange County south of LA) it's not uncommon to see a house razed and a new one built. Sometimes we ask ourselves, "Why?" because the old house looked pretty good.

Mike

And on that note, check out this site https://mcmansionhell.com/ Sometimes progress is not progress at all.

Günter VögelBerg
09-04-2019, 11:58 AM
California legislators are the absolute masters at naivete.

Given all the insane ballot initiatives I'd say that it is California voters who fill that role. This is why Lie-Nielsen planes come with a proposition 65 warning.

Rick Potter
09-04-2019, 12:42 PM
Frank,

Interesting site, for about 5 minutes, until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy, who probably took an architecture appreciation class once. I wonder how he has decorated his living quarters in his parents basement.

This gentrification is happening in my area also. I have mixed feelings about it. Some are great, some not so much.

Doug Garson
09-04-2019, 12:57 PM
Gotta agree, that is one butt ugly house inside and out.

Stephen Tashiro
09-04-2019, 1:53 PM
Frank,

until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy,

I thought it was teenagers who couldn't attain wisdom. Now its mid twenties guys? We must be getting old.

Bill Dufour
09-04-2019, 2:22 PM
There are still many Julia Morgan houses and university buildings in Berkeley. San Simeon is probably her best known work. It is a state park now. She also designed Asilomar in Monterey California where many teacher conferences are held each year. I think it is somehow a state park or something like that.
Bill D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asilomar_Conference_Grounds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearst_Castle

Mike Henderson
09-04-2019, 2:31 PM
Frank,

Interesting site, for about 5 minutes, until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy, who probably took an architecture appreciation class once. I wonder how he has decorated his living quarters in his parents basement.

This gentrification is happening in my area also. I have mixed feelings about it. Some are great, some not so much.

In general, I really like to see people building giant homes in my neighborhood. Helps my property value.

Much better than seeing the neighborhood deteriorate.

Mike

Jim Koepke
09-04-2019, 3:15 PM
Given all the insane ballot initiatives I'd say that it is California voters who fill that role. This is why Lie-Nielsen planes come with a proposition 65 warning.

Yet with all of the assumed "insane ballot initiatives" California still has an economy if viewed separate from the rest of the nation would still be in the top 10 of world economies. They must be doing something right.

jtk

Frank Pratt
09-04-2019, 3:56 PM
Frank,

Interesting site, for about 5 minutes, until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy, who probably took an architecture appreciation class once. I wonder how he has decorated his living quarters in his parents basement.

This gentrification is happening in my area also. I have mixed feelings about it. Some are great, some not so much.

Actually, the site is by a woman writer with an architectural background.

I enjoy having a look a couple of times a years to see what atrocities she's found.

Kev Williams
09-04-2019, 4:05 PM
Frank,

Interesting site, for about 5 minutes, until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy, who probably took an architecture appreciation class once. I wonder how he has decorated his living quarters in his parents basement.

This hits on one of my pet peeves- 'self-perceived professionals' for lack of a better term. Like the endless parade of millennial 'professionals' on daytime talk shows; a 19 year old girl who's the new genius on how to make a pretty salad, or "new trend" advisers who try to save you from wearing horribly wrong socks to that upcoming party, or some guy-or girl- disparaging virtually everything about a 3/4 mil house he'll never be able to afford while effectively labeling anyone who had anything to do with building the place or those who may like it, as complete idiots. My question is, where did these geniuses gather all this knowledge?

Show me a video of some guy in his 50's wearing a 20 year old flannel shirt covered in sawdust, sanding in a cluttered garage workshop explaining what a sliding deadman bench and blind mortise-and-tenon joints are for, and I'll show you someone who actually knows what they're talking about!

Dan Friedrichs
09-04-2019, 5:23 PM
Interesting site, for about 5 minutes, until you realize it is produced by a self described mid twenties guy, who probably took an architecture appreciation class once. I wonder how he has decorated his living quarters in his parents basement.


...no, it's not. Where did you get that idea?

Scott Donley
09-04-2019, 7:34 PM
Yet with all of the assumed "insane ballot initiatives" California still has an economy if viewed separate from the rest of the nation would still be in the top 10 of world economies. They must be doing something right.

jtkMaybe it was the FreeLoveIns and anti war protest in 1969. :)

Tom Stenzel
09-04-2019, 8:35 PM
....
3. This is the easiest: Google "efficiency of pumped water energy storage" and see what comes up. Here's one article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity)that says the efficiency is between 70 and 80%.

Mike

[It's bad to lie to others, but it's worse to lie to ourselves.]

When I visited the Ludington pumped storage facility 25 years ago they claimed the efficiency was 70%. If Wikipedia can be believed it's been upped by 5% since then with new turbines. Of course if it's on the 'net it must be true.

The facility was supposed to be used in conjunction with the planned nuclear Midland Power plant that was never completed. With a nuke plant supplying the electricity the expected 30% loss was considered acceptable and would maximize the use of the plant. The only problem was it ran Consumers Power out of money. Construction problems delayed completion and 3 Mile Island made nuclear energy the halitosis of power generation. Midland was finally finished but it's not nuclear.

-Tom

Rick Potter
09-05-2019, 3:52 AM
Mea Culpa

She described herself as mid twenties in the text.....I made the sexist assumption that it was a guy.

Günter VögelBerg
09-05-2019, 5:20 PM
Yet with all of the assumed "insane ballot initiatives" California still has an economy if viewed separate from the rest of the nation would still be in the top 10 of world economies. They must be doing something right.

jtk

I would not dispute this for a second. California does a lot of things right. It must to have higher economic output than the entire UK, despite the kooky politics.

Mike Henderson
09-05-2019, 6:42 PM
I would not dispute this for a second. California does a lot of things right. It must to have higher economic output than the entire UK, despite the kooky politics.

Regarding kooky politics, the UK is in no position to throw stones:)

Mike

Jim Koepke
09-05-2019, 8:04 PM
I would not dispute this for a second. California does a lot of things right. It must to have higher economic output than the entire UK, despite the kooky politics.

What some consider "kooky politics" may actually be doing business so things work out for a majority of the population instead of passing legislation to please a very narrow section of the population.

For example compare the "kooky politics" of California to the "smart politics" of Kansas. The tax cuts in Kansas had the opposite effect of what was promised. Some said it was "kooky politics" for California to raise taxes, yet it didn't destroy the state as some declared it would.

Hopefully this hasn't strayed to far afield of the SMC TOS.

jtk

Günter VögelBerg
09-05-2019, 10:18 PM
Fair enough. I'm not actually making a point.

Besides, I'm from Switzerland, so if you want kooky politics...

Bill Dufour
09-05-2019, 11:50 PM
California figured out the time to rasie taexs is when the economy is doing well. Build up a budget reserve for bad times ans so you can cut taxes if the economy slows down.
Trump got it backwards he lowered taxes so the country will have more dept going into his recession which is starting to come on. He has increased the dept of the country for no gain. Of course this is exactly his supporters goal to bankrupt the government so government spending has to be cut back.

Jim Koepke
09-06-2019, 2:25 AM
California figured out the time to rasie taexs is when the economy is doing well. Build up a budget reserve for bad times ans so you can cut taxes if the economy slows down.

Raising taxes in boom times and lowering them during lean years is common economic theory. Sadly many politicians are not clear on the concept.

My understanding of the situation is a little different. Wasn't California a financial basket case after the phony energy crisis back in 2003? Wasn't that part of what got Governor Gray Davis recalled and ended with Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected Governor? By the time Jerry Brown became Governor for the second time there was a $25 Billion debt load.

A lot of people thought his plan to raise taxes was "kooky politics" back in 2012. The people of the state voted their approval. Now the state has not only turned its finances around, California is doing okay today.

jtk

Keith Outten
09-06-2019, 10:00 AM
I think we passed the limit on political discussions in this thread.