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Old 30-12-2013, 08:06   #181
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
That all sounds very high and nobel but who or what is going to bring it about? Remember the governments, the corporations and the society are all made up of individuals who act independently. The entities don't make "conscious decisions", the individuals do. It's very easy to say .. this needs to happen and that needs to happen .. or to blame it on our leaders, corporations or governments. We are the leaders, the corporations and the governments. As the famous saying goes .. "we have met the enemy and it is us." It all comes back to individual behavior. But we tend to see the problem as "out there".
You're right, of course. People make decisions, but they do it within a context. What you're pointing to is a systemic problem. As a simple example consider the corporate board room. For-profit corporations are driven by one systemic imperative: maximize shareholder value. In Canada and the US they are legally obligated to do this. This is a simple example of a systemic structure that drives certain results. As a society, we've empowered this system, so it is possible to change it. We could choose to place maximal employment on par with profits. In fact, we did that through the prosperous decades following the Depression.

But systems are hard and slow to change. It takes time, and a lot of effort. Sometimes it requires a revolution, but most of the time it just requires a lot of hard work.
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Old 30-12-2013, 08:30   #182
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Re: Save the Planet!

Mike,

Agreed on hard to come up with specific action plans. I argue with my Wife about this all the time.

For example, we own a 3 story brownstone in Philadelphia. We rent out 2 floors, she has her office in half our floor, and we are crammed into two rooms in the back. So, we live in about 600 sq feet and walk to work. What more can we do?

I could argue we should live on the boat, in the Caribbean where we need no heat or AC. Thus our foot print would be smaller. BUT, the house would still exist, we would either rent out our apartment or sell the house. In either case the house would still be using the same amount of energy as now.

There is ONE thing that I can think of that makes tons of sense whether you believe in GW, Capitalism or the Tooth Fairy. That would be to start working on converting our existing power grid to HVDC. Our high tension grid is old, needs lots of capital improvements, is pretty much at capacity, and we no longer have the manufacturing capacity to manufacture transformers in quantity. The only reason for HV AC distribution is because back in the day we did not know how to do efficient HV AC/DC conversion, but we DID know how to wind transformers.

The solution is to move to HVDC distribution, which is more efficient, and can use the same power lines. The transformers (AC) will need to be replaced with converters (AC to DC and visa versa) but that is now economically feasible. IIRC there is something like a 20% (can't find reference right now) efficiency improvement by losing the inductive losses in an AC transmission system. 20% won't get us where we need to go, but its a good start, is doable, would even save money. There are other advantages in that it allows for greater power sharing between regions because you don't have to do phase matching. From what I understand it is what large wind farms use to tie their various turbines together. It is ripe, low hanging fruit.

But we can't seem to get our butts in gear to do it, or even talk about it.
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Old 30-12-2013, 08:34   #183
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Step one is trying to cut through the BS that prevents us from making our best efforts to examine what's what. Hating on advocates like Gore, accusing the entire field of climate science of ulterior motives, blind (or calculated) faith in the invisible hand of the market, crusty beliefs in the inevitability of mankind's downfall...
Please describe Step one .. how would you really do this?

As I've already said, it easy to make grandiose statements but quite another thing to bring them about, especially when a huge portion of the population has contrary beliefs.
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Old 30-12-2013, 09:06   #184
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Please describe Step one .. how would you really do this?
By calling out BS and willful distortion or ignorance when I see it.

You're right, it's tough. And some find it annoying . But every task is alot tougher when people won't even try.
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Old 30-12-2013, 09:17   #185
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Re: Save the Planet!

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The solution is to move to HVDC distribution, which is more efficient, and can use the same power lines. The transformers (AC) will need to be replaced with converters (AC to DC and visa versa) but that is now economically feasible. IIRC there is something like a 20% (can't find reference right now) efficiency improvement by losing the inductive losses in an AC transmission system.
I've always considered AC transformers to be quite efficient. I just spot-checked some stats for pole distribution transformers and they were all above 95% efficient at most load levels, with most around 98%. Pretty darn good for a passive device. So, at this time I don't think there's alot to be gained by going to HVDC. The issue of AC phase-matching to feed the grid is pretty much solved too. But it might be more useful later, and in niche solutions like aggregating the power from a wind-farm, as you already mentioned.
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Old 30-12-2013, 09:22   #186
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Mike,

Agreed on hard to come up with specific action plans. I argue with my Wife about this all the time.

For example, we own a 3 story brownstone in Philadelphia. We rent out 2 floors, she has her office in half our floor, and we are crammed into two rooms in the back. So, we live in about 600 sq feet and walk to work. What more can we do?

I could argue we should live on the boat, in the Caribbean where we need no heat or AC. Thus our foot print would be smaller. BUT, the house would still exist, we would either rent out our apartment or sell the house. In either case the house would still be using the same amount of energy as now.

There is ONE thing that I can think of that makes tons of sense whether you believe in GW, Capitalism or the Tooth Fairy. That would be to start working on converting our existing power grid to HVDC. Our high tension grid is old, needs lots of capital improvements, is pretty much at capacity, and we no longer have the manufacturing capacity to manufacture transformers in quantity. The only reason for HV AC distribution is because back in the day we did not know how to do efficient HV AC/DC conversion, but we DID know how to wind transformers.

...
We loose huge amounts of energy due to transmission losses. If converting to DC transmission would recover a significant part of that loss, then it should be a no-brainer. Another no-brainer is nuclear energy. It drives me nuts to see so-called environmentalists slamming fission. Outside of just using less energy and reducing our physical standard of living, this is the best option we have to have a real impact on climate change and pollution.

Earlier I listed a whole set of things each one of us can do right away. Living in a small space, as you are doing, is a a great step. The insanity of the expanding house sizes in North America (can't speak for Europe or Oz) is symbolic of the problems we face. There are lot of things we can all do, but the only way we're going to have real global effects is if we make core systemic changes. This requires collective action organized by governments, laws and regulations.
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Old 30-12-2013, 21:25   #187
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Re: Save the Planet!

Looks like I am going to have to change my traditional Scottish New Year Greeting from
“Lang mey yer Lum (chimney) Reek”
To something more appropriate.
Any suggestions??

Happy New Year to All!
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Old 30-12-2013, 21:57   #188
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Re: Save the Planet!

Edward Abbey. “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
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Old 31-12-2013, 03:58   #189
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Re: Save the Planet!

How about "Here's looking up your old address."
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Old 31-12-2013, 07:15   #190
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Quote:
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Mike,

Agreed on hard to come up with specific action plans. I argue with my Wife about this all the time.

For .....,,


There is ONE thing that I can think of that makes tons of sense whether you believe in GW, Capitalism or the Tooth Fairy. That would be to start working on converting our existing power grid to HVDC. Our high tension grid is old, needs lots of capital improvements, is pretty much at capacity, and we no longer have the manufacturing capacity to manufacture transformers in quantity. The only reason for HV AC distribution is because back in the day we did not know how to do efficient HV AC/DC conversion, but we DID know how to wind transformers.

The solution is to move to HVDC distribution, which is more efficient, and can use the same power lines. The transformers (AC) will need to be replaced with converters (AC to DC and visa versa) but that is now economically feasible. IIRC there is something like a 20% (can't find reference right now) efficiency improvement by losing the inductive losses in an AC transmission system. 20% won't get us where we need to go, but its a good start, is doable, would even save money. There are other advantages in that it allows for greater power sharing between regions because you don't have to do phase matching. From what I understand it is what large wind farms use to tie their various turbines together. It is ripe, low hanging fruit.

But we can't seem to get our butts in gear to do it, or even talk about it.
Good god Edison is still alive and posting on CF. where's Westinghouse when u need him huh ?

Dave
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Old 31-12-2013, 07:35   #191
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pirate Re: Save the Planet!

Ban Fireworks.. 7 tons in Sydney alone.. UAE planning on 400,000 rockets in 6 minutes... then there's the rest of the world...
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Old 31-12-2013, 07:46   #192
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A lot of you lot are lucky: You don't have Kathy Griffin!

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Old 31-12-2013, 08:29   #193
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Re: Save the Planet!

I lost all respect for that news fella for that bit. For me, I am going off grid and using solar panels, methane gas, and wind power for my electrical needs. I do wonder about the toxic chemicals they use in the production of PV cells, and I have heard the horror stories about computer chips from people who are involved with making them. Kind of feel trapped.
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Old 31-12-2013, 08:31   #194
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Looks like I am going to have to change my traditional Scottish New Year Greeting from
ďLang mey yer Lum (chimney) ReekĒ
To something more appropriate.
Any suggestions??

Happy New Year to All!
In Newfoundland, one says

"Long may your big jib draw"

which I think is quite apropos for CF.

Best Wishes to All.
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Old 31-12-2013, 09:46   #195
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Re: Save the Planet!

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
In Newfoundland, one says

"Long may your big jib draw"

which I think is quite apropos for CF.

Best Wishes to All.
PERFECT!
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