https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2018/05/so-you-wanna-go-off-grid.html?m=1, posted Aug '18 by peter in energy toread
"I want to go off grid with solar and batteries!"
I hear this, or some variant, increasingly often. It seems to be a more and more popular concept, especially after some of the recent events in which people were left without power for long periods of time. And, quite often, I assume the people asking are genuinely interested in what they see as the benefits of off grid power. They're just not familiar with enough details to really have an understanding of what they're asking, or what it asks of them.
This post is my humble attempt to put a lot of information in one spot, such that I can link people to it when they ask about off grid power. There are quite valid reasons for off grid power, but it's not as easy or as simple as people tend to think. And it's certainly not as cheap as people assume it will be.
In fiscal 2010, just before the March 2012 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the national average CO2 emission was 416 grams per kilowatt-hour. In fiscal 2013, after all nuclear power plants were idled, the figure rose to 570 grams.
Fuel economy is about 10 km per liter for gasoline-powered passenger cars and a little over 20 km per liter for hybrid cars. The comparable figure for EVs is some 10 km per kilowatt-hour. Even with all nuclear power plants idled, an EV emits only about half as much CO2 as hybrid vehicles. Even if all power stations used coal, the CO2 emission per kilowatt-hour would be 864 grams, making CO2 emissions from an EV less than from a hybrid car.
It now aims to raise the density level of volcanic ash that can affect nuclear plants by 100 times the current level, while pressing utilities to upgrade their air filters.
Reactor No. 3 at the Ikata plant and reactors Nos. 3 and 4 at the Genkai plant top the list of those most likely to be affected by clogged filters.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/, posted Sep '17 by peter in energy environment health
The fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.
bgr.com/2015/11/13/row-bot-pollution-cleaning-robot-water/, posted 2015 by peter in energy environment robotics
The Row-bot has four tiny buoyant stabilizers for feet and two paddles that extend from the middle of its body. While the feet keep Row-bot afloat, the paddles send it skimming across the surface of a body of water. The device takes water into a cavity in its housing as it moves, where electrogenic bacteria digest pollutants found within the water. The byproducts of that digestion are carbon dioxide and electricity, which in turn fuels the Row-bot and keeps it moving.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.
blog.dilbert.com/post/111291429791/the-best-lifestyle-might-be-the-cheapest-too, posted 2015 by peter in energy health planning toread
If you were to build a city from scratch, using current technology, what would it cost to live there? I think it would be nearly free if you did it right.
spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change, posted 2014 by peter in energy environment science
We decided to combine our energy innovation study’s best-case scenario results with Hansen’s climate model to see whether a 55 percent emission cut by 2050 would bring the world back below that 350-ppm threshold. Our calculations revealed otherwise. Even if every renewable energy technology advanced as quickly as imagined and they were all applied globally, atmospheric CO2 levels wouldn’t just remain above 350 ppm; they would continue to rise exponentially due to continued fossil fuel use. So our best-case scenario, which was based on our most optimistic forecasts for renewable energy, would still result in severe climate change, with all its dire consequences: shifting climatic zones, freshwater shortages, eroding coasts, and ocean acidification, among others. Our reckoning showed that reversing the trend would require both radical technological advances in cheap zero-carbon energy, as well as a method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering the carbon.
Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar has gained extensive access to Japan's battered Fukushima power plant. He speaks to DW about exploring radiation-contaminated zones, and how the cleanup has progressed so far.
www.digitaltrends.com/home/ecodrain-recycles-wasted-heat-used-hot-water/, posted 2014 by peter in diy energy environment toread
Think for a second how much energy is literally washed down the drain when you take a shower. Not the water itself — just the energy that’s lost when you heat up said water, pump it through a series of pipes to your showerhead, and then let all that warm goodness run straight down your body and into a hole in the floor. By some estimates, 80 to 90 percent of the energy it takes to heat that water ends up going straight to the sewer. Considering the fact that the energy required to heat water is one of the biggest energy expenditures at home (right behind heating/cooling/ventilation), that’s a monumental waste of juice. But not to worry; there’s a new device on the market that could help to recapture some of that wasted energy.
It’s called EcoDrain, and while it’s definitely not a new concept, it’s a fresh new take on an old idea, and finally makes waste heat recovery a viable possibility for regular homeowners.