Durandal
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:29 am

Renewable energy can likely take a large brunt of the replacement of fossil fuels, especially when time of use/generation consumption is more widespread. It requires more smart grid adoption, and power companies providing real time pricing structures to encourage consumption to match production, especially for things that can be "smart" about it such as EV charging, etc.

The base load that will still need to exist will be the hydro and hopefully 4th gen nuclear power. Just replacing the 1/3 of the power that comes from coal (where I am) to be solar and wind would eliminate virtually all particulate emissions, as natural gas emissions are negligible in comparison. (In Arkansas, the power spread is 1/3 coal, 1/3 natural gas, and 1/3 mix of hydro and nuclear.)

While all of the coal plants need to be phased out, all of the earlier generation plants designed any time before the 1980's need to be phased out as well, and replaced with newer and safer plants. While the actual number of failures for the older generation plants is small, the hazard is large. It's not a binary choice, saying nuclear is safe or not, it's all dependent on the generation of the technology and the maintenance and upgrades performed, but in many cases, the utilities prefer not to take the necessary steps to upgrade or maintain their nuclear plants. As such the more viable path is to retire them and replace them with newly designed plants, which will allay the concerns of all but the most hardcore NIMBYs.
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sendler2112
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:18 am

"The challenge of feeding 7 or 8 billion people while oil supplies are falling is stupefying. It’ll be even greater if governments keep pretending that it isn’t going to happen."
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http://www.monbiot.com/2009/11/16/if-no ... e-farming/
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This is real people. Please try to look past the 20 year time scale of your own life's ambitions. Each giant farm combine will need several giant quick change battery packs to get it through each day. And a grid scale charge station all of the packs in waiting. Farming without diesel fuel will really show us how energy equals prosperity. It takes 100's of years to replace a fossil fuel economy with an electric economy. Kumbaya solar and massive grid scale battery storage wishful thinking is not going to roll in fast enough.

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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:08 pm

Maybe the farm equipment can run on hydrogen.
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finman100
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:17 pm

Tony Seba recently wrote a good article on hydrogen cars vs battery-electric cars as well. One key point he made in that was: “Electric Vehicles are at least three times more energy efficient than Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."


http://evobsession.com/hydrogen-cars-vs-electric-cars-detailed-comparison-efficiency/

Plenty of good links in the above article. The math is not favorable to hydrogen. not even close. and the complexity of a "hydrogen" system? wow. Talk about Rube-Goldberg-like...

Wouldn't we want to be MORE efficient in our energy use? Why would we use 3 times the energy? No, really? Why? very curious.

And this:

https://electrek.co/2016/04/26/automakers-fuel-cell-hydrogen-electric-vehicles/

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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:16 pm

finman100 wrote:Tony Seba recently wrote a good article on hydrogen cars vs battery-electric cars...


I guess since your post followed my comment about hydrogen farm powered equipment you were referring to that.

Submitted for consideration, batteries are great for what they are great for. While the world is just now beginning to slowly embrace battery powered cars, certainly you would agree battery powered tools have been the norm for decades (the cordless drill having led the charge so to speak).

I assume battery powered aircraft are more efficient than aircraft powered by jet fuel, but good luck building a battery powered airliner to fly 200 people from LA to Sydney. If we can make hydrogen using carbon-free electricity (nuclear or renewable) isn't it potentially a great solution for some applications where energy density and refueling rate trump efficiency?
LTL
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sendler2112
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:42 pm

Hydrogen for "fool cells"? No. Hydrogen for a combustion engine in a plane? maybe?. In a Farm Tractor? Ammonia fuel might work better since it is much easier to store. If we can't find a ready way to make methane instead. Whatever we make takes vast amounts of energy that only Nuclear can realistically bridge the gap in time to send peak oil away with minimal interruption to the world economy. We don't have time to turn our backs on nuclear.

rmay635703
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:10 pm

sendler2112 wrote:"The challenge of feeding 7 or 8 billion people while oil supplies are falling is stupefying. It’ll be even greater if governments keep pretending that it isn’t going to happen."
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http://www.monbiot.com/2009/11/16/if-no ... e-farming/
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This is real people. Please try to look past the 20 year time scale of your own life's ambitions.

Perhaps high energy large farming is impossible to sustain?

The Earth should have no more than 1 billion people if we want everyone to be fed a diverse nutrious diet.

Perhaps the real problem is we can't be sustainable, have the gadgets we wastefully use and have 7 billion people.

With 7 billion we're stuck with poor diet and the all drug olympics of ag and energy.

We have a choice, stagnation rape of natural resources to try to maintain status quo as long as possible with a fall off the cliff failure at some unknown point in the future.
Or full nuclear, full renewables (which require fossil fuels to create initially) and full science approach but again, more people regardless of how they live will strip natural places and inevitably have a poor diet and increasing monoculture.
Or we can keep it in our pants, increase the amount of manual farming, (sustainable with no inputs) reduce overall productivity, have technologies but not necessarily produce them widely. And be permenently sustainable living within the natural outputs of our environment.

That is the hard truth, at our current population levels we aren't sustainable or thriving, if we don't address population, we will stagnate and be controlled by hard stops due to environmental factors, but I guess that's what we want, any technology is just a crutch to go on another year or a hundred but the party will be over eventually with a major contraction as energy inputs and natural food sources run out.

VitaminJ
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:37 pm

Yeah hydrogen fuel cells are a total waste unless you're an astronaut. The Navy and I think Air Force was at one point researching converting their entire air fleet to hydrogen fuel in the 2030 time frame. IMO that's completely obvious and should have been done already. A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, full of aircraft, sailing through the OCEAN. Yes hydrogen makes perfect sense for that.

There's no reason why a farm vehicle cannot be battery operated. It will require better batteries and better engineering, but it's completely possible today. Completely autonomous tractors are literally only a matter of years from mainstream, hell the majority of tractors in America doing things like planting seeds, harvesting, or spraying are already 95% autonomous guided by hyper-1cm-accurate RTK GPS. The only thing the driver does is turn around at the end of each row and park it at the end of the day. Eliminate the driver and cab and now you have almost 1000lbs of payload for batteries. On top of that lots of farm machinery already just has a few big pieces of steel bolted on for ballast, there's no reason that weight can't be made from batteries.

If every fossil fuel power plant was replaced with nuclear and every house had solar panels on the roof and batteries in the garage, then electricity would be so cheap as to be practically free. Think of it now, we all are charging our electric cars for pennies on the dollar of a gasoline car, about 10 cents per kwh in my neighborhood. That 10 cents accounts for all of the supply lines, refineries, trans-oceanic oil tankers, government requirements, environmental precautions, transport and storage of raw material, mining, fuel for all of these processes, and manpower, and then we are just starting to get to the human cost like pollution, climate change, hazardous working conditions, and international relations.

How is it possible that coal power is this cheap? Could you imagine how much cheaper it would be if it were nuclear? Probably about 2-3 million times cheaper if we're going off energy density alone :mrgreen:
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sendler2112
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:25 pm

VitaminJ wrote:There's no reason why a farm vehicle cannot be battery operated.

570 Liters of diesel per day = 5,700 kWh per day. Even if you cut that by2.5 for the extra efficiency of electric motors with round trip losses you get 2,300 kWh per day for a large size farm machine. 12 Tesla grid scale 200kWh powerpacks per day to hot swap in and out. for just one tractor. We are going to need to start making a lot of wire to get all of this power around.
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rmay635703
Posts: 268
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Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:31 pm

VitaminJ wrote:There's no reason why a farm vehicle cannot be battery operated. It will require better batteries and better engineering, but it's completely possible today. Completely autonomous tractors are literally only a matter of years from mainstream, hell the majority of tractors in America doing things like planting seeds, harvesting, or spraying :mrgreen:


75% of a tractors time is spent spraying.

That is where it gets interesting,
A large percentage of a farms crude oil use is tied up in making fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.

As North Korea discovered, if you loose access to adequate crude and actively try to change agricultural techniques you loose 1/3 of your population to starvation (yes this is a real world test of loosing chemical fertizer)

Even if we go 100% solar, we need oil to make fertilizer because our soil is so barren and devoid of nutrients.

We simply can't produce enough food at our current population levels without chemical fertilizers.

As I said technology is just a crutch moving the inevitable off into the future. Our descendants will eventually face hard decisions because of the consequences of our arrogant stupidity .

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