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Politicians and energy policy

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by rickman, May 23, 2008.

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  1. rickman

    rickman Guest

    I heard a bit of a politician on the radio today. He was governor of
    one of the western states. He said some things that I didn't hear any
    supporting evidence for. I wonder if there are facts to support these

    He seemed to think that driving hybrids is the answer to the oil
    problem. He describes this scenario. Everyone drives a hybrid which
    can be plugged into the power grid and charged at night when the power
    grid is way below peak usage. Then they can be driven up to 40 miles
    the next day without using any fuel.

    He would also set the power rates at lower amounts at off peak times
    and higher during the daily peaks. You would be able to sell power to
    the grid at the same price that it would cost you to buy it. So if
    you weren't driving that day, you could sell power back from your
    hybrid to the power company and make a profit!

    He claimed that this would eliminate our need for foreign oil.

    I don't get it. Sure hybrids can save fuel. If you otherwise drive a
    vehicle that gets 20 MPG and you switch to a hybrid that gets 40 MPG,
    you save half the fuel you otherwise would use. But a 50% savings on
    auto use of petroleum is not a 50% savings in imported oil. There are
    many, many other uses of oil. The fuel saved by plugging into the
    power grid may not be a savings at all. Where does this power come
    from? A lot of power plants burn petroleum. Otherwise they burn coal
    which is very dirty or use nuclear energy which is a whole 'nother can
    of worms.

    I don't remember his name. Anyone here know who this is? Do his
    numbers add up? Has he given any real numbers to support his claim or
    is this one of those half baked ideas that sounds good in a sound
    bite, like having a gas tax "holiday"?
  2. linnix

    linnix Guest

    Everyone drives a hybrid which
    For this to be meaningful, the consumers have to see different rates
    for peak usage and non-peak usage. The utility company told us to
    pump the pool at night (supposedly non-peak usage), but we are paying
    the same either way. Only total kilowatt hours matter anyway.
  3. rickman

    rickman Guest

    Didn't I mention that? This guy would require the power company to
    both sell and buy at prices dependent on the gross usage compared to

    Turns out the power company here charges based on your peak usage. A
    friend works at a dairy which has many electric motors, some of them
    quite large. They paid thousands of dollars for control panels that
    will bring the motors online sequentially to prevent a huge spike in
    the power consumed. This saves them money because their rate is set
    by the peak usage at any time during the day.

    That is another way to save money, if the power companies start
    charging residential the same way they charge commercial, the hybrid
    can kick in to supply current during the peak in your residence. But
    then most people are away during the day anyway. I guess the AC still
  4. The problem is still the battery technology (longevity, cost, storage
    density, safety). Selling power back to the utility at a fair price
    was provided for in 1969 by the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act

    Maybe we could harness that politician's hot air?

  5. Bob Eld

    Bob Eld Guest

    His idea is way over simplistic, furthermore, it doesn't put one gallon of
    fuel into the system. If implemented 100% it would transfer oil energy to
    coal energy and may save a little money but create may other problems.

    The governor of Wyoming wants to make synthetic gasoline out of Wyoming
    coal. That actually makes more sense because it powers existing vehicles.
    With the Hybrids the total fleet would have to change.

    But, coal in NOT the answer. The better answer is biofuels. They must be
    fully developed an implemented.
  6. No answer can compete with nuclear. For people who are worried about
    its safety, we have a couple of useless states in the middle of the
    country that could be turned into energy farms.
  7. Guest

    Please step one state to the right and on the other side of the
    Appalachians, That way the fallout wipes out the beltway and not me.
    I agree that nuclear is the way to go in the long term. The concept
    of anyone government or utility other then a well disciplined military
    having quanities of reactors scares the heck out of me. You need
    something like the NAVY to do it, Rickover had the personnel model and
    the safety inspection system right. I know a few ex navy ROs, and
    they know how to do it right. Also copy the French system and use one
    standardized reactor.

    If you want to see why I state this

    A. I like Akron the way it is, not glowing,
    B. Do a google on "Davis-Besse Reactor Lid."

    Short answer, nobody noticed that the reactor cooling chemistry etched
    a 6" deep hole almost through the top plate on the reactor over a
    period of years.

  8. rickman

    rickman Guest

    What is it about this group that instead of some sort of intelligent
    conversation, any discussion of interesting topics always turns into a
    s**t tossing contest?

    Does anyone here have anything constructive to say instead of just
    bashing others and spewing a bunch of dogma?

    If you like Nuclear, how about telling us *why* it is good. If you
    don't like Nuclear, how about telling *why* it is not such a good
    thing. Do you guy always have to argue like a bunch of school
  9. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Separate peak / off-peak electricity pricing has been available in the UK
    for as long as I can remember. You actually used to get a meter with 2

    You pay a small premium (20-30 % ?) for peak period use and the off-peak
    comes at about 1/3 the usual cost which is VERY attractive if you can make
    use of it.

    Given modern technology, it would be easy to have 'intelligent meters' that
    charged flexibly by time of day right down to the minute. I'm sure this will

  10. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Jim Thompson didn't have anything to do with it by any chance did he ?

  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    No western power reactor has ever created any 'fallout' worth mentioning.
    TMI was simply turned into a scare story by the media for example.

  12. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    France is undoubtedly the industry leader now in nuclear power generation
    by a country mile.

    Areva (formerly largely Framatome) has to be a company to invest in.

  13. They give good commercials:
    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Political zealots.

  15. Political zealots.
    Yeah, but nobody listens. ;-)
    1. Zero emissions, except for waste heat.
    2. 20 years between refuelings.
    3. They can be designed to actually produce new fuel, making it
    essentially free.
    4. Japan and France, and probably some other countries, get a
    very large proportion of their power by nuclear plants - obviously,
    somebody's figured out a way to do it safely, and profitably.
    5. Reactor waste, you say? Just find out where the gov't is putting
    theirs, and put the civilian waste in the same place.
    Pretty much, yeah. ;-)

  16. Well, he's not a warmingist that I know of, but he is fairly insufferable
    when he spouts his statist neocon bushist crap.

    Actually, when you take brain-lock into account, he's almost
    indistinguishable from Bill Sloman. >:->

  17. The Navy plan includes the requirement that the operators slept next
    in the same building as the reactor.
  18. Guest

    This certainly does wonders for quality control!

  19. krw

    krw Guest

    You still want to keep the house dehumidified during the day.

    I recently interviewed with a company that makes smart power meters.
    They can control loads, so the power company can level loads without
    blacking out everything. For instance, I doesn't matter much if a
    water heater is turned off for a few hours, or the water heaters
    across town are cycled. Much better to turn them off for some hours
    during the day than have large peaks. The meters network with their
    neighbors so metering and control can be done across wide areas.
    Slick stuff.
  20. Bob Eld

    Bob Eld Guest

    No, actually it's collecting and utilizing the hot air, smoke and intestinal
    gas from CONservative politicians and blow hard talk show host and other
    repug nitwits out there. This smoke and gas is used to raise steam in giant
    boilers to operate a closed rankine cycle power plant. There is enough blow
    off from these jackasses to generate about 8 GWatts of power.

    As with most thermodynamic cycles, republicans and CONservatives, about 60%
    goes right up the chimney doing NO USEFUL work. Carnot didn't realize he had
    to deal with republicans!
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