Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-08-2009, 09:30 AM   #81
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
- Solar doesn't work for my location and seems a bit of a question mark in terms of energy savings, so I switched to a green power supplier. They indicate that the power supplied is mostly wind and small scale hydro, although I think some nat gas is used. In any case, its all inarguably a hell of a lot cleaner than coal, which was the predominant power source for my inccumbent local supplier. Incremental cost per month is roughly $10/month per family of 4.
At least you HAVE a CHOICE.........

Quote:
- I finally saw dimmable compact fluorescents for sale at a reasonable price. After the local utility's rebate, payback is pretty swift vs. the incandescents I used to use. When they work the kinks and oustized costs out of LEDs, I will switch to those.
Wonder what we are going to do with all the MERCURY in those CFL's?? LEDs are the future.........

Quote:
- Instead of driving to work, I take the train. Kind of a "duh" thing, but probably the most effective thing I could possibly do.
What's a train?

Quote:
This stuff is relatively small potatoes and doesn't require much effort or understanding. I think most of it is stuff people will not argue over as far as energy efficiency and pollution savings. The hard part is how to motivate the population to pick the low hanging fruit.
Make it stupidly cheap so NOT replacing the old energy sucker is just plain dumb.........

Quote:
And help me out: natural gas is cheap and abundant, as well as a good deal cleaner than oil and orders of magnitude cleaner than coal. Why don't we use more nat gas?
It's almost impossible to build them, due to the NIMBY folks and local close-minded zoning and planning commissions, along with overbearing state regulation.........
__________________

__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-08-2009, 09:40 AM   #82
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
It ain't that hard to introduce choice to most of the regional power grids.

As for the mercury in CFLs, its peanuts compared to a tiny amount of coal fired power.

I think the nat gas comment is politics talking, FD. Not far from me are a whole bunch of generating stations fired by fuel oil. I think that if the generator submitted a plan to repower them with nat gas the local planning boards would fall over themselves to approve it.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #83
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post

This stuff is relatively small potatoes and doesn't require much effort or understanding.... The hard part is how to motivate the population to pick the low hanging fruit.
I agree that it's hard to find really big things. One thing to keep in mind, that I've been discussing in some other threads, is that "avoidance" has an immediate payback (turning off a light, combining a couple trips into town, carpooling, adjusting the thermostat, etc). There is no "investment" (expenditure of even more energy), no "payback period", just immediate savings. Many other things require an initial investment in energy (and $), and are a negative until payback is met.

Quote:
And help me out: natural gas is cheap and abundant, as well as a good deal cleaner than oil and orders of magnitude cleaner than coal. Why don't we use more nat gas?
I'm no expert, but I think transportation plays into it - you can dump coal onto a long train or barge, and ship oil, but NG has to be piped to be cost competitive. Also, I think NG is sort of a "by product" of an oil well. If you tried to get more of it, the cost would go up and users would switch to coal oil.

Since I heat my home with NG, I'm not too thrilled at all these plans to use more of it - it will probably raise my costs. But that is just my self-centered view.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009, 10:23 PM   #84
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'm no expert, but I think transportation plays into it - you can dump coal onto a long train or barge, and ship oil, but NG has to be piped to be cost competitive. Also, I think NG is sort of a "by product" of an oil well. If you tried to get more of it, the cost would go up and users would switch to coal oil.

Since I heat my home with NG, I'm not too thrilled at all these plans to use more of it - it will probably raise my costs. But that is just my self-centered view.

-ERD50
I know more than I let on about natgas; my question was a leading one. There are issues with using lots of natural gas, but there is currently a ton of it in storage that nobody seems to need and the industry seems to have a relatively easy time finding new reserves when prices are high enough to encourage drilling. As for transportation, pipelines are already in place all over the place and are constantly being expanded, newly installed, etc. Some areas have a bottleneck of supply, but most do not.

I do not view nat gas as a long term solution. Instead it is likely to be a bridge to better things and in the meantime it is a lot cleaner than just about any other fossil fuel. The current pricing disparity between oil and nat gas would also seem to encourage gas usage. Nat gas also seems to be relatively easily transformed into other things (nat gas easily makes methanol which makes almost anything, for example), so one would think that it could be transformed into motor fuel pretty easily.

BWTFDIK...
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 01:42 AM   #85
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
As you probably know natural gas was on of the key elements of the T Boone Pickens plan. Essentially it uses wind to make electricity along with natural gas. It use Natural gas in the form of LPG instead of oil to power vehicles especially commercial fleets.

I am not an expert on the Pickens plan, but from what I do know it was pretty comprehensive, large enough in scale to make a difference, had garnered public support, and sadly appears to be if not fatally wounded than severely scaled down.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 02:00 AM   #86
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
Thank you clifp for the link to the book and synopsis.
Sam
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 08:11 AM   #87
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
As you probably know natural gas was on of the key elements of the T Boone Pickens plan. Essentially it uses wind to make electricity along with natural gas. It use Natural gas in the form of LPG instead of oil to power vehicles especially commercial fleets.
Mr. Pickens' plan was self serving tripe intended to profit himself and his investors. So I would not shed too many tears over it.

Switching to LPG seems expensive and complicated from a vehicle and infrastructure perspective. Simpler to use nat gas to make methanol to make DME as a diesel substitute/extender. Can use existing vehicles and fuel distribution networks that way.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 10:34 AM   #88
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
This is the best book I've read about renewable energy, consumption, and global warming. This David McKay is just great.

I love the way he put numbers into perpective. Could not help laughing out loud at the "Birds lost in action" chart on page 64.

I finally understood how CO2 concentration was obtained in the past. But I still don't know how temperature was determined. Did he mentioned it anywhere in the book? I've not finished reading yet.

Sam
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 02:36 PM   #89
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Mr. Pickens' plan was self serving tripe intended to profit himself and his investors.
I agree, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't also good for the general public.

NG for cars - I think that is mostly spin. Commercial wind seems to make some sense though. Passive conservation is the real winner - tough to put together a business case that could profit from that though. We'll teach you to turn off the light, and you give us a % of the savings? Does not sound very profitable.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 10:12 PM   #90
Full time employment: Posting here.
CCdaCE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 887
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I agree, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't also good for the general public.

NG for cars - I think that is mostly spin. Commercial wind seems to make some sense though. Passive conservation is the real winner - tough to put together a business case that could profit from that though. We'll teach you to turn off the light, and you give us a % of the savings? Does not sound very profitable.

-ERD50
That's where the insert random Administration name here gestapo gets involved.



-CC
__________________
"There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more, but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops. Kinda like you're startin' from the top..." "Society" - Eddie Vedder
CCdaCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 11:22 AM   #91
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Thanks clifp...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Thanks clifp... -ERD50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
clifp,

Thank you for the link. Gonna read it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSoClose View Post
Clif --
Thanks much for pointing us to this book....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
Thank you clifp for the link to the book and synopsis.
Sam
Ahem... Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air



Thanks, clifp! This is the discussion I'd hoped to start...

While I agree that unplugging our "wall warts" probably gives a false feeling of "doing something", I also agree with ERD50 that a "penny saved is a penny earned". I think we need a new mindset. Maybe we should have to pedal a bicycle, connected to a generator, in order to leave every light and appliance in the house on...

While browsing the magazine section at the bookstore recently, a fellow browser noticed some article on the cover of a mag, and proceeded to start an unwelcome conversation with me about "they want us to drive them there small cars"... I'm thinking, aside from STFU, "ok, we'll send your a$$ to the Middle East, so you can earn your right to drive a gas hog..."

Seriously, though, to provide a working economy requires energy, so we'll have to solve this "problem", or risk some unpleasant consequences.
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 11:58 AM   #92
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
I *thought* this thread title seemed familiar Figured it was my faulty memory.

I had to check back, I had some stuff going on and I only made a couple posts around that time frame, so I think I skimmed and moved on.

But thanks for bringing it up at the time!

Oh, and while " a penny saved is a penny earned", it's important to remember that it is still only a penny. To make any real dent in energy usage, we need a lot of pennies saved.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 01:05 PM   #93
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Granted that we need a LOT of pennies...

A prime example from here in hell Texas is the hubby in the idling car, a/c blasting, waiting for DW to reemerge from the mall. Why not go in and hang around the food court, marveling at the cute teeny-bopper mallrats our cultural differences? Or, better yet, stay the freak home...

I remember commenting on the "Green" channel that appeared on my cable a couple of years ago. I thought, kewl, maybe like the Science channel, only devoted to "green" topics. Turns out it's mostly fluff, with reality shows, and celebs touting all the stupid shite they do to be "green". I was particularly impressed by Alice Cooper, who recycles golf balls. Never mind that he's golfing in Phoenix, where keeping a golf course "green" must be a monumental waste undertaking...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 02:25 PM   #94
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
Maybe we should have to pedal a bicycle, connected to a generator, in order to leave every light and appliance in the house on...
Reminds me of Ed Begley & Bill Nye...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #95
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Hey, I said I found the article (the CNN article not your post) on the forum. On the other hand, I did have a career in marketing, which basically means you take other people's good ideas and repackage them .

The next level up (or down) is a career in politics, in which you take other people's good idea, repackage them. Claim it was your idea and collect lots of money for talking about them.

HFWR, I'll be sending you complimentary tickets to my new documentary.

Sustainable Energy: An Inconvenient truth
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 08:47 PM   #96
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
More fun math!

Here's another back-of-the-envelope exercise that is in keeping with the overall approach of SE:WTHA. What is the energy payback period for the construction of a large hydrolectric project? Case study: Energy payback for the embodied energy (EE) in the Hoover Dam.
Construction materials:
Concrete: 4.36 million cu/yds, with EE of 4050 Kwh per yd = 17,700,000,000 kwh = 17,700 gWh
Steel (reinforcing, pipes, valves, etc) : 178,000,000 lbs with EE of 74 kwh/lb = 13,170,000,000 kwh = 13,170 gWh

Total embodied energy of the major construction materials: 31,000 gWh

The Hoover Dam turbines produce 4000 gWh per year. It was "energy neutral" (for construction materials) after less than 8 years. This doesn't include all the other energy (lots of electricity needed to run the coolers to refrigerate the cement as it cured for several years, trucks and cranes to move the materials, extra caloric intake of al the workers, etc), but it seem likely that the dam was a net producer of energy after about 10-12 years. Since then it has all been gravy.

I was surprised by this, I would have guessed it would take much longer to "pay back" all the energy needed to make that concrete and steel.

P.S.: In 2008, the average US nuclear power plant produced 12,400 gWh, or approximately three times as much electricity as was produced at Hoover Dam
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 01:07 PM   #97
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Here's a little green entertainment for you. I have partially completed an electricity consumption inventory in my house to see what passive loads are sucking down electricity. Here's the spreadsheet. So far I have not found anything that uses more than 4 watts passively. 21" CRT uses 4 watts when in sleep mode (goes into that after 1 hr), but I still turn it off at night. Now I know I am tricking myself, only saving less than $4 a year by doing so. Phone charger uses less than 1 watt. Old clunky 32" CRT tv that weighs 180 lb - 1 watt when off. 1 watt equals close about 9 kWh per year if left on constantly. Or just under a buck where I live. Not a big deal and definitely not worth constant plugging and unplugging.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #98
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Here's a little green entertainment for you. I have partially completed an electricity consumption inventory in my house to see what passive loads are sucking down electricity. Here's the spreadsheet. So far I have not found anything that uses more than 4 watts passively. 21" CRT uses 4 watts when in sleep mode (goes into that after 1 hr), but I still turn it off at night. Now I know I am tricking myself, only saving less than $4 a year by doing so. Phone charger uses less than 1 watt. Old clunky 32" CRT tv that weighs 180 lb - 1 watt when off. 1 watt equals close about 9 kWh per year if left on constantly. Or just under a buck where I live. Not a big deal and definitely not worth constant plugging and unplugging.
At 115M households in the US, that would be around 1 GWh, a large number, except when compared to the estimated 29000 TWh used annually (2005)...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 01:55 PM   #99
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
At 115M households in the US, that would be around 1 GWh, a large number, except when compared to the estimated 29000 TWh used annually (2005)...
Wow, if all of us just unplugged one phone charger we could save a gigawatt! That does sound like a lot. Until it is put in perspective.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 02:16 PM   #100
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Here's a little green entertainment for you. I have partially completed an electricity consumption inventory in my house to see what passive loads are sucking down electricity.
....

Old clunky 32" CRT tv that weighs 180 lb - 1 watt when off. 1 watt equals close about 9 kWh per year if left on constantly. Or just under a buck where I live. Not a big deal and definitely not worth constant plugging and unplugging.
I also started a spreadhseet last fall after buying a Kill-a-watt meter (inspired by Trombone-Al). I also added a column for the % of time that I estimated it was in each state (on, off, idle).

I need to measure a lot more things. But some things that I was turning on/off, after measuring, I decided to leave them ON all the time. They didn't use enough when idle to justify the wear tear on the switch, or the start up cycle from OFF (my printer goes through a wake-up routine - likely to cause some premature wear).

But I'd like to understand where my power is going. I had a $76 bill during a month with no A/C or heat (fan running). ~ $67 of that is based on consumption (~ 670KWHr). My ancient, supposedly inefficient freezer is only ~ $6/month (have not checked fridge yet). Electric dryer is a big one, but I checked the meter before/after and we estimated the on time this past wash day and it was maybe $3 a week.

Water well pump 3/4hp, but that can't be running much ( ~ 2 minute cycle to replace 10 gallons), 1/3hp sump pump doesn't run much. Hmmmm, ss says my porch/garage lights on timers are a bigger draw than I thought - already have CFLs in most of those (I need one incandescent, a 25W one to keep the timer activated) - maybe I'll unscrew a couple. Six bulbs * 15 watts average * 6 hours/day (less than that in summer though) is ~ $16 month, surprised by that one. I need to keep plugging away (unplugging away?) at this.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air HFWR Other topics 11 05-19-2009 11:26 PM
Air Car- runs on compressed air and/or combustion samclem Other topics 53 07-19-2008 07:28 AM
New Calculator - Max Sustainable Withdrawal Rates kmarbach FIRE and Money 13 03-19-2003 01:28 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:45 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.