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Author Topic: An interesting domestic fuel forecast  (Read 8125 times)

Martin [Admin]

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2008, 04:09:25 AM »


On a "Good" day" (windy), how many average wind turbines does it take to replace
one of these modern gas fired power stations?
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toesupwa

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2008, 05:29:01 AM »

Sorry Ghost, i have to dissagree with your reasoning.

A nuclear power station takes millions to set up
A wind turbine farm probably costs a minute amount to set up compared to a Nuclear Power Station.

A Nuclear power Station costs millions to run.
A Turbine costs very little to run, except maintainence.

A nuclear power station takes millions to decommission.
A turbine only needs to be replaced.

A nuclear power station is a blott on the landscape.
A wind turbine is a thing of beauty and a marvel of technology.

A nuclear site produces waste that you cant throw in to the air, rivers, dump, or get rid of.
A wind farm produces no waste.

If there is a serious accident at a nuclear power station, it could kill millions
If there is a serious accident at a wind farm, maybe a blade might fall off.

No C02 emmisions from a wind farm by the way.

I know which i would prefer in my back yard.
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Reade Models

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2008, 07:19:04 AM »


a)
Quote
A nuclear power station is a blott (sic) on the landscape.
b)
Quote
A wind turbine is a thing of beauty and a marvel of technology.
c)
Quote
No C02 emmisions (sic) from a wind farm by the way.

a) Not if you put them underground...
b) You can't be serious?
c) Nor is there from nuclear power stations...

I have to say that as an engineer who used to work in the nuclear industry, I'd rather do ANYTHING than go the nuclear route - 80K tons of waste at Sellafield and nowhere to dispose of it militates against compounding the problem by creating more.  Unfortunately though, unless we do go that route, we're all going to be sitting around camp fires in the not too distant future, trying to keep warm and cook our food - what price global warming then?

You can see how the future here in Europe would look if you appreciate what has already happened in much of sub-Saharan Africa.  There is no gas, coal etc. leastwise none that the average Joe can get his hands on.  The women collect brush wood for fires to cook with.  Settlements are denuded of anything combustible for miles around, causing them to walk further and further for fuel every day.  Coming soon to your neighbourhood?

Malc



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portside II

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2008, 07:48:41 AM »

Camp fires in the future if we dont get sorted ,i am sure the goverment will put a tax on that  O0
daz
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boatmadman

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2008, 08:15:04 AM »

Great discussion here, some more comments:

heat pumps - yes, a very efficient way to heat the house, you get 3 to 4 kw of heat for every 1kw of power required to run the system - cost? £6k to £14k at the moment, lifespan 20yrs plus, maintenance cost? almost zero. Expensive yes, but even at current prices if you are prepared not to move you can see a profit in about 10 yrs. And, prices WILL go much higher for gas.

gas boilers - a colleagues brother in law is a plumber and he is now fitting more electric boilers than gas boilers.

Carbon trading - its here in the uk and has been for a few years and bigfell is right, it has pushed costs up.

British Energy bought by EDF - as of yesterday the deal was iminent. Centrica Energy are in negotiations with EDF. If the EDF buy goes through, Centrica hope to buy 25% of of the ex BE stock from EDF thus giving a good entry into the technology. Centrica currently operate/own gas and wind power.

Wind farms - the great con (in my opinion). The biggest wind mill currently is about 5mw. A typical gas generating unit is in the region of 230 - 250mw...50 or so turbines per small power station! Bigger power stations are merely made up of multiple gas turbines and a larger stean turbine. UK's biggest power stations are 2000mw plus, thats a lot of windmills.

For a wind farm of say, 100 units, with a max output of 500mw (assuming the biggest units are built), for system security there has to be 350mw of alternative and available ( gas or coal, not nuclear as it takes too long to power up and shut down) back up generation capacity. This is for when the wind is either too strong, too weak or just not there.

Windmills elegant? Do you really want to see the whole of the west seaboard of the uk covered in offshore windmills? I dont! This is the reality if our government want to meet stated objectives on windpower!

Load factor for wind farms is typically around 40%, this means that the turbine is only at full load 40% of the time. The turbines cannot operate in all wind speeds, but they are getting better and acheiving a wider operating window.

Dont even think a b&q style home wind turbine is a good idea for most people. They need clear straight laminar wind flow to work properly (thats why they are putting them offshore) - not available in towns and cities. The payback time? far longer than the life expectany of the windmill.

Like it or not, nuclear will have to play a big part in meeting our future energy needs.

Our Govt. should really be investing heavily in micro generation, its not viable for the vast majority of houses.

Some interesting further reading here: http://www.windpower.org/en/tour/grid/rein.htm

Ian
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bigfella

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2008, 08:38:57 AM »

Those that are serious about getting rid of carbon emitions and saving the planet would have to consider going the Nuclear route. There is no other viable alternative to create the same amount of power that exists with coal and other fossil fuel based power stations. Having said that I am a Global Warming, climate change or whatever trendy name it is called this week sceptic. Don't get me wrong I don't like pollution and believe that we should clean up our act for the planets health. However I just cant see that all the modeling by science groups have not taken into there modeling that the earth has cooled since 1998 and thus there apocalyptic calculations and predictions are flawed. If the weather bureau cant give me a guaranteed accurate forecast for next Friday how can scientists tell us what is going to happen in 100 or even 50 years time. I know that my view goes against the grain of most others but the figures just don't add up and this climate change thing is becoming to much of a money earner to some to be completely unbiased.

Regards David
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boatmadman

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2008, 08:57:58 AM »

David,

Completely agree with you.

Ian
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tigertiger

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2008, 10:37:04 AM »

For those who might have been swayed by the C4 documentary on global warming. This has been heavily criticised. Amoung other things for quoting from out of date data. The show aimed to show an alternative arguement. But the body of scientific evidence is that there is global warming. Not necessarily on the Al Gore scale.

Anther good reason to move away from gas as a source of energy it to break the hold of foriegn companies who would/do exploit short term increases in demand. Remember the price hikes when it got cold in a recent prolonged cold snap. It also reduces our dependance on the energy and economic polices of foriegn powers like Russia, countries that will naturally act in thier own interests and not that of UK citizens.
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sweeper

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2008, 11:38:18 AM »

Page 1, Line 1 of the book of Electricity Supply : NEVER allow your system to be dependant on fuel supplies from overseas.

The UK made a big mistake when they changed over a lot of stations from coal to gas. You are burning a resource that cannot be replaced. Our leaders (sic) blindly follow all the rules laid down by others while they all carry on regardless. The "green" people with their wind power? They may as well nip out to the shops and bulk buy some PP9 batteries, anyone in any doubt can do the sums - all the tree huggers claims do not stack up.

Let's face it, clean coal technology is out there (Japan), we are sitting on enough of the stuff to keep us going for years. Nuclear power, for all it's drawbacks, is available and infinitely better than sitting in the dark / cold (just think back to the state we had years ago when the lights went out on a regular basis).
Forty years down the line and guess what? The days are fast approaching when we start heading back to the dark ages. Given the time it takes to implement new systems in the industry, someone had better extract their digits and get organised. That is on the premise that Whitehall employ someone with some practical knowledge of the problems, rather than the waffle being spun into the air by our government leaders.

Personally I'd be tempted to stick two fingers up at the E.U. and their carbon ideas. The big players in the game certainly appear to be doing just that (China, India, USA, Russia et al). But of course lads, we're British, must play by the rules, what? So we attempt to save the world while others create more havoc. Great satisfaction to be gained by us as we freeze our bits off, the knowledge that we acted correctly!
All the other technologies mentioned (wind, wave, tidal, hydro etc.) are useful for back up, but for base load stations it has to be thermal generation from coal or nuclear fuel.

Regards,
(former Electricity Supply Industry employee)

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a3nige

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2008, 01:31:47 PM »

Couldn't agree more Sweeper, we will ‘do our bit’ for the planet, paying a fortune in the process,  whilst those countries that don't will flood us with cheap imports, destroy whats left of our industry and buy anything that's left after the oil men have spent up. Roll on somebody getting into Whitehall who hasn't been gelded. I drive coal trains for a living & about 98% is imported, when the oil & gas runs out are these countries going to continue to sell us thier coal? I doubt it.

Nige
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polaris

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2008, 01:53:30 PM »


Dear Sweeper,

Unfortunately I agree with what you say re wind power. If it weren't for the massive subsidies there would only be a fraction of the wretched things planted. As to the carbon foot print of these things, the whole manufacturing process, installation, and environmental impact is more significant than people realise.

Barrages and all forms of hydro elec. (apart from pumped storage - which personally I consider a poor form of generation), are extremely cost effective and 'passive'. Ok, so there is some disturbance while they are being built, and habitats are altered but are balanced by new ones. The country must have electricity, and rather than choosing just one form of generation there must be a selection. Coal is not really one of the best options, but there must be one or two stations: gas - well forget about that one!; nuclear, well we all don't want it but it is the only large scale bulk supply option; wind power is a sop; so this leaves hydro as the only reliable alternative bulk supply source.

We only need to look back to the 1920's and 30's, where, in many rural areas there were a huge number of private elec. suppliers using water (low head turbines, and high pressure pelton wheel systems), and supplying the needs of the immediate area. Some of these were substantial, and it is still possible to see the remains of quite a few of these systems. The trouble is, many of these still important power supplies are forbidden to be installed by the exact same environmental groups who are jumping up and down against nuclear! These people must come back to basic logic, and accept the fact that every possible source of electricity must be found and utilised. There are so many rivers and streams that could be used that the number is unknown at this stage. Where one dam can be built across a river, invariably another can be built either up stream or down stream, thus utilising the resource in a highly efficient way - why generate off it once when it can be done two or three times. The Victorians's had this down to a fine are re water power: some mines had three or four water wheels operating in tandem... why is it in this high tech. day and age that such simple and cost effective principals are so difficult for some to get a grasp of!!! - if it's not complicated they seemingly don't want to know about it!

Something is going to happen in the world of Solar power in the near future, and this is going to be rather interesting. The days where every house has a solar instillation to complement the normal power supply is not that far off.

Anyway, just some notes.

Regards, Bernard

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boatmadman

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2008, 02:54:07 PM »

Dont hold your breath on solar pv panels - my son works in that field and the only way it can be cost effective is with a government subsidy, and we all know where that money comes from.

Germany pretty well leads Europe in solar pv, and that only works because every electricity user pays a little extra per unit to subsidise it.
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dreadnought72

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2008, 03:26:15 PM »

Solar: when did it get sunny enough to generate megawatts in the uk? 
A fallacy - it doesn't need to be full-on sunny for solar power to work.

More to the point, even at our hardy latitudes, a square metre of ground receives 900-1200 KWh annually. That's 100-140 watts. If the population of the UK (60 million) want to run completely on solar power alone at today's standard of living (3.5kW per head) and panel efficiency is a reasonable (and cheap) 15%, we'd only need to cover up Cornwall and Devon to do it...  :D

(Better solution - stick the cells in orbit.)

Andy
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toesupwa

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2008, 04:32:31 PM »


a)
Quote
A nuclear power station is a blott (sic) on the landscape.
b)
Quote
A wind turbine is a thing of beauty and a marvel of technology.

a) Not if you put them underground...
b) You can't be serious?


a) That add's a couple of billion to the cost... that goes on your electricity bill.
b) Compared to an above ground Nuclear plant... yes, i AM serious.

Britain with Nuclear.
"Yes, its the country that glows with the big mushroom cloud over it"...
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Reade Models

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2008, 05:23:53 PM »



EDF today increased gas prices to the public by 22 percent, electricity by 17 percent - more increases to follow....

Time to start collecting firewood?

Malc



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GaryM

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2008, 06:42:00 PM »

With regard to nuclear power, are we not trading one finite resource for another, coal for uranium?
How much uranium is there and how long will it last - probably enough to see us out, but what about future generations?
Are there sufficient spaces to store the waste safely, especially with a growing population?

I agree with Toesupwa with regard that I quite like the sight of wind turbines, but also think that these or indeed nuclear power are the only answer.
They were going to build a wind farm in the Brean / Weston area a few years back, does anyone know if it happened?

regards
Gary :)
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polaris

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2008, 06:56:55 PM »


Dear All,

Re Solar power. There is some new tech. on the way, and it will be sooner rather than later. The cost will be considerably less than the eqpt. currently available, and bring the process and eqpt. within reach of the mass market.

Regards, Bernard
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Reade Models

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2008, 07:00:21 PM »



Unenriched Uranium is plentiful - the South Africans and the Australians dig it out of the ground as a by-product of the (mostly) gold mining process.  It's a black, damp powder once the ore has been through the ball mills and the flotation cells.  You can pick it up, sqeeze it into black 'snowballs.'  It's quite harmless in that state.

Sellafield Limited has THORP (Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant) which does exactly that, er well, sometimes. ;D.

My best guess is that the UK has sufficient strategic supplies of Uranuim / Plutonium and all of the other fissiles to run as many nuclear stations (and make as many warheads - Tritium) as we could usefully use for a very long time. Certainly until they can figure out how to make the wind blow continuously {-) {-)

Malc


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Ghost in the shell

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2008, 09:10:06 PM »

and time for british energy to build a couple more reactors.  and given the way that technology has progressed, surly there is the technology now to get more energy out of 1kg of reprocessed fuel assemblies than could be extracted from 1kg of refined uranium in 1960?

I think so.
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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2008, 10:41:47 PM »

ok, presuming we dont go the nuclear route, green lobby factor.

local constituants of coastal towns say NO to turbines off shore, so what about tidal turbine pods?
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Reade Models

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2008, 11:25:19 PM »


There is no such thing as 'free' energy.  It ALL has a cost, over and above the capital expenditure required to harness it.

There has been precious little thought given to what happens to good old mother nature when you start using power extracted from the wind, tides etc?  In these early days of our moves towards those technologies, it probably won't make much difference in the short term.  But...

As we go further down the line though, say in a couple of hundred years from now, it's anybody's guess what will happen, but my bet would be that if you extract sufficient energy from nature, it's going to suffer?

Just contemplate a world where the winds no longer blow, where storms are a thing of the past, surrounded by stagnant seas that no longer support the myriads of life that they do now.  Be very clear on this, humanity is very capable of changing nature and so far, we've never changed it for the better.

Global warming is a fact - the winters now are a heck of a lot milder than they were when I was young. In the 1600's the winters must have been truly horrific.

In the south of England, archaeologists regularly dig up the bones of rhinos and other subtropical species.  This indicates that our northern European climate was once a lot warmer still than it is now.  Oddly enough, they never find those bones alongside the remains of prehistoric 4X4's?  The world climate changes over time, it's perfectly natural for it to do so. My Mitsubishi Shogun cannot be responsible for it all, as our harebrained government would have us believe.

Like Bernard, I believe that our carbon emissions have diddly-squat (or at worst very little) to do with global warming.  I do think that we should all be as economical with our precious resources as we can.  Let's not blight our beautiful country with forests of three bladed monster wind turbines, and let's have some pragmatic debate about how to handle this energy crisis - for that is what it truly is.

As much as we've all contributed to it's destruction, we still live in a very beautiful world.  We really should look after it better than we do.

My best guess?  We're still coming out of the last ice age.

Malc

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Colin Bishop

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #46 on: July 25, 2008, 11:32:26 PM »

Quote
In the south of England, archaeologists regularly dig up the bones of rhinos and other subtropical species.  This indicates that our northern European climate was once a lot warmer still than it is now.

True Malc, but the South of England wasn't necessarily where it is now situated on the globe and may have been nearer the equator. Plate tectonics.

Colin
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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2008, 11:38:47 PM »

one answer does lie in a little place known as Dinorwic, near LLanberis, where a pump-storage scheme has been put inside a mountain.  so ideally if we want to improve our energy means by RENEWABLE sources, a tidal barage across morecame bay, using the inflow and outflow of the sea would possibly solve some of our energy needs, and it could also be used to build a bridge to ease the congested M6 to barrow - in - furness roadway.  

put a similar barage in the river severn, and on the thames, along with the Wash and we could generate some serious power.  

plate tectonics also bring in another issue, why not develop advanced geo thermal technology, and send water down to heated rocks, and use the returning steam to produce power.  if someone digs deep enough down, hot rocks will be found

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bigfella

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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2008, 01:01:43 AM »

I think that the only way to stop the greenies from forcing us all to live by the glow of fire flies is that every house or street be responsibly for at least 25% of its energy needs. This would stop the large producers of the so called Climatechangegreenhousecarbonfootprintemissionsbadstuff. It is no use only a few houses being good and having there own source of power unless we all go down that path. Not only would it placate the green lobby but it would reduce the overall cost. But as I said the climate change thing is to much of a money spinner to be considered an unbiased science. Take away all the grants and all the research backhanders and then you will have a true indication of what is happining. Scientist can't operate without these grants and research funds and always skew their results to whoever asks the questions. I mean if someone pays you to find that the earth is warming by man made emissions your not going to come up with a no answer. Otherwise who is going to pay you if there is nothing to find a scientific souloution to.

Regards David
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Re: An interesting domestic fuel forecast
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2008, 01:05:56 AM »

one saving: better insulation of homes, that way in winter it stayes warmer with less effort, and in summer, it stayes cooler.  after all what keeps the heat in and cold out also works in reverse, keeping cold in and hot out, more careful use of air conditioning in both homes and cars. 

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