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'[OT] Sustainability was: Nerd-friendly remodeling '
2007\03\24@003428 by James Newtons Massmind

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> > Also, lots of insulation to keep down the heating/cooling bills and
> > now that you are a homeowner, unless it is in the frozen north, you
> > should find that P.V. Panels are effectively free:
> >
> > www.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/panels.htm
>
> I once read a study that determined that the manufacture of a
> PV panel ended up using MORE energy then it will produce in
> it's lifetime. Anyone else read that story?

If PV panels required more energy to produce than they would put back out
over their life time, how could a PV system ever hope to pay for itself? Do
you really think the mfgrs pay THAT much less for electricity?

My total system cost $21,000 (before the rebates) and it made $1,200 worth
of electricity last year. It will have "earned its keep" on the planet in
17.5 years. They are warranted for 25 years by Hitachi so I expect the will
at LEAST break even.

My payoff will be in 10.63 years ASSUMING the electric rates hold steady.
Based on the latest reports from the DOE, the price is going to soar in the
next few years and I stand to make a killing. <insert maniacal laughter>

{Quote hidden}

The nice thing about true sustainability is that it is almost always frugal.
The real cost to the planet of anything is the cost of the energy required
to make it. And that is just about always the ticket price of the item.

So a hybrid OR ANY OTHER NEW CAR costs what it does because of the energy
required to mine the metals, produce the plastics, transport, mold, bend,
assemble, feed the workers, and deliver it to your local dealer. ALL of that
is energy expended and ALL the energy costs us in pollution, heat and war.

When you look at the price increase required to purchase a hybrid over an
equivalent non-hybrid, and you figure out what that will save you over the
expected life of the car, you find out the hybrids don't pay off. And so
they aren't environmentally friendly.

So, yes, the hybrids are no where near as good as they think they are. But
neither is any other new car.

Save the planet: Be cheap, screw the Joneses (or at least screw keeping up
with them), put your ego aside and drive an old, high mileage, low
maintenance, compact car.

Like my '92 Civic. <grin>

---
James.


2007\03\24@013254 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 23, 2007, at 9:34 PM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> old, high mileage, low maintenance, compact car.

(Can you really get all those together?)

All things considered, I would bet that the overall energy cost
to manufacture and dispose of a car is pretty close to proportional
the total mass of the car.  That is, I bet it takes more energy to
refine and recycle the metal than anything else.  The hummer weighs
about 1800lbs more than the prius; stop whining about the energy cost
of shipping the 150lbs of battery around and tell be about shipping
all that steel...

But what can I say; I'm a prius owner and immediately suspect. :-)

I didn't get it because it's maximally energy efficient; a motorcycle
would do better, as would suffering public transportation.  I did get
it because I think it is particularly energy efficient for the class
of car; compare milage to subcompact diesels (which aren't available
here, BTW) if you want; the prius is NOT a subcompact...

BillW

2007\03\24@114216 by Dario Greggio

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James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> My total system cost $21,000 (before the rebates) and it made $1,200 worth
> of electricity last year. It will have "earned its keep" on the planet in
> 17.5 years. They are warranted for 25 years by Hitachi so I expect the will
> at LEAST break even.
>
> My payoff will be in 10.63 years ASSUMING the electric rates hold steady.
> Based on the latest reports from the DOE, the price is going to soar in the
> next few years and I stand to make a killing. <insert maniacal laughter>

I got same figures here in Italy last week, listening to some persons/firms.
I'm going to install my own plant too, as I get my new house (maybe some
10.000 EUR worth, 2KW circa)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\03\24@191223 by Jake Anderson

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Dario Greggio wrote:
> James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>
>  
>> My total system cost $21,000 (before the rebates) and it made $1,200 worth
>> of electricity last year. It will have "earned its keep" on the planet in
>> 17.5 years. They are warranted for 25 years by Hitachi so I expect the will
>> at LEAST break even.
>>
>> My payoff will be in 10.63 years ASSUMING the electric rates hold steady.
>> Based on the latest reports from the DOE, the price is going to soar in the
>> next few years and I stand to make a killing. <insert maniacal laughter>
>>    
>
> I got same figures here in Italy last week, listening to some persons/firms.
> I'm going to install my own plant too, as I get my new house (maybe some
> 10.000 EUR worth, 2KW circa)
>
>  
I often wonder if a solar concentrator with some kind of steam engine
would be a cheaper way of generating solar than PV panels. The panels
seem expensive per area and they are ~20% efficient. Most of the "big"
solar generating proposals seem to use similar systems, not PV's. Spin
casting a parabolic dish shouldn't be too difficult for say ~2m in size
(diameter) pointing it is the tricky part and a PIC with a decent clock
can do that standing on its ear ;-> the steam generator, well I'd call
that fun to build and go from there.

At the moment lead acid batteries are probably the way to go. Though
there is a material that produces hydrogen when exposed to light and
immersed in water, so that could be a better way of generating nighttime
power and fuel for your car.

2007\03\26@101240 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Save the planet: Be cheap, screw the Joneses (or at least screw keeping up
> with them), put your ego aside and drive an old, high mileage, low
> maintenance, compact car.
>
> Like my '92 Civic. <grin>

And if you're really worried about emissions:
http://www.nativeenergy.com/travel/
where you can purchase carbon credits that otherwise would be sold to
large companies.

I don't know what the amount of carbon released per joule of coal power
is versus per joule of gasoline in a car.  Anyone?

Mike H.

2007\03\26@203352 by Peter P.

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Mike Hord <mike.hord <at> gmail.com> writes:

> I don't know what the amount of carbon released per joule of coal power
> is versus per joule of gasoline in a car.  Anyone?

Coal releases more. There is little H2 in coal (there is a lot in oil).

Peter P.


2007\03\26@213704 by Aaron

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William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I think so.  I'm driving a '91 Pontiac Grand Am with 220,000 miles on
it.  Last three years, I've spent less than $500 (total) on maintenance
& repairs.  It hasn't left me sit, but it has limped home a few times
and I drove a different vehicle a few days while repairs were being done.

Downside is that it is the ugliest looking car in the company parking lot.

Aaron

2007\03\26@222803 by Martin Klingensmith

picon face
An old Geo Prizm should be pretty cheap and run about forever, as long as
it's one with a Toyota engine.
--
Martin K

On 3/26/07, Aaron <spam_OUTaaron.groupsTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\03\26@223311 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> >>old, high mileage, low maintenance, compact car.
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >(Can you really get all those together?)
> >  
> >
>
> I think so.  I'm driving a '91 Pontiac Grand Am with 220,000
> miles on it.  Last three years, I've spent less than $500
> (total) on maintenance & repairs.  It hasn't left me sit, but
> it has limped home a few times and I drove a different
> vehicle a few days while repairs were being done.
>
> Downside is that it is the ugliest looking car in the company
> parking lot.
>
> Aaron


Be proud of it! I need to make up a sign or something for my old Civic that
explains why it is better for the environment than any sleek new hybrid and
tons better than an SUV. Sure, no one will read it, still..

---
James.


2007\03\27@040028 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Downside is that it is the ugliest looking car in the company parking lot.

<VBG> Guess no-one is going to pinch it then ...

2007\03\27@092135 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Peter P. wrote:

> Mike Hord <mike.hord <at> gmail.com> writes:
>
>> I don't know what the amount of carbon released per joule of coal power
>> is versus per joule of gasoline in a car.  Anyone?
>
> Coal releases more. There is little H2 in coal (there is a lot in oil).

Are you considering the efficiency differences?

Gerhard

2007\03\27@095110 by Mike Hord

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> >> I don't know what the amount of carbon released per joule of coal power
> >> is versus per joule of gasoline in a car.  Anyone?
> >
> > Coal releases more. There is little H2 in coal (there is a lot in oil).
>
> Are you considering the efficiency differences?

I guess that was my intent- I know coal has more carbon, but what
I DON'T know is how much better your average car is at removing/
suppressing the emissions than a coal fired power plant.

If I had to guess, I'd put them in this order, from best to worst:
1.  Coal gassification plant
2.  Modern PZEV gasoline engine
3.  Modern low-emission diesel with low sulphur fuel
4.  "Traditional" gasoline engine
5.  Coal fired plant
6.  "Traditional" diesel.

This in terms of kg of carbon released per joule of actual work
performed at the load- in other words, all other things being
equal, if I used an electric car and charged it's battery from a
coal gassification plant, it would be better than using a gas
engine, despite the cost associated with transporting coal
and distribution grid losses, etc.

Wild conjecture on my part and I'm more than willing to be
educated (in fact, I think I may do a little research on my own).

Mike H.

2007\03\27@104812 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

In terms of only CO2 emissions, I think the coal will be somewhat worse than even old technology diesel engines.  

A quick google seems to confirm this http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html

Modern gas/diesel engines do not magicaly produce less CO2 from a given amount of fuel, they simply burn a little less fuel for a given power output.  Also, for gasoline engines of simmilar efficiency, a catalysed engine will actualy emit a little more CO2 than a non-catalysed one as any CO and unburnt hydrocarbons are converted to CO2.

Regards

Mike

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2007\03\27@113400 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Mike,

On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 08:51:09 -0500, Mike Hord wrote:

>...
> If I had to guess, I'd put them in this order, from best to worst:
> 1.  Coal gassification plant
> 2.  Modern PZEV gasoline engine
> 3.  Modern low-emission diesel with low sulphur fuel
> 4.  "Traditional" gasoline engine
> 5.  Coal fired plant
> 6.  "Traditional" diesel.

You don't mention LPG - do you have LPG conversions of petrol engines in the US?  They've been available in the UK
for twenty years or so, but it's only recently that the fuel has been easily available.  I'd put them at about number 2.5
in your list.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\27@132614 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

>>If I had to guess, I'd put them in this order, from best to
>>worst: 1.  Coal gassification plant 2.  Modern PZEV gasoline
>>engine 3.  Modern low-emission diesel with low sulphur fuel 4.
>> "Traditional" gasoline engine 5.  Coal fired plant 6.  
>>"Traditional" diesel.
>>
>>This in terms of kg of carbon released per joule of actual
>>work performed at the load-

> In terms of only CO2 emissions, I think the coal will be somewhat worse
> than even old technology diesel engines.
>
> A quick google seems to confirm this
> http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html

This table doesn't seem to take the efficiency differences into account. I
don't think a typical street vehicle gasoline engine is particularly
efficient in generating mechanical energy from chemical energy, compared to
a plant generator and electrical motor.

And while we're there, we need also to take the resources into account that
are needed to extract and refine the fuels. Gasoline probably needs more
energy to extract, refine and transport to the end user (the vehicle's
tank) than the coal.

Gerhard

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