Jump to content

drbubb

Super Admins
  • Content Count

    110,534
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by drbubb

  1. REALITY BITES : Many Problems for Shale Oil ============= American oil companies abandoned oil shale demonstration facilities in the 1980's on the grounds that production was not economically viable. More recently, an oil shale demonstration plant in Queensland, Australia produced 700,000 barrels of oil between 2001 and 2003, and oil shale remains a major energy source for Estonia. At President Bush's direction and with encouragement from this summer's Energy Bill, the Bureau of Land Management sought applications from companies for small-scale research, development, and demonstration projects, for which 18 companies have applied. "Oil shale" typically is not shale and does not contain oil, but rather is a rock known as marl containing organic compounds like kerogen. When heated to high temperatures (referred to as "retorting"), one can obtain an oil-like substance from the rock which can be refined to produce a transportation fuel. Bubba of Belly of the Beast, who worked for two years on attempted commercialization of oil shale, describes the process this way: If you heat this shale to 700 degrees F you will turn this organic carbon (kerogen) into the nastiest, stinkiest, gooiest, pile of oil-like crap that you can imagine. Then if you send it through the gnarliest oil refinery on the planet you can make this s*** into transportation fuel. In the mean time you have created all kinds of nasty byproducts, have polluted the air and groundwater of wherever you have extracted it. The fact that large quantities of heat are required to obtain a usable fuel from the rock means that this is a far less efficient source of energy than conventional oil. Shell claims it can produce 3.5 units of energy for every unit input, though one wonders whether the energy content of all the inputs is taken into account in such figures. The lower this ratio, the more the cost of producing oil from shale would rise as energy prices go up. Another implication of the high energy needs for processing is that significantly more greenhouse gases are released per barrel of usable fuel produced. Concerns about greenhouse emissions appear to have been the basis on which Greenpeace succeeded in closing down the Australian demonstration plant. Queensland oil shale mine The rock expands in size upon heating, meaning you can't put it back in the ground, and it is carcinogenic. Two metric tons of rock are required to obtain a barrel of synthetic crude. Mark in Mexico (hat tip: Ace) spells out the logistical problems that this raises: Try to imagine the hole a 33,400,000,000,000 tonne excavation would make. Hello, China. Try to imagine the mountain of waste rock (carcinogenic) because the rock expands, kind of like popcorn, when it is heated to remove the kerogen, so more has to go back than is removed. Hello, Icarus. Try to imagine the poisons produced by the processing of all that shale if it is done above ground, or all the dead fish if it is done in situ. Hello, King of the Wasteland-- the Ayatollah of rock-'n-rolla. Three barrels of water are needed per barrel of oil produced, and it is not clear how current users of that water might be persuaded to surrender its use for oil shale. Shell is working on an in situ retorting technology, in which the rock could be heated without being removed from the mountain. They claim to be able to produce oil at a cost of $30 per barrel, and in situ processing should reduce the environmental, energy, and water costs. ...MORE: http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/0...hale_retor.html
  2. Welcome, Malco. Of course, I am aware of you many excellent posts on HPC. And I am sure you have contributions to make here too. It is interesting to hear about your background. Have you looked at Oil Shale in the US? I am about to launch a thread under the Alt-Technologies section I am also very interested on your thoughts on Wind power, and electricity storage, which are two areas that really interest me
  3. drbubb

    Strange & Obscure companies

    Maybe. But when a commodity suddenly rises by 50% in less than 3 months, and China is the main producer and user, I pay attention - Something has changed. And from previous experience, these rises stick, and some money can be made
  4. Another Uk Company : Proven Engineering One of world's leading manufacturers of small wind systems, Proven Engineering is celebrating its 25 years in the business by securing a trio of innovative contracts with two of the major players in the oil and gas industry. Support from UK Steel Enterprise has enabled Proven to secure contracts with Shell and Saudi Aramco. A six-figure contract will see the Ayrshire-based company provide Shell with five 2.5 kW wind turbines which will be installed on a number of the oil giant's unmanned satellite gas platforms off the coast of England and Holland. The turbines will enable the platforms to operate all year round in extreme weather conditions and will generate power for the platforms' navigation lights and wellheads. In a similar contract, Proven has been appointed by Saudi Aramco to conduct a pilot scheme that will see the company install a 6 kW turbine on a telecom site situated in the middle of the Saudi desert. This will be the first step towards Saudi Aramco introducing a further 10 turbines over a three-year period at some of its other remote telecom sites. @: http://www.sonnenseite.com/index.php?pageI...html&flash=true
  5. Thinking Outside the Box The wind industry is currently looking at alternative configurations that could bring about a slow but significant change in direction. It would seem that wind farm developers and town planners alike are looking towards alternative and radical designs to fill the demand at either end of the size spectrum. A possible alternative design could be the vertical axis wind turbine. By Steven Peace, Eurowind Small Turbines Ltd, UK There are numerous small wind turbines available on the market ranging from a few hundred watts to a few hundred kilowatts, almost all of which are horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). The smallest of these machines are really only meant to be used for charging batteries on caravans or boats, although some have been appearing on remote street lights, signs and telephone boxes that have a minimal power requirement. The 1 to 15kW range are designed mainly for use on remote, off-grid, individual properties or smallholdings, whereas those of 15kW upwards are aimed at small remote communities. None of the conventional HAWTs are really designed for use within the built environment. HAWTs are not well suited to the turbulent wind found in built-up areas and can be observed constantly hunting for the wind direction and rarely settling in one position for very long. This leads to inefficient power generation and excessive fluctuation in their power supply. Over the last year or so, there have been a number of real alternatives appearing on the market, generally in the under 3kW range, most based upon one or another of the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) principles. Current large HAWTs are well developed, highly sophisticated machines. All the big manufacturers are trying desperately to further refine them and squeeze every little bit of extra power and efficiency out of them. However, the truth is that, apart from the odd tweak here and there, the HAWTs are rapidly reaching the limits of their viability. The blades are a particular problem. Modern turbine blades are largely handmade and can take anything up to 8 to 10 days each to produce. The logistics of moving and erecting a 61.5m blade in one piece are horrendous, and virtually impossible by road; therefore, the factories that produce these larger blades need to be located by the sea. Furthermore, as a wind turbine’s output is directly related to the swept area of its blades, if HAWTs are to grow any bigger even larger blades will be required. Using conventional materials (i.e. glass fibre) the blades have more or less reached their limits; larger blades can be built for HAWTs, but they will require more exotic materials such as carbon fibre, which, because of the nature of the materials and supply problems, will probably make the cost of these blades unviable. Added to the blade problems, the large machines require a relatively high degree of maintenance and there are issues with gearboxes, bearings and support towers, all of which are struggling to keep pace with the ever larger sizes, weights and stresses of these latest HAWTs. Currently, outside pressures on the industry by governments committed to high targets of renewable energy production agreed at Kyoto are pushing the industry forward. Understandably though, the wind farm developers would also like to have larger machines to maximise profits and take advantage of the economies of scale. The technology of HAWTs is rapidly reaching a plateau and soon the manufacturers will not be able to keep up with demand. However, why should they worry when they can easily sell every machine they can build? It is the governments and wind farm developers who will inevitably suffer, not being able to meet their targets and having to pay more as the market forces of supply and demand gradually creep the prices up. There is an obvious solution: if the industry were to switch just a fraction of its research and development resources and funding to work on the relatively unexplored technology of VAWTs (when compared to HAWTs), then machines with outputs of 10 to 20MW or more could be in production in less than 5 years. Unless there is a shift in policy and the big players are prepared to think outside the box by embracing such innovations, the current industry might find it is ‘scoring an own goal’ and being left behind. @: http://www.windtech-international.com/content/view/190/72.
  6. UK BASED ======= Clipper Windpower... - http://www.clipperwind.com/ Windpower in the UK - http://www.bwea.com/pdf/reviewsmall.pdf ? not yet operating/ Eurowind Developments Ltd & Eurowind Small Turbines Ltd Business type: Developers of modern vertical axis wind turbines Product types: wind turbines (large 1MW - 10MW planned), wind energy systems (small 1.3 kw - 30 kw), wind powered street lighting, hybrid wind power systems. . Service types: Turnkey design and installation of urban and remote systems Address: 38 Kings Avenue, Newhaven, East Sussex United Kingdom BN9 0NA Telephone: +44 (0) 1273 612383 FAX: + 44 (0) 1273 586069 website: http://www.eurowind-uk.net/page16.html 2/ Novera ?
  7. Turbine Manufacturers: List, Large Turbines... http://energy.sourceguides.com/./windturbine/./byName Siemens................... Bonus? (now Siemens?) GE............................ Gamesa Eolica........... http://www.gamesa.es/ NEG Micon................. http://www.neg-micon.com/cm90.asp?d=1 Vestas Wind Systems.. http://www.vestas.dk/ Nordex...................... http://www.nordex-online.com/ Nordtank.................... Secondhand (from USA) http://www.windturbinewarehouse.com/ Small scale mfrs........ http://www.windustry.com/resources/small-scale.htm Turnkey Constructors: AMEC......................... http://www.amec.com/services/services.asp?pageid=250
  8. How many Earths do we need to Produce Biomass to Supply Our Energy? Assuming the Energy consumption of... This Nation : We Need India ........ : 0.3 Earths Denmark... : 2.2 Earths USA.......... : 3.2 Earths THIS and other thought provoking ideas from this lecture: ABOUT THE LECTURE, of : Lee Rybeck Lynd Farmers may be filling our tanks and heating our homes in coming years, if Lee Lynd’s vision pans out. Evolving technology can transform feedstocks like corn and soybeans as well as perennial grasses into energy and power. What he describes as “cellulosic biomass” holds the promise of replacing much of the fossil fuel we depend on, with a large number of positive side effects, according to Lynd’s complex equations. The biomass conversion process has “near-zero net greenhouse emissions,” because “before you return carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from a biofuel, you first have to remove it from the atmosphere in photosynthesis.” Another benefit: perennial grass may be grown both for livestock feed and for fuel, and when harvested, adds to soil fertility. Lynd allays concerns that a conversion to biofuels would lead to inadequate acreage for all of our resources needs, from food to biodiversity. If farmers integrate their crops to maximize both food and energy needs, and if vehicle efficiency improves, very little new land would be needed. “If we’re prepared to act as if this is important,” says Lynd, we can supply the U.S. mobility demand from biomass within the land currently allocated to agriculture.” We “can bury our heads in the sand,” says Lynd and try to “pretend that our energy challenges are not real,” or even pray for a miracle, but in his view, the best bet for securing a sustainable and secure energy future lies in innovation and change. Link to Video : http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/343/
  9. 2003 March 04 Tuesday Hydrogen Economy Cost Calculations Harry Braun, Chairman of the Hydrogen Political Action Committee, has written article laying out some costs and arguing for the use of windpower to generate hydrogen for a hydrogen economy. With state-of-the-art electrolyzers, about 55 kWh will be needed to manufacture the energy content of a gallon of gasoline in the form of gaseous hydrogen. Assuming electricity costs of 3 cents/kWh, the electricity costs alone would be $14.00/mBtu, which is equivalent to gasoline costing $1.60 per gallon. The cost and maintenance of the electrolyzer and related hydrogen storage and pumping system also needs to be factored in to the equation. One problem that Braun brings up about liquid hydrogen as a transportation fuel source is that while a gallon of gasoline has 115,000 Btus of energy a gallon of liquid hydrogen has only 30,000 Btus. Therefore liquid hydrogen tanks would need to be much larger and at the same time stronger and insulted in order to hold the extremely cold liquid hydrogen. Not exactly an appealing prospect. Also, liquifying the hydrogen itself takes energy that boosts the costs by nearly a quarter. Even if we accept his assumptions for how far down windpower costs could drop if mass produced his calculations take little account of the infrastructure costs for hydrogen for the huge transition that he envisions. Also, windpower seems a worse choice than photovoltaics for the United States in the long term in part because the wind farms have to be built where the wind is. Whereas with the move of people in the US toward the Southern parts of the country people have been moving toward where there is more solar power to be tapped. Eventually, (eventually? how long is eventually? er, I don't know) thin film photovoltaics will allow electric power to be generated much closer to where it is used. Given the drawbacks of hydrogen as a power source it still seems possible that a big advance in battery technology could make batteries a viable alternative to hydrogen fuel cells. An EE Times article from 2001 surveyed the field of battery development and experts think batteries viable as automotive power sources are still years away. Similar efforts are in progress at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where researchers have developed a competing lithium-polymer battery that could ultimately achieve energy densities of 300 W-hr/kg, according to its developers. The technology, which uses a multiple-layer configuration of polymer and metal resembling a potato chip bag, is funded by the Office of Naval Research and is said to be 5 to 10 years from commercialization. That article does a good job of describing how far a battery technology would have to advance in order for it to become competitive for automotive applications. The MIT effort, if successful, would create batteries that would have about 4 times more power density than the nickel-metal hydride batteries found in the most expensive uncompetitive electric vehicles (whose market prices are way below manufacturing costs btw). That would make the batteries dense enough. The cost is a question though. In a more recent article Donald Sadoway and John Heywood (director of MIT's Sloan Automotive Lab) are noticeably lacking in enthusiasm for hydrogen as an automotive power source. “Their state of development is oversold,” said Heywood. Sadoway put it another way: “In the context of portable power, fuel cells are not a technology, they’re a laboratory curiosity.” Among other things, fuel cells are now far too expensive for use in mainstream applications like cars. That’s because they’re made partly of platinum, the same metal used in expensive jewelry. And an alternative to platinum will be difficult to discover, said Sadoway; “that’s Nobel Prize-winning work.” Another key challenge: “How are we going to produce, distribute and store the hydrogen” for fuel cells, asked Heywood. He pointed out that the production of hydrogen itself involves generating various greenhouse gases. “So when people argue that the fuel cell produces only water vapor, that’s deceptive in the context of a complete transportation system,” he said. Battery technology is appealing from an infrastructure standpoint because batteries could be recharged at night when existing electric power plants run well below maximum capacity. Then when photovoltaics become cost effective vehicles could be recharged during the day. Stationary applications for alternative power sources are not as hard. There are lots of future possibilities for better ways to get energy for stationary uses. Some NASA researchers think thin film batteries and thin film photovoltaic cells could be integrated into roof tiles that would collect and store electrical energy. There are also numerous applications that could exploit integrated power devices. Examples of these include: battery and solar cell devices integrated into a roof tile to provide a total power system for homes, or solar-rechargeable power systems for the military, for recreational vehicles, for cell phones or for other consumer products designed to be used in remote locations. In summary, the same considerations that provide performance edges for space applications make these power technologies applicable for terrestrial needs both individually or used in tandem. @: http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/2003_03.html
  10. drbubb

    Electric Cars

    Peering through the smog: Can cars be clean? By Li Jian (Shanghai Star) : 2004-10-17 09:45 As a bicycle kingdom gearing-up to become an automobile society, China, the world's third largest car manufacturing base, is facing a serious problem of automobile-related pollution and soaring levels of petrol consumption. An electric-powered Aspire car from China's Wuhan University of Technology rolls at the start of the Challenge Bibendum Rally, a clean vehicle event, in Shanghai October 13, 2004. The event promotes progress in the development of environmentally friendly vehicles and is an increasingly popular platform for car manufacturers to demonstrate state-of-the-art technologies in this field. [Reuters] China produced 4.45 million cars in 2003 and the total number of cars nationwide is expected to reach 24 million by the end of this year, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology. China already ranks third among the world's automobile manufacturing countries, with a voracious domestic demand that has sucked all major automobile manufacturers into the market. China's vehicle output is expected to grow an average of 10 to 15 per cent annually over the next 20 years, said Zhang Xiaoyu, chairman of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Statistics from the State Environmental Protection Administration show that China will have 33 million automobiles by 2005 and over 131 million by 2020. Polluted cities As the market explodes, so are serious pollution problems. Vehicles have become the biggest carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emitters in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. In China's 14 largest cities, air pollution kills 50,000 newborn babies and causes 400,000 cases of respiratory illness every year, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology. In Guangzhou, automobile exhaust emissions contribute 20 per cent of the city's air pollution. The proportion reaches 70 per cent in Shenzhen, a coastal city opposite Hong Kong which produces over 200,000 tons of vehicle exhaust annually. Things are even worse in Hangzhou, a city of legendary beauty and picturesque scenery, renowned all over the country for its West Lake. Every morning on clear days, the city sky is blurred into a dismal grey by exhaust fumes. In 2000, vehicular carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in China reached 30 million tons and 3.8 million tons respectively. Authorities warn that this will double by 2010. . . . China's Dongfeng Automobile Company has developed electric buses and cars, and according to Deng, "The European II standard will be implemented nationally next year." "Our next step is to use hydrogen to replace oil in automobiles." China will launch a policy to encourage natural gas-fuelled automobile in the near future. This should also be an important step towards an improved oil economy in the country. "Our aim is to develop fuel cells and battery technology," said Deng. Public awareness may be the biggest challenge. "Once I was chatting with some taxi drivers in Beijing, they had no idea what hybrid autos were. Even those drivers who earn a living on the road know little about the future development of new or clean energy. The general public is even more ignorant," said Li Xinmin. @: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2...tent_383042.htm
  11. drbubb

    Electric Cars

    (Popular Mechanics looked into this): Case For: Vehicles that operate only on electricity require no warmup, run almost silently and have excellent performance up to the limit of their range. Also, electric cars are cheap to "refuel." At the average price of 10 cents per kwh, it costs around 2 cents per mile. Electric cars can be recharged at night, when generating plants are under-utilized. Vehicles that run on electricity only part of the time and on internal-combustion power at other times--hybrids--have even greater promise. As hybrids gain in popularity, there is a growing interest in plug-in hybrids that allow owners to fully recharge the vehicle's batteries overnight. A strong appeal of the electric car--and of a hybrid when it's running on electricity--is that it produces no tailpipe emissions. Even when emissions created by power plants are factored in, electric vehicles emit less than 10 percent of the pollution of an internal-combustion car. Case Against: Pure electric cars still have limited range, typically no more than 100 to 120 miles. In addition, electrics suffer from slow charging, which, in effect, reduces their usability. When connected to a dedicated, high-capacity recharger, some can be recharged in as little as an hour, but otherwise such cars are essentially not driveable while they sit overnight for charging. Outlook: Mixed. While interest in plug-in hybrids grows, the long-term future of pure electrics depends on breakthroughs in longer-lasting, cheaper batteries and drastically lower production costs for the vehicles themselves. And then there's the environmental cost. Only 2.3 percent of the nation's electricity comes from renewable resources; about half is generated in coal-burning plants. @: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/ea...html?page=6&c=y
  12. Time frame? Depends on the stock: its chart and potential news flow. For TYM: my target is 19-20p or more, maybe soon For CDN: a possible double from where I bought it: 7-8p, within 6 months I hope For THR: a double or more, but may need 12 months = = How'd you get CDN at 3.25P? Do you mean 4.25p? The problem with these stocks is the huge Bid/offer spread. That is why I prefer Canadian
  13. drbubb

    The Green Mini Car

    The secret to good fuel economy, and easy parking: SMALL AND LIGHT This vehicle is a good start
  14. HE NUB OF IT... more than 20% of electricity used in US buildings is eaten up by lights and nearly half that amount is used by traditional, incandescent light bulbs. It has been a long-term goal of scientists to come up with something that would reduce this mammoth energy demand. The new work exploits the properties of carbon-based polymers to produce the white light. These are already found in some mobile phone displays and MP3 players. Light bulbs: Not a bright idea? Until now, they have been unable to generate sufficient light to illuminate a room. To create the new material, the scientists build up ultra-thin layers of plastics coated with green, red and blue dyes. When an electric current passes through them, they combine to produce white light. - - Some alive today still recall using candles as an important light source- so why not another change?
  15. drbubb

    Is the future small?

    Ray Mears, on Surving the Economic Depression: Possible book title in 2010?
  16. drbubb

    Electric Cars

    PROBLEMS 1/ You need to power them up. So what do you do in London: run an electric cord from your apartment doiwn the street to where you managed to find a parking space? They are quite impractical unless you have a garage or parking space near to your home. 2/ Limited range. 25-30 miles is the limit for some. So what do you do when you want to take a longer trip 3/ Cost: they are expensive, and so is the recharge 4/ Size: they are small, are they safe?
  17. drbubb

    Is the future small?

    Ray Mears? Ray Mears is known world wide for his TV series, Extreme Survival, World of Survival and the Ultimate Survival Guide. http://www.raymears.com
  18. the guarantee is not worth the website it is written on
  19. right. to take out the new Einstein. maybe. But chances are, he may move to the west for a better job
  20. Standing on a geyser is a start maybe. But they need to do more than publicity stunts. Tough choices need to be made, which parties will have the courage to show the leadership needed? I get an impression that Cameron is serious about this, but I will believe it when he is talking about sacrifice, and risking his popularity on an important issue I hope this sitw will attract more than tory voters, since I think the issues we discuss here are important to all parties, and to all voters, for that matter. But most people are simply preoccupied with making their own lives comfortable
  21. I posted this on HPC: (... I think many people- myself included- are eager to see the emergence of HPC's new strategy, and a good way to start is through a clear mission statement...) Oh, I just wanted to add... There seems to be alot of discussion here and elsewhere about : Debt: Using it well, and Living within one's means Improving your living standard, without enslaving yourself (or some-such) May be worth an entire section on HPC. This will be of interest to many here, and will give HPC a purpose which will still be relevant after property prices are on the slide. = = That coping-with-Debt Mission seems more compatible with HPC than here. Do others agree?
  22. someone is trying to raise the web profile of those sites. those types of profiles are dsigned to delude the spiders about the popularity of a site, make it think that there are many valid linksto it
  23. MOLY chart http://www.mineralstox.com/charts/image-pr...ocus=1073741824 Info on Roxmark: http://www.investorshub.com/boards/board.asp?board_id=1499
×