Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

General Discussion about electric vehicles.

Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby jonescg » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:06 am

Looks like a similar amount of reinforced concrete needed as a nuclear reactor too :P
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Ianhill » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:19 am

That rock storage system is not new hydraulic storage has been used before 1900's but the way all these lego bricks have been assembled is new and there's alot of conversion efficency losses going on, radiation to electric to compressed liquid back to electric then grid losses on top so a solar install loses a big chuck of its total output using this method, solar panels are best used at source it's the whole point electric has line losses so we need lots of small generation the grid as we know it will die in the end like a Dinosaur but money will keep it alive as is for as long as possible it's on a one way trip to dignitas.
The future is with micro fusion reactors trust me when I say it's what will take us to the stars it's vital.

For me these panels should have high encentive for consumers to place on their roofs and then phase out nuclear to lots of smaller fusion reactors dotted about over time for less losses and a grid that is clean has constant power without battery backup and anyone off grid still has the solar + storage option, we can then work out what to do with the stock pyle of nuclear crap, and that looks like genetically modified bacteria may help do the trick.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Punx0r » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:28 am

TheBeastie wrote:
Hillhater wrote: Does he even know what 9GW of solar looks like ?

billvon wrote:A square about 10 miles across.

Billvon, I don't know if you deliberately refuse to look at basic wikipedia math or in denial but 10miles squared is right here the Topaz Solar farm.
Quote from Wikipedia [color=#800040]"Site area 9.5 sq mi (25 km2)

Billvon, I don't like casting accusations but your so bad a math you should be banned from the forum for wasting peoples time and wasting database CPU time/storage resources of the Endless-sphere server.


This is rather embarrassing for you ;)

You know there's a difference between "miles squared" and "square miles", right?

"A square 10 miles across" is 100 square miles.

Basic math lol
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby billvon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:00 am

TheBeastie wrote:Billvon, I don't know if you deliberately refuse to look at basic wikipedia math or in denial but 10miles squared is right here the Topaz Solar farm.
Quote from Wikipedia "Site area 9.5 sq mi (25 km2)
(125 MW avg. power)"
-> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topaz_Solar_Farm <-
billvon wrote:Why? Would be smaller and simpler than a coal fired power plant. Let's do the math:

Billvon, I don't like casting accusations but your so bad a math you should be banned from the forum for wasting peoples time and wasting database CPU time/storage resources of the Endless-sphere server.

Oh my. Are you a victim of a liberal arts education or something? A square ten miles on a side is 100 square miles. A square three miles on a side is 9 square miles.

I hope you aren't in a position where your math mistakes can endanger others.
Like I said before next gen nuclear like the Bill Gates Terra-power reactor uses nuclear waste as fuel and only needs to be refueled every 60years!

No, it doesn't use nuclear waste. It is a breeder reactor that breeds natural uranium (primarily U-238) to fissile products, primarily Pu-239. A tremendous amount of fuel (many times more than in a traditional nuclear reactor) is loaded into the core during startup, and it burns through that a layer at a time. In that sense it is very similar to a thorium reactor. (BTW you could do exactly the same thing in a PWR or a BWR - and get similar time-between-refuelings - just by making the core a lot larger and loading more fuel into it initially.)

You could, of course, _reprocess_ nuclear waste into fuel for a TWR - but again you can do exactly the same thing for conventional reactors.

I'd stick to politics if I were you. You are embarrassing yourself here.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby DasDouble » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:35 pm

I havent read much in this topic here yet as I dont have time for that and always just have a quick look in it.. But when I read anything positive about nuclear stuff I could throw up.. Seriously. Its like still studying old car motors and how to make them better. Forgett it - its waste of time. Old technology which will run out. Just a matter of time. Its like giving a 10 liter bottle of really nice wine to your friend and throwing 80% of it into the sink. After that you say "cheers". Congratulations.. seriously..

<insert slow clapping gif inside here>
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby billvon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:50 pm

DasDouble wrote:I havent read much in this topic here yet as I dont have time for that and always just have a quick look in it.. But when I read anything positive about nuclear stuff I could throw up.. Seriously. Its like still studying old car motors and how to make them better. Forgett it - its waste of time. Old technology which will run out.

There's a lot of new technology in reactors.

Near term you have the AP600 and AP1100 which are light water, inherently safe reactor designs.

There are a lot of farther out designs, like SMR's, PBMR's and thorium reactors. They will take some work before they are 'up to speed' of course. PBMR's (a type of high temperature gas reactor) are probably the only way we will ever have an economical way to generate hydrogen, through thermal dissociation.

Just a matter of time. Its like giving a 10 liter bottle of really nice wine to your friend and throwing 80% of it into the sink. After that you say "cheers". Congratulations.. seriously..

Well, heck, a lot of solar power systems are less efficient than that. But sunlight is free, which is the important part.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby DasDouble » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:09 pm

billvon wrote:
DasDouble wrote:I havent read much in this topic here yet as I dont have time for that and always just have a quick look in it.. But when I read anything positive about nuclear stuff I could throw up.. Seriously. Its like still studying old car motors and how to make them better. Forgett it - its waste of time. Old technology which will run out.

There's a lot of new technology in reactors.

Near term you have the AP600 and AP1100 which are light water, inherently safe reactor designs.

There are a lot of farther out designs, like SMR's, PBMR's and thorium reactors. They will take some work before they are 'up to speed' of course. PBMR's (a type of high temperature gas reactor) are probably the only way we will ever have an economical way to generate hydrogen, through thermal dissociation.


as long as you have no solution what to do with the waste of it it has no potential. Because atomic waste is a problem and will become an even bigger one if we don´t do anything about it.. And shooting it to the moon is not an option lol :mrgreen:

Just a matter of time. Its like giving a 10 liter bottle of really nice wine to your friend and throwing 80% of it into the sink. After that you say "cheers". Congratulations.. seriously..

Well, heck, a lot of solar power systems are less efficient than that. But sunlight is free, which is the important part.[/quote]

You have forgotten that it does not produce any waste which will still exist in the next 10.000 years :roll:
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Ianhill » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:28 pm

We must remember that nuclear fusion and fission are two different processes amd that comparing them is like apples and oranges fission creates less energy and needs exotic elements to run while fusion is the way forward upto 4 × the energy of a simular fission reactor but with no waste that can melt your skin off.
Nuclear is not like a combustion engine as in its a dead dog fusion is the cleanest form of energy we can achieve and in time we will but till then the world needs power and lots of it amd nuclear doesn't seem that bad when you think China is pumping out nearly 1 terawatt hour on coal alone and this is just over 50% of their grid so you can say they need around 2 terawatt hour to meet demand get that with your Solar panels ?
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Ohbse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:53 pm

Looks like I was right to question Mr Beasties math skills, if he can't manage addition then hardly surprising he made a booboo on multiplication.

Just to clarify something that really shouldn't need to be clarified.. I don't think anybody is proposing that we decommission all existing power sources and immediately replace them all with PV farms. Rather that for any NEW generation PV is now making the most financial and environmental sense for many places in the world.

To replace all existing other sources of energy would indeed require a staggering amount of panels and space and have challenges around energy storage etc, but that's not a real scenario - we don't need to immediately replace everything, rather respond to market conditions. If demand increases, we can provide that energy via increased output of existing assets like coal and gas, but if it's cheaper to finance and construct a solar farm to provide that power - why wouldn't you? As older assets reach the end of their lifespan (see most Nuclear in the US for example) that production needs to be replaced. If you're doing an actual 'free market' then inevitably you're going to choose the cheapest source, at this point that's going to be PV quite a lot of the time. Of course there's frequently political interference which skews that decision making process. At this point the political winds are bizarrely blowing TOWARDS fossil based energy, yet DESPITE that you're seeing record amounts of PV and wind being installed.

One of the market conditions that's likely to shift the needle even more (other than constantly reducing solar costs) is increasing costs of fossil fuel based generation, be it via a carbon tax or capping Co2 emissions - likely to become a bigger factor as public opinion moves further towards sustainable practices. Another aspect is capturing the TRUE cost for pollutant intensive generation, for example in China public opinion has dramatically shifted towards renewables because you can't breathe the air in Beijing. Taking 10 years off the lifespan of every citizen is costly and this isn't currently factored in many places, another thing that's shifting rapidly.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Hillhater » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:54 pm

As you know, The current situation here in Au is exactly as you describe with existing coal generation near the end of its economic life (50+ yrs) needing replacement. But due to the looming socio-political threat of inevitable future financial penalties for fossil fueled generation, the private sector have not, and will not, invest in new fossil fueled (coal or gas) generating facilities.
Infact the Major financial institutions have refused to provide such investment. That is why we see only new wind or solar farms being proposed and constructed.
In the meantime , Father time marches on, and old coal plants are decommissioned and we become more dependent on renewables, which is fine until there is insufficient reliable "Base Load" available to cover for the intermittent renewable sources.
The Politically Correct parties in the public debate are now refering to this need for "Base Load" ( a term which has apparently become too associated with fossil fuels !). as Back Up" ,...as if its only an emergency stand by source which will not be in normal use.!
If you project this situation 20-30 years ahead, (time goes quick and infrastructure builds go slow !). then we have a mainly renewable generation supply with insufficient "Back Up". unless huge amounts of Battery Farms , Pumped Hydro, or similar. , is installed....But we are talking HUGE ammounts of storage..... (see my previous posts for typical estimates.)
South Australias much publicised "100 MW" (??) of battery is not going to last that state long !....its literally like a "Band Aid on an amputation" .
Our Politicians , and many of the "Expert" commentators/decision makers do not even seem to understand what a solar farm or battery farm can actually do, ....other than protect their careers and likely make them money !
But the risks are much greater than just sitting in the dark with no heating or cooling , or TV, or phones, etc..(i think that alone is is a Society breakdown) , but major industry WILL NOT invest in areas/countries that do not have a reliable, stable , power supply, so that would again lead to a dwindling tax base and likely rising personal taxes with less employment prospects.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Ohbse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:17 pm

The situation in Australia is definitely more towards the political bullshit end of the spectrum rather than an actual problem. Far too much interference (but none in the right ways!)

Tesla energy have offered to assist with the grid stability issues with a remarkably quick turnaround and a pretty economical price, it just remains to be seen whether there's any political will to actually get it done. From what I've heard from those that should know majority of the stability issues are not down to any technical reasons though.

If you shift perspective a little - Australia are in an ideal position to lead the world in transitioning to sustainable energy.

    Comparatively massively wealthy compared to most places
    Have a very low debt to GDP ratio compared to almost every other country (though you wouldn't think so listening to Australians moan :p)
    Have vast amounts of dirt cheap land but with relatively good access to it with literally ideal solar insolation levels
    You've got a shitload of skilled labour which are sitting on their hands after the mining boom collapsed
    You've got aging, mostly VERY dirty generation
    You've got higher than normal energy demand, often with peaks close to solar peak generation.
Energy storage is definitely a big piece of the puzzle. Thankfully economic battery based solutions are now available and will be available in vastly increased scale in the immediate future. Pumped Hydro and other such energy shifting mechanisms have their place, but they're inherently inefficient if built purely for that function. It's not so bad when you can bolt pumped hydro onto an already existing hydroelectric dam for instance, but to build one from scratch is difficult to justify.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Hillhater » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:46 pm

Ohbse wrote:....... If demand increases, we can provide that energy via increased output of existing assets like coal and gas, but if it's cheaper to finance and construct a solar farm to provide that power - why wouldn't you? As older assets reach the end of their lifespan (see most Nuclear in the US for example) that production needs to be replaced. If you're doing an actual 'free market' then inevitably you're going to choose the cheapest source, at this point that's going to be PV quite a lot of the time. Of course there's frequently political interference which skews that decision making process. At this point the political winds are bizarrely blowing TOWARDS fossil based energy, yet DESPITE that you're seeing record amounts of PV and wind being installed.
.

I agree solar and wind (to a lesser extent) are options to be considered....But. ..
Solar is not the cheapest source to construct, or operate, than other options like gas Thermal , Gas Turbine, or others
Coal is uncompetitive only because of artificial market/political factors.
And if you truely compare output capacity and the necessary storage, Solar becomes a financial non starter !
I dont see where you see the political winds blowing towards fossil energy sources ?. :shock:
From what i see, the (Au) politics are being heavily swayed by the NON fossil debate, despite the overwhelming financial, commercial, and social case in favor of fossil.
Some useful reference data..
https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/po ... table1.xls
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby jonescg » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:17 pm

There is overwhelming public support for solar and wind in Australia, and most surveys report people aren't fussed about price rises too; up to a point: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... MP=ema_632

I think the transition away from un-bankable fossil fuel projects towards smaller, distributed generation networks will be ongoing, and won't result in the lights going out. Household consumption will be offset by PV and batteries, while industrial customers will be still reliant on things like gas for major loads for the next 15 years. But 40% of total electricity demand being met by wind, PV and storage is entirely feasible within the next 15 years, and mot of this will be funded by the consumers themselves.

Pumped hydro in the Snowy could be a good option...
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Hillhater » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:22 pm

But the Aussie public are a fickle bunch ..
.......Forty-one per cent would support the reform if the price rise was limited to 5%.

...But underscoring consumer sensitivity over expensive power bills, a majority of the survey would oppose a clean energy target which resulted in any greater increase in energy prices than 5%....

We are ust seeing 15-20% price rises primarily caused by the limited supply which many would argue is a result of the unwillingness for utility companies to invest in profitable generation plant.

And we are being fed a load of vote winning crap about actual costs.
..
Real data shows there is no way renewables are going to help reduce or constrain energy costs, the numbers just do not add up. Anone investing in utility scale renewables currently is gambling on subsidies, grants, Carbon trading, etc etc to offset the real cost of installation and operation.
My bet is , these will have to be publicly owned/ subsidised utilities, so that they can minimise energy price rises, but claw back the cost via other tax routes.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby billvon » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:13 pm

DasDouble wrote:as long as you have no solution what to do with the waste of it it has no potential.

Store it onsite forever. (what we do now.)
Dump it in the ocean in vitrified containers.
Store it in dry casks in the desert.
Store it underground.
Reprocess it.

There are plenty of solutions; just choose one. (And keep in mind that nuclear power plants generate less nuclear waste than coal power plants.)

You have forgotten that it does not produce any waste which will still exist in the next 10.000 years :roll:

Solar panel manufacture generates a tremendous amount of toxic waste that lasts even longer than 10,000 years, since it does not decay. But we are OK with sort of glossing over that.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby Ohbse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:26 pm

Hillhater wrote:I dont see where you see the political winds blowing towards fossil energy sources ?. :shock:
From what i see, the (Au) politics are being heavily swayed by the NON fossil debate, despite the overwhelming financial, commercial, and social case in favor of fossil.


I was speaking generally of the US, in recent history pulling out of the paris accord, removing substantial environmental protection primarily targeting coal and mining and the substantial uptick in US based production of NG/Oil via fracking, despite demand being flat or even dropping. I'm sure it's just a gust, prevailing winds will return soon...

Regarding renewables at scale, I'm glad to report that your position is mistaken, they do stack up financially and are becoming a more attractive proposition by the day. See recent deployments in India for an example. They do not have carbon tax, subsidies or any such market skewing factors according to my research. Recent reverse bidding for major deployments (blocks of 250mw) was delivering AUD $60.50/MWh on a 25 year contract, all inclusive. That's power delivered, not just for panels etc but for all supporting transformation and transmission within the larger solar park. That price is far lower than current wholesale spot prices in Australia and that's primarily made up of fully depreciated coal assets!

There's no reason the same model couldn't be leveraged in Australia.

http://www.nammasarkara.in/karnataka-ha ... -in-india/

This one particular region has an enormous amount of solar in the pipeline, the largest individual site stated to be 2300mw by 2018, delivering 1,000mw already as of a week or so ago. All of these projects are being delivered through to production on the basis of agreed buy prices well below fossil based producers that already exist. India has committed to 100gw of solar capacity by 2022 and is on track to massively exceed that - they will potentially up the target as they have already done a couple of times.

You can jump on google earth and find many of these enormous solar deployments in the process of rolling out with many more in the planning stages.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Hillhater » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:08 am

certainly interesting.
whilst the costs they quote may be for delivered power , trust you noticed they are again quoting only installed peak capacity figures such that whilst that project may be delivering 1000MW , that is not a continuous capacity figure....most likely a recorded peak.
there is no mention of any storage, and the suggested costs of $2.3bn imply none is included.
(infact that cost estimate is way off from any known large solar installations ?
what are they planning for smoothing out a continuous supply ?
..and at the end of the day, their power cost of 7c/kWh is way above alternate generation solutions.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby TheBeastie » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:32 am

billvon wrote:
TheBeastie wrote:Billvon, I don't know if you deliberately refuse to look at basic wikipedia math or in denial but 10miles squared is right here the Topaz Solar farm.
Quote from Wikipedia "Site area 9.5 sq mi (25 km2)
(125 MW avg. power)"
-> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topaz_Solar_Farm <-
billvon wrote:Why? Would be smaller and simpler than a coal fired power plant. Let's do the math:

Billvon, I don't like casting accusations but your so bad a math you should be banned from the forum for wasting peoples time and wasting database CPU time/storage resources of the Endless-sphere server.

Oh my. Are you a victim of a liberal arts education or something? A square ten miles on a side is 100 square miles. A square three miles on a side is 9 square miles.

I hope you aren't in a position where your math mistakes can endanger others.
Like I said before next gen nuclear like the Bill Gates Terra-power reactor uses nuclear waste as fuel and only needs to be refueled every 60years!

No, it doesn't use nuclear waste. It is a breeder reactor that breeds natural uranium (primarily U-238) to fissile products, primarily Pu-239. A tremendous amount of fuel (many times more than in a traditional nuclear reactor) is loaded into the core during startup, and it burns through that a layer at a time. In that sense it is very similar to a thorium reactor. (BTW you could do exactly the same thing in a PWR or a BWR - and get similar time-between-refuelings - just by making the core a lot larger and loading more fuel into it initially.)

You could, of course, _reprocess_ nuclear waste into fuel for a TWR - but again you can do exactly the same thing for conventional reactors.

I'd stick to politics if I were you. You are embarrassing yourself here.

You can ignore EIA.gov / Wikipedia data all you want and focus on grammar mistakes when you can see I was merely trying to quote EIA.gov/Wikipedia (and did quote EIA.gov Wikipedia in the very same paragraph) all it means when you go after folks grammar is that ur being a troll and are afraid you are completely wrong and have no idea. My PC monitor had happen to be having issues and I the post on my iPad, I corrected my "grammar" its obvious what I meant.

Bill Gates is quoted as saying his reactor uses nuclear waste many times. If you don't like these I can dig out about 5 more, some in this video some in some others.
https://youtu.be/JaF-fq2Zn7I?t=20m10s
https://youtu.be/JaF-fq2Zn7I?t=20m29s

I even decided to even make the post a perm link in my signature, to help drill into you that you have a serious problem and also let other people decide in general who's right and wrong, most "normal" people are going to choose EIA.gov / Wikipedia, this isn't me that's saying it, its official statistics of the real world from EIA.gov that are conveniently summarized for viewing on Wikipedia. https://www.eia.gov/ , these are official peer-reviewed numbers, only some very unusual folks like you will choose differently and I am fine with that.

You can choose any large solar farm in the world! They are all pretty much the same in output. You folks are in pure tribal mode where your brain is wired against logic and just in "survival/I have to be right" mode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S74C-XF9kYY
I think this is why Bill Gates is a very smart man, most folks would never normally look at nuclear as ideal solution to energy problems because there wired against logic, and more on tribal survival, Bill Gates just went down the path of pure logic, and that's why a lot of people don't understand him.
Topaz solar farm energy output data here https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/br ... -ALL-ALL.Q
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Speed Kills Range, 10mph = 46 miles range, 20mph = 20 miles, 30mph = 8 miles range http://goo.gl/1JNL53
Over Charging Kills ur battery bit.ly/1hzWKl4
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10 Square Miles of solar panels = 0.12GW average power! https://goo.gl/Ub1S39
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Punx0r » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:37 am

How is a fundamental misunderstanding of maths a grammar issue?

Wikipedia and YouTube, especially, are not authoritative.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Ianhill » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:59 am

We're all busy comparing penis length and not realising the issue is none of us can touch the sides of this beast we face.
If we start looking at the energy production as a whole from the ore in the ground to energy production, transport of materials and manufacturing costs then we realize nothing is clean or anywhere near and won't be for the foreseeable future even fusion plants won't run clean with till the second generation atleast when the energy they produce can be used to reproduce itself, fusion still has radiation issues but it's more like hundreds of years compared to tens of thousands of fission and it's more easily managed with alot less quantity of waste too.
If you have the time and are interested in the new approach to the science of fusion then this video is a good watch it has technologys that will push development of fusion reactors motors all sorts very good watch but long.
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Re: Tesla Model 3

Postby billvon » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:47 am

TheBeastie wrote:You can ignore Wikipedia data all you want and focus on grammar mistakes when you can see I was merely trying to quote Wikipedia (and did quote Wikipedia in the very same paragraph) all it means when you go after folks grammar is that ur being a troll and are afraid you are completely wrong and have no idea.

It wasn't a grammar mistake, it was a math mistake; you were off by a factor of 10.

Everyone makes mistakes. It's how you deal with your mistake that determines what kind of person you are. Do you admit it and move on? Or do you go on the attack?
Bill Gates is quoted as saying his reactor uses nuclear waste many times.

Yes. Bill Gates is a salesman. And since his reactor can use _reprocessed_ nuclear waste it isn't even a lie. But if he's got you thinking that the Terrapower TWR is a near term solution that can solve our energy problems - he's deceiving you.
I even decided to even make the post a perm link in my signature, to help drill into you that you have a serious problem and also let other people decide in general who's right and wrong most, "normal" people are going to choose Wikipedia, only some very unusual folks like you will choose differently and I am fine with that.

So am I. Wikipedia is a great reference but it's often incomplete, because it is written by "normal" people, not experts. But it's a good basic reference.

With that in mind, let's look at what the TWR page on Wikipedia says:

"TWRs use only a small amount (~10%) of enriched uranium-235 or other fissile fuel to "initiate" the nuclear reaction. The remainder of the fuel consists of natural or depleted uranium-238, which can generate power continuously for 40 years or more and remains sealed in the reactor vessel during that time."

In other words, it is a form of breeder reactor. It needs enriched fuel to start the reaction; the neutrons released from the small initial reaction then transmute the (inert but fertile) U238 to Pu239. The Pu239 (which is nuclear fuel) then continues the reaction.

It is one of many forms of breeder reactor that can use natural (unenriched) or even depleted uranium (reprocessed from spent fuel) to generate energy. They are still quite dangerous to use for power production because they are not as stable as traditional LWR designs, and they generally have to use exotic coolants like molten sodium instead of water. Molten sodium burns rapidly in air and explodes violently when it contacts water; that means that ANY leak at all is a very big deal.

There are plenty of other designs that provide many of those benefits. CANDU heavy water reactors can use unenriched uranium (including reprocessed nuclear waste or MOX fuel) and use it for fuel. And they don't have the problems of molten sodium. Thorium reactors do something very similar to the TWR - they transmute thorium to U-233 which is a nuclear fuel. And thorium is a lot safer to work with than nuclear waste.

And of course once you are reprocessing nuclear waste to begin with, you can convert it to MOX and reuse it in conventional light water reactors.

Should we research all of the above? Definitely; there's a lot of work to be done. But the Bill Gates claims of a TWR that is almost ready for prime time, ready to provide almost limitless energy, fueled from untouched waste, are pipe dreams.
--bill von
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Ohbse » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Hillhater wrote:certainly interesting.
whilst the costs they quote may be for delivered power , trust you noticed they are again quoting only installed peak capacity figures such that whilst that project may be delivering 1000MW , that is not a continuous capacity figure....most likely a recorded peak.
there is no mention of any storage, and the suggested costs of $2.3bn imply none is included.
(infact that cost estimate is way off from any known large solar installations ?
what are they planning for smoothing out a continuous supply ?
..and at the end of the day, their power cost of 7c/kWh is way above alternate generation solutions.


Absolutely correct, these are 'nameplate' figures, nominal output during near ideal conditions. 'Continuous' or average output will of course be substantially lower. The same is true of every plant, solar being at a significant disadvantage due the whole night time thing. Happily the peak consumption in hotter climates often occurs with peak insolation (or at least very close) due to airconditioning etc, so in this respect the peaky nature of solar is not such a disadvantage as it might initially appear.

You're also absolutely correct that ~7c/kWh is more expensive than other generation methods. My point is simply that 7c/kWh is *cheaper* than the existing spot prices at pretty much any part of the day across australia, in many cases MUCH cheaper. For any additional generation, that makes it a no-brainer. As the cost of these technologies continues to plummet (and they're dropping faster than most institutions expected, somewhat due to the big push from countries like India) this will become competitive with more and more of the generation in the marketplace, displacing fossil sources due to the way energy markets function. Once a coal fired plant is uneconomical to run for a portion of the day, there's a critical point where it's not worth firing it up at all due to the long latency between turning it on and producing anything meaningful. That point may come sooner than expected and is very sensitive to additional incremental cost increases such as from increased cost of raw material or a tax. If you're running at single digit profit margins and suddenly you make zero money one day out of five, how long do you think it can continue before the purse strings tighten?

I'm not an eco-mentalist, I'm just fascinated by disruptive change technology can wrought and how history has proven most people are completely blindsided, not so much BY the change, but by the SPEED of the change. I wouldn't invest in solar personally, but I would certainly bet against incumbent debt laden generators.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Hillhater » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:55 pm

I dont believe you can compare an Australian market wholesale spot price, to a projected unit price from a new project on a different continent.
One is litteraly a market price, the other is aa advertising sales pitch !
But the real point is , oth of those will have a "margin" built in to ensure there is money to be made.
Why install a plant to generate power at a cost < 7c/kWh, when you could build a plant to do the same job for < 2c/kWh ?
.....answer?... There are other factors at play...politics, environmental issues , powerful parties of influence, etc etc.
I must look for some real data on power usage profiles for Au, but i am not convinced that we should keep thinking we will use significantly less power overnight. Coming from an industry that runs 24/7, and a home that has electric AC/RC heating that is almost the norm now, combined with lighting, cooking, water, etc etc, im sure to demand carries on well past midnight....certainly well past sundown !
Fyi... I know for a fact that our industry power load was greater at night due to the hugh amounts of (low energy) lighting , and extra heating demand on top of the continuous 24hr process power draw. We spent a lot of money installing low energy lighting and natural lighting roof modifications (for daytime ) in order to reduce energy usage.
Big Industry uses a lot of power continuously, mines, smelters, rolling mills, even Data Wharehouses, and they dont want to risk a power shortage.
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Ohbse » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Hillhater wrote:Why install a plant to generate power at a cost < 7c/kWh, when you could build a plant to do the same job for < 2c/kWh ?


You absolutely wouldn't. If you had an alternative that was that much cheaper, you'd be mad to opt for solar (unless you start building other factors such as pollution into the financial decision via carbon tax etc)

You can't build anything new that can generate power for 2c/kWh. That's my point. If you could, people would and australia's market rates for energy would be lower - those producers would be selling everything they could generate.

There are EXISTING producers that might be able to produce for that sort of price, however only with limited capacity and only because they've paid off the finance required to build the thing over a long period of time already. That's what I'm referring to with depreciated assets, they don't owe anything anymore. Only operating cost is staff/fuel/maintenance, not the gigantic payments for the billions in capital expense. All of those old assets however are hitting the ends of their useful lifespans. Maintenance cost is going to increase dramatically, safety becomes a big concern as well as ever reducing appetite for emissions means that they'll get closed.

https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Nat ... -dashboard

Here's real time demand and generation statistics across all Aus. As you can see there's something like a 65% uptick in power requirements from early morning to the evening peak. Aus does seem to have a flatter demand curve than other places, NZ is about a 2:1 ratio for peak requirements.

I'm very familiar with stable power requirements having run 24/7 datacenter operations for a number of years. Solar doesn't break reliability, it increases it (based on others experiences)
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Postby Ohbse » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:04 pm

Recommended reading/viewing:



https://cleantechnica.com/2016/03/02/ba ... -industry/

http://cleantechies.com/2016/09/20/jink ... abu-dhabi/

Turns out I was wrong, 2.42c/kWh for new solar bid in Abu Dhabi. Many companies bidding <4c/kWh. Environmental conditions not dissimilar from Australia...
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