Longterm Storage Is Not An Issue – It never has been for renewable energy

This is actually part of a lecture that I give to college students called the Myths of Global Warming. The point of it is that Global Warming is indeed happening and at an accelerated pace. The point is that there have been myths erected like barricades that defend the use of fossil fuels. Here is a high tech version.

http://theenergycollective.com/node/75535

Posted by: Joseph Romm

Lauren Simenauer is a former intern with Science Progress, and Sean Pool is Assistant Editor of Science Progress. This piece was originally published at Science Progress.

Super Hot Salt: The Newest Energy Storage Innovation?

Policymakers and energy industry experts often talk about clean energy as though it isn’t reliable. In fact, while an MIT study recently found the existing grid would probably be up to the challenge of absorbing clean energy, intermittency does present a real challenge that renewables must address to get to high levels of penetration.

But BrightSource Energy, a major player in the market for concentrating solar power, or CSP, recently announced the installation of new thermal energy storage technology at three of its planned power plants in California. This thermal energy storage technology will go a long way toward solving the intermittency problem for concentrating solar power. BrightSource’s announcement demonstrates that we can in fact get reliable baseload power from the sun [or, even better, load-following power].

The thermal energy storage systems, built using SolarPLUS technology, work by using hundreds of parabolic mirrors to concentrate the rays of the sun on a tank of molten salts, heating the salts to several hundred degrees above the boiling point of water. The superheated salt is then stored in a giant insulated container until the power plant needs to add additional output, at which point it can use the heat stored in the molten salt to boil water to create steam to drive its turbines.

:}

Go there and read. More tomorrow.

:}

Cool Green Cars – I haven’t done any car posts this year

I usually do a series of car posts every year, and maybe this is the time to do it. I know starting on a Friday is kind of obtuse but heh it gives me a couple of days to look at cools sites and cars before I do another post. These are hybrids but the real moves have been in all electric.

Five Hybrid Concept Cars We REALLY Want To Drive

Jun 22, 2012

Every now and then, we allow our thoughts to drift here at GreenCarReports.

Naturally, we’re thinking forward rather than back, and often to the cars we might be driving around in five or ten years time.

We’ve compiled a list of five concept cars seen at auto shows over the last year or so. All are hybrids, and all showcase exciting new visions of styling and technology that could well hit the roads in the near future.

Hyundai i-Oniq

Given the meteoric rise of Korean brands Hyundai and Kia over the last few decades, it’s only right that they should play a part in our future too. The i-Oniq concept car, revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show back in March, is a sleek, two-door range-extended hybrid.

Though the styling evokes images of a huge engine under the hood, the concept uses a tiny 1.0-liter 3-cylinder unit, supplying power to a 107-horsepower electric motor when its 75-mile battery range is depleted. We’re pretty confident that 75 miles would cover most of our day-to-day driving, but that little gasoline engine would provide a useful extra 360 miles.

And you know what? It looks pretty good too.

 

:}

That is one of 5. Go there and read. Pretty pictures too. More next week.

:}

Healthcare Upheld – But that is not what I am going to post about

It has been the shipping industry’s wet dream for a hundred years, Wind Power. They dream back to the days when the only costs for shipping was the ship and port fees. I do not know if this is the system that will catch on but it is pretty cool nonetheless.

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/02/28/wind-powered-cargo-ships-make-a-comeback/

Wind-Powered Cargo Ships Make a Comeback

February 28, 2011 By

Sailing ships once carried much of the world’s cargo across the seas, until canvas sheets were replaced by low-grade “bunker” oil. Now it appears that wind power is about to make a comeback, in the form of rigid “sails” that double as solar panels. The patent-pending technology, called the Aquarius Solar and Wind Marine Power System, is being developed by a company called Eco Marine Power. The dream of a high tech, sustainable energy cargo ship has been percolating for a number of years now, but it hasn’t caught on in a big way, so let’s see if this new system is The One.

Wind Power for Cargo Ships

At first blush, wind power for today’s ultra-huge cargo ships looks like a nice idea, but just not possible. The scale alone makes it seem impractical. However, that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying. In recent years a German company has come up with a parachute-like design for cargo ships that includes sails the size of football fields, and a British company has developed a more traditionally styled, rigging-free sail system for smaller cargo ships.

:}

Go there and read the rest. More tomorrow.

:}

Electric Airplanes – Yes they almost can

They are small and slow, but they don’t go far. Still it is an interesting development. I mean I do not see electric 707s anytime in the future, but for enthusiasts like with the ultra lights, it has to be an exciting time. Did I mention you have to have a fairly good sized body of water to take off and land?

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/it_s_an_airplane_it_s_a_jet_ski_it_s_the_electric_flynano

It’s an Airplane, It’s a Jet Ski, It’s the Electric FlyNano

The newest electric airplane to make its first flight is squarely aimed at recreational fliers, even those without a pilot’s license. The FlyNano turned some heads at last year’s Aero Friedrichshafen aviation trade show in Germany thanks to its interesting design. The FlyNano is a miniature electric flying boat, making it essentially an airborne jet ski.

The original airplane was going to have a gas engine powerplant, but the Finnish company says the ever-improving electric motors and batteries means FlyNano will be an all-electric airplane moving forward.

The first flight was a very short one, just a handful of seconds. And the airplane didn’t really get out of ground effect. The wing area looks rather small for an electric airplane compared to other models we’ve seen, which tend to have the efficient, higher-aspect-ratio wings typical of sailplanes.

The designer claims a 10,000-foot ceiling for the airplane, but that might be a bit optimistic with the current setup. FlyNano says it will continue flight testing throughout the summer. We’re looking forward to seeing longer and higher flights, though the FlyNano could be fun as an aircraft designed to fly in ground effect.

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

Solar Power In The Mohave Desert – What a great use of a resource

It doesn’t hurt that they got an environmental award as well. This the way it should be done.

http://www.brightsourceenergy.com/the-ivanpah-solar-project-named-2012-energy-project-of-the-year

The Ivanpah Solar Project Named 2012 Energy Project of the Year

April 24, 2012

Project recognized for its innovative approach, job creation and scale of clean energy production

(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) April 24, 2012 – NRG Energy, Google, BrightSource Energy and EPC partner Bechtel announced that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (Ivanpah SEGS) received the 2012 Energy Project of the Year Award by the USC CMAA Green Symposium. Ivanpah SEGS in California’s Mojave Desert is currently the world’s largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant under construction. When completed, it will nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the US.

“The sheer magnitude of the Ivanpah project is reinforcing California’s position as the leader of renewable energy in the United States,” said Caroline Fletcher, USC Green Symposium Co-Chair. “The project has demonstrated an innovative approach to partnerships and is significantly contributing to job creation in the region. We’re very pleased to honor this important project with our 2012 Energy Project of the Year Award.”

“Ivanpah is a flagship project, widely recognized for its environmentally-responsible design, and lauded for its role in helping to grow Southern California’s High Desert economy,” said Joe Desmond, SVP of Government Relations and Communications, BrightSource Energy. “We look forward to completing this important solar power facility and help California meet its economic and clean energy goals.”

“We are pleased to be a part of this award-winning project. The innovation applied to the engineering and construction of Ivanpah will help advance the renewable energy industry and make solar energy a viable option for more people,” said Jim Ivany, president of renewable power at Bechtel.

:}

Go there and read. More tomorrow.

:}

Rocky Mountain Flats Sucked Then – And it still sucks now

All they did really was put out the fires and bury the remains. It sits there moldering to this day. They cleaned up the first 3 ft. of soil and tore down the buldings. The buildings and other materials were shipped to New Mexico and Nevada for storage. See first, the history of Rocky Flats:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Flats_Plant

The Rocky Flats Plant was a United States nuclear weapons production facility near Denver, Colorado that operated from 1952 to 1992. It was under the control of the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) until 1977, when it was replaced by the Department of Energy (DOE).

:}

Then see her book:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/books/book-review-full-body-burden-by-kristen-iversen.html?_r=0

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” It’s the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and–unknown to those who lived there–tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.

It’s also a book about the destructive power of secrets–both family and government. Her father’s hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed)–best not to inquire too deeply into any of it.

:}

Go there and read. More tomorrow.

:}

Climate Change Forces Us To Move Animals – Noah’s ark comes to life

Already a group of scientists and volunteers moved a butterfly north because of the warming climate. Our zoos are being referred to as “lifeboats” for extinct “in the wild” animals. This is no longer funny. People should be going to jail for this but it turns out that jails are only for poor people and white collar criminals not the uber wealthy who control the literal power structure that is causing this.

http://www.livescience.com/17719-species-extinctions-climate-change.html

Extinctions from Climate Change Underestimated

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 04 January 2012 Time: 09:31 AM ET

As climate change progresses, the planet may lose more plant and animal species than predicted, a new modeling study suggests.

This is because current predictions overlook two important factors: the differences in how quickly species relocate and competition among species, according to the researchers, led by Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut.

Already evidence suggests that species have begun to migrate out of ranges made inhospitable by climate change and into newly hospitable territory.

“We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change,” Urban said in a statement. “But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don’t include these important interactions.”

:}

Go there and read. More tomorrow.

:}

This Piece Just Blew Me Away – Small unit nuclear power is just so wrong on so many levels

This is the Republican Corporate dreamland. Proclaiming that you are the energy source of  the future doesn’t make it so. But mix in a fair number of under educated farm people who will believe anything and Westinghouse who has everything to gain and you have a Missouri wet dream. Unfortunately this is just that, only it is a bad dream. I mean really, if we make it small and spread it around it will work better? Get out.

http://www.moenergyfuture.org/blog/breaking-news-exciting-investment-opportunity-for-missouri-announced-today/

Breaking news: Exciting investment opportunity for Missouri announced today

Posted on April 19, 2012

On Thursday, April 19, Missouri’s energy future took a giant leap forward as investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities announced that they are partnering with Westinghouse Electric Company to apply to the Department of Energy’s Small Modular Reactors (SMR) investment fund for up to $452 million. The funding will support engineering, design certification and licensing for SMRs in Missouri.

This historic partnership could make Missouri a world leader in the energy sector economy.  Gov. Jay Nixon, Sen. Mike Kehoe, Rep. Jeanie Riddle, Chairman Pollock and the overwhelming majority of members of the General Assembly who support nuclear power and helped make this amazing opportunity a reality, should be applauded for their hard work and commitment to Missouri’s energy and economic future.

Over the last four years, MBEF’s supporters across the state educated the public to show that cleaner, alternative energy sources like nuclear are a path forward for Missouri. Today, we are another step closer to creating jobs, boosting our economy and securing our energy future.

This announcement could make Missouri home to an SMR component manufacturing center, engineering and design center, and training facility for engineers—establishing Missouri as a world leader and exporter in energy technology and manufacturing.  In addition to the construction of new SMRs, thousands of Missourians will be put to work because of this project.

An economic impact study about the SMR project is in process and will be made available later this spring.

For more information about SMRs, please visit the below websites.

:}

Go there and laugh. More tomorrow.

:}

The Dragon Has Landed – You go space billionaires

So this is happening as we speak, they are repositioning the solar panels for docking in 16 minutes. So they are a kiss away from either clicking or blowing up . Which ever is going to happen.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

They look like they are about 10 feet apart. That is amazing.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/dragon-capsule-on-course-1446050.html

Dragon capsule on course for space station arrival

By MARCIA DUNN

The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule approached the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday after sailing through a practice rendezvous the day before.

The unmanned SpaceX Dragon was on track most of the morning to deliver a half-ton of supplies and become the first commercial vessel to visit the space station. But as the capsule drew within 100 feet, flight controllers commanded it to retreat.

The capsule backed off to 230 feet as the SpaceX company worked to resolve a problem with the on-board tracking sensors. Stray reflections from the Japanese part of the space station were interfering with the Dragon’s laser-based sensors, officials said. SpaceX mission controllers quickly fixed the trouble and resumed the docking operation.

On Thursday, the capsule came within 1½ miles of the space station in a practice fly-by. It returned to the neighborhood early Friday so Kuipers and U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit could capture it with a robot arm. First, the capsule went through a series of stop-and-go demonstrations to prove it was under good operating control.

:}

Go there and look or read. More tomorrow.

:}

Building The Buildings Of The Future – No Air conditioning is a place to start

This is an old piece but it is still as true today as it was then. Air conditioning and by that I mean cooling air when it is hot is very expensive both financially and with regards to energy consumption.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/buildings-without-air-conditioners-the-latest-in-energy-efficiency-5413/

Buildings Without Air Conditioners: The Latest in Energy Efficiency

Air conditioners consume an inordinate amount of power in the U.S. and they aren’t very efficiently used. To save energy, some say leave them out.

Michael Kanellos: December 22, 2008

Sometimes the most efficient air conditioning system is not having one at all.

To curb energy consumption, architects with projects in temperate cities – Seattle, Portland, San Francisco – have started to design buildings without mechanical air conditioners. These buildings will have heaters in all likelihood, but not air conditioning (see Can Greentech Make Housing Cheaper and Green Buildings No Subsidies Needed).

“There are only five days a year you need cooling in Seattle,” said Amanda Sturgeon, an architect and senior associate at the firm Perkins + Will, who recently designed a building without a mechanical conditioner.

In some cases, architects are putting in air-side economizers, i.e., computer-controlled windows that open to let in cooling breezes (see The Solar Window). The General Services Administration building in San Francisco uses openable windows on 12 of its 18 floors that let in cool breezes at night that, ideally, keep the offices cool in the daytime.  There is no mechanical cooling in the open office areas.

This shift comes courtesy of two trends. One, building developers and contractors have latched onto green buildings as an economic opportunity. Designing a building to LEED Silver or Gold standards – the environmental building standards promulgated by the U.S. Green Building Council – only adds around 2 percent to the overall cost or less, according to various contractors, architects and researchers. Designing to the LEED Platinum standard can add only 6 percent if carefully planned. The trick, say Sturgeon and others, is to exploit as many passive, design-centric techniques for scoring LEED points before moving on to the potentially more expensive, equipment-centric ones like biomass boilers or new types of lighting systems.

:}

Go here and read. More tomorrow.

:}