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Comment: Re:Your assumptions are skewed = strawman (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46837843) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

No, you were very clearly playing the "fear uncertainty and doubt" game based on a VERY faulty premise, reality is the opposite of your suggestion.

Vague, Generic, and without proof. Meaningless.

Not having to upgrade links between power stations and cities makes a lot of costs go away.

Good point. I was concentrating mostly on actions the power company would have to do in order to fully utilize the power produced by solar roofs when penetration exceeded certain parameters. Even 10% of roofs having solar panels adds up to quite a few avoided power plants, and of course if you can avoid building a power plant you don't need transmission lines for it either. So it is millions saved, but you still have millions/billions invested in the power grid. Maybe you can tell me this though - if you look at it by joule moved, which is cheaper, residential power lines or HV transmission lines from a generating station?

Though I wonder at a coal plant that would have only operated during the day. Though I suppose it could have operated at a fraction of it's capacity during the night, along with a few others, all of which would ramp up during the day, and due to the solar power the others are able to take the load without that 500MW, so it's left shuttered, allowing the other plants to operate at a higher percentage of capacity, which is more efficient.

It's nice to see you finally making real arguments as well instead of vague 'you're wrong' rants without actually specifying why.

There's a 500MW coal fired unit near me that has been mothballed because the summer daytime peak it was built to provide capacity for is instead being dealt with by lots of panels on roofs.

Nice. I like the pollution prevention of not operating a coal plant.

His sig is I am armed because I am free. I am free because I am armed.

Huh. why wasn't it showing earlier? I know I looked for his sig; didn't see one. Either that or I'm blind. In either case, conceded.

that you attempt such outrageous lies?

Because I wasn't lying at the time.

Comment: Life itself is a Von Neumann machine... (Score 4, Interesting) 272

by Firethorn (#46836935) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Life itself is the 'original' Von Neumann machines...

My theory on it is a bit different: If you posit that travel is indeed restricted to 'slow' speeds, IE 1-2% of light speed, and that habitable planets are rare enough that they're quite far apart, you run into that travel between solar systems with habitable planets can take sufficient time for significant amounts of evolution to take place.

Summary: By the time the generation ship manages to reach the new system, it's significantly likely to have evolved to be more suited to live in space, not a planet. At which point it concentrates on colonizing the asteroid belt and such, not bothering with the planet that so interested their ancestors.

Alternatively: We're becoming more and more concerned with conservation today. If this is a common function of intelligent life, our system could have been identified as a potential life-evolving one millions and millions of years ago and declared a nature preserve or something, in the hope that something like us would evolve.

Comment: Re:The optimal way (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46836797) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

There are cases where "deflation" should happen, though. If a boomtown of 2000 people becomes a ghost town of two, it's not fair to those who choose to live in viable communities, to pour enormous resources into subsidizing continued service to the two holdouts.

You have a legitimate point here, which is why I said it's a concern, not that it's completely broken.

We already see problems like this crop up with high speed internet companies - they often just don't want to build out to you if you're out of their mandated service area.

Comment: Re:Your assumptions are skewed = strawman (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46835767) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

It would have been difficult some time ago but the invention of the transistor made things a lot easier, as I was told by a far more experienced engineer who has a solar panel on his roof after working in electricity transmission from around 1950 until his retirement.

You're overstating things again, 'concerns' doesn't equal 'difficult'. Concerns don't really become difficulties unless you ignore them(though it happens with depressing regularity).

Plus, you seem to be concentrating on technological difficulties. I believe that the real concerns are more infrastructure - the US power grid is ancient in many places, financial - fixing said grid is very expensive just due to sheer scale, and perhaps the most important issue is one of business practices. A power company operating in an environment with significant solar installs has very different operating characteristics than one without. What mix of generating sources do you use? How do you structure your charges to pay for everything?

On paying for everything, I'll switch to an analogy. It's not perfect, but consider that right now fuel taxes(petrol, diesel) pay for large proportions of road maintenance*. Legislatures are already looking at how to adjust this in the face of hybrids that get twice the mileage per gallon while actually being heavier**. Pure EVs avoid such taxes completely, and are generally heavier yet. Same deal with power companies - how do they continue to pay for the transmission infrastructure as homes reduce their usage, but not in ways that seriously reduce the need for said infrastructure?

unstable grid bullshit down my throat

So you're arguing with 3 gunnies at the same time? Because I haven't mentioned unstable grid at all, much less push it 'down your throat'. A properly designed solar install will not negatively affect the grid. Needless to say, you shouldn't get a permit or authority to connect to the grid unless it's properly designed. It's not even hard if you're buying a standard manufactured inverter system for the purpose.

Reviewing the rest of the thread, it seems that you're primarily also arguing with Blindseer; no signs he's a gunnie. He's also the one calling solar power 'worthless'. I never did, I think it's a very good aid up to about 20% of the grid. Demand tends to be ~50% higher during the day than at night. 3(day)+2(night)=5(total). 1/5th, powering 'all' increases in demand via solar power during the day, is 20%. You could go even higher, but at that point you'll probably need some sort of solar-thermal system that can provide power long enough to cover the 'rush' at around 7 pm.

*Actual percentages vary. In the USA residential roads are generally paid for via property taxes, highways are more gas taxes
**And road damage roughly corresponds to the square of the weight.

Comment: Government agencies good for providing evidence? (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46835499) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

US Energy Information Administration good enough for you?

On average demand peaks at ~1900. Overall power demand starts ramping up at 0500, reaches a relatively stable level at 0800 which lasts to 1700, peaks at 1900 and drops rapidly thereafter.

BTW, I DID go looking for actual household measurements, haven't found them yet.

Comment: Re:Your assumptions are skewed = strawman (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46830927) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

It is a very stupid condition since benefits can be gained without fulfilling it.

Not actually a refutation.

It is up to the person making extraordinary claims that defy what is observed to prove it and not the person merely pointing out that the extraordinary claims are fabrications with little or no connection to reality.

You're the one that's posted no evidence. I've posted at least a few links. Like I said earlier, firm up your assertions so I can actually examine them or post some evidence. You haven't even specified any 'extraordinary claims' that I supposedly made other than my self-admitted mistake. Which you greatly overstated.

So says the person tilting at windmills - oh wait, it's photovoltaics this time isn't it?

Pure Ad hominem attack. Apparently you can't attack my statements/arguments so you attack me. I might as well play this game. "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!"

seem to be one step away from wanting to shoot anyone with a windmill or solar panel,

Still can't identify my party, I see, still this is a fairly definable. You apparently think I hate wind and solar power. Let's check that assumption:
From 2012, I call a new technology with the promise to cut the price of solar cells in half 'revolutionary', and the only negative I mention is 'our collection systems aren't cheap enough'. Prices have come down since then...
this one I talk about potentially covering roads with them...(parking lots would make more sense).
My green energy mix. Note the 20% solar and 20% wind.

I'm not against solar power. All I EVER tried to say is that it poses concerns for the electric company. Infrastructure needs to be adjusted, and eventually they might need to end some of the subsidization presented by 'net metering'. Presumably if solar installs exceed 20% of energy production.

Those "hot issues" do not make you a champion of social justice or whatever because the rest of the world dealt with them in the 1970s, probably before you were born.

Darn it, somehow I dropped the part about hitting other topics if you want. How about prison reform?. It's not a new policy for me...

Solar is mainstream now and solves a lot of problems. Live with it or be like an idiot railing against bar code scanners in supermarkets.

I was looking at installing solar back in 2011...

Photovoltaics are just another tool of modern society with it's own little niche.

Google's failing me right now, I can't find any of my posts mentioning using them for 'special situation' applications. Even back before 2000 you wouldn't have had any problems with me admitting this. They're neat technology. But I do cost-benefit analysis as a matter of course, and it wasn't until recently that they could compete with grid power. Roughly speaking, that niche is growing quickly. As such, power companies(other than Minnesota) are having to start seriously taking them into account, as opposed to considering them a rounding error.

Hell, I've even said that we should install them on military bases in combat zones - every gallon of diesel saved is a gallon that doesn't have to be shipped in at great risk and expense.

Comment: Re:Your assumptions are skewed = strawman (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46828071) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

stupid assumptions like losses being orders of magnitude higher than actually occurs.

Still beating this dead horse, I see. And I was over by about a factor of 2, not OOMs. Hell, you've fixated on a self-admitted mistake and not pointed out any others.

As for 'Arbitrary placing of goalposts' I'm wondering if we're speaking the same language. To make it clear: My 20% figure is not a 'goal', it's a statement of condition.
What I was trying to say earlier:
1. Transmission losses within a segment are negligible. My first post the asterisk marked footnote. Though I should have been stronger than 'probably'*
2. Most segments are basically single-use due to zoning and such. Housing is housing, commercial is commercial, industrial is industrial.
3. Due to #2, we can generally model a segment as a single unit(hardly having an home be an island!).
4. Most of the jump during the day in electricity use is from commercial and industrial. Home power usage tends to spike in the evening as people return home, cook dinner, and turn everything on. The peak doesn't match.
5. Power company transformers are around 99% efficient. Traveling segment to segment will probably hit at least 2 of them, resulting in 2% losses. By the same token, if you're shipping power from segment to segment, you're probably going to have to ship it even further because, on average, the neighboring segments will be the same time and thus producing excess power at the same time. 2 more transformers and a high voltage line later, you're at 3-5% losses.
6. I can't find the charts right now, but power usage during the day tends to be around 20% baseload for homes average about 20% of max during the day, while solar generation@100% of needed energy would put maximum generation at around 100% of maximum; thus the comment about not really needing to worry until more than 1 in 5 homes have significant solar installations.

*Though you'll probably take this as your next argument

If you really care about this topic and are not just using it as a vector to push your politics I suggest taking a look at wikipedia. There is no excuse for the ignorance you are trying to shove down people's throats.

You have yet to prove that anything I've said is incorrect. The one instance you keep harping on I realized myself and corrected. Wikipedia does not cover these topics in sufficient depth.

As for my politics, you've set up a HUGE strawman that you've been relentless in attacking. You have yet to identify a political belief I presumably hold accurately enough to pin down, other than I'm presumably some sort of corporate shill. All you should really get from the link is that I'm pro-gun/self defense.

Go ahead. I'll repeat: Which political party do you believe I'm a member of? Can you identify my standing on abortion and gay marriage, just to name two hot button topics? Go ahead. If you want the bonus round, see if you can avoid being insulting about it.

Something within a dozen miles may as well be next door so the electricity is being consumed almost adjacent to where it is being generated and it can be whatever load factor they guys in control rooms want it to be.

A dozen miles would be, depending on exact infrastructure, 3-5% loss rate. If you have something else, POST IT.
Transformers: 98-99% efficient. (Need at least 2)
Power line losses: Mostly in the 240V section, 1-2%.

I'm going to say: Put up or shut up. Stop beating the dead horse about power loss and identify some where else that I'm wrong, with some proof or at least logical reasoning.

Comment: Re:Electric motor vs Gasoline Engine (Score 1) 389

by Firethorn (#46826763) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

Yeah, the GP's understanding is incorrect, to say the least. You're not going to get 400 hp performance out of a 50hp generator hooked up to an electric motor(even though that generator is probably producing 150hp of turning power in order to provide 50hp worth of electricity). It might help, but you're going to need a battery to provide ~200hp of power to make up the difference.

Still, I stand by my 'factor of 2' rule of thumb with acceleration. If you put as much effort into minimizing 0-60 times in an electric vehicle as has gone into the Mustang, you'd only need ~210 HP to match it. For example, the Tesla Roadster is 3.7 (248hp) and the Model S Performance is 3.9 with it's 416hp.
Weight makes a huge difference in 0-60 times of course - Model S is 4.6k pounds, Roadster is 2.7k, and the Mustang is 3.6k

The model S weighs 28% more, has 4 less hp*, and still manages to shave off 6/10ths of a second.

Going by what I'm seeing in other ways, it looks like both electric vehicles are limited by the battery's ability to deliver power. A Tesla with the smaller battery pack(making it lighter) takes longer to reach 60 than the larger pack.

One significant thing to realize is that the way engines and motors are generally rated vary. An engine is rated at it's maximum deliverable power. It can remain there ~100% of the time though as long as sufficient cooling exists. An electric motor is generally rated at the power it can deliver at 100% duty factor. Engines are generally limited by the ability to deliver fuel an air. Electric motors are generally limited by heat.

What does this amount to? If you can deliver the amps, it's possible to run electric motors at higher than their maximum rating. You lose some efficiency and risk burning the motor out, but there are motors out there that you can run at 200% for something like 1 minute. 300% for 10 seconds, stuff like that.

*Not really significant.

Comment: Re:Your assumptions are skewed = strawman (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46820997) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

Your assumptions are very skewed which is why I'm calling it a strawman.

It's not very much of a classical strawman then. It doesn't help that the one assumption you keep attacking was one I changed on my own.

Modelling the houses as islands when they are connected to the grid implies that you have a barrow to push or that you are far more stupid than is likely.

Isn't ignorance an option? Your island analogy has me puzzled, I'm trying to picture this in my head and correlate it with my words. I mean, in the posts I KNOW I've mentioned neighborhoods, transmission lines, and specifically segments where I thought it'd be obvious that multiple homes are hooked up to any given segment.

I certainly have barrows to push, but I've stayed away from them here. I haven't mentioned nuclear power at all until now, for example.

Ah yes, talking about a 10% loss in transmitting electricity to what is effectively next door in transmission scales even if it takes an hour to get there in traffic - are you SURE you looked up actual figures?

You do realize that you're beating a dead horse? I conceded that back in the SECOND post. You should now be attempting to argue against a 3% loss estimate.

Still, because you think it's so important, here's my thought process through this whole thing: I used 10kwh because it's a nice round number. Then to account for transmission losses, I subtracted 1, which amounts to a 10% loss. For the power company I knew it'd be a touch higher, but not that much higher, so I added 2 to 10 to get 12(12 produced, 10 delivered). I never bothered to figure out that percentage(17%, ouch!). That didn't quite sound right to myself in the second post when I actually figured out the percentages, so I looked up average losses. 7% for the grid means that 'most' runs should be substantially below that, but I also figure that long distance/high voltage/wattage runs are specifically designed to be highly efficient it it should only be a couple percent. Ergo, 3-5%, better than average, but still a factor to consider.

To me it just looks like no holds barred Red on Green political action with a few technical sounding guesses (which you are probably very much aware are not correct) to try to make it look like it's not just an outright lie.

Umm... Wow. Do you also scream racism when somebody says they like fried chicken?

'd rather this place remained a technical discussion site of a sort instead of a political rant site.

Huh. If you know so much about me and my politics, let's give you a little test: What political party am I?

Finally - For a person who's worked in the power industry you seem long on rants and short on facts. It should be simple enough to explain where I'm wrong with a couple citations.

For example, one figure I've posted multiple times is that generated power shouldn't really be leaving the segment until solar accounts for more than roughly 20% of the power usage of the homes on the segment. IE if there's a 100 homes on the segment that more than 20% of them would need to install solar matching 100% of their net needs before you start getting significant enough backfeed on the segment to have to worry about efficiently transporting said power to other segments. I also stated that different regions would vary.

What do you think about this statement?

Comment: Tesla maintenance fees (Score 1) 389

by Firethorn (#46820919) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

First, not an owner, if you're looking to purchase I suggest doing your own research.

1. No the fees aren't necessary. For one, federal law interferes.
2. Good luck shutting all those radios off and keeping a functional car.
3. OTA updates have improved the car quite a bit, so stopping that isn't necessarily a good idea.
4. The fee actually covers a huge amount of work, it's probably worth it.

Comment: Re:The optimal way (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46820903) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

But maintenance costs are forever, and if the owner of some far-flung cabin can't bear the full cost of maintaining a line that serves no one else, that line never should have been built in the first place.

I do have concern about such a system causing a sort of deflation in electrical provision though. IE customer A is the end point, and frustrated by maintenance costs he cuts his connection. Now suddenly B is the last segment, and A wasn't that much further away, and now he's bearing increased cost due to A leaving. So he leaves. Next thing you know the whole neighborhood is leaving...

By keeping maintenance costs more even to the customers, you encourage keeping enough clients around to have economy of scale.

Oh, and I probably should have mentioned that when it comes to business; 'hard' generally translates to 'expensive'.

Comment: Electric motor vs Gasoline Engine (Score 1) 389

by Firethorn (#46820773) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

You do realize that you're putting up a 420 horsepower engine up against the 145 HP motor in a volt? It also looks like they've gotten better with the volt:
Chevy volt: 8.9
Ford Mustang: 4.5

Electric motors are good, but they're only about twice as good as their horsepower rating would imply up against a gasoline engine, much less one optimized for 0-60 times.

Comment: Re:X Miles IS a standard for me (Score 1) 389

by Firethorn (#46820337) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

I have no interest in a 50 HP car, nor do most US buyers. Not useful.

It only takes about 15 hp to keep a car at highway speeds. 50hp would really be overkill. That might be enough to keep a semi going on the highway...

Then you put a 100(leaf)-300(Model S) electric motor in it, which given the RPM range of electric motors combined with the whole '100% torque at 0 RPM' means that, no matter the horsepower, electric vehicles tend to be very 'zippy' up to almost their max speed.

Comment: Re:The optimal way (Score 1) 460

by Firethorn (#46819587) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

You've presented two extremes, and neither represents the most fair and accurate way to allocate maintenence costs.

Charging the last guy everything was NOT my idea, it's what motivated me enough to post counter-points, and I presented more than just 2 options.

The most fair and accurate way is to look at who is served by each segment of the line.

Better stated than what I proposed. It's a bit like 'you pay for your segment, your neighbors pay for theirs'. The problem I see with it is that while it's 'fair and accurate' it is very much 'not easy'. 'Easy' while being 'more fair' is a legitimate option, where outside of specific edge cases you simply charge everybody some sort of average for costs.

but the 1000th customer wants to build a home 100 miles from that cluster, the utility will never recover the cost of that extremely long line extension if the single customer it serves is permitted to pay "average" rates.

I forget the name of the act, but there's actual federal subsidies to pay for that line(and more people tend to move there over time), but failing that he doesn't get coverage.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun