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Comment: Re:What's with the Tom Murphy links anyway? (Score 1) 245

by fgouget (#47885963) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Also why do you keep providing links to some guy that straying so far off practical models that he was describing enough energy storage to power a continent for a week?

He's looking into what it takes to have a 100% renewable power grid. As mentioned in a previous post, providing storage for a day or more could well be needed in such a scenario. And if you read his analysis you'll see that whether you try to provide storage for a week or a mere day does not matter much: pumped hydro does not cut it in either case, by far.

You see to be unable to get past "we have a solution based on cheap natural gas that works now". But assuming natural gas will remain cheap, plentiful(*) and have no nasty environmental side effect is taking quite a risk.
(*)We have proven reserves for 56 years, at 2010 consumption levels, less if consumption increases at it historically does.

Comment: Re:Musk worship (Score 1) 260

by fgouget (#47861391) Attached to: Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

Yes. It's getting huge tax breaks here. It got a nearly free auto plant from California.

It gets $7500/car in subsidy from the feds. Many states give $1500 to $5000 on top of that. Some countries they sell into give tens of thousands equivalent.

The feds don't give that $7500 subsidy because the brand of the car is 'Tesla'. They give it because it's an electric car. There's over a dozen models from BMW, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and others that get the same subsidy. So spinning this subsidy as "the feds are helping Tesla" is a lie. Same thing for the state subsidies.

If they charged $90K for a car which is luxury equivalent to a Hyundai Sonata I would. It's a nice car, but it doesn't measure up to other $90K cars on luxury.

The Tesla Model S is a full-size luxury liftback which ranks second against other "Super Luxury" cars and has a 0-60 acceleration of 4.2 to 5.9 seconds (depending on model). The Hyundai Sonata is nowhere close to being in the same class seeing as it's a mid-size car and not as sporty with a 0-60 acceleration of 6.5 to 8.5 seconds. So again you're ill-informed or disingenuous.

Comment: Re:Anders Bylund is not Tom Murphy (Score 1) 245

by fgouget (#47814743) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Trust in the smart grid to automatically reduce demand by 25% for a full week?

That's making an assumption of solar capacity far beyond the wildest dreams of those that wish to supply it. I'll assume it's a simple error instead of a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Wow! I see neither the solar capacity assumption, the error or the attempt to mislead. I must be so dumb. Or did you mean there's no way PV can ever provide a significant portion of our electricity needs?

Tom Murphy is a physicist, not a journalist

However the person I referred to is not Tom Murphy is it?

Given that it follows the section that started with "So that's dealt with the article that kicked off the discussion - now for the one you've linked", I'd say it is.

Due to the nature of grids and distributed power generation it's the wrong approach anyway since there is no requirement to provide enough storage for a single second. [...] For a start there are so many gas turbines sitting on coal seam gas or similar just waiting for a chance to spin up for more than an hour or two every few days.

This relies on the assumption that fossil fuels will remain cheap and plentiful for decades to come, and that we don't need to reduce their use for environmental reasons. I think both are incorrect. It also assumes that building and operating spare gas turbines to deal with variable load is cheaper than using grid storage. That's correct for now but it's no reason not to look for better solutions. Cheap electricity storage would have other uses besides helping the grid deal with variable load and production. For instance it would help wind turbine and PV plants operators better monetize their production by not forcing them to sell on the spot market.

I thought you Americans got used to such things when you embraced deregulation and let Enron et all in the door?

I'll let Americans speak for themselves.

Comment: Re:It already is enough because ... (Score 1) 245

by fgouget (#47805245) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

So that's dealt with the article that kicked off the discussion - now for the one you've linked. A key assumption is a point source where the electricity is coming from and not a large distributed grid which is the only sane way to model a very large number of little generators all over the place. So there's no wind - look at a weather chart - of course there's wind, plenty of wind, it's just not where you are standing, and there's more than one windmill in the country. So there's cloud - does it cover Vegas as well?

Sure there's wind, but not necessarily plenty, and half the solar panels in the north of the US may be covered by snow. Which means that for a week you may have electricity production that's 25% below demand. So what do you do? Trust in the smart grid to automatically reduce demand by 25% for a full week? Forcefully reduce demand through brownouts? Or can we simply have two days of electricity storage to make up for it?

Now Tom Murphy's point is not to say that this is impossible, but that it's not trivial as some people (like the GP) seem to think. Hence if storage the route we want to take we have serious work and research ahead of us. Also just building the energy storage infrastructure (e.g. al that concrete for pumped hydro) will itself use up lots of energy, so we should do so while energy is still plentyful. His further point was that it would be much simpler to reduce demand by travelling less, eating less meat, better insulating buildings, heating them less, etc. While there's no doubt stuff to do to reduce demand he is definitely an outlier in how far he is willing to go to do so.

Of course a lot hinges on how much the spread of energy sources can limit the shortfall, and how long such shortfalls can last. My understanding is that neither of those are quite settled issues yet. Also that can be somewhat mitigated by overbuilding renewable production capacity, though if we find a good storage solution that might not be the most efficient use of resources. In any case researching grid storage makes sense to keep our options open, though personally I'm still rooting for the distributed car battery storage.

Stuff like this is, to be frank, is just people out of their depth railing against change and looking for a feeble excuse to keep them afloat, and it's designed to mislead. So I'm sorry to say fgouget and many others, you've been suckered by a journalist that probably knows less about the topic than yourselves.

Tom Murphy is a physicist, not a journalist, and has obviously taken quite an interest on the subject of energy as can be seen from his blog. So he's certainly as knowelegeable as you or me as far as evaluating the rough feasability or cost of various solutions. And while I trust him to do the math right, I don't trust him about evaluating how far society can be changed. As for the Slashdot article, it was essentially content free: there's a thing called grid storage, batteries used for it have different requirements, some people are doing research on that topic. Is that news? Did anyone on Slashdot not know that already? Hard to get sucked in by a journalist that has nothing to say.

Comment: Re:Biased (Score 1) 221

by fgouget (#47783867) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

It seems to presuppose the long-discredited Conflict Thesis, which states that religion and science are inherently always in conflict.

Long discredited? That may be so but we still have lots of religious people who oppose teaching evolution or reproductive biology on a religious basis, disbelieve climate change in disproportionate numbers, believe the earth is about 6000 years old, or even, in some parts of the world, think that girls have no need for education.

Finally most religions require one to accept truths on faith, that is without objective reproducible proof. That's the anti-thesis of the scientific method.

Comment: Re:"Hard redirect" (Score 1) 376

by fgouget (#47707883) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

I used the phrasing almost all specifically because it may be possible to bypass the controls using UDP.

If the block can be bypassed using UDP then the ISP made a 'big stupid error' as I mentioned. Their router should simply not forward any packet outside the local network until the customer provided his credentials. That covers IPv4 (TCP, UDP, ICMP, others), IPv6, and anything else, whether they support it or not. For ADSL it should be pretty easy to identify the customer's line and redirect anything coming from that line, leaving no possibility of escape. Customers who connect to their ISP through a shared medium, like cable or WiFi, there's an escape route which is to hack their hardware/software stack to impersonate another customer on that shared medium. But that's obviously illegal and furthermore there's no point for them to keep paying for Internet access in the first place.

Comment: Printer? Where? (Score 1) 133

by fgouget (#47705373) Attached to: FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

They plan to take this technology to an entirely new level by creating a 3D Printer that is capable of, you guessed it, farming.

So it's not a printer in any sense of the word. Great start for that article. The rest really goes downhill from there. Shouldn't it have been published on the 1st of April?

Comment: Re:"Hard redirect" (Score 1) 376

by fgouget (#47702099) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

Yes, it would work on almost all browsers and there likely would never be a patch that would get around it.

No, unless they made a big stupid error, it would work on every browser past, present and future; as well as every other application trying to use the Internet; and no patch can get around that. That's because you cannot access the Internet if your ISP does not want you to. You could however get a contract from another ISP, assuming Rightscorp did not put you on some sort of industry-wide blacklist.

Comment: Power usage seems unrelated to Xfinity (Score 2) 224

by fgouget (#47627169) Attached to: The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router
The blog post did not compare the power usage with the Xfinity hotspot enabled and disabled. So all we can say is that the new Comcast modem is crap and wastes power by the bucket, just like the old one apparently. So while the title and many comments here seem to imply the extra cost is all due to the Xfinity Hotspot functionality, that view is so far not supported in any way.

Comment: Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (Score 1) 224

by fgouget (#47627141) Attached to: The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

The GP post is more an indictment on the mob^w justice system that all too often seems to presume guilt before evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is required.

Sounded more like the rant of a paranoid tinfoil hat wearer. That or given that hotspots are not a newfangled invention he should have no problem finding dozens of small businesses or hotels that got raided because they offered internet access.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 406

by fgouget (#47623219) Attached to: Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

Fully autonomous vehicles are scary for manufacturers because they potentially shift all liability to the manufacturer.

I think a simple solution is to turn the self-driving functionality a subscription-based service. Under that model the self-driving mode would require a network connection at the time you try to enable it and would check that you paid your montly subscription. Then you can use it for that month. The manufacturer would collect the subscriptions and use them to provide insurance in case of an accident. Then it's up to the manufacturer to set the subscriptions high enough or get the accident rate low enough for it to work out, like any insurance service.

Combined with some extra services like battery rental (for electric cars), this could even let car manufacturers shift to a business model close to the rasor+blade one (not saying that would be good for customers though).

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