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Comment: Re:How big is it? (Score 4, Informative) 33

by inqrorken (#49357903) Attached to: Behind the Scenes At a Quantum Dot Factory
A few tens of nanometers in diameter. Dots emit light at (more or less) a single frequency (it's actually Gaussian around the chosen frequency.) To emit that photon, the dot has to absorb a photon of higher energy. Since right now dots are absorbing visible, it's energetically possible to emit in microwave or radio frequencies. While I believe it's possible to do so, existing methods may be more efficient (energy-wise or cost-wise), or we may not have discovered dot materials that allow for those emission frequencies.

Comment: Re:A Boom in Civilization (Score 2) 227

by inqrorken (#48853921) Attached to: Sid Meier's New Game Is About Starships
"Let's assume, that the human race manages to balance birth and death, just right to fit its own planets, and thereby becomes peaceful. What happens? Soon (about next Wednesday) the Bugs move in, kill off the breed which 'ain't gonna study war no more' and the universe forgets us"

Though the best argument made in the novel is, 'juvenile delinquent' is an oxymoron.

Comment: Re:Not unusual in the least. (Score 2) 230

by inqrorken (#46068999) Attached to: New England Burns Jet Fuel To Keep Lights On
Actually, the Northeast is home. While shale gas has brought a ton of jobs to the region, and has helped to limit energy costs (just look at European residential electric rates!) we're using it in a blundering fashion. The point here is that we can't just switch everything over to the current wonderfuel - there are other articles, from the polar vortex earlier this year, that report that the Northeast's gas pipeline capacity was maxed out. As ever, we've got to be smart.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 230

by inqrorken (#46068867) Attached to: New England Burns Jet Fuel To Keep Lights On
It depends on the type of peak.

The average, daily peak lasts from around 10 AM to about 5 PM. This is generally from the day-to-day activities from commercial businesses. This kind of peak is routine, expected, and can generally be covered by inexpensive forms of generation.

Extreme, hot-weather peaks generally max out around 4 - 5 PM, though on such days the total load exceeds normal peak by solar noon. The peak is this late in the day because (1) commercial businesses are still open, (2) workers have begun to arrive home and turn on lights, TVs, the AC unit, etc., and (3) the solar energy received during the day is making a very large contribution to the AC cooling requirement (search for "radiant time series." The idea here is that walls store the Sun's energy, and release it later.)

These extreme peaks happen rarely, and the absolute worst lasts for 1 - 3 hours. This is when your jet-fuel burning peakers would come online - they would sit on standby 365 days out of the year, and maybe generate for five hours total.

For the daily peak, in a more diverse area, the natural gas peakers would come on throughout the small daily peak. Rarely would they be on for more than a few hours / day.

15 hours for an extremely expensive fuel type truly is rare.

+ - New England Burns Jet Fuel to Keep Lights On-> 1

Submitted by inqrorken
inqrorken (3513049) writes "During the recent cold snap, New England utilities turned to an unconventional fuel: jet fuel. Due to high demand for heating, natural gas supplies dropped and prices skyrocketed to $140/mmBtu and prompting the midatlantic RTO to call on demand response in the region. With 50% of installed generation capacity natural-gas fired, one utility took the step of running its jet fuel-based turbines for a record 15 hours."
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