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Comment: gosolar, California public utilities commision (Score 1) 471

by raymorris (#48042099) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

> If you were correct that every kilowatt-hour sold by a solar facility has to be "thrown away," or discharged into the ground, then you would also be correct that that's not a sustainable business model

Very good, let's start from the point where we agree. I think you'd also agree that if they are forced to give something that has a cost of production (evening energy) in exchange for any significant amount of worthless trash, that's not sustainable. In other words, it doesn't matter if it's ALL of the solar energy being thrown away, or some significant percentage. Any energy in excess of what's being sold is worthless, and being forced to pay for something that is worthless is stupid. Agreed? Please let me know if we're on the same point up until this point.

We can also probably agree that at noon, a solar installation can make a significant amount of power, say around 4kW.
We can also agree that most people aren't using 4kW at home from 11AM-2PM, when they aren't even at home, they're at work.
So the solar will be capturing significantly more energy than they are using during those hours. Agreed so far? Please let me know.

In fact, I'd say that at noon, with nobody home, they are probably using less than 1kW, while producing 4kW, so they are producing four times as much as they use. Sound about right?

So if most people's solar electric systems were capturing more energy than they are using at the time, that means the same is true in aggregate, correct?
Most people generating more than they use at noon means that the neighborhood is generating more than it uses at noon. That means that in total, solar would be generating more at noon than is being used at noon. Therefore, some of it needs to be thrown away at noon. Since the system generates 4kW while usage is less than 1 kW, that means that if one 25% of houses have solar, we'd being throwing away electricity, agreed? And the utilities would be forced to pay for electricity that they then have to pay to throw away.

on, the California Public Utilities Commission says:
      Most smaller electric customers have simple bidirectional meters-capable of spinning backwards to record energy flowing from their system ...
      the customer has to pay only for the net amount of electricity used from the utility over-and-above the amount of electricity generated by their solar system

That's a very important point. It's net METERING, not net billing. It's based on the net amount of electricity from a meter that spins backwards, NOT the net amount of dollars. If they produce 40 kWh (at noon) and use 40 kWh (at night), they are billed zero. You might want to re-read those two sentences explaining how the California system works, because that's important.

You said:
> If they are selling power at, say, a wholesale rate of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour, and buying power at a retail rate of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour

That would make sense, so that's why the utilities are asking for it to be done that way. That's not how it's done in California, though. As quoted from the California regulators, if your solar system produces 1 kW at noon and you use 1 kW at 6:00 PM, you pay zero.

If we've gotten to this point, we've agreed that if 25% of houses have solar, they will produce more energy than is being used, so some will be thrown away. The value of noon energy will be close to zero, or even negative since it costs money to run the heavier infrastructure to carry more power to a place that it can be safely burned off without running afoul of California's environmental controls. (Huge electrical arcs produce ozone, noise, and all kinds of other things that scare hippies).

So once 25% of people participate, the noon energy is practically worthless, but per Ca PUC, utilities have to trade it 1 for 1 for evening electricity, and it costs them money to generate and distribute electricity in the evening. Agreed?

Of course, RIGHT NOW, 25% of houses don't have solar. I've said repeatedly that it's not a significant problem right now, but would become a real problem if most houses were doing net metering.

Comment: Also, time-tested. Bugs are not acceptable. (Score 1) 418

by raymorris (#48041785) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

> Small Arms tech has languished, mainly due to the ATF having a chilling effect on anything firearms related.
> I don't think a major change in design has happened since the 50s with the use of composites.

Also, designs such as the 1911, the most popular firearm recently, are time-tested and known to be very reliable and safe.
In the rare instance where you actually need to fire your weapon, it absolutely, positively must work. Even more, you're
holding an explosion in your hand. An "you're holding it wrong" bug is annoying with a smart phone, it is absolutely unacceptable
when it comes to an explosion in your hand.

Comment: read your link? (Score 1) 229

by raymorris (#48041585) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

You said "it's not marketed to younger people. " As evidence, you linked to an article that says:

        this project's mission was to attract a younger buyer to each of the brands.
      By selling an attractive, RWD sports car at a reasonable price, they were hoping to capture the holy grail of Generation Y

Comment: Rather missed the point. More rape is actually bad (Score 1) 418

by raymorris (#48040121) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

You rather missed the point, and no, my numbers are not wrong. My numbers are accurate, yours are pointless and irrelevant (but useful to mislead).

When these countries removed the ability of law-abiding citizens to to defend themselves by presenting a gun, far more of them were raped and murdered, often by an attacker with a knife, often by an attacker with a gun. After the ban, the number of attackers with guns dropped a little bit (your statistic), while the number of law-abiding citizens with a gun dropped by 100%, meaning a lot more dead citizens (the statistics I presented).

If you've been raped and murdered, does it benefit you that you were unarmed and the attacker had a knife?
Prior to the ban, those people didn't get raped and murdered, because they (like the bad guys) could be armed.

You're advocating for MORE rape and murder, so long as fewer guns are involved.

If you ban screaming, you'l have fewer screaming murders.
If you ban calling 911, you'll have fewer murder victims call 911 while being attacked.
If you ban guns, you'll have fewer guns used to defend against or commit murders.

Personally, I'd prefer fewer murders. I don't care how many murders involve screaming, calling 911, or any particular weapon. I want fewer murders, and we know, from clear experience, that as soon as guns were banned the number of murders immediately jumped by 50%.

Comment: BRZ vs FR-S, same car, different marketing (Score 1) 229

by raymorris (#48039563) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

> And a wrx is not cheap, also not for younger people.

The comparison is between the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S. The BRZ and FR-S are essentially the same car, but with two different marketing campaigns by two different companies. The WRX is unrelated.

> The Scion ... is not marketed to younger people. Maybe it's marketed to older people who like to drive.

Quotes from Scion's annual report:
    In North America, Toyota targeted young customers by launching sales of Scion-marque cars across the United States.

    We initiated the Scion project to attract Generation Y customers.

    Premiered nationally during fiscal 2005 to target Generation Y, the Scion project is successfully broadening Toyota’s
    appeal, with first-time customers accounting for roughly 80% of Scion-marque sales.

Loading pops up four promotional icons:
Social media
Music and Events
Car Releases
College Rebate Promotion

Are older people or younger people more into social media?
College - is that mostly for older people or younger people?
Music and events - same

The FR-S commercial says it's "epic" as two 20-somethings step out of the car to join their 20-something friends.

The word "Scion" means "child" or "descendant".

Comment: Homicides up by 50% in the UK (Score 1) 418

by raymorris (#48038731) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

> Look at European countries. ... thanks to strict regulation they have relatively few gun homicides

When the UK banned guns, violent crime and homicide skyrocketed. From 1990-1996, the homicide rate was 11-13 per million. Guns were banned in 1997. From 1998 - 2008, the homicide rate was 12-18. Overall, homicides increased by about 50%. Rape is up over 100% - more than doubled.

The number of guns used in those rapes and murders dropped once it was guaranteed that the ay law-abiding victim would be unarmed, but there have been a lot more murders, a lot more rapes, and a lot more violent crime overall.

Sorry if that doesn't match what you guessed might happen, but that's what actually did happen. Australia was similar. We know longer need to debate what the effects of banning guns might be. The UK and Australia tried it, and we can see what the results really are - twice as much violent crime.

Comment: Who drives $2,500 used sports cars? Teen boys (Score 4, Insightful) 229

by raymorris (#48037199) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

> TFA was bullshit when I saw the Supra on the list ranked at #4 (and the 3000 GT at #17).
> They stopped making both of those cars well over 10 years ago

So they are sporty cars that are ten years old and now worth about $2,500. What kind of driver with $2,500 to spend on a car buys something sporty? Teenage boys, maybe?

Would teenage boys who drive sports cars be more likely to get tickets that a soccer mom in a minivan?

Comment: radar, backscatter , sometimes ultrasound (Score 2) 55

Check out ground penetrating radar. Also, TSA uses backscatter, which works in a similar way - it doesn't REQUIRE anything to be behind the subject, you get a clearer image if you have a plain background (where plain means uniform reflection of the frequency used). Ultrasound works some some applications, but the image is rather blurry unless you have a very expensive unit.

I don't know if either is available in an inexpensive, low resolution hobbyist version. I'd bet there are some old units, two generations behind, on ebay. Now I'm off to Google for hobbyist radar .

A tricorder which combines low-quality short- range radar, backscatter, infrared and ultrasound might be very useful - infrared would see pipes in the wall, maybe the combination of radar and ultrasound would show the studs, etc.

Comment: beside the point (Score 1) 471

by raymorris (#48031727) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Yes, some months they may produce more noon power than they use evening some months they may produce a bit less.
That only affects HOW MUCH magic free power is required for the scheme to scale. If it's perfectly balanced, resulting in a zero bill, ALL electricity must be magical free electricity, because nobody is paying anything.

On the other hand, if everyone's excess at noon is equal to half of their usage in other parts of the day, they're only getting half of their energy for free, so only half of it needs to be magic. The instant that the total produced at noon exceeds the amount used at noon, you're throwing noon energy away giving them evening energy in exchange for trash energy that's being thrown away. That's already happening sometimes in California. If you're trading something of value that has a production cost in exchange for trash, that's only sustainable through magic.

Comment: that's the definition of net metering (Score 1) 471

by raymorris (#48029705) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

> I haven't heard anyone asking to be provided with "free" energy from the grid during hours when the sun's not shining.

That's what net metering IS - everyone puts X kWh into the grid at noon, when the sun is bright. They then use X kWh in the evening, when they are st home cooking, watching TV etc. Since their net use is zero, their electric bill is zero - free power 20 hours per day. You can see why the utilities are saying that could cause problems.

Comment: psss - no such thing (Score 1) 471

by raymorris (#48028997) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Pss - the "subsidy" the ranting bloggers talk about is this:
Oil and gas companies, like every other company in the country, don't pay taxes on money they don't make.
If you spend $100 million buying crude oil, and sell it for $110 million- you made $10 million. That's called arithmetic. The wacko blog scene, the "tinfoil hat" crazy wing of green blogosphere is suggesting that oil companies should be the only companies taxed on their revenue, rather than on profit. They call treating all companies the same a "subsidy" .

There is of course ONE industry who has paid negative $3 billion in taxes in the last six years. That'd be solar, who receives tax money rather than paying taxes. Of course, the exact numbers depend on what you count as a solar company. For example, Solyndra received half a billion dollars of your money and mine through the federal solar subsidy program. They never produced anything related to solar power though, so are they part of the solar energy, or just another scam taking advantage of the solar slush fund? The editor in chief of Nature called Nanosolar "the poster child of silicon valley solar", but they too took a half billion dollars and never produced a panel, so is that part of the solar industry, or is "the poster child" pf solar just yet another half-billion scam to send taxpayer money to Obama's friends and campaign manager?

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter