Author Topic: Need some engineering help  (Read 5125 times)

Online jeffy

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 08:34:11 AM »
This crazy corn/ethanol thing in the US is STOOPID.
Green can so easily be a marketing ploy versus a real philosophy.

I can be green at home. I don't need to buy anything to be green. If I make any purchase to be "GREEN" I have already failed.
Real green comes from reducing consumption not waste. e.i. producing what I need vs. buying it...segue to the what are you planting thread. Anyone plant "TEA" plants and make their own tea? (Answer in that thread, not this one..)

I believe that this mirrors the tubercles opinion.

I agree with the both of you, especially about the grid. taco
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 09:03:25 AM »
I agree with the both of you, especially about the grid. People just don't realize what goes into keeping the lights on. Start plugging a ton of electric cars in, and what happens to the "peak hours" model? Also had a conversation with a friend of mine about how the carbon footprint of your average PA hillbilly is probably half that of your average conspicuously-green urban consumer. Used cars, small houses, home grown veggies and harvested meat, wood heating, and generally being mindful of spending all go an awful long way towards reducing personal impact.

Here's a basic truth I tend to follow: Energy is money. Everything we spend money on is essentially just converted energy. You want to go green? Spend less money. When you find yourself making your own (whatever) or, more often, going without or at least being very mindful of what you're spending, THEN you've "gone green." Buying a ton of new crap just to feel better about yourself is just being a scenester.

Well said.
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Offline dean

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 10:02:41 AM »
Wow, you guys are serious about this aren't you.  Like the commercial says... you do realize this is just a simulation, right?  Okay... here we go.

1.) Its too late to do anything because by the time anyone agreed what to actually DO, we will be out of fossil fuels.

2.) None of the proposed solutions make any sense whatsoever unless someone can make a profit therefore none of them will come to fruition.  Somebody has to rule "from on-high"...  we still live in a sudo medieval society... kings, lords, barons and peasants... you and I are peasants and you get to keep what leftovers THEY say you get to keep so get used to it.  This includes driving "on the King's road"... you will pay for the privilege of do such things."

3.) We all know who the kings are, we just like to biotch about the lords and barons... you know them, they are insurance companies, banks, automobile manufacturers, etc.  They Can and Will charge you whatever they deem because they give the King payoff's to create laws mandating that we peasants must use their services, products etc. or Else suffer in the King's dungeon. 

4.) Fuels and being Green... why fix what isn't broken... unless there is $$$ to be made.  Imagine what kind of brown outs or rolling blackouts may or may not occur if everyone drove electric automobiles.

5.) Agrees with Tubercle and others... We've learned a lot about Nuclear energy, now its time to use that knowlege.  Not sold on the Solar energy yet... wind and solar energy materials are apparently expensive to make because they sure are expensive to buy and build even a small system.  Go Nuke!  Go Nuke!  ... who said that?   ;D  Besides... we've got a ton of Navy Nuke's that are highly trained experts so there wouldn't be any training curve to get them up and running in no time at all.

6.)  See number one above...

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 10:14:05 AM »
Notably, however, liquid fuel has a particular use.  Stop thinking so much about a liquid fuel energy economy; it takes solar power to keep a shed full of batteries charged to run your battery-powered tractor (electric motors more efficiently produce torque) and thresher.  It takes liquid fuel to run a tractor that you can run for more than 10 hours at a time-- or to run a car that has more than a 50 mile range (even when claimed 300 miles), or a plane.

And how do you think those batteries are made?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 10:16:16 AM »
You want heat? Set some magnesium on fire. :o

 One of the best output vs. input ratios is sugar cane to make ethanol.

 Brazil makes ethanol from sugar cane sap and then uses the leftover cane stalks to fire the boilers to run generators to power the fermenting and distillation apparatus and sells the leftover electricity back to the grid. In Brazil ethanol is basically free plus the gain.

 This crazy corn/ethanol thing in the US is STOOPID. Anyone who has used corn mash as a distillation wash ( ::)) will tell you that it is very low yield and takes more energy to produce than it produces...if that makes sense.

The biggest absolute waste of energy is the electric vehicle. Got to plug that thing into the grid. You telling me that my gasoline powered truck burns more fuel than the power plant that has to run full capacity just in case I might want to plug my car in?

Solar and/or nuke. That's the way to go.

 This is just the Tubercle's observation. If you want his opinion on any of the preceding subjects, just ask.
 

+100!!

I grew up on a corn/soybean/livestock farm and still have relatives out on the farm.  I have said for years that ethanol in the US is a boondoggle.  It started out as a few farmers trying to see if they could make it work and now it's just a pyramid scheme to suck money out of farmers who are trying to make a few more cents per bushel for their corn.  Once farmers stop being willing to form coops and the government stops the subsidies the ethanol industry is dead.  

Iowa will become the biggest source for used stainless steal and/or the largest producer of cheap whiskey in the world.  All they need to do is age the ethanol in oak barrels and stop adding gasoline to the storage tanks as they do this now to make it undrinkable.  Maybe they should call it Hawkeye Fire Water.

I've also been supporting nuclear and solar since the 70's during "the energy crisis".

Paul
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 10:20:23 AM »
My plan as far as all this green stuff goes, is to buy an EV (chevy volt or Tesla model S) and then get a wind turbine to charge it. We don't do much driving because we have VERY good public transit, even out here in the boonies, so I figure it'd be a pretty good thing.

Re energy, most of France is nuclear, and our energy company is one of those that buys wind power somehow. I dunno how that works exactly...

The problem of course with all this 'green' stuff is that a lot of it (especially EVs, etc) rely on petroleum-based manufacturing. So nothing is every going to be truly green, but at least it's a start.

Sometimes I wonder how much of my current lifestyle I'd be able to maintain should there be some sort of global event that would end our ability to use current manufacturing, economic, and transportation processes. I think an investment in an EV would be good in this sort of situation, but the problem is getting replacement parts.

Sorry to ramble, it's Friday alright.

My plan on this going green stuff is to keep my 10 year old truck tuned up and drive it till it falls apart from old age.  I figure it's got 8 to 10 more years in it and nothing has had to be mined, milled, refined (except gas, lubricants and tires) to make a new one in 10 years.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 10:37:14 AM »
dean@ahaforum:~$ sudo medieval society
Password: _


(sorry for the lame linux joke!  :D )

Offline dean

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 10:44:45 AM »
dean@ahaforum:~$ sudo medieval society
Password: _


(sorry for the lame linux joke!  :D )


Good catch... I switch back and forth between windows and linux lately.  My pc crashed... hd is bad, cd locks up though sometimes so I have an older computer I change all the connections over to when it does and run on windows.  I like linux except I don't know how to use it all yet... screen size is tiny which I can stretch but the fonts don't change.  I need to get another hd and install it so I don't rely on the cd to keep me going.  Pretty good op system though... faster than windows XP or at least it seems to be... images load way faster.

Offline euge

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2011, 12:33:02 PM »
I've been running Ubuntu linux for years. It's free...

Oops I got a security update... Sudo?



We have hundreds of years worth of coal. When the oil runs out we'll be burning coal. Back to steam trains... Choo choo...
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Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2011, 03:52:29 PM »

My plan on this going green stuff is to keep my 10 year old truck tuned up and drive it till it falls apart from old age.  I figure it's got 8 to 10 more years in it and nothing has had to be mined, milled, refined (except gas, lubricants and tires) to make a new one in 10 years.

Paul

Yep...that's the sensible approach. The benefit in switching technologies is lost if what you're replacing is in good working order -- unless of course the item is a major user of energy or an extreme polluter.
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Offline onthekeg

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2011, 06:50:18 PM »
I agree with Tubercle.  I have been lucky enough to have worked in the ethanol industry for a decade.  Then I moved to oilseeds.  People need to realize we have energy here, its not rocket science.  We have coal that can be converted to diesel fuel.  We don't have to go back to the steam age.  We also have plenty of tide, wind and river to electricity options in places where it is feasible.  Solar has a place, Nuclear has a very large part in our future.  You want an electric car?  Deal with it.  Batteries are full of heavy metals.  Sure we recycle them, but not all are recycled.  Now the worst of the mundane psycho babble we deal with..  The fluorescent bulb replacing the incandescent.  Rob the mercury from peter and pay paul.  Sheeple never win.

Offline dean

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2011, 08:35:18 AM »
The fluorescent bulb replacing the incandescent.  Rob the mercury from peter and pay paul.  Sheeple never win.

You said a mouthful there!  All this "green" technology is a crock.  If you own a flourescent light and it breaks, it will cost you thousands of dollars to have the site cleaned up... yes... the powder in there is a Hazardous Substance and must be handled by "Professionals" which You Will Pay For.  If a flourescent bulb doesn't break but just fails to work... well you can't just throw it away... no sir... it has to go to an approved recylcling center and it may also cost you to drop it off there.  See where the Real "Green" is going yet?   ;)

Another one... those pesky smoke detectors... especially the ones that are hardwired in... they contain radioactive material... think I'm kidding you... look at yours if you have one in your home... it is on a lable.  Wait til you need to get rid of that little baby... just more "green" from your wallet.   ;)

Thermostats and thermometers containing mercury... you don't even want to know.  If one breaks in your home... kiss your home goodbye ladies!  Seriously.   :-*

edited to add this link... http://www.epa.gov/radtown/smoke-detector.html   (notice they tell you everything except how to dispose of it?)

another edit because I found this... "Smoke detectors containing Am-241 also provide some radiation exposure. However, the radiation exposure people receive from a smoke detector is very low. The health risk reduction from the fire protection vastly outweighs the health risk from the radiation. That said, you should still handle smoke detectors containing americium with care. To avoid exposure:

never dismantle a smoke detector
never burn a smoke detector in your fireplace
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates the radioactive material in smoke detectors, permits their disposal as ordinary trash.
"   
OMG!!!   You can read it here.... http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/americium.html
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 09:32:37 AM by dean »

Offline punatic

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2011, 10:53:33 AM »
Is energy in the vacuum the future?

Zero-point Energy
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Offline uthristy

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2011, 12:34:41 PM »
  • Energy in peanut oil (diesel engines can run directly on peanut oil... not your Volkswagen, but a true diesel engine can be designed and timed to run straight, filtered peanut oil with no additives)
  • Energy in hemp oil and yield for the appropriate strain of cannibis (the best strain for oil production also happens to be the best for fiber production; the trade-off is it puts more energy into oil and fiber production and less into THC production, giving a low yield of psychotropic resins)
Wrong on these two, and what have you been smoking?

Next ask yourself why the USA market can't get cars like  the  VW POLO >>Jul 31, 2007 ...Volkswagen's Clean-Diesel, 70-mpg Polo


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Offline dean

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Re: Need some engineering help
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2011, 01:23:56 PM »
In agreement with Uthirsty.  I had a Ford Escort back in the 1980's that got 40 mpg so the automobile manufacturers as well as Politicians are pulling the wool over everybody's eyes touting cars that get gas mileage in the 30 to 40 mpg bracket.  Thats OLD news.  The difference is today "younger voters" don't know cars like that already existed and went the way of the dinosaur when gasoline prices stopped climbing last time.  Same old same old... history repeating itself. 

Now the real fuels nobody wants to look into are biofuels... way back before I was old enough to drive a car some smart fella built a car that ran on chicken manure.  ;)  And during the 1970's there were quite a few people that developed carburators or carburator modifications that allowed the average car or truck to get over 50 mpg.  Gas and Oil companies as well as Automotive manufacturers AND unions put a kabosh on those... you can research it online and read about them if anyone is curious enough.

Its all about the green...   ::)