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Ken Fabian

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Everything posted by Ken Fabian

  1. Battery operated tractors are already on the way. Hydrogen will struggle for lack of supply infrastructure but may gain traction over time as industrial use of H2 grows - it is needed for low emissions iron and steel and may be a way to convert gas plant used as backup to wind and solar to zero emissions and beat batteries for long, deep storage. Right now it would be possible to recharge a tractor from local solar but fast charging a big machine in a time of heavy use might be better with grid connection. A dilemma that those machines may get only weeks of use per year but then run 24/7
  2. Multiple studies say ICE cars generate more CO2 even where EV's are charged exclusively using FF produced electricity. EV's make even less when charged with low emissions energy. Manufacture the EV's where the grids are low emissions and less emissions are used making them; as the proportion of low emissions energy grows the amount that EV's produce goes down. Battery use is growing rapidly and what they do, they do successfully and cost effectively, from EV's to home solar to grid - and at this point I don't see any credible alternatives. And I don't see the transition to very low/below
  3. This article doesn't really do the issue justice but it does touch on something that has bugged me about claims about unacceptable waste from a shift to EV's - the full range of waste that comes from the existing ICE vehicle use and manufacturing streams - including the FF's used to refine FF's, not just fuel used directly in the vehicle, and things like coal ash from manufacturing (aka fly ash, high in heavy metals that, after CO2 may be the 2nd largest single form of waste)are often passed over. Presuming high levels of future battery recycling may be like presuming coal ash will be saf
  4. I think continuity is an important element - Einstein hasn't stayed on a pedestal because of unthinking acceptance of his scientific contributions and adoration but as a result of continuing pursuit of science based understanding that keeps revealing how those contributions have significance. Lose the continuity of the institutions and practices of science - of advancing science - and turning purely to teaching what is known, then significant knowledge decline has probably already occurred. And without ongoing active research as well as teaching we probably will not be able to sustain the tech
  5. The drug dealer analogy may not be perfect but that broader legal principle - of seller responsibility for unwanted harms - is real enough and I think ought to apply to the energy industry re emissions and climate change. Most of all a responsibility to change practices, more than assign liability and damages is what matters - and amnesty on broader liability with the requirement to make those changes seems like a reasonable compromise. If fixing the climate problem is made a matter of popularity rather than accountability (and it is) then we will continue to struggle to get sufficient action.
  6. It is a well established legal principle that there is liability for unintended harms from a commercial activity. The drug dealer defense - that the customers want to buy it and should accept full responsibility for those harms as part of the transaction - does not have any legal basis in most jurisdictions. When it comes to global warming it is nonetheless popular enough to give obstructionist political parties and governments the "but the voters don't want it" justification for inaction. I think that we all share some responsibility but some shareholders do have a lot more responsibilit
  7. @Photon Guy Sounds like a variant of Libertarian or Sovereign Citizen notions. "Taxation is theft!" - says people with taxpayer funded education, driving on taxpayer funding roads, with taxpayer funded law and order to protect them and regular opportunities to vote to elect representatives, under a system where the majority get the positions of power to change things... like how much taxpayer support for education, roads and infrastructure. Messy as that gets the alternatives - eg the parts of the world where governments have little power to enforce taxation - are a LOT messier. The very
  8. If you are using PV - ie beginning with solar electricity rather than directly solar heated water (or air or other fluid) - then I would still be looking at including some kind of heat pumps to get extra heat gain if possible. And I would still look at making the home itself or under it the primary heat store and rely on thermal inertia to carry through nights. Absent any use of heat pumps and using only direct resistance heating I suppose a large insulated water tank would retain the heat and underfloor pipework could do the heating. It could be set up to run by convection. But 3KW for a few
  9. But they DO charge the batteries, with enough left over that my home still sends 4x more electricity to the grid than it uses. They run electric kettle and stove, that have substantial loads. With limitations, they run A/C - full power on sunny hot days and some hours at lower power running from batteries. Some reverse cycle heating on the same basis. I would like better batteries - of course - but I note that even a decade ago the grid connected solar+battery system I have was not even a readily available option let alone reasonably priced enough that no substantial increase in costs for elec
  10. The panels on my roof are strung together in series at 400V DC - batteries running at ~48V, returning 240V AC to home - and running an old style resistance stove at night and early morning without issue. Not all hotplates + grill + oven at once - we tend not to waste nighttime power - it would need a higher power inverter, but those are available - a decade ago they barely existed as mass market items. I think that the system can be set up to be capable of electrically heating things. But I didn't suggest direct heating (just noted use of excess solar for resistance heating of hot water)
  11. Not necessarily - the energy gains from using heat pumps are significant. Like I said, the electricity requirements for running GSHP is very low compared to the heat it delivers - 1/3 to 1/5th? But GSHP could run during daytime alone and still keep a home warm - and even if a separate hot fluid store might help it is probably still better to heat the mass of the building itself and use it as the heat store. Inclusion of batteries and the cost effectiveness would include other considerations - installed just for running heating would be unusual. Our grid connected solar + batteries are not a fi
  12. Ground source heat pumps apparently do work effectively including in cold climate. Air source heat pumps work best in milder climates. Both deliver a lot more heat than active energy (electricity) input. The former uses electricity only to move the working fluid and fans to push air through heat exchangers - ie a small amount of electricity goes a long way. ie it should be possible to use solar power to operate a GSHP for effective heating even though it would be insufficient for direct heating without that heat stored in the ground. Insufficient in colder climates to run air source heat pumps
  13. Ground source heat pumps - probably the most efficient heating with respect to energy input - use liquid, usually glycol/water but not include (as far as I know) any extra insulated liquid storage and do require some electricity. Of all ways to use solar energy to heat a home, using it to run a GSHP looks the best to me, potentially improved with relatively small battery capacity. You still need appropriate location. I had a question about using the ground as heat storage some time back ie reversed flow for summer cooling adding heat to the ground the pipework is laid in, and how effect
  14. It is a good guide and often will be correct - but the evidence is the ultimate guide and complex explanations can be the correct ones. "It's the sun" is a lot simpler for explaining global warming than atmospheric back radiation and reduced IR from upper troposphere to space, but will be incorrect.
  15. My opinion - not sure it counts as any kind of legal principle - (most of) those who stayed peacefully outside the Capitol might be considered legitimate protesters - neither rioters nor insurrectionists - but those that entered crossed more lines than one. Even the ones who followed after the police were overwhelmed, who clashed with none, did no damage, stole nothing, shouted no death threats were directly involved in something more serious than protest. No-one does thorough investigation quite like the FBI - arrest all that entered and let the courts sort them out. I said "most of" tho
  16. I think that is exactly why most were there. Not knowing quite how that might be achieved, sure. Duped into believing they were "saving" America, sure. But I think the overwhelming majority were there hoping to prevent the President-elect becoming President - some directly but most indirectly, ie by chanting "stop the steal" and "hang Mike Pence" to get him to refuse to recognise Biden in his ceremonial role, supported by Republicans within the Capitol, but yes, they were there to demand the election result be dismissed to allow Trump to steal victory and participated in storming the building
  17. My view - those engaged in offensive violence and property destruction should be subject to investigation and prosecution, regardless of their political leanings. I expect BLM instigators of violence already have been or will be. But I do think there are differences here; Capitol insurrectionists were all there to overthrow the elected government and whilst not all were violent or destructive those that weren't were still there in support of that goal. The few instances of protestors acting to prevent cornered police being assaulted or murdered deserve some (faint) praise but not immunity from
  18. A bit of mental arithmetic without checking... is that between 2.5 and 10 metric tons of lunar material to get 1 litre of water? I expect the soils in Earth's deserts have a lot more water than that. Any suggestion this will be sufficient to enable colonisation looks exceptionally optimistic to me.
  19. The temptation is to respond with ever more outrageously improbable variations - sarcasm to excess - but I suspect some would just think I was serious. Could require some judgement of whether they are capable of getting it. Could Qanon have begun just like that, as a bit of trollery that got taken seriously and has acquired a life of it's own?
  20. Any reflectors in space will need to have station keeping capability, ie have the means to move around ie be little (or very big) spaceships. Because any inert material will be pushed out of position (presumably Lagrange zone between Sun and Earth) by sunlight and solar wind. I don't think we could build up low emissions space launch capability even if there were funds for it - and is this to be an alternative to cutting emissions? Dumping dust in the atmosphere is just a thought bubble, not any kind of real option. It offers no alternative to shifting away from fossil fuels to clean energy -
  21. https://techxplore.com/news/2021-01-inexpensive-battery-rapidly-electric-vehicles.html Battery R&D is a huge deal now - and appears to be making significant progress. Of course commercial ie real world success is still to be shown, but - 400km vehicle range in a 10 minute charge, costs not known but claimed to be lower cost than existing Li-Ion - no cobalt or other expensive metals - and expected working life of >3 million km (2 million miles). Supposed to be because the (lithium iron sulphate) battery heats up to best temperature (60 C/140F) for charging and discharging.
  22. Am I correct in interpreting the US prohibition on Congress restricting the rights of a free press as affirming the right of media proprietors to express partisan political views and use their papers to promote them? That seems to include the right to NOT promote views they disagree with and even allowing publishing of falsehoods - with not very compensatory right (if you can afford it) to seek legal redress for slander. It is difficult for me to interpret the deplatforming by social media companies as different to a newpaper editor choosing promote some kinds and to leave out some kinds of co
  23. It goes both ways - I think more a case of sea surface temperatures determining air temperature than the other way around. My answer is/was that global average temperature was and is an arbitrary choice for providing a simple, single indicator of change to the climate system; others might do as well or better (I would nominate Ocean Heat Content but the record doesn't go back so far), but weather records are our longest running direct measurements from which change can be observed. So, addressing part 1 of original question, yes it is useful. Is it a thermodynamically valid conc
  24. I think popular entertainment and the distorted representations of "reality" it provides - probably contributes; people spend a lot of time in the fantasy land of media news, entertainment and advertising - and the lines between those are increasingly blurred. They are also more and more tailored and targeted, to engage the hopes and fears and beliefs various sectional groups of people hold, such that any editorial balance is not within the 'feeds', but with the diversity of different 'feeds'; increasingly our preferred views get reinforced unless we make an effort to sample other sources of
  25. I think Trump's actions were criminal as well as dangerously irresponsible. In any nation where rule of law, truth and justice (and fair elections) are held up as their strengths and virtues, those holding relevant offices failing to address this behavior is... dangerously irresponsible. Possibly criminal in turn?
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