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Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:15 pm
by Adam Szendrey
I don't see the point, it requires fuel, and is very inefficient (7-8 %). An external combustion engine (also requires continious heat, like the Stirling engine) with all its losses of converting mechanical energy to electricity is far more efficient i think.

Well one good point is that it has no moving parts.

Adam

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:00 am
by MARK-HARRISS
The solar cell industry uses the surplus silicon from the semiconductor industry to make their cells from. the quality is far better than is needed for making cells but only recently has someone designed a method of making solar grade silicon with only 1/3 the energy input of semi grade silicon.

The only problem is that every time solar companies have made a cheaper cell the costs have not been passed on to the consumer as they have a profit to make like all companies.

Mark H

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:01 am
by AnGuy
David Trimmell wrote:
> . Currently PV panels have 20-25 year warranties, manufacturers will replace them if they drop below 80% or if internal contacts fail.

Shell only provides a 10 year warrent on PVs at 80%. BP offers a 25 year warranty which I would be very suspicion of.

If you do some research on the Web, you can find out lots about PV degrading. The cells are made of crystalline sillicon, that over time develops microfractures caused by thermal cycling. Usenet has lots of discussions that the 20+ warranties aren't realistic and its riddled with lots of marketing hype that will probably be reneged on. Buyer beware!

I would be concerned with enviromental effects on PV panels, such as hail, ice, falling trees, hurricanes, etc. To my knowledge, no one offers warranties for acts of nature. I have a suspicion, that these new thin film are so fragile that they will be damaged well before you can make a claim on the warranty.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:07 am
by AnGuy
>The solar cell industry uses the surplus silicon from the semiconductor industry to make their cells from. the quality is far better than is needed for making cells but only recently has someone designed a method of making solar grade silicon with only 1/3 the energy input of semi grade silicon.

The only way PV cells can be truely economic sound is if they can be made using something else than silicon or other semiconductor metals. They need to be created from organic materials. Something that is cheap, doesn't create hazardous waste, and can be easily recycled.

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:37 am
by AnGuy
>Use the temperature gradiants in the ocean to make electricity.
Nuclear is the only solution even close at this point.
Solar needs years more developement.

Interesting that you mention that. The next generation Gas/Coal/Oil fired plants will used multicycle generation, using Propane. For instance Gas fired Plants will used three cycles: Combusion of Gas in a gas turbine --> gas Turbine exhausts to generate steam for a steam turbine --> Steam exhaust to heat a closed cycle turbine using Propane (as the gas medium) , The propane isnt burned. Think of freon in a air conditioner.

The final exhaust temperature is to leave the plant less than a 100 F above the air temperature. Very effiecient. All new coal and oil plants will also be built using supercritical steam to maximize efficiency. Supercritical Steam is steam that is heated above 1000 F. Normal Plants use steam between 600F and 800F

>My question is why is this country sitting on it's hands?

Part of it has to do with deregulation and another part is the enviromentalist. Deregulation caused the Enron Bankrupies and caused a lot of US power companies to build up mountains of debt. They simply don't have the money.

The enviromentalist also won't let the build new coal or Nuke plants either. The alternative Energy lobbiest have convienced the politians and americans that all it will take is a little investment in thier companies to make the US both a green and energy independant nation. As PT Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute!".Meanwhile Ethanol, Biodiesel and the rest of the crap is made by burning imported oil, which the end result is that we import 5-10% more oil than we just used pure gasoline (instead of the 10% Ethanol that is added to gasoline)

Just wait until the gas lines and ration of the 70's and rolling blackouts of 2000 return. Them they'll all l start bitching that we didn't build any new coal or nuke plants. People are only Green as long as they can pump cheap gas into thier cars and heat their home using cheap home heating oil.

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 3:44 am
by 3l
Hi AG:

I don't know who is really in charge of anything anymore!
I was told by one of my super patriot eagle types that once the Republican party gets most of the control of the government,these things would change.
Well two years later...nothing!
Zip... Nada...zilch!
Not one powerplant...not any new electrical transmittion lines just the usual blue smoke and mirrors.
Simply more oil voodoo.
The folks in the cities are simply being written off due to the high energy demand as contrasted to say a suburb or an exerb.
I remember years ago there used to be a map with the eastcoast and the westcoast joined together with no middlewest at all. Now we are seeing all south and midwest with no east or west coast.

The country is being treated like one big frat house,the last guy who finds the keys is in charge.

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:03 am
by AnGuy
>I don't know who is really in charge of anything anymore!
>I was told by one of my super patriot eagle types that once the >Republican party gets most of the control of the government,these things would change.
>Well two years later...nothing!
>Zip... Nada...zilch!
>Not one powerplant...not any new electrical transmittion lines just the usual blue smoke and mirrors.

Well, The Republicans made other issues the priority, namely the economy and the War on Terrorism. Currently, the US has a budget deficit of $528 Billion. We have record fiscal stimulus in order to stop deflation (from the stock market bubble) There is no money for infrastructure investment. If the gov't didn't take action with massive amounts of economic stimulus, we definately would be in a very very terrible recession or possibly even the dreaded "D" word: Depression.

I believe the US is going to face some very serious problems after the election. The oil issue may just be the candles on the cake.

1. The US has an unstainable trade deficit. We need to borrow $520 Billion a year just to pay for the goods and services we import every year. Right now foreign Central banks are making up the trade difference by accumulating US dollars. At some point they are going to have to stop. It is highly unlikely and foreigners are going to dramatically increase purchase of US made goods and services. If you sum up all of the debts since 1987 it now exceeds 4.5 Trillion.

2. The US Federal Debt is going up each year, now at about 500 billion per year (BTW: This is complete seperate for the Trade deficit). Despite all of the media over the budget surpluses, the Fed Debt has never stopped growing. The money for the surplus came out of Social Security. See http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm (Show me the Budget of 2000 and 2001 surplus!)

3. We have a huge consumer debt problem. Excluding mortgage debt, the average american owes over $18,500 ($8500 which is for Credit card debt). if you consider the average household income for 2003 was just $56,000, Americans spend about 14% of disposable income just on consumer debt. What happens when the interest rates return to nominal rates? What happens to Credit card costs when rates rise?

4. We have a Huge asset bubble (in housing). Housing prices have inflated above the levels of the 1920, because of the extraordinary low interest rates (Was at 46 year lows, now only at 40 year lows because of the .25% rate hike a few weeks ago) Banks and other lending institutes are over extending home buyers with record debt levels. The lending standards have degraded at their lowest point since they were implemented in the 1930's. Banks do not care, because the debt is sold to Gov't Sponsored Enterprises (GSE's) like Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, and the GSE don't care because they are making lots of money right now. The Banks hold no risk, but the GSE do!. Does the S&L Crisis of the 1980's ring a bell? Every once in a while you hear Greenspan, the President or the treasury sec'tary speak about the "systematic risks" the GSE pose (google: Greenspan "Systematic risk" GSE:) Greenspan and the President have tried to empose limits on the GSEs, but the house wouldn't let them impose limits last year or even this year.

The GSEs make extensive use of interest rate swap derivates. This is a tool that permits lenders to use short term bonds for long term loans (such as 15,20 and 30 year mortgages). They estimate the interests over the life of the loan and charge the borrow a interest rate that exceeds that estimate. if they guess right the lender makes money. However, if they under estimate interest rates, the lender loses money.

Back in Sept of 2003, Freddie Mac's 30 year fixed reach a low of about 4.99%. Until late march 2004, every 30 year fixed mortgage issued by Freddie was under 5.50%. Since the 1980's the yield on 30 year treasuries has never been below 5%. I'll let you do the math and let you draw your own conclusions.

Today most homebuyers are using ARMs or adjustable rate mortgages to finance there purchases. They are using ARMs because they are unable to afford fixed rate mortgages. Over 70% of all new mortgages issued this year are ARMS.

Unless these people can significantly increase their incomes over the next two years they will lose there homes because the interest rates are going up and they are going to get squeezed.

5. In 2008, the first wave of Baby boomers will be eligable for Social Security Benefits. By 2011, The amount of SS Benefits will exceed the taxes collected for SS. Currently the SS surplus is transferred to the General trust fund and is spent by the gov't. SS is a Pay as you go system, There is no "lock box" or deposit for SS surpluses. Before 2011, The gov't must either dramatically cut SS benefits, dramatically increase taxes or dramatically increase the Federal Debt. Either way it going to have a major negative impact on the economy.

6. Medicare is a program that already exceeds its tax revenues. Because if increases in Benefits (New Medicare Drug program), the rising cost of Medical care (about 10% to 12% per year) and the rising number of recipients, it going to be a huge additional expense to taxpayers.

The Politicians have over spent and overpromised with funds that just don't exist. Somethings going to give and it very likely its going to end very badly. At this point there are virtually no options to escape. Its just a matter of time. With in the next two years, I expect sigificantly higher taxes ( to reduce the fed budget deficit) and substantially higher interest rates in order to attract foriegn investment to pay for the trade deficit.

Want to read up on the state of the economy visit: http://www.prudentbear.com

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:18 pm
by davidtrimmell
AG: My brother in-law has over a Kilowatt of monocrystalline PV panels he got surplus from a decommissioned PV Power Station, many were damaged from the tare down, but those not damaged were all greater than 75% manufacture spec. These panels were manufactured in the late '70's. If you have experience otherwise (beyond Google , then it would be good to know. Yes, you do have a point about environmental effects, but I have seen PV panels take some nice size hail before...
But as prices drop, so will quality...

Regards,

David Trimmell

Anonymous Guy wrote:
> David Trimmell wrote:
> > . Currently PV panels have 20-25 year warranties, manufacturers will replace them if they drop below 80% or if internal contacts fail.
>
> Shell only provides a 10 year warrent on PVs at 80%. BP offers a 25 year warranty which I would be very suspicion of.
>
> If you do some research on the Web, you can find out lots about PV degrading. The cells are made of crystalline sillicon, that over time develops microfractures caused by thermal cycling. Usenet has lots of discussions that the 20+ warranties aren't realistic and its riddled with lots of marketing hype that will probably be reneged on. Buyer beware!
>
> I would be concerned with enviromental effects on PV panels, such as hail, ice, falling trees, hurricanes, etc. To my knowledge, no one offers warranties for acts of nature. I have a suspicion, that these new thin film are so fragile that they will be damaged well before you can make a claim on the warranty.
>
> "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"

Re: The last days of oil

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:40 pm
by Richard Hull
Good post Anonymous Guy.

The vast majority of people just don't get it at all and couldn't care less until their (ARMs) automatically up their house payments by 10% or their credit card debt goes out of sight due to restored higher interest rates.

Very few people genuinely budget but just putter along paying who and what they can, when they can. This is OK in good times, but let a big burp hit the economy in any number of ways you mention and they will squeel like stuck pigs.

His post is not a feel bad post.........Just the nasty truth about how we have postioned ourselves for the fall.

Richard Hull, Soon to retire, Baby Boomer