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Thread: How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to Get Mugged by Reality

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    Reality is beginning to set in, in Spain.
    What the solar business needs is access to nuke power's bookkeeping traditions - where half the costs are sloughed off into other accounts, and postponed obligations simply ignored.

    That's the kind of reality that keeps the government subsidy flowing.
    The issue in sunny Spain is that the government in Madrid cannot keep paying for the shiny toy.
    But Germany can - we have the makings of a deal here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Reality is beginning to set in, in Spain.
    What the solar business needs is access to nuke power's bookkeeping traditions - where half the costs are sloughed off into other accounts, and postponed obligations simply ignored.

    That's the kind of reality that keeps the government subsidy flowing.
    The issue in sunny Spain is that the government in Madrid cannot keep paying for the shiny toy.
    But Germany can - we have the makings of a deal here.
    Germany is swimming in money to pour down the Green energy rathole? I suppose the autobahn is full of pink unicorns on your planet too. Must be nice there, but come visit Earth when you can.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/bu...-stalling.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    At least we have an economy which can begin stalling (how the whole world economy).
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    Yeah, no kidding. So how do you Germans get the snow off your solar panels? Squeegees, brooms, blowers, or what? Do people ever fall off the roof doing it? Does the government over there subsidize your batteries and inverters too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Yeah, no kidding. So how do you Germans get the snow off your solar panels? Squeegees, brooms, blowers, or what? Do people ever fall off the roof doing it? Does the government over there subsidize your batteries and inverters too?
    1. I already said that we have a energy storage problem
    2. Do you know how many days we had snow this winter till now? perhaps 3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Yeah, no kidding. So how do you Germans get the snow off your solar panels? Squeegees, brooms, blowers, or what? Do people ever fall off the roof doing it? Does the government over there subsidize your batteries and inverters too?
    1. I already said that we have a energy storage problem
    2. Do you know how many days we had snow this winter till now? perhaps 3
    OK, thank you for responding, but could you clarify further? Obviously energy storage will be a problem given the nature of the source, particularly at this time of year. What do you do when it snows, or God forbid, you have an ice storm? Just wait for better weather and thaw out? Over here in Texas we have had some tornadoes in my area lately, how do your rooftop collectors handle high winds? I understand in parts of Europe lately the winter weather has been wicked, even in Germany there was one fatality- is this true?
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    Tornado isnt' really a big concern. Even the absolute most frequent tornado part of the world (about mid Oklahoma to Mid Kansa) country only has a 2% chance of being hit by an F0 or higher per year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Tornado isnt' really a big concern. Even the absolute most frequent tornado part of the world (about mid Oklahoma to Mid Kansa) country only has a 2% chance of being hit by an F0 or higher per year.
    Thank you. Wichita Falls, TX, April 10th, 1979: Off the Kuff: The Wichita Falls Tornado

    This would be just a little south of that region, but high winds can strike, and kill, anywhere, anytime. 42 people dead, which is 42 more than died at Three Mile Island from radiation-related causes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    OK, thank you for responding, but could you clarify further? Obviously energy storage will be a problem given the nature of the source, particularly at this time of year. What do you do when it snows, or God forbid, you have an ice storm? Just wait for better weather and thaw out? Over here in Texas we have had some tornadoes in my area lately, how do your rooftop collectors handle high winds? I understand in parts of Europe lately the winter weather has been wicked, even in Germany there was one fatality- is this true?
    I don't know why we don't generate hydrogen for the storage I think this could be a solution. And I never heard that a roof top solar panel was blown away by the wind, maybe they are to heavy and to good fixed. In Germany we had last week sunshine by temperatures of about -10 to -20° C so very cold but sunshine without snow. The coldest winds always come in middle europe from the cold continent in the northeast and are very dry, so no snow.
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    Okay. That makes sense to me. I hear the season is remarkably cold in Asia, too, maybe from the same source. Theoretically the energy in one photon is enough to break down one water molecule, but there are numerous technical problems involved in liberating and storing hydrogen. For example, hydrogen gas has a tendency to make metals brittle.

    If these problems are to be overcome, it will probably be done in Germany, though- history has repeatedly demonstrated that chemical innovation often comes from Germany, for some generations now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    I don't know why we don't generate hydrogen for the storage I think this could be a solution.
    Hydrogen storage has a lot of problems, the biggest probably being its low energy density by volume, and inefficiencies in the conversion processes.
    Hydrogen economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Tornado isnt' really a big concern. Even the absolute most frequent tornado part of the world (about mid Oklahoma to Mid Kansa) country only has a 2% chance of being hit by an F0 or higher per year.
    Thank you. Wichita Falls, TX, April 10th, 1979: Off the Kuff: The Wichita Falls Tornado

    This would be just a little south of that region, but high winds can strike, and kill, anywhere, anytime. 42 people dead, which is 42 more than died at Three Mile Island from radiation-related causes.

    Not sure what point your anecdotal is. I'm well aware of tornado destructive potential from researching them, chasing them, seeing seven of them and done dozens of tornado damage reports when I worked for Uncle Sam. My simple point, is tornadoes are a minor concern for the scale of solar power net we'd have across a region. They aren't' nearly as frequent, or likely to strike any point as most people think they are.

    --
    Going at your other point, snow isn't a huge problem either. Even the best PV collectors are only about 15% efficient, the rest of the energy lost as heat which would melt whatever snow or ice is on them. The collectors are so steep at that latitude that snow wouldn't stick anyhow.
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    Honestly, when an EF-5 hits, there are no power lines or building left anyway...

    Even an EF-1 will take down power lines from tree branches.
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    Thermal solar in Spain, Greece, Italy, and Turkey, doesn't have any problems with snow - and they would welcome the investment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    1. I already said that we have a energy storage problem
    2. Do you know how many days we had snow this winter till now? perhaps 3
    Flywheel has the potential to be an awesome energy storage medium. It is a rotating alloy flywheel that rotate in a vaccum chamber at thousand of r.p.m and is connected to outside of the chamber using magnetic system (thus reducing friction losses): the system store energy by spinning up, and release energy by spinning down. It was recently introduced in F1 car (to store energy for a quick turbo burst), and was first tested in satellite (to store energy for use in Earth's shadow).

    Also, it could store more power than a battery, is lighter and is smaller. Really better than other power storage system. eg: 60KW charge/discharge rate.

    Michael Schumacher using DRS and KERS ( Melbourne 2011 Q1 ) F1 2011 - YouTube ;Michael Schumacher using DRS and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, aka flywheel battery). Store a power of a small city car without adding extra weight. He is allowed to only use 7 second of KERS every lap (this wasn't due to technology limitation but the rule of the race).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage
    Last edited by msafwan; February 5th, 2012 at 03:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Geographer View Post
    1. I already said that we have a energy storage problem
    2. Do you know how many days we had snow this winter till now? perhaps 3
    Flywheel has the potential to be an awesome energy storage medium. It is a rotating alloy flywheel that rotate in a vaccum chamber at thousand of r.p.m and is connected to outside of the chamber using magnetic system (thus reducing friction losses): the system store energy by spinning up, and release energy by spinning down. It was recently introduced in F1 car (to store energy for a quick turbo burst), and was first tested in satellite (to store energy for use in Earth's shadow).

    Also, it could store more power than a battery, is lighter and is smaller. Really better than other power storage system. eg: 60KW charge/discharge rate.

    Michael Schumacher using DRS and KERS ( Melbourne 2011 Q1 ) F1 2011 - YouTube ;Michael Schumacher using DRS and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, aka flywheel battery). Store a power of a small city car without adding extra weight. He is allowed to only use 7 second of KERS every lap (this wasn't due to technology limitation but the rule of the race).

    Flywheel energy storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    for cars perfect, but I think for homes where you don't need mechanic energy and energy storage for longer times it's not the perfect solution. I'm rather for the hydrogen solution at every house a tank
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    Energy company can use flywheel to store energy during the day and release it during the night. They work as a central-energy-storage-facility, and because they are a central entity: they need to absorb and release large amount of energy at a single time, so flywheel is a good choice. If they use Hydrogen they might need to charge slowly and cannot collect large energy changes, but with flywheel they can absorb all of them as soon as it appear.
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    Flywheels large enough for adequate storage in a car would be very difficult to drive due to the rotational inertia.

    Large scale solutions for the grid need good capacity for weeks to really be useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Thermal solar in Spain, Greece, Italy, and Turkey, doesn't have any problems with snow - and they would welcome the investment.
    No subsidies, no investment. So no pink unicorns, snow or no snow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Flywheels large enough for adequate storage in a car would be very difficult to drive due to the rotational inertia.
    For buses and trains and barges, not so much of a problem. Set them up in horizontal stacks of counter-rotating pairs, if you want to make really fast corners without odd effects. Or set up vertical and tip them like a bike tire, if you want to go all high tech or get some stability advantage on a boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Large scale solutions for the grid need good capacity for weeks to really be useful.
    Flywheels can provide that. Probably pumped water, raised mass of other kinds, compressed air, large mass thermal or chemical, and so forth, would be cheaper. - but flywheels for ground storage are close to shovel ready now, as they say.

    Put half the money into each of them as has been thrown at H-bombs, fusion power, manned space flight, or land wars in Asia Minor. See what happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Large scale solutions for the grid need good capacity for weeks to really be useful.
    Flywheels can provide that. Probably pumped water, raised mass of other kinds, compressed air, large mass thermal or chemical, and so forth, would be cheaper. - but flywheels for ground storage are close to shovel ready now, as they say.
    No, they aren't. What they are building now is only good for 15 minutes or so.
    Flywheel energy storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Grid energy storage

    Main article: Grid energy storage
    Beacon Power opened a 20MW, (5MWh over 15 mins[21]) flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York in 2011.[22] Lower carbon emissions, faster response times and ability to buy power at off-peak hours are among some advantages of using flywheels instead of traditional sources of energy for peaking power plants.[23]
    That last bit about using flywheels for peaking power is kind of laughable given the specs of the Beacon Power plant.

    Edit:
    Oh, looky here. They've gone bankrupt.
    Flywheel storage maker Beacon Power declares bankruptcy | Green Tech - CNET News
    Last edited by Harold14370; February 6th, 2012 at 07:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    No, they aren't. What they are building now is only good for 15 minutes or so.
    That's not true, in general - but regardless: nothing's stopping us from building something state of the art.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    No, they aren't. What they are building now is only good for 15 minutes or so.
    That's not true, in general - but regardless: nothing's stopping us from building something state of the art.
    What do you think is state of the art? Where are you getting your information from? There are lots of things stopping us, like limited quantity of materials to build the immense number of flywheels that would be needed, limited space to put them in, etc.
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    Fly wheels? Flywheels??? That's just silly. For cars? Even sillier?

    My betting would be on flow batteries. At the moment they're really only suitable for large facilities. Plenty of people are working on methods and materials for getting them to be effective and efficient for domestic scale use. And for cars, I really like the idea of Cambridge crude. MIT flow battery breaks mold for cheap storage | Green Tech - CNET News

    Even if it doesn't work out to be economic in the end, it'll still have been a terrific idea. Well worth the effort of checking it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    There are lots of things stopping us, like limited quantity of materials to build the immense number of flywheels that would be needed, limited space to put them in,
    There is quite enough space for such very compact energy storage, almost anywhere. And a shortage of carbon fiber etc afflicts all kinds of projects, including nuclear power.
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady
    Fly wheels? Flywheels??? That's just silly. For cars? Even sillier?
    Silly - maybe - for cars, not for trains and barges or fixed station storage.

    The banks of centrifuges used to produce fuel for nukes are far more sophisticated and difficult to handle.
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady
    My betting would be on flow batteries.
    Add it to the list. It's a few years away, though.
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    Hey, I like iceaura's idea with compressed air. I actually saw one in discovery Channel. The car only need fresh air to run! (haha!)
    A car that runs on air - YouTube ;I like this one.

    I think mechanical energy storage has a future because it is cheaper and can store alot of energy better. Eg: flywheel already do stuff that normal battery couldn't (eg: recharge really quickly and store kilowatt of energy in small spaces), but in term of efficiency there's still things to improve. For example you could use superconductor levitation on flywheel to make it frictionless like bullet train, and it will spin forever.
    Last edited by msafwan; February 7th, 2012 at 05:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    No, they aren't. What they are building now is only good for 15 minutes or so.
    That's not true, in general - but regardless: nothing's stopping us from building something state of the art.
    What do you think is state of the art? Where are you getting your information from? There are lots of things stopping us, like limited quantity of materials to build the immense number of flywheels that would be needed, limited space to put them in, etc.
    Not to mention catastrophic structural failure! DO NOT FORGET WE MUST ANTICIPATE EVERY CONTINGENCY!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Going at your other point, snow isn't a huge problem either. Even the best PV collectors are only about 15% efficient, the rest of the energy lost as heat which would melt whatever snow or ice is on them.
    They would heat up faster if the snow wasn't there to begin with, too, but okay. The ORIGINAL solar collectors, trees, refined in design by untold eons, frequently fail under the burden of ice storms.

    Nuclear power is largely exempt from adverse weather conditions of every sort. Installations can even be buried if necessary- solar, not so much.
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    Nuclear power is largely exempt from adverse weather conditions of every sort.
    Depends on location. If they use sea water for cooling, they're probably OK for temperature variations. Not so for river water cooled reactors. France, Tennessee are among those who've had to withdraw service in heatwaves and especially drought conditions because of lack of cool-enough water or any water at all when flow gets too low. Others have had to shut down to avoid problems that might arise with flooding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    There is quite enough space for such very compact energy storage, almost anywhere. And a shortage of carbon fiber etc afflicts all kinds of projects, including nuclear power.
    Okay, let's do a little calculating. You said we could power the grid for "weeks" with "shovel ready" flywheels.
    The latest info I could find was on the previously mentioned 20 megawatt plant that runs for 15 minutes.
    http://news.cnet.com/i/tim/2011/10/3...00_610x342.jpg
    Compare that to a AP1000 (1000 MW) nuclear plant. You need 50 of these flywheel plants to equal the output of the AP1000. But that's only 15 minutes, so you need 200 plants for 1 hour, 4800 for 1 day, and 33,600 plants to operate for a week. Do you still think this is a practical solution?
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    Zinger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    You said we could power the grid for "weeks" with "shovel ready" flywheels
    No, I didn't. Please quote, rather than demonstrate for the fiftieth time the fact that you guys can't read or follow arguments.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    The latest info I could find was on the previously mentioned 20 megawatt plant that runs for 15 minutes.
    Sigh.

    Each flywheel, separately, can spin up and spin down 1 MW over 15 minutes - that rapid response is deliberately designed in, with smaller and lighter flywheels of more limited capacity than would be best for large power storage, for quick peaking power into the grid at premium prices. The whole setup could in theory deliver for hours, depending on how big the draw is, a flywheel or two at a time - but no point to that. The rapid response is one of the great advantages of flywheels, useful in peak load high buck power designs like that one, but not directly relevant to this discussion.

    BTW: The link says that it was bureaucratic inertia involving government regulation of prices that bankrupted the company - the government's money having been used and lost setting up, new owners will be able to charge double and pay off a much smaller overhead on a turnkey operation.

    BBTW: A quick run of the net indicates that the interest in flywheel cars is more serious than I had thought - Volvo, Jaguar, and Porsche are all in development, using ideas tried out in Formula I racing cars a couple of years ago. The apparent goal is a hybrid, with the engine a constant output highly efficient design and the flywheel used in regenerative braking and quick acceleration.
    Last edited by iceaura; February 7th, 2012 at 03:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    You said we could power the grid for "weeks" with "shovel ready" flywheels
    No, I didn't. Please quote, rather than demonstrate for the fiftieth time the fact that you guys can't read or follow arguments.
    Okay. Lynx_fox wrote:"Large scale solutions for the grid need good capacity for weeks to really be useful. " and you wrote:"Flywheels can provide that."
    Now even if you didn't mean that flywheels can provide grid capacity for weeks, it is still true that you can have weeks of cloudy weather, and/or low wind. It's mother nature. So what are you going to do about that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Now even if you didn't mean that flywheels can provide grid capacity for weeks, it is still true that you can have weeks of cloudy weather, and/or low wind.
    Such times are very rare, in good locations, and even when occuring do not shut off solar concentrators completely. They are far more rare than, for example, maintenance and mishap shutdowns for nukes.

    A minor problem, then, compared with the serious difficulties and huge expenses associated with nuclear power.
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    Honestly Ice, I don't know why we read your stuff. Like a bad philosopher you just write the same over and over, seldom considering or including facts or studies tha support your positions. And when you do it often contridicts your own positions like arguing on one hand that widely distributed radiative waste in the ocean is bad, while widely distributed radiation waste in ash isn't....if your going to follow the ancient and defunk linear radiation risk models than at least be consistent.
    --

    Here's the reality about Germany solar program. In the winter it's solar grid produced at less than 5% of capacity. If you'd actually spent weeks shivering in persistent fog of Vilseck you'd already have this etched in your head--but you don't and don't bother to look at the climate data that shows weeks of fog and very short days even when it's clear. It's a horrible winter place for solar--requiring full backup at huge expense. How much expense? Thus far roughly $150billion in subsidize to produce 3% of total power and less than 1% during the winter months.

    It would be good for you to look at this web site. It's short and provide more comparative studies and data than has been in this site for months.
    Is PV Solar Energy a Success Story in Germany? | The Energy Collective

    The moral of the story is German can't afford to unplug their nuclear plants because it does nothing for them through their long winter, they'll pay massive CO2 taxes for Co2 emissions from coal and still need nearly 100% back ups. Their extensive wind development will get them a few percent buffer, but no where near to what they need.

    To make things "worse," Germany already has a culture of conservation--that'a a good thing overall but bad from the point of view that many of the low-hanging fruit such as zone home heating and good insulation is already being done by its citizens. (The US could save 20% easy with very simple conservation steps).
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Honestly Ice, I don't know why we read your stuff.
    Do you? I can't tell. Look at this shit:

    Here's the reality about Germany solar program. In the winter it's solar grid produced at less than 5% of capacity.
    and this:
    It would be good for you to look at this web site. It's short and provide more comparative studies and data than has been in this site for months.
    Is PV Solar Energy a Success Story in Germany? | The Energy Collective
    As far as I can tell, that has nothing to do with anything I've posted here. .

    I've been posting nothing about Germany's internal solar program. I've been posting exclusively about the advantages to Germany of striking a deal with Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, and other financially embarrassed Eurozone neighbors with decent solar potential. I've been pointing out that the the technology exists to take advantage of this situation, it makes sense economically if the actual expenses of nuclear power are considered, and Germany is well poised to employ it. I've been observing that the incoming expenses and difficulties of nuclear power are something most countries would want to duck away from - France is on the hook, Germany can wriggle off yet, it makes sense to do so.

    Look, how about you just leave me alone here. You never know what I've been talking about, you don't listen, and you insist on personal attacks amid your irrelevance and incomprehension. Why bother?
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    Very well, iceman, BUT solar is down in Spain at present due to decreased subsidies and it is something of a mystery why Germany should build up the electric infrastructure of other countries whilst allowing its own already constructed facilities to remain idle. Seems impractical to me, and possibly to others as well...

    Oh, LOOKY:

    Freeze forces Germany to restart nuclear reactors: Report - Times Of India
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  39. #139  
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    I don't get this "solar panels on roofs". Tell me, does anybody know how many solar panels it would take to run a blast furnace?
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  40. #140  
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    Tell me, does anybody know how many solar panels it would take to run a blast furnace?
    Had a quick google around. Everything I found was at industry level for consumption or all about improving the various processes.

    But I can't see a blast furnace - or many other manufacturing operations - working on the basis of their own roof panels. They'd be connected to the grid just as most businesses are now. Their own panels might provide airconditioning and lighting for their offices but not a great deal more. As for the grid, depends on whether solar farms were PV, thermal or CSP - as well as the city's own production. It'd make a bit of a difference whether 20,000, 50,000 or 100,000 homes had solar panels producing power in excess of their own requirements. And that completely overlooks wind.

    Of course, if schools, churches and sports stadiums (as well as warehouses and shopping centres) got into the act with panels feeding into the grid far in excess of their own use, that would have a bit of an impact.

    I'm quite happy with my own panels overproducing during the day. It's a nice little earner with the feed-in tariff. Haven't had them for a full year yet. It'll be nice to see whether we're net users or producers over the whole 12 months.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  41. #141  
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    I don't get this "solar panels on roofs". Tell me, does anybody know how many solar panels it would take to run a blast furnace?
    Tell you what: if the thermal solar can't deliver enough power for the blast furnaces, we'll let them burn coal and gas.

    With less competition for fuel, we can maybe get cheaper smelted iron too.
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  42. #142  
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    I dont think that nuclear energy is a way to go, people can come up with a better solution
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    Got one?
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