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Making NYC air great again

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nicholas bonham-carter
nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
edited January 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Maybe the city should do more to make sure badly maintained steam systems are not over poluting the air!
Damn spell check!—NBC

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-city-sues-big-oil-companies_us_5a564c62e4b03bc4d03d4de8

Comments

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,545
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    Yep.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    ...make sure badly maintained steam systems are not over poly tut get the air!...

    Pardon my ignorance. What does 'poly tut get the air' mean? I've absolutely no experience with steam and can't figure out that phrase. Thanks.

  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
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    Yeah, that will fix the "bad air" problem... sue big oil :(

    Meanwhile you have 8 million taxi's, buses, trucks, etc... polluting the streets every hour/every day and they get a pass.

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
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    Poly tut get is Ipad-spell-check-ese for poluting!—NBC
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    Poly tut get is Ipad-spell-check-ese for poluting!—NBC

    Thanks. I wasn't being a wise guy, just thought there was some arcane steam heat aspect I'd never heard of.

    I give my wife a difficult time about her "Apple crapple." At least with MS Word, one can turn off the automatic spell checking. Which is a good thing, since the folks in Redmond aren't much better with English than those in Cupertino are. :)
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2018
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    Funny, sue big oil since they are in USA and reachable by our legal system. We'll just ignore the fact that China few years ago brought one new coal power plant on line each month for a few years straight. (PS I'm not a greenie)

    Interesting thing when I was younger and had a good nose I could smell Boston's air pollution from 3 miles out as I drove to it at night from beaches of Rhode Island in summer.

  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    Living here in the frozen tundra of North Dakota, I have a sweatshirt which says "Bring on Global warming." Baby, it's cold outside!
    Living a few miles north of a large active coal mine, and an equal distance east of the oil field, I get my electricity from Minnesota. Knowing what I know about power generation, I simply ask one question: What pollution? How does Steam pollute?
    ceg
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,707
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    how do you think you make that steam ?
    and why is it blowing over here to new england?
    known to beat dead horses
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    cgutha said:

    ...What pollution?...

    Have a look at this page and the data linked on it:


    Pay particular attention to the differences between counties' air quality grades under the "emissions gradesheets" and "ambient gradesheets." Then try and make a case that someone ought not be concerned about dumping raw sewage into a river because they're the first town down from a mountaintop and always get pure snowmelt. To hell with those downstream.

    Yeah, that kind of pollution. Carried on rivers of air known as prevailing winds.
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    I remember dealing with all this back in the late sixties and early seventy's. Back then we were concerned about acid rain and the coming global winter. Naysayers were concerned that the Alaska pipeline would destroy the environment, etc. etc. etc.
    EPA was invented to curb the disaster that would mean life as we know it would end by the year 2020. I remember volunteering on the first "Earth day." We cleaned a creak somewhere in Wisconsin.
    Well, its almost 2020 and we not only have not run out of fuel, we are now exporting fuel. The electrical industry scrubs the water to the point it leaves the power plant cleaner than it came in. The emission is scrubbed to the point where only water vapor and carbon dioxide is emitted from the stacks. If it weren't for the fact that the air we exhale is now suddenly going to destroy the planet, this is pollution free.
    What ever happened to photosynthesis? Did the plant life on this planet suddenly stop breathing carbon dioxide as an essential source of making food?
    Sorry, I've seen all this before. When water vapor and carbon dioxide become a poison so great that Nature and Nature's God cannot balance the difference ...
    Let's talk about the world one hundred years ago. When my house was built, there were horses, coal burning boilers, wood burning fireplaces, again I say, etc. I dare say, if i had to breath that air, I would not be breathing.
    I should have been more careful and first asked "What exactly do you mean by "Pollution?"
    Now for the map: Interesting grade sheet. What are the criteria?
    In the forest, the trees produce pollen. Does that affect the score? on the prairie, we have grasses, again pollen. When I visited Iowa last summer, I noticed the smell was that of pig. I had been visiting my children, they have dogs and cats so my tolerance had diminished.
    pollution comes from many sources. and I have said way too much.
    ceg
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    cgutha said:

    ...only water vapor and carbon dioxide is emitted from the stacks...

    Not quite. Coal-fired plants still emit SO2. And that CO2 pollutant is the reason atmospheric concentrations have increased to dangerous levels:
    cgutha said:

    ...Did the plant life on this planet suddenly stop breathing carbon dioxide as an essential source of making food?...

    Due to deforestation, the ability of plant life to absorb CO2 has been significantly reduced. Even if humans hadn't released so much, atmospheric concentrations would still be rising faster than natural rates, but not as quickly.
    cgutha said:

    ...Let's talk about the world one hundred years ago. When my house was built, there were horses, coal burning boilers, wood burning fireplaces, again I say, etc. I dare say, if i had to breath that air, I would not be breathing...

    A hundred years ago, those fuels' CO outputs were already contributing to global warming and climate change seen today. That breathing their other polluting constituents shortened human lives then in no way mitigates the fact that their CO contribution might very well shorten the tenure of humanity on this planet over the next hundred years.
    cgutha said:

    ...Interesting grade sheet. What are the criteria?..

    As detailed on that Web site, CO, Pb, NO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5, SO2 and a few others. Not all are monitored by every station, only those typically present at each location.

    CO, the pollutant with greatest future damaging potential, is not among the criteria.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    I think the real problem is the third world wants cars, TV's, AC's, Refrigerators - AND there are BILLIONS of them that want all this. If all these folks are going to get this stuff the amount of everything goes up exponentially and that is going to be a big problem.

    How do we solve it?
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    BobC said:

    ...How do we solve it?

    I know of no magic bullet(s), but denying that it's a problem guarantees it will not be solved. The first step is admitting one has a problem, not repeating fossil fuel industry deflection/talking points.

  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    Although Coal contains so2, coal plants scrub this out from the emission. This is highly regulated by the government and the fine is hefty.
    It is true that some deforestation has taken place. My grandfather was a logger before he became a farmer. However, 80% of co2 is converted back into o2 by ocean plankton.
    When I mentioned the streets of 1900's, I was not talking about co2. There are other pollutants.
    o3 is a problem. I remember hearing about Los Angelus having warnings out because of o3 (Ozone) and temperature inversions. At the same time, hearing about the ozone depletion of the poles during winter (Ozone is created by the sun's UV rays) by the same people wearies me.
    When did pseudo-science become a religion?
    What is the "Dangerous" level of co2? how much higher is the co2 level today than it was in years past?
    How much has the ocean risen over the past 10 years? 100 years? 300 years?
    ceg
    To be fair, I should take the time to site sources and check my numbers.
    By the way, at 20' below co2 freezes. The air we breath at these temperatures is without co2.
  • AnthraciteEnergetics
    AnthraciteEnergetics Member Posts: 77
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    New York recently went through a program to phase out #6 fuel oil. A few buildings converted to #4 though most went with gas or #2, or ConEd steam. The #6 boilers were responsible for an overwhelming fraction of the city's particulate matter and SO2 pollution.

    Heavy fuel oil is by its nature dirty. Ash, sulfur, and metals in crude oil become concentrated in heavy oil during refining.

    And of course, the less you burn the less emissions. I believe the "double-hung thermostat" and knocking radiators are still standard equipment in old NY apartment buildings.
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    cgutha said:

    ...how much higher is the co2 level today than it was in years past?...

    My March 3 comment above answers your question. Scroll up five from this one, click on that link, and the data shall be yours.
  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
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    Just chiming in on coal, mercury and radon are also emitted in detectable quantities.
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    First of all, this thread concerns the cleaning and condition of NY city air. I imagine whenever anyone places a couple million people in one place, there is pollution of all types. I have never been to NYC and do have a desire to go. LA and Vegas are also on that list.
    I do know, however, that one of my relative's former farms is under one of the reservoirs that supply the city's gravity flow water system. Ingenious although expensive in land use. I think I swam in one or two of those reservoirs.
    I also know there are two roads with my family name in that state as my family came from upstate.
    My original question was "How does steam contribute to pollution?" Steam is water vapor. no pollution. I think you are referring to the production of steam. The "badly maintained steam system" would pollute the air how? by dumping steam into the atmosphere?
    or are you talking about poorly maintained boilers and burners. These are expensive to run. I should think this cost alone is an incentive to maintain a boiler.
    I also asked to define pollution. co, co3, nx, so3 are all legitimate concerns and in concentration of that great city could be inconvenient to breath.
    I once traveled to Abraham Lake in Alberta Ca. This lake forms just outside the provincial parks and wildlife reserves that line the continental divide in Canada. The water is fed from the Icefields of the melting glacier and snowmelt in the Icefields. The lake is green because of the copper content. I took a picture of it. Unfortunately, this was in the days when you had to send the role of film into the company. They corrected the color and it cam back a perfect blue. Anyway, the point is nature does more to pollute the land, lakes, rivers and air out here in nature than man ever can. Forest fires, volcanoes, copper, sulfur, yes, and radon. These all come from nature in nature.
    Now, I am not advocating that we neglect tuning our cars and furnaces, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying even if we produced no pollution, the planet belches more pollution in one storm or volcano or just running water over rocks, than we can clean up!
    As for the city, ...
    Sal Santamaura
  • the_donut
    the_donut Member Posts: 374
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    I am surprised large NYC complexes don't Cogen heat and electricity. Just send ConEd steam through a reheat, generator and reduce pressure down for heating.
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    cgutha said:

    ...nature does more to pollute the land, lakes, rivers and air out here in nature than man ever can...even if we produced no pollution, the planet belches more pollution in one storm or volcano or just running water over rocks, than we can clean up...

    Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    I will ignore the name calling from Sal. New England just went through a winter storm which caused a lot of damage according to the press reports I saw. I am assuming that such destruction is a problem. I will return to this later.
    One pipe steam heat originated from the use of the waste heat of high pressure engines ( I did read your book Dan) utilizing the latent heat which was otherwise wasted is ingenious.
    In Omaha, a central heat and cooling plant provides heat for a variety of downtown buildings. The building I worked at was on that system until the contract ran out and we found it cheaper to install our own heat and cooling system.

    It might be wise to start a thread asking "what is science, and what is fake science"
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    If I were to start another thread called "Science or Pseudoscience", it would go like this:
    A long, long time ago, back in the days when I went to school, I was taught that science is testable, repeatable, observable, and falsifiable. If anything did not have these qualities, it is not science.
    Today, I took a look at the definition of science according to Google Search and Wikipedia. I was appalled to discover the definition of science had changed.
    This reminds me of the book "Animal Farm" I highly recommend this book -- not the cartoon or any movie, but the book: black ink on yellowing pages.
    So what is science? Is there any such thing as bad science and if so, how can we tell good science from bad science?
    ceg
  • AnthraciteEnergetics
    AnthraciteEnergetics Member Posts: 77
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    "These are expensive to run. I should think this cost alone is an incentive to maintain a boiler."

    You'd be amazed at how people don't. Especially in heavy industry and large apartment buildings where every person working there gets this mentality where they think "nothing I do matters" when they see the megawatts of power used by a factory or building, and as a result they think "little things" like lighting upgrades and boiler improvements and pipe insulation and turning off water when brushing their teeth do not matter. Landlords also dont maintain systems beyond emergency maintenance when their tenants pay the bills, is my experience.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    edited March 2018
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    When I started this thread, I was thinking of all those people who come to this site for our steam, and hydronic problem solving skills. Most of their problems are due to bad maintenance, or installation of equipment, resulting in discomfort, and inefficiency.
    In large cities, this inefficiency may contribute as much to fossil fuel air pollution as does the heavy oil products of the oil companies. As usual, we tend to blame (and sue), others for our own negligence.
    What ever happened with these good intentions:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/160283/city-hall-hiring-dead-men#latest

    —NBC
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    cgutha said:

    I will ignore the name calling from Sal...

    For the record, noting that someone denies the reality of anthropogenic climate change is not "name calling." It's simply a statement of objective fact.

    Or have you suddenly abandoned that position and embraced the science? In which case I'll edit my March 11 comment. :)
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 529
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    They seem to have been hijacked in the name of a political agenda advanced by the fossil fuel industry.

    There are no silver bullets that can instantly eliminate CO or other pollutants. In the meantime, maintenance and optimization of systems can and should minimize production of those pollutants. Unfortunately, some people interject claims that our species has already reached the point where 'all's well' and an overwhelming majority of scientists are lying about the predominant cause of climate change.

    I apologize for persisting, but, with increasing age, have become less tolerant of science-denying propaganda, and feel compelled to rebut it. Please continue to address ways for New York City to mandate proper design/maintenance of steam heating systems. I'll do my best to avoid further diversions and hope others will as well.
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    NBC and ANTH. I agree. The cost of maintaining a system to run at optimum is high. Here in the hospital, I find windows opened in the winter. It is too hot in the room. To replace every steam trap, is expensive, and we know what happens when we have a bit of water hammer.
    Although I have a boilers license from Omaha, I do not want to learn this massive monster. I am happy being building maintenance, Sure, if something goes wrong I can fix it without calling in the boiler guy, but add on to add on, places that grow with subsequent additions become nightmares.
    If most of the load is heating, why are we running 75 psi? No one is going to go through this building to apply the newest and best technology. That cost would be exorbitant.
    glad it's someone else's problem.
    ceg
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    Actually, I wouldn't know where to begin. We do our best with what we have. I am open to suggestions.
    ceg
  • cgutha
    cgutha Member Posts: 103
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    When I stop to think about what we have here, we have two pipe heating in one building, four pipe system over there, two pipe with Remington's for cooling, Two pipe with Singer, hot water and chilled water in other sections ...
    Every time we enter a different addition, we have a different combination of systems, yet they are all connected to the boilers.
    common problems over time are sticky / leaky valves, I already mentioned the traps. radiators leak, (we range from cast iron to hot water)
    This sounds like the system for which NBC started this thread.
    Yes, we keep the boiler maintained, but heating is much more than a boiler.
    I recently visited a certain hotel. Electric baseboard heating throughout. air-conditioner in every room. Glad I don't have to pay for that bill.
    Large buildings are nightmares. Another building has heatpumps. these work for the first 20 years.
    ceg