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extreme weather

jumperjumper Posts: 1,333Member
Surprised that no discussion about very cold weather this week.
Shows how risky migration to solar,wind,and gas for electricity is.
Coal or nuclear are essential for very cold and very hot.

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    There have been some mutterings on the thread on Rhode Island...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,622Member
    Design temperature where I live is 14F. I replaced an old GE oil-fired boiler from 1950 with a gas fired W-M Ultra-3 80K BTU/hr input. I set it up the outdoor reset to cover the range from 10F to 70F outside temperature. Worked fine for several years, but in the last few years, it has gotten as low as 2.8F outside, and 4F outside last Wednesday. The year it got down to 2,8F outside, I changed the reset curves to go all the way down to 0F. When it is 0F outside, it puts 130F into the radiant slab at grade, and 150F into the upstairs baseboard setup.

    I had no trouble keeping my indoors at 69F downstairs and 68F upstairs last Wednesday. I have carpet on the floor of one room, ceramic tile in the kitchen, marble tile in the bathroom, and asphalt tile in the two remaining room. I do not need to worry about hardwood floors. With 130F into the slab, the floor is comfy to my bare feet, not too hot. I forget the temperature the top of the floor gets to when it is so cold outside. I do have a spot reading thermometer, but I did not use it the other day.
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 279Member
    jumper said:

    ...Shows how risky migration to solar,wind,and gas for electricity is.
    Coal or nuclear are essential for very cold and very hot.

    Polar vortex effects show no such thing. Coal and nuclear are certainly not essential for very hot weather. For very cold weather, having in place adequate gas infrastructure would ensure backup against low insolation and/or any abnormally low wind speeds.

    As always, proper planning is key to extreme conditions. Reliance on renewables the other 99.9% of the time is key to dealing with anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The polar vortex, by the way, is an effect of AGW, not evidence AGW doesn't exist.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,423Member
    jumper said:

    Surprised that no discussion about very cold weather this week.
    Shows how risky migration to solar,wind,and gas for electricity is.
    Coal or nuclear are essential for very cold and very hot.

    I hear the sun puts out quite a bit of heat. B)
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,333Member

    jumper said:

    Surprised that no discussion about very cold weather this week.
    Shows how risky migration to solar,wind,and gas for electricity is.
    Coal or nuclear are essential for very cold and very hot.

    I hear the sun puts out quite a bit of heat. B)
    So when Missus Sun warms us up too much,then our solar powered A/C will also rise to the task?
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,468Member
    My solar thermal and PV was chugging along on the single digit days here in Missouri :) providing a portion of my heat, DHW and electricity.

    Natural gas displaced coal just recently , according to current EIA data. Coal 29%, NG 32%, nuke 20% and renewables 17%.

    Wind surpassed coal for generation in Texas, 15% according to ERCOT. Texas produces roughly 5 times the wind energy as California at about 1/2 the price due to regulations.

    Farmers can get up to $8,000.00 per yer per turbine for leases

    I suspect NG and RE will continue to grow and coal decline with more coal plants being shuttered this year. Predictions are coal will drop to 10% or less in the next few years, over 200 coal power plants have shut down since 2010..

    RE includes wind, solar, hydro, biomass and biogenic (waste burning)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,333Member
    Did Vortex affect wind and solar?

    When it's extremely cold who gets priority for NG? Heating or electric generators? I always assumed that NG was mainly for heating. Coal and nuclear have fuel on site for bad times.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    In New England, at least, electric generation (utility) gets priority for gas. Which is a problem, since on the cold days it just isn't possible to bring in enough of the stuff.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,333Member

    In New England, at least, electric generation (utility) gets priority for gas. Which is a problem, since on the cold days it just isn't possible to bring in enough of the stuff.

    Prudent rich folk already have standby generators. Maybe a supply of CNG is next? Safety officials may not like it. But if the tank is on wheels,DOT trumps local regulator.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,468Member
    jumper said:

    Did Vortex affect wind and solar?

    When it's extremely cold who gets priority for NG? Heating or electric generators? I always assumed that NG was mainly for heating. Coal and nuclear have fuel on site for bad times.

    Plenty of energy available in the US for all our needs with the unique blend we have. Which is why we can export so much coal and NG to highest bidders.

    The problem is and will continue to be lack of grid, pipelines, etc to distribute it to all the demand when and where it is needs, including extreme cold episodes.

    Doesn't matter if you have a mountain of coal or millions of therms of NG stored in the ground if you cannot distribute it. I'm sure all utilities have a pecking order for critical uses first.

    LP dealers in my area fell behind a few days during just a few days of extreme cold we had. Including my home :blush: Luckily I still have a wood stove in the living room and a shower in the shop.

    So infrastructure and smart grids need to get more attention and budget $$ I haven't heard the word infrastructure from any politicians of any stripe since campaign daze.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • nibsnibs Posts: 272Member
    When the weather causes power failures in my neck o the woods, it is because power lines are down. Trees across power lines, Ice causing wires to break etc.
    Dirty coal and radiating nukes do not mitigate this.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    Nuclear power plants do not radiate. I hope that people are sufficiently well versed to be aware of that.

    That said. Quite true that, so far, the primary cause of power failure is damage to the grid, which is why a generator is not a bad idea at all. The primary cause of natural gas failure -- which has been the problem in New England this winter -- is inadequate pipeline capacity. So far there has been adequate generation and high tension electric grid capacity to keep the lights on -- but unless a good deal of money is found and objections to grid improvements overcome, I quite confidently predict that the New England area, downstate New York, and coastal California will see rolling blackouts within the next decade. Gas supply failure is already here, and will only get worse.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • nibsnibs Posts: 272Member
    @Jamie Hall, one would expect that a well designed well maintained and properly operated nuclear plant would not give of excessive radiation, but as we all know, the industry does not have a very good history in this regard.
    There is of course a long term radiation problem with the spent fuel.
    A shirt tail relative who worked at the Hanford facility died rather young of suspected exposure to radiation and its byproducts.
    Am not against nuclear power, if impeccably managed.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    Depends what is taken from the term radiate. By definition any fossil fueled, solar or nuclear fueled power plant most certainly radiates heat. Look no further than the cooling towers. Tons of btus transformed to vapor.....

    If you are talking about radiation. There is a bit going on. No more than we get from the sun is the claim. Last I worked down at the local nuclear plant was by dry cask storage. Where the cooled fuel rods are stored in giant containers on site.

    It was raining, and I was wet from working in that proximity. When I went to leave I kept setting off the dosimeters at the gate. Three tries, and someone comes down to ask where you have been. While waiting I had dried off a bit. Was told to try again, and it didn’t go off. Interestingly others in the area as wet as I was did not set off the dosimeters.......makes you go hmmmmm.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,369Member
    FWIW- my solar system put out it's highest production of 2019 so far on the coldest day of the year.
    37.5kWh produced on Jan 31st, low of 3.7F high of 15F.

    Low temps = low humidity = good solar output.
  • jumperjumper Posts: 1,333Member
    Plus PV is more efficient at lower temperature. But if it was snowing and power line was down NewYorkBob freezes in the dark? He should harvest more kWh during A/C season on account of longer day?
    NY_Rob said:

    FWIW- my solar system put out it's highest production of 2019 so far on the coldest day of the year.
    37.5kWh produced on Jan 31st, low of 3.7F high of 15F.

    Low temps = low humidity = good solar output.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    37.5 KWh would keep one barn heater going for 20 hours. It's cold in here...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    That’s 113k btus. Can’t knock that.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 831Member
    edited February 7
    Nat gas priority ......... Here when they licensed 2 new nat gas fired power plants they also added large oil tanks to fuel it for up to 2 months (air polution rules) if nat gas was in short supply during the year.

    Main Problem with nuclear is no agreement on location of long term storage of used fuel. Right now EVERY reactor IS a defacto "temporary" nuclear fuel dump site. But they also have problems with other minor leakages too like tritium. Not to mention workers being exposure during repairs and especially MANY worker being exposed to their max limit during decommissioning (end of plant's life, plant disassembly)

    General risk is used fuel has to be actively cooled continuously for 5 years, before it's decayed enough to safely dry cask it without overheating. That word actively is what got fukashima in trouble.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    ^ that is correct about the spent fuel for a nuke. Even the dry casks are still cooled with nitrogen. The casks are about 20’ tall by 12’ in diameter give or take. Solid concrete, stainless steel for about enough fuel to fit in the palm of both hands. The casks are ventilated also. So in the winter crews after a snow have to shovel the snow away from the vents at the bottom.

    However the plant has been operational since 85. To look at how many casks. It’s really not that much for 33 years of operation.

    Where does all the flyash from coal go? It is a bit radioactive also with uranium, and thorium. Which in the state of coal is not much, but after the transformation once burned the flyash has 10times higher radioactive levels.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,468Member
    A lot of fly ash goes into the most consumed product in the world, any guesses?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,680Member
    Concrete and "cinder" blocks???
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    You got it!
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,468Member
    Concrete
    Finishers like the added fly ash, like putting ball bearings in the mix, trowels nicely.

    Type F or C flask, east or west coal, or from Leonz's coal boiler

    CCB is another adder- cool combustion byproducts

    GBFS -ground blast furnace slag, probably not so common these days
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,680Member
    I believe I read that ash/cinders were used for fill under concrete slabs and contributed to the corrosion of wet return piping in steam systems.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    edited February 7
    JUGHNE said:

    I believe I read that ash/cinders were used for fill under concrete slabs and contributed to the corrosion of wet return piping in steam systems.

    Yup. Also fly ash in concrete does wonders on the rebar...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    No not true.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,468Member
    Water, deicers, road salt is what kills rebar. Rebar lying the bottom of a slab, especially with moisture in the subsoil is destine to fall.

    The failure of the bridge in MN years back may have been due to corrosion the fasteners from poor drainage and aggressive chlorides used for anti and de-icing chemicals.

    Most bridge and roadwork I see now uses that green coated rebar.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    Yes, the epoxy coated rebar is a great improvement -- and it's even tough enough that rather ham-handed handling doesn't go through the coating. Good thing, too... and it is road salt that does in bridges. Not just the rebar -- main fasteners also go. Look up the Mianus River bridge failure in Connecticut some years back.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,804Member
    Used to be able to buy two different types of black steel pipe.
    one was just regular black steel...same as now

    the other was "wrought iron pipe" which was thought to be more corrosion resistant. I think it was identified by red paint or red stripe on the pipe.

    Engineers used to spec it for underground fuel oil lines in the old days buried in the earth orfor use in "concrete with cinder fill". used to read that in job specs all the time. As I recall it was more difficult to thread
  • nibsnibs Posts: 272Member
    Building my mostly cement house, we used fly ash whenever we could get it, it makes the cement quite a bit stronger, we also used fiber much of the time.
    It occurred to me this morning that six pack can holders would also make good reinforcement. People are using rope for reinforcing and ICF forms are held together with plastic reinforcing.
    Pardon the topic drift.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    I’ve demolitioned many bridges so old it had spiral black bar, square black bar to present day epoxy. Also the approaches which sit on sub grade. So long as the salt doesn’t get to it like new, or a acidic wet sub grade.

    Plenty of old buildings also with same black bar.

    It’s not the fly ash it’s the soils composition, and moisture that eat rebar, salts, and chlorides also.
  • ddunnddunn Posts: 12Member
    The fuel rod problem is why we should invest in advanced nuclear.
    We have a bunch of "spent" fuel and weapon grade plutonium that is dangerous and hard to store. Bury it where nobody will find it, no ground water will reach it, no accidents will occur during transit, etc. Or turn it back into fuel and burn it up.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,474Member
    The spent fuel can be recycled -- breeder reactors -- but that increases the problem of weapons grade Plutonium.

    However, it can also be sequestered in artificial minerals related to zeolites, which will tolerate the changes when radioactive decay occurs and which remain virtually insoluble (zeolites are some of the least soluble minerals known). A friend of mine, some almost 40 years ago now, was studying the process and how to make it into a production operation rather than a lab. experiment -- but was fired from his University professorship because he was finding ways to manage nuclear waste. Which is part of why I seem somewhat cynical...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    The problem is the size of the production for that to be on site. Most sites do not have the room to do so.
  • HaroldHarold Posts: 201Member
    Just think how easy the Romans had it using their concrete to last a thousand years. No regulations, no strange materials eating their work.
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