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Seattle to consider ban on natural gas...

Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
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Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,644Member
    Oh it will pass, in Seattle. Brilliant, just brilliant. And what do they think is being used to generate the electricity?
    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
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    Seattle's electricity comes from Bonneville and the Columbia river. It's relatively cheap compared to most of the NE
  • Like it or not, this is the direction we're headed.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

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  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 72Member
    edited September 5
    They can get away with it on the west coast because of their mild winters.
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    and cheap hydro power. Solar and wind will also make a larger contribution.
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 72Member
    edited September 5
    Yea... Here in Ohio we're cold, and cloudy 6 months of the year and really flat. Wind might work in some areas but not enough to heat everyone in the dead of January. Also do we really want to trust the heating of our houses to electric service? If one farts hard enough in the right direction anymore it seems power is lost somewhere.

    And yes I know that most everyone already depends on power to run their gas furnace but not at the draw that is required to actually heat with electric
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 5
    This ban is ludicrous. Electricity is proven on average to give off the most co2 out of any fuel out there. Electricity on average gives off more than 3 times as much co2 as natural gas. Ludicrous is a understatement. They will end up increasing co2

    The solution is not to switch to electricity. The best solution is to make existing equipment more energy efficient. Electricity is 100% efficient at the meter. Huge losses over the power lines and at the power plants. They just dangle overhead exposed to the elements. So there is very little to be done to make electricity more efficient. There is a lot to be done too the other fuel sources to make them more efficient. Huge co2 reduction can be made fixing up existing equipment. Switching to electricity only increases co2 usage. As for hydro dams, I would imagine they are already maxed out and running at full capacity. New added electric use would come from the other less efficient power plants.

    See attached slide from my green heating presentation I used to do. It shows how bad electricity is. Its the worst performer on the chart. Critical thought is absent in America. Lets show these politicians some facts.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,117Member

    Like it or not, this is the direction we're headed.

    Sounds anti-competitive to me.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,598Member
    edited September 7
    They must have the capacity in generation and grid if they go through with it.

    I like where I live, and will cook/heat/dry my clothes with whatever source of fuel i deem to be the best for the job.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,051Member

    They must have the capacity in generation and grid if they go through with it.



    I like where I live, and will cook/heat/dry my clothes with whatever source of fuel i deem to be the best for the job.

    Come on now, when has anything like that gotten in the way of a good regulation?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 758Member
    edited September 9
    JakeCK said:

    And yes I know that most everyone already depends on power to run their gas furnace but not at the draw that is required to actually heat with electric

    I don't have strong feelings one way or the other in this, although I am interesting in trying to give a "boost" to try some things out. How many great technologies have taken way too long to succeed, or perhaps even failed due to people's unwillingness to try new things? I'm sure the historians here can find many old articles with people freaking out when home heating coal started to get replaced by newer technology. And I bet it sounded a lot like this thread.

    But in fairness, you are talking about resistive heating, no?

    I'm sure they are focusing on heat pump technology
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,644Member
    ratio said:

    They must have the capacity in generation and grid if they go through with it.



    I like where I live, and will cook/heat/dry my clothes with whatever source of fuel i deem to be the best for the job.

    Come on now, when has anything like that gotten in the way of a good regulation?
    Being a confirmed pessimist, and observing the way things are going -- driven largely by sloganeering tweets -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if this type of regulation became common, if not nationwide. At which point it will collide with reality (not to mention physics), the laws of which are not subject to the whim of regulation. For example. The main place I care for would require some 100 KW (500 plus amperes at 240 volts) of electric resistance heating on a typical winter's night (and, so far at least, heat pumps have a real problem even reaching a COP of 1 at such outside temperatures). There are at least 20 similar buildings on the road where the main place is located -- so say 2 megawatts, give or take. Such nights are dark and still, so no renewables are available. Spread that over the small town which this is located in, and a gigawatt or so of electricity is not an unreasonable goal. for the town.

    Never mind the cost of converting all the structures (a few thousand) from oil or LP to electricity.

    Would someone amongst the starry eyed be so kind as to tell me what is going to generate this poser? If renewable, how it will be stored? Who is going to upgrade the grid to deliver it reliably (you are looking at at least 4 nines reliability here)?

    I'm waiting..

    And in the meantime I'm very thankful that Cedric's home has 4 fireplaces and left over ducting from a gravity hot air system which could be adapted to wood firing -- and sits on 75 acres of land which can be a woodlot. Because that's where we're going, and, bluntly, the folks in the urban and suburban areas can jolly well freeze in the dark.
    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
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 758Member
    The main place you care for isn't in a climate like that of Seattle, right?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,644Member

    The main place you care for isn't in a climate like that of Seattle, right?

    Hardly. Top of a hill in northwest Connecticut, no windbreaks... nothing much between us and the north pole.
    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
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    As I showed in a above post. I linked to a study. Electricity gives off co2 at a rate that is more than 3 times that of ng. It is because of huge losses with running power lines overhead. They are directly exposed to the air for miles and lose energy along the way. Also huge losses at the power plant.

    There are very little in the way for losses once electricity gets to your home. So there isn't very much that can be done with it to improve efficiency. System losses are minimal. Yes improving heat pump technology is good.

    But a much larger improvement in energy efficiency that leads to the biggest impact on reducing co2 is improving existing hvac systems. This leads to the biggest reduction in co2 with the smallest negative economic impact.

    Non of these politicians are willing to spend money on us. We have the ability to reduce the most amount of co2 out there.

    Instead they are constantly pushing to switch too electricity. This is a dangerous precedent for our industry. It will take jobs from us. It will have the opposite effect and increase co2. We need to fight against this illogical idea. I am hoping some of our industry leaders that own manufacturing companies are listening to me right now. It is your business that will be effected if you allow this to continue.

    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    John Ruhnke -Carbon fuels generate CO2, where do you get that electrical transmission lines are creating CO2?
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @Paul Pollets

    Electricty is made from mostly coal and ng power plants. It doesnr mater that seattle is co2 nuetral. They will have compensate for the added energy. They will turn on an old coal fired plant somewhere. It is all tied to the national grid

    So as energy is lost over miles and miles of exposed power lines that means they have run thoughs power plants longer to make up the difference.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 9
    Just keep thinking about the dirty power plants. When electricity is used it creates lots and lots of polution. when extra electricity is added they turn on the worse and dirtiest plants they have to make up the difference.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    The thread was about Seattle and nat. gas. The state of WA does not use any fossil fuel plants to generate power, only hydro power. It built 1 nuclear plant (Satsop) and never commissioned it. The larger issue that the city will have to consider is that a home using a 15 or 20 amp circuit for heating using a boiler and indirect will now need 40 amps (min) for a an electric boiler and 30 amps for an electric water heater. Heat pumps have less amp demand but the production of DHW must be considered.
    Commercial buildings have far more electrical demand when used for HVAC exclusively.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,644Member
    The problem, @Paul Pollets , is not so much Seattle (although one can, and should, argue that the environmental impact of hydroelectric power plants is huge and devastating) but the slippery slope effect. Berkeley in California has done the same thing. That's all very fine for the left coast, perhaps -- but we now have politicians advocating for the same measures to be applied nationwide, and some are advocating for a complete ban on the use of fossil fuels in 20 years or less. This is not to be dismissed as fantasy. Stranger things have happened.

    And 40 amps for electric heating? Again, that might play in Seattle or LA, but as I noted earlier it would take 500 amps to heat the main place I care for -- and heat pumps are not an option at 10 below.

    I would plead for awareness of the different needs of people in different places and in different situations...
    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
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    I'm well aware of heating loads around the country. I'm not particularly pleading for anything, except an awareness that the planet is close or even beyond the tipping point of catastrophic climate disaster due to burning fossil fuels. How we try and fix this is what matters. Seattle has energy advantages that other cities don't...primarily inexpensive hydro power. LA does not...the Colorado river cannot provide enough power (and potable water) now and would not work for any additional loads.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,644Member
    Just a couple of comments... I really don't like to use the term "disaster". "Change", yes. But "disaster" is a term to arouse moe extreme -- and hence, perhaps not as well thought out -- responses.

    Now on change. As it happens, in my somewhat varied career, I had (and retain) a significant part in the computer modelling. Your comment "beyond the tipping point" is correct. Unfortunately, it has been correct for at least a decade, if not somewhat longer. The details of the change are not clear (one big question is exactly what course the Gulf Stream current in the North Atlantic will take) but the loss of various ice sheets and the accompanying sea level rise should be taken more or less as certainties. Nor is there any particularly good way to stop it. Most of the major factors (ocean currents, ice sheets) have two stable states -- and it takes major changes to flip from one to the other. To flip back to large ice sheets the mean temperature of the earth would have to be reduced between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius (once they regenerated, the temperature could be raised again to close to what it was in the 1950s and they would remain stable)(as a side note, had large scale nuclear power been adopted at around that time, we wouldn't have the problems we have now -- but that's ancient history).

    So, not to be too blunt about it, the efforts to keep temperatures from rising 1 degree... or is it 2... or is it.. are entertaining, perhaps, but quite futile. The proper question is what is to be done to cope with the changed climate while still providing food and power to all the people of the earth. Theoretically this can be done. From the viewpoint of those who are serious about the problem, however, the various contemporary efforts are -- at best -- misguided.
    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
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 10
    @Paul Pollets
    You said "that the planet is close or even beyond the tipping point of catastrophic climate disaster due to burning fossil fuels. How we try and fix this is what matters."

    We both agree on this whole heartedly.

    Here is the point I am making.

    All electricity is tied to the nationwide grid. Electricity in Seattle is coming from many states away as well as the hydro power you talk about. More hydropower is part of the solution but that is not what is happening here. The existing hydropower is always maxed out to capacity because it is the cheapest. So none of the extra power used to power this load increase will come from renewables.

    Extra added power comes from the dirtiest most polluting power plants you could ever imagine. The ones that operated so poorly they turned them off. It doesn't come from Seattle. It comes from somewhere else. Wherever the crappy power plant is located. Believe you me when I tell you the last thing you want is to turn on that pollution spewing machine.

    The solution never involves increasing co2. Switching to electricity will most definably increase co2.

    The solution lies right here, with the hvac contractor. We have the power to drastically reduce ng usage. We can reduce way more gas usage through Real World Energy Efficiency Improvements. In some buildings a 90% reduction in fuel bills is not unrealistic. That hot air system in the uninsulated attic with the uninsulated ducts and the fresh air cut into the attic to ventilate all that wasted energy to the outside is maybe 5% efficient when measured by Real World Energy Efficiency.

    Rather then spend money through restrictive practices like banning ng in new homes, why not spend the same money to make existing homes more energy efficient. Not according to lame government standards that don't work but according to Real World Energy Efficiency. Restrictive practices hurt our economy and has a negative impact

    Invest the money in us, the hvac contractor. We will upgrade and fix up the equipment and produce massive fuel savings and co2 reduction with ng usage reductions too. This will have a positive impact on the economy.

    Keep the dirty power plants turned off!!!!


    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • bob eckbob eck Posts: 870Member
    How about this.
    For the next four to eight years we cut the foreign aid to other countries that we are giving to them in half (our hard earned tax dollars going to other countries) and give that money to home owners to tighten up their homes with new energy savings windows and doors plus put insulation in the walls and ceilings.
    How about installing solar panels on the roofs.
    Then see what the actual heat loss is and put in high efficiency heating systems. Some older homes with the new improvements the home owners energy cost could be cut by over half of what they currently are paying.
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,598Member
    Politics have "turned off" some of the clean power plants too....

    The grid isn't the inefficient part, it's the generation. And power generation is used locally for the most part. It's on paper that it travels long distances, my also varied career has to do with motor transportation (and generation) as well as electrical transmission and distribution.

    Some of these "pollution spewing" plants aren't as bad as you are making them put to be. Yes the old Fairbanks Morse diesel marine power plants are dirty, but that's backup of backup, at least where I'm familiar with.

    I completly agree that the solution is reduction and conservation at the structure. I see copious amounts of energy wasted in industrial and commercial plants.

    But what is the answer? District heating with waste heat? Who pays for the infrastructure? Politics play a big part in it, sad to say.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 10
    @bob eck

    Yes that is the solution!!
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,598Member
    So what about me?

    I built my own home 10 years ago. Spent over $10,000 on triple glaze windows, has R35 walls and R60 ceilings heat with renewable (and cheap! energy) blah blah blah.

    I spent my money where I thought it wise, and have been reaping the benefits. Shouldn't I get some kickback because I'm saving the world one BTU at a time? I still have a mortgage I'd put the money toward.....promise....

    Read this as both true and peppered with sarcasm.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @Solid_Fuel_Man,

    Yes the politicians should have given you money to do that. Instead they always listen to the lobbyist's and give the money to the people who need it the least, the ones with deep pockets who can afford the lobbyists.

    ;)
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,665Member
    looks like over 1/2 of Washington homes already heat with electricity.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 580Member
    This may work is Seattle and a few other mild climate places where renewables and hydropower are plentiful, but this idea would gain little traction in the northeast where people understand just how cold 0F really is.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • tim smithtim smith Posts: 2,282Member
    edited September 10


    See above power mix for Seattle, my worry about Seattle going all electric on top of line losses etc is we put a higher need for power from Bonneville ie Grand Coulee dam. This in turn reduces power available to be sold to other areas which mostly rely on coal or other forms of carbon creating generation. There are many moving targets in the idea of going all electric and they sure as hell have some less than desirable outcomes.
    I am a Seattleite.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,877Member
    This is why we do things differently in different areas.

    Maybe 100% electric is right for Seattle.
    Maybe it's wrong for Chicago.

    This is also why codes vary from area to area.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 3,194Member
    We have 2 climates in WA state: western WA is a maritime climate with winter design temps from 24-28 degrees. Eastern WA (east of the Cascades) is high desert and winter design temps are from 10-minus 10 degrees. I'd expect to see large PV solar arrays built in the desert to supplement the hydro power and be added to the grid. Wind is also plentiful and some wind farms have been erected in southern WA. The issue with the wind towers is largely aesthetic, and setting 300 ft. towers on historic or scenic views is always subject to great concern and debate.
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 72Member
    > @ethicalpaul said:
    > (Quote)
    > I don't have strong feelings one way or the other in this, although I am interesting in trying to give a "boost" to try some things out. How many great technologies have taken way too long to succeed, or perhaps even failed due to people's unwillingness to try new things? I'm sure the historians here can find many old articles with people freaking out when home heating coal started to get replaced by newer technology. And I bet it sounded a lot like this thread.
    >
    > But in fairness, you are talking about resistive heating, no?
    >
    > I'm sure they are focusing on heat pump technology

    I never saw ur post until now, sorry for the delay. I was mostly talking about resistive heating. Now heat pump is a mixed bag. Air sourced heat pumps arn't there yet, but geothermal using radiant sounds pretty awesome. If I built a house today I would use geothermal using a water to water heat exchanger for radiant heating and maybe DHW. Oh and situate the house to maximize solar.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @JakeCK

    Radiant is great!! I got it in my house. 100% radiant heat. I also have a 10kw solar system on the roof facing dead south.

    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 72Member
    > @John Ruhnke said:
    > @JakeCK
    >
    > Radiant is great!! I got it in my house. 100% radiant heat. I also have a 10kw solar system on the roof facing dead south.

    radiant supplied by geothermal?
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 11
    @JakeCK

    Geothermal for the cooling, I went with something more reliable for heating. A solid cast iron boiler!! You just can't beat cast iron!! Buderus g115 boiler. We had only oil as an option back then so a mod/con was out. It has a geothermal radiant cooling system though. I had converted the well from a jet pump to a submersible many years back. I ended up with an extra pipe going from the basement to the bottom of the well!! That bothered me. When I was designing the radiant system, I felt like I had to do something with that pipe. So I added a heat exchanger. The well brought into the heat exchanger 56 degree water that cooled the radiant floors and supplemented the ducted air source heat pump by cooling the core of the house. All I had to do was take the well water and send it back down the left over pipe from the old jet pump.

    It was a very inexpensive geothermal system. Never touched a backhoe or shovel in the installation. No heat pump. Only piped up the heat exchanger in the basement. Saved about 20% in cooling bills!!

    So I had two cooling systems. Without a heat pump the radiant cooling could handle about 20% of the load. The other 80% was handled by a air source heat pump and traditional forced air system,.

    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • gennadygennady Posts: 749Member
    edited September 11
    From 1992. How did he know?

    The planet is fine

    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,665Member
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @hot_rod

    District Geothermal!!

    I really think this is a great idea. Running water pipes in the streets for a centralized geothermal system. Just have water source heat pumps in each building. The ground provides the perfect temperature for geothermal. The street mains provide a loop length long enough to make this effective. They had to dig up the streets anyway to change out the water mains. So no unnecessary or extra excavating being done. I don't even think you need a centralized power plant like in a electrical system or steam district heating.

    I loved that article. Using a water source heat pump we could tie into it with a real nice radiant heating and cooling system that can utilize the lower delta tees that make the heat pump more efficient.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
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