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If you're wondering why NYC wants to get a heat pump for every apartment, consider this.

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  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    delcrossv said:
    delcrossv said:
    @ethicalpaul "People freaking out about such tiny harmless steps forward are why nothing can get done, forget nuclear, people don't even want to minimally limit gas." It's probably the whole "mandated from above" format that is the issue. If something were cheaper, better and more convenient than gas, people would flock to it. No edicts required.
    Such is the conundrum of externalizing your costs. Fossil fuels are cheap because the consumers are not paying for the externalities like political instability, health risks, environmental degradation and climate change. This is why we need a carbon tax. Then people would be flocking to alternatives in a free market.
    or something to account for those costs. Agreed.
    Trying to assign actual costs would not be feasible or practical. What is the cost of continuing to support petro-autocracies like Russia and Saudi Arabia, or kleptocracies like Nigeria?  How much more should a 2022 gallon of gas cost to pay for the damage of climate change 80 years from now?

    It's far easier and probably less costly to simply assign the carbon tax that makes fossil fuels uncompetitive with the more mature alternatives.
    Yes, it is a very complex and difficult question....however, it is ignored in nearly all circles. Just acknowledging that there are these additional costs and attempting to estimate them would help direct us to some better solutions. This problem is reflected in the NYCHA's report pushing heat pumps....must of these external costs have been ignored and need to be defined and at least approximated before hug sums are spent on potentially very poor decisions. We are fortuanate that there are many here that can stretch thier minds to begin to see that the problem is not as simple as" heat pumps have a COP of 3.5 and gas fired is only at best .95, therefore heat pumps are over 3.5 times more efficient that gas fired".
    I see your point about trying to put numbers down, but we've already established that climate change cost will be in the trillions.  After that what difference does it make?

    I wouldn't describe the issues with the NYCHA plan as 'externalized costs', but as full life-cycle costs.  I do find it hard to believe that nowhere in that plan is maintenance accounted for. That would be a level of incompetence shocking even for a big city bureaucracy.  I suspect it was just not put into the reporting. Was it an overly rosy projection? Undoubtedly. That's the way publicly-financed projects always go.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    Jells said:



    Jells said:


    delcrossv said:


    delcrossv said:

    @ethicalpaul "People freaking out about such tiny harmless steps forward are why nothing can get done, forget nuclear, people don't even want to minimally limit gas."

    It's probably the whole "mandated from above" format that is the issue. If something were cheaper, better and more convenient than gas, people would flock to it. No edicts required.

    Such is the conundrum of externalizing your costs. Fossil fuels are cheap because the consumers are not paying for the externalities like political instability, health risks, environmental degradation and climate change. This is why we need a carbon tax. Then people would be flocking to alternatives in a free market.
    or something to account for those costs. Agreed.

    Trying to assign actual costs would not be feasible or practical. What is the cost of continuing to support petro-autocracies like Russia and Saudi Arabia, or kleptocracies like Nigeria?  How much more should a 2022 gallon of gas cost to pay for the damage of climate change 80 years from now?

    It's far easier and probably less costly to simply assign the carbon tax that makes fossil fuels uncompetitive with the more mature alternatives.

    Yes, it is a very complex and difficult question....however, it is ignored in nearly all circles. Just acknowledging that there are these additional costs and attempting to estimate them would help direct us to some better solutions.
    This problem is reflected in the NYCHA's report pushing heat pumps....must of these external costs have been ignored and need to be defined and at least approximated before hug sums are spent on potentially very poor decisions.
    We are fortuanate that there are many here that can stretch thier minds to begin to see that the problem is not as simple as" heat pumps have a COP of 3.5 and gas fired is only at best .95, therefore heat pumps are over 3.5 times more efficient that gas fired".

    I see your point about trying to put numbers down, but we've already established that climate change cost will be in the trillions.  After that what difference does it make?

    I wouldn't describe the issues with the NYCHA plan as 'externalized costs', but as full life-cycle costs.  I do find it hard to believe that nowhere in that plan is maintenance accounted for. That would be a level of incompetence shocking even for a big city bureaucracy.  I suspect it was just not put into the reporting. Was it an overly rosy projection? Undoubtedly. That's the way publicly-financed projects always go.

    I think the biggest foundational questions are what is most cost effective with the greatest body of proof of performance and that can help ease transitions to other energy sources in the future. The simple fact that Western European nations are already using 1/2 the energy per capita than we do in the U.S. ( so similiar or even better lifestyles) tells us that we are being exceptional wasteful. The proof is around us everyday... incredibly poorly maintained HVAC , out of date lighting, a mismatch between vehicular usage patterns and the engines used to power them and very inefficient housing models.
    Even if switching to Nuclear sources for our primary power, improved efficiency would cut the costs of plant construction in half, if we match Western European current norms. We also may not even need to upgrade the grid and if we do, needing only 1/2 the carrying capacity must also result in drastic savings. All this extra money could fund continuing development of better systems or investment in things such as better schools and technological advancements.

    I doubt that a single energy source is the right answer for the next several decades. Fossil fuels can still have a place ( assuming they don't run out) if we can scale back the usage to a point where the earth is back in balance. I would really like to see what the cost would be to scale back the fossil fuel use of NYCHA by improving efficiency. The calculations are not especially difficult and costs can be easily fact checked in a few years of test subject building and system upgrades. I wouldn't be a bit surprised that target reductions in emission could be reached with these conventional technologies.
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    Jellsdelcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
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    delcrossv said:

    delcrossv said:

    @The Steam Whisperer I like the idea! Small molten salt reactors, single fuel loading- replace the whole "can" every 50 years. District steam, power and probably could do district chilled water using absorption chillers.

    LOL. wooden gas lines in Old Town wouldn't surprise me. Goes along with the live gas sconces I've found there.

    Back to the question of completely decommissioning a nuclear plant. Do the numbers include the cost of making all the former fuel safe again...not just burying it and expecting that it won't be disturbed for a couple thousand years or more?
    "Disposal" of spent fuel is, by law, the sole purview of the Federal Government. So no, it's not included in Trust costs (although the utilities DO pay the feds for disposal as part of their operating license). Problem is , the Feds have been sitting on their hands for 50 years and "repurposing" those payments into the General Fund. Sound familiar?

    The way to make spent fuel "safe" is to burn it in fast reactors, not burying it. IMO burial of spent LWR fuel is like filling your gas tank, driving around the block and then putting the gas back into the tank at the gas station- and paying for the privilege.

    Burying transuranics is pure politically driven idiocy.
    That 20 years national GNP estimate is based upon conversion of that spent fuel to safe materials. This cost is not very likely to be just something pulled out of the hat. I had the honor of learning under some of these brightest and broadest minds of the time and when questions such as these came to light, a trip to the nuclear physics and engineering departments was made to try to provide some attempt to uncover this cost. This would of been around circa 1975, so I know things can change, but this cost, whatever it is, appears to be completely left out of the published decomissioning costs. "Just give it to the government and they will just make the problem disappear."
    If you made fast reactors out of iridium bars, it wouldn't be 20 years GDP. EBR-II was around in '75 I'm REALLY surprised they seem to have missed that one. Probably picked something fantastically inefficient and expensive like accelerator based transmutation. But that's not the way it'd be done in real life.

    Guess you didn't read my post. :( The utilities PAY the government to get rid of it. They've been paying a long time. The Government hasn't done beans except collect the money. The reason spent fuel is not part of decommissioning costs is it's an OPERATING expenditure.

    I'll bet some smart folks will realize there's money in extracting the energy from LWR fuel and the private sector will do it. It's pretty obvious the Feds are paralyzed by conflicting political interests. Heck, they were supposed to get rid of the warhead plutonium they got from the Russians as part of the START treaty. It's still sitting at Savannah River. 🙄
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    The simple fact that Western European nations are already using 1/2 the energy per capita than we do in the U.S. ( so similiar or even better lifestyles) tells us that we are being exceptional wasteful. The proof is around us everyday... incredibly poorly maintained HVAC , out of date lighting, a mismatch between vehicular usage patterns and the engines used to power them and very inefficient housing models.

    100%!!!! Every engine improvement in the last 30 years has gone to power not mileage. My 1991 Caravan 3.3L had 150hp. My 2010 Odyssey 3.5L has 244! Plus people are commuting 100 mile rounds trips alone in a huge SUV or pickup and live like 2 people in 5000 sq ft poorly built McMansions.

    The lifestyle we encourage sucks, but people want their 'freedom', no matter how wasteful. I raised 2 kids in a 1200 ft apartment, and never commuted by car in my life. My wife walks 1/2 hr each way to work rain or shine. Doesn't work for everyone, but we're backsliding now with everyone thinking the thing to do is move far from the city and work virtually. I have friend who moved to the Poconos just before Covid and has to drive 1/2 hr to get ANYTHING!
    ethicalpaullkstdlCLamb
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    Two things -- well many things -- have fascinated me for decades. First one is the comment that western Europe folks live just as well as US folks, if not better. Really? Ever lived there (I have)? In spite of a much nicer climate, most of them don't. There's a reason people like to come to the USA. The other is the assumption that we all have to put on a hair shirt and sacrifice, and the more miserable we are the more virtuous we are. Phooey (I could use a stronger term, but this is family friendly). The resources are out there, the technology is out there, to improve the lives of everyone, not just a pampered elite in Hollywood or the Hamptons or Washington, DC while the rest of the population gets more miserable every day. Everyone. If we refuse to use it that is truly evil.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossvCanucker
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    Of course everyone has to pay more. It is an emergency situation right?

    We should all be very suspicious of emergency claims which are used as the basis skipping the rules and standards that have been established for doing things in a way which assures reasonable consideration of all viewpoints.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    My last 3 cars were only 138HP and got better than 40 MPG.
    My current one averages 45 or better MPG.

    Even cars which are faster are getting significantly better gas mileage than they did in the 1990s.

    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
    CLamb
  • JDHW
    JDHW Member Posts: 74
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    In the UK the cost per kWH for electricity is 4-5 times greater than gas for domestic users. So unless the COP of the system is around 5, gas will always be cheaper as the article shows. Lot of UK electricity generation is gas so I would expect electricity and gas prices to be strongly linked.

    What the UK does not have is vastly different costs for gas and electricity in different parts of the country as seems to be the case in the USA.

    Regards
    John

  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
    edited February 2022
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    Two things -- well many things -- have fascinated me for decades. First one is the comment that western Europe folks live just as well as US folks, if not better. Really? Ever lived there (I have)? In spite of a much nicer climate, most of them don't. There's a reason people like to come to the USA. The other is the assumption that we all have to put on a hair shirt and sacrifice, and the more miserable we are the more virtuous we are. Phooey (I could use a stronger term, but this is family friendly). The resources are out there, the technology is out there, to improve the lives of everyone, not just a pampered elite in Hollywood or the Hamptons or Washington, DC while the rest of the population gets more miserable every day. Everyone. If we refuse to use it that is truly evil.

    What I am saying is that we are sacrificing now.....we have less money available to live on because we are making such poor decisions on how we use energy. i.e. Why would anybody continue to use out of date lighting systems which are in use 12 to 16 hours per day or more, when alternative systems have been available that would pay for the upgrade in about 2 years?
    I just got back from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. This facility is one of the most advanced medical facilities in the world. This complex covers several city blocks with an average building height of about 17 stories, or so. In addition, there are 3 huge 7 to 10 story parking garages. Nearly the whole complex is still light with flourescents, using about 3 times the energy of LED for lighting. In addition, all that extra wattage adds significant cooling system energy usage in warmer weather. The old lighting system does help with heating, but is essentially electric resistance heating... pretty expensive.

    Our 17,000 sq ft church building with a very traditional 40 to 50 foot ceiling sanctuary now uses less than $150.00 per month of electricity. LED lighting upgrades for most of the indoor and outdoor lighting and improving control and installing a proper sized pump for one of the hot water heating systems has been all that was required to get this reduction in energy use. The Sanctuary is still light with incadascent for dimmablilty, which amounts to about half the facilities peak lighting load ( they haven't been upgraded yet because it is not as cost effective as other improvements). Last winter, with the building in setback nearly the whole season, we used only about 2700 therms to heat the building. Both heating fuel usage and electrical usage have been reduced about 2/3 in the past 10 years with no change in comfort and lighting levels have actually been increased in many areas. There are still a number of 3 to 5 year payback items to be completed that will reduce usage even more.
    Moving from a annual gas bill that would be about $17,000.00 per year based on gas prices from a few years ago down to $7,500.00 per year seems to be a very sensible thing to do.

    Another example...

    I bought a new full size work van ( Chevy Express 2500) . For the loads we carry (minimum 2500 lbs) anything smaller than the large v-8 would not have enough grunt to get that weight moving in city stop and go traffic, which is most of our driving. Those v-8s get around 12 mpg in city driving, 15 on he highway. Chevy finally came out with a small diesel in the full size van. The cost of the diesel option was about $2,000.00 more than the gas v-8. The diesel gets about 21 mpg city and can hit over 30 on the highway. Based on just the city mileage, the diesel paid for itself in 18 months time. The torque production is so high and at such low rpm that the drivetrain in has to be much heavier than the gassers. Over the 12 year life of the vehicle, I should save about $35,000.00 in fuel cost based on fuel in the range of $2.50 per gallon. Both vehicles do the same job, though the diesel probably has much better city power, and I walk away with another $35,000.00 in income. Diesel is available at about half the gas stations in metro Chicago. I don't see how that is putting on a hair shirt.

    BTW, Chevy sells loads of the gas v-8s, but almost none of the diesels. All that wasted money and energy.

    It's clearly a myth that the only way to save energy is to sacrifice. How much energy did you save by installing the new main boiler? Did you sacrifice comfort or standard of living for this improvement in efficiency?

    Right now we are spending more and living a lower standard of living.
    Using less energy does not mean a lower standard of living when it is being used so wastefully that our available finances are depleted because of it.

    As you said, the technology is available to improve everyones' lives, we just aren't using even the most basic improvement to reduce energy use.
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    Larry WeingartenCLamblkstdl
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    ChrisJ said:
    My last 3 cars were only 138HP and got better than 40 MPG. My current one averages 45 or better MPG. Even cars which are faster are getting significantly better gas mileage than they did in the 1990s.
    Sadly, for all sorts of reasons dating back decades, including tariffs and CAFE mileage standard exclusions for 'light trucks', cars are currently <25% of the American auto market, small cars like yours <10%.  Pickups and SUVs dominate. It seems like it would take a far bigger gas price shock than we're experiencing to change that.

    The proliferation of electric bikes and scooters in my city is encouraging, I just wish they would obey traffic laws. Literally as I sat here typing that sentence in Hoboken an electric bike just turned the wrong way down a very narrow street!
    CLamb
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,287
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    Some years ago Toronto went in middle of winter without electric service. Old fashioned buildings with atmospheric burner boilers and gravity heating (steam, HHW, or hot air) were toasty. So hoorah for NG.

    Eventually we'll be all electric and hopefully we'll be rich enough to afford redundancy. Opposition to nukes originates from politico s and whacko s. They seek power and they seek something to do because they can't do anything useful. Recently passed US law expedites easements for "smart grid" and already there's opposition to that measure.

    NYC will be replacing those heat pumps long before they're finished installing all of them.
    wmgeorgedelcrossv
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    jumper said:

    Some years ago Toronto went in middle of winter without electric service. Old fashioned buildings with atmospheric burner boilers and gravity heating (steam, HHW, or hot air) were toasty. So hoorah for NG.

    Eventually we'll be all electric and hopefully we'll be rich enough to afford redundancy. Opposition to nukes originates from politico s and whacko s. They seek power and they seek something to do because they can't do anything useful. Recently passed US law expedites easements for "smart grid" and already there's opposition to that measure.

    NYC will be replacing those heat pumps long before they're finished installing all of them.

    Yep, I already seen some of the Wacko attitudes....smart grid is an "invasion of privacy", " I should be able to run whatever I want whenever I want" and all that garbage. IIT helped develop the smart grid and the whole campus has been smartified. When I visited the computer room that runs the whole thing...Wind power, solar, various types of storage batteries, the generating station at the steam plant, dimming of walkway lights, etc. there had not been a single power outrage anywhere on the campus since it was installed 7 years prior ( the campus also has full redundancy). It saved the university several million dollars by eliminating the need for another substation to be constructed. It also has guaranteed uninterrupted power for research work which could be set back for years by power interruptions.
    Also, I believe it also has paid for itself already or close to it through energy savings over those first 7 years.

    I don't remember what the target year was for the reduction in emissions for the NYCHA, but I bet the all the heat pumps will need to be replaced before the target year.
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  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    The heat pump units developed to meet the Clean Heat for All Challenge will enable rapid, low-cost electrification of space heating in multifamily buildings by reducing or eliminating many of the cost drivers inherent to installing existing heat pump technologies in resident-occupied apartments, including electrical system upgrades, lengthy refrigerant piping, and through-wall drilling and penetrations.

    Midea America, which was awarded a contract for 20,000 units, is a global appliance manufacturer founded in 1968 with headquarters in China and the U.S., 11 factories around the globe, and annual output of 67 million units. They are a market leader in room air conditioning with a line of Energy Star rated window ACs, dehumidifiers, and other packaged ACs.


    So, according to the above, no electrical upgrades needed?

    I guess they run on air.

    And giving this to a China based company is just wrong considering what is going on. JMHO

    They should at least insist they are made and assembled in the USA
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    edited August 2022
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    Here we go again. Rainbows and unicorns... may I respectfully point out that 30,000 units is a very small fraction of the total number of housing units in New York City. 8.8 million people, and if we make the assumption that they all live 4 to a housing unit (a very dubious assumption), that is 2.2 million housing units, give or take one or two. If we then make the equally dubious assumption that the authorities can create and install twice as many units per year (60,000) as they are proposing for this project, it will only take about 37 years to build it out.

    Assuming none of them fail.

    If on the other hand, we assume that about 7% of them will fail in any given year (15 year average life), that creates an additional demand for 150,000 units per year needing replacement...

    Um... right...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    It's almost as if "greenx refers to money, not the environment.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    I didn't mention the hit on the power grid... let's see. If we have 2.2 million heat pumps on a cold winter night, let's suppose that they are little ones, and let's suppose that they draw only 8 KW, and let's suppose that 70% of them are running at a time. That's ... where's that napkin... un.. that's about 12,000 megawatts/ Hmm... Ravenswood, the biggest single plant serving New York City, produces around 2,300 megawatts at full song. That's about a fifth of New York's current power demand. So... we're talking roughly doubling the power requirement of the city.

    And just where, exactly, is that going to come from?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    I didn't mention the hit on the power grid... let's see. If we have 2.2 million heat pumps on a cold winter night, let's suppose that they are little ones, and let's suppose that they draw only 8 KW, and let's suppose that 70% of them are running at a time. That's ... where's that napkin... un.. that's about 12,000 megawatts/ Hmm... Ravenswood, the biggest single plant serving New York City, produces around 2,300 megawatts at full song. That's about a fifth of New York's current power demand. So... we're talking roughly doubling the power requirement of the city.

    And just where, exactly, is that going to come from?

    while I have my criticisms of this plan too, yours, like many critics of electrifying transport etc, assume that a decades long decarbonization will take place without commensurate changes to the grid and generation capacity over that time. I'm sick of hearing people project the grid crashing when everyone charges their EVs from 0-100% every single day at the exact same time.

    So, by creating demand, the incentive for investment by the utilities is created. They're not going to do it on spec! This is how economics works.
    CLamb
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    I am not criticizing, nor necessarily predicting a grid (there's more than one) will crash. All I am asking, @Jells , is where is the extra power going to come from? A reasonable question. To which, unhappily, I haven't gotten a reasonable answer. I agree that the incentive will be there, however money only facilitates actually constructing the solutions, it isn't a solution itself.

    So -- a challnege for you. What forms do you expect the extra power generation needed will take? Solar farms? Where? On whose land? Wind turbine arrays? Again, where -- if on land, whose land? If at sea, where, what are the impacts? Hydro? The only untapped hydro in the east I know of is in Quebec and Labrador; the First Nations peoples whose homes would be drowned might object if that matters, and there's the problem of transmission lines. Nuclear? It would certainly be the obvious way to go, but there is a faction in the green community which seems to be terrified of it and has the money to fight it to death.

    So. Please tell me your solution.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    @Jamie Hall

    Do we build new houses and new commercial buildings?  How does the grid cope with that?


    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
    SlamDunk
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    I am not criticizing, nor necessarily predicting a grid (there's more than one) will crash. All I am asking, @Jells , is where is the extra power going to come from? 
    Yes, from solar and wind, and hopefully nuclear. Read the report linked below on the cost competitiveness of building alternative versus burning natural gas. Lazard aren't tree huggers, they are hard nosed money guys.  The bigger problem than generation is storage.

    The best thing I have seen is pumped hydro using two reservoirs at different levels. 100-year-old technology. They are currently working on turning the Hoover dam into a storage facility, of course the problem is they need to stop dumping incredibly valuable water on the desert to grow export commodities.

    https://www.lazard.com/media/450773/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-120-vfinal.pdf
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    Couple of comments, but this is getting a bit political. On @ChrisJ 's comment. Yes, we do. And so far, in dear old USA, the grids have coped pretty well. However, in Europe, or at least in the UK, it hasn't -- in areas where some of my relatives live, you can't expect an electrical connection to your new house or business for at least two to four years, and, of course, you can't live there or open until you get the connection. "It can't happen here"? Um... well, maybe. But then, Europe didn't think that it would have to burning lignite coal to keep the lights on, either.

    For @Jells , pumped storage is an elegant power storage solution, albeit somewhat inefficient (about 70 to 80%). There are several such installations in the US that I know of (two, for instance -- Northfield Mountain in Massachusetts, and Taum Sauk in Missouri). In a reasonable setting, they make a good deal of sense. It is worth remembering, however, that they are energy storage facilities -- they do not create energy, just store it for use at a different time (Northfield Mountain was built to store excess power from Vermont Yankee, just upstream, for use later). They do require a reliable storage both at the lower and upper elevations, or a river with more than enough flow at the lower elevation -- which makes me wonder a little about the use of Hoover Dam for such a purpose. Plenty of storage -- but last time I looked the Colorado below the dam was a pretty feeble excuse for a river.

    Truly, all I ask is that a clear headed approach be taken to considering all of the impacts and all of the benefits of given proposals.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    Jamie Hall said:
     pumped storage is an elegant power storage solution, albeit somewhat inefficient (about 70 to 80%). There are several such installations in the US that I know of (two, for instance -- Northfield Mountain in Massachusetts, and Taum Sauk in Missouri). In a reasonable setting, they make a good deal of sense. It is worth remembering, however, that they are energy storage facilities -- they do not create energy, just store it for use at a different time (Northfield Mountain was built to store excess power from Vermont Yankee, just upstream, for use later). 
    The idea is that if alternative generation is plentiful but too erratic to actually power the grid without peaking gas, storage doesn't have to be incredibly efficient, it just needs to be of sufficient capacity. If say, solar was half the cost of gas generation per kilowatt, losing 20% to your storage is not a big deal.

    If you want all the details about the Hoover dam pumped storage, just Google that phrase, you'll find dozens of articles and papers on the project.


  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    You can build more houses and add to the grid as long as you continue to increase efficiency to reduce the load equally. That is probably alot of what is happening now. If you look at Southern California, thier electrical usage has not gone up at all since about 1975, despite massive construction. Per capita usage has dropped enormously.

    Also, keep in mind that when you are adding all these new electrical heat pumps, you may be adding a bunch of new electric cars. It funny I never hear the heat pump supporters talk about this added potential load nor the electric car supporters talk about the added load of all these new heat pumps.

    I find it farsical that by the time the target deadline hits for New York City's target for 40% reduction in emissions, much of the equipment they installed to meet that target is going to need to be replaced at least once already.

    Assuming that all that electricity can be generated with non-polluting sources, and running some simple math, A 90% or greater reduction in emissions could be achieved with only about 1/2 the increase of electrical load using common sense strategies. That 40% target can probably be reached by nearly any building using conventional technologies without even resorting to heat pumps.

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  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    Also, keep in mind that when you are adding all these new electrical heat pumps, you may be adding a bunch of new electric cars. It funny I never hear the heat pump supporters talk about this added potential load nor the electric car supporters talk about the added load of all these new heat pumps.

    I hear a lot of EV critics talk about the grid load, but they're ignorant AF. They like to scenario that every EV will be charging from zero every day, as if everybody drives 200+ miles every day. Even if, it would be technologically simple to have the chargers all coordinated by an web app to take turns overnight based on local grid loads. Same even for your house service, just a smart gadget with a clamp-on amp meter to cut back your charge rate if your HVAC or kitchen are pulling too many amps at the same time it wants to charge.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 594
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    I dunno about forced charging, families do share cars. What about the guy who needs to use the car to go to work at 2am, after his son used it until 5pm or such.
    What they could do, is live pricing with an app. If you didnt actually need to charge fully, you could set your agree'd price point that could be in a low-use period. Someone else might just bite the bullet and opt for any price point, as long as it charges asap.
    Can you imagine though, the howling if it was priced by neighbourhood capacity and it just happened to be low income areas were being charged high rates ?
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    Can you imagine though, the howling if it was priced by neighbourhood capacity and it just happened to be low income areas were being charged high rates ?

    Surely no one's that stupid! But your other ideas about demand pricing are examples of the creativity that can make it work as we build out the grid to replace fossil fuels. They just need to be clear the idea is to time demand, not simply extract higher rates. I think also the example of a car needed for multiple shifts is a outlier, there's like 290m cars in the US for 230m licensed drivers.
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    I like the idea of electric cars. I can even see electric light trucks for some applications although at least the ones I've seen so far would be quite useless for what we do with trucks.

    As usual, however, the folks who get left out of the discussion are those who actually use their heavier trucks -- and those who live in dense urban neighbourhoods, like the relatively less affluent. It would be nice if the advocates paid some attention to those. Admittedly, those who actually use their trucks as trucks are outliers; we vote, but there aren't very many of us so we don't matter. And the less affluent may vote, but don't contribute (they can't), so they don't matter either.

    Humph.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,287
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    What is equivalent price of gasoline versus electricity for automobiles?
    Future gasoline cars may get better mileage. EVs probably not.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    If increasing efficiency is what's allowing so much new construction I'm a bit baffled why 200a service is normal for residential and even double that for Mcmansions.

    100a isn't considered enough anymore and forget 60a.


    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
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    I just did some basic math on fuel consumption for the US. Current use 369 million gallons of gasoline per day,128 million gallons of diesel per day. If you figure the fuel is used at about 35% efficiency, and convert those btu's to electrical use, assuming 100% efficiency electric motors, you need to generate about 2 billion KW per day to cover transportation use. Current US generating capacity is 1.14 billion KW.

    For residential and commercial uses of Natural gas in January, assuming 60% efficient heating equipment and a heat pump COP of 3, on the average day it appears to work out to a load of 3. 15 billion kw. On peak design days, loads jump about 60% for at least part of the country, so add another 30% to cover peak loads and of course the COP drops under extreme conditions, so you'll need to add around another 20%. This works out to about 5 billion kw.

    Obviously, these numbers need tweaking, but I believe the order of magnitudes are correct. WE need about 8 times more capacity than we currently have to meet all of these needs. Also, about 30% of the US natural gas use is for generating electricity.... that needs to be factored in too.

    I'd like someone else to work through these numbers and see what they come up with just to confirm the scale we are talking about by going "all electric"

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    Your numbers look about right to me, @The Steam Whisperer . I'd have no argument with them. But... I've kind of been saying that sort of thing myself, so maybe we count as the choir? To whom we are preaching? Some people are pretty hard of hearing, though...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
    edited August 2022
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    ChrisJ said:

    If increasing efficiency is what's allowing so much new construction I'm a bit baffled why 200a service is normal for residential and even double that for Mcmansions.

    100a isn't considered enough anymore and forget 60a.


    I bet a lot of that is due to oversized ducted forced air cooling and simply needing enough breaker locations. Also, I bet they are still sizing for incadescent lighting. Most homes should only need 2 circuits for lighting. I am working on a 3500 sq ft very high end unit in a 14 story building in central Chicago and the engineer specified 6.5 tons of cooling. Currently they have a 1 ton window unit cooling the space during construction and it keeps it comfortable.

    My 17,000 sq ft circa 1890 to 1967 church only has a 200 A, single phase service. My business partner and I were checking load on each leg with all the lights on and equipment ( including window AC's) running and we easily had another 60Amps or more capacity on each leg. We don't yet have central air, but can cool about 40% of the building. However, we have since reduced the load dramatically with LED lighting upgrades, so now we have enough capacity to cool the whole building. The 6000 sq ft standard 8 foot ceiling classroom and office wing now only needs about 1600 watts for lighting, it was around 6,000 watts for 1950 and 1960's florescent and incandescent. Total building lighting was about 16KW and is currently about 7kw and can be reduced to around 4 KW with additional lighting upgrades. That's only 34 amps @ 120 volts ( or only 3 circuits needed for lighting) Add 3 refrigerators/freezers a couple copy machines and computers, you probably have another 60amps @120 V. That leaves about 100 amps @ 120 V for cooling or 12000 watts, or 14 tons of cooling. The 250 seat sanctuary needs about 6 tons and the rest can be used in the balance of the building ( much of which is currently cooled with window AC's).

    Just as a gage, the typical non summer electric bill is about $140.00 or less, or about 800 KWH or less.

    As I said, look at California. The population has doubled since 1975 with virtually no increases in electrical usage. There are a number of long shuttered nuclear plants in CA.... they simply weren't needed.
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  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
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    ChrisJ said:

    If increasing efficiency is what's allowing so much new construction I'm a bit baffled why 200a service is normal for residential and even double that for Mcmansions.

    100a isn't considered enough anymore and forget 60a.


    We're having a bit of a brownout today at 95 degrees, I was reading 103V at the main panel of my 6 unit building that was causing cheap LED bulbs to go faint. For chuckles I used the clamp on to read the draw of five 1BRs and my own 1200 ft apt with just my wife and I, no central AC, all gas ranges. Total of 37A of 110, no one has 220 service. One of the units still has a single 20A riser! I think LED lighting and efficient new window units has made a lot of difference.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    Jells said:
    If increasing efficiency is what's allowing so much new construction I'm a bit baffled why 200a service is normal for residential and even double that for Mcmansions.

    100a isn't considered enough anymore and forget 60a.


    We're having a bit of a brownout today at 95 degrees, I was reading 103V at the main panel of my 6 unit building that was causing cheap LED bulbs to go faint. For chuckles I used the clamp on to read the draw of five 1BRs and my own 1200 ft apt with just my wife and I, no central AC, all gas ranges. Total of 37A of 110, no one has 220 service. One of the units still has a single 20A riser! I think LED lighting and efficient new window units has made a lot of difference.
    I've never heard of 110A and 220A service?  I've heard of 60,100,125,200 etc.


    So, you have a 6 unit building with no air conditioning, and one of the units only has 20A and the entire place, 6 families is only using 37A.   And it's 95 degrees there?

    My single family house easily draws 37A continuous in the summer.  Fire up a microwave oven, toaster, dishwasher etc and you'll see 60A though it's not continuous.



    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
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    Try running a farm on 60 amps. You won't get very far...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    edited August 2022
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    Try running a farm on 60 amps. You won't get very far...



    Try running a public water service on 60A.
    Or a steel factory.

    That's why there's different service options. ;)

    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
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    ChrisJ said:


    Jells said:

    ChrisJ said:

    If increasing efficiency is what's allowing so much new construction I'm a bit baffled why 200a service is normal for residential and even double that for Mcmansions.

    100a isn't considered enough anymore and forget 60a.


    We're having a bit of a brownout today at 95 degrees, I was reading 103V at the main panel of my 6 unit building that was causing cheap LED bulbs to go faint. For chuckles I used the clamp on to read the draw of five 1BRs and my own 1200 ft apt with just my wife and I, no central AC, all gas ranges. Total of 37A of 110, no one has 220 service. One of the units still has a single 20A riser! I think LED lighting and efficient new window units has made a lot of difference.

    I've never heard of 110A and 220A service?  I've heard of 60,100,125,200 etc.


    So, you have a 6 unit building with no air conditioning, and one of the units only has 20A and the entire place, 6 families is only using 37A.   And it's 95 degrees there?

    My single family house easily draws 37A continuous in the summer.  Fire up a microwave oven, toaster, dishwasher etc and you'll see 60A though it's not continuous.





    I think that is 110V and 220v service. A continuous draw of 37 amps @ 120 V, not taking into account power factors, etc, would mean you are using at least 3200 KWH a month and then adding in toaster, microwaves, etc. Those added loads don't amount to much usually since they are usually only a few minutes at a time. I.E.....typical microwave only uses about 1.2kwh per hour of use( again leaving out power factors, etc.)

    I believe that efficiency upgrades (LED lighting, more efficient refrigerators, computers, etc) is greatly reducing baseload in the past 10 to 15 years, but the peaks are still present due to small appliances and the fact that much of the newer central cooling equipment is less efficient at peak load than the older equipment ( most new equipment you can easily find the SEER rating, but the EER ( which is a much better indicator of peak load efficiency) is nearly impossible to find).
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    Jells
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    Try running a farm on 60 amps. You won't get very far...
    Not to be a real buggar but how were farms ran 100+ years ago? :P
This discussion has been closed.