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Open ended question regarding steam boilers w/electric power-futuristic(cheap) electricity

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LS123
LS123 Member Posts: 474
How realistic it would be to use electricity as a primary source for electric-- hydro heating and steam boilers ( with good old hydro / steam rads etc....? ( I would like to take hypothetical position as electricity would be 25 to 40 % cheaper than heating oil or natural gas etc)...

How much electricity would be needed for a electric steam boiler? say current oil steam boiler is for 2500 SQ.. use about 0.8 gallons of heating fuel for an hour... runs during coldest days averaged 25F.

I know @DanHolohan , @Erin Holohan Haskell , @Jamie Hall , @EdTheHeaterMan , @ethicalpaul , @JUGHNE , @Steamhead , @jamieHall @steamingMohawwk @mattamia @rondale @danholohan m @Edtheheaterman @Steamhead @EBEBRATT-Ed . @HOT_ROD, @Chrisj , @Hap_Hazzard, @bburd , @nelic ,@pecmsg so far, and their educated assessments being helpful to all the members in the heating help forum.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR NOT REMEMBERING TO INCLUDE OTHER EXPERIENCED MEMBERS NAMES IN THIS POST.... I hope all of you would feel free to contribute...
So we can match apples to apples, but also match apples to oranges... I pose this as a Intellectually stimulating as well as a challenging question.... to get this thread going to have, if what I am trying to understand; even remotely possible... intellectuals always challenge impossible... Cost of electricity is a factor..... but would love all of your feed back... (regardless of the cost of electricity)
With all due respect ( other than cost of electricity,) I would and really can use all of your help understand what I mentioned above... thank you all in advance ... other than cost of electricity, can a steam / cast iron boiler be powered by electricity?
( please elaborate as much as you can)
Thank you all!
Thank you!
@LS123
«1

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
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    interesting question since the electricity is mainly generated from steam. So from coal, nuke  or NG, to steam, spin the turbine to spin the generator to generate the electricity. Then reverse it all at the other end.

    I think if you look at it from the mining if the coal or uranium to the end users heat energy with efficiency losses along the way, change of state and transmission loss, it looks bleak.

    Now if the electricity could be generated onsite with renewables?  But at that point I’d use some sort of heat pump powered by  the electricity. 

    Unless you are obsessed with steam radiators 😉
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    LS123
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
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    Heating oil is 140,000 btu/gallon

    So.8 gallons burned 20% goes up the chimney and is lost so.8gph X .8 (80% efficiency)=.64 gallonsnet for heating

    .64 x140,000 btu/gallon=89,600 btu/hour

    Electricity is 100% efficient 1 watt=3.42 btus

    So 89,600/3,42=26,198 watts/1000=26kw electric heat/hour. You would have to do a heat loss to see how muck you would use
    LS123Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
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    A steam boiler could be powered by electricity. The good news is that such a system would be 100% efficient. The bad news is it runs on electricity.

    The fact is, any electric heating system is 100% efficient. That's because every watt that comes into your house, whether to run your lights, TV, stereo, computer, video game or whatever, is ultimately degraded to heat—except the small amount that escapes as light, but in most cases, way more light enters a house than escapes, so you make out pretty good in that exchange—this is just basic first & second law thermodynamics trivia.

    So why don't we all heat our houses with electric baseboards? Because electricity is expensive. Converting fossil fuels and other stuff into electricity and distributing it, it turns out, is pretty far from 100% efficient, and you have to pay for all that waste when you buy electricity.

    So the answer to your question is: yes, it is technically feasible to power a steam heating system with electricity, but it just adds needless complexity to the process of turning electricity into heat and distributing it thoughout a home. It's much simpler to do it with baseboard heating elements that produce heat on demand where and when it's needed.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    LS123MaxMercy
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,906
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    I’m not sure if any heat pumps in development can produce steam. But if we’re talking hot water, yes they can do that. It may or may not be cheaper, as that’s more of a function of how much the utility charges for transmission and distribution. A heat pump can usually outperform a boiler/furnace on a gas in - heat out efficiency metric. 

    Electric panels will need to be upsized in some cases but my house and many others were built pre-electricity so that’s not the end of the world.
    LS123
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    Pull a vacuum on the system and you'll make steam at 100 degrees F easily 


    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
    LS123CanuckerMaxMercy
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
    Options
    The short answer to your last question is this: Electric steam and hot water boilers already exist. They have some odd maintenance problems -- scaling on the elements due to the high heat transfer density -- but they work well. Furthermore, figuring the cost and efficiency comparisons between the various power sources isn't at all difficult: 1KWh is 3,400 BTU for direct energy comparison. So your hypothetical (?) steam boiler fired at 0.8 gph produces about 90,000 BTUh. That would take a straight resistance boiler with 26.5 KW capacity (110 amps single phase 240 volt) (please note: not talking heat pumps here!). You can also make a price comparison, if you like: the 0.8 gallons of fuel oil on today's spot market in Connecticut is around $4.00. Electric power at today's rate in the same area would cost around $7.00.

    To utilise electric resistance heat then is perfectly feasible from the engineering standpoint -- but at today's market rates, not economically sound. There is a fundamental reason why this relationship is not likely to change in the near future: a majority of electric power is provided by that same fuel, although at somewhat lower (but not a lot) bulk rates -- but fuel burning electric power generation, adding in grid losses, struggles to reach about 33% efficiency rather than the 80% boiler efficiency I was using in the above exercise. If one supposes that a combination of nuclear and renewable power could be developed and deployed at lower electric rates, this could change some -- but there is a lower limit on that; power generation costs are only about half the total rate, the remainder being in the cost of building and maintaining the power grid (which, before some yells, will not be decreased by additional distributed power, such as solar PV on roofs. If anything, that will increase the cost of the grid).

    Thus reduction in generation cost to near zero would bring resistance electricity into competition with direct fuel fired heating.

    There is also an environmental consideration here: since it takes more fuel by a factor of somewhat greater than 2 to generate the electricity, the carbon footprint of electric resistance heat is also nearly that much greater. The argument can be and often is made that renewables and nuclear have a much lower carbon footprint, and that is true. They have, however, other sometimes very substantial environmental costs which should not be ignored (although they often are). It's a difficult balance, and I have no intention of getting into that fight, although observing the spectacle of various "green" (or even "social justice") factions battling this out does have entertainment value.

    Now note that I mentioned above that I wasn't including heat pumps in the discussion. A heat pump achieves a neat physical trick by delivering more power out in the form of heat than it consumes in the form of electricity (no, this isn't a violation of the laws of thermodynamics, but let's not worry about that just now). For applications then where heat pumps can be used, they can serve as an electric driven primary heat source very nicely. Heat pump technology is evolving quite rapidly, and making predictions is a bit of a fool's game, but even so it seems unlikely that single stage heat pumps for commercial applications will not be able to reach a delta T between the hot and cold sides of much over 150 Fahrenheit, at least in the near future. Now there are two sources of heat for a heat pump (in most cases): ambient air and the ground. Ambient air has limitations besides the delta T, in that with the commonly available refrigerants extracting much heat from air much colder than 10 degrees F is hard (other refrigerants can be used at lower temperatures -- otherwise freezers wouldn't work!), and that limits the maximum temperature to around 140 to 150 F. Ground source heat pumps can, if installed with the source deep enough, count on a source temperature of around 50 -- so in principle could get up to 180 (limited by delta T), although again the most common refrigerants become difficult to play with much above 140 or so.

    The bottom line on that is that ground source to water heat pumps can be used to advantage in low to medium temperature hot water heating systems in any climate, and air source ones can be used in low temperature hot water heating systems as far north, very roughly, as 40 degrees latitude in North America -- although that limitation is gradually creeping north. What they cannot do, so far, is reliably power high temperature hot water heating systems, and certainly not steam.

    There is no theoretical reason why two stage heat pumps could not be built to expand that delta T and either the low temperature limit or the high temperature limits enough to power steam systems. I have not done the necessary theoretical work to check, but I have a general impression from what I have done that the "Coefficient of Performance" -- the ratio of power transferred as heat to the power used to drive the system -- may drop off to near, or possibly even below, 1 at higher delta T values -- which might make their use impractical.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123veteransteamhvacMaxMercydelcrossv
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 474
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    Thank you all for quick responses! As I have learned recently, there has been US government that had awarded some universities, Bill Gates Terapower (https://www.terrapower.com/) that use, USED and spent nuclear (spent fuel) to generate electricity that is safe at fraction of cost. Elon Musk is working on portable nuclear power generators size of shipping containers... Although none of them will be available for 5 to 10 years, I was wondering what may be beneficial in the future for reduction of fossil fuel dependency... Please anyone may contribute to this thread is all and well appreciated. thank you!
    Thank you!
    @LS123
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,906
    edited March 2022
    Options
    I’m not sure if I’d bank on Bill Gates in terms of energy, as nuclear faces enormous headwinds cost wise. Maybe that’ll change, but for the foreseeable future, solar and wind will mop the floor with new nuclear, which is why nearly all new US generation has been wind or solar recently (Texas in particular). The economics, scale, financial backing and construction know how is on the solar/wind side. Obviously, storage needs to catch up, but I’d bet on storage/efficiency/most things  before nuclear fission. The $/w is just too high for nuclear today.  

    Best case (and what I would like!) would be 1. Existing nuclear stays running and 2. New nuclear takes off for low or medium cost and plays a complementary role to wind/solar. Preferably soon. 
    LS123
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 474
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    @hot_rod ... lol... yes, now that I live in a home with team system thats is nearly over 70 years with all original components (other than its been converted to oil fired at very high efficiency, from coal) one would have to pull all my teeth, give up a leg or arm, or my first bone.... which none of that would be entertained... Again, I thank all of you that responded with valuable, informative information to this thread!
    @Jamie Hall thank you! I had no idea that electric steam boilers are already in production..... happy that I know evolution of steam boilers are in progress
    Thank you!
    @LS123
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 474
    Options
    possibility of new, safe, cheap, reliable electricity from used / spent nuclear fuels, that is estimated to power whole US for 100 of years with all the spent fuels that can be used...
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bill-gates-terrapower-wins-8-193839059.html
    Thank you!
    @LS123
    Hot_water_fandelcrossv
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited March 2022
    Options
    Wow, I'm just honored to be placed in such high company as @Jamie Hall @DanHolohan, @JUGHNE @Steamhead @EBEBRATT-Ed, @Chrisj , @Hap_Hazzard, @bburd , @nelic ,@pecmsg.

    @hot_rod not so much, but who's keeping score. LOL

    Now, this statement hit my funny bone". @LS123 said "How realistic it would be to use electricity as a primary source for electric"

    I know it is out of contest but it reminded me of a customer my brother visited after Super-Storm Sandy several years ago. Everyone wanted to purchase a back-up generator. The LP gas and Natural gas Kohler ones were the brand his company was offering. (he worked for a fuel dealer in the suburbs north of Philadelphia). This particular customer didn't have natural gas, and did not want a propane tank on the property. The Diesel generators were pretty much reserved for the commercial market. That said, This young, intelligent, blond woman insisted on getting a price for an electric generator that ran on electricity.

    How do you fix that without insulting this customer that just purchased a sizable multi zone multi heat pump system for her 6000 sq ft home.




    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    LS123
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited March 2022
    Options

    The short answer to your last question is this: E



    Thanks for sparing us the long answer Jamie!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    veteransteamhvacethicalpaulSlamDunk
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,589
    edited March 2022
    Options
    Does anyone remember the early '80s? "Electricity will be so cheap they won't even meter it" As far as steam goes, i think it is unlikely we will have the capability to boil water at a COP> 1in my lifetime (maybe 20 years :) ).
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
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    Since most of the cost of new nuclear is in the regulatory and fanatical and never ending anti lawsuits arena, prediciting where those costs will go is a fool's game. The actual hardware isn't all that expensive, regarded from the total energy output over the plant lifetime.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    MaxMercyEdTheHeaterMandelcrossvLS123
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    Options

    Since most of the cost of new nuclear is in the regulatory and fanatical and never ending anti lawsuits arena, prediciting where those costs will go is a fool's game. The actual hardware isn't all that expensive, regarded from the total energy output over the plant lifetime.

    And this is why God made Lawyers.

    If God wanted us to fly He would have given us wings
    If God wanted us to get along, He wouldn't have given us Lawyers

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    MaxMercy
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
    Options
    The short answer to your last question is this: Electric steam and hot water boilers already exist. They have some odd maintenance problems -- scaling on the elements due to the high heat transfer density -- but they work well. Furthermore, figuring the cost and efficiency comparisons between the various power sources isn't at all difficult: 1KWh is 3,400 BTU for direct energy comparison. So your hypothetical (?) steam boiler fired at 0.8 gph produces about 90,000 BTUh. That would take a straight resistance boiler with 26.5 KW capacity (110 amps single phase 240 volt) (please note: not talking heat pumps here!). You can also make a price comparison, if you like: the 0.8 gallons of fuel oil on today's spot market in Connecticut is around $4.00. Electric power at today's rate in the same area would cost around $7.00. To utilise electric resistance heat then is perfectly feasible from the engineering standpoint -- but at today's market rates, not economically sound. There is a fundamental reason why this relationship is not likely to change in the near future: a majority of electric power is provided by that same fuel, although at somewhat lower (but not a lot) bulk rates -- but fuel burning electric power generation, adding in grid losses, struggles to reach about 33% efficiency rather than the 80% boiler efficiency I was using in the above exercise. If one supposes that a combination of nuclear and renewable power could be developed and deployed at lower electric rates, this could change some -- but there is a lower limit on that; power generation costs are only about half the total rate, the remainder being in the cost of building and maintaining the power grid (which, before some yells, will not be decreased by additional distributed power, such as solar PV on roofs. If anything, that will increase the cost of the grid). Thus reduction in generation cost to near zero would bring resistance electricity into competition with direct fuel fired heating. There is also an environmental consideration here: since it takes more fuel by a factor of somewhat greater than 2 to generate the electricity, the carbon footprint of electric resistance heat is also nearly that much greater. The argument can be and often is made that renewables and nuclear have a much lower carbon footprint, and that is true. They have, however, other sometimes very substantial environmental costs which should not be ignored (although they often are). It's a difficult balance, and I have no intention of getting into that fight, although observing the spectacle of various "green" (or even "social justice") factions battling this out does have entertainment value. Now note that I mentioned above that I wasn't including heat pumps in the discussion. A heat pump achieves a neat physical trick by delivering more power out in the form of heat than it consumes in the form of electricity (no, this isn't a violation of the laws of thermodynamics, but let's not worry about that just now). For applications then where heat pumps can be used, they can serve as an electric driven primary heat source very nicely. Heat pump technology is evolving quite rapidly, and making predictions is a bit of a fool's game, but even so it seems unlikely that single stage heat pumps for commercial applications will not be able to reach a delta T between the hot and cold sides of much over 150 Fahrenheit, at least in the near future. Now there are two sources of heat for a heat pump (in most cases): ambient air and the ground. Ambient air has limitations besides the delta T, in that with the commonly available refrigerants extracting much heat from air much colder than 10 degrees F is hard (other refrigerants can be used at lower temperatures -- otherwise freezers wouldn't work!), and that limits the maximum temperature to around 140 to 150 F. Ground source heat pumps can, if installed with the source deep enough, count on a source temperature of around 50 -- so in principle could get up to 180 (limited by delta T), although again the most common refrigerants become difficult to play with much above 140 or so. The bottom line on that is that ground source to water heat pumps can be used to advantage in low to medium temperature hot water heating systems in any climate, and air source ones can be used in low temperature hot water heating systems as far north, very roughly, as 40 degrees latitude in North America -- although that limitation is gradually creeping north. What they cannot do, so far, is reliably power high temperature hot water heating systems, and certainly not steam. There is no theoretical reason why two stage heat pumps could not be built to expand that delta T and either the low temperature limit or the high temperature limits enough to power steam systems. I have not done the necessary theoretical work to check, but I have a general impression from what I have done that the "Coefficient of Performance" -- the ratio of power transferred as heat to the power used to drive the system -- may drop off to near, or possibly even below, 1 at higher delta T values -- which might make their use impractical.
    @Jamie Hall .. 67% loss ?
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    I'm not so sure about that much loss from "the grid".

    But it's my understanding steam turbines etc typically run about 30% efficient but I've heard many are up to 40-ish now. So power generation is less than spectacular. For example, if you watched the HBO show about Chernobyl they mentioned 3200MW thermal several times. That was the thermal input for roughly 1000MW output and it's my understanding that's pretty typical even now.

    I think the grid it self is quite efficient.

    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
    LS123
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
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    Most of the grid is pretty efficient, @ChrisJ . But even so, over longer lines and particularly older, lower voltage lines, 90% is good. New extra high voltage lines can be better -- over 95%. Most of the problem is in the thermal power plants -- and there you run right straight into some pure thermodynamic problems which you simply cannot get around. The theoretical Carnot efficiency is equal to 1 -(low temperature/upper temperature(, both temperatures in absolute units. That can actually be quite high -- in the 60s, with current materials. But power plants don't operate on a Carnot cycle. They use the Rankine cycle, and their actual thermal efficiency, even with supercritical boilers, runs around 40%.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LS123
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 926
    edited March 2022
    Options
    Modern combined cycle plants that use gas turbine-generators, exhaust heat recovery steam generators and steam turbines together can get a bit over 50% efficiency at the plant (these days euphemistically called an “energy center”) before transmission and distribution losses. That is as good as fossil fueled thermal power stations get.

    In industrial or dense urban areas where sufficient thermal loads are available, much of the heat in the lower pressure exhaust steam can be used as well. But even here, the electrical and thermal loads often don’t coincide and some of the latent heat in the steam must be wasted to condense it back into water.

    Sometimes the laws of physics are a b*tch. 

    Bburd
    ChrisJHot_water_fanLS123
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    Options
    I'm in Connecticut, and even at today's price of oil ($4.30), electricity is a lot more expensive to heat than oil or NG. Of all the technologies that were developed since the beginning of the previous century, I'm shocked that the cost of electricity production is far more now than it ever way except for maybe about 1900 or so.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    MaxMercy said:

    I'm in Connecticut, and even at today's price of oil ($4.30), electricity is a lot more expensive to heat than oil or NG. Of all the technologies that were developed since the beginning of the previous century, I'm shocked that the cost of electricity production is far more now than it ever way except for maybe about 1900 or so.


    Far more in what way?
    Are you taking inflation into consideration?
    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
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 514
    Options
    ChrisJ said:

    MaxMercy said:

    I'm in Connecticut, and even at today's price of oil ($4.30), electricity is a lot more expensive to heat than oil or NG. Of all the technologies that were developed since the beginning of the previous century, I'm shocked that the cost of electricity production is far more now than it ever way except for maybe about 1900 or so.


    Far more in what way?
    Are you taking inflation into consideration?
    No, outright cost, at least here in Connecticut where we never miss an opportunity to tax or regulate anything into ridiculous cost.

    My electric bill in CT is over $300 a month average. We use the clothes dryer year 'round (only my wife and I) and I use the central AC maybe a total of 4 weeks. Other nights when it's cool we use a whole house fan. Hot water is oil fired from my boiler.

    Back in the 70s and 80s, many new construction homes in CT were pure electric (my first two homes were electric). The only redeeming quality was that they were almost bulletproof. An occasional thermostat or baseboard failure, but since each room had it's own thermo and baseboard, one zone out was not a problem.

    MikeAmannLS123
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    Options
    I still occasionally look for the article that myself and (hopefully) @Zman remember, where 2 MIT students invented a new style nuclear reactor that only uses the spent fuel rods from other reactors.
    Its design basically made it impossible to melt down, and with all the current nuclear waste (spent rods), there was enough fuel to run 1 reactor for something like 2000 years.
    Can't find it. I swore I saw it here in a HH newsletter. I have/save them all, can't find it.
    I also recall that Erin and/or Dan didn't remember it either.
    Now that would be a great way to produce the planets electric.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    Zman
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
    Options
    So electric generation is second only to transportation with the release of "greenhouse gases" and the 100%  efficient electricity use at the receptacle starts off as 100 % processes out to 40% transmits @ ? loses 5-10% through the transmission drop ..
    So how much electricity has to be Generated at the source to deliver a total 1000 kWh over 30 days (round number) 
    2xtimes ? 2000 kwh generation and transmission to get 1000kwh usable units ?
    Is this what I'm reading  here ? I'M probably misinterpreting the information. 🤓

    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
    Options
    reggi said:

    So electric generation is second only to transportation with the release of "greenhouse gases" and the 100%  efficient electricity use at the receptacle starts off as 100 % processes out to 40% transmits @ ? loses 5-10% through the transmission drop ..
    So how much electricity has to be Generated at the source to deliver a total 1000 kWh over 30 days (round number) 
    2xtimes ? 2000 kwh generation and transmission to get 1000kwh usable units ?
    Is this what I'm reading  here ? I'M probably misinterpreting the information. 🤓


    That's why banning natural gas boilers, furnaces and stoves to replace them with electric heat pumps and electric stoves that use electric generated by burning natural gas is......I can't even put it into words.....

    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
    delcrossvreggi
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,906
    Options
    So electric generation is second only to transportation with the release of "greenhouse gases" and the 100% efficient electricity use at the receptacle starts off as 100 % processes out to 40% transmits @ ? loses 5-10% through the transmission drop ..
    So how much electricity has to be Generated at the source to deliver a total 1000 kWh over 30 days (round number)
    2xtimes ? 2000 kwh generation and transmission to get 1000kwh usable units ?
    Is this what I'm reading here ? I'M probably misinterpreting the information. 🤓


    The simple way to look at it is:

    An on-site gas boiler has 99% maximum conversion efficiency.

    Electricity to heat pump (using combined cycle since we're comparing new boilers/furnaces to new power plants): 99%/(50% * 95%) = 2.08 COP minimum to be more efficient than on-site boiler.

    It's not a difficult hurdle for many situations to exceed a COP of 2.08.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
    Options
    reggi said:

    So electric generation is second only to transportation with the release of "greenhouse gases" and the 100%  efficient electricity use at the receptacle starts off as 100 % processes out to 40% transmits @ ? loses 5-10% through the transmission drop ..
    So how much electricity has to be Generated at the source to deliver a total 1000 kWh over 30 days (round number) 
    2xtimes ? 2000 kwh generation and transmission to get 1000kwh usable units ?
    Is this what I'm reading  here ? I'M probably misinterpreting the information. 🤓

    Yup. Except it's more like 2.5 times to 3 times than two times. Since you mention transportation, permit me to also point out that the overall efficiency (source to useful output) of modern gasoline engines is almost the same (around 35%) as thermal powerplants, and modern diesels is greater (around 45% to almost 50% for the big guys used in railroads). Those figures get complicated and the real world out on the street is less, although hybrid vehicles, carefully driven, can come very close to the efficiencies of their engines or the grid, and straight electrics can come close to the grid but never exceed it-- again, only carefully driven.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    reggi
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
    Options
    what may not show up in your Kw/hr cost is all the nuclear clean up in progress. Taxpayers pay for that.
    https://www.energy.gov/em/cleanup-sites
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    LS123
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 755
    edited March 2022
    Options
    hot_rod said:

    what may not show up in your Kw/hr cost is all the nuclear clean up in progress. Taxpayers pay for that.
    https://www.energy.gov/em/cleanup-sites

    In all fairness, those sites are national labs or defense (weapons) installations run by DOE. They're not at all related to commercial nuclear power. Nor do they affect the pricing of nuclear generated electricity.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    LS123
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
    Options
    And that problematic Russia, again.
    Maybe Putins latest move will jump start some nuclear advances in the US?

    Although, follow the money to see why these DOE approved Advanced Reactor Demonstration programs are stalled.


    https://www.powermag.com/pressure-on-u-s-nuclear-power-could-mount-if-sanctions-imposed-on-russian-uranium/?oly_enc_id=4680C4299256H2Y
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    delcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 755
    edited March 2022
    Options
    Including the 20% of US uranium Hilary sold to the Russians? :( Classic.

    Rosgenatom is rolling right along with advanced designs.
    https://powermag.com/russian-fast-reactor-connected-grid/
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
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    On a lighter note -

    Problem solved.
    MaxMercy
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
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    delcrossv said:

    Including the 20% of US uranium Hilary sold to the Russians? :( Classic.

    Rosgenatom is rolling right along with advanced designs.
    https://powermag.com/russian-fast-reactor-connected-grid/

    Certainly you fact checked that claim?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
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    Not sure of the exact percentages, @hot_rod , but the basic ideas are correct. The Chinese are also developing advanced packaged reactors; it's a bit difficult to get reliable information from either of these countries at this time.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossvLS123
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 755
    edited March 2022
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    Unlike the US, Russia has a long standing, incremental approach to advanced reactor design and construction. IIRC the BN series goes back 50 years. They're looking at a generation cost of about 2.35 cents per kWh for the latest in the series. Those prices would make electrification attractive.

    We had something similar with the Integral Fast Reactor (on which Terra Power's design is based) until it was cut off just prior to completion in the 90's. Now we're playing catch-up. :(
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    reggi
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,870
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    delcrossv said:
    Unlike the US, Russia has a long standing, incremental approach to advanced reactor design and construction. IIRC the BN series goes back 50 years. They're looking at a generation cost of about 2.35 cents per kWh for the latest in the series. Those prices would make electrification attractive. We had something similar with the Integral Fast Reactor (on which Terra Power's design is based) until it was cut off just prior to completion in the 90's. Now we're playing catch-up. :(

    I'm speechless.


    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
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,761
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    The question was asked in a way that gave electricity as the power source, so I'll ignore all the gas vs electricity delivery stuff and say that if you have electricity as your only choice, forget steam and everything else and use a heat pump.

    Nothing else today can beat the efficiency of moving the heat where it's needed rather than creating new heat.

    But you did say you wanted steam, so if you only have electric power and you need steam, sure, heat it up and get the steam but I wouldn't want to pay for it.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Hot_water_fanCanucker
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    other than cost of electricity, can a steam / cast iron boiler be powered by electricity?

    Getting back to the question


    @ethicalpaul so if you only have electric power and you need steam, sure, heat it up and get the steam but I wouldn't want to pay for it.

    Well it was "other" than cost of electricity but as there isn't system in production yet ( pressuring ) there isn't really anything to gauge what the electrical use it would take to heat whatever they may incorporate into the design of such a system...

    Just because it hasn't been done yet doesn't mean it can't be...and that's a FACT

    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    LS123
  • LS123
    LS123 Member Posts: 474
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    As @EdTheHeaterMan pointed out, I can remember couple of years a go, a remote town in CT, we were out of electricity for 5 days min! I was at a town near NY and CT border, where most people have large houses and have gas generators as back up is very normal) The town I live at currently is proactively keeps trees away and maintain trees for safety and to reduce damages to power lines.
    We dont get city gas, or water (gas / water companies find that its not worth their money, common sense I can understand that, but I would love to have a back up energy source.
    Thanks all, learned a lot from all of you posts. We know nuclear waste energy from old storage can be used for new generation of much, much.... safer, smaller, efficient reactors can be built at a much cheaper than 1950's and 60's technology. We also know portable nuclear power generation is possible because of some of the subs and large scale carriers that has been in production for a while. Some of the new technology been in progress over 10 to 15 years.... as some of you mentioned, if electricity is much cheaper and reliable, heatpumps tech advances, would a electric steam boiler would have the same cost effectiveness? could it be a combination of heat pumps be first stage, the steam boiler second stage?
    Thank you!
    @LS123
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,396
    edited March 2022
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    LS123 said:

    As @EdTheHeaterMan pointed out, I can remember couple of years a go, a remote town in CT, we were out of electricity for 5 days min! I was at a town near NY and CT border, where most people have large houses and have gas generators as back up is very normal) The town I live at currently is proactively keeps trees away and maintain trees for safety and to reduce damages to power lines.
    We dont get city gas, or water (gas / water companies find that its not worth their money, common sense I can understand that, but I would love to have a back up energy source.
    Thanks all, learned a lot from all of you posts. We know nuclear waste energy from old storage can be used for new generation of much, much.... safer, smaller, efficient reactors can be built at a much cheaper than 1950's and 60's technology. We also know portable nuclear power generation is possible because of some of the subs and large scale carriers that has been in production for a while. Some of the new technology been in progress over 10 to 15 years.... as some of you mentioned, if electricity is much cheaper and reliable, heatpumps tech advances, would a electric steam boiler would have the same cost effectiveness? could it be a combination of heat pumps be first stage, the steam boiler second stage?

    It would take a lot of generator size to run an electric boiler, steam or otherwise.

    At that point, may as well get a cogen, heat, DHW and your power :) Get a diesel powered one and run it on old cooking oil if you don't want the high fuel cost.

    As @ChrisJ eluded to, pull a vacuum and you can make steam at 100°F. Here is an evac tube boiling water outside on a cold day. They boil and flash to steam around 100- 110°. Stagnation conditions well over 400°F with evac tube collectors.

    Bill Guiney at Arctic Solar has some steam solar systems working.

    https://articsolar.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Four-Fathers-Solar-Steaqm-Boiler-Information-080520.pdf
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    LS123