Fuel Cells in the news

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This is a little misleading, as it is not the first school in the state to use a fuel cell. It is the first ELEMENTARY school to use a fuel cell. There are other schools with fuel cells that have been in operation for a while already.
http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/education/fuel-cell-to-power-new-haven-school
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On 9/21/2010 8:43 AM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Anything is wonderful when someone else pays for it...
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Are you suggesting that each kid provide their own energy? Maybe they could bring it in their little backpacks.
R
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On 9/21/2010 9:50 AM, RicodJour wrote:

But this wasn't for a school that had no commercial power. This was a fluff piece about how wonderful fuel cells are neglecting to mention the huge subsidies that make them so "efficient".
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wrote:

You need to do some homework, George.
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On 9/21/2010 10:06 AM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Not sure of what homework I need to do. I am very familiar with the various "alternative" energy ideas.
Lets say you are the person in charge of writing the justification for the proposed fuel cell installation at the school. The only condition is that you need to do the project without the government going into the pockets of others to pay for it. In other words it has to have financial merit like any other project that you would be paying for. You would need to demonstrate how it will save money over the life cycle of the equipment. Do you think you could do it?
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I think he's point is that the TAXPAYERS are paying $1million for it. And that cost may be AFTER other rebates, subsidies, etc. We don't know the economics of it, but I strongly suspect if the numbers were known, it's a bad use of capital. In my house, I have a 48KW service and I pay maybe $1800 a year here in NJ. We have high electric rates ~18c/kwh, similar to CT. I pay around $1800 a year for electricity. The school, not having AC, being mostly shutdown for the summer and not occupied at night, should use proportionately less electricity.
But let's just compare the size of my service to theirs. Their service capability is 8X the size of mine. So, proportionally, we could guess that they would use 8X what I use, or a whopping $15K in electricity a year. Spending $1mil to avoid a $15K a year expense is a very bad investment. Even if they are eliminating electricity bills that are 2X that, it's a bad investment. Ohhh, and that ignores the cost of the FUEL, presumably NG, that they have to put into the fuel cell which is going to make the cost so bad that it will be laughable.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Reminds me of the city slicker on a hike who sees a farmer holding a pig up in the air so the pig could eat apples off the lower branches.
"Uh, what are you doing?" asks the city slicker.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm feeding the pig."
"I don't know much about pigs," said the city-slicker, "but that looks like a terrible waste of time."
"It's obvious you don't know nothin' 'bout pigs... What's time to a pig?"
--
Well, what's money to the government?



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On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 08:54:26 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Using a bunch of specious and random numbers and "facts" doesn't really make your case.
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On Sep 21, 12:11pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I'm not the one trying to make the case that fuel cells are wonderful and some great, cost effective alternative. You apparently are. If you have any facts that show the true cost of procuring and operating the fuel cell in question as compared to using electricity off the grid, I'd be happy to see it.
Until then, comparing the fuel cell size to a conventional service with the same rating seems a reasonable place to start.
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On Sep 21, 12:41pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yes, but even at first glance your numbers are skewed far enough that it makes it look like you have an agenda. A school has all of the lights on all day, no? You do the same thing in your house? And that's just one factor. I could think of a number of reasons for installing fuel cells in a school that aren't limited simply to the energy cost.
R
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Yeah, I can think of lots of reasons too. But the real reason is what counts and here it is:
http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/pdf_whatsnew/Stimulus_Final_const%2012 %...
$6,500,000 Utility Plant that will provide mechanical / electrical services for new schools - Hill Central and Clemente School - inclusion of Fuel cell for minimizing peak electrical demands.
It was paid for by federal pork stimulus money. It needed no economic justification and as I suspected, despite the fluff coverage in the news, it couldn't have stood on it's own. It's also interesting to note that the TOTAL COST was $6.5mil. Now, who has the agenda?
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 10:15:34 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Oddly enough, these types on installations are being done all over the country, and many are for private, not public, entities.
Big companies who are VERY obligated by law to maximise profits for their shareholders are installing these things. Go figure!
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote: ...

Yes, current tax breaks and the need to "look green" for public relations purposes are also real incentives that can shift the balance of the decision.

As well as the above, there are the additional restrictions in various locations on emissions, particularly in large metro areas that would otherwise preclude expansion.
There are also the "green" mandates for alternate generation that are having to be adhered to that can be reasons for decisions as well.
One has to know the specifics of each to know the "why" but one can be virtually assured that the decision outside the current political and regulatory environment w/ the present tax incentives and credits wouldn't necessarily be the same.
--
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Except, that's the real world as it is!
Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote: ...

...
No, that's the artificial world that subsidies and incentives create as opposed to the actual costs of comparative competing technologies.
--
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It's the real world as it exists. Subsidies and incentives are the reality. They are an inescapable factor. Just as when you figure out your household budget, you have to allow for taxes being removed from your income and property taxes. That's reality.
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On Sep 21, 8:21pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I think a lot of the nonsense, like handing out $6.5mil of the US taxpayer's money for a fuel cell project for two schools, will come to an end in January, when the new Congress takes over. And if doesn't end then, it will when the US goes broke, like Greece, which won't be too much longer. Fortunately there are still enough people around with their eyes open who don't want to be serfs of the state.

The govt could also pay one guy to dig a hole and the other guy to fill it in. That doesn't make it an efficient use of resources. And that's the problem. When you rely on govt to decide what and who to subsidize it rarely leads to an efficient use of resources. Occasionally you get something good that comes out of it. But on the whole, if you factor in all the waste, it's a disaster. And seeing the clowns that are running the country broke, I'm amazed that anyone would put their trust into them to decide what businesses to support.
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On 9/21/2010 1:28 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I will bet that you can't find one that hasn't been subsidized and it has nothing to do with if the installation is private. I was just in a friends office this afternoon and we were discussing how much money the government pulled out of peoples pockets to subsidize an "alternative energy" project they are doing for a private company.

No figuring required.
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On Sep 21, 1:15pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Well, everybody. No?
"Economic justification"...is that the only metric that counts? I'm not arguing, I'm asking. I have no particular information on the school and fuel cell installation, so I don't have enough information to have an informed opinion. Generally speaking, though, improving infrastructure and decreasing energy reliance on outside sources is a good thing. And I wonder how much fuel the fuel cells consume. Is it more than a couple of school buses use driving around for a couple of hours every day? I don't know, but it's not going to be measure in the hundreds of gallons a day, right? If the poop hits the paddle, a bigger problem will be getting the kids to the schools when there's no fuel.
The fuel cells provide emergency backup power to the existing emergency shelters - the schools. I'm just glad that they're not using stimulus money to build new shelters from scratch, and then putting the fuel cells in those. That would be truly wasteful. Even more wasteful would be putting in fuel cells in shelters and not shielding them from EMPs, whether solar or big boom.
Do you believe that state and federal energy credits are a bad idea? It's the same topic, really.
R
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