Home Heating Options for Rural Midwest Residents?

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As the price of oil fluctuates, so do other fuels. What is that Fuel Adjustment Charge on my electric bill?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

It's not affecting the price of <electricity>, just the price of the <fuel> used to make it... :) (Word of Rod, apparently.) I'll add that coal will probably go up some too if oil prices stay high -- I've not looked at markets recently so don't know what its done so far but as you point out, fuel prices tend to track.
I do agree oil will come back down fairly near pre-Katrina levels at least and I tend to think Steve Forbes is right that it will fall over the next year.
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Pathetic, really.

The price of coal has othing to do with the price of oil.

Like hell they do with coal and oil or uranium in spades.

Time will tell on that last.
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Rod Speed wrote:

You would be surprised. It takes diesel to run the equipment to mine the coal, and diesel to run the trains to transport the coal to market, and diesel to distribute the coal to local jobbers. Of course, the price of coal is determined by mining and transportation costs, so DUH!
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Nope. I've been watching it for the best part of half a century now.

Wrong with open cut coal mines with associated power stations. Those are mostly electrically powered. Even with underground mining, the strip mining machinery is electrically powered as well. In spades with the coal washing and movement of the coal to the power station on conveyer belts etc.

The most efficient power stations are sited at the coal mine. Basically because its a lot cheaper to move the electricity over fractional MV power lines than to move the coal around.

What was clearly being discussed was ELECTRICAL POWER COSTS. No 'local jobbers' involved with those.

Not necessarily with transportation or the mining.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Not in the states you haven't. No one gives a shit about something you read somewhere.

Coming from a family that has worked in both deep and strip mines, you are full of shit. Draglines, front-end loaders, rock trucks run on diesel. Most on-site conveyers at strip mines run on diesel engines. Even many underground operations use diesel shuttle cars. I hauled diesel to strip mines for years. What's your real-world experience?

Only in your drug induced world, wanker. Strip mine and deep mines are located where the coal is, power plants are located where there is water for cooling. Has nothing to do with what's most efficient.

The power company isn't going to absorb the cost of coal transportation, douchbag. The coal doesn't fly through the air to the generating station by some magic power. The local generating station has over 100 trucks per day hauling coal to it. Trucks owned by coal companies and owner-operators. Trucks who's fuel cost has tripled in the last few years. I've also hauled enough diesel into the fly ash disposal area of the generating station to know what goes on there. Again, your real-world experience is?

Lie.
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Wrong. As always.

Pity about the most efficient coal mines with associated power generators which dont.

Bullshit. In spades with coal mines with associated power stations.

Fuck all, actually, most use conveyers to get the coal from the strip mining machinery to the associated power station.

Plenty of coal mines with associated power stations, fuckwit.

Not a fucking clue, as always.

Dont have to when the power station is sited at the coal mine, fuckwit.

Yep, they use those funky things called conveyors, fuckwit.

Just another dinosaur operation from the days when oil was dirt cheap.

Fact.
Done like a fucking dinner, as always.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Afraid not.

Pity you haven't a clue as to what goes on there, as always.

Wrong again. I fueled them for years.

Lie. What the hell are you smoking? Conveyers don't run to the coal face asshole, shuttle cars do.

Nope.
You have proven you are, no need to state it again.

Which many aren't, wanker. Let me guess, all the coal trucks and trains across the US are hauling coal back and forth just for fun.

Nope.
Nope.
Lie.
Bitch-slapped AGAIN.
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Fraid so.

Wrong. As always.
And even with dinosaur operations that still use oil in those areas, even someone as stupid as you should be able to work out that its a tiny part of the power station's costs, so even a doubling of the price of oil wont have much effect on the cost of the electricity, let alone double it, fuckwit.

Right again, I know the most efficient ones dont run on diesel engines.

Fact.
Only in fucked dinosaur operations.
Yours qualifys.

Yep, ALL of ours are.

Pathetic, really.

And many are, fuckwit. ALL of ours are.

Coal aint just used in power stations, fuckwit.
Yes, we haul quite a bit of coal by train, but thats for export, and the cost of the fuel to haul it is a tiny part of the total costs of the coal mining export operation.
And the price of the coal they get has sweet fuck all to do with the cost of oil, its driven by entirely different factors.
And we just happen to be the biggest coal exporter in the entire world too.

Yep. In any efficient operation, anyway.

Yep.
And the cost of the fuel in those trucks is a tiny part of the cost of the coal anyway.

Fact.
Just another of your pathetic little drug crazed pig ignorant fantasys.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Fraid not.

Finally you admit it.

You don't know shit, you've proven that in spades.

Lie. You shuttle coal from the face to the conveyer, dumbass.

Which has NOTHING to do with the price of power in the states which is clearly what is being discussed, moron.

AGAIN, which has NOTHING to do with the price of power in the states which is clearly what is being discussed, moron.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with what's being discussed.
<snip rest of bitch-slapping Rod recieved>
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Fraid so.

Pathetic, really.

Even someone as stupid as you should be able to compare the volume of coal coming out of the mine and the volume of diesel that goes into the mine to produce that vastly greater volume of coal too.
In spades with coal trains, even someone as stupid as you should be able to compare the size of the diesel tank on the engines with the volume of coal in the train as well, if someone was actually stupid enough to lend you a seeing eye dog and a white cane.

Pathetic, really.

Fact.
Not in a single one of our efficient coal mines, fuckwit.

You're lying about there not being any of those there, fuckwit.

AGAIN, you're lying about there not being any of those there, fuckwit.

Wrong again. We've got enough of a clue to organise coal mining efficiently, unlike you stupid clowns that cant even manage to organise the aftermath of a hurricane effectively.
Done like a fucking dinner, as always.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Not necessarily--there are some "mine-mouth" plants, certainly, and they were built there as you noted--because that's where the coal was and they were at least reasonably well located to where power was/is needed. Utah Huntington, for one where we had online analyzer at the mine exit checking the ash content down the mountain ahead of the boiler.
TVA, otoh, has one of the most-effecient plants in the US (Bull Run) and 59 total and not a one of them is situated any where near the mine. This is the norm.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I was just wondering what all this has to do with coal as a home heating option? It seems to me that in areas where wood is scarce, coal is still a viable heat source. Are there EPA approved coal burning stoves? I know the old coal technology was pretty dirty, and spread sulfur compounds all over. Is coal still viable for home heat?
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Nothing. Its a subthread discussing the claim that the price of electricity will be increasing with the cost of oil. Of course it wont because very little electricity in the first world comes from oil anymore. It comes from coal and even when some diesel is used in the coal mining, its a very small part of the total energy that is turned into electricity.

Sure, and makes a lot more sense than say the terminal stupidity of burning corn for heating.

It should be feasible to design a decent system for burning it now.
Dunno if that is available commercially tho.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Unless, of course, there is an abundance of corn and no local coal, either...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Interesting tidbit re: online coal ash analyzers and power plants--
We had only a few power plants which saw a need for online ash analyzers as opposed to a very high number of mines, prep plants, loadouts, etc.
Reason--every plant was trying to protect itself from the crappy coal the mine would try to dump on them if they weren't monitoring it continuously. Every one of these was a wholly-owned operation--the mine and power plant were both owned by the same company or holding company. The mine manager was being evaluated on production, the plant manager on his different objectives. Same boss in some cases, far different results of what would generate the most personal gain.
Some ways, mine-mouth plants have built-in inefficiencies, too....
Sometimes known as the law of unforeseen consequences
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Sure, but those are clearly a lot less important than the intrinsic inefficiency of having to cart the coal considerable distances from the mine to the power plant, rather than moving the electrical power over the distance instead.

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Rod Speed wrote:

It isn't so "clear" when there's three miles of beltline directly into the plant that has coal already on it that is far substandard...
Utah Huntington initially put the analyzer on site -- when ash content exceeded the setpoint, an alarm was raised and a signal was run also back up the mountain to the mine. It wasn't long before they learned to run up to the limit and exceed it because by the time the alarm came they had just gotten rid of the entire volume of product on the belt--something over three miles.
It took two years and going all the way to the Chairman of the overall company to get the muscle to move the analyzer to the other end of the belt. Politics being what it is, the mine managed somehow to reverse the decision and last I knew the analyzer was back at the plant and the problem still existed (and I suppose it probably still does).
The result is that the plant doesn't pay much in transportation costs, but pays heavily in reduced thermal efficiency and excess maintenance costs on pulverizers, etc. Perhaps the population of plants we saw were the "odd men out" so to speak, but every one of them had similar institutional problems regarding the captive customer that were so entrenched that the mines didn't perform well at all. Those plant managers would have gladly bought contract coal and had overall better plant economics by avoiding the thermal derating and excess maintenance and minimizing forced outage time.
Actually, now that I'm thinking about the various plants, there was one group that didn't quite fit the mold...SaskPower which was lignite--they hauled lignite w/ scrapers from the surface mine and one analyzer was at the storage site pit. A sampling of loads were dumped there and analyzed that fed back to the mine as a crude "near-real-time" operations monitor. The problem there was that the lignite ash was mostly a clay-ish material that was much more difficult to monitor than typical bituminous coals where the ash is mostly rock and other contaminants introduced during mining (intrinsic ash is usually not the problem, iow).
Anyway, just commenting that from what I saw from working to keep the analyzers going for the utilities, the mine-mouth plants had their own operational problems that traded one problem for another--good site management over both the mine and the plant simultaneously would have resolved most of these issues, granted. But for some reason, I never saw an organization which actually operated that way.
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Yes, necessarily with the MOST EFFICIENT power stations in the sense I was using the word efficient.

And that is the most efficient approach, transporting the electricity, not the coal.
Using MV transmission lines is very efficient indeed, the only real downside is that they dont look that great.

Thats is talking about a different efficiency. I was clearly talking about the efficiency of moving the coal to the power station or moving the electricity from the power station. Different animal entirely.

Not with the efficiency I was clearly talking about.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Well, you didn't make definition clear as part of the sentence.
....

Wasn't clear to me...
There must be <some> reason utilities site plants where they do???
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