Solar powered homes and 40 hp cars -- or lack thereof -- as a metaphor.

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Awl --
In the recent thread on solar powered homes, which displayed the Natural Divide of opinion on solar power, Salty actually posted an inneresting ditty on solar powered planes. His purpose was, of course, more one-ups-manship than anything constructive, but it was inneresting nonetheless.
The REALLY inneresting thing about it was that the plane had a whole 40 hp!!
What does this remind you of?
The old VW Beetle had a whole 36 hp, which was then souped up to... 42 hp! An air-cooled 4 cyl engine (no heavy fluid-filled radiator/cooling system).
Incredibly, that measly 42 hp was fully capable of doing 80 mph -- mebbe not up hill, and mebbe with a slight tailwind, but, still, 80 mph. And, iirc, it got about 40 mpg..... or more. I never had one, and gas was 27c/gal, so no one was really calculating mpg's then, but that was a figure floating around. Coulda been much better than 40 mpg....
The VW Beetle was for a commuting college student what a back pack is to grade-schoolers today..... when a whole city block of parked cars was nothing but VWs -- in NYC.... in Greenwich Village.... of course.....
Even the VW mini-bus, the 60's breadbox equivalent to our SUV (iconized on a Beatle album, iirc), used that same 42 hp engine.
Yet, in the rush for a viable electric car, I don't think a single design considers anything less than 100 hp. The Nissan Leaf is already at 107 hp. The stupidly over-priced Chevy Volt is at 160 hp.
And the ironic thing is, a small car with four 10 hp "hub motors" (like disk brakes) would yield an incredibly versatile useful car! With the most versatile 4 wd possible, and a potential turning radius of zero -- think military tanks.
All-solar homes are not practical, imo, simply because our lifestyles and "urban structure" won't *let* them be practical, even if the cost made sense. We engage in "spiraling habits", like air conditioning, which makes cities -- and the planet -- disproportionately and ironically hotter. Between the blacktop, cars (200 hp and up), and pervasive A/C, NYC is proly 10 deg hotter than surrounding areas.
Now, a GRID of solar power WOULD likely be effective -- where *every* roof-top, *by law*, was mandated to have X% of it devoted to solar energy, both passive (hot water), and active (grid-connected PVs et al).
THEN, we would likely see real savings and utility.
Which will not happen any time soon, cuz such a scenario is more anathema to Big Bidniss than the Public Option was in this bullshit health care reform, which wound up being just a brilliant Insurance Scam.
So, the moral to the story is, if we cain't figger out that 42 hp that was "enough" in the 60's and 70s is enough today, and if "population control" has been essentially deleted from the dictionary, and if "bonuses" is de rigeur in the new Corporate Zeitgeist -- even for failing corporations -- then practical solar power is going to be a long time in coming.
Apropos of the "urban structure" mentioned above, we have a New Economic Structure, epitomized by the Big Box Motif (replete with bonuses) and the nylon Net Fishing of the Public, where we have been herded, painted -- checkmated -- into an economic corner where nothing is viable unless it's done on a massive scale.
This is by conspiratorial design, imo, but this doesn't really matter at this point, as this Net Fishing of the public is essentially irreversible, and here to stay. How it got started is just inneresting history.
The upshot of this will be the working class living in barracks, and all that that implies.
The good news is, is that barracks generally have a lot of roof-age, and would be tailor-made for solar cell arrays. And given that barracks are generally not air conditioned, and have just a few light bulbs hanging from their A-frame ceilings, there should be plenty of energy left over for The Grid, for the A/C's of those lucky enough not to be living in barracks.
--
EA




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wrote:

The VW beetle had HP in the 40's in the 1960's, but by the 1970's it had been increased into the 55hp range. And today you can buy a SmartCar that has about 70hp. The obvious problem is that neither of these cars fits the lifestyle or needs we have today. And the SmartCar has fuel economy that is less than a Toyota Prius or a mid size MB Bluetec diesel, both of which are decent size real cars. One application they could fit is to be used primarily as a commuter car to get you from your house to mass transit.
A real car of even modest size with only 40hp also has safety limitations. I would not want to be trying to enter a freeway in a major city driving one.

A non-sequitur.

Yeah, funny how volume factors into basic economics.

Uh huh, it's just one big old conspiracy. Obviously Ford is talking and sharing evil plans with Sony and John Deere.

More negative hogwash.
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On 4/8/2010 10:43 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It totally depends on what someones "lifestyles and needs" are. You have to admit that a very large percentage of folks who drive giant fluffed up trucks don't do anything more than transport themselves and maybe a large beverage.

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wrote:

The VW beetle had HP in the 40's in the 1960's, but by the 1970's it had been increased into the 55hp range. And today you can buy a SmartCar that has about 70hp. The obvious problem is that neither of these cars fits the lifestyle or needs we have today. And the SmartCar has fuel economy that is less than a Toyota Prius or a mid size MB Bluetec diesel, both of which are decent size real cars. One application they could fit is to be used primarily as a commuter car to get you from your house to mass transit.
A real car of even modest size with only 40hp also has safety limitations. I would not want to be trying to enter a freeway in a major city driving one. ========================================== As usual, you missed most of the point.

A non-sequitur. ============================ Just because you don't follow it does not a non-sequitur make. You didn't grok Biot-Savarte -- does that mean the law doesn't hold?

Yeah, funny how volume factors into basic economics. ========================================= Degree is everything, and it's how principles are used. There's persuasion, coercion, arm twisting, dislocation..... And then there's dismemberment.
Have you asked why, with all this effing technology and effing progress, it now takes 4 salaries to keep a roof over a family's head, when after WWII it took only 1?

Uh huh, it's just one big old conspiracy. Obviously Ford is talking and sharing evil plans with Sony and John Deere.

More negative hogwash.
======================================= Not at all. You dispute that a barrack roof would be great for solar arrays?
--
EA



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wrote:

No, as usual you just didn't have one that makes any sense. Are you proposing that 40hp VW beetle size cars are a viable option today? Why the hell would anyone buy that when there are many other options available?

I've forgotten more than you can ever hope to know. But it's funny how everytime someone makes any point that you don't like, you think you're scoring points by trying to throw out crap from the past, no matter how irrelevant or misinterpreted by you. Why is that? Next will come the name calling. You can't get along with so many of us here. I could go back to threads where you made a complete ass of yourself with regard to basic electricity. The most recent one that comes to mind was the one about surge protectors. You want to go there?

It only takes one salary here. Sorry if you're having trouble, but then I'm not surprised it takes 4 of you. Also, try taking a look at the size of the houses, the furnishings and lifestyles today compared to 1945. More people are depending on two salaries today, that's true. But more families are living in 3500 square foot houses with AC, have two or more cars, swimming pools, and all the other comforts of modern life.

No, I dispute that most of us are headed toward living in barracks. You on the other hand could be if just one of your four family members leaves.
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No, as usual you just didn't have one that makes any sense. Are you proposing that 40hp VW beetle size cars are a viable option today? Why the hell would anyone buy that when there are many other options available? ==============================
Yes to the first, and to the second: Uhhh, because 40 hp is good for 80 mph????? AND, energy is a BFD???? And......

I've forgotten more than you can ever hope to know. But it's funny how everytime someone makes any point that you don't like, you think you're scoring points by trying to throw out crap from the past, no matter how irrelevant or misinterpreted by you. Why is that? Next will come the name calling. You can't get along with so many of us here. I could go back to threads where you made a complete ass of yourself with regard to basic electricity. The most recent one that comes to mind was the one about surge protectors. You want to go there? ========================================== Sure! I didn't know how surge protectors worked, and I asked!!!
Poseurs like you just dick-wave -- oh yeah, cuz you've forgotten more than I'll ever know.... that's right.
And, you DIDN'T grok Biot-Savarte, yet you took that clamp-on ammeter thing to the Nth degree, lying and re-writing history most of the way.
Just like you now use the fact that I *asked a g-d Q* to gratuitously attack my character. Typical....
Heh, you're in NJ, right? Mebbe you can thumb a ride to Yonkers, NY, just above the GWB.
I'll remove ONE wire from one of my rpc panels, and let you bring all the sleuthing equpment you have. I bet I'll be without my 3ph power for a month, when I'll proly just have to replace the wire -- and all the other wires you screwed up.
Plus, I'll bet you eat a lot, so this li'l challenge will proly wind up costing me a fortune.
--
EA






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> > Apropos of the "urban structure" mentioned above, we have a New Economic
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you missed most of the point.

The vast majority of people obviously don't want a tiny shit box with a 40hp engine to save a few bucks on gas. If they did, the mix of cars out there would not be what it is today. There are a multitude of high mileage cars available that are far superior to a VW with a 40hp engine, but most people aren't buying them, so why would they buy your 40hp shit box? capiche? You probably think it's a big "conspiracy" at work.

I didn't start the attacks here, you did. In another thread here, you're spewing attacks against SA, saltydog and God only knows who else that you can't get along with. And you are the one that started in with dragging past threads into it.
So, now that you want to go there, I find it funny that a guy who claims to know so much about the laws of electromagnetism would propose in that recent thread to use a mechanical relay as a surge protector. Forget about Biot-Savarte. That shows you're not even in the ball game, because anyone with a lick of knowledge about electricity knows you need something that reacts in nanoseconds to a microsecond for surge protection. Also, here;s a clue. A surge of 10K volts coming down the AC main will just arc across your relay contacts as it's opening, the surge continuing on it's way. Of course, by that time it won't matter because all the stuff in your shack is kaput. Capiche?

You have 3 phase power in your shack?
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On Thu, 8 Apr 2010 12:41:54 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

In many other parts of the world, those little shitboxes are the norm, and a Chevy Impala can't even fit on some of the local streets.
The Fiat 600 was originally 27 screaming horsepower and got about 60 mpg. A couple of friends of mine drove one non-stop from Connecticut to California. Pit stops only. They removed the front passenger seat so one guy could lay down and sleep while the other one drove.
The cars were FUN to drive, and were fabulous chick trollers.
I used to autocross them and they were very competitive.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

he wont have to force his way on you!!
There are "limits" to this "system" we call earth.... and your wasteful ways will bounce up against that ceiling soon enough by your own doing and the onus will be on you!
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On Apr 10, 1:59pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

So, you agree with EA that anyone that has a king size bed is an asshole, but it's OK for him to have a large bathroom?
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wrote:

So, you agree with EA that anyone that has a king size bed is an asshole, but it's OK for him to have a large bathroom? ================================================= Get it right, please.... FIVE large bathrooms.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

And what would those "limits" be?
Please check out the Simon-Ehrlich Wager here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon-Ehrlich_wager
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I had the older 36bhp model and it only got around 30-32mpg. It could hit 75mph on a good day, but cruise at 65mph all day. I went cross country in it at least twice.

See the Who Killed the Electric Car? Even the first one had 137bhp:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?vYhAG-QG6dE

I've lamented the loss of fuel efficient cars for yrs, now. My '91 Honda Civic Si hatchback got 38mpg and hit 87mph. It was the sporty model.
Why are cars of just 20 yrs ago no longer efficient? I think a lot has to do with safety and convenience. My Si had no electric windows, mirrors, door locks, etc. If I got center punched by anything heavier than a Schwinn Varsity, I'd no doubt be taking a dirt nap right now. All those motors have heavy copper in them. Front, side, top/bottom airbags, reinforced crash cages, blah blah blah.... That's all dead weight and needs more power to get one down the road.

We demand it, we gotta pay for it.

I really don't see what your rant is about, other than just to whine. No matter. At the rate we're net fishing the oceans dry, I figure the human species has about 20 yrs, on the outside, left on the beat up old orb. Enjoy it while you can. nb
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Actually, the current Civics get almost exactly the same highway MPG as those from 1991 In 2009, excluding the hybrid, the averages for all the other models is 34 MPG highway. In 1991, it was 35. For city, it is 24 MPG in 2009 compared to 31 MPG in 1991. So, the city mileage did go down substantially. The engine grew from 1.5/1.6L to 1.8/2.0L today. I'd suspect it has more to do with pepping up the cars with bigger engines in line with the performance people want and also meeting tougher emission requirements.

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wrote:

India's Tata is $2500. I'll bet that a frame, bunch of batteries, and a motor would go for $1150.
An electric car is little more than a belt sander that can steer. For $30,000??? Bend over and spread.... once again.

The segue was admittedly a little subtle, but still relevant -- and more imporantly, causal. Whining, however, is always a good justification.
Note, however, that as long as we whine/moan, but don't scream, nothing will change. And even with screaming, "they" know impotent screaming when they hear it, which is why the bonuses continue, and continue, and continue..... Fuck you and me....

Indeed. In the meantime, ahma work on some ripped abs. I figger I need to rev up my metabolism, so's I can eat even more.... Heh, they can make bigger nets, can't they??
--
EA



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People in India make eight cents a week. Duh! Equate that to a living wage in US.

The bending and spreading is your choice, not mine. Electric cars are no more a solution than going back to wood burning stoves/fireplaces. Electricity is an unbelievably dirty industry in this country (US), most power plants being coal fired. Even solar energy in the form of panels and the tandem storage battery technology are incredibly toxic industries. Face it. We're doomed. ;)
nb
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wrote:

Hmmm.... I thought it *was* the adjusted price.... mebbe someone knows for sure what the "real" relative cost of a Tata is, wrt to say, the Smart car -- which is actually more expensive than the Honda Fit. iirc, the Smart car sure did *look* like a Tata.

Well, I don't think it's really a choice at all. You *are* going to bend over and spread, it's just a matter of when, for whom, and for what.
And what the Proctologist's bill is going to be....
Electric cars are

Did you know that some -- mebbe many -- municipalities ban burning wood in fireplaces????

This is a good point, suggesting that electric cars be "marketed" in hydro-electric regions. AND that more hydroelectric be built, or expanded, so that extra energy can be piped elsewhere.
I wonder, in Niagara Falls, for example, what fraction of the total volume of water is diverted to generators? On just casual inspection, it looks like no more than 15,20%.
Even solar energy in the form of

This is something I mention often, very few people are aware of it. Ergo overseas production. Let the little -- foreign -- people pay taxes and suffer with hydrofluoric acid.

Not such a big problem for me. I just object to being shoved to the front of the Doom Line.
--
EA






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Sucks to be young. Imma geezer who will be happy to see 10 more yrs. I weep for my daughter and granddaughers, but am no less optimistic. Feel free to nurture any fantasies you may have.
nb
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It occurs to me you've not really existed long enough to claim any knowledge of existentialism, a bogus term created by self-proclaimed intellectuals who had nothing importannt to add to anything. Hello! Anyone who was born and lived longer than 8 seconds existed. DUH!!
Get back to us when you have some actual revelations we haven't all considered in passing between beers or while taking a dump.
nb
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wrote:

8 seconds, eh?

Methinks you strained too hard on yer last dump. You should relax more, and just let it come out smooth. Drink more water, fibre. Exercise helps.
Hey, you don't like Existential Angst?? You'da LOVED my old handle... Proctologically Violated The Wife made me change it, tho....
--
EA

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