If this is global warming...

Page 7 of 16  


Never mind the hydrogen available in the rest of the solar system -- there's more than enough available right here.

I've seen estimates of the sun's remaining lifespan ranging from a few hundred million years, to a few billion years. Either end of this range constitutes an effectively infinite resource.
With respect to the *mass* available for fuel (whether chemical or nuclear), this planet is for all practical purposes a closed system, and therefore the fuel available ten feet (or ten miles, or ten thousand miles) away must be considered a finite resource.
Until we develop a practical means of generating power by nuclear fusion, that is.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

Knowing your particular line of work makes me inclined to agree with you here- I'm not so interested in having the government or activist groups beat me on the head about what bad people we are, but finding new and better ways to do things is usually a good strategy, especially if the old way depends on finite resources.

I don't know that that is accurate- even with your projects, the sun is used as fuel. Can't get something from nothing, but some things are free, while others are not.
When I say I'm not going to do anything to change my habits, I mean just that. I don't think we're going to change what is happening at this point, and it may not be in our best interests to do so in any case. It's time to look at the possible results of climate change, whatever the causes may be, and plan accordingly. Who knows, global warming might be the best thing that has happened in ages- what if it translates into longer growing seasons to feed us all, and opens up the Antartic for settlement while making the winters less bitter and solar power a more viable option? Or, it may be a really rough road for us all. In either case, we need some ideas about just what the hell we're all going to do about it when it comes rolling along, instead of moping and pointing fingers.
Not every change is bad. I have serious trouble swallowing some sort of "waterworld" senario where we all have to live on boats and the sun will fry us all without spf5000 sunblock. Some things just change no matter what you do, and we've got to roll with those changes or lay down and die.
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Prometheus wrote: | On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 07:28:00 -0600, "Morris Dovey"
| || Ultimately, we'll need to move beyond fueled technologies || altogether. The path from where we are to there appears to me to || be bumpy and uphill - and our largest challenge appears to be that || of preparing our offspring to make that journey and produce sound || decisions en route. My biggest worry is that we're not meeting || that challenge. | | I don't know that that is accurate- even with your projects, the sun | is used as fuel. Can't get something from nothing, but some things | are free, while others are not.
Yes, the sun consumes fuel - let's get past that. It consumes it's fuel and will continue to do so no matter what. It was doing so before humans appeared on the scene and will probably still be doing so long after we're gone.
The practical difference is that the fuel cost of solar radiation is nil; and that the supply is (for practical purposes) inexhaustable. The energy delivered is limited to roughly a kilowatt per square meter over half of the planet's surface at a time.
We can expect that at some point, we'll have exhausted the planetary supplies of petroleum, coal, natural gas, and uranium. Long before they're gone, their prices will increase to the level where ordinary folks won't be able to afford to buy either the commodity or the energy produced from it.
I'm _not_ an advocate of converting everything to solar for the simple reason that it isn't the best source of energy for all applications. All energy sources have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages; and I've found it interesting to search for applications and problems that match up with the particular advantages and disadvantages of low-to-moderate temperature (100F-1000F) solar heating.
What I'm doing has nothing intentional to do with global warming/cooling. It has to do with finding more cost-effective ways of doing things already being done with other technologies. I see economic and social benefit in significantly reducing heating costs, in pumping liquids, and providing refrigeration with simple (few or no moving parts) devices and using freely available energy.
| When I say I'm not going to do anything to change my habits, I mean | just that. I don't think we're going to change what is happening at | this point, and it may not be in our best interests to do so in any | case. It's time to look at the possible results of climate change, | whatever the causes may be, and plan accordingly. Who knows, global | warming might be the best thing that has happened in ages- what if | it translates into longer growing seasons to feed us all, and opens | up the Antartic for settlement while making the winters less bitter | and solar power a more viable option? Or, it may be a really rough | road for us all. In either case, we need some ideas about just | what the hell we're all going to do about it when it comes rolling | along, instead of moping and pointing fingers.
FWIW, global warming won't make solar power a more viable option - except, possibly, for wind applications.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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On Sun, 18 Feb 2007 10:58:06 -0600, "Morris Dovey" < snipped-for-privacy@iedu.com

You know, if the sun was an energy source that was more under the direct control of man, like coal or oil, we would probably seek to legislate it out of existence due to its harmful side effects such as skin cancer, drought, extreme storms, etc.
This could be a convenient argumentum ad absurdum for the coal, oil and nuke flacks.
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wrote:

The fuel cost of fusion in a terrestrial power plant should also be nil or close to it. So why do you want to push solar instead of continuing to work on fusion?

And by that time we should have fusion reactors online.

And when that point is reached, then it will become economically viable to use some other source. But until that happens a crash program to go to some alternate energy source will _increase_ the cost to those consumers, not _decrease_ it.

Well, all of this is nice if you can make reliable equipment to do those things with operating and maintenance costs and initial purchase price low enough that the average person can afford them. But even if the lifecycle cost of a solar house is less than a conventional one, if the up front purchase price is twice as high then many people just plain can't dig up that much money at one go. The fuel cost is not the only cost.

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J. Clarke wrote: | On Sun, 18 Feb 2007 10:58:06 -0600, "Morris Dovey"
| || Prometheus wrote: ||| On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 07:28:00 -0600, "Morris Dovey"
||| |||| Ultimately, we'll need to move beyond fueled technologies |||| altogether. The path from where we are to there appears to me to |||| be bumpy and uphill - and our largest challenge appears to be |||| that of preparing our offspring to make that journey and produce |||| sound decisions en route. My biggest worry is that we're not |||| meeting that challenge. ||| ||| I don't know that that is accurate- even with your projects, the ||| sun is used as fuel. Can't get something from nothing, but some ||| things are free, while others are not. || || Yes, the sun consumes fuel - let's get past that. It consumes it's || fuel and will continue to do so no matter what. It was doing so || before humans appeared on the scene and will probably still be || doing so long after we're gone. || || The practical difference is that the fuel cost of solar radiation || is nil; and that the supply is (for practical purposes) || inexhaustable. The energy delivered is limited to roughly a || kilowatt per square meter over half of the planet's surface at a || time. | | The fuel cost of fusion in a terrestrial power plant should also be | nil or close to it. So why do you want to push solar instead of | continuing to work on fusion?
You're being a bit free with your assumptions. Get in contact with Greenough at PPPL and ask him who the person was with no project connection who pushed him hardest for progress _NOW_ (starting in '76) on Princeton's tokamak. If he hadn't a really good sense of humor (and been a very gentle kind of person) I'd probably be missing teeth.
I asked what it'd take to expidite commercialization and was told that it'd take on the order of a billion and a half (1976) dollars; and that PU couldn't find it. /I/ certainly didn't have it; so all I could do was beg the guys to work faster and smarter with what they did have. When the first toroid was built, they invited me to stop by and have a look see. (To imagine the magnetic pinch bottle and the annhilation of atoms produced in an object that size inspired real awe.)
I never saw the finished reactor. I understand it was assembled and run at Tom's River for ten years or so before being dismantled. When I saw that announcement I called one of the engineers and asked him to say "Hi" to the guys I'd known and tell them that they'd dazzled the hell out of me. BTW, there's a guy who worked on the project after I left the east coast who lurks here on the wreck and can certainly provide better info than I.
Fuel for the tokamak (if I understand it's operation properly) is tritium (as in heavy heavy water) - not something one can order up in bulk from any existing source. If you can supply the tritium and the construction money, I think the guys with the real-world experience (not to mention myself!) would probably be pretty happy to help make it happen...
|| We can expect that at some point, we'll have exhausted the || planetary supplies of petroleum, coal, natural gas, and uranium. | | And by that time we should have fusion reactors online.
Eh? They should be online _now_! We just have more "important" things to spend the money on.
|| Long before || they're gone, their prices will increase to the level where || ordinary folks won't be able to afford to buy either the commodity || or the energy produced from it. | | And when that point is reached, then it will become economically | viable to use some other source. But until that happens a crash | program to go to some alternate energy source will _increase_ the | cost to those consumers, not _decrease_ it.
Hmm. Other than the wild (but usually silent) enthusiasm for fusion to which I just confessed, who's advocating a crash program to go to some alternate energy source? Not I - nor has anyone else I've read here.
|| I'm _not_ an advocate of converting everything to solar for the || simple reason that it isn't the best source of energy for all || applications. All energy sources have their own unique set of || advantages and disadvantages; and I've found it interesting to || search for applications and problems that match up with the || particular advantages and disadvantages of low-to-moderate || temperature (100F-1000F) solar heating. || || What I'm doing has nothing intentional to do with global || warming/cooling. It has to do with finding more cost-effective || ways of doing things already being done with other technologies. I || see economic and social benefit in significantly reducing heating || costs, in pumping liquids, and providing refrigeration with simple || (few or no moving parts) devices and using freely available energy. | | Well, all of this is nice if you can make reliable equipment to do | those things with operating and maintenance costs and initial | purchase price low enough that the average person can afford them. | But even if the lifecycle cost of a solar house is less than a | conventional one, if the up front purchase price is twice as high | then many people just plain can't dig up that much money at one go. | The fuel cost is not the only cost.
Well then - by your criteria all this is pretty nice indeed. You may surprised to learn that the up-front construction cost /can/ be considerably lower. Whether or not that translates into a lower _purchase_ price is a different matter entirely.
The up-front purchase price for solar equipment is all over the place. If you want to hammer /me/ on this one, you'd better look up panel prices at my web site and do some comparisons with similar products from elsewhere. This isn't a subject I feel I should be discussing in a newsgroup (but I'm tempted.)
I'm not sure how too say this as gently as I'd like; but your comments indicate that you have considerable catch-up reading to do.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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[biggie snip]
I see from your post ( 7 minutes ahead of mine <G>) that you do see a future in fusion. I do want to clarify, that I see a future there as well. My stance is that we shouldn't stop developing alternative energy sources with the thought in mind that the fusion reactor will save us all in the end. I'm a proponent of developing what works, What gives us known data, so we can predict costs and ROI. That, in today's world, is already quite difficult. A 5 billion dollar fission reactor ended up costing 14 billion. Still, at a steady 2500 MW with known maintenance costs, there's a pay-back horizon somewhere before the life-span of the unit. Fusion looks like a black hole to me, financially speaking.
r
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Robatoy wrote:
| | [biggie snip] | | I see from your post ( 7 minutes ahead of mine <G>) that you do see | a future in fusion. I do want to clarify, that I see a future there | as well. My stance is that we shouldn't stop developing alternative | energy sources with the thought in mind that the fusion reactor will | save us all in the end. I'm a proponent of developing what works, | What gives us known data, so we can predict costs and ROI. That, in | today's world, is already quite difficult. A 5 billion dollar | fission reactor ended up costing 14 billion. Still, at a steady | 2500 MW with known maintenance costs, there's a pay-back horizon | somewhere before the life-span of the unit. | Fusion looks like a black hole to me, financially speaking.
Like you, I like things that /work/. By a fluke, I happened to be in the Princeton area (working on Tiros-N at RCA's Astro Engineering Lab in Hightstown) and gabbing on VHF during off-hours. One of the hams I met on-air turned out to be a neighbor and he introduced me to a bunch of other hams he worked with - all at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and all likeable people with similar interests. I think they were pleased that a systems geek could be so enthusiastic about what they were doing. I'm not sure that some measure of my enthusiasm about their project didn't stem from my resonance with the people (since I'm nowhere near being a physicist); but the enthusiasm was - and is - very real.
The end game, as I understood it, is to build a ring of tokamaks capable of being fueled on ordinary water (not heavy heavy water or even heavy water); and using power from reactor[n] to power the firing of reactor[n+1]. From their comments, it seems do-able; but that, because of the energy levels involved and the newness of the technology, work needed to proceed in "baby steps". There was never any question that it'd be enormously expensive; but they were certain of both technology and payback.
[ For anyone not in the know, tokamaks were a Russian development and produce energy by zapping a droplet of tritium oxide (water where the hydrogen nucleus contains two neutrons in addition to the usual proton) so hard that the atom shatters, liberating gazooba energy - that c-squared multiplier kicks pretty hard. ]
I do have one reservation: it makes me nervous to convert planetary mass to energy. Sol-3 isn't particularly short on water; but water mass converted to energy is gone _forever_ - and I suspect that humanity's hunger for free (or really cheap) energy might result in an incredibly accellerated reduction in one of our most important planetary resources. I wonder how many thousands (or tens of thousands) of years it might take before Earth bore more than a passing resemblance to Sol-4.
Fission is ok, but fuel looks like a long-term problem. I particularly liked a German design I saw a while back - in which fuel pellets were wrapped in a ceramic jacket which controlled spacing between pellets and, as the reactor heated up, the jackets expanded to increase pellet spacing to reduce reaction rate. From a nuclear physics standpoint, I don't know enough to pronounce the design "good" or "bad"; but I liked the simple elegance of the approach. :-)
The solar stuff I work on seems pretty tame by comparison; but it _is_ something that can be managed at an individual level without major funding. Best of all, it works.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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wrote:

I think you're confusing the tokamak, which is a magnetic confinement scheme, with inertial confinement devices such as Shiva, Nova, NIF, and HiPER.
In fusion no atoms "shatter", two hydrogens combine to form helium (or any other two ligher nuclei combine to form a heavier one) plus an amount of energy equal to the mass deficit between the two elements.

If the population of the earth was ten times what it is and the per capita energy consumption was 100 times what is is in the United States today, the amount of hydrogen in the oceans is sufficient to last for approximately 10 million years.
In 10 million years, with fusion energy available, one would hope that the ability to travel easily to other planets would have been developed. If Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were accessible that would provide a quantity of hydrogen equal to approximately 300 times the entire mass of the Earth (each of those planets is many times the size of Earth and each is mostly hydrogen). At the same level of consumption that quantity would be sufficient to last approximately several million times the age of the universe. If humanity manages to hang around that long then I suspect that running out of hydrogen in Earth's solar system will be the least of their worries.

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Please post the worksheet which allowed you to arrive at those numbers.
If quoted from another source, please cite.
r
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Rob,
I don't think you really want to squeeze that particular roll of Charmin right now. Really.
GDR
Rick
"Robatoy" wrote in message wrote:

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On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 18:35:17 -0500, "Rick M"

The calculation isn't difficult.
Energy released from fusion of 1 Kg of hydrogen = 676 times the per capita annual energy consumption of the US. <http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/nucbin.html
World population = approximately 6.5 billion <http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html
Kilograms of hydrogen required to provide 6.5 billion people energy equivalent to the per capita consumption of the US = 6.5E9/676=9.62E6 kilograms.
Mass of world ocean = 1.4e21Kg <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean>
(note--in my previous calculation I entered this incorrectely as 1.4E18)
Mass of hydrogen in world ocean = 1.4e21*2/18 = 1.56e20 Kg. (atomic mass of hydrogen is 1, of water molecule is 18, there are two hydrogens per water molecule)
Time required to consume all hydrogen in world ocean at current population and current per capita rate = 1.56e20/9.62e6 = 1.62E13 years.
Time required at 100 times current US per capita rate and 10 times the population = 1.62E13/1000=1.62E10.2 billion years. Note that this is somewhere between 75% and 1.6 times the age of the universe depending on which estimate you use.
Mass of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune98.6, 568.46, 86.832, and 102.43 E24 kg, respectively.
Percentage of hydrogen.8, 96.3, 82.5, and 80.0 percent respectively <http://filer.case.edu/sjr16/advanced/planets_main.html (these are higher than I used previously--I used the wiki numbers then and the wiki page has been corrupted since, I believe case.edu is probably more reliable).
Total mass of hydrogen on outer planets 1898.6e24*.898+568.46e24*.963+86.832*.825+102.43e24*.80=2.41E27 kilograms of hydrogen.
Time to deplete hydrogen in outer planets=2.41E27 / (9.62E6 * 1000) 2.50E17 years.
Age of universe 20E9 years <http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/age_universe_030103.html
2.50E17/20E9 = 12,500,000.
So we have that to deplete the hydrogen in Earth and the outer planets at 10 times the current population and 100 times the current per capita US consumption rate will take 12.5 million times the age of the universe.
Note that the number may change somewhat depending on the particular reaction--D-T is somewhat more energetic than H-H for example, and on whose numbers you use for the composition of the outer planets and the age of the universe, but the point remains, we're talking billions of years to deplete the hydrogen in the oceans and unimaginably long time periods to deplete the hydrogen in the outer planets, even at a much higher consumption level than at present.
Also note that the sun is only supposed to last another 5.5 billion years <http://filer.case.edu/sjr16/advanced/sun_astar.html .

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[snipped for brevity, although very interesting indeed.]

I have always enjoyed the 'spoonful' vs 'coal train' analogies. It's particularly interesting when the spoonful contains water. How many MW per gazooba?

I think if we convert all the oceans directly to energy, we could give the sun a run for its money..well..not quite, but global warming would take on a whole new meaning. Maybe more like Sol 5. I get a kick out of some of the sizes that different suns come in. Ours is but a pipsqueek. Betelgeuse doesn't quite fit in between our earth and our sun. Blows my little mind.

That's pretty clever. I like the idea of fusion, not only because fuel is plentyful, but the radiation products are very short-lived.

I have been snooping around a bit, as I am having a new roof put on the house where I live. I would like some minimal PV power as a back-up. I'm not really interested in making the meter spin backwards.
The more I read, the more I discover that there is so much to learn. That is what makes it fun.
....and now back to some cold fusion.
r
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wrote:

Uh, the Princeton Large Torus was an experiment. "Expediting commercialization" was not feasible 30 years ago and if someone knowledgeable gave you a number for it he was very likely trying to get you to go away--there was not enough known then to produce a commercial reactor and most of the scientists and engineers working on the project _knew_ that not enough was known.
Currently the largest working fusion device other than weapons is JET I believe, which has achieved theoretical breakeven. The next step, for which something like 2.5 billion dollars has been committed, is ITER, which should produce fusion energy at the level of 10 times breakeven in the 2010-2015 time frame. Once it is running and if it works as designed, then the next step would be to use that fusion energy to generate electric power resulting in a self-sustaining system--that would be in the 2030 time frame. After that a commercial prototype would be developed in maybe the 2045 timeframe.
Attempting commercialization in 1976 could have swallowed the entire US GDP with no result.
As for burning tritium, the D-T cycle is the easiest, so that's what the development designs are working on. Once there are reactors actually running in commercial service development to the point of burning ordinary hydrogen should be possible.
The thing is, we don't need a new energy source now, today. Fission will carry us for several hundred years, at which point commercial fusion should be commonplace if the econuts don't find some way to kill them.

All the money in the world would not have them online now. Too much research that depends on the results of other research that needs to be done yet.

Then what, exactly, _are_ you on about?

Huh? How does one build a solar house that is cheaper than a conventional house?

"Solar equipment"? A proper solar house doesn't use "solar equipment", it uses design.

Coming from someone who thinks that fusion could have been commercialized in 1976 for a couple of billion dollars, that's actually humorous.
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J. Clarke wrote:
| Uh, the Princeton Large Torus was an experiment. "Expediting | commercialization" was not feasible 30 years ago and if someone | knowledgeable gave you a number for it he was very likely trying to | get you to go away--there was not enough known then to produce a | commercial reactor and most of the scientists and engineers working | on the project _knew_ that not enough was known.
There were even a few (intellectually conceited) folk who knew it couldn't be done at all.
| Currently the largest working fusion device other than weapons is | JET I believe, which has achieved theoretical breakeven. The next | step, for which something like 2.5 billion dollars has been | committed, is ITER, which should produce fusion energy at the level | of 10 times breakeven in the 2010-2015 time frame. Once it is | running and if it works as designed, then the next step would be to | use that fusion energy to generate electric power resulting in a | self-sustaining system--that would be in the 2030 time frame. | After that a commercial prototype would be developed in maybe the | 2045 timeframe.
Interesting.
| Huh? How does one build a solar house that is cheaper than a | conventional house?
By careful design and selection of appropriate materials, of course. I have a photo that I'll post to ABPW for you of one for which I've been asked to quote heating panels. The house was built by a contractor who wanted a test case for some non-conventional methods and materials. The house shown has no heating plant and is in an area where winter night time temperatures drop to 20F. The lowest indoor temperature this winter has been 65F. The contractor would like to add solar panels to raise that somewhat.
For more detailed how-to info, you should probably ask this question in alt.solar.thermal - and if your interest extends to having such a home built, I can foreward your contact info to the contractor.
| "Solar equipment"? A proper solar house doesn't use "solar | equipment", it uses design.
It would seem, then, that many houses with retrofitted solar heat aren't "proper". Fortunately for the folks living in "improper" homes, there are off-the-shelf products that can reduce their heating costs in a way they find satisfying.
| Coming from someone who thinks that fusion could have been | commercialized in 1976 for a couple of billion dollars, that's | actually humorous.
Re-read for comprehension.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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wrote:

That "careful design and selection of appropriate materials" would result in a conventional house being less expensive too though.
All else being equal a solar house needs collecting area and thermal mass, and in an area where they have real winters it also has to have backup heat.

Which is what I used to see in Florida. That far south it might be possible to build a relatively inexpensive solar house. I doubt it would work here though, where single-degree temperatures for days at a time and occasional excursions below zero combined with significant snowfall are the norm.
And that leaves aside the difficulty of finding a site with a good unblocked southern exposure--where I am now I'd have to cut down several other people's trees, which I don't think they'd like very much.
Around here effective passive solar design means a house-within-a-house design.

I can understand that. But there's another cost increase.

It was a rhetorical question. If I was going to build such a house I'd dust off my engineering degree and dig out my solar engineering texts.
Personally I thought solar was a cool idea when I was a kid, the more I learned about it the less attractive it became.

Funny thing, when there was a tax break for solar every house in my neighborhood sprouted solar collectors. There's one set left now.
But retrofitting solar heat raises the price of the house.

Maybe you meant something other than what you said. If so you should write what you mean.
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In your rush to the ridiculous, you've bypassed the simple. Have your drapes respond to the sun by closing to prevent heat loss on cloudy, opening to build heat on sunlit cold days. Reverse for cooling. Instant recovery of costs, and the gift just keeps on giving.
Just lining your curtains with reflective, insulating material will make a huge difference.
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J. Clarke wrote: | On Sun, 18 Feb 2007 16:41:10 -0600, "Morris Dovey"
| || J. Clarke wrote:
||| Huh? How does one build a solar house that is cheaper than a ||| conventional house? || || By careful design and selection of appropriate materials, of || course. | | That "careful design and selection of appropriate materials" would | result in a conventional house being less expensive too though.
True - although one might take the viewpoint that until the design and materials became the norm for homebuilding, the resulting home could hardly be called "conventional".
| All else being equal a solar house needs collecting area and thermal | mass, and in an area where they have real winters it also has to | have backup heat.
Almost correct. A solar house does need collecting area - but beyond that it need only retain sufficient heat for comfort. Thermal mass provides storage for replacement heat to compensate for losses. When the losses become sufficiently small, the need for thermal mass shrinks to near nil.
|| I || have a photo that I'll post to ABPW for you of one for which I've || been asked to quote heating panels. The house was built by a || contractor who wanted a test case for some non-conventional || methods and materials. The house shown has no heating plant and is || in an area where winter night time temperatures drop to 20F. | | Which is what I used to see in Florida. That far south it might be | possible to build a relatively inexpensive solar house. I doubt it | would work here though, where single-degree temperatures for days | at a time and occasional excursions below zero combined with | significant snowfall are the norm.
You might be surprised. I erected a solar-heated concrete block shop in Minnesota and underestimated the output of its collector panels. There were days when the outside temperature was -30F and windspeed was in the 30-40 MPH range when I had to prop the doors ajar and work in a T-shirt. That building, BTW, had uninsulated walls.
| Around here effective passive solar design means a | house-within-a-house design. | || The lowest indoor temperature || this winter has been 65F. The contractor would like to add solar || panels to raise that somewhat. | | I can understand that. But there's another cost increase.
I guess that'd depend on what you're using as a base. My understanding is that an R-40 house like that in the photo can be built for about $55K in the Tuscon area. I have no way of knowing whether that'd be an increase or decrease of conventional house cost in your area. FWIW, it'd be a very respectable cost decrease in the Des Moines area (and I'd expect there to be remarkably few homes with that kind of thermal efficiency here.)
|| For more detailed how-to info, you should probably ask this || question in alt.solar.thermal - and if your interest extends to || having such a home built, I can foreward your contact info to the || contractor. | | It was a rhetorical question. If I was going to build such a house | I'd dust off my engineering degree and dig out my solar engineering | texts.
Probably a good idea to do a bit of research into new materials and construction methods since you last looked at those texts, as well. Energy cost increases have motivated a considerable amount of innovation.
| Personally I thought solar was a cool idea when I was a kid, the | more I learned about it the less attractive it became. | ||| "Solar equipment"? A proper solar house doesn't use "solar ||| equipment", it uses design. || || It would seem, then, that many houses with retrofitted solar heat || aren't "proper". Fortunately for the folks living in "improper" || homes, there are off-the-shelf products that can reduce their || heating costs in a way they find satisfying. | | Funny thing, when there was a tax break for solar every house in my | neighborhood sprouted solar collectors. There's one set left now. | | But retrofitting solar heat raises the price of the house.
Perhaps - but it may also say as much about your neighbors as it does about the products purchased. It would seem reasonable to make that kind of purchase only with a reasonable certainty that the panels would actually be worth having.
||| Coming from someone who thinks that fusion could have been ||| commercialized in 1976 for a couple of billion dollars, that's ||| actually humorous. || || Re-read for comprehension. | | Maybe you meant something other than what you said. If so you | should write what you mean.
I did. I related something I was told some thirty years ago and you presented it as current belief in an attempt to ridicule. I don't know any more about the cost (or physics) now than I did then, but am somewhat more aware of how a '76 dollar has inflated.
I wrote exactly what I meant and gave you the benefit of the doubt by assuming miscomprehension rather than misrepresentation.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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wrote:

No, it doesn't. The chair I'm sitting in is "thermal mass". The plaster on the walls is "thermal mass". The floor joists are "thermal mass", everything in the house is "thermal mass". In a relatively warm climate it might be possible to provide sufficient thermal mass entirely from structure, but not in a cold one, not unless you have some active means of insulating or isolating the collector at night and at that point you no longer have a passive design.
As for "when the losses become sufficiently small", now you've got a nearly airtight box to minimize the infiltration loss, which means that you need an effective scrubber to take out bathroom and cooking odors (no simple vent to the outside) or you need an effective heat exchanger to allow ventilation, and you need exceedingly heavy insulation to minimize the conduction through the walls. So you've traded one set of construction costs for another.

And was it cheaper to build that one than one from the same materials with conventional heat?

That's fine for _days_. How was it at 4 AM? And how much did those collectors cost? Note that if they were free or inexpensive due to efficient scrounging on your part then you're not describing something that someone building houses commercially can count on doing.

I'd be very surprised if R-40 with no supplemental thermal mass was sufficient here.

What are these "new materials"? Are you saying that there is some kind of new insulation that is cheaper than fiberglass? If so why is not every builder jumping on it?

So with them paid for why would they not be "worth having"?

So you are denying that you said "Eh? They should be online _now_! We just have more "important" things to spend the money on. "
So since you seem to be admitting that your 2 billion in 1976 would have done it, how much would have and spent when?

So you did mean that by spending 2 billion dollars in 1976 we could have had fusion online now? Because that is what you wrote.
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Please post the worksheet which allowed you to arrive at those numbers. If quoted from another source, please cite.
r -----> who is still waiting... unless you sucked those numbers out of your thumb and too ashamed to admit that you were trying to bullshit your way through a discussion. A lot of hat, no cattle.
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