jump to navigation

Fusion – ain’t gonna happen February 28, 2015

Posted by Maury Markowitz in fusion.
Tags:
add a comment

Image of ITER under construction with the concrete floor being build.

ITER is a big hole in the ground. Literally and metaphorically.


A while back I wrote a lengthy article on the problems facing the fusion energy concept, and how even if the technical issues were solved, it wouldn’t make a difference, the economic problems facing it were even worse.

No matter how hard you try, fusion will be more expensive than power sources we have now, so no one is going to build one.

The argument was made by, and backed up by, lots and lots of independent studies. I was merely the messenger. The messenger was attacked, of course. This tech has convinced so many people of it’s total awesomeness that logic simply no longer works. Well, maybe this will…

(more…)

Lies, damb lies, and misleading graphs – electric car efficiency in the AAAS February 21, 2015

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
add a comment
Map of energy use of electric cars from the AAAS

Shouldn’t they have a caption here?

So someone slashdoted this story in the AAAS. Along with it comes the fancy graphic on the right. Looking at that graph, it seems that the energy use of electric cars anywhere outside the deep south is terrible! And it looks that way until you read the small-print caption under the graph…

The average energy consumption per mile for an electric vehicle fleet over a full year. South Florida and the Pacific Coast boasted the greenest rates (170 Wh/km), whereas the upper Midwest fared the worst in terms of energy efficiency (196 Wh/km; red).

That’s right, the difference from green-is-good to red-is-bad is 26 Wh/km, or 13%. Wow, nice graph, AAAS. What’s worse, they fail to mention that gas powered cars also suffer from the same sorts of milage degradation in the cold, only worse. My Civic Hybrid gets about 53 mpg (US gallons) in the summer and only 38 in the winter.

I suggest everyone take a bit of their time and read my previous article on the topic. Running an electric car in the red area is still twice as efficient as a gas car in the same region.

2014 ended with a bang February 4, 2015

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
add a comment

I’ve been writing this blog for five years now. I started it to cover the goings-on at AECL, but it emerged as something larger, covering renewables as well. And what happened to renewables in those five years I never would have predicted. Here’s a couple of quick notes to start off the year.

(more…)

2014 in review December 31, 2014

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
add a comment

I continue to be surprised at the traffic this site generates, especially given what could only be described as a rather narrow focus. This year I had just under 30,000 unique visitors, roughly triple that of last year, which was roughly triple that of the year before. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to visit, I really appreciate it!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 29,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Too slow and steady: household battery packs are going to take a while October 25, 2014

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
add a comment
That can't be good.

That can’t be good.

I would like nothing more than to have an inverter and battery pack in my home.

The recent ice storms left us without power for just over three days in the dead of winter. We had a gas stove in the basement and some great camp lights that kept us going, but camping in your own basement without any form of communications gets boring fast. I’d love to have backup power, but at something north of $15k, I have other things to worry about.

So it’s with some sadness that I saw recent numbers from Sandia Labs that suggest I’m going to have to keep waiting a while before I can actually afford a whole-home UPS (uninterruptible power supply), but not for the reasons I thought.

(more…)

Japan’s rapid switch to PV September 30, 2014

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
add a comment
Kagoshima Nanatsujima PV plant

Kagoshima Nanatsujima PV plant

I came across this article mentioning that Japan has installed 11 GWp of renewables in the last two years. That’s not record-setting by any means (the US beats that), but definitely worthy of comment for a couple of  reasons…

(more…)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers