[Server-sky] [ExI] Power sats again

David david at fierbaugh.net
Wed Jul 17 22:45:56 UTC 2013


Where do your numbers on conversion of kwH to $ come from? Do you have them
from any other companies?


On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM, Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 07:40:04AM -0700, Charles Radley wrote:
> > BPA argued that this was unreasonable,  however, in 2011 the FERC ruled
> > against BPA and forced them to buy all the wind power even when there
> > was not enough demand for it.   BPA wanted the right to turn off the
> > wind turbines, but FERC ruled that BPA does not have the right to do
> that.
> Bitcoin smacks of busywork to me, but the idea of turning excess
> energy into more valuable outputs is a great idea.  Google turns
> a kilowatt hour of $0.05 wholesale electricity into $20 of bottom
> line results.  Shipping raw industrial inputs is silly when you can
> convert them into high value products with low shipping expense.
> Even undeveloped countries ship sugar, not sugar cane.
> The usual problem with conversion of erratic sources is the capital
> cost of the conversion tools.  Most rapidly-depreciating high tech
> stuff does not want to be idle 90% of the time.  Water pumps are
> examples of low tech stuff with long lifetimes that can stand to
> be idle.  But most places where water needs pumping are a long
> way away, at the end of expensive power lines.  We can only pump
> so much water until we run out of useful places to store it.  The
> problem with hydro in most places is that it is remote, or small,
> or destructive of habitat, and usually all three.
> Regards wind energy, we have lots of power engineers here in the
> Pacific Northwet and I sometimes attend their meetings.  We also
> have a lot of innumerate greenoids who can't tell a watt from a
> joule.  The interactions are "interesting".
> Here is a plot I made of 2012's 5 minute averages of regional
> power demand horizontally, available wind power vertically:
> http://keithl.com/wind2a.png
> A perfect power source would be a diagonal line that matches
> instantaneous production to instantaneous demand.  Honest
> accounting would measure power sources by their 80% reliable
> availability, which for wind power is less than 2% of the
> nameplate rating.  If your car or house or computer was
> randomly unusable more than 20% of the time, you would scrap
> them.
> Windfarms in the Northwest are touted as if they produce 4.7GW
> all the time.  The maximum they ever produced was 4.37GW for
> one five minute period in 2012, with an average of 2.18 GW
> and a mode (50% availability) of less than 0.74 GW.  The
> availability is fractal, not even as good as random.
> Electricity is valuable to customers because the power is
> reliable, standardized, meterable, and adjustable to varying
> demand.  An energy source's value diminishes as it loses those
> qualities.
> At the other end of the energy usability scale is one 3600 MT
> nuclear explosion per year.  That produces 4.2 trillion
> kilowatt hours per year of energy, about the same as annual
> US electric generation, but in a lethally inconvenient form.
> At some point, a technology crosses over from "useful power"
> to "extreme nuisance", and without good rapid-response high
> capacity power storage ( http://launchloop.com/PowerLoop ) we
> gotta just grin and adapt to the bad decisions made by others.
> As suboptimal as the results are, they would be far worse if
> the decision-makers were also in charge of cleaning up the
> messes they make.
> This email is too long already.  In the next email I will
> discuss what this means for Server Sky, and a presentation I
> will make in two weeks that is difficult to design because
> of these problems.
> Keith
> --
> Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
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