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Hearth's Warming Helper


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Found 8 results

  1. Mine would be "Oh noooo, just five more minutes," or "I'm old before my time, I should sleep in," or "Hm, maybe I should've gone to sleep earlier last night, because boy do I feel like I got hit by a truck."
  2. Winter will be arriving and with that, so too will the time come to turn up the heat to prevent freezing to death. There are different ways to stay warm for the season. There are electric heaters and heat pumps that use electricity to do the warming, there's natural gas, propane and butane (often classified as Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids or Liquefied Petroleum Gas), heating oil and solid fuels like wood and charcoal. It'd also be interesting to know why one might make their choice such as purchase and installation price, lifetime cost, cleanliness and reliability. Do take note that I'm asking for your preferred primary mode of heating. I did hear about households that use solar collectors to supplement their heating but that's just it: it's a supplement. I've also heard of geothermal heat pumps. Those still need electricity to run. Since I live in a tropical climate, I can't answer this poll myself. As for why I brought this up, energy is a topic I'm interested in and my curiosity is getting the better of me. Ultimately, I thought it best to lump in biofuels as they too can be solid, liquid or gaseous. Refined biogas (biomethane), for example, is indistinguishable from natural gas. In some places around the world, refined biogas simply gets mixed in with natural gas. EDIT: Fixed the poll. Sort of. It'll do. I just hope it works.
  3. Consider this a brief introduction to the topic. Whether you are just a homeowner, a business or a utility and you're looking to produce energy -- whether to save money or to make money -- suffice it to say we're living in an age of alternatives. There really are a plethora of ways to do that nowadays. Sources include natural gas, (crude) oil, coal, nuclear, hydro-electric, biomass, solar, wind and geothermal for the most part. So how do you even begin to choose? While there are many factors to consider, a very important one is the lifetime costs of generation per unit of energy produced. The lifetime costs consists of three basic components: starting costs, running & maintenance costs and disposal costs. You really have to include EVERYTHING. Now you add all these up and what you get is the total lifetime cost. The next thing to do is make a calculation of how much electrical energy is going to be produced over the lifetime of the project. Have those two figured out? Good. What you now do is take the total lifetime cost and divide it by the amount of lifetime energy production. What comes out the other end is the lifetime cost per lifetime production. The unit is often denoted in $/kWh or ¢/kWh (dollars or cents per kilowatt-hour). This is the so-called Levelized Cost of Energy. This is how you can compare different energy sources and production methods in a more apples-to-apples kind of way.
  4. OK, so hypothetically speaking, you are considering putting solar panels up on your roof and you're wondering if it's going to be worth it. In addition, solar panels are stated to last about 25 years (at least that's the local warranty). So then within those 25 years, those solar panels are going to be pumping electricity into your house as well as the electric grid and you'll be paid for all the energy that those panels generate. Now, within that 25 years, how many times over does the investment have to pay for itself for you to think that the investment is worth it? IMO that number is 3 times over: 1st time to pay for itself. 2nd time to pay for its eventual replacement 3rd to profit. So that means that the solar panels installation would need to pay for itself once every eight years roughly for me to deem it to be a good enough investment. How many times over would it need to pay for itself, you think? It'd appreciated if you can give your reasoning as well.
  5. OK, this is going to be pretty huge... Eos Energy Storage Awarded $2.1 Million from California Energy Commission for Ground-Breaking Battery Demonstration What is this battery demonstration all about? It's about battery energy storage becoming more integrated with the electric grid. This snippet goes into greater detail on that: The next thing I'd like to draw attention to is what's underlined above; Eos' Aurora DC battery technology. Just the claim that their batteries will compete with copper wire seems outlandish so I need to explain what they're talking about there. The thing about electric grids is that they are built to supply peak demands. If the peak demands were to become more than the grid can transport, then additional copper lines and cables must be installed to carry that extra power. It'd be a lot to explain but let's just say that if energy storage is made accessible and used well, the power lines of the present won't need to carry bursts as large as they do today which means that bulking up the grid can be postponed and future power lines can be slimmed down if the technology is applied. Savings could be huge. What's more, a price point of $160 per kWh is obscene in how low it is! Today, Lithium-Ion batteries; the kind you tend to find in laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles, tend to cost about $500 per kWh of capacity. That's quite a contrast, isn't it? Energy storage at that cost could transform the way energy is supplied to our wall outlets. Of course, we won't really notice anything as consumers but utility companies do stand to profit greatly from this due to savings in infrastructure investment as well as really starting to take advantage of the near zero marginal costs (the cost to produce an extra unit of something) of renewable energy sources. Given that this is after all a pilot demonstration project, it's going to be a few years before these changes start to take shape.
  6. When I was writing about me informations at my profile page I figured something quite fascinating we posses A LOT of energy. Here see for your self. I will list nuclear bombs yields. Hiroshima bomb 0,000016 Gt of TNT Tsar bomb 0,05 Gt of TNT every nuclear bomb ever detonated 0,5103 Gt of TNT all nuclear bombs mankind currently has 7 Gt of TNT Now the energy that average human body posses 1,5036 Gt of TNT This means that you posses over twice the amount of energy that every nuclear bomb ever detonated released and that if you get 4 friends you will together posses more energy than all nuclear weapons mankind has would release if detonated. Of curse it's possible that I made error in my calculations and in that case I would be really grateful if someone would correct me. edit: I meant this partially like joke but when I was telling this to some person elsewhere I realized that I should explain my calculations. I compared the energy that nuclear bombs released (energy released trough fusion and fission) with energy that human body would release if annihilated. (I thought that it was obvious to anyone who was interested in reading this.) Do not think that the energy stored in chemical bonds in human body could ever get even close to any of these numbers. (I just found quite fascinating that if you annihilated average human body it would release more energy than every nuclear bomb released so I shared it.) I should also note that in annihilation roughly 50% of energy is released in neutrinos which almost don't interact with matter. If you wanted to calculate the "explosion" you would need to divide 1,5036 Gt of TNT by 2 (=0,7518 Gt of TNT) edit2: One of the comments inspired me to write how much antimatter would be needed to damage human body so here it is. Since it is quite hard to tell how much energy is needed to cause noticeable damage lets compare it with known ways to cause noticeable damage. In case of using the energy to accelerate projectile we can compare it with firearms. Muzzle energy of 9mm pistol round is 519J this is equivalent to energy acquired by annihilating 5,7746pg of matter (0,0000000057746mg) In case of using it in fragmentation explosive. Hand grenade at least 400kJ this is equivalent to energy acquired by annihilating 4,4506ng of matter (0,0000044506mg). Unfortunately I was unable to find any source on how would flesh react to gamma rays so I will just write energy required to vaporize roughly 0,0157l of water at starting temperature of 36°C. It requires approximately 40kJ (this is 1 tenth of "hand grenade energy") this is equivalent to energy acquired by annihilating 445,06pg of matter (0,00000044506mg) Those were nice numbers weren't they but I have calculated this so people who aren't good at math (or don't like doing it) can get some idea. I don't know about you but I like to convert these numbers to objects I'm familiar with (or as close to it since these numbers are to small for objects we use everyday). I will also round the numbers more so it is easier to look at. 9mm pistol was 5,8pg vaporization was 445pg hand grenade was 4450pg E. coli bacterium 1pg Human sperm cell 22pg average human cell 1 000pg Very fine grain of sand (0.063 mm diameter) 350000pg One eyebrow hair 70000000pg Source for values starting from E. coli bacterium mass was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(mass) (accessed 31st May 2014) or in another words energy acquired from one eyebrow hair would be equivalent to 12068966 9mm pistol bullets 157303 valorizations 15730 hand grenades or you could use it to supply average person with electricity for 232 days. note: this calculation didn't take into account that half of the energy from annihilation will be in form of neutrinos which won't interact with matter (The energy you will be able to use or that will do stuff will be half of what I wrote here) if you would want me to post the version which takes this into account rather than this one let me know. I also want to ask what do you think about this topic? If I do something similar to this in future should I post it here? Do you think that post like this is out of place on this forum? Did anyone found this interesting?
  7. This happend years ago, but is still pretty cool.Scientists in Japan have successfully managed to convert plastic into oil with a machine that heats it up, then collects the gasses which are cooled down with water,or something along those lines.The oil is usable right off the bat, but can be further refined.Great stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGGabrorRS8#t= Edit:It seems to skip for me,but if it does, just watch from the start.And I Can't embed to save my life :l, so if somebody would be kind enough to embed it, then i would be greatful.
  8. Don'tcha just love Einstein? This is an OC of mine as he Squares the speed of light. He looks very energetic, wouldn't you say? I love science.