Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 9:25 pm
On 9 Feb 2006 05:34:35 -0800, "ghostwriter"
You'd lose the efficiency advantage of direct generation when output
met demand, though . . . not sure how much of an advantage you'd get
from a more efficient generator, but you'd have to measure it against
pump and water turbine efficiency, evaporative losses, and capital . .
That might be impractical due to the high cost of coastal land . . .
although you might be able to put the reservoirs inland some . . .
"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto
Posted by dold on February 9, 2006, 10:35 pm
California shows a negative energy input from the water pump system, but
the uphill pump is done at night, the downhill flow is during the day, so
they are using excess capacity at night to moderate the demand during the
day. The water, land, and, the pumps were already part of the massive
California Water Project, so the source of the energy is "free", in that it
was already required to be expended for the water project.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
Posted by Jim Baber on February 11, 2006, 1:48 am
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Jim Baber comments:
Completly true to here but there are major errors in the next paragraph.
It should have read:
The water, and land were already part of the massive California Water Project,
but the pumps were at the Bakersfield side of the mountain range and pumped
water one direction only uphill to Triangle Lake. The reversible pump/generators
needed to act as either a pump to return water uphill to Triangle Lake at night
or were used as generators in the daytime, were at Castaic Lake which was
downhill from Triangle Lake on the Los Angeles side of the mountains.
There were considerable savings because of the double use of the water for power
storage and also a major source of water for southern california, but the
pump/generators needed for the power storage aspects of the project were not a
part of the California Water Project but were added to the project by the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power to make peaking power from surplus power
produced at night in their conventional plants.
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adr:;;1350 W. Mesa Ave.;Fresno;CA;93711-2008;USA
Posted by Morris Dovey on February 9, 2006, 3:24 am
Josh Hill (in email@example.com) said:
| On 8 Feb 2006 11:04:48 -0800, "ghostwriter"
|| The simple fact is that the profit margins were not good enough
|| compared to fossil fuels to make any serious players interested.
|| There exists no true mass production facility for solar panels.
|| The production facilities that are around are small by industrial
|| standards. I remember reading a report (DOE i seem to recall) that
|| suggested that a major facility with a dedicated glass works
|| attached could produce solar panels in the $watt range installed,
|| assuming a 10% profit. Thats from memory so YMMV. 10% is not a
|| great profit margin but other industries manage on it. Assuming a
|| 10% time value of money that means a end user cost of $.05Kwh.
|| The technology exists but capital on the scale needed does not. And
|| until prices on energy go even higher I dont see it becoming
| If that's true it would certainly be competitive in some
| applications, e.g., those that reduce peak demand during air
| conditioning season. Beyond that, I think you have to take into
| account the cost and inefficiency of batteries or the
| infrastructure and staffing that provide power on cloudy days. Wind
| has the same problem -- wind power is already in the $.05/kWh
| range, which after subsidies and indirect costs is probably
| competitive even with coal, but it doesn't always blow, and storage
| would be expensive and inefficient . . . I've read proposals to tie
| widely separated wind farms together, but I'm not sure if that
| would be price effective given grid losses.
Does it really need to be so binary? A number of municipalities have
begun using wind generators to "buy down" the cost of electricity
provided to their communities. The town of Waverly (population 10,000)
in northeastern Iowa uses coal, hydro, and wind (as well as natural
gas and/or diesel to handle peak loads).
One of the more interesting aspects of the Waverly scenario (from the
ICLEI web page at
http://www.greenpowergovs.org/wind/Waverly%20case%20study.html , with
some additional info at http://www.waverlyia.com/ ):
"... consumer electricity rates have consistently gone down since
1992, even with the purchase of three wind turbines. The cost of wind
generation is currently the lowest cost source of new energy available
From what I've heard, Waverly doesn't even try to store the energy -
they use whatever wind power is available to reduce consumption of
more expensive fuels.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Posted by Johnny on February 8, 2006, 8:51 am
The utilities operate on stock and bonds which take years to retire.
Why can't the DOE issue bonds and let individuals purchase energy equipment
with those funds while paying the energy loans back each month?
$00 billion to the Iraq war effort and we can't get a government energy
bond to clean up the environment?