The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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Grumble
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:53 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:26 am
Is there any future to a combination of technologies? Wind, solar, hydro all on board at once?
If we’re going to be truly fossil fuel free it’ll have to be something along those lines, or a synthetic fuel grown from yeast or plants or pulled from atmospheric CO2...
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am
Grumble wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:23 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:17 am

Right, yep. Makes more sense, that.
You simply aren’t going to make a battery big enough to sail trans-Atlantic with a cargo ship. It looks implausible that you can do it just with hydrogen either. I think sail could come back though, as the Swedes are trying to prove
(https://jalopnik.com/swedish-company-un ... 1845027646).
My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Unlike dirigibles there has been a lot of sports development of sailing technology so it’s not the same as pre-Victorian sailing ships. I think there have been a couple of rich people mega yachts with modern sailing tech too. When Ellen MacArthur sailed solo around the world in 2005 she relied on computer control of the sails, so the tech is all there. I presume it’s just cheaper to keep burning the bunker fuel than to clean the ships up, but a ban on high sulphur ship fuels would solve that.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:07 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:01 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am
Grumble wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:23 am


You simply aren’t going to make a battery big enough to sail trans-Atlantic with a cargo ship. It looks implausible that you can do it just with hydrogen either. I think sail could come back though, as the Swedes are trying to prove
(https://jalopnik.com/swedish-company-un ... 1845027646).
My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Unlike dirigibles there has been a lot of sports development of sailing technology so it’s not the same as pre-Victorian sailing ships. I think there have been a couple of rich people mega yachts with modern sailing tech too. When Ellen MacArthur sailed solo around the world in 2005 she relied on computer control of the sails, so the tech is all there. I presume it’s just cheaper to keep burning the bunker fuel than to clean the ships up, but a ban on high sulphur ship fuels would solve that.
Those are all still filling a niche though.

As far as I know the issue with wind isn’t so much cost as reliability. Supply chains need the products to arrive on time, and the wind is fickle. Wind powered merchant ships will be at a disadvantage for as long as they are less predictable.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by AMS » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:27 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am

My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Is it fair to describe sail power as a cool tech that "never gets beyond a niche", when it was actually the dominant technology for centuries? Granted it might be tricky on the size of the Maersk monsters we have now.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:57 am

AMS wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:27 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am

My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Is it fair to describe sail power as a cool tech that "never gets beyond a niche", when it was actually the dominant technology for centuries? Granted it might be tricky on the size of the Maersk monsters we have now.
It’s within the context of sail replacing diesel engines.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:09 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:53 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:26 am
Is there any future to a combination of technologies? Wind, solar, hydro all on board at once?
If we’re going to be truly fossil fuel free it’ll have to be something along those lines, or a synthetic fuel grown from yeast or plants or pulled from atmospheric CO2...
It'd need to be yeast or algae. Otherwise the scale of land needed to supply the fuel would outstrip usage for things like food... I can remember a talk (I've got the slides somewhere archived away) from an A-level teachers' CPD course we used to run for the Goldsmiths Company (Not the uni) on sustainable energy, if you wanted to run all UK transport off plant-based biofuels, with current technology it would require planting almost an identical land area to the UK itself. Algal biofuels alone would get you down to an area the size of East Anglia. NB. That's an assumption for complete replacement and was from 2008(ish) so prior to electric vehicles becoming a) any good and b) so widespread.

All that doesn't mean that biofuels don't or shouldn't play a role. For instance, biofuels could be used for ocean-going craft allowing them to be carbon-neutral or very nearly so.

I'm very much thinking that the future needs to be a more mixed landscape, as it were; and in that I don't completely rule out hydrogen.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am

My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Dirigibles have a problem of air resistance. Already with a car at even say 80kph, you're probably spending most of your power overcoming drag as opposed to other losses.


With something like an airship, it will be even worse.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm

Peeps are experimenting with synthesising hydrocarbons from CO2, for example these folks at stanford. You need to capture your CO2 first and then do the synthesise, all you need is lots of energy and capital. The plus point is that it wouldn’t compete with food production. Hopefully it will become viable at some point, but it’s just a hope.

There is also synthesis of hydrocarbons from a carbon feedstock. The C could come from a range of organics that don’t necessarily have to compete with food production, eg: timber and crop waste.

Digging out some figures, I was horrified by how much aviation fuel the U.K. consumes, according to the ONS (excel file), it’s more than the nation’s consumption of petrol. In 2018 we consumed 13Mtoe* of petrol, 27Mtoe of diesel, but 16Mtoe of aviation fuel. Egads, I had not idea it was so much.

*One of my least favourite units of energy, a toe is “tonne of oil equivalent”.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:19 pm

jimbob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am

My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Dirigibles have a problem of air resistance. Already with a car at even say 80kph, you're probably spending most of your power overcoming drag as opposed to other losses.


With something like an airship, it will be even worse.
Certainly.

There’s also a fundamental problem with sails on contemporary merchant ships. They are a complex piece of machinery which cost money to install and maintain. That wouldn’t be an insurmountable problem if they could consistently deliver significant fuel savings. But wind direction and strength are fickle. Despite decades of work they haven’t been shown to consistently deliver savings which exceed the increased costs.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:36 pm

bolo wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:33 pm
There are already big ocean going liquefied natural gas tanks.

(Not 20 Kelvin ones there aren't.)
NASA has a ton of tech for moving liquid hydrogen around at moderate pressures. Some of those are almost certainly suitable with minimal changes. Whether they can hold enough hydrogen to make it worth while needs some calculation though.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Gfamily » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:52 pm

In a talk I did on how we didn't get to the Moon, I included a slide that indicated the volume of fuel needed for the first stage of the Saturn V rocket if they'd used Liquid Hydrogen rather than RP1.
LH vs RP1.PNG
LH vs RP1.PNG (405.73 KiB) Viewed 415 times
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:22 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:52 pm
In a talk I did on how we didn't get to the Moon, I included a slide that indicated the volume of fuel needed for the first stage of the Saturn V rocket if they'd used Liquid Hydrogen rather than RP1.

LH vs RP1.PNG
Yes, energy density's a big problem. Both mass and volume.

I do wonder if methanol or ethanol would be better I know you can get methanol fuel cells
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:28 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:19 pm
jimbob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:50 am

My problem with sail powered merchant ships is that I’ve been reading articles like that since the 70s. They seem to be like dirigibles in that it’s the cool technology that never gets beyond a small niche.

This one might work though.
Dirigibles have a problem of air resistance. Already with a car at even say 80kph, you're probably spending most of your power overcoming drag as opposed to other losses.


With something like an airship, it will be even worse.
Certainly.

There’s also a fundamental problem with sails on contemporary merchant ships. They are a complex piece of machinery which cost money to install and maintain. That wouldn’t be an insurmountable problem if they could consistently deliver significant fuel savings. But wind direction and strength are fickle. Despite decades of work they haven’t been shown to consistently deliver savings which exceed the increased costs.
Increased costs compared with cheap but very dirty bunker fuel. If more countries took a stand against the absolute shite that ships burn then the costs of wind might start to become a saving.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:10 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:28 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:19 pm
jimbob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:30 pm


Dirigibles have a problem of air resistance. Already with a car at even say 80kph, you're probably spending most of your power overcoming drag as opposed to other losses.


With something like an airship, it will be even worse.
Certainly.

There’s also a fundamental problem with sails on contemporary merchant ships. They are a complex piece of machinery which cost money to install and maintain. That wouldn’t be an insurmountable problem if they could consistently deliver significant fuel savings. But wind direction and strength are fickle. Despite decades of work they haven’t been shown to consistently deliver savings which exceed the increased costs.
Increased costs compared with cheap but very dirty bunker fuel. If more countries took a stand against the absolute shite that ships burn then the costs of wind might start to become a saving.
Certainly, governments could change the incentives with a carbon tax on fuel.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:08 pm

Well I dunno about ships but this report takes seriously the idea of hydrogen as an aviation fuel.

There's undoubtedly an element of WTWSTWT about the report sponsors, but one assumes the likes of Airbus wouldn't want their names on it if it was complete hogwash...

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:12 pm

Shell reportedly to slash oil and gas production costs to focus more on renewables
Royal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40 per cent off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets, sources told Reuters.

Shell's new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a $4 billion US target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Reducing costs is vital for Shell's plans to move into the power sector and renewables where margins are relatively low. Competition is also likely to intensify with utilities and rival oil firms including BP and Total all battling for market share as economies around the world go green.

"We had a great model but is it right for the future? There will be differences, this is not just about structure but culture and about the type of company we want to be," said a senior Shell source, who declined to be named.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:01 am

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:08 pm
Well I dunno about ships but this report takes seriously the idea of hydrogen as an aviation fuel.

There's undoubtedly an element of WTWSTWT about the report sponsors, but one assumes the likes of Airbus wouldn't want their names on it if it was complete hogwash...
I've skimmed it, the biggest thing that sticks out for me is that it assumes a massive green H2 economy producing radically cheaper H2 of which aviation is around 10-25% of total demand. That itself is based on a report from the Hydrogen Council, which posits that demand mainly coming from ground transportation, along with other markets like short term energy smoothing, chemical feedstock, and so on. A bunch of those markets are DOA for H2 already, so I can't see the economy of scale required happening.

Even then, it says long range aircraft will need to run on hydrocarbons, and that ticket prices will be significantly higher in all their scenarios. Assuming that their numbers would work, significant government regulation would be needed to make the whole thing viable. I'm not against the second, but Michael O'Leary and friends will kick up a huge stink.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:31 pm

Some interesting information on carbon emissions and electric vehicles.
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/indu ... -emissions

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:23 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:31 pm
Some interesting information on carbon emissions and electric vehicles.
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/indu ... -emissions
It’s good information, I think it tallies quite well with other things I’ve read. The Polestar 2 is very much a luxury/sporty car and isn’t necessarily the most efficient in electron use (although I’ve not seen any real world range tests yet).
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:51 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:31 pm
Some interesting information on carbon emissions and electric vehicles.
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/indu ... -emissions
It’s not exactly been kept a secret that manufacturing a current BEV emits more CO2 than making an ICE, but it’s nice to see transparency from a car maker. It’s still early days in knowing how to make batteries at scale, loads of efficiencies are still to be had. For example, the dry battery making process Tesla acquired from Maxwell Technologies drops energy demand in the battery factory by 90%. Tesla aren’t the only ones breaking their brains to improve efficiencies. I can’t see an ICE maker get the same magnitude if gains after over 100 years of R&D into their processes and supply chains.

ETA: For clarification, the dry process is still in the development stage, it works, but no quite well enough to roll out today.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:07 am

The Dogger Bank windfarm is progressing apace. GE just signed the contracts to supply 190 13MW turbines, they have 220m rotors! That just for the first 2 of 3 phases, and will supply 2.5GW peak by 2026. Will Hinkley C even be finished by then?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Gfamily » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:47 am

bjn wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:07 am
The Dogger Bank windfarm is progressing apace. GE just signed the contracts to supply 190 13MW turbines, they have 220m rotors! That just for the first 2 of 3 phases, and will supply 2.5GW peak by 2026. Will Hinkley C even be finished by then?
"One spin of the Haliade-X 13 MW can generate enough electricity to power a UK household for more than two days."
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:08 am

I'm trying to find the capacity factor for Dogger Bank, but my DuckDuckGo-Fu is weak. Closer in shore North Sea farms like Dudgeon have factors over 45%, and HyWind in Scotland has 55%. Nice table of UK windfarm capacity factors here. Pulling numbers out of my arse, probably over 50%.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:25 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:08 am
I'm trying to find the capacity factor for Dogger Bank, but my DuckDuckGo-Fu is weak. Closer in shore North Sea farms like Dudgeon have factors over 45%, and HyWind in Scotland has 55%. Nice table of UK windfarm capacity factors here. Pulling numbers out of my arse, probably over 50%.
It won’t have one till it starts operating will it? I guess Hornsea One isn’t there because it doesn’t have a full year of operation yet
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:56 pm

Actually, GE estimate a 63% capacity factor for the farm. Higher swept area and windy location. Hopefully gets near that in reality.

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