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SavageLlama
04-14-2005, 22:20
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=518 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left>More hot air on the ATC and wind turbines from the RutVegas Herald..


ATC neutral on wind projects
By Susan Smallheer
Rutland Herald
April 14, 2005

</TD></TR><TR><TD class=articleText vAlign=top align=left><!-- PHOTOS AND EXTRAS --><!-- END EXTRAS -->NORWICH, VT — The Appalachian Trail Conference will evaluate proposed wind projects on New England's high ridgelines on a case-by-case basis, rather than taking a one-policy stand, a trail official said Wednesday.

J.T. Horn told a standing-room-only crowd at the Montshire Museum on Wednesday evening that the ATC opposes a major wind project in western Maine, but will remain neutral for two projects in Vermont.

Horn said the trail organization has decided not to get involved in other wind energy projects, such as the expansion of the Searsburg wind project in southern Vermont or the proposed wind project on Glebe Mountain, also in southern Vermont.

Much of the Appalachian Trail is in prime wind territory, Horn said, putting the trail at times directly in the line of controversy.

Horn was one of three panelists to discuss the pluses and minuses of wind energy development. The others, Dan Reicher, president of New Energy Capital and a former official in the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration, and Brad Kuster, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, had a less-conflicted view of wind development. Both said the future of wind development was very strong, as individuals and political leaders ask for more and more renewable energy.

Horn, whose office is in Lyme, N.H., is in charge of all land stewardship, trail maintenance and land acquisition for the 730 miles of the trail between Connecticut and Maine, and wind projects are popping up near the trail.

And he said the ATC has had to search its scenic soul about what was acceptable to hikers and what was not. People don't hike in the dark, he said, they are interested in views.

"We've really wrestled with that and we've decided on a case-by-case approach," Horn said.

Horn said the project the ATC is fighting against would spoil the views on 33 miles of trail in the Mahoosuc Range in western Maine, near the New Hampshire border.

He said the Redington Range project was at one point 1.1 mile from the Appalachian Trail. Another factor that convinced the hiking organization to fight the project was that it was in a remote, undeveloped region of 4,000-foot peaks. And the project, 29 turbines with towers that would stretch 410 feet tall, would require building 10 miles of road and 10 miles of power line.

The Redington Range project is proposed by the company Endless Energy, which also has a proposal to develop wind on Equinox Mountain in Vermont.

But Horn said the ATC decided to remain neutral on the proposed expansion of the Searsburg wind project, even though the expansion in part would be into the Green Mountain National Forest and would likely set a national precedent on the use of federal lands for wind development.

Horn said the Searsburg project was 11 miles away from the trail, and the ATC had decided on a position of "nonopposition."

Glebe Moutain, which has drawn fierce local opposition to the wind project in the Londonderry-Weston area, is 10 miles from the trail, he said. Again, the ATC will take a position of "nonopposition," Horn said.

In Massachusetts, another wind project on the top of Brodie Mountain, which would have been visible for Mount Greylock, also didn't rise to the level of opposition, he said, because Mount Greylock itself already has mountaintop development.

One of the keys in selecting a site for wind development should be the general public's expectation of the site, he said. If people are expecting wild scenic views than wind energy should probably be captured elsewhere, Horn said.

"Camel's Hump is not a place that should have a wind farm," he said, referring to Vermont's most distinctive mountaintop.

Horn said the trail wasn't blind to the ramifications of air pollution from fossil fuels, and the pollution haze often obscured the scenic views sought by many hikers.

Keith Dewey of Weston, a wind energy supporter, asked Horn what his definition of ugly and pretty was. Horn said in response, the issue wasn't always about aesthetics, but about change.

Reicher, who is a former assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy and now teaches at Vermont Law School, said renewable energy portfolio standards in 18 states was fueling the wind energy development.

If Vermont set a goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity from wind, that would mean 200 megawatts of wind energy, Reicher said. And that would mean less than 200 turbines on a small number of Vermont ridgelines.

Reicher said environmental writer Bill McKibben, an advocate for increased wilderness in the Adirondack Mountains, supported wind energy development in that remote and wild section of New York.

"He says he looks forward to the day when he can look out and see wind turbines," Reicher said.
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Pencil Pusher
04-14-2005, 22:38
Without an accompanying link and taking this at face value, it sounds like a reasonable and well-thought-out 'stance' on wind turbine issues. What's the problem?

Caleb
04-14-2005, 23:35
This was well written (thanks Savage). The ATC might have searched its soul but it isn't willing to surrender much...and why should it? - no one else is.

Oh well, this is only 2005 and this was only round one ATC vs. Windpower. At some point all these folks will get around to reading Bill McKibbon and as time progresses the choices will only get easier.

Rocks 'n Roots
04-17-2005, 01:14
The headline isn't really accurate since ATC still opposes Trail-harming windmill projects like those in Maine.

When big powers decide windmills are what they want watch the headlines say what they want to hear...

Daddy Longlegs
04-17-2005, 22:23
I am for keeping the "views" clean but if a small wind farm works and keeps the region from making more dams ( a lot of damage to the streams and rivers) or coal plants (lungs can't work) then let a wind farm happen so that it will help the many and not the few.

SGT Rock
04-17-2005, 22:36
Looks like the ATC has stuck to deciding based on the impact on the trail, as it should, instead of cart blanch opposing any windmills. Seems like they made a logical and consistent decision.

Rocks 'n Roots
04-17-2005, 23:07
The windmills aren't for reducing coal pollution. They are for providing an energy source to allow the sprawl that will further encroach onto the AT to continue. They would have used coal to power this expected unchecked development, but they've gotten to the point where coal pollution is rotting the earth. They love it because it makes them look environmentally conscious. It's biggest value is false green points while the real agenda is sprawl.

When America's last remaining wild places (ridgelines) are covered in turning eyesore windmills the industrial monster's task of covering everything in development will have come true. It will be a nightmare for wild places. That's why the sprawl bastards are all for it.

Most Trail members who take the stance "well, they've made a rational and sound decision" are people who probably wouldn't notice the difference anyway (or care). They're coming for the ridges boys. Keep watchin...

Nean
04-18-2005, 07:40
I'm not sure if the ATC is the organization to fight the "sprawl bastards" 10 or 11 miles from the trail but it is good to hear that they do take a stance when they get a mile or two away. From what little I know, windmills seem reasonable, considering past and present alternatives. I know I sleep better knowing there are well infomed people out there, putting in their time and energy, fighting those "bastards" for every inch. TTTTH

weary
04-18-2005, 08:34
I'm not sure if the ATC is the organization to fight the "sprawl bastards" 10 or 11 miles from the trail but it is good to hear that they do take a stance when they get a mile or two away. From what little I know, windmills seem reasonable, considering past and present alternatives. I know I sleep better knowing there are well infomed people out there, putting in their time and energy, fighting those "bastards" for every inch. TTTTH
ATC has joined with the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust to oppose wind turbines on the Redington Mountain range and Black NUbble, located just west of the trail in Maine.

This nation needs a rational energy policy, but does not have one. Alternative energy is an essential part of that mix.

But it is not necessary to destroy the last wild places to achieve that mix. We should not damage the wild places along the trail in the mistaken belief that this is in anyway a wise policy.

We need to remember also that all energy has impacts -- especially including wind power. We need to recognize also that wind power exists primarily because of government subsidies. Wind is popular because an unwise law allows financial people to shelter profits from other investments.

The Maine wind developers in Maine essentially are lying to the public when it discusses the impact of the trail in Maine. It claims that its polls show that 80% of hikers approve towers in Redington. When pressed at the MATC annual meeting this month, the developer conceded that that approval rate was achieved by showing hikers "a better photo simulation" of what the towers will look like from the trail.

As anyone who has ever taken a photo of a mountain knows, photos, simulations or not, do not portray what the human eye sees. The eye and the brain concentrates the dominant bits of the land scape. To achieve a "realistic" photo of a mountain we use long focus lenses and frames of trees and other natural objects to approximate in the picture what the brain sees in the natural world.

I have an example of this phenomenon daily. By happenstance an 80-foot high church steeple exists across the bay, just a mile from my house -- the same distance as Redington wind towers from the Appalachian Trail. It's an incredibly beautiful scene. Almost everyone who sees it for the first time comments. The ancient church steeple dominates the landscape.

In 40 years of trying I have yet to produce a photograph that in anyway simulates what the eye sees because there is not natural frame I can include in the photo to give perspective to the view.

Yet the wind developers show simulations of towers four times higher and topped by 130 foot radius blades as being virtually invisible.

Weary

(No. The fact that I live on a pretty bay, does not mean I'm wealthy. It's just that 42 years a combination of luck and foresight prompted me to buy a dilapidated house on a grossly polluted bay for $2,900. It wasn't a bargain sale. The house had been on the market for six years. The bargain occurred as the house was rebuilt and Maine passed some of the first in the nation laws to force significant water cleanup.)

Nean
04-18-2005, 11:23
Thanks for the info Weary. Subsidies, that figures. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've walked past windmills, roads, homes, towns, shelters and various other man made objects without a care in the world. OK I fibbed, some of those shelters are a bit much but I'd never go as far to say that they ruined my "wilderness" experience, unlike those goshdern "angels" and thier dadburn "magic".;)

Tha Wookie
04-18-2005, 11:47
Looks like the ATC has stuck to deciding based on the impact on the trail, as it should, instead of cart blanch opposing any windmills. Seems like they made a logical and consistent decision.
Sounds right to me. They have their place.

Jaybird
04-18-2005, 13:06
Savage Llama, thanks for the post.

I agree with above...the ATC needs only to put their proverbial "stamp-of-approval" on projects on a "case-by-case" basis....

As a hiker, a nature-lover that spends several weeks a year in the woods & wilderness areas....i'd much rather be walkin' by a wind turbine farm than a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT....think about it! :D

Drum Stick
04-18-2005, 13:34
I am on the fence regarding the windmills... Ideally we would not have to look at the windmills, I agree. But on the other hand I could look at them and say, well at least they serve a very good environmental purpose (reducing fossil fuel consumption / combustion / emmissions). Environmentalist types,including myself, say we need to employ alternative sources of energy. But then some go on to say so long as the alternative energy sources are not wind or hydro power... We might as well tie our hands behind our back then because there is not much else in many areas... Don't get me wrong, if there were other 'practical' energy solutions I would be all for them, but right now I do not feel we have the luxury of poo pooing wind or hydro power... Are dams still a big problem? Does anyone have insight on modern dams? Well if dams are a big problem then lets go nuclear... Nah I am not a big fan of nuclear either, especially because of terrorist threats... I would rather have wind and hydro thank you (for now)...

Sprawl is going to happen regardless of those windmills being erected. The days are long gone when a power company needs to string hundreds of miles of power line to get customers on the grid. So saying that the windmills will invite sprawl just does not compute with me because there are not many remote areas in Appalachia and plenty of power lines. Those windmills will simply put energy on the grid (existing power lines) to be consumed by whom ever is drawing power.

I agree, we do need a rational energy policy. But what we need to get a rational policy is cooperation and there is not much of that these days. So people like ourselves need to do what is right and stop waiting for guidance from our government.

What am I doing? I drive an economy 4-cylinder car (that is well tuned). I super insulated my home to reduce my energy consumption to the minimum, and no AC (just like much of Europe). Then I installed a state of the art biomass (wood pellet) stove. Each and everyone of us can drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuel we burn (right now) each year by heating our homes with biomass. Biomass is a 100% renewable energy source and very environmentally friendly. In fact a growing number of large power companies are burning biomass to reduce their emmissions. A great deal of research has gone into biomass fuels and the good news is that there is no shoratage of fuel in sight. I currently burn wood pellets but I can also burn corn, wheat and a few other biomass fuels. So what the heck is everyone waiting for??? I hope you are not waiting for big petroleum companies to turn you on to biomass fuel.

Folks, wood pellets can be purchased at The Home Depot for about $185 per ton (=50 40-pound bags).But I get my pellets from another place because the delivery man fork lifts the pallets right into my garage and this saves me some labor (Home Depot has curbside delivery). Next year I will order about five tons of pellets to heat my home because I am currently heating with 100% biomass. But my cousins each burn about 2-3 tons of pellets each year and their fossil fuel furnaces come on when the biomass fire goes out. My stove will burn 18+ hours on the highest setting, so I fill the stove with fuel basically once per day and empty the ash tray every 4-days.

Please see pelletstove.com for more info. There are a number of companies now producing pellet stoves around the world. IMHO Dell-Point is producing the best 'hot air' units, mighty clean combustion! Biomass Boilers are also available but they do get rather pricey.There are energy alternatives for the willing...

Few things make me laugh (and upset) more than people who talk / preach about the environment, bitch about corporate pollution and our goverment (as if they were the only violators), and then do nothing themselves to help. So what are each of us doing to solve our energy / pollution problems?

I wonder? Are the people who want to erect the windmills a power company seeking to reduce their emmissions? Or private land owners who simply see the potential profits in wind power? I can't see that we have the right to stop developers if they are playing by the law... But I would suggest that instead of the windmills we encourage power plants to raise their (or employ) biomass combustion instead and even provide incentives for doing so. I feel there should be a national effort to get everyone to burn more biomass fuel. Why isn't there?

Respectfully
Drum Stick

Caleb
04-18-2005, 13:35
Wind-gen has come a long way in 20 years. It's now at the point in many areas where costs per kw/hr are absolutely competitive witth new coal and oil installations. The PTC is still extant (1.5 cents/kw/hr), but if the true costs of coal/oil generation were internalized wind-gen is clearly cheaper. For instance, the federal government has paid out $35 billion over the past 30 years to cover the medical expenses of coal miners who suffer from black lung disease. Science magazine reported that coal-fired electricity would cost 50-100% more if these costs were taken into account. The hidden environmental and health costs of coal and other fossil fuels are also confirmed by a major 10-year study by the European Union. http://www.externe.info/externpr.pdf (http://www.externe.info/externpr.pdf) .



A better objection (as Rocks pointed out), is the question of the advantage of turbines in the mountains when the US is still hell-bent on fossil fuel consumption. This is a tougher-sell, and I understand why the ATC is treading slowly, but we're not giving the mountains away for nothing. Even if in the short term it might seem like wind-gen has the effect of perpetuating our carbon-gen culture and sprawl (as has been argued about recycling), just the opposite happens: wind-gen shifts the culture away from fossil fuels and every installation makes wind-gen more economically viable. Like I said, as time progresses the choices will only get easier - self-interest and common interest will no longer seem to be at odds.


For those of you who see wind turbines as just another form of pollution, I would point out that AS POLLUTION wind turbines have many advantages over the environmental accumulations of the heavy metals andlethal oxides of fossil fuel pollution. These advantages should be obvious. Bird-strikes and road building notwithstanding, if it's the biome of the actual trail we're worried about - the mountains, streams, trees and critters - wind power is a no-brainer. Whatever pollution is generated is mostly unobserved and doesn't effect the healthy functioning of th eco-sysyem. This is classic Leopold and Bill Mckibbon: from the point of view of the mountains, the mountains would rather have turbines.

Caleb
04-18-2005, 14:02
I feel there should be a national effort to get everyone to burn more biomass fuel. Why isn't there?

Respectfully
Drum Stick
nice ! I'm currently looking into buying a used diesel truck (I'm a carpenter) that I can retrofit to burn veg oil. It's a lot more complex an undertaking than I thought it would be - my creation might be more 'experimental' than I would like - but I'm going to do it.

Drum Stick
04-18-2005, 15:16
Excellent thought Caleb, converting your diesel to burn vegetable oil I mean.

I owned a VW Turbo Diesel and I wish I never sold it, I was regularly getting above 45MPG. I recently bought a VW Golf (gasoline) only because new diesel sales are currently outlawed in some states purely because of the lack of emmissions systems to test them. I understand that the diesel emission testing systems are in the works for many states so this situation will change. And VW is working hard to get their latest and greatest very clean diesels into the US. I actually looked into converting my old TDI to burn vegetable oil and the conversion kit was very cheap as I recall. I would imagine that conversion kits vary in price depending on the motor but I can't imagine that the price would be too high... How much do you figure the conversion will cost you for your truck? And how do you figure the emmissions test will be handled? I am not sure what the deal is in NH. I have been behind at least a few cars with a sign that says "this car runs on vegetable oil". Operators hook up with local restaurants like Mcdonalds etc. and use their old oil. McDiesels I have heard such vehicles called. Once the emmissions testing is all sorted out I just might get back into diesel etc.

Good luck with the conversion!
Drum Stick

Tha Wookie
04-18-2005, 15:42
I recently priced the conversion kit from deisel to cooking oil at $700. That included all the parts, but DIY labor. And you can also just burn biodeisel.

MOWGLI
04-18-2005, 15:49
Here's a little something that is slightly off topic. I received it today, and it relates to bird collisions with communications towers and power lines. I post it here, because bird collisions with wind turbines are a problem is some areas;

Two new fact sheets have been added to the IMBD website. Go to "Additional Resources" by visiting either homepage (www.birdday.org or at http://birds.fws.gov/IMBD).

2005 IMBD Fact Sheets

- Clear the Way for Birds!: IMBD Explores Bird Collisions

- The Danger of Plate Glass: Understanding and Avoiding That Painful Thud

- The Trouble with Towers: A Guide to Bird Collisions at Communication Towers (new)

- A Fine Line for Birds: A Guide to Bird Collisions at Power Lines (new)

- What Exactly Is International Migratory Bird Day?

- Celebrating International Migratory Bird Day

weary
04-18-2005, 16:42
Savage Llama, thanks for the post.

I agree with above...the ATC needs only to put their proverbial "stamp-of-approval" on projects on a "case-by-case" basis....

As a hiker, a nature-lover that spends several weeks a year in the woods & wilderness areas....i'd much rather be walkin' by a wind turbine farm than a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT....think about it! :
I have. And checked the facts also. I've discovered that you're thinking about an imagined choice. Damaging wild areas with industrial-sized wind complexes will make some people a lot of money, but will do nothing to stem the return of the nuclear industry.

It will diminish the opportunities to hike on trails that are as wild as the crowded east makes possible these days. If society is to make wise choices we need to try to rise above slogans and cliches and look at facts.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-18-2005, 17:11
I see nothing off topic MOWGLI16. Birds smacking into windmills has been a problem for a long time, and probably as long as windmills have been around. I actually wanted to put up a small windmill on the shore of a lake in Maine as a project for fun. But then I learned of the bird problem and scrapped the idea, especially because the location of our bird feeders and houses had already established a flight plan for the birds.

We people must just decide if the birds getting killed is acceptable.
Drum Stick

Caleb
04-18-2005, 20:18
[QUOTE=weary]I have. And checked the facts also. I've discovered that you're thinking about an imagined choice. Damaging wild areas with industrial-sized wind complexes will make some people a lot of money, but will do nothing to stem the return of the nuclear industry.

Weary[/QUOTE

gosh Weary, you've out-pessimised even me..and that's no small feat. But going nuclear to get away from coal is like turning to heroin to rid a cocaine addiction. I encourage you to go to the American Wind Power Assoc. for an update on your facts. There is a viable alternative... and there's plenty of room for optimism if you can stand it. http://www.awea.org/faq/index.html

Rocks 'n Roots
04-18-2005, 23:28
A better objection (as Rocks pointed out), is the question of the advantage of turbines in the mountains when the US is still hell-bent on fossil fuel consumption. This is a tougher-sell, and I understand why the ATC is treading slowly, but we're not giving the mountains away for nothing. Even if in the short term it might seem like wind-gen has the effect of perpetuating our carbon-gen culture and sprawl (as has been argued about recycling), just the opposite happens: wind-gen shifts the culture away from fossil fuels and every installation makes wind-gen more economically viable. Like I said, as time progresses the choices will only get easier - self-interest and common interest will no longer seem to be at odds.


The devil with that Caleb.

What you've just done is whispered the wind developers' sweet death of the Appalachian Trail into my ear. What strikes me most about these subtle pro-development opinions is how each and every one of them fails to mention a single thought about the AT's wilderness mission or how ridges strewn with industrial pylons will destroy it. As seen above there are unlimited ways to justify the destruction of the AT's wild surroundings. Lately, they've come up with a few good ones. Difficult ones with green attachments like a trojan horse. All Caleb is saying is "let's give the mountains away". Once this is done then there's no need to not give it ALL away. When they do give it all away, they'll use the logic you see here.

Have no doubt that if Reddington gets approved it will be seen as OK and "not that bad". The rest of the ridges will soon follow and that's it for Maine. I'm really shocked that the best so-called Appalachian Trail people can do is post ideas generally giving the nod to this disaster. This is an Appalachian Trail site. It's not a windmill development advocacy site.

In order to have a valid AT opinion, you have to reference valid AT ideas. Nowhere have I seen any average Trail member point out that none of the approvers ever voice any thoughts on how these industrial towers will impact the Trail or its concept. Shame on you.


Mass solar would use already-developed rooftops. The reason it isn't developed on a large scale is not because it isn't "practical" but because it steps between the "provider" and the "payer" potentially cutting off revenue from the economic power structure. Believe me, you are doing a lot more thinking about it than they are.

Large scale wind development is going to make the skyline a death trap, bird-shredding eyesore of swirling industrial pylons. Birds are going to experience a horror scenario that makes it look like mankind has gone further than he has already and erected a sadistic obstacle course. Pro-wind people deal with this by saying, "there are some bird problems." Apparently most Trail members respond to this conflict by seeking a reasonable middle of the road view - or not wanting to have unreasonable views. And in doing so they let in the Trojan horse that is now going to destroy the AT's viewshed...


Anybody think this might be the signs of sprawl reaching it's limits? Couldn't blame sprawl for pushing us into this could we? Nah, we're right thinking and reasonable. Sprawl's going to happen anyway. 10 or 11 miles away. No need to fight it for the Trail's sake.

Rocks 'n Roots
04-18-2005, 23:52
This is classic Leopold and Bill Mckibbon: from the point of view of the mountains, the mountains would rather have turbines.<!-- / message -->


Like a giant sucker fish biting the hook, Caleb swallows this propaganda hook line and sinker. What it should read is the power lobby really wants this because it's the cheapest alternative. All it takes is turning the political mills against conservationists. Another huge benefit is sticking poles right up the ridges of environmentalism. Once they're forced to take that, they're a lot weaker than they were before, so finishing them off won't be that difficult. And think, it was all green and easy and they were all for it themselves.

Leopold would probably tan your hide for quoting him that way. Mckibbon, he's just their excuse for avoiding all the arguments. Big coverage of him in the Times, little of anything else.

Caleb
04-19-2005, 01:44
Rocks you obviously care a lot for the trail. I will admit that I care even more for the mountians themselves. It might seem subterfugal and un-green to place the biome of the AT above the fate of the trail, but I think it's the rational way to protect both. Wind power offers a clear choice to the dirty air and noxious poisons that is taking an enormous and severe toll on the woodlands of the Eastern US. I would much rather walk thru an AT section with turbines and healthy trees and merc-free lakes than thru an eco-sick AT with unobstructed smog. This choice is real, not imagined, and it will become increasingly clear in the years ahead.

The Old Fhart
04-19-2005, 07:25
RnR-“In order to have a valid AT opinion, you have to reference valid AT ideas. “ Let me translate that for you. What that classic RnR Rant means is the only valid opinion on anything trail related is what RnR says. RNR, in his own small warped mind, imagines himself as the only person on the entire planet who knows what is “right” for the A.T.. Even if someone should make the mistake of agreeing with some small point RnR tries to make, he will immediately attack then in the very next post because they aren’t extreme enough. How pathetic and predictable.

RnR cares less for the A.T. than anyone else posting on WB. Despite his claims, his posts have absolutely nothing to do with protecting the A.T. (which he is totally ignorant of) or “wildness”. His pathological need is a megalomaniac obsession to justify his existence, cut off from all contact with the trail, by demeaning everyone else who truly cares for the trail. Just look at his attempt to destroy every serious thread where he has posted his incessant meaningless babble. When it comes to verbal polution, RnR is number #1 on the WB superfund list.

weary
04-19-2005, 07:48
Rocks you obviously care a lot for the trail. I will admit that I care even more for the mountians themselves. It might seem subterfugal and un-green to place the biome of the AT above the fate of the trail, but I think it's the rational way to protect both. Wind power offers a clear choice to the dirty air and noxious poisons that is taking an enormous and severe toll on the woodlands of the Eastern US. I would much rather walk thru an AT section with turbines and healthy trees and merc-free lakes than thru an eco-sick AT with unobstructed smog. This choice is real, not imagined, and it will become increasingly clear in the years ahead.
There is no doubt that anything that will turn a rotar can be made to produce electricity. The problem with wind is that it is intermittent and only works through a relatively narrow range of wind speeds. Too much wind and the blades are feathered to prevent damage. Too little and no energy is produced.

Since becoming involved with the Redington wind proposal I've visited most of the wind site in the northeast and eastern Canada. I'm amazed at how few times the turnbines are actually turning.

The question facing society is how much of the earth shall we damage in our attempts to preserve a wasteful lifestyle. Shall we line the summit ridges of the Appalachians -- Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Shenendoah, all the National forests from Georgia to the White Mountains -- with arrays of 400-foot plus towers? All so we can drive SUVs with the energy of 200 horses, 300 horses under the hood to the nearest convenient store.

If not where do we stop. Do we clutter the summit of Katahdin with wind towers? What about the trail itself? What about the next ridge over from the trail, a quarter mile less further from the trail as is the church steeple that dominates the view from my south window?

Among the messages offered by the developer that MATC unwisely allowed to run a workshop at the MATC annual meeting, was of the windtower at one end of a high school football field. That strikes me as a wise place for such things. Certainly a far wiser location than 1,500 yards from one of the wildest and remote sections of a 2,000 mile long National Park.

What are needed are rational decisions about the looming energy shortage, and the impacts of current energy use. We have no such policy now. As a society we haven't even begun to think. Rather we grasp at whatever feel good solutions anyone seeking profits may offer.

Anyone who follows such things knows this is true. I hear people all the time marveling at wind power meetings about the claimed reduction of 600,000 pounds of air pollutants. Pollutants from a coal plant are measured in tons, not pounds.

Actually, there will be almost no reduction in pollutants if Redington is built. Some coal plant, somewhere, might occasionally have to be turned to down to idle, when the wind blows. Idle, of course, is when a coal plant is least efficient. When it emits the most pollution.

More likely some other source of alternative energy will be curtailed. The transmission line leaving the Redington Mountain area (Stratton) isn't big enough to handle the load from both the proposed wind power project and the struggling biomass generator that was built during the last energy crisis.

Maine at one time generated half it's energy from alternatives to fossil fuels, mostly wood and hydro dams. Many have since shut down -- victims of a policy that decrees that the least expensive source of electricity shall be used.

I suspect that is why I rarely see a wind turbine actually turning. Wind is not the cheapest source at that moment. For the developer it doesn't matter. His profits come from the sheltering of other investments from taxes that a meddling government has put in place.

Incredibly another reason that Maine's existing alternative energy generators are idle is that the transmission line leaving the state doesn't have the capacity to carry the energy already being produced. Maine is awash in electricity that no one can use. Yet we want to damage a remote section of the trail to produce even more!

Life is complicated. There are no simple solutions. We need facts, not cliches.
I could continue with complications for many more pages. But I've got to get my town land trust newsletter to the printers by Thursday so this will have to be enough for now.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-19-2005, 08:34
Quote by R&R: Mass solar would use already-developed rooftops.

R&R if solar was practical year round in 'New England' I would already have a solar array in my yard complete with a sun tracking system, battery array and inverters. Take a drive around New England and you will see very few solar projects and occasionally solar projects that are being dismantled. We just don't get much sun here and the proof is snow. We can make solar hot water in the summer up here no problemo, and a simple loop of black poly pipe I can afford. Believe me I would love to have a PV array but this poor boy can't shell out big money for a poor return on my investment. Biomass fuel is a form of solar energy, it is very practical and I burn 'my share' of that.

Every few years I look to see what advancements are being made with PV panels in the hope that advancements will make them a better investment... I am generally for small government... better said I am for government projects that work. I would be all for federally run solar/electrolysis/hydrogen farms if the idea was tabled. How long do you think it would though before some environentalist cries "no solar farm in my state", "save the sand lizard!" A mass effort to put PV panels on rooftops would help but how many buildings roofs are facing south? And very few rooftops have an ideal pitch for the panels making installation less than straight forward and less of an asset. BTW how long do you think PV panels on frames (to get the correct angle) would last in a hurricane in Florida?

R&R do you have a PV solar power system? Or a solar hot water system? If you do Sir, I would genuinely be interested in your performance data.

Is it sprawl that is creating the demand for the wind energy?.......... Or is it because people who can conserve energy, do not?
Drum Stick

Nean
04-19-2005, 09:48
Birds, fish, people!?!? No easy answers.:confused:

Rocks 'n Roots
04-20-2005, 03:01
What really upsets me about the internet AT is the number of people whose basic stance is against the Trail:


http://http://www.solarhouse.com/

Rocks 'n Roots
04-20-2005, 03:06
http://www.solarhouse.com

Rocks 'n Roots
04-20-2005, 03:16
Rocks you obviously care a lot for the trail. I will admit that I care even more for the mountians themselves. It might seem subterfugal and un-green to place the biome of the AT above the fate of the trail, but I think it's the rational way to protect both. Wind power offers a clear choice to the dirty air and noxious poisons that is taking an enormous and severe toll on the woodlands of the Eastern US. I would much rather walk thru an AT section with turbines and healthy trees and merc-free lakes than thru an eco-sick AT with unobstructed smog. This choice is real, not imagined, and it will become increasingly clear in the years ahead.
<!-- / message -->
So you are saying lay down and we'll put the pod beside you. Tomorrow you will wake up and see things our way?

Caleb, if you noticed or not, your post mentioned nothing about windmill strewn ridges murdering both the Trail's sense of wildness and mission. This is what I was talking about when I said you can't make a valid AT post without entering valid AT ideas. Unless you discuss the direct impact these world-saving panacea's will have on the Trail's wildness, you might as well say I don't give a dam about the AT. It would be more honest and brief...

Nean
04-20-2005, 06:27
Why I wonder, would the ATC murder thier own mission along with the trails sense of wildness? Impact it seems is a matter of opinion and it is great that WB gives us the opportunity to express them. I would say its too bad some folks have to be so dadburn nasty about it but then I look at all the people they win over to their way of thinkin'.....

Drum Stick
04-20-2005, 07:56
The solar house in ME is a great model and I applaud their efforts but that does not make solar practical for the "masses". If the tax breaks for going solar were 'significant' I might just bite the bullet$$$ anyway. In fact I plan to use a a couple of solar panels to power my biomass stove (pelletstove.com), but getting into large scale solar is big buckos. So I completely understand RocksnRoots if your answer to my question is that you have no solar PV array etc. When I get the chance I will look at their 2005 data and I will again look into PV panel degeneration and see if improvements have been made there lately. When I looked into panels a couple of years ago a Japaneses scientist was apparaently making some ground...?

Like I said earlier, I have seen at least a few small solar projects (on residential roofs) in NE dismantled. It is one thing when the house is facing south, the roof is at the correct pitch and the entire roof is covered$$$$ with panels, but it is another thing when the system is propped up on framing that is rusting and compromising the roof and causing water damage. Perhaps there should be a law passed that all new roofs face south and be at a reasonable pitch... Oh yah frensel lenses! these lenses integrated into panels make the mounting angle not so critical and smooths the daily output curve. A company in Sunnyvale California was integrating the lenses int panels. FYI

Indeed wind power has come a long way as Caleb pointed out. Windmill transmissions were eliminated making them vastly less mechanical and highly reliable. Advancements in PM generators have been a big boost. But solar PV panels still have a way to go before solar for the masses is a good investment.

But biomass for the masses is alraedy here.
pelletstove.com
See ya
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-20-2005, 08:44
BTW I can't imagine that anyone here on this site wants to destroy the AT corridor, I certainly do not.

But at the same time Alaska and our ice caps are melting down because of pollution. So do we save the view on the AT and watch many many many (like once was not enough) places 'around the world' melt down? Have you seen what has already happened in Alaska to the tundra and trees? There is a good documentary on the Weather Channel about this. It is possible that if we do nothing to reduce pollution 'now' that a similar horror will happen in Appalachia, then so much for the view along the AT. This is why I say we do not have the luxury of poo pooing such sources of energy as wind, even on or near our AT.

Ideally everyone of us would rise to the occasion, change our fossil fuel consuming ways, and we would not have to compromise the AT. Unfortuantely most people in this country don't give a rats butt about the views or conservation. So here we are.
Drum Stick

weary
04-20-2005, 08:45
The solar house in ME is a great model and I applaud their efforts but that does not make solar practical for the "masses". If the tax breaks for going solar were 'significant' I might just bite the bullet$$$ anyway. In fact I plan to use a a couple of solar panels to power my biomass stove (pelletstove.com), but getting into large scale solar is big buckos. So I completely understand RocksnRoots if your answer to my question is that you have no solar PV array etc. When I get the chance I will look at their 2005 data and I will again look into PV panel degeneration and see if improvements have been made there lately. When I looked into panels a couple of years ago a Japaneses scientist was apparaently making some ground...?......
I keep checking prices and outputs and active solar still remains more expensive than living off the electrical grid. A possible exception is solar hot water.

When I redesigned the roof of my house 30 years ago (as a result of a house fire) I faced it south and at the proper angle for solar collectors. But the cost of active solar just didn't justify the expense. It still doesn't. But prices are declining and we are approaching a break through. I'm helping by putting solar panels an an electric outboard on my canoe.

But passive solar -- at least on a new house with exposure to the sun -- costs nothing and is always worthwhile. Sadly very few do it. My redesigned home has a normal complement of windows. But most face south. Those south-facing windows provide about 40 % of my annual heat requirements, even living on an exposed peninsular in Maine.

Sadly, even most of those who attempt passive solar do it wrong. Most install too many south-facing windows. The result is a house that over heats during the day and wastes energy at night.

Many install barrels of water and masses of rock and masonry to absorb the excess day time heat, hoping that the stored energy will provide night time warmth. But such things eat up house space, add great costs, and rarely really work. Even night time shutters are of marginal value. At least mine collected so much moisture at night that it threatened to rot the window frames and I stopped using them. I never could get my shutters tight enough to prevent moisture-laden interior air from escaping and condensing on the cold glass.

But my simple window solar collectors keep my fuel bills within reason, even this winter of high oil prices I heated around 3,000 square feet of living space for around $800.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-20-2005, 23:44
Nice job on the remodeling Weary, your place sounds like a dream of mine. But why don't you paddle that canoe you lazy... just kidding! I think the canoe is a great idea. I would love to electrify a kayak and spend a whole summer on the Maine coast ( ahh dreams), but I would like to employ a fuel cell.....still waiting though! A company called GreenPower has a nifty cell using salt water and... was it magnesium plates? I think... but unfortunately they were having intellectual property issues. I sure hope GreenPower gets those issues resolved. They still might have a website up Greenpower.com

Weary you mentioned a breakthrough in solar power, are you referring to the roll-to-roll PV manufacturing technique? or is there something else?

I don't know much about the redington (sp?) windmill site. Are there any good links to info?
Later
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-21-2005, 00:24
Sorry! that is Greenvolt.com
They are saying October 2005 deliveres now!
I will believe it when I see it.

I was tossing and turning when I remembered 'Greenvolt', so I had to get back on here and update. At a glance I noticed Greenvolt plans some small cells too. Hmmmm
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
04-21-2005, 03:28
There's pages of information to be discussed about solar's potential. Suffice to say that even with solar's present limitations, mass solar would create shared power that would offset peak demand and distribute itself. A grid-tied solar house makes energy even when the owner is away. Mass solar would organize this power into a serious coal-offsetting electricity source.

It's late, I'd like to discuss cost-effectiveness tomorrow. Power companies were considering renting fuel cell furnaces to private home owners since the individual cost was prohibitive.

One point I have to make is that people should understand the challenge of the Appalachian Trail is to keep a designated place wild. It is NOT having to consider whether extraneous factors justify developing the Trail...

TJ aka Teej
04-21-2005, 10:07
What really upsets me about the internet AT is the number of people whose basic stance is against the TrailThe complete list of all the Internet AT people who stand against the Trail:

Rocks 'n Roots

Rocks 'n Roots
04-22-2005, 01:25
I can't find the site, but there's a link for a California solar promoter who shows that a rooftop photovoltaic array can pay for itself in 5-7 years in urban California. Power is priced by tier rates there. Solar power in the hot mid-day or on business days happens to provide peak power during times of peak rates. Laws mandate that any power sent back to the grid must be bought by the power company.

Solar panel makers depend on computer chip producers for the silicon in solar cells. They sell them the remnant stock and leftovers. The silicon has to be fairly refined and pure for best conductivity. Apparently this takes a lot of energy and is somewhat expensive. The energy required, if it comes from conventional sources, creates CO2 in the process. So, the overall pollution value of these panels must include the CO2 expended during their creation.

Another problem with solar panels are their labor-intensive requirements in the production process. It takes a lot of paid hands to assemble, solder, connect, and test all those cells and panel components. This is actually the highest cost in their manufacture.

If somehow a large green-power project could be designated for PV production, you could close the process into a green loop that would create no CO2. Maybe, a nuclear plant would be a reasonable trade-off for this. If there was an acceptable river somewhere, maybe this would also be worth it. This closed loop would not only have no CO2 created during the manufacturing process, but it would also create a product that eliminated operational CO2. A large geothermal facility meant only for PV production would also work.

The problem with mass solar is the manufacturing process. The technology is already proven. Panels are relatively high in cost because there's no real market to bring prices down through volume. I myself think the technology is good enough already that price-based developments should be focused on rather than technical. In other words, if primitive, but cheap panels were developed they'd serve more function than high-tech yet expensive.

Studies have shown that real utility company-scale development of solar facilities would bring solar's price down to near conventional sources.

Myself, I think solar roofing slates should be developed to make the technology more acceptable and aesthetic.

Recent attempts to streamline production and cost have resulted in "thin-film" solar technology. This depends on a cheaper factory process which applies solar materials to rolls of sheet metal. Triple junction thin film technology applies three different types of solar collecting materials in layers. This PV device only has efficiencies of 7-8%, but does better in cloudly weather or low light because it collects a broader spectrum of lightwaves than silicon crystal PV.

Anyhow, there's presently no independent manufacturer for silicon ingot feedstock. Computer chip demand has gone up, so PV makers are facing price hikes for silicon. For mass solar to have any chance someone needs to develop green-loop, self-produced silicon, low-cost panels.

Another form of solar power is mirror-concentrated solar that doesn't rely on silicon. Since this is only commercially practical I won't discuss it here.


Maybe we can discuss water cisterns some other time...

Rocks 'n Roots
04-22-2005, 01:28
Meanwhile things are coming along:

http://www.gridlesshome.com/

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 07:54
Location Location Location...

For starters the solar tiles (shingles) that you envisoned RocksnRoots already exist, figures right!. But this does not boost surface area or performance, seems like a gimic to me... Indeed there is a great deal of research going on in the solar arena. Yesterday while browsing I saw that a PV roof coating is being developed, I think the developer was Siemens. Perhaps this is the breakthrough that Weary referred to. It is a no-brainer that in the coming years technological advancements will help make PV's a better deal, and when this happens we will see many residential panels in the sunny parts of the country at least. Commercial solar farms will continue to grow in Arizona, New Mexico etc. and may one day provide some of the Hydrogen needs of the east coast, at last this is what I gather. Saudi Arabia is getting ahead of the curve with large scale solar farms I understand not only to produce their own power but probably to run electrolyzers and supply us fat cats with hydrogen.

I am not sure that we will ever see mass scale PV solar in NE.(?) I say this because a crop based farm is a mighty big solar collector and a great deal of ethanol and methanol etc. can be produced for residential use. I have also seen websites dedicated to ethanol (methanol?) stills and home-based production, ahhh pet projects. Yesterday their was an amendment added to the US energy bill for mustard seed research, evidently there is large energy potential there. The list goes on in agriculture, if you check out pelletstove.com you will see the huge biomass heat potential alone. We will see but I think residential fuel cells will be a better choice than PV solar for us in the north anyway. Solar hotwater and passive solar applications (like Wearys) are the cheapest and most efficient way to harness the suns energy as you were getting to RocksnRoots, and these areas are probably the best place for us NE's to concentrate.

If 5-7 years is the projected payback period for solar panels in California then it is probably ten years in NE at least... Most of my home energy need is heat, and I have that base covered with my biomass stove. I think I can wait for my residental fuel cell to be grid independent. Residential fuel cells for the masses is not far off.
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 09:04
BTW I imagine that Saudi Arabia and other big oil producing countries will use solar energy for steam reforming. But one day their oil wells will run dry and they can easily make the jump to power electrolysers and continue to supply hydrogen... just my hunch
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 09:11
What the! ??? My post counter is stuck at 29! How am I ever going to catch Sarge! This is a vast Sarge / whiteblaze conspiracy! Blast!
Drummy

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 09:17
Doh! nevermind I see how the counter works now.

weary
04-22-2005, 09:57
A few general thoughts:

As I understand it, fuel cells are a consumer of energy, not a net producer of energy. They simply make it easier to transfer energy around, as needed, whether heating homes or powering vehicles.

The breakthrough I mentioned for solar was simply an increasing array of innovative technologies and manufacturing cost savings that have the potential for lowering prices. One problem is that the technology is not well understood so mostly hobbyists get involved and small shops that serve hobbyists. This is not a formula for lower prices. I kind of look for price breaks occurring in places like Africa where no grid exists, but where people increasingly are seeking access to television and computers.

There are a couple of thriving PV businesses in Maine. One used to sell both home windmills and PVs. He's abandoned the windmill phase of his business in favor of photovoltaic cells, because PVs make more financial sense for his customers.

Laws that require the grid to take surplus PV energy may be creating the pattern for the future. That eliminates the expensive array of storage batteries needed for an independent home system.

I suspect that as fossil fuels become more expensive, most houses with south-facing roofs at about the proper angle for solar collectors will have them installed. This works especially well in Maine which has an abundance of water power storage. Maybe in the future the dams will open mostly at night, thus eliminating the need for the Kennebec River canoe ferry.

And all you folks thought this wasn't trail related.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 11:29
Fuel Cell:
Yes Sir! you put the fuel in and get the electricity out. The major fuels are hydrogen, ethanol and methanol. Of course the fuel infrastructure hurdle needs to be jumped, but we will get there.

Don't think this is trail related! Very soon (some) hikers will be carrying electronics powered by fuel cells. To each their own, but I will be powering a PDA, camera, HD DVD burner and I-pod. I am not a cell phone type of guy but I have seen a cell phone come in handy on the AT, and I just might carry one my next time thru. Not to worry hikers, I will not pull my phone out in your presence. There are at least a few companies working on small ethanol fuel cartridges that are much like a cigarette lighter. The cartridges will insert into your consumer electronics / fuel cell, much like an ammo clip in a gun. No more freakin dead batteries folks! Prototype fuel cell powered consumer electronic devices already exist, it is just a just a matter of time.
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-22-2005, 13:58
More thought:
I suppose if solar PV research, manufacturing and performance make 'big leaps', solar might just be the winner for many residential apps, we shall see. But we do not get a lot of BTU's per Watt, so heating with strictly PV solar means a lot of PV surface area especially for us northeners $$... And what about snow storms covering the panels, and then keeping them clean of pollen etc... If I lived in the Florida area (etc.) I think I would rather have a fuel-cell in my basement versus expensive panels on my roof. I know there is a lot of emphasis on making homes hurricane proof in Florida, and limiting potential deadly flying debris. I wonder what the deal is with solar panel ratings and mounting in the florida building code? Also if I lived in tornado-ville, I would also rather have my investment in the basement.

And I have my doubts about year-round solar hot water heating especially in northern areas due to system complexity. We have the hot water collectors, the 'mechanical electric' circulation pump, the heat exchangers, the water storage tank(s)($), and the heating zone 'mechanical electric' circulation pumps... I would imagine that antifreeze will keep the pipes from freezing so maybe this may be a non issue... for most of us.Eeek! However a simple cheap (seasonal) black poly pipe solar collector can be used to warm domestic water very easily during the warmer months. And we can do things like put our washing machines on a timer set to run during peak sun.

But I do know this, copper wire does not freeze and is not susceptible to mechanical wear.

A residential fuel-cell is a solid-state device, and so is the copper wire that delivers the electricity to (ideally) solid-state electric radiant floor heat zones. The only system maintenance on the fuelcell is occasional changing of the anode and or cathode. I don't know about you but I love solid state.
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
04-22-2005, 23:38
Drum Stick:


You need to go to that Maine solar house and read up. He says it was minus 15 one morning and his solar water heater was up to 113* by 8:30am. If you go into that link he has a message forum where you can ask questions. I'd like to ask him if that rooftop solar water heater runs to a radiant floor tube heating system? He says he has two 500 gallon water tanks in the cellar that the roof system heats.

Fuel cells need a supply of hydrogen to run them. They have the advantage of being more efficient, plus they create heat as a byproduct, so the home heating unit is combined with electricity generation for more efficiency. They're more efficient than coal-generated power because the hydrogen fuel cell process doesn't waste as much energy as burning coal. If you use ethanol or methanol you will need a reformer unit. A breakthrough was recently made in electrolysis with new ceramic separators. This method requires 2 parts energy to one part hydrogen produced where the old method was 4 to 1. So, this should make solar-created hydrogen more possible. This is also a green-loop with a CO2-free process.


In Florida you're probably better off having solar tracking mounts in the yard. At least you could store them or batton them down before a hurricane. During Hurricane Charley my next door neighbor had their tin roof blown off by a small tornado. So, Florida solar is probably best done commercially where reinforced racks could be secured. The arrays would be more expensive because you would have to design them to retract and screw down. Shame because the sun down here is strong enough to be practical. We also have a lengthy dry season with few clouds. I've been tempted to buy a couple of panels, but the best ones are $800 each retail for cutting-edge 185 watt units. Florida has a rebate program as high as 50% of cost reimbursed.

Saudi Arabia, Australia, The American Southwest and northern Mexico have prime insolation for solar. Most of the Middle East and the Sahara do too. There's more than enough solar potential in those places to satisfy present world energy demands from solar hydrogen.

The new materials you spoke of are probably a gimmick. I think they are the new organic PV designed from organic materials. They are cost-based in design, but probably not durable and are much lower in efficiency than crystaline silicon. Nothing beats silicon because the crystals create effective channels for the free electrons to flow and circuit. They have found high tech materials to make silicon PV go up above 20% efficiency, but they are expensive. For now they use boron and magnesium for the opposite charge junctions.

I already knew about those solar shingles. They're low efficiency thin-film type. They justify them by saying they cover the entire roof, therefore creating the same energy as panels. Thin-film isn't as durable as silicon crystal cells, so it has a shorter lifespan. I was talking about bigger silicon crystal slate-type thick shingles. That way you could have an aesthetic look to a PV roof without any mounting clutter or obtrusive panels.

Queen Beatrix of Holland heard about green power and ordered a national alternative energy program. Many dutch roofs now integrate solar into their designs. Holland is now the most advanced alternative energy country in the world.

My problem with ethanol is it depends on soil loss to sustain constant energy demands. It also needs petroleum-based fertilizers and adds pesticides to the environment. Large-scale wood pellet reliance would turn any forest into a massive cornfield wiping out diversity. This is already a problem down south. It also creates CO2.

weary
04-23-2005, 04:51
My problem with ethanol is it depends on soil loss to sustain constant energy demands. It also needs petroleum-based fertilizers and adds pesticides to the environment. Large-scale wood pellet reliance would turn any forest into a massive cornfield wiping out diversity. This is already a problem down south. It also creates CO2.
I suspect the CO2 created by burning wood pellets is the equivalent of the CO2 consumed in growing the wood, i.e. wood burning systems neither add not subtract from the problem of green house warming.

Over the long run the same is true when you burn any wood. As I understand it, burning wood releases the same emissions as natural decay, and all wood decays eventually.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-23-2005, 06:07
OK, I did go back to the Maine solar house website for a looksy... I am still digesting what I read but my first impression is the guy is super green and he is telling greeenies (and potential greenies) what they want to hear. I see that he is still able to make hot water in January and he does not talk about (or admit to) freeze up, so maybe freezing is in fact no problem even in New England. The house does employ radiant floor heating zones FYI. But lets not forget that this guy spent considerable time looking for 'the ideal location' for the dwelling, he gets that morning sun right off of the Atlantic. Lucky prick! no offense Weary :-) And the dwelling is a passive solar design so this decreases his solar hotwater and PV systems size. I may have missed something but he does not mention how much his "mega storage tanks" cost. The only cost I saw spelled out was the PV array at a mere $16K. It must be nice! On his "cost" page he states that solar adds additional expense but I don't see a cost spreadsheet...? I think what he should have stated was that "a solar design adds exceptional expense". For the same reason that you will not be shelling for the PV system RocksnRoots, I will not be lifting my house off its foundation to relocate it to an ideal lot. Nor will I be hiring an specialized architect or installing the tens of thousand of dollars worth of hotwater, PV collectors and associated hardware. The guy does not talk about system perfomance on a string of heavily clouded winter days... I can't imagine why. What he does say is that he fires up his biomass stove and claims it is 'mostly' for atmosphere.

I am not trying to be negative about solar, I am just trying to keep it real. When the day comes when solar is affordable for us little guys I will be all over it.

I am not the authority on fuel cells, or much else for that matter. So I will have to look into the ethenol reformer issues, but I think Medis Electric solved the reformer issue... I don't know? But how is it that ethanol / fuel cell powered cell phones for instance are possible? Is it a matter of reformer scale. Perhaps we will not see a residential scale ethanol fuel cell.

I also will have to look further into your ethanol / soil depletion concerns. I have been hearing only the good things about biomass and ethanol from sites that should be unbiased...?
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-23-2005, 07:08
Check out dtienergy.com
This is methanol based technology but it requires no reformer. I gathered from an investor website that this company is creating quite a stir amongst fuel cell companies.
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-23-2005, 07:36
Ouch!
Curiosity got the best of me RocksnRoots and I looked where Ft. Myers was located, looks nice. I saw a show on global warming yesterday and they were showing how that if we did not turn global warming around that a large part of Florida will be under water in a couple of hundred years... and Ft. Myers will be one of the first to sink.

Are you sure that you do not want those windmills?
Biomass crops reduce green house gases!
Drum Stick

bogey
04-23-2005, 13:28
Ouch!
Curiosity got the best of me RocksnRoots and I looked where Ft. Myers was located, looks nice. I saw a show on global warming yesterday and they were showing how that if we did not turn global warming around that a large part of Florida will be under water in a couple of hundred years... and Ft. Myers will be one of the first to sink.

Are you sure that you do not want those windmills?
Biomass crops reduce green house gases!
Drum Stick
While I don't want to sound like I'm pooh-poohing the idea of global warming, or that we shouldn't try to do what we can or need to do to minimize it, it's a fact of life. It's happened before, it's gonna happen again.period.

I live just west of Chicago (usually, anyway) and thousands of years ago, my home on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Don't think I'll live to see the value of my Illinois oceanfront rise, though.

perspective.

Drum Stick
04-24-2005, 07:31
First let me apologize to everyone for not following the format of cutting, pasting, quoting and providing active hyperlinks. I get on this forum using a very dumb terminal (I heard that!) and it makes those basic functions very difficult. Sorry

Yes Bogey you are correct. The world has and will change many times. But whether the change happens naturally or whether mans pollution is the cause are two different things.

Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
04-25-2005, 02:41
The main beneficiary of the water environment down here is the prolific bird population. They are the main fauna, seen all over. Even in residential neighborhoods.

One of the more elegant members is the Great White Egret which flies in slow graceful motions with its wings. It moves so awkwardly slowly that its wingbeats don't seem to match its flight. When you watch one take off or try to avoid a car it makes you cringe because you're sure it's not going to make it - but it somehow always does. These beautiful bright white creatures dot the neighborhood like oriental garden figures.


- Which is exactly why I wouldn't want to see one get whacked and splattered, with white feathers flying everywhere, by a big mill blade. That goes for the AT too...

Drum Stick
04-25-2005, 08:33
Excuses are like eyes, most everyone has eyes, but not everyone can see the big picture.

Your concerns for the Great White Egret are well taken RocknRoots. Being a reasonable man, and one who is trully concerned for the eco system that supports 'all life', I would say "good point RocksnRoots, you are right, perhaps Florida is not a great place for Windmills".

Their names are Olivia and Joshua. And I have two more nieces and nephews on the way. Some day uncle Drum Stick is going to take them on a hike through The Great Smokey Mountains, and The 'Great' White Mountains and more. I don't suspect that the mans attitude, the pollution, or the haze that lingers over these mountains will change much between now and the time we embark on our hike. So when we get to the plaques in the Smokies, (the plaques that show us the way the views used to be before man polluted the view), and the children ask me "how come there is pollution". I will just say because not everyone takes the environment seriously. "how come" and I will say "there are people called Hypocrites". (Hypocrite: a man who professes beliefs that he does not hold.) Is it just a "cliche" when we speak of "the environment that we leave behind for our children" or is it just a feel good catch phrase? Why are those plaques there? So we can get a feel for the view that we might have appreciated. Or are the plaques there as a call to action to reduce pollution?

Are we against windmills in general? or are we just selfishly against windmills on the AT? What form did your protest take when the windmills of the world were erected? or did you just jump on the band wagon when windmills were proposed in your back yard? These questions are not pointed spears, just to be pondered and answerd honestly by each of us.

BTW how can we be concerned about the Great White Egret and sit back and watch global warming destroy the habitat of The Great White Polar Bear in Alaska. This is just one specie that is being affected in Alaska and there are 'many' affected species. Many plants and trees are also being affected in terribe ways by pests brought on by warmer temperatures, and not just in Alaska but around the world. Please tell me, how much fossil fuel does a polar bear burn each year? Man is the only specie burning fossil fuel and yet 'some of us' will not take responsibility for own actions / pollution. There is vastly more fossil fuel being being burned here in Appalachia (not to leave out Florida), but do we care that other parts of the world like Alaska are taking the lions share of negative impact? Some of us do.

I am still looking into your concerns over soil depletion RocksnRoots. I am just scratching the surface but scientists are saying that global warming will have devastating effect on soils around the world as deserts expand. Populations will likely have serious challenges raising crops to feed themselves leading to starvation and disease. Not to worry though most of the erosin is predicted for someone elses backyard.

We need solutions not excuses. I have an idea for a system to scare birds away from the windmills, but I bet there are already such systems in the works.
Don't even get me started!
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-25-2005, 13:17
I did some homework, and I must say that I am shocked myself by what I read.

Windmills do not come remotely close to cats when it comes to causing bird deaths. And vastly more bird deaths occur per year from 'each' of the following: smog, global warming, loss of habitat, disease, buildings (the list goes on) than will likely ever be killed by windmills.

The Audubon Society of Massachusettes is pro-windmill, so long as the windmills are not in a migratory route, I do not know if this a national stance, I just happened to see the Mass Audubon Society link in a search. I also read that the Sierra club was pro-windmill but I have not taken a look at their website yet.

Evidently scientists are looking into bird vision. Birds see largely in the ultra violet spectrum. Ultra Violet reflective coatings are being tested on windmill blades to see if the birds better see the windmill and can avoid them.

A blurb I found:
It seems that people who fell in love with birds last night are against windmills and are not aware of the real killers.
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
04-26-2005, 06:16
abcbirds.org

If anyone is interested in scientific data and the truth about birds and windmills please go to abcbirds.org.

abc (America Bird Conservation...).There is a detailed report that gets very specific, right down to the windmills in Appalachia and the number of 'actual' bird deaths caused by windmills.

very very interesting data and insight.
Drum Stick

weary
04-26-2005, 09:53
Excuses are like eyes, most everyone has eyes, but not everyone can see the big picture.

Your concerns for the Great White Egret are well taken RocknRoots. Being a reasonable man, and one who is trully concerned for the eco system that supports 'all life', I would say "good point RocksnRoots, you are right, perhaps Florida is not a great place for Windmills".

Their names are Olivia and Joshua. And I have two more nieces and nephews on the way. Some day uncle Drum Stick is going to take them on a hike through The Great Smokey Mountains, and The 'Great' White Mountains and more. I don't suspect that the mans attitude, the pollution, or the haze that lingers over these mountains will change much between now and the time we embark on our hike. So when we get to the plaques in the Smokies, (the plaques that show us the way the views used to be before man polluted the view), and the children ask me "how come there is pollution". I will just say because not everyone takes the environment seriously. "how come" and I will say "there are people called Hypocrites". (Hypocrite: a man who professes beliefs that he does not hold.) Is it just a "cliche" when we speak of "the environment that we leave behind for our children" or is it just a feel good catch phrase? Why are those plaques there? So we can get a feel for the view that we might have appreciated. Or are the plaques there as a call to action to reduce pollution?

Are we against windmills in general? or are we just selfishly against windmills on the AT? What form did your protest take when the windmills of the world were erected? or did you just jump on the band wagon when windmills were proposed in your back yard? These questions are not pointed spears, just to be pondered and answerd honestly by each of us.

BTW how can we be concerned about the Great White Egret and sit back and watch global warming destroy the habitat of The Great White Polar Bear in Alaska. This is just one specie that is being affected in Alaska and there are 'many' affected species. Many plants and trees are also being affected in terribe ways by pests brought on by warmer temperatures, and not just in Alaska but around the world. Please tell me, how much fossil fuel does a polar bear burn each year? Man is the only specie burning fossil fuel and yet 'some of us' will not take responsibility for own actions / pollution. There is vastly more fossil fuel being being burned here in Appalachia (not to leave out Florida), but do we care that other parts of the world like Alaska are taking the lions share of negative impact? Some of us do.

I am still looking into your concerns over soil depletion RocksnRoots. I am just scratching the surface but scientists are saying that global warming will have devastating effect on soils around the world as deserts expand. Populations will likely have serious challenges raising crops to feed themselves leading to starvation and disease. Not to worry though most of the erosin is predicted for someone elses backyard.

We need solutions not excuses. I have an idea for a system to scare birds away from the windmills, but I bet there are already such systems in the works.
Don't even get me started!
Drum Stick
Most of what Drum Stick says is true. But that doesn't mean we have to damage special places to solve the problem -- at least not yet.

Wind power in the east is going to be a very tiny piece of the solution at best. Like any other industrial facility it needs to be located carefully. We have not yet reached the stage where we have to destroy the best this earth has to offer in order to save it.

I agree the bird problem is probably exaggerated, though some western Maine species, like the golden eagle, could possibly eliminated since there are only a handful of nesting pairs. That's a loss to Maine, but not very great in the grand scheme of things.

However, wind is a player only because tax laws make it profitable to a few. Florida Power and Light, which supplies me with electricity, earned $2 billion last year, but paid no income tax because of the write offs engendered by its tiny wind subsidiary.

If Redington is approved, the tiny developer, Endless Energy, will promptly sell it to one of the major utilities. Why? Because it lacks the stream of profits needed to take advantage of all the tax subsidies.

Despite this, I have no special hatred of wind towers. I live on the coast. I'd far rather see towers on off shore islands and coastal peninsulas, than adjacent to one of the nicest sections of the Appalachian Trail, a section I've spent much of the last two years trying to protect from development.

BTW our mortgage on the land that the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust snatched from the hands of developers last fall comes due in October. We have about $30,000 remaining to raise on a purchase price of $661,000, assuming all the pledges are paid on schedule.

If you can send a few bucks, just open www.matlt.org

You will find a convenient way to contribute with a credit card. Or send something to MAT Land Trust, PO Box 325, Yarmouth, Maine 04096.

Weary

rickb
04-26-2005, 19:20
Weary,

I'll send you in a hundred dollar check for each of your ferral cats you have euthanized (up to 5). Send a copy of the vet bill or a phots of the pile to me off line.

Rick B

weary
04-26-2005, 19:32
Weary,

I'll send you in a hundred dollar check for each of your ferral cats you have euthanized (up to 5). Send a copy of the vet bill or a phots of the pile to me off line.

Rick B
Golly, I should have waited and done them all at once. I was up to nine a year ago. I have but three fixed ones now. And one pregnant female that is going to the vet as soon as I can entice her into a trap.

However, we do need land trust donations, regardless of the status of what one neighbor called "your cat farm."

Weary www.matlt.org

rickb
04-26-2005, 19:50
One man's pet is another man's polution.

BTW, I recind my offer Weary. In light of the fact that mother's day is coming up, your plans seem too cruel even for me. Plus, you would probably expect payment for the kittens.

I supspect that if someone learned that burning the Mona Lisa would yield enough BTUs to save a tanker of crude, some on this list would be all for it.

Excuse the analogy and these last two posts, my pineapple juice seems to have fermented without me realizing it. If I put an extra zero on my token check by mistake, please return it, OK?

Rick B

weary
04-27-2005, 00:50
One man's pet is another man's polution.

BTW, I recind my offer Weary. In light of the fact that mother's day is coming up, your plans seem too cruel even for me. Plus, you would probably expect payment for the kittens.

I supspect that if someone learned that burning the Mona Lisa would yield enough BTUs to save a tanker of crude, some on this list would be all for it.

Excuse the analogy and these last two posts, my pineapple juice seems to have fermented without me realizing it. If I put an extra zero on my token check by mistake, please return it, OK?

Rick B
Every little bit helps.

Tent-N-Kent
04-27-2005, 01:43
I see nothing off topic MOWGLI16. Birds smacking into windmills has been a problem for a long time, and probably as long as windmills have been around. I actually wanted to put up a small windmill on the shore of a lake in Maine as a project for fun. But then I learned of the bird problem and scrapped the idea, especially because the location of our bird feeders and houses had already established a flight plan for the birds.

We people must just decide if the birds getting killed is acceptable.
Drum Stick
I am glad some of others becides me have got their thinking caps on re:unintended consequences. The ATC rationale vor preserving the visual aesthetic is desirable in and of itself but...check out the Hawk Mountain preserve web info about migratory raptors. My stomach has not stopped churning since this issue came to the AT. Whenever I am in the mountains, one of the main things I seek to glimpse one more time for the good of my soul is the sight of a raptor soaring on the thermals hundreds of feet over my head , with the energy of the wind giving it the ability to stayabove me or without flapping it's wings to leave and be miles away down the chain of mountains in just a few seconds. 75% of North Americas eagles , hawks , ospreys , falcons , even the lowly buzzard are dependent on a safe passage along the Appalachian mountain chain for them to spread out all over the Western Hemisphere. Significant if not catastrophic losses in raptor populations will result if Wind farms proliferate without very careful site selection and avian loss prevention measures not taken...Tent-n-Kent

Ridge
04-27-2005, 03:43
Being originally from CA, probably more windmills there than in Holland, the things started out being allowed with all types of conditions attached, NOW, they are everywhere, The only positive thing about them is that it helps obscure the cell phone towers every mile or so. I say, stop'em all, and the hell with'em all...no towers wind or otherwise. If they are allowed an inch....we may be able to ride a mine car from springer to katahdin in the future. Just my two-cents. hikerwife, an enviromentalist.

Drum Stick
04-30-2005, 12:09
If you all read some of my earlier posts in this thread you know that I am not really for windmills along the AT.

Weary at least recognizes that we do have troubling environmental issues, but Weary feels we are not yet at 'the breaking point'. The point where our environment is in such trouble that we have little choice but to fully utilize wind power and other sources of energy. We can respectfully agree to disagree on whether we are at the breaking point, and many people do. However there is a growing body of evidence that suggest that the earth is is warming at an alarming rate. I have never been until recently (911) been an "environmentalist type" on a mission. My personal energy mission is to (1) send as few dollars over to the Middle East as possible while also (2) cleaning up our environment and (3) putting people on this continent to work. The Bigger Picture.

If you live in the north 'especially' (where most of our energy requirement is heat) you can start burning biomass as soon as you can scrape together the cash for a biomass heater or boiler. You will save on your energy bill (after the initial investment) by burning biomass. Yes burning biomass means a little work especially if you choose to burn cordwood, but heck! these pellet stoves are so darn easy to operate. If you are elderly and can not manage cordwood or lift a 40-pound bag of biomass pellets then maybe biomass is not for you, otherwise please step forward. FYI in parts of Urope (Sweden) a pellet infrastructure has been established. The pellet fuel delivery truck blows the pellets into a hopper in the basement, and the pellet heater/boiler simply draws from the hopper. This way the only chore is emptying the ash and keeping the heat exchangers clean. Why does it seem that we constantly behind Europe? Are you all aware of the growing number of pellet manufactures on this continent? Pellets are being shipped by the train load and ship load by Canadian companies. I have done my home work gang and the best biomass stove going is the EPA certified Dell-Point (pelletstove.com) (~$3K) althoughthere are lss expensive models. And if you would rather a pellet boiler search for the Baxi / HS-Tarm (~$7K). There is a distributor (HS-Tarm USA) in Lyme NH. FYI When I purchased my stove fom Dell-Point I had to wait almost a year to receive it they were so backlogged. If we started to burn biomass years ago we might not be so close to the "environmental breaking point" or sending so much wealth to the Middle East.

Windmill farms will continue to sprout up and some of us will fight against them. But perhaps the best way to fight them is to render them not neccessary by switching to other sources of energy.? Or wait until push comes to shove and take what you get.
Drum Stick

weary
04-30-2005, 13:20
......Windmill farms will continue to sprout up and some of us will fight against them. But perhaps the best way to fight them is to render them not neccessary by switching to other sources of energy.? Or wait until push comes to shove and take what you get.
Drum Stick
I testified at a Legislative hearing this week on a bill that would exempt the windmill industry from siting regulations that apply to all other developments in the unorganized townships of Maine.

One industry spokesman said investment in windmills, because of the federal tax subsidy, easily earns 30% profits a year. The problem facing the industry, the industry argued, is getting projects approved by regulatory agencies.

I noted that our Maine Appalachian Trail Land TRust had spent $661,000 last October to buy the summit ridge of Abraham and the southeast slopes of Saddleback in an effort to keep the area wild and remote as possible.and that developments that would damage the remoteness and scenic value of the area ought to at least meet the ordinary siting standards for the region -- especially since we had donated our interest in the summit ridge of Abraham to the state as an ecological preserve.

Weary www.matlt.org

Drum Stick
04-30-2005, 13:38
Do I understand this correctly Weary? The Maine bill would drop regulations in unorganized townships to further the developent of wind power...? And what do you think about this approach. Of course I know where you stand regarding the AT corridor.

I just learned that 70% of the crude that the US purchases is for gasoline / transportation. So getting rid of the old gas guzzlers would help a lot. I highly reccomend a VW diesel (TDI) if you can get your hands on one. Higher fuel prices I understand are here to stay because China is driving up the demand for oil.
Drum Stick

weary
04-30-2005, 16:59
Do I understand this correctly Weary? The Maine bill would drop regulations in unorganized townships to further the developent of wind power...? And what do you think about this approach. Of course I know where you stand regarding the AT corridor.

I just learned that 70% of the crude that the US purchases is for gasoline / transportation. So getting rid of the old gas guzzlers would help a lot. I highly reccomend a VW diesel (TDI) if you can get your hands on one. Higher fuel prices I understand are here to stay because China is driving up the demand for oil.
Drum Stick
Actually, that would be too blatant for even politicians. Rather it says the sense of the Legislature is to support wind power and that regulatory agencies should seek ways to expedite approval of such projects, including changing their regulations.

It also would take $2 million from a tiny conservation fund and give it to wind developers to help them apply for permits.

Conservation, including meaningful fuel consumption guidelines, would do far more than wind power to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. That was the topic of my book, Housewarming, that was published 25 years ago.

I found it interesting that a member of the Legislative committee had recently purchased a copy at a library sale and mentioned it to me after the hearing. At the hearing he talked of the 400,000 acres that he said I had found and returned to state ownership. The latter was a bit of an exaggeration. But it was nice to hear anyway. It's rare that anyone still remembers 30-year-old newspaper stories.

Weary

Drum Stick
04-30-2005, 19:38
Weary thank you for the clarification on the Maine Bill. And I agree with your earlier statement regarding putting windmills offshore (too). I hope one day the people of Cape Cod will come around to the idea.

Weary my backround is in electronics so I have a handle on electricity. Indeed you are correct that a windmill does not produce a large amount of power. But it all adds up doesn't it, and it is relatively free... Conservation! That is such a big word for a lot of people. As you pointed out in another post, people will not conserve until market conditions force the issue...(I think you said that basically people would not go for solar homes until oil prices went way up etc.)

So you wrote House Warming during / after the 1970's energy crunch, very interesting. I would like to see that book. Maybe you should put it back in print? I hear a part of the 2005 US Energy Bill (if we get one) is a conservation campaign, why not some old text! Proceeds to benefit the MATLT? I will take a copy!
Drum Stick

weary
04-30-2005, 23:30
So you wrote House Warming during / after the 1970's energy crunch, very interesting. I would like to see that book. Maybe you should put it back in print? I hear a part of the 2005 US Energy Bill (if we get one) is a conservation campaign, why not some old text! Proceeds to benefit the MATLT? I will take a copy!
Drum Stick
Send me a snail mail address and I'll send you a copy. The publisher piddled around and didn't get the book out until oil prices started to plummet. And at that it brought it out in April -- the worse possible time for an energy book.

They published 10,000 copies: sold 2,000. in 1992 I bought the remainders for 10 cents each and gave them away door to door when I ran for a state senate seat. (I came closer than anyone in 30 years, in a Republican district, against a Republican incumbent, who had dreamed of becoming governor, but I didn't win.)

I now buy them back for 50 cents each when recipients donate copies to library sales. I manage to keep seven or eight copies on hand for anyone who wants one, which I give away.

I do send a plug for the MAT Land Trust. One guy sent $1,000. But the usual take is a bit less -- well quite a bit less, in fact. I toy from time to time with attempting an update. One reason for the poor sales was that the book was ahead of it's times. The leading energy non profit refused to sell it in its store. I debunked too many of their fads, and suggested too many things they had never heard of. I'm surprised, though, how well it's held up.

Weary (ellen@clinic.net)

Drum Stick
05-01-2005, 09:49
Thank you Weary.
As you know I did give to the MATLT this year and you can probably count on me for an annual donation despite my needs to put funds elsewhere, such as in a retirement account. But considering your generous book deal I will send along another small donation, "it all adds up doesn't it". Please autograph the book for me.

All-in-all I feel that the ATC's stance on windmills is a responsible one. They are not standing in the way of every windmill project, in fact the ATC opposes very few projects from what I can see. I personally would not mind at all seeing the Redington wind farm for the many reasons I stated above. But I did not sign up on the Endless Enery site to support windmills... Now that I think about it, when ones signs their letter of support they are signing on to support 'all' proposed sites...? Anyway I couldn't see supporting the MATLT and then supporting the Redintgon site too, not without going out to get a feel for the visual impact myself. Anyway the Redington deal will not hinge on my vote.
Best regards,
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
05-01-2005, 17:12
Schwartzenegger is pushing a "Million Solar Roof" plan through in California. Of course, the usual fat cats are resisting it:


http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=23103

Tent-N-Kent
05-06-2005, 13:44
Weary thank you for the clarification on the Maine Bill. And I agree with your earlier statement regarding putting windmills offshore (too). I hope one day the people of Cape Cod will come around to the idea.

Weary my backround is in electronics so I have a handle on electricity. Indeed you are correct that a windmill does not produce a large amount of power. But it all adds up doesn't it, and it is relatively free... Conservation! That is such a big word for a lot of people. As you pointed out in another post, people will not conserve until market conditions force the issue...(I think you said that basically people would not go for solar homes until oil prices went way up etc.)

So you wrote House Warming during / after the 1970's energy crunch, very interesting. I would like to see that book. Maybe you should put it back in print? I hear a part of the 2005 US Energy Bill (if we get one) is a conservation campaign, why not some old text! Proceeds to benefit the MATLT? I will take a copy!
Drum Stick
This thread has flushed out more good ideas ,( at least good intentioned ones in the rest of the offerings... ) , than just about every forum/discussion I have ever witnessed regarding the environmental dilemma we all face today. I'd like to add to the discussion something else to consider about conservation of energy. Would we be as bad off in the United States as we are now in our energy crunch , if we had not become so insanely wasteful of both electricity and oil...???!!!!! Have you got your car gassed up in the middle of the night at a gas station " convenience mart " that had lights so bright it hurt your eyes worse than direct sunlight? Could you and I plus 3 other lonely souls possibly have bought that cumulative $ 107.99 worth of groceries in the day light, ( instead of on our way home at 2a.m.) at that Superstore? I mean have you considered that this convenience is rewarding retail corporations for insanely burning a thousand dollars worth of energy all night long for that $ 107.99 in the cash register just so they can keep ahead of their competitors? Of course we have allowed our society to brainwashed into accepting this wonderful new 24/7 lifestyle , so now there is a lot more going in than $107.99 at all those wonderful American cash registers. Have you considered the reason our government has not put more effort behind facilitating every american to have a small windmill ( inside of a cage to protect critters) out in the front yard and a solar panel up on the roof of a house built with $300.00 worth of straw bales encased in $800.00 worth of concrete...or a yurt ...or ramearth ...or etc.?? It probably has something to do with the government listening alot more to the folks at Chevron , PSI Energy and the Mountain States Legal Foundation than they do to us folks typing away on Whiteblaze...Weelll that's more than a few words from me this time , but I don't want to see the AT corridor raped any more than it already is...just because our nation is in such a tizzy right now!!! Tent-N-Kent :-? :-? :-?

Rocks 'n Roots
05-06-2005, 22:13
Turns out someone does make solar tiles:


http://www.solarcentury.co.uk/content.jsp?sectno=2&subno=8

Drum Stick
05-09-2005, 13:21
Hey Rocks, I found a tid bit on that solar coating @
warriorsfortruth.com
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
05-09-2005, 21:44
He says they are as efficient as crystal cells but the last I read they weren't. He's also not mentioning that their materials degrade much faster than silicon crystal and are less durable. Cadmium is a heavy metal.

I like the solar tiles in the link I showed. They at least have a familiar aesthetic roofing look. They are also the same as the big panels in composition, just spread out.

Drum Stick
05-09-2005, 22:47
So when does the install take place RocksnRoots?
Cha Ching!
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
05-10-2005, 00:45
I bet if real investment were done in it it would be affordable.


Anyway I read an article today about the National Research Laboratory looking into a new steam process of separating hydrogen with a light electrical current. They are looking into using nuclear as the heat source for the steam.

80% of the world's oil reserves are heavy crude. This thick oil is only used for asphalt and tar because it contains too many carbon molecules. They say they can take the hydrogen from this process and use it to produce refinable gasoline.

Only 600,000 barrels of the 20.5 million barrels used per day in the US are used for electricity generation.

Drum Stick
05-10-2005, 06:47
Thank scientists for science RocksnRoots. I am pleased to hear of the new hydrogen separation method. How long before this process is feasible? If we do use nuclear power for the process I would imagine that the reactor would be in a highly guarded area, like in an area 51.

I agree that if massive investment were made in solar PV that it would accelerate its performance, drive down the price, and accelerate solar PV use... and someday it will happen. But with so many other energy sources poised to rock right now solar PV is on a slow boat.
Drum Stick

weary
05-10-2005, 09:12
.....I agree that if massive investment were made in solar PV that it would accelerate its performance, drive down the price, and accelerate solar PV use... and someday it will happen. But with so many other energy sources poised to rock right now solar PV is on a slow boat.
Drum Stick
That's true in this country and western Europe. The question is whether this is a product of technology or government subsidies.

Wind also requires a grid for economic efficiency. At least that is the contention of an alternative energy engineer/entrepeneur MATC consulted when we were deciding what stand to take on Redington. For the third world, where 2 billion people live, PV is the electricity of choice.

A grid, of course, helps pv also. Our consultant used to sell both pvs and home wind system. He now does only PVs and except for house lots a long ways from the nearest utility pole, most sell day time surplus to the utility and draw on the utility at night -- saving a massive battery investment.

His claim is that except for the surplus of electricy in Maine which keeps prices moderate, PV would be approaching a break even point, even along the foggy coast of Maine.

At one point Maine got half its energy from alternative sources -- mostly biomass and hydropower. The percentage slumped as oil prices stabilized and natural gas stations came on line. Dams have been removed and biomass shut down.

It's inching back up again now, with or without wind.

Weary

Drum Stick
05-10-2005, 09:32
That is interesting information Weary.

One point about residential wind turbines is that performance suffers from ground air flow resistance. In order to eliminate the affects from ground resistance a turbine must be mounted high above the ground or water. Residential turbines can be mounted at a maximum height of 30-feet (in Maine anyway).
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
05-10-2005, 09:46
But I don't understand the claim that PV is at the break even point, even along the foggy coast of Maine...?

With such a large initial PV investment... And such a tiny electric bill that I get from Central Maine Power ( I conserve)... heck I could take the PV investment money, invest it into a fund, and it would pay for my electric bill. And no worries about my panels or keeping them snow, ice, pollen, bird dropping, and sap free etc.

Weary, are you at all familiar with purchasing green power in Maine? I just found out about this and I am considering it.
Drum Stick

weary
05-10-2005, 11:57
But I don't understand the claim that PV is at the break even point, even along the foggy coast of Maine...?

With such a large initial PV investment... And such a tiny electric bill that I get from Central Maine Power ( I conserve)... heck I could take the PV investment money, invest it into a fund, and it would pay for my electric bill. And no worries about my panels or keeping them snow, ice, pollen, bird dropping, and sap free etc.

Weary, are you at all familiar with purchasing green power in Maine? I just found out about this and I am considering it.
Drum Stick
I suspect the PV seller's claim is exaggerated. He is in the business of selling the things. The problem with green power is that it probably will include Redington, which isn't really "green."

But I don't dispute your economic analysis. I designed my house 30 years ago to take advantage of solar energy. Everytime I've done the analysis solar has been much more expensive than fossils. I don't mind a bit of a green premium.

But I'd rather donate any surplus cash I have to my two land trusts, than to the nebulous benefits of active solar. Passive solar is virtually free. Wood, my exclusive home heating fuel for 20 years saved considerable money, and is as solar as anything. Wood remains an important part of my energy mix, but it is no longer the only fuel. Age, the care of an invalid inlaw, a less than healthy wife, and the need for expensive repairs on my wood boiler prompted the change.

BTW did my book arrive?

Weary

Drum Stick
05-10-2005, 12:22
No Weary your book did not arrive on my doorstep today, I suspect tomorrow then. Excellent! I really look forward to reading it, and seeing how much has not changed when it comes to conservation. Thank you very much and I will respond in kind.

So you stoked a wood boiler for twenty years, sweet. The boiler was probably getting tired anyway. Is the boiler located in your basement or do you have a small shed outside? I really wanted to get an HS-Tarm wood gasification boiler but the whole system was just too expensive for me. Now of course there are pellet boilers which are much more convenient to operate but the system is still a bit pricey for me. If I ever move on to my AT hostel / retirement dream, I will surely be utilising a bio-mass boiler to make plenty of hot water to cut the hiker funk (odor).
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
05-11-2005, 15:53
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"> </TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>http://hellas.debating.net/stew/templates/smartBlue/images/lang_english/icon_quote.gif (http://hellas.debating.net/stew/posting.php?mode=quote&p=114300) </TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2><HR>http://hellas.debating.net/stew/templates/smartBlue/images/icon_minipost.gif (http://hellas.debating.net/stew/viewtopic.php?p=114300#114300)</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>And it appears as if Washington state is leading the way with implementing performance-based criteria!!

The state of Cali could stand to learn s'mthin' from Washington state. At least there's proposed legislation on the docket for this consideration in the proposed SB1 initiative.

Washington State Passes Progressive Renewable Energy Legislation (http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=28478)

New Germany-style Production Credit Should Spur Regional Clean Energy Market
[snip]
The law establishes a renewable energy "feed-in" production incentive, the first such application of this approach in a U.S. state. Homes and businesses with solar PV and wind power systems would earn a credit of 15 cents per kWh of electricity generated by their renewable energy systems up to $2000 annually -- roughly tailored to the yearly market output of a typical 3.5 kW PV system.

In addition to the feed-in credit, the bill is progressive because it combines economic multipliers to increase the system owner's credit if the project's components are manufactured in Washington. This can raise the 15 cent per kWh credit up to as much as 54 cents and this rate would be available for a fixed 10 year period beginning July 1, 2005.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Drum Stick
05-11-2005, 16:31
That ought to be interesting in Washington state, how much sun do they get?. I have seen the solar farms in Germany but I have no idea what their typical weather is either? You know RocknRoots if I could invest into panels that were mounted in an AZ solarfarm for instance, it might make sense performance wise.

www.solarwall.com
I think that is the URL (without checking), if not I will post the correct one after. Anyway it is interesing how much the payback period varies from site to site. These folks say something like 20+ yrs. But what struck me was that this sight says, what was it...? 500 BTU's of thermal energy per square meter. And I wonder what the effect of acres upon acres of (dark) panels would be. Alaska is warming up because (1) the exposed dark earth is absorbing heat and (2) smog is not allowing the heat to radiate out from the earth. See where I am going.

I don't know why you are hanging on to solar PV RocksnRoots when biomass is 'solar power', and stored solar power. Yah there was a day when I was hot on solar PV too. To each their own.
Drum Stick

Drum Stick
05-11-2005, 17:18
Weary,
I speed read your energy conservation book in a few hours. Of course some of the material was so outdated that I skimmed right over it, like caulking windows. The book was a nice read though. Too Funny! I saw your real name and I said "Weary did not write this", then it occurred to me that you had a 'real name' Ha!

I did laugh too over the bumper sticker comment "If you are cold and hungry and out of work eat an environmentalist" Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

The Hill Cordwood Boiler! So that was the state-of-the-art biomass burner in 1981... That was interesting that you made a concrete hot water tank, and that if you had to do it all over again that you would make the tank 4,000 gallon capacity. A couple of years back the 1,250 gallon tank that HS-Tarm offered was selling for $1,750... NOT. I considered purchasing an above ground swimming pool and using that (in my basement), much cheaper. Funny how in 1981 you were talking about compressed wood products (briquets and pellets), and you were talking about biomass plantations, sounds familiar. I really like the look of the lean-to passive solar room because I have a perfect wall for one.. only I don't want my property taxes to go up any more. I was on the leading edge of massh_les (ha ha ha!) migrating to Maine, and since then my taxes have shot way up because now Wells is jammed with them.

"wood burners are like fisherman" always under estimating how much wood they burn. How true! When I said that I burned 5-tons of pellets per year, I was careful not to under estimate. I am not trying to get anyone into an investment that they will hate me for. www.pelletstove.com

I like the reference to the "spinning washing machine bowl / friction heater" ha ha ha! It is funny because I have a brother who is not very technical and he came up with the idea that we could 'pump' water up into a tower and generate hydroelectricity :-) On the other hand my bro owns a flooring company and makes ten times what I make easy.

So the state made you move your house so they could put a road thru your living room, ah sweet immenent domain. Part of my family actually stepped of the Mayflower and settled in the Portmouth NH area. The fam put the house up on a nice hill, then the state grabbed it for a water tower, then they grabbed a big chunk of the farm and converted it into Pease Airforce base. Nice! That is progress.

Nice book Weary and Thank you for the articles. The next time I have the checkbook out myfriend.
Drum Stick

Rocks 'n Roots
05-12-2005, 01:10
That ought to be interesting in Washington state, how much sun do they get?. I have seen the solar farms in Germany but I have no idea what their typical weather is either?

They get 3 or more average insolation hours per year. Arizona gets over 5. Eastern Washington is rain shadowed by the Cascades, so it probably has better solar values. I looked up German insolation values on Google. In the south the mountain areas are pretty good in the summer with surprisingly high values. However the winter is piss poor with only a 1 rating in those months. The Germans, by the way, have flown a solar powered light aircraft.




what the effect of acres upon acres of (dark) panels would be. Alaska is warming up because (1) the exposed dark earth is absorbing heat and (2) smog is not allowing the heat to radiate out from the earth. See where I am going.
I see where you are going - up to the Trail with pylons.

What you have failed to consider is the offsetting value of the CO2 and pollution cutting panels. I won't attempt the science, but I think the panels themselves would have a mild thermal absorption value similar to vegetation. I'm not 100% sure but physics probably dictates that the electricity carried off by the system absorbs and redirects heat that would have been reflected back. But don't quote me on that, it's a guess.



I don't know why
you are hanging on to solar PV RocksnRoots when biomass is 'solar power', and stored solar power. Yah there was a day when I was hot on solar PV too. To each their own.

Turn our gold rush oriented society onto windmills or biomass and they'll stampede our forests into cornfields and strew our ridges with nasty windmill towers and lighted blades...