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phasing out of fossil fuels - programme


magpie patrick

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28 minutes ago, jetzi said:

It's a closed cycle and it's carbon neutral. Food is a kind of biofuel. Population size is irrelevant if that population isn't digging up fossil fuels (of course our giant population is a direct result of subsidisation by fossil fuels).

Not entirely so. Present day agriculture uses a lot of fossil fuels in making fertilizers and in transport. There was one surprising study that reckoned that electric assist bikes used less fossil fuel to run than conventional pedal bikes for the same miles travelled. Electricity from a partly renewable grid supply, like we now have, to charge the batteries supposedly used less fossil fuel than the extra food required to keep the pedal cyclist going over the same distances. Depends what you eat, but fueling your cycling with beef steaks and the like is particularly bad.

So yes, the answer is to stop eating, or breathing. Who's going to go first? ?

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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1 minute ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Not entirely so. Present day agriculture uses a lot of fossil fuels in making fertilizers and in transport.

Yes. This is part of the nuance. That's why I'm careful to say we need to stop extracting fossil fuels entirely in order to be carbon neutral, not just stop burning them. As I say, our giant population is subsidised by fossils, and a lot of that subsidy goes towards industrialised agriculture. And yes it would be very hard or impossible to sustain 8 billion without industrialised agriculture.

 

But muddying the waters with this nuance means that people fail to understand the basics of the carbon cycle, which is that the carbon you eat is carbon you remove from the atmosphere.

 

The reason that's important to understand is because the solutions might not need to include genocide. It is possible to grow food without fossil fuels - but the carbon cycle is a fact of life. We aren't going to have to stop breathing, because breathing is at its core a carbon neutral activity when looked in the context of the whole carbon cycle instead of just the bit where CO2 is exhaled. It is possible to have a carbon neutral cyclist fed only with organically grown food transported to his nuclear power lit local Tesco in a biofuel truck.

 

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

One way the future (will) may look :

 

 

Now, a new type of wind-powered super sailboat will be crossing the ocean again but it will be large enough to carry 7,000 cars. Built by Wallenious Marine, a Swedish Company, the OceanBird is totally powered by wind and shows that the maritime industry can make the break from fossil fuels.

Shipping is the way the world still moves 90 percent of manufactured goods according to Science Alert but it is a high emission industry. A report from IEA showed that international shipping was responsible for 2 percent of global CO2 emissions. While some shipping companies are switching to biogas, there is a still a long way to go to make the industry more sustainable.

 

This Giant Sailboat Will Transport Cars Across the Atlantic Ocean - Goodnet

 

 

 

I have seen this on splash24/7

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12 hours ago, NB DW said:

Excuse my naivety but how do you heat your water?

 

If you're out cruising and have a pure electric set up, how do you cope?

 

If you've got a diesel generator, could this be used instead of a calorifier / immersion / Webasto or equivalent etc?

In the summer my drive solar heats the water, I only move every couple of days so it works for me. Winter time I have a Rayburn Royal so cooking hot water and central heating is sorted, I burn as much wood as I can, cutting wood is for me good exercise. The diesel genny will be connected to the heat store I have on board, so winter time it will help heat the boat (heat store heats hot water and central heating)

I have spent years making this boat as cheap and clean as possible to run, is it worth it? To me it is, to others it's a waste of time  only time will tell who has got it right 

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18 minutes ago, peterboat said:

I have seen this on splash24/7

The ship saves 90% emissions by transporting 7000 vehicles across the Atlantic? Something seems to be missing in the equation!

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9 minutes ago, peterboat said:

I have a Rayburn Royal so cooking hot water and central heating is sorted

I'd love to have a cooking range but I wonder how it would cope in summer. Doesn't it become unbearably hot and/or a lot of effort to make a fire whenever you cook? Peter was it you who also has a diesel drip fed bubble stove? Ideally it would be great to have a range that could run off solid fuel OR diesel.

 

Do you have gas on your boat? It would take up more room but perhaps a range and a gas cooker is what's required.

 

12 minutes ago, peterboat said:

The diesel genny will be connected to the heat store I have on board, so winter time it will help heat the boat (heat store heats hot water and central heating)

So the diesel generator is water cooled and can be connected to a calorifier? That would be wonderful - I didn't know you could get those!

 

Is a heat store the same as a calorifier?

 

I thought you had a Whispergen Stirling engine Peter?

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Just now, jetzi said:

I'd love to have a cooking range but I wonder how it would cope in summer. Doesn't it become unbearably hot and/or a lot of effort to make a fire whenever you cook? Peter was it you who also has a diesel drip fed bubble stove? Ideally it would be great to have a range that could run off solid fuel OR diesel.

 

Do you have gas on your boat? It would take up more room but perhaps a range and a gas cooker is what's required.

 

So the diesel generator is water cooled and can be connected to a calorifier? That would be wonderful - I didn't know you could get those!

 

Is a heat store the same as a calorifier?

 

I thought you had a Whispergen Stirling engine Peter?

The whispergen is 24 volts and hates biodiesel! The bubble stove loves biodiesel, the genny has had new seals so it can use biodiesel. Can you see where I am heading?

I have no gas I removed it summer I have bbq and and lots of salads. Remember we do have cold days even in the summer so stove does get lit sometimes. 

A heat store holds coolant with very good insulation, the calorifier is above it so is heated by gravity, the central heating is drawn from it as well 

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4 minutes ago, jetzi said:

What about cooking when the weather is hot? Do you fire up the range?

Rarely summers are for bbqs and salads hot water comes from the drive solar 

I do have 2 side doors in that room so I could if pushed cook

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1 minute ago, peterboat said:

Rarely summers are for bbqs and salads hot water comes from the drive solar 

I do have 2 side doors in that room so I could if pushed cook

Fair enough. I cook year round so I would need a summer alternative. Maybe I could skip needing an oven and just have a couple of gas burners in the kitchen along with the range.

 

21 minutes ago, peterboat said:

A heat store holds coolant with very good insulation, the calorifier is above it so is heated by gravity, the central heating is drawn from it as well 

I love the idea of a central heat store that could be heated with energy from any combination of solar, back boiler or coolant on your genny.

 

When I was new to boating I thought that's what a calorifier was, and that you could draw heat out of the calorifier coils to power your rads. Unfortunately it turns out the coils are too small for it to work that way around! Would be interested to know why a heat store is different, is there a brand or model name you could point me to so I can read up about it?

 

Do post a topic when you have it all set up and explain how it went, I'm sure a lot of us are curious.

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2 hours ago, jetzi said:

Where does the carbon you breathe out come from?

 

The plants/animals you eat.

 

Where does the carbon that makes up the plants/animals you eat?

 

The atmosphere via photosynthesis.

 

In other words all the carbon you exhale was recently removed from the atmosphere.

 

It's a closed cycle and it's carbon neutral. Food is a kind of biofuel. Population size is irrelevant if that population isn't digging up fossil fuels (of course our giant population is a direct result of subsidisation by fossil fuels).

 

I know you were being a little facetious but its also the most pernicious misconception about sustainable energy. If we quit fossil fuels, nothing else matters in comparison.

absolutely.   Just picking up on what you said - it should be "making CO2 from so-called 'fossil sources'."

 

i.e.  the carbon that is deep underground should stay deep underground.

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1 hour ago, jetzi said:

Where does the carbon you breathe out come from?

 

The plants/animals you eat.

 

Where does the carbon that makes up the plants/animals you eat?

 

The atmosphere via photosynthesis.

 

In other words all the carbon you exhale was recently removed from the atmosphere.

 

It's a closed cycle and it's carbon neutral. Food is a kind of biofuel. Population size is irrelevant if that population isn't digging up fossil fuels (of course our giant population is a direct result of subsidisation by fossil fuels).

 

 

Bit in red......No it isnt!

There is a big flaw in your argument. Is it better to eat all the green stuff or burn it in ICE's? You say it is no different. Unfortunately it is.

If you sequester say 100Kgs of CO2 out of the atmosphere to make some algae, then make biofuel out of it and burn it, then you put 100Kgs of CO2 back in the atmosphere, +/- any extras such as power etc.

If you sequester 100Kg of CO2 out of the atmosphere to make some algae and turn that to food for humans to eat, then only part of the carbon goes back to CO2. When you eat, part of the carbon you put in you gut goes into the blood stream and  helps the body function and a large part of that is burnt and exhaled as CO2. The other part of what you eat though is not taken in by the body and is excreted in the form of poo and wee. These streams contain carbon. How much? Dunno? 50% of what you eat maybe? Of the carbon you eat ending up in sewarage, a part of that will not end up as CO2. In aerobic composting, only 2/3rd of carbon ends up in CO2 and in anerobic it is less - so say 1/2. Therefore quite a bit of the CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere ends up as solids on the surface of the planet. It doesnt all end up back as CO2. Where do you think all the oil and gas we drill for come from? Its from green stuff that decays but doesnt all go back to CO2.

Therefore by growing plants for us to eat, thereby taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, if we eat it and compost our waste, then we have sequestered significant CO2 from the atmosphere. If however we just grow to burn in an ICE, then we just return 100% of the CO2 back to the atmosphere. It is actually worse than that as the growing of the algae takes energy which is then a net negative on the ICE burning case whereas on the eating case, we get energy back in the composting stage as a result of the CO2 formed (it is an exothermic reaction).

Your assertion that it is a closed cycle and carbon neutral is not quite right. Burning hydrocarbon fuels is bad for the environment. The more green stuff we grow is better for the environment. So lets not burn it and get our energy from other sources.

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3 hours ago, Tom and Bex said:

Sorry but I can't let that part of your post go unchallenged. If be amazed if virtually any narrow boat used anything close to those figures for domestic power. 4kwh is around 333ah @12v, 5kwh is 417ah! 

 

Our measured usage in winter (excluding washing machine) was around 90-100ah (1-1.2kwh) before we installed our lithium batteries. Since then, our usage has increased by around 50%, simply due to ease and speed of charging. We now use a measured 140-150ah average (1.8-2kwh @13v). That figure now includes an occasional cold wash, but that's not the main reason for the increase.

 

I'm not sure how we could use any more, let alone over double! We are far from economical with power use now, and don't really think about it since installing our lithium batteries 3 years ago. 

 

I think the rest of your figures look reasonable though. 

Like I said, use your own figures, it all depends what electrical stuff you have on the boat.

 

It's not compulsory, but most people having new hybrids built take advantage of the big battery bank (30kWh is equivalent to 2400Ah at 12V) and inverter to have more power-consuming appliances like you'd have on land -- washer and tumble drier, decent size fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, toaster, electric oven, electric kettle, possibly induction hob, bigger TV, desktop PC + monitor. Whether to go completely gas-free is another issue, personally I'd still want a decent gas wok burner because we use it a lot. There's also the no-load power draw of a big inverter, this is 60W for a Quattro 48/10000 which just on its own is 1.5kWh/day.

 

That's what I'd do, and a lot of new hybrid boats are fitted out like this, and that's where the 4kWh/day came from. The extra 1kWh/day in winter is the power to run an Ebersplutter and more lighting.

 

If you want to have a more traditional energy-light canal lifestyle then of course that's fine :-)

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1 hour ago, jetzi said:

I'd love to have a cooking range but I wonder how it would cope in summer. Doesn't it become unbearably hot and/or a lot of effort to make a fire whenever you cook? Peter was it you who also has a diesel drip fed bubble stove? Ideally it would be great to have a range that could run off solid fuel OR diesel.

 

Do you have gas on your boat? It would take up more room but perhaps a range and a gas cooker is what's required.

 

So the diesel generator is water cooled and can be connected to a calorifier? That would be wonderful - I didn't know you could get those!

 

Is a heat store the same as a calorifier?

 

I thought you had a Whispergen Stirling engine Peter?

Some marine diesel generators (e.g. Beta Marine -- one reason for choosing this -- but not many others!) are designed to be keel cooled and optionally connected to a calorifier, just like most marine diesels. So running the generator will give you hot water, it would be better to run it for half an hour or so morning and evening instead of saving up and running it for half a day when the batteries are flat -- also better for the batteries.

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22 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

If however we just grow to burn in an ICE, then we just return 100% of the CO2 back to the atmosphere.

So you accept that biofuel is carbon neutral, which is great.

I think you are essentially saying that carbon neutrality is not good enough - our energy sources must actually sequester carbon? From this point of view solar, wind, etc are all "not green" because they don't actually reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere (and in fact might increase it because of the manufacture and maintenance of these energy sources).

 

 

22 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

The other part of what you eat though is not taken in by the body and is excreted in the form of poo and wee. These streams contain carbon. How much? Dunno? 50% of what you eat maybe? Of the carbon you eat ending up in sewarage, a part of that will not end up as CO2. In aerobic composting, only 2/3rd of carbon ends up in CO2 and in anerobic it is less - so say 1/2. Therefore quite a bit of the CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere ends up as solids on the surface of the planet.

The vast majority of the carbon in sewerage ends up as atmospheric carbon. The "solids on the surface of the planet" also decay. Whenever you look just one piece of the carbon cycle it's going to look like it isn't a closed system. Am I saying it's perfectly 100%, no I'm not, there is some nuance to it. Sure, some of the biomass of today might end up permanently sequestered as fossil fuels - but in time scales that are perfectly irrelevant to human civilisation.

 

Last point, we can only eat so much. Poverty/world hunger notwithstanding we can't "eat to victory" even if it really did sequester carbon as you suggest. We could (and there are efforts to) grow biofuels (which is just another word for biomass actually) and then bury it underground, but to make up for the gigajoules and gigajoules of energy we have released from the earth since the industrial revolution would be an incredible quantity of biomass (consider how much more energy is in a block of coal than a chunk of wood!) Sequestration is basically the argument that we can just make artificial coal and oil to replace all the coal and oil we are using. Otherwise known as "greenwashing".

 

28 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

Your assertion that it is a closed cycle and carbon neutral is not quite right. Burning hydrocarbon fuels is bad for the environment. The more green stuff we grow is better for the environment.

Not quite right, no, but close enough. Growing more green stuff is indeed better for the environment because of the temporary carbon sequestration - and biofuels are green stuff for most of the cycle.

 

Burning hydrocarbons are primarily bad because they increase the carbon content of the atmosphere. Biofuels decrease it while growing, and then return to neutral once burned.

 

A wind farm on the other hand doesn't even reduce carbon content temporarily, because they don't grow!

 

By the way. I don't actually think that biofuels are the answer. I'm just trying to convince you that they are in fact a green energy source in the sense that they are carbon neutral - and I think that you agree with that :)

 

 

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11 minutes ago, jetzi said:

So you accept that biofuel is carbon neutral, which is great.

I think you are essentially saying that carbon neutrality is not good enough - our energy sources must actually sequester carbon? From this point of view solar, wind, etc are all "not green" because they don't actually reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere (and in fact might increase it because of the manufacture and maintenance of these energy sources).

 

 

The vast majority of the carbon in sewerage ends up as atmospheric carbon. The "solids on the surface of the planet" also decay. Whenever you look just one piece of the carbon cycle it's going to look like it isn't a closed system. Am I saying it's perfectly 100%, no I'm not, there is some nuance to it. Sure, some of the biomass of today might end up permanently sequestered as fossil fuels - but in time scales that are perfectly irrelevant to human civilisation.

 

Last point, we can only eat so much. Poverty/world hunger notwithstanding we can't "eat to victory" even if it really did sequester carbon as you suggest. We could (and there are efforts to) grow biofuels (which is just another word for biomass actually) and then bury it underground, but to make up for the gigajoules and gigajoules of energy we have released from the earth since the industrial revolution would be an incredible quantity of biomass (consider how much more energy is in a block of coal than a chunk of wood!) Sequestration is basically the argument that we can just make artificial coal and oil to replace all the coal and oil we are using. Otherwise known as "greenwashing".

 

Not quite right, no, but close enough. Growing more green stuff is indeed better for the environment because of the temporary carbon sequestration - and biofuels are green stuff for most of the cycle.

 

Burning hydrocarbons are primarily bad because they increase the carbon content of the atmosphere. Biofuels decrease it while growing, and then return to neutral once burned.

 

A wind farm on the other hand doesn't even reduce carbon content temporarily, because they don't grow!

 

By the way. I don't actually think that biofuels are the answer. I'm just trying to convince you that they are in fact a green energy source in the sense that they are carbon neutral - and I think that you agree with that :)

 

 

Biofuels are only carbon neutral if the energy to grow, produce and transport them is also carbon neutral, which it isn't at the moment. They're also a horribly land-expensive way of generating power, the yield in kW/m2 is at least 10x lower than solar/wind and usually much worse.

 

They're certainly greener than fossil fuels, but not as green as solar/wind/nuclear power ?

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I don't think that the impact of deforestation, especially in the tropics, has been adressed as a factor in the increase in CO2: it is released when the wood is burnt to clear the forest and leaves fewer trees to re-absorb it. 

 

The world's volcanos emit prodigious quantities of greenhouse gases like CO2 and sulphuric acid, so we are never going to attain zero, not that I am suggesting this is a reason for doing nothing, it's just something that tends to get overlooked.

 

Certainly the increase in sea temperature in the tropics is becoming a problem. A relative is a marine biologist now living in Australia and doing research into how to deal with the problems affectng the Great Barrier Reef, where the warmer sea temperature is responsible for  killing off large areas of coral.

 

Calorifers can work in both directions. I bought my first house in the 1970's when we had the energy crisis, power cuts and the three day week. I replaced the storage radiators by gas central heating using a gas fire with a back boiler in the front room. I replaced the galvanised hot water tank that had been heated by the back boiler of the open fire in the back room, by a copper hot water tank. Water was indirectly heated by gravity from the gas boiler via the tank's integral calorifier (a coil of 28mm copper pipe inside the tank),  and directly via the open fire's back boiler. This ensured  that hot water would be available when the electricity went off (although the gas fire didn't need electricity to work, the back boiler did). The bathroom radiator was gravity fed from the gas boiler in parallel with the hot water tank. I found that, when I used the open fire, the bathroom radiator used to get hot too, evidently by the tank's calorifier transferring heat in the reverse direction by extracting heat from the tank to the bathroom radiator circuit. I had designed my system with gravity circulation in mind, taking care to minimise flow resistance by thoroughly deburring pipes, using slow bends where possible, using 22mm pipe for the bathroom radiator circuit (bathroom and tank were on opposite sides of the house, so a long pipe run), and ensuring the pipes were laid with a gradient rather than horizontal. Had I needed to stop heat loss in this way I would have fitted a non-return flap valve at the tank connection, but turning off the bathroom radiator valve worked fine for me. 

 

 

Edited by Ronaldo47
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25 minutes ago, jetzi said:

.............. biomass (consider how much more energy is in a block of coal than a chunk of wood!)

 

OK , its about 1.5x to 2x

 

Propane LPG = 13.6Wh / gram
Mixed Camping Gas = 14.2 Wh / gram
Seasoned Dry Wood = 4.2 Wh / gram
Methylated Spirit = 7.22 Wh/Gram
Petrol / Diesel = 12.5Wh / gram

Anthracite = 8.6 Wh / gram

Coal - 6.7Wh/gram

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2 hours ago, peterboat said:

They could be electric cars 

I was thinking more of the distance and non-local manufacture. Making them this side of the Atlantic would save all that transportation (even better if at home but something seems to have made that improbable of late!) but would still encourage the need for ever more roads etc etc. In any event, how of the cost of the vehicle (to the end customer) is the diesel cost in the ship?

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29 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

I was thinking more of the distance and non-local manufacture. Making them this side of the Atlantic would save all that transportation (even better if at home but something seems to have made that improbable of late!) but would still encourage the need for ever more roads etc etc. In any event, how of the cost of the vehicle (to the end customer) is the diesel cost in the ship?

I think it is carrying 'cars made this side of the Atlantic' and taking them to the US (but no doubt is unlikely to 'come back empty').

The only other possibilty is to legislate for something like "you can only buy a car manufactured within x miles of your home"

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On 16/01/2021 at 15:51, IanD said:

 

Note their comment: "WW 15.0 INBOARD for vessels up to 15m in length or 12 tonnes, this is equivalent to a 30 HP combustion engine"

 

And yet a working narrow boat pair had a diesel engine of 18 hp capable of propelling two boats, each over 20m long, and with a combined weight of 60-70 tons.

Surely if electric power needs to be used economically to make best use of limited energy storage, then we shouldn't need to specify almost twice the engine power to move a fraction of the load that we could do 80+ years ago!

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Perhaps the canals were properly dredged 80 years ago. Progress was so slow in the Ashby 5 years ago that we gave up our attempt to reach the end and turned round (wth great difficulty at a badly-silted winding hole) half way. We had had no problems 30 years earlier.

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29 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

And yet a working narrow boat pair had a diesel engine of 18 hp capable of propelling two boats, each over 20m long, and with a combined weight of 60-70 tons.

Surely if electric power needs to be used economically to make best use of limited energy storage, then we shouldn't need to specify almost twice the engine power to move a fraction of the load that we could do 80+ years ago!

Exactly I am on deep water all the time so maybe my life is easier than most?

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