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Old 08-26-2010, 09:20 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Sorry about the severly late reply, but better late than never.

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Hydro power is also questionable as a long term sustainable power source...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the facts concerning global warming are accurate, then there will be a higher proportion of the earth covered in water. Water always evaporates, and with higer temperatures, will do so more readily. The atmosphere will likely always have a saturation point in which water will have to condense and form rain and fall back to the ground.

Hydroelectric power harnesses the energy of the sun in the form of fallen rain. Even wind is created in part by solar energy. So assuming the sun continues as in the past, and the atmosphere remains more or less the same, and water vapor doesn't discover how to leave our planet, we'll always have rain. Which means we'll always have the ability to harness electricity from hydroelectric dams.

Is there a flaw to this logic? I'm not trying to upset anyone, only scratching my head in confusion over an apparent flaw in my train of thought.

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I think you missed the point I was trying to make, which is that it's not rational to do either speed or fuel economy mods for economic reasons. You do it as a form of recreation, for the fun and for the challenge.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Shade -

Starting with a disclaimer: I have no way of knowing what will really happen, so all this is conjecture...

Here in Cali, and presumably in many other (though not all) locations that take advantage of hydroelectric power, the strategy is to use reservoirs with dams to capture the water so that it can be gradually fed through the hydro generators. The assumption is that the winters are cold enough to freeze the water in the mountains (e.g. snow & ice) so that there is, in effect, a natural reservoir which gradually replenishes the man-made reservoirs throughout the spring. Any excess amount of water that gets into the man-made reservoirs must be shunted through bypass gates in order to preserve the integrity of the dam. If there is a drought summer or less than average snowfall in the winter, the water release through the hydro generator must be rationed or even shut off completely in order to guarantee a minimum flow through the downstream river throughout the year.

It is possible that global warming / climate change can affect hydro power the following ways:
- As you noted, with more of the earth covered in water and with temperatures a bit higher, the water will evaporate more readily. And therefore it will come down more readily, and possibly (likely) in amounts that the man-made reservoirs were not designed for. Potentially even at such high amounts that the shunt gates cannot keep up with the in-flow. Once the reservoir reaches a max full level, the hydro generators need to be shut down for safety reasons.
- With higher temperatures, it's possible (likely) that the snow pack will be significantly reduced, which means nature's reservoir is reduced, and that there is not enough to gradually fill the man-made reservoir throughout the spring. In turn, there is not enough water to sustain the hydro power throughout the dry summer and early fall seasons.

Most (not all) hydro power systems are dependent on a natural reservoir of frozen water that feeds the man-made reservoir at a known rate (within a range) and a known amount (within a range) year over year. Presumably, the effect of global warming will completely invalidate those assumptions thereby making the existing hydro installations significantly less effective.

All this does assume that the global warming-era typical rainstorms will be more torrential, so that a much greater proportion of water that does fall ends up being unusable for power generation.

On the other hand, it just might work out for the better, with more water available throughout the year such that the man-made reservoir is always full enough, but never too full, for constant hydro power generation... who knows...
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:43 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:06 PM   #74 (permalink)
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...we used to buy Conoco, but switched to Shell when they came IN and all the Texaco stations went OUT of Tucson.

...although we still have a credit card, we're boycotting Exxon/Mobil.

...where's a good 'old' Sinclair Oil (dinosaur) station when you need one?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:57 PM   #75 (permalink)
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...where's a good 'old' Sinclair Oil (dinosaur) station when you need one?
Little America in Flagstaff. I rarely buy fuel there anymore - Safeway's less expensive.
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The presence of traffic is the single most complicating factor of hypermiling. I know what I'm going to do, it's contending with whatever the hell all these other people are going to do that makes things hard.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #76 (permalink)
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I suspect that choosing between oil companies is like choosing between cell mate in a maximum security prison... there are no good choises, the best we can do is reduce or eliminate our exposure to them; with better fuel consumption, or no fuel consumption.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:03 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Exactly. Choose open source fuel. Preferably renewable.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:51 PM   #78 (permalink)
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What makes you think that poor Chinese and Indians will be able to afford it and "most of us" won't? Just curious.
Easy. There are a lot more of them than there are of us.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:07 PM   #79 (permalink)
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I just read that BP profits are up 1.8 Billion despite their loss from their f-up in the Gulf.

Despite the 'spill' new areas in the Gulf are now being set up to drill into.

Nothing changes. Greed prevails.

Last edited by Cd; 11-11-2010 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #80 (permalink)
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I should of known that BP would still make a large profit, but I wonder how much of the pie is from sales of fuel versus sales of soda-pop, candy, lotto tickets, cigs all being sold in thier gas stations. I get the feeling the gas gets the customers to stop, but the hard profit is made on all the over price junk they sell inside every station.

Check out BP Solar. It turns out the are heavy vested into solar systems for homes! BP is more diversified than many think.

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