Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/13 - The End Of The Middle Class, China Approaches Breaking Point

Monday, February 13, 2017, 11:35 AM

Economy

The Threat Isn't Skynet. It's The End Of The Middle Class. (Sam D.)

At a time when the Trump administration is promising to make America great again by restoring old-school manufacturing jobs, AI researchers aren’t taking him too seriously. They know that these jobs are never coming back, thanks in no small part to their own research, which will eliminate so many other kinds of jobs in the years to come, as well. At Asilomar, they looked at the real US economy, the real reasons for the “hollowing out” of the middle class. The problem isn’t immigration—far from it. The problem isn’t offshoring or taxes or regulation. It’s technology.

David McWilliams: Ireland's financial destiny is in the hands of angry French voters - this is what we must do if the euro breaks up (Cornelius999)

This time last year, only a few of us were suggesting that Brexit was likely. The mainstream view was that it couldn't possibly happen. But it did. And so too did Trump. When this column argued in June that "we should prepare for President Trump", one or two local talk shows chuckled and sneered at the mere suggestion that such a creature could inhabit the White House. But he is there.

China Approaches Breaking Point (Aaron M.)

The problem in a nutshell:

A worsening debt crisis and slowing growth have capital fleeing China as fast as its feet will allow. The Institute of International Finance reports that capital outflows swelled to a record $725 billion last year.

Hold Tight To Cash (Tiffany D.)

Of course, the Swiss are still coming in ahead of Americans. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reported that in 2015, only 32% of consumer transactions were made with cash, compared to 40% in 2012. Furthermore, a recent Gallup poll showed that only 24% of Americans said that they used cash in all or most of their purchases.

As Ted showed recently, only about 4% of total U.S. money supply in existence is in actual physical currency while the rest is virtual currency. We’ve found easier ways to make purchases, through any number of applications on our phones or just through swiping a credit card or debit card.

As US, Russia eye stagnant space budgets, India ramps up investment (jdargis)

At the same time its budget prospects are brightening, India is gearing up for one of its highest-ever profile launches this week. The country's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will carry a payload of more than 100 small satellites into orbit, breaking the record of most satellites deployed in a single launch. The majority of the satellites in the Feb. 15 launch will come from the US-based Planet, which is sending 88 of its "Dove" satellites to Sun-synchronous orbit at an approximate altitude of 500km. Once there the small, 4.7kg satellites will join an existing constellation of Planet satellites to image the Earth daily.

Energy Storage Set To Boom In 2017 (Michael K.)

Three new storage plants are in the works and they’re unlike anything before. The plants will be completely reliant on lithium ion storage. Lithium powered batteries have seen rapid reductions in price in the past several year’s thanks to the high demand for electric cars. Tesla is also developing a gigafactory in Nevada to mass produce these batteries, some of which will be used in the storage plant. AES Corp. and Altagas Ltd. are the other two companies creating battery plants in California. The Altagas plant was activated January 27th. AES has another battery plant in Arizona scheduled to go online within the next several months as well as a project internationally in India.

Larsen C Ice Shelf poised to calve (TOF)

When it calves, the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10% of its area to leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever recorded; this event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was prior to the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event.

House votes to overturn Obama drilling rule (TOF)

Democrats and the rule’s supporters consider the regulation more beneficial than costly, saying it will cut pollution, combat climate change, and put more natural gas onto the energy market.

The rule “is a win for the taxpayer, a win for the environment, a win for the climate and a win for common sense,” Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/10/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

22 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Investors Are Waking Up to the Risk of a Le Pen Victory

America's Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump

Bloomberg-16 hours ago
The president has singled out Japan and China, the two biggest overseas creditors, as well as Germany, for devaluing their currencies to gain an unfair ...

Debt crisis 2.0? Worries return to Europe as ECB could be forced to ...

CNBC-2 hours ago
Italian sovereign yields have risen as the country seems closer to snap elections. ... to grow nervous and European finance ministries have trouble selling debt, ...

Investors Are Waking Up to the Risk of a Le Pen Victory

Bloomberg - ‎6 hours ago‎
The spread between France and German five-year default swaps is now around 29 basis points, near the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. Still, that is well below the record 118 basis points seen during Europe's sovereign debt ...

S&P Maintains Brazil's Junk Status and Negative Outlook

The Rio Times-2 hours ago
... and net general government debt to rise toward 67 percent of country's GDP by ... “Maintenance is part of a normal process for a sovereign rating at this stage ...

Pensioner incomes 'outstrip those of working families'

BBC News - ‎7 hours ago‎
... costs now outstrip those of working-age people, a new report suggests. The Resolution Foundation also says pensioners are more likely than their predecessors to be working, own a home and have generous private pensions. The think tank says growth ...
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Energy, beliefs, and propaganda

If propaganda is emotionally laden content designed to sway and/or reinforce an otherwise questionable idea, then the energy article above qualifies.

Here's a few snippets:

Energy Storage Set To Boom In 2017

The problem with today’s power grid isn’t the lack of electricity but rather the lack of it at certain times. The United States has progressively moved towards adding renewable energy to the grid but solar and wind power are rather intermittent. Worst of all, some of this power is completely wasted because our grid is unable to store it properly. Tesla, along with other companies, has begun to solve this pressing issue.

Tesla’s plant is now online and the gigafactory is to be completed next year. Investors should see strong returns in Tesla’s stocks around these times, especially with a lot riding on the gigafactory’s planned opening.

It’s unlikely crude benchmarks will react towards this news but future plans may prove otherwise.

Oil majors are beginning to worry when demand will peak, knowing that cloud may be just over the horizon. Investors shouldn’t concern themselves with an approaching downward trend yet and should continue to ride out the OPEC supply cuts.

"Solve"?  Hmmm, that's a pretty strong word.  To really solve something let's set a minimum percentage of involvement, shall we?

Let's begin by agreeing that once we can store 100% of peak electricity demand for a week of cloudy, windless days, we've solved the energy storage issue.

But that's a high bar...how far are we willing to lower it to say we've begun to solve it?  When it's at 50% for  week?  How about 18%?  Maybe 10%?

I don't really care, but it should be some amount that has a number attached to it.

Here's some context...the utility grid scale battery storage noted is great and all, but it came about because of the gas leak in the CA storage facility taking out a critical gas fired plant.  To replace that the options were to quickly build a new gas plant somewhere or install batteries.

So I'm glad they did, but these batteries represent a fraction of a  single percent of CA's electrical demand...for one use (until recharged).  

Further, they are lithium batteries and the essential context here is that once Elon's giga factory is fully operational, we have to consider this:

Given that pure EVs account for less than 1% of all vehicles on the world's roads, the potential growth in demand for lithium is dizzying. The WSJ cites a Goldman Sachs report suggesting that demand could triple within 10 years to 570,000 tons a year. Musk said earlier this week that for Tesla to meet its target of 500,000 cars a year, "we would basically need to absorb the entire world's lithium-ion production."

(Source)

Hmmmm...so at 500,000 cars a year, which is currently around 2.8% of cars sold in the US each year, we are looking at 100% of current global mine production of lithium being consumed.

One wonders if perhaps China or  India or Europe want any of that lithium for themselves?

Or what of these massive, utility scale projects?  They too will be competing.  In short - there's simply not enough lithium to even do one thing to the level of "solve" in one country if our standard is 10% (let alone something more meaningful like 50%).

Which is why I consider such a breathy article as the one being discussed here to be propaganda - it appeals to people's emotional desire for solutions while not being based on supportable facts.

Instead I wish we could just stare the seriousness of the predicament more squarely, use hard numbers and then make good decisions.

As always, my hope, such as it is, lies not in Elon's gigafactory but in a new battery chemistry or approach based on common materials coming along.  I think that's possible, but even that depends on us getting the main narrative right.  As long as the Dow keeps hitting new highs and people keep reading "we've solved it!" articles, there's no energy for change.  We need to pour billions and more billions into battery research and production.

(So please stop jamming the markets higher Yellen/Kuroda/Draghi - you are actually harming more than helping by an order of magnitude).

Telling ourselves that clever people have solved or are solving our main predicaments when they clearly are not (yet) sucks energy from where it is most needed.

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Ruining a good story...

Chris said,

Hmmmm...so at 500,000 cars a year, which is currently around 2.8% of cars sold in the US each year, we are looking at 100% of current global mine production being consumed.

Why do you always have to go and ruin a good story with all your fact and number-based arguments.... I am so tired of this..

Not.   

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Electric energy storage

Here is  another approach to storage of electric energy:

“Electricity generated by wind in Wyoming is first sent by power lines to Utah. During periods of low demand, surplus electricity generated by wind is stored in a unique salt formation found only in Utah. Electricity generated in Wyoming can power compressors in Utah that pump air into underground salt domes. Later, when the electricity is needed in California, the compressed air drives turbines that regenerate electricity very efficiently. Storage and regeneration in Utah means electricity generated by wind in Wyoming is available any time of the day to people in California.”

http://www.pathfinderwindenergy.com/the-movie

http://www.pathfinderwindenergy.com/caes/

 
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Electric Energy Storage

Here is  another approach to storage of electric energy:

"Engineers in Germany are storing water for hydroelectricity inside wind turbines allowing the towers act like massive batteries once the wind stops blowing. It’s the first major example of the two technologies being physically integrated to supply reliable renewable energy.

The four-turbine project, announced by General Electric this month, stores energy from the spinning blades by pumping water about 100 feet up inside the turbine structure itself. Basins around each base will store another 9 million gallons. When the wind stops, water flows downhill to generate hydroelectric power. A man-made lake in the valley below collects water until turbines pump the water back up again."

https://qz.com/823054/germany-wind-turbine-hydroelectric-batteries/

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Who Benefits from the 'Happy Story' about Energy Storage

When a distorted story is spread in a coordinated fashion via multiple media outlets,  I wonder who benefits.  Who gains advantage when the public, too busy to study the details for themselves, is lead by trusted opinion makers to believe that the "energy storage" issue is just about to be solved and we will be heading into the golden age of renewable energy?

Who wants us to remain asleep going into the crunch?

(And, Chris, could you please post again that graph that showing how miniscule the renewable energy is as a percentage of overall energy consumed?)

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Chris wrote: "In short -

Chris wrote:

"In short - there's simply not enough lithium to even do one thing to the level of "solve" in one country if our standard is 10% (let alone something more meaningful like 50%)."

The Dirty little secrert of lithum batteries is the problems with Cobalt which is essential

The cobalt pipeline

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/batteries/congo-cobalt-...

No cobalt, no Tesla?

https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/01/no-cobalt-no-tesla/

"The battery industry currently uses 42 percent of global cobalt production, a critical metal for Lithium-ion cells."

Chris Wrote:

"As always, my hope, such as it is, lies not in Elon's gigafactory but in a new battery chemistry or approach based on common materials coming along. "

I don't think we will see a storage fix before the big crunch begins. My understanding is that all current battery research is focused on the handheld market: light-weight High energy density. since these generally small batteries, the high costs of these batteries design isn't critical. But for the stationary battery market (ie off-grid/ Utility size) its cost prohibited. 

From my own research none of the current batteries or current research is NOT going to make Utiltity scale storage economical. All current battery tech is still relying on electrolsis with plates/corrodes the anode.Since batteries need to have high surface area, the anodes always corrode to the point the battery begins to degrade just after a dozen or two cycles. To date, the only battery technology that can endure thousands of cycles is Nickel-Hydrogen batteries, but these are expensive because they need platinum and need a pressure vessel. They operate simular to fuel cells but don't suffer the membrane degration and can be recharged.They are used in commerial satellites. 

The only economically utility scale storage system available today is pumped water storage. ie water is pumped into a lake and drained into water turbines.

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OF course - this is a very important chart

sand_puppy wrote:

(And, Chris, could you please post again that graph that showing how miniscule the renewable energy is as a percentage of overall energy consumed?)

Here ya go!

And...don't be fooled by other charts that say "global electricity consumption" which is not the same thing as total energy consumption.

Sharp eyes will note that fossil fuels are a large part of the mix and much, much higher than they were ten years ago...a period of time that alternatives have been making huge inroads, according to all the hand-wavy articles that emanate from some quarters.  

I'm not saying don't do it, just be sure you have time, scale and cost factored in.

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That looks kinda dodgy to me...

Nate wrote:

Here is  another approach to storage of electric energy:

"Engineers in Germany are storing water for hydroelectricity inside wind turbines allowing the towers act like massive batteries once the wind stops blowing. It’s the first major example of the two technologies being physically integrated to supply reliable renewable energy.

Ummm...the wind towers are not optimized for volume, so I wonder how much they can really store?  Or is it that the 'storage' is in the pipeline (penstock) that connects to the lake below?

I couldn't get a sense from the article as to how much energy in MWhr was being stored this way.  So there was no way to tell if this was a cute novelty or something meaningful.

However, when trundling over to the link provided I did run across this:

Germany is in the midst of its energiewende, or energy transition, as it attempts to virtually eliminate fossil fuels. The nation has said it aims to draw 45% of its energy from renewables by 2030 and reach 100% by 2050.

Again, no.  No, no, no. 

Germany has these aims for is electricity generation.  That's a great goal, and I support it fully, but it's not the same thing as supplying 100% of its energy via renewables.

Germany will not 'virtually eliminate fossil fuels' by 2050 (at least while running an industrial economy, that is) until it completely rehabs it transportation systems (1/3rd of the energy mix) and building heating and cooling (another 1/3rd), both of which are heavily dependent on fossil fuels at present.

Also, I've not yet found a single 'renewable' energy device that did not have oodles and oodles of fossil fuels embedded in its manufacture, transport and installation, down to and including the fossil fuel lunches and dinners the workers all enjoy day after day.

This is not being a spoil-sport, this is just the reality of the situation.  We really, really need to face reality.  Like right now.

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exponential growth,

exponential growth, particularly for an industry (solar electric) that has extremely large variety of alternative source materials and methods for production will continue to surprise.

Image result for world energy production of solar energy graph

Image result for world energy production of solar energy graph 2016

the notion that heat engines (require big temperature differential from energy dense fuels) are necessary for continued human civilization and that energy dense power sources are superior or necessary for civilization that is constantly proclaimed and relied on for denigrating solar electric on this website is completely wrong.
Electric motors are not heat engines and in fact are at least 2-3 TIMES more efficient than the heat engines (internal/external combustion) engines that are falsely considered in combination with the energy dense sources as necessary for prosperity.  Further, diffuse energy sources are not necessarily inferior to concentrated, if the energy is used by non-moving objects (such as wires that power trains, etc.)
engineering is constantly improving and many tiny incremental advances make a big difference.  We see  that clearly in the increased drilling/production of oil and gas in the US, in violation/contradiction to the science "truth" about energy promoted in this web site for many years.  We are surrounded by and living in an ocean of diffuse energy that can and will be harvested as the need arises.
 
exponential growth surprises. 

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Aside from heat engines and electric engines, there are also...

... entropy engines.  I strongly suspect that a lot of life is based on entropy engines, as efficient as life tends to be. 

Ideally, that is what we want to get our power to, but it is inherently slow.  So our lives will also need to be slow, if we are to use them. 

Aside from that, I'm still waiting in the wings with an electric motor design that should be able to raise the efficiency yet again....    if anyone has experience with chipmaking, and is willing and able to pursue it, I'll gladly give it to them....

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entropy engines

I dont understand "entropy engines" but note that most engines (muscle processes etc) in biology are about 30% efficient (the rest is heat, which is easily measured to determine this value).  Tthe best electric motors (you can find these in diesel hybrids that turn at constant rates of 3000rpm for example) are over 95% efficient but most motors are about 75% efficient when used wisely.  Despite many patents and new startups revolving around advances  in electric motor design, the efficiency advantages are kind of insignificant in my opinion.

I agree  with you about living slow.  We can overcome most of the problem of solar electric storage by being patient.  And the highest value use for lighting requires a trivial amount of batteries, which can be recharged on cloudy days.  This has worked more than 4 years for me so far.  Yet, many engineering advances are chipping away at the storage problem, for example a way to store solar  electric as a cooking source of heat for 20 hours is possible with simple devices (I am working on this one personally with a couple other engineers).  

I think that lots of little improvements result in exponential advances, kind of like Moores law.  I think that abandoning the wasteful legacy American lifestyle opens up lots of doors. My 25hp car is used for much material transport on the farm, and my 50cc bike replaces an alternative wasteful car that, in America was mandated by a highway culture dominated by large homicidal pickup trucks (more than 150 kw heat engine motors) driven by single riders who need to buy cigarettes or a cup of coffee or whatever.  It is not correct or helpful to look at all  these energy issues through the lens of a wasteful legacy American lifestyle that is going extinct anyway.

Most of the citations and arguments above are from government and "think tank!" officials who think that they are important and they alone understand the "energy issue" and will solve "problems" such as energy via their "management/government" or lordship over us.  Forget the governments and the "experts" who have no experience except fake ones from college, on how they will or will not manage alternative energy.  The real action is with we the people, not the fake experts who have been until now faking us out with their fake (PhD, MBA etc) accomplishments outside the real world. A revolution is upon us in this regard (Brexit/Trump/LePen etc)

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(double posting)

(double post)

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Let's try this: 600 feet of

Let's try this: 600 feet of vertical (or a bit more since some is stored in the lowest 130 feet of the turbine  = 190 meters.

10.6 million gallons = 9 million in reservoirs + 1.6 million in turbine towers.

Turbine towers 130x20x20 feet = 50,000 cubic feet or about 400,000 gallons per turbine = 1.6 million total (confirms 1.6 million is for all 4 turbines not each turbine).

10.6 million gallons is about 40 million liters or 40 million kilograms:

stored energy = m x gravitational constant x height = 190 x 9.8 x 40 million = about 75 billion joules / 3.6 billion joules per megawatt hour = 21 megawatt hours. or about 1.5 hours of wind turbine production at full capacity (13.6 megawatts).  Not bad but not enough to matter in a big way.

In the end it's just pumped storage which is the only cheap storage method existing today, but is limited in scalability due to the need for abundant water (doesn't work well in drier climates) and limited places with suitable topography and geology.  In the northeast U.S.. I know of only three large scale pumped storage plants: Northfield Mountain along the Connecticut River in northern Massachusetts, The Blenheim and Gilboa reservoirs along the Schoharie Creek in the northwestern Catskill mountains and a facility on a high bluff above the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.

There as been talk of building a canal between the western end of lake Ontario and the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron.  It would take advantage of the 100 meters or so of elevation difference between Lake Ontario and the Upper Great Lakes.  The hydro plant at Niagara Falls could be used to generate the power or dams along the long canal that would need to be built.  The huge surface area of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior combined would allow storage of a huge amount of energy with very little impact on lake elevations.  But of course this would be a huge and very expensive project.

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Home power storage

Just thought I would pass on a link to a company I saw at CES this year.  When we first put in solar I looked for a flow battery, but none was available at the time, let alone in a home size unit.  Almost 10 years later we may be getting closer to actually being able to buy one:

http://voltstorage.com/

The advantage these have over traditional lead acid batteries is the longevity with regular cycling.

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A simple entropy engine

Let me suggest a very simple entropy engine: the Christmas toy that spins a carousel, due to candles beneath a fan.

Note, first, that this is a very low power engine; it isn't terribly useful.

But here are these ordered, solid candles; and as they disperse across the room as a gassy wax, they drive the fan, which drives the carousel.

http://www.erzgebirgepalace.com/german-erzgebirge-blog/christmas-carouse...

I have seen another entropy engine work based on the dispersal of salt water into fresh; but the principal is the same.

They're no different, mathematically, than a heat engine; but the driving principal -- the heat flow -- is replaced with pure entropy flow.

In the same way, I think a lot of life processes -- enzymatic processes-- are entropy driven. If that is so, they will be quite efficient, and quite slow.

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Here is a new storage chemistry

And, I bought a few this summer ! Work great.

The whole point of the venture, for this company, was to use readily available materials, NOT lithium !!

http://aquionenergy.com/     -- go here and read about them

I couldn't be happier with them. I have a small, home system, so I only had to buy 3 of the 48V ones. Unlike the lead acid batteries they replaced, they need no maintanance, the can be cycled to zero charge when the power is out with no degradation, they do not mind the temperature extremes of my garage, etc....

It was a very easy, DIY install to put them in, in place of my 4 old lead acid batteries.

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how and why the aquion batteries were made

a nice TED talk about how and why they developed the new batteries, and what the constraints were and how that drive got them there fast. This is a good tak, where he talks about energy needs, cost of products, he is funny -- this product is REAL and in PRODUCTION and I love his part witht he T-shirt he used being the highest ROI shirt ever  -- well worth a watch

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Grid Batteries

I saw a TED Talk quite a while ago with Donald Sadoway, a  MIT professor of Materials Chemistry. He was discussing the potential for a liquid metal battery about the size of a semi trailer using abundant earth metals.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/battery-molten-metals-0112

Sadoway therefore turned to a process he knew well: aluminum smelting. Aluminum smelting is a huge-scale, inexpensive process conducted inside electrochemical cells that operate reliably over long periods and produce metal at very low cost while consuming large amounts of electrical energy. Sadoway thought: “Could we run the smelter in reverse so it gives back its electricity?

Subsequent investigation led to the liquid metal battery. Like a conventional battery, this one has top and bottom electrodes with an electrolyte between them (see Figure 1 in the slideshow above). During discharging and recharging, positively charged metallic ions travel from one electrode to the other through the electrolyte, and electrons make the same trip through an external circuit. In most batteries, the electrodes — and sometimes the electrolyte — are solid. But in Sadoway’s battery, all three are liquid. The negative electrode — the top layer in the battery — is a low-density liquid metal that readily donates electrons. The positive electrode — the bottom layer — is a high-density liquid metal that’s happy to accept those electrons. And the electrolyte — the middle layer — is a molten salt that transfers charged particles but won’t mix with the materials above or below. Because of the differences in density and the immiscibility of the three materials, they naturally settle into three distinct layers and remain separate as the battery operates.

Sadoway and one of his graduate students formed a company to exploit their system. http://www.ambri.com/ So far, they haven't ironed out all the issues. It does offer huge benefits if/when they get the bugs worked out.

Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in this company whatsoever. I've only seen them and their work on the internet. I just think it is an interesting technology that could be used to mitigate renewables' intermittency issues. As such, I go to their site to see what progress has been made.

Grover

Edit - This from the Ambri website concerning energy and power:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ambri, the developer of the novel Liquid Metal Battery grid-scale energy storage technology, announced today that it has completed the first testing period of its fully-functioning in-lab “Beta Core” energy storage system, which provides 20 kWh of energy storage with a peak capacity of 6 kW and contains 432 cells. The company assembled its Beta Core after completing a major redesign and robust testing of its high temperature seal for the Liquid Metal Battery cell, which had been a cause for commercialization delays in the fall of 2015.

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2-Man Saws for cutting large logs

I'm thinking about how we might prepare firewood in a no-petroleum potential future.  Any one have personal experience with a Two-Man Crosscut Saw like this?

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Two man saw

SP,

I have several that my Grandfather and his family used to clear this 160 acres.  They work very well and cut quite quickly if....they are filed and sharpened regularly and the teeth are "set" as they should be to provide a kerf that the saw and sawdust can glide through.  When these saws became commonly adopted the accepted theory was that a lumberjack became 8 -10 times more efficient at cutting timber than when using an axe.  There were not many fat lumberjacks.  LOL

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Misery Whips

I fought forest fires for 3 years while in college. Our 20 person crew had a boss, 2 sawyers, 2 "swampers" who assisted the sawyers, and the rest of us used hand tools - shovels, pulaskis, mcclouds - to construct fire line. When we got called to fight a fire in the wilderness, the chain saws weren't allowed. We had a pair of 2 man saws like the one you show. We would take turns sawing trees. Once the tree was sawn, the pair operating the saw would hand it off (gladly) and go to the end of the line.

I never got as sore and tired as when we pulled out the misery whips. They have their place and I agree with Hotrod that they are more efficient than chopping with an ax. He's right about keeping it sharp. We sprayed it with WD-40 occasionally to keep pitch from building up on the blade. Nonetheless, if you use it enough, it will become your least favorite tool.

Grover

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