Daily Digest

Image by Tennessee Valley Authority, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 7/19 - The SIM Hijackers, Who Benefits From Iran Sanctions?

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 10:29 AM

Economy

This Is a Social Security First for 154 Million Americans (Thomas R.)

What's more, rather than 2022 being the first year where more is paid out in benefits than is generated in revenue by the program, as predicted by the Trustees in the 2017 report, the newest annual analysis expects this net cash outflow to begin this year! Even though the intermediate-cost model only expects $1.7 billion more to be paid out in benefits than is generated in revenue, it'll nonetheless be the first time Social Security has been on track to be cash-flow negative since 1982.

The SIM Hijackers (Sparky1)

The couple didn’t know it yet, but they had just become the latest victims of hackers who hijack phone numbers in order to steal valuable Instagram usernames and sell them for Bitcoin. That late summer night in 2017, the Ostlunds were talking to a pair of these hackers who’d commandeered Rachel’s Instagram, which had the handle @Rainbow. They were now asking Rachel and Adam to give up her @Rainbow Twitter account.

CEOs are dumping stock in their companies. Here's what that means (Thomas R.)

Boosted by the Republican tax cut and the strong economy, corporate executives authorized $436.6 billion of stock buybacks during the second quarter, according to TrimTabs. That nearly doubled the previous record of $242.1 billion, which was set during the first three months of 2018.

Study links ADHD symptoms in teens to frequent gadget use (Thomas R.)

It's tempting to make teens swear off non-essential use of digital devices after that, but it's not nearly as clear-cut as it seems at first blush. To start, the researchers noted that this doesn't establish a causal link between device use and ADHD. It's hard to tell how many already had ADHD-like symptoms and simply funneled that into device use. And when the symptoms were self-reported, it's possible that some withheld the truth about their habits to avoid feelings of guilt and shame. The scientists themselves also took care to contextualize the results -- that twice-as-likely figure was "statistically significant," but the connection was ultimately "modest."

Why do we need more people in this country, anyway? (thc0655)

Another argument for more people is to point to falling birthrates among the native-born. In fact, the United States remains near the top of birthrates in the developed world. Regardless, consider that immigration not only lowers wages but also raises housing prices by increasing demand and stresses public schools by adding non-English-speaking students. And as such factors worsen, research suggests that people are putting off marriage — which reduces birthrates.

Here Are 6 Chip Stocks That I Like Better Than Texas Instruments: Market Recon (Thomas R.)

If you're like me, you hung onto partials across the space just to maintain a certain level of exposure amid a trade war with China. We all know that many of the most highly exposed U.S. corporates to China-based revenue streams are indeed semiconductor stocks. The banks seem to have gotten "earnings season" off to pretty solid start. They say that this sets the tone for the entire season. I say that they talk too much. Let's focus here. In truth, I have been trying to add to several of my holdings in the semiconductor industry group while maintaining technical discipline. If you read me often, then you know that I've never chased anything. Except for my pretty wife.

FDA issues recall for blood pressure medication due to cancer risk (Thomas R.)

The FDA announced the voluntary recall of several drugs containing the active ingredient valsartan. The FDA said the recall was due to an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which was found in the products and is classified as a probable human carcinogen.

War On Americans (GE Christenson)

Make borrowing painless and raise tuition costs. Total student debt per the St. Louis Federal Reserve was $1.49 trillion (12/31/2017). Not only is this debt more likely to default, it increases 10% per year. These debts can’t be discharged, except in rare cases, by bankruptcy. Student loan debt is a government guaranteed train-wreck in progress that doubles every seven years.

This is the ideal age to hit every financial milestone, according to millennials (Thomas R.)

“Millennials and Gen Xers seem to be particularly optimistic, in many cases, in terms of the age at which they would reach their financial goals — especially when it came to retirement,” Bankrate.com analyst Amanda Dixon told Moneyish. “It’s great to have a goal to want to retire early, but I think people need to think carefully about the steps they should take to make that happen.”

For instance, she said, “people need to start aggressively saving for retirement if their goal is to retire early.”

Central Banks Are Using The Trade War To Hide Their Direct Influence On Stocks (thc0655)

The Fed’s large scale interventions in stocks are now essentially over, which is exactly why stocks are no longer hitting new historic highs every month as they used to. The massive bull market rally of the post credit crash world of 2008 has stalled, and here are the reasons why.

Google Announces Plan to Lay Massive Subsea Cable From Virginia to France (Thomas R.)

The announcement follows three others declared by Google this year, per PC Mag. Two of them, the Havfrue cable connecting the US to Denmark and Ireland and the Hong-Kong-Guam cable, are part of consortium deals. The third, the Curie cable connecting the US to Chile, will be privately operated by Google. The cables are generally intended to improve the performance of the company’s cloud computing infrastructure, with Curie being the first subsea cable commissioned by a major non-telecommunications company, PC Mag wrote. Google says Curie will be Chile’s “largest single data pipe.”

The Great Quickening — Pompey (Jesper A.)

I myself have pinpointed why and how (cf. The Big Cycle-part 2) Carsian games can trade places, ending up in cosmic war (cf. Juergensmeyer). The firm pillars of Western civilisation is a back-story, and I assure you no pillars as far as the eye can see… Are we the prisoners of our own prison?

San Francisco's 'poop problem' and homelessness crisis is so dire that the city's new mayor said she saw 'more feces' on the city's streets than she's ever seen (Thomas R.)

Breed's findings are a part of a broader issue affecting the city by the Bay in which a lack of affordable housing has spawned a homelessness crisis, leading to copious amounts of drug needles, garbage and feces being found in the streets.

Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines (Thomas R.)

He added that the next step was to mount cameras on the robots and scale them down to a 15-milimeter size. De Rivaz said that once the robots had performed their duty they could be programed to leave the engine or could simply be “flushed out” by the engine itself.

Who Actually Benefits From Sanctions On Iran? (Michael S.)

In 2017, Turkey imported 24.9 million tons of crude oil in total, mainly from Iran (almost 50 percent) and the rest from Iraq, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Considering the fact that Iraq, the other potential oil supplier that can substitute Iranian oil, represents a more volatile and risky choice. If Turkey goes ahead and implements the restrictions demanded by the U.S., Russia will ultimately supply more than 60 percent of Turkey's oil, in addition to already supplying the majority of its natural gas.

Global temperatures hung a U-turn in 1900, reversing a 5,000-year chill-down (blackeagle)

But those are just the rough outlines of what happens. Within both glacial and interglacial periods, there are changes in volcanic activity, aerosols, and ocean currents that can alter the timing and extent of any temperature changes. To better understand our current interglacial period and whether recent temperature changes are truly anomalous, it would be helpful to have a complete picture of what the globe's been up to. That's precisely what the authors have done, using dozens of records spread around the globe that record the temperature history for thousands of years.

Are we already warmer than any time since the Ice Age ended? (blackeagle)

But in 2014, another study showed that this pattern didn’t quite fit climate model simulations. Instead, the 2014 study showed a very gradual warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius over the last 11,000 years. But a new study published this week compiled a separate climate record for the Northern Hemisphere—with slightly different results that look more like that model simulation.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/18/18

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
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4192
US deficit now projected to top $1 trillion starting next year

US deficit now projected to top $1 trillion starting next year

MarketWatch-4 hours ago
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration expects the annual budget deficits to rise nearly $100 billion more than previously forecast in each of the next three ...

Seniors block Venezuela streets demanding pension checks

Yahoo News-17 hours ago
On June 20, Maduro raised monthly pensions for seniors to 4.2 million bolivars. But a pound of meat costs five million. "A banana and a plantain is what I can get ...

 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 435
Social Security issues

"This Is a Social Security First for 154 Million Americans"

Currently there are only 162M in the Civil laborforce to pay for their entitlements:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CLF16OV

Thus only 1.05 persons supporting every SS recipient.

I would imagine the really fun starts when each worker has to support more than one SS recipient. /sarc.

Seems like all of the major problems will collide around 2021-2023:

1. The Demographics cliff: lead by large numbers of boomers retiring and collecting entitlements & pensions with little or no savings available.

2. Peak Oil: Currently based upon current trends: Global Oil production will peak between 2020-2023

3. The Debt bubble: Global debt now tops $247 Trillion. In 2021 the interest on the Federal Debtand Entitlement payments will exceed the total federal revenue (although I expect Federal taxes will be increasing in the years ahead) We are overdue for another recesssion. When it does arrive its will likely trigger another crisis. This could happen at anytime. 

 

 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 435
Flawed survey?

"“Millennials and Gen Xers seem to be particularly optimistic"

In my own personal experience, I don't know any Gen-Xers that expect to be able to retire. They realize entitlements & pensions will be dust before they can collect. After reading the orignal article at Bankrate, it seems like more of an advertisement than an analysis of survey. They appear to be promoting that younger people should get into debt (Credit cards, auto loans & mortgages) by posting the "Ideal age" to get a car, credit card and when to buy a home.

 

 

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 249
WaPo & Ad blockers

I use an ad blocker. Amazing how much rubbish it filters out. Even from the PP site.

The WaPo article above gets cranky about my using an ad blocker. Too bad, WaPo, I value distraction-free reading very highly. If you insist that I be distracted while I try to read your articles, then I won't read them at all.

Hey, a new form of censorship!

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5782
Alt Energy – Wind Drought in UK

While the alt-energy promoters are busy telling (and selling) their story, often with confusing and sometimes misleading claims (such as promoting the name plate power installed rather than the actual amount of power these new devices will actually generate) the simple fact remains that alt-energy intermittency is a big issue.

This week saw a huge drop in wind power in the UK:

Weird ‘wind drought’ means Britain’s turbines are at a standstill

17 July 2018

Britain is experiencing a “wind drought” that has slowed or halted the blades on turbines around the country.

July’s wind energy output so far is down 40 per cent when compared to the same period last year – despite more wind turbines having been installed in the interim, according to new figures.

“We’ve been typically doing between 2 to 3 gigawatts of wind [generation],” says Rob Gross of Imperial College London, which complied the data, “At a windier time of the year we might be doing 9 or 10.”

An unusually prolonged period of high pressure is to blame for the drought, says Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the UK Met Office.

The jet stream has remained further north, meaning an area of dense, high pressure air over the UK hasn’t budged.

“It’s like a lid, it keeps everything still,” says Madge. “From the forecast looking out over the next couple of weeks, there doesn’t seem to be any significant change on the way.”

A 40% decline in wind power compared to last year is a big deal.  Hey, the wind will pick back up, but events like this should help keep people focused on the fact that sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine.

That’s just life.  It also should drive home the point that alt-energy is really not suited to baseload generations, something everybody in the business knows but which a lot of non-industry people are unaware.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1962
Mother's Gut Microbiome and Risk of Autism in Offspring

A couple of new and surprising relationships are working their way towards mainstream medical thinking.

A University Of Virginia Study linked 1)  maternal gut biome, 2)  an inflammatory chemical Interleukin 17a, and 3)  autism risk in offspring. 

This avenue of research relates the content of the microbiome, (the bacteria, viruses and fungi living symbiotically within the gut), and the activation of the immune system.  This immune activation can affect a developing child.

The thinking goes that humans and their microscopic gut inhabitants co-evolved.  We are a symbiotic combination-type of organism.  The gut biome is as metabolically active as the liver, consuming some chemicals and making others.   The biome weigh about 3 pounds.   

The sentinal cells of the human immune system sit just on the inside edge of the gut's mucosal barrier guarding against "enemy" incursions from the gut microscopic populations.  Dendritic white blood cells creep across the mucosal boundary to scout who is present inside the bowel.  They return and announce "All is well.  Just our old friends" with soothing immune modulators or they sound the alarm "We are under attack!" activating the immune system with signals that initiate inflammation.

The biome shifts with our diet, antibiotic use, probiotic use, and amount of sugar and carbohydrates injested.  There are probably MANY other things including pesticides and unrecognized toxins also.  This is an area that affects us all, but is little appreciated in standard medicine.

 

 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 435
Re: BPA Plastizer & Autism

 

"Study Suggests Association between Autism and BPA Plasticizer"

https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/study-suggests-associa...

 It could also be caused by hormones supplied in animal feed used to increase grow & increase Milk production in Cattle. There also may be an issue caused by vaccines. Pharma companies that make vaccines have a long history of contaminating vaccines with cleaning agents, glass, metal shards, 

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1651
Intermittent power supply

Maybe one day we'll be forced to accept and build our lifestyles around intermittent power supplies.  Either we will only have electricity when it's being produced by alternate systems (wind, solar, etc) or we'll have to pay very high prices for electricity when the alternate sources aren't being produced. I am mentally prepared for this to happen over the next ten years and am building in the capacity in our soon-to-be-built retirement home to live with electricity only when our PV panels are producing power.  However, in the meantime I'll be glad to take the utility company's electricity when the sun isn't shining. wink

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5782
Intermittency is not for everybody
thc0655 wrote:

Maybe one day we'll be forced to accept and build our lifestyles around intermittent power supplies. 

I'm certain I could do that, and everybody reading this, but you know who can't?

  • Hospitals
  • Aluminum foundries
  • Refineries
  • People on medical support devices at home
  • Grocery stores (freezers and coolers)
  • Every manufacturing plant with a continuous throughput model

Now, with a lot of tweaking the grocery stores and factories could adapt by severely altering/limiting their product lines (e.g. no more frozen food), but that would take enormous and careful shifts, especially for the industrial production where certain processes take longer than the 6 hour window when the sun is shining.

Just saying... 

HappyCamper's picture
HappyCamper
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 16 2018
Posts: 31
The Three E's

I believe we are seeing, in many current news articles, a confidence model being implemented by the MSM. No one is going to invest in the problem, but many will invest in the solution to a problem. As nation's attempt to assure their masses that everything is peachy, business will provide a potentially profitable solution.

 

Jim Cramer calls it "fomenting"

https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/cramer-market-manipulator/

 

People want to believe everything will be okay. Even me  :-)

My first great grandaughter celebrates her first birthday in October. I would like to watch her grow up happy  :-)

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 880
So might I suggest...

Giant concrete flywheels, to store energy from the high-power times for the low power times, placed in the foundations of the buildings?

An alternative is the composite-material high-speed flywheels, too.

Then, too, you can go for the super-expensive power (for example, natural gas generators) when you are in the downtime.

https://www.compositesworld.com/blog/post/composite-flywheels-finally-pi...

Either way, when you go to backup power, you still want to limit all nonessential uses.

Tude's picture
Tude
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 1 2017
Posts: 36
Unsustainable world

I'm a little confused by your response, since most of the things you list below need to go or radically change. For example, our entire idea about the medical field and our obsession with keeping people alive despite their actual health or quality of life. Hospitals have become nightmares, inhuman, technological machines that no longer have anything to do with the health or welfare of actual humans. People kept alive at home on medical devices? Really?

Refineries, factories, founderies? I thought the whole point of this website is that we cannot go on like this?

 

cmartenson wrote:
thc0655 wrote:

Maybe one day we'll be forced to accept and build our lifestyles around intermittent power supplies. 

I'm certain I could do that, and everybody reading this, but you know who can't?

  • Hospitals
  • Aluminum foundries
  • Refineries
  • People on medical support devices at home
  • Grocery stores (freezers and coolers)
  • Every manufacturing plant with a continuous throughput model

Now, with a lot of tweaking the grocery stores and factories could adapt by severely altering/limiting their product lines (e.g. no more frozen food), but that would take enormous and careful shifts, especially for the industrial production where certain processes take longer than the 6 hour window when the sun is shining.

Just saying... 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 435
Intermittent Power

Chris Wrote:

"I'm certain I could do that, and everybody reading this, but you know who can't? Hospitals..Grocery stores"

How do Hospitals & grocers do it in the Third world where access to electricity is limited? That said probably finding a doctor will become more of a problem that a hospital without electricity. Few Millennials have persued a career as doctors. Within about 10 years there will be a shortage of over 100K doctors (guessimate - 90K short by 2025), as boomer doctors retire. Hospitals are already death traps: More people get serious infections from hospitals. Antibotics have run there course as microbes have developed immunity to them over the past 70+ years. 

Tude Wrote:

"especially for the industrial production where certain processes take longer than the 6 hour window when the sun is shining."

I don't see factories & other industial processes using Solar power:

1. I doubt the grid will every have sufficient solar farms to support it, even with rolling blackouts. Its simplity has too large of a footprint and too expensive to install & maintain at a grid level. All current solar farms are for Good will PR or heavily subsidized. Currently 0.7% of the grid has "name plate" Solar power. Nameplate, ie 100W panel almost never produces 100W of power. For a 100W panel to produce 100W, the conditions have to be nearly perfect (ie no cloud reducing solar output, No dust on the panels, and the panel is pointed directly at the sun).Power companies pereer NatGas plants over all other power generations do to small foot print, and lower install & operating costs. 

2. A factory setting up its only solar farm won't work becuase even during the day it has issues, with rolling cloud coverage, rain, overcast days, as well a the land needed to mount all those panels. Most factories exist in corporate\industrial parks surronded by other factories. Presuming NatGas is in short supply (for electricity) so will fuel for the trucks & trains that move raw materials & ship finished goods.

My guess is that critical factories will be connected to the grid so with no intermittency or set up their own NatGas power plant and would run 24/7/365, leaving residential power would get intermittent power. Or factories would be relocated to tap Hydroelectric or some other reliable source of power. But these factories would run all the time to maximize production, at least for the critical needs production (ie food, critical machinary & replacement parts). Factories that make discretionary products (ie hair dryers, plastic junk, etc) would have long gone out of business since the lack of affordable electricity and transportation fuel would have triggered a deep economic depression. 

 

Michael_Rudmin Wrote:

"Giant concrete flywheels, to store energy from the high-power times for the low power times, placed in the foundations of the buildings?"

 

Nope. Flywheels lack the energy density to run a building for long periods. Currrently some buildings do use large flywheels for power, but they can only provide power for about a minute. These flywheel systems are used with backup generators. When there is  a power failure, the building draws power from the flywheels until the backup generators come online. An operating period of 1 minute is sufficient when used with backup generators.

Some important personal observations:

1. Where do all of the people living in the southwest US go when the grid power is no longer reliable? Most of the residential buildings in the SouthWest are built around relable power to provide Cooling & water. Without access to electricity I suspect most of these buildings won't support humans. Ditto for homes that use a heat pump, Oil or NatGas for heating & cooling. Most heating systems for business & homes need electricity. Presume that power is only available for 8 to 6 hours a day. Pipes will freeze in the northern regions during winter. 

2. Changes in the economy: Presuming the Grid does not collapse (BAU). I see significant changes as the Internet & automation is going to impact most white collar jobs: Automation is going to replace a lot of white collar jobs: Accountants, HR, Legal, Sales, & Marketing will see large movements into automation requiring substantially fewer workers. IT is also getting hit hard as business ditch their datacenters and migrate systems into the cloud. The Internet is changing Sales & Marketing. No longer do people request product catalog or meet with a sales rep. All of the material is posted on the companies website, for fast & easy access. Customers can order products & services from the companies website, or through an online retailer. Workers no longer need to commute into the office to access company resources. An information worker (ie anyone that does not perform hands on tasks - ie factory worker) can work remotely. Why spend millions to heat\cool\power\maintain a commerial office building when you can have all your workers work from home? Thats not including the tax savings and debt to own an office building.

3. Mounting economic problems: World has $247T in debt, The pending Demographics cliff caused by boomer retirement, and underfunded\no funded pensions & entitlements. Lack of skilled younger labor pool: Millennials largely focused on liberal arts  in college: There is a severe lack of Young blue collar workers (ie Plumbers, electricians, construction workers) as well as STEM careers (engineers, doctors, etc). Millennials have poor work ethics: Prefer to work less than 30 hours a week & have difficulty arriving on time or staying late to complete a task. Gen-X is a mixed bag: split between the Productive DIY attitude to get the job done, or the slacker type.

 

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 867
Batteries

I watched a TED Talk with Donald Sadoway a few years back about large scale molten metal batteries. Here's a snap shot of the technology:

http://sadoway.mit.edu/research/liquid-metal-batteries

The liquid metal battery (LMB) project seeks to develop a low cost and long lifespan battery for grid-scale stationary energy storage. The battery utilizes three liquid layers as the electroactive components, including a liquid metal positive electrode, a fused salt electrolyte, and a liquid metal negative electrode. The three liquid layers float on top of one another due on their density differences and immiscibility, promising low assembly cost with use of inexpensive materials. Furthermore, liquid electrodes avoid common failure mechanisms of solid-state battery components, potentially enabling a long lifespan device. Current research efforts encompass a wide range of scientific topics and engineering challenges, including fundamental thermodynamic measurements of candidate electrode couples, computational thermal modeling, electrochemical studies of molten salt electrolytes, long term corrosion and lifespan testing, testing and characterization of complete single-cell batteries, and scaling up the design to build larger single-cells.

His idea was that these single cells would be about the size of a semi trailer, so they could be transported fairly easily. The battery isn't super efficient (~75%,) but the "waste energy" keeps the metals molten. From what I remember, the batteries are capable of storing and releasing large quantities of electricity as needed. He and some grad students started a company (Ambri) to work through the scaling issues.

Every once in a while I go to their website to see what is happening. They were posting news stories for a while, but haven't posted anything since March 27, 2017. I interpret that as scalability problems aren't being solved. Although the premise sounds appealing, they haven't worked out the kinks. Perhaps the white knight investors have pulled their financial support. It's hard to do research without support, and it's hard to keep supporting a venture that looks more and more like a money pit.

Without sufficient battery storage, intermittent energy sources like solar and wind are more appropriate for individuals or small groups than for grid tied systems. Desert dwellers can use their own solar panels to run air conditions that keep their dwellings comfortable. That reduces grid demand peaks. Farmers used to use windmills to draw water up to stock tanks. Solar hot water heaters can collect and store the sun's energy for convenient hot water usage later.

Grover

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 880
Sounds like you agreed with me, Techguy.

Techguy, it well may be true that flywheels can't run a building for extremely long. However, part of my point is that you don't run the whole building; you run your life-critical systems during brownouts.

With that, flywheels can be workable solutions to a fairly large number of cases.

And, as I said, you then also have the option of going to natural gas turbine.... which my secondary solution was there as well.

The main problems with flywheels are what happens when the bearings fail... but those problems are best addressed with burying the thing, and putting it in isolation.

No, it's not a be-all end-all solution. But it can be a significant part of the solution. Another significant part is to reduce our energy consumption.

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 299
Thermal mass
Quote:

 Desert dwellers can use their own solar panels to run air conditions that keep their dwellings comfortable

They could also add thermal mass and ventilation to take advantage of night-time cooling. And awnings! Travelling in the Southwest I was amazed at how many buildings did nothing to shade their windows. 

In contrast, travelling in Viet Nam a few years ago I was pleasantly impressed by how cool some of their brick buildings were without air conditioning, just a fan, even on a day where the outside temperature was close to human body temperature and humidity was high. They knew how to harness natural diurnal temperature swings.

Some relevant reading from Low Tech Magazine:

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2014/09/circulating-fans-air-conditioning...

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2018/05/ditch-the-batteries-off-the-grid-...

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2018/05/history-and-future-of-the-compres...

 

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 325
You might want to check out Lockheed Martin Energy

They have created a lithium energy storage system and have partnered up with ComEd Illinois on a microgrid project that looks promising.

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 867
Private Solar Panels

Yoxa,

Your advice works well when the diurnal temperature swings allow it. Closing the shades is good common sense as well as good economic sense. I'm not sure that you've experienced the miserable heat in the US desert southwest. I'll use Phoenix, AZ as an example. Other areas are more miserable and some aren't. Their high temperatures this time of year are in the 110°F-126°F (43°C-52°C) range and their lows are typically in the 90°F (32°C) range. In that case, the night time lows are still miserably hot! Of course, while you're freezing your Yoxa off in the winter, they have very enjoyable winter conditions.

When these conditions exist for about 2 months in the summer, air conditioning makes the whole experience tolerable. There are another 3-4 months of the year that can only be described as "HOT." That's why those locations didn't have too many residents before air conditioning. One summer convinced folks that life is too long to endure that yearly misery! They get an abundance of sunshine - especially when the heat is oppressive. It makes economic sense to have solar panels to run the air conditioning even if the electric grid is functioning. It makes more sense if a power outage occurs and the only source of power is the solar panels.

I said that intermittent energy sources don't make sense for utilities because those only really function with subsidies. We still need full backup power sources when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. When the solar panels and windmills switch to paying taxes rather than consuming public money, I'll change my tune. It makes those who identify with the "green movement" feel better about consuming electricity. They can pay more and believe it comes from renewable sources, but once power is intermingled on the grid, it's impossible to identify the power's source. It's too bad they vote their misguided conscience rather than exercising their atrophyied brains.

Grover

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 299
Shades
Quote:

 Closing the shades is good common sense as well as good economic sense.

Yes. But note that shading the window from the outside will keep more BTUs out of your building envelope than shades or draperies inside the window. You want to keep direct sunshine from getting through the glass.


Quote:

 the night time lows are still miserably hot

That is why it both amazed and disappointed me that the architecture seemed to pay so little attention to natural heat mitigation strategies.

Air conditioning should be an option, not a sentence.

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 299
Shades

duplicate - mods please delete

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 880
Our miserably hot mobile home is no longer miserably hot

I'd note, though, that we have a black cherry and an apple tree eight feet away, to the south; and two mulberry trees on the east, eight feet away. Oh, and a mimosa twelve feet away.

If there was ever a worse case of architecture than the mobile home

-- our brand is Style Mar !!! (how appropriate)

I don't know what it is. But there's a reason those old defunct homes are so overgrown with trees. They handle the cooling beautifully. Question whether that was on purpose? Read the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was done deliberately.

On the other hand, we do carefully prune the trees to grow away from the house, not towards it. I don't want the trees dropping limbs on the house ten years later.

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 435
Re: Shade trees

" don't know what it is. But there's a reason those old defunct homes are so overgrown with trees. They handle the cooling beautifully"

Won't work in the south west where there is insufficeitnt water to support trees. Perhaps there are homes in desert urban areas with trees, but they get there water from rivers and aquifers. Fresh water is already at a shortage in the South West. I would imagine during a long term crisis Triggered by the Debt, Demographics cliff, or energy shortages, that getting water will become a problem. 

Shading its the problem in the SouthWest, its the supply of water. Much of it supplied by rivers up north or deep aquifers that are already becoming depleted as well as brackish,  Presumably if there is a crisis transporting goods like food would also be a problem since any local farms would be completely dependant on heavy irrigation. 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments