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    From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 6:06am

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    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 61

    "DC" appliances

    Hi Sandman, thanks for your interest.
    1. I will be in N Virginia near you at the end of July and can bring devices.
    2. I am selling, but only in Japan now (or to people I know in the US).  I often go to China (at  Chinese govt expense) and show off my stuff there.
    3. I cannot do fridge/freezers but rely on regular (old) technology for that.
    4. Most (non-fridge) appliances are already DC or DC compatible EXCEPT for their mechanical switches.  My invention (used for over 5 years) is >99% DC but has a brief interrupt that protects switches by removing spark activity.  Computer power adapters actually are 10% more efficient on the DC because they are DC and suffer power factor correction problems with AC used presently.
    5.  To start with it is best to connect about two kw of panels to an existing electric water heater(s) to start the process of electrical resilience and use excess power for occasional power tool, coffee pot etc usage. My system automatically prioritizes and allows easy expansion into a grid.
    WHY this is efficient and simple/cheap: I do NOT change voltage (responsible for much complexity/cost and  a great deal of inefficiency (look at any charge controller and inverter: the thing is mostly heat sink and fans to throw away wasted power).  My box lacks a regular heat sink and fan.  Also I dont convert DC to AC to DC.
    I can run split unit heat pumps (these in Japan use DC compressors for the last ten years) with a second box that I build.   But I am still optimizing a system that will  automatically turn off/drop off the heat pump compressor when a cloud goes by and hope to have that finished by July…….
    The whole point is to avoid batteries and expensive equipment, to achieve a higher EROI.
    I still have a small law office and am developing an olive farm.  Due to lack of time, I cannot push this very hard.  I built a grid in the Congo rain forest they  had Ebola there more recently and I cannot go back but hope to go to another place that needs low cost electricity.
    Best regards
    Mots

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 5:50am

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    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4476

    1+

    On Solar...

    Yes, as Mememonkey said, there’s a bit of a strawman built up there Mots.

    I happen to have solar on my own home, and I’m a big fan of it.  I think where we disagree is in scale.  At the individual level solar makes a ton of sense, especially if people can modify their actions and behaviors around the sun’s and weather’s schedule.

    But I also don’t have any illusions that my solar panels will be industrially replaced at some point in the future if/when they wear out and the world is trying to live entirely off of the sun’s and wind’s output.

    To create a solar panel is a major industrial undertaking that is currently almost entirely funded by fossil fuels, with diesel being the most vital.

    We don’t have a way of rebuilding the entire industrial supply chain using only the output from solar panels.  It currently cannot be done.

    Can it?

    I have my doubts, because of the low EROIE’s that accompany grid scale solar installations which have to include the costs of making the site, and maintaining the panels.  That involves cleaning, protecting, replacing and rebuilding throughout the lifecycle.

    It’s non-trivial.  Things happen.  Sandstorms, pollen, hail, tornadoes, earthquakes, vandals.

    There are hundreds, if not thousands of individual components that go into converting DC to AC, which remains a necessity at scale so that electrons made here can be shipped a long distance to be used over there.

    I’m not hostile to the idea of solar, as you seem to imply, but skeptical.   I’ve read as many EROEI  studies as I can get my hands on.  None of them has made me feel particularly good about anything except for alt energy to be a wedge of the pie giving us some more time.

    And that would be a fantastic thing, if we used the time wisely.

    To do that, I believe people need the facts as they stand.  Right now, those facts include the idea that a full-cycle solar industry operating in perpetuity off of itself while still providing enough surplus to run the rest of society at a complexity level sufficient to make more panels, is just that.  An Idea.

    One with relatively poor math beneath it.

    We need a very complex response to the future, and solar certainly has a role, but it cannot be the starring role as we understand things today.  Not without making enormous changes to our lifestyles, which you, admirably, have done.

    We’re going to need a big mix of things, including nuclear (thorium, fusion hopefully), LENR (if it’s real), vastly re-made building codes to require less HVAC, mass transit, and localization efforts to pull it off.

    I think having the right narratives in play is essential to that transition,. If it’s to happen.

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 4:22am

    #

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1821

    Would love to learn DC applaince opperation direct from solar panels

    Mots,

    If you ever bring your electrical engineering stuff to market, I would LOVE to learn how to operate AC household and shop appliances, at mid-day, directly off an abundance of solar panels.  Great idea about running the freezer and water heater at mid-day as a way of “saving” energy for the less sunny hours.

    I agree with mememonkey that Chris embraces local solar usage for homes and has shown us his home PV and solar thermal set-ups a number of times.

    I appreciate your exploring how a shop or home can be wired for direct DC solar use.  You are at the forefront of this movement.  When you can, show us how we can do this too.

     

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 3:25am

    #
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 852

    1+

    The Abolition Of Man

    its a short read at 80 pages, and a good one too. C.S.Lewis

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 - 12:17am

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    peter31

    peter31

    Status Member (Online)

    Joined: Apr 01 2009

    Posts: 26

    Homo evolutis?

    dabenham, I agree that we are in line for a reduction in numbers to 1 billion or so, but I think the survivors of the Great Reduction will be too busy trying to eke out a living with subsistence farming to worry about gene editing!

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 11:37pm

    #

    dabenham

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 29 2011

    Posts: 15

    Human Extinction vs Homo Evolutis

    Chris, excellent post about not being able to sustain the unsustainable and that some sort of collapse is baked in already.  Did you mean a complete collapse leading to (likely) human extinction?

    My modest crystal ball says that after after a serious reduction (famine, wars, etc) of the human population 60-70 years from now, say to about 1B people or so, many will turn to gene editing to speed evolution in order to survive, if not thrive.

    Hence, do you think the period of Homo Evolutis is nearly upon us?  Where our (grand)children will be able to precision engineer their offspring – our (great)grandchildren – into an altered species, one with capabilities to thrive in a climate chaotic, post peak energy world.  Comments/thoughts?

     

     

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 10:10pm

    #
    peter31

    peter31

    Status Member (Online)

    Joined: Apr 01 2009

    Posts: 26

    Economics as a religion

    You’re quite right Chris, and coincidentally I have just published a blog post along similar lines, exploring the themes of economics-as-a-religion and the inability of journalists to understand simple arithmetic.  You can find it here:

    https://postpeakmedicine.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/reaching-out-to-the-high-priests/

    https://postpeakmedicine.com

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:23pm

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    gkcjrrt

    gkcjrrt

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2016

    Posts: 14

    Human mind and free will

    I would submit that the most powerful force on the Earth is in fact the Human mind coupled with human free volition.

    What’s going on derives from the same original sin – pride – “we can solve any problem” and pursuit of mammon instead of  truth.

    Even though we may act so, we are not locusts.  Man’s lust and greed got us into this and only a change of this heart is going to get us out.

    I recommend the book “A guide for the Perplexed” by E F Schumacher.

     

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 8:21pm

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    gkcjrrt

    gkcjrrt

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 20 2016

    Posts: 14

    Human mind and free will

    I would submit for that the most powerful force on the Earth is in fact the Human mind coupled with free volition.

    What’s going on derives from the same original sin – pride – “we can solve any problem” and pursuit of mammon instead of  truth.

    Even thought we may act so, we are not locusts.  Man’s lust and greed got us into this and only a change of this heart is going to get us out.

    I recommend the book “A guide for the Perplexed” by E F Schumacher.

     

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  • From: They’ve Stolen Our Future!
  • Wed, May 22, 2019 - 7:56pm

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    MAV

    MAV

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 07 2008

    Posts: 13

    3+

    travissidelinger is right, there is no solution

    We will collapse.

    I LOVE the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  In the book he talks about Takers and Leavers.  We are all Takers.  This thread seems to be asking if we can turn ourselves back into Leavers.  The book itself explains that when a Taker culture intersects with a Leaver culture, only one of two things can happen.  The Leavers are turned into Takers, or the Leavers are destroyed.  That’s it.  They cannot co-exist.

    What are the odds we could convince all the countries of the world to live sustainably?  Zero.  The odds are zero.  I can’t even convince my family members.

    This is my favorite answer to the Fermi Paradox.  We have not encountered alien life because it is the nature of all life (even intelligent life) to burn through your natural resources, overshoot and dieoff.

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