Energy

Sustainability

Sustainability, now there is a good word.  It follows on easily from optimisation and is just as complex an issue. The easiest way to look at sustainability is to think of the world and what it might be like in … Read More

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Nuclear Batteries

I have written previously about nuclear power stations still relying on steam power to generate electricity.  While we have been able to provide the direct conversion of heat to electricity for sometime it has been highly inefficient running at about … Read More

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Australian Energy Needs

It was a bit sad to read that many South Aussies still want to push the Nuclear power option for South Australia when all evidence points to it being be a very expensive and unnecessary proposal. We do not have … Read More

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Virtual Power Plant

  South Australia’s planned Virtual Power Plant appears to be largely misunderstood, as these things always are. It is basically a system that creates an energy supply from solar and batteries which is tied together by software.  This allows the … Read More

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Nuclear(Con)fusion – 024

Just over a hundred years ago, Albert Einstein came up with the notion that mass and energy are equivalent in his theory of Special Relativity. About twenty years later the idea that the sun was a nuclear reactor and provided … Read More

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Energy Storage – 023

Energy Storage Energy storage and power generation are two separate issues that appear to be getting muddled by politicians and journalists. For example hydro power is essentially energy from the sun and therefore renewable.  The solar energy lifts water into … Read More

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Biofuel Crops – 022

Byogy Renewables announced recently that they are looking at setting up a $10 million test site to convert ethanol to gasoline. In Australia this could be from sugar cane or biomass from the grain industry and the site is likely … Read More

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Biofuels – 021

I have just returned from a great month travelling in Far North Queensland, an area that is both very environmentally conscious and conservative. Bob Katter, a local MP is strongly pursuing an increase in ethanol production to improve the lot … Read More

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Geothermal -017

Geothermal is an energy source that does not originate from the sun (along with nuclear) although the sun probably helped originally. The majority of the planet is very hot, molten rock with a thin, cool, solid crust.  We can access … Read More

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Wind – 016

Wind energy is another form of solar. The sun causes uneven heating across the earth’s surface, creating convection currents and pressure differences which result in air molecules flowing from high to low pressure regions. This is complicated by the earth’s … Read More

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Hydro – 015

Heat from the sun evaporates vast amounts of water from the oceans which fall as rain and snow, creating large rivers and lakes. This process of evaporation creates potential energy when stored in lakes and kinetic energy in flowing rivers. … Read More

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Energy Mix – 013

An article in today’s paper suggested that South Australia would be powered by 100% renewable energy. As no time frame was given, this may be perfectly correct in some distant future.  But what is meant by the statement and how … Read More

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