Energy

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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Hydrogen – 008

Good to see that Honda has their new Hydrogen car the FCV Clarity for sale – expected price $60,000 (US?) and range over 700 km.  There are only about 20 hydrogen (H2) retail outlets around the world but we do have … Read More

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Hydrocarbons – 005

Hydrocarbons – What are they? As discussed in blog 3 solar energy, water and carbon dioxide create carbohydrates by photosynthesis in plants.  Animals eat the plants creating more complex carbohydrates (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules). When these decay without oxygen … Read More

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Solar part 2 and Nuclear waste- 004

Nuclear Waste The International Panel on Fissile Materials has stated that “placing spent nuclear fuel in repositories hundreds of metres below the surface would be safer than indefinite storage on the surface”.  Many countries have come up with experimental test … Read More

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