Friday, May 26, 2017

“Renewable” Future?


“Renewable” Future?


There is a hope/belief among many “renewable” energy promoters that these technologies can reproduce themselves along with many of the needs of our present living standard.  I have been down these paths with people who want to believe we can and should continue business as usual.

They avoid hard questions and they answer with vague engineering possibilities or tomorrow's technology or human brilliance or innovation or you can't know the future replies. Looking at the whole picture is out of the question because it challenges their solution.

This essay challenges that hope which is really a continuation of consumerism and the status quo.

This essay looks at the energy used in copper, glass and other common tools of everyday life.  There are also videos of other necessay parts of our life styles - WINDOW SCREEN – A SYRINGE – MEDICAL PLASTIC TUBING - A CPU FOR YOUR COMPUTER – AN ELECTRIC MOTOR – A FAN (GLOBAL WARMING) - FARM MACHINERY. 


LOOK AT ALL THE MACHINERY NEEDED FOR THESE VARIOUS PARTS OF OUR LIFESTYLE AND CONSIDER THEM BEING MINED, FABRICATED, CONSTRUCTED, RUN AND REPAIRED USING “RENEWABLE” ENERGY SOURCES AS WE NOW DEFINE THEM.

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COPPER

Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years,
but more than 97% of all copper ever mined
and smelted has been extracted since 1900.














FROM CHART ABOVE

Tonnes – a unit of weight equal to 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lb).
19,100,000 Tonnes in 2015
gj to btus =  947,817 btus      1 GJ = 277.78 kWh

21,057,750 tons in 2015 (converted)

IN 2015

1 GJ = 277.78 kWh
Electricity 41.08 GJ/T  
Equals 11,411.2024 kWh per Ton
Equals 240,294,247,338.60 kWh

1 GJ = 9.48043 therms
Natural Gas 13.83 GJ/T
Equals 2,760,847,910 Therms or 27,608,479.1 cubic feet

1GJ to btus = 947,817 btus
Diesel/Oil 7.60 GJ/T
Equals 151,687,590,081,300 BTUs or 27,324,377 Barrels of Oil



In 2014, around 34 percent of domestic copper was recovered from recycled material with the rest generated from newly mined ore. While wire supply is produced predominantly from newly refined copper, nearly two-thirds of the amount used by other segments of industry, including copper and brass mills, ingot makers, foundries and others comes from recycled material.
Copper in materials

Currently, a total of around 9 million tonnes of copper per year come from the recycling of “old” scrap (copper contained in end-of-life products) and “new” scrap (generated during production and downstream manufacturing processes).
http://copperalliance.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ica-copper-recycling-1405-A4-low-res.pdf






RECYCLED COPPER

106.8 GJ/TONNE
1 GJ = 277.78 kWh
EACH TONNE REQUIRES 29,666.904 kWh

SO 9 MILLION TONNES REQUIRES 267,002,136,000 kWh


Roughly 7% (2008) of the world’s
energy is used by the metals sector,
and consumption will increase due to
falling ore grades.
http://www.metalbulletin.com/events/download.ashx/document/speaker/6489/a0ID000000X0jDyMAJ/Presentation


The U.S. produces roughly 8 percent of the world’s copper supply.
In 2014, U.S. recyclers processed 820,000 metric tons of copper for domestic use and export.
Given a single family home of approximately 2,100 square feet, the copper content is estimated as follows:
       195 pounds – building wire
       151 pounds – plumbing tube, fittings, valves
       24 pounds – plumbers’ brass goods
       47 pounds – built-in appliances
       12 pounds – builders hardware
       10 pounds – other wire and tube

The copper content associated with household appliances can be generalized as follows:
       52 pounds – unitary air conditioner
       48 pounds – unitary heat pump
       5.0 pounds – dishwasher
       4.8 pounds – refrigerator/freezer
       4.4 pounds – clothes washer
       2.7 pounds – dehumidifier
       2.3 pounds – disposer
       2.0 pounds – clothes dryer
       1.3 pounds – range

Copper in materials

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=xx&v=81


Read more: How copper is made – material, used, processing, steps, product, Raw Materials, The Manufacturing Process of copper, Quality Control, Byproducts/Waste, The Future http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Copper.html#ixzz1eeSJyEum



03/ica-copper-recycling-1405-A4-low-res.pdf






From:


It is well known that there is no such thing as a free lunch. However, it is somewhat less known that there is no such thing as free energy, either.
Despite all the hoopla about new renewable energy sources being “free” and “practically unlimited” in a sense that no one owns the Sun nor the wind, the fact remains that in order to harness these energies, we need an immense construction effort. This, unfortunately, is neither free nor unrestricted in the material sense. As the above graph taken from a recent study commentary by Vidal, Goffé & Arndt in Nature Geoscience (2013) shows, projected renewable energy deployments would very soon outstrip the current global production of several key materials. By the author’s estimates, if we are to follow the lead of renewables only-advocates, renewable energy projects would consume the entire annual copper, concrete and steel production by 2035 at the latest, annihilate aluminum by around 2030, and gobble up all the glass before 2020.
Certainly, material efficiency can improve greatly, substitutes can be found, and production can be increased. Nevertheless, the scale of the challenge is nothing less than daunting: the authors also provide a handy overview of material requirements per installed capacity, from which I calculated a range of figures for energy production.
If we compare renewable energies to that other low-carbon alternative, nuclear power, per energy unit produced, wind and solar electricity production requires
   16-148 times more concrete
   57-661 times more steel
   43-819 times more aluminum
   16-2286 times more copper
   4000-73600 times more glass.
(The figures assume a lifetime of 20-30 years for renewables and 60 years for nuclear, and the following capacity factors: wind 0.3, solar PV 0.15, CSP 0.4, nuclear 0.8.)







For economies of scale and energy use
Some common continuous processes are the following:
·       Oil refining
·       Chemicals
·       Synthetic fibers
·       Fertilizers
·       Pulp and paper
·       Blast furnace (iron)
·       Metal smelting
·       Power stations
·       Natural gas processing
·       Sanitary waste water treatment
·       Continuous casting of steel
·       Rotary kilns for calcining lime or cement
·       Float glass
They run 24/7 365 days

GLASS

Let’s take a look at this wonderful material.

Float glass for windows improves homes and other buildings enormously.  Think about what your home would be without glass.  So this is not an essay against glass.  It isn’t even an essay against using glass for solar energy collecting devices whether they are for heating hot air, hot water or making electricity.

These devices use low iron hardened stippled glass.  It is important to understand the components of the energy collecting devices so we don’t designate them with false labels such as green, renewable or sustainable.  This essay looks at the energy, equipment and the economies of scale in making float glass.

The process to get glass is to find silica deposits, dig them up, crush them, move them to the factory, powder them in a ball mill, then put the powdered material through the production line.  Here is some of the process and equipment.   This is big, expensive and energy intensive equipment.




> CLICK THE YOUTUBE LINK TO VIEW VIDEO <


THIS IS A FOUR MINUTE FILM THAT WALKS YOU THROUGH

THE MAKING OF FLOAT GLASS FROM MINE TO FINISH PRODUCT

Float Glass Manufacturing Process
4 minutes






ONE SHEET FOR SOLAR PANEL
27 MJ/kg for Hardened Float Glass
1 MJ = .28 kWh
Possible solar glazing energy
One 77” x 39” pane = 50 lbs = 22.6796 kg
One pane = 171.46 kWh


TOTAL FLAT GLASS 2009 PRODUCTION
52,000,000 tonnes = 52,000,000,000 kg
1 MJ = .28 kWh
2009 production = 390,000000,312.00 kWh


VIDEOS


So I sit here at my computer looking out the window.  It is cool outside so the window isn’t open.  During the summer, with the window open the screens keep the bugs out. I would have a small fan blowing air around the room.

Don’t look at the product.  Consider the equipment and energy necessary to make the product.  Consider the equipment and energy required to make the equipment and energy that made the product.
I ask how do I get these comforts and devices from a total “renewable” world?




> CLICK THE YOUTUBE LINKS TO VIEW VIDEOS <



Making window screen
1.24 minutes


Stainless steel wire mesh manufacturing(stainless steel weaving machine)
.56 minutes


How a CPU is made
10:15 minutes


How Electric Motors are made
https://youtu.be/bCwu5KPVv541>
4.50 minutes


Electric fan production process
https://youtu.be/pH95KZos-q0
2.14 minutes

We haven’t even considered growing food !



Big farming machines
1.38 minutes


OUR MEDICAL WORLD IS A MAJOR
PART OF OUR LIFESTYLE
X RAY MACHINES, CT SCANNERS,
PHARMACEUTICALS
AND SO MUCH MORE.



Syringe production from glass melting to the clean room
1.18

I AM ON OXYGEN SO THIS TUBING IS A CRITICAL PART OF MY LIFE


High Speed Medical Tubing Line running at 153m/min (500ft/min) on a PAK350 medical extruder. Cincinnati Milacron can supply a variety of Medical Extruders and Medical Extrusion Lines across a wide range of applications from small catheter, single lumen tubes, draw-down tubing for vascular applications and multi lumen tubing running at low speeds to Dialysis and Drug Delivery tubing running at high throughputs up to 200 metres per minute.
1.46





IT FALLS TO THE PROMOTERS OF A FUTURE FOR “RENEWABLE” ENERGY TO
SHOW HOW THESE AND SO MUCH ELSE CAN BE PROVIDED.





3 comments:

  1. So many numbers. So much data. It is of course completely and totally hopeless for the future of your civilisation. That's the view I took of things as a young man in the late 60's The last 50 years have gone more or less the way I thought they would- including wars without end in the Middle East (where all the oil is).

    So from my point of view there is nothing "wrong" at all, it is simply falling apart more or less on schedule. Put simply you are all fast approaching one of the great turning points in human history. Come on, you must of noticed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear John, The biggest problem is that you can't use electricity to make cement and iron or anything else requiring a blast furnace because these are up 4 to 10 years, 24 x 7 and if they cool or the coal/Nat gas/oil heat stops, the brick lining is damaged. Yet clearly the grid will not be up 24 x 7 in a 100% renewable grid. One reason solar EROI is high is that since 2/3 of fossil generated electricity is lost as heat, solar electricity is multiplied by 3 in cases where the outcome is heat production. But when it comes to directly heating a process, as in manufacturing, electricity sucks!
    I wish I could find out other manufacturing that electricity can't do. Especially within some of the continuous processes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks a lot for posting this post, Your post has always been an informative source for me.
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    ReplyDelete