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Solar Impulse II Makes California

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Old May 3rd 16, 10:28 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Solar Impulse II Makes California

Larry Dighera wrote:

[Much snipped in the interest of brevity]

On Sat, 30 Apr 2016 20:21:48 -0000, wrote:

If our planet were a closed system, solar energy wouldn't work at all.

Ah Jim, there you go demonstrating that sound mind capable of reasoned and
insightful thoughts.

I guess I need to amend my statement to exclude the full spectrum of
electromagnetic radiation.

Thanks for the correction, but it doesn't materially affect my argument.

Reasonable people know we cannot continue to dump our trash and emissions into
our environment, and expect to continue to experience the same quality of life.

Such has been illegal in the US for decades.

Perhaps you are thinking of China, India, or Africa?

You do know the modern view is that petroleum is not dinosaurs and is
constantly being created in the Earth?

At what rate? Please don't attempt to pull a Ted Cruz obfuscation, and attempt
to imply, that petroleum is being created at a rate adequate to replenish the
volume that is currently being extracted. :-)

Does it really matter if KNOWN reserves are enough for hundreds of years?

Known oil reserves are estimated to be several hundred years worth, which
should be long enough to get fusion energy and good batteries working.

So, you appear to agree that oil is a finite resource as compared to

Perhaps, but the only place where there is guaranteed insolation is
above about 80,000 feet. For the Earth's surface the amount of insolation
is both latitude and climate dependant.

And as long a petroleum is available, why shouldn't we use it?

Not that petroleum has much of anything to do with electrical power.

Fusion is the Holy Grail, but apparently nearly as elusive.

[...] giant leaps in several technologies before something like an
electric 747 becomes possible.

I would be skeptical of the useful production of such an aircraft too, but the
experts (NASA) appear to believe progress toward that end is possible:

"Electric skies: NASA claims progress on hybrid plane engine
Published time: 7 Jan, 2016 22:14

Project engineers and researchers at the Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland, Ohio are looking at electrical systems that could either replace
or complement the current turbine engines, turning electricity into thrust.

One of the agency?s goals is to help the aircraft industry shift away from
kerosene-guzzling gas turbines, in order to reduce emissions, noise and
fossil fuel consumption.

Contrary to the childhood tales, wishing for something will not make it
come true.

The world's total usage of "fossil fuel" to power airplanes is a trivial
drop in the bucket compared to total usage; jet fuel in the US uses 8%.

If you think "sustainable power" has no environmetal impact, you are living
in a fantasy world.

I hope you aren't attempting to imply inefficient petroleum power is anywhere
near as clean as a 98% efficient electric motor. The environmental impact from
some energy technologies is more damaging than others...

If you want to talk about efficiency, first discuss the 20% efficiency
of solar conversion, the efficiency of charging and discharging batteries,
and the effiency of inverters to convert solar power into something usefull.

Concider how messy solar panel manufacturing is for starters.

Not everyplace has abundent sunshine

But every place does have _some_ sunshine. Where there is sunshine, it is
possible to directly convert it to electricity without emissions. It's just a
matter of how much square area of photovoltaics need to be installed to meet
the particular demand.

It is also possible to make a motor from a birthday candle, a permanent
magnet, and a Zippo flint; that doesn't make it a practical source of

How many square miles of forrest do you have to clear to provide solar
power in places like Washington and Oregon?

and the decentralized solar power in Hawaii, one of the few places where it
is really practical, is destabilizing the grid.

If the solar installation is totally off-grid, that becomes a non-issue. The
way I see it, decentralizing electric distribution mitigates the issue of a
single point of failure (among other benefits).

Except modern society can not be sustained totally off grid and the
batteries required to come anywhere near close would be both a huge
manufacturing problem and a huge disposal problem.

What do you do for power during winter storms that last for weeks?

Living totally off-grid is only viable for hermits living in the boondocks.

It may also impact the utility companys' bottom line, but, given the fact that
So. Calif. Edison had the audacity to see that their former top executive at
Southern California Edison Co., Michael Peevey, as California Public Utilities
Commission President, that may be a good thing:

"I think Peevey started his collusion early, and he did it often," Lynch
said. "From the beginning he evidenced a complete disregard for the rules
of law and a complete interest in cozying up to utilities."


Undisclosed emails and other private conversations are representative of
the "endemic corruption" in state government created by "the imbalance" in
lobbying power between wealthy corporations and advocacy groups that speak
for consumers and utility ratepayers, said Robert Fellmeth, a regulatory
law expert and director of the Center for Public Interest Law at the
University of San Diego.

Regulators like Peevey should not hold "secret conversations" with only one
side in a pending case that they eventually will have to rule upon as both
judge and jury, Fellmeth said.


What does some crook have to do with the realities of science, engineering,
and power production and usage?


Thank you for taking the time to ponder these issues and offer your insight.
It's always a pleasure to read your views.

FYI I have been closely watching the progress of solar power for several
decades now and have consistantly found that it would never pay for
itself in my lifetime, and I live in sunny southern California.

Jim Pennino
Old May 4th 16, 03:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Solar Impulse II Makes California

On Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 10:31:05 PM UTC-4, wrote:

Doesn't Germany have the highest electricity prices in Europe?

No, because there are 81 million people in Germany, and half of
them use solar power. People with solar panels don't pay anything
for electricity, instead... the power company pays them. It's called
net metering. So you have to average the 40 million who get paid, in
with the other 40 million. The panel installations are part of the
home's equity and are transferable cash value.

It's all mute anyway, because fossil fuels are responsible for the
acidification which is destroying the worlds coral reefs now at an
accelerated pace, among other proven mass extinction events.

Old May 4th 16, 08:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Solar Impulse II Makes California

Larry Dighera wrote:
On Wed, 4 May 2016 17:03:56 -0000, wrote:

In the LA area, air concentrations of volatile organic compounds declined
by a factor of 50 between 1962 and 2012. Nitrous oxides and ozone declined
by 70% to 80% over the same period of time.

I recall in the mid '50s in the Los Angeles area when homeowners burned their
trash in backyard incinerators. It wasn't pretty.

Then as freeway construction became completed, the air quality was so bad, that
it hurt to inhale, eyes burned, and it was generally unbearable.

Subsequently, California emissions control laws have made a very substantial
positive impact on improving air quality, but that's not to say the air quality
is good.

There were a LOT of changes in the law on everything; trash burning, industry,
farming, painting, vehicles, etc.

LA smog did not just come from cars and entire industries have been legislated
out of existance.

Here's some supporting evidence:


L.A., Central Valley have worst air quality, American Lung Assn. says

Which has more to do temperature inversions due to geography than anything


The ports of L.A. and Long Beach are the largest single source of air pollution
in the region.

There are no solar powered ships nor 18 wheelers anywhere in the future.

Jim Pennino
Old May 5th 16, 05:24 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default Solar Impulse II Makes California

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 8:50:12 PM UTC-4, Vaughn Simon wrote:
On 5/4/2016 1:03 PM,
Follow that open ended pipe back a bit; see the catalytic converter?

Follow back a bit more; see all the crap to reduce emmisions?

Ever looked under the hood of a car from the 50's?

In the LA area, air concentrations of volatile organic compounds declined
by a factor of 50 between 1962 and 2012. Nitrous oxides and ozone declined
by 70% to 80% over the same period of time.

As for "dump our trash", dairy farms now get fined for spilling milk.

Along with you, I applaud the progress that has been made in the past.
That said, wave your arms all you want, talk about spilled milk all you
want, the fact will remain that vehicle emissions are a major
contributor to air pollution.

As of 2011, there are over one billion cars in operation daily
on planet earth. The implications are obvious.

Yes; people are more mobile than they have ever been.

There are also about 2.5 million wood stoves and heaters in the USA.

There are more 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction
or being planned around the world; none of them in the USA where they
are shutting down.

Jim Pennino

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