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  • #31
    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
    We loves ya, anyways!

    Well, it's nice to be part of such a warm and welcoming community - your hugs are appreciated and returned.
    "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
      Well, it's nice to be part of such a warm and welcoming community - your hugs are appreciated and returned.
      And I apologize for the derail - I like having you around, but I really don't get like getting into climate battles.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

        And I apologize for the derail - I like having you around, but I really don't get like getting into climate battles.
        Again, wasn't complaining. Rather be talking about what people are interested in.
        "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by TheLurch View Post

          Again, wasn't complaining. Rather be talking about what people are interested in.
          So how bout your assessment of the tradeoff of electric vehicles vs the alleged havoc they play on the environment, both in production of batteries, generation of power for all those charging stations, and the impact of disposing of batteries?
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

            So how bout your assessment of the tradeoff of electric vehicles vs the alleged havoc they play on the environment, both in production of batteries, generation of power for all those charging stations, and the impact of disposing of batteries?
            Ok, so many things to unpack in a deceptively short question.

            One is that, in terms of carbon emissions and things like particulate pollution, people have done life cycle analysis (meaning mining and manufacturing are factored in) and shown that electric vehicles are already cleaner than combustion engines on today's grid. They'll get better as more renewables come online on the grid.

            So then there's the environmental damage caused by resource extraction itself. Some forms of lithium extraction are less environmentally disruptive than traditional mining for the materials used in internal combustion engines. Beyond that, you get into issues of specific mining locations and there's no way to generalize that. There are some components of the batteries (cobalt, primarily) that are more disruptive, but these are a lower percentage of the battery by mass. Cobalt is also expensive, and people are trialing batteries that don't use it.

            But, one thing that should be clear from all that: we don't actually want to dispose of the batteries. We want to recycle them. That's been a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, in that there were so few electric vehicles up until recently, and all of them are relatively new vehicles, that there wasn't much to recycle, so you couldn't build a business around it. That's starting to change now, and initial analyses indicate it should be borderline profitable as things now stand. As battery manufacturing ramps up and competition raises prices for raw materials a bit, it should work out.

            (This might be a good place for government incentives to get recycling businesses off the ground. Batteries are HEAVY, and so expensive to ship, meaning if we can get recycling businesses running in the US, they could potentially outcompete places with cheaper labor, and keep jobs in the US.)

            The other (and to me, most interesting) wrinkle in all of this is that the batteries that are no longer great for electric vehicles still have enough capacity to be useful for grid-level storage of power. So it may be possible to create something that's a bit of a hybrid of a recycling center and power storage facility. End-of-life car batteries come in, get used for on-grid storage for a few years until they're too worn out from that, and then shifted to the other end of the facility to be broken down and recycled. That could be a supplemental source of income that tilts the balance in favor of recycling, and also lowers the overall environmental impact by improving our ability to manage renewables on the grid.
            "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by TheLurch View Post



              The other (and to me, most interesting) wrinkle in all of this is that the batteries that are no longer great for electric vehicles still have enough capacity to be useful for grid-level storage of power. So it may be possible to create something that's a bit of a hybrid of a recycling center and power storage facility. End-of-life car batteries come in, get used for on-grid storage for a few years until they're too worn out from that, and then shifted to the other end of the facility to be broken down and recycled. That could be a supplemental source of income that tilts the balance in favor of recycling, and also lowers the overall environmental impact by improving our ability to manage renewables on the grid.
              That is an intriguing possibility

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                Ok, so many things to unpack in a deceptively short question.

                One is that, in terms of carbon emissions and things like particulate pollution, people have done life cycle analysis (meaning mining and manufacturing are factored in) and shown that electric vehicles are already cleaner than combustion engines on today's grid. They'll get better as more renewables come online on the grid.

                So then there's the environmental damage caused by resource extraction itself. Some forms of lithium extraction are less environmentally disruptive than traditional mining for the materials used in internal combustion engines. Beyond that, you get into issues of specific mining locations and there's no way to generalize that. There are some components of the batteries (cobalt, primarily) that are more disruptive, but these are a lower percentage of the battery by mass. Cobalt is also expensive, and people are trialing batteries that don't use it.

                But, one thing that should be clear from all that: we don't actually want to dispose of the batteries. We want to recycle them. That's been a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, in that there were so few electric vehicles up until recently, and all of them are relatively new vehicles, that there wasn't much to recycle, so you couldn't build a business around it. That's starting to change now, and initial analyses indicate it should be borderline profitable as things now stand. As battery manufacturing ramps up and competition raises prices for raw materials a bit, it should work out.

                (This might be a good place for government incentives to get recycling businesses off the ground. Batteries are HEAVY, and so expensive to ship, meaning if we can get recycling businesses running in the US, they could potentially outcompete places with cheaper labor, and keep jobs in the US.)

                The other (and to me, most interesting) wrinkle in all of this is that the batteries that are no longer great for electric vehicles still have enough capacity to be useful for grid-level storage of power. So it may be possible to create something that's a bit of a hybrid of a recycling center and power storage facility. End-of-life car batteries come in, get used for on-grid storage for a few years until they're too worn out from that, and then shifted to the other end of the facility to be broken down and recycled. That could be a supplemental source of income that tilts the balance in favor of recycling, and also lowers the overall environmental impact by improving our ability to manage renewables on the grid.
                Thanks, processing this.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #38
                  Interesting article about the coming issues of recycling renewable. From the article this take on the EPA briefing paper:
                  The paper points out that the growth of solar waste is already straining recycling and disposal capabilities, with some panels improperly ending up in municipal landfills or stacking up in warehouses while the wait continues for more inexpensive routes to recycling.

                  Research underscores there are few incentives to recycle solar panels, as the cost of recovering the materials outweighs the costs of extracting what can be recycled — even without adding in transportation expenses.


                  And while solar has become more affordable, it has a possible backfire:
                  Cost hiccups


                  The solar industry is looking to use fewer precious metals and other elements in the manufacturing process, decreasing the amount of silver in panels by 70% since 2010.

                  While using less silver is economically attractive up front and less labor intensive, it makes recycling the solar panels less attractive. The cost decrease in the panels themselves has the potential to backfire, the paper warns, and some of these newer panels are more fragile and likely to break, hastening the need for their disposal.

                  The report notes that “not much has been done in the United States to address the PV waste issue,” and most novel policies in this arena are emerging from Europe.

                  The article also says about wind farms:
                  Tilting at windmills


                  Wind power also is taking off as a clean energy resource, but the EPA notes that windmills are the least energy producing and most physically difficult renewable energy waste stream to address.

                  The sheer size of the windmills and the difficulty of disposing of them at recycling stations led the agency to conclude that each new wind farm is a “towering promise of future wreckage.

                  source: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2021/1/...ah-china-solar
                  A global look at renewable energy waste streams is sounding the alarm that countries and industry need to prepare now. There is a looming monumental hazardous waste problem once these solar, batteries and windmills reach their end of life.
                  "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                  "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                    Interesting article about the coming issues of recycling renewable. From the article this take on the EPA briefing paper:
                    The paper points out that the growth of solar waste is already straining recycling and disposal capabilities, with some panels improperly ending up in municipal landfills or stacking up in warehouses while the wait continues for more inexpensive routes to recycling.

                    Research underscores there are few incentives to recycle solar panels, as the cost of recovering the materials outweighs the costs of extracting what can be recycled — even without adding in transportation expenses.


                    And while solar has become more affordable, it has a possible backfire:
                    Cost hiccups


                    The solar industry is looking to use fewer precious metals and other elements in the manufacturing process, decreasing the amount of silver in panels by 70% since 2010.

                    While using less silver is economically attractive up front and less labor intensive, it makes recycling the solar panels less attractive. The cost decrease in the panels themselves has the potential to backfire, the paper warns, and some of these newer panels are more fragile and likely to break, hastening the need for their disposal.

                    The report notes that “not much has been done in the United States to address the PV waste issue,” and most novel policies in this arena are emerging from Europe.

                    The article also says about wind farms:
                    Tilting at windmills


                    Wind power also is taking off as a clean energy resource, but the EPA notes that windmills are the least energy producing and most physically difficult renewable energy waste stream to address.

                    The sheer size of the windmills and the difficulty of disposing of them at recycling stations led the agency to conclude that each new wind farm is a “towering promise of future wreckage.

                    source: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2021/1/...ah-china-solar
                    One can image huge "bone yards" in the deserts like where aircraft go to die.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                      One can image huge "bone yards" in the deserts like where aircraft go to die.
                      For the blades, potentially. The towers and generator portion of the wind turbine are very much recyclable, but the fiberglass isn't. It's structurally very robust, which makes it hard to break down, and it's made of cheap raw materials - mostly silicon and carbon. There's some thought of finding ways to cut it into sections that could be used as structural materials, but i'm not sure how that would work out.

                      As for the solar panels, this is a problem for recycling anything electronic these days. Manufacturers have dropped costs by figuring out how to use as little of the expensive raw materials as possible, limiting the value of what you can get by recycling them.

                      It'll be something we'll have to solve eventually, but it would be nice to come up with something clever sooner, rather than waiting for constrained raw material supplies to drive prices up to where recycling makes economic sense.
                      "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                        For the blades, potentially. The towers and generator portion of the wind turbine are very much recyclable, but the fiberglass isn't. It's structurally very robust, which makes it hard to break down, and it's made of cheap raw materials - mostly silicon and carbon. There's some thought of finding ways to cut it into sections that could be used as structural materials, but i'm not sure how that would work out.
                        I don't think the average Joe has any idea how big these blades are. We see them frequently passing through our town on double-long railroad flat cars, and they are huge. And, yeah, that appears to be the most difficult problem for recycling, which is why I mentioned the "bone yards".

                        As for the solar panels, this is a problem for recycling anything electronic these days. Manufacturers have dropped costs by figuring out how to use as little of the expensive raw materials as possible, limiting the value of what you can get by recycling them.
                        Which, of course, means that recycling them is not as rewarding, and my not be worth the time and effort.

                        It'll be something we'll have to solve eventually, but it would be nice to come up with something clever sooner, rather than waiting for constrained raw material supplies to drive prices up to where recycling makes economic sense.


                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          I don't think the average Joe has any idea how big these blades are. We see them frequently passing through our town on double-long railroad flat cars, and they are huge. And, yeah, that appears to be the most difficult problem for recycling, which is why I mentioned the "bone yards".
                          Wow, i'd love to see some of them in transit at some point. Maybe once offshore wind really picks up around here.

                          For onshore, there's been a trend of putting larger blades on the same size generator. You don't get as much peak generation when winds are high, but the generator tends to spend more time generating at its top rating, so you get more out of the expensive part of the hardware. Plus the energy available goes up by the cube of the length of the blade, so it only takes adding a couple of meters to make a big difference.

                          So, if it's looked like they keep getting bigger, your eyes have not deceived you.
                          "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                            Wow, i'd love to see some of them in transit at some point. Maybe once offshore wind really picks up around here.

                            For onshore, there's been a trend of putting larger blades on the same size generator. You don't get as much peak generation when winds are high, but the generator tends to spend more time generating at its top rating, so you get more out of the expensive part of the hardware. Plus the energy available goes up by the cube of the length of the blade, so it only takes adding a couple of meters to make a big difference.

                            So, if it's looked like they keep getting bigger, your eyes have not deceived you.
                            I have a friend who is a sheriff's deputy in New Mexico, where they put a whole line of these giant windmills along the ride of a mountain (big hills) range. He said, when they first went up, that they had lots of people getting into single car accidents, because they'd stare at these windmills, particularly at dusk and dawn, and be somewhat mesmerized, running off the road and sometimes flipping over. Eventually, people got used to seeing them as they became more common.

                            And the illusion is that the blades turn very slowly -- but the tips of the blades are actually traveling at or beyond 120mph in a 10-15mph wind. (but you probably knew that)

                            Oh, and just for reference, here are some of those big blades -- over 100 meters long.

                            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              Oh, and just for reference, here are some of those big blades -- over 100 meters long.
                              And here's the hardware that those things get attached to.

                              An absolute monster at 12MW. I can't even begin to imagine the sorts of stress forces these things experience.
                              "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by TheLurch View Post

                                And here's the hardware that those things get attached to.
                                To continue the theme, and here's what happens when they fail.




                                Ideological Vagrant (Yes, this is in Comic Sans.)

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