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Lots of whiz bang technology, but what can mortal man use?  RSS feed

 
Tom Connolly
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I have been reading about biodiesel and using wvo or even veggie oil that has not been used. I have seen a lot of articles promising "tremendous breakthroughs" in what can be used to make the oil, or how efficiently it can be made, etc. All of these new ideas look really expensive. I am wondering, what is out there for the common man? I am looking at different options now to develop my own fuel to use as transportation and would like to be able to set aside about an acre of land to grow crops to that end. Methane and alcohol have a slight edge over any kind of diesel technology in my mind because the conversion of a car or generator to methane or alcohol is relatively easy.

Another question, as I read about these topics it seems that alcohol is made from sugars in plants but veggie oils are made from cellulose. If this is true, is it possible that plant matter can first be used to make either alcohol or methane, and the waste products can be used to make veggie oil?
 
Tom OHern
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Small home distilleries are your best option. For a few hundred dollars, you can build a pretty decent still that will churn out 1-5 gallons of ethanol per week. But doing any more would require bringing in enormous amounts of raw materials to convert to alcohol.

The facts as they are, trying to sustain our modes of transport is just not realistic without petroleum. And trying to produce enough biofuels on your own land is even more unrealistic. I would think about producing small amounts for running small engines on my property, or maybe a small moped for running around town. But I'd never think that I could realistically drive my car on fuels I produce. Right now, there are a few people that manage to do it, but if any large number of us decided to try and do the same, we'd quickly deplete the supply of input materials.

And as far as plant oils go, they are not made from the cellulose of the plants, but the fatty acids and glycerol. Cellulose can be broken down into simple sugars for alcohol conversion but that requires specialized enzymes and equipment that is not easily scaled down for the backyard bio-fuel producer.
 
Marcos Buenijo
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http://taylor.ifas.ufl.edu/documents/Handbook_of_Biomass_Downdraft_Gasifier_Engine_Systems.pdf
www.driveonwood.com
www.allpowerlabs.com
www.vulcangasifier.com
www.garringergasifier.com
www.victorygasworks.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLVPRhnphrA (Wayne Keith's super sophisticated biomass fuel processor)

NOTE: The reason I provided links to sites related to biomass gasification is because it's likely you're not familiar with it, and that it may be the best solution to your problem. If you're considering producing your own fuel to become energy self-reliant, then I believe strongly that biomass gasification is the most practical solution. Biodiesel is great for an individual who is lucky enough to have access to inexpensive oil suitable as feed stock. Likewise, ethanol is great for the handful of people who happen to have access to large quantities of inexpensive fermentable sugars. However, the vast majority are not so lucky. A great deal more individuals are likely to have access to wood fuel and other sources of biomass suitable for gasification. In case you have not seriously considered this alternative, then please ask questions. If you have considered it and eliminated it as a viable alternative, then please discuss your reasoning.

 
R Scott
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http://youtu.be/aOzWgyB1FSk

His farming technique is not permie, but how he integrates the oil definitely is.

I have not seen a "cheap" press, but they are much more affordable now than they used to be.

I have seen biodiesel setups on craigslist cheap, and know guys that use WVO setups with new oil just so they don't need the lye.

ETA: I forgot the second link http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago101.html Lots of good info and additional links.
 
Tom Connolly
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I have often wondered this...people take used veggie oil and make biodiesel out of it inexpensively...as I understand it, if you can buy in bulk, making it out of fresh veggie oil yields a price not unlike actual diesel...is it possible to make it straight from soybeans? or other materials? i.e. go from the soy beans directly to biodiesel instead of first making veggie oil?
 
Vasily Kiryanov
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Tom Connolly wrote:I have often wondered this...people take used veggie oil and make biodiesel out of it inexpensively...as I understand it, if you can buy in bulk, making it out of fresh veggie oil yields a price not unlike actual diesel...is it possible to make it straight from soybeans? or other materials? i.e. go from the soy beans directly to biodiesel instead of first making veggie oil?


Burning fresh veggie oil is about as unsustainable as burning mineral oil. Okay. One person or another can do it (now). But did anyone count the amount of fuel burnt to produce that bulk of oil? Huge amount! Besides, if being implemented on a large scale (dream of agro-business), crop fields would require too much space, thus depriving us of natural environment and even basic habitat. On the other hand, blue-green microalgae also produce lots of fats, grow fast (as most aquatic life, as they do not need to work against gravity as plants do), and use energy more eficiently. In fact, algae produce x10 times more useful biomass than land plants, given the same amount of sunlight. There are bio-engineered strings that grow 3-4 times faster than natural, and produce up to 80% fat content, which (after being extracted, of course) can be used either raw, or, after methilising, pretty much as regular diesel. They can be grown either in a pond, or sealed reactor, depending on the source of CO2.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Vasily, welcome to permies. Sounds like you may have done some work with algae? Do you have a system set up for that?
 
John Polk
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Burning fresh veggie oil is about as unsustainable as burning mineral oil.


I have to agree with that. Given the techniques used in BigAg, I see this as means to speed up the destruction of this planet.
I recently read a report that stated that if 100% of all current U.S. cropland was converted to fuel crops only, we would only be capable of producing about 10% of our fuel. And then, we would need to import all of our food.

Bottom line is that we need to burn less fuel, regardless of its source.

 
Vasily Kiryanov
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Vasily, welcome to permies. Sounds like you may have done some work with algae? Do you have a system set up for that?


No, i haven't got a system. Not even tried. But i'm looking into it. There's a lot of working systems described in detail out there.
 
Vasily Kiryanov
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John Polk wrote:
Burning fresh veggie oil is about as unsustainable as burning mineral oil.


I have to agree with that. Given the techniques used in BigAg, I see this as means to speed up the destruction of this planet.
I recently read a report that stated that if 100% of all current U.S. cropland was converted to fuel crops only, we would only be capable of producing about 10% of our fuel. And then, we would need to import all of our food.

Bottom line is that we need to burn less fuel, regardless of its source.



Dmitry I. Mendeleev said "Heat with burning oil is like heat with burning money" It was someitime around 1900, i believe...
 
R Scott
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Mark Shepard runs fresh veggie oil. The organic coop he is in bought a press and mounted it on a trailer so they time-share it. Grow their own (non-big ag ways) and press their own fuel. Then feed the pressings to the livestock. Soy, canola, or sunflower all work well.

Just like old-school farmers had to set aside 20% of their land to grow feed for the horses, now you should set aside about 20% for fuel production.
 
Robert Ray
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Diesel ran his motor on pure peanut oil when he displayed it at the World's Fair.
 
Philip Durso
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R Scott wrote:Mark Shepard runs fresh veggie oil. The organic coop he is in bought a press and mounted it on a trailer so they time-share it. Grow their own (non-big ag ways) and press their own fuel. Then feed the pressings to the livestock. Soy, canola, or sunflower all work well.

Just like old-school farmers had to set aside 20% of their land to grow feed for the horses, now you should set aside about 20% for fuel production.


I thought he was using Hazlenuts?
 
R Scott
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Is he pressing the reject nuts? That would make sense. I went back to listen to his "Oil Cartel" story and he never said what he actually presses.

 
Robert Ray
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Diesel appears to have wanted to use bio fuels.
http://www.hempcar.org/diesel.shtml
 
r john
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John Polk wrote:
Burning fresh veggie oil is about as unsustainable as burning mineral oil.


I have to agree with that. Given the techniques used in BigAg, I see this as means to speed up the destruction of this planet.
I recently read a report that stated that if 100% of all current U.S. cropland was converted to fuel crops only, we would only be capable of producing about 10% of our fuel. And then, we would need to import all of our food.

Bottom line is that we need to burn less fuel, regardless of its source.



Unfortunately the report is way off the mark. It may apply to certain crops and inefficient conversion processes like ethanol but other crops are far more efficient.
 
r john
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Robert Ray wrote: Diesel appears to have wanted to use bio fuels.
http://www.hempcar.org/diesel.shtml


Biomass in a diesel engine is certainly an efficient way forward using a charcoal slurry but requires engine modifications whereas blending charcoal slurry with veg oil allows the diesel engine to be used without engine modification.
 
Robert Ray
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Charcoal veg oil or coal slurry as a fuel source for every day transportation seems to me would be labor intensive.
Transportation of coal slurry as they have done in Russia for powering power plants is intriguing but I wonder about the impact of all the water used.
CWS (coal water slurry) technologies use of all that water gives me the willies.
 
r john
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Robert Ray wrote:Charcoal veg oil or coal slurry as a fuel source for every day transportation seems to me would be labor intensive.
Transportation of coal slurry as they have done in Russia for powering power plants is intriguing but I wonder about the impact of all the water used.
CWS (coal water slurry) technologies use of all that water gives me the willies.


Charcoal veg oil slurry is no different to using diesel except it is black. The same fuel pumps would be used to fill up your vehicles as already used for cars so I dont see what is labor intensive. As for water if its used for fuel then it might be treated as a more valuable resource.
 
Robert Ray
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Grinding the charcoal/coal and screening it to insure proper size of the particles to mix with the oil would be an added step.
I have reservations on maintaining the slurry in suspension. Not saying it is something that should not be looked at.
A diesel can certainly run on pure veg oil without the addition of coal dust or charcoal. Performance enhancement is hard to guage from what I've gleaned.
Never said there would be a problem pumping it in fact that is one of the pluses I see for transport ie: Russian transport of slurry for power plants other than the use of water.
 
r john
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Robert Ray wrote:Grinding the charcoal/coal and screening it to insure proper size of the particles to mix with the oil would be an added step.
I have reservations on maintaining the slurry in suspension. Not saying it is something that should not be looked at.
A diesel can certainly run on pure veg oil without the addition of coal dust or charcoal. Performance enhancement is hard to guage from what I've gleaned.
Never said there would be a problem pumping it in fact that is one of the pluses I see for transport ie: Russian transport of slurry for power plants other than the use of water.


If you can make peanut butter then you have all you need to make a charcoal/oil/water slurry which will keep in suspension. Performance wise its nearly identical to regular diesel but without the high Nox figures.
 
Robert Ray
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I guess our data differs. Retaining the particulate in suspension without consistent agitation does appear to be an issue with the use of slurry fuels.
What benefits do you see for using charcoal slurry in a biodiesel application?
 
r john
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Robert Ray wrote: I guess our data differs. Retaining the particulate in suspension without consistent agitation does appear to be an issue with the use of slurry fuels.
What benefits do you see for using charcoal slurry in a biodiesel application?


The particulate in suspension problem has been solved hence my reference to peanut butter. The benefit is that any forest residue waste can be chipped and turned into torrefied wood which can then be mixed on demand to produce a fuel which behaves just like diesel but with a lot less pollution and is totally renewable.
 
Robert Ray
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NOX can be reduced in some cases with just a retarding of timing. Feedstock is also a factor in NOX emmissions. I'm aware of slurried fuels and if you have ever seen oil on top of peanut butter you can see that there is a suspension factor even in a viscous mixture of peanut butter.
The potential introduction of PAH and HCA in the exhaust gases, known carcinogens, from the burning of charcoal might be a consideration. For me biocharr on the garden seems to be a better use of the waste.
For me the jury is still out, I don't think that this is something that shouldn't be explored further but I'm not ready to to go to the added effort and expense of time, even if the charcoal is free, of adding the charcoal without more data.
 
Justus Walker
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I think the WVO crowd is onto something only as long as too many people don't catch on. Biodeisel is economically feasible (along with ethanol) as long as oil is above $120.

REAL energy alternatives, one of which has already been mentioned, gasification of biomass and the other, animal traction.

Gasification - Biomass available almost everywhere, pretty low tech, widely used in WWII (proof of concept) currently available in every form from free plans (and more refined buy plans) to pre fabricated (you assemble) kits to full fledged systems. Gasification is the answer for small scale personal power generation and transportation. Now, you won't be going cross country for five days on a gasifier (probably, although possible) but that kind of massive, fast travel is a child of oil. So get used to it!!

If your looking for something REALLY sustainable and REALLY low tech...

Animal traction - for 7 ton worth of hay (or about 4 ton and 2-3 acres pasture) you can get a solid 2080 hours of work, riding, travel out of a good horse. Learn to use a team and you have a VERY real and VERY useful system. 14 ton of hay hard to come by? Maybe, its not for everyone, but often you can find cheap hay if your willing to haul it yourself or pick it up out of the field. I think on this one, the Amish got it right. This is what I'm working towards. gasification for home power and for the car and dump truck, horse traction for all other work (plowing, grading, tree work, field work, etc), and for shopping in our town or causual travel to the next town. The dump truck is used for hauling hay long distances (sale) and for doing road work (hauling gravel and rock). The car is for emergencies and for long distance travel (further than one hour by horse).

So now you know!!

The mortals can use horses (mules, oxen, dickeys) and gasifiers, leave it to the geeks and millionaires to buy and operate the whiz bang!

 
Marcos Buenijo
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Justus, yours is a great post (gave it a thumbs up!). I agree on a philosophical/idealistic standpoint. However, I've worked with horses (used to help a friend to train them). I learned that they are stubborn and dangerous. I suspect most people were happy to be rid of them as we transitioned to machinery. I like gasification for many reasons. I think it's the only biofuel technology that can be practical for distributed energy in any significant scale. However, I've come to believe strongly that the future of distributed energy belongs to photovoltaics. I'm still torn about certain aspects of PV technology. In particular, it's certainly not low tech. On the other hand, it's becoming more user friendly and more cost effective every year. Rather than using draft animals, I prefer the idea of using small dc traction motors powered primarily by photovoltaics and small batteries. Biomass gasification seems ideal for backing up solar arrays and providing heat. Gasification also seems a good choice for powering large machinery directly. As always, JMHO.
 
Robert Ray
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I liked your post too Justus. WVO and newly pressed oil I don't think could ever fill the wasteful way most of us use vehicles now. Electric might be the only practical answer.
 
David Williams
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Statement of the year "YOUR ALL WRONG"
On a serious note though , your all onto the right path... i'm not claiming to have the answer and you ALL have very valid points...
IF there was a magic bullet to this issue someone would be selling it to you, I know Marcos is passionate with bio-gasification via destructive decomposition and it's truly an amazing concept but realistically couldn't be implemented in city's and such where the bulk of energy is used, Bio-gas reactors using methane digestors do stand a better chance in those senario's ...... Bio-diesel from WVO or similar is a good repurposed of waste... but creating new oil specifically for it isn't viable at this stage (save algae) and PV is truely a false economy... Justus is 100% right in the fact it will take nothing less than a total shift in culture and energy use and i believe in my heart it wont be "Any one solution" it will be a combination of all of them....
Here's an example of what i mean (all hypothetical but for illustration purposes)
A family wastes 1lt's of cooking oil per week converted into bio-diesel , runs a diesel generator used to fell and process a tree
the greens from the tree are thrown into a bio-digestor converted to methane , the solids fed to a bio-gasifier ... Water used in the cooling of the gasifier is your water heater once used , then circulates in the digestor to keep thermophyllic heat range then into your algae bioreactor, the gas produced runs your generator or cooking as would the bio-digestor, the methane produced from the bio-digester is water scrubbed of hydrogen sulfide and then feeds the Algae with CO2 for further scrubbing allowing it to be compressed for use or storage... the waste liquid is fertilizer for your tree crop... A lot of trees produce oils that can be used in bio-diesel production, ben oil (Moringa) Eucalyptus , Tea tree ect ... easily extracted using heated water-baths (supplied from cooling waters)
So basically the Ethos should be around using "Wastes" as "Inputs" to the next part of the chain... using the sun to be the value-adder
without flooding you all with statistics , and going into how diesel , bio-gas is made ect ... it's more "proof of concept", excesses could be easily sold into city's to meet the needs there while still providing income to rural area's allowing the systems to perpetuate .... not all of these systems have to be used , and could be in almost limitless configurations ....

Just my thoughts , Love and Peace Dave oxoxox
 
r john
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Problem is the technology and magic bullets are out there its just very difficult to break the fossil fuel strangle hold in particular big oil. Just from my own experience in UK I have been trying to get a diesel alternative made from torrefied wood registered in UK as a green fuel but with over 80% of regular diesel price in UK being government tax there is little incentive to have a new entrant rock the boat. So at present I am restricted to 2500 litres for personal use and unrestricted for power generation.
 
M Foti
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I would be very concerned with a suspension and its effects on a fuel system, diesel fuel systems are rather expensive and most are not easy to fix. Making a fuel that burns is one thing, making a fuel that can go through an injector pump and injector nozzles is quite a bit harder. I made bio-diesel for a long time here and finally gave it up, I was processing about 50 gallons a week, but it was an endless loop. I made enough fuel to go pick up all the fuel from my restaurant suppliers with little to spare, I never ever got ahead doing it, added all the time and energy to process it and it really wasn't helping at all and what I ended up with was just spending my time doing nothing while making my neighbors all think I was cooking meth

You could grow your fuel to turn into oil, but you really need to look at yield per acre, it isn't much with any crop. It may be doable for tractor fuel to be a little more sustainable, but as far as for your car/truck you would be far better off growing a crop and selling it, then buying diesel. Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but these are the facts as I see them.

The other issues that aren't mentioned very often are the troubles that arise with using veggie oil in an engine, this is more of an issue with WVO than fresh. The salts in the oils really play heck with an engine and a fancy diesel fuel system. When you tear into a fuel system that has run WVO or biodiesel compared to a fuel system that runs petroleum diesel the effects are evident to anyone. The cost savings of the fuel vs. the cost of repairs are still worth it to run WVO, provided you can fix the vehicle yourself, but have to be factored in. Maybe someone else's experiences have been different than mine, but I've owned diesels for a long time and do the repairs myself on everything except injection pumps, while I'm no expert I have seen my fair share of the internal workings of engines run on all 3 types of fuels, petroleum diesel wins hands down in this aspect.

I would love to hear about someone coming up with a decent fuel alternative that would work well, it would be a real game changer.
 
David Williams
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@ M Foti can i ask did you chill the bio mix and filter the cold cloudy liquid ? bio-diesel needs to have the other lipids removed and the salts are removed via extensive washing... I do know this is a prevalent problem with a lot of home mixes.. and is why in my example above i only used a tiny amount to start the process , once the process is established , it could viably be omitted, Fossil diesel fuel is sold in mixes for both summer and winter, using summer fuel during winter will cause it to make gelatinous plates in the fuel filter... i similar thing happens with WVO , the pressure in the pump , injector and engine all squeeze out the impurities leaving a "lacquer" to form leading to those expensive repairs you mention...
I will admit i have made far less than you by the sounds , and have only used mine in small single cylinder low compression (16:1 i think) engine (Lister)....
The dynamics my very well change with high compression 20-22:1 turbo common rail injection ..... so cant make fair comment on those
I do think that Algae manufactured on site would be about the only economical production method , no crop grown specifically for bio-fuels seems cost effective, only seems to get ahead when you use a waste product from another process... the more processing , transporting or handling you have reduces viability of the operation, to a point as you mention , when there are no gains economically , although would still be some environmentally
 
Philip Durso
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David Williams wrote:I do think that Algae manufactured on site would be about the only economical production method , no crop grown specifically for bio-fuels seems cost effective, only seems to get ahead when you use a waste product from another process... the more processing , transporting or handling you have reduces viability of the operation, to a point as you mention , when there are no gains economically , although would still be some environmentally


I think Mark Sheapord was pressing hazelnuts for oil & feeding the pellets to his pigs. The oil went thur titration to produce biodeisel sold in a co-op. The pork went to market or his dinner/lunch/breakfast table. I don't believe it will replace conventional oil. I do believe can go a long way towards making a farm/homestead less reliant on outside inputs & theirfor more profitable. A penny saved is a penny earned ; )
 
David Williams
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In Northern NSW and Queensland (Australia) they use peanut shells in a bio-gasifier to power generators and in oil extraction, i have worked at several abattoirs whom use rendered tallow in bio-diesel generators ,
Philip Durso " I don't believe it will replace conventional oil. I do believe can go a long way towards making a farm/homestead less reliant on outside inputs & therefore more profitable. A penny saved is a penny earned ; )"

His pig waste and hazelnut shells could also be scavenged for energy .... i think the sharing of information is as key as people leading the way via achievement.... Any and every step towards sustainable living should be celebrated
Peace and Love Dave oxoxox
 
Marcos Buenijo
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David Williams wrote:I do think that Algae manufactured on site would be about the only economical production method , no crop grown specifically for bio-fuels seems cost effective, only seems to get ahead when you use a waste product from another process... the more processing , transporting or handling you have reduces viability of the operation, to a point as you mention , when there are no gains economically , although would still be some environmentally


I wonder if it can be viable to culture algae not for oil production, but for use in gasification. One advantage I can think of is that the operation is not constrained by the use of a high oil yielding organism. The viability of these strains are often low. Therefore, they generally have to be cultured in a controlled environment to prevent competition with wild strains. If focusing on gasification, then perhaps an operation can use the hardiest strain. As an interesting note, the heat in the engine exhaust can be used to dry the algae. Also, the CO2 in the engine exhaust can be used to feed the algae and increase growth rates.

Wood is the best resource as long as one has it available. However, algae is an interesting prospect. In any case, I see biomass gasification as the most practical means to convert any biomass resource into an engine fuel, and the only method that can be adopted economically at a small scale.

 
Marcos Buenijo
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David Williams wrote:PV is truely a false economy...


I used to take this position. However, the consensus today is that the EROI for PV panels is between 5 and 10, and that's quite good. One indication of its advancing EROI is the decreasing cost of PV hardware in the face of generally rising energy costs. If you're considering the many tax subsidies involved, then yes, that's a distortion. However, I can't see anything better than PV for stand alone (off grid) distributed energy - at least for most settings. The best system I've considered for residential off grid energy is a combination of PV and wood gasification (for back up power and heat, plus transportation - note that I prefer the prospect of a dual-fueled small pickup to an electric vehicle - a problem with the EV in the off grid setting is having to use the car while the PV array is generating).

Another configuration is using wood gasification to provide a micro grid for a small community where grid-tie solar PV is used (and batteries not required). Proper design would minimize fuel consumption (using load management, thermal mass, opportunity loading, etc.). Basically, the wood gas engine system can provide a base load, then operate systems in the home at a rate proportional to solar flux. For example, imagine homes with excellent thermal mass that use efficient heat pump technology for space heating and cooling. These systems can operate during the day on primarily solar to heat or cool the home thermal mass (their outputs can vary with solar flux). EV's might also be used in the community and charged as opportunity loads. If properly designed the engine system can also supply its waste heat for water heating, or certainly for fuel processing/drying.
 
David Williams
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EROI + cost of cleanup will always place you in a negative with PV regardless of subsidies ..... Economically most things can show a return when you discount the environmental cost... wood gasifiers are made from easily manufactured , recycled or reclaimed materials , easy to repair and maintain.... PV are disposable , although long lived , have to be to get any return, aren't repairable to a large extent and are incredibly polluting to manufacture, and have almost no ability to be recycled ....

In regards to algae, yes it could be produced and burnt as a biomass , without having to extract the oil present first , and exhaust could be used to dry the algal matter, however , as a food-stock for algae won't work for 2 reasons , exhaust contains CO1 (carbon monoxide) unprocessed will kill the plants , and also will make the water into carbonic/carbolic acid, most of the algalforms like spirulina are in such extreme alkali PH no other plants can grow.In Australia's northern territory they are growing food grade spirulina (Arthrospira Maxima Spp.) in outdoor ponds for human consumption (Site reference)

I do like your mini grid system, and i have seen a decent way to handle those loads... Excess electricity produced from gasification is used to pump water uphill , and when released on demand onto a pelton wheel to a secondary generator thus totally eliminating battery storage... while losses are at a moderate level , EROI is high and capital outlay is low (situation dependent)...

Another system i have seen and like is a converted Prius of all things , with a step-down transformer and an inverter run from pig waste from a bio-digester , Motor charges battery running off methane, farm sheds run off the inverter allowing the biodigester time to restock on gas... not something i have done much with so cant relay the specifics like output or duration ect , i can only imagine larger battery banks and a gasifier could be utilized... cant speak to the EROI on it but most prototypes cost more than there outputs...
Peace and Love Dave oxoxox
 
Marcos Buenijo
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David Williams wrote:EROI + cost of cleanup will always place you in a negative with PV regardless of subsidies ..... Economically most things can show a return when you discount the environmental cost...


I don't doubt there to be environmental costs that are not fully understood. However, that knife cuts both ways - with unknown costs all one can argue is that we can't be certain on the EROI. We cannot know they're negative. I need to see specifics to be convinced. If you have current resources on this, then please provide them.

David Williams wrote:In regards to algae, yes it could be produced and burnt as a biomass , without having to extract the oil present first , and exhaust could be used to dry the algal matter, however , as a food-stock for algae won't work for 2 reasons , exhaust contains CO1 (carbon monoxide) unprocessed will kill the plants , and also will make the water into carbonic/carbolic acid, most of the algalforms like spirulina are in such extreme alkali PH no other plants can grow.


Perhaps this is something that can be engineered out. At an appropriate scale (which would be fairly large) it may be worth the trouble, but in any case that CO2 in the exhaust seems too valuable a resource in that setting to let it go.

David Williams wrote:I do like your mini grid system, and i have seen a decent way to handle those loads... Excess electricity produced from gasification is used to pump water uphill , and when released on demand onto a pelton wheel to a secondary generator thus totally eliminating battery storage... while losses are at a moderate level , EROI is high and capital outlay is low (situation dependent)...


With a redesign of homes, then I believe the requirements for energy storage can be lower by an order of magnitude. Under these conditions a combination of biomass and hydro storage could be viable. The main problem is so many things seem purposefully designed to be inefficient. I really don't like batteries, so I like this prospect. However, then there's the problem of politics. Beyond a certain scale it seems impossible to avoid having to deal with organized crime, err... government. I suppose that's another discussion.
 
David Williams
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@ Marcos I did put up some of the info i have in the PV section on these forums with some youtubes and study links a few months ago , but does take us off topic for this thread
Marcos "Perhaps this is something that can be engineered out. At an appropriate scale (which would be fairly large) it may be worth the trouble, but in any case that CO2 in the exhaust seems too valuable a resource in that setting to let it go."

People are already making steps to do this , personally i think using waste gasses from breweries would be the answer , a more pure source ...Heres a nice Youtube
All Batteries have an inherent issue that to charge a battery to 100% requires 147% power input... let alone any losses discharging it... so a mini hydro setup loosing 35% (estimate) isn't so wasteful once compared to other storage means, Thermal mass and other storage means you mention would well exceed a batteries efficiency...
yes current laws seem at odds with the "goals" they like to pretend they wish to reach .... Put simply , saving you money, costs them taxes ... being self reliant relinquishes there control...
 
Marcos Buenijo
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David Williams wrote:People are already making steps to do this , personally i think using waste gasses from breweries would be the answer , a more pure source. All Batteries have an inherent issue that to charge a battery to 100% requires 147% power input... let alone any losses discharging it... so a mini hydro setup loosing 35% (estimate) isn't so wasteful once compared to other storage means, Thermal mass and other storage means you mention would well exceed a batteries efficiency...
yes current laws seem at odds with the "goals" they like to pretend they wish to reach .... Put simply , saving you money, costs them taxes ... being self reliant relinquishes there control...


Actually, there is battery technology out there that is more efficient. Consider lithium iron phosphate for one example. The problem with hydro storage is primarily that one requires access to an appropriate site. The vast majority of people cannot participate. This is a primary reason that I am optimistic about photovoltaics as most people have access to sufficient solar insolation. The main problem is energy storage. Well, actually, the main problem is every thing is designed for a different paradigm. I truly believe that the power plant of the future is NO power plant, and photovoltaics will be the primary energy source.
 
David Williams
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For the set-up you describe Vanadium Redox Batteries would be the best
Explaination and Environmental Impact
 
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