Marcos Buenijo wrote:
I think Nick sees some of my perspectives. One less level of support is also what I see along with increased energy security for individuals (due to the long term storage qualities of high grade coal). Nick is spot on with his characterizing the utilities as monopolies (quite literally this is the case). I believe the energy system in place with the enormous central power stations and national grid is a Frankenstein that would never had developed without the force and fraud facilitated by government (the source of monopoly). The steady degradation of the national grid is testament to its unnatural state. It was ill-conceived by central planners who accessed the resources of the people through institutionalized fraud and theft (credit expansion, partial legislation, subsidies, etc). It's been said that such "grand" public works could never be built without government intervention - well, maybe projects that require the force and fraud of governments should not be pursued.
The two social institutions that have the most influence are language and money. Both developed organically. Today, both are manipulated by the unscrupulous to perpetuate fraud. In particular, I find the manipulation of money to be the most pernicious, but it was the false promises of politicians that facilitated this. The vast majority do not understand the following, but it's quite accurate to state that money has ceased to exist. What we have today is currency that no longer has any ties to money. As long as this condition persists, then those who control the currency will have access to the resources. It will continue as long as we continue to give value to their currency by using it for long term savings, or saving financial instruments denominated in their currency. The system in place has degraded to the point where it's increasingly difficult to make significant gains in personal wealth that do not come at the expense of others. I think many understand this on an intuitive level, and this drives a desire to drop out of a system seen as "unsustainable", or just plain malicious and destructive.
I see nothing wrong with an individual making use of fossil fuels. However, this does not mean I support how fossil fuels are used today. I ask the readers to consider that fossil fuels may not be a problem so much as the central control of these resources.
Nick Raaum wrote:Anyways i get what you are trying to do on a small scale Marcos with your simple steam coal powered energy system and think it sounds like a realistic approach. I researched a similar system for open source ecology some years ago, here http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/File:Integrated_Energy_System.jpeg is a system I found that was designed by Skip Goebel that seemed to me to be a good approach. Might consider contacting him, though i think he might be an expat by now. If i didn't happen to be one of the millions of brainwashed recently indebted college grads and had some finances or a decent job i'd probably be looking into doing exactly what you are doing.
Nick Raaum wrote:Marcos,
Did you contact Mark Norton too, he was project manager for a while there and did considerable design and research on the project and may have some missing pieces to your project... I recall hearing that two stroke diesel converted to a "bump" valve was problematic from a longevity standpoint, though even if that was the case it is probably nothing that couldn't be resolved through basic design material choice changes.
I agree with the idea of compromising efficiency through elimination of regen to lower project costs and complexity, using high temp exhaust to drive a chiller and water distillation processes is pretty genius too if you have the need for it. I hope you share the system you end up going with here.
One more crazy steam idea; Have you ever heard of Frank Schuman, a turn of the century solar energy inventor? He used solar energy at 200 deg to drive a subatmospheric steam cycle. The efficiences were obviously low 50% or so of maximum carnot, but it worked https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/publicintel/SKrFkbrQOJk/P-U3DJbyZxUJ Anyways i thought that a really novel cycle would be to use low temp solar energy to provide heat of vaporization in such a sub atmospheric cycle and then superheat it with combustible fuel to get high efficiencies. Depending on degree of superheat the energy input would be something like 60-70% low cost solar and 40-30% combustible fuel source. It'd of course require a large condenser to maintain such low temps, and the engine would be extremely high volume due to the low pressure diff, but one advantage is that it'd be an inherently safe cycle since its less than atmospheric pressure.
Marcos Buenijo wrote:I was surprised to learn that quite a few people today still heat their homes with coal. I stumbled on the following web site that is quite informative: