Monday, March 16, 2015

TWO VIDEOS TO KNOW

Dr. Krumdieck, with great clarity, defines where we are.
Confronting the Status Quo - Dr Susan Krumdieck


video


Jack Alpert does a stellar job of explaining our energy dilemma.
Losing Our Energy Slaves


video

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Subsidies - Shared


Question: What would happen if solar and wind energy collecting devices got the same tax breaks as the fossil fuel industry?
"The impact of fossil fuels on renewable energy development, described in this section, may be broken down in to four key aspects, though there is some overlap between these. First, fossil-fuel subsidies impair the relative cost competitiveness of renewable energy by reducing the cost of fossil-fuel-based alternatives. Second, since many electricity systems are based on fossil-fuel generation, fossil-fuel subsidies often act to lock in and reinforce incumbent generation technologies, thereby imposing entry barriers for new entrants attempting to develop renewable technologies. Third, a shift to an electricity system including a greater role for renewable energy requires investment, which is undermined by fossil-fuel subsidies that appear to enhance the attractiveness of fossil-fuel technologies compared to renewable energy.
Finally, the underpricing of environmental and social externalities means that prices do not reflect the true cost of energy."
"The Impact of Fossil-Fuel Subsidies on Renewable Electricity Generation"                December 2014 Richard Bridle and Lucy Kitson
http://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/impact-fossil-fuel-subsidies-renewable-electricity-generation.pdf
I think the last key aspect needs more clarity on costs and price because the underwriting of solar and wind energy collecting devices by fossil fuels might add more costs to the devices if the environmental and social externalities were factored in. This added cost would need to be added to the price of the devices.  Just as important, they would be factored into the making of the devices if a total system assessment was taken. This would mean at least challenging the green description and probably the sustainable and renewable description.

Monday, March 9, 2015

SOLAR HONESTY

If you decide to transfer resources and energy to solar and wind energy capturing devices then ”own what you are doing.”  The “sustainable”, “green”, “renewable” descriptions associated with these devices are not true. 
From a very narrow perspective these devices can be called those attributes.  However, if the view is expanded to the energy streams and the natural resource streams and coupled with the global industrial complex that underwrites these devices the picture changes to a dynamic flow of large machines, complex processes, huge installations for refining and manufacturing. 
There are economies of scale that dictate how large these business complexes (float glass manufacturing) must be to allow commercial access. These economies of scale structure the costs as well as the scope of environmental impact.  I am suggesting that if you use and/or promote these solar and wind energy capturing devices - own and conceptualize what you are using.  If you see it as a transition – is it temporary or continuous?  Whichever, how do you produce the next generation of devices?  In addition, how will you produce the products you want to use with the electricity?  I suggest if you are using these devices and promoting them as future energy answer: I suggest the renewable and sustainable questions above need to be answer. 

These “solutions” are business as usual.  Can the earth or the next generation of people take more business as usual?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

MAKING GLASS


Glass is a wonderful product.  Float glass for windows (along with screens) 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.

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. 
________________________________________________________________
Let’s take a look at this wonderful material.

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.


THIS IS A FOUR MINUTE FILM THAT WALKS YOU THROUGH
THE MAKING OF FLOAT GLASS FROM MINE TO FINISH PRODUCT
  
Float Glass Manufacturing Process .flv  4 minutes 




SOME FACTS ABOUT FLOAT GLASS

Energy Use






CARBON DIOXIDE





Did you know?
         Float glass plants are enormous – over 350,000 square feet under each roof.
         Each plant uses $500,000 of natural gas and $85,000 of electricity every month.
         Plants run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
         Each FG plant ships 35-40 trucks of glass every day, at almost 35,000 square feet per truck.
         Glass is cut in sizes as small as 16 x 20 to as large as 130 x 204.”
http://www.cardinalcorp.com/products/float-glass/

“The global market for flat glass in 2010 was approximately 52 million tons. (value of around 22 billion euros at the primary level and about 55 billion Euros at the level of secondary processing, therefore a total business of about 77 billion Euros). 70 % of tonnage is consumed in windows for buildings, 10 % in glazing products for automotive and 20 % in furniture and other interior applications. Europe, China and North America together account for over 70 per cent of global demand for flat glass. Europe is the most mature glass market and has the highest proportion of value-added products. Four companies; NSG Group, Saint-Gobain, Asahi and Guardian, are fully global. 52 million tons of glass for a global population of 6.8 billion habitants means that average consumption is 7.6 kg per person and per year with extreme usage being Europe with almost 20 kg per person and per year and India with about 1 kg per person and per year. The flat glass business represents 0.1% to 0.2% of the GPD [Gross Domestic Product], in average.”
“The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy”. Bernard Jean Savaëte   http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/ 


SOLAR LOW IRON GLASS
“As of 2009, the solar industries demand for flat glass accounted for 0.7% of all glass produced; we projected that this increased to 1.5% in 2010.” 

Global energy glass consumption in 2012 will be 1.1% of total market


Here are the possible projections for the need for solar low iron glass.  Note that the most optimistic projections crosses the current flat glass capacity around 2020.

So with BUSINESS AS USUAL and solar glass only being a small percentage of total glass manufactured, the projections on the chart above mean the need for massive manufacturing development globally.

“To double the flat-glass capacity will require building 192 new float plants, each with a 1000 ton per day capacity, at an expense of 27 - 36 billion dollars (in today’s value). To increase output to ten times current capacity will require building an additional 1523 float glass plants for a capital investment of 245-327 billion dollars. i.e., almost twenty times the value of the current annual flat-glass market.”
Glass Needs for a Growing Photovoltaics Industry
http://www.clca.columbia.edu/6_Burrows_Fthenakis_SolarMaterials.pdf



BELOW ARE PICTURES OF SOME OF THE PROCESSES
INVOLVED IN MAKING FLOAT GLASS


A MINE IN ARIZONA

ANOTHER MINE


EXAMPLES OF CRUSHERS IN THE FIELD






Silica sands contain a higher proportion of silica (up to 99% SiO2) in the form of quartz and are employed for applications apart from as construction aggregates. They may be developed from each loosely consolidated sand deposits and by crushing weakly cemented sandstones. In contrast to construction sands, that are made use of for their physical properties alone, silica sands are valued for any mixture of chemical and physical properties. These contain a high silica content material inside the form of quartz and, far more importantly, low levels of deleterious impurities, particularly clay, iron oxides and refractory minerals, like chromite.


THE BALL BEARING CRUSHER MAKE THE POWDER FOR THE NEXT STEP



http://www.hotcrusher.com/solutions/ball-mill-working-principle.html


http://sandcrusherforsale.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/227.jpg


Ball mill is an efficient tool for grinding many materials into fine powder. - http://www.unisbm.com/solution/stone/small-scale-ball-mill-for-quartz-crushing-258.html


THE PRODUCTION LINES ARE HUGE AND HOT



HERE ARE SOME OF THE PRODUCTION LINE HEATS


http://durashieldmarine.com/glass-manufacturin/






Each of the plant’s six batches of dry ingredients weighs 5,700 pounds, with some consisting of sand with iron it and some without it. The materials are placed in the mixer, squared and blended with both a little moisture to avoid dust issues and cullet to help the sand burn quicker. The move allows the glassmaker to avoid wasting glass, while also lowering the company’s power consumption by limiting the heat necessary to melt the sand.
As it is, the plant is good for six-figure power and seven-figure gas bills each month.
Once completely batched, the sand is transposed into a furnace that reaches 2,950 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat is so great that the temperature of the room in the warehouse that houses the furnace feels like 162 degrees. Employees working in that area are constantly told to hydrate, but usually carry several changes of clothes each day as they sweat profusely.


http://www.iqglassuk.com/news/the-truth-about-float-glass/

http://glass.fivesgroup.com/plants-engineering/flat-glass.html



HERE ARE SOME CHARTS OF THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENTS OF GLASS

“The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy”. Bernard Jean Savaëte
http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/ 

“The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy”. Bernard Jean Savaëte
http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/ 





“The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy”. Bernard Jean Savaëte
http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/ 

“The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy”. Bernard Jean Savaëte
http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/ 


References:

The world flat glass industry. Focus on history & economy.
http://www.glassonweb.com/articles/article/772/

Solar Market Impact on the Glass Industry Guardian Industries Jim West Scott Thomsen

Glass Needs for a Growing Photovoltaics Industry
http://www.clca.columbia.edu/6_Burrows_Fthenakis_SolarMaterials.pdf