Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:17 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:06 pm
Along those lines of thought how many appliances could be powered if you just hooked up an exercise bike to a battery system. Viola, you have solved obesity and co2 emissions in one stroke.
Not many, but I wonder why gyms don't harvest even a little power from their cardio equipment to offset their power bills. I guess people are so weak and low vo2 that it's not worth hooking the machines up.

Lowtech Magazine had an article about an apartment building's gym that was designed to produce some power and heat for the building.

jacob
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:12 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:06 pm
Along those lines of thought how many appliances could be powered if you just hooked up an exercise bike to a battery system.
A person can sustain 1/3 of their functional [lactate] threshold power all day w/o ever tiring. For the average modern person that's about 60-80 Watts. So light bulbs and and a laptop are perfectly feasible. A gaming computer, a hand mixer or other handheld power tools would be challenging. You can forget about microwave ovens, washing machines, or A/C unless you can get a team of cyclists together.

Also see http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/energy-slaves/

Augustus
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by Augustus » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:27 pm

jacob wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:12 pm
For the average modern person that's about 60-80 Watts. So light bulbs and and a laptop are perfectly feasible.
Yeah I was thinking a mix, part pedal power, part reduction of consumption, part solar. Each one reduces current consumption by a little and adds up. The other big easy one I can think of is making telecommuting a tax benefit for companies through incentives. You could cut out a good third of the countries oil use (commuting), and a lot of the money spent on infrastructure and heating/lighting offices.

The health benefits from pedal power would be huge. It's a more optimal solution than what were doing now as a society. More health + less consumption = win/win.

Re: washing machines etc, what is the actual monthly power draw vs monthly cycling power stored in the batteries? if you've got a cheapo Arduino/pi style computer pulling 5-10 watts to do most of the work, and 3-4 LEDs, you'll have a large surplus. The battery system is important. Extending it even further you could have oxen and a windmill pulling their dynos to get even more power stored up :lol: and they oxen could cut the grass for you!

Augustus
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by Augustus » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:22 pm

I am nerding out on this. A tablet uses roughly 8000 watts per year, given that a tablet with a keyboard and mouse and proper OS will handle almost all day to day computing tasks for 99% of the population, and humans can generate a year's worth of power in 2 weeks or less for a tablet, and even less work is needed to power led lighting, you'd have huge energy surpluses, even if tablet usage increased to say 2 months a year of pedaling. Not enough to run AC or anything, but enough to power a lot of small appliances an hour a week or month or something.

If we cut fossil fuel usage entirely for average consumer uses (heating, TV's, cooling, cars), lifestyle wouldn't be that badly effected as long as you lived in the right location with the right kind of housing.

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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:31 pm

Don't forget all the other stuff ... residential lights and appliances are only about 10% of the total pie.

https://www.epa.gov/energy/electricity-customers

IIRC, lowtechmagazine has quite a few articles on human (and domesticated animal, including dogs) powered gadgets. Most of this [human power] was abandoned with the invention of steam power. Factories mechanically linked various machines to a central drive, much like this ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO44wcSClqQ ... which by the 1960s had been reduced to toy status and since then largely forgotten. Aside from electronics and lighting, electricity is just a delivery system.

It would be nice to have various gadgets/machines that separate the working part from the engine (typically an electric motor). That way you could substitute in your own pedals, your own motor, a treadle, or some other system. It's on my todo-list to DIY some of this stuff. Check out Jeremy Fielding's channel on youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_SLth ... -dmsFgmJVg

Augustus
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by Augustus » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:22 pm

Sure, you'd need to live in the right place with the right house to cut back on Hvac, so there's 20% reduction. Water heating mix of solar heating + excess pedal? -10%. Lighting is covered, -12%. a few oxen, some solar panels, and a smaller fridge and you're good to go right? You don't have to lower lifestyle all that much, just be smart about it. e.g. don't live in Las Vegas or places humans have no business living.

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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:14 am

jacob wrote:It's on my todo-list to DIY some of this stuff.
Me too!

It is really pretty easy to generate enough electricity, through any number of methods, if you only use it for most needful operation which is transmission of information* (inclusive of artificial lighting.) When you consider alternate sources of energy for any end purpose, it is VERY important to also consider density and quality of energy source. So, for instance, it makes no sense to feed the very high quality concentrated kilocalories in a potato to a human being attached to a bicycle in order to power an electric space heater which creates a very low quality dispersed form of energy.

It makes more sense to simply have obese humans spend a few hours a day engaged in manual labor or effort towards growing, gathering, hunting, and transporting their own food. Even whipping your own egg whites for your souffle would be an improvement.










*One of Claude Shannon's frequent laments was that humans would sometimes think he was referring to "information" when he was clearly referring to "transmission of information."

George the original one
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:40 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:14 am
It makes more sense to simply have obese humans spend a few hours a day engaged in manual labor or effort towards growing, gathering, hunting, and transporting their own food.
Bwa-ha-ha! Here come the fat police and you have no where to hide!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:32 am

@Gtoo:

Lol- I was speaking purely in terms of improved energy conversion. She who has been seen parking her bicycle in front of the Polish bakery on her way home from her garden does not judge.

vexed87
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by vexed87 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:27 am

Another good blog on energy, this post on muscle power is somewhat related to the discussion above:
http://energyskeptic.com/2019/muscle-power/

7Wannabe5
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:17 am

@vexed87:

Good link. I really want to read "When Trucks Stop Running", but I can't locate an inexpensive copy. I read "Energy and Civilization" by Smil, and I am currently reading "The Five Stages of Collapse" by Orlov, and "Resilience Thinking" by Walker.

vexed87
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:34 am

@7W5, I couldn't resist buying a copy new because I liked the blog so much, used copies were selling at similarly high prices, I figured I could sell it on when done reading, but haven't gotten around to selling it yet, thanks for reminding me! IIRC, most of the topics are mirrored in the blog, it's just finessed into a linear book format with some expanded content. If you can get hold of the contents or index pages on book preview sites, you'll have a good list of blog posts to look for which will result in similar insights, the blog is very well mapped, if a bit skittish.

What did you think of Smil's book? I have seen mixed reviews. I have a couple of Orlov's, including Five stages but haven't gotten around to them.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:48 am

@vexed87:

I preferred "Energy and the Wealth of Nations" by Hall, although I am only maybe around 80% on board with his perspective. I have read so many books by pessimists and also so many books by optimists, I have now been forced into a corner where I have to read books like "The Model Thinker" by Page (highly recommend!)to sort it all out. I would rank "Resilience Thinking" as up one level also, because right from the get-go the author notes that if you are thinking "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" you are still stuck in Optimization or Efficiency mode. IOW, the slicker the fix, the bigger the fail.

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