Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security

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

Post by jacob »

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/

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

Post by jacob »

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

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

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 »

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 »

@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 »

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 »

@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 »

@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.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@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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