Sunday, April 17, 2016

Renewable Energy 101 for New York Times Commenters

A recent OpEd by a reader expressing her opposition to the laying a natural gas transmission pipeline across a farmland tract in Pennsylvania triggered a set of responses that became for me the straw that broke the camel's back or, more literally, the recognition that this long-dormant blog must be revived.

The responses to every article about the continued use of fossil fuel in the US cover a familiar range but at one end of this range are the comments that illustrate that a set of readers knows only as renewable energy choices the two called solar and wind.

In the comments I therefore note that there are renewable technologies widely used in northern Europe and in a few places in the US that represent an untapped potential for controlling further expansion of fossil fuel use in America.

Reactions demonstrate that Times commenters whom I assume on average to be much better educated than at least 50% of Americans are not much interested in learning anything about renewable energy technology that is not solar and wind. The subset who has, for example, heard the word "geothermal", generally display the same lack of knowledge of the benign form of geothermal that is displayed in the rare times article about potential use of geothermal in the US. The rare Times articles refer to to the Cornell Science Center on Roosevelt Island and invariable contain erroneous information.

So the least I can do is link to previous posts here and begin to add Year 2016 information.

That's all for now, 09:29 CET from the Doll House By The Sea, heated primarily by an air-air heat pump.

Air-Air heat pump 101- Keepiing this simple now since I only have a few minutes. Figure 1, heat pump installed on the foundation below the room where the internal unit will be placed. The fan is virtually silent. Figure 2, internal unit delivers warm or cold air as regulated by remote control thermostat. Figure 3 The setting in which this unit operates. It maintains the temperature of the adjacent rooms at a temperature just below that of the central room
The owner A, talked with friends on Styrsöbåten, telling her to call B who installs these heat pumps. B agreed to install the next day at 9 AM. At 11 AM the system was turned on, cost a little more than $1200 USD. It replaces the direct electricity system that was common when nuclear power was to provide almost free electricity - a pipedream. The system is turned on and off according to the programming of the remote or by turning on and off. If you have lived in homes heated by oil as we did in America you cannot imagine why anyone would not convert to air-air and air-water if the other standard Swedish alternatives are not available.

Figure 1 - Heat pump

Figure 2 - Internal unit

Figure 3 setting in which the heating-cooling unite operates