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What about artificial islands?

Home Forums Research Law and Politics What about artificial islands?

This topic contains 88 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 5 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 76 through 89 (of 89 total)
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  • #7660
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jeff wrote:

    Eelco wrote:

    Ive talked with MI&T about it for a bit at the conference. They didnt mention anything about costs, which is always a clear warning sign. I asked about the cost, and their estimate of the cost of the platform was the cost of the wind-turbine many times over. Not sure what compells them to work on the project, probably burning through some subsidy money or something.

    The wind turbine platform is a prototype. The first prototype is always much more expensive than production models, so the cost of the prototype is somewhat irrelevant.

    [/quote]

    Im not sure if they meant the cost of a prototype or series production, but by simply looking at the ratio of material in the wind turbine versus the material to keep it afloat, things dont look too good.

    I expect the interest in the project is that many countries are looking at putting wind turbines far out at sea where a floating platform may be more practical than one attached to the sea floor.

    More practical, undoubtly, but practical?

    You could do that, and youd reach the break-even point sooner than on land (more wind&sun, no competition from large-scale plants), but its not going to be cheap.

    Propane fuel cells are my favorite alternative to diesel generation: it could beat diesel on all accounts, from reliability to cost to environmental concerns. As for non-fosile power: i have some ideas of how to obtain some cost effective wave-power from your steads. And solar with batteries could work, if you have the money for it; hopefully the promised decreases in cost will materialize in the near future.

    Propane is still a fossil fuel, and fuel cells tend to be less efficient than simply burning the fuel in a conventional generator. This is discussed indirectly in this criticism of hydrogen fuel cells and a comparision of natural gas (methane) generation of electricity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle#Alternatives

    [/quote]

    Fuels cells are not too great a match for vehicles. For stationary applications, where weight and space do not pose significant constraints, the new generation of propane fuel cells seems quite promising to me.

    A diesel generator is actually the most space and probably cost efficient in all all, however unclean it may be. Given those shortcomings, it’s an excellent energy source.

    True.

    #7661
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jeff wrote:

    Eelco wrote:

    The reason is that even with when its nearly completely subsidized, it still doesnt make economic sense.

    http://www.youngausskeptics.com/2009/05/the-economics-and-usefulness-of-domestic-rooftop-solar-pv-installations/

    You could live on solar completely in sunny places, but with the tech on the market today, youre going to have to be willing to foot a bill thats many times more expensive.

    It’s always good to be skeptical, and it’s true that solar is subsidized, but even in places where it’s much less heavily subsidized such as California, people are able to run their homes and electric cars from photovoltaics with a payback time on the order of 7 years. Solar and wind subsidies in Germany are much higher so the payback may be quicker there.

    [/quote]

    The article talks about Australia: one of the more sunny places on earth. I know there are many claims out there as to the effectivity of solar, but given the routine practice of ignoring maintainance and capital/opportunity costs, some sketpicism is indeed in order.

    Even without subsidies solar and wind may be practical. They already have widespread use on sailboats, etc. They’re actually an ideal match for sailboats since they tend to have modest electrical needs and are often used in the open ocean, where petrol stations are uncommon ;).

    Sure, they are more attractive on sea, but primarily due to having fewer options. Its not a magic bullet all out of a sudden.

    #7675
    Profile photo of Jeff-Chan
    Jeff-Chan
    Participant

    Eelco wrote:
    The article talks about Australia: one of the more sunny places on earth. I know there are many claims out there as to the effectivity of solar, but given the routine practice of ignoring maintainance and capital/opportunity costs, some sketpicism is indeed in order.

    Turns out that cleaning solar panels doesn’t do much and is probably unnecessary: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/should-you-spring-clean-your-solar.html

    Sure, they (wind and solar) are more attractive on sea, but primarily due to having fewer options. Its not a magic bullet all out of a sudden.

    Um, Seasteads would be on the sea…. Wave power looks potentially very attractive though.

    #7679
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jeff wrote:

    Eelco wrote:

    The article talks about Australia: one of the more sunny places on earth. I know there are many claims out there as to the effectivity of solar, but given the routine practice of ignoring maintainance and capital/opportunity costs, some sketpicism is indeed in order.

    Turns out that cleaning solar panels doesn’t do much and is probably unnecessary: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/should-you-spring-clean-your-solar.html

    [/quote]

    Maintance as in broken down transformers and such.

    Sure, they (wind and solar) are more attractive on sea, but primarily due to having fewer options. Its not a magic bullet all out of a sudden.

    Um, Seasteads would be on the sea…. Wave power looks potentially very attractive though.

    [/quote]

    Seems like a safe assumption, yes. Id be very interested in seeing a complete cost estimate for powering a seastead with solar; including costs for batteries, backup generation, and capital costs. I think it wouldnt be pretty, but I could be wrong.

    #7683
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Around $25,000.00 for 25 solar panes, 4 wind generators, regulators, battery bank and inverters. No backup generator for this price. Will cover 100% power needs for 100′ seastead.

    #7688
    Profile photo of DM8954
    DM8954
    Participant

    Could you please provide a bit more information? I don’t need brand names or spec sheets, but what size are the panels and wind generators (dimensions and rated power generation)?

    I’m assuming that by 100′ seastead, you’re talking about your kite design. I have no problem with that, since I usually find myself thinking in terms of my own design all the time. However, a 100′ seastead, depending on the design, could have quite a bit of variation in energy needs. It could be a casino-hotel-stead or condo-stead with 100+ passengers (multiple decks & cramped quarters) or just a single family. Maybe everything is stored in cans and all you use are a few lights or perhaps there are watermakers, pumps, electronics, etc. It does sound like plenty of power for your design and mine but it would be nice to know more about what we’re dealing with. That’s what I was getting at earlier with my research idea. We all need to be on the same page with what you get for that $25K and how best to compare that to alternative systems. Once we know the kW output of the system you gave the estimate on, we can look up the price for a deisel generator system with the same output and find out how much fuel we could buy with the leftover money (and how long that fuel would last) to help us wrap our heads around the problem.

    There’s also the whole comparison between 4 smaller wind turbines and 1 larger one at the same price point. Redundancy and lack of downtime are important but it may be possible to get more power per dollar with a larger single turbine instead. That’s a technical discussion for another board, though.

    In any case, it’s a useful rough estimate.

    #7691
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    At two gallons an hour, thatd crank out about 13kW nonstop.

    Thats twice the peak-power of your system. Of course, the sun shines only 12 hours a day on average at most, rated power is always a sham, and after conversion losses, that diesel system is about 8 times more powerfull than your proposed alternative. No wonder its more expensive…

    5000$ maintainance on a 10000$ diesel is rather far out. A new diesel is expected to run for many years without interrupts. At that budget, you could just junk it after two years, which doesnt make any sense.

    #7693
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    stops you, Eelco, from designing and building a seastead around a diesel generator, if you think that burning 6 tons of diesel per month to generate power is the way of the future. Might as well build a pipe that will connect that seastead directly to an OPEC nation. You might get a discount.

    Time is precious and I hate wasteing it. I am done with this subject.

    I am open to any ideas that are functional and affordable. Maybe diesel isnt on that list. Maybe solar will kick ass. Any quantitative analysis is very welcome: numbers dont lie, but lets be explicit about the assumptions that go into them.

    Giving an analysis with so many easy to pick flaws in it does not help the cause that RE>C. Id love for that to be true, but wishing it be so and having it be so are different things.

    #7689
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Yes, I did ballpark it. No, no necesarely for my design.

    I would say for a 100′ seastead, w/10-15 people aboard, sailor type accomodations. All lights, electronics, refrigeration on 12v DC. Propane water heater(s) and cooking. Minimum AC appliances, 1 washer-dryer, 1-2 air conditioning unit running few hours a day, 1 microwave, few TV sets.

    Battery bank: 20 x 8D deep cycle marine batteries http://www.powerstridebattery.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=30&idproduct=898= $2,400.00.

    Solar panels: 28 x 208w (a pallet) of solar panels http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=30=$13,661.00

    Wind generators: 4 x 600w ARI wind gen. http://cgi.ebay.com/ARI-450-Wind-Turbine-Power-Generator-600W-12V-Marine_W0QQitemZ170378745095QQcmdZViewItemQQssPageNameZRSS:B:SRCH:US:101 = $2,800.00

    Total=$19,000.00. The rest of $6,000.00. for couple of inverters, regulators (for the solar panels), wires, connectors, brackets, instalation.

    And if I shop around some chinese wholesalers I might get it down 20% of the total.

    I didnt add up the watts or do the math, but it sounds about right,…plenty of juice I guess. Unless,…everybody would want their own plasma tv, ac unit, microwave, full size refrigerator and freezer, jacuzzi, massage chairs, electric blankets, capucino makers, irons, aluminum production facilities, lava lamps, etc.

    Pallet of 28 SUN-A-205 - 205 Watt Solar Panels

    Pallet of 28 SUN-A-205 – 205 Watt Solar Panels

    This is a Pallet of 28 of the SUN-A-205 Watt Solar Panels These modules are made available exclusively to Sun Electronics by one of the world’s largest manufacturers. American Made! Identical Power…
    $13,661.20

    Pallet of 28 SUN-A-205 - 205 Watt Solar Panels

    Pallet of 28 SUN-A-205 – 205 Watt Solar Panels

    This is a Pallet of 28 of the SUN-A-205 Watt Solar Panels These modules are made available exclusively to Sun Electronics by one of the world’s largest manufacturers. American Made! Identical Power…
    $13,661.20

    P.S: I am not “anti” diesel generators. They are very good and handy if fuel supply and money are no problem. For the same 100′ seastead one might need 2 generators @ around $10,000.00 each. (2, in case one breaks down, for back up). It will run on @ least 2 gal/hr. By the time fuel is delivered to wherever the seastead is will cost $5/gal, so $10/hr=$87,600.00/year+$20,000.00 initial cost for the gens+another minimum $5,000.00 for repairs (they will break down, its a fact), Total=$ 112,000.00/year., 5 times the cost of wind and solar. Plus, the second year wind & solar its free.(or some minimal maintenance costs). Diesel,…another 80-90k.

    I’d rather drink the money than burn it.:-)

    #7692
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    stops you, Eelco, from designing and building a seastead around a diesel generator, if you think that burning 6 tons of diesel per month to generate power is the way of the future. Might as well build a pipe that will connect that seastead directly to an OPEC nation. You might get a discount.

    Time is precious and I hate wasting it. I am done with this subject.

    #7694
    Profile photo of Jeff-Chan
    Jeff-Chan
    Participant

    Eelco wrote:
    Maintance as in broken down transformers and such.

    For DC, no transformers are needed. DC to AC inverters use transistors and transformers, but tend to be highly reliable.

    #7696
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    Any quantitative analysis is very welcome: numbers dont lie

    I agree with you, but as I stated before this goes beyond a simple quantitative analysis or ROI equation. There are factors to consider that do not have a simple value. So while a spreadsheet might show that fossil fuels are cheaper…even over the long run…we should decide to be as progressive with our infrastructure and energy tech as we are with our forms of government. These are philosophical and psychological factors that do not sit well on a balance sheet, but need to be considered anyway.

    RE>C. Id love for that to be true

    Renewable energy will always be better than fossil fuels. There is absolutely no way to deny it. Regardless of whether it takes 20, 50, or 100 years we will eventually run out of oil. That is a simple fact. It will be several billion years before the sun dies out. Instead of sinking billions of dollars into finding patches of dead dinosaur we should be sinking that money into advancing battery technology, increasing photovoltaic efficiency, perfecting solar thermal systems, and testing wireless energy transmission. The only people who don’t want to do that are those who want to make every last dollar they can before the oil runs out. And once it does, those people will be the ones with billions of dollars to cover their houses in solar panels while the rest of us cook by campfire.

    No, renewable energy is the future. We cannot make the move to space with fossil fuels. It was great to get us started…like an infant sucking at it’s mother’s teat. But now we are like a teenager still trying to suck away at that finite resource. We need to move forward, even if it is more expensive and harder in the short term.

    #7699
    Profile photo of Jeff-Chan
    Jeff-Chan
    Participant

    There may be lots of oil. An interesting question is whether all the CO2 added to the atmosphere before it’s burned up will damage the earth.

    Wind, solar and wave power are probably friendlier to the earth.

    #7729
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    You should use the most economical and practical power source. Using a “new” power source just because seasteading is a new phenomenon does not make sense.

    By all means, if you want to experiment with new power sources, and perhaps make such research a business model, please do so. But don’t deploy them in any kind of large scale or production environment until you know they are reliable and economical.

    All teh above is of course assuming you are concerned with economics. If not, all bets are off. :-)

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