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Low-carbon Strategy Will Raise Household Energy Bills By £200 A Year


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stirling engines seem like a great gadget

but i think the practical applications of making one of any size, including the

temperture differential needed would cause a problem

anyways - it is possible to DIY a small sterling engine

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Sterli...from-candles-c/

The WhisperGen CHP unit contains a stirling engine:

http://www.greenconsumerguide.com/powergen...spergenunit.htm

Waste heat from the boiler powers a Stirling engine linked to an electrical generator.

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Does anyone here know about Sterling Engines?

I saw a TV documentary about four months ago that showed a kit-form the presenter held in his hand.

The heat generated by the palm of his hand was enough to cause the engine to work.

Essentially a Sterling Engine converts temperature differentials into mechanical energy.

I was immediately struck that if that were the case why aren't they in widespread use? They most certainly are in submarines, but why not in common applications - anywhere temperature diferentials can be found.

I figured that perhaps they could be used to make air-coniditioning or domestic heating units more efficient as the could both be used to exploit the difference between inside and outside temperatures.

Can any engineers among you point out a flaw in my thinking or are Sterling Engines the great invention that the VI's in the fossil fuel industry smothered?

Stirling engines produce mechanical energy by the transfer of heat energy from a hot place to a cold place. They are not 100% efficient, far from it in fact. An air con system uses mechamical energy to transfer heat energy from a hot place to a cold place. They are not 100% efficient either. Looks like a lose lose situation to me. Move along folks no perpetual motion machine here.

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You can see a Sterling Engine combined with a reflective dish
to get the idea.

Not in production yet.

30 foot diameter dish produces 30kw!

Go ahead and invest with then if you belive their claims. Personally I think scaling up the size of the technology with be fraught with problems. Of course one could make a very good living trying to do it, but the cash would not come from selling energy!

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I received my annual electricity bill on Friday. My exported electricity came to a total of £620.49 and I have a credit on my account of £513. The PV system cost me £8.6K

My solar PV will now pay for itself much quicker that expected and that's before we start the feed in tariffs in 2010.

Impressive, high production and low consumption.

What size of system did you install?

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Does anyone here know about Sterling Engines?

I saw a TV documentary about four months ago that showed a kit-form the presenter held in his hand.

The heat generated by the palm of his hand was enough to cause the engine to work.

Essentially a Sterling Engine converts temperature differentials into mechanical energy.

I was immediately struck that if that were the case why aren't they in widespread use? They most certainly are in submarines, but why not in common applications - anywhere temperature diferentials can be found.

I figured that perhaps they could be used to make air-coniditioning or domestic heating units more efficient as the could both be used to exploit the difference between inside and outside temperatures.

Can any engineers among you point out a flaw in my thinking or are Sterling Engines the great invention that the VI's in the fossil fuel industry smothered?

A sterling engine is indeed a good invention and it can be used in situations to recover some lost energy. For example you could probably stick a sterling engine in a car to extract some of the energy from the hot engine.

However, the improved efficiency. Say from 50mpg to 51mpg would not warrant the cost of installing and maintaining the sterling engine.

You could in theory place sterling engines in a lot of places, anywhere where you have a big temperature difference. The problem is that they are not cost effective for the energy saved in all places bar where they are used.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8146318.stm

So he denies it's £230 a year, does that mean it's more like £400+ then?

the true cost of renewable energy at the moment is about 10p per kWh

bulk gas currently costs less than 1p per kWh and you pay about 3p

bulk electricity currently costs 3p per kWh and you pay about 10p.

so to replace electricity with greens you need to add 7p to end user prices and to replace gas you need to add 9p to end user prices.

so your electricity bill will go from 10p to about 17p or a 70% increase.

and your gas bill will go from about 3p to 12p or a 400% increase.

however it looks like they want to target electricity first because a 70% increase is easier to force than a 400% increase.

overall if you spend £500 on electric expect the bill to go up by £350 and if you spend £1000 on gas, if they ever want to make that green, expect a whopping £4k heating bill.

of course what the government doesn’t like doing because it isn’t as sexy is reducing consumption. ie insulating your home, or insisting on a minimum mpg for new cars etc.

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I know members here tend to a well educated bunch but I was wondering how many people know the story of Nikola Tesla?

Tesla was a genuius who invented many of the electro/magnetic devices that made so much of the 20th century's progress possible, including AC power.

I have to confess it was the movie The Prestige that got my interest in Tesla started. Tesla was played by David Bowie.

It seems that Tesla died penniless and alone at a hotel in New York. The CIA ensured to raid the room and confiscate his notebooks.

However some of lost inventions are documented in "Tesla : The Lost Inventions".

The free energy receiver Tesla invented harnessed the energy of cosmic waves - background energy bouncing all about the Universe, lingering after the Big Bang.

No doubt tesla was a good inventor, even if a lot of his work was because he tried it first rather than being particularly cleaver.

However a lot of tin foil hat surrounds his work. The cosmic ray magic machine you talk about is one of many internet foil hat stories.

If nothing else, consider that there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of physicists in hundreds of countries who all could repeat his work and bring to market any CIA hidden black magic.

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I received my annual electricity bill on Friday. My exported electricity came to a total of £620.49 and I have a credit on my account of £513. The PV system cost me £8.6K

My solar PV will now pay for itself much quicker that expected and that's before we start the feed in tariffs in 2010.

Is that right?

So how are you able to do that while utilities seem not to be able to break even?

Black magic?

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the true cost of renewable energy at the moment is about 10p per kWh

bulk gas currently costs less than 1p per kWh and you pay about 3p

bulk electricity currently costs 3p per kWh and you pay about 10p.

That's interesting. Why is there such a mark up on electricity - and how do they get away with it?

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Are you being sarcastic?

We didnt buy other peoples - we pissed all our gas and oil reserves up the wall at $20 a barrel. We are now starting the process of buying it back at $60-$147 <_<

The vast majority of the physical coal we still have is 'locked in' in flooded and unstable mine structures. It would take more energy to get to it than would be gained.

Had Maggie had any long term vision she would have done what the Dutch did - limited the output of gas. As a result Holland was a major producer of gas before we were and will continue for long after we have started going cap in hand to the russkies for gas / Australians for coal.

we didn’t waste it, as a nation if we didn’t produce that oil/gas then we would have been poorer or more indebted.

back then what were bond yields? 10%?? 15%??

at 12.5% over 25 years, selling the oil instead of taking on debt means we sold $380 oil and we are buying it back at $50-100

barging.

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That's interesting. Why is there such a mark up on electricity - and how do they get away with it?

it costs 3p at a coal/nuclear power station.

you then have to pass it through the grid which adds cost, you lose some electric as heat plus the grid takes maintenance plus there is the interest on the capital of the grid.

you need to pay people to do you billing

you pay for advertising

you pay for taxes at each stage

you pay for the people that dont pay their bills

you pay for insurance of all the steps.

so they are not making a killing. it just costs about 6p to get it from the station to your house. they probably make sub 1p profit per kWh. i would be surprised if they made more than 0.5p profit per kWh tbh.

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Yeap! become a generator, my exported electricity now pays for my gas bill. Inflation proofed energy security for the individual.

Only probelm is now the set up grants are not there now. The best time to install PV was about three years ago

i was asking how you were able to turn a profit on PV when utilities can not turn a profit on it.

i presume you were heavily subsidised which is not a fair comparison at all.

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We could theoretically generate most of our electricity for much of the time from wind turbines. 30,000 large 2MW wind turbines would have the capacity to generate the country's total electricity requirement if they were all operating at maximum output (which would only happen rarely). BUT...Until recently the mere idea of that would have even turned most members of Greenpeace into Nimbys since the idea of covering the landscape with that number of giant turbines would be absurd.

Then someone had the idea of siting the majority of these turbines offshore - not along the coast but far out to sea in the North Sea, which is mostly fairly shalllow. Now this is on the way to becoming a reality over the next few years.

The technology exists and a lot of the offshore construction expertise is transferable from the dwindling North Sea oil and gas industries.

In a few year's time a signicant proportion of our electricity could be coming from windfarms in the Dogger Bank area.

That's in the Crown Estate's round 3 offshore proposals, so it's 'got legs'.

I don't think anyone's advocating that we derive all our electricity from wind power, but if one starts by looking at what it would take do do just that, one can work backwards to see what would be sensible - given that other forms of power generation, renewable or otherwise, would be part of the balance too.

What if we use all of the wind? What would be the outcome of this? Peak wind? Could someone claim they own the wind and charge rent for it?

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Stirling engines produce mechanical energy by the transfer of heat energy from a hot place to a cold place. They are not 100% efficient, far from it in fact. An air con system uses mechamical energy to transfer heat energy from a hot place to a cold place. They are not 100% efficient either. Looks like a lose lose situation to me. Move along folks no perpetual motion machine here.

No one but you mentioned a perpetual motion machine.

No machine is 100% efficient but adding a sterling engine to an air conditioning unit would make it more efficient, would it not? (That was my the question in my original post).

What are you - an apologist for the fossil fuel industry?

Edited by Dave Spart
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Wind turbines effectively never generate their maximum power output. That is because their maximum power output occurs at the maximum allowable wind speed (i.e. the point at which they are shut down for safety reasons), normally around 20m/s.

Note that the power available from wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. Therefore at half the maximum speed (say 10m/s) you have 1/8 of the power available, and at a quarter of the rated speed (5 m/s) you have 1/64 of the power available.

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No doubt tesla was a good inventor, even if a lot of his work was because he tried it first rather than being particularly cleaver.

However a lot of tin foil hat surrounds his work. The cosmic ray magic machine you talk about is one of many internet foil hat stories.

If nothing else, consider that there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of physicists in hundreds of countries who all could repeat his work and bring to market any CIA hidden black magic.

Where is the evidence it was ever tested or peer-reviewed.

I'm just curious to know - do the cosmic ray energy receiver and other inventions work or not?

Until I have seen definitive proof it does not I will forever be open minded it can.

Given the appalling propoganda campaign Tesla had to endure by Edison it looks you are picking up where the DC man left off.

Edited by Dave Spart
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Where is the evidence it was ever tested or peer-reviewed.

I'm just curious to know - do the cosmic ray energy receiver and other inventions work or not?

Until I have seen definitive proof it does not I will forever be open minded it can.

Given the appalling propoganda campaign Tesla had to endure by Edison it looks you are picking up where the DC man left off.

they most likely do not work.

it would break many of the laws of physics.

and a theory becomes a "law of physics" when the evidence is so overwhelming that no one really disputes it (ie all experiments prove the theory correct and no known evidence says the theory is wrong).

Don’t get caught up in hysteria. There are con men on the net too.

Like I said, there are hundreds of thousands of physicists in the world who live in all the countries of the world and have different values and believes. For a tesla conspiracy to work all of those individuals would have to be in on the conspiracy which is ridiculous

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Wind turbines effectively never generate their maximum power output.

I'm not so sure. Modern turbines have sophisticated control systems. They reach their maximum output before the wind reaches shut-down speed. After they reach maximum output, as the wind speed rises further, the control system alters the pitch of the turbine blades to maintain the same rotation speed, thus sacrificing efficiency. When maximum wind speed is detected, the brake comes on and the turbine shuts down. That's how I understand it, anyway.

Edited by blankster
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We could theoretically generate most of our electricity for much of the time from wind turbines. 30,000 large 2MW wind turbines would have the capacity to generate the country's total electricity requirement if they were all operating at maximum output (which would only happen rarely). BUT...Until recently the mere idea of that would have even turned most members of Greenpeace into Nimbys since the idea of covering the landscape with that number of giant turbines would be absurd.

Then someone had the idea of siting the majority of these turbines offshore - not along the coast but far out to sea in the North Sea, which is mostly fairly shalllow. Now this is on the way to becoming a reality over the next few years.

The technology exists and a lot of the offshore construction expertise is transferable from the dwindling North Sea oil and gas industries.

In a few year's time a signicant proportion of our electricity could be coming from windfarms in the Dogger Bank area.

That's in the Crown Estate's round 3 offshore proposals, so it's 'got legs'.

I don't think anyone's advocating that we derive all our electricity from wind power, but if one starts by looking at what it would take do do just that, one can work backwards to see what would be sensible - given that other forms of power generation, renewable or otherwise, would be part of the balance too.

We can derive out electricity from what ever we like.

The question is the cost.

Going all wind will likely add 20p per kWh to our electricity bills.

So the question isn’t do we want wind to save the one legged spotted eel worm. The question is if saving this worm is worth paying 3 times as much for electricity. (ie your yearly bill going from £500 to £1500 in real terms).

If you asked people if they would want to save the worm and it would “only†cost them £1k pa I think you would find most people chasing you with a pitch fork.

The sums get even worse if you try making heating homes “greenâ€.

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