Tag Archives: Alternative Energy

Durham Hybrid Failures

Hybrid Bus

Durham Forced To Retrofit Buses

Back in 2011 the city of Durham added a number of hybrid buses to their fleet hoping that they would save money.

They are converting those vehicles back to gas engines:

Durham, N.C. — Durham officials have found it’s not easy being green.

The city decided this week to convert 10 of its hybrid vehicles – light transit vehicles, or LTVs, that transport people with disabilities – back to gas-fueled engines because of maintenance problems. City buses will continue to have hybrid engines.

Troubles With New Technology

Reading through the article I was hooping that we would see numbers on the results – were the vehicles saving money or not.  If so, how much per month/year.  However, all we got is this:

The savings never panned out, however, as repairs started piling up.

“After about six months, we started having issues with them,” city maintenance manager Scott Mozingo said. “Then, we had issues with parts.”

So, yeah, repairs is a big part of fleet management, however, repairs exist in gas engines as well.  I think the nail in the coffin was elsewhere:

In 2012, the company that outfitted the hybrid vehicles went bankrupt, so Durham could no longer get the parts they needed to make repairs.

“We started parking vehicles as they were breaking down because we didn’t have parts for them,” Mozingo said.

I have to believe that if the technology was viable, the company would not have failed leaving Durham in the lurch.  I know that all new technologies carry risk for early adopters, but the trend in this alternative energy isn’t new or small.

Alternative Energy

Global Warming Polar Bear

I’ve always felt two things:

  1. We’ll move on past oil and into another form of energy
  2. None of the alternative forms of energy pushed by the mainstream are viable

This is cool:

Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility announced Tuesday a successful test of its ultrapowerful laser system, which melds 192 laser beams into a single incredible burst of energy. On Aug. 13, the facility was activated for 14 billionths of a second and aimed at a tiny capsule of fuel. The result: approximately 350 trillion watts of power — hundreds of times more than the entire United States consumes at any given instant.

Last year’s test yielded unexpected results, however. In this test, NIF dialed down the laser beam’s power and tweaked it, for tremendous results.

We lowered the energy a tiny bit — about 5 percent — but more important, we changed the shape of the energy pulse. We moved energy from the back of the pulse to the front. We got three times the energy out,” Moses told FoxNews.com.

“Our goal is to get fusion burn — more energy out than we put in.”

Because the laser is on for the merest fraction of a second, it costs little to operate — between $5 and $20 per blast. Still, the cost of the facility has raised temperatures in Washington. The gigantic laser lab was built in California for $3.5 billion in 2008, and ran up approximately $1.5 billion more in operating costs over the past five years.

Uuuhh, WAY cooler than windmills..  And those that tilt at them.

Peak Oil Myth

We’ve heard about it since we known about it.  The idea that somehow, someway, the world is gonna run oughta oil.

And when we do, well, the end of the world as we know it will commence.  The illustration to the right just shows a tip of the hysteria that folks are spreading.

End of oil?  Beginning of anarchy.

And so they demand that we do something about it.

And we did.

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We Must ALL Sacrifice! Except Me

Very few people exemplify the Left better than the Kennedy’s.  Never has a family been so involved with what is good for other people while excluding themselves from having to sacrifice.

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General Motor's Next Best Hope

GM seems to be tryin’.  I really think that they’re working at getting better.  I just don’t think they can.

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Going Green: Solar Update III

Alright, last update on household appliances.  I measured my laptop and found that it uses less energy than a 60 W light bulb.  In short, the pay back time for a laptop is 5.67 years.

But, if I plug in the fish tank, the lamp and the laptop the pay back time comes in at 1.65 years.  Not bad, not bad at all.

Going Green: Solar Update II

So I left the Kill a Watt meter in place for 50..56 hours.  The tank consumed 1.33 kWH for a total of .0263 kWH per hour.  At that rate, the system would pay itself off in 7.65 years.  That’s a little bit of improvement on the tank.  I think it’s due to the fact that most of the last measurement was taken with the lights off.  Still, with that 60w bulb, the payback is coming in under 2.42.

Next measurement will be the computer.

Going Green: Solar Update

I am still playing with that Kill a Watt meter.  Currently I have it plugged into my fish tank.  Power for two lights and the water pump is at .33 kWH for a run of 14.21 hours.  At that rate the payback for the system is 8.75 years.

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Going Green

So, a friend of mine recently purchased a small solar panel for about a hundred bucks.  He then connected it to a deep cycle battery.  And he connected THAT to an inverter.  After only a little bit of sunshine he is able to power his radio, some lights and even some power tools.  All for under $300.

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