Hello from Pinguin

Introduce yourself, discover who else is here, and get news and information about the forum. Most of all, tell us what Chile means for you.

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pinguin
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by pinguin » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:32 pm

Very interesting oppinions of Patagoniax and all you, fellows.
Yes, people always remember that Chile is rich in minerals, fishing and agricultural lands. But we usually forget that Chile is very poor in energy. And that's a limitation to our aspirations of industrialize the country. Even more, Chile has a large percentage of its lands in deserts that could be make profitable if only they count with a bit of water.
So, what to do to solve this problem?

Some ideas.

(1) Massify the use of solar cells and sun powered heaters. Every single house in Chile, from the Maule to Iquique, should have, on the roofs, such devices to save energy. This could be make real only if new houses come with these devices incorporated. Perhaps the state could subsidize them, or they could be incorporated to the morgages.

(2) Go nuclear! There is no other way, with current technology, to reach the levels of power the country needs. Chile has large deserts were the impact of a nuclear accident could be minimize, so we should think about it.

(3) Go electric. Chile should become involved in the massification and price reduction of electric vehicles. Why to keep giving our money to Arabs for something we could produce locally?

These are just some though.

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Nullius
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by Nullius » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:44 pm

pinguin wrote:

(1) Massify the use of solar cells and sun powered heaters. Every single house in Chile, from the Maule to Iquique, should have, on the roofs, such devices to save energy. This could be make real only if new houses come with these devices incorporated. Perhaps the state could subsidize them, .
-Any idea of the cost? Or the complexity? Or the hazards? Or the cost-benefit? Or the useful life of a photovoltaic system? Or the size of a photovoltaic system that would be necessary to supply the needs of the typical chileno household? The answers are probably somewhere close to this: (1) more than the country can afford; (2) to be useful a photovoltaic system requires storage, meaning space-consuming batteries with toxic materials and just where is the average chileno house going to put that and who is going to pay for it? (3) life of batteries in typical photovoltaic system 3-5 years, depending on several factors - and disposal of toxic material is an issue. Many chilean houses will blow up or burn down from toxic-explosive gases, adding to the losses from present use of bad wiring and bad use of low-tech calefonts (4) the area needed for solar panels for a typical family in Osorno (considering cloudy day factor and expected output/losses of average photovoltaic system) is about double the roof size of that house.

If you have more dreams on this technology please share them with all of us.

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greg~judy
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by greg~judy » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:56 pm

nwd sez... The North American (REE) deposits will be opened up and put to use in the next decade, though the processing is very difficult.
Actually not, nwd...
It's simple heap-leaching of ore.
Process the uranium and the REE's are virtually free.
It really depends on the nature (%) of the deposits and the leach methods!
Some deposits will be economical (and very profitable), others will not (yet)
With regard to REE recovery... "This means that up to 64-percent of these valuable heavy REE, which occur with the uranium... are available in the uranium leach solutions, at no extra mining or milling costs. Chemical extraction of the REE from the uranium leach solutions... has been commercially successful in the past.
http://ca.news.finance.yahoo.com/s/2010 ... y-its.html
Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
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“If we want everything to stay as it is, everything will have to change."
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pinguin
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by pinguin » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:23 am

Nullius wrote: -Any idea of the cost? Or the complexity? Or the hazards? Or the cost-benefit?
Never heared about Henry Ford? The guy is famous not only to develop the assembly chain, but also because he made cards "affordable". :roll:
Nullius wrote: Or the useful life of a photovoltaic system? Or the size of a photovoltaic system that would be necessary to supply the needs of the typical chileno household?
They are useful. Actually, systems under the million pesos are in place in some country side Chilean homes, and those prizes are affordable.
Nullius wrote: The answers are probably somewhere close to this: (1) more than the country can afford;
False. If you don't know, Chile is a country that has a possitive balance of trade and that has reserves to make many things. Besides, this is an investment rather than a waste. In the long term, the systems pay for themselves with the saving in gas, coal and oil imports.
Nullius wrote: (2) to be useful a photovoltaic system requires storage, meaning space-consuming batteries with toxic materials and just where is the average chileno house going to put that and who is going to pay for it?
Gee. I bet you believe we are in Africa. Don't you know the state gives up to US$10.000 to each Chilean that buy a house? Don't you know Chile is a middle class country where poverty has been diminishing in the last 40 years, and we hope to get rid of the last third world poverty we have in ten years?
Nullius wrote: (3) life of batteries in typical photovoltaic system 3-5 years, depending on several factors - and disposal of toxic material is an issue. Many chilean houses will blow up or burn down from toxic-explosive gases, adding to the losses from present use of bad wiring and bad use of low-tech calefonts
Things can change. We have been replacing micros by subways. Why we couldn't replace our califonts and develop or buy the best technologies in batteries available?
Nullius wrote: (4) the area needed for solar panels for a typical family in Osorno (considering cloudy day factor and expected output/losses of average photovoltaic system) is about double the roof size of that house.
That's why I talked about Chilean houses from Iquique to the Maule river.

Nullius wrote: If you have more dreams on this technology please share them with all of us.
Indeed. I will let you know. :wink:

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FrankPintor
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by FrankPintor » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:44 am

pinguin wrote:
Nullius wrote:-Any idea of the cost? Or the complexity? Or the hazards? Or the cost-benefit?
Never heared about Henry Ford? The guy is famous not only to develop the assembly chain, but also because he made cards "affordable". :roll:
Nullius wrote:Or the useful life of a photovoltaic system? Or the size of a photovoltaic system that would be necessary to supply the needs of the typical chileno household?
They are useful. Actually, systems under the million pesos are in place in some country side Chilean homes, and those prizes are affordable.
Useful life: 20-25 years is what I've seen quoted. Over this time the power output should not drop below 85% of what's rated. Complexity? well, there's some plumbing and wiring to do... Hazards? if they're not well fixed to the roofs they might fall down :roll:
pinguin wrote:
Nullius wrote:The answers are probably somewhere close to this: (1) more than the country can afford;
False. If you don't know, Chile is a country that has a possitive balance of trade and that has reserves to make many things. Besides, this is an investment rather than a waste. In the long term, the systems pay for themselves with the saving in gas, coal and oil imports.
As Pinguin says, the things are an investment. They pay for themselves eventually (the range for "eventually" is all over the place, from 2-10 years, depending on electricity prices, location sunny days per year and so on). The up-front cost is the problem, which is why subsidies (either direct, or via banks as mortgages) are a possible solution.
pinguin wrote:
Nullius wrote:(2) to be useful a photovoltaic system requires storage, meaning space-consuming batteries with toxic materials and just where is the average chileno house going to put that and who is going to pay for it?
Gee. I bet you believe we are in Africa. Don't you know the state gives up to US$10.000 to each Chilean that buy a house? Don't you know Chile is a middle class country where poverty has been diminishing in the last 40 years, and we hope to get rid of the last third world poverty we have in ten years?
No other country that I know of has had issues with disposing of the batteries from solar panels. That's not to say there aren't problems, but they seem to be manageable.
pinguin wrote:
Nullius wrote:(3) life of batteries in typical photovoltaic system 3-5 years, depending on several factors - and disposal of toxic material is an issue. Many chilean houses will blow up or burn down from toxic-explosive gases, adding to the losses from present use of bad wiring and bad use of low-tech calefonts
Things can change. We have been replacing micros by subways. Why we couldn't replace our califonts and develop or buy the best technologies in batteries available?
Not sure where Nullius got this from. Like I said, lifetimes seem to be in the 20-25 year range, while warranties for defective manufacturing and materials are in the 10-12 year range. Not sure what toxic-explosive gases result from roof-mounted solar cells, maybe you could explain this?
pinguin wrote:
Nullius wrote: (4) the area needed for solar panels for a typical family in Osorno (considering cloudy day factor and expected output/losses of average photovoltaic system) is about double the roof size of that house.
That's why I talked about Chilean houses from Iquique to the Maule river
Same here... the major potential is in the central valley in and around Santiago, not in Osorno (where the typical family house might collapse under the weight of a solar panel anyway).

I mentioned the German model, not for the hell of it, but because to make this work you need a government able to impose the appropriate regulatory model (i.e. the right, not just the opportunity, to sell surplus electricity to the grid), and also able to provide subsidies or loans to smooth out the upfront cost. As it happens, the success of this in Germany was sufficient to push prices for solar cells up considerably due to the increased demand. I can't imagine that Chile would cause more than a blip on the price chart if it were to implement something similar.
Caracas es Caracas. Lo demás es monte y culebra!

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Nullius
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by Nullius » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:33 pm

pinguin wrote:
(2) Go nuclear! There is no other way, with current technology, to reach the levels of power the country needs. Chile has large deserts were the impact of a nuclear accident could be minimize, so we should think about it..
In pinguin's policies we see a reflection of Stalin's 1930s "industrialize at any cost" - with no concern for environmental damage nor citizen health. We see his willingness to allow radioactive contamination of not only the Atacama desert but much of the South American continent. This is in contrast to the position taken in what Patagoniax refers to as "the civilized nations" -- where there are requirements that no significant amount of radioactive contaminant be released from the nuclear power plant containment structures into the environment.

Article excerpts below to remind us of Chernobyl ( 1986 accident) impacts all these years later. We would do well to remember that the power plant crew was experimenting in areas where they lacked sufficient technical knowledge. Taking into account forum members' comments on the inability of most chileno electricians to reliably perform basic residential wiring, and similar reflections on chilean expertise in technological matters, I would not be inclined to trust a chilean crew to operate a nuclear power plant.

As of 2009, sheep farmed in some areas of the UK are still subject to inspection which may lead to them being prohibited from entering the human food chain because of contamination arising from the accident:

"Some of this radioactivity, predominantly radiocaesium-137, was deposited on certain upland areas of the UK, where sheep-farming is the primary land-use. Due to the particular chemical and physical properties of the peaty soil types present in these upland areas, the radiocaesium is still able to pass easily from soil to grass and hence accumulate in sheep. A maximum limit of 1,000 becquerels per kilogramme (Bq/kg) of radiocaesium is applied to sheep meat affected by the accident to protect consumers. This limit was introduced in the UK in 1986, based on advice from the European Commission's Article 31 group of experts. Under power provided under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA), Emergency Orders have been used since 1986 to impose restrictions on the movement and sale of sheep exceeding the limit in certain parts of Cumbria, North Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


An increased incidence of thyroid cancer among children in areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia affected by the Chernobyl disaster has been firmly established as a result of screening programs and, in the case of Belarus, an established cancer registry. The findings of most epidemiological studies must be considered interim, say experts, as analysis of the health effects of the disaster is an ongoing process.


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Nullius
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by Nullius » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:50 pm

FrankPintor wrote: Not sure where Nullius got this from. Like I said, lifetimes seem to be in the 20-25 year range, while warranties for defective manufacturing and materials are in the 10-12 year range. Not sure what toxic-explosive gases result from roof-mounted solar cells, maybe you could explain this?
Nullius got this from an engineering assessment for a small residence off the grid to the NW of Osorno. The cost of materials, transport, and installation came to almost US$15,000. The estimated service life of the storage batteries was 3-5 years and the replacement for the batteries was estimated at US$600. The costs might be slightly less for a lower latitude location with better weather conditions, but not by very much. When you consider the time value of money for that investment and the comparable cost of similar consumption for a residence connected to the grid, the solar option is not very attractive.

What makes no economic sense here is pinguin's idea of independent collection on every roof for houses already connected to the grid. Every study I have seen that compares the costs of individual vs utility-based fotovoltaic sourcing comes out overwhelmingly in favor of a utility-based collector farms and conventional grid-based distribution.

With respect to FrankPinto's question: in Chile, as in much of the world, the sun doesn't shine at night, and so fotovoltaic systems require storage. Actually, most residential uses even during the daytime require storage batteries because very few collection sets can provide a constant amperage necessary for appliances with motors. So sets of lead-acid batteries are needed. The deep cycle batteries that were assessed in Chile cost about US$150 each and were given a service life in the Osorno case of 3-5 years. The batteries were nominally sealed but were found to offgas hydrogen during charging.

Incidentally, part of the study for this proposed installation was done at a Carabinero reten in the Atacama desert, which was far from the grid. A large number of discarded lead-acid batteries were found dumped at the site, in typical chileno fashion. In the absence of cultural changes that would reliably collect discarded lead-acid batteries from individual-home collection/storage systems, it should be expected that lead would leach into groundwater systems if the "individual fotovoltaic" approach were to be widely employed.

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fraggle092
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by fraggle092 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:56 pm

Nullius your are completely right on solar systems, and most of the people who talk about alternative energy here and elsewhere don't have a clue, but of course this doesn't stop them from spouting off, especially when they don't actually know the boring details....

For a start, installing a high-capacity battery bank (yes, you need one of these; if you don't know why, go find out! ) is controlled by strict regulations in Chile, as elsewhere, due to the various hazards associated with them, for example high voltages and currents, explosion risk etc. An exploding battery will throw acid everywhere, too bad if it gets in your eyes.
The level of skill needed to install, and maintain and repair a permanent domestic system is beyond most local electricians, so what happens when the power mosfets in the inverter all fry?
And someone has to get up on the roof at least every couple of months to hose the dust and birdshit off the panels.
Everything's easy in internet land.
Bienvenidos a Chaqueteo City.

Après moi, le déluge

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Nullius
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by Nullius » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:00 pm

fraggle092 wrote:Nullius your are completely right, and most of the people who talk about alternative energy here and elsewhere don't have a clue, but of course this doesn't stop them from spouting off, especially when they don't actually know the boring details....

For a start, installing a high-capacity battery bank (yes, you need one of these; if you don't know why, go find out! ) is controlled by strict regulations in Chile, as elsewhere, due to the various hazards associated with them, for example high voltages and currents, explosion risk etc. An exploding battery will throw acid everywhere, too bad if it gets in your eyes.
The level of skill needed to install, and maintain and repair a permanent domestic system is beyond most local electricians, so what happens when the power mosfets in the inverter all fry?
And someone has to get up on the roof at least every couple of months to hose the dust and birdshit off the panels?
Everything's easy in internet land.
Thank you for adding some sanity to what is really more of an emotional issue than one that gets proper economic and technical sense injected.

You mentioned [battery bank] .." is controlled by strict regulations in Chile," and I had to laugh. I am still laughing. Chilenos can't even wire their residences safely, let alone deal with potentially explosive battery banks. ¿Regulations? ¿what regulations? We don't need no stinking regulations.

Playing speculative-futurist is great fun when the doobie and the bottle are being passed around -- and in their dream-state academic classroom equivalents. In the cold hard sober light of day, one hopes that reality and the engineers will return.

Hint: Engineering Economy, 13th Edition By William G. Sullivan, Elin M. Wicks, James T. Luxhoj, Pearson Education, Inc.
Alternative Energy For Dummies, Rik DeGunther, ISBN: 978-0-470-43062-0

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mlightheart
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by mlightheart » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:11 pm

Nullius wrote:... ¿Regulations? ¿what regulations? We don't need no stinking regulations. ...
PDT_Armataz_01_37

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fraggle092
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by fraggle092 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:36 pm

I had to do a large-ish camp electrical installation (250+ persons)that required certification, so we got a local electrical engineering firm in to check it out and submit the relevant paperwork. Our installation was mainly OK, but we had a 40 ft. wood-lined, ventilated, grounded container set up for multiple battery charging. We had to remove it from the drawings as the engineers told us that the SEC requirements for battery charging facilities were a nightmare, and there was no way our container would meet the specs. As it was for a foreign firm just coming into Chile, they didn't cut any slack. So when it comes to industrial stuff the regs are actually quite strict, which isn't a bad thing.
But yes, in a domestic situation, anything goes. So in the future we can add exploding batteries to the exploding calefonts, gas leaks, electrocution and fire risks to be routinely found here....
Bienvenidos a Chaqueteo City.

Après moi, le déluge

oregon woodsmoke
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Re: Hello from Pinguin

Post by oregon woodsmoke » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:15 pm

Technology for alternative energy is improving at a fast pace. While the knowledge isn't there, yet, it is getting there, and it won't be much longer.

Chile has several resources that might end up providing non-fossil fuel energy. Chile has sun, wind, tides, rivers, and it has to be an ideal place to set up geothermal power plants.

There is absolutely no reason at all for wind generators to be priced up in the stratosphere. At some point, the price is going to come way down and wind generators will be mass produced. Chile certainly has locations where the wind blows reliably.

There is a lot of research going into tidal generation. At some point, that is going to become economical, and Chile certainly has plenty of coastline.

I like hydroelectric. Its as clean as you can get and has the side effect of recreational lakes that bring tourist money to the area. But I do understand that it is controversial. There are rivers close to Santiago, so that it is not necessary to build hydro plants in the Patagonia.

Geothermal, for pete's sake. Does any country have more volcanoes than Chile? Geothermal is very clean power.

My opinion is that solar power is best used directly. A solar water heater can be built for about $30 and it runs for free. Residential hot water is a big energy consumer; stop buying foreign power to heat water, and there is a good reduction right there in energy consumption. Solar water heaters and green house walls can also provide some of the heating needs for houses that have sun during the day in the winter.

Again, my opinion, but nuclear power plants are perhaps not well suited to an area that gets powerful earthquakes. But come on, Chernobyl 1986 accident? That was a very substandard plant. It was substandard when it was built and technology has come a long ways since 1986. There are a lot of nuclear power plants running all over the world, and nobody is having any problem with them.

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