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Re: Replace solar with Wind

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  • gff_stwrt
    Great stuff, Trid. Especially the concept of harvesting . The Baker
    Message 1 of 10 , May 20, 2009
      Great stuff, Trid. Especially the concept of 'harvesting".

      The Baker



      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Trid" <triddlywinks@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
      >
      > I'm going to try to squeeze my $.02 in between Graham and Harry's discourse...bear with me.
      >
      > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com "grahamfennie" <gfennie@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > There are so many options for "harvesting" energy from intermittant
      > > renewables using available solar/wind/hydro systems. What we really need
      > > is some way to store this intermittant supply so we can use it "on
      > > demand". Batteries just aren't a great choice because of the losses,
      > > costs, manufacturing, weight, lifespan, etc. Hydrogen... well hydrogen
      > > would be nice. Maybe someday.
      > >
      > > ..........Batteries are the safest, most readily accessible storage
      > > medium available to the average tinker or budding R&D guy in these
      > > groups. And we are by nature 'scroungers'. We recycle batteries,
      > > metals, you name it. Anything to defray costs. But 'point taken'.
      >
      > My take on this, balance. There's a time and place for the various bits of technology...both batteries, thermal storage, and liquid fuels. For the budding beverage maker, this is a degree of tinkerage (yes, I made that word up) that is indeed in the advanced stage of things. It's a "do it because you can" or "to see what happens" but remember also, our goal is to provide a quality potable with predictable results.
      > Think of it this way: You can boil an egg in a parabolic solar cooker, but you sure as hell ain't making a souffle'.
      >
      > > >
      > > > Ethanol fuel is a great energy storage medium. It is an energy-dense
      > > liquid at standard temperatures and pressures. It never goes "bad" so it
      > > can be stored indefinitely. We can make ethanol from just about any kind
      > > of plant-based material (using enzymes and yeast, or bacteria, etc) and
      > > ethanol is quite safe compared to petroleum products. If you spill some
      > > on the ground you just shrug and say "oh well, it will biodegrade".
      > > Further, we can easily convert that ethanol (on demand) into heat,
      > > electricity, and kinetic energy (or any combination) using existing,
      > > readily available (off-the shelf) technologies and products such as
      > > vehicles, generators, heaters, stoves, fireplaces, fuel cells, tractors,
      > > etc).
      > >
      > > ..........Agreed. However many of us beverage oriented folk are getting
      > > past our use-by date and don't really see things in the long term
      > > picture. As such, we are more into the enjoyment side of things. A BIG
      > > policy for us is to make it, drink it, & have fun doing it. The money
      > > saved in NOT buying commercial swill, we put to filling up our fuel
      > > tanks at the prevailing price, then taking the missus et al for a
      > > sightseeing drive occasionally. She's happy, I'm happy, gas pump man's
      > > happy, even the taxman gets a cut off the gas. Everyone wins. There's
      > > a big gap between the $4 per litre our booze costs and the $40 the
      > > equivalent good commercial stuff costs. On just 1 litre of spirit, that
      > > 36 dollars buys a LOT of gas and miles.
      >
      > I see both sides here. To put another level on it: It's not inconcievable to engineer a burner that utilizes one's (theoretically) cheaper-than-propane/NG/methane fuel grade ethanol for the purpose of extracting the beverage grade stuff.
      >
      > Obviously this is moot if you're using propane/NG to extract your fuel ethanol, but if the wind or solar option pans out, then the outlay may balance.
      >
      > > > It takes 1 BTU to raise the temperature of 1 pound water by 1 degree
      > > farenheit (~8.3 BTUs per degree per gallon). Say we have a "cellulosic
      > > beer" of only 3% ABV, we'll need about 35 gallons of "beer" to produce
      > > one gallon of cellulosic ethanol. Starting at ambient room temperature
      > > gives us a temperature delta of around 125 degrees F.
      > > >
      > > > 125 degrees * 290 pounds = 36,250 BTUs per gallon (w/o heat recovery).
      > >
      > > .........Commercial ethanol plants have got it at this point...
      >
      > OR...
      > Take all that nifty cellulose that you'd be converting (though multiple steps, ingredients, time, and energy, and burn it under your pot still. Let's not lose track of the simple element of efficiency. "Because you can" can only be taken so far.
      >
      > > <quote>
      > > For simple calculation, about 38,000 British Thermal (BTU) of energy are
      > > required to produce a gallon of ethanol and dry the distillers grain.
      > > Roughly
      > > two-thirds (25,335 BTU) is required to produce process steam and
      > > one-third
      > > (12,667 BTU) is required to dry the distillers grain.
      > > </quote>
      > >
      > > Of course they recycle heat always.
      >
      > ...and if we can tinker up a continuous feed stripping still, it's not too far fetched to do the same on a beverage level. Enter now the slippery slope of scale. If you're making enough to justify a continuous feed...you get the idea.
      >
      > > > Using the incoming "beer" feed to cool the condensor and preheat the
      > > "beer" would reduce the energy inputs significantly. Distilling "beer"
      > > in this way can give us 2-4 BTUs of usable renewable fuel (ethanol) for
      > > every BTU of solar/wind energy that we put into the process.
      >
      > That's an argument for a variety of energy harnessing ideas. Perhaps a passive solar pre-heater, or even a parabolic trough pre-heater. Maybe PV cells to power an electric pre-heater. All of these reduce the needed input in the primary boiler.
      >
      > > > Unfortunately, you LOSE usable energy when use battery storage or when
      > > you produce and compress hydrogen or when you pump water uphill; but you
      > > can actually GAIN usable energy by fermenting and distilling ethanol.
      > <snip>
      > > > Then when you're generating "surplus" electricity from your solar/wind
      > > system, use that electricity to make more ethanol instead of trying to
      > > store it in batteries.
      > >
      > > ...Surplus? Are you talking surplus to needs or 'over unity' surplus?
      > > Perpetual motion is a fallacy. See above.
      >
      > Harry, I think you got caught up in a bit of a mis-speak. I believe the word "generate" should be switched to "harvest" and it would straighten out the context. It sounds to me like the reference is toward a solar/wind harnessing mechanism that collects and converts more energy than the distillation is consuming and therefore the surplus can be diverted into another storage means...or, rather, increasing the scale of distillation instead of diverting to that storage means.
      >
      > > > This approach can also be used to support a "smart grid". Think of it
      > > as "bottling sunshine".
      > <snip>
      > > > People talk about using solar to heat their homes in the winter. Well,
      > > what can you do with all that solar heat during the summer when you
      > > don't need or want it? The answer is to use surplus "summer" solar heat
      > > to distill ethanol so you can supplement your "winter" solar heating
      > > with an ethanol furnace. Simple.
      > >
      > > ..Ok, "supplement" is more the term to use. Providing the users
      > > understand the whole thing. They're not getting any free rides, just easing the burden a little.
      >
      > This is where I see it, also. I have a host of ideas regarding solar augmentation to the still...both for fuel purposes as well as beverage.
      >
      > So many ideas, so little time.
      >
      > Bottom line is that we're a beverage focused list. The application of any and all engineering principles are funneled toward that end. However, there's no reason at all why we can't adopt or adapt concepts that are otherwise used for other purposes.
      >
      > Graham, thanks for your input in this thread.
      >
      > Trid
      > -the tinkerator
      >
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