Archive | April 2018

We are looking at Wind energy wrong.

This article confirms the limitations of the current approach to using wind electricity.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/project_syndicate/2012/03/lomborg_wind_power_is_cheap_only_compared_with_other_alternative_energies_.html

Replacing fossil fuel generated electricity with wind is just a slice of the potential of wind energy.

The question is how much back up power does a wind farm need.

100%. We saw why in 2008, designed a microgrid solution in 2009, and that became very unpopular with the wind industry because we were solving a problem that was hidden in the closet.

Hiding this issue in the closet has led to wind generation providing less than half of the value and CO2 displacement that wind energy could provide.

Bringing it out of the closet is now essential, the energy production capability is in place. Now it’s all about how to best use that energy.

In my vision we’ll start being very glad we have that potential energy source but we still have a mental model to get over.

What does 100% renewable mean?

A question on Quora asserted that Germany is generating 100% of their energy from renewables. This is my answer.

Germany is not even close to 100% renewable energy. There are days and moments when wind and solar produce a total electrical output equal to what the country is using but the country actually runs on Coal, Natural gas and Nuclear in that order.

What you have cited is information published with an agenda in mind rather than fact. When the renewable energy generates that much electricity for a bit then over 60% of that electricity is shipped to the EU grid where is distributed among the areas that are able to accept it.

I did not get this information from information slanted sources. It’s from the Energy Information Agency who have no stake in the construal of the information.

I do believe this can improve dramatically, and we’re 100% onboard with displacing combustion with renewable electricity, but that’s going to emerge in next “Renewable energy age.” Another question you might ask is “Why and Who is that misinformation coming from and what are they trying to accomplish with it.” It really is time to move on from that malarkey and get down to capturing more of the potential work that it can do. Like making thermal energy that will be used to replace combustions in industrial processes.

Copyright ©William Ross Williams 2018

Renewable or Not Renewable? That is the question.

It’s time to stop quibbling about is, and is not “renewable” and start focusing on reducing CO2, through an accelerated use of Combustion Free© energy.

It is just so confusing to sort out what is “renewable”. Based on the plethora of energy sources that are attempting to fit under the “renewable energy “umbrella, it’s become nearly impossible to sort out.

So, My position is that it is not “renewable” if it requires the combustion of carbonaceous materials to produce usable energy.

It is “renewable” if it can create usable energy without burning anything. This includes Wind, Solar, Nuclear, Hydro, and Geothermal.  Ocean energy is also renewable but has not proven to be economically viable.

We are at the end of what I view as the first 7 wave set of renewable electricity generation, However, we are just at the beginning of the real age of renewable electricity as the primary source of energy for our planet.

This is going to take the implementation of some strategies that, in retrospect, we’ll wonder how we missed but in reality, the situations and achievements making it possible have only become clear during the latest wave of renewable implementation.

My mission is to “write the book” on this transformation, with the help of the very large, and highly qualified experts that have been and still are  contributors to the knowledge base that is allowing us to see and comprehend visions that are not yet part of the thinking that got us to this transformation stage of energy production for the purposes of humanities continuing evolution on a planet that is starting to heal.

Copyright © William Ross Williams 2018

 

 

The number of questions on Quora, about what is renewable and what is not, is a clear demonstration of just how much confusion has been created by the highly active, authoritative, sounding, and diverse different perspectives and agendas created as a result of everyone raising their hands and proclaiming that we must use “renewable energy

Altresco has copyrighted the phrase Combustion Free energy as part of our mission statement

“Combustion Free” energy is going to become one of the largest CO2 elimination strategies and practices in the Future of Energy

Altresco’s mission is to bring “Combustion-free”  energy systems into the energy mainstream on Planet Earth.

We will be designing and implementing many proprietary strategies and system designs that are now possible as a result of the hugely successful deployment of renewable electricity generation across the entire planet.

It is the nature of nature to produce more than we need, and at times when we don’t need rains, wind, sunshine, and water. And that very nature is what is causing more electricity to be generated than we can put to use when it is available.  It is this electricity, and other “combustion –free” sources of energy that will become integrated into our system designs that will eliminate the need for combustion in an infinite number of processes, where combustion of fossil fuels was the only affordable option.

Our combustion free will become the least cost option.

Copyright © William Ross Williams 2018.

Combustion Free Industry and population centers

Question about moving half the world’s population to urban areas.

Is this a theory, strategy or an observation? Urbanization is already happening. Robert’s comments do reflect another reason why this is happening. My prediction is that we’re heading somewhere toward 79% urban.

A lot of urbanization has also been happening as a result of electricity availability, and the reality that our tendency toward large “central” generation, that need to be placed well away from population centres has also had an impact.

The concentration of electricity users is vastly easier to serve.

However, I also know that a sea change is on the way as we get more proficient at using the electricity from nature. Within 5 years, we will be seeing independent microgrids popping up that are totally independent of the grid constraints.

I also see technologies and mechanisms that will allow an industry to detach from fossil fuels, and start locating close to their raw material production sources. One thing not considered in this whole urbanization theory is the organic need for community.

When food can be grown, taken to market, processed or concentrated within a 5 km radius, we will see rural urbanization taking place, along with minimizing the intertribal hostilities.  Energy generation is going to decentralize, as well as weening itself from fossil fuels.

I know that this prediction is based on jumping a gap between mental models, but if I can see it, so can others.

©William Ross Williams 2018

The power/water economic conflict.

The question was “should I specialize in surface water or ground waaterWelcome to an area I’ve been passionate about for decades, studied deeply from many perspectives and still not been paid a dime.

Who is suggesting that you choose one or the other? I think that having to choose between those options is just nuts.

You see, groundwater becomes surface water and surface water becomes groundwater all of the time. In one location surface water will go underground and replenish the groundwater, and in another area where the geological formations guide it, it will become a spring which feeds into rivers and surface water.

So, I’ve been pounding on the “water” drum for 20 years and I finally got it through my thick head that no one wants to hear that GIGANTIC inconvenient truth, because it’ just not profitable to do so.

My passion about water resources did not come from the water area. It came from the power side. It was in India in 1996, where I was helping design the financing model for Private Power generation.

I’d been all gaga about helping everyone get the electricity they wanted, and making sure that the power plants made more fresh water available than they consumed, and had been incredibly frustrated about how hard it was to enroll people on the water provision side. I stopped by my most respected friend and Guru’s office at UPenn, to share my lack of progress on that front power when my incredible friend and advisor, a Nobel Prize-winning econometrician pointed that I shouldn’t be surprised,, but should stick to my guns because the value of electricity was high, but water is a finite resource and it is essential with or without electricity.

Water is a finite and oversubscribed resource, but using Cape Town South Africa as an example, they are not likely to change their ways till the water resources run dry.

IMHO your focus should be on the business side of the water industry rather than whether it’s on the surface or below ground.

Best of luck, we do need real water resource experts that see the whole water, economics picture, but you may want to have a second major, like business, that will pay the bills until people wake up to the water crisis.

 

I can’t believe it.

I must’ve driven by this 50 times and I just never noticed it.

Sound familiar?

After all, if you follow the mantra, “stay focused” you’re not going to spend any time gawking around at things that are not on the path you think you’re heading down. I remember several times where I’ve gotten lost and ended up discovering just the coolest places ever.

Well, today we’ve been so focused on generating more electricity that we’ve failed to notice that there is really no correlation between how much electricity nature can provide, and how much we can use. And I remember when I first noticed it, because, I was standing on our balcony with 10-year-old daughter, we were watching one of our favorite things which was a huge lightning storm, I realized that the same thing that causes lightning, is what powers wind turbines and that by capturing the power and wind it was almost like we had captured lightning. Of course, the huge difference is because with Wind Turbines we are able to control where and how much “lightning” we’re going to capture but it still doesn’t tell us when.

Since I had been working with an electrical industry collaboration group, regarding renewable electricity integration, I could picture the wind blades turning like a clock and I could on the envisioned clock when the wind electricity stopped being usable, and when on the clock, we would start using enough electricity again to make use of the wind electricity. Another epiphany I had while standing there is that electricity is energy. I know that sounds strange because for my whole life I thought that “energy” was something we used to make electricity. I had never imagined, that this wind and PV electricity just skips all the combustion, heat, hydroelectric turbines, and nuclear or thermoelectric generation and just IS.

The thought that electricity could be the beginning of an energy flow chart just hurts my brain. It still does seem like the most backward concept I have ever tried to imagine. Just think about it. Using electricity to make heat, instead of using heat to make electricity?  That just sounds so backward. Well, it’s 10 years later, it still sounds backwards but it is the comprehension we need to get our heads around F we are going to create a combustion-free world.

10 years ago, it was still unimaginable that we would ever find ourselves with extra electricity. But here we are. The uptake of wind generation, and solar PV generation, it is happening all over, without any attempts to correlate the use of that electricity with how we live in use electricity. Yes, I deliberately skipped concentrating solar thermal because even though that is not combustion, it’s still thermoelectric generation and still wastes at least the third of the potential of the energy pushed into the steam turbine generator.

Nope, the stuff coming out of wind generators and solar PV is just unadulterated electricity that is only slightly tamer then lightning but is still energy that we can direct to do work where work is needed.

I am going to take a minute and point out a characteristic that I hope you will notice about my writing. That is that I don’t talk about eliminating fossil fuels much because what I feel a real objective has to be is eliminating combustion. Burning forests, grain, and other organic materials is really no different than burning uncooked coal. Now coal is organic material that has been cooked so long it’s become a mineral. But hydrocarbons, on the other hand, are still organic. I seriously believe that carbon from organic matter needs to be tilted back into the soil to become food for new plant life rather than burned and turned into vapour full of both carbon monoxide carbon carb been dioxide and particulates.

Working toward a combustion free planet.

©William Ross Williams 2018.

 

 

What are the uses for renewable energy?

Great question. Your question highlights a question that 90% of Americans would probably be too embarrassed to ask. I’m one of them.  After decades of being a ”guru” in the energy space, I was writing something that suddenly triggered the question “What is electricity?” I’d been surrounded by people who could answer that question from 6 perspectives and since I could depend on them for those answers I never really asked such a totally dumb question.

When I realized that electricity the work that a giant herd of electrons can do when there’s something to a power, it really changed my perspective quite a bit. Whatever the source, the amount of electric current to be produced needs to match the amount of current being used. If those two don’t match, and particularly when the production exceeds the capacity it turns to heat and starts melting or starting fires till the connection is broken. That’s why we have “circuit breakers” everywhere there is a system of wires. Like your house. When the flow gets beyond the capacity of the system, the breaker flip before anything starts melting.

Once I started understanding that, I started understanding why some wind turbines aren’t turning even though there is plenty of wind.

Then when I started seeing things from that whole circuit mindset,  I realized that we now have zillions of ways to make an electric current, but unless we find a way to use it when the weather is making it we just have to disconnect whatever is sending the outbound current. And I also realized that OMG, sometimes electricity is the absolute least cost raw energy on earth.

And I realized why it was a hundred years between learning to make a current and the dawn of the electricity age. Edison didn’t have anything to do with the invention of electricity, he invented ways to use it.

So, to get back to your question, renewable electricity can be used for anything that fossil electricity is used for IF there enough electrical devices on to complete the circuit without melting.

This is why I’ve been investigating ways to put electricity to work when it’s available.

We’ve made some excellent progress, but the routes through the regulatory briar patches are just now being cleared enough to assure that it really is economically viable to start putting the finding in an unbiased environment where the viability can be demonstrated.

I do intend to be publishing the result in the language of each of the very diverse expertise groups with hopes of starting to create the common language that we can use to cheer on accelerating progress.

 

©William Ross Williams

 

Would somebody please turn off the sun?

It’s making too much electricity down here and we’re not set up to use it. What we have no way of knowing, as a populace, is that the way we use electricity, and the way wind and solar electricity provide it to us does not connect.

The wind and the sun don’t have on/off switches and we do. The transformation that we must make is to convert the electricity from wind and solar generation into work, i.e. Heat that can be stored long enough to produce the energy we need when we need it.

We can do this but by the expert utilization of “The Art of the Slant,”© we have been kept in the dark about options that are not yet on the market.

© William Ross Williams 2018