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RalofTyr
2008-Jun-04, 07:44 PM
After having an argument with one of my friends over the cost of foods due to increasing gas costs (which I haven't seen yet) as well as numerous thread here.

1. Buy a bicycle. They're cost effective and efficient. Though, they get zero miles to the gallon, they are still very fuel efficient and they provide good exercise that has increased health benefits.

2. Due to the costs of food, only buy what's on sale and never anything that's not. I learned this from my college days. Sign up and get those little newspaper ads from supermarkets. That is your guide. Learn to make do without your soda or special cereal. Find cost effective alternatives. Also, shop and discounted places. When they have a sale, this store called, Superior, has good deals on meat and produce (like 7lbs of oranges for a buck). Sure, it's full of Mexicans and I'm the only white guy there (besides the store manager), but I get to eat good at an effective cost.

3. Garden. You're food costs more due to transportation. Solution, remove transportation from the equation. Most of you guys have a back yard. tear half of it up and plant something. Me, I have about 20 corns, 30 tomatoes and about 10 beans growing in my small garden. Instead of a pine tree or a maple, get a fruit tree. I have a lemon tree and an avocado tree.

4. Buy a hand powered mower. It's good exercise and it saves fuel.

5. Use less electricity. You should be outside more working in your garden instead of spamming on the internet right?

I'm running out of steam, but you get the idea.

Any more suggestions?

Swift
2008-Jun-04, 08:17 PM
If you drive a car (some of us can't bike or mass transit for various reasons), do the suggestions that people make for saving gas: no sudden starts, don't speed, don't let the car idle for long periods, keep your tires properly inflated, clean air filter, etc.

dcolanduno_old
2008-Jun-04, 09:44 PM
Cool tips.

We already have a huge garden here we built and planted a few months back, stuff is already starting to grow into good food. My Lima Beans are now HUGE, we had to go and buy these real tall lattice things for them to grow on, I swear they grow by 3 inches or more a day!

Swift
2008-Jun-04, 09:50 PM
Switch to compact fluorescents in ever light fixture that you can (in a couple of situations, like with dimmer switches, they can be a problem). They are almost as cheap as regular light bulbs now (XYZmarts sell them for a couple of bucks each), they last at least 10 times as long, they use a fraction of the power, and if you are running the AC/fans/summer-breezes, they will put less load on your cooling needs.

Argos
2008-Jun-04, 09:58 PM
Get virtual, as much as you can. Expect things like these (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns669/networking_solutions_solution_segment_home.html) to be increasingly common.

geonuc
2008-Jun-04, 10:11 PM
I've been reading some tips from a 'hypermiler' lately. Something I never thought of: potential parking. Park at the highest elevation of a parking lot. You'll save fuel by allowing the car to go downhill when the engine is cold and at its lowest efficiency.

Some other driving tips (there's a link to ten hints in the middle of the page).

http://www.forbesautos.com/advice/toptens/hypermilers-fuel-saving-techniques.html

Last weekend, I installed the seventh ceiling fan in my house. Most of the bulbs are CFLs. I've lowered my freeway commute speed by ten mph (and am constantly in danger of getting rear-ended by speed-crazy, aggressive Atlanta drivers). Because of our ongoing drought, most of the lawn is gone - replaced with something drought tolerant (saves on gas for the mower). We have a substantial vegetable garden going - peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, lots of herbs.

Musashi
2008-Jun-04, 10:52 PM
Even better than CFL bulbs are LEDs. Price point is still pretty high though.

Swift
2008-Jun-05, 01:08 PM
I've lowered my freeway commute speed by ten mph (and am constantly in danger of getting rear-ended by speed-crazy, aggressive Atlanta drivers).
No different in Ohio. It constantly amazes me that so many people who complain about gas prices drive 70 or 80 mph (in 60 mph zones). I have a commute that is over an hour. Going even 5 mph over the speed limit knocks my mileage down a couple of mpg and saves me maybe 5 minutes. Heck, one or two traffic lights will make more of a difference than that.

jrkeller
2008-Jun-05, 01:21 PM
Stop smoking.

It's a waste of money, farm land and all the energy that into growing the tobacco.

Delvo
2008-Jun-05, 02:53 PM
Something I never thought of: potential parking. Park at the highest elevation of a parking lot. You'll save fuel by allowing the car to go downhill when the engine is cold and at its lowest efficiency.That sounds like a case of someone just thinking about it too much and basing their thinking on how obscure or offbeat an idea is rather than on its effects in real life. For a miniscule difference in efficiency for a given distance, you'd increase your driving distance this way... not just by driving the extra distance uphill to get to the "high" spot (on a nearly flat lot) on those occasions when it doesn't happen to be nearby, but also by not following the much simpler rule to just park right next to the parking lot's entrance/exit. This would reduce the distance you're driving both coming and going (and the walking won't hurt you).

* * *

A calculation to decide whether getting a particular vehicle will save you money on fuel, or actually, how soon it will start to save you that money...

1. Subtract the old one's efficiency from the new one's efficiency. If you started with each one in MPG, your answer is in MPG. This is the difference in efficiency that you would get each time you use the new vehicle instead of the old one.

2. Divide the cost of fuel per unit of fuel by the answer from step 1. If the fuel's cost is in dollars per gallon, the "per gallon" bits cancel out and you get dollars per mile. This is the money you save on fuel for each mile of driving the new vehicle instead of the old one.

3. Divide the new vehicle's price by the answer from step 2. The dollars cancel out and you get an answer in miles. This is the distance at which driving the new vehicle instead of the old one "pays for" the new one, the point where the fuel-cost savings equals the price you paid for it in the first place.

Going by mileage like that instead of time allows you to use this method even if the new vehicle doesn't completely replace the old one but instead you continue to use both at different times. That makes the formula applicable to fair-weather options like a bicycle or skateboard or walking/jogging (difference in efficiencies equals the old vehicle's entire efficiency) or a scooter or motorcycle.

You'll probably find that a new vehicle will never pay for itself or will just take a long long time to do it, if you compare cars and you weren't very close to time to replace your old car anyway. The difference between efficiencies of two cars just isn't high enough to offset the high cost of a car, even most used ones, unless you were about to get a car anyway for other reasons. But motorcycles and especially scooters yield a much higher improvement in efficiency for a much lower cost of vehicle, which tends to offset the fact that you wouldn't use one every day, so you reach the net-benefit point much sooner. That can make it worth getting one right now regardless of how much longer you'll keep your current car, so you get to start reducing fuel consumption right now while still avoiding the sacrifices of the non-motorized options (time and energy).

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-06, 12:10 AM
I've been reading some tips from a 'hypermiler' lately. Something I never thought of: potential parking. Park at the highest elevation of a parking lot. You'll save fuel by allowing the car to go downhill when the engine is cold and at its lowest efficiency.

What about all the fuel you used to defy gravity and drive to the top?

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-06, 02:40 AM
What about all the fuel you used to defy gravity and drive to the top?

You coast to the top using residual speed from when you were on the street!

danscope
2008-Jun-06, 03:29 AM
This technique is better applied on the frugal commuter who is too cheap to buy a new starter , and subsequently parks on hills (with a standard shift vehicle) and lets the vehicle roll to a fair velocity and 'pops' the clutch to
start the vehicle.
It serves when in stop-and-go traffic as well, allowing you to shut off the motor and return to action , saving the idle fuel, and without impact on the starter system.

Back in 74, I was working close to home, and never traveled enough to put enough juice back in the battery , but I lived on a hill, which served to start the vehicle every time, and as it was, my work place had a small hill sufficient to
do the job. No battery worries.
When the price of petrol goes through the roof, these little frugal schemes
seem to come out of the woodwork. If we are lucky, some really good technology will be developed as a result. All in good time.
Best regards, Dan

geonuc
2008-Jun-06, 10:21 AM
What about all the fuel you used to defy gravity and drive to the top?
I don't believe that the hypermiler guy is saying you seek out the local mountaintop and park there. Just that you should note the topography of the parking lot and not park at a low spot just because it's closer to the door.

Keep in mind that this is 'hypermiling' - some of the techniques would a have a very minimal - but still positive - effect of fuel consumption. I think the potential parking idea goes in with the larger advice to minimize the effort the engine has to make when it's cold by shifting the burden to times when it's hot.

MAPNUT
2008-Jun-06, 01:20 PM
Excellent ideas, RalofTyr, especially the gardening. From what I've seen of Europe, backyard gardens there are the rule rather than the exception. A fellow I know who lived in suburban Long Island, New York, had a visit from his father from Italy. When Papa saw the back yard, he slapped his son's face. "What, you eat grass?"

Just a mathematical quibble: bicycles don't get zero miles per gallon, they get infinite mpg. You're dividing by the gallons, of which there are zero, so that's infinity.

Topic for the not-too-distant future: how to survive with much less water.

Hey, it just occurred to me you could calculate miles per gallon for a bicycle. Just figure how many miles you could ride your bike on a bushel of corn (I'd bet 500 miles if you're in shape), then check the latest data on gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2008-Jun-06, 02:08 PM
here's a GREAT business idea....virtual vacations

build a BIG dome and stick various environments into it....virtual Tahiti....virtual Aspen...etc...I know this is already being done to some extent....make the things run off of solar and wind power....I know nothin g beats the real thing....but still cheaper than flying

Swift
2008-Jun-06, 02:12 PM
Nothing personal BBP, but I find that idea depressing. I hope to visit the real ones, not the holodeck one. Fake Tahiti isn't going to make me excited.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2008-Jun-06, 03:52 PM
no offence taken....

korjik
2008-Jun-06, 04:17 PM
Run the car's air conditioner as little as possible.

Admittedly, with car interiors being around 140 F at start, you may need to cool things down a bit, but if it is not too hot with the air draft from open wiindows, switch off the AC once the car is survivable.

Get sunscreens for the car.

To lower the 140F starting temp :)

The AC is what really kills my MPG. If I am going 70 without AC I only loose a little MPG, but with the AC, going 70 loses me like 25% of my MPG

crosscountry
2008-Jun-06, 04:40 PM
Switch to compact fluorescents in ever light fixture that you can (in a couple of situations, like with dimmer switches, they can be a problem). They are almost as cheap as regular light bulbs now (XYZmarts sell them for a couple of bucks each), they last at least 10 times as long, they use a fraction of the power, and if you are running the AC/fans/summer-breezes, they will put less load on your cooling needs.

LEDS are much more efficient and even cooler than fluorescents - plus they last longer than the age of the universe.






Take the bus
don't eat out or eat out so far from home
do all of your shopping at one time / shop closer to home
ride a motorcycle or scooter if bicycle is not an option
live closer to work
don't run the air conditioner in the car
use synthetic oil in your car (reduces consumption)
take cloth bags to the grocery store (plastic bags require oil to produce and paper takes oil to cut the trees and produce)
turn down the water heater - use less hot water
more blankets/fans


I have lots more

mugaliens
2008-Jun-06, 05:04 PM
Exercise less...

Swift
2008-Jun-06, 05:04 PM
Run the car's air conditioner as little as possible.

Admittedly, with car interiors being around 140 F at start, you may need to cool things down a bit, but if it is not too hot with the air draft from open wiindows, switch off the AC once the car is survivable.

Get sunscreens for the car.

To lower the 140F starting temp :)

The AC is what really kills my MPG. If I am going 70 without AC I only loose a little MPG, but with the AC, going 70 loses me like 25% of my MPG
That doesn't seem to be generally true and it depends on your speed and the car. With some cars, particularly at high speeds, the AC decreases the MPG less than the decrease in aerodynamics from opening the windows.

korjik
2008-Jun-06, 05:22 PM
That doesn't seem to be generally true and it depends on your speed and the car. With some cars, particularly at high speeds, the AC decreases the MPG less than the decrease in aerodynamics from opening the windows.

See above about high speeds :)

At city road speeds, I would think the windows would be more efficient for most cars. At highway speeds, then, yeah, it depends on the car. Mine is a Focus zx3. Mileage rolls off pretty bad with the AC at about 70. Windows rolloff is closer to 80. your results may vary :)

Now that I think about it, I think that would be a good myth for Mythbusters. They have done pickup truck tailgates, and I think it would be interesting to see how much effect car windows up or down has on MPG

cjl
2008-Jun-06, 05:23 PM
LEDS are much more efficient and even cooler than fluorescents - plus they last longer than the age of the universe.

Not as much as some people like to think, and they cost absurdly large amounts for how much light they emit. Yes, LED's can be more efficient than fluorescents, but for currently available ones, only by a relatively small amount. The ideal of anything we have so far is actually a low pressure sodium lamp, but those emit a single emission line, so they don't really allow for much in the way of viewing colors.

Swift
2008-Jun-06, 05:31 PM
Now that I think about it, I think that would be a good myth for Mythbusters. They have done pickup truck tailgates, and I think it would be interesting to see how much effect car windows up or down has on MPG
It would be a good one for them. It seems to be an on-going debate.
Bankrate.com article (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/auto/20050804a1.asp)

Red Sox versus Yankees. Seat up versus seat down. Microsoft versus Apple. To the list of issues people feel irrationally passionate about, add one more: Whether it's more economical to drive with windows down or with the air conditioning on.

...

Consumer Reports' auto-test department reports that the air conditioner reduces your car's fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. So to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, motorists should avoid using the air conditioner at speeds below 40 mph and travel with their windows down, explains Gabe Shenhar, senior auto test engineer at Consumer Report's auto-test department.

"But as your speed increases to 45 mph, or highway speeds," says Jason Toews, co-founder of GasBuddy.com, "wind drag becomes an issue. Driving with the windows down increases the drag on your vehicle, resulting in decreased fuel economy by up to 10 percent. Drive at speeds over 55 mph with windows down and you'll decrease fuel economy by up to 20 percent or greater."

crosscountry
2008-Jun-06, 05:57 PM
Not as much as some people like to think, and they cost absurdly large amounts for how much light they emit. Yes, LED's can be more efficient than fluorescents, but for currently available ones, only by a relatively small amount. The ideal of anything we have so far is actually a low pressure sodium lamp, but those emit a single emission line, so they don't really allow for much in the way of viewing colors.

I think the electricity cost is about 10% in some cases half that.

cjl
2008-Jun-06, 06:59 PM
I think the electricity cost is about 10% in some cases half that.
For LED's vs fluorescent?

Not even close. LED's use 60-90% of the energy that a compact fluorescent would for the same amount of light. T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes can actually be more efficient than an equivalent LED (and they are also significantly more efficient than most of the compact fluorescents).

Now, an LED does use something like 15% of the power that an equivalent incandescent would give out (for the most part, though halogens are quite a bit more efficient than most incandescents).

crosscountry
2008-Jun-06, 07:22 PM
For LED's vs fluorescent?

Not even close. LED's use 60-90% of the energy that a compact fluorescent would for the same amount of light. T5 and T8 fluorescent tubes can actually be more efficient than an equivalent LED (and they are also significantly more efficient than most of the compact fluorescents).

Now, an LED does use something like 15% of the power that an equivalent incandescent would give out (for the most part, though halogens are quite a bit more efficient than most incandescents).


Well, I may have overestimated the possible savings on electricity, but you cannot deny that fluorescents pose more danger to people through gas and broken glass.

weatherc
2008-Jun-06, 07:54 PM
Take the bus

I would love to take public transportation to work. In fact, I used to take the train to my last job. Unfortunately, I don't have that option with my current job. At least, I don't have any option that will take less than 2 hours one way. Maybe your time isn't worth anything to you, but it is to me.



ride a motorcycle or scooter if bicycle is not an option

I feel like my commute is dangerous enough. Add in the danger of taking a motorcycle to work? No, thanks. I think my wife and son would miss me if I were killed, and I would feel pretty stupid losing my life just because I was trying to save a few dollars on gas.



live closer to work I have lots more

I love how people just flippantly toss this one out there. You might as well tell a quadriplegic, "Just walk it off," or tell a drowning person, "Don't worry! Just grow some gills!" Do you think I like sitting in over twenty miles of stop-and-go traffic each way every day and dealing with the stupidity of other drivers? Do you think I like paying for the gas and for all of that maintenance on my car?

I don't. But I don't have much choice. Just about all of the jobs in my field are located east of me. Unfortunately, the further east you go in New Jersey, the closer you get to New York City. The closer you get to New York City, the more expensive the real estate gets. The only reason I moved so far west was because that was the only place the real estate actually got down to a reasonable price.

To anyone that smugly tells me, "Live closer to work," I say, "You can pay for the difference in my mortgage when I move," because any house reasonably like mine (which, believe me, is no palace) will cost over $100,000 more. Even the ones that don't cost that much to begin with would require at least that much just to bring them back up to the level of my house. Do you have that kind of money just laying around? I didn't think so.

I'm sure there are plenty of other people just as trapped by the real estate and job market in their region as I am. I'm afraid real life just isn't always as simple as environmentalists would like to believe.

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-06, 07:56 PM
Just a mathematical quibble: bicycles don't get zero miles per gallon, they get infinite mpg. You're dividing by the gallons, of which there are zero, so that's infinity.

Well, bth, there was some gas used to ship the bike over here from China.

I really want Americans to give up there green lawns and flowers and plant food. I want to make money off of it and I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

weatherc
2008-Jun-06, 07:59 PM
I really want Americans to give up there green lawns and flowers and plant food. I want to make money off of it and I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Good luck with that.

Of course, you could reduce your own carbon footprint pretty quickly: Just stop exhaling.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-06, 09:17 PM
I would love to take public transportation to work. In fact, I used to take the train to my last job. Unfortunately, I don't have that option with my current job. At least, I don't have any option that will take less than 2 hours one way. Maybe your time isn't worth anything to you, but it is to me.



I feel like my commute is dangerous enough. Add in the danger of taking a motorcycle to work? No, thanks. I think my wife and son would miss me if I were killed, and I would feel pretty stupid losing my life just because I was trying to save a few dollars on gas.



I love how people just flippantly toss this one out there. You might as well tell a quadriplegic, "Just walk it off," or tell a drowning person, "Don't worry! Just grow some gills!" Do you think I like sitting in over twenty miles of stop-and-go traffic each way every day and dealing with the stupidity of other drivers? Do you think I like paying for the gas and for all of that maintenance on my car?

I don't. But I don't have much choice. Just about all of the jobs in my field are located east of me. Unfortunately, the further east you go in New Jersey, the closer you get to New York City. The closer you get to New York City, the more expensive the real estate gets. The only reason I moved so far west was because that was the only place the real estate actually got down to a reasonable price.

To anyone that smugly tells me, "Live closer to work," I say, "You can pay for the difference in my mortgage when I move," because any house reasonably like mine (which, believe me, is no palace) will cost over $100,000 more. Even the ones that don't cost that much to begin with would require at least that much just to bring them back up to the level of my house. Do you have that kind of money just laying around? I didn't think so.

I'm sure there are plenty of other people just as trapped by the real estate and job market in their region as I am. I'm afraid real life just isn't always as simple as environmentalists would like to believe.


You sound like a typical angry New Jerseyan to me. If I were you I'd move to a different state where housing wasn't so expensive and you and your family could be happier. But Texas is getting full, so maybe find somewhere else.

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-06, 09:22 PM
weatherc, your lifestyle is your choice. You chose it.

Swift
2008-Jun-06, 09:40 PM
You sound like a typical angry New Jerseyan to me. If I were you I'd move to a different state where housing wasn't so expensive and you and your family could be happier. But Texas is getting full, so maybe find somewhere else.
Actually, I'm with weatherc on this. Moving is easier said than done. I currently have a 50 mile commute, because the company I work for closed the plant that I used to work at. Selling my current house and moving is very tough in this housing market. And I'm in a specialized enough field that there are not a lot of jobs out there. It's easy to say it's a life-style choice.

But that doesn't mean there are no other options, and I thought that was what this thread was about, not bashing people's choices, but presenting ideas.

weatherc
2008-Jun-06, 09:51 PM
I'm a graphic designer. Just about the only graphic design jobs that pay well are found in or near large cities. Compared to most designers that I communicate with in other parts of the country, I'm practically paid like royalty. I would love nothing more than to move to a small town that's within walking distance of where I work and still support my family. Unfortunately, that's probably never going to happen.

There's also the fact that just about my entire family lives here. Most of my wife's family lives here. Even if we worked out how we could move somewhere else, my parents would almost never see their grandchild, and there would be one less person to help my 77 year old father in-law with things around the house.

But sure, it's easy to just tell someone else to move. Just as easy as telling them "live closer to work."

crosscountry
2008-Jun-06, 10:02 PM
It sounds to me like one makes a choice - be paid like royalty or be happy. There are plenty of markets for graphic designers in every region of the country. People still find ways to exist and feed their family in those places too - plus save for retirement.

I'm single, but if someone offered me a job making 4x what I'm making now, but the commute was 50 miles each way, with no option of moving, I'd keep looking. Every hour you sit in traffic is like taking a month off of your life. My opinions my change, but that's where they are now.

Is Philadelphia too far to move? I'm sure there are plenty of places to work there and housing should be much less.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-06, 10:22 PM
There's a world of difference in the options a single person has than what a married person has. In most cases, you're talking about two people having to find new jobs, not just one. If there are children, it becomes even more complicated. Combine that with the challenges of having to sell a home in a down market and the advice to "move closer to work" is a glib piece of nonsense. It's easy to tell someone to do something when you don't understand their life circumstances.

"For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong."

cjl
2008-Jun-06, 10:24 PM
It sounds to me like one makes a choice - be paid like royalty or be happy. There are plenty of markets for graphic designers in every region of the country. People still find ways to exist and feed their family in those places too - plus save for retirement.

From what he is saying, it sounds like he isn't paid like royalty by most standards, just relative to the other jobs he could get. I'm with weatherc on this one - it may be easy to say that, but in reality, there are far fewer choices than you seem to be saying.

redshifter
2008-Jun-06, 11:38 PM
See above about high speeds :)

At city road speeds, I would think the windows would be more efficient for most cars. At highway speeds, then, yeah, it depends on the car. Mine is a Focus zx3. Mileage rolls off pretty bad with the AC at about 70. Windows rolloff is closer to 80. your results may vary :)

Now that I think about it, I think that would be a good myth for Mythbusters. They have done pickup truck tailgates, and I think it would be interesting to see how much effect car windows up or down has on MPG

They did do an episode on that. They took two Ford Explorers, drained the fuel tanks, put 3 or so gallons in each, and drove them at 40 mph around a track, one with AC on and the other with the windows down. IIRC the one with the windows down got the better MPG, but that test was flawed, they should have used the same exact vehicle for each test. Two vehicles of the same make and with the same engine won't necessarily get the exact same MPG.

In my own experience, both my last vehicle and my current vehicle don't seem to suffer much of an MPG drop with AC on vs. no AC (without rolling down the windows), esp. at highway speeds.

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-07, 12:12 AM
Gas ain't going down. It's only going to go up and up. What are you going to do when it's $8 a gallon? $12? Though moving closer to work is a pain in the butt, it is an inevitability.

danscope
2008-Jun-07, 12:18 AM
In general, it takes 10 to 15 horse power to pull an air conditioning compressor
and that power translates into miles per gallon. This is true.
Now, if you do that test with the fan pulling fresh air into the vehicle ,
as opposed to the windows wide open, you will get an accurate indication of
what it takes for AC, and not the change in aerodynamics from ingesting
large quantities of stationary air, and accelerating it to highway speeds and than exhausting it back into the slipstream again. Simply an academic perogative.

Dan

weatherc
2008-Jun-07, 01:01 AM
From what he is saying, it sounds like he isn't paid like royalty by most standards, just relative to the other jobs he could get.Exactly.

For example, with the pay that I would get doing a similar job in, say, Iowa, I couldn't afford a house there, even though the real estate is cheaper. The same is true of many other locations. Yes, I've looked into it a number of times over the years. And in the more urban markets, such as Philadelphia, you run into the same problem as with the New York City area: the real estate closer to the jobs costs more. Even if I did move to one of these other markets, I wouldn't be gaining anything, just moving for no good reason.

And here's the kicker: For the first time in my life, I make enough with my current job to support my whole family on just my income, which is practically unheard of for graphic designers just about anywhere. Do we live like kings? No, but we can afford what we have without going into debt. And, since my wife doesn't commute, that lowers our gasoline consumption quite a bit. If I were to move, we would both have to work, which wouldn't save us any gas at all, and lower our quality of life by most measures.

Not so simple, is it?

Halcyon Dayz
2008-Jun-07, 02:48 AM
Better city planning. The whole idea of suburbs was probably a mistake.
My dad used to walk to work.

But that is a long term thing.

Delvo
2008-Jun-07, 02:55 AM
Another problem with that Mythbusters episode was that they did the test only at one speed, instead of repeating at various speeds. The AC's power cost is essentially constant, but the aerodynamic power cost of open windows (and/or sunroof and/or droptop) increases with speed, so even if the open windows are more efficient at low speed, there's got to be a threshold speed at which that flips around and the AC becomes more efficient above that point. So then the question would be what that speed is, and it's probably a different answer from one vehicle to another.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jun-07, 05:03 PM
Gas ain't going down. It's only going to go up and up. What are you going to do when it's $8 a gallon? $12? Though moving closer to work is a pain in the butt, it is an inevitability.
Convert the car to run on wood gas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodgas), you'll get CO2 neutral combustion at the same time.

weatherc
2008-Jun-07, 05:48 PM
Gas ain't going down. It's only going to go up and up. What are you going to do when it's $8 a gallon? $12? Though moving closer to work is a pain in the butt, it is an inevitability.
I can afford to pay for a lot of gas at $8 or $12 a gallon before it would cost anywhere near what it would cost to move closer to work. And I could probably get my employers to let me telecommute a lot of the time if things ever got that drastic.

Edit to Add: An added bonus would be that the traffic might get better, since the people who couldn't afford to drive gas guzzlers at that price would start to drop off the highway.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-07, 06:12 PM
at 8 dollars per gallon my bicycle would become my main mode of transportation.

the truck would never get driven - possibly sold; and the motorcycles would see much more down time.

aquitaine
2008-Jun-08, 02:37 AM
For electricity your neighborhood could band together and collectively purchase a Toshiba micro nuclear reactor (http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news-toshiba-micro-nuclear-12.17b.html). It's sealed, fully automated, and can last for 40 years.

For your car, maybe nuclear powered cars. such as the Ford Nucleon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Nucleon) will see the light of day. :D

crosscountry
2008-Jun-08, 03:32 AM
try to combine trips. On my way home from work I shop for food rather than go again later.

geonuc
2008-Jun-08, 11:17 AM
Actually, I'm with weatherc on this.
I'm with weatherc's sentiment (moving is often not a realistic option), but I wish it would have been expressed a little more nicely.

Doodler
2008-Jun-08, 11:44 AM
Take the bus
don't eat out or eat out so far from home
do all of your shopping at one time / shop closer to home
ride a motorcycle or scooter if bicycle is not an option
live closer to work
don't run the air conditioner in the car
use synthetic oil in your car (reduces consumption)
take cloth bags to the grocery store (plastic bags require oil to produce and paper takes oil to cut the trees and produce)
turn down the water heater - use less hot water more blankets/fansThe bus is a nice option for those that have it. Suburbia is notoriously lacking in mass transit around here.

While I'm a damned good cook, there are times when I do not want to be bothered with the massive production of making it myself. This before you take into account the people in the world capable of burning water...

Bikes are nice for those who enjoy them, I prefer climate control when concentrating on the actions of lunatics (myself included) moving at high speeds.

Synthetic oil's a nice one, but where's the real savings when I go from a 30 dollar oil change for natural to 80 dollars for synthetic? Even if I can theoretically double the mileage between changes, I'm still short 20 bucks. FYI, I do actually use synthetic myself, mostly for philosophical reasons.

I've lived within five miles of every job I've had since 1993. Doesn't quite account for the fact that some of those jobs required several hundred additional miles per month of work related travel.

As for the A/C bit, spend a month in the Mid-Atlantic states during the height of summer when the temperature is hovering the 85-105 range, and the humidity is high enough that fish could breathe on land, and see whether that A/C button stays off.

The plastic bag bit I can almost sympathize with, except that I re-use plastic grocery bags for cleaning related trash bags or for personal use when transporting stuff.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-08, 12:31 PM
Gas ain't going down. It's only going to go up and up. What are you going to do when it's $8 a gallon? $12? Though moving closer to work is a pain in the butt, it is an inevitability.

You're making the asssumption that running a conventionally fueled vehicle on gasoline is the only option. It ain't. Hybrids are becoming more common, as are diesel cars. Both of them get better mileage than your average car. One could also convert their car to run on something like CNG, which is cheaper than gasoline. There's a number of alternative fuel sources coming down the pike, and I'd be willing to bet that they come online (especially in a densely populated area like New Jersey) before gas hits $12/gal.

It is easy to say, "Move," it is a helluvalot harder to do it. Especially now, if you own your own home. The housing market is in the toilet, so getting someone to buy your home (at a reasonable price) is difficult, if not impossible.

Saying "move" is like saying that everyone "should drive a small car." Nice idea, in theory, but the reality is that its impossible for many people. Some folks have to own a truck as they need it for work. Change jobs? 'Mkay, what are you going to do when there's no farmers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc., etc., etc. because they've all gone to work as computer programmers or something?

crosscountry
2008-Jun-08, 02:57 PM
[/LIST]The bus is a nice option for those that have it. Suburbia is notoriously lacking in mass transit around here.

While I'm a damned good cook, there are times when I do not want to be bothered with the massive production of making it myself. This before you take into account the people in the world capable of burning water...

Bikes are nice for those who enjoy them, I prefer climate control when concentrating on the actions of lunatics (myself included) moving at high speeds.

Synthetic oil's a nice one, but where's the real savings when I go from a 30 dollar oil change for natural to 80 dollars for synthetic? Even if I can theoretically double the mileage between changes, I'm still short 20 bucks. FYI, I do actually use synthetic myself, mostly for philosophical reasons.

I've lived within five miles of every job I've had since 1993. Doesn't quite account for the fact that some of those jobs required several hundred additional miles per month of work related travel.

As for the A/C bit, spend a month in the Mid-Atlantic states during the height of summer when the temperature is hovering the 85-105 range, and the humidity is high enough that fish could breathe on land, and see whether that A/C button stays off.

The plastic bag bit I can almost sympathize with, except that I re-use plastic grocery bags for cleaning related trash bags or for personal use when transporting stuff.

every one of your points is a preference. And I guarantee if the gasoline runs out you'll change your preference.


Not picking on you, but rather making an observation. People are resistant to change, but when outside forces affect them they'll do whatever it takes to survive. If gas hits $10 per gallon I'm betting you'll eat out a lot less and think about buying a motorcycle.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-08, 02:58 PM
OH, and I live in Texas. Your high temp for the year we've already hit in May, and I'm expecting to hit it often until August. You'll hit that temp once.

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-08, 07:54 PM
You're making the asssumption that running a conventionally fueled vehicle on gasoline is the only option. It ain't. Hybrids are becoming more common, as are diesel cars. Both of them get better mileage than your average car. One could also convert their car to run on something like CNG, which is cheaper than gasoline. There's a number of alternative fuel sources coming down the pike, and I'd be willing to bet that they come online (especially in a densely populated area like New Jersey) before gas hits $12/gal.

It is easy to say, "Move," it is a helluvalot harder to do it. Especially now, if you own your own home. The housing market is in the toilet, so getting someone to buy your home (at a reasonable price) is difficult, if not impossible.

Saying "move" is like saying that everyone "should drive a small car." Nice idea, in theory, but the reality is that its impossible for many people. Some folks have to own a truck as they need it for work. Change jobs? 'Mkay, what are you going to do when there's no farmers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc., etc., etc. because they've all gone to work as computer programmers or something?

Sure, we could have cars the run on a wonderful fuel sources called, "Unobtainium" that gives us a 100MPG. However, I'm taking a more conservative approach and assuming we don't have the money to convert all of our gasoline powered machines. It's not just cars that run on gas, but farming equipments, planes and trains and even power plants.


I can afford to pay for a lot of gas at $8 or $12 a gallon before it would cost anywhere near what it would cost to move closer to work. And I could probably get my employers to let me telecommute a lot of the time if things ever got that drastic.

Can you afford to have your groceries and utilities triple?

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-08, 08:07 PM
Can you afford to have your groceries and utilities triple?

First question is: Why would they triple?

crosscountry
2008-Jun-08, 08:10 PM
cost of delivery. eventually though I think the food will stop being shipped. That is if gas really runs out. Then it's back to finding your own food.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-08, 08:16 PM
Sure, we could have cars the run on a wonderful fuel sources called, "Unobtainium" that gives us a 100MPG. However, I'm taking a more conservative approach and assuming we don't have the money to convert all of our gasoline powered machines. It's not just cars that run on gas, but farming equipments, planes and trains and even power plants.Spoken like someone who has zero idea of what goes on in the energy industry. First of all, ethanol plants are coming online rapidly (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/04/over-a-dozen-cellulosic-ethanol-plants-going-up-in-the-u-s/). This is not "Unobtainium" this is here and now. People are snapping hybrids (which can run on 15% ethanol) up faster than they can build them (and the batteries for them are dropping in price (http://www.ecomodder.com/blog/2008/06/07/replacement-hybrid-battery-costs-plummet/)), there's better hydrogen storage tanks being developed all the time (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/02/bmw-develops-lighter-smaller-liquid-hydrogen-tank/), solar panels are getting cheaper (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1704/), a CNG powered car can be filled up for about $5 (and at $2K for a conversion kit, its cheaper than buying a new car) (http://gas2.org/2008/04/29/natural-gas-cars-cng-fuel-almost-free-in-some-parts-of-the-country/), and researchers have figured out how to make gasoline from trees (http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111392), to name just a few of the advances. "Unobtainium" my aunt Fanny.

Next, the bulk of farm equipment runs of diesel, and can be easily be powered by biodiesel. Finally, no significant power generation in the US comes from gasoline. Less than 9% of power in the US is generated by petroleum products, with 99% of that being oil. You can bet that there are no major powerplants being ran using gasoline, and oil fired powerplants are on the way out. Coal is pretty much dominant in the US, with natural gas, nuclear, and hydro taking up the lion's share of the rest.

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-08, 08:17 PM
cost of delivery. eventually though I think the
food will stop being shipped. That is if gas really runs out. Then it's back to finding your own food.

Sorry, I was asking a real world question. And, I wasn't just asking about food, but also utilities like natural gas (not oil), electricity (where oil is minor component), telephone, etc.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-08, 08:21 PM
cost of delivery. eventually though I think the food will stop being shipped. That is if gas really runs out. Then it's back to finding your own food.
Not going to happen. Long before it gets to the point where the price of oil is so high that no one in the US can afford the fuel to ship food, the developing world's economies will have utterly collapsed and the demand for oil will have drop because of this that fuel prices will fall and we fat Americans can continue to be fat Americans. Already semi-truck builders like Peterbuilt are rolling out hybrid trucks (Wal-Mart is presently testing them) which will lower food costs. Long before that happens, however, we'll have switched to alternative fuel sources.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jun-08, 09:01 PM
Sure, we could have cars the run on a wonderful fuel sources called, "Unobtainium" that gives us a 100MPG. However, I'm taking a more conservative approach and assuming we don't have the money to convert all of our gasoline powered machines. It's not just cars that run on gas, but farming equipments, planes and trains and even power plants.
Have a look at wood gas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodgas).
That's a proven conversion, used quite a lot in Denmark during WWII when gasoline got impossible to get.

sarongsong
2008-Jun-08, 09:16 PM
From an early leader:
June 9, 2008
...thousands of households in energy-poor Japan are taking part in an ambitious experiment to use fuel cells to light and heat their homes...As well as producing electricity, the fuel cells also ensure a steady supply of hot water for households...the machines -- about the size of a small cupboard -- are also silent...
YahooNews (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080608/sc_afp/energyoilinflationtechnologyjapan_080608172448)... and Toyota (http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/online/news/articles/2008-06/Toyota-unveils-advanced-fuel-cell-vehicle) has just boosted its fuel cell vehicle's range from ~200 miles to ~500.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jun-09, 12:52 AM
People don't seem to realize just what the United States is capable of. How many fuel efficient cars could you buy with a trillion dollars? About 50 million. Use them to replace the cars using the most gasoline and you cut US oil consumption by perhaps a quater or more. Can America afford a trillion dollars? Well the Iraq occupation has cost about a trillion dollars so apparently it can. And there are more efficient ways to cut oil use than just handing out new cars. The United States is rich enough to cut its oil use while merely slowing the growth of its economy. No need to go backwards.

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-09, 03:38 AM
To add to what crosscountry said about summer temperatures, it's not just the daytime peaks, it's the "area under the curve". By that I mean that here in Centex the temperature often crosses 90oF around 10am on its way to 100o+F and doesn't drop below 90oF until 10pm. Not only that, but the low might be in the low 80s. Essentially, we're talking A/C 24-7 for 3 months of the year!

crosscountry
2008-Jun-09, 03:46 AM
I keep my a/c on 76 and sleep with a fan. I could easily go another degree or two higher before having to change something else.

Delvo
2008-Jun-09, 04:10 AM
I don't suppose many people would be willing to consider home nudity, even if they live alone...

With the argument over moving closer to where you work or go to school and such, I wonder if anyone here has done it or is planning to. I know it is done, but not how common it is. I suspect it's like replacing cars: you consider the factor when the time comes that you'd be making a major change anyway, but don't usually make the change just because of this one factor. But my family did it when I was in high school, and I plan to do so again myself as soon as I find out which hospital I'll be doing the clinical phase of my education at.

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-09, 04:35 AM
I don't suppose many people would be willing to consider home nudity...
Nothing to consider. I live alone, in the middle of 4 acres of trees and to see me, even if I was outside, you would have to trespass! Of course I do!

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-09, 04:36 AM
Spoken like someone who has zero idea of what goes on in the energy industry. First of all, ethanol plants are coming online rapidly (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/04/over-a-dozen-cellulosic-ethanol-plants-going-up-in-the-u-s/). This is not "Unobtainium" this is here and now. People are snapping hybrids (which can run on 15% ethanol) up faster than they can build them (and the batteries for them are dropping in price (http://www.ecomodder.com/blog/2008/06/07/replacement-hybrid-battery-costs-plummet/)), there's better hydrogen storage tanks being developed all the time (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/02/bmw-develops-lighter-smaller-liquid-hydrogen-tank/), solar panels are getting cheaper (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1704/), a CNG powered car can be filled up for about $5 (and at $2K for a conversion kit, its cheaper than buying a new car) (http://gas2.org/2008/04/29/natural-gas-cars-cng-fuel-almost-free-in-some-parts-of-the-country/), and researchers have figured out how to make gasoline from trees (http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111392), to name just a few of the advances. "Unobtainium" my aunt Fanny.

Next, the bulk of farm equipment runs of diesel, and can be easily be powered by biodiesel. Finally, no significant power generation in the US comes from gasoline. Less than 9% of power in the US is generated by petroleum products, with 99% of that being oil. You can bet that there are no major powerplants being ran using gasoline, and oil fired powerplants are on the way out. Coal is pretty much dominant in the US, with natural gas, nuclear, and hydro taking up the lion's share of the rest.

Well, well, tucker, sounds like you have no idea what's going on in America. You might want to get off your Green Dream here, but I've heard this all before. Remember nuclear power? Safe, clean efficient, the energy source that will power America into a new utopia? Do you really think Americans are going to give up their high performance cars? You do know that coal is brought in by the truck load right? Which runs on gas (refined from oil). And don't get me started on using trees for oil, the treehuggers will have a fit about that.



First question is: Why would they triple?

Oil is used in the harvesting, transportation and maintenance of. Oil powers every faucet of our society. Getting off the oil addiction is far more difficult than it sounds.

Delvo
2008-Jun-09, 04:40 AM
Oil powers over faucet of our society.OK, put down the Mad Libs book... :p:whistle:

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-09, 04:48 AM
Oil is used in the harvesting, transportation and maintenance of.

And yet oil is still a fraction of the costs that go into producing electricity, so why would the cost of electrical production triple?

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-09, 04:57 AM
Well, well, tucker, sounds like you have no idea what's going on in America. You might want to get off your Green Dream here, but I've heard this all before. Remember nuclear power? Safe, clean efficient, the energy source that will power America into a new utopia? Do you really think Americans are going to give up their high performance cars? You do know that coal is brought in by the truck load right? Which runs on gas (refined from oil). And don't get me started on using trees for oil, the treehuggers will have a fit about that.And guess what? Nuclear power is back. Almost all these alternative energy sources were looked at in the 1970s, but then dropped when gas prices fell (and just think of where we might be if we hadn't given up on alternative fuel research in the 1980s). Heck, hybrids were invented back in 1899! (http://www.hybrid-vehicle.org/hybrid-vehicle-porsche.html) And the tree huggers will keep quiet about turning trees into gasoline, since that's technically a carbon neutral source of fuel. As for your comment about coal being hauled by trucks, you're dead wrong. Most coal is shipped by rail (which is vastly more efficient than truck) and a good number of coal power plants are located adjacent to coal mines, so the transportation costs are minimal.

aquitaine
2008-Jun-09, 05:52 AM
People don't seem to realize just what the United States is capable of. How many fuel efficient cars could you buy with a trillion dollars? About 50 million. Use them to replace the cars using the most gasoline and you cut US oil consumption by perhaps a quater or more. Can America afford a trillion dollars? Well the Iraq occupation has cost about a trillion dollars so apparently it can. And there are more efficient ways to cut oil use than just handing out new cars. The United States is rich enough to cut its oil use while merely slowing the growth of its economy. No need to go backwards.


Where exactly is that trillion going to come from? This really goes into the question of how much of America's wealth is real and how much of it is just debt. Much of the middle class is already living on the edge as it is, and the US government is up to its eyeballs in debt. This years deficit is supposed to be almost $500 billion.

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-09, 05:11 PM
Where exactly is that trillion going to come from? This really goes into the question of how much of America's wealth is real and how much of it is just debt. Much of the middle class is already living on the edge as it is, and the US government is up to its eyeballs in debt. This years deficit is supposed to be almost $500 billion.

Eight years ago, the US was running a surplus and the national debt was projected to be paid off about now. The biggest worry among the economics crowd was "what will bond traders do when the Treasury doesn't need to sell bonds to finance the Gov't". I'm already close to the edge, so I'll say no more.

korjik
2008-Jun-09, 07:00 PM
And guess what? Nuclear power is back. Almost all these alternative energy sources were looked at in the 1970s, but then dropped when gas prices fell (and just think of where we might be if we hadn't given up on alternative fuel research in the 1980s). Heck, hybrids were invented back in 1899! (http://www.hybrid-vehicle.org/hybrid-vehicle-porsche.html) And the tree huggers will keep quiet about turning trees into gasoline, since that's technically a carbon neutral source of fuel. As for your comment about coal being hauled by trucks, you're dead wrong. Most coal is shipped by rail (which is vastly more efficient than truck) and a good number of coal power plants are located adjacent to coal mines, so the transportation costs are minimal.

Note that the research into oil conservation was one of the causes of the oil price collapse in 1985.

Also note that the research wasnt stopped in 1985, it was just back burnered because it wasnt efficient and wasnt going to get efficient any time soon. Today's tech is alot more advanced than 1985.

Click Ticker
2008-Jun-09, 07:17 PM
Regarding living closer to work:

Among the many changes in society recently is the lack of long term employment prospects. For a brief time in our history, people could count on getting a job with a certain employer and expect that employer to be loyal to them as long as they were loyal to the employer. These days, people not only have to be ready for a job change, they almost need to expect it at some point in the near future. Not many people stay with one company long term. In some industries, you almost have to change employers to get any decent climb up the salary scale. Many companies these days value their competitors employees more than they value their own, so they'll pay a substantial premium to recruit from the competition vs. promoting internally.

As a result, if you live close enough to work today, wait two years. The situation might change, and then what? If you want to be property owner in a tough real estate market you can't move everytime this happens.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-09, 07:28 PM
Eight years ago, the US was running a surplus and the national debt was projected to be paid off about now. The biggest worry among the economics crowd was "what will bond traders do when the Treasury doesn't need to sell bonds to finance the Gov't". I'm already close to the edge, so I'll say no more.

If you check the Treasury Department Bureau of the National Debt page (http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?once=true&site=http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm), you'll see that the debt increased every single year that the budget was "balanced." This is because to "balance" the budget, the government used smoke and mirrors accounting that anyone else would wind up in jail for doing - they borrowed from one fund to make the other fund look balanced. Specifically, they borrowed from the "Social Security Trust Fund" to balance the general fund. That's why the debt kept on increasing even with a "balanced budget." It was all a lie.

Back to this thread, the point is that "the government" shouldn't be spending a trillion dollars to buy cars for everyone. First of all, the government has to tax everyone to get the money. Given the amount of administrative overhead, it'd be far better to let people keep their money to buy the best vehicle that fits their needs rather than accept whatever vehicle some bureaucrat deems worthy. Centralized planning of the economy has a terrible track record where it's applied.

Individuals can do many things to reduce their energy consumption. High energy prices are forcing many people to make these changes. For example, reports indicate that there's a glut of SUVs on the used vehicle market because people are dumping them in favor of more fuel efficient vehicles. The market is starting to work.

People can slow down and drive more efficiently. They can reduce the miles they drive (total miles driven fell something like 4% in March) by combining trips, carpooling, etc. Beyond cars, they can do other things like check the thermostat settings on their furnaces/air conditioners/water heaters. They can turn off computers and other electrical devices when they're not using them and/or switch to more energy efficient products. There are a host of things people can do all without the heavy hand of government dictates.

"One size fits all" is lousy for clothing and just about everything else.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-09, 07:30 PM
Regarding living closer to work:

Among the many changes in society recently is the lack of long term employment prospects. For a brief time in our history, people could count on getting a job with a certain employer and expect that employer to be loyal to them as long as they were loyal to the employer. These days, people not only have to be ready for a job change, they almost need to expect it at some point in the near future. Not many people stay with one company long term. In some industries, you almost have to change employers to get any decent climb up the salary scale. Many companies these days value their competitors employees more than they value their own, so they'll pay a substantial premium to recruit from the competition vs. promoting internally.

Not only that, but if you stay with the same employer, you may still have to change work locations over the years. I've been with the same employer for 13 years. During that time, my work location has changed 6 times. What am I supposed to do, sell my house every time my work location changes?

Ilya
2008-Jun-09, 07:32 PM
Run the car's air conditioner as little as possible.

I know that running AC significantly increases fuel consumption. Can someone explain why switching AC on or off has no visible effect on RPM's? I would expect that with added load of air conditioning, the engine would have to turn more rapidly (hence use more fuel) in order to maintain constant speed. Yet I see no evidence of it.

mike alexander
2008-Jun-09, 07:45 PM
Ask your parents or grandparents (admittedly, I no longer have that option).

One thing I do remember from talking with them when they were still alive is just how much necessity becomes luxury when push comes to shove.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-09, 07:58 PM
I know that running AC significantly increases fuel consumption. Can someone explain why switching AC on or off has no visible effect on RPM's? I would expect that with added load of air conditioning, the engine would have to turn more rapidly (hence use more fuel) in order to maintain constant speed. Yet I see no evidence of it.

Maybe it depends on the size of the car's engine and the amount of surplus power or perhaps with the electronic engine controls. My car is a 2001 Honda CR/V. It doesn't have much power to spare. When the air conditioner is running, I feel it through reduced acceleration. I've also seen the RPM drop at idle when the A/C kicks in.

One little piece of info that I've noticed is that more people around here seem to be driving with their windows cracked on hot days. If the windows are closed, they're probably using air conditioning. My car has a black interior so I sometimes need to run the A/C for a few minutes to cool things but then I'll shut it down and crack the windows. That, combined with slower accelerations and other little tricks seems to be boosting my average mileage by 1-3 MPG.

Being a gadget freak, I've considered getting one of these Scanguage II (http://www.scangauge.com/) units. It'd be interesting to monitor engine performance and mileage on a real-time basis. I don't know if it's work $170, though.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-09, 08:01 PM
I know that running AC significantly increases fuel consumption. Can someone explain why switching AC on or off has no visible effect on RPM's? I would expect that with added load of air conditioning, the engine would have to turn more rapidly (hence use more fuel) in order to maintain constant speed. Yet I see no evidence of it.

it's quite simple. The engine RPM is constant when the vehicle is cruising at a constant speed. This is because the gears do not change. If you accelerate the RPM goes up, but so does the tire speed.


Sitting at a stoplight my truck will show a significant increase in RPM when I turn the A/C on. This is because it requires more power to turn that motor along with all the other things. When I'm driving however that doesn't happen, so more fuel is used to keep up with the load.

Ilya
2008-Jun-09, 08:18 PM
it's quite simple. The engine RPM is constant when the vehicle is cruising at a constant speed. This is because the gears do not change. If you accelerate the RPM goes up, but so does the tire speed.


Sitting at a stoplight my truck will show a significant increase in RPM when I turn the A/C on. This is because it requires more power to turn that motor along with all the other things. When I'm driving however that doesn't happen, so more fuel is used to keep up with the load.

You did not answer my question. I drive at 45 mph. The car is on cruise control. I turn on AC. The speed remains the same. Why didn't RPM's increase to reflect the supposedly increased load on the engine?

Turning on AC while sitting at a stoplight does not show any noticeable increase in RPM either.

Vehicles in question are 4-cylinder Honda Accord and 6-cylinder Toyota Sienna.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-09, 08:32 PM
You did not answer my question. I drive at 45 mph. The car is on cruise control. I turn on AC. The speed remains the same. Why didn't RPM's increase to reflect the supposedly increased load on the engine?

Because the RPMs requried to cruise at 45 mph doesn't change with or without the A/C. What happens is that the load on your engine increases somewhat so the cruise control opens the throttle to produce more power - thus burning more gas. I've read that some cars experience a drop of as much as 4 MPG when the A/C is turned on. Your mileage may vary.

Turning on AC while sitting at a stoplight does not show any noticeable increase in RPM either.

It does in my car. Again, with electronic engine controls, the RPM may drop only to be boosted by the controller.

Ilya
2008-Jun-09, 08:57 PM
Thanks -- I think I got it now. RPM's do not increase, but the amount of gas used on every engine cycle does?

Click Ticker
2008-Jun-09, 09:04 PM
Thanks -- I think I got it now. RPM's do not increase, but the amount of gas used on every engine cycle does?

Correct. With A/C running, the load is placed directly on the engine before the power runs through the transmission.

You're likely thinking of a scenario where the load is placed on the transmission as a comparison. Pulling a trailer, climbing a hill, wind drag, etc. These items will place the load on the transmission, so the engine turns faster to maintain the same speed on the drive wheels.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-09, 09:23 PM
Thanks -- I think I got it now. RPM's do not increase, but the amount of gas used on every engine cycle does?

Yes. Imagine your car doing 45 MPH on cruise control and you come to a hill. For this example, suppose the hill isn't steep enough to cause your car to downshift. When the speed starts to decrease, the cruise control opens the thottle enough to maintain the speed. If the car doesn't downshift, it's having to work harder to maintain the speed so it's consuming more fuel. A similar thing happens when you do anything that increases the load on the engine such as turning on the air conditioner or carrying something like a luggage rack that increases the vehicle drag. In all those cases, the mileage drops.

It's possible that the amount of mileage decrease varies considerably from car to car. In a gutless wonder car like mine, I really can feel the decrease in acceleration when the air conditioning is on. On a car with a better power-to-weight ratio, it might not be so noticeable. Also, I suspect the air conditioner load for a relatively small car like mine isn't that much less than the load for a larger vehicle. If that's accurate, then a car like mine might have a 4 MPG decrease with the AC on but a larger vehicle might only drop 1-2 MPG.

aquitaine
2008-Jun-09, 11:26 PM
Individuals can do many things to reduce their energy consumption. High energy prices are forcing many people to make these changes. For example, reports indicate that there's a glut of SUVs on the used vehicle market because people are dumping them in favor of more fuel efficient vehicles. The market is starting to work.

Oh the market will work all right, but I don't think any of us will like the result. Unfortunately sometimes the only way to head off crises like this IS for government intervention ahead of time. If we had gotten off of oil in the 90's instead of becoming more addicted to it, none of this would have happened.


If you check the Treasury Department Bureau of the National Debt page, you'll see that the debt increased every single year that the budget was "balanced." This is because to "balance" the budget, the government used smoke and mirrors accounting that anyone else would wind up in jail for doing - they borrowed from one fund to make the other fund look balanced. Specifically, they borrowed from the "Social Security Trust Fund" to balance the general fund. That's why the debt kept on increasing even with a "balanced budget." It was all a lie.

The Social Security Trust fund has been raided by EVERY administration we've had for the last 30 years, which is why it will go bankrupt in the next 10-15 years.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-10, 03:08 AM
Correct. With A/C running, the load is placed directly on the engine before the power runs through the transmission.

You're likely thinking of a scenario where the load is placed on the transmission as a comparison. Pulling a trailer, climbing a hill, wind drag, etc. These items will place the load on the transmission, so the engine turns faster to maintain the same speed on the drive wheels.


also not true. there is a fixed ratio of engine speed to wheel speed for any given gear. change the gear and the engine speed will change to maintain the speed you want.

cjl
2008-Jun-10, 05:05 AM
Not quite. On a manual transmission, that is true. Automatics have some variability - the engine will speed up slightly in a given gear under more load (more slippage).

crosscountry
2008-Jun-10, 05:11 AM
I'm still learning about a transmission that doesn't have direct contact between the engine and tires.

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-10, 05:56 AM
And guess what? Nuclear power is back.

Oh great, the most expensive and inefficient power source is now back. Wonderful.


And the tree huggers will keep quiet about turning trees into gasoline, since that's technically a carbon neutral source of fuel.

So instead of chopping down them for wood, not we're going to be chopping them down for fuel. They'll love this.



As for your comment about coal being hauled by trucks, you're dead wrong. Most coal is shipped by rail (which is vastly more efficient than truck) and a good number of coal power plants are located adjacent to coal mines, so the transportation costs are minimal.

Yes, and the coal moves upon it's own accord to the power plants from the rail depos and not only that, but apparently the mines right next to the coal plants have an unlimited source of coal.


I really feel sorry for these people who think they are stuck in the 9 to 5 fossil fuel world. Sorry guys, but you're #$%ed.

Sorry guys, but if you have to, move closer to work even if that means sharing a space with another family. Your ancestors did it when they first came to America. Why can't you?

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-10, 06:21 AM
RolofTyr, please answer my question:

http://www.bautforum.com/1258235-post70.html

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-10, 06:29 AM
RolofTyr, please answer my question:

http://www.bautforum.com/1258235-post70.html


I said utilities, not necessarily electricity. Oil brings to coal and it pumps the water. It delivers your food etc. And it is a finite resource.

Any more questions?

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-10, 06:49 AM
I said utilities, not necessarily electricity.


So, you aren't considering electricity? Presumably you also aren't considering water or natural gas or telephone or internet or TV. Which utilities are you considering?



Oil brings to coal


But, oil cost is only a fraction of the cost of transporting coal, which is only part of the cost of producing electricity from coal. Do you disagree?



and it pumps the water.


What's the percentage cost of oil in pumping water? Most of the major pumping I'm familiar with uses electricity, where again, oil is a relatively small component.



It delivers your food etc. And it is a finite resource.


Well, yes, but it isn't coming from a tank that has gone empty. Rather, the issue is the cost of the resource. And, if prices stay high, that leads to production from previously uneconomic resources, increased substitution, and demand shifts.


Any more questions?

See above.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-10, 09:32 AM
Oh great, the most expensive and inefficient power source is now back. Wonderful.
Tell you what, you come up with cheap fusion power, and I'll see to it you get a Nobel Prize. Nor is nuclear all that inefficient, and it has a number advantages over fossil fuels. James Lovelock, coiner of the "Gaia Theory" is pro-nuclear, BTW. (http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm)



So instead of chopping down them for wood, not we're going to be chopping them down for fuel. They'll love this.Yes, because its carbon neutral, so it doesn't contribute to global warming and is more efficient than ethanol.





Yes, and the coal moves upon it's own accord to the power plants from the rail depos and not only that, but apparently the mines right next to the coal plants have an unlimited source of coal. Quite often, the coal is moved by electric vehicles, and the US has some of the largest coal reserves in the world. It is by far from a perfect solution, of course, but until we get enough solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and geothermal powerplants built and online, we're gonna use it. Current estimates have it taking some 74 years to replace the coal fired plants in the US, and that's assuming there's no paperwork hassles (which is impossible). BTW, coal can be converted into oil. Its not cheap, but the technology's been around since WWII.



I really feel sorry for these people who think they are stuck in the 9 to 5 fossil fuel world. Sorry guys, but you're #$%ed. Except, that most people in this thread haven't said any such thing. You, OTOH, seem to have a real fixation on the issue, however. From your tone, I think that you're hoping society will collapse because of high oil prices. Its not going to happen. We are slowly weaning ourselves off of oil, and presumably the next President (either Obama or McCain) will accelerate that process. If he doesn't, then he can expect to be a single term President, as if current price increases continue, then gas will probably around $10/gal. in the US come 2012. (Interestingly enough, that's about the same price whale oil was selling for, when kerosene supplanted it as a fuel source in the US.)


Sorry guys, but if you have to, move closer to work even if that means sharing a space with another family. Your ancestors did it when they first came to America. Why can't you?Because things were very much different way back then, than they are now. For example, if everyone in the suburbs moved to the city to be closer to work, who is going to buy all the houses in the suburbs? How are families going to be able to afford any place in the city, if they don't have money from the sale of their suburban home? Surely you don't expect to put 5+ people in a single room apartment (as that's probably all they'll be able to afford)? Even if they were willing to do that, do you think that such a thing would be legal? Even residential dwellings have "Maximum Occupancy" limits. Then there's the pets people will have to leave behind. Who's going to take care of them? Do you think that its humane just to turn them loose and let them become feral? Should the owners have them put to sleep? Or do you think there's nothing wrong with keeping a 100+ pound dog like a rotweiller in a 1 room apartment with five or more people? Think the humane society would be okay with that? Or the health department?

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-10, 09:56 AM
Note that the research into oil conservation was one of the causes of the oil price collapse in 1985.

Also note that the research wasnt stopped in 1985, it was just back burnered because it wasnt efficient and wasnt going to get efficient any time soon. Today's tech is alot more advanced than 1985.

Yes, of course, but had we kept up with it at the same levels of investment, we'd be a lot farther along than we are now.

geonuc
2008-Jun-10, 10:34 AM
Yes, and the coal moves upon it's own accord to the power plants from the rail depos and not only that, but apparently the mines right next to the coal plants have an unlimited source of coal.

I could be wrong, but every coal-fired power plant I've seen has a rail spur going directly to the plant.

Click Ticker
2008-Jun-10, 01:02 PM
also not true. there is a fixed ratio of engine speed to wheel speed for any given gear. change the gear and the engine speed will change to maintain the speed you want.

I saw Larry's last post about downshifting under load, and that made sense with what I've experienced as well. There are CVT's now (continuously variable transmissions) but I won't claim that I was using that assumption. I stand corrected.

cjl
2008-Jun-10, 02:06 PM
I saw Larry's last post about downshifting under load, and that made sense with what I've experienced as well. There are CVT's now (continuously variable transmissions) but I won't claim that I was using that assumption. I stand corrected.
Actually, as I said, you were right for an automatic transmission. They do have some slippage, and will speed up the engine slightly under greater load. Manuals of course are a pure direct connection, and will not speed up at all.

Ilya
2008-Jun-10, 03:05 PM
Oh great, the most expensive and inefficient power source is now back. Wonderful.

Really? How does France manage to get 80% of its electricity from nuclear without going broke?

"Nuclear is most expensive and inefficient" is partly a myth, partly result of safety standards enormously higher than at any other industry. Try applying the same safety standards to coal -- or hydropower, -- and they will become far more expensive than nuclear ever was.

Argos
2008-Jun-10, 03:22 PM
For example, if everyone in the suburbs moved to the city to be closer to work, who is going to buy all the houses in the suburbs?


One of the ways to drastically reduce energy expending is to break up with the old model of physical presence. Things like going to work, and being present at school, must be overhauled. It is an intellectual vice. A 50% cut on energy usage is possible by simple forgetting the old social arrangements of previous centuries.

Ilya
2008-Jun-10, 03:36 PM
One of the ways to drastically reduce energy expending is to break up with the old model of physical presence. Things like going to work, and being present at school, must be overhauled. It is an intellectual vice. A 50% cut on energy usage is possible by simple forgetting the old social arrangements of previous centuries.

Oddly enough, it will be a return to social arrangements of even earlier centuries. "Going to work" is and Industrial Age concept -- before that craftsmen worked in a shop and lived on the floor above it. And schooling -- for those few who could afford it at all, -- was done mostly at home.

farmerjumperdon
2008-Jun-10, 03:57 PM
Simple, though it does depend on income. If you are filthy stinking rich, do whatever you please. If you have enough money that you are using petroleum but need to conserve, then use less of it.

Must be a trick question.

Argos
2008-Jun-10, 04:01 PM
Oddly enough, it will be a return to social arrangements of even earlier centuries. "Going to work" is and Industrial Age concept -- before that craftsmen worked in a shop and lived on the floor above it. And schooling -- for those few who could afford it at all, -- was done mostly at home.

In a sense, it would resemble pre-industrial ages. But such comparisons don´t go very far.

We already have all the tools to cut dependency on transport. I repeat: mass displacement is a vice [and the worst aspect] of industrial age.

korjik
2008-Jun-10, 07:48 PM
In a sense, it would resemble pre-industrial ages. But such comparisons don´t go very far.

We already have all the tools to cut dependency on transport. I repeat: mass displacement is a vice [and the worst aspect] of industrial age.

I have to say that you may be going to far in your comparison. I think the displacement of living from working quarters was more a function of pollution from industrial sites than a vice. Even as little as 30 years ago, industrial centers were pretty much toxic to the point of uninhabitability. Even today, for alot of workers, living within a couple miles of work would not be nice.

Argos
2008-Jun-10, 08:05 PM
I have to say that you may be going to far in your comparison. I think the displacement of living from working quarters was more a function of pollution from industrial sites than a vice.

Ok. But I was referring to mass trasnport. I was saying that the huge displacement of people from one place to another on a daily basis is not necessary anymore. It subsists more as a function of outdated mentality. There is a general feeling that employees are not trustworthy to work away from supervision.

As for schooling, physical presence is even less necessary.

aquitaine
2008-Jun-10, 11:55 PM
Note that the research into oil conservation was one of the causes of the oil price collapse in 1985.

Also note that the research wasnt stopped in 1985, it was just back burnered because it wasnt efficient and wasnt going to get efficient any time soon. Today's tech is alot more advanced than 1985.

A much bigger reason was OPEC ending the embargo that caused the sky-high prices to begin with.

This is one case where I don't think we should have let the market run its course. The fact is that what happened in the 70's would inevitably happen again, and unless we're mostly off our addiction, it would hurt even more.

It just seems to me that Americans didn't want any fundemental changes to the way they live, and so for the last 30 years we elected those kinds of leader. Now it's time to pay the price.



As for schooling, physical presence is even less necessary.

This assumes that children would happily learn at home, instead of just screwing around. I don't have much faith in them.

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-11, 12:22 AM
A much bigger reason was OPEC ending the embargo that caused the sky-high prices to begin with.


There were limits to what OPEC could do. Higher oil prices led to development of previously uneconomic sources outside of OPEC, substitution, and more efficient use. Ultimately, if they kept the supply too tight too long they would lose their customers, as the customers turned to other options.

It's interesting that the price is high enough now that it is starting to concern the Saudis. High prices are good for them up to a point, but not if it leads customers to choose alternatives.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jun-11, 01:15 AM
Where exactly is that trillion going to come from? This really goes into the question of how much of America's wealth is real and how much of it is just debt. Much of the middle class is already living on the edge as it is, and the US government is up to its eyeballs in debt. This years deficit is supposed to be almost $500 billion.

A trillion dollars isn't actually going to be spent by the government on new cars. That was just an example of what the US government could do if it wanted, not an actual plan of action. But in case you were wondering where the US government gets its money, it aquires it from taxes. In a $13 trillion plus economy a tax of 2% of GDP nets over a trillion in revenue over five years. The current half a trillion deficit is payed for by future tax increases. Basically the US is getting China and other coutries to give it money now with the promise of paying them back in the future which will have to be done with tax increases. Or alternatively America could make drastic spending cuts. For example, it could get rid of its armed forces as the defence buget is roughly the size of the deficit. Of course the US has the option of stiffing its creditors and inflating away its debt. Then the US would be paying with its honour. And the inflation would not be good.

mike alexander
2008-Jun-11, 01:23 AM
A really big economy can make money appear from nowhere for quite some time, as Ronald Brak noted above. The US has made 200+ billion dollars appear 'off budget' for several years now. This is only to point out that the biggest problem is real or apparent collective will, not where the dough actually comes from.

If the US really wanted 200 billion dollars a year for such a stretch, I suspect it would happen.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-11, 06:14 PM
Simple, though it does depend on income. If you are filthy stinking rich, do whatever you please. If you have enough money that you are using petroleum but need to conserve, then use less of it.

Must be a trick question.

Yea, but only the filthy stinking rich are okay with that scenario. They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers.

danscope
2008-Jun-12, 05:01 AM
Eventually, people will have to justify their fuel usage by category. Your "guns"
won't do you any good. You shall have to do more with less. It's inevitable.
Time to start thinking electric. Even steam-electric.
You haven't seen much yet.

Dan

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-12, 11:32 AM
Oddly enough, it will be a return to social arrangements of even earlier centuries. "Going to work" is and Industrial Age concept -- before that craftsmen worked in a shop and lived on the floor above it. And schooling -- for those few who could afford it at all, -- was done mostly at home.

Telecommuting will only work for a few professions. Plumbers can't telecommute, neither can factory workers, retail, medical personnel, and many others. There are also times when you need personal interaction with people. A three martini lunch has probably clenched as many business deals as phone calls have, if not more. The subtle visual cues humans give one another are important in such interactions.

Try living without a car in an area with no mass transit, and you'll quickly appreciate the power that personal transportation has. Were mass transit so effective, then European cities, with their better mass transit systems, would be almost devoid of cars.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-12, 04:21 PM
One of the ways to drastically reduce energy expending is to break up with the old model of physical presence. Things like going to work, and being present at school, must be overhauled.

Also, it's rather difficult to get government approval to work on classified information at home. I'd love to have a SCIF in my basement along with the proper safes and secure communications but I'm not holding my breath.

My wife works with sensitive but unclassified medical information. Some employers allow her kind of work at home but they risk being in violation of HIPPA requirements.

danscope
2008-Jun-12, 08:48 PM
Hi, Now you hit a descending problem of some magnitude.
There is a element out there which is just plain cheap, and they see the costs of education as a superfluous and exhorbitant cost of their taxes.
In their pin head mean sort of fashion they see a system where the proles get their education at home on dvd's and cable, and do away with bricks and mortar
schools and those pesky teachers and their salaries and pensions and health care. 'Why pay them??' is what they think of first thing in the morning.
They are the same sort who will situate a nuke plant 5 miles upwind of
YOUR HOUSE. They care not for our future or our children. The buck comes
first . Thier buck. And they are no friend to children.
I think they make good fill.

Best regards, Dan

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-12, 09:55 PM
Really? How does France manage to get 80% of its electricity from nuclear without going broke?

"Nuclear is most expensive and inefficient" is partly a myth, partly result of safety standards enormously higher than at any other industry. Try applying the same safety standards to coal -- or hydropower, -- and they will become far more expensive than nuclear ever was.

If a coal plant blows up, a whole region won't have to be evacuated as was the case in Chernobyl. How expensive is that?

France has no other natural resources and they have higher taxes.



Tell you what, you come up with cheap fusion power, and I'll see to it you get a Nobel Prize. Nor is nuclear all that inefficient, and it has a number advantages over fossil fuels. James Lovelock, coiner of the "Gaia Theory" is pro-nuclear, BTW. (http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm)['quote]

Or don't use that much electricity.

What do I care about Lovelock's theory, he either doesn't understand nuclear power or he's just trying to sell books.


[QUOTE]Yes, because its carbon neutral, so it doesn't contribute to global warming and is more efficient than ethanol.

You're failing to see the point. Why are the tree huggers so mad?





Quite often, the coal is moved by electric vehicles, and the US has some of the largest coal reserves in the world. It is by far from a perfect solution, of course, but until we get enough solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and geothermal powerplants built and online, we're gonna use it. Current estimates have it taking some 74 years to replace the coal fired plants in the US, and that's assuming there's no paperwork hassles (which is impossible). BTW, coal can be converted into oil. Its not cheap, but the technology's been around since WWII.

Coal's wonderful but when you have whole regions getting black lung, well.



Except, that most people in this thread haven't said any such thing. You, OTOH, seem to have a real fixation on the issue, however. From your tone, I think that you're hoping society will collapse because of high oil prices. Its not going to happen. We are slowly weaning ourselves off of oil, and presumably the next President (either Obama or McCain) will accelerate that process. If he doesn't, then he can expect to be a single term President, as if current price increases continue, then gas will probably around $10/gal. in the US come 2012. (Interestingly enough, that's about the same price whale oil was selling for, when kerosene supplanted it as a fuel source in the US.)

Way to throw wild accusations. Civilization never collapses. Things just change. The Roman civilization didn't collapse. It still existed, in a diminished form ruled by barbarians. People will still need to eat and they will survive and flourish.


Because things were very much different way back then, than they are now. For example, if everyone in the suburbs moved to the city to be closer to work, who is going to buy all the houses in the suburbs? How are families going to be able to afford any place in the city, if they don't have money from the sale of their suburban home? Surely you don't expect to put 5+ people in a single room apartment (as that's probably all they'll be able to afford)? Even if they were willing to do that, do you think that such a thing would be legal? Even residential dwellings have "Maximum Occupancy" limits. Then there's the pets people will have to leave behind. Who's going to take care of them? Do you think that its humane just to turn them loose and let them become feral? Should the owners have them put to sleep? Or do you think there's nothing wrong with keeping a 100+ pound dog like a rotweiller in a 1 room apartment with five or more people? Think the humane society would be okay with that? Or the health department?

Things aren't that different.

The American infrastructure is built upon freedom of movement based upon a powerful fuel. Once that fuel is too expensive to provide that freedom of movement, things will have to change. Not all in the suburbs will have to go to the city, but most will who work there. Yes, the suburbs will go abandoned, and I guess a guy like me will buy the land, at a fraction of the cost and convert it to something more useful, like a dairy farm. And you'll see a ruralization take place. In the city, they'll have to go up. Up, up, up. Perhaps I should get into the construction business. As for the pets, large numbers of feral dogs will roam the country side, replacing wolves.

Legallity? It will be.

cjl
2008-Jun-12, 09:58 PM
If a coal plant blows up, a whole region won't have to be evacuated as was the case in Chernobyl. How expensive is that?

If a modern, well contained nuclear plant blows up...

nothing happens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident), at least not to anyone around the area (yes, the reactor is out of commission, but that's hardly severe given the magnitude of the failure).

Larry Jacks
2008-Jun-12, 10:00 PM
If a coal plant blows up, a whole region won't have to be evacuated as was the case in Chernobyl. How expensive is that?

Chernobyl was a Russian (Soviet) power plant. It was designed to produce both electricity and plutonium. It had no containment building. The design of powerplants virtually anywhere else in the world is completely different. You might as well be comparing the Titanic to the USS Nimitz.

danscope
2008-Jun-12, 10:39 PM
Hi,

Never the less, that industry cast a long and ominous shadow across a
country ill prepared to deal with such a catastophe. There is no dealing with such a catastrophe. There remains only public relations. When your children are sick and dying, public relations don't feed the bulldog. Three Mile Island was supposed to be everything a modern plant should be. The products released in that situation persist. No question. And who pays to bury the damned thing
after it's useful life ? And it isn't long. Frankly, I would be more supportive of a nuke plant that was run by the Navy, and not by a bunch of corporations
making money. A good system making good power and keeping their good people . But this is out of the scope of the OP.

Best regards, Dan

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-12, 10:55 PM
Hi,

Never the less, that industry cast a long and ominous shadow across a
country ill prepared to deal with such a catastophe. There is no dealing with such a catastrophe. There remains only public relations. When your children are sick and dying, public relations don't feed the bulldog. Three Mile Island was supposed to be everything a modern plant should be.


It sounds like you're confusing Chernobyl with TMI. As Larry already pointed out, Chernobyl was a terrible design, and it is pointless comparing it to commercial reactors. Regarding TMI, even at the time there were better reactor designs, but it did show that containment works.

danscope
2008-Jun-12, 11:02 PM
Van, their " containment " worked sort-of. They did release radioactive
gases and compounds into the atmosphere. Those down wind suffered.
Does public relations really clean up and bury radioactive release?

I don't think so, Tim.

Best regards, Dan

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-12, 11:04 PM
By the way, more radioactive material is being released into the atmosphere by coal plants than nuclear plants, but there are bigger health issues than that involving coal plants. If the choice is between no electricity and coal generated electricity, I'll pick coal. But if the choice is between coal and nuclear, I'll pick nuclear.

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-12, 11:05 PM
Those down wind suffered.


The evidence does not support that.

cjl
2008-Jun-12, 11:26 PM
Van, their " containment " worked sort-of. They did release radioactive
gases and compounds into the atmosphere. Those down wind suffered.
Does public relations really clean up and bury radioactive release?

I don't think so, Tim.

Best regards, Dan

Actually, the evidence supports that nobody was harmed by TMI, aside from financially.

Delvo
2008-Jun-13, 02:10 AM
Give up on giving danscope the facts about nuclear energy, folks. It's been tried before, but, for him, it's not a scientific issue, but a religious one. (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/52779-ipcc-report-climate-change-2007-a-6.html#post1123107) And we all know about religious discussions...

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-13, 02:56 AM
What would have happed on 09/11/2001 if those three jets hit three separate nuclear power plants instead?

Grashtel
2008-Jun-13, 03:26 AM
What would have happed on 09/11/2001 if those three jets hit three separate nuclear power plants instead?
They would have splattered against the extremely thick reinforced concrete containment vessels that are specifically designed to survive a jet crashing into them, probably causing enough damage to other parts of the plant to shut it down for a long time but not releasing significant amounts of radiation.

Van Rijn
2008-Jun-13, 03:59 AM
Also, the containment building isn't the reactor vessel itself, so even significant damage to the containment building wouldn't release material.

danscope
2008-Jun-13, 04:34 AM
Give up on giving danscope the facts about nuclear energy, folks. It's been tried before, but, for him, it's not a scientific issue, but a religious one. (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/52779-ipcc-report-climate-change-2007-a-6.html#post1123107) And we all know about religious discussions...

If you want to be a cheer leader for nukes, it is your Right and perogative.
But don't try to insinuate that you are genuinely informed.
If you read my post, you will discern that my real problem with using nuclear power is the corporate fools who control it for fun and profit.
When you examine the record for the event at TMI, take particular note on the fact that they had pipes built in which were unknown.and valves that were not on the plans or identified, and techniciams ' Forgot " to open or close valves. This kind of
slopiness will put your butt on the sea bed faster than you can eat a 10cent bag of potato chips. Many myths were exposed for all time at TMI,
and they are ponderous. Those kind of mistakes in space kill.
Those kind of mistakes up wind in America cast a shadow longer than the bull crap from the PR guys at NRC. They don't know as much as they think they do. Frankly, the only ones I've seen that handle this are guys like
Rickover. Extraordinary zeal in the pursuit of excellence. Nothing less than the best is suitable for that industry.
Dan

danscope
2008-Jun-13, 04:44 AM
By the way, more radioactive material is being released into the atmosphere by coal plants than nuclear plants, but there are bigger health issues than that involving coal plants. If the choice is between no electricity and coal generated electricity, I'll pick coal. But if the choice is between coal and nuclear, I'll pick nuclear.

Yes, as it stands now, coal discharge generates particles ....even radio active particles with every shovel full . No question. Can coal emmisions be scrubbed?
You have to work at it. They have no incentive if their proffits are gauranteed doing business the way they do currently.
This is asside the fact that so much of our power comes from coal fired steam. Each one of us uses that electricity, and we need it desperately.
We "used" to have a research agency involved in this problem. It was scrapped
early on in 1980 by an actor.
America has a lot of catching up to do. It will take a lot of good engineers and leadership.
Just a thought.

Best regards, Dan

cjl
2008-Jun-13, 05:27 AM
What would have happed on 09/11/2001 if those three jets hit three separate nuclear power plants instead?

We would all be a lot happier.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-13, 09:49 AM
If a coal plant blows up, a whole region won't have to be evacuated as was the case in Chernobyl. How expensive is that?The design of the Chernobyl plant was obsolete before the Soviets ever built that plant. The rest of the world had abandoned that design decades before. Radiation might not be all that bad for you, anyway. (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,519162,00.html)


France has no other natural resources and they have higher taxes.France could easily import coal from nearby Germany, and France has significantly more social programs than the US. No doubt that (along with mass trans) is where the bulk of their taxes go. If you have a cite proving otherwise, I'd like to see it.



Tell you what, you come up with cheap fusion power, and I'll see to it you get a Nobel Prize. Nor is nuclear all that inefficient, and it has a number advantages over fossil fuels. James Lovelock, coiner of the "Gaia Theory" is pro-nuclear, BTW. (http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm)['quote]

Or don't use that much electricity.

What do I care about Lovelock's theory, he either doesn't understand nuclear powerNeither do you, apparently.
or he's just trying to sell books.He'd have a dedicated audience of followers if he didn't support nuclear power, by going against the anti-nuclear types, he's significantly alienating major portions of his base.





You're failing to see the point. Why are the tree huggers so mad?If by "tree huggers" you mean you, then I think the reason is pretty obvious to everyone, save yourself. If you mean there's a large number of people up in arms about the concept, I'm going to have to see some figures from you. I check out a number of "tree hugger" blogs and every one of them is estatic about the idea.







Coal's wonderful but when you have whole regions getting black lung, well.Again, you have no idea of what you're talking about. Most people getting black lung from coal do not live in the developed world, where strict safety measures (as most people who get black lung are miners) prevent such things. PDF of a graduate paper showing that coal powered locomotives are better than diesel locomotives in every way you can name. (http://www.trainweb.org/tusp/Coal%20Locomotive%20Final%20Paper.pdf)





Way to throw wild accusations.Not so nearly as wild as the ones you've thrown.
Civilization never collapses. Things just change. The Roman civilization didn't collapse. It still existed, in a diminished form ruled by barbarians. People will still need to eat and they will survive and flourish.Yes, they will, and they'll still have cars and live in the suburbs.




Things aren't that different.Wanna bet? If what you were saying was true, then people wouldn't be saying, "Move closer to work."


The American infrastructure is built upon freedom of movement based upon a powerful fuel. Once that fuel is too expensive to provide that freedom of movement, things will have to change.Yes, we'll switch to different fuels. There's a number of them available, and we are taking advantage of them.
Not all in the suburbs will have to go to the city, but most will who work there. Yes, the suburbs will go abandoned, and I guess a guy like me will buy the land, at a fraction of the cost and convert it to something more useful, like a dairy farm.Ha! Dream on! First of all, farming, of any kind requires energy, lots of it. Especially dairy farms. Next, how're you going to get the meat and milk to market? Think you'll be able to sell it to your neighbors? Where are they going to get the money to pay you, if neither one of you can afford to have your stuff shipped around?
And you'll see a ruralization take place.This statement directly contradicts your previous statements about the masses moving towards the city.
In the city, they'll have to go up. Up, up, up.They already are. Chicago's set to have the second tallest building in the world by 2011. (http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/06/11/santiago-calatrava-chicago-spire/)
Perhaps I should get into the construction business.Again, how are you going to do anything, if no one has the money for fuel? They certainly won't be able to afford to ship building supplies into the cities, much less pay for new construction.
As for the pets, large numbers of feral dogs will roam the country side, replacing wolves. Domesticated dogs, even feral ones, are no match for wolves.


Legallity? It will be.No, it won't.

geonuc
2008-Jun-13, 10:20 AM
We would all be a lot happier.
I wouldn't be. As you may know, I work in the nuclear power industry and have worked at many plants, including TMI. If the planes had hit the containment buildings of three plants, that wouldn't be so bad (and it would probably require some expert flying - the pilots here would have a better idea than I). But the spent fuel is stored in relatively unprotected buildings. Of course, it would be even harder to hit one of those buildings with a large jet (they're not very high).

We need to open Yucca Mountain and get the stuff stored there, now.

cjl
2008-Jun-13, 02:18 PM
I wouldn't be. As you may know, I work in the nuclear power industry and have worked at many plants, including TMI. If the planes had hit the containment buildings of three plants, that wouldn't be so bad (and it would probably require some expert flying - the pilots here would have a better idea than I). But the spent fuel is stored in relatively unprotected buildings. Of course, it would be even harder to hit one of those buildings with a large jet (they're not very high).

We need to open Yucca Mountain and get the stuff stored there, now.
I'm not saying it couldn't have any consequences, but the odds of it killing and affecting as many people as the impact at the WTC did are slim indeed, even if the containment buildings were hit.

danscope
2008-Jun-13, 03:43 PM
I wouldn't be. As you may know, I work in the nuclear power industry and have worked at many plants, including TMI. If the planes had hit the containment buildings of three plants, that wouldn't be so bad (and it would probably require some expert flying - the pilots here would have a better idea than I). But the spent fuel is stored in relatively unprotected buildings. Of course, it would be even harder to hit one of those buildings with a large jet (they're not very high).

We need to open Yucca Mountain and get the stuff stored there, now.

Yes......we better store it someplace; at least someplace better than short buildings. Well said.

Dan

danscope
2008-Jun-13, 03:46 PM
Tucker: " Radiation might not be all that bad for you, anyway."
This is the most nieve statement I have read in 50 years!.
Your credibility gap is widening. Stick with cars.

Best regards, Dan

geonuc
2008-Jun-13, 04:34 PM
I'm not saying it couldn't have any consequences, but the odds of it killing and affecting as many people as the impact at the WTC did are slim indeed, even if the containment buildings were hit.
Agreed, although you missed my point: hitting the fuel storage buildings would potentially be worse than strikes on the containment buildings, which are heavily re-inforced structures.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-14, 11:00 AM
Tucker: " Radiation might not be all that bad for you, anyway."
This is the most nieve statement I have read in 50 years!.
Your credibility gap is widening. Stick with cars.

Best regards, Dan
Did you bother to read the link? Let me repost in the clear, in case you missed it: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,519162,00.html
And just in case you're too lazy to click the link, let me quote some of the more interesting parts of the article.

The consequences of the 1957 nuclear accident in Siberia were "far more serious" than Chernobyl, the German television network ARD recently reported. "Most of the pupils in my class died of cancer," says Gulchara Ismagilova, who was 11 at the time.
But what really happened? That's what the team of Bavarian physicists have traveled to Siberia to find out, and that's why they are taking soil samples and packing bricks into their bags. They are also looking at other important pieces of evidence from the secret nuclear complex. "The employees there were examined with a dosimeter, sometimes once a week, and required to provide urine samples," says GSF researcher Peter Jacob. The results of the tests were documented in more than 7,000 health records encased in gray cardboard folders. "An invaluable archive," says Jacob.

And yet the amount of health damage sustained by these workers was astonishingly low. The GSF study has examined 6,293 men who worked at the chemical plant between 1948 and 1972. "So far 301 have died of lung cancer," says Jacob. "But only 100 cases were caused by radiation. The others were attributed to cigarettes."


"For commendable reasons, many critics have greatly exaggerated the health risks of radioactivity," says Albrecht Kellerer, a Munich radiation biologist. "But contrary to widespread opinion, the number of victims is by no means in the tens of thousands."

And the effects of radiation on the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Today, 60 years later, the study's results are clear. More than 700 people eventually died as a result of radiation received from the atomic attack:

87 died of leukemia;

440 died of tumors;

and 250 died of radiation-induced heart attacks.

In addition, 30 fetuses developed mental disabilities after they were born.That's based on data collected from nearly 87,000 people. Not quite what one would expect, is it? The piece gives the sources for the data, so if one wanted to, they could track down the reports and see if the article is distorting the facts or not. AFAIK, Der Spiegel is not what one would consider a "rightwing" publication.

Oh, and lets not forget that Osama's family owns a heavy industry construction company, and he is very familiar with engineering issues. I'm sure that if he thought that a jetliner could do damage to a nuclear reactor, the planes would have targetted those. Remember, in the accounts we have of Osama watching the 9/11 attacks, everyone around him is excited about the planes hitting the WTC. Osama's response, "Wait." He knew that those planes would bring the towers down. That the towers lasted as long as they did (the jets that struck them were bigger than anything then on the drawing boards, so the buildings weren't designed to withstand the planes hitting them) is a testament to good design. They should have gone down within moments of being struck.

Click Ticker
2008-Jun-16, 12:34 PM
I did my part and rode my bike to work today.

mugaliens
2008-Jun-16, 12:55 PM
If a coal plant blows up, a whole region won't have to be evacuated as was the case in Chernobyl. How expensive is that?

Chernobyl was a Russian (Soviet) power plant. It was designed to produce both electricity and plutonium. It had no containment building. The design of powerplants virtually anywhere else in the world is completely different. You might as well be comparing the Titanic to the USS Nimitz.

Correct, LarryJacks. And there are certain viable designs where you can have a complete failure and drainage of all coolant and a total breach in the contrainment dome and the plastic-coated pellets will just get a bit warmer, well within design specs, before reaching a designed dry equilibrium temperature with no radiation nor radioactive material released into the environment.

So let's not fanatically continue re-introducing what happened when a half-century old Russian design (and a very poor one at that) failed, and that not from the design itself, but because of gross human negligence and error.

sarongsong
2008-Jun-19, 06:22 AM
...not from the design itself, but because of gross human negligence and error.No worries there!
... the culprit which finally rousted the NRC to demand changes...“an investigation [of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station] by the NRC determined that a fire protection specialist provided inaccurate information about hourly fire watch rounds they were supposed to make while working the midnight shift at the plant from April 2001 to December 2006.” For five years this employee went unchecked, not to mention the worker’s responsibilities...
Surfer Magazine (http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusives/san-onofre-nuclear-power-plant-2-13-08/)

RalofTyr
2008-Jun-19, 07:16 AM
They would have splattered against the extremely thick reinforced concrete containment vessels that are specifically designed to survive a jet crashing into them, probably causing enough damage to other parts of the plant to shut it down for a long time but not releasing significant amounts of radiation.

Sure, the WTC were designed to withstand a jet impact too.


Whoa Tuckerfan. Talk about the little engine that couldn't.



The design of the Chernobyl plant was obsolete before the Soviets ever built that plant. The rest of the world had abandoned that design decades before. Radiation might not be all that bad for you, anyway. (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,519162,00.html)

Don't matter about the plant's obsoleteness, what matters is the even there of. And as Tom Brokaw said, "Sooner or later, a study will come along justifying your lifestyle". Hey, if you want to play Star Trek III and go into the reactor, have fun.


France could easily import coal from nearby Germany, and France has significantly more social programs than the US. No doubt that (along with mass trans) is where the bulk of their taxes go. If you have a cite proving otherwise, I'd like to see it.

Yeah, because the French want their energy source dependent on the Germans. And the US's Military programs matches that of France's.



Neither do you, apparently.He'd have a dedicated audience of followers if he didn't support nuclear power, by going against the anti-nuclear types, he's significantly alienating major portions of his base.

Well, well, well, you must clearly be a nuclear physicist.



If by "tree huggers" you mean you, then I think the reason is pretty obvious to everyone, save yourself. If you mean there's a large number of people up in arms about the concept, I'm going to have to see some figures from you. I check out a number of "tree hugger" blogs and every one of them is estatic about the idea.

Wow, you are dense. So every "Tree hugger" would be thrilled to see their redwoods chopped down and used for fuel?



Again, you have no idea of what you're talking about. Most people getting black lung from coal do not live in the developed world, where strict safety measures (as most people who get black lung are miners) prevent such things. PDF of a graduate paper showing that coal powered locomotives are better than diesel locomotives in every way you can name. (http://www.trainweb.org/tusp/Coal%20Locomotive%20Final%20Paper.pdf)

Doesn't matter that most people getting black lung aren't in the US, what matters is the amount of coal you'd need to burn to maintain the American lifestyle on coal alone. Get it?



Not so nearly as wild as the ones you've thrown. Yes, they will, and they'll still have cars and live in the suburbs.

Sure. Get out much?


Wanna bet? If what you were saying was true, then people wouldn't be saying, "Move closer to work."

Um, people did move and live closer to work...


Yes, we'll switch to different fuels. There's a number of them available, and we are taking advantage of them. Ha! Dream on! First of all, farming, of any kind requires energy, lots of it. Especially dairy farms. Next, how're you going to get the meat and milk to market? Think you'll be able to sell it to your neighbors? Where are they going to get the money to pay you, if neither one of you can afford to have your stuff shipped around? This statement directly contradicts your previous statements about the masses moving towards the city. They already are. Chicago's set to have the second tallest building in the world by 2011. (http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/06/11/santiago-calatrava-chicago-spire/) Again, how are you going to do anything, if no one has the money for fuel? They certainly won't be able to afford to ship building supplies into the cities, much less pay for new construction. Domesticated dogs, even feral ones, are no match for wolves.

Well, I guess the coal powered tractors will deliver the goods. Hope the smog doesn't get to you. Farming doesn't cost that much energy. We still have an abundant labor force (Mexicans), that can produce with only a small increase in costs. I guess the dairy farms will have to move closer to the city, like the past. Horse power it is.


No, it won't.

Law's change.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-19, 09:35 AM
Sure, the WTC were designed to withstand a jet impact too.The design specs for the WTC were very much different than those of a containment building. Not to mention that the WTCs exceeded their design specs by withstanding an impact they weren't designed for. Engineers routinely put a lot of "fudge factor" in their designs. If you think that the powerplant engineers are any different, you're sorely mistaken.



Whoa Tuckerfan. Talk about the little engine that couldn't.And your point with this statement is, what?





Don't matter about the plant's obsoleteness, what matters is the even there of. And as Tom Brokaw said, "Sooner or later, a study will come along justifying your lifestyle". Hey, if you want to play Star Trek III and go into the reactor, have fun. Wrong all the way around. First and foremost, comparing a Chernobyl-style plant to a modern plant is akin to comparing an ox-cart to a Ferrari, they are so different as to not be in remotely the same categories. Secondly, in none of the Star Trek films, has anyone gone into a reactor. Spock, in Star Trek II did something to the "mains." Given that the Enterprise runs on matter/antimatter, I think its safe to say there's no nuclear reactors onboard.




Yeah, because the French want their energy source dependent on the Germans. And the US's Military programs matches that of France's.Again, wrong all over the place. If the French wanted to run off of coal, they could. They could buy their coal from the Germans or the US (we do export a lot of our coal around the world). The European powergrid is increasingly interconnected, and the French no doubt get some of their electricity from outside their borders, just like we get some of ours from Canada. Nor is the French military budget anywhere near the size of the US. We spend more on our military (even excluding the outlays for the current wars) than any other nation on Earth. Some peg our military spending as larger than the rest of the developed world combined! I find that a bit hard to believe, but I'm not really interested in running down the numbers.



Well, well, well, you must clearly be a nuclear physicist. No, but I've known a few, as well as engineers who design powerplants. They're some of the finest engineers I've dealt with.





Wow, you are dense. So every "Tree hugger" would be thrilled to see their redwoods chopped down and used for fuel?I'm not 100% certain, but I have a feeling that personal insults are a violation of board rules. One thing I am certain of, however, is that redwoods would not be used as they grow too slowly. If you bothered to read the article, they were talking about using fast growing trees like poplars. We don't use redwoods for newspapers, why should we use them for cars? Finally, I asked you for a cite, and you failed to provide one, which pretty much proves you're making all of this up.




Doesn't matter that most people getting black lung aren't in the US, what matters is the amount of coal you'd need to burn to maintain the American lifestyle on coal alone. Get it?Oh, I get it. What you don't get is that we have never relied on coal to supply all of our electrical power, and we never will. Renewables are growing rapidly, with states like California, Arizona, and New Mexico each adding close to a terawatt of solar electrical generating capacity in the next 5 to 10 years. Windpower is growing as well, tidal powerplants are starting to come on line, and the rest of the world is looking at using geothermal like Iceland has been using for years. That's not even getting into natural gas (we have oodles of that, and it burns cleaner than coal does and can be used to power cars).





Sure. Get out much?What does that have to do with anything?




Um, people did move and live closer to work...Let's see, gas has only pushed over $3/gal. in about the past 12 months, so you're telling me in that in the past 12 months there's been a mass exodus? If so, then why is the housing market in the toilet?




Well, I guess the coal powered tractors will deliver the goods.How's the coal going to get to the farms? Why wouldn't the farmers go back to producing ethanol (like they did before Prohibition) or biodiesel?
Hope the smog doesn't get to you.What smog? Oh, from coal, right. You think that folks are going to give up emissions regulations? If so, then what on earth makes you think they'd object to cutting down trees to convert to gasoline?
Farming doesn't cost that much energy.Subsistance farming, no. Modern farming, with all its big tractors, milking machines and the like, yes, yes, it does use a lot of energy.
We still have an abundant labor force (Mexicans), that can produce with only a small increase in costs.Why are they going to come here to do subsistance farming when they can stay in Mexico and do it there? One of the reasons why they come here is to get away from subsistance farming. Farmers are also having problems attracting migrant workers because other jobs pay more money.
I guess the dairy farms will have to move closer to the city, like the past. Horse power it is.Nope. Horse power is not nearly enough to supply the needs of the population of a modern city. The scenerio you're hoping for would lead to such horrific conditions (mass starvation, riots, and general civil unrest) in a scale unprecidented in human history.




Law's change.Some laws change. Again, if you think that folks wouldn't allow the use of trees for gasoline production, what on earth makes you think that they'd change them when it comes to animals? I know many people who'd happily sacrifice every tree in their yard, than to give up one of their pets.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jun-19, 10:31 AM
Well, well, well, you must clearly be a nuclear physicist.
Wow, you are dense. So every "Tree hugger" would be thrilled to see their redwoods chopped down and used for fuel?
Sure. Get out much?

RalofTyr! Put the thread down and back away slowly!

You're getting too rile up and getting too personally insulting in your replies, you need to take a break from replying here and cool down.

aquitaine
2008-Jun-20, 02:26 AM
Given that the Enterprise runs on matter/antimatter, I think its safe to say there's no nuclear reactors onboard.


The Enterprise from Star Trek The Next Generation does also have fusion reactors. It wouldn't surprise me if the original Enterprise also had them.


The European powergrid is increasingly interconnected, and the French no doubt get some of their electricity from outside their borders,

I heard somewhere that exporting electricity is a major French industry, since so much of it comes from clean nuclear.

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-20, 04:23 AM
All Star Trek Federation ships have fusion powered impulse engines.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-20, 02:26 PM
All Star Trek Federation ships have fusion powered impulse engines.


what do they do as for conservation of momentum?

Delvo
2008-Jun-20, 03:46 PM
what do they do as for conservation of momentum?The impulse drive is not a rocket; it's a space-distorter creating a local gravitational gradient (which is not the same thing as a warp field). Trek presumes that conservation of momentum doesn't apply in that kind of case (similar to "inertial damping" and "tractor beams"). The ships also do have little maneuvering thrusters on them at various points, so there's conservation of momentum there in tossing some fuel away just to pivot the ship around, but rocketry is not how they make the whole ship move from place to place, and the amount of fuel used by the maneuvering thrusters is apparently too small to be concerned about.

A Federation ship's various systems other than the warp engine are all fusion-powered. As SOP, only the warp engine uses antimatter, although apparently the energy it creates can be "rerouted" to boost other systems in emergencies. Creating antimatter for the warp engines is done using fusion-powered or stellar-powered systems and results in a "fuel" which releases less energy than was used to make it. But warp coils need energy in the specific form that's created from antimatter, or need it released at a very high speed, or something like that, which makes fusion unsuitable for warp drive even though fusion powers everything else.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-20, 04:33 PM
The Enterprise from Star Trek The Next Generation does also have fusion reactors. It wouldn't surprise me if the original Enterprise also had them.Next you'll be telling me the combination to Kirk's safe isn't G3t a l1f3. :D (Seriously, this is one nit, that nothing is gained by picking it.)




I heard somewhere that exporting electricity is a major French industry, since so much of it comes from clean nuclear.Could be, but it doesn't mean that they don't import as well. The US exports oil, even though our domestic production is not nearly enough to satisfy our demands.

Click Ticker
2008-Jun-20, 04:44 PM
Yippee! Biked three out of five days this week. Saved a cool $15 in commuting costs.

crosscountry
2008-Jun-20, 07:11 PM
that's more on topic.

Argos
2008-Jun-20, 07:31 PM
RalOfTyr, for the records, your post #142 is utterly offensive for non-US people. It is of an astonishing cynicism and selfishness. It shows you're part of the problem, and do not have a real solution to present in this thread, which is about possible solutions to cope with a reduced petroleum environment. It displays an "us versus them" mentality and basically states that the rest of the world is a subclass of servants to the US. Totally unacceptable, will you excuse me. You´re not 'being nice'.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jun-21, 12:24 AM
France exports about 68 billion kilowatt-hours a year. That very roughly enough for about 7 million Europeans.

And everyone does know that almost no electricity is generated from oil in the developed world these days? However, natural gas is used for a great deal of electrical production, particularly peak power, and can be used in current cars with modification. If oil prices stay high, this could cause significant changes in how peak power is supplied over time and may make various energy storage methods, such as flow batteries, economical.

Tuckerfan
2008-Jun-22, 08:16 AM
Buy a Mercedes, it seems. (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/21/mercedes-wants-to-eliminate-petroleum-from-its-lineup-by-2015/)
By the middle of the next decade Mercedes-Benz wants its entire lineup to be able to operate entirely free of petroleum. The German giant is working on a variety of technologies that will help provide crude oil free transport such as battery electrics, fuel cells and highly efficient internal combustion engines that can operate on biofuels. Mercedes has recently been letting European journalists sample some of these new powertrains at a test facility in Spain.

sarongsong
2008-Jun-23, 03:04 PM
In the meantime:
Gas Prices by State/Province
Search by US Zip Code or City, State
SELECT A LOCATION TO VIEW TODAYS LOW AND HIGH GAS PRICES...
gasbuddy.com (http://www.gasbuddy.com/)

sarongsong
2008-Jul-17, 07:51 AM
How to Survive in an Reduced Petroleum EnvironmentWin the Progressive Automotive X-Prize (http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/) and collect your $10M...
...where gasoline no longer makes history, but is history...
http://www.bautforum.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

crosscountry
2008-Jul-17, 05:17 PM
I did my part and rode my bike to work today.

me too.

RalofTyr
2008-Jul-18, 05:22 AM
RalOfTyr, for the records, your post #142 is utterly offensive for non-US people. It is of an astonishing cynicism and selfishness. It shows you're part of the problem, and do not have a real solution to present in this thread, which is about possible solutions to cope with a reduced petroleum environment. It displays an "us versus them" mentality and basically states that the rest of the world is a subclass of servants to the US. Totally unacceptable, will you excuse me. You´re not 'being nice'.

That wasn't my point at all. I just wanted to see if Tucker would respond to Star Trek being brought up in a debate about actual science and then take the ball and run with it. :)

I think my biking is a real solution, but the point of this thread was for others to come up with ideas as well, so let's hear 'em.

crosscountry
2008-Jul-18, 01:40 PM
raise the Air conditioner setting.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jul-18, 01:54 PM
I walked to the Airport last night. Then I emitted about 168 kilos of CO2. (It must have been the curry.)

crosscountry
2008-Jul-18, 04:00 PM
we need to cut down more trees and preserve them. that CO2 balance is being offset by Ronald Brak!

Ronald Brak
2008-Jul-18, 04:04 PM
Now that I think about it, there were quite a few empty seats on the plane, so my share was probably more than 168 kilograms.

Lianachan
2008-Jul-19, 10:08 AM
All Star Trek Federation ships have fusion powered impulse engines.
Well, they would have if any of them actually existed at all, yes.

ginnie
2008-Jul-19, 01:41 PM
keep your tires properly inflated, clean air filter, etc.
I was wondering...my tires are supposed to be inflated to 35 psi, but at that pressure they always look a bit flat - especially the front ones. A friend told me that tire manufacturers deliberately give out a reduced pressure so that the tires don't last as long. Sounds ridiculous to me. He recomended that I inflate them a bit more - maybe to 40 psi.
Should I?

geonuc
2008-Jul-19, 01:57 PM
I was wondering...my tires are supposed to be inflated to 35 psi, but at that pressure they always look a bit flat - especially the front ones. A friend told me that tire manufacturers deliberately give out a reduced pressure so that the tires don't last as long. Sounds ridiculous to me. He recomended that I inflate them a bit more - maybe to 40 psi.
Should I?
Depends on the vehicle.

Vehicle manufacturers have recommended inflation pressures, some of which, unfortunately, conflict with tire manufacturer recommendations and have resulted in problems.

But 35 psi is on the high side of most recommendations, in my experience. My Nissan Pathfinder, which is quite heavy, has a bit of a flat tire look when the tires are inflated to Nissan's recs. I usually pump them up a bit higher.

I don't believe your friend's assertion. I'd need some evidence of misconduct like that.

Ronald Brak
2008-Jul-19, 02:06 PM
A friend told me that tire manufacturers deliberately give out a reduced pressure so that the tires don't last as long.

I think tyre manufacturers would have an incentive fto make people think they produce long lasting tyres. Of course it is possible that some tyre manufacturers might try this strategy. It seems a rather short sighted policy however.

ginnie
2008-Jul-19, 05:10 PM
Depends on the vehicle.

Vehicle manufacturers have recommended inflation pressures, some of which, unfortunately, conflict with tire manufacturer recommendations and have resulted in problems.

But 35 psi is on the high side of most recommendations, in my experience. My Nissan Pathfinder, which is quite heavy, has a bit of a flat tire look when the tires are inflated to Nissan's recs. I usually pump them up a bit higher.

I don't believe your friend's assertion. I'd need some evidence of misconduct like that.

I have a 2001 Nissan Sentra.
I didn't believe my friend either - he thinks there is a conspiracy involved in every facet of this life. :lol:
The sticker inside the rear door says: 33 psi in the front tires and 30 psi in the rear.
They aren't the original tires on the car now, but they are the same type.

geonuc
2008-Jul-19, 05:39 PM
I have a 2001 Nissan Sentra.
I didn't believe my friend either - he thinks there is a conspiracy involved in every facet of this life. :lol:
The sticker inside the rear door says: 33 psi in the front tires and 30 psi in the rear.
They aren't the original tires on the car now, but they are the same type.
Then, in response to your original concern, provided you're getting a reasonably accurate pressure measurement, I'd say if the tires 'look' flat at 35 psi, it's just an illusion. 35 psi will give you better mileage, and shouldn't wear the tires too unevenly, given that that's the recommended pressure from the tire manufacturer.

peteshimmon
2008-Jul-19, 06:11 PM
If there is one body of people who will find
solutions for expensive fuel it will be the
military. (and not what you are thinking..
peaceful solutions!)

One thing that has me interested is solar cells
on bus roofs. Plenty of space and electrically
supplemented power trains will reduce fuel
usage.

Neverfly
2008-Jul-19, 09:51 PM
On more thing on tires: If you stop to pump air in at the local service station, those air pumps are notorious for having inaccurate gauges on them. Not necessarily from conspiracy as much as they get back up.

Most mechanics I know agree that you should go over by 5 psi whatever those gauges say.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-20, 09:49 AM
I was wondering...my tires are supposed to be inflated to 35 psi, but at that pressure they always look a bit flat - especially the front ones. A friend told me that tire manufacturers deliberately give out a reduced pressure so that the tires don't last as long. Sounds ridiculous to me. He recomended that I inflate them a bit more - maybe to 40 psi.
Should I?

If 35 psi is the maximum recommended tire pressure stated on the side of your tire, then the answer is an emphatic "no!"

Doing so risks a blow-out with potential injury to face, head, neck, hands, fingers, wrists, shoulders, collarbones, knees, hips, feet, and toes.

You're right - it is ridiculous to think that manufacturers would sacrifice performance, handling, and most importantly, safety, just to sell more tires. The latter is the biggest clue, as tire makers don't make tons of money on tires, so a lawsuit resulting from violating safety would put them out of business rather quickly.

Hi - I'm an avid cyclist - have been for the last 41 years, and I ride my bike to work most days (13 mi round trip - about 21 km).

Optimum tire pressure is calculated to provide the best balance between the most even wear and the best performance (traction while stopping, traction in tight corners).

Any lower that the optimum pressure causes both excessive off-center wear and reduced traction while cornering (centerline traction remains roughly the same). Any higher than the optimum pressure causes excessive centerline wear.

While higher pressure improves cornering traction, that's only under ideal circumstances, such as a very smooth asphalt. If the surface is rough, uneven, or if there is the potential for small rocks, dust, or dirt/sand, then lower pressures give you the advantage.

The optimum pressure is usually somewhat lower than your maximum tire pressure. That maximum pressure is calculated based on the tire's ability to handle a heavier than average load while remaining on the safe side to prevent against overpressure and their resulting blowouts.

The following statements are true only if you're riding an appropriately sized bicycle:

1. If you're the skinniest kid on the block, you might want to back the pressure down to no lower than 80% of the max tire pressure. Using 85% will allow you a bit of the inevitable loss of pressure before you check it (weekly, I hope) and re-pressurize to 85%.

2. If you're somewhat challenged in the weight department, feel free to set the pressure at it's maximum.

Again, NEVER exceed the manufacturer's max rated pressure! Doing so will put you at risk for a face-plant or a wipe-out should your tire blow.

Again, between 80% of max and max, the best judge of a tire's pressure is how it feels under normal riding conditions. If it feels a bit mushy, add some pressure. If it feels a bit stiff, let some air out.

Always use a quality air pressure guage, and always remain between 80% of max and the max rated pressure for your tire (stamped on the side of your tire).

Also, it doesn't hurt to check that you have the right size tires for your rim, especially in the width, as well as the right tubes for your tires.

Visit your local cycle dealer for more information. Most stores usually have an avid cyclist working in the back who'll be more than happy to help you get the most out of your ride.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-20, 10:10 AM
Most mechanics I know agree that you should go over by 5 psi whatever those gauges say.

Neverfly, I'm surprised at you! I would have thought you'd see right through this.

The guages are inaccurate. However, a they wear out (and/or gum up) they usually read low, meaning that you're likely to overinflate your tires if you use the guages.

Regardless of whether they're reading high or low, you're far better off paying the $5 for an accurate guage you can keep in your glove box, as it's a lot cheaper than wearing 10k miles off your 50k tires prematurely because they were under/overinflated.

Calculation:

Cost for a set of 50k tires: $300 (minimum)

Getting 40k miles instead of 50k miles is just 80% of their value which means you lost 20% of their value.

20% x $300 = $60.

That'll buy you an exceptionally nice and accurate guage that will last you for many sets of tires to come. But $20 will get you a very accurate (+/- 1 psi) dial-faced guage.

While you're at it, ensure your alignment is good, as an inaccurate alignment will rob you of a set of tires as fast as incorrect tire pressure.

Finally, always follow your car manufacturer's recommendation for wheel/tire size and pressures (found in the driver's side door jamb).

Tuckerfan
2008-Jul-20, 10:21 AM
If 35 psi is the maximum recommended tire pressure stated on the side of your tire, then the answer is an emphatic "no!"

Doing so risks a blow-out with potential injury to face, head, neck, hands, fingers, wrists, shoulders, collarbones, knees, hips, feet, and toes.

You're right - it is ridiculous to think that manufacturers would sacrifice performance, handling, and most importantly, safety, just to sell more tires. The latter is the biggest clue, as tire makers don't make tons of money on tires, so a lawsuit resulting from violating safety would put them out of business rather quickly.The solution isn't quite as simple as you make it to be. Remember the Ford Explorers with their exploding tires? Bridgestone recommended 35 PSI, while Ford recommended 28 PSI. Bridgestone took the blame for the blowouts and rollovers, but it might very well have been the under inflation of the tires were also to blame. Way back when gas was cheap, car makers recommended lower tire pressures because it offered a smoother ride. When gas started getting higher, so did the recommended air pressures, because a tire inflated to 35 PSI gives better gas mileage. No doubt, engineers put a little "wiggle room" in the PSI ratings they assign for tire pressures, so there's no need to freak out if you accidently blow your tire up to 36 PSI. (Hunter S. Thompson once claimed to have inflated tires up to around 80 PSI with no problems.)

Neverfly
2008-Jul-20, 10:23 AM
Neverfly, I'm surprised at you! I would have thought you'd see right through this.

The guages are inaccurate. However, a they wear out (and/or gum up) they usually read low, meaning that you're likely to overinflate your tires if you use the guages.

Regardless of whether they're reading high or low, you're far better off paying the $5 for an accurate guage you can keep in your glove box, as it's a lot cheaper than wearing 10,000 miles off your tires prematurely because they were under/overinflated.

Oh it gets worse.

I've been over inflating tires all my life by about 5 PSI. Not all the time on every tire of course.

See, trusting the manufacturer is fine but ummm...

I'm also a tradesman.
I'm not just a plumber you know...
I also worked in tires back in the day. I know tires inside and out. I know about tread, how tread is designed for conditions, how it applies, how the pressure factors in, how conditions factor in...

Magic Circle Corp- I also worked for Dixie Chopper as a mechanic on gas and diesel engines... Problem is that in that trade, it's like being a vet. You need to know EVERYTHING.

That said, I had better back up some statements here and do some more talking.

If you inflate a tire to it's suggested pressure and it still looks low and you have checked and double checked the pressure...
The tire may have splits (inside) the tire wall. This causes uneven pressure inside the tire which makes the sides of the tire bow outward.
It's a sign that you'll be buying new tires soon.

Not a huge deal and 5 psi extra will help by providing a bit more rigid tire. I've never ever seen a tire explode for being 5 PSI over.
Sorry, Mugs;)

Neverfly
2008-Jul-20, 10:26 AM
The solution isn't quite as simple as you make it to be. Remember the Ford Explorers with their exploding tires? Bridgestone recommended 35 PSI, while Ford recommended 28 PSI. Bridgestone took the blame for the blowouts and rollovers, but it might very well have been the under inflation of the tires were also to blame. Way back when gas was cheap, car makers recommended lower tire pressures because it offered a smoother ride. When gas started getting higher, so did the recommended air pressures, because a tire inflated to 35 PSI gives better gas mileage. No doubt, engineers put a little "wiggle room" in the PSI ratings they assign for tire pressures, so there's no need to freak out if you accidently blow your tire up to 36 PSI. (Hunter S. Thompson once claimed to have inflated tires up to around 80 PSI with no problems.)

My ex inflated all four tires to 60psi and drove around like that for over a year.
Did funny things to the middle of the tread. Must have felt like driving on four Spare Donuts.

ETA: I was unaware she had done it til she told me later.