Massive potential for new oil production technique

Posted: December 10, 2016 by tallbloke in Carbon cycle

Via GWPF

Oil 81788220

 

Potential extraction for three types of U.S. oil reserves (from top to bottom): zapping, tapping and fracking. These figures from the USGS show “technically recoverable” deposits. Scale: 1:4.2 trillion. GETTY/SHUTTERSTOCK

What do Hot Pockets and oil shale have in common? As it turns out, more than you might imagine. True, you can’t bake oil shale the way you can Hot Pockets. And you can’t steam Hot Pockets (unless you like ’em soggy) the way you can oil shale when you want to siphon off its black gold. But there is one preparation method that works for both these two improbable sources of abundant energy, and it’s probably in your kitchen at this very moment: microwaves.

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The evolution of gas reciprocating engines 

Posted: December 10, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation
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Experts say reciprocating gas engines can respond faster to load changes than any other prime mover, can compete with small gas turbine systems and also help fill in an efficient way the gap left by the lack of energy storage in most grid systems, as Power Engineering reports.

In southern Minnesota, where wind turbines and ethanol plants are commonplace, two communities have turned to reciprocating engine technology to meet their future power generation needs.

The Fairmont Energy Station, a 25-MW project completed in 2014, and the Owatonna Energy Station, a 38-MW project now under construction, feature highly flexible, quick-starting, low-maintenance reciprocating engines suited for today’s market, which places a premium on rapid-cycling capabilities.

Minnesota is home to about 100 wind power projects and ranks No. 7 in net wind power production in the U.S. That means Minnesota power producers must have reliable backup power to fill the sudden gaps created by growing supplies of intermittent wind power. The $30 million Fairmont plant is well suited for the job, capable of reaching full capacity in just eight minutes. That’s significantly faster than power plants using the latest gas turbine technology.

“We required a more flexible and fast responding power source that could make up the difference,” said Peter Reinarts, manager of Generation and Operation at Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), which owns the Fairmont and Owatonna plants. SMMPA either purchases or operates more than 100 MW of wind power capacity. The four 16-cylinder gas-fired engines provided by Caterpillar for the Fairmont project work in sync with the association’s portfolio of wind power. “The generator sets can be promptly put on or offline to fill in the holes of the current wind generation,” Reinarts said. “These two assets aren’t at odds with each other, but instead work in a dynamic tandem.”

The intermittent nature of renewable generation, low-priced natural gas and advancements in engine technology and flexibility have given reciprocating engines new life in the U.S. as a competitive form of reliable generation. Reciprocating engines are becoming increasingly popular for utility-scale power projects.

Gas engine power plants have several advantages over plants equipped with gas turbines. Perhaps the biggest advantage is flexibility. Gas-engine power plants with multiple modular units are better at scaling their output across a wide range of incremental load without sacrificing efficiency.

For example, 12 generator sets capable of generating up to 10 MW each can deliver output ranging from just a few MW to more than 100 MW in just minutes. By keeping a few units online, the other units can be deployed individually to offset sudden losses of wind power and bring balance to the grid.

“These new generator sets start quickly, like a car engine,” said Bruce Erickson, vice president of Ziegler Power Systems, which supplied the four Cat G16CM34 generator sets for the Fairmont project. “If the grid needs extra power 10 minutes from now – these generator sets can easily adjust to that need.”

In addition to speed and flexibility, gas-fired reciprocating engines can operate at part load – 25 percent or lower – without sacrificing fuel efficiency. Also, reciprocating engines have much lower maintenance costs versus the cost to maintain a sophisticated gas turbine.

What’s more, the output of a modern-day reciprocating engine now exceeds 20 MW, up from 10 MW a decade ago. This has led to the development of more engine-based power plants exceeding a capacity of 200 MW worldwide. Earlier this year, Sky Global One, a 51-MW gas-fired plant about 70 miles west of Houston in the Rock Island community of Colorado County, began commercial operation.

The plant features six 8.6 MW Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines from GE and will supply power to the 18,000 members of the San Bernard Electric Cooperative. The plant can go from zero to full power in just five minutes, a useful feature in a state that leads the nation in wind power production. In addition to providing power on short notice, the power plant – and others like it – uses very little water.

“Reciprocating engines use no water as part of their cycle,” said Andreas M. Lippert, engineering leader for GE’s Distributed Power business. “Our Sky Global power plant in Texas basically uses no more water than an ordinary household.” The J920 Flextra, a two-stage turbocharged engine, has a maximum output of 10.4 MW and can achieve electrical efficiencies of 49.1 percent at 50 hertz.

The 60 hertz version has a capacity of 9.35 MW and can achieve electrical efficiencies of 49.9 percent. The two-stage turbocharging means the J920 can achieve a fuel efficiency rating of more than 90 percent when used in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that produces hot water, GE said.

Full report: The Evolution of Reciprocating Engines – Power Engineering

See also: Why reciprocating gas engines make sense for Europe’s power industry – PEI

Scott Adams on global warming

Posted: December 9, 2016 by tchannon in ideology, Uncertainty

Tim wrote

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has an article up

The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science

Before I start, let me say as clearly as possible that I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change. If science says something is true – according to most scientists, and consistent with the scientific method – I accept their verdict.

So when I say I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change, I’m endorsing the scientific consensus for the same reason I endorsed Hillary Clinton for the first part of the election – as a strategy to protect myself. I endorse the scientific consensus on climate change to protect my career and reputation. To do otherwise would be dumb, at least in my situation.

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Global warming takes the day off in Colorado

Global warming takes the day off in Colorado


Outdoor protesting in December in the Northern Hemisphere can have its drawbacks, as The Daily Caller describes. Maybe add embarrassment to the list when you’re claiming that humans are making the world warmer.

A small group of global warming activists protesting oil and gas drilling outside the Department of Interior office in Colorado Thursday morning were met with bitter cold weather and snow.

About 10 “Keep It In The Ground” activists waved signs next to a busy road in the Denver area, calling for the Obama administration to stop issuing leases so companies can drill on public lands.

Activists say drilling only exacerbates global warming. The irony, however, is activists stood outside in about 4 inches of snow with temperatures hovering in the 20s — in degrees Fahrenheit.

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usepa
A man who has regularly sued the US Environmental Protection Agency is about to become its boss.
Scott Pruitt says: ‘Dissent is not a crime’.

H/T GWPF

President-elect Donald Trump is poised to name Scott Pruitt, a prominent skeptic of climate science and an ardent foe of government action on climate change, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to media reports.

Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has been a leading architect of legal opposition to President Barack Obama’s climate and environmental policies.

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Good advice but unlikely to be heeded any time soon.

Lord D: ‘I decided to study climate change. The more I explored it, the more I began to question what was being claimed by the evangelical climate change movement’

Funny how often people who look into the real details react like that.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.thegwpf.com/lord-donoughue-labour-must-ditch-its-climate-change-obsession/

From GWPF:

In 2008, I was one of the many members of both houses who unquestioningly voted for Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act, with its legal commitments to rapidly decarbonise the British economy. The measure was not properly costed (now forecast at upwards of £360bn by 2050). I had not studied the Bill. This seemed a noble, if eye-wateringly ambitious, project: to ‘save the planet’. Who could object to that?

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Achates engine design

Achates engine design


That’s the sales pitch for an opposed-piston alternative to today’s vehicle engines. No valves, no cylinder head. But will it get off the drawing board? WIRED reporting.

IF YOU POP THE hood on your car and yank out the plastic cover beneath it, you’ll see a beautiful bit of mind-boggling engineering: the internal combustion engine.

Today’s engines harness around 100 explosions of fuel and oxygen each second, generating massive power with minimal emissions. That’s great, but tightening pollution standards around the world mean automobiles must become increasingly efficient.

Electric cars offer one way forward, but they remain expensive and hobbled by range anxiety—the fear, often unfounded, that you’ll end up stranded with a dead battery. Internal combustion isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, with advancements like turbochargers, direct injection, and variable valve timing squeezing more miles from every gallon.

Achates Power in San Diego believes it has a better way: Ditch the design that has dominated engine design for the past 130 years in favor of an idea abandoned in the 1940s and see a 30 percent bump in efficiency.

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Autumn weather 2016

Posted: December 4, 2016 by tchannon in Analysis, climate, weather

Tim writes quickly to get this article out,

The Met Office updated their areal datasets promptly this month end so I have been able to update my z-score derivation before the weekend passes.

November just gone was slightly dry, sunshine was a little above normal, max and mean temperature was normal, minimum was more noticeably low.

The dryness perhaps fits with the failure of the south westerly Atlantic airstream to deliver much in the way of autumn wind and rain storms across the whole country. If you look at the shape of the annual curves you will see we are around peak wet at this time of the year, yet this year we have have a lot of the dry east and north winds.

With that fits more sunshine. Less clear is why temperatures were normal except for minimums, night-times. Less than usual wind would play a part by allowing still air radiative cooling.

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Carrington Power Station near Manchester

Carrington Power Station near Manchester


Britain has backed itself into a corner over electricity supply by rigging the market to favour renewables, but as the Daily Telegraph explains, things will have to change.
H/T GWPF

As a result of Britain’s energy policies, building new gas-fired power plants is no longer economic. Now, the Government has to subsidise gas investors to keep the lights on.

Four years ago this week, the Government unveiled plans for a bold new dash for gas. New gas-fired power stations, then-energy secretary Ed Davey said, would be required to “provide crucial capacity to keep the lights on”.

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From 3 mins in (but listen to all of it anyway)🙂

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The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.

The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

“Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

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Tropical storm [image credit: BBC]

Tropical storm [image credit: BBC]


Despite being what might be termed a ‘lukewarmer’, this professor has been a target of climate fanatics for a long time for pointing out a few inconvenient truths they would prefer the public not to hear, as the Wall Street Journal reports. Now with a new US President on the way he has chosen to speak out about his unfair treatment.
H/T GWPF

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House. Much to my surprise, I showed up in the WikiLeaks releases before the election.

In a 2014 email, a staffer at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta in 2003, took credit for a campaign to have me eliminated as a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website.

In the email, the editor of the think tank’s climate blog bragged to one of its billionaire donors, Tom Steyer: “I think it’s fair [to] say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538.”

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Tim writes about politics, not my usual fare,

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http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/investigatorypowers.html

Published by aljazera…

The IP Act: UK’s most extreme surveillance law
Snowden’s revelations didn’t preclude the passing of the most invasive surveillance law in the UK.

Jim Killock is Executive Director of Open Rights Group, which campaigns for privacy and free speech.

The Investigatory Powers Act will come into force at the start of 2017, and will cement ten years of illegal surveillance into law.

It includes state powers to intercept bulk communications and collect vast amounts of communications data and content. The security and law enforcement agencies – including government organisations such as HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) – can hack into devices of people in the UK.
…” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/12/ip-act-uk-extreme-surveillance-law-161201141317587.html

And as if that isn’t enough our old friend[1] Warwick Hughes has an article up pointing to an analysis by an outside party of EU fun coming 2017

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According to the latest international comparison, Australian kids are falling further behind, despite ever-larger sums of taxpayer cash being poured into the Chalk-Industrial Complex. One reason we’re raising another generation of dolts: propaganda passed off as wisdom

green teacherGreen/Left lobby Cool Australia, backed by Labor’s teacher unions and Bendigo Bank, is achieving massive success in brainwashing school students about the inhumanity of the federal government’s asylum-seeker policies, the evils of capitalism, and our imminent climate peril. The Cool Australia’s teaching templates are now being used by 52,540 teachers in 6,676 primary and high schools (71% of total schools). The courses have  impacted just over a million students via 140,000 lessons downloaded for classes this year alone. Students’ uptake of Cool Australia materials has doubled in the past three years.

Teachers are mostly flummoxed about how to prioritise “sustainability” throughout their primary and secondary school lessons, as required by the national curriculum.[1]  Cool Australia has marshaled a team of 19 professional curriculum writers who offer teachers and pupils easy templates for lessons that  include the sustainability mantra along with green and anti-government propaganda.
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Alt-science climate activists

Posted: December 2, 2016 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, Critique, Idiots
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How dare Mr Delingpole point out that there’s been a recent dip in temperatures – is there no end to such wickedness? Shock horror!

Shub Niggurath Climate

The US House Science committee tweeted a link to a James Delingpole article on the drop in atmospheric temperatures of the Na Nina that is underway.

Look at the climate alarmist and intelligentsia response:

Science writer Deborah Blum:

The articulate British scientist Doug McNeall:

PhD scientist Bob Ward:

Former journalist Leo Hickman:

Climate activist ‘Climate Truth’

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Ex U.S. Naval Observatory astronomer and long-time talkshopper Gerry Pease has sent me a link to an update of the paper he wrote with Gregory Glenn which we discussed recently. It represents some important and novel work in our field of solar-planetary theory. Of particular interest is the tight phase and magnitude coherence of solar-barycentric torque over the last two Jose cycles.

jose-torque

Gerry writes:

v2 of  Long Term Sunspot Cycle Phase Coherence is now available at https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1610/1610.03553.pdf.

Figure 2 has a corrected scale, Figure 3 has been added, Figure 4 replaces the previous Figure 3 with an improved overlay Figure, and Figures 3-33 have been renumbered as Figures 4-34. Less than one page of important additional explanatory text has been added, but I am confident that Talkshop readers will find the added information and improved charts well worth a read.

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Canadian snowflakes melted by go ahead government

Posted: November 30, 2016 by tchannon in Politics

Tim writes,

This will bring some more snowflake meltdowns.

Image

Image: Canadian gov, https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/resources/19188

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that his Liberal government had approved a plan to replace a continental pipeline known as Line 3 from Alberta to the United States, and expand a pipeline running from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia (BC), known as the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“The decision that we took today is in the best interests of Canada and the best interests of Canadians,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

“This is a decision based on rigorous debate, on science, and on evidence. We have not been and will not be swayed by political arguments, be they local, regional or national. We have made this decision because we are convinced it is safe for BC and it is the right one for Canada.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/canada-greenlights-controversial-oil-pipelines-161130113258928.html

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The proposal to force older nuclear power plants to close in Switzerland has been rejected in a referendum. The five reactors that provide over one-third of electricity can continue to operate according to their economic lives.

Nuclear power plants in Switzerland (Nov 2016) (WNA)

Nuclear power is Switzerland’s second largest source of electricity, providing about 35% of electricity in 2015 and complementing 52% hydro to give the country one of the cleanest and most secure electricity systems in the world.

In 2010 there were active plans to replace the five current reactors based on a supportive referendum and confirmation by regulators that the sites were suitable. This program was scrapped by a National Council vote in June 2011, just four months after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, and Switzerland was put on a path to lose nuclear power when existing reactors retired in the 2030s and 2040s.

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cardellini_scrTalkshop readers with good memories may remember the article I wrote back in 2012 on findings by Cardellini et al that volcanic soils emitted far more CO2 than previously thought (and are not included in IPCC carbon cycle inventories). The implication is that longer sunshine hours during the 1980s-90s may well have released a lot of sequestered CO2 from these soils, thus raising atmospheric levels. Which would mean humans are not responsible for all of the increase, as has long been assumed.

Now another article from Robert Wylie on Livescience.com raises the issue again:

Robin Wylie, is a doctoral candidate in volcanology, atUniversity College London. He contributed this article to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

The exploding hills really give the game away: We’ve always known the Earth is a smoker. The true extent of its habit, though, is only just beginning to surface.

Before the human species found its talent for pyromania, atmospheric levels of the Earth’s greenhouse superstar, carbon dioxide (CO2), were controlled, for the most part, by volcanoes.

Since our planet emerged from the debris which formed the solarsystem, some four and a half billion years ago, a lifetime supply of primordial carbon has been locked away in the mantle — against its will. Partnering with oxygen and smuggled as a dissolved gas in liquid rock, it breaches the surface at our planet’s volcanic airways: CO2, then, has been seeping into the planet’s atmosphere for as long as there has been one.

Until the end of the 20th century, the academic consensus was that this volcanic output was tiny — a fiery speck against the colossal anthropogenic footprint. Recently, though, volcanologists have begun to reveal a hidden side to our leaking planet.

Exactly how much CO2 passes through the magmatic vents in our crust might be one of the most important questions that Earth science can answer. Volcanoes may have been overtaken in the carbon stakes, but in order to properly assess the consequences of human pollution, we need the reference point of the natural background. And we’re getting there; the last twenty years have seen huge steps in our understanding of how, and how much CO2 leaves the deep Earth. But at the same time, a disturbing pattern has been emerging.

In 1992, it was thought that volcanic degassing released something like 100 million tons of CO2 each year. Around the turn of the millennium, this figure was getting closer to 200. The most recent estimate, released this February, comes from a team led by Mike Burton, of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology – and it’s just shy of 600 million tons. It caps a staggering trend: A six-fold increase in just two decades.

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Credit: atlanticsuperconnection.com

Credit: atlanticsuperconnection.com

The proposed route in to the UK is via Scotland. Could be interesting with Scottish leaders keen on leaving the UK.

A multibillion pound project aimed at using the power generated by Icelandic volcanoes to fuel British households has lined up a major French infrastructure investor to back its development.

Sky News has learnt that Meridiam, a global asset manager…has agreed to finance part of the development cost of a new 1,000-mile-long pipeline between Iceland and the UK.

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