[ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Tue Mar 22 06:24:58 UTC 2011

On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 2:27 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 01:25:56AM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:50 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>> For the record, my solar system is worthless until I can put together
>> $3000 to buy new batteries. The batteries do go out, and are the weak
> You're insular. Most aren't. If you want to connect to power grid,
> what's the price quite? 100 kUSD? More?

Somewhere in that range. The point is that I don't want to connect to
the grid. The grid has issues that I don't want to be tied to. If I
were up the hill in Japan, I would have the only working Internet

>> link in most systems. So now you know someone who has real world
>> problems with solar. Me. :-)
> Nobody is using batteries here. You sell power to the grid,
> you buy power from the grid. If I had to bite the bullet I'd
> put the mission criticals on the equivalent of a large UPS
> and do the rest by on-demand diesel generator. You can
> schedule energy-intensive tasks when peak power is available,
> too.
> Batteries don't work yet. For some reason we decided
> to waste some 40 years, and not do R&D.

We need some pretty advanced nanotech to get batteries right. However,
I think the future in offline storage MAY lie in compressed air. Large
building sized batteries also have some interesting potential. An
installation of that type was installed a few years back in southern
Utah. Quite interesting.

>> I like solar very much. But it is VERY expensive.
> 3 USD/Wp, about twice the residential rate. In ten years it
> will be residential rate where I sit, or below.

For me it's been around 10x, including gasoline to run generators
during the times the sun doesn't shine.

>> The panels themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. That part of
>> the system is fairly reliable. It's the inverters, batteries and the
> There are panels with built-in inverters now. In principle the future
> is DC.
>> rest that are the real pain. Oh, and finding an electrician who knows
>> what the crap he's doing.
> Not a problem where I sit. Ditto passive/zero energy construction.
>> > How are you babysitting your roof? I can tell that most people
>> > put it up, and forget for the next 40-50 years about it but
>> > for cleaning once a year.
>> I have to climb up every time it snows, risk my life scraping the snow
> If you live where it snows, and the inclination doesn't take care
> of it, and you're off grid, then you should perhaps look intro
> electric or other heating of the panels.

That is funny. One of the least efficient things you can do with
electricity is to create heat. Melting snow with electricity would
likely not pay back for a week or more, by which time it would have
snowed again.

>> off. It snows probably 20 times a year. It is a bit of a pain here in
>> the real world.
> If it hurts, stop doing it.

I have no alternative. If I could easily hook up a little coal power
plant, you bet I would... :-)


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