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

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 00:58:45 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>> I think the future in offline storage MAY lie in compressed air. Large
> No, only for very large scale. The thermodynamics of it doesn't allow
> small scale.

Tell it to Tata motors.
If I could score some parts from a Tata Nano, I think I could make a
nice storage system... I don't understand what you mean by the
thermodynamics of the situation in detail, I do understand that
compressed air can get very hot and needs to be cooled... but it would
SEEM that Tata has resolved these issues to some extent.

>> building sized batteries also have some interesting potential. An
> The car industry will bring you pretty powerful batteries within
> the next 10 years.

I hope so. Battery power stored per kilogram follows a Law of
Accelerating Returns curve, does it not?

> Yes, but one of the most inefficient things you can do with PV
> panels you rely on to sit under snow. Climbing up the roof to
> clean them off is not a particular sane way of dealing with the
> situation.

I think it is the only sane way to deal with it... putting in a
heating system is just not practical. If I had it to do over again, I
would not have put the PV on the roof.

> If I knew I had to do that, I'd have a roof which is trivial
> to access and safe to be on, or built electric heating, starting
> with small segments below so that the PV panels assist with self-dethaw,
> or install combination solar thermal/photovoltaics (I presume you
> have Si panels, these would profit from liquid cooling) and dethaw
> them by running a warm liquid until snow slides off.

How would you keep the tubes of warm liquid from freezing? Run it all the time?

>> likely not pay back for a week or more, by which time it would have
>> snowed again.
> Again, you can do things very hard for you, if you want to.

The question is whether it can be profitably done cheaply.

>> I have no alternative. If I could easily hook up a little coal power
>> plant, you bet I would... :-)
> You already have gasoline generators, why are you not running these to
> defrost the panels? If you have gasoline generator backup, why do you
> have batteries? I don't know the details of your installation, of course.

The reason for batteries is to run off of the solar at night, when the
sun has shone all day. Ideally, the generator would only come on once
a week or so, say on a night after a cloudy day.


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