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2 hours ago, notsonice said:

When will UP and BNSF announce they are putting windmills and solar panels alongside its tracks......They own the right of way and can string power poles without having to buy or lease land

 

Union Pacific orders ten Wabtec FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives, the largest investment by a North American railroad

Scooter Doll

- Jan. 28th 2022 1:03 pm PT

 

@SCOOTERDOLL

 

 
 
Wabtec-FLX-Drive-Union-Pacific.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=1600

 

North American railroad Union Pacific announced it has purchased ten FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives from manufacturer Wabtec. The purchase marks the largest number of FLXDrives placed in a single order for Wabtec, as well as the largest investment in battery-electric locomotives by a North American railroad (Union Pacific)North American railroad (Union Pacific).

Union Pacific Railroad ($UNP) is one of the longest-tenured railroads in North America, having been founded in 1862. It currently operates over 8,000 locomotives across 23 of the Western United States, including Illinois and Louisiana.

Union Pacific considers trains the most environmentally-friendly means to transport freight and has recently made further vows to help reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. This past December, the American railroad published its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, outlining efforts to significantly reduce emissions throughout its operations.

As part of that plan, UP plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions 26% by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. That’s why a purchase from Wabtec makes a lot of sense. Wabtec Corporation ($WAB) is a manufacturer and freight company with over 150 years of expertise in locomotives.

Last June, Wabtec began a California pilot program with its FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive. Since the FLXDrive has been commercialized, Wabtec has already seen four orders from railroads including Canadian National Railway (CN) and Rio Tinto in Australia.

Wabtec’s fifth order from Union Pacific is the largest for electric locomotives to date.

Union Pacific electric locomotive Wabtec’s FLXDrive electric locomotive from the front / Source: Wabtec Corp.

Union Pacific orders ten electric locomotives for its rail yards

The new purchase from Wabtec was announced earlier today by Union Pacific, along with a statement from the railroad. Chairman, President, and CEO of Union Pacific, Lance Fritz spoke:

Railroads are already the leader in low emissions ground transportation, and we believe battery-electric locomotives are the next step in our journey to eventually reach net zero. This first phase of testing will further enhance the technology, and, ultimately, benefit the entire industry.

To begin, Union Pacific plans to use the FLXDrive electric locomotives to upgrade its rail yard infrastructure. This is a different approach to Wabtec’s previous FLXDrive customers, who plan to use the locomotives for mainline service.

According to the press release, the ten FLXdrives will enable Union Pacific to eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon from its rail yards each year, which is equivalent to removing 800 cars from the highway. Rafael Santana, President and CEO for Wabtec, also spoke to UP’s purchase:

As an industry leader, Union Pacific is pioneering a major application of battery power in its rail yards. Battery power is an ideal solution to reduce the environmental impact and costs of yard operations. Using the FLXdrive in the rail yard can significantly improve local air quality, as well as reduce noise by up to 70% for neighboring communities.

The electric locomotives will be manufactured in the US, and the first units are expected to reach Union Pacific in late 2023.

No, they could not put up wind turbines.  That requires acerage leased withing ~10X -->15X of diameter of wind turbine. 

Solar... maybe out south west where there are no trees.    Can run the power lines, but once again, reality called derailment and need huge amounts of space for equipment to right derailed cars/trains.  Then throw in easement width which is a mere ~30 ft in most places.  Good luck putting 2 train tracks, side road, power poles, and Solar in 30ft

What they could do is provide a CHEAP easement for solar/wind boys to run new HVDC power lines from the middle of nowhere to somewhere instead of trying to deal with 100,000 land owners who do not want a new power line crossing their property. 

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3 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

No, they could not put up wind turbines.  That requires acerage leased withing ~10X -->15X of diameter of wind turbine. 

Solar... maybe out south west where there are no trees.    Can run the power lines, but once again, reality called derailment and need huge amounts of space for equipment to right derailed cars/trains.  Then throw in easement width which is a mere ~30 ft in most places.  Good luck putting 2 train tracks, side road, power poles, and Solar in 30ft

What they could do is provide a CHEAP easement for solar/wind boys to run new HVDC power lines from the middle of nowhere to somewhere instead of trying to deal with 100,000 land owners who do not want a new power line crossing their property. 

IMHO LNG would be a lot easier to manage. They can use their own cars and carry all they need between refills. It has already been done and the technology is ready to go. 

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2022/01/28/tesla-share-price-drop-wipes-out-100-billion-of-market-value-in-one-day/

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On 1/28/2022 at 3:45 PM, Eyes Wide Open said:

Europe must get serious about renovating homes to ease energy crisis

As prices rise and Russia threatens to ration supply, the EU urgently needs to cut its gas consumption

Before the gas price crisis — and before the pandemic and the highest inflation in decades — 50m Europeans, or one in four households, were already struggling to afford heating. Even those families not personally threatened by energy poverty were directly affected. Gas companies across Europe have folded or shut their doors to new customers. In one case in the Netherlands, 90,000 customers saw their bills suddenly double after their provider was taken over.

Brussels has already pledged a “renovation wave” as part of the EU Green Deal. Now it is time for member states to launch this in earnest. Shortly before the end of last year, the European Commission proposed new legislation to renovate the most energy-hungry buildings ahead of yet another EU leaders’ meeting that discussed the energy price crisis. There is about €1.8tn available, including €670bn from the recovery fund, a third of which is earmarked for climate action. Surveys show that people want to live in energy-efficient homes, and they are looking to their government to speed the transition to greener buildings.

We need to match this political will and public desire with a credibly financed vision of the warm and affordable homes we want to live in, and with the laws and policies to make it happen.

Brussels Response: Crickets.

https://www.ft.com/content/a0dab19e-1b76-49fa-90aa-4973c7ba7341

It seems weird to think about insulation in 2022. In 1980 I put in insulation in the attic. In around 1983 I had holes drilled and used blown in insulation for the walls. I was a young man in my 20’s and paid for it myself working in a factory. Is Europe really that dumb and dependent on the government? Today the insulation of choice for tight home is foam. No government needed. Try work.

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Not everyone is in wood framed houses that is fairly ez to insulate. Many don't even own their homes, Europeans have a different mindset than we in the U.S, Many homes are not as simple to insulate as homes are built different. Probably would be cheaper to add supplemental heat not connected to grid, such as wood burning stove, or coal, still available, Liquid NG or Propane. If grid fails or Putin shuts off the valves, then yer better adept to not freeze to death.  Just be smart and have a 2 month reserve during the harshest parts of winter.

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2 hours ago, Old-Ruffneck said:

Not everyone is in wood framed houses that is fairly ez to insulate. Many don't even own their homes, Europeans have a different mindset than we in the U.S, Many homes are not as simple to insulate as homes are built different. Probably would be cheaper to add supplemental heat not connected to grid, such as wood burning stove, or coal, still available, Liquid NG or Propane. If grid fails or Putin shuts off the valves, then yer better adept to not freeze to death.  Just be smart and have a 2 month reserve during the harshest parts of winter.

Worse yet, much of the housing stock in Europe is old - like hundreds of years old.  Retrofitting buildings like that to meet modern insulation standards is such a massive project that I don't believe any significant effort has ever been made.  The number of them is too large just to knock them all down and start over, and they are too strategically located to simply abandon them and start over in some other location.  These are all strategies the US uses to weed out obsolete building stock, but Europe hasn't' really done it for a variety of reasons, beyond the wholesale random destruction that took place in WWII.  

 

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(edited)

Coal is hot and growing demand in Europe.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/IEA-Europes-Gas-Demand-Set-To-Decline-In-Favor-Of-Coal.html

"Europe’s natural gas demand is set to decline this year as buyers begin to favor lower-priced coal, the International Energy Agency said in the latest edition of its quarterly gas market report.

According to the IEA, gas demand on the continent is seen declining by 4 percent this year, after rising by more than 5 percent last year. The decline will be partially driven by a reduction in gas burning in the power sector, the agency said, which is seen declining by 6 percent this year.

The decline will be partially compensated by renewables, according to the IEA, which should see a “strong expansion” this year, but also “high gas prices continue to weigh on its competitiveness vis-à-vis coal-fired generation.”"

Edited by Ecocharger

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(edited)

Here is where the misguided Green energy policies are leading us...to an expensive world with reduced standards of living. This type of economic strangulation completely eluded the intelligence of the current Biden & Co. advisors, who must have skipped their economics classes at whatever liberal university they attended.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/90-Oil-Is-Only-The-Beginning.html

""The oil market is heading for simultaneously low inventories, low spare capacity and still low investment," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note cited by the Wall Street Journal this week, summing up the situation quite nicely. In this situation, $90 for a barrel of Brent may be just the beginning.

Indeed, the Wall Street consensus seems to be that Brent will reach $100 by the summer because of all the reasons listed by Morgan Stanley and also because breakeven costs are also on the rise, thanks to inflation trends and labor shortages, at least in the United States. Yet the biggest driver of prices will remain physical demand.

The International Energy Agency admitted physical oil demand has proven stronger than previously expected in its latest Oil Market Report. Based on this surprising turn of events, the IEA revised up its 2022 oil demand forecast by 200,000 bpd. And based on its track record, it might well turn out it has once again underestimated demand robustness. Even with this estimate, oil demand will not only return to pre-pandemic levels but exceed them, reaching 99.7 million bpd by the end of the year.

In such a situation, higher prices for oil are all but certain since there is precious little—bar another round of lockdowns which is highly unlikely—anyone can do about them. The question, then, becomes how high oil can go before it begins to go down?

The answer is tricky. U.S. public oil companies are still beholden to their shareholders, who seem to be taking to heart forecasts that oil has no long-term future. They have limited space for doing what they want. Private companies will be drilling as WTI continues climbing higher. And OPEC will be drilling as well, but it may choose to keep controls on production rather than switching to "pump at will," mostly because only a few OPEC members actually have the capacity to pump at will.

Excessively high prices tend to discourage consumption, regardless of the commodity whose prices are getting excessively high. However, there is a caveat, and it is that the commodity must have a viable alternative to discourage consumption when prices rise too high. Judging from Europe's nightmare autumn and winter this year, alternatives to fossil fuels are not yet up to par. This basically means that the impact of high oil prices on demand will be slow to manifest and slow to push prices down."

Edited by Ecocharger
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(edited)

17 hours ago, Eric Gagen said:

Worse yet, much of the housing stock in Europe is old - like hundreds of years old.  Retrofitting buildings like that to meet modern insulation standards is such a massive project that I don't believe any significant effort has ever been made.  The number of them is too large just to knock them all down and start over, and they are too strategically located to simply abandon them and start over in some other location.  These are all strategies the US uses to weed out obsolete building stock, but Europe hasn't' really done it for a variety of reasons, beyond the wholesale random destruction that took place in WWII.  

 

In the UK pretty much all new build housing (which there is a lot of) has cavity wall and loft insulation, if not there is a government grant for this if required.

Soon you wont be able to replace your gas boiler with a like for like replacement, you will have to buy an air source heat pump, or if you have room a ground source heat pump. All part of the green revolution but actually not a bad idea.

You are correct that older housing often cannot have cavity wall insulation as there isnt a cavity as the walls are solid rock/brick. The other reason may be that the properties are "listed buildings" which means they are protected against alterations.

Edited by Rob Plant

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Oil runs on a just in time market. Oil also has long lead times. Because oil has dozens of countries and thousands of producers it is impossible to anticipate market moves and respond in cooperation. This is why oil is historically so volatile. 
Then you have Putin types, Saudi types and US country types playing politics, disrupting oil flows. But yea, higher prices will drive production and a return to lower prices. It’s called a cycle. 

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But the EPA can pressure the nation’s dirtiest coal plants to shut down through other means, and the administration is beginning to exercise its leverage.
“Regulations to require power producers to bear the costs of their own pollution are decades overdue,” said Thom Cmar, an attorney with the law firm AltmanNewman who represents environmental groups.

“Sound science makes it clear that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

In my opinion the US should start with imported pollution. Sell it all to Europe. Maybe they can’t insulate but if it gets cold they will figure out how to burn it. 

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On 1/28/2022 at 5:00 PM, notsonice said:

When will UP and BNSF announce they are putting windmills and solar panels alongside its tracks......They own the right of way and can string power poles without having to buy or lease land

 

Union Pacific orders ten Wabtec FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives, the largest investment by a North American railroad

Scooter Doll

- Jan. 28th 2022 1:03 pm PT

 

@SCOOTERDOLL

 

 
 
Wabtec-FLX-Drive-Union-Pacific.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=1600

 

North American railroad Union Pacific announced it has purchased ten FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives from manufacturer Wabtec. The purchase marks the largest number of FLXDrives placed in a single order for Wabtec, as well as the largest investment in battery-electric locomotives by a North American railroad (Union Pacific)North American railroad (Union Pacific).

Union Pacific Railroad ($UNP) is one of the longest-tenured railroads in North America, having been founded in 1862. It currently operates over 8,000 locomotives across 23 of the Western United States, including Illinois and Louisiana.

Union Pacific considers trains the most environmentally-friendly means to transport freight and has recently made further vows to help reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. This past December, the American railroad published its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, outlining efforts to significantly reduce emissions throughout its operations.

As part of that plan, UP plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions 26% by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. That’s why a purchase from Wabtec makes a lot of sense. Wabtec Corporation ($WAB) is a manufacturer and freight company with over 150 years of expertise in locomotives.

Last June, Wabtec began a California pilot program with its FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive. Since the FLXDrive has been commercialized, Wabtec has already seen four orders from railroads including Canadian National Railway (CN) and Rio Tinto in Australia.

Wabtec’s fifth order from Union Pacific is the largest for electric locomotives to date.

Union Pacific electric locomotive Wabtec’s FLXDrive electric locomotive from the front / Source: Wabtec Corp.

Union Pacific orders ten electric locomotives for its rail yards

The new purchase from Wabtec was announced earlier today by Union Pacific, along with a statement from the railroad. Chairman, President, and CEO of Union Pacific, Lance Fritz spoke:

Railroads are already the leader in low emissions ground transportation, and we believe battery-electric locomotives are the next step in our journey to eventually reach net zero. This first phase of testing will further enhance the technology, and, ultimately, benefit the entire industry.

To begin, Union Pacific plans to use the FLXDrive electric locomotives to upgrade its rail yard infrastructure. This is a different approach to Wabtec’s previous FLXDrive customers, who plan to use the locomotives for mainline service.

According to the press release, the ten FLXdrives will enable Union Pacific to eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon from its rail yards each year, which is equivalent to removing 800 cars from the highway. Rafael Santana, President and CEO for Wabtec, also spoke to UP’s purchase:

As an industry leader, Union Pacific is pioneering a major application of battery power in its rail yards. Battery power is an ideal solution to reduce the environmental impact and costs of yard operations. Using the FLXdrive in the rail yard can significantly improve local air quality, as well as reduce noise by up to 70% for neighboring communities.

The electric locomotives will be manufactured in the US, and the first units are expected to reach Union Pacific in late 2023.

That is nice and will be fine when there is plenty of electricity. Right now, I doubt that is the case. Rather it will worsen the problem if too many are out there too soon. Natural gas locomotives make more sense to me. 

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24 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

That is nice and will be fine when there is plenty of electricity. Right now, I doubt that is the case. Rather it will worsen the problem if too many are out there too soon. Natural gas locomotives make more sense to me. 

If you look at the Union Pacific plan,  they intend to use the electric locomotives in switch yards.  Locos under those conditions spend a lot of time idling, moving small/light loads, and speeding up and slowing down - basically conditions under which a diesel locomotive isn't as efficient.  The electric locos would probably 'do their runs' then at the end of their shift, and then pull into a charging stall.  Outside of built up urban areas, most railyards have a lot of space around them,  so if they wanted to,  I would hazard to guess that UP could charge them up with solar power if desired.  I think however that they intend to use these electric switchers in the most heavily urban yards, where the mitigation of noise and diesel soot would probably pay for themselves in good relations with their neighbors. 

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5 hours ago, Eric Gagen said:

If you look at the Union Pacific plan,  they intend to use the electric locomotives in switch yards.  Locos under those conditions spend a lot of time idling, moving small/light loads, and speeding up and slowing down - basically conditions under which a diesel locomotive isn't as efficient.  The electric locos would probably 'do their runs' then at the end of their shift, and then pull into a charging stall.  Outside of built up urban areas, most railyards have a lot of space around them,  so if they wanted to,  I would hazard to guess that UP could charge them up with solar power if desired.  I think however that they intend to use these electric switchers in the most heavily urban yards, where the mitigation of noise and diesel soot would probably pay for themselves in good relations with their neighbors. 

Natural gas switchers have been used for several years also. 

https://www.railwayage.com/mechanical/locomotives/optifuel-producing-natural-gas-switchers/

OptiFuel’s new switcher line uses a proprietary, EPA rail-certified engine (KOFSG11.9400), which is based on the Cummins ISX12N and is said to have 0.00 g-bhp/hr NOx and PM criteria emissions.

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On 1/31/2022 at 5:04 PM, Boat said:

It seems weird to think about insulation in 2022. In 1980 I put in insulation in the attic. In around 1983 I had holes drilled and used blown in insulation for the walls. I was a young man in my 20’s and paid for it myself working in a factory. Is Europe really that dumb and dependent on the government? Today the insulation of choice for tight home is foam. No government needed. Try work.

Wooden houses are mostly unique to USA. In most other countries, wooden house implies small hut and hatchment for poor people. 

On 2/1/2022 at 3:45 PM, Rob Plant said:

In the UK pretty much all new build housing (which there is a lot of) has cavity wall and loft insulation, if not there is a government grant for this if required.

Soon you wont be able to replace your gas boiler with a like for like replacement, you will have to buy an air source heat pump, or if you have room a ground source heat pump. All part of the green revolution but actually not a bad idea.

You are correct that older housing often cannot have cavity wall insulation as there isnt a cavity as the walls are solid rock/brick. The other reason may be that the properties are "listed buildings" which means they are protected against alterations.

Why would anyone make cavity walls unless it is some kind of corporate spending? I don't think any home owner would like to spend huge sums of money to build two brick walls instead of one wall. Moreover, that is a huge liability as small insects and animals can use then as nesting places. This will be particularly bad in case of termite, ant, honeybee nesting. By the time you realise that there is a next of these insects it would have already expanded to cover most of the insides of the wall, inundating wardrobes, curtains, bookshelves causing huge damage.

The best way to insulate a home is to make it out of bricks and then plaster it on both sides with cement layer so that the cracks are filled

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46 minutes ago, kshithij Sharma said:

Wooden houses are mostly unique to USA. In most other countries, wooden house implies small hut and hatchment for poor people. 

Why would anyone make cavity walls unless it is some kind of corporate spending? I don't think any home owner would like to spend huge sums of money to build two brick walls instead of one wall. Moreover, that is a huge liability as small insects and animals can use then as nesting places. This will be particularly bad in case of termite, ant, honeybee nesting. By the time you realise that there is a next of these insects it would have already expanded to cover most of the insides of the wall, inundating wardrobes, curtains, bookshelves causing huge damage.

The best way to insulate a home is to make it out of bricks and then plaster it on both sides with cement layer so that the cracks are filled

probably becuase their main aim is to stop damp in houses.

In hot climates this isnt a problem but if you live in the UK or any damp cool climate you would definitely need cavity walls!

Your suggestion would lead to damp and mold within months.

https://www.londondampcompany.co.uk/the-cavity-wall-a-brief-history/

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On 1/31/2022 at 1:59 PM, Ecocharger said:

Here is where the misguided Green energy policies are leading us...to an expensive world with reduced standards of living. This type of economic strangulation completely eluded the intelligence of the current Biden & Co. advisors, who must have skipped their economics classes at whatever liberal university they attended.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/90-Oil-Is-Only-The-Beginning.html

""The oil market is heading for simultaneously low inventories, low spare capacity and still low investment," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note cited by the Wall Street Journal this week, summing up the situation quite nicely. In this situation, $90 for a barrel of Brent may be just the beginning.

Indeed, the Wall Street consensus seems to be that Brent will reach $100 by the summer because of all the reasons listed by Morgan Stanley and also because breakeven costs are also on the rise, thanks to inflation trends and labor shortages, at least in the United States. Yet the biggest driver of prices will remain physical demand.

The International Energy Agency admitted physical oil demand has proven stronger than previously expected in its latest Oil Market Report. Based on this surprising turn of events, the IEA revised up its 2022 oil demand forecast by 200,000 bpd. And based on its track record, it might well turn out it has once again underestimated demand robustness. Even with this estimate, oil demand will not only return to pre-pandemic levels but exceed them, reaching 99.7 million bpd by the end of the year.

In such a situation, higher prices for oil are all but certain since there is precious little—bar another round of lockdowns which is highly unlikely—anyone can do about them. The question, then, becomes how high oil can go before it begins to go down?

The answer is tricky. U.S. public oil companies are still beholden to their shareholders, who seem to be taking to heart forecasts that oil has no long-term future. They have limited space for doing what they want. Private companies will be drilling as WTI continues climbing higher. And OPEC will be drilling as well, but it may choose to keep controls on production rather than switching to "pump at will," mostly because only a few OPEC members actually have the capacity to pump at will.

Excessively high prices tend to discourage consumption, regardless of the commodity whose prices are getting excessively high. However, there is a caveat, and it is that the commodity must have a viable alternative to discourage consumption when prices rise too high. Judging from Europe's nightmare autumn and winter this year, alternatives to fossil fuels are not yet up to par. This basically means that the impact of high oil prices on demand will be slow to manifest and slow to push prices down."

So nuclear is as green as it gets yet Germany took out 17 nuclear power plants that were paid for and producing. Typical spam and misinformation does not talk about that. Like Australia dosent talk about the massive exports making a few oligarchs richer while nat gas is high for normal citizens. Like the US exports the hell out of nat gas while flaring away and prices of that gas are going up. Those oligarchs still run the world, yes that includes Republicans and Dems bought oligarchs. So tell me some more about how the greens are driving up prices. Lol Idiots. 
Biden wants to toughen up on coal while sending our nat gas to foreign lands. The ol’ Australian playbook. He says pay attention to climate change but let’s flare ourselves out of harms way. I worry about you humans. Hey I got a money making proposition for you. Sell freedom files baked in patriot cake to bust Trump out of jail for trying to coup a 256 year old institution formed after an Authoritarian king. I have yet to hear one politician talk any kind of common sense in over 60 years. Screw energy, let’s build at least 10 more casinos per state and let Trump run EM. Lol. Putin will provide the nat gas if you let him. 

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2 hours ago, kshithij Sharma said:

Wooden houses are mostly unique to USA. In most other countries, wooden house implies small hut and hatchment for poor people. 

Why would anyone make cavity walls unless it is some kind of corporate spending? I don't think any home owner would like to spend huge sums of money to build two brick walls instead of one wall. Moreover, that is a huge liability as small insects and animals can use then as nesting places. This will be particularly bad in case of termite, ant, honeybee nesting. By the time you realise that there is a next of these insects it would have already expanded to cover most of the insides of the wall, inundating wardrobes, curtains, bookshelves causing huge damage.

The best way to insulate a home is to make it out of bricks and then plaster it on both sides with cement layer so that the cracks are filled

 

1 hour ago, Rob Plant said:

probably becuase their main aim is to stop damp in houses.

In hot climates this isnt a problem but if you live in the UK or any damp cool climate you would definitely need cavity walls!

Your suggestion would lead to damp and mold within months.

https://www.londondampcompany.co.uk/the-cavity-wall-a-brief-history/

Here in the US, we use cavity walls for individual residences, and for commercial construction.  Wood is usually used for the structure of residential buildings, and steel for commercial ones.  Structural brick is almost non existant here except for very old buildings, for the following reasons.

The use of 'solid' bricks with cement and plaster is an extremely bad one in multiple parts of the United States, but for different reasons.

In the west coast, it is not merely a bad idea, but illegal, because this type of construction falls down in earthquakes (even small ones) This covers ~ 20% of the country, and 30% of the population. You don't need to use cavity walls to resolve this problem, but once you frame the structure out of wood, or steel (both of which withstand earthquakes well), you get a cavity 'for free' as a side effect.

In the Southeast, this creates severe problems with moisture in areas where air conditioning is in regular usage - the gap between the inner and outer walls is critical for preventing the buildup of condensation caused by the differential between the warm moist air on the outside, and the cool dry air on the inside (the opposite problem that @Rob Plant describes taking place in the United Kingdom.  This region covers ~ 35% of the country, and about 30% of the population.  If you are going to use modern air conditioning equipment you have to have cavity walls.

In the Northeast, and the upper midwest, the conditions are as Rob describes - cool and damp outside, with a considerable need for heating on the inside.  This region covers ~ 20% of the country and about 25% of the population. If you are going to use modern heating equipment you have to have cavity walls.  

In the midwest there are different seasons where heating AND air conditioning are both in heavy use, and the climate is either cool and damp or hot and damp depending on season. You can have dampness problems of both types at different times of the year.

Add it all up, and solid masonry wall construction is a bad idea for nearly the entire united states, unless you make sure that the building is so drafty that the HVAC system cannot develop any major difference in humidity between the inside and outside of the structure.

Now the real problem: solid masonry wall construction is in fact actually a very poor insulator.  It is good for ensuring that there are no cracks or holes, but the insulation standards, and construction techniques common to the US already assume that there are no cracks, holes or seams for direct air movement.  The insulation value of a material is it's "R value" which is a number.  Higher numbers are better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-value_(insulation)

  The definition is

watts of energy lost/square meter = 1/R.

Common measurements are for a layer 2.5 cm thick (and then multiplied depending on the total thickness of the material)

For common construction materials you have the following values, 

Wood framing material = 0.12

Wood sheathing = 0.44

Bricks = 0.030

Cement = 0.014

Steel = 0.00

Drywall 0.15

However for common insulation materials you have the following values (averaged)

Fiberglass = 0.75

foil faced insulation panels = 1.0 (or slightly better)

Rock wool = 0.50

Here is what we come up with:  For a solid wall with 2.5 cm of drywall followed by  25 cm  of solid brick the value is 0.15 (drywall) = 10 x 0.030 (the brick)

Solid brick wall R value of 0.45 

For a typical US residential construction wall with a total thickness of 22.5 cm you have 2.5 cm of drywall followed by 5 cm of fiberglass, followed by 2.5 cm of fail faced insulation panel, followed by 2.5 cm of wood sheathing, followed by 7.5 cm of brick.  The R value for this is 0.15 (drywall) + 0.75 x 2 (fiberglass) + 1.0 (foil panel) + 0.44 (wood sheathing) + 0.030 x 3 (brick)

Typical US construction R value of 3.18

This is 7 times better than the brick wall, and this is sort of a 'minimum'.  In cold areas of the US, and in Canada, they usually make the exterior walls a little bit thicker (usually an extra 5-10 cm) and fill it with even more insulation, often of a higher standard than I have listed here.

 

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21 hours ago, ronwagn said:

That is nice and will be fine when there is plenty of electricity. Right now, I doubt that is the case. Rather it will worsen the problem if too many are out there too soon. Natural gas locomotives make more sense to me. 

There is an electricity shortage in the US? maybe in Texas when it freezes. Right now there is excess capacity every night ...been that way for the last 100 years.....Natural Gas Locos???? what are you smoking??? Locos already are powered by electric drive traction motors.... Batteries store electricity ....Think about it??? and Locomotives haul 10,000 tons of freight plus the weight of the cars.....An extra 2 or 3 cars full of batteries is not going to impact the locomotives at all.....

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2 hours ago, Boat said:

So nuclear is as green as it gets yet Germany took out 17 nuclear power plants that were paid for and producing. Typical spam and misinformation does not talk about that. Like Australia dosent talk about the massive exports making a few oligarchs richer while nat gas is high for normal citizens. Like the US exports the hell out of nat gas while flaring away and prices of that gas are going up. Those oligarchs still run the world, yes that includes Republicans and Dems bought oligarchs. So tell me some more about how the greens are driving up prices. Lol Idiots. 
Biden wants to toughen up on coal while sending our nat gas to foreign lands. The ol’ Australian playbook. He says pay attention to climate change but let’s flare ourselves out of harms way. I worry about you humans. Hey I got a money making proposition for you. Sell freedom files baked in patriot cake to bust Trump out of jail for trying to coup a 256 year old institution formed after an Authoritarian king. I have yet to hear one politician talk any kind of common sense in over 60 years. Screw energy, let’s build at least 10 more casinos per state and let Trump run EM. Lol. Putin will provide the nat gas if you let him. 

Screw energy, let’s build at least 10 more casinos per state and let Trump run EM???? Trump and a Casino......doomed from the start. 

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20 hours ago, Eric Gagen said:

If you look at the Union Pacific plan,  they intend to use the electric locomotives in switch yards.  Locos under those conditions spend a lot of time idling, moving small/light loads, and speeding up and slowing down - basically conditions under which a diesel locomotive isn't as efficient.  The electric locos would probably 'do their runs' then at the end of their shift, and then pull into a charging stall.  Outside of built up urban areas, most railyards have a lot of space around them,  so if they wanted to,  I would hazard to guess that UP could charge them up with solar power if desired.  I think however that they intend to use these electric switchers in the most heavily urban yards, where the mitigation of noise and diesel soot would probably pay for themselves in good relations with their neighbors. 

the UP battery locos are destined for North Platte.....UPs maintenance/switching  yards...Heavily Urban North Platte??????? Last time I was in North Platte the rail yard looked like there was no urban area around it....Lots of space at the North Platte yards and for both directions miles and miles and miles for both solar and wind ....400 foot wide right away on the main line. North Platte is all UP.......its main employer....no one moans about what happens in the yards

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(edited)

14 hours ago, ronwagn said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_electrification_in_the_United_States Overhead electrical train power. 

I am fascinated by the many large sparks put off (seen at night)  by the commuter rail in Los Angeles. 

US-NortheastCatenary.jpg

1024px-Deseret_Power_Railroad_Crossing_Colorado.jpg

Yep Overhead lines can be used to charge battery locos on the run........or on sidings.......You do realize trains stop every 8 hours on sidings to change crews/fuel up....plenty of time to charge up off an overhead line.......no need to have to wait for the diesel trucks to show up.....or nat gas....... In my neck of the woods we have a major rail siding that the trains are stacked up all the time waiting for the semis loaded with diesel to show up..... and to change crews.. They love to block the crossings for hours at a time. By law they can block traffic

Edited by notsonice
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14 minutes ago, notsonice said:

There is an electricity shortage in the US? maybe in Texas when it freezes. Right now there is excess capacity every night ...been that way for the last 100 years.....Natural Gas Locos???? what are you smoking??? Locos already are powered by electric drive traction motors.... Batteries store electricity ....Think about it??? and Locomotives haul 10,000 tons of freight plus the weight of the cars.....An extra 2 or 3 cars full of batteries is not going to impact the locomotives at all.....

 

6 minutes ago, notsonice said:

Yep Overhead lines can be used to charge battery locos on the run........or on sidings.......You do realize trains stop every 8 hours on sidings to change crews/fuel up....plenty of time to charge up off an overhead line.......no need to have to wait for the diesel trucks to show up.....or nat gas....... In my neck of the woods we have a major rail siding that the trains are stacked up all the time waiting for the semis loaded with diesel to show up..... and to change crews.. They love to block the crossings for hours at a time. By law they can block traffic

Electric trains are way better than diesel trains as electric energy generated in large plants is much more efficient than diesel generated energy on trains. Gas trains don't produce enough torque to pull trains. But your idea of battery operated trains is outrageous. The battery charging time makes it absurd.

Trains don't stop for 8 hours just like that. They generally travel for an entire day or two before halting. Crew change, refueling and pumping water only takes 30 minutes to an hour and doesn't need long duration halts. So, there is no time for charging batteries at all. Also, batteries need replacement every 4-5 years which make them ridiculously expensive and unsustainable. There is also risk of fire when large quantity of hot lithium batteries are stacked in a carriage which has the potential of gutting an entire train.

Most trains nowadays run on electricity directly from electric wires suspended above train tracks. But trains also have backup diesel engines for emergencies for cases where electric lines may have been damaged or for travelling in remote places where the tracks have not been electrified yet. There is no need to have unnecessary batteries. Having 2-3 carriages of batteries is a massive wastage and impractical.

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