ronwagn

Severe Drought in the West Will Greatly Reduce Electrical Production from Hydroelectric Turbines.

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22 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/13/hoover-dam-lake-mead-severe-drought-us-west

This is going to make a "green transition" more difficult than expected without the use of fossil fuels. The West is  a prime area trying to go green. 

Lake Mead behind the Hoover dam from the Arizona side.

Yeah, that gonna be difficult to deal with.  Particularly when import transmission lines keep tripping due to nearby wildfires.

The real product of Hoover Dam is water, electricity is a byproduct.

I suspect some California nuc plant might just stay on-line for a while longer...

After all,

Whiskey's for drinkin', water's for fightin'.

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I expect the population of the West to continue to grow, but constrained by rainfall. When all the lawns become desertified and water prices go sky high the farmers will be cut out of the loop and we will be growing our vegetables in hydroponic facilities. This is already happening in urban areas of the East. 

There are many ways to cope with aridity and water conservation. I have a good topic on it. 

See: Water Conservation https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s6vxrBPC_8XYQgSNK7-UuNbqsdDKflhXPDeswYFKDt0/edit

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(edited)

44 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

I expect the population of the West to continue to grow, but constrained by rainfall. When all the lawns become desertified and water prices go sky high the farmers will be cut out of the loop and we will be growing our vegetables in hydroponic facilities. This is already happening in urban areas of the East. 

There are many ways to cope with aridity and water conservation. I have a good topic on it. 

See: Water Conservation https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s6vxrBPC_8XYQgSNK7-UuNbqsdDKflhXPDeswYFKDt0/edit

Actually, snowfall.

Plenty of ways to have a great life with much less water.  I let God wash my truck.

Then, there's always desalination.  If Israel and the Saudi's can do it en mass, so can we.

Edited by turbguy
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1 hour ago, turbguy said:

Actually, snowfall.

Plenty of ways to have a great life with much less water.  I let God wash my truck.

Then, there's always desalination.  If Israel and the Saudi's can do it en mass, so can we.

Wherever you are near sea level, desal is great for residential, commercial, and (most) industry, but not for agriculture. Desal is an ideal match for intermittent electricity supply (solar and wind) because you can just run desal when the electricity is available. It also adds only a small increment to the total cost of treated non-agricultural water. In California, where a huge percentage of the population population lives near sea level, we could shift entirely to desal for all but agriculture with only a small increase in our water bills.

Agriculture is an entirely different order of magnitude. If the farmers had to pay for desal, (amost) no farms would be profitable. Cheaper to just import food from wetter areas east of the Mississippi.

Computations: desal needs an effective pressure drop of about 50 psi.  (The pressure at the membranes is higher but you can recover all but 50 psi). 50 PSI is equivalent to a head of about 100 ft. A theoretically perfect system needs 1 kWh to raise 3000 gallons to 100 ft. If the population lives at an average height above sea level of 100 ft, you must double this, so 1 kWh for 1500 gallons. That's enough water to run an average house for at least two weeks.  However, farmers measure their usage in acre-feet. An acre-foot is about 325,000 gallons.

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2 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Desal is an ideal match for intermittent electricity supply (solar and wind) because you can just run desal when the electricity is available. It also adds only a small increment to the total cost of treated non-agricultural water.

🤣 If by "ideal match" you mean desal that costs 3X as much under ideal conditions.... yea its "brilliant"

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2 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

A theoretically perfect system needs 1 kWh to raise 3000 gallons to 100 ft.

Reality check.  My well pump is a half HP ~350W, and produces about 10gallons/minute or 600 gallons an hour or ~ +1KWh produces a shy 2000 gallons for a rounded efficiency of 70% or so.  This is also about what most low head pumps produce when built large. 

For ever increasing pressure required your efficiency drops ever lower as the number of impeller stages needs to increase under common "well" practice.  Now if you have a giant single purpose pump your efficiency can be 90+%. 

On a different note;

In desal my buddy on a boat says that 20% of the power used is used for flushing etc.  But lets pretend this does not exist. Industrial process will be VASTLY superior to some rinky dink boat installation, but then again, when you see the giant outflow of water from a desalination plant, I am thinking that number might only be 50% high. 

 

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5 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

🤣 If by "ideal match" you mean desal that costs 3X as much under ideal conditions.... yea its "brilliant"

Yes the water is more expensive if good fresh water is available. If good fresh water is not available, then you must use desal. If you are forced to use desal, then it is an excellent match for a variable electricity source.   It is not 3x more expensive at the tap. it is 3x more expensive at the input to the water system.

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5 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Reality check.  My well pump is a half HP ~350W, and produces about 10gallons/minute or 600 gallons an hour or ~ +1KWh produces a shy 2000 gallons for a rounded efficiency of 70% or so.  This is also about what most low head pumps produce when built large. 

For ever increasing pressure required your efficiency drops ever lower as the number of impeller stages needs to increase under common "well" practice.  Now if you have a giant single purpose pump your efficiency can be 90+%. 

On a different note;

In desal my buddy on a boat says that 20% of the power used is used for flushing etc.  But lets pretend this does not exist. Industrial process will be VASTLY superior to some rinky dink boat installation, but then again, when you see the giant outflow of water from a desalination plant, I am thinking that number might only be 50% high. 

 

Yup, reality intrudes. My numbers gave an absolute lower bound on the amount of energy needed for desal, based on the amount of energy needed to raise water to a height (i.e., to increase the gravitational potential energy of the mass of the water). No pump can ever be better than this.  A big desal installation in real life might be able to get 90% efficiency, but I think 80% would be a better conservative planning number. This does not change the fundamental economics, because the energy cost remains a small part of the overall cost of tap water. Non-agricultural users won't see much of an increase at the tap, and desal for agriculture is not cost-effective.

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12 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Yes the water is more expensive if good fresh water is available. If good fresh water is not available, then you must use desal. If you are forced to use desal, then it is an excellent match for a variable electricity source.   It is not 3x more expensive at the tap. it is 3x more expensive at the input to the water system.

No Shit it is 3X more expensive at the input stage.... If it costs 3X as much to install, you will install 1/3 as many as you NEED. 

Why?

Throw in ROI/NPV and that 3X turns into 6X in a big hurry even when amortized over 30 years under government fiat give away Bull Shit inflation *stealing from the small guy" make the fat cats happy.  It is far worse when one must shrink the payback period and jack up the interest rates as is done on all commercial rates.  Commercial lending currently in a ~zero interest world is roughly 15%...  2X is 5 years the 4X factor on 15% is less than 10 years....

All Desal require far longer than 5 years to pay back. They do not pay back even over 15 years or 30 years... The multiple for 30 years is over 60X.... So your "desal" is in effect 180X as expensive due to it being "power via intermediate shit sources"

Why energy storage roughly equal to 100% of the daily load is the ONLY option for any kind of economic model using solar/wind.  Until then, it is delusional to believe you can build a society on intermediate power. 

PS: Boaters/RV'rs/Homesteaders?  Guess what their battery bank covers?  AT LEAST 3 to 4 DAYS and they are always increasing battery storage/solar/wind everytime they can ***afford*** to do so as they LIVE in the REAL WORLD

 

 

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1 hour ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

No Shit it is 3X more expensive at the input stage.... If it costs 3X as much to install, you will install 1/3 as many as you NEED. 

Why?

Throw in ROI/NPV and that 3X turns into 6X in a big hurry even when amortized over 30 years under government fiat give away Bull Shit inflation *stealing from the small guy" make the fat cats happy.  It is far worse when one must shrink the payback period and jack up the interest rates as is done on all commercial rates.  Commercial lending currently in a ~zero interest world is roughly 15%...  2X is 5 years the 4X factor on 15% is less than 10 years....

All Desal require far longer than 5 years to pay back. They do not pay back even over 15 years or 30 years... The multiple for 30 years is over 60X.... So your "desal" is in effect 180X as expensive due to it being "power via intermediate shit sources"

Why energy storage roughly equal to 100% of the daily load is the ONLY option for any kind of economic model using solar/wind.  Until then, it is delusional to believe you can build a society on intermediate power. 

PS: Boaters/RV'rs/Homesteaders?  Guess what their battery bank covers?  AT LEAST 3 to 4 DAYS and they are always increasing battery storage/solar/wind everytime they can ***afford*** to do so as they LIVE in the REAL WORLD

 

 

When you are doing desal at the muncipal level or larger, you are pumping and storing a whole lot of water, either sea input, fresh water output, or both. That is basically a form of pumped hydro storage. Thus, the desal system does not need additional storage for power: it's built in.

I agree with you that wind and solar needs a whole lot more storage than most folks think it does. At utility scale, we need a way to store massive amounts of energy, and right now, we use stored NG and traditional hydro for this, which means we cannot increase the renewables past about 30% of total yearly generation. NG allows for months worth of energy storage. To do the same for renewables, we will need either hydrogen or green methane, as there is simply not enough available space for enough pumped hydro.

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:46 AM, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Reality check.  My well pump is a half HP ~350W, and produces about 10gallons/minute or 600 gallons an hour or ~ +1KWh produces a shy 2000 gallons for a rounded efficiency of 70% or so.  This is also about what most low head pumps produce when built large. 

For ever increasing pressure required your efficiency drops ever lower as the number of impeller stages needs to increase under common "well" practice.  Now if you have a giant single purpose pump your efficiency can be 90+%. 

On a different note;

In desal my buddy on a boat says that 20% of the power used is used for flushing etc.  But lets pretend this does not exist. Industrial process will be VASTLY superior to some rinky dink boat installation, but then again, when you see the giant outflow of water from a desalination plant, I am thinking that number might only be 50% high. 

 

Desalinization equipment usually operates at a much higher pressure than 50 psi - the more efficient/effective equipment works at several thousand psi, and centrifugal type pumps such as those used for wells do not generate that sort of pressure.  Desalinization equipment is usually force fed by positive displacement pumps, and they are usually 90% efficient or more.  however because the pressure is so much higher they require a LOT more power to operate.  That power gets used efficiently, but it's not a small input to the process.  In a very simplified way, a desalinization plant consists of 3 elements:

Capital to construct the plant

Cost of ion exchange and filtration equipment and media, which either gets used up, or requires catalytic regeneration on a regular basis as it is used (This is a variable cost which depends on the volume of water treated, and the quality of the source water)

Cost of energy for pumping

To some degree catalyst cost and pump cost are interchangeable.  You can get low pumping costs with exotic catalysts and ionic filters.  Or you can stick with cheap and simple ionic membranes and catalysts that operate at high pressures and pay for the energy.  Thus as a plant operator you can choose to decide which route to go with the plant depending on the expected cost of power, and the expected replacement and regeneration cost of the ionic and catalytic media. 

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:19 AM, footeab@yahoo.com said:

🤣 If by "ideal match" you mean desal that costs 3X as much under ideal conditions.... yea its "brilliant"

Even in drought stressed areas of the western US, most of the cost of water for municipal customers is the cost of constructing, operating and maintaining the purification, sewage and distribution systems.  The actual cost of the water entering the system is peanuts, so @Dan Clemmensen is correct that for municipal use the cost of the water entering the system isn't a major factor.  

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2 hours ago, Eric Gagen said:

Desalinization equipment usually operates at a much higher pressure than 50 psi - the more efficient/effective equipment works at several thousand psi, and centrifugal type pumps such as those used for wells do not generate that sort of pressure.  Desalinization equipment is usually force fed by positive displacement pumps, and they are usually 90% efficient or more.  however because the pressure is so much higher they require a LOT more power to operate.  That power gets used efficiently, but it's not a small input to the process.  In a very simplified way, a desalinization plant consists of 3 elements:

Capital to construct the plant

Cost of ion exchange and filtration equipment and media, which either gets used up, or requires catalytic regeneration on a regular basis as it is used (This is a variable cost which depends on the volume of water treated, and the quality of the source water)

Cost of energy for pumping

To some degree catalyst cost and pump cost are interchangeable.  You can get low pumping costs with exotic catalysts and ionic filters.  Or you can stick with cheap and simple ionic membranes and catalysts that operate at high pressures and pay for the energy.  Thus as a plant operator you can choose to decide which route to go with the plant depending on the expected cost of power, and the expected replacement and regeneration cost of the ionic and catalytic media. 

The "50 psi" is the gravitational potential energy ("head") equivalent to the energy cost, not the operating pressure. The actual energy cost for a practical desal system is about 3 kWh/tonne. See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination#Energy_consumption

 

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38 minutes ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

The "50 psi" is the gravitational potential energy ("head") equivalent to the energy cost, not the operating pressure. The actual energy cost for a practical desal system is about 3 kWh/tonne. See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination#Energy_consumption

 

It's close to the minimum theoretical pressure head required for desalinization.  In practice, the process is actually carried out at much higher pressures in order to obtain a water throughput sufficient throughput to justify the capital expense of the facility

https://news.mit.edu/2017/toward-efficient-high-pressure-desalination-1016 40 atmosphere of pressure - ~ 550 - 600 psi.

https://www.oas.org/usde/publications/unit/oea59e/ch20.htm "For brackish water desalination the operating pressures range from 250 to 400 psi, and for seawater desalination from 800 to 1 000 psi." 

 

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1 hour ago, Eric Gagen said:

It's close to the minimum theoretical pressure head required for desalinization.  In practice, the process is actually carried out at much higher pressures in order to obtain a water throughput sufficient throughput to justify the capital expense of the facility

https://news.mit.edu/2017/toward-efficient-high-pressure-desalination-1016 40 atmosphere of pressure - ~ 550 - 600 psi.

https://www.oas.org/usde/publications/unit/oea59e/ch20.htm "For brackish water desalination the operating pressures range from 250 to 400 psi, and for seawater desalination from 800 to 1 000 psi." 

 

There are apparently ways to recover some of the energy used to reach those pressures, if I understand the articles correctly. There is no way to recover the energy equivalent to 50 psi, which represents the energy cost of the osmotic process at the chemical level. Again: I was looking fro the theoretical minimum input energy needed for desal, which in turn would become an important constraint of the cost of desal for agriculture.

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21 minutes ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

There are apparently ways to recover some of the energy used to reach those pressures, if I understand the articles correctly. There is no way to recover the energy equivalent to 50 psi, which represents the energy cost of the osmotic process at the chemical level. Again: I was looking fro the theoretical minimum input energy needed for desal, which in turn would become an important constraint of the cost of desal for agriculture.

Interesting about the recovery if true - my understanding which is admittedly on a rudimentary level is that the additional pressure is mostly a cost benefit sort of calculation.  If you need X flowrate a minute of fresh water, you can get it with y area of osmotic process and z pressure, where Y costs some # per unit area, and Z costs some number per unit pressure, and the math works out that you are 'better off' in most cases with a relatively small Y and a relatively big Z.  

For a home/minimal system minimizing pressure is probably fine, because the total volume of water produced each day will be sufficient with any size osmotic system which is big enough to be easy to install, but the economics get flipped around when you are trying to feed a large scale water system.  

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1 minute ago, Eric Gagen said:

Interesting about the recovery if true - my understanding which is admittedly on a rudimentary level is that the additional pressure is mostly a cost benefit sort of calculation.  If you need X flowrate a minute of fresh water, you can get it with y area of osmotic process and z pressure, where Y costs some # per unit area, and Z costs some number per unit pressure, and the math works out that you are 'better off' in most cases with a relatively small Y and a relatively big Z.  

For a home/minimal system minimizing pressure is probably fine, because the total volume of water produced each day will be sufficient with any size osmotic system which is big enough to be easy to install, but the economics get flipped around when you are trying to feed a large scale water system.  

My guess is that those osmotic systems are not appropriate for the home because they require sophisticated maintenance.  If I lived on a desert island, I would use a very old-fashioned solar still, basically a greenhouse. Lousy efficiency, but low capital cost and simple maintenance.

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They have been warned for decades about how they divert water and didn’t do approved projects! Fuck them, they brought it on upon themselves….

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2 hours ago, RichieRich216 said:

They have been warned for decades about how they divert water and didn’t do approved projects! Fuck them, they brought it on upon themselves….

You talking about tiling? I like tiling. But I would also like it if we could keep the water around. This is rather impossible though.

An acre dugout 13 feet deep all around is only an inch of rain for 160 acres. Guy I know who runs 10,000 acres is giving it a try. Dug out a huge pit to collect tile water for the irrigators. 

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17 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

When you are doing desal at the muncipal level or larger, you are pumping and storing a whole lot of water, either sea input, fresh water output, or both. That is basically a form of pumped hydro storage. Thus, the desal system does not need additional storage for power: it's built in.

.... You have utterly lost it.  Desal happens at high pressure at a CONSTANT rate,  there is no pumped storage. Unless you are going to play pretend games where one has a 1000m delta height mountain to pump up salt water to... True, a couple places in the world this is true... vast majority this is not true. 

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47 minutes ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

You talking about tiling? I like tiling. But I would also like it if we could keep the water around. This is rather impossible though.

An acre dugout 13 feet deep all around is only an inch of rain for 160 acres. Guy I know who runs 10,000 acres is giving it a try. Dug out a huge pit to collect tile water for the irrigators. 

All you need is a couple inches of water per acre.  The difference EVERY single year between no rain for 2 weeks + (Happens every single year) is roughly 30-->50 bushels/acre... At a cost of $5/bushel that is pissing $150 down the drain every year per acre for the vast majority of farms.  Average Farm size?  ~1000 acres which means they are pissing $150,000 down the drain every single year or more on average on most acerage due to lack of irrigation.  If the drought is longer than 2 weeks say, a month, then yield drops to ~100 bushels/acre. 

The main problem is NOT the pond, but rather government permits as historically most farmers cooked their goose as they build dams instead of ponds which can and do blow out and now the EPA has the feds claiming all waters which run off YOUR OWN LAND... Now add the expense of MOVING all that water where it needs to be and well...

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4 minutes ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

All you need is a couple inches of water per acre.  The difference EVERY single year between no rain for 2 weeks + (Happens every single year) is roughly 30-->50 bushels/acre... At a cost of $5/bushel that is pissing $150 down the drain every year per acre for the vast majority of farms.  Average Farm size?  ~1000 acres which means they are pissing $150,000 down the drain every single year or more on average on most acerage due to lack of irrigation.  If the drought is longer than 2 weeks say, a month, then yield drops to ~100 bushels/acre. 

The main problem is NOT the pond, but rather government permits as historically most farmers cooked their goose as they build dams instead of ponds which can and do blow out and now the EPA has the feds claiming all waters which run off YOUR OWN LAND... Now add the expense of MOVING all that water where it needs to be and well...

These are all things I've talked over with him. My point was that it's immensely hard to store the amount of water that goes away due to tiling. 

I didn't say that an inch of rain wasn't useful. An inch just saved our asses out here. Will be a second alfalfa cutting. 

Oh, and remember to find out how big a pond you need for 10k acres. That's a big project. 

Edited by KeyboardWarrior

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12 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

@footeab@yahoo.com  You've been up my ass a few times before, addressing points I haven't made. Read more carefully. 

Your ass is very tight, as you pretend a subject cannot be expanded upon... .... Only YOU can expand on a subject...

Grow up

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