AuthorTopic: Agelbert's Newz Channel  (Read 1656528 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« Reply #5145 on: January 10, 2016, 01:59:52 PM »
Yes, I think you have it right. It's the same old story about exploiting the commons, extracting the resources, and passing the costs back to the public. It's about timber and it's about uranium. It's about water and who gets it.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline agelbert

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JoeP's 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
« Reply #5146 on: January 10, 2016, 02:01:56 PM »
I'm surprised MKing hasn't commented on my recent purchase because he seems to know quite a bit about cars.  Hey MKing, whatcha think about the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited?

Just curious, but what kind of terms did you get on the financing? Was it a low to zero interest rate and what is the length of the loan? Or did you buy it cash or lease it?  :icon_scratch: ???

I checked out the warrantee thing on flex fuel conversions and yeah, Toyota tries to put the fear of God in you on that score.  :emthdown: Their web site just lists some trucks as flex fuel "approved". They also add insult to ethanol incorrectly perceived injury by claiming that a more frequent maintenance regime must be observed!  :evil4: Assholes!  :emthdown:

But please remember, JoeP, it really is scaremongering on behalf of the fossil fuel vested interests. If you don't believe me, please ponder the FACT that the nozzle on ethanol pumps is NOT different from gasoline (like it is with diesel) AND that the ONLY thing you DO to an engine to make it flex fuel capable is MODIFY THE SOFTWARE.

You know a thing or three about software  :emthup: . Why don't you find out what exactly is reprogrammed in the ECM to let the engine use flex fuel and prevent the check engine light software from triggering? I would be interested in knowing about it. 

Even if you never convert to flex fuel, it may save you some money down the road... ;)
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Offline JoeP

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Re: JoeP's 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited
« Reply #5147 on: January 10, 2016, 02:13:12 PM »
I'm surprised MKing hasn't commented on my recent purchase because he seems to know quite a bit about cars.  Hey MKing, whatcha think about the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited?

Just curious, but what kind of terms did you get on the financing? Was it a low to zero interest rate and what is the length of the loan? Or did you buy it cash or lease it?  :icon_scratch: ???

I checked out the warrantee thing on flex fuel conversions and yeah, Toyota tries to put the fear of God in you on that score.  :emthdown: Their web site just lists some trucks as flex fuel "approved". They also add insult to ethanol incorrectly perceived injury by claiming that a more frequent maintenance regime must be observed!  :evil4: Assholes!  :emthdown:

But please remember, JoeP, it really is scaremongering on behalf of the fossil fuel vested interests. If you don't believe me, please ponder the FACT that the nozzle on ethanol pumps is NOT different from gasoline (like it is with diesel) AND that the ONLY thing you DO to an engine to make it flex fuel capable is MODIFY THE SOFTWARE.

You know a thing or three about software  :emthup: . Why don't you find out what exactly is reprogrammed in the ECM to let the engine use flex fuel and prevent the check engine light software from triggering? I would be interested in knowing about it. 

Even if you never convert to flex fuel, it may save you some money down the road... ;)

We paid cash - so the banks (or dealership) will not be making any money on financing.  For some reason, zero percent financing was not available for Hybrids.

I'm still considering the conversion but I have to be honest - I typically abide by the principle "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".   :icon_sunny:   
just my straight shooting honest opinion

Offline agelbert

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Yep
« Reply #5148 on: January 10, 2016, 02:37:50 PM »
Yes, I think you have it right. It's the same old story about exploiting the commons, extracting the resources, and passing the costs back to the public. It's about timber and it's about uranium. It's about water and who gets it.

Yep. And the foundation of all this biosphere math challenged behavior is an absence of a moral compass.

In the light (or prehaps darkness  :() of witnessing the thorough disappearance of ethical behavior in American society (back in the second half of the 19th century, engineers who designed railroad bridges would kill themselves if a bridge failed with a passenger filled train on it - now they claim "sabotage" and "poor government maintenance" while they lobby for another bridge building contract...), it is proper to resort to humor as a survival mechanism.

For the no good Attackers of the rich job creators/fossil fuel industry saviors of our civilization, Socialist, Eco-Leftist whackos like me (who talk too much  :exp-grin:):


Congratulations! You won a free year long placement on a no-fly list.


Good for me! I get to lower my carbon footprint some more! - We Eco-Leftists always find silver compost linings in shit piles.  :icon_mrgreen:

Do you want coffee with cognac or without?
– Without.
– Without cognac?
– Without coffee.


For medicinal purpose only. I'm a Christian, ya know! 

Now for more general humor...


Ahmed, why is your wife walking in front of you? Did you forget that according to the Quran, a wife has to always walk behind her husband?
– Darling, I know what Quran says. But when they wrote it, they had not invented anti-personnel mines, yet.


Well yeah, some Arabs read Machiavelli too!

You have 300 Facebook friends. 80 of them come to your wedding. 10 show up for your birthday. When you have a problem, you have two friends: your parents.

And then your parents die. But your mother-in-law doesn't.

My mother-in-law is an angel.
– Lucky you… My mother-in-law is still alive.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 03:00:05 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« Reply #5149 on: January 10, 2016, 02:43:41 PM »
I'm surprised MKing hasn't commented on my recent purchase because he seems to know quite a bit about cars.  Hey MKing, whatcha think about the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited?

Just curious, but what kind of terms did you get on the financing? Was it a low to zero interest rate and what is the length of the loan? Or did you buy it cash or lease it?  :icon_scratch: ???

I checked out the warrantee thing on flex fuel conversions and yeah, Toyota tries to put the fear of God in you on that score.  :emthdown: Their web site just lists some trucks as flex fuel "approved". They also add insult to ethanol incorrectly perceived injury by claiming that a more frequent maintenance regime must be observed!  :evil4: Assholes!  :emthdown:

But please remember, JoeP, it really is scaremongering on behalf of the fossil fuel vested interests. If you don't believe me, please ponder the FACT that the nozzle on ethanol pumps is NOT different from gasoline (like it is with diesel) AND that the ONLY thing you DO to an engine to make it flex fuel capable is MODIFY THE SOFTWARE.

You know a thing or three about software  :emthup: . Why don't you find out what exactly is reprogrammed in the ECM to let the engine use flex fuel and prevent the check engine light software from triggering? I would be interested in knowing about it. 

Even if you never convert to flex fuel, it may save you some money down the road... ;)

We paid cash - so the banks (or dealership) will not be making any money on financing.  For some reason, zero percent financing was not available for Hybrids.

I'm still considering the conversion but I have to be honest - I typically abide by the principle "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".   :icon_sunny: 

Well, cash is best in today's environment where money saved doesn't garner much interest so I think you made a wise choice.  :emthup:

As to flex fuel conversion reticence, I hear ya. At any rate, if you learn anything about that software, please stop by and give us the low down if you can do it without including too many replace-exclusive-or instructions in the explanation.    ;)   
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 02:45:28 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Vermont approves $1.2 billion utility transmission project from Canada to Ludlow
« Reply #5150 on: January 10, 2016, 05:17:12 PM »
TDI New England approved for $1.2 billion transmission project

Jan. 6, 2016, 3:34 pm by Mike Polhamus

The Public Service Board on Tuesday approved a $1.2 billion utility transmission project from Canada to Ludlow.

TDI New England plans to build a 1,000-megawatt transmission line under Lake Champlain that will feed the southern New England power grid.

The board said it issued a certificate of public good to TDI because the project diversifies energy sources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates new jobs, generates tax revenue and potentially supplies cheaper energy.

The Montpelier-based Conservation Law Foundation agreed last year not to oppose the project after it was able to negotiate large payments from the utility for Lake Champlain cleanup.

“TDI New England did a good job of showing that large energy projects can meet high environmental standards,” said CLF Senior Attorney Sandra Levine. “There are a number of transmission projects in the region being evaluated and considered; this isn’t an endorsement of this project, it’s just a recognition that they did a lot of things right, and I think they have set in some ways a model for other projects.”

An instructive comparison can be made between this project and the Vermont Gas Systems natural gas pipeline proposed for Addison County, Levine said.

The pipeline has met steady opposition from AARP and landowners, she said, because Vermont Gas has done a poor job of evaluating the pipeline’s impacts and hasn’t been transparent enough with ratepayers and the board about costs.

“When you look at the two side by side, Vermont Gas is still facing problems with permitting, and the TDI project has received its permits,” she said.

The firm merely followed sound business practices, said TDI New England’s CEO Donald Jessome.

The project is being built not out of necessity, as is the case with some power projects, but rather for economic reasons, and as such “there’s no question we have a higher burden to the states we’re traversing to demonstrate public good,” Jessome said.

Early in the project’s development, the firm reached out to stakeholders, including environmental organizations, state regulatory bodies and others, Jessome said.

“We totally understand that in the development world we have to listen to all the stakeholders,” he said.

TDI plans to pay hundreds of millions of dollars toward environmental cleanup efforts over the project’s lifespan, and Jessome said “we see that as a cost of doing business.” Large portions of those monies were secured through negotiations with the Conservation Law Foundation.

The cable will run from the Canadian border to Ludlow, sunken for most of that length beneath Lake Champlain.

The so-called New England Clean Power Link is being built in response to renewable energy needs in New England states. Like Vermont, these states have aggressive renewable energy goals.


The cable will carry 1,000 megawatts, roughly the amount of power consumed by the entire state of Vermont. If it is constructed, Vermont will host the cable, and most of the electricity will be transmitted to southern New England. Vermont will have the option to purchase up to 200 megawatts from the cable.

The cable is expected to carry power from dams and wind turbines. 

TDI has agreed to pay a minimum of $283.5 million over the 40-year lifespan of the project for Lake Champlain phosphorus cleanup, habitat restoration and recreational improvements — $121.5 million more than was originally proposed. Some of that money would also go to the state’s Clean Energy Fund.

TDI has also agreed to pay the state’s transmission utility, Vermont Electric Power Co. (VELCO), $136 million or $2.5 million annually over 40 years. That money is expected to be used to reduce electric rates, according to state officials.

TDI New England is a subsidiary of financial firm Blackstone Group, which manages more than $200 billion in assets. The firm anticipates permitting will take until mid-2016, with major construction beginning in 2018. If the New England Clean Energy Link moves forward, then the 1,000-megawatt transmission line is anticipated to be carrying power by 2019.

http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/06/tdi-new-england-approved-for-1-2-billion-transmission-project/
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Offline roamer

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Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« Reply #5151 on: January 10, 2016, 05:43:30 PM »
And what if this fed land grab operation is in part to procure control over silver and rare earth metals needed for the solar revolution AG?

Offline agelbert

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"WE don't have poor soils, We have IMPROPER farming practices".
« Reply #5152 on: January 10, 2016, 07:29:05 PM »
And what if this fed land grab operation is in part to procure control over silver and rare earth metals needed for the solar revolution AG?

It's a PRIVATIZATION land grab, not a fed land grab. The toadies are actually getting the Federal Government to PAY the States to take it, only to turn around and SELL IT to resource exploitation corporations.   

Roamer, that is an interesting possibility. I expect you, as an allegedly objective, responsible, open minded individual to now research silver mining (silver is found with gold at a ratio of about 16 to one so they get gold from them too) and rare earths mining in the world in general, and the USA in particular.

I expect you to provide a list of the carcinogenic and otherwise toxic chemicals involved (there are LOTS of them besides arsenic) in the process of mining for and refining precious and rare earth metals. Furthermore, I expect you to provide the proportional distribution of the product in the various industries in the correct percentages and proportions, particularly how much of the total mining output goes (eventually) to Renewable Energy Technologies.

I expect you to compare their use for Renewable Technologies with their use for the polluting industries. But don't stop there. Copper, for example, is a rather important part of manufacturing electric motors. So you could make a case against copper being mined for Renewable Energy powered electric motors too.

Of course you would have to subtract all the copper used for electric motors on oil rigs and fossil fuel powered modes of transportation like cars, planes ships, submarines, etc. And don't forget to look into how the fossil fuel industry uses rare earths and silver in their machinery and infrastructure too. They do, you know.  8)

Otherwise, you might be mistaken for someone who is trying to distract people from the routine profit over planet exploitation of the fossil fuel industry, which they certainly DO have a track record of DOING on public lands.

So, if you think I am opposed to the privatization of public lands ONLY because the big money fossil fuelers want to exploit them for profit while they exterminate any wildlife that gets in the way, I beg to differ. I do not give a tinker's damn whether there is a mother lode of rare earths on public land or a giant copper or silver find in that, or any other wildlife refuge. I want it LEFT ALONE and managed by responsible biologists, not greedy, empathy deficit disordered opportunists. In fact, I suspect you feel exactly the same way. Howevah, ConocoPhillips, the reputed first oil corporation off the blocks to take advantage of the elimination of the export ban (they also just closed all operations in Russia - a coincidence, of course  :evil4:), may see newly privatized lands to be Fracked as a "business opportunity".  :P

By the way, the fastest growing job in the USA is Wind Turbine Technician. It pays pretty good and you are well qualified for it.

Where's Roamer? ???

 I can give you a link to a recent news item on it if you like. You can still get in on the "ground floor", so to speak.  :icon_sunny:

Moving right along, here's a nice video that you will enjoy. But please spare me the: AHA!, Syntropy means we can keep burning fossil fuels! But I agree that if Syntropy is adopted worldwide, it would be a cause for hope, NOT for perpetuating the fossil fuel hegemony, but for ameliorating the climate damage somewhat.   


Syntropy Gives Us Hope For a Better Future 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gSPNRu4ZPvE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gSPNRu4ZPvE</a>

"WE don't have poor soils, We have IMPROPER farming practices". 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 07:42:25 PM by agelbert »
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Offline roamer

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Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« Reply #5153 on: January 10, 2016, 07:52:35 PM »
AG, Well I was spouting idle chatter on that one, I think Eddie is closer to the mark though there are talks of massive solar farms looking for a home on west coast public land.
I agree with you too on the research that needs to be done to present an objective picture of cost benefit of solar PV.  Maybe I'll find time to dig into a bit.  But im not in need of convincing that the future is solar. 
All for it and with the Sauds and presumably parasitic war mongering deep state throwing their weight behind their geological mother lode I'm far less inclined to think anything good can come of waiting to bite the bullet and transition.
So I think you and I can agree on one point, its now solar or bust for the world. 

Offline agelbert

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14 Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors
« Reply #5154 on: January 11, 2016, 11:29:10 AM »
AG, Well I was spouting idle chatter on that one, I think Eddie is closer to the mark though there are talks of massive solar farms looking for a home on west coast public land.
I agree with you too on the research that needs to be done to present an objective picture of cost benefit of solar PV.  Maybe I'll find time to dig into a bit.  But im not in need of convincing that the future is solar. 
All for it and with the Sauds and presumably parasitic war mongering deep state throwing their weight behind their geological mother lode I'm far less inclined to think anything good can come of waiting to bite the bullet and transition.
So I think you and I can agree on one point, its now solar or bust for the world. 

 :emthup: :icon_sunny:    I would only add the caveat that solar is just one of the several Renewable Energy Technologies needed to replace the fossil fuel hegemony.   8)



Doing the following will help too.


14 Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors 

Elizabeth King, Pound Place | January 11, 2016 11:01 am

Many of us dream of having our own vegetable patch, but it can be challenging to find the ideal space—and that’s assuming you have a garden at all. If you don’t then you’re in luck, you don’t need a large outdoor plot to grow all your ideal crops, for many edible plants all you need is a sunny spot inside. 

The idea of growing an indoor farm, full of healthy food you can spoil yourself with over summer may sound too good to be true. But with a little love and care, whether you live in a house or a flat, you can grow a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and even edible flowers ready for your next dinner party—guaranteed to impress.

But the benefits don’t stop there, growing your own greenery will give the satisfaction of harvesting your own foodstuff, save you money and added health benefits making your five a day a walk in the park. You might even start replacing that takeaway pizza with home-grown vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals.

You can grow almost any plants indoors with a loving hand,
best growth occurs in areas that receive plenty of sunlight, such as windowsills. But for those of you who just don’t have a sunny spot to make the most of, grow lights can allow you to cultivate your edible plants in even the darkest of corners.

Although growing conditions vary from plant to plant, a few general rules should be followed. If you’re starting completely from scratch, sowing seeds on moistened soil, covered with plastic wrap and kept in a warm area will get your plants off to the best possible start. Also ensuring all pots and containers have drainage holes or a layer of grit to prevent root rot and overwatering will make sure your plants stay strong and healthy.

For more on edible plants you can grow indoors–including sowing and harvesting times—check out our helpful infographic below.




http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/11/edible-plants-grow-indoors/


« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 11:31:11 AM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Roamer, if you can handle working in high places, OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING!
« Reply #5155 on: January 11, 2016, 02:59:01 PM »

Ohio Energy Inc. 
Wind turbine jobs expected to double, leading the U.S. in growth Dec 15, 2015, 12:57pm EST
http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/ohio-energy-inc/2015/12/wind-turbine-jobs-expected-to-double-leading-the-u.html

12/15/2015 America's Fastest Growing Occupation Tied to Wind Turbines
http://www.pddnet.com/news/2015/12/americas-fastest-growing-occupation-tied-wind-turbines

Join us and be part of the energy solution!   
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 03:09:23 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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GREEN Hat Tip to Eddie
« Reply #5156 on: January 11, 2016, 03:40:08 PM »
Reinventing the Greenhouse

by Kris De Decker, originally published by Low-Tech Magazine   | Jan 5, 2016 
 
A Chinese greenhouse. Picture: Chris Buhler, Indoor Garden HQ.

The modern glass greenhouse requires massive inputs of energy to grow crops out of season. That's because each square metre of glass, even if it's triple glazed, loses ten times as much heat as a wall.

However, growing fruits and vegetables out of season can also happen in a sustainable way, using the energy from the sun. Contrary to its fully glazed counterpart, a passive solar greenhouse is designed to retain as much warmth as possible.

Research shows that it's possible to grow warmth-loving crops all year round with solar energy alone, even if it's freezing outside. The solar greenhouse is especially successful in China, where many thousands of these structures have been built during the last decades.

The quest to produce warm-loving crops in temperate regions initially didn't involve any glass at all. In Northwestern Europe, Mediterranean crops were planted close to specially built "fruit walls" with high thermal mass, creating a microclimate that could be 8 to 12°C (14 to 22°F) warmer than an unaltered climate.

Later, greenhouses built against these fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone. It was only at the very end of the nineteenth century that the greenhouse turned into a fully glazed and artificially heated building where heat is lost almost instantaneously -- the complete opposite of the technology it evolved from.

During the oil crises of the 1970s, there was a renewed interest in the passive solar greenhouse. [7] However, the attention quickly faded when energy prices came down again, and the all-glass greenhouse remained the horticultural workhorse of the Northwestern world. The Chinese, on the other hand, built 800,000 hectare of passive solar greenhouses during the last three decades -- that's 80 times the surface area of the largest glasshouse industry in the world, that of the Netherlands.

The Chinese Greenhouse

The Chinese passive solar greenhouse has three walls of brick or clay. Only the southern side of the building consists of transparant material (usually plastic foil) through which the sun can shine. During the day the greenhouse captures heat from the sun in the thermal mass of the walls, which is released at night.

At sunset, an insulating sheet -- made of straw, pressed grass or canvas -- is rolled out over the plastic, increasing the isolating capacity of the structure. The walls also block the cold, northern winds, which would otherwise speed up the heat loss of the greenhouse.

Chinese style greenhouse

Chinese greenhouses. Picture: HortTechnology.
(at link http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-01-05/reinventing-the-greenhouse)

Being the opposite of the energy-intensive glass greenhouse, the Chinese passive solar greenhouse is heated all-year round with solar energy alone, even when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing point. The indoor temperature of the structure can be up to 25°C (45°F) higher than the outdoor temperature.

The incentive policy of the Chinese government has made the solar greenhouse a cornerstone of food production in central and northern China. One fifth of the total area of greenhouses in China is now a solar greenhouse. By 2020, they are expected to take up at least 1.5 million hectares. [1]

Improving the Chinese Greenhouse


The first Chinese-style greenhouse was built in 1978. However, the technology only took off during the 1980s, following the arrival of transparent plastic foil. Not only is foil cheaper than glass, it is also lighter and doesn’t require a strong carrying capacity, which makes the construction of the structure much cheaper. Since then, the design has continuously been improved upon. The structure became deeper and taller, allowing sunlight to be distributed better and ensuring that temperature fluctuations are decreased.


A: The original design from the 1980s with a glass canopy. B: An improved design from the mid-1980s, with plastic foil, a night curtain, and better insulated walls. This design is the most widespread. C: An improved design from 1995. The walls are thinner because they are insulated with modern materials. Automatic handling of the night curtain. D: The most recent design from 2007, which has a double roof for extra insulation.

In addition, cultivators are increasingly opting for modern insulation materials instead of using rammed earth or air cavities for the insulation of the walls, which saves space and/or improves the heat absorption characteristics of the structure. Synthetic insulation blankets, which are better suited for dealing with moisture, are also seeing increased use. The old-fashioned straw mats become heavier and insulate less when they become wet.

In some of the more recent greenhouses, the insulation blankets are rolled up and down automatically, and more sophisticated ventilation systems are used. Some greenhouses have a double roof or reflecting insulation installed. In addition, the plastic foil used for the greenhouses — obviously the least sustainable component of the system — is continuously being improved, resulting in a longer lifespan.

Performance of the Chinese Greenhouse

The performance of the Chinese greenhouse depends on its design, the latitude, and the local climate. A recent study observed three types of greenhouses in Shenyang, the capital of the Liaoning province. The city is at 41.8°N and is one of the most northern areas where the Chinese-style greenhouse is built (between latitudes 32°N and 43°N).

The research was conducted from the beginning of November to the end of March, the period during which the outside temperature drops below freezing. The average temperature in the coldest month is between -15°C and -18°C (5 to -0.4°F). [1]

Air cavities in a ruined solar greenhouse. Picture: Chris Buhler, Indoor Garden HQ.

The three greenhouses studied all have the same shape and dimensions (60 x 12.6 x 5.5 m), but the walls, the plastic foil, and the transparent layer vary. The simplest construction has walls of rammed earth and an inside layer of brick to increase the structures’ stability. The covering is a thin plastic film that is covered at night with a straw blanket.

The two other greenhouses have a northern wall of brick with extruded polystyrene foam as insulating material, whereby the width of the wall can be cut in half. They are also covered with a thicker PVC plastic foil. The best greenhouse adds to this a reflective coating on the insulation blanket, further reducing heat loss at night.


A Chinese greenhouse. Picture: Chris Buhler, Indoor Garden HQ.

The night curtain of a solar greenhouse: Energy Farms.

In the simplest greenhouse the temperatures dropped below the freezing point from early December until mid-January. Without extra heating, this greenhouse cannot grow any produce at this latitude. Only the most sophisticated greenhouse – with its reflecting insulation layer – succeeded in keeping the inside temperature above freezing at all times, using only solar energy.

What’s more, the temperature stayed above 10°C most of the time, which is the minimum temperature for the cultivation of warm season plants, like tomatoes and cucumbers. Of course, passive solar greenhouses in more southern locations would require less sophisticated insulation techniques to be operated without additional heating.

Solar Greenhouses in Northern Climates


If we go further north, similar solar passive greenhouses would require extra heating during the coldest months of the year, no matter how well they are insulated. Note that the farther north the greenhouse is located, the greater its slope will be. The slope of the roof is angled to be perpendicular to the sun's rays when it's lowest on the horizon.

In 2005, a Chinese-style greenhouse was tested in Manitoba, Canada, at a latitude of 50°N. A greenhouse that is 30 x 7 meters with a well-insulated northern wall (3.6 RSI glass fibre) and an insulation blanket (1.2 RSI cotton) was observed from January to April. During the coldest month (February) the outside temperature varied between +4.5°C and -29°C (40 to -20°F). While the interior temperature was on average 18°C (32.4°F) higher than the exterior, it turned out to be impossible to cultivate plants without extra heating during the winter. [2]


Cucumbers in a Chinese solar greenhouse. Picture: Energy Farms.



Strawberries in a Chinese solar greenhouse. Picture: wikipedia commons.

Nevertheless, energy savings can be huge in comparison to a glass greenhouse. To keep the temperature above ten degrees at all times, the heating system of the Canadian structure must deliver a maximum of 17 W/m2, or 3.6kW for the building. [2] In comparison, a glass greenhouse of equal proportions at the same interior and exterior temperatures would require a maximum capacity of 125 to 155 kW.

Note that these results can't be applied to all locations at 50°N. The Canadian research shows that solar output has a greater impact on the inside temperature of the structure than does the outside temperature. The correlation between inside temperature and sunlight is almost four times greater than the correlation between inside temperature and outside temperature. [2] For example, while Brussels lies at the same latitude as Manitoba, the latter has on average 1.5 times more sun.

Thermal capacity can be further improved by placing black painted water storage tanks against the north wall inside the structure. These capture extra solar energy during the day and release it during the night. A different method to improve the heat retention of a greenhouse is by earth berming the north, east and west walls. Yet another solution to improve insulation is the underground or "pit greenhouse". [8] However, this greenhouse receives less sunlight and is prone to flooding.

More Space Needed

The passive greenhouse could save a lot of energy, but a price would have to be paid: the profits generated by the Chinese greenhouse are two to three times lower per square meter than those of its fully glazed counterpart. In the more efficient Chinese greenhouses, an average 30 kg of tomatoes and 30 kg of cucumbers can be grown per square meter (numbers from 2005), while the average production in a glass greenhouses is about 60 kg of tomatoes and 100 kg cucumbers (numbers from 2003). [3] [4].


A Chinese solar greenhouse. Picture: Energy Farms.

A passive greenhouse industry would thus take up two to three times as much space to produce the same amount of food. This could be viewed as a problem, but of course what really eats space in agriculture is meat production. A more diverse and attractive supply of vegetables and fruits could make it more viable to reduce meat consumption, so land use shouldn't be a problem.

Compost Heated Greenhouses


Another issue with a solar powered greenhouse is the lack of a CO2-source. In modern greenhouses, operators aim to have a CO2-level at least three times the level outdoors to increase crop yield. This CO2 is produced as a byproduct of the fossil fuel based heating systems inside the greenhouses. However, when no fossil fuels are used, another source of CO2 has to be found. This is not only an issue for solar greenhouses. It's also one of the main reasons why geothermal energy and electric heat pumps are not advancing in the modern glasshouse industry.

In Chinese solar greenhouses, this issue is sometimes solved by the combined raising of produce and animals. Pigs, chickens, and fish all produce CO2 that can be absorbed by the plants, while the plants produce oxygen (and green waste) for the animals. The animals and their manure also contribute to the heating of the structure. Research of such integrated greenhouse systems has shown that the combined production of vegetables, meat, milk, and eggs raises yields quite substantially. [5]


Detail of a compost-heated greenhouse: Source: Pelaf.

Justin Walker, an American now living in Siberia, is building an integrated system using horses, goats and sheep in a monastery in Siberia. Considering the harsh climate, the structure is partly built below-ground, while its protruding parts are earth-bermed. Above the barn area is a hayloft that provides further winter insulation as well as ventilation in the summer when it is empty. His compost heat recovery system produces hot water that is piped through radiant floor heating zones in the floor of the greenhouse. The CO2 is supplied by the animals. [6]

Heating and CO2-production can also be done without housing animals in the greenhouse. Their manure suffices. As we have seen in the previous article, the use of horse manure for heating small-scale greenhouses dates back several centuries in Europe, and in China it was practised already 2.000 years ago. Since the 1980s, several compost heated greenhouse have been built in the USA. These have shown that a greenhouse can be entirely heated by compost if it is well-insulated, and that the method drastically enriches the CO2-levels in the soil and in the greenhouse air. To add to this, the compost also serves to increase soil fertility. [6]

Kris De Decker 


Sources:

[1] Energy performance optimization of typical chinese solar greenhouses by means of dynamic simulation (PDF), Alessandro Deiana et al., International conference of agricultural engineering, 2014, Zurich.

[2] Winter performance of a solar energy greenhouse in southern Manitoba (PDF), Canadian Biosystems Engineering. 2006.

[3] The solar greenhouse: state of the art in energy saving and sustainable energy supply. G. Bot et al., 2005

[4] Structure, function, application, and ecological benefit of a single-slope, energy-efficient solar greenhouse in China. HortTechnology, June 2010

[5] Integrated energy self-served animal and plant complementary ecosystem in China, in "Integrated energy systems in China -- the cold northwestern region experience", FAO, 1994

[6] The Compost-Powered Water Heater: How to heat your greenhouse, pool, or buildings with only compost, Gaelan Brown, 2014

[7] See for example "The Solar Greenhouse Book" (PDF), published by Rodale Press in 1978

[8] The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book, Mike Oehler, 2007

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-01-05/reinventing-the-greenhouse
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 03:43:47 PM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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"I'm Richard Mathews. I live within smelling distance of the Fracked Gas Leak."
« Reply #5157 on: January 11, 2016, 06:55:45 PM »
Quote
Anthony --

 Thank you for signing my Porter Ranch emergency petition. Please forward this email on to others who may want to sign.

 Richard


 Here's the full petition:

President Obama: Declare The Porter Ranch Gas Leak A National Disaster


"Dear President Obama: Declare Los Angeles County to be a national disaster area due to the massive fracked gas leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility."


I’m Richard Mathews and I live within smelling distance of the fracked natural gas leak that has been spewing methane and toxins into the Los Angeles air since at least October 23, coming from an underground storage area above the suburb of Porter Ranch and holding fracked natural gas imported from other states. The company responsible is Southern California Gas, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

I live four miles from the site of this toxic disaster—the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history—and can smell the nasty fumes. But it’s even worse for people like my 88-year-old mother, who lives with me and is suffering from headaches and nausea but who feels she is too old to handle relocation. Thousands of families have fled their homes, and many more are still getting sick. Others like my mother are on the waiting list to get air purifiers. The leak isn't expected to be fixed until Halliburton completes drilling a relief well around March.

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas contributing to rapid warming—over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The greenhouse impact of this leak is the equivalent of the pollution from seven million cars or six coal-fired power plants. I’ve calculated that this leak spews more gas, by volume, into the atmosphere than the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

That global disaster troubles climate hawks like me. But equally worrisome, methane is highly explosive, and the chemicals mixed with the methane are making people sick. These include methyl mercaptan (the rotten-egg-smell they add to natural gas), benzene, radon, hydrogen sulfide, and a mist of crude oil. While the methane spreads around the world, these toxins stay close to the ground and accumulate in our valley.

On January 6, California Gov. Jerry Brown dropped by for an hour and declared it a disaster. Now, President Obama needs to meet with affected residents, understand the havoc wreaked by his pro-fracking policy, and declare the site a national disaster area.

President Obama’s national disaster declaration will help residents get tax benefits, mortgage relief, and federal resources to improve health—and help this nation to start fighting back against the out-of-control fracking industry.

Please add your name to mine today.

"Dear President Obama: Declare Los Angeles County to be a national disaster area due to the massive fracked gas leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility."


 Sign here:
 http://www.climatehawksvote.com/porter_ranch_fracking_disaster?recruiter_id=1831045
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Vermont Ski Woes from Warm Weather
« Reply #5158 on: January 11, 2016, 08:51:27 PM »

Warm holiday week hits ski area ticket sales

Jan. 10, 2016, 8:33 pm by Mike Polhamus
http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/10/warm-holiday-week-hits-ski-area-ticket-sales/
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Adam Cohen: Ranger Solar projects are right for Vermont
« Reply #5159 on: January 11, 2016, 09:02:08 PM »
Adam Cohen: Ranger Solar projects are right for Vermont

Jan. 10, 2016, 7:05 pm by Commentary

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Adam Cohen, who is the president of Ranger Solar, a New England based solar energy company.

The sun provides a predictable energy supply without the price volatility, or emissions, of fossil fuels. The New England region has sufficient solar energy available to power more than 4 million homes. Technological innovations have helped reduce the cost of solar energy by about 76 percent since 2006. And Vermonters believe in both clean energy and nurturing a stronger, more diverse economy. What’s more, Vermont needs more power, at an affordable price, for homes and businesses.

These are the reasons Ranger Solar has proposed to develop five 20-megawatt solar projects in Vermont.

The potential projects in Sheldon, Highgate, Randolph, Brandon and Ludlow are a real, meaningful and measurable investment in Vermont’s economy. Each would generate 20-megawatts of power at prices far cheaper than existing renewable energy facilities, which helps people save money on their power bills.

Over the next 20 years, Ranger’s Vermont solar investments will collectively generate about 1,225 job years, $75 million in labor income, approximately $15 million in tax revenue for the state and local communities and add more than $125 million to Vermont’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We have been working closely with each local community to make our projects among the best-sited solar projects in the state and we are grateful for the local support we have already received.

Quote
Ranger’s solar projects are tightly contained and sited in an unobtrusive way, delivering the benefits of solar in the most efficient manner.

Perhaps most importantly to Vermonters who champion local solutions to climate change, our projects would each make a very substantial, and economically efficient, contribution to meeting Vermont’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. This is a cause our team of veteran renewable energy and environmental specialists believes deeply in. All told these projects could displace over 190,000 tons of carbon, the equivalent of 2,021 cars operating over 20 years, and avoid about $162 million in carbon dioxide emissions costs.

With the closure of aging power plants in New England, the region faces a challenging time ahead as it seeks to provide clean, reliable, and reasonably-priced electricity to consumers. According to the 2015 Regional Energy Outlook issued by the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE), the majority of electric generation resources on the New England power system today are traditional, grid-connected generators fueled by imported fossil fuels.

Vermont’s policymakers have established emission reduction goals and renewable energy targets that are consistent with residents’ commitment to combatting climate change while securing the state’s energy future. Yet, Vermont currently ranks 50th in net electrical energy generation by state, and as of the end of 2014, hosted less than 10 percent of New England installed solar capacity. The vast majority is in Massachusetts and Connecticut. We will need to do better if our goals are to be more than merely symbolic.


Ranger’s solar projects are tightly contained and sited in an unobtrusive way, delivering the benefits of solar in the most efficient manner. Relying solely on behind the meter and distributed solar projects will make Vermont’s targets extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach. And small-scale projects come at a higher cost. On the whole, to produce an equivalent amount of energy to Ranger’s projects, would require hundreds or even thousands of smaller developments on the landscape, eating up in aggregate more land while producing more expensive energy.

Meeting Vermont’s energy and economic objectives also requires that Vermont’s utilities stand by their commitment to the triple bottom line of “cost, carbon and reliability” by welcoming the energy diversity and lower costs that Ranger’s solar projects deliver, even if our lower cost power means marginally lower returns for their shareholders.

Ultimately, our goal is to bring new investment and more affordable clean energy to Vermont with projects that make sense for communities, ratepayers and regulators. We understand and value community dialogue, rigorous oversight and siting standards as illustrated by the letters of support we have received from communities like Sheldon. We’re an organization composed of renewable energy and environmental professionals. We’re committed to doing this right. And we look forward to producing affordable, long-term, stably priced power at lower, more economically competitive rates. 


http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/10/adam-cohen-ranger-solar-projects-right-for-vermont/
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