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Red_Dragon

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Location: Dumbf*ckistan


Posted: Feb 2, 2023 - 8:46am

Red_Dragon

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Location: Dumbf*ckistan


Posted: Sep 15, 2021 - 8:46am

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Apr 9, 2019 - 7:03am

 Proclivities wrote:


 

Proclivities

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Posted: Apr 9, 2019 - 6:54am


miamizsun

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Posted: Dec 19, 2014 - 7:10am

a preface to the stuff i posted in the honduras/ZEDE thread


Talalala

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Location: Århus, Denmark
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 28, 2008 - 2:44am

Welly wrote:
Can't we build this city on rock and roll?


{#Wall}

AliGator

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Posted: Aug 28, 2008 - 12:14am

 Servo wrote:
...

 
Dear Servo,

Would it be possible for you to be succinct?

Just wondering,

Ali

AliGator

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Posted: Aug 28, 2008 - 12:11am

 Welly wrote:
Can't we build this city on rock and roll?

 
We ought to, but I must say that I beat you to the suggestion.

And I've had the damn song in my head ever since I posted the idea here.

Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 27, 2008 - 11:13pm

 MrsHobieJoe wrote:
I haven't seen any discussion about terrain yet.
 
I've been a flatlander for way too long.  I never considered terrain. {#Redface}

Lets plan a city where the automobile does not rule. Maybe one where there are no privately owned cars?

In the USA, where material possessions, and especially cars are coveted with religious zeal, I strongly doubt that a ban on private ownership of cars would be accepted.  Maybe in a small town, or a small island community...


MrsHobieJoe

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Location: somewhere in Europe
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 27, 2008 - 3:49pm

I haven't seen any discussion about terrain yet.  Let's see a city built with plenty of water nearby, and how about some mountains somewhere too!  I read the discussions on transport with interest and see that lunar1963 began the thread.  Countries like his one - the Netherlands have a lot to offer in the way of transport ideas especially their superb bike lanes.  Some people commented about have the bike lanes away from pedestrians and parking etc.  I think in the Netherlands bikes lanes are separate (ie away from roads entirely).

Lets plan a city where the automobile does not rule.  Maybe one where there are no privately owned cars? 
Welly

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Location: Lotusland
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Posted: Aug 27, 2008 - 3:44pm

Can't we build this city on rock and roll?
Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 27, 2008 - 3:42pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Good points.. storage is still the main issue we need to address. A coal-fired plant can be made to be pretty clean (disregarding the CO2 for the moment) to provide the base power supply. But such large plant needs to run constantly all the time (as far as I understand) which means variable power sources like wind or solar are either limited to covering peak demand which will only work when the sun is shining (or the wind blowing) and when there is peak demand (7-8 am for instance) or they need to find a way of storing their output, otherwise nothing fundamental will change. I hope that new development from MIT for a simple electrolysis method will be economical enough to provide the way out of this dilemma. That would be perfect. A simple way of producing hydrogen to be used in a fuel cell when you need the power.
 
Unfortunately we don't have the luxury to disregard carbon dioxide emissions any more, not even briefly.

Chicago has twin coal fired power plants that supply the bulk of the city's electrical power; one on the North Side, and the other on the South Side.  In addition, there are multiple coal, oil and natural gas fired peaker plants in strategic locations.

Chicago has a unique advantage in that it has water routes that allow the steady delivery of the massive amounts of coal that the large plants consume, safely and efficiently.  (Although the North Side plant is located on the bank of the North Branch of the Chicago River, that branch is only navigable by small craft.  Coal delivery to the North Side plant is by rail, IIRC.)  And apparently Chicago can get high quality, low sulfur coal at a reasonable price.  Not every city has these advantages.  And the overall environmental impact of mining, processing, shipping and burning coal, as well as scrubbing the exhaust and disposing of the ash and other byproducts, makes coal undesirable in the long term.  If I build a city from scratch, I would not allow coal fired power plants.

Now that the US is a consumer nation, and not a producer nation, the peak load periods tend to coincide with the habits of the majority "8 to 5" workers.  In the summertime that means heavy demand from 5PM until well after dark.  Given enough storage capacity, photovoltaic generation during the peak light periods might help smooth out those peaks.  But given the truly massive demand, I seriously doubt that PV alone will ever be able to handle peak loads.

Downtown Chicago has seen the return of the centralized HVAC plant.  Several downtown facilities provide heated or chilled (depending on the season) water to nearby high-rise office buildings, to provide heating and cooling at a greater level of efficiency than smaller plants in each building can.  This is a step in the right direction, but these plants are conspicuously absent from the places where they could do the most to mitigate peak demands: in residential areas.

My city would offer incentives to collocate similar mass production HVAC plants around residential high rise buildings.

So far there isn't an easy way to bring the same economies of scale to low rise residential areas, where distance negates any gains in efficiency.  While it's tempting (and trendy) to throw solar panels at houses, without first doing any environmental impact, cost/benefit and other engineering surveys, my city would do the science first, and then base its zoning laws on the outcome of those surveys.  I have a hunch that covering many acres of real estate with dark, heat absorbing solar panels might not be all that wise.  I would expect to mandate a certain area of rooftop greenery and other things to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

In time, I expect that PV cells could be developed which are wavelength selective, gaining most of their energy from the colors that green plants use the least, and reflecting those plant-growing frequencies towards lawns, trees, rooftop gardens etc.  Solar water heaters could do the same thing by using an ideal paint formulation.

I would be very careful about high concentrations of wind turbines in heavily populated areas.  There is a great potential for people, mostly curious children no doubt, getting injured or killed by such heavy machinery.  And since you don't get something for nothing, the environmental impact of calming the winds (by turning them into electricity) in areas where winds are needed to move heat and pollution out of the urban area, needs to be studied.  The noise alone might make them more nuisance than boon.

If wind power proves to be desirable in urban areas, which is not a given at this time, I imagine that solutions that are more integrated into the structure of a building would be the answer, not add-on wind turbines.  For example, piezoelectric materials in places of movement would be far less obtrusive, both visually and aurally.  More importantly, they wouldn't have dangerous moving parts to worry about.

Hydrogen gas has been made economically for centuries using electrolysis.  That is not the problem.  What is a problem is the simple fact that it always takes more electrical energy to produce hydrogen than can be released through burning or reforming hydrogen to produce kinetic energy or electricity.  And like many politically sexy energy "solutions", hydrogen fuel relies on the electrical power grid, petrochemicals and/or other legacy energy sources in order to operate.  Sooner or later we are going to have to face this reality.

When I weigh the strengths and weakness of various methods of energy production, I still see only one that stands out as our only hope for the next 50 years.  That method is producing electricity by nuclear fission.  Nuclear power generation facilities are the only plants with the capacity needed to replace outdated and ecologically hazardous coal and hydroelectric power plants.  The general public has had 63 years to get over the fear factor that every new technology evokes.  There are no other zero-emission alternatives anywhere close to being perfected.  We simply cannot waste time dragging our heels, hoping for some magical alternative to come out of nowhere.  It's time to act, before it's too late.

I will freely admit that the shortcomings of nuclear fission for power generation make it a mid-term solution at best.  But until other so-called "green" technologies mature to the point of being practical in large scale production, it's the best we have.  I doubt that I'll live to see the truly revolutionary successor to fission power (like fusion power).  I do have faith that a replacement will appear, and that future generations will marvel at the "crazy things" that we resorted to in order to produce power.  But first we must pack up the gaseous carbon and clorine, or those future generations will have some truly scary challenges to face instead.


NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Aug 27, 2008 - 10:50am

Servo wrote:

Cogeneration isn't practical unless it's done on a large scale. If it's a very large apartment building, it might work. In the Chicago area, Evanston High School is among the first to install a cogeneration plant. EHS is actually four schools in one, on a massive campus. Anything less than 1MW of continuous demand, and you're better off buying your electricity.

...During daylight hours, power generated from the photovoltaic panels in the windows are fed into the grid. The utility grid serves as a storage battery to supply electricity at night and on cloudy days..."

One small problem with that: the electrical power grid does not work at all like a storage battery. You either have mains power, or you don't. If you need to store electricity, you must do it yourself.

Where did you read what you quoted? I was expecting to see it at the website that you gave the URL for, but that site is about a straw bale house, not an apartment building.


Good points.. storage is still the main issue we need to address. A coal-fired plant can be made to be pretty clean (disregarding the CO2 for the moment) to provide the base power supply. But such large plant needs to run constantly all the time (as far as I understand) which means variable power sources like wind or solar are either limited to covering peak demand which will only work when the sun is shining (or the wind blowing) and when there is peak demand (7-8 am for instance) or they need to find a way of storing their output, otherwise nothing fundamental will change. I hope that new development from MIT for a simple electrolysis method will be economical enough to provide the way out of this dilemma. That would be perfect. A simple way of producing hydrogen to be used in a fuel cell when you need the power.

Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:42pm

 Painted_Turtle wrote:
"Electricity is generated through a combination of solar panels and a natural-gas-fired micro turbine. These two on-site electricity-generating systems, have the capacity to meet over 90% of the building's electrical needs...
 
Cogeneration isn't practical unless it's done on a large scale.  If it's a very large apartment building, it might work.  In the Chicago area, Evanston High School is among the first to install a cogeneration plant.  EHS is actually four schools in one, on a massive campus.  Anything less than 1MW of continuous demand, and you're better off buying your electricity.

...During daylight hours, power generated from the photovoltaic panels in the windows are fed into the grid. The utility grid serves as a storage battery to supply electricity at night and on cloudy days..."

One small problem with that: the electrical power grid does not work at all like a storage battery.  You either have mains power, or you don't.  If you need to store electricity, you must do it yourself.

Where did you read what you quoted?  I was expecting to see it at the website that you gave the URL for, but that site is about a straw bale house, not an apartment building.


Red_Dragon

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Location: Dumbf*ckistan


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:39pm



Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:17pm

 lunar1963 wrote:
Every appartment building it's own windmill... Would look impressive, although they are very noisy and the shadows would drive you nuts!
 
Not to mention the shrapnel when one overspeeds and comes apart.

I just saw video of this happening in a rural area.  They had to evacuate all the people nearby.  And after it blew, the damage to their homes was pretty impressive, considering that it was done by bits of fiberglass.

No thanks...


Servo

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Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 4:09pm

 dionysius wrote:
...on a hill. The best city ever. Let's imagine that the whole world is watching us. We will believe that we are exceptional. Wouldn't that be awesome?
 
You mean like Hollywood?


NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:33pm


Painted_Turtle

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Location: Land of Laughing Waters
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:23pm

 Talalala wrote:
I really hate how this topic puts the song voted 'Worst Ever' into my head.

 

{#Doh}...now I'm hearing it too
Talalala

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Location: Århus, Denmark
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 26, 2008 - 3:19pm

I really hate how this topic puts the song voted 'Worst Ever' into my head.
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