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Urban myths re electricity/fuel/energy/power.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

careful_eugene wrote:
A little off topic, does anyone remember a little 2 seat steam driven car that made a appearence in the late 80's? I think it was called the Relland steam car, but I can't find any references on the net. (this has been bothering me for years so any information gratefully received)


I am not familiar with that steam car, however most steam cars burn oil fuel, often kerosene or heating oil, the fuel consumption is broadly similar to an IC engine, and except in special cases unlikely to be viable.

It is of course possible to make a steam car that burns coal or even wood, and this has been done in the past.
The problem is stoking, although the amount of fuel used is not great, fueling the boiler is a dangerous distraction, and such vehicles would be of doubtful legality, unless with two people, one to drive and one to stoke.

I suspect that for local passenger transport electric cars or horses may be more viable.

The position as regards HGVs is different, and I can forsee coal burning steam driven trucks making a return to our roads as oil becomes too costly.
During the fuel blockades of a few years a steam truck was used in london delivering building materials, the driver stoked it at traffic lights, and burnt a mixture of coal and scrap wood.
Such vehicles are now valuable antiques, but could be produced again if required. The last steam trucks to be produced were quite modern in many respects being fitted with electric lights, pneumatic tires, and power brakes.
I believe that the last major user of steam road vehicles was the National Coal Board, they considered that they should burn the fuel that they produced, rather than imported oil.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A new myth!

There are now many competing retailers of electricity, and it is widely believed that obtaining supplies from two or more competing firms will give protection against power cuts!

My local shop has two meters, one for the shop and one for the flat above, the owner has "wisely" ensured that he uses EDF for one and NPOWER for the other because "they wont both fail or be cut off together"

He doesent believe me that it wont help!
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Andy Hunt



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
A new myth!

There are now many competing retailers of electricity, and it is widely believed that obtaining supplies from two or more competing firms will give protection against power cuts!

My local shop has two meters, one for the shop and one for the flat above, the owner has "wisely" ensured that he uses EDF for one and NPOWER for the other because "they wont both fail or be cut off together"

He doesent believe me that it wont help!


Oh dear oh dear . . . someone is going to be disappointed!

Still, the fact that people are even considering the question speaks volumes doesn't it.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
The position as regards HGVs is different, and I can forsee coal burning steam driven trucks making a return to our roads as oil becomes too costly.

Surely converting the coal to liquid or gas and using an internal combustion engine would be more efficient - or using the coal for electricity to power trolley busses would be better. I really doubt we'll see any significant return to steam engines.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:

Surely converting the coal to liquid or gas and using an internal combustion engine would be more efficient - or using the coal for electricity to power trolley busses would be better. I really doubt we'll see any significant return to steam engines.


That depends how far and fast the energy decline is. Both coal to liquids and trolly bus systems are large, expensive to set up centralised services.

If we need to adapt fast to drastically reduced oil and gas, it might be easier to start small, with small numbers of low tech steam lorries, just as it is quicker to build on-shore wind turbines than nuclear power stations.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
adam2 wrote:
The position as regards HGVs is different, and I can forsee coal burning steam driven trucks making a return to our roads as oil becomes too costly.

Surely converting the coal to liquid or gas and using an internal combustion engine would be more efficient - or using the coal for electricity to power trolley busses would be better. I really doubt we'll see any significant return to steam engines.


Converting coal to a gas or liquid fuel might be more efficient, but requires considerable plant and equipment, certainly not something that a small haulage firm would consider doing themselves.
Therefore the fuel would have to be purchased, just as crude oil derived diesel is purchased now, the haulage firm would still be at risk of shortages, " sorry mate no synthetic diesel for you this week, we need it all for the fire brigade"
Coal however is still in plentiful supply and is easily stored against shortages.
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syberberg



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of coal, here's one I heard recently down the pub...

"We can re-open all the mines that were closed in the 80's when they were uneconomical to keep going."
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:

And one of my own - many people seem to think that you can generate energy by fixing wind turbines onto cars (or something similar), so they generate as they drive around...


Isnt that right? When I was a kid I used to go dinghy sailing with a couple of friends. When there wasnt much wind we'd all blow into the mainsail... I'd swear it works.

Wink
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syberberg wrote:
Speaking of coal, here's one I heard recently down the pub...

"We can re-open all the mines that were closed in the 80's when they were uneconomical to keep going."


Closely related to, "Maggie did us a favour when she closed down the mines - she was saving the coal until we really needed it"
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I read a letter in the FT yesterday, where the author had overheard two very chic ladies talking beside the SUV that one of them owned. One was saying "I don't know what all the fuss is about. How can it be so bad for the environment, it has climate control" Laughing
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case of sudden collapse I see the horse taking over again. The manufacturing costs are lower.j 'Very Happy'
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
Well I read a letter in the FT yesterday, where the author had overheard two very chic ladies talking beside the SUV that one of them owned. One was saying "I don't know what all the fuss is about. How can it be so bad for the environment, it has climate control" Laughing


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Awesome . . .
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Miss Madam



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gah... climate control.... gah.... sometimes I really do think that the electorate should be ranked by intelligence test into those allowed to vote for politicians and those whose intelligence precludes them from participating in any form of vote other than big brother, richard and judy and 'feckwits have talent' Wink
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miss Madam wrote:
Gah... climate control.... gah.... sometimes I really do think that the electorate should be ranked by intelligence test into those allowed to vote for politicians and those whose intelligence precludes them from participating in any form of vote other than big brother, richard and judy and 'feckwits have talent' Wink


'Very Happy' 'Very Happy' 'Very Happy' 'Very Happy'
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Miss Madam



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just heard a corker on Channel 4 news' coverage of inflation, a vox pop middle aged Kent lady - noting fuel price rises with the wonderful line of 'You don't get far on a tank of petrol these days' - errr, no love, it costs you more to fill up your tank, and more to do the same mileage, but the fuel efficiency of the petrol itself isn't affected by price rises. D'oh! Consign her to the 'Only allowed to vote on extortionate phone votes linked to TV pile' and remove her forthwith from the electoral role as a result of innate congenital stupidity....
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