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View Poll Results: What powers your CPU(s)?
What ever the utility supplies. (I don't know.) 11 42.31%
The utility (most of their power is a clean green source, I think.) 1 3.85%
That vile coal/oil burning evil utility. 6 23.08%
I have a partial green power option selected from the utility. 1 3.85%
All green utility power. 4 15.38%
Most of my power is from my solar panels. 0 0%
I am completely off the grid. (The Unibomber is my neighbor.) 1 3.85%
I pedal a generator to make power for my CPU's. 0 0%
Other. I choose to answer this as an essay below. 1 3.85%
Cowboy Neal 1 3.85%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2010-03-29, 01:45   #1
Uncwilly
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Default What powers your farm/cpu?

I am just wondering, what is the power source for your computer(s)?
Not the PSU, but the source of the electricity that powers the computer.

Are you powered by what ever the utility provides? Are you off the grid?
Do you have a 'green' option selected?

Details here. Poll for general bucket answering. Use both freely.


Me, I choose an 'all green' option from my utility a few years ago.
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Old 2010-03-29, 02:04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
I am just wondering, what is the power source for your computer(s)?
Not the PSU, but the source of the electricity that powers the computer.
Landfill methane and wind, with a smattering of small hydro dams.

Quote:
Me, I choose an 'all green' option from my utility a few years ago.
Me, too. "Energy for Tomorrow" from a utility whose acronym is also its first name.

(Saay ... aren't we somewhat-neighbors, or am I thinking of someone else?)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2010-03-29 at 02:07
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Old 2010-03-29, 02:31   #3
mdettweiler
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I chose option 1, "What ever the utility supplies. (I don't know.)" Though that's not entirely accurate, it was the closest choice I could find. My utility puts out a pie chart every year showing the percentages of where my previous year's power came from; as I recall most of it comes from coal/oil, and about 10-15% or so of it comes from "green" stuff like wind or solar. They have an "all green" option but remember, I'm the guy who spent a month arguing with cheesehead against global warming in the Soap Box, so why would I want to pay extra for that?
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Old 2010-03-29, 03:05   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
(Saay ... aren't we somewhat-neighbors, or am I thinking of someone else?)
No. I think that i have kin from your place of origin.
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Old 2010-03-29, 05:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
They have an "all green" option but remember, I'm the guy who spent a month arguing with cheesehead against global warming in the Soap Box, so why would I want to pay extra for that?
There are environmental and other benefits unrelated to AGW.

Emissions from coal plants combine with water in air to form acid rain. Emissions from coal plants contain mercury, which forms poisonous compounds.

Oil-burning electric generating plants contribute to our dependence on Middle Eastern oil imports and vast payments for them (which leads in turn to need for military adventurism over there to maintain influence over those energy supplies).

Even if the CO2 emissions are not contributing to global warming, they are acidifying the oceans.

You don't have to agree with AGW to justify switching to renewable sources.
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Old 2010-03-29, 14:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
There are environmental and other benefits unrelated to AGW.

Emissions from coal plants combine with water in air to form acid rain. Emissions from coal plants contain mercury, which forms poisonous compounds.

Oil-burning electric generating plants contribute to our dependence on Middle Eastern oil imports and vast payments for them (which leads in turn to need for military adventurism over there to maintain influence over those energy supplies).

Even if the CO2 emissions are not contributing to global warming, they are acidifying the oceans.

You don't have to agree with AGW to justify switching to renewable sources.
Yes, yes, I realize that AGW is not the only reason why one would want to switch to switch to an all-renewable power supply; I was just making a joke.

Regarding the other emissions though, we've made great strides in cleaning those up over the years, to the point that those are largely under control (at least in the US--maybe not in China, but for the most part only they can clean themselves up). And while I do agree that the US needs to decrease its dependence on foreign oil as much as possible, I'm not convinced that solar/wind power (which is usually much of what constitutes "all-green" power options) are the best ways to counter that. Living in Western NY as I do, there isn't a huge amount of sun, so that leaves windmills--and they need to be deployed in huge formations to produce any decent amount of electricity, which is really bad for the local scenery. Solar is a bit more practical since it doesn't suffer from that problem, but it still needs to be quite widely deployed in order to squeeze much out of it; I believe solar panels will need to be made much more efficient in order to be a truly effective part of our power grid.

Actually, I think nuclear power is the way to go for reducing pollution and foreign oil dependence. The only concern is the radioactive waste, but that can be dealt with by long-term storage; the wastes are not so huge in terms of amount that the problem becomes one of capacity. At any rate, I think that combined with other high-efficiency non-foreign-dependent sources such as hydroelectric and methane, they'll be quite sufficient to hold us over until a better solution is perfected--say, fusion.

Last fiddled with by mdettweiler on 2010-03-29 at 14:26
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Old 2010-03-29, 17:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
Actually, I think nuclear power is the way to go for reducing pollution and foreign oil dependence. The only concern is the radioactive waste, but that can be dealt with by long-term storage; the wastes are not so huge in terms of amount that the problem becomes one of capacity.
Coal power produces about as much radioactivity per unit of energy production as fission power, yet another reason to reduce dependency on coal.

The high-level waste from classical fission power reactors, at least the actinide portion (which is principally Np, Pu and Am), can be burnt with good energy yield if you have a high flux of fast neutrons available (as can unburned U-238 and Th).

A D-T fusion reactor is a copious supplier of such neutrons. It turns out that a fusion reactor could be substantially below break-even by itself bu still produce a useful amount of power if it is jacketed in natural U, natural Th, fission reactor waste of a mixture of any of those.

It's distinctly possible, likely IMO, that the first commercial fusion power reactors will actually be hybrid systems of this kind. They burn any actinides, including the ones that upset the tree-huggers(tm).


Paul

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2010-03-29 at 17:22 Reason: Add "commercial"
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Old 2010-03-29, 17:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
Yes, yes, I realize that AGW is not the only reason why one would want to switch to switch to an all-renewable power supply; I was just making a joke.
So, you are going to sign up for the "all green" option?
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Old 2010-03-29, 18:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Coal power produces about as much radioactivity per unit of energy production as fission power, yet another reason to reduce dependency on coal.
Hmm, I didn't know that. That would seem to be a quite strong argument in favor of nuclear power: the radioactive wastes that people are so afraid of aren't really any more so than that produced by coal, just more concentrated; and since they're not going into the air but rather being buried underground, it's much better.

Quote:
The high-level waste from classical fission power reactors, at least the actinide portion (which is principally Np, Pu and Am), can be burnt with good energy yield if you have a high flux of fast neutrons available (as can unburned U-238 and Th).

A D-T fusion reactor is a copious supplier of such neutrons. It turns out that a fusion reactor could be substantially below break-even by itself bu still produce a useful amount of power if it is jacketed in natural U, natural Th, fission reactor waste of a mixture of any of those.

It's distinctly possible, likely IMO, that the first commercial fusion power reactors will actually be hybrid systems of this kind. They burn any actinides, including the ones that upset the tree-huggers(tm).
Quite interesting info--thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
So, you are going to sign up for the "all green" option?
Read the second two paragraphs of my post (they were part of an edit but from the time of your post they were probably there when you read it). Per the reasons I outlined there, I wouldn't sign up for current "all green" options, but if my power company offered an "all-domestic" option (weighted heavily on nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.) I'd consider it if it wasn't too much more money.
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Old 2010-03-29, 21:49   #10
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About 70% of NZ's electricity currently comes from hydro/geothermal/wind. (That figure was closer to 90% in the 1980's). My supplier is 100% hydro/wind.
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Old 2010-03-29, 22:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
Hmm, I didn't know that. That would seem to be a quite strong argument in favor of nuclear power: the radioactive wastes that people are so afraid of aren't really any more so than that produced by coal, just more concentrated; and since they're not going into the air but rather being buried underground, it's much better.
To be fair, most of the readioactive waste from coal-powered electricity generation goes into the ash rather than the air. A very tiny amount is released as radon gas but the great majority is uranium and thorium captured in the solid waste.

Paul
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