Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?



  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    Hi Bill,
    I've been thinking about your lengthy post and I feel I must reply.

    The thing is in many experts are still debating whether or not the holocaust existed even though its gone 60 years past the event!!

    Even whilst an event is hapening its impossible to convince 100% of the people who don't want to (or decide) not to believe it?

    While the historical event was occurring people were saying "Nah its not going on! its not happening".

    Hey, some people even debated whether the Apollo moon landing was real or not in 1969. I could have been one of them!!

    So, my point is ......people will believe whatever suits their psychlogical needs or purpose? and the psychological term for that is well.... I am not too sure.(denial?)

    So, I refer you back to black and white scienctific fact.

    When a fully charged battery has more energy stored in it than a dead one.(its potential for overcoming resistance changes).

    IF, you believe that the ocean is a storage battery because it stores heat (energy in the form of heat) and you believe that the ocean has the largest storage capacity of any battery known on earth?.

    Q: What would be the net result of this increased capacity? More or less ability to overcome resistance?

    I don't know much but I do know this....

    If you excite water molecules too much...they will tun to gas (ie; water vapor).
    I'm happy to stop here if you disagree!

    This is science.... not factoid, nor opinion, nor web site diatribe, nor debate.

    Q: So, if you believe that oceans are now more energized and not less energized than the day you were born? What would be the effect of all that stored energy on a water molecule?

    Answer that truthfully? and honestly and then we may have a debate on our hands?

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    Oceans are NOT a storage battery. Oceans can store Energy.

    Oceans have been warmer in the past, and also cooler in the past. The debate appears to be if mankind is causing this, or if it's due to a variable stage in the solar output.

    Icecaps on Mars are also at the smallest size since we have been measuring them - did mankind do that, or is it solar related ?
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  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    OK... I need some help here: What is it that rats, cancer, the Holocaust, and the Moon landing have to do with this forum's scope?
    Energy Use & Conservation Energy conservation tips & news, for solar & non-solar powered homes.
    Jim / crewzer
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?


    You might want to do the moderators a favor here and erase some of the earlier post... It really does not fit within the T&C's of this forum.

    Regarding a battery storing energy--how it affects its surrounding--you would need to look at it in terms of entropy--and no matter how we might appear to increase local energy--i.e., a charged battery--the overall state of the universe is slightly less ordered than before when the battery was discharged... In the end, the overall state of matter/energy will tend to disorder (i.e., take an egg and gently scramble it--no real change in energy levels, but the egg went from order to disorder)--and it would take energy--in the form of a chicken and food--to put it back together as an unscrambled egg). When working with thermodynamics on a large scale--this is a fundamental portion of the equations.

    However, it has been way too many decades since my Thermo classes for me to even remember and recreate the details for me to add any meaningful discussion here.

    Regarding excitation of water molecules... It is hard to say they have been excited "too much"... All of our fresh water on this planet has pretty much been the result of water molecules turning to gas (and back to liquid / solid water again). And transport of heat from the sea to high altitude is one of the major feed back loops for moderating temperature of the earth.

    Since water takes a lot of energy to evaporate and condense, it is a major factor in distributing heat from the earth's surface to the upper atmosphere were condensation can release heat and re-radiate it to space (as well as supply us with rain and snow)--and drive the winds to moderate temperatures of the earth at roughly greater than +/- 20 degrees latitude (and the ocean currents transports most of the solar energy at around the equator).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    Phew that all got a bit heavy, I'm voting for Solar PV, Solar Water Heating. hydro or wind if its available and wood is probably the most eco friendly way modern man who enjoys a hi-tec life can live with the smallest footprint on mother earth :roll:
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    I don;t know but i know i for one have moved on to more productive uses for my time
    crewzer wrote: »
    OK... I need some help here: What is it that rats, cancer, the Holocaust, and the Moon landing have to do with this forum's scope?

    Jim / crewzer
  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination!

    Mid-January and last night it went twenty degrees below zero but the Sun has been shining for days on end now and the batteries are full by Noon! Big hot jack pine fire in the stove. Dash to the composting toilet and then a HOT shower using water heated on the woodstove. Towel off next to the blazing stove as sunlight falls on the warm flat stone floor around the stove that shows ripple marks from a billion year old sea bottom. No need to go anywhere or start (shudder) an automobile. Maybe we'll start a fire in the wood fired indoor rock oven today and bake bread, pizza, and put in a roast for tomorrow. Maybe go out in the woods for a while and cut for next year.

    It don't get much better than this....
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    But it does get worse...

    Proposed wood burning ban draws fire:
    A proposed ban on burning wood in the Bay Area's 1 million fireplaces and stoves on bad-air days has drawn praise - and heat - from hundreds of residents as regulators consider how to balance the health risks of inhaling smoke against the need to stay warm.

    The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's plan to restrict wood burning comes after federal officials imposed tighter limits on emissions of fine particles, a move that regional officials say could lead them to declare 20 Spare the Air days during the winter season. There have been six such days in the region since November.

    After sifting through more than 400 comments, Bay Area air-quality officials plan to refine their proposal by spring, intending to put new rules in place by next winter. Presto logs and logs made of coffee grounds and nutshells would be regulated like wood.

    "We know there are very toxic components in wood smoke," said Dr. Janice Kim, public health medical officer with the air toxicology and epidemiology branch of the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment....
    Interesting chart on SF Bay Area Sources of Fine Particulate Pollution.

    The largest single source is wood burning (33%), more than vehicles or off road construction activities.

    Neat thing in the chart is that EPA stoves are many times less polluting than fireplaces (and pellet stoves are even a few times better than the EPA wood stoves)--but still many, many times more polluting than oil or gas heat.

    To be honest, I am not sure where I fall on this debate... I grew up in a smallish coastal valley and was very used to wood smoke from fireplaces (including our own) settling in on windless days and never thought too much about it.

    However, now living in near the SF Bay, when the smoke settles in here--I now notice it much more and feel its effects sometimes (the acidic "flavor/taste/feeling").

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    from my use, and experience of the neighbours wood burning, the WORST thing about wood burning is just letting it smoulder, and not burn. Creosote build up, chimney fires, etc, etc. Our City has at least one house fire each fall, on the first real cold day after a month or so of near freezing temps. Most people like to come home to a 'warm house' on a cold winters day like today -14 C, so they stoke up the old wood burner and then go out, after dampering the unit down so they get a long burn time, yet polluting the neighbourhood...

    the woob burners axiom (city especially) should be

    Burn Hot, burn small,
    If not, NOT AT ALL!

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  • paulstamserpaulstamser Solar Expert Posts: 86 ✭✭✭
    Re: Photovoltaics & Firewood: An Ideal Combination?

    All good points. Luckily for some of us, we live in remote areas without any close neighbors and not in sink-prone valleys along with non-prying local govt.

    I myself try to burn hot low-pollution fires just because I think you get more heat that way. (Oxygen in the air is free). That's one reason I like fast burning wood like jack pine. It really sucks in the oxygen and blasts out the heat. Although on real frigid below zero nights I throttle it down trying to keep it going and to hold until morning. On warmer days I let the fire go out at night because my house has a big central heat sink that keeps things on the mild side.

    I guess that wood heat isn't perfect; it only seems that way.
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