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Old 03-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #29
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re: "Becoming petroleum independent is critical and intuitive. The days of cheap oil are coming to an end."

what is interesting to me is that all of the data available contradicts this thesis.

it is in the realm of the 'peak resource' mantra and ideology that has been like a social virus since the 60's. It has continually been proven wrong over and over and over yet it persists anyway. Paul Erlich, where are you?

as for the wagon and mobility - a friend's grandparents used one. The moved from MO to NV complete with the print shop. They lost a child in TX (birthing in a covered wagon was risky). He tapped the line through NV to get news to publish. .. but, for the most part, most folks back then lived within walking distance of where they were born, mobility wasn't an issue, finding enough food to avoid starvation and fuel to keep warm were difficult enough.

I mean, it's wonderful that we are rich enough as a society so that when activists buy into this stuff we can afford the billions spent in fruitless endeavors but it does seem rather a tragedy that that effort and wealth is not spent for 'out of the box' thinking (i.e. entrepreneurial innovation and invention).
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:06 AM   #30
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re: "Becoming petroleum independent is critical and intuitive. The days of cheap oil are coming to an end."

what is interesting to me is that all of the data available contradicts this thesis.

it is in the realm of the 'peak resource' mantra and ideology that has been like a social virus since the 60's. It has continually been proven wrong over and over and over yet it persists anyway. Paul Erlich, where are you?

as for the wagon and mobility - a friend's grandparents used one. The moved from MO to NV complete with the print shop. They lost a child in TX (birthing in a covered wagon was risky). He tapped the line through NV to get news to publish. .. but, for the most part, most folks back then lived within walking distance of where they were born, mobility wasn't an issue, finding enough food to avoid starvation and fuel to keep warm were difficult enough.

I mean, it's wonderful that we are rich enough as a society so that when activists buy into this stuff we can afford the billions spent in fruitless endeavors but it does seem rather a tragedy that that effort and wealth is not spent for 'out of the box' thinking (i.e. entrepreneurial innovation and invention).
Well, renewable energy is what is coming. The price we pay for gas is much lower than other countries. Our federal gas tax is only 18 cents. It's a few dollars in other countries. That increase in gas prices helps move them toward renewables & away from fossil fuels evident in the advanced development of solar. Spain has a many solar thermal plants. Germany is the world leader in installed solar photovoltaic panels — and they also just shut down seven of their oldest nuclear reactors. China recently unveiled a high-speed train that travels at up to 1,000 kilometers per hour, or approx. 621 miles per hour, through Maglev lines in airless tubes underground. There's really so many amazing things happening around the world but we don't see much progress here. Higher gas prices = more incentive? I don't think we will run out of oil. I think it will become unaffordable for the majority of us and there's a chance, if we don't start using alternatives, it could disrupt everything we depend on like food supply.

You can run your car on water. All it takes is to build a "water-burning hybrid" is the installation of a simple, often home-made electrolysis cell under the hood of your vehicle. The key is to take electricity from the car's electrical system to electrolyze water into a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, often referred to as Brown's Gas or HHO or oxyhydrogen. This might be an alternative we use to someday.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:53 AM   #31
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Yes anything is possible when you ignore the laws of physics, economics, and common sense. We should be developing other forms of energy. When they make economic sense they will become the norm. You can't legislate practicality. Taxing oil to pay for the developement of alternatives is not the place of the government. We can see their track record stinks in this respect. The market place is the true test of technologies. People will buy what makes sense, not what they are forced too. To each his own.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:15 AM   #32
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Yes anything is possible when you ignore the laws of physics, economics, and common sense. We should be developing other forms of energy. When they make economic sense they will become the norm. You can't legislate practicality. Taxing oil to pay for the developement of alternatives is not the place of the government. We can see their track record stinks in this respect. The market place is the true test of technologies. People will buy what makes sense, not what they are forced too. To each his own.
I sooo agree! I would not actually mind a tax on fuel if the money really went to support the development of new technology to lower the cost of power but we all know how our government handles money.....
In time there will be an answer.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:02 AM   #33
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I really appreciate and enjoy threads like this!

A couple of quick comments ...

Things are changing quickly and we should all have an open mind to this change. What was true two years ago is not true today. For example, repeatedly this thread has cited that 500 watts is generally the max real estate on an Airstream. That is no longer true ... I have measured and can confirm that I could fit as many as 12 of the smaller AM Solar 100 watt panels on my 28's roof. Yes, 1200 watts would fit if I was so inclined.

Yes, you can run AC off a battery bank but a readily portable and "affordable-for-me" solution does not exist today (March 2012) that I know of. However, we are FAST approaching a time when there will be affordable lithium solutions for our Airstreams ... I expect within the next couple of years.

National Luna makes some of the most efficient 12V fridge freezers in the world. I keep one in my vehicle and it works perpetually off a secondary battery in my truck.

I'm fascinated by the water and sewer issue. These seem to get less attention but, I fear, will become bigger problems for us (especially our children) going forward.

Thanks for a great thread ... and the new ideas and solutions offered up!
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:33 AM   #34
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re: "We should be developing other forms of energy. When they make economic sense they will become the norm. You can't legislate practicality"

the fact is that we are developing other forms of energy (and its related commerce). The incentives are huge. There are many examples (cold fusion, anyone?) and even the PTO's refusal to even look at perpetual machines is testimony.

but still, the pressure is to 'legislate practicality' because the practical matters of how the world actually works and such nonsense as cost effectiveness so get in the way of fantasy and ideology. (the result is massive waste of government resources, but that doesn't seem to matter much to many)

re: "repeatedly this thread has cited that 500 watts is generally the max real estate on an Airstream. That is no longer true" -- "generally" doesn't mean "absolute" ... so many of these discussions on topics like this devolve into nitpicking and nonsense. Sure you can squeeze more panels on your rig. I could just see it now - a 8x30 foot over-roof on a 70's era Sovereign complete with automated sun angle rack and whatnot. The shade would help keep the trailer cool, too. The problem is, where would you keep the batteries needed for that size solar system? (ah, yes, the HDT tow vehicle!)

There are 'practical' concerns when it comes to 'alternative' energy and the biggest two of these are energy density and energy storage. Advances in the modern era in bringing cost effectiveness to solutions to these concerns has been incremental and, in light of everything else, rather small. The promises and 'real soon now' and hype, however have been anything but small.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:21 PM   #35
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Hi Everyone - I wanted to share some latest news on solar from a good information source. Thanks for keeping this thread going with your awesome contributions! I'll be going off-grid with my trailer in about 12 months so I have a lot to learn.

http://www.zeitnews.org/energy/germa...lar-cells.html

http://www.zeitnews.org/energy/cloth...e-charged.html

New Solar Panel Designs Make Installation Cheaper | Energy

bSolar

On a side note...check out Germany!

Germany Produces Record-Breaking 14.7 Terawatt-Hours of Solar Energy In Six Months! | Energy
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #36
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I think this video is an interesting study... It is LONG, and there are in fact eight parts to it. I never watch lengthy videos, due to my lack of patience and also a clear understanding that most of what is passed by way of the internet is garbage. However, after watching the first portion, I was compelled to watch all of it:

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Old 07-15-2012, 09:27 PM   #37
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My friends just bought a Tesla electric car

I know....they cost about $130 K
But they run off of 77 laptop batteries. They are sick fast off the line, like Ferrari fast. Zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds.

Maybe laptop type batteries might be the direction to look?????
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