Can Poland Save Americans and Europeans From the Russians?

The leadership in Russia has been busily destroying the sensible business reputation they inherited from the old Soviet Union.  Freedom also allows mistakes.  The Putin trend has already proven itself willing to use its gas reserves as a weapon in diplomatic negotiations. Moscow cut gas supplies to Ukraine in January 2006 during a row over gas prices and debts. In January 2009, European countries received no Russian gas via Ukraine for three weeks while Moscow and Kiev again argued over pipeline transit fees and gas prices.  The Putin trend has also punished Poland in oil and other markets.

Just to add self insult to the reputability self destruction Russia is leading the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which includes Russia and Algeria, the two major gas exporters to Europe, that aspires one day become a “gas OPEC”, able to set quotas and prices as the oil cartel does. Iran and Venezuela, while not particularly large gas exporters, are also members.  This caliber of partners in an association does nothing good for Russia’s reputation and influence where it matters.

News reports have it that vast reserves of shale gas lie under Poland that could in the future free Western Europe from its dependence on Russian natural gas with the help of recent advances in American reserve fracturing and extraction technology.

Energy consultant Wood Mackenzie estimates up to 1.36 trillion cubic meters of unconventional shale gas could be lying under northern and central Poland. If the find is confirmed at that number it will increase the EU’s reserves by 47 per cent and offer a more reliable alternative to Russia’s vast natural gas supplies. ConocoPhillips is planning to start drilling near Gdansk next month and will be followed by ExxonMobil.

The notion to make GECF a cartel was first suggested in 2002 by then President Vladimir Putin. In 2006, Aleksandr Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy chairman, threatened to create “an alliance of gas suppliers more influential than OPEC” if Europe did not play ball in energy negotiations.  Such great fellows to have to make a deal with.

If the exploratory drilling by the Americans with their technology and experience works out as well or better than the consultant’s estimates, then a new battle for markets will begin.  And a misinformation and/or disinformation campaign can be expected.  The American technology called hydraulic fracturing, with several decades of ecological accident and damage free practice and the same amount of time in development and improvement is under assault from the “media, press and politicians” with little regard for facts.  The mis and dis information effort is already well underway. No KGB type influence has yet been announced as detected.

Oddly, or perhaps even amazingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the utter bane of many industrial developments has already studied hydraulic fracturing without finding cause for alarm or concern.  Yet again the left in the U.S. Congress expects another study to be done as the science didn’t meet their expectations.  That puts the Russian leadership, their Gazprom Company, the American political left, much of the media and press all in the very same bed – trying to undo or change history – using an American government agency. How’s that for a recipe for corruption?

The Americans, the Poles, plus Germany, India, South Africa, and Australia all have huge gas reserves.  They all will need the time tested and proven American technology to serve the consumers from those reserves.

It seems that Gazprom set itself up by bullying the Ukraine and over charging the European Union for gas.  Its newest friend(s) are the leftists in America and if a little lucky – a government agency.  Don’t think for a second that the U.S. EPA’s effort won’t be followed with even more hysterics in Europe. The left in Europe is even less responsible than the Americans.

So get ready – one can fairly expect the old KGB techniques of dis information and mis information to get lots of new sounding out.  It won’t matter much that some five decades have seen fracking in the U.S. with no known human impact other than a low cost steady supply of natural gas.

What’s with America?  Develop a great thing and let extremists and alarmists wreck it?  How does a country get so that one of its government agency’s most closely allied friends is a foreign national petroleum company?

. . . Its little wonder foreign nationals have little respect for Americans . . .

Meanwhile, Poland lost its President in a horrific plane crash Saturday April 10th 2010 in Russia.  For which this writer sends along his condolences.  The crash cut a swath through Poland’s leadership. The 97 dead included the army chief of staff, the head of the National Security Office, the national bank president, the deputy foreign minister, the deputy parliament speaker, the civil rights commissioner and other members of parliament.

“A shiver of repulsion ran through a shocked Poland,” might say it best.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was careful to emphasize recent improvements in relations between Russia and Poland in an address shortly after the crash.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said in 2005, “Poland needs to reconsider its mistakes. But more than that, it needs a consensus based on truth.”

If Poland can hold that thought on truth it can best honor President Kaczynski and save both Americans and Europeans from themselves and help persuade Russia that relations based in the truth will be better for her as well.


The original post is created by: New Energy and Fuel

Windmills Power – New Alternative Energy Source

Have you ever been to Netherlands? It’s one of the most renowned countries for its windmills. Maybe you’ve seen windmills as Netherlands’ landmarks in books and travel magazine. The Netherlands’ government uses those windmills power to manage floodwaters in lower area in the country. It’s very urgent to use them as windpumps because Netherlands lies below sea level.

A windmill is actually a machine which driven by the power of the wind. It consists of blades or sails, which generate to convert the wind energy into other form of more useful energy such as electricity or power to pump water.

Back then in the middle ages Europe, windmills were used to mill or grind grain. This is where the original word of ‘mill’ derived.  It had a simple type of windmills consist of poles with blades. Centuries later, it turned into tower mills which took shape as windmills with tower in its based and a rotator on top of it. Tower mills known as ‘torenmolens’ in Dutch. It performed much better work than the previous windmills since it could farm even in a lower wind.

In the industrial revolution era, steam and engines replaced windmills. But for some countries windmills are preserved as antique machinery for their historic value. The original use of windmills nowadays is usually done in ranches in remote area that has less connection with latest technology.

The interesting part is that the world has changed when the prices of energy increases very high. People tend to go back to the use of windmills for the sake of saving their pocket and preserving the environment at the same time.

The necessity of less cost energy pushes companies to find effective way to create new source of energy. They went back to windmills and build ‘windfams’ as their alternative commercial energy for production. Now modern windmills equipped with turbines or generators to generate electricity. They can produce electricity up to 6 MW of power or similar to 500 – 1,300MW for conventional power plant.

Other type of windmill usage is a windpump. As it sounds, a windpump is used for pumping water from soil. It’s largely used in Africa and has a function to supply water for human and animals. Particularly in countries where lies above sea level, windpump is functioned to drain the land, as it did in Netherlands, some part in United Kingdom, and also in East Anglia.

A windmill has thermal and electric power output which produces by windmill’s blade rotation. They are mounted and connected to a speed increaser machine and compressor that moved by wind applied to the blades of the windmill itself. To produce electricity, a gas turbine generator should be connected to the compressor. A windmill can generate power or heat by adding impeller type of air brake and a valve and also a heat-sensitive control.

Here are the windmill power specifications for generating electricity:
1.It has a function as an electricity generator.
2.Minimum wind speed is 10 km/hr.
3.Maximum wind speed is 50 km/hr
4.Rotor specifications are: blade made of aluminum with 3 m in diameter, its framework made of bagel steel.
5.Body specifications are: tail model pointed to the top, frame work made of hollow steel.
6.Tower specifications are: 10 m in height, it has L stripe steel framework.
7.Generator specifications are: direct current electricity generator with power range from 1000 watts, 2000 watts, to 5000 watts.

Windmills, which use as alternative energy sources will play a great part in replacing fossil fuels power plants. It’s renewable and clean for the environment. It even helps us to create better climate in the future. Wind is free to get and produce no pollutions to earth, which can make our environment healthier for generations to come.

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The Super Sexy Swedish Electric Stunner

Perhaps you remember when Volvos looked like they were carved from wood by an axe while other manufacturers were going windswept and aerodynamic.  Then they finally switched to svelte a decade or so back and improved on that while others have moved on to muscular, angular and blocklike.  One wonders who is leading whom.

Volvo Cars is currently evaluating the viability of a fully battery-electric vehicle (BEV). This year, Volvo has built and internally testing a small number of prototype versions of a BEV version of its C30. In addition to focusing on performance and safety, much of the focus is on integration of the electric propulsion system with the rest of the car.

Volvo C30 BEV In Blue

Volvo C30 BEV In Blue

The electric Swedish stunner is built on the C30 hatchback and comes with all the safety, comfort and space we expect from Volvo.  The company already is working on a Volvo plug-in hybrid due in 2012, but seems to be building a city car with the C30.

Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles, said in a corporate statement, “The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power.  This car’s excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting.”

Volvo C30 BEV.  Click image for the largest view.

Volvo C30 BEV. Click image for the largest view.

Are we seeing the slow death of the SUV, minivan and others with a birth of a city car, over the road car and other more energy wise vehicle types?  Or are we just seeing a new car class being born?  The Volvo C30 is far more substantial than the Smart Car and other two seat city car contenders.

The C30 BEV is limited to a top speed of about 130 km/h (80 mph)—more than sufficient, Volvo says, for a city car application. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) will take less than 11 seconds. The car would have a range of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles)—longer than the distance 90% of all Europe’s motorists drive per day and surely covers a wide swath of U.S. motorists as well.

Volvo C30 BEV Instruments.  Click Image for the largest view.

Volvo C30 BEV Instruments. Click Image for the largest view.

Volvo’s battery choice for the C30 BEV is designed and developed in the U.S. by EnerDel, Inc., Ener1’s U.S. battery subsidiary. This adds to the recently announced collaboration with Volvo on the V70 model plug-in hybrid demonstration vehicles being road tested in Europe starting this fall, which are also using the EnerDel lithium-ion batteries.

Using EnerDel’s EV chemistry, hard carbon and mixed oxide in a lithium-ion battery pack, yields gross nominal power of 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and is said to be considering a 12 kWh pack.  The EnerDel battery set is custom-made and is a split battery pack.  With an energy content of more than 24 kWh nominal energy, Volvo plans that 22.7 kWh is used to power the car.

The electric traction motor is located under the hood, just like the engine in a conventional front wheel drive car. One of the priorities of the Volvo project is to find the optimal placing of the battery. Most likely it will be the prop shaft tunnel and where the fuel tank normally is located. These locations are within the car’s optimized crumple zone in the most common collision scenarios.

Volvo C30 Battery Layout. .

Volvo C30 Battery Layout. .

Recharging the C30’s EnerDel battery pack via a household supply at 230V, 16A would take about eight hours.  That’s a rate similar to a mid sized window air conditioner, meaning consumers would only need a 20 amp 240 volt outlet where parking overnight.

Volvo has already built a small number of the cars and begun testing. Volvo says the early testing has focused largely on integrating the electric drive train with the rest of the car.

Volvo always emphasizes its focus on safety, saying that if it chooses to introduce an entirely new type of electric car on the market, it will be just as safe as any other car bearing the Volvo badge. Volvo has been working to theoretically identify all the electrification-related safety scenarios in the stages before, during and after a collision. After careful study of these scenarios, the company’s engineers will create solutions for handling each and every situation identified, “guaranteeing that any future electric cars fully match Volvo’s safety standards in every respect.”  Considering the Volvo record, that is as sure a thing as can be credible.

Volvo plans the main electrification track over the coming decades will be plug-in hybrids. That track applies in particular to the company’s larger car models. The combination of an electric motor and combustion engine is a solution that probably has the greatest potential from both the technical and commercial viewpoints.  Plug-in hybrids offer long range, good environmental performance and at the same time limited dependence on expensive battery technology while cutting back on the fossil fuel demand.

From the three point seat belt invented at Volvo and licensed without charge to anyone world wide, to the research and development of the O2 sensor (called lamdasond) also made available at very low license rates to encourage development worldwide, Volvo is a major innovator in motor vehicles. Maybe those ax carved body designs were early visions of what’s to come, and they did come.

Volvo’s Paul Gustavsson, Director of Electrification Strategy at Volvo Cars said, “The consumer must feel that this battery electric car is attractive both to drive and own. In order to ensure this, we feel that electric cars will have to be as comfortable and safe and offer similar levels of performance as cars with other power sources. The learning from the C30 BEV project will help us to fulfill all these criteria and showcase Volvo’s determination to drive developments in the field of electrification.”

Volvo is currently owned and a division of sorts of the Ford Motor Company, the one last standing non-bankrupt U.S. automaker.  For all the storied past from Ford both good and bad, the current leadership have been excellent stewards.  Volvo is said to be available for sale, but the price must be very high.  It has to be, one would think, the Volvo status is the safest, sanest and efficient cars that are priced within reach of the U.S. and world middle class.  Volvo may be a small make, but its one of the major ones to watch.


The original post is created by: New Energy and Fuel

A Historical Perspective on Energy Prices and Economic Challenges

To understand current energy prices it may serve us to examine historical energy prices. Our theme is energy economics and specifically that energy prices follow the laws of supply and demand to set pricing.

There are some interesting perspectives on historical energy prices from several books including Security Analysis, 1940 edition by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, The Great Wave, by David Hackett Fischer; and The Industrial Revolution in World History, by Peter Stearns. These books provide extensive data on pricing, industry revenues, and the framework that energy and technology serve in the economics of the industrial world.

With the risk of oversimplification, our first figure shows there have been four distinct energy prices waves that have rippled through history. The scarcity of wood that was used for building homes, heating, and tools became increasing scarce as deforestation spread through Europe in the 1300s and followed again in the 1600’s. Coal prices rose rapidly with the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars. Oil prices peaked in 1982 and to an all time high of $145.16 on July 14, 2008.

Figure 1 Historical Energy Prices Energy Prices

Figure 2 Medieval Wood Prices Wood Prices

During the Medieval period in world history wood prices increased nearly threefold according to David Fischer in the The Great Wave. Wood prices rose with scarcity and peaked in 1320 as impact of the Bubonic Plague began to kill a quarter of Europe’s’ population. Twenty years from its peak in 1320, wood prices declined by 48% as the Bubonic Plague reduces the population and in turn, lowering the demand for wood.

Figure 3 Wood Prices Wood Prices

Figure 3. Illustrates the rapid rise in the demand for wood as the growing world populations benefited advances in science and agriculture from the Renaissance period. Wood is used for just about everything and prices climb as more land is used for agriculture leading to deforestation exacerbating the wood shortage. As demand for wood increases, prices subsequently follow. By the end of the 1600’s, coal begins to substitute for wood as an energy alternative.

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