Sunny Thoughts

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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Gary Charpentier wrote:... Is

Gary Charpentier wrote:
... Is there some kind of production going on then?

I thought I'd made that pretty clear with things like:-

        "My computers provide a 24/7 continuous consumption which you can see in the previous images."

Just to make it even more clear, I've been retired for quite a while now and had developed an interest in various DC projects not long before I retired.  I had started in a modest way with Seti Classic several years earlier and around the time of the transition to BOINC, had become disillusioned with Seti over the revelations about the 'sending out of already processed data multiple times to keep the angry mob happy' type of behaviour that had been going on in Classic.

I decided to try Einstein and was very impressed with the way Bruce was running the show and with the prospects of future scientific discoveries that should follow.  I'm usually not that good with crystal ball gazing but I'm very happy with that particular decision more than 12 years ago.  I've been retired around 8 years or so and am in a position where I can quite afford whatever I choose to do.   I have chosen to run a 'farm' (around 90 machines) to support this project.  I own all the equipment, have a lot of fun maintaining it, and pay for all consumables :-).

So, yes, I guess you could say there's some sort of production going on :-).

I own the premises where the computers are housed - one unit at the western end of a large complex of 7 units.   The site image is basically my unit but it also covers some of the roof of the next unit.  The boundary is about a meter or so to the east of the solar panels.  You can actually see a faint line on the roof with a clearer line on the southern awning.  My tenancy is a small area on the ground floor at the northern end of the site and below the 'eastern' group of panels.  A second tenancy is also on the ground floor under the full 'western' group of panels.  The third and main tenancy is a commercial real estate business which occupies part of the ground floor to the south of me, the complete first floor of the whole unit and a partial mezzanine floor above that.  There would be about 20 people in total in those three tenancies on any given working day.

Quote:
I suspect you could save a lot of money with some timers to shut a bunch things, er lights, off when the place is empty.

Apart from obligatory low power safety lighting, there are no banks of lights running outside hours.  Observant punters may have noticed the change in the overnight 'farm' load between May and July.  Last December, a massive summer electrical storm took out the power for several hours in the evening. A lot of damage was caused - motherboards, PSUs, the odd graphics card, etc.  It took me quite a while to get the most productive machines back into production.  I stopped when there were about 65 running.  That was the stage when the solar installation was done.  After that settled down, I've put most of the remainder back on in the last few weeks.  The farm load has gone from about 14kW to 17kW as a result.

Virtually all machines in the farm have a crunching graphics card.  About 5 have dual graphics cards.  Part of the base load is due to 3 separate fridge/freezer combinations and a hot water system that are always on.  Some non-crunching office computers also run overnight.  Ignoring all that and attributing all the 17kW to my 90 machines gives an average consumption of 189W per machine.  I think that's a pretty decent figure considering the output produced.

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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That difference in selling

That difference in selling for 10 and buying for 30 will be the cost for transport and taxes on energy? If the majority would go off grid, then this tax on energy would no longer be paid causing other taxes to be increased. My point was that for determining if some system is worth is, in an ideal world you'd compare the price to be able to go off-grid to the tax-free price of energy. That would increase a pay back term some more. For a business likely still worth it but not so much for home owners I guess.

Chris S
Chris S
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In the UK solar panels cost

In the UK solar panels cost in for businesses because they can offset the cost against taxes as allowable operating costs. They generally do not cost in for home use with an average 18 year payback. Plus also we get fairly little sun in the UK, although the newer panels still produce power in non sunlit conditions.

 

Waiting for Godot & salvation :-)

Why do doctors have to practice?
You'd think they'd have got it right by now

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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Mike Hewson wrote:This is

Mike Hewson wrote:
This is hard core .... :-)))

Really?!?!  Are you sure about that :-).  I would never have guessed :-).

Quote:
... 100+ kWh per day could be either ( approx ) $30 of electricity not purchased ...

About the same up here.  Close to $11,000 for a full year, without accounting for increased production during summer.  The total installed cost of the system was $36,000.  Selling back to the grid is pretty unpalatable.  Better to work out ways of using it or storing it if possible.

Quote:
... so typically about 1/4 to 1/3 of needs.

Yes.  Around 1/4 at the moment but perhaps 1/3 or so in summer.  Obviously, the consumption for office aircon will go up a lot in summer.

I don't intend to export anything if I can avoid it and storing it isn't economically viable as yet.  I'm working on a new version of my control script which will be able to pause/resume individual hosts at will.  If I add more hosts to consume the daytime power in summer and pause everything for a sufficient period overnight, I reckon I could shift the production/consumption ratio much higher than the current 1/4 to something around 1/2 or even higher - maybe :-).  Dreaming up schemes like this and then working out the code to achieve it is a lot of fun :-).

Sometime in the future when my script is ready, I'll run a few tests to work out the base load with everything paused.  That should allow me to work out how long to pause at night to achieve ratios between 1/2 and 2/3.

 

I understand the constraints of your location in rural Victoria.  Clouds are my only real obstacle.  There are no trees or terrain to contend with.  The relative closeness of the tropic of Capricorn to Brisbane bodes well for summer production.

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Gary Roberts wrote:Sometime

Gary Roberts wrote:
Sometime in the future when my script is ready, I'll run a few tests to work out the base load with everything paused.  That should allow me to work out how long to pause at night to achieve ratios between 1/2 and 2/3.

But then that is going to cost you a lot of production time for your hardware. How will you compensate for that? Getting a lot more hardware that can give you the same performance when only running during daytime?

 

Storing that amount of energy would not be easily viable, the risk of something gong wrong and the whole place catching fire. That would probably be a spectacular fire worth watching though.

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Tesla was awarded the

Tesla was awarded the contract for the energy storage component of South Australia's grid. It could store 100 MW/129 MWh .... despite being the largest lithium ion device of it's type some think it is not enough. Patience ! Personally I'm waiting for Rent-A-Riot to turn up & complain that light from the star Vega is being adversely deflected by this project .... :-))))

{ My only problem is ".... the South Australian Government as a leader in renewable energy ...." should be leavened with ".... the government most likely to bot energy when their failed infrastructure fails even more .... ". Mind you they paid a premium to buy from more reliable sources. Storage is the key to intermittent generation and so this grid storage should service their state far better. But it is true that everyone is watching to see how they go. }

In Victoria the idea is to expand the present usage of stored water 'batteries' ie. daytime generation excess ( solar, wind ) pumps water up hill to existing dams at hydro schemes. You run the water down into the turbines at night. However what was left out of the announcement was : where does the extra uphill water storage volume come from ? This neatly sidesteps the inevitable discussion about further dams ( or expansion of existing ) in and around high country national parks etc. The time frame for this proposition has been kicked well down the road from the present government's reign, and the next one too. So really it's just a pleasant sounding ( & knee jerky ) press release which rather explains why it only took eight days to invent it. No substance.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter ...

... and my other CPU is a Ryzen 5950X :-) Blaise Pascal

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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Mike Hewson wrote:In Victoria

Mike Hewson wrote:
In Victoria the idea is to expand the present usage of stored water 'batteries' ie. daytime generation excess ( solar, wind ) pumps water up hill to existing dams at hydro schemes. You run the water down into the turbines at night. However what was left out of the announcement was : where does the extra uphill water storage volume come from ?

I don't think elevated storage should be too much of an issue.  After all, if the hicks in Queensland can do it, surely Victoria can :-).

Just west of Brisbane, we've had such a system that has been working for more than 30 years.  It's called the Wivenhoe Power Station.

In the aftermath of the quite disastrous 1974 flood in the Brisbane river, a decision was made to construct a huge dam (Wivenhoe dam) across the upper reaches of the river to act as a flood buffer and also to 'drought proof' the whole SE Qld region into the future.  As a side project, a quite small dam (Splityard creek dam) was constructed on a tributary to the river at a point close to the main dam but about 90m above it.  The surface area of that small dam is only 120 hectares when full.  It stores 23,300 megalitres which is capable of generating 5,000 megawatt hours of electricity.  This map puts the two dams into perspective.

The '74 flood (a supposedly one in 100 year event) affected so many people who wanted a permanent solution and quickly.  There was very little opposition to the land resumptions from landholders and no environmental outcry as I remember it.  It proved very useful later on when a multi-year drought saw Brisbane in danger of running out of water.  The dam, despite its huge capacity, got down to less than 15% (as I remember it) before the rains came.  There was another major flood in 2011, and stuff-ups with dam management, but despite that, the dam did lower the peak of the flood quite considerably and a lot of people who suffered in '74 did escape this time.

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Chris S
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Personally I'm waiting for

Personally I'm waiting for Rent-A-Riot to turn up & complain that light from the star Vega is being adversely deflected by this project .... :-))))

I think the advance guard are practising here already as the Rent-A-Mob expeditionary force :-))

In Victoria the idea is to expand the present usage of stored water 'batteries' ie. daytime generation excess ( solar, wind ) pumps water up hill to existing dams at hydro schemes. You run the water down into the turbines at night. However what was left out of the announcement was : where does the extra uphill water storage volume come from ?

Well surely you only pump up as much as you need to fill the existing storage volume? if extra capacity is needed then Tesla has the Powerwall and the UK has the Powervault, but the technology can be developed further for large scale operations.

The principle is older of course, We had the white meters and storage radiators many decades ago, before they became unfashionable. The idea was that you heated the internal fire bricks during the night on a low tariff so that they could be used as cheap heat during the daytime high charge period.

Waiting for Godot & salvation :-)

Why do doctors have to practice?
You'd think they'd have got it right by now

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Ah. You have both

Ah. You have both perceptively analysed the matter ! :-)

The bit I left out was the proposed location : the existing Snowy Mountains Scheme on the border b/w Victoria and New South Wales ( the eastern side furthest away from South Australia ). The vision was a Federal one. Depending on which projection of the concept you want to go with lies the rub about capacity. Especially whether you want to provide for one, two or three states. So we are at the 'feasibility study' stage, the minimal case is to dig a few more tunnels. Allegedly that raises total capacity another 50% but I haven't seen the detail that elides that. But you still need excess electricity generation by some other method to pump the water up to fill that capacity, for any of this to make practical sense. Assuming you believe in conservation of energy that is, and will discard perpetual motion designs ..... but you never know, maybe the study's authors might pass on some basic physics to its readership. Can't rule it out. :-) 

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter ...

... and my other CPU is a Ryzen 5950X :-) Blaise Pascal

Chris S
Chris S
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You little perisher, you beat

You little perisher, you beat me to it!!

In physics, the law of conservation of energy (Julius Robert Mayer 1842) states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. For instance, chemical energy can be converted to kinetic energy in the explosion of a stick of dynamite. In technical terms, conservation of energy can be rigorously proven by the Noether theorem to be a direct consequence of continuous time translation symmetry.

But are there any losses in these transformations? What does human nervous energy transform into?

A consequence of the law of conservation of energy is that a perpetual motion machine of the first kind cannot exist. That is to say, no system without an external energy supply can deliver an unlimited amount of energy to its surroundings. For equations of motion which do not have time translation symmetry, the conservation of energy may not be able to be defined. Examples include curved spacetimes in general relativity or time crystals in condensed matter physics.

If we had perpetual motion machines we wouldn't need engineers to service and maintain them would we? You can just see the headlines in the Sun "Science breakthrough causes redundancies!" And remember this, we are all talking about free solar power from the sun. But that will run out one day. In approximately 5 billion years, the sun will begin the helium-burning process, turning  into a red giant star. When it expands, its outer layers will consume Mercury and Venus, and reach Earth. Then core will continue to collapse in on itself and it will end its life as a compact white dwarf.

Unless of course Mr Einstein was wrong all along and we can develop FTL travel to escape our solar system and galaxy. Oooops, no surely not?? Sacrilege!!

 

Waiting for Godot & salvation :-)

Why do doctors have to practice?
You'd think they'd have got it right by now

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