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Or the converse, when solar , and such becomes cheaper for the masses and dosen't rely on fossil fules then we will have a new energy source. Unfortunately, nuclear is out , but is the most efficient so far. Nothing has come close. Wind is next to useless at the moment, no longevity, not making enough power , peices that aren't recycleable. Solar , as proved in California dosent work in high demand and at night. Battery storage power, while getting better, is large, costly, and also non recyclable. Water disrupts too many things environmentally and for drinking. So, going back to sci fi writing of the 1960s , untill you get a power source that is cheap, readily avaliable and dosen't cause future problems, were stuck with what we got. You also have to not rush into stuff you don't know long term effects of. We, as humans, cause more damages fixing crap that should have just be left as is. I agree, fossil fules are a thing of the past, but that isnt in my lifetime, and isnt near where it needs to be yet.
It's a catch-22 scenario. I agree that we will not see some other form of energy, on any kind of large scale, in our lifetimes. However, like so many other things that have eclipsed their former rival, some new form of energy will only take hold when it is cost effective for the consumer.

ScenicsRme's statements are enlightening and educational. I never thought about nuclear power plants that way. But if I think about the plant at Limerick, Pa, the money that went into building it would allow you and me to live like billionaires. Some of my co-workers worked on the building of the plant. The stories they used to tell me about methods and materials they worked with would bankrupt any normal construction site. I agree with sjm9911 about nuclear power. While efficient my not be the correct term, I do believe it puts out the most energy of any type of fuel, fossil or renewable.
 

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Assuming same engines but one burns coal and other oil, who has the hotter fiirebox? I realize that coal type, how coal is spread, drafting etc is a factor. I was curious if there has been studies that say one way or other. AND which gives more miles per load (more bang for the bucks)?
Yes I know apples and oranges.
There are quite a few examples of the same class of steam locomotive burning different fuels, UP’s Challengers and FEF’s spring to mind. Clearly the same overall heat is needed to produce the same amount of steam, however there are differences in how the two different fuels burn. Coal will be evenly distributed across the entire grate whereas the oil burner produces it‘s heat in a much smaller but more intensely concentrated area. The actual calorific value for a pound of oil is higher than for a pound of coal. Fuel choice was determined by cost and availability. One thing I can say with certainty is that a coal burner smells much nicer than an oil burner!
 

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REMEMBER THREE MILE ISLAND....
I remember it well. We had no clue, at the time, how disasterous it could have been. Three Mile Island is about a hundred miles from us here in South eastern Pa., and even though we were glued to the news, I don't think it really sank in until many years later.
 

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Sorry to burst any bubbles, but 100% wind and solar are an unattainable dream…..when there is no wind, and the sun doesn’t shine, we will have to rely on the natural gas and coal fired back-up systems, which will need to be built regardless, as we cannot rely on wind and solar to work 100% of the time….probably more like 50%….and of course, wind mills and solar panels don’t last forever, and will have to be disposed of when they are done, where and how does that happen?

So we will need to double the energy producing sources, because no one will want to go without life sustaining energy…..a vicious circle…..
 

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I believe that someday, wind, water & sun will all be harnessed on massive scales to split water into Oxygen and Hydrogen using simple hydrolysis. Then those 2 simple elements will be turned back into water as the hydrogen is burned for energy consumption. Today, that process isn't in place, mostly because it's easier to just burn fossil fuels like man has been doing for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

A lot of people say that hydrogen isn't a viable fuel alternative. I call BS on that. Number 1, Hydrogen is the most abundant element in our solar system. Number 2, there has never been much demand for Hydrogen, as it's a gas which is harder to store and distribute than a liquid. The lack of demand has kept development in the "maybe later" category. Number 3, the people telling us Hydrogen isn't a viable alternative are saying that because they currently make a boat load of money producing petroleum based fuels, and have more boat loads of money invested in harvesting more fossil fuels tomorrow.

Mark my words (although not many of us will still be around by then), Hydrogen will be the fuel of the future, and it will be produced, distributed and used at a fraction of the economic costs we see today. Moreover, the climate impact is minimal, other than the geographic footprint of the hydrolysis processing plants.

I also believe that, so long as mankind doesn't blast itself to death in some stupid war, we will eventually have these hydrolysis plants on nearby planets like Mars, to produce fuels to support Intra-Solar system space travel.
 

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There are quite a few examples of the same class of steam locomotive burning different fuels, UP’s Challengers and FEF’s spring to mind. Clearly the same overall heat is needed to produce the same amount of steam, however there are differences in how the two different fuels burn. Coal will be evenly distributed across the entire grate whereas the oil burner produces it‘s heat in a much smaller but more intensely concentrated area. The actual calorific value for a pound of oil is higher than for a pound of coal. Fuel choice was determined by cost and availability. One thing I can say with certainty is that a coal burner smells much nicer than an oil burner!
One of the other differences between the fuels is how quickly they produce the heat needed. If you are going to need more steam, you need to prepare the coal fire in advance. it takes time for the extra coal to start burning and producing the needed heat. If you use oil or gas, it starts producing the extra heat as soon as the supply is increased.

I have never tried it, but I understand that operating a coal or wood fired steam locomotive takes a lot more skill than operating the same locomotive with oil or gas fuel.
 

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Anti-gravitational propulsion…..until we have that, we will always be dependant on some un-renewable and expensive energy source…..after all, the energy we use and need is used to propel us against gravity, so….
 

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I just read through this list. Some of you have great points and some not so great. But it all reminds me of the history we should be aware of. No one likes change. Period. For good or not so good no one likes it. As model RR er's a great number of us like steam locos. But go back and see what the guys and gals had to say about thoses iron horses. Then how about automobiles. They scared all of the horses so they were no good and wouldn't last. I'm from a steel town. When I was a kid I could wash my car at 10 am and then needed to wash it again before going out on a date due to the pollutants they were on it in eight hours. I was worried about my car not my lungs, because I / we didn't know better. So we got the EPA to fix that and "Scrubbing" those furnaces at the mills lead to the steel companies investing in new mills in Japan and closing the mills in NE Ohio. Car pollution was next and that 98 Olds that got 8 miles per gallon was replaced by cars that get 20 mpg. But the car companies had to be forced into to it. Automatic transmissions would never last, nor would Power Steering, A/C, windshield washers, disc brakes etc. But you can't buy a car without them now.

The point being Electric cars and trucks are here to stay kids. Chevy claims 400 miles on their new pickup. Florida Power and Light is running ads that we will have special rates for home night time charging. FPL has solar farms and yse they do generate when it is cloudy, just not as much. Come on down to FL and lay on the beach on a cloudy day. You will still burn if you don't use sunscreen. Clouds don't stop the panel from working just slow them down.
 

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400 miles is ok... Until you need to go 450. Until you can fully charge the battery, or swap them for charged ones, within 10-15 minutes, the ICE will remain king of the hill with plug-in EVs relegated to commuter status.
 

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I don't disagree that is a hold back for some but the newest battery tech seems to say they can recharge in less than 10 minutes up to 90%. If that is true then pull into WaWa, plug in go to the head and come out, unplug and you have 300+ miles more of charge. That is enough until the next pit stop for your bladder. And make no mistake WaWa and others are going to have charge stations. We have several restaurants here in South FL that have charge stations as well as a lot of the hotels.
In 1935 my grandfather opened a gas station on the East Side of town. There wasn't another for at least five mile in any direction until several years later.
 

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I believe that someday, wind, water & sun will all be harnessed on massive scales to split water into Oxygen and Hydrogen using simple hydrolysis. Then those 2 simple elements will be turned back into water as the hydrogen is burned for energy consumption. Today, that process isn't in place, mostly because it's easier to just burn fossil fuels like man has been doing for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

A lot of people say that hydrogen isn't a viable fuel alternative. I call BS on that. Number 1, Hydrogen is the most abundant element in our solar system. Number 2, there has never been much demand for Hydrogen, as it's a gas which is harder to store and distribute than a liquid. The lack of demand has kept development in the "maybe later" category. Number 3, the people telling us Hydrogen isn't a viable alternative are saying that because they currently make a boat load of money producing petroleum based fuels, and have more boat loads of money invested in harvesting more fossil fuels tomorrow.

Mark my words (although not many of us will still be around by then), Hydrogen will be the fuel of the future, and it will be produced, distributed and used at a fraction of the economic costs we see today. Moreover, the climate impact is minimal, other than the geographic footprint of the hydrolysis processing plants.

I also believe that, so long as mankind doesn't blast itself to death in some stupid war, we will eventually have these hydrolysis plants on nearby planets like Mars, to produce fuels to support Intra-Solar system space travel.
Interesting comments on hydrogen. CP Rail is already working on it!
Ballard Fuel Cells To Power CP Hydrogen Locomotive Program (fuelcellsworks.com)
 

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Unfortunately, the newest tec , isnt installed anyware yet. And charging stations verry across the brands. So, 10 mins isnt going to be the norm. Maybe a hour or so if you find and have a tesla supercharger. Plus the infastruture isnt there for the voltage needed. So, that needs to be fixed first. Then where do you get the power? Lol. In florida, you say you get sun during the day. But most will charge at night. So, there is also no infastruture for that in place. Look at california, you cant even run the ac at night when its hot. Now you want to charge cars. They also had to postpone taking natural gas electric plants off line, they cant keep up with the people now. Thats without everyone having an electric car. Then, you need to get into towing and such, that degrade the millage by 2/3 rds. And the 20 percent redution in batter power when its cold out, so not a problem in florida, but up north it is. So, not there yet, or anytime soon.
 

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Yes, it's only a matter of time before the batteries catch up to demand.

Right now, they charge in hours instead of minutes... Lose efficiency when it's cold, lose efficiency with age, cost an arm and a leg to replace, and there isn't a good recycling infrastructure. Some of these new wonder-batteries just catch fire without warning, as has been seen with cell phones and cars.

Yes, those can be addressed with time. And while those are being addressed, the world will probably come to the conclusion that going electric may help some environmental issues, but likely will create or exacerbate others.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti change. Change is inevitable... except from vending machines. :geek:
 

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We create our own problums mostly. Lol. We will see what the strip mining for materials, and the cost of all the burned battery packs and solar panels does to the world. 100 years from now, if were still around, they will be thinking of the next great thing to stave off the electric car problums that will be killing the world! Lol. And the cycle will go on, maybe.......
 

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If they can give “special rates” just for charging cars, then the normal rate they are charging us for essential, life sustaining power use must be too high….


Hmmm….
 

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Alstom, a world leader in green and smart mobility, has been developing a portfolio of zero-emission mobility solutions for several years and has launched an ambitious battery and hydrogen innovation program. Alstom has been working since 2013 on the launch of a regional train equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The first two 100% H2 iLint trains entered commercial service in 2018 in Germany and, to date, 41 trainsets have been ordered by two German states and successful trials have taken place in Austria, in the Netherlands, in Sweden and now in France. In Italy, the operator FNM confirmed an order for 14 hydrogen-powered trains at the end of 2020. This year, France also joined the circle of “founding countries” with an order from SNCF for 12 Coradia Polyvalent dual-mode trains (electric/catenary and hydrogen/fuel cell traction) for four French regions (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie).

Alstom Hydrogen Train



 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
We have solar panels on roof, our monthly electric bill has been cut to 1/3 or less. What power we don't use is banked by utility against winter time with less sun.
We plug in our Prius Prime hybrid every time so solar charges batteries, even during cloudy days. Since we drive less than 20-25 miles a day on a full charge, Prius uses only battery power, little or no gas.
I calculated that if gas ever drops below about $2 gallon, I can push a button and Prius will run on gas only, because electricity will now be expensive. But in our area we are $4+ now, so will be a long wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Alstom, a world leader in green and smart mobility, has been developing a portfolio of zero-emission mobility solutions for several years and has launched an ambitious battery and hydrogen innovation program. Alstom has been working since 2013 on the launch of a regional train equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The first two 100% H2 iLint trains entered commercial service in 2018 in Germany and, to date, 41 trainsets have been ordered by two German states and successful trials have taken place in Austria, in the Netherlands, in Sweden and now in France. In Italy, the operator FNM confirmed an order for 14 hydrogen-powered trains at the end of 2020. This year, France also joined the circle of “founding countries” with an order from SNCF for 12 Coradia Polyvalent dual-mode trains (electric/catenary and hydrogen/fuel cell traction) for four French regions (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie).

Alstom Hydrogen Train



Why oh why if the US is supposed to be a first world leader, are we so far behind others in transportation technology? Basically politics to build roads, baby, build. Others have light rails to get from A to Z while we do endless feasibility studies then when everything is in place a monkey wrench is thrown in (system must use only turbine and solar no utility yada yada.) Then back we go to, should a new power plant be gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind to power system, and back to square one we go.
My, how far afield this thread has gone from my original inquiry of which gives best steamer bang for the buck.
 
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