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Messages - rpg52

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General Discussion / Re: Peak Oil revisited
« on: July 04, 2008, 10:39:52 PM »

So, I wonder if views like this will become more common in North America?


Most of the rest of the world has been dealing with very expensive fuel for quite some time.  Maybe it is our turn?   :'(
At the very least, it would seem likely that giant 4wd trucks in grocery store parking lots will be much rarer than in the recent past.
Personally I think small cars will continue to be unsafe when the dominant part of traffic consists of SUV's.  Sure, you can still get hit by a truck or bus, but at least the drivers of buses and trucks have more stringent licensing requirements.  Any idiot can drive a Hummer if he has enough $.  My $0.02.   :)

General Discussion / Re: Peak Oil revisited
« on: July 04, 2008, 01:20:30 AM »
I wish I loved bear meat, I have one that ate my chickens 3 times last year.  Tried again this year, but I had reinforced the coop, shredded some plywood, but didn't get the chickens.  I guess I'm really just not hungry enough, also have 8 deer hanging around.  Am planning to try some acorns this fall though.  Maybe that will stimulate my appetite for venison.   Planted more flour corn this year, not sure if it is justified yet.  Still seem to be eating too much -

Beyond that, I did drag an old moped out of the shed and get it going again.  Supposed to get 170 mpg - comes out to less than $0.05/mile in fuel costs at ~$6/gallon.   Repairs and insurance will greatly exceed the cost of fuel.  Kind of hard to haul much but great for getting the mail.  The new reality of expensive gas has made me really think before I consider driving.  Maybe the way it should be.

General Discussion / Peak Oil revisited
« on: July 02, 2008, 11:49:37 PM »
Just read an interesting article in the June 28 issue of New Scientist on peak oil titled "Final Warning".  Learned a bit I didn't know before.  For example:  the International Energy Agency says that global oil consumption stands a 87 million barrels.  Previously, when demand was lower, producers could increase by 3 million barrels and damp down disruptions in supply.  No slack in system anymore.

"Oil has shaped our civilization.  Without crud oil you'd have no cars, no shipping, no planes," says Gideon Samid, had of the Innovation Appraisal Group at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  In addition there are plastics, "You'd see no plastics, no bags, no toys, no cases for TVs, computers or radios.  It's absolutely everywhere."

The secret of oil's success is its portability and extraordinarily high energy density.  On barrel of oil contains the energy equivalent of 46 US gallons of gasoline;  burn it and it will release more than 6 billion joules of heat energy, equivalent to the amount of energy expended by five agricultural laborers working 12-hour days non-stop for a year.

Twenty years ago there were 15 oilfields able to supply 1 million barrels a day, now there are only four.  The largest is the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia. 

There are a fleet of 4000 oil tankers, delivering 43 million barrels of oil per day.  There are "pinch points" through which the tankers have to travel, the most famous is the Strait of Hormuz, (between Iraq and Iran) through which 16,000 barrels travel per day.  Another is the Strait of Malacca, which 15,000 barrels travel daily.  One scenario is that terrorists hijack a liquid natural gas tanker, load it with explosives, and ram a oil tanker.  This could block a pinch point for months. 

In 2005, a simulation of an induced crisis was played out.  It was projected to start in Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of the US.  Stopping of 600,000 barrels was matched with a cold spell in the US, which increased demand by 700,000 barrels/day. Then an attack on a Saudi natural gas processing plant.  The projected price rise was estimated to $295/barrel, even though the scenario was thought to be "relatively mild", compared to what is actually possible. 

I don't know what any of this means, just interesting speculation at this point.   :o

Listeroid Engines / Re: Am I missing something?
« on: June 21, 2008, 01:39:20 AM »

Doug:  "Soviet and Chinese stuff for domestic consumption was produced as cheap as possible to wear a long time. In the command ecconomy there was no room planned obscolence this was simply to foolish and expensive."

For some reason this made me think immediately of my early '80's Troy-bilt rototiller.  I've seen it described as resembling a "Russian dump truck", and it does.  Heavy cast iron, built to be repaired.  Alas, the market didn't support Troy-bilt in the long run.  They still make stuff, but it seems like it is mostly disposable now. 

Another interesting evolution is a heavy mower, originally made by the Bachtold Brothers in the mid-west, then adopted by the DR company.  They promoted it for a while, then came out with their own line.  The original was made entirely of dimensional steel and bolts, with a minimum of manufactured parts.  DR has now replaced the original with its' own line, nearly entirely manufactured.  If you want parts, you have to buy from the factory.  Likely more versatile than the original, but much more expensive to repair. 

It is interesting that the command economy put the emphasis on cost and utility.  Western companies were (are?) forced to produce more crap that falls apart so you need to replace it.  Will the cost of fuel/shipping/manufacturing alter the dynamic if the economy built on cheap oil/cheap stuff is replaced by expensive oil?  I don't know the answer, but the next few years are going to be interesting.    :)

Listeroid Engines / Re: Lister trolley plans
« on: June 17, 2008, 03:14:47 PM »
"Standard" foundation bolt pattern is 330 x 330 mm, which is "about" 13 inches.  It varies with manufacturer and model though so you likely should have your machine in possession before welding up anything.  I had to move mine up a slope and had to use a tractor bucket with a lift from a bracket on the head bolts.  If yours is on the level, it may be easier.  A warning though, they are really top heavy, and want to fall over on their sides.  Careful!   :)

Listeroid Engines / Re: Am I missing something?
« on: June 15, 2008, 03:56:41 PM »
Hey Yoyo,
The great attraction of the listeroids is that they are relatively cheap for what you get - labor costs in India are inconsequential, due to non-existent worker safety standards and environmental laws.  (Pouring molten iron in flip-flops, w/o even eye protection?)  Where else can one get ~700# of cast iron for less than $1000 USD (FOB).  In return you get a design from 1930 - very dangerous, even if mounting/cooling designs are incorporated correctly.  As you point out, shipping is becoming a killer, diesel costs are going crazy, etc., etc.  Non-the-less, a relative bargain today.  Be warned however, they will rip your arm off and beat you to death with the bloody end of it if you slip up!  Similar, reliable, American-made engines (that need no initial clean up) can be had for somewhat less than $10,000, if you care to go that route.  Your choice.  Good luck!   :)

The other consideration is guessing what you might be using in the future.  If you are pretty sure you will NEVER have occasion to use 220, no sense creating the possibility for it.  The other issue is that you can use much smaller wires to run the same load at 220 than at 110.  If every thing is short runs and and you will never need 220 then there is no reason to allow for it.

(It might be worthwhile to ask around about running well pumps on 220 vs. 110.  A lot of deep well pumps require 220, and the pump would be a balanced load, using both legs of 110.  Changing it later will cost you.)  I hope a real electrician chimes in, I'm just a hack and admit it.  Good luck,

I put a rad from a '80's Volvo I had around.  It worked well and already had a burp tank, but wasn't enough in hot weather without a fan.  I've added a fan, but haven't yet tested it.

General Discussion / Re: Heart of Coal
« on: May 16, 2008, 09:22:01 PM »

I'd just point out that your needs are greatly dependent on the climate you live in.  I've spent my last 55 years in California, now in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  The winter minimums are as low as 10 F (-5 C?), but the sun shines ~300 days a year.  Unfortunately, the population growth has been pretty hard on the state over my lifetime.  Fortunately, many of the newcomers live down in the LA area, and only have a remote effect on those of us living in the north.

I've had solar hot water for ~20+ years, even with a couple fridges and and freezer my elec. bill lately has been closer to $30 than to $40 USD.  Even my wood stove has a water jacket in it, when the stove gets hot enough, my water heater is pumped full of hot water.  Burn about 2 cords+ per winter (that I cut myself), have a passive solar home, with attached greenhouse. 

I filled my 280 gallon propane tank a couple years ago, still almost 1/2 full.  I have too many old vehicles, but they are all paid for, and try not to use them except when necessary.  Yeah fuel is expensive, but maybe this will finally convince us all that oil, coal, gas sources of fossil fuel were formed over 300 million years ago, are pretty rare, have a lot of pollution impacts, and we really shouldn't waste them.

Having said that, those of you living where there are coal sources nearby, the amount you burn, and the associated pollutants released are probably really irrelevant in the over all scheme of things.  The problem is all the other components of our power systems. 

If we would stop doing silly things like shipping products that are mainly water over thousands of miles so that various forms of sweetened, carbonated water is a $0.05 cheaper, (Buy it by the case at your nearest box store!)
The diesel (and gas) burned moving silly stuff around our country is just astounding.  (I don't mean to particularly pick on Diet Pepsi, or what ever your particular favorite is, but we really should pay for the consequences of burning fossil fuel to get cheap stuff.) 

We've had a glut of cheap stuff lately, (How much plastic crap can you afford anyway?), now we need to decide what is really important to us, and only buy that.  I personally own a Listeroid, but haven't had occasion to use it lately.  Trying to get an engine shed built for shelter, but that's another story.  Yeah, I know, lots of people are going to get hurt economically, and change is always painful.  Sorry, you all, but what can you do?

The issue really is, if we stop wasting the enormous amounts of fossil fuels, burning a bit of coal, especially in an efficient way will have a negligible effect on greenhouse gases.  The change in fossil fuel use that is emerging from the "crisis" that we are undergoing  is/will change the way our economy operates.  How it will turn out is yet to be seen. 

Not to start a fuss, but though we got adequate snow/rain fall this year, we just had the driest March and April on record, it has turned hot, dry and windy -- fires are going to be a problem this year.  IMHO, the climate is really changing fast, whether fossil fuel is the culprit, I really don't know.  I know some of you may be drowning in rain, or freezing cold, but that is one of the characteristics of climate change, it is, well, changeable.  What are the major downsides of weaning our economies from fossil fuels?  Don't know the answer, but I think we are going to find out.
Try to find a reason to smile today.  It's really good for you!


Listeroid Engines / Re: Lovson - Power Anand Divorce!
« on: March 30, 2008, 05:19:52 PM »
I've never had to worry about hurricanes or tornadoes.  Earthquakes and wildfire are what keeps me concerned.  There just isn't any safe place!   ;D

Listeroid Engines / Re: URRRHHHH Air leak in the fuel system
« on: March 30, 2008, 05:15:28 PM »
It is fuel leaking out - it appears to be coming from between the seal of the spin on filter and the housing.  It would seem to either be a bad seal on the spin-on or a flaw in the housing.  When last I worked on it, my frustration peaked and I decided to leave it alone for a while before I took a large hammer to it.  Almost ready to examine it again and figure out where the problem is.  Plus, Spring is coming, things always look better when there is warmth and light.

Listeroid Engines / Re: URRRHHHH Air leak in the fuel system
« on: March 30, 2008, 12:02:57 AM »
I replaced my listeroid fuel filter with one from Detroit Diesel with a spin-on filter.  I still!!! have a leak somewhere.  It seems to be around the filter, but so far I refuse to believe the gasket on the bottom of the filter is leaking.  >:(

Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: ADMIN: "Original" vs. Origional
« on: February 03, 2008, 08:21:28 PM »
Never seen it spelled that way except here.  Only reference I could find is below.   ;)


Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: ADMIN: "Original" vs. Origional
« on: February 03, 2008, 12:58:34 AM »
Thanks Andrew!   ;D

Like I said Dug, mis-spelling in posts is not a problem.

General Discussion / Re: Whats your other obsessions/hobbies?
« on: February 02, 2008, 05:37:43 PM »
Gardening, food, landscape management, old equipment, beer making, wood working/construction, biking, canoeing, x-co skiing, low impact living.  Am finally parting with my '65 VW bug, tired of being greasy and working outside in the dirt.  Trying to learn how to play an upright bass.  Being a pain in the ass to local politicians has been a vocation for decades.   ;) 
I do all  of these things, none of them well.

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