The Energy Matrix
A Science Ebook e-zine  Fall 2008 Edition
 ( Winter 2007 SubWeb)

Nuclear Energy & HVDC

This e-zine will examine all alternative energy technology and new energy conservation systems.

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Water Falls

Two large ducts carry some of the water from this river to a generating plant near base of fall.  When the river is near flood stage most of the water goes over the fall and the energy is dissipated.  Some estimate that the United States is only exploiting a fraction of its potential hydro-electric 
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Elimination of the burning of Diesel and Propane for heating could result as part expanded Natural Gas Network.

Mr. Pickens and some natural gas suppliers have suggested that utilities stop burning natural gas and substitute green solar and wind power for electricity production.  The gas could then  be compressed and used to fuel trucks and cars.  Thank God someone with capital is developing a serious green energy policy.

Natural gas vehicles will require an expanded nationwide gas distribution system. The US already has an extensive natural gas pipeline.  One of my first memories from my childhood in New York City was that we got gas for our refrigerator and stove from a Texas pipeline. We used coal for hot water and heat.  My point is that the technology to ship gas long distances existed over sixty years ago.  So expanding the current pipeline grid to reach every corner of the country, so that their are no dead zones where natural gas powered vehicles will find themselves without gas, is possible.  However, the expansion of gas pipelines will be a major national project. 

I feel that the this expansion should should include service to those who are presently using diesel or propane to heat their homes.  This would free up diesel and propane for use by vehicles that already exist.  Many gas stations already provide propane service.



Cheap Oil, Oct.19,2008 

Bad news for clean alternative energy, Oil drops to about $70 a barrel. If your trying to sell or develop alternative energy, cheap oil is bad news, because it undercuts alternative products.
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Cogeneration growing. 

Central heating systems date back to the days of DC power generation in lower Manhattan during the Edison/Telsa Era. High Pressure Steam Plants provided steam
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Heat Storage 

Heat storage are an important  element of solar power systems.  Power plants that use concentrated solar heat to generate steam to drive turbine driven electric generators, require heat storage to maintain steady power output. See reference article, Click here Heat stored in super heated water can provide steam to meet sudden changes in load.   
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Index for all Editions


Combined Heat & Power (CHP) 

DC Power Grid

District Cooling

Ethanol Viability

Hybrid Cars

Ice made with Coal

Ice Energy Density versus Battery

Heat Storage


Nuclear Energy

Solar Heat Storage in CO2

Solar Heat Storage in Water

Storing Carbon Dioxide

Stoves - Corn Burning

Stoves - Wood Pellet Burning

Stoves - Coal Burning

Tar Sand Oil


Yucca Mountain










Nuclear Energy & HVDC (Continued)

makes it possible to transmit electricity for over a 1000 kilometers with far less energy losses than would be achieved with AC high voltage transmission lines.  Currently power is transmitted from Oregon state to southern California using HVDC transmission lines 1.3 kilometers long. Therefore, it would be possible to locate future nuclear power plants far from the cities that they serve. Thus, a worst case nuclear reactor melt down need not impact a large urban population.

 The cost of a few square meters of city property can exceed a square kilometer of  desert.  It would be feasible to provide the small population near these rural nuclear power plants with actual bomb shelters in there homes and schools.  Evacuation could be achieved without large traffic jams.  In short these installations would be insurable if claims were limited to actual losses and loss of life was capped at a couple of million bucks per person.  Loose of major cities would not be insurable. 

Nuclear Power Plants do not have to be near rivers.  Rivers provide an inexpensive way of cooling condensers.  Condensers can be cooled in many ways, even with ambient air. Diverting some water from river to power plant is possible.  It is done for irrigation purposes all the time.  Heated water could returned to river, used for irrigation or evaporated in cooling tower.  The point is at considerable cost power plants could be located away from rivers so that radiation from a catastrophe would not contaminate an entire river. 

The cost of long transmission lines, cooling canals (hydraulics), and insurance can be included in cost projections of nuclear power options.  Thus, we now can be either Pro-Nuke, Pro-nuke away from cities, or Anti-Nuke.  



Water is  frequently diverted from a river for irrigation. Cooling water could be diverted to a nuclear power plant for cooling purposes.  This makes it possible construct a plant a save distance from a river and still use the river for turbine condenser cooling.

Nuclear power plants away from cities could also be used to provide power for our Interstate Highway system.  Future electric cars will require battery charging.  This will require electrification of our high system. Present electrical grids could not meet power needs of our Interstate Highways if electric vehicles became the mainstay of future vehicle power. Electricity could also be used to produce hydrogen from water at fuel stations. 

Reference 1 (HVDC)    Reference 2 ( The Pacific Entertie)




Other Editions

Spring 2007 Ed.

  Summer 2007 Ed

  Fall 2007 Ed.

 Winter 2008 Ed.

  Spring 2008 Ed.

  Summer 2008 Ed



What is the Matrix?

I am beginning this e-zine with a list of alternative energy technologies. These will create the vertical axis of the matrix.  It will be become apparent that most of these technologies can be combined to form various energy systems. For example solar energy could be combined with heat storage technology, or it could be combined with battery technology. Thus must technologies must also be listed on a horizontal axis if all possible energy systems are to be included in the array.  The reason so many systems need to be defined and eventually computer modeled is so that only the best can be selected.  Eventually our energy department will have to calculate the best approach to deal with our future energy needs.

In the future we will consider questions such as "Is corn a better solar collector than silicon?"


Nuclear Energy and HVDC

The safety of nuclear energy is hotly contested in the US.  High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission will not effect nuclear plant safety.  It could make worst case scenario nuclear accidents economic impact less severe. HVDC 
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Practical Electric Cars  by 2010

By 2010,Japan will have electric cars  with 50 mile range and capability of being recharged in 15 minutes.  The cars will use lithium battery packs that will last 
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Last updated: January 24, 2012.