The Energy Matrix
A Science Ebook e-zine
Winter 200
8 Edition  
List of all editions

Perfect Storm

The energy matrix examines the full spectrum of future energy sources and associated problems.  It is meant to be a thought provoking publication for students who will be our future technocrats, engineers, and physicists.  We will include concepts such as solar, DG, CHP and concepts that are not practical today such as ice engines.  Send Comments to



Many Homes are already wired for a future portable Solar Collector. (2-24-08)

The panel at the right is used to interface a generator to a home electrical  system. The purpose of this article is to point out that future solar systems really don't require custom design, permits, or special meters for selling power back to utility. A portable modular system that has been inspected at the factory can simply be plugged into the switch box.  The switch box requires a permit and inspection as does any electrical home installation.  This article analyses the cost of a portable or modular solar systems for homes that have  already got legally installed and inspected switch boxes for portable generators.

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Natural Gas could be price competitive with coal.

Per DOE/EIA in fiscal year 2007 utilities coal cost was $1.80 per MMBtu and Natural Gas cost $7.50. per Million.

Natural Gas is ideal for cogeneration purposes.  Gas turbines convert about 33% of the million Btu's $7.50 worth of gas to electricity. About 10% (100,000 Btu) regrettably goes out the chimney. The remaining 57% of the energy can be used for hot water and heating at the building cogeneration site.  Thus, 90% of the million Btu's from natural gas is captured as either electricity or heat.  Coal is still a little cheaper than gas, but the coal has to be fluidized before it can be used in blast furnace.  Two thirds of coals energy is frequently dumped into a river from turbine condensers causing thermal river pollution.   


Feb.1 2008

Today, I took an Poll that asked how people felt about Exxon's record profits.  The results at the time that I took poll were: 

Good for them  11%

It bothers me 86%

Don't Care 3%

The results surprised me, because it was the people and their representatives, not Exxon or the Auto makers who created the perfect storm for the petroleum industry.
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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

Substituting Coal for Diesel

Compact Fluorescent Lights
















Perfect Storm for Oil Producers

Tariff on Ethanol

The Automobile Manufactures production of flex-fuel cars has outpaced availability of ethanol flex-fuel. The east coast of the United States has few gas stations that sell flex-fuel.  Ethanol cannot be transported by pipe lines.  Trucking the fuel from the mid-west to the east coast is costly and uses lots of real diesel fuel.  Ethanol could be transported by ship from Brazil to the east coast of the United States. The US congress has put a high tariff on ethanol.  The reason given is that the US wants to develop a ethanol from switchgrass industry.  This technology is still in the development stage.  It does not make sense to protect an industry that does not exist yet.    

No High Tax or Tariff on Petroleum 

The people and congress have rejected the idea of increasing the tax on gasoline and diesel.  Most congressman appear to favor much lower gasoline prices, and are not committed to sustaining high prices for petroleum using taxation in the event that petroleum price fall drastically due to recession.  Low petroleum prices could destroy the bio-fuel industry that is developing. The  US should commit to keeping petroleum prices high by taxation or by purchasing as much oil for the Strategic Oil Reserve as required to support price of petroleum, and prevent the ruin of the Bio- fuel industry.

United States Tax Rates


Delaying Radioactive Waste Storage 

Storage of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain is being put on hold, and now it seems that next president of the United States may decide to abandon the project.  You may ask what has hindering the development of Nuclear Power have to do with the price of oil. The answer is future electric cars will require electricity to run.  If  there is a shortage of electricity people will continue to use gasoline cars rather than electric or tri-brid cars ( hybrids that can be plugged in at night to recharge batteries.)  We also produce some electricity from diesel and natural gas.  Natural gas is the best source of hydrogen for future fuel cell cars.  Spending billions on a storage location for radioactive waste and than deciding not to finish it constitutes gross waste.  I realize that there is controversy about this issue; however, I hope that everyone agrees that building storage site or a nuclear power plant and than tearing it down is stupid.  In Washington state we built five nuclear power plants and demolished them before they were complete.  They also demolished the King Dome stadium, before it was paid for. There was also a push on to start tearing down dams to increase the salmon population.  Seattle also started a Monorail project and than scraped it before any ground braking occurred.  Currently Seattle is deciding which elementary schools need closing.  The process is very democratic.  An expert panel makes a list of schools that need closing.  Public meetings are held. The people who's schools are selected disagree with the selections. SURPRISE!  The chairman of the selection committee is fired.  They try again next year. (It is now 2-15-2007).  

Washington state has a balanced budget so that it can afford to do what it likes.  Washington DC has mortgaged us up to our eye balls.  We can't afford to start or abandon projects every time their is a slight shift in public opinion.  Democracy is fine.  The debate on Yucca Mountain has been going on for decades.  It is time to stop the debate and make a decision.  One way or another.  

DOE Site about Yucca Mountain (1972 - next Ice Age) 

I should explain the next ice age date that I added to above link. The majority of scientists and Al Gore  have ruled that the tipping point for climate change will occur in the next forty years.  Our leading politician have seen fit to debate this subject for 28 years. Therefore, there is a good chance that they will still be debating Yucca and nuclear power at the time of next great flood or ice age.  


Blocking Green District Cooling of our Cities. 

Several Nations are trying to cool districts in coastal cities with sea water.  The US may be behind in the development district cooling with sea water, but we are leaders in environmental litigation to halt it.  There were plans to cool the New World Trade center with  Hudson River sea water (Condenser Cooling, Hudson river is two warm for free cooling).   However, litigation stopped this project.  You may wonder where the fish got the money for a lawyer to complain about the effect of  taking in millions gallons of river water per day would have on fish eggs and larvae.  However, congress has made environmental impact statements part of building almost anything.  It also makes lawsuits to stop projects very easy.  If global warming causes a significant rise in sea levels, then New York City may end up with more fish eggs than it bargained for.

Fishy Litigation, Click Here!

Cold Sea Water Air Conditioning, SWAC

Deep Lake Air Conditioning


Refining Tar Sand oil in great lakes region meets with  considerable opposition.

Nov 2, 2007 ( From our fall edition ) 
As oil prices top $95 a barrel, the US will look more and more to Canada's Tar Sand oil reserves.  Plans to pipe oil from Canada's Tar sands to refineries in US are meeting with a great deal of opposition from US environmentalists concerned with increased pollution of the Great Lakes. See Links below:

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