Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 46480
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2019/01/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2007/4/30-5/4 [Science/Electric, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:46480 Activity:nil
4/30    "Solar rises over Fog City - Solar panels are now so efficient that
        fog no longer mandates remaining on the grid" (
        \_ I very much want to put these on top of my apartment, but it's still
           not cheap enough. Cool advances, though.
2019/01/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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2009/11/11-30 [Science/Physics, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:53518 Activity:low
11/11   Watch the History Channel today! It's got Oppenheimer and the atomic
        bomb history. Did you know at one time 10% of the entire electricity
        in the U.S. was used to refine U235 and weapon grade plutonium?
        Holy jesus! I wonder how much energy is used to get plutonium fuel
        that generates today's nuclear powered electric plant
        \_ it talks about the 2 different methods for getting U235. So
2009/5/19-25 [Science/Electric, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:53011 Activity:nil
5/18    Does the new federal vehicle fuel-efficiency requirement specify how
        efficiencies of plug-in hybrids will be calculated?  Some plug-in
        hybrids claims to have ridiculously high efficiency like 100mpg because
        they're not counting the energy input from the electric grid.  That's
        not a good indiction of their actual energy efficiency.
2009/4/9-20 [Science/Electric, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:52834 Activity:nil
4/9     "Ex-official: Spies have hacked electric grid" (
2009/3/29-4/3 [Computer/HW/Laptop, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:52768 Activity:high
3/29    "Leaving computers on overnight = $2.8 billion a year"
        \_ Not good for hardware to power it up and down all the time. I
           always leave all my computers on all the time, except for
           laptops which I allow to sleep (but still be powered).
           \_ How is this the case for desktops but not laptops?  I don't see
2014/1/24-2/5 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54765 Activity:nil
1/24    "Jimmy Carter's 1977 Unpleasant Energy Talk, No Longer Unpleasant" (
2012/12/7-18 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54550 Activity:nil
12/7    Even oil exporters like UAE and Saudi Arabia are embracing solar
        We are so behind.
2012/6/22-7/20 [Politics/Domestic/California, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54420 Activity:nil
6/22    "Study: The U.S. could be powered by 80% green energy in 2050"  (
        \_ How many Republicans does it take to make green energy?
           -150,000,000! Ding ding ding!
           \_ Because having control of the White House and both houses of
              Congress wasn't enough (ie, the do nothing and blame the
2012/6/26-7/20 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54422 Activity:nil
6/26    WW2 brought us antibiotics, syringe, production capacity,
        excessive petroleum, radar, television, atomic energy,
        rocketry (HEIL VON BRAUN), synthetic rubber, microwave,
        computers (GAY TURING), jets.
        What did the Iraq war bring us?
        \_ HMMWV -> Hummer H1 the gas guzzler.
2011/2/1-19 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54022 Activity:nil
2/1     10 Industries in Which the U.S. Is No Longer No.1" (
        China betas us in 7 out of 10 categories, including high-tech exports
        \_ So, only 3 more to go until we declare war?
        \_ Some of those positions are simply determined by
2010/12/2-2011/1/13 [Science/Space] UID:53986 Activity:nil
12/2    'Starry, starry, starry night: Star count may triple'
        'So the number of stars in the universe "is equal to all the cells in
        the humans on Earth, a kind of funny coincidence," Conroy said'
        Another coincidence is that 1 mole = 6.02 * 10^23.  So the number of
        stars = # of molecules in 1 gram of H2 gas.
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More H&G Articles Stroll past Wirt Lewis' house and it's hard to ignore the handmade wooden sign posted just inside the fence that reads "Go Solar and Your PG&E Meter Will Spin Backward." Around the corner in front of the house skeptics can actually watch this miraculous feat with their own eyes. If you figure that this electricity-producing zealot resides in sweltering Vacaville or sun-drenched Walnut Creek, guess again. Lewis' modest bungalow with a rooftop full of photovoltaic cells is at Ulloa Street and 44th Avenue, just a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean in the heart of the Sunset District -- San Francisco's fog belt. "On a foggy day it doesn't spin backward as fast, but it spins back. I'm sticking it to the man," said Lewis, an electrician for the city water department. In addition to that sign, Lewis designed a stained glass one for the front of his house that lights up at night reading "Sunset Solar." Lewis, who also has solar thermal panels on his roof that heat his water, wants his neighbors and any others passing by to consider going solar. I want people to know that this is the reasonable way for people to live their lives in the 21st century. I guess I'm trying to say, why aren't you doing this as well?" Lewis, who spent $27,000 on his photovoltaic system after rebates, isn't too concerned about when he'll break even -- something he figures will happen in 11 to 13 years. "As far as I'm concerned it's already paid itself off -- I'm already a winner," said Lewis, who just may be the only Sunset resident who has air conditioning. He is also pondering the purchase of a hot tub, another item he'll be able to heat for free with the electricity his roof is producing. Just a few blocks closer to the ocean on Ulloa Street, Anne Ackerman and her husband, Robert Wernick, also have solar panels (and a hot-water system) on their roof that provides for all their electrical needs. Their monthly bill is similar to Lewis' -- about $4 a month. While the near elimination of their electricity bill was a factor in the couple's decision to install the $12,000 system four years ago, concern for the environment was the main reason. "We're citizens of the earth," said Wernick, standing next to his Prius in the garage. These Sunset neighbors both had their systems designed and installed by nearby Occidental Power, a company whose high-powered name is belied by its digs in a former shoe shop. since putting in the city's first permitted solar electric system in a residence in 1996, Occidental Power has gone on to install more than 150 solar setups in San Francisco, more than any other installer. To meet the demands of its increasing business, the company plans to move to a new home at Pier 17 on Fisherman's Wharf later this year. A concern that always comes up when San Franciscans consider going solar is the fog, said Greg Kennedy, Occidental Power's general manager and founder. "We're always having to argue that with solar electric," said Kennedy, 50, in his office not far from his house on the Great Highway, where he's lived for 27 years. "It works with light, not heat, so even on an overcast day it will produce electricity." Kennedy realizes that even though solar installations are increasing, it's not a decision one makes lightly. It's like buying art -- there's a lot of skepticism about it." Generally, what drives people to do it is a commitment to conserving energy, he said. "If the first thing someone brings up is money, I know they're not going to do it." Since the city has 12 distinct microclimates, Kennedy uses tools like the Solmetric SunEye, a Palm Pilot-like device with a fish-eye lens that looks straight up at the sky to determine the number of hours of sunlight your house gets during the day, which is a prime consideration in whether to install a solar power system. He also tries to position panels in as southwesterly a direction as possible to get the most sun. Because the installation of solar panels requires drilling bolts into the roof to secure them, Kennedy advises putting in a new roof in conjunction with the installation if the roof has less than five years of life expectancy left. If you're not sure what size solar power system would make sense for you, Kennedy has a simple equation you can use to determine it. Divide your average daily kilowatt-hour use by the number of sun hours per day -- in San Francisco this is five, as the city averages 53 sun hours a day. If you're averaging 10 kWh a day, divide that figure by the five sun hours and you end up with two, which represents the kilowatt-size system you'll need to "zero out your bill," said Kennedy. PG&E can provide the average daily electrical use information, and Kennedy recommends that you get it for the past year, not just one month. While San Franciscans who've taken the plunge into solar are still relatively few, their numbers are growing. At last count, San Francisco's Department of the Environment calculated that 508 residences in the city were outfitted with photovoltaic cells, which are capable of churning out 1547 megawatts of electricity. Although that may seem substantial, it represents the proverbial drop in the bucket as far as meeting the city's electricity needs. "San Francisco's peak electricity demand is currently about 960 megawatts," said Johanna Partin, renewable energy program manager for the Department of the Environment. Peak energy demand is defined as the highest moment of electrical consumption in a day. The more you can meet that demand through solar power the fewer fossil fuel burning power plants you'll have to build," she said. To increase the number of solar-powered residences in San Francisco, Partin is in the midst of an ambitious plan to calculate the solar electric potential for every residential and commercial rooftop in San Francisco. Using aerial photography and a computer program that stores, views and analyzes geographical information, the department will be able to determine each rooftop's solar "insolation" potential. Insolation is the rate of delivery of solar radiation per unit of horizontal surface. Factors such as rooftop shading problems and obstructions like a skylight or a chimney are also taken into consideration, said Partin. org, punch in an address and find out its solar electricity-producing potential. There will also be information on how much it will cost, what your rebate will be, how much carbon you'll be offsetting and links to installers for more detailed estimates. Partin points out that San Francisco has 90 percent of the solar insolation that sunny Sacramento does. "And in Germany they've 40 percent less insolation than what we get in the US, but they install more solar every year than any country in the world," said Partin. Installing a solar power system is not "just a function of how much sun you have. It's a commitment and seeing the value and, of course, having the financial means." Another factor standing in the way of a San Francisco solar power makeover is the fact that close to 70 percent of residents live in multi-tenant buildings. If you live in a condo and there are two other condo owners, who has the system? It gets a little more tricky, but it's not impossible," said Partin. One San Franciscan who's been able to overcome this problem is Nicole Ratner. As tenants in common in a five-unit remodeled Victorian in the Haight overlooking the Panhandle, Ratner and her husband, Jason, wanted to put photovoltaic panels on the roof. Since there wasn't enough space to accommodate a system that would meet the electricity needs of all the tenants, the couple decided to go it alone. With the other tenants' blessing, they are set to install a 2-kilowatt system that they figure will provide them with about 80 percent of their electricity needs. As the marketing manager for SolarCity, a Foster City solar designer and installer, Ratner said she was predisposed to putting in solar panels. She also wasn't too pleased with having their electricity bill soar from about $30 a month to $100 after moving into the TIC unit. After rebates, she figures the system will cost $18,000. She will also receive a 25 percent e...
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Friday, May 14, 2004 Updated: 12:07 AM PDT ' I'm guessing that the best way to hail a cab or a bartender in Athens will not be by waving an American flag." Sorensen Capital group He's already got more money than god, but that isn't stopping Steve Young (above, right) from embarking on a second career in business. Gov's Balancing Act Schwarzenegger unveils revised budget containing spending cuts and (as promised) no new taxes. Wedding Date's Still On Same-sex marriage opponents lose bid to halt gay nuptials, scheduled to begin Monday in Massachusetts. Researchers say they've found evidence of impact greater than the one that probably caused the dinosaurs' extinction. Wars' $50 Bil Price Tag "It's a big bill," says Wolfowitz, who estimates the cost of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. No Plea From Anderson Using a wheelchair, the haggard-looking suspect is arraigned in the murder of Xiana Fairchild. Giants Left Stranded G-men leave 12 men on base, including two in the bottom of the 9th, and drop series to Philly. Sex, Drugs, And Then 5 Deaths Playboy Playmate tells how she got involved with 2 suspects, but left in just the nick of time. Pixar Growth Plan Wins Fans 20-year proposal for Emeryville site gets flak from activists, but city says go for it.