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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: Today at 12:45:39 AM »
Thirdly, look how tightly the pod fits in the tube.

? ? ? ? ? ?

The pod is not round.  The sides are vertical, and there looks like at least half a meter of room between the top, and the sides, of the functioning prototype pod and the tube.  See photos below. 

(At a pod-loading stop, there could be “inserts” in the tube to eliminate the gap, merely to facilitate exit/entry to the pod and keep things from dropping onto the track.  I imagine this is what the Dubai mock-up illustrates.  Note also the vertical “windows” on the interior shots of the mock-up.)

Perhaps its time to give Kantrowitz a rest.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: February 23, 2018, 09:55:21 PM »
“At this very moment, the temperature in the high Arctic is at a wintertime record high.
Never in our recordkeeping has it been this warm between early November and late March -- in the midst of 24-hour Arctic night. ”

“Wow... truly a remarkable event ongoing right now in the #Arctic.
Current temperatures well above previous years in February (>80°N latitude)! Average temperature is the bright blue line  “
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 23, 2018, 09:00:00 PM »
First Solar sold out well into 2020
...during 2017, First Solar booked an additional 7.7 GW of PV modules. And so far in Q1 2018 – through February 22 – it is reporting another 1.3 GW in bookings, bringing the total to a stunning 9.1 GW-DC.

First Solar supplied additional details about the transition to Series 6 during its results call. After producing its first S6 module in November, the company expects to start mass production in Ohio during Q2.

First Solar also reports that over 90% of the front-end tools for Series 6 production have been installed at its factory in Kulim, Malaysia, and expects 1.2 GW of annual capacity to come online in Q3’18 at the plant.

The first coater has arrived at the company’s Vietnam factory, and the company expects to begin S6 commercial production during Q4’18 in Vietnam and during Q2 2019 at its second Vietnam factory.

At that point, First Solar will have 4.2 GW/year of Series 6 capacity. Under this plan, First Solar is sold out of modules through the first half of 2020, and possibly into 2021.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 23, 2018, 03:58:12 AM »
Musings on the benefits of developing hyperloop technology — even if the hyperloop itself never takes off.

“We have been talking with a construction company which maintains highways. They said that [with the introduction of a hyperloop system, they could] remove some of the freight trucks from the roads and this could exend the lifetime of those highways. This could reduce the number of accidents as well, with fewer trucks on the road.”
One of the biggest ambitions is that hyperloop could alleviate some of the traffic congestion issues that cities face, as well as offering significant environmental benefits.
Proponents say hyperloop can be powered mostly or entirely by renewable energy, resulting in low to zero net emissions. A study by the US Department of Transportation found that “on most routes hyperloop would be 2 to 3 times more energy efficient than air on a passenger mile basis” as well as up to three times faster than the world’s fastest high-speed rail system (Shanghai’s Maglev/Transrapid).
Game changer

The good news is that, even if hyperloop never takes over, the engineering work going on now could produce tools and techniques to improve existing industries. Much like NASA’s Apollo missions led to cordless drills, firefighting equipment, and supercomputers, hyperloop has the potential to spur significant transportation innovation if research continues at its current pace. In fact, that crossover has already begun.
The Hyperloop Industry Could Make Boring Old Trains and Planes Faster and Comfier

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 23, 2018, 03:55:44 AM »
U.S.:  Another hyperloop company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), recently announced agreements to study the feasibility of a hyperloop from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signs first cross-state deal in the U.S.
“One of the two major dedicated companies pursuing the creation of functional Hyperloops (high-speed tunnel transportation that can zoom pods around in low pressure) has signed its first agreements that could lead to an interstate Hyperloop system.

The deal with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) includes agreements with both the North Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and the Illinois’ Department of Transportation (IDOT) to start work on a feasibility study, the first step of determining whether it’s even possible to build a route before beginning work in earnest. The study will focus on determining the viability of a number of different corridors, all the with the goal of connecting Cleveland and Chicago.”
Images below.

Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee
“The Senate unanimously passed a resolution recently supporting the efforts to bring @hyperloopglobal to Ohio. OAATC Members and Chairman @Bill_Beagle reaffirm this in a recent letter to HTT supporting their efforts of research and development for this innovative operation.”
Text image and rendering at the link.

PLAYA VISTA, Calif., Feb. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- (New Images) - Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT | HyperloopTT) announced today the signing of official agreements with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) who is teaming with the Illinois' Department of Transportation (IDOT) to begin a feasibility study for the region. Several corridors have been identified for study connecting Cleveland to Chicago.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:03:19 PM »
U.S.’s Largest Wind Farm Coming to Oklahoma
...Once getting its legs, Wind Catcher is expected to deliver wind energy to customers in the four states by the end of 2020.

The Wind Catcher facility, developed by Invenergy, will be the largest single-site wind farm in the U.S. once complete. The 2,000-megawatt facility will generate power from 800 GE 2.5 megawatt turbines. The project also involves building a 360-mile extra high-voltage 765 kilovolt power line to connect two new substations, one located at the wind facility and a second near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Oklahoma's panhandle has some of the best wind in America but is hundreds of miles from larger cities and communities that can benefit from low-cost, clean energy," the developers tout. "Wind Catcher Energy Connection is a $4.5 billion infrastructure investment that will bring Oklahoma wind power to more than 1.1 million energy customers in the South Central U.S." ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:23:20 PM »

CA 2020 Building Code Draft: Zero-Net-Electricity New Home
California is seeking input on a plan to update its building energy standards to increase energy efficiency, clear the way for clean energy heating and hot water, and, for the first time, require new homes to install rooftop solar panels. The standards, effective in January 2020, will be a big step forward for energy savings and reducing the carbon footprint of California’s homes and buildings—the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. 
California’s current building standards save energy and water, reduce pollution, and shore up electric reliability, all while providing consumers with utility bill savings that exceed the upfront cost of meeting the code’s requirements. The standards’ first job is to ensure that as little energy and water are needed as possible—for example, homes built after 2020 are expected to have very energy efficient attics and walls, improved windows and doors, and properly installed insulation—or other efficiency upgrades that provide equivalent savings. As occupants can attest, a more energy-efficient home is a more comfortable home.

Under this proposed code, new buildings will be efficient enough that their electricity use can be offset by a modest number of solar panels. Consequently, for the first time, building energy standards will take on another role: in 2020 they will require that rooftop solar panels be installed on new single-family homes and low-rise multi-family buildings to offset the home’s expected annual electricity use and achieve “zero-net electricity” status.
And for low-income residents, making housing more energy efficient will provide real relief from high energy bills and increase their disposable income. In California, low-income households spend twice as much on energy as a percentage of income that the statewide average. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:10:13 PM »
Workhorse signs a deal to provide a few electric vans to UPS. Notable part: cost parity with the diesel equivalent (and, expected, lower operating cost).

The trick is short range. The application doesn’t need long range, so no point having a huge battery.

This makes it sound like switching to EVs will be the natural course of things for UPS — no big deal. 8)
From your article:
The partnership with UPS is also quite interesting. Per the terms of the agreement, UPS will test the vans in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta through 2019. Then, according to a UPS press release, "UPS and Workhorse will fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019 and beyond."

UPS hopes that after the second rollout, it can make the electric van a "standard selection" when the company needs to add to its fleet. UPS says it currently has about 35,000 comparable diesel or gas vans. We can assume that as those are lost to attrition, all-electric could be a viable option for many situations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:02:54 PM »
This is big news, if you have been following the Tesla Model 3 production ramp.  Still limited to the options that are the most profitable but easy to make.  Looking for about 2,500 Model 3 produced per week by the end of the quarter (March).

Tesla opens Model 3 orders to non-owners with reservations
Tesla Model 3 reservation holders who have never been Tesla owners are starting to receive invitations to configure their vehicles for the first time.

Until this week, Tesla only opened its online configurator to current owners.

The priority extended that to current owners placing a reservation this month and being invited to order the Model 3 and take delivery within weeks.

As we reported last week, it was a good indicator that Tesla would soon open orders for non-owners and sure enough, this week we’ve received our first reports of non-owners receiving invitations to configure with delivery in weeks.

Unfortunately, those looking to turn their Model 3 reservations into orders are still limited to the ‘Long Range’ Model 3 with premium interior package.

Earlier this month, Tesla delayed the production of the standard Model 3 battery pack to “late 2018”. The standard battery pack and interior are necessary for Tesla to achieve its promise base price of $35,000 for the Model 3. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 08:10:29 PM »
Dubai to Abu Dhabi commute in 15 minutes? Time to believe the hype
Mr Lloyd said that it is planned that the Dubai-Abu Dhabi line would be just one route in a wider GCC network.

“A hyperloop network that runs from Jeddah to Riyadh, to Abu Dhabi to Dubai as a backbone from the Red Sea to the Arabian sea is an amazing opportunity and would transform the potential movement of goods and the mobility of people and have a dramatic impact on the economic development and continued growth in the region,” Mr Lloyd said in an exclusive interview with The National.

His company has spent a year working with the RTA to examine costs, ticket prices, likely passenger loads and the best routes. Discussions had been “very productive” he said.

The high-speed pods would run overground for most of the route, Mr Lloyd said, and then in tunnels to reach both city centres.
In 2016, Virgin Hyperloop secured US$50 million in initial funding from Dubai-based DP World and Caspian Venture Capital. It envisages having a prototype running by 2020.
Virgin Hyperloop says it envisages financing for its projects to come from partnerships between governments and the private sector. 

“I’m not worried about investors; I’m not worried about funding this company. I’m actually excited by the growing momentum,” Mr Lloyd said.  “We have governments around the world approaching us today interested in the huge economic impact that this technology delivers.”
Article and images at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 07:30:58 PM »
“#Dubai Crown Prince unveils the initial design of the @HyperloopOne's
pod in the presence of Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd”
Images at the link.

“A look inside the Virgin @HyperloopOne #prototype which makes global debut in #Dubai -

Photo: Leslie Pableo | KT
Image below, more at the link

Video: Hyperloop prototype makes global debut in Dubai
The world got its first glimpse of the initial design of Hyperloop in Dubai today. The futuristic transportation system could zip you from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in under 12 minutes.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in collaboration with Virgin Hyperloop One, unveiled the first model of the Hyperloop as part of the UAE Innovation Month.

The RTA and Virgin Hyperloop One have identified the routes for operating the Hyperloop, along with its initial design model.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said they have made "considerable progress in the technical, engineering and economic feasibility study of the project".

The Hyperloop boasts of deluxe interiors, cutting-edge broadcasting, display information and entertainment materials, and leather seats. The technology uses an electromagnetic propulsion system to accelerate the movement of goods and services through a vacuum tube. The system is designed to assist the levitation of the capsule slightly off the track within the tube and move it at speeds up to 1,200kmph.

"Accordingly, the Hyperloop can travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, and lift about 10,000 passengers per hour in both directions," said Al Tayer. "When introduced in the future, the Hyperloop technology will impact town planning and availability of parking spaces. It will revolutionise people mobility between various destinations in the city, logistical hubs like airports and ports, and shipping patterns."

Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, said the UAE and the RTA were early supporters of the technology. "It is particularly exciting to be unveiling the Dubai Hyperloop pod with the RTA tod-ay. Our focus in 2018 would be continuing the close collaboration with the RTA, to progress to the next phase of the project. Our aim is to explore the viability of a wider UAE Hyperloop network."
Second image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 07:24:59 PM »
Which will they choose: high speed rail, or hyperloop?

HSR, unless...

Ha ha!  Gotcha!  It’s a trick question. ;D

Of course, they will select the Hyperloop. ;)  The Midwest U.S. proposal was one of the strongest of thousands of regions around the world who came together, put together a plan, and said, “This is why we should have a hyperloop.”

The Hyperloop One Global Challenge kicked off in May 2016 with a call for comprehensive proposals to build Hyperloop networks connecting cities and regions around the world. More than 2600 teams registered, and we narrowed the field down to the 35 strongest proposals. The Challenge drew broad support from government leaders, and unleashed bold ideas from some of the world’s most creative companies, engineers, and urban planners. The final assessment was difficult but, along with our team of expert judges, we selected the ten routes… as winners of the Global Challenge.


All kidding aside, we’ll know the results of the Midwest Feasibility study in about nine months.  And we’ve all seen the arguments presented here against the hyperloop.  Again.  And again.  And again.  There is no need for anyone to re-post them every time there is a new hyperloop development, OK?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:16:24 PM »
South Australia:
Tesla’s massive solar+Powerwall virtual power plant could be 30% cheaper than grid power, says report

Earlier this month, Tesla announced that it reached a deal with the South Australian government to install solar arrays and Powerwalls on 50,000 homes to create the biggest virtual power plant in the world.

Now a new report shows just how economically viable this project could be for those 50,000 families who many of which live in Housing Trust properties, which is for lower-income households.
Australian electricity rates are among the highest in the world and that’s especially true in South Australia.

After Tesla installed the 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave an interview during which he was informed of the significant pressure that Australia’s high electricity prices are putting on families.

Visibly affected by the issue, Musk vowed that Tesla will “work harder” to help solve the problem.

Now the new virtual power plant seems to be the result of that effort, but just how much of an impact it could have on the price of electricity for those 50,000 homes?

It turns out that it can make an important difference.

Each home will be equipped with a 5 kW solar array and a Tesla Powerwall 2 home battery pack. The economics of combining the two technologies and connecting them to the South Australian grid has improved tremendously over the last year thanks to cheaper solar installations and a better use of energy storage.

Australia’s Reneweconomy published a comparison of how the cost of such a system has improved compared to energy solely provided by the grid for an average household from 2016 (left) versus now (right):

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »
World’s largest solar park under development in Egypt
The Benban Solar Park aims to reach somewhere between 1.6-2.0GW of solar power by the middle of 2019.

The projects will receive no incentives, however, it will be given a 25 year contract to sell its electricity at 7.8¢/kWh to the the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and pegged to the value of the US dollar.

Currently, 29 projects have received financing – representing at least $1.8 billion in public financing. These 29 projects represent almost 1.5GW of solar power.

The land was initially laid out with 41 unique plots ranging from 0.12mi2 to 0.39mi2. The total land area of the park is approximately 14.4mi2.

This eastern region of the Sahara Desert has some of the best solar power resources – sunlight – on the planet. Better than the US/Mexico western desert, but maybe just behind the world’s best spot in the Chilean desert highlands. ...

Let Teens Do a Town Hall on Climate Change Next
In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, the survivors have become the face and voice of gun control sanity. On Tuesday, they used their voices in primetime on CNN to grill Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and NRA shill Dana Loesch. Florida Democrats Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Ted Deutsch were also there.

It was a tour de force watching young people who have been let down by adults and an entrenched political system begin to try tearing it down. There’s no reason to stop at gun control. Let’s see teens ask policymakers about climate change, the outlines of which closely mirror the gun control debate (h/t Just Security managing editor Kate Brannen).

Teens of today will face a more unstable future, one that could be outside the realm of anything humanity has ever experienced if carbon emissions keep rising. And yet our current crop of politicians has done basically nothing to address the root problem, almost exclusively driven by Republican’s slavish devotion to fossil fuel interests.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:02:19 PM »
“Sea ice in the Bering Sea is at stunning record low levels. Without ice as a buffer, Alaska coastal villages are no longer protected from big storms and their giant waves. Buildings are crumbling. See video at the link below, & read more here: “

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: February 22, 2018, 05:57:17 PM »
For those who’ve just joined us. :)

Tim Osborn:  Was surprised I hadn't previously used a graph to explain transient and equilibrium climate responses to forcing, I'd just used word definitions. Couldn't find a ready-made image that I liked, so made a new one:
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:46:32 AM »
“I used to say decades on something like this.  But transportation planning is moving so much faster than it used to. Things that are taking decades are now taking years.”

Hyperloop -- no longer just a pipe dream for Columbus?
Five months after winning an international challenge from Virgin Hyperloop One, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is ready to announce “the first step” of the proposed project in a “major announcement.”

In September 2017, MORPC’s proposal to link Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago via high-speed transportation was chosen as one of 10 winners around the globe by Hyperloop One, a division of the Virgin Group. English business magnate and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is the Hyperloop One chairman.

In a release at the time, Hyperloop One said the 10 winners qualify for “meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability.”

The other winning routes, which represent Canada, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, are Toronto-Montreal in Canada, Bengaluru-Chennai and Mumbai-Chennai in India, Edinburgh-London and Glasgow-Liverpool in the United Kingdom, Mexico City-Guadalajara in Mexico and Cheyenne-Denver-Pueblo, Dallas-Laredo-Houston and Miami-Orlando in the U.S.
‘Midwest Megaregion’

The idea behind MORPC’s proposal -- called Midwest Connect -- is to create a “Midwest Megaregion” out of the three cities they say would combine for a gross domestic product of $865 billion.

To accomplish that, a Hyperloop would run from Pittsburgh to Chicago, with “major stops” in Columbus and Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the way. Other stops, according to MORPC documents, would include Lima and Newark.

“Because of our role in this, we’ve been invited to the table with a very select few and the federal government. I think that’s pretty cool on its own for central Ohio.”

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:31:30 AM »
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Comission

Hyperloop Included in $2.5 Million Columbus-to-Chicago Environmental Impact Study
Multiple partners have verbally committed financial resources to the initiative including the city of Columbus ($250,000), Ohio and Indiana rail partners including MORPC, Union County, and the cities of Marysville and Lima ($500,000). Additionally, support from other private partners and Virgin Hyperloop One is anticipated but yet to be determined.

“We are excited to partner with leading public and private organizations on the future of rapid-speed transportation here in Central Ohio,” said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock.  “Being in one of the fastest growing regions in the Midwest and with the potential to add up to one million people by 2050, we are taking the next steps in exploring the best transportation options for both passengers and freight that will better connect Columbus to Chicago and Pittsburgh.” ...

Which will they choose: high speed rail, or hyperloop?

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:17:22 AM »
Hyperloop Included in $2.5 Million Columbus-to-Chicago Environmental Impact Study
A first for the world

Today, our partners at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), based in Columbus announced a $2.5 million Rapid-Speed Transportation Initiative that will explore hyperloop, alongside traditional rail for the corridor. These actions by MORPC break new ground because they are integrating hyperloop technology into a larger Environmental Impact Study – the first time that has happened anywhere in the world.

In September 2017, we announced the Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh route as one of the 10 winners of our Global Challenge. During deliberation, it was clear that the Midwest is serious about innovation. We read letters of support from leaders across the region: Ohio Governor John R. Kasich, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the cities of Columbus, Lima, and Fort Wayne.
Phase 1: Hyperloop Feasibility Study

The first step is a feasibility study where engineers are going to roll up their sleeves and examine route alignment, right-of-way, and the overall technical feasibility of building a hyperloop along the route. The study will also look at the feasibility of the economic and political landscape – providing estimates of transportation demand and economic benefits, implementation strategy, and stakeholder and public engagement strategy.

The Feasibility Study, estimated to take nine months, will analyze potential routes connecting the tech-savvy cities of Columbus and Pittsburgh to the global powerhouse of Chicago -- strengthening market opportunities across the region. A hyperloop connecting Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Chicago would transform the movement of goods and people in the Midwest, and create a Great Lakes Megaregion, home to some 20 percent of the nation’s population and economic activity. There is vast untapped economic potential in the region, as there is currently no direct freight or passenger rail connection along the corridor.
The freight capabilities of a Midwest Hyperloop would solve some of the region’s capacity and access challenges. Currently there is no direct highway route between Chicago and Columbus or Pittsburgh. In 2015, there were 5.9 million tons of freight worth $16.7 billion moved between Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. This tonnage is expected to increase to 9 million by 2040 at nearly double the value, according to the federal Department of Transportation.

”Chicago to Columbus in less than an hour is a step closer to reality.”
- Hyperloop One

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:05:48 AM »
“This is super nerdy, but a testament to the truly weird weather pattern happening today across eastern North America.
595 dm heights = unusually high even for mid-summer.
It’s sort of like seeing a snowstorm in July. Completely out of character for the atmosphere.”

“My plot doesn't do it justice but the 595 dm "heat" ridge along the US Eastern Seaboard is in my opinion one of the most impressive weather records that I can ever recall in my lifetime. It takes incredibly warm air through the entire atmospheric column to support this feature.”
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:40:32 AM »
”Initially the focus will be on inner-city goods transport and delivery services – the ranges required here are well within the scope of our Mercedes-Benz eActros.”

Here are the trucks Mercedes is building currently.  Of interest is that they are apparently government-funded.

A first look at Mercedes-Benz’s latest all-electric truck: the eActros

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 21, 2018, 08:52:37 PM »
In contrast with carmakers elsewhere, China has emphasized volume production of smaller, cheaper, and less powerful EVs (plug-in hybrids and BEVs).

China's BYD tops global electric-car production for third year in a row
All BYD vehicles are highway-capable vehicles, and it's worth noting that China plans to end its incentives for electric vehicles that cannot operate at a sustained speed of more than 100 km/h (62 mph).

That is likely to cut sales of low-speed and neighborhood EVs substantially, including for the global second-place finisher.  At 103,199 registrations, that company is BAIC, whose E-Series vehicle will have to be upgraded in future to meet the new high-speed requirement.

Another Chinese company whose sales are almost entirely in its home market, BAIC edged out Tesla by less than 100 units. The Silicon Valley automaker cited a total of 103,122 deliveries for 2017.

Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:34:30 PM »
“As of Feb 19... Los Angeles has now gone a full 365-day calendar year with only a single day of significant rainfall (>0.33 inches). While there's a chance of a few showers this week, there's still no significant precipitation in the forecast across #SoCal. #CAwx #LArain ”

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:31:29 PM »
Latitude 42.89°N

“Wow, 77° in Vermont right now.
A reminder, it’s February. ”

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:23:28 PM »

Tesla Semi defies laws of physics and is passing us by if true, says Daimler’s head of trucks

...Tesla Semi combines a real-world range of up to 500 miles with unprecedented performance while pulling a standard payload. .... our initial fleet customers who placed reservations for the Tesla Semi have been helping us develop the best possible truck.

Tesla Semi defies laws of physics. I don't think so. I think Tesla simply has that magic ability to push the technology beyond existing limits, thereby expanding the application of science. In the words of the song "simply better than all the rest". The Falcon and the EV's show that the Musk has got the magic ingredient. ( Mind you, I still think the Hyperloop is not on - there he is defying the Laws of Physics)

“Defies the law of physics” is what you say when your best company engineers haven’t been able to come up with anything anywhere as good. ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:17:01 PM »
Silver Tesla Semi spotted doing a tire-shredding acceleration run in the wild
Brief video at the link. ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:11:58 PM »
after 5 years .. I have just seen my local charging point in use .. there is an electric car in N. Ireland !

Northern Ireland has many chargers (fast chargers are in orange below).  According to PlugShare, some are used quite frequently. :)

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 21, 2018, 05:05:44 PM »
“Cape Morris Jesup, Greenland, the northernmost weather station in the world, was above freezing yesterday.  In February.”
Image below.

“What's going on in the Arctic right now just isn't normal (or at least it didn't used to be)”
Freaky GIF of arctic temperature anomalies at the link.

It’s Bizarrely Warm at the Northernmost Land Weather Station

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:59:04 PM »
“Tuesday has been the warmest day ever recorded in the month of February for several cities in the eastern US, including:
Muncie, IN: 76F [24.4°C]
Zanesville, OH: 77F
Pittsburgh: 78F
Clarksburg, WV: 79F
Tampa, FL: 89F [31.7°C]”

“The warmest February morning on record? .... is practically everywhere in the East [U.S.].”

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:44:12 PM »
British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three adages that are known as Clarke's three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

Tesla Semi defies laws of physics and is passing us by if true, says Daimler’s head of trucks

Daimler’s head of trucks needs to start believing in magic, because Tesla semi prototypes are on the road, and, per their latest invester letter:
...Tesla Semi combines a real-world range of up to 500 miles with unprecedented performance while pulling a standard payload. Its distinctive torque enables smooth acceleration to highway speed even when fully loaded with cargo. Moreover, it has been designed to dramatically improve safety not only for the driver and cargo, but also for pedestrians and other cars on the road.

Tesla will be the first Semi customer. We plan to use the Tesla Semi for our own logistics by transporting Model 3 components from Gigafactory 1 to Fremont. Additionally, our initial fleet customers who placed reservations for the Tesla Semi have been helping us develop the best possible truck.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:30:38 PM »

If I interpret the Hindi video that Sigmetnow posted correctly, they expect the Pune to Mumbai trip with hyperloop to take 45 min.

Incorrect.  They repeatedly show a Hyperloop One route time of 25 minutes.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:59:47 PM »
Alaska's Bering Sea Lost a Third of Its Ice in Just 8 Days
Globally, sea ice is at record lows as the polar regions warm faster than the rest of the planet. Along the Alaska coast, it's affecting people's lives.
At a time when the sea ice should be growing toward its maximum extent for the year, it's shrinking instead—the area of the Bering Sea covered by ice is now 60 percent below its average from 1981-2010.

"[Bering sea ice] is in a league by itself at this point," said Richard Thoman, the climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service Alaska region. "And looking at the weather over the next week, this value isn't going to go up significantly. It's going to go down." ...

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:58:31 PM »
I don't think using the name of a musical instrument is pretentious at all!

Well, in that case, I'm changing my name to Steinway!  ;)

Or Stradivarius.....

or penny whistle

or triangle

I claim dibs on "spoons" !!!


Cowbell!  ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:05:03 PM »

Regardless of my own opinion regarding the Hyperloop, I do want to thank Sigmetnow for posting numerous updates here (and elsewhere on the forum). And I wish the level of acrimony on this thread would go down. Time is the ultimate judge, and it's not necessary to convince anyone while waiting. So all please try to avoid getting angry or taking offense if the others on the thread are not convinced. 10 years from now we can all go back here and find out who was right.

Thanks, oren.  I’d say the hyperloop idea here is progressing steadily through the stages of, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  ;) :)

But mostly, I think the hyperloop is just a fascinating technological advancement!

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:19:04 PM »
At the link is a Periscope video of a (rather frenetic) live CNBC discussion about the Mumbai Hyperloop.  In Hindi, with some English.

At one point, they mention “linear acceleration and a next-generation maglev.”
Edit: Also, the test track will be 10 km long.

My Hindi is a bit rusty ;) ;D but the first image below appears to compare the speed of the Hyperloop (1,223 kph;  760 mph) as just under the speed of sound (1,235 kph), and faster than an airplane and a bullet train.

The second image is a rendering of the passenger cabin (with an all-too-close-to-a-Tesla-logo at the back :o ).

Third image is of the actual pod from the test site in Nevada.

Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: February 20, 2018, 12:58:58 AM »
Article includes satellite map image of Washington, D.C. location where the Boring Company has been given permission to dig.

“They are also bidding on one project that they didn’t initiate – they want Chicago’s proposed airport to downtown train to be a ‘high-speed loop’.”

Elon Musk’s Boring Company gets green-light for possible hyperloop station in Washington

Edit: Boring Company spokesman says D.C. location could involve hyperloop as well as slower intra-city “loops.”
“Last year, the internet needled Elon Musk for tweeting he had verbal approval to dig a Hyperloop tunnel in Washington, DC, because officials said they granted no such thing. Now, however, The Boring Company does have an honest-to-gosh written permit, albeit only for some preliminary site preparation and excavation, the Washington Post reports.

The Boring Company is working with an as-yet unnamed firm, possibly Hyperloop One, to build a line between New York City and Washington, DC, with stops at Philadelphia and Baltimore -- the "NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop." The total trip time between DC and NYC would be just 29 minutes, which would obviously revolutionize transportation, as you could work in Manhattan and live in Philly for one-tenth the price.

The permit is for a spot at 53 New York Avenue NE in Washington's trendy NoMa quarter. A Boring Company spokesperson told the WaPo that "a New York Avenue location, if constructed, could become a station" as part of the Hyperloop network of ultra-high-speed main lines and slower city "loops." ...”

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: February 19, 2018, 09:37:27 PM »
Animals Have Stopped Turning White for Winter in Alarming Climate Change Trend
Snowshoe hares, like ermines and arctic foxes, famously have two coats. To blend in with the ground in the warmer months, snowshoe hares sport brown fur. In the winter, they turn white to camouflage with the snow. It’s harder for predators to spot an animal that matches the background in all seasons.

This technique is a wonder of evolution, but climate change is interrupting this process. With warming temperatures, there’s less snow in the winter, and white hares on unusually snow-less ground stick out to predators, like tasty marshmallows on mud.

Research recently published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology explained the new phenomenon. Biologists studying in Pennsylvania and in the colder Yukon compared the habits of their respective snowshoe hare populations, and found the distinct populations act and look very differently. Pennsylvania hares have thinner coats and don’t seek out warmer areas. Three of the 70 Pennsylvania hares captured didn’t even grow out their winter coats, staying the same color all year long. ...

Image: A snowshoe hare growing out its winter coat. Eric Bégin / Flickr

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 19, 2018, 07:20:33 PM »
Here's an interesting article from the Seattle area...with video.  The article gives BOTH sides to the story:  Quick transition.....or SLOW Autonomous EV's. 

Seba thinks that 95% OF THE MILES DRIVEN by 2030 will be by autonomous EV's.  If I hazard to guess anything....I am sure it would be SHORT of that 95%.  How short...I have no idea.  But keep in mind that Seba is talking about MILES DRIVEN....not % of cars.

It IS interesting to "look out over the horizon" and stretch your mind a bit.     

A portion of the I-5 is already dubbed the “West Coast Electric Highway,” being one of the first in the U.S. to have had lots of DC fast chargers installed along its length.

Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: February 19, 2018, 07:09:44 PM »
“Incredible photos of the #Sinabung eruption today (19.2.18) by photographer Endro Lewa. These photos show the rapid-moving and scorching-hot pyroclastic flow & the vertical ash plume. ...”
Photo below.  More photos and discussion at the link.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 19, 2018, 07:04:25 PM »
“So it goes - yet another anomalous winter in the #Arctic. Total sea ice extent remains at a record low (satellite era) and nearly 1.5 million km^2 below average [@NSIDC data] ”
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 19, 2018, 06:26:30 PM »
Addressing Congestion in India’s Most Bustling Corridor: Pune - Mumbai

Interview with Kiran Gitte, CEO of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
Virgin Hyperloop One: How will hyperloop change the relationship between Pune and Mumbai?

Gitte: With hyperloop, we are connecting the two metro hubs. Both Mumbai and Pune have mass, rapid transport systems for intra-city movement. Within Mumbai, there are ten metro lines, and in Pune there are three lines. These lines connect the intra-city movement of the citizens. For inter-city movement, we will take the central part of Pune and central part of Mumbai and connect these two metro cities, which today have more than 25 million people and are rapidly growing. With these two metro cities, about 2.5 crore population will benefit by point-to-point connectivity with hyperloop and intra-city movement provided by the mass transit system.

Virgin Hyperloop One: How will this project impact Pune & Mumbai residents?

Gitte: Today, Mumbai is a more crowded place to live in because of land availability, and the city is built on a group of islands. If you want to live in Mumbai, you have to live in a suburb more than two hours from the central part of the city. Recently, there has been a paradigm shift because people commute the Mumbai-Pune route daily. And, this is going to increase because the expansion of both the Mumbai metro region and the Pune metro region that is happening at a very rapid pace. Now, these two cities are magnets attracting individuals further from all the states of India - it is not limited to Maharashtra.

We think hyperloop will have a huge impact on the economy of the region as a destination, and because of the climatic advantage that Pune has. Many people would like to stay in Pune and work in Mumbai which is not possible today. Also, there are business people who like to commute between these two cities. The time required to go to an airport, work, and then come back to the airport, and go back to the city is not cultural time-permitting. So, I think of the time value of money of the people because there is an economy of scale which you can take advantage of hyperloop. There is a huge impact on the industrial scenario and transportation scenario. The whole economic region will get a boost because of the hyperloop project.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:54:07 PM »

I hope he builds the solar power along with the hyper unicorn... Indian electrivity is mostly coal....

The hyperloop spends most of its time coasting, so very little external power is needed.  At various locations, linear accelerators are placed to gently accelerate the capsules.  These can be powered by solar panels covering the top of the tube.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:30:01 PM »
SH, I am pleased to see a legacy automaker claiming electric vehicles can be profitable... after the years of companies railing against EVs, and EVs made for compliance only, and even “don’t buy our EV, we lose money on each one we make.”...

But now Daimler confesses how difficult the transition will be.  All the big automakers, and their suppliers, have billions of dollars of ICE assets poised to become worthless.

“Due to the planned electrification of new model series and a shift in customer demand from diesel to gasoline engines, the Mercedes-Benz Cars segment in particular is faced with the risk that Daimler will require changed volumes of components from suppliers. […] This could result in over- or under-utilization of production capacities for certain suppliers. If suppliers cannot cover their fixed costs, there is the risk that suppliers could demand compensation payments,”

Daimler warns that its electric transition could create major supply chain shake-up

Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: February 19, 2018, 02:34:27 PM »
North Sumatra, Indonesia.

“This video gives me chills. Those poor kids.
The #Sinabung eruption today produced an ash plume and hot (600-800 degrees C) pyroclastic flows that race down the slopes. A red exclusion zone is in place on the volcano and has been for years now.”
Video at the link.

“Elementary children shouting & afraid to see the powerful eruption of #Sinabung this morning. Pyroclastic flows with temperatures of 600-800 degrees C rapidly descend the slopes to 4.9 km away. Sinabung has been near-constantly active since Sept. 2013.”
Photo below.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: February 18, 2018, 10:02:00 PM »
Another utility + residential battery storage project — this time in Canada.

Tesla deploys Powerpacks and Powerwalls to build an ‘intelligent grid’ in Nova Scotia

Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:40:02 PM »
Here you go.  Reservoir levels are quite good at this point — which may lead to complacency despite the mostly dry rainy season... until the snowpack cannot replenish the lakes this summer.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:14:25 PM »
With regards to coal fired electricity, the capital investment of a single plant represents a nearly certain amount of coal consumption and resultant CO2 emissions for likely 30 years. In the system of capitalism, any decision to shutter a plant after a very short period of time is fiscally disastrous for the company that would make such a decision. This is true for any fixed investment.


And yet, it is possible for a country to look beyond the obvious capitalistic implications:

Dutch government:  We're stopping coal.  You say you just recently built a coal plant?  Tough luck!,347.msg131157.html#msg131157

Plus, because new solar and wind are increasingly cheaper than existing coal plants, utilities are shuttering coal plants and going with the cheaper options.  Who’d’a thunk it? ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:00:33 PM »
Whether this is true or not is less important than the fact it is one of the big automakers saying it.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance CEO claims to be ‘only carmaker making money selling electric cars’
Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, claims that they are ahead of the game when it comes to making money on EVs.  The executive told CNBC today:

“We are probably the most advanced carmaker in terms of costs of electric cars and we have announced already in 2017 that we are probably the only carmaker who’s starting to make money selling electric cars,”

The company just posted a record operating profit of 3.854 billion euros ($4.84 billion) for 2017, but Ghosn didn’t specify how electric cars contributed to those profits, and their electric car sales still represent only a small fraction of their total sales. ...

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