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Wood Burners

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by D6332found, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. blink bonny

    blink bonny Member

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    There is massive environmental damage already being caused by habitat destruction that wood-burning on a large scale entails. It seems to be overlooked that our current biomass power stations such as the giant 4GW Drax and the recent conversion of the small 420MW station at Lynemouth consume huge quantities of wood - wood that is being supplied by the clear-felling of wild forests in the USA - forests that cannot be replaced, simply because of the fact that it takes a lot longer to grow a tree than it does to burn one and that even if replanting takes place, the precious understorey of the forests has been lost along with the wildlife that needs it to live. Lynemouth, with a little over a tenth of the output of Drax is scheduled to burn 1,800,000 tonnes of timber per annum that has been felled, chipped and dried and shipped across the Atlantic. Drax's 4GW output is part coal and part wood burn. I don't have a figure for that, but I'd guess at about 10 million tonnes per year of timber up in smoke. Even the likes of Greenpeace have come to realise that burning forests isn't a good idea.

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor...-biomass-boom-is-destroying-americas-forests/

    https://tracinggreen.uk/news-comment/has-the-biomass-fix-gone-up-in-flames/

    If not for our idiotic government deciding that cutting down forests to burn was 'green' and 'sustainable', when it is neither, and throwing huge subsidies at it, none of these conversions would have been done. They aren't in it to be 'green'. they are in it for the cash - lots of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  2. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    In the UK we have on our doorstep a totally reliable* energy source which is carbon neutral and produces no harmful emissions: tidal power. The initial cost of developing the technology and building the generating capacity would be huge, but the reward would be cheap, clean power. Our short-term focused governments have so far lacked the vision to develop this technology, in which we could become a world leader.
    * as long as the sun and moon don't change their behaviour.
     
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  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Large scale tidal power is an major ecological problem though, and you also have the problem of limited window of operation. Although its pretty much always high tide somewhere the distribution is strictly geographical, so you have to distribute huge amounts of power around the country.
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Add to that the approx 30kW needed to replace all the gas central heating boilers. Mind you, with the cost of electricity per kW, most people won't be able to afford to heat their homes. Get your shares bought in the clothing sector.
     
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  5. 2392

    2392 Well-Known Member

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    OK being perhaps a little "off the wall" and thinking laterally. How about gas firing, the off the wall angle being using sewage. As methane is produced as a by product of the sewage. You'd need quite a bit of biodegradable material over and above human sewage, so I'd include garden, kitchen, unusable/rotten food waste and animal or any other biodegradable waste all mixed together. Then put the mixture through an enclosed digester, so the gas could be collected. What's more the finished/digested mixture could be used as fertilizer [the sewage works at Esholt {Emmerdale} used to sell theirs on, as fertilizer]. Perhaps being the ultimate in green technology in so mush as there's an endless supply of sewage that needs to be disposed of, one way or another......

    On a side note a number of years ago one of the UK supermarket chains advertised, that the were using "human" fertilizer on the cereal crops they used in their corn flakes. Much to the horror of many. After all at one time before the advent of the modern sewage system most human sewage was collected and taken to the countryside and used on the farm as fertilizer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  6. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Petrol cars going by 2023, under 4 years to be replaced by what? Just a complete ban or just no new ones built and sold. Just sit back and explain how this could be achieved, how all those who are never going to be in a position to afford a new electric car. Maybe you could support these fanciful ideas.
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Fanciful no longer. EVs (easier by far than typing 'Electric Vehicle' every damned time!) have come a long way in the past couple of years .... a hell of a long way. The next couple of years are going to be very formative. There's no reason for anyone to take my word for it, but have a shuftie at this years Geneva Motor Show (the first biggie of the year). You may be surprised at what you see.

    There's a 'magic figure' (i.e. where costs fall to something equivalent to ICE) of $100/kW for the cost of batteries. From >$200 a very few years ago, cost is currently (Tuesday!) around $125 .... and falling. The original target date for achieving the magic figure was 2025 and we're within spitting distance of that now. The costs from four big battery manufacturers (who account for the overwhelming worldwide production) are dropping ahead of schedule, with the target liable to be surpassed within the next 12-18 months.

    The criticism that EVs are still a rich man's toy only just about still holds water, but won't for too many more months. Big boys, like VW and Audi are on the cusp of piling in .... big time and FIAT, who were famously anti-EV, have announced a volte-face within the past week.

    By the by .... the Nissan Leaf has recently become the first pure EV to be available on the UK 'Motability' scheme.

    A point to note: Whilst the dying fossil fuel industry has missed unrealistic tearget after unrealistic target - on both costs and output (fracking being a classic case in point), the burgeoning new tech has exceeded it's own predictions, mostly by some margin.

    In the UK, anyone relying on mainstream media to get their head around what's occurring, let alone understanding the necessary new terminology, will currently find it well nigh impossible to get a clear view .... mostly cos the journos are obviously flailing about too! I'd recommend some 'YouTube' channels (such as 'Fully Charged' and 'Transport Evolved') as a good starting point.
     
  8. garth manor

    garth manor Well-Known Member

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    The wood stacks ever present at every Finnish depot had long gone with the supply industry and the self supply answer to the threat of invasion by the 1980s so coal had to be the option.
    The Benguela was indeed a great sight ruined by the war.
     
  9. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    @30854 All that does not answer my point about those who will just not be able to afford to buy an EV. I for one certainly will not be able to, my diesel is going to have to be my transport for many years to come. Use public transport, right, diesel buses round here and our local railway also diesel powered. What's to become of them?
     
  10. peckett

    peckett Member

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    I took part in the Suolahti steam festival ,Finland , in 1998 a number of wood burners were in steam . Two Vr1 class 0-6-0ts and a couple of Tk3 2-8-0 s ,boats etc.A passenger train was operated from Jyvaskyla, a distance of 27miles .I was hauled by a Vr1 from Jyvaskyla to Suolahti and a Tk3 returning. No problem with steaming was encountered. Please see a photo' of a neatly stacked tender of a 2-8-0,also 1150 on Jyvaskyla shed.
     

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  11. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    How many crew did the wood burners have, the one I travelled on in Argentina needed two firing, on one the tender to move the wood to within easy reach of the asbestos gloved fireman...
     
  12. JEB-245584

    JEB-245584 Member

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  13. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I think @RalphW was making the point that 'Petrol cars going by 2023' as stated by @D6332found is simply not true. Petrol cars may cease being sold in the UK by 2023, but that leaves a LOT of petrol cars still on the road with people who have no desire and/or means to replace them. Also, the 2023 is a date that applies to the UK - the rest of the world will still be selling petrol cars.

    The rest of your post is interesting but needs to be read alongside post #18 by @RLinkinS regarding the source for the electricity to power electric vehicles.

    Keith
     
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  14. peckett

    peckett Member

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    What type of loco are you referring to. Any photos ?Finland one fireman only. See photo'.
     

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  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    For what it's worth, I'm in the same boat ... actually, I currently have no car.

    So far as costs are concerned, you, I and very many others, are looking at a sticky situation ... no point claiming otherwise. My question to you is .... where would you be, were your current car to go belly-up tomorrow? A car .... any car .... is commonly reckoned to be the second greatest expenditure the average Joe will incur in their lifetime, although divorcees may disagree! We're now fast reaching the point of parity, when comparing EVs with ICE technology (likely to occur during 2020-21) and EVs have far lower ongoing servicing costs .... basically cos there's less to go wrong in the first place.

    On running costs, I did a 'back of a fag packet' calculation a few months ago, which indicated a 10000m/yr driver would need to look at a 3yr period before seeing any savings. That's changing fast and that 2020-21 figure I gave is when it's reckoned costs will come down to the point where an EV is cheaper from day 1. That's emphatically not to suggest abandoning a perfectly serviceable ICE car straight away .... cos it's just not economic to to so (unless the price per gallon is jacked up too far, of course), but it's deffo time to be looking ahead to work out what happens when any present vehicle does eventually bite the dust.

    There is an emerging second-hand market for EVs. True, right now we're talking about earlier models, with less-than-exciting ranges, but this will obviously change over time. Did you know that several new model EVs already come with >400 mile ranges? We're at the stage where anything under about 240 miles is beginning to look a tad 'old hat'. Well, 400 miles is more than a bladderfull and as the infrastructure develops, there'll be the ability to bung an 80% charge into the vehicle whilst you boogie around the supermarket / grab lunch / travel on the W&LLR (who've just announced the installation of charging points, which our Tom (@Jamessquared) will doubtless advise the Bluebell have already got!).

    For the PSV/HGV markets, the economics are rather different. In point of fact, it's quite possible the solution will be too. Hydrogen fuel cells work in the real world now. This tech could likely be the most applicable for railways, away from OHLE. South Korea already have many H2 PSVs in service, ditto several large Chinese cities. For the record, Tesla have already announced a battery rig and Volvo have some in service within their own manufacturing chain.

    Regarding 'the big railway', I'm in no position to make any definitive statement on the lokely longevity of diesel propulsion, but given that any rolling stock has a finite lifespan, the solution will doubtless be dictated on economic grounds. Will we see another Beeching type observation concerning systemic costs in maintaining incompatible technologies? My guess is .... eventually, but probably not for at least another 10 years. Whatever happens ain't gonna happen overnight, any more than did the switch from steam to diesel.
     
  16. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Wood burner.jpg

    Footplate shots start at 1.30

    For some reason youtube has blocked the embedding facility...:(
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  17. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Shots like these must cause the tree huggers great distress, oh but wait a minute they want to use wood instead of coal, so soon there would be no trees left to hug.
     
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  18. 2392

    2392 Well-Known Member

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    Case of arsonists of the world ignight, I take it Ralph.......?:eek:
     
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  19. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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    I was thinking more home grown wood, not those ridiculous pellets sent from intact forests. Get planting!
     
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  20. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think the "tree-huggers" would rather we didn't run steam and diesel trains at all.
     

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