Homepage Forums General Transition Issues Repowering the electric utility industry

This topic contains 55 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Brian H 9 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #3090
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    Rematog
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    Eric,

    I was not predicting (formal) export restrictions. What I was saying is that domestic needs and politics will mean that the vast majority of the FF modules will, in the first 5-10 years, stay in or near their country of origin (say, within the EU).

    This implies there will be a lag before the developing world gets a LOT of FF modules.

    Oil price decreases (I doubt if it would be a dramatic as a

    #3096
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    Brian H
    Member

    Eric,

    I was not predicting (formal) export restrictions. What I was saying is that domestic needs and politics will mean that the vast majority of the FF modules will, in the first 5-10 years, stay in or near their country of origin (say, within the EU).

    This implies there will be a lag before the developing world gets a LOT of FF modules.

    Oil price decreases (I doubt if it would be a dramatic as a

    #3115
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    Rematog
    Member

    Given the large number of FF modules that would be produced, the manufacture of these would have more in common with automobile manufacture then traditional power generation equipment manufacturing.

    As it would take roughly 200,000 modules to replace the current US electrical generation, plus the number required to supply the load growth during that time, say 10 years, plus the FF modules used for thermal load in industry, I would put the demand for modules at 400,000 to 500,000 over the first ten years. That is an average annual production of 40,000 to 50,000 modules, at $300k to $500k ea. That is sales of between $12 and 25 billion per year. These are an assembly line type of volume.

    There will also be lots of supply industries developed at the same time. Just as with the auto industry, the FF module factory will not make many of the components, they will be purchased, delivered and the module assembled. The capacitors, electrical components, vacuum pumps, for example, may be made by supplier industries.

    So maybe the FF modules will be Ford or GM products, not Westinghouse or General Electric?

    #3116
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    Brian H
    Member

    Rematog wrote:

    Just as with the auto industry, the FF module factory will not make many of the components, they will be purchased, delivered and the module assembled. The capacitors, electrical components, vacuum pumps, for example, may be made by supplier industries.

    I haven’t seen any assertions to the contrary, so I’d assume that as many as possible of the components would be off-the-shelf, while others would be newly engineered and contracted out to specialist firms. But the quantities involved don’t compare to the auto industry, with its millions of units a year.

    However, the EV industry, given the burst of battery tech that is coming down the pike, is likely to be both a much larger economic factor and a significant demand booster. The generator, distribution, and EV industries will be in a kind of positive feedback loop for some time, I wot! I’d also expect a huge and persistent boost in the availability of scrap steel and other materials as EVs with carbon fiber/aluminm bodies displace current auto stocks.

    #3117
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    Rematog
    Member

    But, the cost per unit for FF modules is roughly 10 times that of most automobiles. And the 40,000 to 50,000 units per year is WAY above that of packaged equipment such as gas turbines, etc. that are individually made on a shop floor. Focus Fusion modules would also be much more standardized, with only a handful of variations needed (electrical or thermal output, possibly size of output, frequency (60 or 50 hz), etc).

    Also, likely to be lesser number of factories. If each factory turned out one module per hour for 8700 hours per year, 5 or 6 factories would meet the US needs. This is similar to the production rate of aircraft in the US during World War 2 (about 100,000 per year, of all types, as I recall). Complexity wise, I would compare a FF module with a WWII bomber. That was an assembly line process, and they were large, technical items.

    By the way, Ford made bombers during World War 2.

    Then, after the “boom” years and demand fell off, the factories could cut back to a single shift, 40 hr week. That alone would reduce production to 1/4 of the 8700 hr/year figure, which requires 4 shifts of workers to achieve.

    #3118
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    Brian H
    Member

    Rematog wrote: But, the cost per unit for FF modules is roughly 10 times that of most automobiles. And the 40,000 to 50,000 units per year is WAY above that of packaged equipment such as gas turbines, etc. that are individually made on a shop floor. Focus Fusion modules would also be much more standardized, with only a handful of variations needed (electrical or thermal output, possibly size of output, frequency (60 or 50 hz), etc).

    Also, likely to be lesser number of factories. If each factory turned out one module per hour for 8700 hours per year, 5 or 6 factories would meet the US needs. This is similar to the production rate of aircraft in the US during World War 2 (about 100,000 per year, of all types, as I recall). Complexity wise, I would compare a FF module with a WWII bomber. That was an assembly line process, and they were large, technical items.

    By the way, Ford made bombers during World War 2.

    Then, after the “boom” years and demand fell off, the factories could cut back to a single shift, 40 hr week. That alone would reduce production to 1/4 of the 8700 hr/year figure, which requires 4 shifts of workers to achieve.

    Yes, good comparison, though the focussed effort in WWII was “under duress”, with gov’t mandated access to funding and resources. But still, a comparable situation.

    This all disregards the HUGE disruption/displacement that will be going on in the rest of the economy and world as the implications and spinoff effects take hold, of course. As I said before, the bind moggles!

    #3470
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    JimmyT wrote: Brian
    Hey! Another space elevator fan. Another worthy project, albiet much less advanced and more complex, but also complimentary to this one.

    And yet another one! Remember, the 69,000 mile tether is more than an elevator, it’s also an interplanetary launch system.

    #3472
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    Brian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote:

    Brian
    Hey! Another space elevator fan. Another worthy project, albiet much less advanced and more complex, but also complimentary to this one.

    And yet another one! Remember, the 69,000 mile tether is more than an elevator, it’s also an interplanetary launch system.

    Yep. “Slingshot to the Stars!” Or thereabouts. 😉

    #3476
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Brian H wrote:

    Brian
    Hey! Another space elevator fan. Another worthy project, albiet much less advanced and more complex, but also complimentary to this one.

    And yet another one! Remember, the 69,000 mile tether is more than an elevator, it’s also an interplanetary launch system.

    Yep. “Slingshot to the Stars!” Or thereabouts. 😉
    Alpha Centauri maybe, if we can get .5 C or better average speed. I’m too old for a 20 year round trip.

    #4098
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    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    It will be locally distributed not centrally transmitted for reasons of neither economics nor technology. In the UK right now we are threatened with refinery strikes that could lead to power outages. EU wide we look nervously at Russia with its hand poised over the gas taps. Iranian oil is no certainty – the Supreme Leader isn’t singing our praises right now (this is not a political rant just a statement of fact). Whether you look at it on a national, continental or world wide scale there are solid reasons to want control over your power supply. That applies to individual businesses just as it does to local communities. There will still be outages and disputes but they will be on a tiny scale compared to the potential down side of the current system.

    IBM’s founder famously once said the world wide demand for computers would be about six or seven units. He said that because his paradigm was the before picture. We need to think in terms of the after picture.

    The title of this thread is “Re-powering the Electric Utility Industry”. I prefer “Rethinking the Electric Utility Industry.”

    (…and what do we do with all that Helium? :blank: )

    #4131
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    Rezwan
    Member

    Hi, moved Phil’s Dad’s post in reply to above over here: https://focusfusion.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/308

    #4135
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    Brian H
    Member

    Rezwan wrote: Hi, moved Phil’s Dad’s post in reply to above over here: https://focusfusion.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/308

    Actually, Rezwan [ed], you moved my post in reply to Phil’s Dad. 😉 >:-( :cheese:

    #4136
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    Brian H
    Member

    ANYWHERE that money is allocated but not spent, or about to be budgetted, for power generation, the choice will suddenly be: put up an FF factory and start cranking out generators and deploying them, or throw 10s or 100s of million$ into obsolete technology. Of course, regulations and vested interests will be all in favor of option #2, but I think a sh**-storm would hit if they tried it.

    #4137
    Avatar
    Brian H
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote:

    Brian
    Hey! Another space elevator fan. Another worthy project, albiet much less advanced and more complex, but also complimentary to this one.

    And yet another one! Remember, the 69,000 mile tether is more than an elevator, it’s also an interplanetary launch system.

    Yep. “Slingshot to the Stars!” Or thereabouts. 😉
    Alpha Centauri maybe, if we can get .5 C or better average speed. I’m too old for a 20 year round trip.

    We’ll just shoot you full of snow-flea juice and chill you to -2°C for the trip. You’ll miss lots of the sightseeing along the way, but will wake up (possibly) without an additional wrinkle or grey hair!

    #4139
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Brian H wrote: ANYWHERE that money is allocated but not spent, or about to be budgetted, for power generation, the choice will suddenly be: put up an FF factory and start cranking out generators and deploying them, or throw 10s or 100s of million$ into obsolete technology. Of course, regulations and vested interests will be all in favor of option #2, but I think a sh**-storm would hit if they tried it.

    Gotta love it! My local utility’s CEO was on the evening news around a month ago, floating a trial balloon about building another coal-fired plant. The tricky part with the timing is that the plant would go online around the time that FF units start rolling off the production lines. So they’re damned either way. No way can they tell us they’re going to strain capacity or make it up by running the gas-fired plants more of the day (raising our bills) to wait several years to see if a currently unproven technology pans out.

    “The fish that got away” could really raise public interest. That’s why I intend to approach the pols before the media. Nobody likes being surprised, especially those in high-profile leadership positions. I’m sure this pico-drama is being played out in dozens of other regions as well, lol.

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