Friday, July 25, 2008

T. B. Pickens Full Of It!

T. B. Pickens is shoveling up a load of ho******ap to the public. America's economy can't survive on windmills and solar power. The huge wind farms need electric lines to carry the power to far distant cities. I've heard the costs are something like 1-2 million dollars a mile! How are you going to store the excess energy on very windy days? Pickens doesn't talk about that. He needs to continue giving his millions of dollars to build up the football factory at his old school, Oklahoma State University. They have an inferiority complex because they can't win often enough against the football factory at my old school, Oklahoma University.

The U.S. went from a horse and buggy economy to our modern economy in only 40 years (1890-1930) because we had a supply of a wonderful high-energy density fuel ....oil! We still have a tremendous amount of it left , including coal, and oil shale. Both of which can be converted into oil. In WWII we were bombing the heck out of Germany, including their Rumanian oil fields and refineries, yet they still kept on fighting us with their airplanes and superior Tiger and Panther tanks. How did they do it? They figured out how to convert their abundant supply of coal to oil! We liberated the plans from them after the war, but didn't use it. It only became economically feasible a couple of years ago when oil reached $40/barrel. Last year the Bush administration decided to build a pilot plant to convert coal to oil in Illinois. But they shut down the project because the environmentalist screamed the plant would put CO2 into the atmosphere! So our government caved in to the wackos and shut down the project. As you know every CO2 molecule we put in the atmosphere increases the yield of all plants.

Now I like windmills for certain applications. Thirty years ago as an engineering professor, I invented a new type of windmill for people who live in isolated areas. My design was simple and cheap to build . I did not patent it, because a patent would have cost me about 20 grand, and I wanted to place no restrictions on letting anyone use the idea.

I ran the calculations on providing my home with electricity equal to the amount I used last year (2007). Using a Bergey type windmill, I would need about an acre of land and a windmill about 100 feet high. The capital costs would be about $120,000. To obtain the same amount of electricity from solar, I would have to cover my entire roof with solar panels, which would cost about $80,000. The wind doesn't blow all of the time and the sun doesn't shine every day......then one needs some kind of energy backup from oil, or gas. So that is going to cost some more dollars.

Prof. Ed Blick
Norman, OK

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