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You have to choose one for your backyard to help in the energy crisis

Started by AstroMart, 04/07/2018 10:51PM

Poll Results:

0 Total Votes
Posted 07/12/2008 03:52PM #1
Still, a nuclear plant would be a poor backyard neighbor for an amateur astronomer. They tend to be lit up like car dealerships. The cooling towers emit large plumes of vapor. And I imagine they might be crawling with security men who might view your nocturnal activities with suspicion or even intolerance.

Joe Bergeron

Moderator, Astro-Physics Forum
Posted 07/12/2008 06:10PM #2
I'll bet the people that would like a windfarm in their backyard have never actually been near one in operation! But if you really lived in an area that would be good wind resource - maybe you wouldn't mind at all.

Posted 07/13/2008 02:59PM #3
Well, being in South Florida ("The Sunshine State", as they call it), Solar Energy is available all year round, so it seems only "logical" to go this route.
So far, Solar Panels are still lacking the "efficiency" that we would like to see, but it is certainly a clean & natural way to pull energy without any resulting contaminants or possible dangers.

I've been thinking about setting up a panel or two on top of my observatory, to power up my equipment... hopefully soon. (money is tight at the moment)

Clear skies!

Ivan Gastaldo 8)
Coconut Creek, FL

Ivan's Observatory
Lat 26N 16' 48" Long 80W 10' 48"
[COLOR="Red"]Personal Website:[/COLOR]

CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky - Moderator
I like to complain about everything - Moderator
Posted 07/13/2008 07:47PM #4
I choose solar power. It is would be far less intrusive for observing than the other options. For "your" backyard, I'd go with nuclear!

Randy Roy
Posted 07/14/2008 02:38PM | Edited 07/16/2008 12:58AM #5
I voted for geothermal because I already have a unit about three blocks away, where a local school installed a geothermal setup for their heating and cooling (and some electricity). You can see a small control unit and some pipes, and that's about it. On the other hand, if something breaks deep underground and they need repairs ... one can only imagine. Geothermal has the advantage that its energy source is continuous and can easily respond to demand fluctuations.

Solar would be fine too. The Germans have done well with solar -- one advantage is they need considerable technological input, which benefits the educational infrastructure (one reason the Germans like them).

Having lived downwind from a coal plant, and having driven through the refineries of Louisiana, those are certainly out for my backyard. Windfarms are cool, but you need many generators and they are noisy if you are close. Nuclear? I'd personally avoid nuclear in my backyard for the reverse reason that people play the lottery -- the chances of The Big Event happening are small but not infinitely small (completely avoiding nuclear plants is like a tax on the statistically challenged). On the other hand, nuclear would also improve the educational infrastructure, since you need so many engineers and designers.

By the way, in the last general election Colorado voters (a notoriously tight-fisted lot) passed an initiative that a certain percentage of our electricity must come from renewable resources, and we have had no problems getting electricity at a reasonable price.

At the recent caucus, our party passed a platform initiative calling for all federal vehicles (except those in the Defense Department) and buildings being run with renewable energy sources within the next 7 years. Worth considering!!
Posted 07/14/2008 07:53PM #6

I live in central Illinois and there is a huge farm about 30 miles west of me. It just got finished and they're building another one about 20 miles south of me. They're all over the place! I wouldn't really mind one in my back yard. I have spent some time near them and they do make a decent amount of noise as the wind speeds over the blades, but the amount of money you get for renting the land to the electrical company more than makes up for a little noise. Not to mention they look cool!

Posted 07/14/2008 08:55PM | Edited 07/16/2008 12:53AM #7
Yes, that's an interesting observation!
For instance, one very prominent lobbyist for the Natural Resources Defense Council (a group which supports conservation and renewable energy), is also one of the community leaders opposed to an offshore windfarm near his home (and yacht berthing) off the Massachusetts coast (actually, if the world were completely just, those who consume the most power might have to live nearest the sources of power generation).

Posted 07/15/2008 12:16AM | Edited 07/15/2008 12:59PM #8
I agree. Al Gore should have to move to Three Mile Island. smile

Randy Roy
Posted 07/16/2008 06:10AM | Edited 07/16/2008 06:11AM #9
Coal is here now, it is cheap, it is cleaner now and it can be used to make synthetic fuels.

With solar we might even be able to make synthetic gas out of air (co2) and water (H). Kind of like a battery with the plus of reducing that scary carbon stuff.

Just stuff-

"I know engineers. They love to change things."

- Leonard McCoy (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)