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electrical energy

Brain Function, Sparrows, and Storage

By Energy Rant No Comments
A recent webinar delivered some interesting facts to me. The average human brain weighs three pounds, as verified here. The presenter said the brain represents 2% of an average person’s weight but consumes 20% of the blood flow and calories. I thought, wow – that is interesting. The inverse of 2% is 50.  The average person weighs 150 lbs? I would say that is quite generous! The large part of the brain in charge of logic, reasoning, reading, writing, and thinking is the neocortex. Indeed, engaging that large portion of the organ for a long time wears a person down....
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Four Shades of Electrical Demand – A Riveting Cliffhanger

By Energy Rant One Comment
Last week I related electrical demand in kW with electrical energy in kWh. Energy is the area (power times time) under the kW curve. Without cheating, I’ll do an example. Elementary Calculus In energy-nerd world, a curve is a line of any form, including a straight line. Consider the simple ax + b curve on the right, where a is the slope and b is the y-intercept.  The equation is y = 2x +4. C’mon you had this in elementary school. Challenge yourself! If I want the energy consumed from hour two to hour ten, I simply take the integral...
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Clean Power Plan (CPP) – The Next Layer

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week, we scratched the surface of demons in the Clean Power Plan (CPP) details.  Let’s see what lies on the second layer below. There are two methods for counting, scoring, and achieving compliance in the plan: mass based and rate-based plans.  To recap, mass based is the simpler of the two. For starters, it includes one metric: tons of CO2 emissions from stationary power suppliers.  The second is, I believe, far more complicated.  Why?  Glad you asked. The rate based approach would appear to be an itty bit more complicated, like steaming broccoli versus steaming carrots.  The only difference...
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Refrigerator Sitcoms and Lethal Toaster Ovens

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 3 Comments
I’ve read enough energy-saving tip lists to fill a Webster’s dictionary[1].  In this rant, I dissect some common ones, some uncommon ones, and provide some myself. Cook with small appliances – toaster oven, slow cooker, electric skillet:  I would strongly advise against a toaster oven because (1) using it to make toast wastes energy – a “slice” toaster evenly toasts bread with coils in the closest proximity possible minimizing wasted heat, (2) my experience with toaster ovens for baking things like quick bread is that they burn.  The temperature and coil proximity (ironically) is too close to what is cooking,...
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