Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rosh Hashana 5775 and Still Counting and Hoping



We made it through 5774 by the skin on our teeth.  This is a world in turmoil and mad crowds in many places screaming death to my ancient people as well as my American homeland.  I watched and listened to President Obama address the UN this week.  It was a good speech and it is a speech that will be followed up with actions.  The world now must realize that the Nazi like jihadists have no place in a modern pluralistic, secular, and tolerant world.  We are all on the planet together.  We must embrace our diversity, and not exploit barbaric desires to dominate and subjugate others.  The president also spoke at the UN of global warming and carbon dioxide being a pollutant.  Perhaps he or his advisors has read the Green Machine.

The President, congress, and the state governments now have to put an end to the BLOOMGOGGLERs and their greenwashing.  There is no difference between Bloom Energy and the Jihadists.  Bloom uses its clout of its cronies to extract hundreds of millions of dollars from the poor working stiffs.   They lie about their greenness as though they are godly.  They pollute the air and hide toxic solid waste.   They, like Hamas, when confronted retreat to their tunnels and hide.  Yes Bloom would not debate the Green Machine but uses it propagandist clout to extract hundreds of millions of dollars of rate payer and tax payer money.

The period between Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur is when we reflect and forgive others who ask for our forgiveness.  We also use this period to ask for forgiveness from others.  I forgive those who made honest mistakes or were hoodwinked.  Even my absent Congressman (Huffman) is forgiven by me and he can use this time of awe to decide to come over to the good side of the case against Bloom and their largest greenwashing client AT&T who are his sponsor.   My absent Assemblyman (Levine) is also forgiven by me.  He simply is useless not corrupt.  He can become useful by investigating what went on with Bloom and two governmental agencies (AC Transit and Santa Clara County).

Is there any possible way I can forgive Bloom Energy.   I have thought long and hard and even read up the Mishnah how a corrupt enterprise can make amends.

If Bloom begged for forgiveness via a public statement I would have to forgive them.  They of course would also have to make restitution of all of their ill-gotten gains and they would have to clean the air and the earth of the pollution they caused.  They would need to pray, fast and give massively to charity as well.  Then they can simply practice their business honestly by admitting to their actual efficiency and collecting their hazardous solid waste and disposing of it safely and according to the law.  Al Gore who heaven forbid may ask for my forgiveness would also be forgiven.   His repentance will be to read my book on energy and actually learn something about matters Green.  Also, he will have to make a film exposing the convenient untruths of his partnership with Kleiner Perkins.

Condi Rice would also be forgiven by me for her crimes against nature and humanity while on the board of KIOR.  She would also have to say sorry to the people whose life she ruined by waging an unjust war.  Finally Vinod Khosla would be forgiven, but he would have to donate his land in Half Moon Bay to the state and let any surfer use the land and the beach to their hearts’ content.

Of course I know none of this will happen.  5775 will also be a year of the 1% socking it to the 99% and a continuing crisis with ISIS.  But dreaming of a perfected sweet world is something we do in the days of awe.  To all who read my blogs and gain some insight into the reality of thermodynamics you all do not need to ask my forgiveness.  To you I say Happy New Year and may the year be filled with as little entropy as is physically possible while obeying the laws of thermo.  Remember that soon the only icebergs will be lettuce and Romaine is burning.


The Green Machine 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Bad Day For Vinod Khosla A Great Day For America



Yesterday Vinod Khosla struck out three times.  His stick man's wood to diesel fake out KIOR was delisted from the NASDAQ and is now trading at a dime a share on the pink not green sheets.  GEVO his other thermodynamic fantasy had some of its patents invalidated and is trading at 35 cents a share.  And finally a judge ruled that Vinnie must open his gates on his beachfront property to allow surfers and others to gain beach access.




This was a great day for America and the rule of thermodynamic, state, and national laws was demonstrated.    I wonder if Condi Rice and Tony Blair still give Khosla advice or they both are now convinced this guy is just bad news. 

Vinod’s former VC partners at Kleiner Perkins are equally bad news with their BLOOMDOGGLE.   Bloom’s rip off of folks in California, Delaware and the rest of the US continues despite the Green Machine exposing the utter waste of precious bio gas at AC Transit and the operation of the Bloom Coffins beyond the permitted amount of natural gas in Delaware.  Maybe the land where Khosla blocked public access is where Bloom hid the hazardous solid waste with sulfur????   President Obama called CO2 a pollutant in his address to UN.  I wonder what the President calls desulfurization tanks that come out of Bloom Coffins????

I am still amazed that a lone chemical engineer who wrote a text on Fuel Cells and hydrogen managed to get Bloom to hide in their HQ rather than debate at the CPUC HQ.  Bloom got AC Transit to make hydrogen from bio gas, then electricity form the hydrogen, and then hydrogen from the electricity.  Nobody blinked an eye while Bloom wasted 2.5 times the precious bio gas that was needed to simply make the hydrogen.   Compared with Vinnie locking a gate blocking access to a beach, Bloom’s crimes against nature and humanity are far worse.  Bloom will soon realize that Life Is A Beach and they will be green washed up on a rocky shore.   Al Gore, John Doerr, and Collin Powell can only protect them for so long till the truth is told of the greatest green lie of the century.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AC Transit Needs Help - Rube Greenberg Award



AC Transit a San Francisco bay area public entity for public transportation needs help.  The help they need is not in buying busses but in understanding thermodynamics and economics.   They bought 400 kilowatts of Bloom Coffins to provide electricity to an electrolysis unit that makes hydrogen from water.   The hydrogen will be used in a fleet of fuel cell busses. They claim they produce carbon free hydrogen as the gas feeding the Bloom Coffins is biogas.
Now let’s have the reality check.   The Bloom unit is at best 45% efficient based on the higher heating value of natural gas.  The electrolysis unit is at best 66% efficient at producing hydrogen from water and electricity.   The combined efficiency (45% times 66%) equals 30% of overall efficiency.  One can produce hydrogen by steam methane reforming (what the first part of the Bloom Coffin does) with at least 75% efficiency so why in heavens name take the reformed gas containing hydrogen and run it through a fuel cell to generate electricity, and then take the generated electricity that came from hydrogen in the first place to again produce hydrogen in a electrolysis unit???  

Only an idiotic government entity could dream up this nonsense.  Their actions reduce the efficiency of producing hydrogen from 75% to 30%.   Therefore they need to use 2.5 times as much natural gas to yield the same quantity of hydrogen.  They did this to give their friends at Bloomdoggle Energy money!   This Rube Goldberg system at AC Transit cost over $6 million.  $4 million given to Bloomdoggle Energy and $2 million to the vendor of the electrolysis unit.  For the production of the same quantity of hydrogen, I would install a steam methane reformer (SMR) and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit for approximately $1 million in total and would only use 40% of the natural gas. 

Of course if I simply installed a SMR and PSA I would not get top billing at Governor Moonbeam’s Office.  The “greenies” in government love this nonsense of stringing together Rube Goldberg systems that now should be called Rube Greenberg systems.  Yes AC transit won the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).  AC Transit also won the Department of Entropy’s Annual Merit Review Award. AMRA

January 2013
California’s Governor Jerry Brown recognized AC Transit’s achievements by awarding it with the 2012 
Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for building the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration program in the country.


To me GEELA and AMRA add up to government waste and AC Transit is the poster child for the Rube Greenberg award.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Solar Energy is Growing Well



I read an article this week that worldwide 40 gigawatts of solar power from photovoltaic systems will be installed in 2014.  This could grow to as high as 50 gigawatts next year.   China followed by Japan are the largest markets for solar farms.

The article below is from Digitimes a Taiwanese site

“Global solar cell demand in 2014 estimated at 40GWp, say Taiwan makers
Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Friday 19 September 2014]
Global demand for crystalline silicon solar cells in 2014 is estimated at 40GWp, mainly consisting of 11GWp in China, 8GWp in Europe, 7GWp in Japan, 5GWp in the US and 1.3GWp in India, according to Taiwan-based makers.
China-based solar cell makers have a total annual production capacity of 30-32GWp in 2014 and Taiwan-based ones 9-10GWp, the sources said. China- and Taiwan-based makers together have a total annual capacity of 39-42GWp in 2014, enough to meet global demand, the sources indicated.
Global demand in 2015 may increase to 50GWp, the sources noted.”

When I wrote my book in 2003 Solar was a miniscule market, but I dedicated a chapter as to how this was going to be a technology that would proliferate.   The other markets I forecast to have good growth were LCD TVs and LEDs.  The book explained that the Hydrogen Highway was a myth and that focus on sustainability should be around solar energy, and mostly on efficiency.   Back in 2003 Arne was still a Hummer Fanatic and people were buying massive SUVs not small cars.  This has also changed.

This week I had a debate with a prof who told me it takes 9 years for the solar modules to pay back the electricity that it took to manufacture them from raw sand and other components.   I did the math and told the prof that this was impossible and the cells are fabricated on wafers that are 180 micrometers thick not the 4,000 micrometers he had used in his calculation.   There also was a math error in his calculation and I reached my own conclusion that the energy input to fabricate solar cells is now paid back in less than 4 months if the cells are placed in California and that these cells will generate electricity for more than 20 years.  This is a very useful technology.   The prof was willing to admit three year payback as he believed the 180 micrometer cells will die and thicker wafers are needed.   My research showed all leading PV cell manufacturers uses cells of approximately 200 micrometer thickness.  200 micrometers is approximately 0.0078 inches.   These wafers are now very thin and much thinner than when I wrote my book.

PVINSIGHTS is a very interesting site that reports the weekly average cost of PV wafers, cells, and modules.  Pricing this week is at an all-time low but pretty much the same as 2 years ago.  Manufacturers of PV system (Chinese and Taiwanese dominate the market) work on ultrathin margins for their ultrathin wafers and cells.  


Item
High
Low
Average
AvgChg
AvgChg %
Silicon Solar Module
0.94
0.50
0.610
Negative Change Sign-0.002
Negative Change Sign-0.33%
ThinFilm Solar Module
0.87
0.49
0.648
Negative Change Sign-0.001
Negative Change Sign-0.15%
US Multi Solar Module
Unit: USD / Watt
Last Update: 2014-09-17
All Spot Prices are Tax excluded and updated on Wednesday


The price of 61 cents a watt for silicon modules accounts for between 20 to 25% of the total installed cost of a solar farm at utility scale (20,000,000 watts or greater).  Home rooftop systems (3,000 to 5,000 watts) will cost about $4 per watt on a fully installed basis, and systems on large warehouse buildings (100,000 watts) will cost about $3 per watt fully installed.  PV solar will continue to grow and we can thank the Chinese for having made the systems affordable.  It is pretty dumb for the US and Europeans to impose tariffs on these systems.   We simply should reap the benefits of the Chinese selling systems below cost and make electrons while the sun shines.  We should note it is pretty dumb to place PV systems in places where the sun hardly shines but the folks in New York and North Carolina are doing this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is KIOR Kaput?



They are delisted from the NASDAQ

They have infighting among the owners and directors

They have laid-off workers

They have stopped production

They have not paid their debts

I would say they are kaput!    I have always said they were a thermodynamic fake out.   That white catalyst of theirs was fairy dust.   Vinod Khosla must answer the Thermo God for:  Cello; Range; LS9; Amyris; Gevo; Calera; Light Sail; Virdia (HCL);  and of course KIOR.  KIOR was the biggest fake out of all although Calera, Cello and Range were right up there.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fuel Cells 2014 V. 2003



In 2003 I published my book Hydrogen Hope or Hype ?


It is still a very good primer on energy, sustainability, and fuel cells.   You see Thermo does not change and the book is based on thermo not some junk Al Gore dreamed up in his convenient untruth.

Over the past decade the one technology that did emerge that was not covered in the book are lithium ion batteries in vehicles.  I covered my thermodynamic analysis of this technology in my now famous US Senate Testimony


Toyota and several other companies such as Honda and Hyundai re introducing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles next year.  There is a great debate between Elon Musk of Tesla and Toyota whether fuel cell vehicles are better or worse than battery powered EVs.   My answer is both are bloody expensive but the EV is less bloody expensive.  I feel pretty confident to predict that battery EVs will outsell fuel cell cars 10 to 1 in the next decade.   I also feel confident to say that plain old vehicles together with non-plug in hybrid vehicles will outsell EVs more than 50 to 1.

The amount of money Toyota will lose on each sale of its fuel cell vehicle is greater than the amount Tesla will lose.  Toyota and the other large auto companies are selling fuel cell vehicles at a loss to promote goodwill and to have a defense one day should they get sued (as the tobacco companies were sued) for knowingly harming the health and wellbeing of people.

Folks the great hope in personal transportation remains more efficient gasoline, diesel, ethanol, methanol, DME, CNG, propane, or ethane propelled vehicles and that car share, carpooling, and car abandonment will come about to reduce the need for ever increasing oil refining and consumption.

I had a couple of interesting discussions with folks who are close to transportation fuels and energy markets and they stated that the “wise” hedge fund money is betting that in five to six years (2020) oil will be at $70 a barrel and not $150 a barrel.   There will be a global diminishment in the growth in the demand for refined petroleum used in transportation due to engine improvement and changes in social behavior.   I tend to agree that oil prices peaked in 2008 and that the real market value of oil is approximately $80 a barrel.   Of course if world war three breaks out because Mr. Obama new found “Levant Strategy” is a failure we could see $200 a barrel oil very quickly.   Remember Mr. Obama refers to ISIL not ISIS.   Levant is derived from French meaning the rising.  We are back to the 1930s when the Rising Sun was causing havoc in the Far East.  Now we have the Neville Chamberlain of 2014, who talked nonsense in Cairo in 2009 allowing  havoc in the Middle East.   I just pray we all wake up to crisis and irradiate the cancer.



I do see the further hybridization of the drive trains in vehicles with micro and moderate hybrids taking a good share of future sales.   I also see that alternate fuels other than diesel and gasoline will propel more private vehicles and large fleets.   Big Oil is headed to becoming a little less big but will still remain big.   I also see that unless I win the lotto I will still be driving my 1999 C 280 Mercedes that is still valid 20th century technology.   I only drive 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year so I am not the average Yank in a Tank stuck in traffic.  By 2020 I also predict that Tesla will have a realistic stock price and that this stock price will be no more than the price of oil per barrel.  


We can easily change our driving behavior and we can easily improve the fleet efficiency.  But we cannot easily convert to Fuel Cell cars on a hydrogen highway even if the governator says so.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

His Back Pages - A Tribute To Jonathan



It is exactly two years since my high school chum Jonathan passed to the wicked disease of ALS.  At the time of his passing I wrote a eulogy of his extraordinary strength and how he is my inspiration to carry on the fight against the members of the complex led by Al Gore who have stolen billions with greenwashed fraud.  This tribute to Jonathan is written from the mouth of the second law of thermodynamics if it could talk to us.

The Dylan song My Back Pages was one his greatest ever.   The lyrics are simply brilliant.

The song begins with descriptions of flames and fire and using ideas as maps.  The choral theme of the song is introduced at the end of the verse “Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now

In Jonathan’s back pages he could not reverse entropy and he was so much older when he passed than when we were young in high school and the last time I saw him face to face.  ALS is akin to entropy and chaos, with cells being eaten by a “Pac-Man” like thing that creates pure chaos in body function.   Steven Hawking, the man who best described entropy by saying “entropy increases in time because we measure time in the direction entropy increases” also suffers from the debilitating Pac-Man type ALS disease that has limited his mobility but has not constrained a brilliant mind.  Jonathan too had a brilliant mind.

Many a fool has for the past ten years wished to reverse entropy by latching on to “free money” for “free energy” from the green government and unsuspecting shareholders.  I have written of Condi Rice’s KIOR as one such example.   This week one of their board members resigned in disgrace.  Paul O’Connor the inventor of the alchemy that defied the second law of thermo wrote a resignation letter that castigated the company, and the company in turn wrote a response to the SEC that castigated Mr. O’Conner. The drama at KIOR is happening close to the final act when they go bust.  This is akin to the third verse of Bob’s song that is as follows: 
“Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow

When cavemen discovered fire and that wood burned, the same laws of thermodynamics prevailed over the reactions of yellow pine as they do today when KIOR flames out converting pine to diesel.
Jonathan warned me to be strong and not give up when it comes to the gangrene frauds out there.   The fifth verse of Back Pages is particularly emblazoned in my brain:
“In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow

I told Jonathan that Al Gore is the leader of the pack of the mongrel dogs who teach sustainability.  Jonathan shared his thoughts about the President when he typed emails to me with his eyes on his special computer.  These thoughts were of a weak incompetent president who was not clueless but driven by a deep doctrine despising the fundamental ideas that the West and Israel embodied.   Jonathan pegged Obama spot on and would have had some mighty big comments of the ISIS speech in which the president looked “spooked”.  Jonathan would end his eye typed emails to me with the words “Am Israel Chai” = The People of Israel Live.   He knew he was going soon but that his legacy was a common legacy of seeking life over death, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and love over hate.

Jonathan told me to live up to the words of the final verse in back pages:
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow


I may sound vitriolic or acerbic sometimes but the second law of thermodynamics is inviolable and really does define good and bad.  It defines free energy and entropy.  Sadly for all of us it makes the chorus “Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now impossible.  Jonathan we were so much younger then, but even with age and increasing entropy and horrible Pac-Man type diseases we must chose a path of life and we must eradicate the cancers that wish death to the Jews, the West, and civilized people.  I do hope that Mr. Obama finally gets it, but hope is not a strategy, and entropy is not reversible as time marches on.  Jonathan I will try beat Pac-Man in a video game but that is only a virtual victory.  The real victory will come when all in the world chose life over death, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and obey the second law of thermodynamics.