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Crystal Ball Gazing

Thoughts from the electric car thread

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Nick Clarke 317/07/2019 09:39:38
1397 forum posts
61 photos

If the fossil fuel crisis is as described - and my experience of the predicted decline in coal in the UK and what has actuality happened suggests it could well be correct - then there may be no spare electricity for multiple machine tools in private home use, no affordable heating equipment or fuel for boiler making and no facilities for the production of tools or materials unless essential - and little coal or other fuels to run models either!

This is supposed to be about 30 years away now - I doubt I shall still be here then, but in my club there are members in their teens and twenties.......

Before the 1930's treadle lathes appear to have been very popular and even in the seventies milling machines were not usual, let alone the industrial standard equipment that is not uncommon today - Might we need to see a return to those days?

Plasma17/07/2019 09:59:12
443 forum posts
1 photos

Hopefully some brain will crack some way to create energy much more cleanly than now rather than binning all the electro mechanical stuff we have come to rely on thus far.

In the geological scheme of things it wont matter anyway as mankind will eventually wind up extinct no matter what. We are too fond of killing each other to stop. Plus we dont have the sense to stop doing things that harm us in the longer term.

I noted that they are talking about mineral rights on the moon, extracting rare metals etc. Not content with screwing one planet up we now aspire to destroying a second world. Star trek it is not lol.

Ciao mick

martin perman17/07/2019 11:00:09
2042 forum posts
86 photos

Fellow Forum users,

Before the arrival of the internal combustion engine farmers used to run the farm implements with a Horse, the Horse would drive a gear attached to a shaft by walking in a circle and this gear would drive a gear driven prop shaft to run the implement, obviously most of us wont have a horse or the land to keep one so the next best thing could be a family pet, dog/cat, and as there will be no use for the car there would be plenty of parts to use to connect the device to the lathe/mill like gear boxes or prop shafts you could also run an alternator to charge batteries or run household appliances smiley smiley smiley

Martin P

SillyOldDuffer17/07/2019 11:40:58
8516 forum posts
1915 photos

Doesn't worry me too much because the amount of power used by a home workshop is rather small. Model Engineering isn't controversially greedy. When I stuck a meter on my lathe and mill I found lighting my workshop uses much more energy than the motors.

It's because the lights are on all the time whereas hobby power tools are usually only run in short bursts. The amount of time spent cutting metal is rather short. And, although my lathe has a 1.5kW motor, I rarely use it to the full. Even a moderately heavy cut is unlikely to burn more than 1kW over a minute or two.

In contrast a domestic vacuum cleaner in the hands of a house-proud lady is a monster. They can use a lot of power for extended periods, as when Mrs Mop Hoovers the whole house twice daily. Man with lathe is an angel in comparison.

What might hurt more is the cost of new metal. Who knows what will happen to prices over the next 20 years. Firms are already reluctant to give scrap away as they once did.


Nick Clarke 317/07/2019 12:23:02
1397 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 17/07/2019 11:40:58:

In contrast a domestic vacuum cleaner in the hands of a house-proud lady is a monster. They can use a lot of power for extended periods, as when Mrs Mop Hoovers the whole house twice daily. Man with lathe is an angel in comparison.


But the power of vacuum cleaners is already limited in comparison to a few years ago - what if all electrical devices needed to be certified as suitable for home use. And before anyone says impractical, business premises have to measure their energy efficiency, all houses energy efficiency and that of all new domestic appliances is measured.

Perhaps in the future if you do not have an energy certificate for each device it cannot be connected to the mains legally?? Where would you get one for a 40 year old Myford with a 3ph drive and invertor you have fitted yourself??

Will propane/acetylene/oxygen be available to the non commercial (ie unlicenced) user? If you think that is impossible try and buy sulfuric acid for pickle other than under the radar as drain cleaner.

I am only speculating on the possible and would be interested in hearing what others feel might be possible - I know we are not a large user of energy as a hobby - but might that mean we are legislated out of existence by accident as a by product of other new rules etc?

Bazyle17/07/2019 13:22:41
6301 forum posts
222 photos

So my Drummond treadle lathe and hand shaper are futuristic machines! My next loco will have to be an American 440 with the wide chimney for wood fuel.

The EU regulations, Lot 23, that pushed my industry into providing low standby power devices was initially started because of the perceived high power consumption of coffee makers sitting there keeping the pot hot for hours.

not done it yet17/07/2019 14:08:46
6749 forum posts
20 photos

Threads like this are for the scaremongers amongst us. Who knows what will aspire in 30 years or more? It may be so hot that we don’t need any house heating. New houses might all be built to passivhaus specifichations or better.

Perhaps solar electricity generation will be shifted around the globe via huge or multiple interconnectors. But what is certain is that things will change... Wait and see. Lots of people sweeping dust off solar panels in the desert?

I would have a battery and sufficient solar power for most of the year (for my engineering activities), but I doubt I will be here then (I will be pleasantly surprised if I am!). We do need to try to leave a habitable planet for our descendants, mind, and we are most certainly not doing that too well at present.

Roger B17/07/2019 15:15:18
186 forum posts
82 photos

How many on here actually look at the data behind the Climate/Fossil Fuels problem rather than just following the media?

Here is the Central England Temperature series (HADCET) held by the Met Office:

hadcet july 2019.jpg

This is the longest existing measured temperature series and shows some interesting points. The temperature rose by more than 1.5°C between about 1700 and 1730. The temperature rose around 1°C between about 1975 and 2000. Were those both man made, both natural or what? Since 2000 the temperature has been fairly stable but at a higher level than before. No sign of the catastrophic rise that that the ‘people on the streets’ are protesting about.

The next graphs are of the Global Temperature series (HADCRUT):


The various temperature series gathered on these graphs are in reasonable agreement but they only go back to 1900. If you look at the Central England series quite a lot happened before then. There is also a significant difference between the north and south hemispheres. For the northern hemisphere there is somewhat dubious attempt to show an increasing rate of temperature rise by starting from a cool spell in the 1970s. Ignoring that the average temperature rise is around 1°C per century. The steeper slope from 1980 is around 2°C per century, but only for the northern hemisphere. There is no sign of any correlation with the CO2 levels, which have also only been measured from 1958.

mauna loa full scale.jpg

Once again no signs of the impending catastrophes.

I fully believe that we should minimise our consumption of finite resources and reduce our impact on the planet but it should be done in the right way and for the right reasons, not being controlled by a global circus as it is today. The IPCC’s science is OK but there is none of left once you move into the political scene.

DMB17/07/2019 15:37:44
1300 forum posts
1 photos

Consider from a slightly different angle; many species are tottering on the point of extinction. Humans are reverse of that, the current number of over 7 billion of us is, I think, ridiculously unsustainable in the long term. The rate of increase in numbers, soon to exceed 8 billion, is also way beyond sustainability. 

Edited By DMB on 17/07/2019 15:54:50

Nick Clarke 317/07/2019 16:11:17
1397 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 17/07/2019 14:08:46:

Threads like this are for the scaremongers amongst us.

Sorry - I didn't mean to be a scaremonger. The thoughts on what might be came after reading some of the posts in the electric car thread and I just wondered whether they resonated with others.

Former Member17/07/2019 16:18:31
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

SillyOldDuffer17/07/2019 17:06:33
8516 forum posts
1915 photos
Posted by Roger B on 17/07/2019 15:15:18:

How many on here actually look at the data behind the Climate/Fossil Fuels problem rather than just following the media?


hadcet july 2019.jpg

No sign of the catastrophic rise that that the ‘people on the streets’ are protesting about.


The various temperature series gathered on these graphs are in reasonable agreement but they only go back to 1900.

mauna loa full scale.jpg

Once again no signs of the impending catastrophes.

Depends on how you interpret the graphs? They appear to show a trend, and Roger highlights exceptions as indicating there isn't a trend, or, if there is a trend, it's not man made. That is possible, but I'd suggest unlikely because:

  1. Before about 1900 the mean temperature in central England was always below the Long Term Average in 1990 with one exception around 1725.
  2. After about 1900 the temperature has risen steadily and this is abnormal. Earlier shifts in temperature have bounced around a cooler average, not risen in a fairly straight line.

We know from volcanic eruptions that large quantities dust, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide dumped into the atmosphere cause bad weather. Fortunately, these events are few and far between and seem not to have long term consequences beyond a decade or two. What's the best explanation of ongoing data if it is not large-scale burning during modern times?

Unlikely to be a coincidence. Scientific opinion is more-or-less solid on both climate change and why it is happening. The consensus arises because data from several different disciplines appears to be consistent. For example this NOAA graph of sea-water temperature since 1880 is hard to dismiss:


As steam locomotive men know it would take a gigantic amount of heat to raise all the seawater in the world by 0.8°C. The energy comes from the sun and the temperature is rising because green-house gases act as a blanket reducing cooling at night. The sea is charging up like a giant night storage heater. The extra energy in the system is a good explanation of the increased frequency of extreme weather across the world, droughts, severe storms, freezing and record high temperatures. If not, what else?

Confirming climate change is man-made would be good news because then we might be in time to stop it. If it's mother nature on the rampage we have a really big problem.


pgk pgk17/07/2019 17:27:53
2553 forum posts
293 photos

Apaprently we have a number of crises: transport emissions, housing shortages and a lack of burial space witha recent suggestion of green burials along motorways burial

I submit therefore that we solve all this logically. People only use cars because they are convenient. If all bypasses and the slow lanes of motorways were converted to housing then road congestion would be so bad that no-one would bother using a car. The overburdened ambulance service wouldn't function at all so all the dead would just be stacked in the central reservation. perhaps spaced out every 1/4 mile and left with their cell-phones in case a rarely brave motorist breaks down and thinks he/she/it might get assistance. The charnel house aroma would doubtless reduce the value of properties and put them within the means of the young
Of course every few houses would have to have a machine shop to recycle broken down vehicles because no deliveries will be possible once the system is up and running - the rise of the hobby engineer will come.

Bazyle17/07/2019 17:52:59
6301 forum posts
222 photos

So with impending doom what career advice do you give a young teen about to select GCSEs?
Engineering - need for engineers to make solutions to the problems in the future or no need as there are no materials to make things from.
Farming - at least making your own food under massive government controls like wartime but at risk from armed raids by urban gangs as well as government extortion rackets ie how taxation began.
Media studies / lawyer - no use whatsoever but might make a bucket load of dosh to pay for the rising prices.
Any other parasite job that produces nothing useful and just expect the government to support them
Army - the oikes with guns will be able to get whatever they want but some danger of rebellion, invasion etc
Doctor - might not be as useful a skill as one thinks without the supply of antibiotics and drugs.

not done it yet17/07/2019 18:04:18
6749 forum posts
20 photos

Here is a trend.

Let the climate change deniers note this one. There are trend results going back much further, if I can locate, but this one is striking enough.


Neil Wyatt17/07/2019 19:22:34
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Helps to see those graphs in a wider context. Rapid short-term change in temperature isn't hugely unusual. Sustained large-scale increase is:

Mike Poole17/07/2019 19:43:21
3308 forum posts
73 photos

The thing that really spanks my electricity bill is the tumble dryer but having said that the long list of devices that are always on make the biggest contribution to the bill.


Former Member17/07/2019 19:57:47
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

John Haine17/07/2019 21:04:30
4643 forum posts
273 photos

We had solar panels installed last November, with one storage battery. Since the spring essentially all our daytime energy has been solar generated, and the battery keeps us going into the night as well with lights etc. So my daytime machine usage has an energy cost of zero. Recently I finally turned off the short mains water heating top-up at night on E7, it hasn't made any noticeable difference, so our hot water is free as well at least in the summer. Even last winter we generated enough solar energy to make quite a dent in our normal usage.

So the answer to the original question is to have widespread solar energy and battery storage to meet domestic needs.

As for climate change, my own observation over nearly 70 years is that severe winters are much less common; and since 1976 many summers have been unbearably hot at times even in the UK. When we moved here in East Anglia the area was incredibly wet, now we have had a drought essentially for at least 2 years. I wouldn't bet against climate change being real - if it is the consequences for our children will be catastrophic; if we manage to take the right actions to avert it we will have a much more sustainable future.

Michael Gilligan17/07/2019 21:51:05
20113 forum posts
1044 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 17/07/2019 19:22:34:

Helps to see those graphs in a wider context. ...


Forgive my needing to ask, but ... What does Reconstructed Temperature actually mean? ... and what is your reference source?


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 17/07/2019 21:52:51

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