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Everything posted by RegGuheert

  1. Bump. A friend of mine has just shown me the website desmos.com . I have now added links to the posts above for the line, the parabola, and the circle to online interactive graphs that I created to match my equation sheets. There are five graphs in total. These graphs contain sliders which allow you to adjust the coefficients in the equations and see their effects on the graphs. Please try out these links and let me know whether you think these graphs will be useful learning aids for students.
  2. While the controversy surrounding Griddy is understandable, I want to point out a trend that I have seen for some time now: Obfuscation of electricity bills. While I live in an area where I have exactly one choice and no time-of-use metering, I have communicated over the years with solar users from around the country. Some of the plans available are so complicated that it is nearly impossible to determine which plan is best for a given customer. Specifically, I am talking about plans I have seen from PG&E where the solar customer COULD NOT DETERMINE whether he/she was better off with their old plan than with any of the new plans, even with detailed bills from previous months and years from PG&E. You would need a fairly sophisticated calculator to be able to make a valid comparison. And, frankly, I got the impression that obfuscation was EXACTLY the goal of PG&E with those plans. In the case of Texas, additional complication seems to also come from the fact that there are maybe fifty different providers from which you could choose. Each of those has different plans that could be compared. It is a daunting task, IMO. So I get that it is not fair that Griddy customers may get relief on high bills, but I also feel that many people may not have understood the risks they were undertaking. In fact, it seems that some of the electricity resellers didn't even know those risks given the comment above that some of them have been filing for bankruptcy. So, is it fair that those companies might get bailed out? It is almost the same question, IMO. (And, no, I am not opposed to bankruptcy, in general. That is another whole discussion altogether.)
  3. I showed a map of both states. Do you really think that this event was somehow much more of an outlier in one county in Texas than it was in the adjacent county in Oklahoma? Because I think it was equally as rare in both places. The ONLY difference was that the county in Texas had nearly 100% of their customers blacked out while the county in Oklahoma had NONE. I don't understand your question about who pays for the extra capacity in Oklahoma given that electricity is CHEAPER in Oklahoma. Here are the electricity rates in those two states as of June 2018: Texas: 11.36 cents/kWh Oklahoma: 10.72 cents/kWh So here is a much better question for you: Why do Texans pay MORE for electricity and get less reliable service? And, finally, why would you defend that?
  4. Of course I can. Oklahoma both maintains a capacity market AND does NOT ALLOW power plants to charge $9000/MWh for electricity. That's a "feature" of the Texas plan, as I posted above. Put another way, In Oklahoma, power providers are paid to maintain margin to be able to address emergency needs as a matter of course. In Texas, NO ONE GETS PAID TO PROVIDE SUCH CAPACITY. The result is that Oklahoma utilities incurred extra costs to maintain standby capacity but were already paid for that, so they are not allowed to gouge their customer when their standby capacity is put into play.
  5. I suppose you can imagine that they are separate costs until you consider that electricity is an essential service in modern America. Our cities are not structured like those in parts of India where the power goes out several times every day (literally). Our systems depend on power being available 24/7. Anything less than that is a failure and results in costs being incurred by the electricity customers. I will plot the maps of Texas and Oklahoma outages from last Tuesday morning for everyone's benefit (the first two were at the same point in time): Texas (no capacity market and few interconnects to other states): Oklahoma (has a capacity market and shared a grid with several other states): Oklahoma had more outages starting later on Tuesday morning: The point is that Oklahoma went through the same unprecedented cold snap that Texas did and their outages started later and were much less common. Counties in Oklahoma with 0% outages were adjacent to counties in Texas with nearly 100% outages. And since we are in the thread talking about costs, I will point out that I do not see any articles claiming that Oklahomans are getting $10,000 power bills for this month. If I am wrong about this, I'm sure someone in Oklahoma will let me know. The bottom line is that Texas' energy-only experiment has failed the people of Texas miserably. It needs to be fixed.
  6. Serious question: Is this only a Griddy thing? What is happening to customers of other providers?
  7. I believe you are completely ignoring the GIGANTIC costs which have just been foisted onto every single electricity customer in the form of destroyed property which must now be repaired or replaced. Or do ERCOT and the electricity generators pay for all of those repairs? As far as whether the capacity market solves the problem: It always has in the past. Please note that this recent event in Texas has been predicted for decades for Texas: ever since they eliminated the capacity market.
  8. That sounds like a statement of faith, but you have not provided evidence. I will point out that every other state in the U.S. has a capacity market and that some of those states have lower electricity prices than Texas.
  9. I personally think that ERCOT has created a system under which electricity customers are on the hook for both the consequences AND the costs of failures during extreme conditions. To use an economics term, they have allowed the electricity providers to externalize those costs and risks associated with extreme conditions onto the consumer. The problem is that THEY NEVER INFORMED THE CONSUMER THAT THIS IS WHAT THEY WERE DOING. Have a look at this article and see how they have presented the idea of an energy-only electricity market: Summer price spikes are a feature of Texas' power market, not a bug As you can see, they tell you that that their energy-only market is a great thing. What they DON'T tell you is that there is another side to this coin: there is no longer any guaranteed capacity maintained. That is different from every single other state in the United States, including other states with large amounts of solar and wind generation, such as California. My flippant attitude tells me that if the power companies cannot guarantee that they will provide electricity, then, by the same measure, the consumers should not have to guarantee that they will pay the bill. The response would go something along the lines of: "This was an extreme event which has not been seen in our lifetimes, therefore we are not going to be able to pay your over-the-top bill at this time. Once conditions return to being more normal, we will do our best to start paying our electricity bills again."
  10. Wow! That's the best part of pot roast! File this under "Reg can't help himself": I wonder if it is the lead leaching out of the crock that makes the potatoes and carrots so soft. 💨
  11. Note that the utilities were paying $9000/MWh for electricity for a couple of days during the worst of the outages. That is $9/kWh, or about 100 times what we normally pay here in VA. On colds days like today when it got down to 10° F (just briefly), our all-electric home will consume over 100 kWh of electricity. Assuming a small markup to $10/kWh, that would cost over $1000 dollars for one day's worth of electricity!! Here is an article with some more discussion of what may be coming to Texans who are already suffering from this event: As Texas deep freeze subsides, some households face electricity bills as high as $10,000
  12. I just want to point out again that you can have all the insulation in the world and your pipes can freeze in cold weather. The simple fact is that many houses are built "up north" that have a pipe or two that has been improperly insulated and that fact is not discovered for YEARS because the right weather conditions did not exist for that pipe to freeze. Those problems are handled on a case-by-case basis, corrected, and then that house is good going forward. Since Texas recently received weather that was more extreme than had occurred since many (most?) of the houses there had been built, ALL of the construction got tested at the same time. Likely many installers were not insulating pipes correctly, but the problems never led to catastrophic failures before. I will liken this to when we had an earthquake here in Virginia some years back: We do not build structures to the earthquake standards as California does and basically every structure in the area was tested all at the same time. Compare that with California where structures are repeatedly tested by earthquakes: the poorly-built or poorly-designed ones are long gone and only the strong survive. The same happens with water pipes further north. But places like Dallas or Houston just got all their pipes tested all at once just like we got all our buildings tested all at once. On top of all that there were houses in Texas that got down to below freezing INSIDE the house. Once that happens, all the pipes are doomed. Perhaps some PEX pipes can withstand that, but even those might burst.
  13. I get that. That is what my sister installed. I had a bunch of issues with that thing: - Her well was hand-dug in the 18th century and is only about 60 feet deep. Mine was drilled at the end of the 20th century and is 250 feet deep with the main pump at 240 feet. I think our water level is pretty far above that level, but still it is much farther down than theirs, meaning that pumping would be more difficult. - Most modern wells have plastic do-dads every 30 feet or so to dampen the twisting of the pipe in the borehole at pump stratup. Those would make it hard to insert another pump into the hole beside the main pipe. - The pump she bought used leather seals that had to be replaced about every five years. My pump has been in the well since 1995 without needing ANY service. (Did I just jinx our pump?) - Wells need to be sanitary. Opening the well and inserting a contraption that allows water to bring water through the cap sounds like an opportunity to introduce bacteria into the well. - I'm not interested in taking an extremely-reliable system and adding equipment which will make it less reliable. - I can generation electricity capable of running the well pump without the use of my generator or any fuel by using solar power. I have an 1800 VA 120-VAC sine-wave inverter which is more than capable of running that pump. (Even though the pump has a 240-VAC motor, I have it wired so that it is fed by 120-VAC through an autotransformer that steps up the voltage to 240-VAC before it goes out to the wellhead.) It's just that the way my system is configured, the generator is a bit quicker and easier to set up and use. If it is so cold that the water is frozen in the line from the well to the house, I'm willing to bet the hand pump will also freeze up after you pull some water to the surface.
  14. No, it is not standard for backyard wells. My sister had a similar setup, but it sounded like a major PITA. Who wants to go out to the well to get water when a pump can provide it directly into the house? Most wells have a submersible pump which is over 100 feet down the borehole (ours is 240 feet and many are deeper than that). Generally, if we want water in an outage, we need to depend on a generator.
  15. Wow! He really does! The only difference appears to be that Coyote has a tail. Bucky is a manx.
  16. I'm with you there! I HATE snakes! In this case, Orange Cat Bad did not bring it in. It just came in from the crawlspace somehow. (That happened once before, also.) I went and got Orange Cat Bad to see what he would do, but he was only mildly interested. (His response was better than that of a previous cat we owned. In that case we carried him out to a nest of blacksnake eggs which were hatching out and he was so interested in getting us to pet him that he walked right across the nest, stepping on one of the snakes in the process! He never even noticed the snake was there! 😄)
  17. Bump. I added the "Avoiding Factoring" section in the post about factoring.
  18. When DS30 was about 16 years old, there was a terrible accident "next door" (about 1/4 mile away), in which two cousins, a boy and a girl, who were 16 years old failed to negotiate a curve and drove into a stone pillar. They were on their paper route. The accident happened at about 5AM and both died at the scene. We didn't learn of the accident until we read about it in the newspaper, but I believe it traumatized DS30 to hear that young people his age had died so close to home. He did not get his license until years later.
  19. Yeah, the insurance "covered" MomsintheGarden's checkup, but it still ended up costing about $65. Plus I didn't want to go to the doctor. I'm cheap!! I'll see what comes from the home test and then perhaps I will try to get a more accurate test done sometime. Your levels look good!
  20. There is an interesting quote in the link under the words "capacity market" in the Planning Engineer article: When I read that, I thought: "hindsight is 20/20", but then I noticed the publication date: April 10, 2019.
  21. Why create a strawman? He didn't suggest getting rid of wind power. Here is what he actually said: Again, the point is this (which is the first quote I posted from this link): As you see, he was very clear in saying that they will not "do this out of the goodness of their hearts". That is what a capacity market incentivizes.
  22. Orange Cad Bad with studious sons: Orange Cat Bad with snake:
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