Thursday, December 31, 2009

I know this blog is about the VRB Energy Storage System, but...

I guess I'm one of those people who will step aside when the herd is all heading one way to look and make sure we're going the right way, and not off the cliff. Never been a lemming. I don't readily accept the "conventional wisdom". I've found out that usually, when some concept attains universal acceptance, it is probably due to some other reason than good logic, facts or common sense. So, I like to find the "other side of the story" - there is always one.

The VRB ESS fits in this concept. Popular sentiment is rushing toward renewable energy, like wind and solar, without truly considering the consequences. I believe we should develop distributed energy resources for many good reasons, including homeland security, energy independence, and local control v. centralized control. The VRB-ESS connected to solar PV or a wind turbine will provide all of that. And we'll need large energy storage facilities like the VRB to make large wind and solar PV installations useful and to prevent them from crashing the grid due to thier intermittant power output.

But I'm far from convinced that we need renewables to save our planet from global warming (opps! I mean climate change...) There, I've said it. But, even though I don't follow the climate change faith, I still have common ground for the reasons stated above.

All this so I could share these interesting bits:

ScienceDaily (2009-12-31) -- Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase. In contradiction to those studies, new research finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

And also:

ScienceDaily () -- A physicist from Colorado State University and his colleagues from the North American Carbon Program (NACP) have discerned and confirmed the unforeseen advantages of rising carbon dioxide levels. Through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration, scientists have been able to elucidate why plants are growing more rapidly than they are dying. The NACP is employing methods, such as the use of cell phone and aircraft towers to monitor and retrieve carbon data for their continuing study.