Wherein I weave together stories about developments in renewable energy and an interview with DT rather more skillfully than the Trumper's hair stylist.
The trouble with power from wind turbines and Donald Trump interviews is that they are often produced at inconvenient times. Correction any publicity for Trump is unwanted at any time but there is a link.
Wind turbines are great sources of renewable energy but their drawback is that the wind often blows strongest at times when demand for electricity is at its lowest like the middle of the night. Smoothing out the excess production of renewables to meet demand is one of the great connundrums that have plagued moves to totally rely on renewable sources.
Up to now, the solution has seemed to be storing that wind turbine energy in batteries. On a domestic scale that is a fairly good solution however on much larger scales the capital and maintenance cost of the batteries is a huge drawback. Traditional batteries rely on some rather nasty chemicals like sulfuric acid and lead while more novel versions demand large amounts of rarer metals often found in unstable countries or controlled by those you would rather not be beholdent to (like the Chinese with their rare earth metal supplies) There is also a finite supply of suitable materials which needs to be addressed by a recycling chain. To feed into the grid, you need to convert the DC power to AC or up the voltage for HVDC grids.
Commercial producers of wind power are looking to other solutions for countries where there are few battery factories. One method is "pump-storage" where water is pumped to a high resevoir using the spare electricity and is released through a conventional hydro-electric power plant in times of need. However like using dams, this needs a suitable terrain and can damage other industries like tourism and farming if you are not careful. They are also hugely expensive with long construction times.
Now Britain's Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) is exploring another solution. That is using the "unwanted" electricity to liquify air to be stored in insulated silos. When power is needed, the liquid is warmed to abient temperature. The expansion from a liquid to gas provides enough energy to drive a conventional generating turbine of the type used in "heat" power stations. Instead of relying on superheated steam, this uses cool air (minus CO2 and water) at high pressure to force the turbine blades round. IMechE suggests building these power stations alongside other plants that currently vent hot air as a waste product. That would be used to heat up the liquid while the waste cool air would be passed through "cold sinks". These would chill the incoming air at the start of the next storage cycle. Although this would be about 70% efficient compared to the 80% achieved by batteries, the system uses well tested conventional generating designs and has none of the requirements for complex electronics and exotic materials of a battery storage system at a similar scale.
You could invisage a town based campus where one side incinerates domestic waste to produce electricity (often more carbon neutral than transporting to a land fill or central recycling plant). The other side is the cryo-storage unit which when power needs to be generated diverts the waste heat from the recycling to warm up the liquid air. You could even sell the waste CO2 from the cooling process as dry ice for local cold storage. A wind farm out of town would provide electricity for both medium demand periods and in low demand periods power the cryo-storage plant.
The idea of cryo-storage of power was originally developed by its inventor to "fuel" vehicles and the link should show a clip of him driving a car using an version of his engine.
Using air as an energy storage medium is also employed in another proposal being prototyped in 2010 at Nottingham University. The German energy company EOn - which is a major supplier to homes in the UK - funded the trial.
Instead of liquifying air, this scheme uses the spare electricity from wind farms to pump it into huge undersea bladders affectionately called "Wind Bags". The outside water pressure keeps the air in the bladder compressed until needed again to drive fairly conventional turbines.
Talking of wind bags, you probably know that Donald Trump is violently opposed to the Scottish Government for refusing to refuse permission to build an offshore wind plant within sight of his Aberdeenshire golf resort (that he wanted to build on a particularly important sand dune ecosystem on the shore). "Within sight" is a bit of an exaggeration. The wind farm is so offshore it would appear to the naked eye as a dot on the horizon from his hotel and links.
On Tuesday the Guardian printed an interview Donald Trump: 'It is my hair and it's an amazing thing' in which his lunacy is really starting to show. Sarah Palin and Kate Middleton (Prince William's wife) are both "terrific" although he blames her for the topless photos as she cavorted by a swimming pool (that's Kate not Sarah!) He ignores the fact that to take them required a very high power long focus camera lens to get smudged pictures - the sort of lens you had to have to see the wind turbines from his gaff.
I bring it to your attention purely for the comments from the Guardian's readers. Those that were not removed for "failing to meet community standards", ie too abusive, included the following. (I have not provided US translations for some of the English and Scottish idioms but I think the meanings are obvious).
I'm amazed Governor Romney hasn't pursued him on this.
It's somewhat comforting to know that in order to get the Republican nomination you are still required to be marginally more intelligent than Donald Trump
It was Kates fault she was pictured topless-No you Ponce,actually it was some slimy shite paparazzi fault lurking with a telephoto lens..
If she wants to be topless on a sunny day in her private sphere who says says she cant do that...after all he walks around with a badger glued to his head, nobody says he cant do that.
the man is a complete tosser!
Donald Trump is pretty vile unless you happen to like billionaire real estate speculators with a penchant for gaudy women, gaudy hotels, and gaudy hair.
Donald Trump, I demand that you provide a detailed and anatomically thorough report, conducted by at least two entirely seperate and independent medical professionals, and endorsed by at least two cryptozoologists containing definitive evidence that you are definitely a 100% genetically compatible member of the species Homo Sapiens, by 6.30 AM GMT today.and my favorite if only for the alliteration
Anything less than 100% compliance with this request will be taken as incontrivertable proof of my suspicions that you are in fact a vile and inexplicable hybridisation between a mentally-disturbed orangutan and an inexpicably sentient human foreskin infected with syphillis and botulism.
Beat it bozo, you're about as welcome in Scotland as jobby in a jacuzzi. Keep your money, we don't want it and we don't want to hear anymore about your old mammy from the isle of skye.Bearing in mind these are the ones NOT removed by the moderators at the Guardian, I think you can gather he is about as popular in the UK (apart from with rich golf-playing ** *** ***) as he is with Democrats in the USA.
Pathetic yank tartan gonk wannabe wanting to turn our country into a theme park for your millionaire golf-bore friends.