Rob

Perhaps unusual for this site. Business owner with a consulting business related to the construction industry; avid pilot and airplane owner. My main interests that specifically relate to this site are energy, peak oil, efficiency, "Limits to Growth," mathematical modelling of "self-poisoning," and some manner of transition that recognizes the finite resources of Earth, the finite supply of renewable energy, and our inherent need to acquire stuff, form tribes, and sexually reproduce. I don't really have an answer yet.

Recent Articles

Requiem for LightSail Energy

Image Credit: LightSail Energy I've published multiple posts concerning LightSail Energy and its Chief Science Officer, Danielle Fong. I was enthusiastic about the the Lightsail Energy compressed air energy storage technology concept, wherein a water mist was to have been…

My airline fuel use

Undoubtedly to the disdain of those who seek to minimize energy use and, in particular, energy use that involves travel via the burning of fossil fuels, I do a significant amount of airline travel. And, beginning in August of 2017,…

Charging the Tesla class 8 semi

This is my third post regarding the Tesla class 8 truck. The first covered the range claim and the consequent weight ramifications. The second covered the cost. And, of course, the numbers were my estimates only. In this post I'll consider…

Tesla class 8 truck, part 2

Image credit: Matchmakerlogistics.com In my previous post I estimated the weight penalty imposed by the need for a battery pack that will enable the Tesla Truck to have a range of 500 miles. Next, I'll take a look at the…

The Tesla class 8 truck

Image Credit: unknown Well, it's been a long time since my last post and I promise to be more.... Oh, hell, never mind. Anyway, to those who know me, it will come as no surprise that I am an admirer…

Pavegen, up close and personal

Photo credit: Pavegen I was again in Washington, DC (actually, National Harbor, Maryland, just down the Potomac) last week for the annual (and perhaps last?) arpa-e Energy Innovation Summit (about which, more later). But I had learned that one of my…

From the "duh" department…

In my day job, I am an executive in a firm that provides consulting services, materials testing, and construction inspection. We don't work in the area of single family housing but, other than that, if it's being built, we want…

Once again with Pavegen

Image credit: imagine business development (Note: the zombie image applies both to my blog and to the subject of this post.) Pavegen, a Company that I've looked at before (see here and here) is still around and, apparently, thriving. Pavegen designs, manufactures,…

arpa-e 2016 notes part 1

Having spent six days traveling to, attending, and returning from arpa-e 2016, it's time to start chronicling some of my thoughts. At the broadest level, the summit was very well attended, much better than last year. As is typical, the…

Off to arpe-a 2016

Image credit: arpe-e I'm rather shocked to find that this is the sixth (!) arpa-e energy innovation summit that I've attended. I intend to blog about my adventures here and, in particular, about some of the energy storage sessions as…

The end of an era

In September of 2005, gas prices rose abruptly enough that I stopped driving as I had as a teenager in my Plymouth Roadrunner Detroit muscle car and started to do my best to squeeze every possible foot out of each…

Marco Rubio and what money can buy

It should come as no surprise that Presidential candidate Marco Rubio is at the forefront of an effort to stymie local municipalities' efforts to prevent complete monopolization of broadband by Charter Cable, AT&T, and their ilk. I'm all for private…

More green hype (though, apparently, well-intended)

Image credit: Wikipedia It's been a while (and this isn't my first such apology) since I've posted an article. The long-awaited article (actually, articles) on the cost effectiveness of renewable energy with storage as base load and/or dispatchable electrical energy…

LightSail yet again

Image courtesy of LighSail Energy This will be a short one. LightSail Energy, a startup with innovations in compressed air energy storage, has already appeared in my writing twice, the most recent being after co-founder Danielle Fong was generous enough…

How much storage is needed, part 4

Image credit: Unknown My previous post in this series related some of the drawbacks of my simplistic analysis, the objectives I want to achieve, and a sketch of the methodology I've employed. Briefly, I've used a Monte Carlo simulation (yes, I linked…

Rocks on rails

Image credit: Advanced Rail Energy Storage North America In an earlier post I covered a concept of utilizing a massive rock piston over pressurized water to store energy. Another firm uses a concept analogous to pumped hydro storage but, rather…

How much storage is needed, part 3

Image credit: www.theyogakids.com Previously, I imported the daily mean wind speed recorded at Dalhart, TX (at the airport, I assume) for the period beginning January 1, 2000 through the most recent day recorded in Wolfram's curated weather data. I adjusted…

How much storage is needed?

I've published several posts on energy storage but yet have not dived into any of the practicalities of what might be needed for various scenarios. While that's a very broad topic that could involve everything from what a homeowner might need to…

A box of rocks?

I've blogged on a few occasions regarding energy storage, most recently a "LightSail Energy redux" (though I'll be updating that in the near future to revise an inaccuracy with respect to LightSail's ability to produce commercially in their existing Berkeley…

Kunstler gets serious

Typically, I ignore James Kunstler and, in fact, I posted the reasons for this. And this is despite that fact that I agree with many of his positions, particularly with respect to the exigency of our energy situation. But his…

More on LightSail Energy

Image credit: Cody Pickens, Wired.co.uk It's difficult finding post topics if I insist that they meet certain criteria: can't take so long to research and write that my family/work/school life is disrupted; must be something about which I have some…

Your car goes 3.5 m.p.h.?

John Michael Greer, the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, publishes a weekly post at his site, The Archdruid Report. Greer is a much deeper thinker than I, particularly with respect to the interplay between past,…

Eating energy

In round numbers, there are 7 billion people eating on planet Earth each day. It's pretty clear that my diet here in Southern California is very different from that of a subsistence farmer in Namibia or a subsistence fisherman (or…

Rob’s aphorisms

There have been a few seemingly simplistic or tautological things that I've incorporated into various situation analyses. If something's wrong, something's wrong. This is a conclusion reached jointly by my closest friend Dr. Captain Right Reverend Frank Hanna (Frank is…