Simple Future Energy Storage

So, i’ve been thinking — a large percentage of my energy consumption is from air conditioning, energy demands on the grid vary through the day, and the temperature usually is cooler at night, when the sun isn’t out.

So, why can’t we build big “coldness reservoirs” underneath our homes.  The idea is this: get an extremely insulated system.  When energy rates are cheapest, make the system cool off the fluid inside the system.  Later, when energy rates are higher, use the fluid productively.  You could use it as part of your air conditioning system, you could use the heat difference as part of a reverse-peltier effect to generate some electricity, etc.

Of course, you could change the actions depending on what the situation is (heat vs. cold and when the rates are high) — you could imagine some future scenario where rates are higher at night because there’s no sunlight (and thus we’d have to rely on gas, coal, etc)

Anyway, why doesnt this work?  I could imagine that you’d need to store way more energy than would be possible to do economically.  Water’s got a pretty high specific heat — if you could use water, you’d probably need to store so much water that you’d end up having to have a couple swimming pools full of water stored underneath your home, and that can’t be cheap.  Also, to be effective, you’d probably need to supercool/superheat the water to the point where you’d be losing energy through system inefficiencies.

Anyway, it’s an idea.

Popular on YouTube?

What happens when you get popular on YouTube?  People try to jack your content. 

I guess one of the things that comes out of this is the failure of YouTube to have any real lock on the content.  They don’t really do any real “streaming” — the actual flash video files are downloadable (and thus you get things like TubeSock)

If you have a secure streaming player (content is streamed using a password protected protocol), it’s a harder infrastructure to build, but it prevents things like this from happening, and it makes content rights holders happier.

Bread Complete!

So, I swapped out 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/2 cup flour and added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  The stuff fermented like crazy, so i had to put it in the fridge overnight.   Overall, though, it produced a good product.  I’d make some changes, though.

i’d use more sugar.  i’d also cook at a lower temp, as the bottom burned.  i’d also use more cocoa.

Bread Making – bon bon bread?

I’ve recently been doing some bread making.  It’s interesting.  I tried a “no knead” recipe which ferments the dough for 18 hours or so, and it worked great.  I also just tried a “no knead” (or little knead) loaf recipe that worked out well, too.

I’m now trying to make the original no knead recipe, but tweaked some.  It’s interesting from a science perspective, because I know what I’m doing will change things.  I dont know how much.  In other words, I know enough to be dangerous.

The original no knead recipe is: 3 cups flour, 1 5/8 cups water, 1/4 tsp yeast, and some salt.  mix, ferment for 18 hours, flatten dough, fold it on itself, rise for 2 hours, then you flip it into a preheated cast iron dutch oven and bake for 45 mins (30 mins with cover, 15 without)

anyway, i’m testing out what happens if i replace some of the flour with sugar, and add cocoa powder.  i’m also trying out swapping flour for milled flax seed.

I know that if you ferment too fast, you’ll get big bubbles.  that’s exacerbated by using sugar, which is gonna give the yeast more kick.  one solution is to put the dough in the fridge while it extended-ferments.  alton brown does this for his pizza crust.  i think it’s interesting, but i think it will end me up with really dense dough.  that might be a good thing, though.  we shall see.  i really should stick to my guns and have a more scientific approach, rather than correcting mid-stream.

however, knowing a little makes me look at something and say, “hey, it’s not going right, let me try to correct it”  that’s the right approach, if you’re trying to get a good result. however, it’s not the right approach if you’re trying to get a repeatable process.

ultimately, i’d like to be able to make a simple bread that’s got some sweetness and some chocolate and/or cherries mixed in.  i’m trying to go for what’s been sold by a local bakery here as “bon bon bread”

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