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Roy Russell

Jun 21, 2016
09:52

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Yes, this would be a great move for MIT.  It might also position it for fundraising and research $$ that could be put to good use updating the MIT infrastructure, some of which dates to the early 20th century.  I am skeptical that existing piping could be used though, I'm sure that when even a cursory look is taken it will be seen that steam pipes have to be replaced with water pipes.  But that is an easy change relative to all of the GHP wells that need to be dug, etc.

I have an idea for part of the outreach campaign for fundraising that would go along with this.


Rick Clemenzi

Jun 24, 2016
09:08

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Roy,  One of the key points of this plan is that only a 2-pipe thermal infrastructure is needed, for some sites 1-pipe (i.e., loop).  The existing system is 4-pipe including steam and condensate return, but all of that steam piping would likely be abandoned.  We will only need the chilled water piping, and may in some places have to augment that if the pipes are a bit too small.  This is the real plus of a GHP system that others are missing -- a moderate temperature distribution system with distributed equipment maximizes diversity gains while eliminating distribution losses.  The graphic in the proposal in the "New Thinking Required" section depicts this.  Rick C.


Climate Rescue

Jun 26, 2016
04:26

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Happy to support.

Wondering..

  1. Could add a mention of the need for better MIT input on policy and other national/global leadership? This might avoid a 25 year delay before advancing net-zero everywhere.
  2. Zero is a psychological barrier, that is commonly associated with an unachievable ideal. Could help people overcome this by simply setting the target beyond zero? Add 1 more solar panel, store 1 more tonne carbon.

Rick Clemenzi

Jun 26, 2016
10:46

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@Climate_Rescue - While the proposal is focused on "how" to achieve Net Zero, its intention as indicated in the Summary and Foreword is "how to Lead the world rapidly to Net Zero".  This technical work itself is to some degree already occurring a few places.  But, clear understanding of the relative economics, rapid resolution of conceptual barriers, and rapid dissemination to the world's corporate leaders and managers is wholly lacking -- a severe barrier to rapid adoption. 

MIT with its renowned engineering, economics, AND management schools (Sloan) may be the perfect place to beat those barriers to rapid Zero Carbon conversion.  That is our hope.  And, we certainly don't mean for this to be an MIT thing at the expense of all the others across the country who are doing excellent work in this area.  It is just that we see a necessity for better systems engineering and better multidisciplinary integration before rapid global success is possible, and those are hallmark MIT abilities that are achievable with the right Leadership.  Once engineering, economics, and management are all on board, policy experts and corporate leaders will have all the input needed for an unquestioned very rapid Net Zero Carbon conversion.

As for "Net Zero Plus" (going further than Zero), that is certainly the action needed -- we must install as much PV/etc as we can to also convert large portions of the Transportation Sector to Zero Carbon Pollution.  MIT campus is just not a great spot for that being urban and very space limited.  Most of the Net Zero Plus PV/Wind/etc installation will necessarily be in rural areas where space is available.


Climate Rescue

Jun 26, 2016
03:18

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  • Hooray for leading the world!
  • Perhaps we need new, more powerful change methods, beyond dissemination to managers? I was thinking about the role of policy beyond conventional climate/energy policy proposals. For example, making markets do the dissemination via 'circular economics'.
  • Hooray for net zero plus!
  • Urban areas will need this too? For example via energy supply involving biochar.

Bob Wyman

Jul 7, 2016
03:13

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The plan doesn't seem to include putting heat exchangers in the Charles. I can imagine various reasons why that might or might not be the right thing to do. Did you consider using the Charles as a thermal source/sink? If so, why have you chosen not to discuss its use as a resource (except indirectly via groundwater).

bob wyman


Rick Clemenzi

Jul 13, 2016
09:09

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Bob - The Charles is used by many many people for recreation and it is not very deep.  It probably is deep enough to use on a technical level, but the very large number of parties who would have approve that use as a thermal source makes it not worth the time.  A review of what it took at Cornell to use their extremely deep lake is informative -- should have been a no brainer, but the very concept of threatening a snail or something like that caused extensive need for environmental analysis and approval.  Given the large number of colleges in the Boston area alone, it would be scary how many PhD's and grad students would take such a request as an opportunity to have a say in the decision.

However, since The Charles is a "lake" (damn is at the Science Museum), it fully floods the ground under MIT -- MIT is completely "flat" (almost certainly all fill).  That makes the Charles and the ground under MIT thermally connected, and one can get the benefit of the Charles surface area to some degree (for evaporation) without directly using it.  Thus, the complication of approval for using the Charles is just not necessary.  Designing a ground coupled thermal system is very much a "take all factors into consideration" thing -- in many cases, technical decisions are secondary to the other (regulatory, political, etc) factors.

Rick Clemenzi


Chris Canaday

Jul 25, 2016
05:41

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Another big factor that is not mentioned is switching from wasteful flush toilets to Urine-diverting Dry Toilets. See inodoroseco.blogspot.com, www.susana.org. The is always petroleum or electricity invested in water capture, transport and treatment. When excrement goes into water, it ferments and makes methane (GHG #2). Some CO2 is produced, but we fertilize plants that absorb more. I would be glad to advise you.


Dimoir Quaw

Jul 31, 2016
08:00

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Dear Rick , James, Roy and Quinton,

I have voted for your proposal and James from climate rescue has voted for mine... but I would appreciate more votes from Rick, Roy and Quinton,... (thanks again James!)

My proposal has been assessed to be highly impacting, however the impact on greenhouse gas reduction to zero emissions only can be realised in the blue map scenario, rather than a business as usual model.

Please review my proposal... https://www.climatecolab.org/contests/2016/energy-supply/c/proposal/1316801 ...and vote if you find it interesting. I would be curious to see how my proposed technology would fit with your proposal

Best Regards,

Dimoir