Nick Barnes

Nick Barnes

  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    No, but farmers in the UK these days are pretty comfortable with both centimetres and hectares. Happily a centimetre-hectare is equal to an acre-inch, within a fudge factor (2.8%) smaller than the usual margins of error when talking about precipitation...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I've been lurking. There's definitely an order of magnitude missing in that thread of conversation, from _Moz_ at 1663 onwards: "Each million tonne metres gives you one gigawatt-second of stored energy." No. A million tonne metres is 1e10 J, i.e....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I'm pretty sure acre-inches and acre-feet are only standard units in water management in the US, among all manner of other "standard units" which need not concern us in the civilised world. (FWIW, an acre-inch is about 100 m^3)....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Let us consider a domestic installation in a location which gets 20 MJ/m^2/diem, with 10 square metres and a 15% efficiency. That is a mere 8.3 KW-hours and a peak of 730 watts. But, if you are lifting 1...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    360 million cubic metres is 3.6e11 kg of water. With 400 metres of head, that's 1.44e15 Joules of potential energy. Which is 400 GWh (and also a pretty bloody impressive pumped storage facility, much larger than any actually existing plant....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Australia *is* an entire continent. The contiguous 48 is only 24% larger than Australia. Brisbane to Perth is the same distance as NYC to LA....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Assuming, of course, that you aren't importing from/through a country that has been known to use the threat to cut off supplies/raise prices to get what it wants… (Or even just take what it needs leaving less/none for the downstream...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Transmission losses right now are around 3% per 1000 km, and will inevitably fall as we get better at building MV links over 10 GW. That's comparable to the best storage systems, and better than many. So anyone (such as...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    "road vehicles are still nowhere near the top carbon dioxide source" Last time I looked, transportation is about a third of the total, and road transportation is something like 85% of that, so that's maybe 27% of total carbon emissions....
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    "60cm high by 40cm wide": No. 85cm high (standard under-worktop height) by 60cm wide (by 60cm deep). Re vacuum cleaners: 20 years ago Miele made some really good ones. I still have and operate a "Miele Big Cat & Dog"...
  • Commented on Typo Hunt: The Labyrinth Index
    page numbers of UK hardcover edition. I reported these on the earlier post but am repeating the ones here which seem small enough to count as "typos" and which nobody has already mentioned, so they're in one place. p. 118:...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Yes, I used to live not that far away. "302 Heavy's captain turns northwest, ...". An aircraft heading NW from Washington is heading for Hagerstown and Pittsburghm not up the Eastern seaboard, nor towards New York. So I think that's...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Big-ass accumulator towers: take a leaf out of the frackers' handbook. Find a big (natural or artificial) cavern. Cut a narrow vertical trench from the surface down to it, so that the surface and bedrock above it is vertically free....
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Yes, sorry, that bug report was a brain fart. This one, however, pp 320-321: 302 Heavy turns northwest after the pickup. But then "in just twenty minutes they've flown halfway to New York ... up the eastern seaboard". Not flying...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    page 307: "... couple of hundred miles offshore. As it comes due east of DC ...". Does not compute. Should be "west"?...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    A few more: There's some confusion over the location of Camp Tolkein: Dartmoor (page 70) or Salisbury Plain (page 137). page 154, opening para of chapter 6, we're in Gilbert's POV but he thinks of the OPA as "Nazgûl". Seems...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    A few likely errors to report (page numbers are UK hardback edition): pp. 73-74: Perceval leaves the room, but then is jarringly present again. p. 98: "It's a lot like the interrogation suite back at the camp". Really? Complete with...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Some of this stuff is why I rather bounced off the Expanse books. Sheer momentum kept me going to the end of volume 6, but I don't think I'll persist. There's a veneer of scale, but the writers mess about...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    Some societies, yes. But so what? (a) That doesn't seem to be the sense of that paragraph. (b) The Commonwealth does not appear to be such a society....
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    Something nobody else has mentioned: page 265: "even before the official mourning period is over. Which I, and my wife, will be expected to attend---if you are still here, perhaps you could accompany us?" Does one "attend" a mourning period?...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    People commenting on fire safety in UK high-rise, please note: the fire brigade does know how to fight high-rise fires. I heard one fire brigade spokesperson say that they deal with two or three fires every week in residential high-rise...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    In space, procure a large, shallow dish, like a quiche pan several meters in diameter. Affix a very low trust motor to the bottom and start the dish rotating slowly. Pour thermosetting/ photosetting or other such material into the dish,...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    The reason I harp on about the target cost to orbit is that if they do hit $10k/ton for the fully reusable stack, or even $100k/ton, rather than the $400k/ton number ($200M for 500 tons: it's unclear to me where...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Target cost *per booster launch* is under $2M, including amortization, propellant, launch services, and maintenance. The keyword there is "target". First couple of dozen launches? Not so much. Yes, but you wrote: the cost per launch for an ITS stack...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    (The whole presentation was just vapourware, of course, apart from the shots of the BFS tank and the Raptor test-fire. Which on their own were plenty exciting enough)....
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Yep: the cost per launch for an ITS stack is targeting around $200M (but more like $1Bn for the first couple -- they won't be flying again, they'll be torn down for post-mortem studies then go to the Smithsonian), and...
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