Coal, Renewables

Letter to Editor:

Issue 11 and Volume 116.

I receive a free subscription to Power Engineering, and since I am not a typical reader (I’m a high school teacher), I wanted to thank PennWell for this and describe how I am using the magazine.

I’m a sixth year teacher at an urban high school. I was an engineer for 24 years before that, the last 3 years I was a service engineer, installing online monitoring systems in power stations. When I started teaching, I didn’t have much lab equipment, and so decided to reference my teaching to one of the most expensive physics “labs” in the world – power generation stations.

Joe Foy and his high school physics class at West High School in Knoxville, Tenn.
Joe Foy and his high school physics class at West High School in Knoxville, Tenn.

I use power generation topics in my classes, and I regularly refer to products I find in the magazine. As I tell my students “almost all of the physics found in our textbook can also be found under the roof of a power generation station.” And so they learn physics that way. They find it fascinating.

Tennessee Valley Authority allows me to take my classes to the Bull Run station each year. They can see, touch and hear the physics they learn about throughout the courses (college prep, advanced placement).

Thanks again for the subscription. The information in the magazine is extremely useful to my physics and math students.

Joe Foy, Math and Physics Teacher
West High School

Letter to Editor:

RE: “Beyond Common Sense by Robynn Andracsek, September issue”

Great article! The general public is unaware that the Sierrra Club has an agenda to go after natural gas in the same way as Coal. We live in an era of “30 second sound bites” and folks only hear want they want and do not know that renewables are NOT the answer. The public and pseudo environmentalists are enamored with natural gas as the replacement for coal and are patting themselves on the back with the shuttering of coal fired plants -most recent are Midwest Gen’s Crawford and Fisk Stations and now Joliet Station is in the crosshairs.

In my conversations with colleagues when I point out some of the pitfalls that can occur: the glut of natural gas – there are geographical areas that gas transmision lines are not available and in areas of congestion -curtailments can occur; wholesale switching to natural gas and opting not to retain alternate fuels can be disastorous; along with shuttering coal fired power plants -some being at nodes in outlying areas can add to the potential power interruptions; sprinkling wind farms and solar farms can’t provide the constant output – I get a glazed over look from the folks. What is occurring is a shot-gun approach to the energy/power industry.

Your article captured issues worthy of a lot more thought and discussion. It is becoming an interesting Witch’s Brew.

J. A. Heine,CBM, Director
Prarie State Associates

Letter to Editor:

Just read your Power Engineering article on “The Evolution of Power Plant Water/Steam Chemistry” (by Brad Buecker, October issue) and wanted to say: Great Job! I always think that Power Plant Chemistry is not given enough space in power type magazines given the potential for catastrophic damage that bad chemistry can do. Maybe there are just not enough people like yourself willing to take the time to write on the subject. Thanks for taking the time. Hopefully some people still in the dark ages on boiler/pre-boiler chemistry will read it and make some changes.

Steven A. Dunn, Senior System Chemist Hayden Station

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