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I can explain the technical and economic tradeoffs of making electricity from natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass energy sources. I'm familiar with air pollution control technologies, including CO2 capture and sequestration. I have a good understanding of the science on global warming and can explain how energy use inefficiencies and various fuels and technologies contribute to that process. I can tell you why we have to build more new gas, nuclear, wind, and solar power plants, but will still have to keep using coal for a few decades to make elctricity. I can explain energy conversion efficiency and power plant operations. However ... I'm not an electrician, so probably cannot help with questions on motors or wiring. ;-)

Experience in the area

Forty years as a registered professional mechanical engineer.


Graduate of Purdue University, School of Mechanical Engineering.

Past/Present Clients

EPA, DOE, State Department, USAID, World Bank, Bechtel Power Corporation, U.S. Generating Company, numerous electric utility and independent power companies.

What do you like about this subject?

Energy conversion makes the world go round! Everyone is interested in energy matters, but not many are asking the kind of questions needed to make informed choices about our energy future and how it affects the environment of our planet.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I want to share my 40 years experience and knowledge of energy conversion and electric power generation with as many people as possible.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

The electricity consumed by an average American household in a year requires burning about 5,000 pounds of coal to produce that electricity.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

By the time today's 1st grader graduates from an engineering college, no one will doubt the reality of global warming and its consequences. With continuing global population growth, electricity use may have increased by 50% or more and energy prices will have at least doubled in real terms. Things are changing rapidly, and far too little public education is being provided on these matters.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Dan06/25/151010Thanks Bill!
Jeff06/23/13101010Excellent answer. Very complete and well explained .....

Recent Answers from W.A. (Bill) Stevens

2016-09-29 Power generation:

Hi Nadim -  If I were asked if my company owns/operates any gas-fired electric generating units I would think about three types of units:  1. Simple-cycle gas turbine: a gas-fired combustion turbine that

2015-12-07 Dehydrators:

Claude -  I'm no expert on dehydrators, so I'm just going by what I read on the two web pages you provided.  The units have timers that go for more than a full day, so it appears that they are intended

2015-06-24 AC to DC:

I'm not an electrical engineer, Dan, so be cautious with this.  The heating pad is just a length of wire. AC or DC current can flow through the fixed resistance of the wire, heating it. The control on

2015-06-24 AC to DC:

Dan -  How about using a DC-to-AC inverter.  http://www.amazon.com/BESTEK%C2%AE-Outlets-Inverter-Charging-Smartphones/dp/B004  Good

2015-05-27 Natural gas consumption:

Hi Priyo -  For your first question you may need two more pieces of information. One is the heating value of LNG from the table at this site:  http://cta.ornl.gov/bedb/appendix_a/Lower_and_Higher_Heating_Values_of_Gas_Liqui


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