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Old 04-06-2008, 10:43 AM   #41
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:39 AM   #42
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Hmm. I thought it was pretty well proven that the average delivered unit of electricity minus production and distribution costs of both the electricity and the device thats intended to replace a gas motor...was below the efficiency and cost of a reasonably sized modern gas engine and gasoline production.
No, just the opposite has been proven, however let me get some hard numbers for you. The level of efficiency gain may be in question, but there is definately a gain with electric motors.

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Cuz...if it wasnt...we'd all be using whatever was by now, right?
Ah if only the free market were truly free and start up costs and competition werre not an issue.

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So going back around to the original point, if everyone starts driving electric/compressed air/bean powered cars, we'd have to make a lot more electricity. So wheres that going to come from and how will it be produced?
First, we don't have 150 million electric vehicles available right now. There will not be a sudden switch to everyone using EVs. Second, even if available, EVs (at this time) are not appropriate for all uses.
Mine are going to draw power at night and so there will be no/negligable increase in power generation as I am charging during the time of base load.
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Oh gosh. We do have a shitload of coal, dont we?
Yes we do, which addresses the idea of getting off of foreign oil
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:47 AM   #43
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Eh, I have a bynch of lithium ion batteries that are pretty much worthless after 2-3 years. And those just ran my phone or laptop for a few hours here and there. Pretty sure a battery that runs a car at 80mph down the street isnt going to fare much better.

My marketing bullshit antenna is quivering...
That was my view also. It is hard to believe these things can last as long as they say, but....

They do provide a warranty, and look at the hybrids that have been on the market for what, four or five years? No big warranty problems on batteries that I am aware of.

Supposedly, with the temperature controls, and very careful monitoring of voltage levels, they achieve these long lives. I guess it's just not worth it to add that level of sophistication to a laptop battery. It would add cost to the laptop, and a replacement battery is $80 or so. Different story when you have a $50,000 battery pack in a Tesla.

Tesla Motors - think
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There is a huge difference in cycle life between a 4.2V/cell charge (defined by the manufacturers as “fully charged”) and a 4.15V/cell charge. 4.15 volts represents a charge of about 95 percent. For this reduction of initial capacity (5 percent), the batteries last a whole lot longer. Unfortunately, further reduction of charge has a much smaller benefit on cycle life.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:10 PM   #44
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Eh, I have a bynch of lithium ion batteries that are pretty much worthless after 2-3 years. ...
My marketing bullshit antenna is quivering...
My understanding is that the lithium would need to be imported. There are a few producing countries... China is one.

Hopefully we will seek a technology does not make us too dependent on nations that are not friendly to the US.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:27 PM   #45
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Nope. The figures I see show somewhere between a 100 and 250 year supply of coal. Only problem is that we already got most of the easy stuff out of the ground and the last 50/125 years of that supply (depending on whose numbers you believe) are far more dangerous to mine than the first. Might explain the plague of mining collapses and accidents we've had the last couple of years.
We also have mined much the cleaner burning stuff (anthracite). I recall reading that we are using up bituminous, and are now building facilities to burn lignite.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:20 AM   #46
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We have tons of coal.... but if you believe in global warming, coal is about the worst fuel, with a much larger CO2 emission per unit of energy than other fossil fuels. We can get off oil.... but we would really be messing up the CO2 problem. Until we figure out how to do carbon capture.

There are no easy answers. Most people don't understand the thermodynamics of the problem, or the math of exponential growth. Something has to give, and I suspect it will be in the next 10-20 years. I hope I'm wrong. But I see everybody blithely moving forward with incremental improvements while companies like Boeing project 8000 new airliners over the next 25 years, and I think - what's wrong with this picture?
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:52 PM   #47
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In terms of well to wheels efficiency, battery electric vehicles are the only technology that can theoretically approach unity efficiency (approaching 100% of source power being delivered to the wheels). Air cars are horrible thermodynamically, and hydrogen is pretty bad too.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #48
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Do we need to go back to the time of using a horse and wagon?

How about the use of oxen to work our fields?

Hey, it was a great time in American history but I do beleive that America has the capacity when push comes to shove to find alternative energy sources to help wean us off from our huge dependence on oil. It could be a combination of wind, water, solar, coal, corn/wheat and hemp.

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Old 04-08-2008, 01:32 PM   #49
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Do we need to go back to the time of using a horse and wagon?

How about the use of oxen to work our fields?

Hey, it was a great time in American history ...
Whoa there, Nellie! Great time in American history No thanks:

The Environmental Literacy Council - The Horse & the Urban Environment

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While the nineteenth century American city faced many forms of environmental pollution, none was as all encompassing as that produced by the horse. The most severe problem was that caused by horses defecating and urinating in the streets, but dead animals and noise pollution also produced serious annoyances and even health problems.

....

Manure piles also produced huge numbers of flies, in reality a much more serious vector for infectious diseases such as typhoid fever than odors.

....

Because of their size and numbers, the disposal of dead horses presented a special problem. In New York City, for instance, horse carcasses, as well as those of other animals, were sometimes dumped with garbage into the bays or the rivers, often floating there or washing up on the beaches.

...

In 1880, New York City removed 15,000 dead horses from its streets, and late as 1916 Chicago carted away 9,202 horse carcasses.

Writing in Appleton's Magazine in 1908, Harold Bolce argued that most of the modern city's sanitary and economic problems were caused by the horse. Bolce charged that each year 20,000 New Yorkers died from "maladies that fly in the dust, created mainly by horse manure."


...

crossing sweepers" (like those in London), appeared, to help ladies and gentlemen wade through the liquid manure. Citizens frequently complained about the "pulverized horse dung" which blew into their faces and houses and which covered the outside displays of merchants.
Oh yes, back to the 'good old days'. More horses, that's the answer!
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:14 PM   #50
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Whoa there, Nellie! Great time in American history No thanks:

The Environmental Literacy Council - The Horse & the Urban Environment



Oh yes, back to the 'good old days'. More horses, that's the answer!
ERD50 thank you for setting me on the right road.

Living in West Texas in the middle of nowhere I know the problem that we can have with the waste of our farm animals. But for us poor country devils if we ever run out of oil or it cost to much to flll up our tractors, our farm equipment and our trucks we just might have to resort back to using the old horse and wagon, the mules and the oxen to bring up the crops.

Sometimes we remember the good and the bad times as the good old days.

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Old 04-08-2008, 04:02 PM   #51
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See what I mean about making sure you understand all the implications of a major change, other than just the 'good' ones?
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:09 PM   #52
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In terms of well to wheels efficiency, battery electric vehicles are the only technology that can theoretically approach unity efficiency (approaching 100% of source power being delivered to the wheels). Air cars are horrible thermodynamically, and hydrogen is pretty bad too.
Huh? Even theoretically, please describe how you are going to produce this electricity (to go into the batteries) with anything close to 100% efficiency?

Hydrogen isn't even a factor. As we've discussed previously, it's not an energy source, just a (poor) energy transfer and storage medium.

With an internal combustion engine, the original (chemical) energy source* (oil) is converted to mechanical energy directly. With an electric (or compressed air, or hydrogen) car, the first conversion occurs somewhere else to make this transfer medium, then another conversion occurs in the car. This entire chain is usually less efficient than direct conversion into mechanical energy in the car.

The off-site initial conversion does have several advantages, but efficiency isn't one of them:
- If burning fossil fuels, pollution controls are easier to implement at a central point than in millions of cars.
- Flexibility: Burn coal now, use nuclear energy tomorrow, use wind energy when available, etc. The cars could get their electricity from a lot of different sources. In addition, by making it feasible to use cheap, clean fuel (e.g. nuclear power now, maybe solar someday), the efficiency argument becomes irrelevant. Who cares if the whole process is efficient if the original fuel is abundant and cheap.?


* of course "oil" isn't the "original" source of the energy in oil (or coal). The original source is nuclear power (in the sun) which drove the photosynthesis in plants millions of years ago, and that chemical energy is now available.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #53
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Guys we ain't gonna run out f oil !!! See my OOOPs Jacklope post. Under the wheat field of North Dakota and Montana we have the Bakken formation which holds between 100 and 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Of course it will cost $20 - $40 per barrel to recover.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #54
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Guys we ain't gonna run out of oil !!! See my OOOPs Jacklope post. Under the wheat field of North Dakota and Montana we have the Bakken formation which holds between 100 and 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Of course it will cost $20 - $40 per barrel to recover.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:46 PM   #55
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Do we need to go back to the time of using a horse and wagon?

How about the use of oxen to work our fields?
Emissions exceed the EPA standards.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #56
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Huh? Even theoretically, please describe how you are going to produce this electricity (to go into the batteries) with anything close to 100% efficiency?
You are correct that it's not possible. I should have said the transmission and in-vehicle storage can approach 100% efficiency. E.g. 100% efficient superconductor transmission and current conventional batteries can return more than 95% of the charging power.

This contrasts with air cars, hydrogen, and fossil fuels which use inefficient transmission (usually driving it down the highway in tankers), and inefficient thermodynamic processes for converting the stored energy into usable power in the car.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:41 AM   #57
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Am I missing something about the Hybrids? GM (Saturn) is selling a hybrid in 2008. THe mileage seems kinda low to me.... 24mpg/32mpg.

A 4 cyl volks Passat gets 19mpg/28mpg


This hybrid has an approx. 25%/14% improvement in gas mileage.

I did not compare the weight and size of each vehicle so I suppose the Saturn could be much heavier?? But I thought the hybrid would be more efficient? What gives? Where is the 50 mpg?


Saturn | 2008 VUE & AURA Green Line | Hybrid SUV & Hybrid Car
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