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grannygear
08-21-2010, 02:59 AM
I know there are many ways to look at this issue, but I'll try to boil it down to simplest terms:

With our current technology, is it more efficient to burn a barrel of oil at an electrical generating plant, and then send that electricity along wires into the storage batteries of an electric car? Or, to take that same barrel, and put it into the gas tanks of your average gas-powered car?

I'm talking about mass-conversion efficiency, not cost-effectiveness (the two may be related, but not precisely).

Electric vehicles are not the solution to our energy woes, if we have to burn an equivalent or greater amount of fuel to power them. I really don't have an answer here, I'm just wondering.

And, to confuse matters, let's say that the electrical power is coming not from fuel but from hydro power. Then it should be easy, right? But we don't have enough hydro capacity if every car converted to electric. We would need to build more generating plants. Which means burning lots of fuel. Which wipes out any efficiency gains you might have had.

Like I say, a lot of variables. But I am not yet convinced, when all is factored in, from raw materials ultimately converted to miles driven, that electric is the way to go.

PeteF
08-21-2010, 03:15 AM
Centralised power generation is the traditional way to consider energy management, however there is another school of thought that suggests power generation may best be served by millions of micro generating systems. Indeed that's precisely the push that's going on in Australia now, where there are quite good financial incentives to installing photovoltaic solar cells on individual houses to both supply the house and feed any surplus back into the grid. While this solution clearly can't supply the grid 24/7, it may go a long way to relieving base demand during daylight hours.

Typically in Australia (and it's not dissimilar in most other Western countries), there may be coal power stations (other countries may use a different fuel but the principle is the same) to supply base demand, with regional small stations using something like gas turbines to supply peak loads. The regional stations are not especially efficient, therefore expensive to run, but MUCH cheaper overall that building another big station just for peak loads. With the new push on you may find that there aren't as many big stations being built any more, just the smaller ones, with the base load instead handled by generation at or near the consumer.

Pete

Edit: Now I see your location is China ... having said all that they're sure as heck building a s%&t-load of new coal powered stations. IIRC there's a new one coming on line every week or two!!

Evan
08-21-2010, 03:16 AM
The answer is a very large "it depends". It depends on the source of the electricity and it depends on the electric car vs the petroleum fueled vehicle type. It depends on the type of batteries and it depends on the usage of the vehicle. It greatly depends on what time of day the electric vehicle is recharged. We have enough generating capacity in North America to support about a 70% conversion of the general fleet of gas vehicles to electric as long as the charging is done off peak only. Of course there are a long string of dependencies in that calculation too.

The current answer is that you can easily manipulate the numbers to show whatever you like. Even efforts to level the field of comparison by calculating the well to wheel efficiency must make a series of assumptions that can heavily skew the outcome.

Richard-TX
08-21-2010, 04:11 AM
Electric may be more efficient, but it is the most expensive. Take a home for example. You could heat your home with electricity and that would be nearly 100% efficient in converting electric power into heat. Your costs to heat your home would also go up by about a factor of 10 or more over Natural Gas.

Lets take just the cost of purchasing and running a car.

The Chevy Volt sells for $40,000
The Kia Soul sells for under $20,000 and gets about 30 MPG

Assuming that gasoline costs $2.00 per gallon, you could buy the Soul and pay to drive it for 300,000 miles for just what a Volt costs.

The Volt has a max range of about 40 miles before recharging.
The Soul has a maximum range of about 360 miles.

Pound for pound gasoline has the most energy potential of any viable automotive energy source including batteries.

In the end efficiency isn't all you should be looking at, but also the total cost of ownership.

So which is more efficient? Overall electric powered cars are lots more efficient emptying your bank account compared to a gasoline powered car.

Be careful what you ask for...you might get it.

grannygear
08-21-2010, 05:31 AM
It's a long, circuitous route: from radiant solar energy, to complex organic life, to hydrocarbons, to electricity, and back to radiant heat.

I'm inclined to believe the most realistic option is small-scale local generation to compliment big grid power plants. That sounds like a best-case scenario to me.

But here's a question about the big power plants, which I don't know much about: let's say the plant is running off-peak. How do they scale down the power generation? Do they run fewer power turbines, or keep the same number of turbines running but at half-speed, or the turbines continue to run continuously but they disconnect them from the grid, or some combination of these? Forgive me if this question is obvious to some of you, but hey, we all gotta learn somehow.

The point is, what is the most efficient way to run a big station and how do they do this with variable demand? Would it be better to run the big stations at a steady state 24/7, and let the small local power supplies (even down to the level of the individual car) handle the variable power demands?

Come to think of it, let the plants run at max. efficiency 24/7, and store the excess power in supercapacitors scattered throughout the grid that people can draw from as demand requires.

I don't know, just thinking out loud.....

But, back to cars. I don't think the economy of the electric vehicle is going to ever match that of gasoline in any kind of timeframe that will matter to those of us reading this. It's too late for electric cars if we assume we can use them in any way like we've become accustomed to using gas cars. Those days are gone.

big job
08-21-2010, 06:23 AM
A few years back my freind got a golf cart to play around with he claimed
it to use a qt. of gas a day using it with trimmers shovels chain saws in
the back. I thought a cool thing i could use. Not long after I came upon
an EZE GO for free being 36Volt six batt. golf cart. It ran well went pretty
fast wife always using it, kids too. The charger had an 8hr timer. When
I got my electric bill for that month, that thing went out the door as fast
as I got it. I remember years back driving a T950 with a 534v8 ran cheaper
than that! OR mow 10 ac/ with a 8N Ford on 5gal......

strokersix
08-21-2010, 08:02 AM
I'm pretty sure electric generators at power plants only run one speed; 60Hz. So to scale back individual generators are shut down rather than run slower. To restart they need to be brought up to speed, connected to line, then pour on the steam.

aboard_epsilon
08-21-2010, 08:08 AM
Ive been looking into all sorts recently

our government are now providing us with a feed in tariff

which on the surface looks very good ..thats until you look into it.

Our price for electricity is roughly 0.13 a unit

the feed in tariff is 0.42 a unit for feed in electricity back into the grid.

PV

To be able to do this you need to have a government accredited installer sell you the panels install the panels...and charge you a yearly inspection charge

probably works out in excess of 15,000 plus the maintenance charge

air source heat pump

0.075 given back to you for every unit you use,, under the renewable heat incentive scheme that isn't passed yet..if passed will roll out on April 2011

gov have my house worked out at using 10,500 units kWh heating plus 3500 units hot water a year...means they give you 900 ish back each year

again usual government accredited installer...whole job around 5-8 thousand.........lots of companies trying to sell you these systems to run with conventional radiators...i have great doubts weather they would work with anything but underfloor heating ..as the units only heat the water to 55 degrees c.

CHP combined heat and power unit ..

based on sterling engine generator

8000 plus ..all those service charges..0.42 feed in tariff ............great doubts hanging over their reliability and spares cost


Wood fuelled pellet stoves and log burners biomass ..that have been passed to use by the gov

very expensive appliances ...have to be installed by gov accredited insataller..........10,000 - 18,000....motors electronics lambda 02 sensors....masive stainless flues costing lots of money

0.09 per unit given back to you under the renewable heat incentive scheme.

so

about 1100 a year will be given back to you buy the gov ..

cant see theses units lasting beyond ten years without spends and brake downs

and some have a massive service charge check every year .........as much as 400 -500...lowest service charge 180

as you see every one i look into ..it looks great on the surface until you delve behind it .

having said all this ..i now realise thast you are talking vehicles and not heating systems ..GAS in my UK brain always says to me mains gas for heating...and gas in vehicals says ..to me lpg propane.

all the best.markj

A.K. Boomer
08-21-2010, 09:19 AM
I'm pretty sure electric generators at power plants only run one speed; 60Hz. So to scale back individual generators are shut down rather than run slower. To restart they need to be brought up to speed, connected to line, then pour on the steam.



Yes I think that's the way its done also, but there's some lee-way within the system as individual turbine generators have vast flexibility even though the 60hz's needs to be maintained - it's done by load demand and so when its not not great or they need more they just match the pressures to the turbine accordingly to come up with the proper hz's, as long as its in the turbine/gens operating range then all is good - if not they either drop one or add another to compensate - if its a potential to add then yes they have to get one spinning up to speed but I really don't think it takes all that long,

What im curious about is how do they match up all the individual hz's ?
or properly segregate them for 3 phase ?


For the record --- I don't think electric will be practical in comparison for a long long time,

The Cons;

coal is still the main driving force, it takes more fuel to mine, Then the inefficiencies start at the furnace and then are transfered to the blasphemy of the boilers and then to the tyranny of the turbines - they then continue with the degeneration of the generators then are further pillaged by the step up transformers and quickly wisked away only to be sodomized by the line transportation then to the final domestic dispute of the step down transformers --------- It's not over -------- from here it is ran into another heat creating transformer to then attempt to charge the batteries on the electric car, while most of the electricity goes to charging the batteries some goes to heating them up and is therefore wasted ,,, Now to power the car ---------- the batteries then give up their energies but not all of it goes to the electric motor as once again the batteries heat whilst doing this, meanwhile the electric motor gobbles up the energies and puts most to use but also heats itself up in the process,,, Meanwhile it's winter time - and the electric car has no real means to heat the cabin ----- so instead of having most of its waste heat handy and in one spot like the IC engine much of the waste heat for the electric car is sitting back at the power plant -- so what does the ass backwards electric car have to do ------------------- it takes the end result and small percentage of power that has made it through the fuqueing archaic maze and dumps it into a dead short electric grid to keep its moronic occupants from freezing to death ------- Real nice....

So ------- doesn't sound that great does it?
And that's not even comparing it to the efficiencies of a little 1.3 liter turbo diesel ----- oops - guess i just did...

Just to be fair here's the Pro's -------- inner city electric vehicles can use their brakes to recharge the battery's for the next take off, But please don't make me go through all that is lost in this process...........................

J Tiers
08-21-2010, 10:18 AM
A gas or diesel vehicle has a lousy energy conversion rate...... they have a low efficiency vs the carnot limit. maybe half, if you are lucky....(that's one of those assumptions)

If we were not limited by NOx limits, the efficiencies could be much larger. Utilizing the heat at higher temperatures near the flame temp, if possible, extracts more energy. But high temps also drastically explode the NOx output, requiring heavy and bulky equipment for mitigation in order to meet pollution limits

A central station plant has a very high efficiency, usually quite close to the Carnot limit. But the losses of distribution really hurt that when it comes to "at the outlet" efficiency.

Then, an electric car has batteries. Charging a battery has an inherent loss also. yes, it varies by battery type, but it is generally at least 10%, may be up to 25%.

Finally, an electric car is not lossless. It cannot convert 100% of the input energy to motion/work, and it loses energy in all the auxiliaries, etc. And, you have to heat the car somehow, during half the year.

An electric car is also of no use for a trip longer than about 30 to 50 miles (you have to get back after all). This is something which precludes it being your only vehicle, unless your passport is only good in your native city (we may get to that point).

It is best to think of the electric car, for the foreseeable, as a way to move the pollution source, and potentially slightly reduce overall pollution. In a city, there is obviously no exhaust, same reason electric has been used in mines.

If you want an overall efficiency improvement, an electric car varies from a minimal improvement, to a net loss, depending on the assumptions, or hard numbers if you have them in any particular case.

At present, it would be a mistake to assume that there is a bright future of clean transport simply by using electric cars. The relative cleanliness of the electric central station is reduced by the inefficiency all along the delivery path, since that means more fuel must be burned for the same energy output "at the wheels"

OH, yeah, "but we'll just charge them with solar and wind power"......

Sorry to burst your pretty bubble, but there is not now, and may never be, enough solar and wind power to waste any of it on charging vehicles...... All the solar and wind power there is now cannot do the job.

Naturally, solar is "out"..... When solar is available, you are not generally charging, unless you are on swing shift.... so some storage process with a relatively crummy efficiency must be used, DOUBLING the storage and "charging" losses.

Maybe you will be REQUIRED BY LAW to work at night in order to allow solar charging........

Evan
08-21-2010, 10:52 AM
The Tesla Roadster people have done some very detailed studies of electric efficiency and performance. They have the platform that represents the current driveable state of the art complete with electric heating and and conditioning.

Here is a detailed explanation of the best case power consumption that can be expected from the Tesla.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70

Here is their comparison of Well to Wheel efficiency:

http://ixian.ca/pics7/evefficiency.jpg

Rich Carlstedt
08-21-2010, 10:59 AM
In 2004 a Harvard Science Professor published a report of his long study that stated the USA would need 3 and 1/2 times more Power Stations if the entire fleet of Trucks and Cars in the US went to Electric power. You may recall, that was when the Media was in love with Hydrogen Power, another looser. In addition, we would need to completely triple our grid and update it. The latter being the impossibility, with NIMBY
Some feel that small local or home power units are the answer, but just as our friend in Wales has found out, the fingers of regulation will control that and it will never be cheap.
We live in an age where reason and logic no longer exists in our Leaders.
Witness the fact that our local Nuclear Power Stations produce electricity at 2 cents per KWH and we paid 8 cents to buy it. (1994). Then the "leaders' decided to have Gas units built, and a California Utility built a gas unit here with a published "cost" of 12 and 1/2 cents per KWH ( I know, I protested at the hearing).Today we pay 14 cents and they tell us it is still not enough.
To address this shortfall, our State has mandated that 25 % of our power should come from wind in the next 10 years. Must be "inbreeding ?"
But back to cars..
Batteries, Hydrogen,Natural Gas,Propane all suffer a Major fault when compared to Oil, and that is they lack ENERGY DENSITY....simple
When you have a mobile consumer like an automobile, the cost to carry your fuel efficiently cannot be ignored, and oil is king in this important (but often ignored) area. Now couple this with Storage issues, where Hydrogen and Electrical storage have diminishing returns (natural bleed off) and we can say, " let the folly begin"

aboard_epsilon
08-21-2010, 11:03 AM
you also have to remember this

in the winter .........on a cold day .a lot of the so called heat losses in IC engine...will be going into the cars interior via the heater to keep the occupants warm, and de-mist the windows..so will not be such a loss

with an electric car ..this heat has to come from somewhere .so will be using valuable battery energy keeping occupants warm ..demisting etc.

think trams and tubes and busses are the future.

all the best.markj

J Tiers
08-21-2010, 11:04 AM
Lots of assumptions, and also some outright lies or "falsefacts".

They give it as a "best case" and that is what it is. In spades.

The driving conditions are unrealistic...... good for a few weeks in fall and spring, in daylight.

The kw used for travel at various speeds are "interesting", but don't accord with general usage..... In a gas vehicle, fuel use does NOT go along with that power curve*..... There is no particular reason why the tesla should follow it either. I am forced to the conclusion that teh Tesla folks assumptions are driving that.

I am sure it is a good vehicle. For their price it should be.

Will anyone actually get the range they quote? maybe. Some folks. The same group that can nearly double the mileage of their gas vehicle by extreme driving techniques.

*I get no degradation of mileage that is findable/relevant at any speed between 55 and 75 mph. And, I am talking about 9 hour trips over the same route at the same general weather conditions, not mileage spread over days or weeks. The variation is about 7% at max, and much of that is due to an actual fault in the vehicle which was since repaired.

According to the Tesla curve, I should have seen a 50% change, but that does not happen in reality.

Rich Carlstedt
08-21-2010, 11:14 AM
Same old sales pitch
"So here are some of the critical inputs that we have assumed:
Single driver ~180lbs
Soft top or Hard top on vehicle (with windows up)
No air conditioning usage
No heat usage
No headlights or cabin air blower (large 12V loads)
Tires inflated to recommended efficiency setting 30/40 front/rear psi"

I question any study that makes unreal assumptions !

Also Even, I can't find the study you posted for the assumption on efficiency.
The CERTAINLY don't have "cost" as a factor
Rich

Evan
08-21-2010, 11:17 AM
The most interesting number is the Well to Wheel efficiency. Even if you chop it in half it is best in class or equal to the hybrid. I don't think they are trying to pull a fast one on those numbers. They aren't going to sell a single car by doing that. That isn't why their customers buy the car. Efficiency obviously isn't a concern for a person that can afford a Tesla.

Evan
08-21-2010, 11:19 AM
I question any study that makes unreal assumptions !


That isn't a "study". It is clearly explained as a BEST CASE scenario. What is the absolute MAXIMUM you can expect is what that is about. They aren't trying to BS anybody in that piece.

Black_Moons
08-21-2010, 11:20 AM
I once worked at a gas station.. And for a lark I looked over the sales records.. it was a very slow gas station, but still had the odd customer.
I did the math on how much fuel we pumped.. how many kWh that would be, After burning in a gasoline engine at 25% efficency.. Devided by 24 hours...
The result was if the gas station was recharging electric cars, it would be drawing a constant 3MW! thats 12,500amps at 240v.. Your house likey only has a 200A service at 240v.. And for example, your stove only uses 40A at 240v (largest load)

And thats assuming the load was constant throughout the day, More likey it would of peaked at 6~10MW during the day and very little at night.

We'r gonna need some serious power line improvements if you expect to fast charge an electric car any time in the future..

Evan
08-21-2010, 11:24 AM
That is where off peak charging comes in. Most people drive during the day are are home at night. Night is when the power plants have plenty of spare capacity and night is when most vehicles would be charging. If you can "fill the tank" at home then you don't need to do it during the day.

aboard_epsilon
08-21-2010, 11:28 AM
in reeality .......if everyone converted to electric cars tommorow ..the power companies would put the cost of power up to equal that of petrol.....so there would not be any gain to be had.

all the best.markj

snipe
08-21-2010, 11:51 AM
I have always wondered what is wrong with using a very small IC engine to run a generator to power the battery of an electric car. The limitations on distance would be gone then. I have only assumed that the corparations are not interested in this because of not being able to charge enough to make it worth their while. Meaning Gas companies lose because of the efficiency....Power plants lose because of efficiency. No one makes a huge profit in replenishing the power....the consumer may actually win...heaven forbid!

Evan
08-21-2010, 12:10 PM
That is called a "Hybrid".

snipe
08-21-2010, 12:22 PM
I was under the inpression the hybrids either ran off gas or switched to electric...I didn't know that the gas motor charged the battery source

Evan
08-21-2010, 12:26 PM
Since none of the available hybrids need to be plugged in to charge that is the only possibility. Most hybrids run on electric for low speed low acceleration stop and go driving. When the batteries are becoming low or the power demand is higher the gas engine kicks in to supplement the drive power and charge the batteries or either one depending on what is needed.

rohart
08-21-2010, 07:39 PM
Slightly OT, I've just been perusing the Tesla site, and it's quite impressive.

But what I really notice is the lack of flexibility in the range department. Since most of the maintenance worry is going to be battery replacement, I'd have thought more flexibility in your battery pack would be sensible.

For example, I would be interested in a car with a normal maximum range of 100 miles. That'll give me a round trip to towns 40 miles away, and let me go to my nearest seaside if I can charge in the car park when I get there. But I would want to be ably to drop by the dealership and hire a larger battery pack for a day, a week, a month that would give me 500 miles or more, for those occasions when I want to travel up country. I'm not going to buy an expensive car, and then hire another car to go on holiday with.

Sure, others living in areas with wide open spaces, or travelling reps or suchlike, would want a regular 300 miles of battery.

But selling a car with only a high mileage 300 mile battery pack is going to make a lot of potential purchasers feel that they're lugging around, and degrading, an expensive battery pack that they don't need.

There's very little cost to increasing the range of a fuel car, and it's unnecessary because of the spead of refueling, but until you can recharge for a further 300 miles in the time it takes to eat a quick roadside meal, then the extra pack option is the only way you'll sell to someone who wants to drive holiday distances.

Evan
08-21-2010, 08:44 PM
They must allow a very considerable margin above what you think you need. You say 100 miles of range would be adequate. But what about the days when you have a stiff head wind and it's raining and you have the electric defrosters and the electric heater going? That 300 mile ultimate range just became 100 and a 100 mile maximum became 30. Or, if you have to climb hills you can triple the power requirement over that for level ground. I speak entirely from experience as I have been working on these issues for several years. The range of an electric vehicle is currently limited to about 1/2 to 1/3 of a gas vehicle in the best case and in the worst case could be 1/5 or less. While gasoline vehicles also use more fuel in adverse circumstances they have enough extra range that it doesn't result in being stranded very often.

With electric what we need is at least a doubling of battery power density, fast recharge times and long battery life. At present all of those issues have been solved but not all at once in the same battery. It won't take more than a few years and that short range issue will be history. Unlike hydrogen fueled vehicles there are no fundamental showstoppers imposed by the laws of physics. Electric motors can reach 90% energy conversion efficiency and batteries can and will be improved. The main issue that is holding up power density improvements in battery technology is safety. Batteries that contain chemical energy similar to that of gasoline per pound are bombs. The must be made to fail safely when they are folded, spindled and mutilated.

J Tiers
08-21-2010, 10:08 PM
rohart:

Remember, 300mile range, even if true, is really 150 mile range, unless you don't want to come back. That's true of a gas or diesel vehicle also, but as you point out, 5 min to gain an added 500 mile range is easy to do. (My S10 will go about 500 highway miles at 75 mph on a tank)


Since none of the available hybrids need to be plugged in to charge that is the only possibility. Most hybrids run on electric for low speed low acceleration stop and go driving. When the batteries are becoming low or the power demand is higher the gas engine kicks in to supplement the drive power and charge the batteries or either one depending on what is needed.

In GOOD hybrids (they are NOT all like this), it is better than that explanation makes it seem.

While you are in any situation in which normally you would be idling, such as at a light, or inching ahead a few feet per minute in stupid traffic, the gas engine is OFF. You ONLY use electric, as long as it holds out.

The impact of that on your mileage, non-hybrid vs hybrid, and the accompanying impact on pollution, exhaust stench in traffic, etc, is profound.

I can NOT understand why several early hybrids, and probably some current hybrids, do NOT do that. If you do not do that, it seems that most of the advantages go away.

At one time, the Prius was the ONLY hybrid which did that. I assume more do now, unless the engineers and product folks are insane.

gmatov
08-21-2010, 10:46 PM
GG,

A generator does not produce unless there is a draw on it. They can spin an unloaded generator with relatively little steam. As the load increases or decreases at a given power plant with multiple generators, they will shift the load gradually, till they are both sharing the load or one is carrying the load and the other can run at idle. They always run, even if at a slow roll.Even a 67 inch diameter bar of steel will sag and take a set if left to sit motionless.

Two generators will autosynchronize when the load is applied. The same applies to a generator you may have in your house, solar or whatever. When you backfeed to the grid, the output will synchronize. How long that has been true, I don't know. My boat was built about 1952. When we came to port and tied to shore power, the Sparks had to synchronize our load with shore power. That may have been because of high freq gyroscopes aboard, and Radar, Sonar, Signal Equipment.

Boomer,

Turbo generators don't need humongous step up transformers. The largest we built at Westinghouse produced 765,000 Volt 3 phase. Transformers may come in further down the line, 500 miles, perhaps, to get back up to 765,000.

Rohart,

If you read the Tesla details closely, you might have seen the spec where they say that the battery pack consists of, I think, 6581 cells. Unless they can make a higher density cell of the same physical dimensions,, you are going to have to drag those extra 27 thousand some cells in a trailer. The original battery pack is over 400 pounds, at 1 ounce per cell, they possibly weigh more or less than that. Any extra weight you put in that car drops the range. So to get 500 miles range, instead of an extra 3/4 ton of battery, you would probably need 7 times the battery pack in size. That's near a ton and a half of "fuel" load, alone.

Richard-TX,

I question your factor of 10 to 1 on cost of electric vs nat gas. My gas bill this past Winter was out of sight. The Winter was no colder than prior Winters. That because the cost of nat gas is a marketable Commodity, and the traders bid it up to over 14 bucks per MCF. Utilities locked it in at that price and sold it to consumers by the CCF, at 4 to 5 bucks per CCF. My bills were as high as 300 per month.

My daughter, with a heat pump of about 10 SEER saw whole house electric bills of about 150. I had an electric bill to pay along with that gas bill. My cousin replaced her oil furnace and AC with a heat pump with 14 SEER, and electric backup, and her highest bill was about 140 all electric for the house. My combined bills for the coolest months were nearly triple theirs, and I do not have AC. Hot water heat, so little hope that I will have.

Cheers,

George

J Tiers
08-21-2010, 11:14 PM
My daughter, with a heat pump of about 10 SEER saw whole house electric bills of about 150. I had an electric bill to pay along with that gas bill. My cousin replaced her oil furnace and AC with a heat pump with 14 SEER, and electric backup, and her highest bill was about 140 all electric for the house. My combined bills for the coolest months were nearly triple theirs, and I do not have AC. Hot water heat, so little hope that I will have.

Cheers,

George


A heat pump is terribly inefficient in many climates..... To pump heat in, you have to HAVE heat somewhere..... the best efficiency is with a fairly low differential between outdoors and in, or more properly, between heat source and heated area.

A ground-source heat pump has a large reservoir of "heat" at approximately 50 deg F for a heat source. That is pretty good. Much better than trying to get heat from air at 15 deg F, as teh typical one would these days. Ground source is not popular, and is at least twice as expensive as ordinary types. Usually there is electric as a backup...not so efficient overall*..

At least you have hot water heat. The best heat on earth. More even, warmer-feeling, etc, than any forced air or steam heat I have ever been around.

You should feel warm at a lower actual temp with that than with forced air.

* gas heat isn't that efficient, but at least it uses most of the heat that is in the fuel, in general. With electric, there is the generation and transmission and distribution loss on top of the Carnot efficiency limit.

Gravy
08-21-2010, 11:35 PM
The anti-electric car arguments seem to focus on range and top speed. Those are critical issues for primary vehicles. Lots of primary vehicle go over 20,000 miles per year.

BUT...

I used to be an auto mechanic. It's amazing how many cars get driven less than 1000 miles per year. The car that Grandma only drove to church on Sunday was horribly abused.

There are a whole lot of secondary vehicles that are never used to go very fast or very far, especially in the thousands of small towns in this country.

There are a lot of beaters and grocery-getters and kid-haulers that get started up and run maybe ten minutes/3-5 miles before they get parked again at the office or store or soccer field. That's pretty much the absolute worst scenario for an IC engine. It doesn't have time to warm up and get efficient before it's shut off. It runs cold and rich, gets hideous fuel mileage, pollutes horrendously, dilutes the oil, wears fast and doesn't burn off condensation.

It's also optimum for electric. Short trips at low speed. Too short to really warm up or cool down the passenger compartment, but an electric defroster can clear the windshield fast so you can see, and you can be at the store or the school before an IC engine can warm up enough to start defrosting. When you're waiting at a slow traffic light, you aren't blipping the throttle to keep the engine from dying...

As a WAG, I'd bet that these vehicles account for less than 10% of the miles driven, but they probably account for more than 25% of total registered vehicles. This is a pretty fat slice of the bell curve.

Electric vehicles would be the ideal solution for most of that category...

If they were cheap to buy.

For this application, a golf cart is inadequate and unsafe. A Prius is overpriced overkill. Something in between could work.

Tossing out some sloppy estimates: $10-$15k purchase price at most. Top speed/range of maybe 55mph/10-15 miles for emergencies (get the kid to the nearest doctor), with a a maximum cruise of 35mph/100miles or so before it quits. Optimized for maybe 10-20 miles per day at 20-30mph average in stop & start traffic. (Assuming fairly flattish terrain like much of the USA).

Can recharge from a standard 120VAC outlet, and can be limited to a 10 amp draw so it doesn't trip a breaker, or can fast charge off of a dedicated 240VAC 50amp dryer circuit.

Holds 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 kids in enough comfort for 10-20 minutes, and has cargo space for groceries, golf clubs or soccer gear. Simple seat belts and maybe basic airbags designed for low-speed fender-benders. Weighs maybe 1500-2000lbs empty.

This is not that far a leap from 30 year old golf cart technology. We ought to be able to get into the ballpark.

Oh well, maybe someday.

gmatov
08-22-2010, 01:49 AM
Jerry,

I like my hot water heat. I don't know if you have ever heard of the PalomaPak, tiny little boiler, heat exchanger a bit smaller than most auto heater cores. 43,000 BTU in, 80% at that time, efficiency, so 36,000 BTU to the house. My house is 1900 SF, well insulated, I built it myself, with 6 inch studding, and LOTS of insulation blown into the attic.

I am definitely comfortable all Winter, and I would not really like any other kind of heat. Cool, hell yes. Window units do not cut the mustard.

Above, someone else said not enough Delta T to heat the house. You don't need a high temp differential to heat a house. You are going from 70 F to 72 F. Furnace on to furnace off. Why would you do as an oil furnace does and get up to 180 and higher to blow HOT air into the house to warm it about 2 degrees. THAT is where you get the major swings in temps.

I will admit I don't like the system in the kid's house. Warm air is not warm, cold air is not cold, but the compressor is running all day and night.

It is a Lennox, and it is the model that a builder specs, the cheapest they can get. I WANT them to replace the heat exchanger with a higher efficiency model, while the tax credit lasts.

Heat pumps are relatively efficient to about 28 to 30 degrees, and most of the Winter it is that or above. Nights might get colder, so you kick in one or more resistance heat banks. BAD, is that power goes out, you get cold. I lost power for about 4 days with the 2 foot snow. Lit the stove burners with my lighter and monitored with a CO detector, never rang the bell, and the house was toasty.

That alone is reason to have nat gas service.

Cheers,

George

A.K. Boomer
08-22-2010, 01:59 AM
The Tesla Roadster people have done some very detailed studies of electric efficiency and performance. They have the platform that represents the current driveable state of the art complete with electric heating and and conditioning.

Here is a detailed explanation of the best case power consumption that can be expected from the Tesla.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70

Here is their comparison of Well to Wheel efficiency:

http://ixian.ca/pics7/evefficiency.jpg


Sorry Evan --- extremely flawed study for what we are talking about ---
Last time I checked natural gas don't power squat compared to coal when it comes to electricity production (and that was in 95) ---------- So why even use it as an example? I'll tell you why - cuz it makes the BS'in tesla boys look much much better...:rolleyes:

From well to wheel my ass --- from mine to wheel is more like it.

http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/fossilfuels.htm

Evan
08-22-2010, 02:28 AM
Sorry Evan --- extremely flawed study for what we are talking about ---
Last time I checked natural gas don't power squat compared to coal when it comes to electricity production (and that was in 95) ---------- So why even use it as an example? I'll tell you why - cuz it makes the BS'in tesla boys look much much better...


Tesla is located in Silicon Valley in California. California doesn't like coal fired electric plants. They mainly use natural gas turbine plants. Their customer base is in California so it doesn't make sense for them to use fuel oil, coal or nuclear as the efficiency reference.

lakeside53
08-22-2010, 03:02 AM
They could have compared it to Hydro -they buy a lot of that power from the PNW.


It obvious that they want the best number... As for "customer base in California" - surely they will sell nation-wide?

Evan
08-22-2010, 03:25 AM
It obvious that they want the best number...

Huh? Natural gas has the WORST number, not the best number. Look at the well to station efficiency. If they wanted to boost the result the could have picked any other power source to make it look better. The well to station efficiency is part of the well to wheel efficiency calculation. Using natural gas drags their result down.


They could have compared it to Hydro -they buy a lot of that power from the PNW.



You can't compare Hydro to thermal generation in terms of efficiency since hydro isn't subject to Carnot efficiency limits and doesn't really have an efficiency rating. The best you can do with hydroelectric generation is calculate the cost per megawatt of installed capacity. The only part of the system that has a clear efficiency rating is the transmission system. That can vary from 96% to as low as 70% depending on distance, altitude, weather and loading of the lines.

dp
08-22-2010, 04:00 AM
There is no possibility to refuel electric cars on the highway if the majority of cars were electric. It takes too long to recharge, and the energy required to supply peak power (a daytime activity) on the highways would be overkill during off-peak. But with electricity you are required to build to peak and to allow room for growth.

It will require a lot of oil to fuel the generators - you cannot depend on wind, nuclear is still voodoo, and coal is second to nuclear for unpopular dirty fuels with the politically correct.

It will take decades to build the infrastructure, and many international treaties to share the grid between the US and or neighbors to the north and south.

It's not going to happen. We're running a 1.4 trillion USD deficit now, and there's no money to build the needed infrastructure. At least not in my lifetime, and I expect my lifetime will not last as long as the current, perhaps permanent economic situation. And it is questionable if it is needed or that it solves a problem larger than the ones it creates.

We've done too many things wrong and are not moving fast enough at doing things right. The recovery will not succeed so long as the political leadership believes the solution is to force sweeping changes on society that have nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with a green, leftist agenda.

mechanicalmagic
08-22-2010, 04:15 AM
Tesla is located in Silicon Valley in California. California doesn't like coal fired electric plants. They mainly use natural gas turbine plants. Their customer base is in California so it doesn't make sense for them to use fuel oil, coal or nuclear as the efficiency reference.

Well, the customers have little to say about the generator fuel that's used to provide our power. But, we do have a voice when it comes to building new generating plants in our state, and maybe closing polluting plants.

CA, gets power from the following:
1% Coal
36% Natural Gas
3% Petroleum
19% Nuke
20% Hydroelectric
20% Renewable

source, 2005 data:
http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/states/electricity.cfm/state=CA
(I think USDOE is probably a reasonable reference.)
Note: California is significantly different from most of the US. I suspect the the transmission losses (sometimes quoted at 50%) are the main reason.

However: if the battery powered car is in an average state, coal provides 50% of the fuel. Petroleum is up to 6%.

Back to the OP's question: barrel of fuel into the grid or into a car.
Assuming Diesel is the fuel:
Generator:
50% engine effeciency,
80% transmission effeciency,
70% charging effeciency,
85% battery to wheels effeciency.
Total, about 24% effeciency.

When you look at small Diesel engines (automotive) they are typically in the 30% range, add mechanical losses, you are in the same ball park.

Bottom line: It doesn't make much difference as far as the environmental impact.
Cost, on the other hand might be different.

DJ

Evan
08-22-2010, 06:33 AM
To my knowledge the only new electric power plant construction that has been approved in California in the last 20 years is either natural gas or so called "renewable" energy. All the rest are legacy systems and that include especially hydro electric. The majority of the hydroelectric power that California uses is imported.

A.K. Boomer
08-22-2010, 09:58 AM
Tesla is located in Silicon Valley in California. California doesn't like coal fired electric plants. They mainly use natural gas turbine plants. Their customer base is in California so it doesn't make sense for them to use fuel oil, coal or nuclear as the efficiency reference.



Yeah but what does that have to do with 99% of the rest of the world - Its very misleading - The original post is from Granny Gear and he's talking about the masses - He's also from china and they use an unbelievable amount of coal as do we -- Tesla has a very long waiting list and its not just people in Cali..

Many of the cars will be plugged into coal fired plants...

If this comparison is to be made you cannot be so biased as to choose the best situation in a little nitch and then run with it - you have to get real and compare it to what people will be plugging into nation wide and world wide.

That's like me dragging out one of Smokey Yunicks high efficiency ceramic IC engines and using it as the basis for the comparison:rolleyes:

A.K. Boomer
08-22-2010, 10:10 AM
Huh? Natural gas has the WORST number, not the best number. Look at the well to station efficiency. If they wanted to boost the result the could have picked any other power source to make it look better. The well to station efficiency is part of the well to wheel efficiency calculation. Using natural gas drags their result down.






We don't know how the tricksters are arriving at their numbers --- for all we know they could be using the specs of NG gas wells that are producing from pre-existing oil wells and forgoing the cost of drilling and such, also keeping it "close to home" cut's down drastically on what kind of pressures and pumping stations are needed to move it from point A to point B, So maybe they "claim" the worst in one example (well to station) and use the best for the other (well to wheel)

Evan - don't be naive --- If coal would have given the tesla boys an even greater edge in their comparison they would have used it...

Evan
08-22-2010, 10:13 AM
If this comparison is to be made you cannot be so biased as to choose the best situation in a little nitch and then run with it - you have to get real and compare it to what people will be plugging into nation wide and world wide.


Complete BS. The Tesla is subject to the same laws of physics as any other vehicle. All the same considerations apply with no exceptions. Their choice of natural gas for the efficiency calculation doesn't do them any favours, they would be much better off to choose coal or oil since both have higher power plant efficiency and a much lower cost of generation.

Take a Tesla and cut the battery pack in half and the motor by 1/4, wrap it in a box shaped butt ugly plastic body with lawn chair seats and you have the electric smart car. It will probably get much better "mileage" per megajoule.

If you have a better idea on what to use for a comparison then fly at it. There isn't another current manufacturer with the openly available database of performance data that Tesla offers.

J Tiers
08-22-2010, 10:45 AM
The tesla data is very best case. The electric efficiency is listed as a high number. While I have seen delivery efficiency numbers around 92 to 94%, most probably have worse.

If I understand the numbers they give, they seem to assume a power plant of 60% efficiency. Most all plants are actually at 45% or less.

And they seem to totally gloss over the battery charging efficiency, unless they have listed it in the otehr numbers without mentioning it..

I suspect the "global" efficiency is considerably less for the average driver.

That charging efficiency has a backside also..... there are more losses as you pull more current, just as there are more losses the FASTER YOU CHARGE. So pulling more power out, or charging faster will both lose you "cycle efficiency".

Marketing, marketing, Marketing.

Electric cars cannot yet do what any liquid fuel vehicle can do, not by far. They are OK for an urban runabout, but no good for much else. A hybrid is a much better answer.

Buying a very expensive electric car to drive less than 1000 miles per year makes no sense.

Most folks drive around 10,000 miles, and the ones with the worst mileage vehicles drive the MOST MILES. (people from the rich far suburbs driving their Escalades 40 miles one way to work)





Above, someone else said not enough Delta T to heat the house. You don't need a high temp differential to heat a house. You are going from 70 F to 72 F. Furnace on to furnace off. Why would you do as an oil furnace does and get up to 180 and higher to blow HOT air into the house to warm it about 2 degrees. THAT is where you get the major swings in temps.
Heat pumps are relatively efficient to about 28 to 30 degrees, and most of the Winter it is that or above. Nights might get colder, so you kick in one or more resistance heat banks. BAD, is that power goes out, you get cold. I lost power for about 4 days with the 2 foot snow. Lit the stove burners with my lighter and monitored with a CO detector, never rang the bell, and the house was toasty.

That alone is reason to have nat gas service.

Cheers,

George

30 deg is pretty warm. Back in MN, we got 66 degF colder than that. Not much energy to extract from -37C air. And a huge delta T to push it uphill against.

We spend a lot of time around 15 to 20 even in MO, with time spent near zero F. Again, not very efficient.

if you can get your energy from a 50 F source, it is much cheaper.
.
.
.

Electric Smart car?

The Smart car already gets such abysmal mileage for what it is, that an electric version should suck bigtime.

A.K. Boomer
08-22-2010, 10:56 AM
If you have a better idea on what to use for a comparison then fly at it. .



Its a joke, It can never be, and Like DP stated the conversion it would take in the infrastructure would be unrealistic.

It cannot happen and it will NEVER happen.

Actually I do have a better idea - In 1990 honda made the 1.5 liter CRX HF (high fuel)
Its rated @ 56 mpg and that's gas, (my bro's got one and has achieved over 60 mpg's -- he's also had it over 110 mph so its not a total slug) this car could easily have a body style to seat four,
This car was built 20 YEARS AGO, we have even better control over the way fuel burns now, far better, for power and efficiency and emmisions.
Cars like this could be approaching 70mpg out of the same output in a 1.3 liter.

And that's not even talking diesel --- a little 1.1 liter turbo diesel could be in the mid 80's for MPG.

But everyone wants to drive a house to work,
Conservation is such a nasty word -- yet we could be doing much more with much less if people would just pull their heads out of their butts...


This stuff don't come back - people die for it,
Yet in my nation it has become the norm to hop in your 9 passenger chevy sloburbon - head to the gym solo (that is if your one of the few that actually exercise as I live in a country full of blimps)
Then plop your fat ass on a motorized treadmill that has to use coal to get you and keep you in motion......




I don't give a rats ass what kind of energy source we supplement in the future with --------- We are screwed because of our mindset, think its going to get better? You do realize these slobs are having kids don't you?:rolleyes:

The answer is right in front of us - yet we will never go there, Because people don't choose the correct solution a different solution will be chosen for them, because people don't know the first thing about practical - the impractical will be imposed upon them.

Don't like compromise? how bout walking then pilgrim...?

Evan
08-22-2010, 02:07 PM
Its a joke, It can never be, and Like DP stated the conversion it would take in the infrastructure would be unrealistic.

It cannot happen and it will NEVER happen.


Electric is entirely practical. There is no change required for the infrastructure other than minor items like providing charging outlets at parking spaces at work. We already have those at most places and each one is rated at 15 amps. They are for plugging in the engine heater needed so that pig of an engine will start in cold weather. I wonder how much that affects the winter efficiency calculation when it takes those extra daily kilowatts into account?

British Columbia is the most fit (healthy) political entity in North America. We are leaders in the use of renewable power because 90% of the power we use is hydroelectric. BC is at the forefront of LED lighting technology. We already buy more LED lights per capita than anywhere else. I can buy complete off grid solar and wind systems at the local Canadian Tire hardware store. BC Hydro encourages the building of "run of the river" hydroelectric projects that don't depend on dams to generate power. A friend of mine generates about 140 kilowatts of power from a stream that he sells to BC Hydro to help power the town of Likely, BC.

Electric vehicles have a place in the entire picture. They will improve. People will change, they have no choice.

tmarks11
08-22-2010, 02:46 PM
I'm pretty sure electric generators at power plants only run one speed; 60Hz. So to scale back individual generators are shut down rather than run slower. To restart they need to be brought up to speed, connected to line, then pour on the steam.
Load on a generator has nothing to do with generator speed.

The turbine generator is brought up to the speed that will produce 60 Hz electricity (1800, 2600, 7200 rpm, etc). At that point it can be loaded anywhere from 0-100% of rating. Typically, never loaded to less the 5-10% of rating because speed control starts to get dicey at low loads.

The big power plants try to run at 100% loading because of efficiency. A typical steam cycle plant will have a given amount of power required to run pumps and motors (about 7% of full rating), regardless of what the power output of the plant is.

Which means if they run the plant at 7% capacity, the electricity is much more expensive then if they run it at 100% capacity.

I do this for a living.

Back OT, electric cars are only the real solution when the power plant is a "green" plant (Nuke, Hydro, Wind). You can fudge the numbers to try to make them look good, but the bottom line is that if you compare apples to apples, the oil ->generator losses ->transmission line losses ->battery inefficiency -> motor inefficiency will always make direct gasoline power vehicles more efficienct.

How electric cars come out the winner is if the power plant is solar, wind, hydro, or nuke. Zero emissions at the source, zero emissions at the vehicle.

If the primary power plant is coal, with poorly controlled emissions (which is typical of most coal plants, but not all), then electric vehicles will result in more hydrocarbon emissions then their gasoline powered equivilent.


If I understand the numbers they give, they seem to assume a power plant of 60% efficiency. Most all plants are actually at 45% or less.

Only natural gas power plant can achieve 40-50% efficiency ratings. Coal, oil, and nuke power plants are are limited to about 32-35% max efficiency, since they use the rankine cycle (steam plant).

Evan
08-22-2010, 03:30 PM
Combined cycle plants can hit close to 60 percent efficiency.

BTW, diesel piston engines can hit 50% with no special equipment if they are large enough.

J Tiers
08-22-2010, 03:49 PM
Combined cycle plants can hit close to 60 percent efficiency.

BTW, diesel piston engines can hit 50% with no special equipment if they are large enough.

"CAN" is a long way from "steam only plants hit 64.7%" (Carnot efficiency limit for common temperatures).

The mercury topping cycle is not as widely used..... perhaps because escaping mercury at 1000F has a rather bad ring to it.... And, many older plants are not as good, nor are they binary vapor units.

Again, the Tesla folks gave the very very best case numbers for their stuff, and low-side averages for some other alternates.

This is not illegal, but it IS misleading, to those who have no way of properly interpreting the numbers.

Many buy the car because it's "new", its "exclusive" it is supposed to be "green", and they like the "look" of being "new, exclusive, and green". And because it says they can afford to be "new, exclusive, and green".

Look at all the folks who bought "Smart " cars...... they gave up usefulness, passenger capability, and a significant amount of fuel mileage just to have a car that "looks" like it is very efficient, and "looks" green. I suspect that it looks green because it looks nearly but not quite useless.... goes with many "green" things.... many of which are overall more harmful than the old, bad, alternative.

A.K. Boomer
08-22-2010, 04:33 PM
British Columbia is the most fit (healthy) political entity in North America. We are leaders in the use of renewable power because 90% of the power we use is hydroelectric. BC is at the forefront of LED lighting technology. We already buy more LED lights per capita than anywhere else. I can buy complete off grid solar and wind systems at the local Canadian Tire hardware store. BC Hydro encourages the building of "run of the river" hydroelectric projects that don't depend on dams to generate power. A friend of mine generates about 140 kilowatts of power from a stream that he sells to BC Hydro to help power the town of Likely, BC.




I happen to think that's wonderful, How awesome that you guys have the low populous and therefor can commit much of your natural resources to do so --- but like the Tesla graph your overall picture is misleading for the rest of the industrialized overpopulated world,
We can't "do what you do" even if all the rules and regs were removed and nobody cared about fish we don't even have enough altitude drop and CFS in all our rivers combined to "do what you do"...



Electric vehicles have a place in the entire picture. They will improve. People will change, they have no choice.

You are very optimistic and im not going to be a party pooper - but to me the place they have in the entire picture will be small,
People will change when theve exhausted "easy street"
but by then the options will have changed along with it and its going to get deadly serious.

Personally I can't see it going any other way and I actually think its a good thing overall so I wouldn't change it if I could,

Like I stated before - mankind has finally ran up against the great limiter,
Our only hope to evolve is staring us back in the face, Weve already proven incompetent and irresponsible in our greed of power consumption and the worst thing that could happen is to find another "free lunch" - then people would only get fatter and more stupid... nothing would change and the entire problem would keep growing till someday it would be like today except tenfold...

Evan
08-22-2010, 05:50 PM
Again, the Tesla folks gave the very very best case numbers for their stuff, and low-side averages for some other alternates.


How do you know that the alternates are low side averages?

We know the Tesla numbers are best case except for the well to wheel numbers which are not even close to best case. Providing best case numbers is the only way that you can compare efficiency because it is the only way that you can eliminate all the variables that change efficiency. As soon as you try to compare "average" values you get mired in a pit of unequal circumstances.

If I buy an electric car I want to know what the ultimate maximum range is. Not the range from some test that represents what driving is like in Silicon Valley, I don't live there or in any other hypothetical circumstance that probably won't apply to me.

PeteF
08-22-2010, 10:04 PM
I'm with Evan on this one. People will change and it might happen faster than you expect.

In Australia we just had a national election. Quite apart from it being a fiasco for reasons I won't go in to here, what was particularly significant was the massive movement toward the Green Party, including them winning their first ever seat, that of Melbourne. Sure the two main alternatives were basically a couple of imbeciles, and I think that fact swung people to anyone other than them, but the bottom line is that Generation Y wants Green. They don't know precisely what, they don't know why, they don't know how, but they DO know they want it if it's "green".

During the "oil crisis" in the '70s there was a major revolution in vehicle size and was the single most important catalyst to the success at the time of Japanese auto manufacturers. Virtually overnight nobody wanted large cars and the only people providing small, fuel efficient cars were the Japanese (a lesson incidentally that was totally forgotten by the US auto manufacturers). It happened quite quickly. Likewise I truly believe that people's habits will quickly change, driven by herd mentality and trends set by people of influence. A case in point, only 5 or so years ago Hummers were imported into Australia, they were outrageously expensive for what is basically an over-sized turd, but some saw them as "cool". Now you'd be lucky to drive one down the road without being stoned or basically spat at. I kid you not, THAT'S how fast things can change.

In this country we're seeing a massive increase of alternative transport such as cycling and people are changing their buying habits. For example my wife now does all our grocery shopping online in a virtual supermarket. It's loaded from the Coles (one of the two largest supermarket retailers in Oz) at the local shopping centre and delivered by one truck to customers in the area. So instead of 20-30 cars driving to the shopping centre with their sole occupants, ONE truck does the lot. We could hardly be called "Greenies". Yet I believe we've only just now seen the tip of the iceberg in this regard, and there are massive changes (and opportunities for those who are smart enough to see them) in the years ahead.

That's my opinion anyway.

Pete

J Tiers
08-22-2010, 11:03 PM
Pete, I hope you DO realize that that is the way it USED to be done....... at least by the wealthier folks. Without the on-line, of course.

And, it is one thing entirely in dense urban areas of highrise apartments and quite another in areas where you may drive 50 miles in to town.

An electric car is primarily an urban commuter car, now and for the forseeable. To have one as your ONLY car means ONLY going places out of town which have an airport (Trains and Greyhound buses basically don't exist for ex-urban transport now, they go too few places). or renting, assuming gas rentals are easy to get.

And to a great degree, it can mean planning your entire week around a very limited supply of electric power. Probably beats public transport* but working out how to eke out the 60 mile limit while running errands on the way home from work can be an issue, if you start with 15 miles or so on the commute, and adverse conditions, you might get stranded, in which case you will have to be towed.....

I know of people who moved to New York City and sold their car.... They live on the tenth floor, in a tiny apartment. If they like it, that's fine. I don't, I want a yard, even if smaller, and while I don't live 40 miles from town, I certainly don't live in an apartment etc.... I HAVE, but I vastly prefer not to. I'm just not a herd animal.

And in power failures, an electric car is merely a liability, an immovable sculpture. We have had several 1 week power failures around here, and an electric car would have been worse than useless.

*Public transport......

Can be very impractical....

I looked at going to work that way. I wanted to be there at 7AM, when the factory started and we in engineering were supposed to be available for problems/questions.

To ride my bicycle would take 40 min, but was not practical at 105F in summer or at 5 deg F with snow and ice in winter.....

To take the bus, I had to start off at 4AM.... take a bus to a really bad part of town, wait there at the stop for 45 min, take another bus, wait at another place for 20 min, and then take the last bus to work.

Door to door, it was a 14 hour day, with nearly 6 of it on public transport, or waiting for it, all to get about 9 miles to work. I never tried walking it, but it could possibly have been faster than public transport, at about 3 miles per hour on public transport (per the schedule they themselves set out when I inquired), and probably 4 MPH walking.

The major reason for this is that I was going AGAINST normal commute... I wanted to get OUT FARTHER, when most were wanting to get into town.

Since then, bus service has been drastically cut back, despite increased ridership. I couldn't do even that well now, and I haven't asked.

PeteF
08-23-2010, 03:44 AM
Well Jerry, that's YOUR situation described well, now what about the other Billion people in the world?

As far as your guess of my situation, actually I DON'T live in a high rise, nor do I live in a dense urban area. As a matter of fact I live right on the very edge of what would be considered greater Sydney, surrounded by bushland, yes complete with kangaroos in my back yard!! In fact the round trip for me to go to work is 100 km. Clearly you live in a rural area, which by definition doesn't have many people in it! The grocery deliveries go WELL past me, right up almost to the next major city and I can assure you there are few people between! As I said, this whole situation of people's behaviour changing produces both challenges and opportunities. There will always be those who will kid themselves that "it can't and won't", but I can assure you that it "can and is"; whether it's seen by the individual as a challenge or an opportunity is up to them. In just the past few years we've seen first hand the home grocery delivery explode in popularity.

I don't see anyone here advocating electric cars as a panacea for the world's energy crisis, but is it really necessary for many people to be driving around in the vehicles they do? Is it really necessary to own a big V8 pickup for all the "hauling" that you kid yourself you regularly do? For some the answer is definitely "Yes", but for the very vast majority definitely not, just hire a vehicle when you really need something like that. What's wrong with something like an electric vehicle as a family's second car? My wife's family in Finland think nothing of plugging in their car whenever they stop in winter to heat the block, what's wrong with doing the same to charge an electric? What's wrong with some other arrangement like an induction loop or similar to do it automatically? The range is a problem, so what's wrong with some sort of universal battery pack, where "refuelling" means sliding in a new battery pack at the "gas station", much like people exchange gas bottles now? So it goes on Jerry. I'm not suggesting for a moment that any of my examples are any sort of practical solution, merely a demonstration that for every challenge there's a solution out there, we just need to stop thinking within the confines of the box we've been living in.

Pete

J Tiers
08-23-2010, 09:35 AM
Pete, I figured you lived in the outer area, simply because of how you write....

And I do NOT live in a rural area, I am actually in an inner suburb. But we have "yards", and in fact we ourselves grow vegetables. My father lives inside a city, and he grows berries. My grandmother lived "in" Chicago, and always grew vegetables. Not something you can do on the 10th floor, unless you have a balcony and are not on the north side of the building.

Nor am I a "nay sayer"...... I see very significant problems with many "solutions" proposed now, IN THE FORM THAT THEY ARE PRESENTLY IN.

In the US, we have urban highrise dwellers, who may have never been on a farm, and may have never had a driver's license, presuming to dictate energy solutions for transport. They ignorantly suppose that "public transport" is simply sitting there waiting for you, and that all you need to do is use it.

They suppose that 60 miles range for an electric car is enough for ANYONE, simply because they don't even own a car, and would have no place to park it if they did.

You have, however, hit on a point that is VERY IMPORTANT.

A very large impact on the US oil usage would be made by the largest cars and especially SUVs becoming smaller. AND by people choosing to live more locally, instead of out with a 60 km commute one way.

Likewise, delivery, if more available, and not viewed as a "profit center" by the providers, would permit less vehicle usage. One can, for instance, get bulk gardening supplies delivered. It is not unknown for the delivery to be up to double the cost of the material itself. That is hardly an encouragement to use delivery. For you, delivery makes sense, as otherwise you presumably have to drive a long distance in, and then back out. Unless you can combine trips, that makes no sense.

Public transport, if actually available and usable, not, as in my situation, taking actually 8 times longer than driving, is another good option. But that assumes delivery is available, and that the public transport goes where you need to go. Or, that you can decide to go where the public transport goes.

But driving a vehicle that gets decent mileage would be the best. Our 'cash for clunkers" program actually targeted the worst of the worst, and was reasonably effective. Many vehicles with sub 10 mpg were turned in. Better ones were also turned in, which is less helpful.

Driving a super high mileage vehicle is not required, although if you can, there is obviously no problem with you doing that.

If a person who has a 10 mpg truck swaps to one that gets 20 mpg he doubles his mileage and halves gas usage from 1000 gals to 500 gals per year (based on 10,000 miles). A savings of 500 gallons. If he swaps for one that gets only 13 mpg, that looks worthless on the face of it, but he actually saves 230 gallons of fuel per year.

By contrast, a 27mpg vehicle, if swapped for a "Smart car" (40 mpg claimed, Edmunds reports 36 mpg), saves 147 gallons per year, and probably reduces the "utility" factor to near zero. If you use the Edmunds figure of 36 MPG, that swap saves a paltry 92 gallons per year.

For city driving, where 33 mpg is claimed, the annual savings is a mere 67 gallons.

I happen to drive a truck as primary transport. But, it actually gets about 27 mpg, more than double the mileage of many other trucks, and quite a few SUVs and passenger cars. We also have a regular car, but the truck has higher gas mileage, and no downside of size etc, as it is a small one. So I get the best of both. Utility, for hauling, and good mileage. Since much of what I use a truck for as a truck is not "plannable", renting as and when needed is not a useful option. Availability Thursday evenings for 3 hours is not useful..... no truck co-ops need apply.

Ironically, the truck has a 4 cyl. I would do slightly better on gas mileage if I had bought the one with the 6 cyl.

If I bought a Smart car to replace it, I could barely haul the cat to the vet, and I would save perhaps 100 gallons per year of gasoline. Smart? Perhaps not.

An electric car, IF IN THE SAME PRICE RANGE, and IF RECHARGEABLE ANYWHERE (i.e. ordinary outlet, not a special charging station) would be a useful adjunct, and reduce gas usage. But as long as they are hugely expensive, "special", very limited range, and have service and safety issues that are unknowns, there is a serious issue with adoption of them.

it is like 'computer desks".... When personal computers came out, back in the dark ages, "everyone knew" that you had to have a special ergonomic desk in order to use them. And, of course, those were supplied, at very high cost , because they were "special". Low production, limited dealerships, sold by computer stores in many cases.... Like electric cars. People wised up, and 'computer desks" are a thing of the past.

Similarly, "recycling trucks" used to be large bulky things with a million tiny bins for each category. Impossible to use, very expensive, "special", the whole nine yards. Now with single stream recycling, no such nonsense. The city uses trash trucks, and sorts out the different stuff. They make money at it, too.

Electric cars are similar. We will zero in on the actually useful ones, they will become lower cost, and will dictate the charging and other infrastructure. Most all of the ones you see coming out today are really the "betamax" vehicles..... ones that will be abandoned and totally worthless in only a few years.

PeteF
08-23-2010, 09:18 PM
Jerry, I think we're actually on the same page here, but for what it's worth thought I'd just clarify a few things. I don't live 50 or 60 km from the edge of Sydney, I live in a suburb of Sydney. Sydney is just a physically BIG city, even though it "only" has 4 million people in it. The airport is not too far from the CBD and I think it's 52 km IIRC from here to work. The only reason we moved here is because I don't need to commute every day due to the nature of my job. The nearest local shopping centre is about a 10 minute walk away, but the one they use to deliver the groceries from is about a 5 minute drive. In other words, facilities wise it's just another 'burb. I just happen to be in a pretty unique spot.

As far as having groceries delivered, it definitely makes sense to us. The precise cost depends on how strictly you want them to adhere to a delivery time slot, but as I recall the cheapest is within 3 hours of a nominated time and it costs 9 bucks. For that, somebody will physically do all the shopping for you, transport it to the house, unload it, (in our case) haul it up a flight of stairs, and take it to your front door. In addition, companies use it as a vehicle to promote their products so there's always "extras" in there, and no opportunity for impulse buying. If unsure of whether we're short of something while shopping, instead of buying something just in case, my wife simply walks to the kitchen and checks. We easily recoup the $9 many times over. Who would hop in a car and drive even 5 mins for all that? At the moment this type of facility is just one of the things we use that helps prevent us from buying a second car. So I think there are already companies, here at least, that are aware that there are opportunities out there, and they get the business.

Getting back towards the theme, I'd hardly call 27 mpg "good" milage. It may be for that type of vehicle, but if it's primarily hauling one person around that's really not good. Indeed I think this is part of the mindset that will change; just what is considered "good" milage, what is considered a "small/medium/large" vehicle, and so on. I have no idea of your personal situation, but I have eyes in my head, and the vast, VAST majority of "trucks" I see driving around in the US have one person in them and little or nothing in the back. That leads me to conclude that overall most people don't use them for what they reckon they "need" them for. Furthermore, this type of vehicle is virtually unheard of in Europe, and I'm not just talking central Europe, my wife's family lives north of the arctic circle! I don't recall seeing one "truck" as you guys like to call them in all the time I've been there, never mind being the largest selling vehicle (as the F150 is/was?). So why so different? Does the average American have some fundamental intrinsic need to haul crap around the country day in and day out? ... or is it a mindset? On that note, remember the cost of a large vehicle goes well beyond the fuel it uses. The cost in materials to manufacture it is more for example, and this extends out to less tangible things like the physical real-estate they occupy. 2 Smart cars can be parked in the space taken by one regular car. Even in the US (where shopping mall car parks are relatively generous), I've witnessed "trucks" so stupidly long they required 2 car spaces. In one case I vividly recall a gleaming example rolling up, taking up his car spaces, and from his tinted windowed shiny "truck" (complete with bed liner that clearly had never seen anything heavier than a drop of rain rolling around on it) out popped the sole occupant and waddled off to Big 5 (no doubt to restock on all the ammo he also "needs" in suburban Los Angeles :rolleyes: ).

I personally feel we're seeing the tip of the iceberg here. This is all new and as you say Jerry, there will be lots of false starts. Is it so different to, say, the personal computer segment everyone here by definition is very familiar with? Recall back in the early days of home computers some of the bizarre releases. Go back even further and there wasn't even seen a need for anyone to have their own computer! The reason I got drawn in to this discussion however is because I see so many opportunities with these changes. Many people here have extremely well equipped workshops that are perfect for making small runs of some niche product, and at the moment that's pretty much still what a lot of this is. ... for now ;)

Pete

fasto
08-23-2010, 10:55 PM
One often overlooked item that's germane to the 60-mile range of a battery electric car is that they'd be used, as J. Tiers indicates, heavily by city dwellers. Here in the U.S., the electric grids in these cities are already on the verge of collapse. Adding a few hundred megawatts of additional load is going to be really problematic.
"Charge them at night", well, that's not the complete answer either. The load in many cities actually peaks between 2130 and 2300, and remains high until 0200 or later. It then decreases, rising again between 0600 and 0800.
This little graph below is the load on one particular transformer in one particular city on the Eastern Seaboard. The transformer takes primary voltage and steps it down to 120/208. I can't give any more details about the transformer or the utility, though I will say that the apparatus that produced these graphs is a product that I invented and my company produces.
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq232/fasto_tt/082210.jpg
The Red trace is the total transformer current on the secondary side for this particular phase. (The other traces are not relevant.) This transformer is rated by the manufacturer at 500 Amps/phase (actually it's rated 200 kVA for 3 phases). You can see that it's way over 500A for a prolonged time.
Luckily transformers are very conservatively manufactured. In fact 150% of rated is generally acceptable, as long as a shortened life is also acceptable. You can see this transformer pushes 150% of its rating from time to time. Even so, the utility made it through this loading cycle without any real problems. Not shown is the trace of transformer temperature, which exceeded 55C for most of this period.
Add some battery electric cars - well, something's got to give. You can imagine the trouble that digging up a city to reconductor will cause.

gmatov
08-24-2010, 12:16 AM
tmarks,

I won't doubt that you "do this for a living". Check your speeds of rotation. I think you will find they turn 3600 RPM, max, and that that for the smallest units.

A 200 ton rotor will not be spun at 3600 RPM. A 100 ton rotor will probably be spun at 1800 or less. Large gen will be 4 pole or 8 pole, 1800 or 900 RPM. You simply cannot spin 200 tons, or 100 tons that fast safely.

Most power plant operators do not hold to within 5 or 10% of rated capacity. I spoke with engineers from our customers who told me that they would overload them by 50% to get the most for their money out of them. They were confident that they could buy a 100 megawatt gen from us and run it at 150 meg and get away with it. If it needed a rewind, that was cheap, compared to the money they made before it failed.

We had to put recording watt meters in the units to keep them from claiming bad build, and warranty rewinds.

A few years before we shut down, Westinghouse Electric, we were shown a movie, at Company expense, bussed to a theater, where Power Plant Execs bemoaned that we were "cheapening the product". Less copper in the busses. That was as a result of them overloading the units they bought. We made them TOO good, before, and now were using busses that were rated for the max load that it was supposed to produce.

The gen failed before 150% of load, and the Utility Owners were pissed.
Funny thing is the Boss of the whole Plant took us there to tell us how badly WE were failing the Company, and those Utility Execs were telling the Boss of the Company that they could not depend on the Engineering and Management of the Company to make machines that they could abuse.

Peons on the floor were being shafted as the cause of the fall off in business.

It would be funny if it were not so tragic. 13,200 people worked there when I was hired. I was one of the last 50 to tear out all of the machinery. Machine that took 4 years to get up and running was all torn out and shipped in 2 weeks, flat.

I DID get a nice watch out of the deal, a Longines Wittenauer, that quit working after about 3 years. Nice watch, thin, but I have had it to the jeweler half a dozen times, and no dice. Just like the job. Kind of a wasted 23 years.

Cheers,

George

Evan
08-24-2010, 12:29 AM
Reconductoring isn't the answer. Installing new circuits to handle a high rise full of owners is very economical on a per user basis. With current technology recharging can be easily restricted to off peak hours and automatically billed to the correct person.

Your graph may be representative of very local demand in some areas but it doesn't accurately represent overall system demand. The below graph is from the California Independent System Operator and is the demand for today with the white line bing predicted and the red as actual demand.

Note the difference between the available resources and the average consumption from midnight to 7:00 am this morning. That is enough power to fully recharge about a million Chevy Volts.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/caiso.jpg

The most likely customers for electric vehicles aren't inner city dwellers but those in the suburbs that commute every day. It's that type of use where an electric beats gasoline hands down with a huge efficiency advantage since it isn't idling when it isn't moving in heavy traffic. I have lived in many cities at various times including NYC. Most of the people I knew there didn't own a car, even if they could afford one. In the downtown areas of most big cities just paying for parking can cost more than the vehicle.

PeteF
08-24-2010, 01:22 AM
OT, but for those who do, or have, worked in the field in the US, what's your take on the state of the utilities in the US? I'm used to a very stable and reliable grid and probably lose power about once every 12 - 18 months, normally when somebody plows into a pole with their vehicle and they're not able to re-route the power. It may go off for an hour, maybe two. When I lived closer to the city I can't recall ever losing power in the 7 years I was there! At one stage I was going to Southern Cal when they were going through a particularly bad patch and I was starting to think the power was off more than it was on. Brown-outs also seemed to be perfectly normal!! It was during summer and the companies said we simply don't have enough capacity so we just give an area power for a little while, then kill that area and give others power for a while. WTF? :confused: How did they get in this position? Just privatising a utility then running it into the ground?

The other thing I've wondered about. I read somewhere years back that the big wind farm to the north west of LA (sorry I don't know the area, I've just driven past it. But it's BIG) has more capacity than they can get out of it. The story IIRC went something along the lines of the wind farm was owned by one company, but the transmission lines (etc) were owned by another. Apparently the company who owned the lines wouldn't upgrade them to take the capacity the wind farm was capable of producing. Again IIRC, the entire SoCal energy fiasco could have been largely avoided if the lines were upgraded but nobody could make the company do it, so the wind farm went largely idle. Can anyone confirm, elaborate, or correct that?

Evan
08-24-2010, 01:40 AM
How did they get in this position?

It's California. I was born there. The state slogan used to be "The Land of Fruits and Nuts".

They haven't approved a single major conventional power generating project in decades. It's nearly impossible to get anything approved, even so called "green" or renewable power projects. The rolling blackouts you experienced were almost certainly due to the scams perpetrated by Enron that came to a head in 2004.

danlb
08-24-2010, 01:45 AM
Wow. A lot of anti electric sentiment, but not a lot of facts.

I don't have many facts either, though at one point I managed to show that a worst case electric car would create as much pollution as a Prius. That was based on the dirtiest coal fired generating plant that I could find in public records, and of course accepting the published EPA figures for the Prius.

BUT..... When the time comes when oil is hard to find the availability of a mature alternative will make a big difference.

I'd love an electric car. My hybrid does great on long trips ( 3,000 miles in the last 2 weeks) but I often make short drives within 20 miles of home. An electric will do great there.

I find it interesting that the people who worry about the recharging don't take into account the difference between gas and electricity. The poster who's gas station delivered 3Mw of power was providing two or 3 weeks of power to the average car. That's because we empty the tank between fill ups. Electric cars are recharged nightly, so If I only drove 10 miles, I'd only have to top off the battery with a few kwh.


Dan

gearedloco
08-24-2010, 01:59 AM
[ ... ]
Your graph may be representative of very local demand in some areas but it doesn't accurately represent overall system demand. The below graph is from the California Independent System Operator and is the demand for today with the white line bing predicted and the red as actual demand.

Note the difference between the available resources and the average consumption from midnight to 7:00 am this morning. That is enough power to fully recharge about a million Chevy Volts.

[ ... ]

The difference between "available resources" and actual load at any given time is called "spinning reserve." The absolute minimum spinning reserve required is slightly more than the capacity of your largest on-line plant. With everything being so interconnected, it's prudent to have it a bit larger than that. If the tie-line to another utility that you're buying significant power from goes down, you must have the resources available to "carry the load." If you don't, the lights go out.

The way the "Independent System Operator" used to buy power was designed to allow outfits like Enron to commit highway robbery. I think it's been fixed, but I could be wrong. As long as the lights go on, people generally don't worry about the power bill. They just pay it and bitch, for all the good the bitching does.

I can see I'm heading off on a tangent far from the OT, so I'll shut up for now.

-bill

PeteF
08-24-2010, 02:22 AM
The rolling blackouts you experienced were almost certainly due to the scams perpetrated by Enron that came to a head in 2004.

When I first read that I thought it wasn't that long ago, but now I think about it, it possibly was. Doesn't time fly when we're stuck in a dark hotel room in the middle of summer wondering if the a/c will ever function again?

So what about the wind farm thing. Can anyone enlighten me on that?

Edit: Bill I know this is a machinist BB, and wildly OT threads can be a bit painful, but I'm certainly keen to know what's behind the facade of stories. I used to spend a LOT of time in SoCal, and to a lesser extent northern California (typically one day per week on average), so over 10 years I got to know the place pretty well. But at the end of the day I was there as a guest and not a resident. They say that LA is a great place to live but you wouldn't want to visit there ... even I got to the stage I was there so much that I quite liked it! Sad but true. However I often didn't really find out what was behind some of the stories.

darryl
08-24-2010, 03:58 AM
I think the best system to use is one which has a gas engine sized to maintain highway speed in a particular vehicle, plus have the alternate power system on board which supplies peaks of power for acceleration and hill climbing to some reasonable degree. If this alternate system is electric, the battery must be able to deliver the power demanded without becoming damaged, and while having a long lifetime. It doesn't necessarily need to have a high storage capacity.

The way I'm seeing it is the vehicle is primarily driven by the gas engine. Without the alternate system, it will still be drivable, although performance will be anemic. You will still be able to reach and maintain highway speeds. The alternate, and we're generally talking about electric here, comes into play for stop and go driving, very short trips, and improving the anemic performance of the gas-only mode.

Since we now have a smaller gas engine and a smaller battery pack, we can have a smaller vehicle overall. Further shrinking can be done where the vehicle needs only front seats, and even more shrinking can be done where there is only one occupant. I would liken this to a motorcycle, where for the most part there is only one person on it.

Now to have such a 'pared down' vehicle would mean reduced demand on liquid fuel as well as on the grid, manufacturing facilities, highway and roadway maintenance, etc. I believe we can sustain a network of such vehicles with our existing infrastructure and fuel supply systems.

Where we talk of full size, battery/electric with comparable range to fuel powered vehicles- this I believe to be impractical and not sustainable.

At some point we need to overcome the basic '3000 lbs of vehicle to move 200 lbs of person' stumbling block.

A.K. Boomer
08-24-2010, 08:08 AM
Darryl,

It's not just getting a car up to highway speeds that we have to worry about,
Im surprised you made this comment living where you do --- I live in colo. and if you make a hybrid with a puny little gas engine that's only capable of getting a car up to highway speed you will be totally screwed in the mountains when your battery runs low and your reliant strictly on the tiny IC engine (it can take 10 times the energy to drive up steep grades at a rate of speed where your not being a safety hazard to other drivers) --- Keep in mind that its a "double wammy" Not only have you exhausted your electric assist and have to rely on an IC engine that's so small its incapable of doing the task at hand - The deck is even further stacked against it due to it having to haul up the mountain a bunch of useless crap like all the weight of the battery's/electric motor/electric drive components/and if equipped the synergy drive braking system.
So now you have this little engine puking its guts out and going nowhere - the mileage is terrible and the cars a safety hazard, did I mention its hot and you want to run the AC:rolleyes:
Hell, to add insult to injury some hybrids might even be trying to charge the battery's on the way up!

Meanwhile - like I stated early - some guys "wheeling you" at great speed in a little 1.1 liter turbo diesel and getting over 50mpg UPHILL...

One more time ----- we have the technology - My bro's GAS CRX HF is rated 56mpg and that's a 1990! (punch it in on "fueleconomy.gov)
He's had tankfulls over 60 MPG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What could we achieve in the year 2010 with direct injection gas!

Over 70 mpg.!!!

There isn't a hybrid that could touch it unless your talking total inner city with synergy drive and then it would be a toss up.

And then there's the diesel ---- We could be in the mid 80's

And what about resources?

The hybrids are about the farthest thing from green that you can get ------ there's so many systems to "create" - they are absolute pigs to manufacture and tough on the environment...

The majority of hybrids are a total joke - they are created to appease the masses into thinking their "doing the right thing"

90% of hybrids should not be sold just due to people's geographic location/urban-rural commutes/driving habits,,,,,,,, But do you think for a second that the salesmen are going to tell you that?
Not a chance in hell..................

The bottom line is there are losses in energy conversion PLAIN AND SIMPLE,
If a car is a true hybrid (not a plug in) and has both gas and electric then it is a total joke, That's no matter where you live.

There is one exception to this rule and that is synergy drive in which the brakes recharge the batteries by turning the electric motor into a generator -
For this system to break even or turn into any kind of an asset the car need's to LIVE in the city - and a city with lots of stop and go's - if your city commute is mostly getting on the inner city freeway to drive to the other side you can forget any bennies and you just bought a big hype piece of crap that will use more fuel than that of a comparable IC ...

PeteF
08-24-2010, 08:57 AM
I guess it's up to the individuals' circumstances, and I really don't think it will be a case of 1 size fits all. For some a traditional vehicle will still be the only way to go, for others a hybrid, still others a pure electric, and so it goes on. If some want to believe the world is not actually getting warmer due to human population that's fine, and maybe we do indeed have a virtual infinite supply of oil buried down there as some may claim. But if it means we can all be just a little less wasteful and respect the environment just a little more then is that such a bad thing? You're right, the technology IS already here. Some years back I hired a turbo diesel station wagon Renault. HEAPS of room for a family, plus a lot of crap in the back. I sat on 200 kph (120 mph) all through Germany, drove up to Denmark, and after 1000 km (600 mi) decided I may as well put some fuel in it. It wasn't empty. Not by a long shot. So if a vehicle like that can get that sort of economy at 200 kph, why do we still think 27 mpg is "good"?

Evan
08-24-2010, 09:29 AM
The way people get themselves to work need a lot of adjustment. Take a look around the next time you find yourself stuck in traffic at "rush hour". Try to find a vehicle in the mess that has more than one occupant. Then for fun calculate the amount of mass that is being moved each day in order to transport X number of people to work and back. There is a very large amount of room for improvement.

mayfieldtm
08-24-2010, 10:38 AM
The point I'd like to make is simple.
The less we rely on Oil, the less we have to rely on the Rag Head suppliers overseas.
Just the benefits economically alone, I think would offset to a great extent on the extra costs we are facing to convert to and use of any of the alternatives.
Gas may be relatively cheap at the Pump, but!, boy do we pay and pay through hidden costs for that overseas oil.


There is a very large amount of room for improvement.

I Ditto That!
Also the structures of our City's and Neighborhoods demand a high usage of transportation. More localized plans could be so much more efficient.

Tom M.

A.K. Boomer
08-24-2010, 11:10 AM
The point I'd like to make is simple.
The less we rely on Oil, the less we have to rely on the Rag Head suppliers overseas.
.



And the point id like to make is simple, there's nothing wrong with relying on oil or even relying more on oil - as long as we use far less of it...



We have the capabilities to get far more done with far less, so why compromise efficiency?

Petro is a handy little package for personal transportation --- Why in the world personal transportation got confused with dragging a house back and forth to work is beyond me but I have to think it has something to do with that word "status" --- This particular status puts high emphasis on who can take the biggest crap in the fishbowl that we all have to share.

Farbmeister
08-25-2010, 12:39 AM
Originally Posted by mayfieldtm
The point I'd like to make is simple.
The less we rely on Oil, the less we have to rely on the Rag Head suppliers overseas.
.

So Naive. Eco-Wackjobs and idiot politicians are the reason why the US is so dependent on foreign oil.

The cost of US production is so high because of all the rules to save the spotted toad or some crap. I am ALL FOR holding companies responsible for their actions.. but the US actually make is so bad that its not worth it to employ Americans, in America, to drill for US oil.

When its cheaper to ship it from half way across the world the problem is not 'over there'... its right here.

Evan
08-25-2010, 12:49 AM
The less we rely on Oil, the less we have to rely on the Rag Head suppliers overseas.


The largest supplier to the US is Canada.

gmatov
08-25-2010, 11:45 PM
it is NOT cheaper to ship oil halfway around the world. The US has countless "shut-in wells", and the oil companies like it as it is.

Per this report: http://bus.utk.edu/econweb/faculty/davidson/challenge%20oilspeculation9wordpdf.pdf

"we noted that after President Nixon, in 1971, imposed temporary price controls on oil produced in the U.S. , the U.S. Geological Survey reported that the number of shut-in oil-producible zones on the U.S. outer continental shelf jumped from 14.3 per cent of the total completions of oil producible zones in 1971
to 44.4 per cent in 1972 and 44.5 per cent in 1973, while the number of completed wells continued to grow by some 300 per year from 5718 in 1971 to 6421 in 1973. (By way of comparison it should be noted that the shut-in ratio was 18 per cent in 1965 and the trend was steadily downward until 1972.) As we noted in our Brookings paper "This tremendous increase in readily available, but unused, productive capacity is compatible with the sudden appearance of large positive user costs as OPEC began to escalate oil prices worldwide".

In other words, they are drilling and not producing from more wells each and every day. Were all the oil producers vieing for market share, they would produce at closer to cost of acquisition. They prefer to with hold their production and buy offshore oil, as they make their money on refining, and it is a higher margin when the crude costs 80 bucks per barrel than it is when refining 20 bucks per barrel crude.

Read my link. When we went into Desert Storm, '91, the price was held steady, though the burning oilfields in Iraq and Kuwait took production off the market. The US sold 21 million barrels from the Oil Reserve over 45 days, less than half a million per day, and the price of crude did not spike.

After Katrina, and loss of 25% of US production, sale of 11 million barrels kept prices from spiking.

We are being whipsawed by the oil companies, pure and simple.

Cheers,

George