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Old 02-07-2008, 02:13 PM   #1
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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"Dear Automakers:

Plug-in hybrids are in our country’s national interest because they will reduce dependence on imported oil, decrease greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and lower fuel costs.

If I could buy a vehicle that was cheaper to operate, cleaner, ran on domestic electricity, and I could buy it from you for a few thousand dollars more, yes I would positively WANT to plug it in to a 120-volt outlet.

Please make plug-in hybrid vehicles soon. And, please manufacture them with flexible-fuel engines that get even better gas mileage and benefit American agriculture.

Your Customer"

Okay... so where does the energy for the 120 volt outlet come from?

If people actually took the time to compute the heat value from 20 million barrels of energy per day versus our current electrical generating capacity they'd be surprised to learn that we'd have to increase generating capacity a great deal to offset the energy of 20 million barrels of oil.

Given that many are dead set against nuclear power, that leaves either coal or natural gas. Wind isn't practical given that the capitalization takes years and that the wind doesn't always blow. Also harms Raptors and other birds.

Hydroelectric harms wildlife. Photovoltaic might be practical for low density uses like lighting homes and small appliances but charging a car is heavy duty work.

That all being said, we're seeing more and more hybrids as time goes on. They are growing more popular, especially for larger vehicles. Rather than signing a petition people are voting with their pocketbooks.

I appreciate your zeal but I think the petition needs rewording, especially the idea that electricity comes out of a 120 volt outlet.

Gene
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:14 AM   #3
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I agree to a point that we don't have the electrical generation for every single person to have a plug in hybrid, but I've heard that the real reason we don't have plug in hybrids in the US was that one of the patents was held by a compeny that would only let it be used if it was not used as part of a plug in car, now I don't have the source of that information any more, but at the time it sounded solid and lodgical.
as for wind power, if you are in an area that has wind it's cheaper then building a coal plant, faster to build, and I don't know how many birds coal plants kill, but if you compar a wind turbine to a single window in your house, they both end up killing around one bird per year, so if you really love birds you would board up the windows in your house, the only case where they found any numbers of birds being killed was when someone did some poor planing and put a few wind turbines in a migritory path, and as I understand those turbines are still there, that flock of birds is still alive and the birds have learned to take another route.
I know a number of people with hybrids who also have solar panals, and if they had a plug in hybrid they would get more solar panals, simaler to what I plan to do with my electric car.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:42 AM   #4
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Rather than signing a petition people are voting with their pocketbooks.
That is all they listen to.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:28 AM   #5
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I agree to a point that we don't have the electrical generation for every single person to have a plug in hybrid, but I've heard that the real reason we don't have plug in hybrids in the US was that one of the patents was held by a compeny that would only let it be used if it was not used as part of a plug in car, now I don't have the source of that information any more, but at the time it sounded solid and lodgical.
Sounds like the story of the 100mpg carburetor. You've probably heard of it, the inventor builds a new variation of the 100mpg carb. Puts it on the market. "Someone" buys the patent and "burys" it because it would use too little gasoline. I get the willies when I come here seeing all of these "run your car on water" adds here, it's the same sort of "something for nothing" that is "suppressed" by "the powers that be" but you can buy it here!

I'm sure that such miracles have happened, but more often than not miracles that do happen are ignored rather than buried by entrenched interests.

First of all, I don't think that the batteries in a hybrid store all of that much energy. I haven't done the math but I don't see them taking you very far. I'd guess maybe a dozen or so miles? Someone who is in the know will have to fill in the details, but these things are not electric cars with a gasoline motor, they're a mix of gasoline and electric and designed accordingly.

Hybrids probably could use a plug in. They probably don't have them because the manufacturer doesn't want the hassle of a consumer damaging their batteries with external power.

Lithium ion batteries require a special charging routine, one that is often controlled with microprocessors. You can buy such gadgets for a song, but they require engineering. Engineers hate to complicate things by adding separate charging circuitry for the house power.

There is also an ethic amongst engineers who work in high volume industries that reducing parts count is a greater good. Saves "total costs" for a production run. This was part of the reason why the Ford Maverick had that cheap plastic tube for gasoline, one that sometimes sheared in accidents resulting in immolating passengers. These guys are constantly striving to reduce parts count and parts cost. I know, been there, done that.

That all being said, a plug in would be a nice option. At least we'd get a tiny bit of help from the power grid.

BTW, one place I do see a "conspiracy" is the funding for nuclear fusion. They're really stingy with this kind of research but they'll spend billions developing weapons systems that will probably never get used and if they're used will probably not perform according to specs and if they do perform according to specs some innocents will get caught in "collateral damage". Seems to me with a world hungry for energy that people ought to be spending more money on energy sources.

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as for wind power, if you are in an area that has wind it's cheaper then building a coal plant, faster to build, and I don't know how many birds coal plants kill, but if you compar a wind turbine to a single window in your house, they both end up killing around one bird per year, so if you really love birds you would board up the windows in your house, the only case where they found any numbers of birds being killed was when someone did some poor planing and put a few wind turbines in a migritory path, and as I understand those turbines are still there, that flock of birds is still alive and the birds have learned to take another route.
We have a lot of wind in the high mountain areas. There are windmills. Every one of the little darlings is subsidized to the hilt. More often than not they're not turning too much at all.

Yeah, they're cheap. They don't produce a lot of power. They're annoying, they make a sound which is hard to ignore and sometimes they grow ice which they then fling when they start to turn. I keep wondering when they're going to topple over, perhaps on my pointy head but I ought to be really worried about being beaned on the head with a chunk of ice.

Meanwhile we have an enormous concentration of coal fired plants hereabouts, including one in Bobtown, PA which might be one of the largest of its kind on Earth. They do not require subsidization, most are compliant to at least the Clear Air Act of 1970 and our electricity hereabouts is very inexpensive. Most of the SOx and NOx are scrubbed out and I don't buy mercury being a big deal. I bet I get more mercury from a can of tuna than I do from our local power plants.


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I know a number of people with hybrids who also have solar panals, and if they had a plug in hybrid they would get more solar panals, simaler to what I plan to do with my electric car.
You might get a mile here or there from the sun. I have this feeling you're going to be spending a lot of money and waiting a long while for the "free" energy of sunshine to pay for the solar cells, collection devices and your time.

I do not think that the hybrid batteries store a great deal of power either. Maybe not even enough to make the costs of those collectors worth the time for surface transport.

None the less, helping oneself is powerful medicine. I don't knock you for wanting to do something, though I feel that there are better alternatives out there than solar cells for surface transport.

Gene
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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Having used and worked with wind power and PVs for decades, I find some of the arguments here to be based on misunderstanding and lies. If you are going to post about wind or solar, make sure that you know what you are talking about.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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That is all they listen to.
Should they do something else? Certainly, the opportunity is there for another business to prove the other companies wrong.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:30 PM   #8
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Having used and worked with wind power and PVs for decades, I find some of the arguments here to be based on misunderstanding and lies. If you are going to post about wind or solar, make sure that you know what you are talking about.
Maybe you need to present the facts then, seeing as how you have such abundant experience with windmills and "PV"?

As I recall the figures, windmills required years to capitalize their costs in terms of energy generation. This is why they require subsidies. The same can be said for nuclear power, at least with regards to liability and waste disposal.

The noises that windmills make are self evident to anyone with hearing. While I've never seen ice flying it's not hard to imagine a blade of that size being coated with a light sheet of ice, given that trees, power lines and other structures can accumulate it. Others have told me about this flying ice and have reported seeing it.


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Old 02-10-2008, 02:03 AM   #9
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The extra power drain won't be felt. There is a huge excess of energy at night due to the fact that once fossil fuel powered generators fire up for peak power at about 6pm it is more efficient to keep them running rather than cutting them and starting them again, EV charging provides a small consistent load that allows them to run efficiently. I have read reports saying that millions of cars can be supported by this night time excess without needing more plants or even much more fuel (I think it was submitted to appeal the CAFE EV regulation backslide and I have read it in several places but I can't remember). A plug in hybrid would probably use at most about 10kWh, which could be covered by about a 2kW peak array if you wanted a green option. Electric drive even with dodgy power plants is still twice as efficient as gasoline to mechanical energy. Plug in hybrids make a lot of sense
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:46 AM   #10
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What do you do about California and other states that don't have enough power as it is? I'm assuming that would be one of the first markets to attack.

Milwaukee has brown outs during the summer, and it doesn't get that hot here. More power plants are needed, but zoning and environmental issues are gigantic issues also.

Personally, an electric car just wouldn't work for my application. Range is too short, period. It's a niche market.
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