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Old 08-17-2009, 09:10 AM   #21
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{One of the "upsides" to your downsides, however, is that even though you'd be adding considerable demand to the electric grid, much of the recharging could be done in the overnight (non-peak usage) hours.}

More demand at night means the power plants can operate at a higher efficiency. We basicly throw electricity away at night since, you simply can't flip a switch at a power plant.

The grid will need to be overhauled. There is two buts here. First, there won't an electric car in every driveway overnight. They will be adopted by the population over time, giving time for upgrade. Secondly, and more importantly, the grid, like most of our infrastructure is do for an upgrade anyway. We put a 200 amp service into our house when we first moved in 9 years ago. What service is being put into new houses now?

{The efficiency of the generated electricity and the means by which it is generated seems to be lost in the equation, intentionally.}

So is the fact that producing gasoline consumes electricity. About a third of the energy content of gallon of gas is needed to produce it from Ca wells. That energy is supplied by electricity and natural gas. Take a gas burner off the road and the energy used to make its fuel is available for an electric.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:52 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Okay, 60% in combined cycle, up to 90% with cogeneration....
I believe that assumes that the turbine is being fed by a 100% efficient process. However I'm sure you are aware that most heat-generation processes are only fractionally efficient (i.e. 50%), so if you combine 50% efficient heat generation with 75% turbine efficiency, you're only at 37.5% overall efficiency. Of course you also have to subtract (multiply out) efficiency losses in the power grid (transformers, high-tension line losses, etc.) to get a true overall efficiency.

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More demand at night means the power plants can operate at a higher efficiency. We basicly throw electricity away at night since, you simply can't flip a switch at a power plant.
I would re-word this to say that we throw away "the potential to make electricity". It's not like we make the extra power then it falls onto the ground or something, they will turn off whichever parts of the plant are not needed.

For example at Hoover Dam, if the electricity isn't required, they shut down some of the turbines. In a nuclear plant, they adjust the placement of the rods to decrease heat generation. In a coal plant, they will burn less coal. And so on.

But I agree with your main point which is that if a power plant is operating closer to 100% over the 24-hour cycle, that does increase its *operational* efficiency (not necessarily its energy efficiency).

-BC
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:03 AM   #23
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You know what would be a nice feature, is if you could link the car to the house through a generator panel, and have a natural gas hookup hose... lose power and you can run off the car batteries for a little while or fire it up on natural gas...

Well it's better than an "offroad emissions" stinkpot gasoline generator.

In the UK, they have off peak electricity rates, think it's something like half price between 11pm and 7am. That would encourage charging off peak.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:51 AM   #24
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A point that seems to be lost is what do you do when the power goes out in a Hurricane.

I keep a reserve of fuel for that situation in the Hurricane season. I can travel 1500 miles if necessary.

You on the other hand are sitting on the Interstate between Huston and Dallas, and there is no way you can refuel.

In every discussion there are pluses and negatives.

I learned something the other day. The transformers need the off peak hours to cool off, resolve that.

I am not trying to say electric vehicles are not a reasonable pathway to follow. I am saying that they are far from any practical solution, and other pathways to better efficiency should be pursued at the same time.

You all know I am an advocate of the hydraulic option. lets engage in a "what if?"

What if the 30+ billion dollars that has been spent chasing the "battery of the future" had been spent on;

Auto stop integral alternator starters.

Infinitely variable power trains that would increase the efficiency of every vehicle.

Low rolling resistance tires with minimum requirements for rolling resistance.

Aerodynamics that would also have a maximum CD legal requirement.

All of these could be implemented in 2 years and dramatically reduce the fuel consumption.

Electric regenerative braking is no where near 50% efficient, closer to 33%. When you have an all electric vehicle the poor regeneration efficiency offsets the higher efficiency of the electric motor.

Primary electric drive with hydraulic regeneration.

Even with the Nissan Leaf, they are talking about 5-6cents a mile in direct costs. I am beating that today, with two vehicles that cost 1/3 the price of the Leaf.

A 20 KW usable energy battery pack has the energy equivalent of less than two gallons of gasoline. It also has to be a 40 KW pack to have 20 usable, and becomes a boat anchor in 5 years.

That's one of the reasons why the current Prius and Insights still use NiMH batteries, to say nothing of the potential explosion issue.

Give me the funding and I will build a vehicle that gets the equivalent mileage without the as yet unresolved issues. It could be on the road in 6 months.

The system can be incorporated into existing vehicle architecture.

In power plants the actual generators are just above 90% so any claims of a systematic 90% are just dreaming. Turbines without co generation are 35%, while giant diesels are passing 51%.

Bot of those efficiencies can be improved by capturing heat energy losses. That can also be applied directly to vehicles, but has not been done, even though the technology already exists.

Chasing dreams based on projected future accomplishments, versus the reality of technology that already exists, perpetuates the chase and waste philosophy while we keep driving pitifully inefficient vehicles.

regards
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
You know what would be a nice feature, is if you could link the car to the house through a generator panel, and have a natural gas hookup hose... lose power and you can run off the car batteries for a little while or fire it up on natural gas...
I believe there are kits to do this with the Prius and I bet there will be for the Volt too (except the natural gas part).

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A point that seems to be lost is what do you do when the power goes out in a Hurricane.

I keep a reserve of fuel for that situation in the Hurricane season. I can travel 1500 miles if necessary.

You on the other hand are sitting on the Interstate between Huston and Dallas, and there is no way you can refuel.
Did I miss where we left the Chevy Volt discussion behind and started talking about traditional electric cars that can't run on gasoline? The Volt will run fine on your fuel reserve.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:13 PM   #26
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what kind of gas tank capacity does the volt have? I would assume it is only a few gallons (maybe 5) but that is just a pure guess
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:00 PM   #27
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My point is when you make a claim of 230 MPG, the Volt (which does not exist as a purchase option) is not using any gas.

The hype about mileage is just that, a form of false advertising, unless you want a 40,000 dollar golf cart that you can drive 40 miles, every 8+ hours. Do you really think it will be less expensive to service and repair a car that has two power trains instead on one?

The Leaf might be a more practical option if that is your priority, which is to use no gas regardless of the cost.

As a practical replacement for what the members here drive, how many would choose the Volt option?

A car that is not available for purchase, that was supposed to be available as a 2010 model, but isn't. Even with the proposed huge government subsidy to reduce the purchase cost, you should consider the new California legislation that requires the battery pack to last 10 years or an appropriate amount of mileage. They will just charge you the cost of one or two replacement battery packs, up front.

Those facts are in line with the original thread, which questions the legitimacy of a 230 MPG claim.

Take a wild guess at the highway mileage if you want to drive more than battery range.

Take another wild guess at the real cost of a car with a 10+thousand dollar fuel tank. Do you have the means to recharge this vehicle? I have a 4 car garage with 220 volts readily available, but I would bet many here do not.

How many Volts, or any other principally electric vehicle do you think we will see as a percentage of the vehicle population. Maybe 10% in two decades.

Even the current Prius production is being delayed by the availability of batteries, and they aren't Lithium based.

Also consider the fact that Lithium itself is a fairly rare raw material, that just shifts the balance of economic power away from OPEC to another supplier country.

Green Car Congress has a thread today about using ultra capacitors to enhance the mileage of gas electric hybrids, as well as pure electric vehicles. Either of those two choices will still require some form of power train to enhance efficiency. Now you need to add a capacitor pack to the gasoline and electric drives in a single vehicle.

More band aids.

How many billions have we the people spent bailing GM.

Just figure 3 bucks per US citizen per billion. That's about $150 out of each of our pockets times the number of members in your family, and we are debating something that may never see the light of day, or may not have any dealer network to maintain the vehicle when it needs any warranty work or service.

Maybe you can get Obama to change the oil in the as yet non existent Volt, since he promised to provide you with warranty and service for your bail out cars.

You can bet you won't see 230 MPG unless you restrict your trips to 20 miles each way, and wait 8 hours for a charge, on a battery pack that might last a few years if you are lucky.

Want to pay 40k for a disposable car?

I spent the better part of a lifetime helping people get the most use out of their cars. From that perspective the facts just don't add up. At least Nissan has committed to going all electric.

Don't take my rants personally anyone, they are not meant to be personal. I just get so damn tired of the misinformation and ridiculous claims of surreal abilities for something that you still can't buy or that can be verified by anyone except those who will profit from our gullibility.

Pass.

regards
gary
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:26 AM   #28
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Quote:
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My point is when you make a claim of 230 MPG, the Volt (which does not exist as a purchase option) is not using any gas.
Where did you hear that it won't be available as a purchase? That's news to me. It sounds like you (or your source) might be confusing it with the long-gone EV1 program.

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Take a wild guess at the highway mileage if you want to drive more than battery range.
GM claims 50mpg when driving on gasoline.

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Do you have the means to recharge this vehicle? I have a 4 car garage with 220 volts readily available, but I would bet many here do not.
220 is not required. It will recharge in 6.5 hours on 110 or 3 hours on 220.

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You can bet you won't see 230 MPG unless you restrict your trips to 20 miles each way, and wait 8 hours for a charge, on a battery pack that might last a few years if you are lucky.
According to GM's numbers, I will be able to drive 38 miles to work on electric, plug it in to a standard 110 supply while I'm there, and drive home on electric again.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:09 AM   #29
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I don't think you can claim the Volt will have two drive trains. It's like claiming a diesel locomotive has two drive trains. The Volt is like the locomotive with a battery so it doesn't have to spin up the genset for most trips.

Pure electrics aren't the perfect solution, but they'll work for most people. Cause most people are part of a two car family where one car is just needed to commute a short to moderate distance to work. Lithium supplies need to be considered, but we had feasable electric cars over a decade ago using NimH. Those batteries are 100% recyclable, but Chevron, through Cobsys, keeps large format batteries from being used in cars. They even won't sell replacement batteries for the remaining California EVs that didn't get crushed. So there are EV Rav4s still being used daily on their original battery.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:42 AM   #30
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Better access to rental vehicles could make pure electric vehicles more practical for many. I started a thread about ideas for improving it a while ago, but it's eluding my search. I still think about a highway recharging system for long range electric car travel, but haven't made any progress on the practical difficulties (including installation cost). Personally, I have high hopes for cellulosic ethanol technology.
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