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Global Warming/Climate Change Super Thread

c_canuk

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As much as I support the anti AGW position, I cringe everytime I hear you guys bash 2 things. Solar and Electric cars.

1) Modern solar panels are made out of sand essentially. the chemicals used to make them active is extracted from food dyes. Yes some panels are created in unsustainable ways, but those are becoming the less efficient and more expensive ways.

2) An electric car's propulsion system is ~90% efficient vs a traditional car's 10-25% at best. Yes I know, please hold off the crowing about "yeah but where do the electrons come from?" They come from a plethora of different power plants. About 30% are fossil fuel based.

Now think about that. If electric cars weren't 3 times more efficient than electric cars, they'd still pollute 70% less than a traditional car. Or if we don't ignore the efficiency savings, but power them with coal factories only, (which run at about 80-90% efficiency) they would still be twice as efficient.

i.e.

Traditional car - 100 Units Chemical energy = 20 units Kinetic + 80 Units heat.

That is, it burns 100 units of gasoline, produces ~20 units of kinetic energy and 80 units of heat. (we'll ignore the distribution system's inefficiencies and costs to highlight how wasteful traditional cars are)


Electric car

100 Units Chemical energy = 90 units electricity + 10 units heat
90 Units Electrical Energy = 80 Units of chemical battery energy + 7 units line losses + 3 units heat loss
80 units of chemical battery energy = 75 units electricity + 5 units heat energy
75 units of electrical energy = 70 units of kinetic energy + 5 units heat energy.

That is, 100 units of fossil fuel enters a power plant running at a constant speed, with no limits to efficiency since it's not designed to be mobile or quickly throttle able. it achieves about 90% efficiency, then it's transmitted to your charging station, where there is a 7% line loss and 3% heat loss in storing the power in your battery. Then when you press the accelerator, there is 5 units lost in heat energy where the chemical energy is converted back to electrical energy. Then when the electricity is converted to kinetic, another 5 units are lost.

70 units of kinetic energy vs 20 units.

It's not that electric cars are so good, it's that gasoline engine cars are so horribly inefficient. The only reason gasoline cars, which were invented after electric cars, won out; was that batteries at the time could not compete with the energy density and portability of liquid fuel.

These days, that problem is largely solved, and if the new glass based batteries work out, will surpass gasoline, while using mainly sand in their manufacture.

Oil will remain important as our unsurpassed advanced materials feedstock. It's barbaric imo, that we're squandering most of it simply to burn for heat. That is what I fear we'll be lampooned for in 100 years.


 

SeaKingTacco

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C_Canuk,

Re: Solar. I think you are wrong. Here is why:

https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

TL:DR version- the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) to run a modern industrial society is at least 7 (that is, an input of 1 "unit" of energy to mine, make and use an energy source must yield at least 7 units of energy to make it worthwhile). Solar is nowhere close to 7. And it is intermittent. Try going solar in Edmonton, or Yellowknife in December (I stipulate that, in July you do much, much better in both those places). Solar, in my view, is best used in remote areas where transmission lines are too expensive to run.

Re: electric cars. A coastal BC (the best cased scenario for an electric car in all of Canada) based Nissan Leaf gets you, at best, a range of 150kms. Fine, if all you do is commute.

What happens when you want drive to Kamloops?

Our what happens if you try this in Edmonton, in Jan, at -30c? Not only is battery storage affected, but you have to heat the interior of the car. And I believe that you glossed over conversion losses inherent in any battery charging system.

The fact of the matter is that the energy density available per litre of gasoline still far out weighs the equivalent weight of any battery that I am aware of on the market today. Again, pure electric cars have niche applications and are just not practical in most of Canada, 6 months of the year, IMHO.

I agree, it is a neat technology.
 

Good2Golf

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C_Canuk, do you have any references for your efficiency (or lack thereof) figures?

Much of what I can find on the Internet says that internal combustion powered vehicles average about 25-40% (gasoline being on the lower end and diesels on the higher), not 10% to 25%. Sure it's Wikipedia, but at least it's a reference.  Heck, the Wartsila-Sulzer RTC-96 low-speed marine diesel as fitted to the Emma Maersk, is 53% efficient.

Perhaps you could point us to references providing the most recent internal combustion efficiency figures in the 10-25% range?

Next, please let us know what coal plants are getting 80-90% thermodynamic efficiency to charge the EVs, I want to buy shares. I can only find efficiencies of 29-45%. (Ref: Figure 13 in Page 15 of "International comparison of fossil power efficiency and CO2 intensity - Update 2014, Mitsubishi.")  That really doesn't make your coal/oil/gas-fired generating plant-powered EV two to three times more efficient....um, it kind of makes them the same. 

Oh, wait...I see you may have forgotten to add the electrical charge/discharge losses of the lithium-ion batteries as used in EVs. Don't forget to add that into your calculations too for EV efficiency.

Now, how about that travelling for distances longer than the EV's per charge range?  Canada's a big country you know...although that doesn't matter for folks who would use an EV  just to commute around the city.

Regards
G2G


 

Loachman

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When a car's electricity tank can be refilled as quickly as another car's gasoline tank, I might become a little more interested - but still not enough.

On the other hand, if a large-enough move towards electric vehicles forces construction of natural gas generating stations in, say, Mississauga and Oakville, at least some E-value (Entertainment not Electric) will result.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Good2Golf said:
C_Canuk, do you have any references for your efficiency (or lack thereof) figures?

Much of what I can find on the Internet says that internal combustion powered vehicles average about 25-40% (gasoline being on the lower end and diesels on the higher), not 10% to 25%. Sure it's Wikipedia, but at least it's a reference.  Heck, the Wartsila-Sulzer RTC-96 low-speed marine diesel as fitted to the Emma Maersk, is 53% efficient.

Perhaps you could point us to references providing the most recent internal combustion efficiency figures in the 10-25% range?

Next, please let us know what coal plants are getting 80-90% thermodynamic efficiency to charge the EVs, I want to buy shares. I can only find efficiencies of 29-45%. (Ref: Figure 13 in Page 15 of "International comparison of fossil power efficiency and CO2 intensity - Update 2014, Mitsubishi.")  That really doesn't make your coal/oil/gas-fired generating plant-powered EV two to three times more efficient....um, it kind of makes them the same. 

Oh, wait...I see you may have forgotten to add the electrical charge/discharge losses of the lithium-ion batteries as used in EVs. Don't forget to add that into your calculations too for EV efficiency.

Now, how about that travelling for distances longer than the EV's per charge range?  Canada's a big country you know...although that doesn't matter for folks who would use an EV  just to commute around the city.

Regards
G2G

I worked, albeit over a decade ago, as a coal handler in one of Canada's newest coal powerplants.  Efficiency was 33-34%.  8)
 

Fishbone Jones

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Loachman said:
On the other hand, if a large-enough move towards electric vehicles forces construction of natural gas generating stations in, say, Mississauga and Oakville, at least some E-value (Entertainment not Electric) will result.

Especially if they blow up.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Has anyone seen the ecological and environmental damage they do digging out the components of these batteries. The oil sands look like my grandmother's garden compared to the huge open pit mines for lithium. The oil patch returns their property back to nature. These huge open pit mines are there forever.

Any possible carbon footprint reduction for your electric car is offset by the huge carbon footprint required to make your battery.

The whole thing is a farce. Everything used by green energy is manufactured using petroleum. They will never recover the cost of their complete inefficiency. We are actually increasing the amount of petroleum required for today's world due to manufacturing. If you wish to move back to the 1700's. Stop drilling and processing world wide. Everything will come to a total stop in a matter of weeks. I'm not saying to trash green energy, but turbines and panels have to drop exceedingly in price (I'll throw a figure of 75% less than now, in order to make people change over to make it worth it).
 

Kirkhill

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Combined Heat and Power (CHP)


Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, also known as cogeneration, generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. CHP is not a technology, but an approach to applying technologies. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy, which avoids the losses that would otherwise be incurred from separate generation of heat and power. While the conventional method of producing usable heat and power separately has a typical combined efficiency of 45 percent, CHP systems can operate at levels as high as 80 percent.

http://aceee.org/topics/combined-heat-and-power-chp

At the link there is a further link to a pdf that includes an energy distribution diagram.  It is worth a look.

IMHO the best solution is to install local natural gas fired power plants in residential and industrial areas and use the excess/waste/lost heat for local heating and cooling.  If cooling is added to the cogeneration system the process becomes known as trigeneration.

http://www.energ-group.com/combined-heat-and-power/trigeneration/

 

Good2Golf

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Chris Pook said:
http://aceee.org/topics/combined-heat-and-power-chp

At the link there is a further link to a pdf that includes an energy distribution diagram.  It is worth a look.

IMHO the best solution is to install local natural gas fired power plants in residential and industrial areas and use the excess/waste/lost heat for local heating and cooling.  If cooling is added to the cogeneration system the process becomes known as trigeneration.

http://www.energ-group.com/combined-heat-and-power/trigeneration/

CP, I definitely saw CHP, but where CHP flourishes (Nordic countries), one does not see a plethora of EVs as battery performance and efficiency falls drastically as temperatures (and duration of sunlight) plummet.  So, not without consideration, I specifically exclude dual (or tri-) cycle power/heat generation systems.

Humphrey Bogart said:
I worked, albeit over a decade ago, as a coal handler in one of Canada's newest coal powerplants.  Efficiency was 33-34%.  8)

Yeah, North America is notoriously bad for (but in a few cases) running sub-critical non-LEHE coal plants. :not-again:  The technology on some ultracritical plants running 600C+ and 300+ bar pressures can get almost up to 50%, but they still don't match large-scale internal combustion engines (large low-speed diesels) or oil/gas-powered turbines.

Very few people consider an all-aspect, "cradle-to-grave" cost to the environment of particular means of transportation.  EV types it seems, however, have a particular ability to believe that they are far purer than others in the "my [poop] doesn't smell" category. :nod:

:2c:

Regards
G2G
 

Baz

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I consider myself in the middle; although I probably am biased as I do have a closet desire to work either in "alternate" energy or building a space elevator, as I think both are transformative events.

Full disclaimer: I drive a 2009 Toyota Highlander.  I love the fact that it gets pretty much the same mileage in the city as it does on the highway, it's AWD, and it's really hard to make spin due to it's traction control.  But it's still big and heavy so it doesn't do great (around 10l/100km) and not only the battery but the front transaxle are expensive and resource hogs to build (I understand that the transaxle, due to all the power conversion electronics, is $13k if it lets out the magic smoke).  I'd love to actually figure out how to affordably get a solar high voltage DC (the batteries work at 280VDC) to AC to use it as a backup power source as well...

Simply driving an electric car does not solve anything, yet; maybe if some of the new battery tech can be made producible (what happened to carbon nanotubes sandwiched in cardboard???).  The energy still has to come from somewhere (and I find it amazing how many people don't understand the law of conversation of energy and mass, including supposedly educated ones; I've met engineers who think that can be "overcome").  If you want to have fun ask an enviro-warrior what's the big deal with a wall wart if the wasted energy is being turned into heat and you are heating your house anyway...

But some things we aren't doing as routine just baffle me:
- waste water heat recovery back into the water tank; why isn't every new house with tanked hot water not doing this
- venting refrigerator coils outside in summer but inside in winter
- local co-gen: if your heating or making hot water with gas then a co-gen does work

An interesting story I read, but I don't have a source: somebody was hired by a steel plant (a while ago now) to reduce costs for fuel (and steel plants use *a lot*).  He noticed the heating plant was next to the blast furnace, so he asked the blast furnace manager why they weren't recovering the heat.  The answer was he ran the blast furnace, not the heating plant, so he asked the heating plant manager the same question.  Similar answer, he ran the heating plant not the blast furnace.  The person made some money showing steel plants how to recover waste heat to heat themselves.

The point: the answers will come from efficiency making people money.  We can't go on the way we are, but we don't need to panic.  Because it is absolutely true that some of the hard core enviros have their own agendas as much as the absolute deniers do.

I actually think that algae fuels are also part of the solution; its where oil came from as algae scrubbed CO2, and it is becoming easier and easier to squeeze algae directly into diesel.  Plus you remove CO2 from the atmosphere doing it.

If anybody doesn't think that the oil companies don't have a transition plan away from oil, possibly as part of peak oil, that they will implement when they can make money then you are truly confused.  It was no coincidence that Exxon and BP quickly registered their disagreement with withdrawal from Paris.  Quote from the CEO of Shell: "We believe climate change is real," van Beurden says. "We believe that the world needs to go through an energy transition to prevent a very significant rise in global temperatures. And we need to be part of that solution in making it happen." http://www.npr.org/2017/05/18/528998592/energy-companies-urge-trump-to-remain-in-paris-climate-agreement  He doesn't want to be "green," he wants to make money.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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+1 Baz.

And you forgot to include one of my favourites: Why haven't the provincial governments in Canada  yet mandated that ALL new residential buildings be heated/cooled by geothermal?

A small (much much smaller than actual electrical heating) expenditure of electrical energy provides a highly efficient source of heat and cooling that generates little to no green house gas.

I know that the systems currently cost about three times as much as standard systems, but if you mandated use, the numbers generated by the mandate would automatically bring down the cost.

Unfortunately, I think most provinces are not serious about that because it would also greatly reduce electrical power consumption in their province, and since the provinces own the electrical utilities and use them to generate revenues without taxing the population, they prefer it that way. It is certainly the case here in Quebec, where the government encourages the use of "cheap" electricity to heat houses - but then sort of favours constructors using the very power consuming and inefficient base board heaters instead of the much more efficient central electric heating/atmospheric heat pump combination.
 

Loachman

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In Ontario, all of the other associated fees have gone up to match (and exceed) people's savings from reducing consumption. There is no win in Wynnesville.
 

Good2Golf

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Baz said:
I consider myself in the middle; although I probably am biased as I do have a closet desire to work either in "alternate" energy or building a space elevator, as I think both are transformative events.
...
I actually think that algae fuels are also part of the solution; its where oil came from as algae scrubbed CO2, and it is becoming easier and easier to squeeze algae directly into diesel.  Plus you remove CO2 from the atmosphere doing it.
...http://www.npr.org/2017/05/18/528998592/energy-companies-urge-trump-to-remain-in-paris-climate-agreement  He doesn't want to be "green," he wants to make money.

Baz, that's why I don't mind driving a (potentially) algae-burning 4x4 that also gets 10L/100 in the city, but only 7.5 on the highway, even though it weighs 2-1/2 tons and tows 7,500#.  My next house will have a vertical-well heatpump as well and some PV and wind somewhere to get close to/surpass net-zero energy consumption.  EV just to get bragging rights and run the HOV lane with one aboard is not in my line of thinking.

Cheers
G2G
 

Kirkhill

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Good2Golf said:
CP, I definitely saw CHP, but where CHP flourishes (Nordic countries), one does not see a plethora of EVs as battery performance and efficiency falls drastically as temperatures (and duration of sunlight) plummet.  So, not without consideration, I specifically exclude dual (or tri-) cycle power/heat generation systems.

Yeah, North America is notoriously bad for (but in a few cases) running sub-critical non-LEHE coal plants. :not-again:  The technology on some ultracritical plants running 600C+ and 300+ bar pressures can get almost up to 50%, but they still don't match large-scale internal combustion engines (large low-speed diesels) or oil/gas-powered turbines.

Very few people consider an all-aspect, "cradle-to-grave" cost to the environment of particular means of transportation.  EV types it seems, however, have a particular ability to believe that they are far purer than others in the "my [poop] doesn't smell" category. :nod:

:2c:

Regards
G2G

I agree G2G.  The electrical vehicle solution is indeed "problematic".  As I have noted elsewhere figuring out how to get from Lethbridge to Saskatoon with 90 km ranges and multi-hour recharges - when the $5000 of batteries are new and the weather is warm is a challenge.  Hard to plan a long weekend visit to the family that way.

Even moreso if you have to buy new batteries every couple of years or so.

I don't take issue with the efficiency estimates on generating electricity.  I am suggesting that the inefficiencies be recognized and the waste heat utilized.

The driving force would be how far steam/hot water/hot glycol could be pumped and still have useful heating value.  That would establish the size of the heating zone first and foremost and then the number and location of the power plants with electricity being a by-product.

I'm still not ready to give up on my gas powered Jeep.  Although I could be talked into a hybrid if the price came down and the reliability improved.

And as for the Nordics - the Swedes are getting green brownie points for incinerating German trash in their residential power plants because they don't produce enough of their own trash and are backing away from fossil fuels and nuclear.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/08/electric-cars-wont-get-us-very-far-because-they-cant/
 

Journeyman

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There is another, less scientific, reason e-vehicles just don't cut it......



c024e99bb36d9033cc33e53dc6d0e9d5--women-riding-motorcycles-girls-on-motorcycles.jpg
(Yes, I know its not a Harley  ;) )
 

Journeyman

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Surprise, Journeyman!
http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ca/
Please forgive me if I don't put my bikes up on Kajiji right away.  ;)
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Journeyman, the sport model has hit over 310 Kph at the Mont-Tremblant race track in trials.

I too didn't think much of it until I saw some of the videos. They blew my mind.
 

Journeyman

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Journeyman, the sport model has hit over 310 Kph at the Mont-Tremblant race track in trials.
I just keep an eye on the clock;  as long as I can get to the beer store before it closes, I'm not in that much of a rush. 

And if I wanted to go fast, I just stepped out of the plane.  ;D
 

Kat Stevens

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Surprise, Journeyman!

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ca/

And made right here in Canada.  [;)

Can't be any good. Where are all the objectifying pictures of scantily clad Gyno Canadians draped all over them? If these bikes can't even deliver on the oh so subtle implication that owning one automatically grants me the power to dissolve the elastic in a pair of panties, what's the point?
 
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