This is Bob Wallace's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bob Wallace's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bob Wallace
Recent Activity
There's no need for 600+km/360 mile range EVs. You're putting a heavy thumb on the scale. Even people who have jobs that keep them driving all day can get by with a "solid" 200 mile/320km range and a quick recharge when they stop for a meal. There's no known route for making and distributing hydrogen cheaply enough to make it competitive with gasoline.
PHEVs using fuel cells would work, but they may lose out based on cost. With a 1/3rd as large battery pack the battery pack is going to get heavy use and will need to be replaced 3x or more compared to the larger EV pack. Most days the EV pack will be mildly discharged while the PHEV pack will endure a deep discharge. The fuel cell and tanks may well cost more than extra batteries. And H2 for the longer trips will certainly be more expensive than charging up once or twice. The extra/surplus electricity can as easily be used to charge EV batteries and would turn into 2x to 3x more miles driven. The only hope I can see for fuel cell cars is for fuel cells to get very cheap, very fast and for someone to figure out how to make the cost of H2 per mile the same or less than electricity. That's a double difficult task.
Plus is costs a lot more to ship a battery pack than an iPad. Cars are manufactured close to where they are sold, not shipped long distances for the most part. Look for Tesla, like other car manufactures, to locate factories around the world in order to minimize shipping costs.
Compressed hydrogen holds about 10% as much energy as gasoline per volume. Wiki says that fuel cells run about 40% efficient with Honda claiming a 60% efficient fuel cell. ICEs run about 20%. (Rough numbers here.) With 40% efficiency a FCEV would be about twice as efficient as a ICEV. With 60% efficiency the FCEV would be about three times as efficient. Either way that means that a lot more hdrogen volume is going to have to be moved and stored compared to gas/diesel. As much as five times more. That means a lot more space to store H2 compared to the underground tanks now used for gasoline. And it means as much as five times more railroad tankers and fuel trucks to move the volume. AmIright? Furthermore with a 300 mile range as opposed to a 400 to 500 mile range for ICEVs we'd need more fueling stations. At 300 vs. 400 we'd need to increase the number of pumps by 25% over what we now use. Starting with a 10x disadvantage wouldn't that mean it would take
I question whether we will see any appreciable amount of 'wasted' or 'unused' RE in the next 15 to 20 years. Right now there is a lot of fossil fuel generation that can be turned off, hydro that can be withheld, and some pump-up hydro storage that can soak up any surplus. Additionally, more EVs and PHEVs will be coming on line and they can serve as dispatchable loads. As the price of storage drops we are likely to see coal and some nuclear plants shut down in the spring and fall when demand is lower. It will be cheaper to use wind and solar direct and fill in with hydro, NG and stored wind/solar.
You can slap enough solar panels on your roof in a few hours to power an EV. And when you pay for the panels you've "bought your fuel" for the next 30, 40, longer years. Figure 10k miles per year. A 2kW to 2.5kW array should provide enough. At a buck a watt that's less than $3k, the cost of leather seats and a fancy trim package. China has lot of hydro to deal with the intermediacy issue. China needs to get on top of distributed solar. Install charging outlets where people park during the day.
Bad idea. When driving at night I carefully watch the oncoming car to see if it starts to deviate from course. It's not a good idea to have the car lights follow my eye and blind the oncoming driver. Don't create a dark area on the opposite of the road. What I'd rather see is intelligent lighting. Monitor for those deer grazing along the road. Light them up. I want the lights to help me find the stuff I might not otherwise see.
Ox gored. Screams of owner heard.
I'm glad to see utilities getting into the charging business. Their initial entries may be flawed but they will evolve. Getting level II chargers into places where people park all day will give people with no place to plug in at night an option. And because 8-hour-parkers can charge off high supply periods the utility can give them a better price than just the daily average. They can become the utility's first move into using EVs as dispatchable loads. Later on, as rapid chargers mature, I can see utilities leasing spaces from highway restaurants and setting put 'superchargers'. The highway businesses should welcome them, perhaps even lease out the space for nothing due to the extra business they would bring. I'm sure restaurants would rather not have to deal with installing chargers on their own.
While engaging in battery price speculations you might want to remember that Navigant Research reported a few months ago that Tesla was paying Panasonic $180/kWh. Now. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/battery-storage-costs-plunge-below100kwh-19365 BTW, that is not a misquote in the linked article. I've read the original research paper. Furthermore it is expected that battery prices will fall another 30% once the Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory opens. That takes price to below $130/kWh by 2017. There's no magic sauce that gets the Panasonic prices so low, it's volume manufacturing. Economy of scale. Other companies (L G Chem, BYD, for example) are also going bit with major increases in manufacturing capacity. Tesla won't be the only company with access to very affordable batteries. A 200 mile range EV could likely be built with a 50 kWh battery pack. That's $6,500 at $130/kWh. What would a best guess be for a Camry engine, transmission along with cooling, fuel and exhaust systems?
How much energy would be lost by frame-mounting the motors and using short connecting shafts to drive the wheels? Anyone have an idea of how much more efficient in-hub motors would be if the bugs were worked out?
Hope they designed this bus for battery swapping. 190 mile range and swappable batteries would mean game over for diesel buses. I've been in Sri Lanka for the last couple of weeks. Electric buses would make such a quality of life improvement here, replacing the roaring, screeching diesel fleet. And they need electric tuks-tuks as well. (But they say took-tooks.)
I may have added an extra zero to get 300,000. What I'm finding now is 30,000.
EVs are a new market for utilities. They should more than make up for what is lost to end-user solar and efficiency. Some utilities are starting to realize what they have to gain. SoCal Edison recently put up $350 million to assist with the installation of 300,000 charge points, mostly workplace and apartment locations. A death spiral is quite unlikely. Utilities can sell late night wind and hydro for less than customers can store power. And few people are going to want to deal with running their own utility companies. (Australia is going to be interesting to watch, but that's a special case.)
" Petroleum or synthetic fuels must be transported thousands of miles to refinery, then distributed thousands of miles away from the refinery. The H2 can be produced in-situ." That's correct, Roger. But there's a couple of problems. 1) You're assuming someone puts up the money to build H2 infrastructure. You know the problems of finding that sort of money for a shaky investment. 2) The petroleum industry is going to linger for more than a decade after the last ICEV is sold.
I agree with your overall position to some extent, but I wonder where we find the route to cheaper hydrogen? Even at Toyota's "best future" price of 10 cents a mile it's still more expensive than gasoline. Assuming that we don't put a price on carbon which would change the math - PHEVs use, on average, fuel for about 15% of miles driven. That would make for a small market for H2. Possibly not enough for economies of scale to push prices from 17c to 10c per mile. It wouldn't be a large enough market for a H2 filling station on every corner but might support some along highways where people need the extra range. Filling convenience would be low compared to gasoline. We'll have a lot of gas station for more than a decade after the last ICEV is sold. If someone goes into their dealer's showroom and is faced with a choice of a gas PHEV with <7c/fueled mile and a H2 PHEV with <10c/fueled mile why would they pick the H2 model?
Hello, Mr. Roger! Hello! Please list the car companies now selling EVs and PHEVs. And then list for us the car companies selling FCEVs. If you find your second list a bit slim, feel free to add the two? companies that have announced that they definitely will have FCEVs for sale within the next two years. In order to make H2 less lossy you go through a lot of twists and turns to find a use for the waste heat. That would not be as cheap and easy as you think. H2 extraction and compression plants would have to snuggle up to factories needing heat. And that would increase distribution costs. Cars simply don't need much heat. For much of the year any fuel cell heat is going to be totally discarded.
You're having to create unusual situations in order to claim a higher efficiency. There needs to be a demand for the heat when the hydrogen is compressed and a need for the heat when the fuel cell is operated. Possible, but kind of hard to imagine factories that would snuggle up to the H2 operations and switch back and forth to the hydrogen plant as they needed heat. And your home use. Someone is going to pay a bundle for a hydrogen plant in order to heat their bathtub? Germany is looking at hydrogen because it can store some without compression. That avoids a lot of the energy loss. Japan, who knows. It feels like someone in the Japanese government is a H2 true believer and hasn't made an objective analysis. We've got the two big Japanese auto manufacturers backing FCEVs which, based on Toyota's cost analysis, are deemed to fail. You can't win in a market if you off a product that costs 3x to 6x as much to operate as the competition. I don't know, Roger. I've read what I can find that explains how hydrogen fits into our long term energy needs but all I can see is the possibility for a bit as deep backup. And even then it looks like there are likely better options. Here's what I see you doing, Roger. You start with a belief that hydrogen is the answer. And then you try to build arguments to support your belief. That's pretty much a "religious" approach. Why not try to list out the facts and let the facts drive your opinion? That way it's easier to shift ones opinion as new facts emerge. If you approach the issue as a believer then you are likely going to be forced to deny inconvenient facts and mislead yourself. (Just to be clear. In terms of hydrogen energy storage I don't have a formed opinion. I see a possibility for a minor role but I don't know enough to move things past "maybe" at this point. Based on what I know about H2 FCEVs my opinion is that they are not likely to succeed. If data appears that shows them to have some distinct advantage over EVs then my opinion will shift.)
Roger, you so love hydrogen. Do you understand that you are infatuated with a storage technology with less than 50% efficiency? Because of hydrogen's low efficiency it would be an expensive way to store electricity. It will probably have difficulty competing in the market. Time will tell, but best be ready to have your heart broken. (And nuclear, big or small, just too expensive. I'm afraid you're in love with things we can't afford.)
Sorry, E-P, I'm not getting into a nuclear argument with you and your anger control problem. It really doesn't matter how you try to justify nuclear energy, it's dead. No reactor gets built except with very heavy government support and now governments are recognizing that there are cheaper alternatives. And that the private sector is building that cheaper generation. Governments aren't going to spend precious tax dollars if there's no need. There are too many other things that need those funds.
gor - you can purchase a EV right now and drive for about 3 cents a mile. Over 30 miles for a dollar. If you need more range than the current moderately priced EVs provide then look at a PHEV. Most drivers could be doing 85% to 100% of their driving on cheap electricity. And EVs will grow range and become more affordable as we go along.
E-P Once again as you are shown to be incorrect you become less and less civil. I'm going to quit this exchange before you threaten me again. I will answer some of your questions on the way out. Some gas peakers get called on several times a day and some are run only a very few hours a year. Batteries will take over the frequent use first. We don't have a storage solution for the "few hours a year" except for PuHS. CAES and flow batteries are potential solutions. With wind and solar now cheaper than new coal and new nuclear it has become a bad economic decision to build new thermal plants. You claim to be an engineer. Do some math. Discover why almost all new capacity is wind, solar and gas. --- A PHEV driver will enjoy most of the benefits of an EV. And right now if you drive long days more often that the typical driver a PHEV can be a better choice. But as battery prices fall the PHEV becomes a less good purchase. --- Wind + solar + hydro + geothermal + storage + biofuels + NG provides "firm power". Nuclear requires storage and/or dispatchable generation to provide "firm" power that matches load. Nuclear advocates seem to frequently forget that a constant output source does not fit demand profiles, it only works for power below the annual minimum. (And that can be supplied more cheaply with renewables and storage.)
Wind steps in during the polar vortex - written by a nuclear advocate. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/01/12/polar-vortex-nuclear-saves-the-day/ And some more from a business oriented site. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25434 Nuclear reactors are forced offline by floods and heat waves. --- You acknowledge that nuclear needs backup when it is off line. You omit the need for storage to allow time-shifting. Both of those "buffers" were charged to wind and solar but not to nuclear in the flawed buffering/EROEI paper. --- PuHS is affordable. Batteries have now become affordable in some locations. The major reason we don't have more storage is because we just don'w need much. That need will grow over time. --- A mix of inexpensive "unreliable" and affordable storage/NG is cheaper than continuous new nuclear. -- Kewaunee didn't go out of business because of subsidized wind. Kewaunee went out of business because cheaper NG took away its market. Now non-subsidized wind is as cheap or cheaper than NG. -- If you're going to call uranium stored power then you have to extend that to sunshine. -- My math says that if the cost of EOS batteries is $160/kWh, the battery is financed for 20 years at 6%, and input power is $0.04/kWh then the stored power after 3 days costs $0.167/kWh. That is probably starting to push into NG's territory. Again, storage in PuHS is affordable. It looks like we are getting to the place where one to two day storage with batteries is becoming affordable. EOS should store for 2 days for $0.129.
- Only if you cycle it daily. The average price of NG peaker electricity in California is $0.492/kWh. Batteries at $230/kWh would under price peakers at a bit less than 1 cycle per day. And that's not where batteries kill fossil fuels, it's where fossil fuels start into terminal decline. EOS Energy Systems is grid testing storage that is expected to be $160/kWh and 10,000 cycles. If their technology works as they claim then thermal plants get another shove toward their grave. - To get range even remotely competitive with a car You're assuming a 300+ mile range is worth enough to get people to pay a lot extra for something they would rarely use. I can give you the math again, but basically someone driving a 400 mile range ICEV (or 300 mile FCEV) is going to arrive at destination only a few minutes ahead of someone driving a 200 mile range EV. The ICEV driver will spend $1,000+ each year for that small time advantage and spend some number of hours at filling stations the rest of the year. Some may find a PHEV their best choice with battery prices at $250/kWh. Since we're pretty sure that Tesla is now paying $180/kWh then it's not $250 battery prices that are going to support PHEVs but cheaper battery prices which are likely to make them go extinct.
It used to take fossil fuels to manufacture the hardware. We now have enough wind and solar on our grids to produce all the energy used annually to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels. In a few more years we'll cover car manufacturing as well, if we haven't already. We've boot-strapped renewables using fossil fuels. And now we're busy replacing them. (Won't happen overnight, but Rome wasn't....)