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ChrisJ
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$175 million is about the cost to run the Iraq war for about 12 hours. Go ahead and scream about wild spending if you want, but please look at where that spending is really taking place. This is not it. You may be against this investment, that's is up to you. I suspect the oil companies and OPEC won't like this investment either. You'll have that in common with people who support terrorism. Hooray for you, the defenders of the oil dependent planet.
It's about time. There are so many things trucker can do to inmprove efficiency, but they don't. I can't figure out why. Presumably they are business men who look to improve the bottom line, but that just hasn't been the case. Maybe they just don't care. I guess when you spend your life driving, the road hum kind of numbs you out. Plus, it's probably just easier to whine about fuel prices.
Any cost analysis of fuel cell technologies should also include cost analysis of the infrastructure necessary to deliver the fuel. If the fuel is hydrogen, then an additional analysis to estimate the amount of hydrogen leakage and the leaked hydrogens affects on our environment should be considered. Hydrogen has a propensity to leak, even diffusing through metals.
I find it interesting that the negative found most often for electric vehicles is that they won't reduce green house gases, but then not adopting some alternative keep us using foriegn oil. I personally think that the creation of a battery industry will enable alternative electricity production. I have priced out a solar electricity system for my house, and the only thing I find too expensive is the batteries. On another note, isn't it interesting that this study predicts the cost of BEV will be less than ICE. WOW! That's Great!
It's nice to see someone put out correct information regarding lithium resources. Recall a while back when reports discussed that Bolivia (not our friend) had the largest lithium resources in the world. Well, that is still true. But what does it really mean. Those reporting intended it to imply that we would be trading a dependance on oil for a dependance on lithium. All I can say to that is bunk! Many countries have already developed lithium supply sources with more than enough capacity to supply huge lithium demand. Bolivia is way behind. The US produces more lithium than Bolivia. When you read these resource stories (the next scare will be rare earths, which by the way are not so rare) take a close look at the language, and try to determine if they are talking resource or production. For instance, you will hear that China has nearly all of the worlds rare earth production. This is true, but they don't have anywhere near all of the rare earth resources. There are rare earths everywhere, it's just that it was cheap to buy from China and then let then deal with the mining. If they raise the price even ten percent or stop exporting someone else will develop a resource and fill the gap, although there could be a delay in filling the void. It takes time and money and vision to develop these types of resources, something we no longer know how to do. But the point I am trying to make is that Lithium and Rare earths are not oil. They are not in limited supply and they are also not consumed. Just because current production rates don't match potential demand doesn't mean the resource doesn't exist, it just means that no one has prepared to supply future demand, which is a human failing rather than a fundemental limitation.
Roy_H Cui is at Stanford. Between Stanford and MIT you probably have the best scientific publicists in the country. Cui has been known in batteries mostly for his work on silicon anode materials. Indeed, reading their press releases one would think no one else is working on silicon anodes, but in reality numerous people are and they are more likely than Cui to have a viable product to market sooner. Likewise with sulfur cathodes, others will likely offer alternatives that may be more economically viable. I am not saying that Cui is doing bad work, he is doing good work, it's just that others are too. The press and venture capitalists should quit being so easily manipulated by appearances. This is probably why we are sinking so fast as a nation, we no longer have a critical press, our business guys spent their college years drinking, and everyone is more impressed with the tall good looking person than the one with the best answer. Superficiality abounds.
Looks like a lot of guys without technical skill trying to figure out how they can make money off of the scientists and engineers. We call them managers, and they manage to take credit for the ideas and labor of others. Which is why a technical career is such a dead end these days. Look also at the participants in that list. They look like companies who are really happy with the way things are going already (with a couple of odd exceptions). Why would the oil companies want anything to change? I guess when your the real boss you can get yourselves onto the consortiums that are intended to provide the technology of the future, and then make sure the future is exactly the same as the present.
Li ion will be at about $350/kWhr in 2012. That's less than half of what EPRI used as their price assumption. The cost I quote is for vehicle batteries too, which have high energy and power density requirements. Personally I think the renewables industry is missing an opportunity to get involved with battery development that is tailored to their specific needs. Because the volume and power density requirements for stationary applications isn't as severe as the vehicle applications. Meaning there are a number of existing alternative chemistries that don't work for vehicles, but are perfectly suited for stationary. For instance solid electrolytes which are typically too resistive to allow for the high current densities that the vehicle applications require, could be fine for stationary applications. This would allow the use of high energy electrodes such as sulfur cathodes and silicon anodes, which are also being developed for vehicles, but with many more intrinsic hurdles to be overcome. Stick a glass electrolyte between these and see what happens. You'll get low current, but high energy. Since your not volume or mass constrained as when you have to haul the battery in a vehicle, you just adjust the electrode area to give you the needed system current level output and call it a day. The thing with stationary therefore is just to get the cost down, but sulfur and silicon are by definition dirt cheap vs. the transition metal oxides and hard carbons used in the vehicle batteries. So that should help. That and large volume production facilities like they are now building in the US and which are beginning to come online.
Any goal that is beyond the presidents current and potential next term is somewhat hollow. It would depend on us having an agreed upon long term energy policy. However, agreement doesn't rile up the masses and doesn't get a person elected, and with the connections and experience you get from being a member of the house or senate, a congresspersons own personal enrichment depends on getting elected. So they push forward divisiveness, get the people riled up, get elected, and make lots of money. Saaaawweeeet!! And you thought they really cared about that social agenda.
Storage!! Storage!! Storage!! Cell and panel prices are down and dropping. Inverters are getting less expensive all the time. Grid connect is the only thing that makes sense though (as far as payback time). Solar will never survive on grid connect though. Power companies will not tolerate a significant portion of electricity being supplied by grid connect solar. Oh sure, they are fine with it now when it's a quaint little aspect of the total production, and they get the PR of being green, but make it 10% or 20% and they will hate it. Low cost storage is the key, and the lead acid battery guys have failed to deliver. Their product just can't do the cycles needed to make them cost effective. Not that any other batteries are capable either, but the potential is there. Low cost reliable storage batteries are the key to solar. So why is no one in the Solar programs funding low cost Solar batteries. I guess they think the car guys will provide batteries. Of course this is ignorant, because the car batteries have a completely different set of requirements.
It's not that those who support electrification are against improvements in ICEs and alternative fuels (with some exceptions). It's that the improvements to ICEs and alternative liquid fuels have been around for decades. Small turbo charged engines, Fisher-Tropsch from coal. What is it that stops us from doing these? We know how, we just don't. Whatever it is that stops us from doing it(insert your conspiracy here), the technology has been there and not use. It's really low hanging fruit. Sure you'll find disingenuous folks within the government that say this isn't so, but they're just trying to grow the programs that employ them.
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Aug 11, 2010