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clett
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I think the author of this report may have prematurely dismissed Panasonic's ability to adapt/innovate with new chemistries to keep the lead in energy density. Who here really believes they are behind Envia and co in their understanding of electrochemistry? Chances are, the next big chemistry will come out in 18650 format first.
E-P, that's like saying we should only drink water when it rains! Storage is the solution, and once this and smart usage are implemented, renewables can be used for baseload (year round, on every continent).
Prius sales were only 17,700 in its first full year of production (1998), and sales bumped along up and down (not even linear upward growth) for about 5 years. But then the 2nd generation model came in 2003 and they haven't looked back, now selling >450,000 units per year. I suppose this means that early sales of first generation vehicles to early adopters aren't a great indicator of when things will really take off with the masses. Maybe the Model E, or the 200 mile GM, will really change things.
Davemart said 'Both you and Clett want to build in massive fossil fuel burn for decades, to make up for the supposed intermittency' Actually, that's not my stance at all. My preferred option is to go balls out for massive deployment of wind and solar (PV and thermal) while simultaneously shutting down the gas and coal power plants. Of course we would have huge issues with intermittency of supply if we ran the grid in the primitive way we do today, but with continent-wide smart grids and efficient markets, half the problem disappears (it's always windy somewhere). The rest will have to be stored, and my contention is that this will be CHEAPER than building new nuclear (or coal or gas etc) in the near future. Multi-day (and interseasonal) grid-level storage will be achieved on many levels. At the cheap and simple end, pricing will be instantaneous, so for example, fridges and freezers will run cooler during excess production, and enter a low power mode when prices go up. Another relatively small scale but highly responsive and efficient option will be BEV and home-owners storing electricity at home (bought when it's cheapest, i.e. when the wind blows) either in batteries or (very cheap) thermal storage. On a grander scale, I accept that there won't be enough storage capacity in hydro, particularly for storage on the order of several weeks, which I think would be the maximum required to buffer occasional extraordinary weather patterns. Instead, most countries will simply turn to one of the oldest tricks we have - thermal energy storage. We have hundreds of years of experience of this and can store vast quantities of heat for months in a relatively small space using molten salts or similar. The heat can be used directly for heating requirements (underground storage in cities for district heating schemes), or converted back to electricity from isentropic storage (check out http://www.isentropic.co.uk/, up to 80% round-trip efficiency). So, it will be a mix of a small amount of high efficiency storage (batteries), a large amount of lower efficiency storage (thermal) and demand control to fill the gaps (instantaneous pricing). But having said all of that, let's just remember that Denmark and some German states already cope easily with the frequent episodes where renewables power their entire country, and their grids haven't melted yet.
@Davemart, I think in the near future many home owners will install battery packs (of perhaps 10 kWh or so) to reduce their energy costs. These would be used to store their own cheap solar electricity made at home, or to buy inexpensive cheap electricity at night to use during the day. BEVs could of course be recharged at night from these packs. In the winter, when the wind is blowing a lot, there will be gluts in production which will be very cheap kWh. Widespread adoption of such packs will help buffer day to day variation in wind output. Elon Musk has seen this coming and is building up the solar electricity storage side of his business to accommodate. As for the Germany thing, I agree that the current increase in use of coal is regrettable, but it is only a transient setback and the energiewende will eventually regain its pace.
We have had natural gas powered vehicles available for years, with very limited uptake. Probably because people like the convenience of being able to fill up anywhere. Just on this basis alone, H2 would have to be practically free before people switch to using it. Also, given the ongoing plunge of battery costs per kWh, and solar PV per watt, homeowners will soon realise that they can generate their own electricity for 3 cents per kWh, translating to <1 cent per mile fuel costs for their BEV. H2 won't be able to compete with that.
The first gen Prius was overpriced and underperformed, so did not sell well at all. However the second gen Prius was a massive improvement and sold millions. Why shouldn't we expect the same from the Gen2 Volt/Ampera?
Does the consumer have a say in any of this? I think it's likely that given a choice, people will still prefer to spend a little bit longer (say 40 mins) charging their EV for the occasional long trips they do, compared to 3-4 mins to refuel a H2 vehicle, if it saves them a thousand dollars per year in fuel costs (assuming $6 per kg H2 and 60 miles per kg, compared to 4 miles per kWh charging at 10 cents per kWh, or less if using their own solar at home).
Interesting that their proposed sources of hydrogen include oil, natural gas or plants, but not electricity (see light blue arrow in diagram).
This could simply be the typical Toyota press strategy we've come to expect. "We're nowhere... we're nowhere... we're nowhere..." and then all of a sudden "oh by the way our new lithium-air battery will debut in next year's Prius"
Peak BTE (44%) is similar to the latest VW TDi engines. Being able to extract 30% more FE than the competition sounds quite optimistic!
Anyone care to speculate what Tesla might be paying currently for their batteries (at the cell level)? I'll kick off with $200 per kWh.
Elon Musk said recently that once we get to 400 Wh/kg, battery-electric passenger aircraft become a viable proposition.
@Mahonj, Snap! My first car too, 1983 Fiesta 1.1 (got 45-50 mpg in that).
I think the consumer will likely decide this one. If your fuel costs are going to be $3,000 dollars per year for the fuel cell car, but only £300 dollars per year for an EV, one can only be refilled at very specific locations and the other one almost anywhere, which would you choose?
It's still possible to provide a reasonable number of daily "sunshine" miles without a concentrator car-port. If you allowed a solar panel to extend from the roof over the windscreen and bonnet when parked, you could easily get 3.5 metres squared of panel over the car. (Of course it would retract before driving off!) The most efficient non-concentrating solar cells are ~38% efficient, which would give 1.33 kW peak from this area. In an overcast location (eg the UK), that would give you an average of 2.9 kWh per day, which is equivalent to 14.6 electric-only miles per day or 5,300 miles per year. However, in a sunny location (eg Arizona), you would get about 2.5x that, or 36 miles per day (~13,000 miles per year). Of course you would get much more free sunshine miles in the summer than the winter, but it would still cut your annual fuel bill massively, and of course no need to plug in. Any surplus could be fed into the house or sold to the grid if the car is not being used.
Various authors on here (including myself) have been ridiculed for suggesting this concept over the years. Good to see Ford are taking it seriously!
Germany will be entirely covered by Tesla supercharger stations by then, and their customers can "refill" at these for free. I doubt the H2 providers will be able to match that.
VW said recently that they are buying LiIon batteries for 200 Euros per kWh. I think that improves the chances that their hybrids and PHEVs will be affordable.
How often is a brand new technology immediately cheaper than the clunky old version? I remember when a CD player cost £1,000.
Transrapid and swiss metro have been talking about similar things for years, but with maglev rather than aerodynamic lift. I'm very much a fan of both ideas.
Ignoring the cost issues discussed above, I think it's worth considering the energy involved. It takes 60 kWh of electricity to make 1 kg of hydrogen, so this fuel cell car travels about 1 mile per kWh of primary electricity. A similar size BEV travels 4 miles per kWh of primary electricity. What country or economy in their right mind would throw away 80% of the hard won electricity? Or be forced to build 4 times as many power stations to run a fuel cell fleet?
Agreed, VW recently admitted that they are buying automotive grade LiIon for under 200 Euros per kWh. Give one of these a 35 kWh pack (175 kg) and you've got >180 miles EV range for 7,000 Euros. Half the weight and cost again should Envia make good on their claims.
Regarding the monthly output of German solar and wind, check out slide 16 of the following pdf: http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/downloads-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/electricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in-germany-in-2012.pdf It stays pretty much constant at 6-7 TWh per month, every month of the year, which means the storage problem at least need not be seasonal. Remember this can improve quickly, the share of renewable electricity in Germany rose from 6% to 25% in only ten years.
I think the 'F-word' should be banned on GCC. We've wasted too much breath on this already.