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Engineer-Poet
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Nothing obvious on the site regarding charge/discharge rates or cycle life. Putting a better-than-Tesla battery in 100 liters would be impressive, I admit. It would give a Model S close to 400 miles of range. With Supercharging, that's enough to permit all-day cruising without boosts except at typical intervals for meal and bathroom breaks.
Seed oils are typically edible, and use for commodity products like fuel is damaging to the environment. http://www.wri.org/publication/avoiding-bioenergy-competition-food-crops-and-land
This will increase vehicle rolling resistance, increasing fuel consumption. This is especially true for hybrids which would otherwise recover their own braking energy for themselves. The net effect will be to substitute expensive petroleum for cheaper, domestic energy supplies. It's a good thing that such devices are likely to break down quickly and be abandoned.
It's been a dark age in the ME since the first age of Muslim conquest. That was when other cultures were over-run and there was a period of a couple of generations when the new populations were not Islamized and there was cross-fertilization such as translations of works into Arabic. That period ended in the ninth or tenth century. It's claimed that there are more books translated into Spanish every year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand. That is a dark age that has been going on since before the Enlightenment.
If you absolutely need to get diesel engines out of your cities, methanol-fueled spark-ignition engines are proven and can achieve several times the power density of diesel. On the other hand, with the recent demonstration that filtered diesel exhaust is no longer a great hazard to lungs, that may not be the best thing to prioritize. Petroleum dependence in general and vehicle noise may be better targets.
I think the perception of the charging problem is bigger than reality. There are a lot of 7200 V and 13.2 kV distribution lines out there, and these buses are more than big enough to carry their own transformers. Park next to a line, extend a boom to the overhead wires, et voila: charging wherever you and power cross paths. Pulling 7200 volts at 10 amps is 72 kW, enough for a full charge in a few hours of a layover even at a relatively random stopping point. For fixed routes, no problem: a few minutes of charging at the endpoints should keep the bus going all day.
Presumably the tax-paying commuter class will be forced out by crime, un-usable public schools and suffocating taxation, leaving California as a solid blue state of people who vote in return for their EBT and rarely have anywhere they need to go.
Meanwhile in the real world, I encountered another Fusion Energi owner today. We're both running largely gas-free using Li-ion technology that's several years old.
LHV doesn't mean low heating value, it means LowER Heating Value. It is the energy available when the latent heat of water cannot be recovered. The HighER Heating Value is when the water vapor is condensed. The difference can be substantial; the LHV for methane is 50.0 MJ/kg, the HHV is 55.5 MJ/kg. The difference for hydrogen per Roger is a full 20%. As for the economics issues, all of this is easily solved if people simply pay for what they're actually using. In the case of nuclear power, what they're getting is an always-on stream of power with extremely low marginal cost. The way to bill for this is a monthly "subscription fee" for your base load, say as a constant 300 watts 24/7 which you pay for even if you don't take it. It would be the cheapest dispatchable power you could buy, but the quantity would be limited; additional capacity could be financed by waiting lists for subscriptions. As you got to more variable demand, you'd trade off availability vs. marginal cost. If your peak demand was only 1% of the time, you'd be happy with a high marginal cost so long as the availability fee was low. Where variable renewables fit in this isn't clear-cut, but selling at a spot price would favor users who could buffer their consumption. Appliances like ice-storage air conditioners, frozen-brine freezers and heat batteries for DHW and space heating would be favored. All of these things would save people money, and could do so in at least 2 ways: levelling demand to move more consumption to the subscribed base-load amount, and scheduling demand for periods when surpluses make spot prices cheap.
You can't dial down plants that are "must run" further than the level where they can supply their essential services, even if the plants burn coal. The grid needs reserves, reactive power and load-following, and the negative-load characteristic of wind and PV means more such capacity is required, not less. Skimp, and you get failures (frequency excursions, over/undervoltage, and blackouts). Schedulable loads (like these electrolyzers) are one way of dealing with un-schedulable generation. However, the cost of the product is going to be astronomical. At Germany's wind capacity factor of less than 20%, those electrolyzers are going to be working at perhaps 12% of full capacity. To put this in financial terms, the capital (and thus interest) cost will be 8.3 times as much as if the system just ran 24/7. Then you have the cost of power. Unless the feed-in tariff isn't paid for excess generation, that power should be priced at the FIT. As of 2012, that was € 0.0893/kWh. At an energy/gas ratio of perhaps 60 kWh/kg, the power to generate one kg of hydrogen costs €5.36. It takes 3 moles of hydrogen to generate 1 mole of MeOH from CO2 (3H2 + CO2 -> CH3OH + H2O), so 1 kg of hydrogen will generate 166.7 moles of MeOH or about 5.33 kg worth (6.74 liters). At about half the energy density of gasoline, this contains the energy of about 3.3 liters of petrol, for a cost of power of about €1.60 per petrol-liter-equivalent (CO2, electrolyzers and the methanol plant not included). Since the juice alone costs well in excess of typical European pump prices with all taxes included, we can dismiss power-to-methanol as a toy of the wealthy.
The specs of anything built for an OEM are probably not published for the public.
Believe me, if you had a Ford PHEV and real (240 VAC 16 A) charging available wherever you stopped, you'd need very little liquid fuel even today. The alcohol fuel cell would just be lagniappe. By a happy accident I discovered that the Ford PHEVs take 16 amps. Some chargers only deliver 208 VAC split phase, which is 3300-odd watts at 16 amps. The chargers which are wired to full 240 VAC can deliver more than 3800 watts. This makes a significant difference in charging time. I would love to have a line to the engineers at the auto companies to see if their vehicle electronics could take 20 Hz or even pulsating DC rectified from 208 VAC 3φ. I don't expect them to let me have any such information anytime soon.
This is silly, because the 100% option is already being aimed at the Port of Los Angeles. All they need is carbon-free electricity and they're good to go.
I didn't bother trying to get 40 miles out of a 20-mile battery. I drove 19 miles, put it on a charger, did some local business, and then drove about 21 miles back. I had heated seats and an electric defogger to keep everything nice.
FWIW, I just racked up close to 40 Li-ion powered miles tonight. I managed my legs carefully and wound up burning not a drop of gasoline. This is in January at 45 degrees north.
If I understand correctly, pervaporated water is reasonably pure (not even ethanol will go through the membranes). That could kill two birds with one stone, producing a nearly-pure water stream from ethanol production instead of a high-BOD byproduct liquid that is not potable.
Having driven perhaps 14,000 miles on the power of lithium-ion batteries in less than 2 years, I'll dispute your claim about energy density.
I think throttling the reactors is barking up the wrong tree; if they're loaded with enough fuel to run flat-out until the next scheduled fueling, it makes no sense at all to turn them down. What we need is secondary uses either for electricity (e.g. pre-heating DHW) or heat itself. Elsewhere I suggested pervaporation of water to generate anhydrous ethanol using tapped steam. There are plenty of other uses for heat which could potentially be co-located with nuclear plants.
The floor is 12¢/kWh (the EOS site does not say whether this is storage cost or includes the price of power to charge the battery). That's pretty steep, when wholesale baseload costs are on the order of 5¢. When you add the full RE feed-in tariff, the wholesale price is going to have to be north of 20¢, which is far too high for many users. Nuclear produces (not just stores) power for far less. Kewaunee was shut down because it couldn't get contracts to sell its power for even 6¢/kWh. If anyone cares, my analysis of the cost of power on an RE/Eos grid was posted some time ago at The Ergosphere.
As Robert Rapier noted quite some years ago, if the USA had the same per-capita petroleum consumption as Brazil it would be a net exporter today. The three essential uses for oil are aviation fuel, asphalt for roads and chemical feedstock. The first one is the only major player, and it's a fairly small fraction of total consumption. Electrifying ground transport would eliminate half of US oil consumption right there. That deals with "could". Should the US export oil? Hell, no.
If $1.30/gallon is "enabled" where is it happening? This should be a license to print money. There ought to be no need for press releases on anything except contracts for sales of bio-fuel and deliveries. Show me the money.
Insightful, ai_vin. I have to break with DaveMart above. Even Germany will run out of money before they can make the country work on fuel cells and hydrogen. If they insist on being a poster-country of devastating mistakes for the second time in a century, I cannot stop them.
Fossil fuels will dominate for decades. They don't have to. The French electric grid went from 80% or so fossil to 80% or so nuclear in about 11 years. Stationary uses of heat can go nuclear-electric at very low cost. Even transportation can cut FF use a great deal with PHEVs at relatively low cost. What's really stopping us is the will to coordinate this properly.
The CSULA hydrogen station has the capacity to produce 60 kg/day. At perhaps 60 miles/kg, that's enough to supply vehicles driving ~360 miles per day. Pathetic. And if the 64.5 kWh/kg H2 figure I looked up is at all pertinent to this station, the associated CO2 emissions from the electricity supply are well in excess of the fuel supply of an equivalent ICEV.
That's just the oxidation step. The reduction step produces "syngas and carbon dioxide". The syngas contains H2 as well as CO, and the same catalyst that converts steam to H2 will not convert H2 to water under reducing conditions. The syngas may have uses other than combustion, but that seems to be the most likely use. What this appears to be is a potentially cheaper way of producing hydrogen from methane. It seems to have no advantage in emissions.