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Nat Pearre
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@mahonj: The solution is well established. EVs have charge start timers in them already, and a simple Time-of-Day (aka Time-of-Use) electric rate is very effective at pushing charging loads to when you want them. There are lots of theoretical studies, but see here for an observational study:
SJC: My understanding is that butanol can be used directly in any gas engine. The differences between a chain of 4 and a chain of 8 are fairly minor (at least compared to a chain of 2, ie ethanol) But I think we only use about 1/4 of the world's oil... though your point stands.
The revenue potential is linearly proportional to the capacity of the (bidirectional) charging setup. Based on their numbers, I infer they're looking at about 15 kW, roughly the J-1772 limit. For such a large vehicle, quadrupling that power should be feasible by going to bi-directional DC fast charging (or other systems), which would quadruple the revenues.
Ah, then you concede that there is good science on the question, but politics and publicity in America have hindered action. I certainly don't disagree with that. I think though, the overzealousness has mostly been on the part of the media reporting on the science, aided by enthusiastic willful misinterpretation by lobbyists. Lobbyists certainly are better at framing and delivering their message than scientists. That is, after all, what they do for a living.
Reel: "Nat, no one really doubts the rise in CO2 or movement in global temperature." Well that's lucky, because I didn't provide any information on those points at all. I took them as given so we could address your next point. "The doubt is about what portion of this rise is due to man's activity?" Yup. That's why I presented the results of several studies that attempt to answer that question, using diverse measurements and tools. "whole issue is essentially moot because it was corrupted by dishonest "scientists" " So human individuals somehow made the future climate and ocean chemistry moot? That's quite a trick. If I make contested claims about gravity, is gravity moot?
Reel: "FYI, an honest scientist is one willing and able to admit their lack of knowledge in areas of study." That's a very good point. There is some uncertainty in volcanic emissions, and there always will be. In evaluating the fraction of the observed increase that is due to combustion of hydrocarbons, luckily we have several other sources of information. For instance; CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rising in a manner well correlated to our (known) combustion of fossil fuels. There is no (known) similar correlation to variations in volcanic activity. Coincidence? Could be. When we measure the type of carbon accumulating in the atmosphere, we observe more of the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels (Manning 2006). Further independent evidence that humans are raising CO2 levels comes from measurements of carbon found in coral records going back several centuries. These find a recent sharp rise in the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels (Pelejero 2005). Oxygen levels in the atmosphere are falling in line with the amount of carbon dioxide rising, just as you'd expect from fossil fuel burning which takes oxygen out of the air to create carbon dioxide (Manning 2006). The release of CO2 from volcanos would not have any effect on atmospheric oxygen. Could it all be strange coincidences? Sure. Any honest scientist (as you point out) will tell you that there is not such thing as hard proof of causation in such a complex system. But if you were to lay a bet on the matter, how would you bet?
EGeek: "IMHO fully enclosed for all weather and aero might be more marketable, " I agree. I think there is a market for the Aptera / Myers Motors Duo kind of vehicle, and Bombardier clearly has deeper pockets, existing supply chains, and manufacturing experience that could make it happen.
"RP3 has probably never seen our snowy days downtown traffic jams when city buses can move less than one mile an hour." So let's see, our EV bus is sitting around doing nothing for an hour. Let's say it's operating 500W worth of lighting, and 200W of onboard computers and systems. So in that hour it consumes 0.7kWh of energy to run lights and systems. Out of a 102 kWh battery. Unless you're stuck for several days, I really don't see the problem. Heating, as others have said, should be done with a fuel-fired heater, not with electricity (unless you have a good air-source heat pump).
So hold on... we're going to make (among other things) methane from CO2, at a great energy cost. Why not just not burn the natural gas for energy in the first place?
"The US may have a legitimate case of unfair trade practices on the part of the Chinese Gov't and bring the matter to the WTO for legal adjudication." What are we going to do? Embargo China? Besides, supporting domestic industry development is neither predatory nor persecutory. Really the only recourse we have is to promote it here as well.
@ TXGeologist: Back to using CO2 to extract oil. My understanding was that by creating an oil/CO2 solution, the viscosity is reduced (relative to pure petroleum), so the solution flows better. But doesn't that mean that much of the CO2 you pump down comes right back up again through your well?
Reel$$: "if you read the article it notes that making a bottle from recycled glass uses 2000% MORE energy than from virgin glass." Read again. The chart (Fig. 2C) in the document clearly shows that energy used for recycled glass is less than energy used for virgin glass. I think you are referring to the difference in energy for a glass bottle vs. recycled aluminum can. Here is the text from the document describing the chart: "As shown in Fig. 2C, participants correctly reported that making a can or bottle from virgin aluminum or glass requires more energy than making the same container from recycled materials. However, they incorrectly reported that making a glass bottle requires less energy than making an aluminum can. In fact, the reverse is true: A glass bottle requires 1.4 times as much energy as an aluminum can when virgin materials are used and 20 times as much energy when recycled materials are used. In part because glass is so heavy, making a recycled glass bottle actually requires more energy than making a virgin aluminum can."
"we see that the past decade has shown a whopping 0.7C rise in temperature (vs. a predicted +7C)." Which models were predicting 7C by now? I've never seen any number like that. The highest end of any range I remember seeing was about 1.5C. Maybe you're thinking of some worst-case predictions of 7C by the end of the century?
"It used the sunlight to climb to ~26,000 feet altitude, and then essentially glided all night." 400kg of batteries was 1/4 of the weight, so the plane weighed 1600 kg. At 9000m altitude, the potential energy would be 1600kg * 9000m * 9m/s2 = 130 million Joules. That would be 36 kWh. Assuming that the batteries had an energy density of 100 Wh/kg, then they could have contained about 40 kWh, or about as much potential energy as the altitude.
SimonDM: Drag is, by definition, the force parallel to the free stream fluid flow. Lift is the force perpendicular to that flow. There can therefore be no such thing as drag due to lift. For a car moving though still air (or at least still compared to the speed of the car), the drag is a force directly opposite the direction of motion of the car, while the lift is a force perpendicular to the motion, i.e., up (or potentially to the side, if the car were asymmetrical).
ExDemo: "He can't seem to (...) develop orbital space lifters, but plenty to (...) research (...) windmills." Are you out of your mind? Let's build an earth-tethered space station and abandon renewable energy? Seriously? (If you feel I changed the substance of your comment by editing, I apologize)
I like this car. I'm a believer in the idea that, since 65% of US households own more than 1 car, there's no need for an EV to be more than a competent city/commute/everyday car, and "the other" car can sit around for those rare occasions when you need more than XX miles of range. But I dislike Zebra batteries "Wonder how it is kept hot while parked?" Ay, there's the rub. If you use your car for 4 trips a day it might be fine, but if you leave it sitting for a weekend, or a week (as I tend to) or a month at a time, you have serious parasitic heating loads to worry about.
"If CO2 is to be reduced then each citizen should get an equal quota," Wow, I'm pretty far left, but not even I would go that far. "Humans are a natural product of the earth and everything they do is natural." I think we need to agree that the use of the term "natural" should exclude the intervention or effects of humans. If you disagree, please suggest a word to denote the conditions that could be expected in the absence of humans.
Lad: Spot on. The whole island is only about 60 miles across. You would be hard pressed to need more than the Leaf's 100 mile range. With the H2 made from SynGas, which is in turn made from petroleum (I assume), this effort is really just spinning in circles. I'll be dead in the water once the EVs show up there (even more than in other places).
The giant upside-down funnel is an interesting idea. Does anybody know how widely dispersed the different leak points are? How much of the pipe is still intact? I hope it works. The value of the fishery in the area is far greater than the value of the oil that platform would have delivered.
Sulleny: Unfortunately, even when everything goes wrong, the Billions in cleanup costs that BP will have to pay will do almost nothing to their bottom line. They made $5.6 Billion net profit last QUARTER!!! I have trouble believing that this will have much effect on the market by any direct fiscal mechanism.
Funny how this event is not brought up in the equally current discussion of drilling off the East Coast.
DaveD: Great link. A little math I've been thinking about: A barrel of petroleum produces something like 45 gal of refined products. If that barrel costs $90 on the international markets (to make the math easy), then there's $2 worth of unrefined petroleum in each gallon. We import about 2/3 of our petroleum, so... For each gallon of gas you buy, you are sending about $1.33 out of the country. About half of that goes to OPEC. Mmmmm, feels good doesn't it. Support al-qaida; buy more gas. (I'm thinking of having some bumber stickers made up).
Goracle: Not that I think you have any interest in learning the truth, but this post addresses the research to which (I believe) you are referring. Aaron: ai_vin pretty much covered it, but seriously... you can understand why more credence is given to a GLOBAL, MONTH-LONG average than to your reports of late season snow in your town, can't you?