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Alessio
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@Roger Don't get me wrong. I like the simplicity of use of solar panels. But they have a problem that is quite well known: they cost a lot to produce. They require a lot of cristalline silicon which requires really high temperatures to produce. The concentrated ones use less and different semiconductors, but still they are not cheaper, and don't work as well in all illumination conditions. If PV was cheap, everyone would have panels on their roof, people are not stupid (at least when talking about money). Also, PV like all renewables, have a very high initial (infrastructure) cost, which is a difficult barrier to overcome, since it requires long-term financing that is not always available. As for this technology, maybe it does not work, maybe is not realistic and it won't old on their promises. But you can't drop the idea simply because PV is simpler to maintain, when PV is not exactly simple to produce (you won't do it in your backyard). And really, collecting CO2 is not exactly a problem, you can search google for Carbon Capture and Storage technologies...
@ai vin and Roger Pham Firstly, efficiency is not everything, ROI/EROEI are what makes a project economically sound (hence realistic). Efficiency for solar conversion is just an indirect measure of the land area that needs to be exposed, but I don't think we are really missing unused land on earth. Secondly, this method produce liquid fuel directly, which is a very dense and cheap energy vector. Batteries are not quite there yet. Thirdly, this method can be used to recycle CO2 from fossil based power plants, which are not going to disappear in the near future.
This has nothing to do with super-conducting magnets. We are talking here about permanent magnets that are not using [high quantities of] rare-earth materials. Permanent magnets are used everywhere in electric motors and generators and are the basis for energy production from wind and electric cars. Unfortunately the rare-earth materials are mostly found in Chinese mines (current production of some of them is 99% from these mines) and the Chinese government is treatening to limit/block the export of this strategic materials.
"Scientists believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old", ejj you are probably a creationist, so you shouldn't really comment on evidence-based studies, as your other peers that seems to spend time scavenging the web for GW news to comment... Anyway, in the first few billions of years the atmosphere was completely different from what is now, it was not supporting complex life forms and it would be pretty pointless to compare with the current situation. The core dates 200.000 years back, not 80.000. In the last 200.000 years there has been a couple of ice ages, so is not that this period was not covering the possible variations of earth's climate. Other studies use cores from 600.000 years back.
To add some more knowledge about London which some people like Sullenly seem to ignore ... downtown london, especially wc1 and ec1 (which are the areas covered by the congestion charge), is one of the most expensive place on earth to rent/buy a house. The congestion charge surely is not discouraging anyone with the possibility of affording a place there, to actually live in the place. London is a huge metropoly with a very dense and extended public transport network that reaches until the edges of the city. In central London you won't walk more than 300 meters before finding a tube station. And as Thomas says, the streets are narrow and always jam packed. Driving downtown is plain stupid, and in my opinion stupidity should be heavily taxed, so there is a chance that it would disappear from earth
There was a "Bill Gates" in the automotive industry, it was called Henry Ford... That's about the time when cars stopped being a novelty.
It is interesting to see that the effect of the cash-for-clunkers program is almost exactly the same as the increase of gasoline price during 2008. An higher gasoline tax would improve average fuel efficiency of the fleet without adding a burden on the state budget. The measure could even be neutral by offering a fixed amount rebate at the end of the year that would support the lower consumers.
What are these guys talking about? >10 years payback time? Less than 40 miles a day, with 15 hours charging time, they could even use lead acid batteries! It seems like someone is pushing from above to support the V2G hype
These types of cars are perfect for car sharing schemes in big cities: city only driving, shorter than average commutes, lot's of idling time, no cost of possession for final users. They would just need to install chargers at the car parking location and to enforce the user to reconnect the car to a charger at the end of the trip. Car sharing schemes should and would become more and more adopted for big cities with good public transport, where car ownership is a luxury and not a need.
I would assume that this would be more of interest for recovering stranded natural gas in remote locations than to convert biogas into methanol. Biogas production facilities are usually grid connected and can burn directly the methane on site, recovering heat and producing electricity.
@The Goracle << These studies were supported by the research consortium Strategic Worldwide Transportation 2020. Current members include Bendix, Bosch, Continental Automotive Systems, FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Nissan Technical Center North America, and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America.>> not really your tax dollars...
Come on guys, you can't compare an Audi A4 with a Prius or a Jetta. They don't come even close regarding comfort, quality or performance. Audi makes sport sedans which aim at a completely different market. You can't really expect them coming out with a 100mpg or an EV model.
Guys, I don't understand your problems with the concept of a world-leading company setting up a factory in USA to commercialise a US patented material developed by a US government lab. Is that because you can't pronounce GmbH?
Ehm, guys, these sort of cars are pretty popular in Japan .. they have small people, small streets and few parking space. It's not everywhere like in USA