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Engineer-Poet
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that is the basis of all forms of life on Earth, and that was THE ONLY energy source for all human civilizations prior to the discovery of fossil fuel. Photosynthesis (NPP, net primary productivity) can't support an industrial society. We learned this the hard way, by almost clear-cutting entire countries for fuel. Photosynthesis is 0.5-1% efficient, while current PV panels can obtain 20% efficiency which result in 15% efficiency when storing solar energy as Hydrogen. So, we have a huge efficiency gain of 20 folds using PV panels vs crops and forest. Meanwhile US primary energy consumption is running over 100 times basic human metabolism of the population. "Renewables" still make too many demands on the land to be sustainable. There is no denying that nuclear energy is also very viable energy source, but with Renewable Energy, we are picking the lowest hanging fruit, and we can supplement RE with nuclear in locations where RE is not cost-effective. The so-called "low-cost renewables" are much more expensive than wholesale bids suggest. They are subsidized out-of-market through things like Renewable Energy Certificates. Wind and solar require about 10x as much steel and concrete per average kW than Gen III nuclear does, and Gen III+ cuts those figures by about half. The major cost of nuclear power in the West is over-regulation. It simply is not harmful to have minor things break or leak. The paranoia over small amounts of tritium is pathetic; cosmic rays generate orders of magnitude more of it and it is distributed world-wide. We need to scale "protection" way back, mostly for workers but also for the public. Small releases of radioisotopes which do not bio-accumulate should not even be reportable events. Slashing the prep time and paperwork for maintenance at nuclear plants will make them much cheaper to run, and getting realistic about the actual risks of radiation to the public will push the balance toward nuclear. Furthermore, nuclear energy is very important for space travel in the near future There won't be enough actinides used for space travel to make a difference. Sunlight is available 24/7 once you're away from a planet, and beamed laser power is going to be a lot lighter than almost any reactor can be. You just have to be off in space to build it and use it. Compare 10,000 tons/year to power all human society to 30,000 tons/year dumped into the oceans by rivers, and the 2-4 billion tons already in the oceans. There is no reason to try to conserve uranium save by switching from LWRs which use 0.5% of it to FBRs which use roughly 100%.
Roger, you've drunk the Kool-Aid; skierpage has it right. Going to huge efforts to capture and store intermittent flows of energy is a fool's errand. It is DESIGNED to fail. The USA is literally sitting on (in warehouses, mostly) enough energy to supply the whole country for 400 years even if synergies are ignored. That energy is in the form of depleted uranium, the tailings left over from enrichment for weapons and reactor fuel. Under 1100 tons/year would do it for the US, and 10,000 tons/year for the whole world. There's literally millions of years more in the oceans at that rate of consumption, and rivers add some 30000-odd tons every year; the equilibrium between the oceans and the crust means we can never run out of it. Current US primary energy consumption is about 3.3 TW(th). At that rate and 45% thermal efficiency (assuming a recompression CO2 cycle replaces steam) we'd have a bit under 1.5 TW(e) of electric generation. Space heating in urban areas would be covered by nuclear-powered district heating systems, and DHW driven by heat pumps (fed by the district heating water where available). Right there, most of your need for storage just disappears as you are producing more heat than you can use. Molten salt heat storage is sufficient to buffer daily demand cycles. PHEVs using biofuels as their backup decarbonize all ground transport. All of this is doable with 70's technology... some of it 1870's technology. What are we waiting for?
Thermal-spectrum thorium breeders would work too (somewhat higher temperature than sodium-cooled reactors can sustain) but we haven't run a molten-salt reactor since 1969 and never actually did a breeder, so that would take a fair amount of R&D time before we could roll them out. LMFBRs would do a much better job of getting rid of our "high-level waste" (aka fast-breeder feedstock).
You're still in the mindset of dispatchable thermal power plants supplying the grid. ,,, Other times, we won't have as much, needing to fire up hydrogen-fueled thermal power plants for backup. I couldn't have made this up. Do you listen to yourself? My mindset is actually in dispatchable (but mostly running 100% all the time) small-ish fast breeder reactors supplying electricity and district heat, with surplus generation devoted first to waste gasification/vitrification and then to biomass processing for fuels and chemicals. My calculations suggest that the heat production would easily warm every area that is dense enough to support the distribution system, with plenty left over. The real issue is industrial process heat. The USA uses about 700 GW(th) of process energy, and the exact temperature of use determines whether this can be supplied by low-grade heat from spent steam, direct nuclear heat, or requires electric heat or combustion. I don't have a breakdown of consumption by temperature.
Back in 2004 I calculated that it would take about 180 GW average electric power to convert the USA from petroleum to battery-electric. Given the sub-50% efficiency from electricity on the grid to electricity on the vehicle, you'd have to more than double that average generation to do it with "green" hydrogen. That's a mighty tall order. More to the point, it's doing the job almost the hardest way possible, making certain that it takes far longer than necessary. This is EXACTLY what the fossil fuel companies want. You should be very, very suspicious.
If you're going with fuel cells, you might as well put them on the machine proper and avoid charging delays entirely.
Didn't realize that MeOH was (only now?) permitted up to 5% by volume in US gasoline. My recipe for de-carbonization and de-fossilization of the US vehicle fleet has long beenElectrify a majority of all LDV energy consumption via PHEVsUse biofuels for the remainder of LDV energy consumption in the new fleet, which should require the new fuels in the same way that catalyst-equipped cars could not use leaded gasolineBlend excess biofuel into the fuel supply for the legacy fleet when it is in surplus.Methanol is close to ideal for this scheme, and it can be converted to dimethyl ether which makes an excellent diesel fuel.
Electrostatic painting has been a thing for decades; I saw a demo using a home-built electrostatic generator and a spray can when I was a teenager. What seems to be new here is the atomization by electrostatic repulsion rather than by compressed air.
Most people are just not very bright, and systematic mis-education in science and mathematics doesn't help.
So what cleaner generation disappeared to allow those high prices? You claim to be logical, SJC. Now's the time to prove it.
PG&E’s percentage of electricity from NG dropped from 20% to 15%. Then why did the statewide CI go up?
They're looking to have peak "renewable" generation well in excess of immediate demand, with the excess going to electrolysis for hydrogen. This is at least theoretically feasible, though it has a round-trip efficiency well under 50% and costs so high nobody will mention them. This press release has a conspicuous absence: no mention of a battery. This means that either the electrolyzers are expected to be a sufficient buffer to allow the gas turbines to be started in time to handle losses of wind and PV output, or other plants are going to handle that.
Commiefornia is claiming to be aiming for a hydrogen economy based on electrolysis using excess "renewable energy" as the dump load. If the state actually expects to decarbonize, using electrolyzers as the dump loads for DCNPP would be a much faster route than demanding it shut down. The state is doing the opposite, proving that neither the climate nor air quality are actually their interests. Selling natural gas is.
Just how big are these voxels? How do they compare to spreading an electrode paste at a couple meters a minute?
If there are more and more "renewables" on the California grid, why did the CI go up?
Let's hope the Japanese have a higher ratio of practicality to romanticism than the benighted Germans.
3-D printing is slow, far too slow for mass production. All the advances in manufacturing use things like roll-to-roll electrode production.
PHEV (non-series hybrid) performance is dreadful. Sez who? RAV4 PHEV goes 0-60 in just 5.8 seconds. That's half a second faster than the V6 version. During those short bursts of speed on electric drive --- nice....but the shift back to gas ....pure crap.I see evidence for the exact opposite. Going pure electric as quickly as possible at this point (as it appears they are doing) is the best long term strategy. We don't have the battery manufacturing capacity to do that, and probably don't have the raw materials to supply the plants even if we had them. We need an interim strategy. PHEVs are that strategy. 10 PHEVs save a lot more fuel than 1 BEV plus 9 gassers, and the batteries required to make 1 BEV can make 10 PHEVs.
LPG and NG are nigh-perfect fuels as criteria emissions are concerned. Per GHGs they are less so, but PHEVs using similar fuels (e.g. dimethyl ether) made from biomass can achieve carbon-neutrality and possibly better.
GM should be aiming beyond the BEV market to the PHEV market, with which it has some experience. PHEVs are the fast route to displacement of liquid fuel, as they have both the efficiency advantages of hybrids and also use grid power in lieu of energy from the pump while making better use of battery manufacturing capacity than BEVs. Grid power can be decarbonized much faster than any liquid fuel, making that the best current course for control of GHG emissions.
Nice, except that the battery at 14kWh is too small to allow anyone to expect to be able to drive anything but the shortest daily commute-trips in all electric mode.That's really all that's required. When charging becomes ubiquitous, most driving will be all-electric. You don't have to get 100%, 70% will do; biofuels will do for the rest. Given the bulk of this vehicle (having to carry around an idle engine etc.) compared to that, less than 35 miles (55km) electric range is more likely.I'm lucky to get 12 miles in winter weather and I'm averaging 128.7 MPG. And if you dare turn on the heating or the air-conditioning, I bet the engine starts up immediately.Heat maybe, A/C no. The A/C in hybrids is electric and runs off the traction battery. As long as the traction battery has charge, your A/C will run off it. That doesn't mean you won't take a serious range hit.
Heh, someone finally got a clue that it's much cheaper energy-wise to start with fixed carbon than to try to split water.
It's long past time to get rid of footprint-based standards in the US and kill this guzzler craze. We need to replace it with ceilings on liquid fuel consumption for the first X miles traveled. People will still be able to get their monster vehicles, but they're going to have to shell out for batteries to offset fuel from the pump.
Per Think Progress, "battery prices have been dropping so rapidly that the differential in upfront cost is now closer to $200,000." Basically, for the price of the electrolyzer the entire fleet of buses could have been battery-electric instead of hypedrogen... and saved more than 50% on electricity as well.