HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
Badgerfan
User Rank
Iron
Re: Cut our dependence on fossil fuels??
Badgerfan   4/2/2012 10:58:03 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree that currently 90% of our electrical energy is created by fossile fuels.  However, electric motors are vastly superior in efficency to internal combustion engines.  Gas engines get around a maximum of 20-35% efficiency where as electric motors are closer to 80-95%.  You also can recoop some of the energy when braking with an electric vehicle, not so with one that is powered by gas.   When you look at equivalents there is data that supports that you produce half as much CO2 with a hybrid or electric car compared to a gas car.  Also, if we can continue to promote cleaner energy production (natural gas, wind, hydro, solar etc.) this enviromental impact will continue to go down.  Something has to be done as we continue to increase the number of vehicles on the roads and potential drivers (china, india, etc.) we can not contiue to burn gas.  Starting now means you have a chance to start to curb the trend toward electric vehicles.  Most cars have a life expedancy of 10-15 years, so what you buy today will impact the environment for the life of that vehicle.  If we want to change things 20 years from now, you have to start changing things in the next 5 years. 

http://www.hybridcars.com/environment/can-coal-powered-cars-be-clean-26233.html

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/EnvEng_p015.shtml

Also, when looking at enironmental impact you have to look at the cost to build the vehicle and batteries.  Right now the impact of building a battery can be very costly, not only in $$ but also in environmental impact.  There are new batteries being worked on (aluminum based) that have 2-3 times the density of lithium ion ones, but they years away right now.  Also, the hope is that the new batteries will be less expensive and more environmentally friendly. 

http://www.impactlab.net/2007/03/14/prius-outdoes-hummer-in-environmental-damage/

http://machinedesign.com/article/goodbye-to-lithium-ion-batteries-0322

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Need more whys
ChasChas   4/2/2012 12:09:17 PM
NO RATINGS
We switched from walking to horses - why? Faster, easier, get more done, etc.    

We switched from horses to autos - why? Faster, easier, get more done, less polution on the ground (horse manure) in cities, etc.

Now we are trying to switch from gas cars to electric cars - why?  Get rid of concentrated air polution in cities.  ....... There are just not enough whys.

So we have isolated polution reasons. Fossil fuel dependency is not working as a why because we are finding more oil every day - even in the US of A.

We need to find enough whys that justify the extra cost - note that every switch had added costs.

The financial tipping point may be getting close  Electric is nice, but how nice?

Paul L
User Rank
Iron
Actual Results
Paul L   4/2/2012 12:27:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Over the last 11 months I have logged 11,000 miles on a LEAF with no issues. I installed a 2.7kw PV system ($10k net cost) to power the car. I am on schedule to payoff the PV system in less than 5 years. We have 3 drivers with round trip commutes of 60, 11 and 2 miles. We fight over the LEAF. Next goal is a pure SF Bay solution (Tesla S from Fremont, SunPower PV from Richmond and Enphase from Petaluma). We have great local products that have good ROIs.

J. Williams
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cut our dependence on fossil fuels??
J. Williams   4/2/2012 12:34:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Badgerfan:  Yes electric motors are very efficient 97-98% compared to ICE, BUT how efficient is the coal fired plant supplying the electricity?  We're decades away from wind and solar providing more than about 10-15% of our load.  The best steam turbines are only about 40% efficient.  Gee, that EV maybe isn't so good after all.  Oh, did we talk about transmission and distribution losses in the grid?  What you will find is that the old, nasty ICE isn't so bad after all when you look at the big picture.

diskguy
User Rank
Silver
Re: Cut our dependence on fossil fuels??
diskguy   4/2/2012 12:49:46 PM
NO RATINGS
@Williams

There are GE H Class turbines for combined braton and rankine cycles that get 60% thermal efficiency and even with the worst coal (with scrubbers), EV's are still better than petro for emissions and there are health benefits to moving the tailpipe out of the city.

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: What about a hybrid Solar EV ?
Jerry dycus   4/2/2012 9:34:32 PM
NO RATINGS
 

              While PV might only make 500wthrs/day that is enough for bicycle style E trike to go 20 miles!!     It's far better to put the PV on the home roof. 

              That said I'm about to build a 32' trimaran sailboat to move aboard where I belong  but got thinking it would be a great PV powered boat with lots of area, stability and low drag, thus power needs.

             On US electric power last month broke the record for lowest coal use, now about 39.7 % of US generation. Fact is coal while more cheap is 35% less eff than NG cogen plants. And the new ones can throttle down to 50% eff thus relieving theb need for grid storage except in rare cases.

            Nukes is 20% of US electric with hydro, RE making about 10%.  In most places night time when EV's get charged is mostly nuke and hydro.

            They just foreced utilities to cut any powrplant that wasn't eff and that cuts out  about 50% of them so coal will increasingly be less of our power, down to 20% of US electricity in 10 yrs which is about the time enough EV's to matter will be on the roads

              Most EV owners now either make or buy RE power.  Ev's are so eff the slight extra cost buying the RE isn't a problem.

           Facts on car eff is gas cars only get 7% of the tanks energy moving the car down the road.  If you don't understand why you should be commenting here on this. Look up part throttle eff, etc.

           Luckily EV's are 20-65% eff depending on energy source from powerplant/RE fuel to the road.  The above from EIA, EPA websites among many others who value the real facts. The posts here that have little basis in fact make me think some oil, coal paid flacks are trying to spread their propaganda.

             We can stay on oil and keep having oil recessions, wars one after another killing our economy as it did time and time again.

 

             So let's get to costs. As Telsa admitted to their low Li battery costs it's hard to see how other keep[ talking aboyt $700/kwhr vs real life is between $250-400/kwhr  pack complete.

             Today was my 4th ride in my new Harley Servicecar size EV trike and working out great using under 1 kwhr to go 20 miles, $.11 for fuel, and I haven't started optimizing it yet.   This EV will cost me about $120/yr to run for everything, electric, battery, tag my biggest expense so about $2/wk.  So go ahead and keep knocking EV's and paying for gas, just remember me smiling as I drive by paying $.005/mile for fuel  ;^P

 

 

 

 

<<  <  Page 2/2


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Get a load of these strange product designs. What's in the water these design engineers are drinking?
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
Cal Poly students use 3D printing to take flight -- and pass their class.
Celebrity engineer Grant Imahara will host a series of “webisodes” that will examine new technology and innovation from an engineer’s point of view.
The UX Italia video contest recognizes Italian machinery, technology, and other experience solutions that have contributed meaningful improvements to people’s lives and production processes. If you submit a three-minute video showcasing how the quality of Italian machinery's User eXperience is essential to your company's success, you just may win a trip to Italy.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service