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Energy is limitless - one small example...

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    But the energy density in batteries will never be what it is for fossil fuels. And the only electric car I can go 300 miles on a charge is the Tesla sports car at $100k apiece. My point is not that electric cars are bad or not worth having, it is that they will remain a niche, and the vast majority of people with average incomes will continue to buy current technologies that will be improved. Electric cars will always be a niche product - they are not the total solution to the problem.

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  2. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Electric cars will replace almost all fossil fuel cars in the next 20-30 years, or maybe the only cars will be electric. I just hope I've got gas for my chainsaw.
  3. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Depending on where you are, yes. 1 to 4 is still in positive territory, unfortunately.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Your right, pound for pound, gasoline will always have more energy density than batteries. So What? With the electric motor's effiency of 90% versus the I.C.E. of 20-30%, that doesn't really matter much does it?

    Today, only the Tesla sports car. Next year, the Tesla sedan for half the money.

    The vast majority of americans drive 30 miles a day. For most people, the worst electric car would be sufficient.

    Finaly, agreed, neither electric cars nor any other single solution will be sufficient. The solution requires all available technology, Solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, Wind, likely nuclear, hydro-electric, tidal/current, etc., etc. Electric cars will certainly play a significant role though.
  5. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Well, it will be a lot easier to take an ICE from 20% to 40% than it is to take a battery to twice the energy density at reasonable cost. Not trying to harp on it, but hoping that technologies will get better because that it what we want to believe won't necessarily enable that to happen. There are technology limitations, and entrenched technologies can put up a tough fight.

    But I agree with Dune that it will take a little bit of everything. I'm not hoping electric cars fail, I'm just trying to point out that they are not going to be the magic bullet that solves everything.
  6. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    I still love the KISS concept of energy conversion.
    Horse treadmills are becoming more favored by many in the
    draft horse world. They use them to run just about anything you can imagine!
    How about doing laundry while splitting your firewood;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COCVaaYPcRU

    NOW THAT'S GREEN!
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Splits pretty fast for just one horsepower.
  8. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Now there you go contributing to global warming with the emissions from that setup! :)

    Gary
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Even if we were able to develop a battery with an energy density equal to gasoline that doesn't completely solve the problem.

    Batteries are just a way of storing energy. Where does the energy come from? If its still generated by burning coal or gas or oil then we haven't fixed the problem - just moved it out of sight.
  10. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    It would replace the circle of life. When we die, our energy would charge the battery, but eventually and rather quickly, we'd run out of anyone who needed energy anyway.
  11. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="DBoon" date="1290631057"]As much as I like the concept of hybrids, their overall fuel economy has been pretty disappointing compared to my 1990s technology Saturn SL that was rated 40 mpg on the highway (and which I can drive to get 45 mpg on the highway). I have driven a total of 400,000+ miles on two of these and paid a grand total of $20,000 for them both (one new, one used). I doubt a single new Prius would last that long, and the 10% better mileage I would get from it hardly justifies the higher cost. Granted, this is a smaller car than most would want, but 20 more years of engine development (i.e. now) should make this possible in a bigger car. quote]

    And I have hauled every stick of the 12+ cords of wood in my backyard using only a Saturn SL2! The car of the future!
  12. pugetsoundwa

    pugetsoundwa New Member

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    true enough. However what if..just if about the time a battery can purform as good as gas that solar is able to produce as well and cheaper then electric. Meaning you buy your battery fully charged and are able to recharge it enough in say 1 day to run for a week.

    Impossible today but as time goes on who knows...If 100 yrs ago someone said that man could transplant hearts, kidneys and eye cornia's others would have thought he was crazy. I do hold out for hope that before i die and I am 41, that Solar and such will make huge huge advances. Until then..I would be a bit happy about real MPG increases with gas. My Equinox gets around 33 today, why not 35 in 2 yrs and 43 in 10?? I am not talking unrealistic to me. 1 to 2 MPG every couple of years should and could happen. My God they put a Man on the Moon shortly after i was born but 40 yrs later my car still only gets 33 MPG????
  13. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    i think one of the bigger problems with raising fuel economy is the cost to do so. Cars could be a lot lighter, but they'd be much pricier to do so. Engine designs can be tweaked a bit here and there but at what re-engineering costs? VW (the company of VW/Audi/Porsche) also owns Bugatti and they test advanced engine designs and materials on those cars (price tags near $1 mill) and actually lose $$ based on the cost of the R&D. They justify it (cost to engineer each one, based on 100 units built is closer to $3 mill each) by saying that they will recoup the rest on the production cars somewhere down the line when they get to apply the technology on a broader scale. Thankfully we now can use computer modeling instead of building prototypes for everything. CHeap energy is relly the key, but in the end will we be more inclined to waste more if the energy was cheap?
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Energy to make the energy to make the cars to make the roads before we ever start driving. Its tough to think what we're going to do. Everything is going to change and its going to hurt a lot. Maybe baby steps will soften the blow but I doubt it.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Why do cars have to weigh 2 tons? IF you have a light weight frames with airbag type fenders and body panels i would think you would fare well in a crash. I cant see why a car can not be made under 1000lbs or less.
  16. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    the biggest weight in cars comes down to insulation (how loud do you want to live with, most cars are trying for silent on the inside) and crash safety (the US has the toughest standards last I knew and any car that is made for our markets will be heavier)
    if you replace the steel in the car with carbon fiber you can still get the safety at a lower weight, but the cost goes through the roof. Sports cars will rip out the insulation (some cars it adds up to a couple hundred pounds) to gain another 0.01 on the track, but they get very loud and hot/cold compared to the one with insulation.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    The safety issue can be dealt with as i said with air (inflated fenderwells ,body panels) AIr is not heavy. ALso the air and inflatable panels would cut down on noise. Were not looking for perfection the first time out just a Sub-1000LB car for basic transportation. Take a golf cart and work up from there.
  18. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I always wanted to design a plastic uni-body car with a honeycomb structure and fill the voids with helium. Of course with an electric propulsion system most of the noise is eliminated anyway.
  19. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    A classic example over here is the Volkwagen Golf. The newest model is about half a ton heavier than when it was introduced 25 years ago.

    The brilliant new economical engine is just using it's brilliant economy to drag round a car with aircon, electric windows, state of the art satnav, masses of noise insulation to the point that emergency vehicles now have louder sirens than ever to penetrate this heavyweight cocoon.

    Why do people need aircon in the UK, with just 30 days in the last 25 years over 85f? Why do people need to have electric windows, do their hands not go round and round anymore? Why does every tiny car need satnav when all they do is a school run and a trip to the same shops?

    Green talk is just that, talk. And an excuse to tax every source of power heavily whilst encouraging people in windless valleys to have wind turbines...........

    But then the most energy usage must go in moving water from France (where they have loads of water) to England (where they also have loads of water).
    Water only comes in one variety, H2O, but there are countless brand names. Brilliant marketing of something that just falls out of the sky for free..........

    Sorry if that rambled miles off thread............ :roll:
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    If a human can go over Niagara falls in a bubble and survives crashing on the rocks below with thousands of tons of water falling on him,then they can make a lightweight car to survive a fender bender or even a head on with a full sized truck(like my GM 2500 HD 4x4 ) Hit and killed a large deer recently, not a scratch on the truck.
  21. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, there sure are a lot of deer down there. Did you keep it?
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    No, it was a big doe, killed it instantly. My truck is about 6" higher than stock so that helped. Going about 45MPH. I think my tow hooks and undercarriage took the brunt of the impact One of my friends gave me hell for not throwing it in the back and taking it to him,that's legal in pa. A lot of jerky and sausage went to waste.
  23. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Umm, sausage.
  24. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    In the headlines today, Massachussets could derive 25% of it's electricity needs by 2020. This will require significant upgrades to the grid. The study concluded that the wind resources are suitable.
    The question is, will the regulators/political will be there to allow this?

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