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Now this is my type of "green" car!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by MountainStoveGuy, Jul 21, 2006.

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  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nice!!! Smokes a 'vette and silently.
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Small world... Looking at Google Maps, it looks like Tesla Motors is located in the old 'thin film' or 'clean room' of the little company I worked at for 5 years. And I used to ride my bike down Sand Road where Tesla Motors was rebuked by the VC dudes.

    An interesting aside. If you look at the map, you'll see Varian Street one block north of Bing. I walked that street most days to get some lunch. It is named for one of the first start-ups in Silicon Valley and widely considered Silicon Valley's true birth place by old stalwarts, before there was really much silicon being produced. Varian made some of the first break-through microwave components back in the 1950's that were used in radar and most other things needing microwaves. Their device is still integral in many microwave devices to this day.

    The company I worked for made, not surprisingly, microwave equipment. In fact, I think they coexisted and cooperated with one another back in the late 50's and early 60's. The products of my little company were considered by most in the industry as the Rolls Royce of microwave transceivers (radios) and used by all the giant comm companies for cell phone relays, utility comms, private corp comms, military, etc. We were some of the first to use spread spectrum that allows expanded bandwidth and security by 'spraying' a signal over multiple frequencies and reassembling it at the receiving end.

    That was an odd little secton of San Carlos in the 90's. It's a bit different now, though. At the end of Bing Street, at Industrial Way, was the Circle Star Theatre dinner club. It seated 3,700 people. Frank Sinatra and Bill Cosby played there 'back in the day'. It was a circular building with a circular, rotating stage. Torn down in 1997. I saw Sugar Ray step up in weight and defeat Donnie LaLond in an exciting 'closed circuit viewing' (now PPV) there in 1989. Good fight. Big surprise to me. I thought he'd get whooped, myself. That's why I went. ;) And I saw the Moody Blues there twice--front row seats once, second row the other, with a nice candle light dinner included in the fairly reasonable ticket price. A coworker had been listening to the radio one morning when the ticket sale was announced. She and I logged off, walked a block to the Circle Star box office, and bought the best seats in the house. :) The Moodies were coming out of touring retirement around 1992 or thereabouts. They played the little Circle Star two consecutive years. I'm sure I saved the ticket stubs somewhere. Those were two of the best concerts I ever saw. One had the circular stage rotating, the other didn't. I could walk back to my car at work and sit in my office to get my head right for the drive home. ;)
  4. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Good Read..Sounds like they maybe on to something...

    An interesting note is how they say that this would not have been possible a while back because the auto companies had control of all the parts suppliers..now with the outsourcing that has ocurred they can get whatever they need...Interesting to see this go full circle.

    A month or two ago...Saw the guy who founded Bricklin (involved with Yugo also) on cnbc....He is working with a Chinese car company (cherry) to sell cars for 25 cents on the dollar here...Wonder what the quality will be like..
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    There was a story last year that a Chinese holding company with US backers bought the remains of the British MG-Rover group out of bankrupty. Couple weeks ago they announced they would start proguctin of a new MG roadster and coupe in Oaklahoma City.

    So a chinese company with American backers buys a British car comapny and builds their new factory in Okalhoma.

    The punchline is that when the plant in Britain closed, 5000 people lost their jobs. Later inthe same story, the new factory will employ about 500, and produce more cars. Guess that's what happens when you have Nigel and Colin pounding fenderes by hand...

    Steve
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Dig this video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3624337653720181416&q=fast cars
    Gotta love linear acceleration. The company is WrightSpeed: http://www.wrightspeed.com/index.html

    You also might enjoy playing with this toy.
    http://tinyurl.com/h2n74

    or this one -
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/02/hybrid_technolo.html

    And if that's not enough -
    http://www.designnews.com/article/CA603742.html
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Iactually have to work today, i will have to check out those links when i get home. thanks!
  8. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Toyota has announced that they are going for a plug-in hybrid drive vehicle with the next generation Prius. Should be very interesting if you do a lot of 'around town' driving. You'll only need the gasoline engine on longer trips.
  9. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    But does it take off the line like a ferrari? :D
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep in mind that will cause more dirty coal burning, so although the price will be right, the pollution may not be. I think there is a good article coming up in Rolling Stone called "Coal. Americas Dirty Secret", which details how much we each burn (for electric),

    Here is an interesting related article showing how much dirty coal is being used to produce Ethanol. Of course, Ethanol refiners are getting a 50 cent a gallon tax credit for doing this!
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Craig have you checked out Branton Poit Coal electricity generation? An example of how to burn coal cleaner?
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    See the video. Much faster.
  13. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Clean coal burning is possible, although it doesn't address the impact of mining. BP and GE are building two new plants that reduce CO2 emmisions by 90% when compared to today's coal electric generation CO2 levels.

    Somehow they will produce Hydrogen, assumedly to fire the boiler to spin turbines. Somewhere in the process (hydrogen production?) they capture and sequester the carbon into the ground. Sounds weird, like a big mosh pit underground somewhere. Still, maybe it's better than producing more greenhouse gas. Seems like a stop gap measure since it assumes continued usage of coal and other fossils, but incrementally helpful, none-the-less.

    http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?SESSIONID=&aId=16888

    Remember, world coal production and consumption is expected to increase over the next few years (10?, 15?) to a point where it is supplying around 50% of the world's energy. Today coal supplies around 25% IIRC. That is a big reliance on coal going forward, so this newer GE/BP method may be a pretty good thing.
  14. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Solar panels could recharge some of these electric vehicles, cutting down the increased demand for coal. I don't think the Prius will accelerate like a Ferrari but if it will get my aging butt from here to there really cheaply and cleanly, I'll have it. My current Prius is a joy to drive and the $3.00 gas that hit us here this week makes it even better. I'm moving my son and his fiance to Kansas this coming week and will be driving behind the truck - I'm the strong back for the move, must be from splitting and stacking all that wood!
  15. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    For overnight charging, which would be the most useful for a commuter, solar wouldn't be much good, but your very own personal wind generator might, depending on where you lived... I've also heard alot of talk that, as "smart" metering is installed, electricity cost will be different during peak and off-peak hours, and some suggest that recharging a car is a good use of off-peak generation.
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I love my peak metering, its only .03/Kwh between 9pm and 6 am, and 1pm and 4 pm, All weekend is off peak. On peak rates are .10/Kwh
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If one's local PUD has a decent buyback of grid-tied solar, then overnight charging can pay off very well. The house runs the meter backwards during the day while you're away and at night you buy back a bit of it.
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    NO, I don't know about it. But, as Mo mentions, there are problems in a lot of coal burning with:

    1. Removal of coal from the ground - I lived in WV and words cannot begin to describle how they cut of the entire tops of mountains and pollute water, etc. - add to that the dangers of mining and it is definitely abuse of the earth and people. I hear things are better out west where they remove the coal by machine and then simply cover it back up.

    2.CO2 Emissions from the coal

    There may be ways to reduce both problems, but not at the current low prices that we get coal for. Bush and friends have dozens of new coal plants approved and although these use newer technology, they are still not "best available technology" and produce vast amounts of CO2.
  19. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    There apparently is a lot of unused capacity off-peak. Most foundries in our area melt off-peak because the electric rates are about 1/2 the regular.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, coal generates 54% of our power and is the single biggest source of air pollution in the US. There are lots of problems with coal. Craig hit two big ones, but there are many others. In addition to unimaginable land and habitat destruction, it is exceptionally egregious, even with current best practices. Pollution comes in many forms, air pollution being the most obvious, but the toxic waste created by power plants is also a significant issue as are the billions of gallons a water used to cool these plants.

    Coal may be necessary in the short run, but the sooner we wean our economy off of fossil fuels the better. The best and least costly first step is conservation.

    Here is a site for some stark facts:
    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c01.html

    and from "How coal works":
    A Case Study: The Side Effects of a Coal Plant

    A 500 megawatt coal plant produces 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power a city of about 140,000 people. It burns 1,430,000 tons of coal, uses 2.2 billion gallons of water and 146,000 tons of limestone.

    It also puts out, each year:

    * 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide (SOx) is the main cause of acid rain, which damages forests, lakes and buildings.

    * 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is a major cause of smog, and also a cause of acid rain.

    * 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas, and is the leading cause of global warming. There are no regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.

    * 500 tons of small particles. Small particulates are a health hazard, causing lung damage. Particulates smaller than 10 microns are not regulated, but may be soon.

    * 220 tons of hydrocarbons. Fossil fuels are made of hydrocarbons; when they don't burn completely, they are released into the air. They are a cause of smog.

    * 720 tons of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas and contributor to global warming.

    * 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber. A scrubber uses powdered limestone and water to remove pollution from the plant's exhaust. Instead of going into the air, the pollution goes into a landfill or into products like concrete and drywall. This ash and sludge consists of coal ash, limestone, and many pollutants, such as toxic metals like lead and mercury.

    * 225 pounds of arsenic, 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, and many other toxic heavy metals. Mercury emissions from coal plants are suspected of contaminating lakes and rivers in northern and northeast states and Canada. In Wisconsin alone, more than 200 lakes and rivers are contaminated with mercury. Health officials warn against eating fish caught in these waters, since mercury can cause birth defects, brain damage and other ailments. Acid rain also causes mercury poisoning by leaching mercury from rocks and making it available in a form that can be taken up by organisms.

    * Trace elements of uranium. All but 16 of the 92 naturally occurring elements have been detected in coal, mostly as trace elements below 0.1 percent (1,000 parts per million, or ppm). A study by DOE's Oak Ridge National Lab found that radioactive emissions from coal combustion are greater than those from nuclear power production.

    The 2.2 billion gallons of water it uses for cooling is raised 16 degrees F on average before being discharged into a lake or river. By warming the water year-round it changes the habitat of that body of water.
    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/brief_coal.html
  21. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    So your not totally opposed to this is what I'm reading here....BUT...Bush is proposing clean coal technology "until we can advance other technologies" as he says. Folks, I think he agrees with Bush!!!! (Warren ducks, hides and wonders if he can harvest the heat from the explosion) :gulp:
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    As indicated above, even "clean" coal technology is not clean in the overall picture. Bush loves proposing things that are 10-20 years out. It's easy to make a distant promise almost a generation away. Good politics, but it's a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Regardless of technology, our rail system is at maximum capacity for delivering coal from source to power plants.

    What he isn't proposing is the single easiest, cheapest and fastest method towards improving the situation - conservation. Behind the scenes this administration is undoing years of environmental legistlation, delaying meaningful progress, burying its head in the sand while ignoring core science and firing most people trying to make real changes.
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