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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    How does linking to 3 irrelevant wikipedia articles show anything? The first has no figures, and hardly even mentions electric, the second is pretty irrelevant, and the third as well.
    Ok, are you just being deliberately obtuse, did you simply fail to comprehend the articles, or did you just flat out fail to read them? If you find those "irrelevant" you lack the mechanical knowledge to even weigh in on the subject!

    The first one explains what the topic is, and the mechanical reasoning behind how certain engines deliver peak power to fuel consumed at certain RPM's....

    The second one lists where power generation in America comes from with all those pesky percentages I've been saying (+/-1%) about where electricity COMES FROM.

    The third discusses the infrastructure of electrical generation, mentions the 7% line loss (though oddly the parts about substation loss are missing now), etc, etc...

    As for it being wikipedia, that's why you check the REFERENCES listed at the bottom. -- and why I said "excuse the truthiness" (that's a joke... you didn't get it)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    Don't patronise me, you make yourself look like an idiot. I took Physics all the way through school and still have a keen interest in it today.
    So you're familiar with newton's laws, the inefficiencies of energy conversion or more specifically the more times you change and energy source -- like say from fuel to electricity to momentum instead of fuel to momentum -- the more you lose to to heat, stray magnetism, friction...

    'cause it sounds like those are alien concepts to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    I've lived in flats with electric heaters only for 6+ years now. Again, don't assume you know everything about me.
    Then I assume you've never paid for oil heat... Since you're only defending HALF the statement.

    Either that or the -10F nights and 40F+ days of December through February here color my opinion on the efficiency of electricity as a heat source... or should I say the complete lack therein. (of course we have 40 to 50 degree temperature swings for 9 months of the year so... Real fun when it's the pneumonia inducing 70 degree days and 20 degree nights -- hell it was 80F here yesterday and got down to 38 overnight -- in JUNE... thankfully it's a nice 64F today, but that probably means near freezing tonight meaning I'm turning the heat on IN JUNE one day after running the air conditioner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    And you have still failed to tell me in what way Tesla's quoted figures are wrong, or provide a correction.
    You mean apart from their source fuel listing NOT being where it's likely to come from in most places? When the first thing thing you linked to opens and it's whiskey tango foxtrot land...

    But sure, lets go to something with some meat, that pdf.

    First off, notice they ALWAYS relate it to a barrel of crude -- yet, only only 48% of a barrel typically becomes gasoline -- by using the full barrel and not including the practical energy use produced by the rest of it, they're able to skew the numbers for gasoline by over 50% in their favor. Watch out for that particular lie by omission, it's used a LOT.

    They flat out omit where the calculations of transmission are, and simply state their numbers -- said numbers fluctuating as much as 50% depending on geography. (see why natural gas here costs 40% more than what #2 heating oil does by usage). It's why their cherry picking fuel sources throws all their figures into doubt.

    They literally chose the best fuel in terms of recovery/processing cost (97.5% by their numbers), the best in terms of generation (GE H-System) which is 60% -- by their own numbers the well to outlet efficiency is 52.5% total using the "perfect fuel" that isn't available everywhere and/or is impractical in many climes. They may as well have listed hydroelectric for all the good those numbers mean to someone on the US East Coast. (though sure, West Coast that makes a bit more sense)

    If you go down to figure 3 on this page:
    Electric Power Monthly

    ... and it's easy to see why Natural Gas is an also ran -- for all it's highly vaunted "efficiency" it costs twice as much because it's four times harder to get and find... Also explains why for all the *****ing about petroleum, in the US power generation world it's less than 1% of the source. (all THREE plants -- two in Massachusetts, one in Maine).

    As anyone working in the electricity generation field will tell you -- until something better comes along, coal is king... because it's cheap, not because it's efficient.

    So let's talk burning coal.... which has HALF the efficiency of natural gas at the plant. Food luck finding concrete numbers on coal though, it's a tight lipped secret as to how the efficiency of coal burning... well, efficiency isn't a word used in such discussions.

    Analysis: Efficiency of coal-fired power stations
    Says 31%

    Power Plant Efficiency Hasn't Improved Since 1957 – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views
    Says 33%

    Neither being what I'd call trustworthy or citing their sources -- but the numbers are inline with what I've heard in the past.

    If we plug 33% "at the plant" into their figures replacing their ideal perfect world natural gas 60%, that well to outlet efficiency drops from 52.5% to 33%*92%*97.5%*97.5% == 29%... and that's assuming a ground to plant efficiency on coal that's the same as natural gas -- which is 100% fantasy-land given the cost of getting coal out of the ground in manpower and energy required of mining vs. drilling. I can't even find numbers on that anywhere, but I very much doubt that mine to power plant sees the 97.5% recovery efficiency well to plant sees for natural gas.

    Of course that doesn't even talk the pollution side of things... natural gas, diesel and gasoline are clean fuels compared to normal coal burning thanks to Sulfur Dioxide.
    Coal power in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Check it out... dirtiest plant in the nation pushes out 40 pounds of SO2/MWh.... the national average is much lower around 6 pounds per MWH, but compared to... well...

    Fossil fuel power station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Nice little chart there showing the emissions based on energy use. Brown coal, the most commonly used is the dirtiest of fuels ESPECIALLY in terms of particulates.... hard coal isn't a whole lot better -- while you can see natural gas' numbers are HALF on Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides, and by comparison non-existant in terms of Sulfur dioxide and methane compounds... and particulate? WHAT PARTICULATE?

    Of course, then you have your "clean coal" whackjobs -- who are a bit like the car emission standards whacko's in commiefornia... the process of cleaning the emissions reduces the delivered power so much, you end up burning more fuel resulting in another zero-distribution... or worse, exacerbating the problem. The most recent California emissions standards sure knock another 3% off the exhaust of gas powered vehicles from the previous standard, but it costs 5% fuel efficiency to implement meaning you're burning 5% more fuel to go the same distance. They talk about pollution per gallon burned when they should be talking pollution per mile traveled... which again is the classic propaganda technique of card stacking in action. The whole "clean coal" thing takes and already inefficient and dirty (but cheap) process, and triples the operating costs, involves the costs of building new facilities (in a country where 90% of the power facilities were built before 1975) and worse, decreases the already low mine to outlet efficiency... To the point some think it might be more efficient to convert to burning #2 and #4 oils instead of "clean coal" (especially since with biofuels #2 and #4 oils can have a non-fossil renewable source)

    Which is why Tesla's choosing something that was only 20% of the supply source in what are basically glorified advertising materials -- one that is impractical and overly expensive to implement in most places, and is the cleanest burning of the natural fuels is card stacking! If they had averaged based on the national (or better world) costs from ground to outlet, I'd take their numbers seriously -- but cherry picking the perfect fuel source is little more than the classical propaganda lie by omission.

    Well, to be fair they didn't cherry pick the fuel source that REALLY would have skewed the numbers -- but that one would have been too obvious given it means next to nothing if you don't live within 100 miles of the Colorado river.

    That PDF is funny though as it is filled end to end with card stacking to give the pseudo-science eco-nuts something to get wood over (Teak? Mahogany? Ebony? Don't worry, just **** with you padre!) while barely mentioning a point that made my eyeballs bug out.

    COST... They're claiming 110 watt/hours a kilometer (DOUBLE what I last heard for a EV); That's 178 watt hours a mile!!! HOLY HANNAH!!! (I'm saying that in an impressed/good way!)

    Using the classic "270 mile" range figure most of your sources like to pimp as a practical range for a vehicle (heck, it's even in their fictitious but well crafted "plain folks" sidebar in that PDF) that works out to 48KW/h... which by my last electric bill (16.9 cents/kwh by the time all the taxes and supplier charges are tacked on) works out to $8.10 cents... Using the uber-efficient hybrid 63mpg Honda Insight using their numbers, that's 4.2 gallons worth of gas -- at four bucks a gallon right now that's basically 17 bucks worth of fuel.

    Meaning the Tesla costs less than HALF to operate per mile than the most efficient hybrid on the market. Figure it out for the average 30mpg highway road car and that's 9 gallons of fuel [/i](which is EXACTLY where the 270 figure originated -- 3/4ths of a tank on a typical road car -- 10 gallon + 2 reserve)[/i] or a $36 fillup.

    Hmm... $8 or $36 dollars to cover the same distance. Gee, let me think. Over 400% the FINANCIAL efficiency of a road car. TO HELL with it's environmental impact, there's your selling point!!! Rather than lying by omission about how "green" their electric is, they should be trumpeting that from rooftops. Given the average commuter travel of 32 miles (16 each way) every weekday, that's 8000 miles a year meaning compared to what's on the road for most people now... that's $1040 in gasoline vs. $231 on your electric bill... basically $809 a year extra back in your pocket.

    But of course, this is why most hybrid owners want to plug into the grid even with cars that don't come with a plug. It's one of the most popular after-market mods for first and 2nd gen Toyola Pious', FINALLY looking to be offered on the 3rd gen.

    So environmentally with the current power infrastructure -- NO. It's no better and they're card stacking their numbers by basing it on natural gas. In terms of your pocket however... But then I've always been a fan of anything that speaks to my wallet.

  2. #27
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    I can't read all of that as I'm too busy right now, or even pretend to understand the science behind it, but I have a question about diesel fuel.

    I learned about 3 years ago that diesel fuel is VERY VERY toxic. It's the black fuel that comes out of all those semi trucks that pollute the air (GROSS)!

    So my question is, why does everyone think diesel is so clean or so much better?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only car company that hasn't come out with a GREEN car is Mercedes (unless I just didn't see the right commercials on TV). They cite their green car is diesel.

    Are there different types of diesel? Some clean, some toxic?

    I would expect Mercedes to be top of the line in leading the way in Green.

    I've had this question for a while now & would like an answer.

    Thanks


    Michelle

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by exoticpublishing View Post
    I can't read all of that as I'm too busy right now, or even pretend to understand the science behind it, but I have a question about diesel fuel.
    There's a LOT of misinformation about diesel, especially when there are multiple TYPES of diesel fuel.

    It gets a REALLY bad rap in America because our pump petroleum diesel isn't sulfur free -- which is why it smells like nasty beer farts in the deepest brimstone pit of hell coming out the back of cars and trucks running it. Overseas they get a wee bit cleaner a diesel, though it's still not all that clean a fuel compared to gasoline... There's a reason the Top Gear guys call it "the fuel of Satan". (and ended up eating a bit of crow on that when they entered that race series)

    The term "diesel" doesn't even actually originate with the fuel, but for the engine type.
    Diesel engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Designed to burn a great many different fuel oils, not just petro-diesel. Diesel engines do not have spark plugs, alternators, ignition coils, or a great many other parts you commonly associate with a gasoline engine -- they work by the fact that oils of certain burn rates and densities when mixed with air will actually detonate under pressure... If you mix the fuel with air during the 'compression' stroke of a piston, when the compression reaches a certain point it goes off -- no spark plug needed. This simplifies the engine design and increases engine reliability; two more things to make it a more desirable design in heavy duty cycle environments -- like long haul trucking, military vehicles, etc.. They are, as I'll explain below, also much easier to run improvised fuel sources in.

    The thing is, for all the noxious sulfur oxides it delivers significantly more power per gallon both due to the chemical differences of the fuel and the efficiency of the the diesel engine. That's a hefty part of why it's been the fuel of choice for heavy haulers for ages; It can deliver way more torque which means less fuel to get yourself up to speed and stay there on heavy loads. Tractor-tailors, farm tractors, military tanks, heavy transports -- if you can extract more power per gallon and the price isn't that different, it's a bargain... and can even pollute less. That's something the "emissions are everything" people often miss (yes California, I'm looking at you) is that they always talk pollution per gallon instead of pollution per mile or more importantly, pollution per mile per ton. See diesel trains, another area where electric is cute, but diesel is cheaper and in the grand scheme of things pollutes less.

    Though what's probably really confusing you is the term biodiesel. The diesel engine can run on a great many different fuels -- right down to left over deep fry oil from restaurants if you filter it first.

    Biodiesel is a diesel type fuel, but it's nowhere near the black oil most people think of. Generally speaking it's just a #2 fuel oil. Fuel oils are rated on a mix of viscosity and burn rate, the most common of which are #2 and #4 oils, which in many places are interchangeable and or are blended to meet local needs. For example, home heating old where I am here in New Hampshire is 20% biodiesel now and they're talking about introducing B40 next year (40% bio, 60% petrol). This has driven down the cost and makes it burn cleaner... In a pinch since diesel fuel is just a #2 oil, you can run it in a home oil heat system with no real problems. (handy to know if you run out during a snowstorm and nobody will deliver). Conversely I have a friend with a Diesel Volvo who's been running it off B20 for three years -- which hovers usually about 40 cents a gallon less than pump grade petro-diesel... though he's been running B100 (100% bio) in the warmer months since a station over the hill in Peterborough added a pump for it. (fits with their whole Pink Ribbon truck thing, and being not just a petrol station, but full service home fuel oil too)

    Unlike Petrol-diesel, biodiesel burns way cleaner, properly adjusted it has no real soot and significantly less hydrocarbon emissions, and when/if your exhaust has an odor, it smells like a McDonalds. It looks like vegetable oil, smells like vegetable oil, burns like vegetable oil because, well.... it's vegetable oil.

    So, when people talk green and diesel, they mean running a engine on #2 fuel oil from renewable organic sources... like corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, the output from thermal-depolymerization plants, rended fats left over from slaugherhouse processes, and other such "clean" oil sources. These processes can be more efficient than ethanol based fuels and tend to burn more completely -- and the more completely you burn the fuel the better both in terms of extracting power and from dumping unwanted pollutants out the exhaust.

    It's not a perfect solution as biodiesel has many of the same problems as the thick-end of the #2 oil spectrum; It turns to jello around 30F meaning you need to either have a true diesel supply to start the engine and warm up the biodiesel before you can go driving, and you need to keep it warm. Mixing it with petroleum based fuels can also prevent it from gelling, and provide some of the benefits reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and being cleaner per mile.

    You can read more about biodiesel here:
    Biodiesel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the more fascinating sources for #2 type oils that could be run in diesel engines or turbines can be read about here:
    Thermal depolymerization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Though turbines are where the real chemical fuel to other power types efficiencies lie.... too bad between jet lag and only being efficient at very specific power ranges are beneficial -- which is why I'm surprised we don't see more hybrids with turbines in them, though there have been prototypes. That would be the ideal IMHO -- electric at the wheels, battery off the grid, with a flex fuel turbine to charge the battery during long distance driving.

  4. #29
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    Frankly DS, I stopped reading when you again missed out most of the links in the chain that gets oil from the ground and eventually turns in into motion, something which you are basing your entire argument on. I explained it in a previous post, but you simply ignored it, claiming you didn't understand what I was talking about. And no, the scientific theories you mentioned are not alien concepts to me, so don't try and act all superior about it, because you again missed off most of the chain in petrol production there, which makes a huge difference to your assumptions.

    I'll come back to this when you stop ignoring the majority of what goes in to getting a tank full of fuel into your car, because at the moment either you don't realise, or you are deliberately leaving the figures out as they disagree with your argument.

  5. #30
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    Hey guys, I'm a car and motorbike guy but I know internal combustion engines are not good for the planet so I've been looking for something to take their place for some time.

    If I can't find something to buy then I'll do a conversion. Probably something like a Dodge Neon to electric. The downside of this type of conversion is the lack of range. You can get to and from work no problem but a trip beyond 100 - 200 miles without a charge is out of the question. That said, I can always take one of my motorcycles or rent a hybrid if I'm off on a trip. It's a start.

    The best thing I've seen lately is this: A BETTER PLACE (it's already underway)
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  6. #31
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exoticpublishing
    I learned about 3 years ago that diesel fuel is VERY VERY toxic. It's the black fuel that comes out of all those semi trucks that pollute the air (GROSS)!
    The "problem" with diesel fuel compared to gasoline (besides the sulfur issue Crusty mentioned) is that diesel fumes have large particulates, which when inhaled cause more lung irritation than gasoline fumes.

    These can be filtered out (might reduce some efficiency), and using biodiesel for example doesn't emit these large particulates, so the issue where you are is simply, they are offering crappy diesel fuel to the public. The US and Canada have harsher rules against diesels than in Europe, where you see plenty of small cars running on it, not belching out black smoke or sounding like cargo trucks (though they do sound different than gasoline cars if they are old enough to be noisy).

    Rudolph Diesel ran his engine on peanut oil at some point. Then he got on a boat and apparently committed suicide. Maybe because everyone was calling him a German when he insisted he was a "Bohemian". Or something.

    Diesel cars compete easily with hybrid-gasoline-electrics like the Prius, Civic and Insight (tho Insight is not a "full" hybrid) when comparing by weight/class. So of course, I would love to see a diesel-electric hybrid for commuters on the streets taking place of both straight-diesel and straight-gasoline cars.

    The diesel engine can run on a great many different fuels -- right down to left over deep fry oil from restaurants if you filter it first.
    Well, usually you do one or the other. People running straight veggie oil tend to have two sets of fuel lines (though this may have more to do with the higher gel point, since most days you start up with regular diesel until the engine and oil pan warms, then switch manually over to veggie oil). With biodiesel you don't need to modify anything, except after you first run through a tank of it you usually have to change/clean your fuel filter... since the biodiesel will clean your engine out pretty well of all the leftover junk from the petroleum-based oils. Clogged fuel filter is maybe one of the most common "problems" people run into when first trying biodiesel.

    At hippy shops you can usually get some sort of crap to add to your biodiesel to lower the gel point.

    You can make the stuff in your back yard, just let it sit... (though most of us don't want barrels of lye powder sitting in our garages) but you do need to figure out what to do with the glycerin sitting at the bottom. The people I knew happened to know arts-n-crafts soap makers. The quality is too low to sell to actual soap companies though.

    Quote Originally Posted by awasson
    The downside of this type of conversion is the lack of range. You can get to and from work no problem but a trip beyond 100 - 200 miles without a charge is out of the question.
    Short-range electric cars are meant for the majority of people (who drive an average of 20 miles per day). Though this wouldn't be an issue for any commuter if the infrastructure matched oil's. Remember how GM, Standard Oil and Bridgestone/Firestone invested HEAVILY (also politically) in getting this infrastructure as ubiquitous as it is in the US... this idea spread to Europe, but was harder to implement wherever things were already ancient and built for narrow carts, bikes and pedestrians.

  7. #32
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    I'll pop in amidst the spam & say thanks re: the diesel answers

    Now you guys can go back to arguing your points that I can't understand LOL


    Michelle

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    Hooray - in related news, the UK have announced 8 new nuclear power stations, despite all the FUD surrounding Fukushima & Japan. A step in the right direction! Hopefully we will build more in the future.

  9. #34
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    If emissions were all the problem I'd maybe be for nuclear energy.

    I won't be until they solve the leftover/waste problem. It's full of energy: I want them to use it instead of pouring concrete all over it and throwing it in the ocean or burying it or blasting it into space and calling that a "solution". It's no more a solution than burying our garbage. Well, except if/when garbage leaks, that's not nearly as bad.

    In Petten they've reduced the half-life of the waste to 300 years. While way more awesome than 1000 years or whatever, but so far as I know only being done at Petten, which is an experimental/research nuke station.

  10. #35
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    Yeh. It is possible to use the waste, just quite expensive. Although I see nothing wrong with burying it - it isn't all that much (a warehouse full or 2 for a country this size over 75 years probably), and it isn't that difficult to just put it in a protected area and keep people from going in, especially for all the benefits you get (zero carbon after building, highest efficiency, cheapest per unit of electricity in total). Is burying it / storing it really as big an issue as people make out? Especially if they are using old / abandoned coal mines for it like they are here I think. Just make it secure, seal it off and make sure noone goes in, job done.

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    Just make it secure, seal it off and make sure noone goes in, job done.
    Then I require we spend the bazillions necessary to make it earthquake proof. People make assumptions like "New Zealand isn't geologically active" and then suddenly whoops now we have all these seismometers everywhere showing that actually it's practically ALL fault lines. Whoops.

    And also spend on being prepared for what-if scenarios. So that for example say there was nothing Japan could have done about their reactors (it happens, nobody can control everything anyway)... fine, but so there's no way now to remove all tehe radioactivity from all the groundwater and soil? Someone somewhere was surely begging for grant money to continue research into ways to clean that stuff up for decades and maybe only in the last few months has actually gotten any attention. It always takes a disaster doesn't it? Guess that sucks for paleontologists, unless we ever get invaded by space dinosaurs... but anyway...

    Basically if we take on the responsibility of nuclear power we'd better be damn ready and willing to completely pay for it.

    ...the way we're still not willing to pay the true cost of the other fuels: what people pay at the pump, oh they complain, but it's a FRACTION of the true total cost. (plus they always seem to forget all the taxes they pay going to subsidies, so we'll leave that out for now)

    We're so used to our cheap fuel. When we finally get around to valuing it the way we should, we'll finally accept that we need to pay a lot for it. Until then, we'll take whatever way seems cheaper because we're just used to that. I expect people to take shortcuts with anything they can. They will with nuclear power as they have with everything else, because that's simply how human beings work.

    Hippies living in their solar powered homes quickly learn to stop just automatically throwing the light switch and then forgetting to turn it off. The rest of us? No thought at all.

    In any case, I would totally support my tax money going to more and serious research in getting energy from stuff like spent fuel rods. Seriously burying that is such a waste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Then I require we spend the bazillions necessary to make it earthquake proof.
    You mean like how the Yucca mountain facility was planned to be smack dab in the middle a caldera chain criss-crossed by faults? Cost billions of dollars already and nothing's even been stored there yet -- if ever with Odumba canceling all it's funding, leaving the US with no long term radioactive waste storage? (unless you count the WIPP, which won't accept 90% of nuclear waste produced? Let's just stack it all up outdoors next to the plants!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    Hooray - in related news, the UK have announced 8 new nuclear power stations, despite all the FUD surrounding Fukushima & Japan. A step in the right direction! Hopefully we will build more in the future.
    I agree... I hope they are clean Thorium (molten salt) reactors which can not melt down and can not be weaponized. Also Thorium reactors can be fueled by nuclear waste which would be handy.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    If emissions were all the problem I'd maybe be for nuclear energy.

    I won't be until they solve the leftover/waste problem. It's full of energy: I want them to use it instead of pouring concrete all over it and throwing it in the ocean or burying it or blasting it into space and calling that a "solution". It's no more a solution than burying our garbage. Well, except if/when garbage leaks, that's not nearly as bad.

    In Petten they've reduced the half-life of the waste to 300 years. While way more awesome than 1000 years or whatever, but so far as I know only being done at Petten, which is an experimental/research nuke station.
    Three words.... Molten Salt reactor. Also known as Thorium reactors, they are melt down proof, cannot be weaponized and can be fueled by nuclear waste.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    You mean like how the Yucca mountain facility was planned to be smack dab in the middle a caldera chain criss-crossed by faults? Cost billions of dollars already and nothing's even been stored there yet -- if ever with Odumba canceling all it's funding, leaving the US with no long term radioactive waste storage? (unless you count the WIPP, which won't accept 90% of nuclear waste produced? Let's just stack it all up outdoors next to the plants!)
    I have no idea about the situation in the US but I imagine it's all very political there as the US is generally pretty anti-nuclear, even though it is the most sensible option at the moment.

    I'm not saying it doesn't have its problems (and yet noone has suffered any ill consequences from Fukushima still), but the cons are easily outweighed by the pros as far as nuclear goes. It's the only way to meet the increasing demand for energy - fossil fuels WILL run out or become economically unsustainable in time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Short-range electric cars are meant for the majority of people (who drive an average of 20 miles per day). Though this wouldn't be an issue for any commuter if the infrastructure matched oil's. Remember how GM, Standard Oil and Bridgestone/Firestone invested HEAVILY (also politically) in getting this infrastructure as ubiquitous as it is in the US... this idea spread to Europe, but was harder to implement wherever things were already ancient and built for narrow carts, bikes and pedestrians.
    Yes but did you look at the link to "A Better Place": Better Place | The Global Provider of EV Networks and Services.

    Renault is building the cars and the infrastructure for real electric cars is being built in Denmark and Israel. They're also planning or running tests in San Fransisco and using the technology in taxi cabs in Japan. There may be others but those are the ones I read about. I think it's the real deal.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Yeh, I think it is linked to in the 2nd post of this thread. I did read about the Israel thing a year or so ago, about them taking the opportunity to go electric while their infrastructure is in its infancy almost. Interesting to hear Denmark are jumping on board as well. Shame the UK won't put money into an infrastructure here :/ Would love that.

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    I will prefer Hybrid Cars over electric cars because hey are environment friendly.

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    I think this technology can help reduce the vehicule's fuel consumption by 20 to 40% and therefore also reduces the emission of pollutants and CO2 and preserve our environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    Yeh, I think it is linked to in the 2nd post of this thread. I did read about the Israel thing a year or so ago, about them taking the opportunity to go electric while their infrastructure is in its infancy almost. Interesting to hear Denmark are jumping on board as well. Shame the UK won't put money into an infrastructure here :/ Would love that.
    Yeah, I think it would be ideal for the UK too...

    The guys at Better Place understand that because "Big Oil" is good at lobbying government they have to work at that level too. They don't start with building a car and service stations, they start with government and a plan. Then once they get the government on board, they approach the auto makers. The oil infrastructure is deeply embedded and the only way out is by making it as as good or better with an electric.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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    SitePoint Member make money 100's Avatar
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    I am am also of the opinion that hybrid vehicles with hydrogen cells are the way to go with maybe a 50 mile Range emergency Back up electric battery that would charge itself via a dynamo while under the influence of the hydro cell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty
    You mean like how the Yucca mountain facility was planned to be smack dab in the middle a caldera chain criss-crossed by faults? Cost billions of dollars already and nothing's even been stored there yet -- if ever with Odumba canceling all it's funding, leaving the US with no long term radioactive waste storage? (unless you count the WIPP, which won't accept 90% of nuclear waste produced? Let's just stack it all up outdoors next to the plants!)
    Yeah, disasters like that happen when people who know nothing about a subject are required to make actual decisions about it (politicians can't be experts in everything).

    Why I believe we'll lose net neutrality too. It's a series of tubes! I got an internet on Friday, but I didn't see it until Monday! Because people are asking for smut videos and it's not a big truck, it gets full! Tubes!

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    The thing is, for all the noxious sulfur oxides it delivers significantly more power per gallon both due to the chemical differences of the fuel and the efficiency of the the diesel engine. That's a hefty part of why it's been the fuel of choice for heavy haulers for ages; It can deliver way more torque which means less fuel to get yourself up to speed and stay there on heavy loads. Tractor-tailors, farm tractors, military tanks, heavy transports -- if you can extract more power per gallon and the price isn't that different, it's a bargain... and can even pollute less. That's something the "emissions are everything" people often miss (yes California, I'm looking at you) is that they always talk pollution per gallon instead of pollution per mile or more importantly, pollution per mile per ton. See diesel trains, another area where electric is cute, but diesel is cheaper and in the grand scheme of things pollutes less.

    Though what's probably really confusing you is the term biodiesel. The diesel engine can run on a great many different fuels -- right down to left over deep fry oil from restaurants if you filter it first.
    In Europe, at least, diesel cars now make up about half of all cars sold new. This is a result of the direct injection diesel engines that were developed in the mid-90s and now available in most cars, from small runabouts to large luxury saloons. My current car and my last two have been diesels, because they are so much cheaper to run and (in my view, which I know Top Gear doesn't share) so much nicer to drive.

    Compared with the petrol engined version with a similar horsepower, my car has 70% more torque, which improves the driving experience immeasurably (particularly when lugging heavy loads, driving on hilly roads and overtaking), uses 35% less fuel and gives 35% less CO2 out the back. Unfortunately it's difficult to find published figures on NOx emissions, but with the particulate filters that are now standard, it's a world away from diesel engines of old.

    There used to be a garage a few miles away that sold biodiesel (I think they made it themselves from rapeseed oil), which was about the same price as regular diesel, gave similar performance and fuel economy, but was much, much cleaner in terms of emissions. Unfortunately, because cars running on biodiesel are so difficult to start in the winter, they were losing trade for 3 or 4 months of the year and so closed down. Now I'm not aware of anywhere selling biodiesel, although one local chain uses a 10% blend. I think it's a real wasted opportunity that we aren't using more agricultural land to produce biodiesel there's plenty to go around even in a crowded country like Britain as well as recycling used cooking oil and waste. I don't know why we aren't using more of it.

    The stats suggest that pure biodiesel increases NOx emissions by up to 10% compared to regular diesel, but at the same time reduces other pollutants by more than 50% (although this is from a study several years ago, so things may have improved). Is NOx really that much worse than other pollutants that that's a bad trade-off?

    Studies seem to show that hybrids can be great around town, but when you're doing most of your driving on highways, all you're doing is lugging a big heavy lump of lead around in a normal car, with the exact effect on fuel economy that you would expect that to have. I do most of my driving on the open road, and very little in stop-start urban traffic, so a hybrid doesn't seem like the solution to me. I like the fact that I can drive 600 miles and then refuel in under a minute given the number of days where I'm driving more than 100 miles, and that I don't have a convenient garage or carport where I could plug it in, a car that needs to be refueled/recharged more frequently than that and takes more than a minute to do is not one that I want.

    What's clear from the thread is that there is no easy answer on what type of fuel is best for the environment there may not even be one single answer, depending on how you assess the impact. What is equally clear is that until and unless an eco-car can be made that matches the convenience, cost and drivability of current petrol/diesel cars, it will only serve the tiniest of niche markets.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Yup, my next car will likely be a diesel, got a petrol car at the moment.

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    I own a Honda Civic Hybrid that is 6 years old and has 150k miles, been driven ALL over the place. It used to average 42 mpg, but, now only averages 35mpg. I love it when I have to get our CA expensive gas and it is still less cash outgo than my Nissan.

    My concern with all electric is that my CA Pacific Gas & Electric Bill is ENORMOUS despite redoing everything to low power. I do not think I can afford an electric car as it is much higher than our gas bill.

    I do like the hydrogen, but I really hate the oil companies. So hopefully my hybrid will keep on ticking for a few more years while they figure it out. Wish we would spend money on alternate energy sources and quit the useless Afghan "war"


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