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Old 07-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #41 (permalink)
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You are quoting the average efficiency.

Originally Posted by ConnClark View Post
The efficiency of 33% is the efficiency of a typical Rankine cycle power plant (where most electricity is generated in the US).

I do not disagree with many of your arguments against EV (electric vehicle ) applications in the present. But, understand that electric power production is changing and will be much different in the future.

The current 33% average is because of large numbers of single stage Rankine cycle power plants in use. Basic upgrades such as reheat and reuse of the "wet" steam in a second steam turbine can increase efficiency by several percentage points. Even more energy can be extracted by the addition of a "steam cycle turbine" utilizing refrigerants that can extract power from the low quality exhausting steam. Even more so, a gas turbine utilizing natural gas or gassified coal can be used to generate power and provide high enough quality heat to a Rankine cycle turbine.

As market pressures and legislation effect greater cleanliness and efficiencies in our power generation, so will EV's benefit.

Of course fossil fuels are finite. Electrical generation will become increasingly nuclear and renewable in its forms. I am quite sure you will not argue with that. The beauty of the electric vehicle is it's ability to grow along with our power generation. It is better to develop our EV capabilities now, while our power generation transitions.

Or we can leave it to our children and children's children to fight over the shrinking easy oil and finite shale oil. Sure, they can extend the fossil energy period by mining the oceans for gas and oil. They may even mine the deep sea methane hydrate deposits. But the bottom line is, they will run out of fossil energy sooner than later.

Would it be better to develop the electric propulsion that can bridge the fossil to renewable gap better than the ICE (internal combustion engine ) can? It is far easier to produce renewable electricity than renewable liquid fuels.

I can see Plug in EV's that can use the grid for most short range travel and commute. The grid WILL get more efficient and renewable.

I can see Long ranging transports utilizing solid oxide fuel cells and making better use of modest amounts of bio derived liquid fuels.

The power to weight advantage of liquid fuels would still be used by air transport.

These technologies can easily transition to when clean nuclear becomes abundant. Along with increasingly efficient ICE's, we can use various technologies to carry us until clean nuclear arrives. ICE's will still have a place, but it will take a back seat to electric drives.

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