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Old 07-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #101 (permalink)
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Maybe they can have solar powered lasers and never land!

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Old 07-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #102 (permalink)
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and maybe they will figure out they don't need humans
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Clearly we all just need to walk and bike every where, but I'm sure the same guy was part of the "study" that found biking to be a huge waste of energy...
Turns out humans waste energy and need to be stopped.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Another interesting article: Swiss Warehouse Helps Buffer the Grid - IEEE Spectrum. The gist being that a warehouse-sized freezer which typically consumes ~500,000kWH/month can be used to balance the demands of a power grid which includes wind and solar power by automatically managing the warehouse refrigerators, using it kind of like a big battery. The warehouse saves money by consuming less electricity (article didn't mention how long it would take to recover the cost of the automation implementation though) and the power company has a way to handle peak demands (or reduced generation due to the renewables) without constructing another power plant.

Of course, the concept is not new news... our local power companies (SMUD and PG&E) - and likely any power companies where this makes sense - have had programs for at least the past 20 years where residential customers can sign up to have their AC unit controlled by the power company (using a remote control box on the unit) during peak demand times... the day before the power company expects a peak demand day (like our recent string of 100+ F days), they will contact the participants of the program (via automated phone, sms, email messages) so that the participants can opt out for the day. If the participant doesn't opt out, the power company will disable the AC unit for up to 1.5hrs on the peak demand day, giving them a 'buffer' during the peak usage times. In return for being a participant, you get a small monthly credit during the summer months, even if your AC never gets cycled off.

All the misguided hullabaloo about Smart Meters notwithstanding, I think the Smart Grid is the direction we *must* go in order to more intelligently manage the power grid so that we can take maximum advantage of power generation, which we know will include more and more renewables. Great opportunities for young folks entering college, BTW...
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:26 PM   #105 (permalink)
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There is merit to a smart grid, if EV's had easily replaceable packs especially.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:36 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
Batteries do not have to double in performance. They do not have to double in capacity. They don't have to have twice the life. They do have to improve in cost. But that cost is NOT tied to the raw lithium. Lithium is scraped off the surface of dry lake beds in many places. It is precipitated from mineral wells. It can be bought in it's oxide form for a few dollars a pound. That means the Li batteries costs are largely tied to design/ development and production. Considering how young the technology is, I am confident there will be a considerable reduction in battery costs. A Li battery for a radio controlled car cost 120 dollars US just 10 years ago. The same battery capacity now costs less than 30 dollars. Nope, Lithium isn't expensive. Design and development is. And the batteries are not going to be consumed if recycling continues at the level of lead batteries. There will be enough Lithium to outfit millions of cars.

But, does everyone need a long range pure electric vehicle? I highly doubt it. This is where the idea of a mix of alternatives comes in. I am sure I can get away with a 25 mile range in a commuter car. High performance lead batteries now on the market could fit that need in the mild weather of San Diego. My long bi weekly trips between San Diego and Palm Springs could be covered by a hybrid. My heavy payload company trucks could run on bio fuels. We will not be leaning on only one source of energy in the future. This will reduce the strain on resources such as lithium. We do not need to replace every drop of transport oil with the equivalent in lithium storage capacity.
10 years ago lithium iron phospate batteries were brand new to the market. They were only invented in 1996.
Over the last 2 years they have not gotten any cheaper.
You could say the same thing about Titanium metal. The ore, titanium oxide is cheap and easy to get (cheap enough to be used in paint) the metal is not cheap and never will be unless you can get free energy.
Another thing that has not gotten cheaper over the years is cars. Since the 1970s the inflation adjusted price of the car has almost trippled.
The price of wood has almost doubled since I graduated high school, but inflation has only caused the buying power of the dollar to drop by about a thrid.

What besides electronics and patented items have gotten cheaper and stayed cheaper over the years?

I was not talking about grossly over sized batteries, just 20 to 40KwH.
No one is going to buy a car with 25 miles of range. Would 25 miles work for a lot of people, yeah but selling a vehicle that only meets 1 or 2 criteria (driving to/from work and going to the grocery store) isn't enough to sell a production line mass produced vehicle.

Lead is the most recycled metal by far, even with 99% of lead being recycling there is a projected lead shortage about 40 years from now.

Speaking of recycling, when my lithium batteries give up the ghost where do I recycle them?
I find old abandoned lead batteries and take them to the scrap yard and get 15 cents a pound, cant do that with Lithium.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think the Smart Grid is the direction we *must* go in order to more intelligently manage the power grid so that we can take maximum advantage of power generation, which we know will include more and more renewables. Great opportunities for young folks entering college, BTW...
Power transmission losses are only around 11%.
How many billions of dollars that we don't have should we spends to reduce transmission losses by a few percent?

Most of the same effect could be reached by localizing power production and not doing what california does, buying power from out of state.

The smart grid and smart meters are only a bandaid for the real problem, not keeping up with demand. Demand that comes from growth.
Localizing power production fixes both problems reducing transmission losses and increasing capacity.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Sorry, you lost me there... Smart Grid has to do with being able to manage the power grid more intelligently than it is being managed today. Whether the power generation is being done local or not, a grid that can respond intelligently to distribute the available power is still going to be needed.

To the best of my knowledge, Smart Grid (or Meters) has nothing (specifically) to do with reducing power transmission losses.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Speaking of recycling, when my lithium batteries give up the ghost where do I recycle them?
I find old abandoned lead batteries and take them to the scrap yard and get 15 cents a pound, cant do that with Lithium.
Took a few moments of googling to find this:Rechargeable Batteries near Ottawa, ON, Canada - Recycling Centers - Earth911.com. Typical places: Staples, RadioShack, Lowes, Best Buy, Home Depot.

If it's a car battery (e.g. from an EV), then either the dealership / auto shop that is replacing the battery will take care of it, or if you buy your own replacement then the vendor you buy from will recycle the old ones.

Not that hard, really.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Perhaps I could put it like this: At the current time, in terms of direct costs, extracting and burning fossil fuels as energy sources is generally cheaper to do than it is to obtain the equivalent energy from renewable sources.
I disagree.

This very well could be true in some places ... but it will not be true in others ... because the cost per "equivalent energy" will vary ... for both sides ... the various types of fossil fuels and for the various types of RE... they aren't all fixed costs and outputs , etc.

- - - - - -

But just for one out of millions of possible examples:

PV
It broke to under $1/Watt years ago ... that is not even current time today technology anymore.

That $1/Watt PV that also carries with it a ~80% power warranty for the first 20 years ... Although the rate of PV power loss over time is logarithmic and not linear ... we don't even have to give it that ... we can incorrectly assumed a faster linear loss of power ... and it still is far more massive than people think.

For every 1 Watt of PV ... getting a yearly average of just 5 Hours of Sunlight per day ... incorrectly assuming the faster linear loss rate ... would still be producing ~33 kwh over the first 20 years , ~47kwh by the 30th year , ~61kwh by the 40th year, ~73kwh by the 50th year ... etc.

Now let's look at that "Equivalent Energy" part of it.
To Move a RE-BEV ~80% of the harvested RE gets to the wheels.
To Move a Fossil Fuel ICE ~25% of the harvested Fossil fuel energy gets to the wheels.

In the first 20 years ... during the warranty period the $1/Watt PV harvested about ~33kwh ... 1 Gallon of Fossil fuel like gasoline ICE gets about ~9kwh of energy to the wheels... so unless you are buying your 1 gallon of fossil fuel for ~$0.30 per gallon ... the fossil fuel is significantly more expensive for "Equivalent Energy".

- - - - - -

Now there are other metrics that RE doesn't do as well with ... but for "Equivalent Energy" ... RE wins by a significant Margin.

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