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Old 07-02-2013, 01:30 PM   #31 (permalink)
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The science behind the idea is sound.

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Originally Posted by t vago View Post
The economics behind the idea is not. Carbon dioxide content in the air is very small. Condensing it is energy intensive. This idea would have to be coupled with a large carbon source - such as a coal fired power plant. Yes, bio derived sources could also be used, but then you run into those limitations.

It all comes down to options. As in the video someone posted about the actor Ed Bagley Jr., the actor gives a good answer - multiple renewable sources will be needed, not just a single silver bullet.

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Old 07-02-2013, 02:09 PM   #32 (permalink)
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You're making the assumption that energy conversion is 100% efficient for electrical production. In reality its only about 33% on average. If you want to take from that the Grid losses of about 5% and consider batteries are only 85 to 90% efficient with charging and about 90 to 95% efficient discharging. All said and done it puts you right back at the same efficiency of a standard car (Note there are other losses that could be considered too).
The numbers you have presented for electric efficiency do not boil down to 33%, which (probably not coincidentally) is the approximate efficiency of a typical gasser, except for all the inefficiencies of producing the fuel (not insignificant.)
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:16 PM   #33 (permalink)
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The numbers you have presented for electric efficiency do not boil down to 33%, which (probably not coincidentally) is the approximate efficiency of a typical gasser, except for all the inefficiencies of producing the fuel (not insignificant.)
The efficiency of 33% is the efficiency of a typical Rankine cycle power plant (where most electricity is generated in the US).
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Not that I am against it, but it seems less advanced than other leading technologies, and ICEs still have serious efficiency issues compared to electric.
In other words, let's abandon altogether something that's primitive, because ICEs are bad.

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Fuel cells are a potential replacement for the ICE and could make use of liquid fuel more efficiently.
Fuel cells have been a potential replacement for the ICE for close to 30 years now. They're about as much worth in my book as all these other exotic replacements for the ICE that are "still in development, but will be ready Any Day Now."
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #35 (permalink)
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The efficiency of 33% is the efficiency of a typical Rankine cycle power plant (where most electricity is generated in the US).
Fair enough. It was my mistake thinking they were more efficient than that. Sad that energy conversion efficiency of fossil fuels is so low, and really makes the case stronger for renewables.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #36 (permalink)
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That seems ironic considering petroleum use is the core issue. From my perspective you are losing the forest for the trees.
The irony is lost, that people here are vehemently defending electric vehicles and denying that they have a larger carbon footprint than the ICE vehicles they are to replace.

Somebody here mentioned aluminum and copper as "rare earth metals", for instance (I'll quote, this time, so that the quotation doesn't mysteriously disappear)

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The other argument in that link is that EV's use large amounts of rare metals... sure, but so do gasoline cars! gasoline cars use about as much aluminum in the engine block as the Leaf has in aluminum body panels, the copper in the motor for the Leaf is about as much copper as a single run of outlets in your house, but you don't have an issue with having outlets in your house, do you??? There is also a few pounds of copper in the starter and alternator of your gasoline car... why is that copper ok but the copper in an electric motor in an EV is bad!
The problem isn't with easily recyclable copper or aluminum. The problem is with that nasty lithium in EV batteries. It takes a lot of energy to extract lithium from the ground, for instance, because lithium does not occur naturally in elemental form. The lithium must be handled carefully, because it's kind of reactive. Car batteries made with lithium must be made explosion-proof, which both makes the battery more complex and reduces their maximum energy density (which, incidentally, raises the price even more). Oh, yah... nobody's recycling lithium batteries because it's too expensive to reprocess the battery! However, let's pat each other on the back instead, for figuring out clever insults about "Uhmuricans!"

And what about motors? The EV motor approaches 90% efficiency, true. But that has to rely on a power plant which will typically get about 35% efficiency from burning petroleum. Oh, and let's count the distribution grid, which will zap out another 5%. Charging? Say buh-bye to another 10%. All of a sudden, EVs aren't that much more efficient than ICEs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:02 PM   #37 (permalink)
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The irony is lost, that people here are vehemently defending electric vehicles and denying that they have a larger carbon footprint than the ICE vehicles they are to replace.

Somebody here mentioned aluminum and copper as "rare earth metals", for instance (I'll quote, this time, so that the quotation doesn't mysteriously disappear)



The problem isn't with easily recyclable copper or aluminum. The problem is with that nasty lithium in EV batteries. It takes a lot of energy to extract lithium from the ground, for instance, because lithium does not occur naturally in elemental form. The lithium must be handled carefully, because it's kind of reactive. Car batteries made with lithium must be made explosion-proof, which both makes the battery more complex and reduces their maximum energy density (which, incidentally, raises the price even more). Oh, yah... nobody's recycling lithium batteries because it's too expensive to reprocess the battery! However, let's pat each other on the back instead, for figuring out clever insults about "Uhmuricans!"

And what about motors? The EV motor approaches 90% efficiency, true. But that has to rely on a power plant which will typically get about 35% efficiency from burning petroleum. Oh, and let's count the distribution grid, which will zap out another 5%. Charging? Say buh-bye to another 10%. All of a sudden, EVs aren't that much more efficient than ICEs.
You are still conveniently forgetting how conducive electric vehicles are to renewable sources of electricity. At that point the efficiency advantage is quite obvious.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:29 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Renewable sources will depend on where, who, what and how much. Hydro IS limited, due to ecological, economic and etceteric concerns, and what we have already tapped is probably what we will still be tapping thirty years from now (as long as the reservoirs haven't silted up). Solar is getting cheaper, but supply and the ability to create large scale solar is not there, not quite yet. And Solar panels don't last forever. About 30-35 years at decent efficiency. Wind has myriad problems. Wave power we've been fiddling with for decades, but it is proving nearly as troublesome as wind. Geothermal... ooh. I like geothermal. But it's limited in scope.

Not that we should stop pursuing these, but EROEI and plain $RO$I for these different types of plants should also be considered. So far, hydroelectric is the best, but it is difficult to implement in the face of the need to create more great reservoirs to power it.

I like electric. I hope we can approach a point where most of our inner-city transport is electric. (levelling out the pollution, yeah). But tomorrow's fleet will have to be an eclectic mix to service our civilization. And, in the end, as the article stated, the more important matter may be changing that civilization in order to minimize the need for personal mechanical transportation, in the first place. Something which I wholeheartedly agree with.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I like electric too. The electric engine is at least 3 times as efficient as the ICE, while gas production is less than 3 times as efficient as electricity production; way less in fact. It is that simple. Going full cycle it is better even if you power the electricity plants with crude oil.
Production capacity and storage are the real problems, and there is where the ICE wins hands down.

If only we could combine the two, maybe make the car generate electricity under braking or when the load is too light on the ICE to run efficiently; and store that in a relatively small battery, to aid acceleration or be able to drive slow on just electricity.
It would use less gas than an ICE on its own and not use the grid at all.
I must be dreaming...
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #40 (permalink)
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If electricity is more inefficient than gasoline, why is it several times cheaper per mile?

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