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Old 11-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #15
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What does it for me is that the Green types that want Electric vehicles because of there eco friendlyness totally overlook the disposal of the batteries once the useful life is over.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:51 PM   #16
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I think the Green effort is not perfect by any means at this point in time, but I do believe it's a step in the right direction ... we can't go on depending on fossil fuel indefinitely.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #17
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With electricity, air pollution can be controlled at a single source for a given area. Not so with IC cars.

And no car on the road was built without subsidies . . none, nada, zero. Never.

Recycling the parts can be a durned sight easier given proper design & construction -- and economic incentives -- than with current IC vehicles.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #18
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I think that the main obstacle to electric vehicles is the ability of Uncle S(c)am to collect road use taxes. Once they figure that out, EV prices will come down and incentives will go up.
Have no fear. We already have on board diagnostic computers, GPS/cell phone communication devices (On Star) built right into cars and trucks.

Next step, using these devices to tax for miles driven, areas driven through during peak traffic times, and the list will go on.

Coming to you sooner than you may think.

George Orwell just had the wrong year.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:05 PM   #19
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...and even though in many if not most cases, somewhere, somehow, fossil fuel emissions were created in the generation of the electricity, the electricity was created in a manner of peak efficiency...transmitted with minimal loss, and burned in the car at near 100% efficiency, which equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 150mpg.
If you have some figures to back this up I'd be interested in seeing them, because I don't believe it.

The thermal efficiency of the generating plant, be it a coal-burning steam plant or a gas-turbine plant burning natural gas, is on the close order of magnitude of that of a car engine--30-40%. But in the case of the electric car there are small but measurable losses in generating the electricity, transmitting it to wherever the car is charged, charging the battery, discharging the battery, and converting the electricity back to shaft horsepower in the electric motor. All these minor losses can easily add up to 30% or more.

So, for example, if your electricity was generated by burning natural gas, it would be more efficient to burn the natural gas directly in the engine of the vehicle. And the compressed natural gas tank would probably weigh less than the battery and electric motor you no longer need.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:08 PM   #20
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Question 100% wind power?

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I get 100% wind power through my electric company- it's an option many are offering.
Do your lights go out when the wind stops blowing?
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:29 PM   #21
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So, for example, if your electricity was generated by burning natural gas, it would be more efficient to burn the natural gas directly in the engine of the vehicle.
.
well, no, because most of it would be wasted out the exhaust pipe, whereas with an electric car, it would be the same very high efficiency at any speed.
Thats why they have diesel-electric (hybrid) trains. Why not just use diesel? because its a big giant waste -thats why.

As far as the other "boondogle" topics go...who do you think built the roads we have today? 100 years ago, there were cars that could go 100mph, but there wasn't anywhere you could actually drive them. If the government hadn't invested in the infrastructure we have, we'd all be riding horses to the nascar races.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #22
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Thats why they have diesel-electric (hybrid) trains. Why not just use diesel? because its a big giant waste -thats why.
Well, no, actually. Locomotives are diesel-electric because they have to accelerate very heavy loads--trains--from a dead stop, which would take a hell of a torque converter. What is needed for that job is a prime mover that generates maximum torque at zero speed. Of which there are two: reciprocating steam engines and electric motors.

As for the rest of your post, you clearly can't answer my question, so I won't trouble you further.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #23
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If you have some figures to back this up I'd be interested in seeing them, because I don't believe it.

The thermal efficiency of the generating plant, be it a coal-burning steam plant or a gas-turbine plant burning natural gas, is on the close order of magnitude of that of a car engine--30-40%. But in the case of the electric car there are small but measurable losses in generating the electricity, transmitting it to wherever the car is charged, charging the battery, discharging the battery, and converting the electricity back to shaft horsepower in the electric motor. All these minor losses can easily add up to 30% or more.

So, for example, if your electricity was generated by burning natural gas, it would be more efficient to burn the natural gas directly in the engine of the vehicle. And the compressed natural gas tank would probably weigh less than the battery and electric motor you no longer need.
.
I think most stationary plants are quite a bit more efficient than a gasoline engine. Typical gas engine efficiencies are in the 25% range with Prius Atkinson cycle engines at about 30%. Throttled gas engines are lower in efficiency as the manifold vacuum rises. A gas engine running at light cruise load is much less efficient than a stationary plant-very likely less than half.

Some diesel engine cars do approach 35-40% efficiency under heavier loads.

Big diesel gensets are now running at over 50% efficiency, without exhaust heat recovery. Steam at 40%.

Also in the hybrid's or electrics favor is the regenerative braking. Since much automotive use is in stop and go situations, recovery of this energy is very desirable. It would be interesting to see other forms of regenerative braking such as hydraulic, flywheel, pneumatic, etc.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:36 PM   #24
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The thermal efficiency of the generating plant, be it a coal-burning steam plant or a gas-turbine plant burning natural gas, is on the close order of magnitude of that of a car engine--30-40%. But in the case of the electric car there are small but measurable losses in generating the electricity, transmitting it to wherever the car is charged, charging the battery, discharging the battery, and converting the electricity back to shaft horsepower in the electric motor. All these minor losses can easily add up to 30% or more.

So, for example, if your electricity was generated by burning natural gas, it would be more efficient to burn the natural gas directly in the engine of the vehicle. And the compressed natural gas tank would probably weigh less than the battery and electric motor you no longer need.
.
Modern Rankine cycle power plants are approximately 50% efficient overall. Car engines are much less so at their normal utilization level, since the engine has to be oversized to meet hill-climbing and ego-enhancing requirements....

For example, a mid size car might have 15 hp drag at 60 mph. If cars were truly 40% efficient, that would be:

15 hp * 2544. btu/hp-hr * 1 gallon gas/125500 btu/.40 eff = .76 gallons/hr, or nearly 80 mpg. Actual efficiency numbers are prob. closer to 28% or so rather than 40%.

Electric cars, even when powered by fossil fuel plants, are more efficient than burning gas in traditional cars, and the pollution generated is far less since it's much easier to control steady state emissions than that of small power plants that are always starting and stopping.

Today, electrics are not suitable for everyone.... but an electric car w/ a 100 mile range would certainly handle the vast majority of my trips, including my 40 mile round trip commute (when I don't do it on the bicycle).

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Old 11-20-2010, 11:49 PM   #25
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Nicely put barts.

Lets look at one other example, the Prius.

In spite of carrying hundreds of pounds of batteries, and the inefficiencies of charging/discharging and the associated circuitry, the Prius clearly burns 20-40% less fuel than a comparable 1800 cc car under nearly all conditions.

Two main reasons-
1. Regenerative braking.
2. The propulsion scheme allows the gasoline engine to run at higher loads, under a more favorable RPM spread when its running, putting it into a higher range of efficiency.

Deeply throttled engines, or engines running at a fraction of their capacity are typically not efficient.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:11 AM   #26
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Modern Rankine cycle power plants are approximately 50% efficient overall.
For what it's worth, Wikipedia would beg to differ with you,

Quote:
Typical thermal efficiency for electrical generators in the industry is around 33% for coal and oil-fired plants, and up to 50% for combined-cycle gas-fired plants.
Fossil fuel power station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That is, 33% for straight Rankine-cycle plants and 50% for combined cycle plants using a gas turbine front end (Brayton cycle) followed by a heat recovery boiler and steam turbine. Plants meeting the former description are far more numerous than the latter.

You do have a good point about auto engines operating at reduced efficiency on account of varying power requirements, and regenerative braking is certainly a big plus in urban driving conditions with lots of starts and stops. (If I remember correctly Mercedes Benz was building a hybrid diesel-electric city bus back in the 70s because it made sense, not because of government subsidies.)

Hybrid and electric vehicles make sense for some drivers, but my guess is, not most of us.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:12 AM   #27
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Where are all the spent batteries gonna land eventually? A nice eco landfill?
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:24 AM   #28
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Where are all the spent batteries gonna land eventually? A nice eco landfill?
Sure. That's why you see old Airstreams in the landfill, right?
No? You mean that all that metal is worth something?
Perhaps the hundreds of pounds of metal in the batteries will be
worth recycling as well...

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