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Old 07-20-2014, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAllenDoudna View Post
All that big long post of yours boils down to a difference of 5%.
If that's all you got out of it, then you definitely missed the point. None of your criticisms were relevant to EVs and several were just false. And at the very least, the fact that in 2013 we were already at twice the alternative energy production rate as you quoted, and that the trend is strongly upward, was definitely worth noting.

Quote:
Oh, wait: You did say something about the enormous advances in electric cars of today over what they were in the 1960s and 1970s. Ah yes! Back then they had a range of 25 miles whereas today they have a range of 50 miles.
The range on the Tesla S with 85 kWh battery is EPA rated at 265 miles. Tesla rates it at 300 miles.

Quote:
I might point out that gasoline powered cars back then got 15 miles to the gallon and today they get 30 miles to the gallon.
The Tesla S energy usage is EPA rated as equivalent to 89 mpg (88 city, 90 hwy), roughly 3X as energy efficient as average gasoline cars.

Quote:
But of course the original post was about the Tesla that will go a little over 200 miles on a charge. That is indeed a tremendous advance over the 1967 Amitron that could only go 150 miles on a charge.
At 50 miles per hour, yes. In a flimsy handbuilt concept car, not freeway friendly, which was little more than a glorified golf cart that would only hold three adults, on blow-up air-seats (to save weight), using ni-cad batteries for acceleration which are only good for about 200 charge/discharge cycles.

Let's just look at a couple of key comparisons between the Amitron and a Tesla S...

Performance: Amitron 0-50 in 20 seconds; Tesla 0-60 5.4 secs (Amitron clearly fails the "Will it merge?" test)
Passengers: A- 3 adults; T- 5 adults + optional seat for 2 children
Length: A- 85"; T- 196"
Curb weight: A- 1,100#; T- 4,647#
Crash worthiness; A- nil; T- Highest US crash test scores ever recorded
Production volume: A- 0; T - 31,584 through March 2014
Motor: A- DC Traction; T- Liquid cooled variable frequency AC motor

As I said previously, it's a bit like comparing a transistor radio and a phone from 1967 with today's smartphones. The basic functionality is kinda sorta the same, but in practice nobody would put them in the same class at all.

Hey, if you want to look up historical precedents, check out Ferdinand Porsche's very first design, in the late 1800s. It was the ancestor of the Prius, with a gasoline engine driving a generator, which charged the batteries, which drove electric motors at the wheels for propulsion. But it was more than 100 years before that design concept became commercially available as the Prius. Why? Because it took sophisticated computer control to make a car the public would drive, and that took a heckuva lot of development in many technical arenas to make it practical.

If you want to look at some more also-rans, here's a list of an additional 22 "concepts and "prototypes" besides the Amitron that also failed to launch. As opposed to the very real and very practical Tesla, which is currently being manufactured at a rate of about 700 per month, with a waiting list of about a year.

Document Display | NSCEP | US EPA
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If too many people start doing this, no one will be offering to pay their way. He got away with stealing electricity someone else paid for. If he stopped at hotels that offered recharging, then he paid for it.
You did not understand what actually happened.

He didn't steal anything, and he didn't stay at any hotels. He recharged his car at Tesla Supercharger sites, which costs nothing for owners of the 85 kWh models (Standard & Performance).

Owners of the 60 kWh models can purchase the Supercharger package as an option.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Electricity is only clean energy if it's generated as clean energy. If it's generated from coal, you have the mining industry to consider and what it does to the environment. If it's nuclear, you have to consider the cost of nuclear waste. I'm not convinced that electric is the way to go.
As opposed to what? Nothing else comes remotely close.

EPA tests show that the Tesla S is about 3X as energy efficient as a typical gasoline powered auto. Add that to the higher energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions of large generators compared to individual ICE vehicles and there's simply no real question that EVs are better overall for our environment.

And that doesn't even touch on the observation that EVs are inherently lower maintenance than ICE vehicles with their hundreds of parts and lots of reciprocating motion. Teslas, with a single moving part in the motor, and a single gear in the transmission, don't even require any maintenance visits to keep their 4 year vehicle and 8 year battery warranty in effect.

Yes, in a perfect world all the energy production would be non-polluting, but while we're waiting for that utopia to arrive then incremental steps are better than nothing. And at the moment EVs are the most environmentally responsible vehicles available, even when charged by a less than perfect energy source.

Last edited by OpenD; 07-20-2014 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
553 posts, read 478,227 times
Reputation: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
He didn't steal anything, and he didn't stay at any hotels. He recharged his car at Tesla Supercharger sites, which costs nothing for owners of the 85 kWh models.
He just had to pay $70,000 for a car that would otherwise cost half that.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
553 posts, read 478,227 times
Reputation: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
But anyone who studies the facts knows that wind power makes a good complement to solar power because wind is often strongest at night, when solar power is not producing, so they tend to balance each other.
Where did you get that line of malarky from? Did you bother subjecting it to the same nit-picky fact check you did my post?

I went to this website:

Weather History & Data Archive | Weather Underground

scrolled down to the weather graphs and checked the windspeed for the same day every month for the last ten years at a location near the geographic center of the United States. Here's what I found out:

Wind blows whenever it wants to without regard to the time of day or night. If anything, the wind is often stronger during the day than it is at night.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAllenDoudna View Post
He just had to pay $70,000 for a car that would otherwise cost half that.
It's a premium priced luxury sedan, no apologies. Go to a showroom, take a test drive, you'll see why the Tesla S is considered a luxury car. Customers who have paid the price love it, a good sign that their expectations have been met or exceeded. And the prototype for the more affordable model 3, priced at $35,000, which was shown at a press conference last week, will be going into production in 2016.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD
But anyone who studies the facts knows that wind power makes a good complement to solar power because wind is often strongest at night, when solar power is not producing, so they tend to balance each other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAllenDoudna View Post
Where did you get that line of malarky from? Did you bother subjecting it to the same nit-picky fact check you did my post? I went to this website:

Weather History & Data Archive | Weather Underground
scrolled down to the weather graphs and checked the windspeed for the same day every month for the last ten years at a location near the geographic center of the United States. Here's what I found out:
Wind blows whenever it wants to without regard to the time of day or night. If anything, the wind is often stronger during the day than it is at night.
Ahhhh, the ever-popular Argumentum ad Ignorantiam Fallacy (appeal to ignorance) rears its ugly head. That's the old "if i don't know about it, it can't be true" error.

All you did is look at a small number of data points for a single place, with no idea whatsoever whether it is representative of the country as a whole. As it turns out, it's not. That's like drilling a test well for oil in one random place, and then when it comes up dry, concluding that there is no oil to be found in the US.

But the government and academia and the wind energy industry have studied tens of thousands of locations, and analyzed hour-by-hour weather reports in supercomputer simulations, to find the most productive areas in which to locate new wind farms. And their conclusions, to put it simply, are that on average overall wind power, and thus the generation of electricity with wind power, is most powerful at night. That's why the statement I made is axiomatic in the industry.

Quote:
The United States has some of the best wind resources in the world, with enough potential energy to produce nearly 10 times the country's existing power needs. Wind energy is now one of the most cost-effective sources of new generation, competing with new installations of coal, gas and nuclear power.
.....
Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Solar energy can be used for generating electricity, and for hot water heating and solar cooling. Solar energy is produced when the sun is shining during the day and is complementary to wind energy, which tends to reach its highest production at night.

http://www.cleanlineenergy.com/techn...wind-and-solar
To get deeper into the science, if you care to, the following detailed report on an extensive study from Stanford University explores the possibility of powering the State of California entirely from renewable energy sources, primarily solar during the day, wind during the night, and hydro and geothermal to smooth supply vs demand fluctuations and fill in as needed. Among all the color charts and graphs and data tables with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, you'll find many ways of expressing the simple truth that when measuring over a broad area solar power production hits its peak around noon each day, while wind power hits its peak around midnight.

Quote:
An alternative method for selecting wind and solar capacities—though less rigorous—is to
optimize the entire portfolio around July, the most demanding month for load-matching. We first
select a wind capacity such that the geothermal and wind generation together exactly meet
demand at midnight (when wind generation is near maximum and demand is near minimum).

Given our estimated July 2020 demand, this wind capacity is 37,013 MW. The solar capacity is
then scaled up until it also just meets demand, which occurs just before noon
because of the
shapes of demand and solar supply curves.

http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/j...osteFinalDraft
And by the way, in terms of malarkey, the following statement is my nomination for the most nonsensical statement I've seen posted yet on this subject... "Wind blows whenever it wants to without regard to the time of day or night."

Need I say it? Yes, unfortunately I suppose I must. The wind doesn't want anything. The wind has no mind, no intention, no will. It's a complex geophysical phenomenon, driven by the sun's radiated energy heating up air and earth and water, and then that heat being released in alternating cycles as the earth turns. With minor exceptions, almost the entirety of the global weather system is powered by the sun. And in a remarkable natural symmetry that we can capitalize on, the peak in average wind energy occurs at the opposite side of the daily cycle from the peak in solar energy. That's why they are so complementary.

Last edited by OpenD; 07-20-2014 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
553 posts, read 478,227 times
Reputation: 559
Well OpenD (or should we say Closed Mind?) I have done what you seem not to have done: I have been on both sides of this Issue--a good 20 years on each side, in fact. Wind and solar are well and fine--on a small scale for the homeowner who wants it--but the idea that these could seriously power our economy is fantacy. California is a good example. Much of the state is highly favorable to solar power. Nowhere else in the country has the drive for Alternative Energy been stronger. California has top-notch universities and engineering firms that attract the best minds who strongly support Alternative Energy. No other state government has given Alternative Energy such strong support. This has been the case since the late 1960s. One would expect that by now 90% of everything south of San Francisco would be solar powered. Instead conventional sources of power are still very much dominant. Not only that, but California cheats: Coal-fired plants are banned in California--but California buys the entire production from coal-fired plants in Mexico. California will not allow hydro-electric plants in California--but it buys electricity from hydro plants in Oregon and Washington. California will not allow any new nuclear plants in California--but it doesn't mind buying nuclear power from other states. If after 40 years of determined trying California hasn't been able to make Alertative Energy work on a mass-scale don't you suppose it's a bit irrational to suppose all the rest of us can do better?
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
553 posts, read 478,227 times
Reputation: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
All you did is look at a small number of data points for a single place
That single place happens to be in the middle of a region that has been described as "the Saudi Arabia of wind energy".

I think ten years is a reasonable length of time to reveal any trends in the difference between day/night wind speeds.

I gave you the website, go do your own research on 10,000 locations for several decades if that is what you expect a person to do.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAllenDoudna View Post
That single place happens to be in the middle of a region that has been described as "the Saudi Arabia of wind energy".
That doesn't matter. It wasn't even remotely anything like a scientific study of all the available information. It was like uou drilled a hole in somebody's backyard at random but there was no oil, so you think that proves there is no oil in the US. Argumentum ad Ignorantium.

Quote:
I think ten years is a reasonable length of time to reveal any trends in the difference between day/night wind speeds.
For that one particular random weather station, sure. For the country as a whole, not even remotely.

Quote:
I gave you the website, go do your own research on 10,000 locations for several decades if that is what you expect a person to do.
I don't expect anyone to do it for themselves. Not when there are competent professionals who are far better equipped and far better informed to make that evaluation in a reliable and reproducible way.

I gave you a couple of websites, and I can easily give you a dozen more so that you can read the facts for yourself from authoritative sources like Stanford University.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAllenDoudna View Post
Well OpenD (or should we say Closed Mind?)
In fact I have long been known as a free thinker, with an open mind, and I value provable facts and logical analysis above empty rhetoric, bogus claims, and manufactured "evidence," such as that stuff you used a little later in your comment.

Quote:
I have done what you seem not to have done: I have been on both sides of this Issue--a good 20 years on each side, in fact. Wind and solar are well and fine--on a small scale for the homeowner who wants it--but the idea that these could seriously power our economy is fantacy. (sic)
Read back through my previous posts on this. I've linked to reputable sources, as I always do, who say that wind power alone has the potential to supply 10X the current energy needs of this country, and the total power of the sun falling on earth is 71X our entire civilization's total needs. We just need to harness it.

Quote:
California is a good example. Much of the state is highly favorable to solar power. Nowhere else in the country has the drive for Alternative Energy been stronger. California has top-notch universities and engineering firms that attract the best minds who strongly support Alternative Energy. No other state government has given Alternative Energy such strong support. This has been the case since the late 1960s. One would expect that by now 90% of everything south of San Francisco would be solar powered.
That would be an unreasonable expectation unsupported by the historical facts. There were a lot of reasons why initial investments in renewable energy resources were slow in coming... uncertainty in new technologies and high costs compared with legacy systems being chief among them, along with low prices for cheap but dirty energy from fossil fuel sources. But now that we're dealing with far more reliable Gen II wind technology, and solar PV prices have dropped 80% over the last 5 years, and the need to decrease CO2 emissions has become ever more insistent, the number of alternative energy installations are finally growing rapidly. That, coupled with low financing costs and various incentives is driving a mushrooming market for alternative energy power generation.

Quote:
Instead conventional sources of power are still very much dominant. Not only that, but California cheats: Coal-fired plants are banned in California--but California buys the entire production from coal-fired plants in Mexico.
Yep, but they're also buying wind power from Mexico, which also has abundant wind resources and is working hard to build out new wind farm projects to capitalize on that...

Quote:
Several wind projects are in development in Baja California and southern Mexico. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca has especially favorable wind resources and has been a focus of government efforts to increase wind capacity. The Oaxaca II, III, and IV wind projects came online in the first half of 2012, and are due to be joined by the Oaxaca I and La Venta III projects later in 2014 to early 2015. Each project phase includes just over 100 MW of capacity. In Baja, Sempra International is developing the Energía Sierra Juarez (ESJ) wind farm. The electricity from this farm will be exported to the United States on a new transmission line. The 156-MW first phase of ESJ will be completed in 2014. ESJ's long-term development plan includes additional phases, with a potential total capacity of over 1.2 GW. With these developments, Mexico is poised to become one of the world's fastest-growing wind energy producers.

Mexico - Analysis - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Quote:
California will not allow hydro-electric plants in California--but it buys electricity from hydro plants in Oregon and Washington.
This is typical of the phony baloney pronouncements that I am so opposed to in these debates. You just dropped that into your comment as if it were a fact, without listing any references, but on investigation it's simply not true. Of course hydro-electric plants are allowed in California. There are over 300 of them with capacities over 100 kWh each registered with the state. But how many less informed people would have caught that glaring error?

Quote:
California's record drought has parched crops, but hasn't yet dimmed lights or choked the flow of electricity, even though the Golden State, with more than 300 dams, has long been a hydroelectricity leader among U.S. states.
....
California has hundreds of hydroelectric plants that use the water in the state's rivers and streams to generate primary power -- 343, in fact, in a list the state provides of generators larger than 100 kilowatts in capacity. All told, and excluding facilities that are entirely devoted to things like pumped storage or recovering waste energy as water pressure is restricted in pipelines, California's large and small hydro generating capacity totals upward of 10,500 megawatts.

California Drought Dries Up Hydro, But Power Stays On
Quote:
If after 40 years of determined trying California hasn't been able to make Alertative Energy work on a mass-scale don't you suppose it's a bit irrational to suppose all the rest of us can do better
What's irrational is to overlook the proven fact that current alternative energy installations are booming. As I detailed in another thread, the City of Austin, Texas public utility just signed a 25 year contract to buy up to 150 megawatts of commercial solar generated electricity from a third party for slightly under 5 cents per kWh, lower than the expected costs from coal, gas, or nuclear power sources. What's most remarkable to me is that nearly 30 other companies bid on the contract at very similar terms.

Cheapest Solar Ever? Austin Energy Buys PV From SunEdison at 5 Cents per Kilowatt-Hour : Greentech Media

And here where I live in Hawai'i County, our local island utility, HELCO, reports that they are currently buying over 40% of the electricity they sell from renewable energy sources, and they are on track to blast through 50% next year, while the rest of the state is currently closing in on 15%, on the way to a meta-goal of reaching 100% renewable energy self-sufficiency in the state.

Hawaii Electric Light: Net Energy Metering for Hawaii Island

Alternative Energy Sources

It can be done, it just needs the commitment to do it. Finally that commitment is beginning to be expressed, and the pace is speeding up. As the facts show.
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