The Ergosphere
Saturday, June 23, 2018
 

Energy Central just killed The Energy Collective

Management will no longer allow anyone who is not an "energy professional".

That's it for everything TEC was.  Gone.  Finito.  And it looks like the archives will never be back on-line either.  Fortunately, The Wayback Machine has a good snapshot of the site just before it went dark.

RIP.




 
Sunday, June 17, 2018
 

Quote without comment

"Our case is based on science, while the opposition is based on political philosophy. When a nation whose welfare is highly dependent on technology makes vital technological decisions on the basis of political philosophy rather than on the basis of science, it is in mortal danger."
Bernard L. Cohen


 
Saturday, June 16, 2018
 

Shredding misconceptions about electricity and motor fuel

And there are one hell of a lot of them out there; few things are so ubiquitous yet opaque to the layman.  Reposting some blog comments in case they are of more general interest:

Ominous Cowherd:
Using Pierre's numbers, 1 gallon of diesel equals 10kWh, so the overnight charge would be 7kWh equals about three quarts.
The EIA says a gallon of diesel is 137452 BTU, or just over 40 kWH(th).  Converted to work in your typical light-duty engine you might get 16 kWh out of it.  Your usual "convenience cord" is capable of 1440 W (120 VAC @ 12 A) so a 7-hour charge can yield as much as 10 kWh from a standard wall outlet.  PHEV batteries have widely varying capacities; the Prius+ has just 4.4 kWh, the Ford Energi models started out at 7.6 kWh and are going up to 9 kWh next year, and the Pacifica plug-in has 16 kWh.  These figures correspond to just over a quart, just under half a gallon and a gallon, respectively.

I used to drive a Passat TDI.  I drove the automatic like a stick and averaged 38 MPG city or highway.  Half a gallon of fuel would take me about 20 miles.  I drive a Fusion Energi now and that's about how far the battery power will take me (depending on speed, terrain and weather of course), so that seems like a pretty fair equivalence.
you spend 18 hours charging to get energy equivalent to roughly 1.2 gallons of diesel per day.
If you had a Chrysler Pacifica charging off a standard wall outlet for 18 hours a day, you'd get up to about 1.6 gallons-equivalent.  Vehicles with smaller batteries would reach full charge and have to stop; the Fusion reaches full in about 5 hours from your garden-variety wall outlet and about 90 minutes on a Level 2 charger.

1.6 gallons a day 250 days a year is 400 gallons-equivalent.  The EPA-rated fuel consumption for the Pacifica hybrid is  32 MPG, so for 15,000 miles/year the expected fuel consumption is about 470 gallons.  Replacing 400 of those gallons with electric power slashes the net fuel requirement by 85%.  My experience is consistent.  The standard drivetrain in my car is rated at 26 MPG, and I'm averaging just over 130 MPG per the dash display.
To compete with IC, you need to be able to drive hundreds of miles, with a heater blasting hot air, then fuel up in a few minutes and do it again. To get a 300 mile range, you need ten times that amount of energy, or more.
You don't need to compete with IC to replace most of your fuel.  Most trips are short trips, and engines are very inefficient when cold.  If you electrify most or all of the short trips and eliminate most of the cold starts, you've eliminated most of the fuel consumption with it.  If you delay the engine starts until the vehicle has left the city, you get rid of the pollution generated in the city.  The engine also warms up faster if run under load, improving the efficiency.
Our existing grid is generally pretty heavily loaded.
Back in 2004 it would have taken ~180 GW to replace all US gasoline and diesel with electricity.  Average electric consumption last year was 458 GW but nameplate generating capacity was 1074 GW.  Some of that is unreliable wind and PV and more is loaded-to-max nuclear and limited hydro, but finding 180 GW in that 616 GW difference wouldn't be all that hard.  Ironically, it would probably be hardest in California which has lots of vehicles but not much electric demand anymore after chasing out so much industry.
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Another owner tries to kill The Energy Collective

It was announced some time ago that The Energy Collective was being taken over by the Power Industry Network (energycentral.com).

Perhaps associated with this, the site had some major slowdowns and technical problems for a week or two.  Then all of a sudden it just went dark, with a message that maintenance was going on.  Now all blog entry links redirect to a page about re-hosting.  Those discussions appear to be toast; nobody will revisit them if they ever re-appear.  This follows the last transfer from the Drupal blog software, in which ham-fisted conversion destroyed most of the formatting (and thus legibility) of existing posts and comments.  Heaven only knows what will be left after this new crew gets done mangling it.

The new owners don't care about human factors like... readability.  Comment text is colored #8D8D8D (very light gray) on a white background.  How are you supposed to read that?  Do these clowns not know anyone who reads?

So far I've seen two new entries and one other comment from other TEC regulars.  We'll see how many of them bother to come back.  I'm betting it won't be many, as they've already found other things to do with their time.

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