Are electric cars more energy efficient?

Ignoramus28574 wrote:

Yup, a 1960's US design. Only a couple of that vintage are still running in the US, and not for much longer. I think those have been upgraded a bit on their safety systems, while the Fukushima Dai-ichi #1 had relatively few updates. That reactor had damn little provisions for handling a station blackout condition. The others there had pretty good systems (a steam-turbine operated cooler for removal of residual heat) and all that needed to be provided was battery power to keep the valves open. It would have been better design to have the valves stay where they were set on loss of battery power, or have a little gas generator to keep the battery bank charged. I mean, really, a $500 home power generator could have kept units 2 and 3 from blowing up!
I think all US reactors are higher from the sea, lake or river than those were. Putting the plant THAT close to the sea was just complete idiocy, but once you've made such a huge mistake, it is real hard to change that.
Jon
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:30:20 -0500, Jon Elson wrote:
(...)

With exceptions. :)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d / Aerial_San_Onofre_Generating_Station_May_2012.JPG/800px- Aerial_San_Onofre_Generating_Station_May_2012.JPG
--Winston
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I thought SONGS was way the hell up the hill from the sea, Winnie. I lived 16 miles kinda downwind of it for 36 years. But looking at the pic, I see that they carved the cliffs down and set it closer to sea level. It does look to be at risk, but a seawall would fix that in a hurry for only a few dozen million ducats.
Anyway, those cliffs to the right are at least 80' tall, which is why I thought SONGS was elevated. I only hiked 'em once (rt). OK, I see that they're 30' up. http://tinyurl.com/4dkt8ek I think I'd feel safer with an extra 20' seawall, anyway.
-- Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. -- Abraham Lincoln
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2012 20:29:45 -0700, Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

As the limerick goes:"Perhaps it's a trick of perspective..." :)
It sure looks to be only slightly ASL to me, though. (Shudder).

Yes, that is taller than the 19 - footer at Fukushima.... :)
--Winnie
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Yabbut, it's 30'.

Not on the beach, silly, up around the buildings, totaling 50' ASL.
-- Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. -- Abraham Lincoln
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On Fri, 29 Jun 2012 06:36:58 -0700, Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

I'm not certain 50' is enough. Mother Nature is BIG. :)
http://geology.com/records/biggest-tsunami.shtml "Midway between the head of the bay and Cenotaph Island the wave appeared to be a straight wall of water possibly 100 feet high, extending from shore to shore."
--Winston
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On 6/28/2012 3:30 PM, Jon Elson wrote:

Off the top of my head, of that vintage and type reactor, I can think of Oyster Creek, on Oyster Creek (Barnegat Bay) at 43 ft ASL, and the Brunswick plant on the Cape Fear river at 25 ft ASL. I am sure you can find more.
Kevin Gallimore
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The turbo-alternator exciter can become unstable under extremely light loads, like trying to self-power the plant. The Chernobyl disaster was caused by trying to power the reactor off alternator inertia for a minute while the Diesel generators came up to speed. A special exciter was installed to operate at light load. The alternator slowed down, the line frequency dropped, and the cooling pumps slowed down. Due to the insane design of a VERY dangerous plutonium production reactor repurposed as a commercial power plant, it has a positive void coefficient, ie. if the cooling water boils, the reaction rate goes UP!
So, we use fast-start generators and UPS-like back up power for the cooling pumps, plus huge amounts of water in the reactor and negative void coefficients to guarantee thermal stability.

Yes, so MANY poor decisions a disaster was inevitable. Even a major water leak in the plant could have flooded critical safety systems.
Also, the tsunami knocked out the sea water pumps, and 5 of 6 emergency Diesels were water-cooled.
Jon
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If you put a similarly low powered gas engine in a car you could achieve similar efficiency, but it would be only feeble, without the compensating green status appeal. Such cars don't sell well enough. The people who demand them want to force them on someone else. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/07/31/honda-insight-sales-withering-with-competition-from-prius /
My 1978 Accord averaged 36-38 MPG with the interior space of a Saab or BMW. It handled better than my rich buddy's Saab 900 Turbo, too. (but was no match for his BMW 2002)
jsw,
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

Just came back from the CNC Workshop in Ann Arbor, to St. Louis, approx. 525 miles. I did 46 MPG up and back, running at about 70 MPH most of the way. Around town I can get 56 MPG without the air conditioning, but now that it is hotter, about 52 MPG with the A/C. This is a Honda Civic Hybrid.
Jon
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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com says...

That's dollar cost and has little to do with the actual energy consumed. Remember that much of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is taxes. Those same taxes are not currently applied to electric vehicles, but if they become popular those taxes will be.
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Pretty sure Iggy was primarily looking at the situation from an economic standpoint, specifically, the out-of pocket cost per mile traveled.
And besides, you failed to come up with anything that would quantify a diference in the total amount of energy that's actually consumed one way or the other.

An equally valid argument could be made that the cost of gasoline would be much higher, were it not subsidized..
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/06/pictures/120618-large-fossil-fuel-subsidies/#/energy-fuel-subsidies-usa_55109_600x450.jpg

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On Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:36:20 -0700, PrecisionmachinisT wrote:

Correction -- _you_ failed to come up with a figure. The best you could come up with was a multicolor graphic from a bureaucrat written for people who don't understand what energy really is.
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Wrong.
Since both electricity and fossil fuel energy dissipation can be expressed as BTU, it can easily be calculated that in the case of the 4 mile / kwh vehicle, the total energy consumed when expressed as btu works out to be about 853 btu per mile.
Now, we take a look at gasoline...which when burned produces appx 125,000 btu per gallon...and for the purpose of discussion, lets assume a car that gets 30 mpg....what we end up with here is an energy consumption rate that totals out at a whopping 4166 btu /mile.
In other words, with a gasoline powered car, most of the energy that gets consumed, ends up going directly out the tailpipe...
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No, from energy efficiency.
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The glaring error there is ignoring the batteries as an operating cost. http://www.plugincars.com/replacing-ev-batteries-your-costs-will-vary-122261.html
I've tested high-end batteries at Segway and [a medical equipment manufacturer] and seen a small percentage of Lithiums begin to degrade in less than a year. The packs' built-in supervisory computer recorded all charge and discharge cycles, temperature and remaining capacity. The battery maker wouldn't promise more than three years life, regardless of cycle count.
What is your experience with the same battery technologies in power tools and laptops?
Mine isn't good. I have to employ lab tech tricks on the batteries to keep my Makita drills and 5+ year old laptops running.
jsw
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Eventual failure and the subsequent replacement of engines, axles, transmissions and so forth is an "operating cost" with fossil fuel vehicles as well.

As an aside, if recall correctly, probably the biggest problem with batteries is that US lithium extraction is seriously underdeveloped at the moment.

For reasons completely apart from battery performance, typically I use an extension cord and I also have absolutely no desire whatsoever to own a laptop.
That said, it's pretty hard to argue that overall, battery performance hasn't improved quite a bit over the last decade or so

Pretty sure it was someplace on a wiki page where it was mentioned that a decade or so ago, there was quite a bit of fear that battery life might possibly turn out to be a HUGE problem but that what actuallly transpired is that in most cases, battery life has greatly exceeded initial engineering expectations.
Anyways, here's an article probably that lays out the situation fairly accurately :
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1071391_life-after-death-what-happens-when-your-prius-battery-dies
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

Yup, this is Honda's dirty little secret. It looks like they will be replacing a majority of the battery packs in the Honda Civic Hybrid over the course of their 80K mile warranty in the general US, and probably almost all in California with the 100K warranty. Lots of people are troubled with battery degradation and outright failure. One nice feature is the car can still be driven with a failed battery.
The HCH has no cell balancer system, which I think is a big mistake. Not sure if the Prius has this, but they seem to have a lot better luck with their battery system. In the HCH, they are running 100A through Ni-MH D-cells!
Jon
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You forgot to add for petroleum refining losses. Gas manufacture runs around 85% efficiency. That puts your internal combustion engine closer to 24% efficiency. Paul K. Dickman
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Also, your transmission losses are high. According to the EIA electric transmission losses are 7% average nationwide (5.5% here in IL) and are based on total production + imports - direct use -watts sold. So it would include losses at stepdown to 220.
Paul K. Dickman
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