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View Diary: Want to solve Climate Change? Think Different (58 comments)

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  •  The one reason to think beyond batteries is.... (4+ / 0-)

    The resources they consume in their manufacture, and what happens once they have gone through their useful life. Liquid and gas fuels have the advantage that they're relatively easy to store and transport. When a tank empties you just fill it up again.

    If we can come up with a battery that has no limit on the number of times it can be charged and discharged, and if we can continue to improve on the amount of energy they store, that will certainly help.

    Of course as Boeing has found out the hard way, the more power you can pack into a battery, the more careful you need to be about its 'care & feeding' so to speak.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:15:56 AM PDT

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    •  This is one of the reasons (1+ / 0-)
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      se portland

      I haven't considered buying an electric or hybrid. I want to see what happens when they start hitting the end of the battery life.

      Can they have new batteries put in? At what cost? That's going to be a big consideration as they start getting older, and the answer will drive the resale cost of the entire segment.

      They haven't been around long enough yet. See what happens in a few years.

      •  Battery for a hybrid is $2k and $10k for a EV (1+ / 0-)
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        and last 80k-100k miles depending on various factors per manufacturers so at worse this works out to 10 cents per mile in battery loss for EV and 2 cents per mile for a hybrid.
        Gasoline in a 30 mpg car costs about 12 cents per mile
        Electricity in a EV costs about 2 cents per mile.
        Gas in a 45 mpg car costs about 8 cents per mile.
        Therefore a hybrid would save you 12-8=4 cents per mile and an EV  would save  you 12-2=10 cents per mile.

        How much you should pay for a used hybrid that probably needs a battery? If you intend to keep the hybrid for the life of the new battery you'd end up saving 4-2=2 cents per mile. With a used EV you'd end up 10-10=0 cents saved unless you figure in possible higher maintenance costs of operating a gas motor car versus an electric car.

    •  One of the abandoned avenues is flywheel (1+ / 0-)
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      Mass has been an issue with many designs, the failure of a high mass, low RPM flywheel can be catastrophic. But Dr Jack Bitterly, (now deceased), designed a low mass, high RPM, (100,000 RPM), carbon fiber/resin flywheel that was magnetically suspended in a vacuum chamber. Total mass ~ 100 lb/unit. He'd planned 8 units to run a car for 3-400 miles on a charge, but ran into the limits of processor speed, (in 1996), in keeping the flywheel suspended while in motion.

      I always wanted to sidetrack some of the units for stationary use in home power systems, but never got to talk with him. Computers are so much faster now that I think they would probably be able to overcome the grounding out problems, but in any case, stationary applications wouldn't require any more development, just gearing up for production. They were damned near indestructible and since with the magnetic suspension there was no friction or wear, they had an extremely long working life, with no recycling issues.

      Last I heard his son was working in Idaho somewhere. He is probably the last one who knows how to manufacture the high RPM wheels.

      Bitterly's Flywheels, Discover 1996

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 01:20:04 PM PDT

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    •  We have quite green battery chemistries (1+ / 0-)
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      such as lithium iron phosphate, which decays to fertilizer if it isn't recycled. It was pioneered by an MIT professor who founded the a123 company. It first appeared in batteries for the OLPC XO laptop, and is now being used in cars and in major storage units for renewable power systems.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:33:06 PM PDT

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