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Messages - numerobis

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 19, 2018, 11:06:10 PM »
Sigmetnow: most intentional fires are caused by people lighting the interior of the car on fire, likely using petrol to light it. The drive train isn’t really related to the interior furnishings, so I’d expect the EV and ICEV to burn equally well during a riot.

But as crandles points out, if there’s a lot of EVs, there’s less ready availability of petrol for rioters to use to light cars on fire. There’s still lots of energy in the car, it’s just not as easy to repurpose.

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 19, 2018, 12:44:47 AM »
I'd like to go back to the issue about cars being set on fire.

There are times when people act badly.  People of all colors damage private property. 

With self-driving cars, robotaxis, a company could rapidly move all their cars out of an area where trouble was happening.  There would be no need to leave cars parked in neighborhoods where vandalism and break ins are a problem. 

Worst case, if you happen to live in an area where parked vehicles are more frequently damaged, you'll have to order your ride a few minutes earlier in order for a car to arrive from a few miles away.

Even better: cars could spot someone setting cars on fire, call police with photos, and leave the area.

3
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017/2018 freezing season
« on: January 18, 2018, 03:51:51 PM »
My experience of the snow on the sea ice is that you don’t get bare patches except where new ice formed (at a lead). There’s some undulation but it’s pretty flat. Snowmachines fly along at 120 km/h, which implies there’s little risk of a big bump.

It is definitely not light and fluffy. It’s hard and compacted; you cut it with a knife to build bricks for your igloo. The bricks are about 10cm thick, but provide sufficient insulation to live in while it’s -40C outside. I don’t know the R value.

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:37:15 PM »
It mentions EuroStar as being very clean, but still less clean than a full-occupancy electric car (but maybe that makes sense given it goes 300 km/h rather than a mere 100 km/h).

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:17:49 PM »
I'm surprised that AMTRAK and VIA are so bad. I'd have expected they'd be better than the bus, or at least no worse.

6
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:12:20 PM »
Or an excuse by nuclear operators, trying to blame evil renewables?

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:04:43 PM »
Updated way to measure your transportation GHG emissions.  Based on the U.S. and Canada.
[...]
First graph is by km, second graph is by grams of emissions.  You want to be in the green range — see the article for details.

Well, not really. I want to multiply my transports by the distances I cover. I have a gasoline-powered car but it's been doing half the annual distance on average in its life, with a lot fewer km these days.

On the flip side, I fly and buy flown goods a lot, and my electricity is very dirty.

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:36:10 AM »
https://about.bnef.com/blog/runaway-53gw-solar-boom-in-china-pushed-global-clean-energy-investment-ahead-in-2017/

BNEF’s preliminary estimates are that a record 160GW of clean energy generating capacity (excluding large hydro) were commissioned in 2017, with solar providing 98GW of that, wind 56GW, biomass and waste-to-energy 3GW, small hydro 2.7GW, geothermal 700MW and marine less than 10MW.

China is at 56 GW of solar — well over half the world total. It’s about double what the US invested or the amount of capacity the US installed.

This is a record amount of capacity, but not a record investment: it’s slightly more than last year, both years rather less than 2015. Prices continue to dive, so we’ll keep smashing record capacity additions even if the amount of cash invested stays the same.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:58:10 PM »
The estimate I've seen is that about 5% of oil and gas is for plastics.

I learned that natural gas was a major feedstock when that plant in Houston blew up after Harvey, knocking out a large percentage of US plastic production. Until then I'd been under the incorrect impression that plastic was largely from oil.

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:41:33 PM »
The intention of the policy is one thing, but it has a wider effect as well.

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:10:45 PM »
Definitely.

I've picked up so many plastic bags on the beach (mostly from local retailers).

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 16, 2018, 07:41:40 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/16/eu-declares-war-on-plastic-waste-2030

EU declaring war on single-use plastics. That’s only good for a small percentage (most oil is for transport, most gas for heating and electricity) but it’s just an added strain on the industry.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2018, 02:19:32 AM »
You must have an awful lot of nieces and nephews!

I’m presuming the roof is good for a bit longer than the panels. Particularly as the panels shade the roof and reduce damage from UV and hail. They might also reduce thermal cycling?

14
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2018, 03:04:40 PM »
I’m not seeing the fundamental problem in car financing. You can get an unsecured loan from the bank to buy whatever you want, even to throw a party. They only care about the likelihood you’ll pay the loan. If you’re securing the loan, the potential resale value of the asset offered as security can reduce the interest rate, because you’re more likely to pay (out of fear of losing the asset), and if you don’t, the bank might get a few bucks back from the default proceedings.

Worst case for buyers, the resale value of the car falls to zero and the interest rate on car loans go up a couple percentage points.

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:31:47 AM »
The bastard. He already was under court order to retain that rule.

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 14, 2018, 09:29:24 PM »
There's way too much natural gas in the grid for it to all be peakers.

IIRC, the current calculation is that on a 25-year timescale, the natural gas is as bad as coal due to leaks. On a century timescale, natural gas is less bad. The Obama rules to improve leakage should make the tradeoff better.

No argument that natural gas is still fossil.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 14, 2018, 09:25:30 PM »
I linked you an NREL paper with the relevant model data (the input wind speed data is apparently proprietary).

That paper runs a model hourly and computes the capacity factor based on that. It's not production data because the wind farms don't exist yet.

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:23:42 PM »
Eight years sounds only a bit short, based on simple projections of exponentials. We're starting at 1.5% of US market share.

If EV car sales grow 50% annually, and the number of cars sold stay the same, then it'll take about 10 years to get to 85%.

If we assume robotaxis make a big dent in car ownership, so that in eight years we halve the number of cars being sold -- but we still assume that EVs grow 50% annually, then in eight years we get to a bit over 75% market share. However, I'd expect that those who'd buy EVs have a lot of overlap with those who'd not buy a car and just use robotaxis, so that 50% growth in EVs sounds unlikely in this scenario.

Using the Bloomberg 30% year-over-year figure and a halving in cars, it takes 13 years to get to about 75% EVs. Which is 2030.

Under any of those scenarios, oil companies are in deep shit.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:02:48 PM »
I don't see how current conditions matter. Right now the wind is calm in Iqaluit, but it's a good spot for wind turbines anyway. That said, I prefer windy.com to null school -- windy has prettier colours.

Your NREL data shows that the wind blows hard on *average*. That doesn't say all that much about the distribution of winds hour by hour.

This article (figure 13) shows that while capacity factor generally does grow with wind speed, it's less than linear:
https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/66599.pdf

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 14, 2018, 05:13:23 PM »
Past about 25 m/s, wind turbines shut down. Stronger winds is not always better!

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 13, 2018, 03:38:41 PM »
The Bloomberg article is written to be provocative — particularly the headline. At the end it mentions that the battery industry is already switching to use far less cobalt in the batteries, and the mining industry is already opening up new production. And of course now there’s a bigger market for cobalt, miners will care more to find new supplies.

22
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 13, 2018, 03:16:11 PM »
Finally! Alberta is one of only two largely coal-dependent provinces (Saskatchewan is the other).

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 13, 2018, 05:35:02 AM »
Holthaus is apparently innumerate. He notes a 68% annual growth rate for solar, and that nuclear power currently generates 10x as much power as solar. So by his numbers we’re only about five years from solar producing as much as nuclear currently does.

Where’s the evidence that nuclear power can scale anywhere near that fast? If we started today, in five years we’d have added zero nuclear capacity given how projects currently go.

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 12, 2018, 08:53:21 PM »
I suspect the competitive advantage is having a few billion dollars in their pockets to invest into the venture, and having relevant contacts.

Now that the business opportunity has been demonstrated by Tesla, it's going to be a lot easier to get funding to build batteries. I expect to see quite a few battery factories pop up in the next decade, much like we've seen quite a few huge solar panel factories pop up recently (and how we saw a lot of huge chip fabs pop up pretty quickly when computers became ubiquitous).

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:35:48 PM »
A friend just started working at this new company, which is relevant:
http://www.northvolt.com/career
Northvolt is building the largest lithium-ion battery factory in Europe. We are now staffing our international project office in Stockholm and preparing upcoming recruitments for the establishment of the factory.

Basically a gigafactory competitor.

They say they are interested in selling to customers who want 250 MWh/year or more, in other words they aren't developing their own consumer products but just focusing on making batteries.

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 12, 2018, 04:46:22 AM »
A diesel bus is way better than the equivalent fleet of gasoline powered cars. The hybrid buses in Montreal are only reducing by 30% compared to pure diesel.


27
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 11, 2018, 08:56:28 PM »
That's not the problem here. Montreal has some battery-electric buses already, and is buying a few more:
http://www.stm.info/en/press/press-releases/2017/electrification--stm-picks-up-the-pace-and-looks-to-buy-40-electric-buses

It's already got the goal of eliminating all pure-diesel buses with hybrids:
http://www.stm.info/en/about/major_projects/bus-network-electrification/hybrid-buses

I'm just disappointed that when the new leadership decided to expand the bus network (which is good!) that they reached for hybrid buses rather than electric.

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 11, 2018, 05:14:31 AM »
Montreal is buying 300 new hybrid buses, a significant growth in its bus fleet, in hopes of getting more people out of cars.

I’m disappointed the call for proposals specified hybrid buses, not electric. Hopefully they see the light. Electricity is particularly cheap here, so I bet bus manufacturers could get a lower cost of ownership from battery-powered buses than from hybrid.

I haven’t read the call. If it precludes battery-electric, I expect lawsuits.

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 10, 2018, 11:07:53 PM »
I saw in passing a proposal to buy a shuttered tungsten mine that has nearby deposits of battery-relevant materials, precisely because of the battery market. The boring good-ol-boys network that is the mining industry is starting to get excited about batteries.

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:48:37 PM »
Over here in August, they start operating 5 electrical  ships that can carry 24 containers . And 6 ships that can carry 240 containers. Mainly to bring the containers further inland from the ports. To keep trucks from the roads. We have a big network of channels.

Excellent! Where is "here"? Do you have a link to share?

(PS: you probably mean "canals" instead of "channels")

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:41:01 PM »
Bob: The comparison roofs (terracotta + solar panels or asphalt + solar panels) also get the same electricity savings, so you can't break even.

Depending on usage and electricity prices, you might break even when compared to a terracotta roof without panels, but if so, the terracotta roof with panels would break even a fair bit earlier than the Tesla roof.

The Tesla roof is a luxury product: there's cheaper ways to get a similar result. There's no shame in that; no reason to claim it's cheap.

In the future, it might well be cheaper to integrate the roofing and the solar panels. It stands to reason that it would be. We're not there yet.

32
Walking the walk / Re: Managing PV + battery system
« on: January 09, 2018, 07:38:10 PM »
numerobis
Is it possible to get any use out of solar panels during winter at your latitude?
Terry

According to my predictions on my roof: October, November, December, and January are all below 10% capacity factor, with many days at zero. The rest of the months are above 10%. March, April, May are the peak.

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 09, 2018, 03:43:35 AM »
Auction prices for renewables hits new low prices, in Colorado this time:
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/xcel-solicitation-returns-incredible-renewable-energy-storage-bids/514287/

The median price bid for wind-plus-storage projects in Xcel's all-source solicitation was $21/MWh ... and the median bid for solar-plus storage was $36/MWh. Previously, the lowest known bid for similar solar resources was $45/MWh in Arizona.

The summary page also shows bids for for batteries alone, and for gas+battery. Those are peaker plants, so the bid is priced differently. Gas alone remains the cheapest here, but gas+battery might get a boost due to being a “new” type of energy.

The renewables-alone number are also very low: $18.10/MWh for wind, $29.50/MWh for solar PV.

34
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 09, 2018, 03:25:51 AM »
If Australia were to pump subsidies into coal (which it does, so this isn’t hypothetical) I’d be opposed.

If China were to pump subsidies into solar (which it does), I’d be happy. Just as happy as if the US did (which it does).

If Denmark were to pump subsidies into windmills (which it did), again, I’m happy.

My interest is not aligned with the owners of plants in the US. I seriously don’t care about them. I do care about switching to renewables. If China wants to subsidize the world switchover, more power to them.

The problem are the long-term effects. If China subsidises solar panels until every solar panel manufacturer not based in China goes belly-up, there is no more competition.
At that point, one of the incentives for China-based manufacturers to innovate disappears.

And of course there's also the obvious "big guy bullies everyone else until he's the only game in town".

The Chinese solar panel plants are getting built around the world, not just China, due to a previous round of tariffs. They’ll have trouble hiking the prices when all the competition goes belly-up.

Even if they didn’t have plants around the world, there are many independent Chinese companies. It would be hard for the government to prevent them from undercutting each other to gain market share.

35
Walking the walk / Re: Managing PV + battery system
« on: January 08, 2018, 02:57:44 AM »
Most cheaper dishwashers you can turn off the drying option. Expensive ones you’d need to disconnect the heating coil.

Interesting data. I wonder how I could get the same for my house.

I’m particularly interested in seeing you average 400 W or so. We do about that as well, which was so little compared to the average for our region (despite me working at home) that I thought there was a mistake.

From my calculations, that means a 4 kW solar array would have my house be net negative power. I’d still want batteries to deal with power outages: this weekend while we were away, our apartment pipes froze because with the power out, the furnace shut off. I want to prevent that when we move.

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 08, 2018, 12:24:11 AM »
There's no rest areas in Nevada?

I'm used to them throughout the northeast and midwest US -- particularly on toll roads, where the advantage of not needing to get on and off is even larger.

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 07, 2018, 05:31:34 AM »
If Australia were to pump subsidies into coal (which it does, so this isn’t hypothetical) I’d be opposed.

If China were to pump subsidies into solar (which it does), I’d be happy. Just as happy as if the US did (which it does).

If Denmark were to pump subsidies into windmills (which it did), again, I’m happy.

My interest is not aligned with the owners of plants in the US. I seriously don’t care about them. I do care about switching to renewables. If China wants to subsidize the world switchover, more power to them.

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 06, 2018, 06:49:26 AM »
How the heck is Terry saying that?

It’s fine with Terry (and me, and oren) if you pay for your solar panels using Chinese government subsidies. If the Chinese people want to call that stealing, they can bring it up with their leadership.

39
The budget is zero. That’s what we can use sustainably.

That being the goal, every action should consider how to get there.

40
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 29, 2017, 07:27:36 PM »
The Prius uses NiMH, which was the better choice for the hybrid (it’s better at cycling than most other chemistries).

But batteries don’t generally make noise — electric motors do.

The old metro cars in Montreal made a distinctive series of three tones in the first few seconds when the motors were starting up. The new cars don’t, but it’s such a well-known sound that they chose to play the same three tones over the speakers to indicate the doors are closing.

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:02:20 AM »
I was responding to the comment that reports -

china has built its second solar roadway in Jinan, the top layer is made of transparent concrete

I missed the comment about solar panels installed under asphalt.  I don't see one now.  Might it have been removed?

Precisely: there are no solar panels installed in a traditional road. Such a road gets zero of the potential electricity. The absolute best case for an asphalt road compared to a solar road is that both get zero output in certain conditions; in all other cases, the solar road is better.

If you want to attack solar roads, then, you need actual numbers that show that its cost/benefit is bad. Philosophy won’t show them to be unworkable on its own.

42
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:10:35 AM »
How much potential electricity is lost because the panels are mounted flat?  How much energy is lost because of the not 100% transparent concrete?  How much will be lost due to road dirt?  How much will be lost by traffic shading?  How much surface degrading and output drop will be seen as vehicles grind the surface from semi-transparent to translucent?

Your questions are ridiculous. How much potential electricity is lost because the road is paved in asphalt? *All* of it!

Cost/performance data is definitely interesting. But cells are getting pretty cheap. Let's look at places in the built environment where we can stuff them -- that will allow to us reduce the number of wild spaces we pave under solar panels.

43
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:04:24 AM »
Bob: pedestrian streets are not some crazy weird impossible thing. They're actually a very common thing, particularly outside the US. Sometimes they open to cars for a few hours a day, for deliveries; often they don't.

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 26, 2017, 08:26:01 AM »
Those numbers ignore the CO2 released to generate electricity used to refine gas for the cars and the CO2 generated transporting the gas to fueling stations.

They explicitly include that.

Bob: where does one find an oil grid? At my place!

45
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 25, 2017, 11:51:35 PM »
The guardian analyzed EV versus ICE nicely. They estimate 125g CO2 per 100 km for a petrol car, versus 91g for an electric car off oil-generated grid power.

A hybrid would do better, at 83g, so my neighbor is the greenest.

Of course, cleaning up the grid quickly improves the EV’s impact.

All this ignores construction cost. Given construction and disposal cost you could use these figures to do a life cycle analysis.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/dec/25/how-green-are-electric-cars

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: December 25, 2017, 01:57:00 AM »
In the Christmas theme: 4.8 W to light a string of 70 lights on the tree. I remember those being 1 W each.

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: December 24, 2017, 10:14:22 PM »
To -20? Neat! NRCan says -8C. Even that is enough for most of the heating load in most of the world.

(Probably not for Iqaluit though.)

48
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:46:54 PM »
Offshore in a very harsh environment would be expensive.

$75/barrel according to our government geologist.

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: December 24, 2017, 05:09:19 AM »
Indeed.

Jevons says that if the limiting factor is price, then efficiency can increase usage. But if the limiting factor isn't price, then increasing efficiency doesn't increase usage.

50
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:30:47 PM »
Beyond this, there's a lot more to the system than pushing an app out to the web.   Pretty massive computing power is needed to track available drivers and calculate their *time*, not distance to a particular rider when he calls, then ping only the closest drivers.  The gps/mapping/driving interface has to be negotiated with Google Maps (or whoever).

Negotiation consists of agreeing to the terms and typing in your credit card number.

Call up a web designer, I bet they'll estimate about $100k to set up the system.

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