Popular and ‘Best-Of’ Posts

This is a list of the most popular and / or most important posts on the blog.  It is a great place to start.

WIND:

CleanTechnica logo-JoUS Wind Potential has Barely Been Tapped this post shows where the best sites are and How We Can Harvest it. – HERE

The best Wind sites have capacity factors in excess of 50% offering phenomenal value HERE

New wind turbine technology is further reducing cost and intermittency of wind power – HERE

RENEWABLES IN GENERAL

Cost of Renewables Is Dropping Rapidly – HERE Lots of great graphs showing declining costs.

High Voltage DC Power offers a way to get electricity from distant renewable energy sources to population centers and it is available now.  HERE

I have not built a post based upon this course but it looks so good I wanted to post a link to it – HERE

ELECTRIC VEHICLES INCLUDING ELON MUSK AND TESLA

Electric Vehicles pollute less even when you take into account emissions from the generation source HERE

Tesla really is revolutionary. HERE

EV batteries are the cost driver and they are coming down FAST – HERE

EVs combined with Load Shifting use market forces to increase the value of wind power while reducing the cost of driving. – HERE

EVs don’t have a range problem – HERE  CleanTechnica logo-Jo  .

 

SOLAR

Land area required to provide world’s electricity, including EV power, from solar.

EFFICIENCY

High efficiency LED lighting.

Posted in EV PEV, New Energy Paradigm, Path to a New Paradigm, T&D The New Grid, US Energy Competitiveness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resources and Links

This page is an aggregation of resources that I have stumbled across and would like to be able to find again.  They are useful but may be difficult to track down after the fact as I have typically found them through circuitous paths.

Group of Slideshows AWEA 2014 posted at the Navigant website.

Wind power program review 2014

 

Resources, Links, Wind Cost, Solar Cost, Transmission Cost

 

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Renewable Energy Databook from NREL

Better late than never, NREL put out a renewable energy databook that covers RE through the end of 2013.  It is full of charts and graphs that do a nice job of illustrating RE progress in the US and the world.

Found on http://breakingenergy.com/

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Tesla Getting Faster – P85D to Get an Upgrade

The Internet is abuzz since Elon Musk put out a tweet stating that a firmware upgrade would make the already fast Tesla even faster.  The firmware upgrade will improve the 0-60 time from 3.2 s to 3.1s and some are speculating that it will improve it even more.

See more on this and other Tesla facts HERE

 

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US Typical Electricity Use

I ran across this piece that shows a breakdown on household electricity use.  I anticipate the lighting use will drop by 50% due to the emergence of cost effective, high efficiency LED bulbs.  As they replace the aging fleet of incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs lighting will use less electricity.  Add to that that LEDs are expected to nearly double in efficiency over the next decade and there is a recipe for more light at less cost.  High efficiency LEDs also bring down the electricity use of TVs and computer screens.  All of this reduces heat produced so that air conditioning doesn’t need to work as hard.

Household energy use

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Arctic Sea Ice Changes

Here is the best graphic I have found yet showing changes in arctic sea ice.  It is interactive and makes it easy to compare various years.  2012 is by far the worst.  Here are additional links and videos.

Arctic Sea IceThe lowest curve is 2012 and the yellow one is from 1980.

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EVs Are a Good Match for Renewables Part II

In an earlier post it was shown that EVs are a good match to night peaking wind power in places like CA and TX.  However, there are occasional lulls.  What then?  Here are some thoughts backed up wtih data.

-Texas is expanding transmission access.  Presumably they will access their 50%CF resource that is virtually untapped to date.  This will reduce the intensity of the lulls.

– The giga factory is designed for 35GW cells and 50GW battery packs.  Tesla says that the GF is designed to provide batteries for 500,000 cars per year.  That works out to 100kwhr per car in a mass market unit.  The Model S is 85kwhr.  It appears that Musk, who has a pretty good track record, thinks the norm for EVs will be a range between 200 and 400 miles and can span a few days of commuting without a charge.  The new leaf is expected to double their range in the next year or two so trends are on track.

– Looking at Texas, which on an energy basis has sufficient wind resource to power the country, solar is a good match to compliment the wind power on down days.  (See Below) Ercot offers extensive wind data in Excel format so anyone can do the analysis.  A quick look shows a few notches of the kind you are talking about where wind dies to about 10% of capacity for a few days.  But solar is pretty robust during those periods.  So if solar is built out to compliment the wind power then charging during the day with solar may offer the load balancing.

– TOU metering would also kick the cost of electricity up during these lulls and reduce demand.

EV Wind TX Ercot July 13

ERCOT 5 day lull.  Wind averages about 10% of capacity.

EV Solar TX Elgin July 13

Same time period, solar availability is quite good.

See Part I HERE .

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Energy Bootcamp

 

This post offers a good overview of the basics needed to understand energy.

 

Physics, energy introduction.

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Dispelling the EV Range Anxiety Myth

Header Photo Credit Abdullah AlBargan – Under Creative Commons License

By Clayton Handleman

CleanTechnica logo-Jo  Featured on CleanTechnica.com “the number one clean-tech                                                        focussed website in the world.”

Quiet, powerful, convenient and clean, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are going mainstream.  Leading the way is the Tesla Model-S which is one of only two cars to receive the highest rating given by Consumer Reports.  It also boasts some of the fastest 0-60 mph acceleration numbers available in production autos.  The affordable Nissan Leaf leads in popularity with worldwide sales of over 100,000 units.  From BMW to Ford, the major auto makers are joining the EV club.   In addition to low emissions, the EV’s growing popularity is undoubtedly due to its convenience.  EVs like the Leaf are particularly well suited for commuting.  Upon arrival home, the driver simply takes a moment to plug it in and they are assured a ‘full tank’ in the morning.

Tesla RangeImage Credit – Tesla Motors – Access this Calculator HERE

With the majority of households owning more than one vehicle, people are recognizing the value of making one of them an EV.  The EV is ideally suited for quick trips around town and the economically draining single driver commute.  Consider the common suburban family constellation of two working parents and two children.  Often one parent works some distance from the home and the second closer to home or part time.  These households often have 2 – 3 cars.  One is a smaller commuter and weekend errand vehicle while the other serves as the family taxi and long trip mini-van or SUV.  This and similar situations are typical of millions of households.  It is a very fast paced, highly scheduled lifestyle.  Anything that reduces surprises and out of the routine events is of high value.

With its low maintenance and ability to ‘refuel’ overnight at home, the EV is an excellent fit for many modern households.  No waiting in rush hour gas lines during the Friday commute home, no ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) range anxiety with the fuel light on solid red.  The stressful commute spent wondering whether to buy gas only to have to make the left turn through rush hour traffic or hope to make it home and buy it on the weekend.  No wasting precious weekend family time making the special trip to the filling station.  No fouling up the fine tuned schedule with that oil change every 3 – 4 weeks.  The EV eliminates it all.  In this and many ownership scenarios the EV is not simply a comparable solution but, rather, a better one.

There is an odd meme making the rounds in which EVs are disparaged because the typical EV has less range than a traditional ICE vehicle.  The myth of ‘range anxiety’ is subtly perpetuated in the mainstream media.  Typically there is a glowing piece that talks about the EV as if it is a novelty and then frames the report with something about the low range and the ‘anxiety’ it causes.  Often they will then point out that for long trips the EV cannot be used since recharging is time consuming and impractical.  And generally, either overtly, or covertly through inference, the viewer or reader is steered towards the conclusion that EVs are not quite ready for ANY application.  Until they can take those once-a-year long road trips, the meme suggests, EVs are just not yet useful or practical.  While this is a valid argument when it comes to replacing the car used for long trips, it is simply irrelevant when it comes to the commute / around town car.  Its kind of like telling a mechanic that their screw driver is worthless because it cannot turn a hex bolt.   Its true if you are trying to turn a hex bolt but if you are trying to turn a screw then the screw driver is the tool of choice and the socket wrench becomes useless.

Given the important environmental role that EVs can play, it is important to re-frame the discussion honestly and acknowledge that for millions of potential customers, EVs are already the best transportation solution.  In many situations EVs are more convenient and create less anxiety than ICE vehicles.  In other words for two and three car households, EVs are not just the equal but actually the better solution for the commuting / errand car.

Autos by household type

Each year there are about 17 million autos and light trucks sold into the US market.  Well over half of these are sold to multi-vehicle households.  In a typical two car household one vehicle is used for commuting, around town errands  and the other is used for most of the other tasks including long trips.  The typical commute is a well defined distance.  As a result it is easy to figure out whether the EV is suitable for the job.

auto daily distance

According to Consumer Reports, the Nissan Leaf has a range of about 75 miles.  In the graph above by Rob van Haaren, it is clear that cars are driven less than 60 miles per day about 80% of the time.  The graph provides per car statistics.  In 2 and 3 vehicle households the longer trips can easily be accommodated using the ICE vehicle.  By doing so the percentage of ‘close to the margin’ imposed on the EV becomes even lower or can be eliminated all together.

auto trip distanceIt is a perverse and suspect notion that EVs are not ready for the mainstream.  The flawed reasoning goes something like this; EVs are not a good option for long trips therefore they are not useful at all.  Consider that, for over 10 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in the US.  To hold this crown the Camry has only required about 2.5% market share.  According to the strange ‘logic’ of EV detractors, Camry is a failure.  Or, stated in a different way: Camry has 2.5% market share therefore 97.5% of purchasers found preferable solutions so Camry cannot be a mainstream vehicle.  A product can be mainstream without being the only or even the primary one in its category.  Nobody would deny that Camry’s are mainstream.  But they are not the only vehicles sold nor do they constitute a majority of the vehicles sold. They serve a specific market and they serve it well.  Similarly EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Ford Fusion already have a large addressable market today.  That addressable market will only expand as battery prices drop, range increases.

As a hint to the near future jump in range of EVs one need look no further than the Tesla Gigafactory.  It is designed to produce 50 GWhr of battery packs per year.  Tesla claims that will be sufficient for 500,000 vehicles per year.  That comes out to 100kwhr of battery per vehicle.  The Model S, a large car, gets over 250 mile per charge on their 85kwhr battery.  This suggests that rank and file EVs will be sporting ranges of over 300 miles per charge by 2020.  EVs are clearly going mainstream now and their addressable markets are expanding at an astonishing rate.  However as the Tesla Supercharger network expands, the Gigafactory and its inevitable competitors come online, and methods for faster charging are perfected, it may well be a mere 5 years before ICE vehicles really are obsolete.

I want to acknowledge Rob van Haaren for his work making data from the Federal Highway Administration‘s National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) accessible to a wider audience.  For his report Dr. van Haaren mined NHTS data for information relevant to electric vehicle use and presented much of it in helpful graphical format.  Graphics with his name are protected by copyright and used with permission.

This blog has compiled data on BEV and HPEV sales.

This article looks at ways to address barriers to entry for EVs

This piece provides some positive press for EVs and attempts to burst some of the misinformation bubbles that are out there:

Clayton Handleman, Tesla, Electric Vehicle, BMW i3, EV, ICE

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Tesla Tops Fastest Audis and Lexus Super Car

Tesla Charing

With the new P85D, Tesla is like a great team that, goes in for another score, rather than sitting on a lead and running the clock out.  Taking its luxury sedan from an impressive sub 4.0 0-60 time, the new version comes close to breaking through the magical 3.0 second floor reserved for only the most tricked out super cars.  And it does this at a fraction of the price of those gas sucking beasts.

A recent article raved about the power of Audi’s 15 fastest cars ever.  Coming in at 3.5 seconds, only one could top the old Tesla Model S with 2 wheel drive which has a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds.  However the newest Model S, the P85D does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds topping all of the Audis and all but the most elite super cars and for considerably less money.

Lexus set out to create a super car and came up with the impressive Lexus LFA Nurburing.  This is a ‘halo’ car for Lexus with only 500 of the LFAs made and 50 of the version designed to do well on race tracks.  Coming in at 552 horsepower this supercar comes in at $465,000 with its slightly less muscled cousin coming in at $375,000.  They both do 0-60 in an impressive 3.6 seconds.  However this is still a distant .4 seconds away from the P85Ds 3.2 seconds.

It is worth noting that the Model S still has room to improve.  They have two different sized motors.  They likely can break 3.0 seconds by switching out the smaller one for the larger one.  Undoubtedly they will leave that last trick up their sleeve until a viable competitor comes along.  They can then pull this one out just in time to disrupt the press orgy of competition for their brand.

UPDATE:  Here are videos of TESLA racing supercars.

More on Tesla HERE

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