Author Topic: 2035 and beyond  (Read 1320 times)

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#20

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #20 on: September 12, 2021, 06:01:00 PM
*Originally Posted by XCaTel [+]
I wonder if the day of battery rental is part of the future then? You rock up to that remote unmanned battery stop, swipe the credit card and swap your battery on a little automated ramp. All bikes having to have a fixed national battery design. That would be cool enough and sort out range issues. An app on the bike can be real time updated as to stocks at each location to alleviate the dreaded range anxiety.
Good idea if you could talk the entire industry into standardizing on battery technology and packaging. Reality intrudes when sizing for differing bike types, sizes and styles is considered. And the logistics are really daunting. Maybe good for urban applications but not practical for off-grid adventure and dual sport riding. I've purchased fuel from a guy at the side of the road with a pickup truck and 45 gallon barrel in Baja Mexico. I don't think I would be comfortable swapping batteries with him. He already ripped us off with a false bottom in his measuring can!
Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 06:05:52 PM by CaptainTrips
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#21

Offline JG_XRT

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #21 on: September 12, 2021, 08:47:01 PM
I'm going to throw in my two cents.

I think electric bikes, motorcycles, cars, trucks etc. are all good ideas- in certain applications and, in theory, a good idea overall.  But we're a long way from an "electric everything" world being practical.  If we're having problems with brownouts and power grids being overloaded now, how is it going to look when everybody has to charge their cars, while cooling (or heating) their home? 

We lost power last week.  I gassed up the generator and we were OK for the duration.  What happens when I have to have a battery backup system instead, and the power is out for a week?  What happens in a hurricane or tropical storm zone when the next big one hits, knocks out the grid, and people can't get out?

I am not against electrification, per se, but I think it should be the result of continued research and necessity, not because the government decides we're going to outlaw a plentiful and cheap fuel source that already has a distribution system in place.  The industrialized "first world" can try to go all electric, but you can bet that China and India will not follow suit any time soon, nor other poorer nations.  In fact, they will probably up consumption of fossil fuels, because oil will be even cheaper for them when/if US demand for foreign oil drops.

People didn't stop shipping goods to market with the horse and buggy because the government outlawed them- trains and then automobiles made it faster and more economical to do so.

I'm bot denying that the climate is changing.  That would be silly.  But I would argue that the climate has ALWAYS been changing.  I don't know to what degree fossil fuels contribute to this.  To me is seems that more CO2 in the air means there is more of what the plants need to make more O2 for us to breathe.  I'm not sure if the climate models take into consideration the sheer number of people on the planet.  Each of our 7 billion people (billions more than just a few decades ago) is 98.6 degree heating element, just sitting still and not driving anything anywhere.  We're just heating up the atmosphere and breathing out CO2.  Same for every warm-blooded animal on the planet.

The sun has a larger effect on Earth's temperature than mankind.  That should be self evident just by watching the temperature rise with sun on any given day.

I'm not a "government is out to get me" conspiracy type.  That being said, if you want to control a population, one of the best ways to do so is to take away their ability to travel, to go where they want to go when they want to go there.  In their current form (which will no doubt get better), electrics put a severe limit on our ability to travel.

I'm not against solar where it makes sense, nor windmills.  I find the windmills sort of soothing to watch.  But the same "green" people who are the largest proponents of these technologies don't want them in their own back yards, either.  There's opposition to a solar array in California because it could destroy the habitat of the desert tortise.  Offshore windmills ruin the ocean views for some.

I think going all-electric is a forgone conclusion, but I fear that we will end up with more of the same:  the masses get the shaft while the political elite do what they want and don't have to follow the same rules.

I may never get to make that longed-for road trip to Prudhoe Bay when I retire- hopefully at age 65.  In 2035.
Silly Harley rider......Don't you know that Tigers eat hogs?

#22

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #22 on: September 12, 2021, 11:25:09 PM
When I retired 5 years ago, I bought a new 2017 model Subaru Forester. I told my wife that this will be my last car. However, if the government wants to BUY BACK my Subaru and trade it for a new electric vehicle at some point, I won't put up a fight. Otherwise, I intend to keep my Subaru running as long as I am running.  :038:

Aside from the heat from the earth's molten core that is slowly cooling, virtually all energy comes from the sun. The problem is that increasing levels of greenhouse gases and carbon tend to hold that energy in our atmosphere, rather than letting it radiate off into space, so it keeps accumulating.

Historically, the earth has gone through a couple of ice ages, the most recent being about 11,000 years ago, from which the earth is still warming. We just sped the warming up by putting more carbon into the atmosphere.

Interestingly, during an ice age, if enough of the earth's surface gets covered with snow, then the reflectiveness of that snow eventually impairs the earth's ability to absorb enough heat from the sun to keep it from freezing, which can (and has) caused the earth to pretty much freeze over entirely. In one case, it was only the explosion of a supervolcano (like the one that is centered in Yellowstone Park) that put enough carbon and greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere to cause the earth to warm up again.

Some scientists say that it is really easy for the earth to slip back into an ice age. One such event could be triggered if the earth is struck by a large enough asteroid.
Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 11:48:49 PM by CaptainTrips
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#23

Offline KenW

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #23 on: September 13, 2021, 12:42:36 AM
*Originally Posted by JG_XRT [+]
We lost power last week.  I gassed up the generator and we were OK for the duration.  What happens when I have to have a battery backup system instead, and the power is out for a week?  What happens in a hurricane or tropical storm zone when the next big one hits, knocks out the grid, and people can't get out?
Here is one thing that I can imagine happening...
Instead of "gassing up" your generator, you power it from that tank of hydrogen you have stored away.  Then when that is empty, you cart it to the local supplier and get it refilled, just like most of us do now with our LPG bottles.  Or if it's a really big bottle, the supplier comes to you with a tanker.

*Originally Posted by JG_XRT [+]
People didn't stop shipping goods to market with the horse and buggy because the government outlawed them- trains and then automobiles made it faster and more economical to do so.
In case you haven't noticed, in many countries electricity from renewables has become cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels.

*Originally Posted by JG_XRT [+]
I'm not against solar where it makes sense, nor windmills.  I find the windmills sort of soothing to watch.  But the same "green" people who are the largest proponents of these technologies don't want them in their own back yards, either.
Exactly the same situation for nuclear, oil, gas, coal fired power stations.  So why single out renewables?

Just like our ancient ancestors couldn't have imagined the transport we have today, I don't think we can judge where we will be in a hundred years time.
Don't be so pessimistic!

#24

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #24 on: September 13, 2021, 01:36:50 AM
Ballard Power Systems has been working on small hydrogen fuel cell plants that could work as main or backup power for individual homes.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

#25

Offline KenW

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #25 on: September 13, 2021, 02:23:56 AM
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
Ballard Power Systems has been working on small hydrogen fuel cell plants that could work as main or backup power for individual homes.
I hope fuel cells "win", with no "moving parts"  But for those who just have to have an ICE, I can't see why hydrogen can't replace petrol, diesel and LPG.

My 4.8kW solar system feeds a 10kWh house lithium battery.  Over winter, solar generation has been low and spotty.  I can't conceive of being off grid without some means of generation, like a small ICE generator, or fuel cell jobbie.
At this stage, reality is that for most people it it just too expensive to go off grid (unless you are remote), though some house solar makes sense.
In Australia we have high takeup of house solar, to the point that supply authorities are getting overloaded at peak solar times.  There is talk of taxing/penalising people for feeding to the grid at those times.
It comes about because our grid is behind the times, was built before solar feedin was thought of.  We need to modernise the system before adding too many more solar installations.
Battery storage seems too expensive right now for large scale use.  Maybe hydrogen generation, storage and fuel-cell conversion is the answer in the medium term.
Dunno, but there are plenty of smart people working on it.  And as usual, the government is behind the curve and too slow.  Industry and economics will push them.

#26

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #26 on: September 13, 2021, 05:24:01 PM
*Originally Posted by KenW [+]
I hope fuel cells "win", with no "moving parts"  But for those who just have to have an ICE, I can't see why hydrogen can't replace petrol, diesel and LPG.

My 4.8kW solar system feeds a 10kWh house lithium battery.  Over winter, solar generation has been low and spotty.  I can't conceive of being off grid without some means of generation, like a small ICE generator, or fuel cell jobbie.
At this stage, reality is that for most people it it just too expensive to go off grid (unless you are remote), though some house solar makes sense.
In Australia we have high takeup of house solar, to the point that supply authorities are getting overloaded at peak solar times.  There is talk of taxing/penalising people for feeding to the grid at those times.
It comes about because our grid is behind the times, was built before solar feedin was thought of.  We need to modernise the system before adding too many more solar installations.
Battery storage seems too expensive right now for large scale use.  Maybe hydrogen generation, storage and fuel-cell conversion is the answer in the medium term.
Dunno, but there are plenty of smart people working on it.  And as usual, the government is behind the curve and too slow.  Industry and economics will push them.
Our baseline is hydro (dams) with a new development on the way (but at a growing cost and much controversy). Our government 25 years ago legislated higher purchase rates to encourage wind farms and run of river developments and commercial by- power (mostly pulp mills) but it led to greater expense. Some pulp mills found it was more lucrative to generate power than make pulp. Hydro is still the gold standard on price and the ability to store energy to use when needed. One proposal is to use excess generation from auxiliary sources like wind farms to power pumps to refill reservoirs as a simple means of power shortage. But we do enjoy relatively cheap electric rates thanks to visionaries in government in the 1950s.
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#27

Offline KenW

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #27 on: September 13, 2021, 10:44:06 PM
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
Our baseline is hydro (dams) ...
Yes, hydro has traditionally been the cheapest form of energy storage.  In that respect, Canada is probably wetter than Australia, so more universal there
We have hydro in Tasmania and the Snowy River scheme in NSW, which is currently being enlarged (at huge expense).
Trouble with big hydro at least, is that it is generally far from the usage, so long, expensive, lossy transmission lines are needed, often cutting a swathe through nature.
With wind and solar, installations can be small, targeting the local town or city they serve.  So it is handy if the associated storage is small and local too.
We have a solar mirror installation powering a huge tomato farm (at Port Augusta SA), which uses molten salts for day to day storage.  The power and heat are used to run the place, including its desalination plant.
But I don't think that sort of thing scales up very economically.

Roll on battery development, and other innovative ways of storing energy locally.

#28

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2035 and beyond
Reply #28 on: September 13, 2021, 11:52:12 PM
All that being said, I would still miss the moment when the starting motor spins up and the engine catches and comes to life early in the morning, standing there, putting on my gloves.  :016:
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig