Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 250 total)
  • Hydrogen Cars – something doesn’t smell right
  • seadog101
    Full Member

    Interesting thread this one.

    The renwable source that is glaringly absent from the discussion is tidal.  Can someone with a better knowledge please let me know why, as a nation, we are no doing more to generate our electricity from tidal?

    I get that a tidal stream system, some sort of subsea turbine, is more expensive to make, install, maintain, and porobably has a shorter life span than a wind turbine.

    And a tidal height system, some sort of barage, will have an ecological effect.

    But it’s the predicability of it.  At anytime of the day or night, the tidal stream is flowing around the UK, it doesn’t just wash in and out.  High water and low water are in a cycle, literally, moving clockwise/anticlockwise, swinging around our islands.  Future tidal calculations are accurate and only effected slightly by weather, and even this can be accounted for.

    My point being, yes, tidal power might be a less cost effective renewable solution, but surely the ability to generate a large amount of power on a predictable schedule offsets this?

    When I was working on a offshore windfarm, I had this dicussion with the Client Rep who was on our ship.  Cynically, he said that the power companies are not keen on tidal systems as they can’t be seen, and therefore harder to promote as a green alternative.  They love their marketting!

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Less cycnically I worked with the guy who had done a lot of the impact assessment of the Avonmouth tidal barrier project decades ago ; the list of headaches was long, too long. Creating a brackish water swamp which will silt up being the main one. The Durance one in France works but it has impacted many aspects of life along the river for not very much electricity.

    A French state funded underwater turbine project destined to take advange of tidal currents was abandonned a few years back:

    https://www.senat.fr/questions/base/2018/qSEQ180906729.html

    wbo
    Free Member

    TJ – you are talking nonsense and using incorrect data.  I’m on 100% renewables , end of story, and europe will go that way. Why? In the long term, cost and price.,  There are teething problems, and a complete solution isn’t there yet, but ultimately the OPEX of renewables compared to fossil generation will get you there, compared to continually burning expensive stuff.

     Plus no one has come up with a way to make the battery green, or even recycle them once they are useless for powering a vehicle

    And cost will make this happen as well.  They can obvs. be recycled , but historically it hasn’t been done as there haven’t been any large batteries to recycle, so …

    Edukator
    Free Member

    or even recycle them once they are useless for powering a vehicle

    A French company is recycling EV batteries. Having validated the process they’ve opened a pilot factory. 99% of the metals are recovered and 70% of the lithium:

    Edit: I see you’ve edited, wbo, you corrected your error whilst I was typing the response and finding the vid. 🙂

    dmorts
    Full Member

    One thing to remember is it’s not all about CO2

    If I remember my chemistry correctly, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. So if there is a demand for hydrogen, which can be made from methane, will we see an increase the capture of methane from industry emissions, as it is an in demand commidity?

    molgrips
    Free Member

    There are loads of companies trialling wave and tidal stream energy. But it turns out that running machinery in moving salty water full of life is a bit difficult. And tidal lagoon power wrecks ecosystems.

    mert
    Free Member

    If I remember my chemistry correctly, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

    Between 20 and 100 times more potent, depending on where in the atmosphere, time scale and which report you read.

    And pretty much every manufacturer of EVs or EV batteries is investing heavily in recycling/reuse/reclamation of used cells.

    Even completely shagged cells (WCA’s leaf for example) would work well in a domestic storage role. Will still produce more power than a house could even use. Even with a welder and/or three phase…

    thols2
    Full Member

    will we see an increase the capture of methane from industry emissions, as it is an in demand commidity?

    It’s already used as a fuel, it’s just that emissions from landfills, wetlands, etc. may not be economically recoverable.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    If I remember my chemistry correctly, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. So if there is a demand for hydrogen, which can be made from methane, will we see an increase the capture of methane from industry emissions, as it is an in demand commidity?

    Probably not,
    a) “industrial” emissions are already tightly regulated, other large emitters like landfill sites and sewage treatment are better than they were 30-40 years ago (e.g. well managed landfill is now capped with soil overnight and once filled the top is covered in a membrane and the gas collected and used as fuel rather than just vent) the other large emitters are livestock and silage / manure treatment.
    b) It’s always been in demand, it’s the main component of “gas” as in the stuff that fires your cooker/boiler.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    TBH electric cars and hydrogen are really just solutions being presented by car manufacturer lobbying groups and get siezed on by people who don’t want to face changing their behaviors now.

    “Why should I change my behavior now, if I just keep driving for the next 30-100 years there’ll be flying hydrogen* cars like Blade Runner”.

    “No I’ve never actually seen Blade Runner and wasn’t aware the whole premise of the film was an ecological collapse and that it was basically Mad Max but we invented hydrogen powered flying cars”

    *I don’t think this is cannon, but they do explode on impact so lets assume it’s some sort of flammable fuel.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    For anyone wanting to debate the wider renewables energy source and solutions – please, read this as it addresses a lot of the topics being brought up by several people on the thread in a factual, data based manner. It’s freely available as a PDF download and written by David MacKay FRS -Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

    https://www.withouthotair.com/

    It looks at the various options for energy sources and usage, and (spoiler alert) concludes that the solution needs to be a mix of various sources and usage models – at the time of writing he concluded that Nuclear needed to be part of the mix but of course things change.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    TJ – you are talking nonsense and using incorrect data. I’m on 100% renewables , end of story,

    Aye right – and where do you get your power from in a winter high pressure event – when its cold, little solar, little wind

    TBH electric cars and hydrogen are really just solutions being presented by car manufacturer lobbying groups and get siezed on by people who don’t want to face changing their behaviors now.

    this

    This is why we have now hit 1.5C global warming , 2 C is now baked in and 3Cplus is looking likely as no one will take the action needed

    J-R
    Full Member

    https://www.withouthotair.com/

    Yes it’s an excellent book by someone who knows what he’s talking about, rather than some bloke on You Tube with an opinion.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Isn’t this just capitalism at work?

    Everyone agrees that the age of the ICE is coming to and end, like the horse powered era 100-120 years ago everyone realised that the future wasn’t horse shaped, but what shape it would be was still up for grabs. For a while it looked like it was going to be steam driven…Same thing here; which system the public like won’t necessarily be the most efficient or ‘best’ it’ll be the one that they go for…Whoever has that market (like the Model T) will make a killing…That’s what’s happening here. It’s most likely going to be EVs but there’s an outside chance that it won’t, so have that “something else” ready to go…JIC

    Place your bets

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Aye right – and where do you get your power from in a winter high pressure event – when its cold, little solar, little wind

    Drax burning imported Canadian spruce obviously.

    The other big problem with these so-called green tariffs is they don’t really work. The principle is you pay a bit extra for the certificates that come with the green energy to say this was yours*. The problem is that market isn’t competitive, it adds about £2.50 to an annual bill so isn’t really necessary. Renewable supply outstrips demand for renewables.

    Then you hit the real problem that if you’ve ticked the box that says “my energy is renewable” then you’re probably mentally no longer bothered by the ~1.5tonnes of CO2 your house produces per person each year, because it’s not producing CO2 is it? Obviously it’s not, you ticked the right box. It’s that poorer family down the road on the cheap pre-pay meter, they need to get their act together. Doesn’t matter that they don’t have a car, use less energy because they can’t afford to have the heating at 21C, and don’t go abroad for their holidays. You’re green because your on a green tariff, it charges your Tesla so that’s green too right? And then you can justify a few flights a year with all that carbon you’ve saved.

    *it’s a hypothetical you not explicitly aimed at the quoted poster, a greenwashing straw man

    Daffy
    Full Member

    Only at the tailpipe – not overall all as every bit of electricity used in an EV ( most of the time) comes from fossil fuel burning

    Wrong – this is the UKs electrical energy mix for the last year. 66% renewable. Once you include the typical 2.5-4GW transfer from France (80% nuclear) and Norway (hydro), the % of non-co2 emissions is above 75%.  I’m sorry to break this to you TJ, but EVs are sustainable and so long as renewable generation and storage capacity is matched to EV (and ASHP) uptake, it will just get better.

    Grid Live

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Renewables are not zero co2 but lower as is nuclear

    Yes those numbers are right – but whaty you miss is that renewables are maxed out most of the time – shortfall is made up by fossil fuels.  So increase demand and ( much of the time) that increased demand is supplied by fossil fuels as nuclear and renewables are maxed out.

    Obviously on a windy day when renewables are not maxed out more turbines can be turned on.  But the reality is that most of increased demand caused by EVs comes from fossil fuels

    Daffy – what about that winter high pressure event?  Pretty common.  What renewables are you getting then?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    but EVs are sustainable and so long as renewable generation and storage capacity is matched to EV (and ASHP) uptake, it will just get better.

    Storage  We have a few hours in the UK – a winter high pressure event can last weeks

    Renewable generation – again – what about when the wind does not blow?

    I agree that if those two things are met then yes EVs would be lower ( not zero) carbon and an improvement ( but still not sustainable) over ICEs

    NOw how are you going to meet those two conditions?

    Daffy
    Full Member

    Yes those numbers are right – but whaty you miss is that renewables are maxed out most of the time – shortfall is made up by fossil fuels.  So increase demand and ( much of the time) that increased demand is supplied by fossil fuels as nuclear and renewables are maxed out.

    Obviously on a windy day when renewables are not maxed out more turbines can be turned on.  But the reality is that most of increased demand caused by EVs comes from fossil fuels

    Daffy – what about that winter high pressure event?  Pretty common.  What renewables are you getting then?

    Who gives a flying f*ck about individual events that happen seasonally?  Burn gas for those until hydrogen (which most gas turbines can burn at a 50% mix right now) comes online.    On AVERAGE, you’re looking at a near 75% (minimum) reduction in emissions during the in life phase of use.

    Everyone that’s driving an EV right now in the UK is reducing their in-life emissions by 90% compared to a FF car based on 2023 data.  That’s part due to the energy mix (75%) and part due to the burning products of gasoline vs natural gas (15%) as per unit of energy, you get 20% more Co2 from petrol, than from gas.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Assuming you ignore the co2 from making them and the shortened lifespan of EVs because batteries degrade much faster than fossils fuel tanks

    tjagain
    Full Member

    On AVERAGE, you’re looking at a near 75% (minimum) reduction in emissions during the in life phase of use.

    Still not so as they induce ADDITIONAL electricity demand which is mainly served by fossil fuel.
    Additional demand comes from fossil fuels – no the average mix as nuclear and wind are often maxed out

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    @tjagain – PLEASE go and ready “sustainable energy without the hot air” …. it takes a realistic, pragmatic approach to the very concerns you are raising (which are real and need solutions – which are discussed and developed into a series of potential workable solutions)

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Still not so as they induce ADDITIONAL electricity demand which is mainly served by fossil fuel.

    How do you know it’s the cars that are causing the demand and not the factory at the end of the road or kids playing on Playstations or whatever?

    You seem to be suggesting that the additional load of cars is different to the additional load of anything else. But there’s no reason to segregate cars from anything else.  Overall electricity consumption is going down anyway and renewable energy is going up.  If demand is falling in other areas then how about we say that EVs are taking up the spare renewable capacity that’s not being used due to energy savings elsewhere?  You can if you like – this is what I mean by creative accounting, it’s what you’re doing.

    But, EVEN IF a car really were powered purely by electricity generated from gas, you must remember that car would otherwise be powered by petrol, and that is less efficient and produces more CO2 than using electricity generated from gas.

    the shortened lifespan of EVs

    Do you have actual evidence for this that’s not an oil-lobby sponsored FB post?

    Daffy
    Full Member

    Assuming you ignore the co2 from making them and the shortened lifespan of EVs because batteries degrade much faster than fossils fuel tanks

    My post specifically stated “in-life”.  I have continually and consistently disproved your ill informed opinion on production vs total life along with providing supporting evidence – I’m not going to do it again.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Because with EVs you are creating a whole new class of electricity using thing and their usage places additional de4mands on the generation system that can only come from fossil fuels much of the time.  Also there is good evidence that EVs are used more as the cost per mile is low

    Wind will always be intermittent.

    Hydrogen will have its place i am sure.  I think in smoothing demand and storage will be its first commercial usage

    Tidal was mentioned before.  shortsighted governments not investing in it – tidal flow the tech is here.  Its not zero carbon again tho

    Again this needs to be remembered – all energy usage has a carbon cost

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Daffy – you do need to look at “whole life” emissions but I agree that between EVs and ICEs whole life the EV is less pollution overall but far from zero

    Daffy
    Full Member

    Still not so as they induce ADDITIONAL electricity demand which is mainly served by fossil fuel.
    Additional demand comes from fossil fuels – no the average mix as nuclear and wind are often maxed out

    Wrong again.  Grid demand and supply over the past 12 years.  Ignoring covid and despite record EV registrations in 2021-2023, the demand is being met by increased renewables…gas use is still decreasing, as is nuclear.  Imagine what will happen when Dogger Bank and Hinkley Point come online.  Where will all you luddites go?  2024 shows an upward trend as it’s winter with only a single month of data.

    Grid Live

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    batteries degrade much faster than fossils fuel tanks

    You can’t compare the battery against only the fuel tank.
    You need to compare the whole drivetrain of an EV (i.e. including batteries, inverters, motors etc) with the whole drivetrain of an ICE (including engine, transmission, fuel and exhaust systems).

    It appears that the current generation of EV drivetrains (inc batteries) are capable of 150-200+ miles, which is actually broadly in line with what ICE drivetrains are capable of. More real-world experience is needed of course but broadly they seem similar, and the reality is that the rest of the vehicle tends to fall apart first these days – what finishes off most old cars (assuming they havn’t been crashes) is typically that it’s just not economically feasible to keep them running , so that failed alternator, suspension bushing, clutch or whatever just isn’t worth repairing.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Daffy – are you genuinely not understanding this?

    Much of the time renewables are maxed out.  When they are all additional demand comes from fossil fuels. Its the intermittent nature of wind generation.  There is no other source for this additional demand

    Now what are you going to do in a winter high pressure event when there is little sunshine, little wind and its cold?  happens every year.

    Answer – burn fossil fuels or the slights go out

    sl2000
    Full Member

    @tjagain I understand the point you are making. But you’re wrong.

    If we decide to stop building any more renewable capacity then your point about charging an individual car at a time when renewables aren’t providing 100% of the grid’s power, then yes the increase in demand due to that car is being met with gas.

    But the extra demand due to that car is part of what is making it economic to build more renewable capacity.

    Much of the time renewables are maxed out.

    I’m not sure what fraction that ‘much’ is – but we’re building more so it is reducing. But we need the demand there for that build to happen. No-one is going to build in advance of the EVs (and heat pumps) creating the demand.

    what are you going to do in a winter high pressure event when there is little sunshine, little wind and its cold? happens every year.

    Daffy has already answered this. In this instances, currently and for the foreseeable, you burn gas. That means that at the moment you’re not going to be 100% renewable in your car. It doesn’t mean you’re 100% fossil fuel.

    J-R
    Full Member

    Answer – burn fossil fuels or the slights go out

    Yes but so what?

    How many days a year does that happen? If the vast majority of our energy comes from renewables then a small proportion from fossil fuels to fill the occasional gap simply doesn’t matter.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    It appears that the current generation of EV drivetrains (inc batteries) are capable of 150-200+ miles, which is actually broadly in line with what ICE drivetrains are capable of.

    Not even close to that far. 3 yr old Tesla batteries are already only giving half the original distance per charge. Literally millions is being spent on researching how to make batteries last and what to do with them once they are no longer holding enough charge for EVs. The university my wife works won over £5m a year to do primary research into this

    im not pro oil. Oil is not the answer but neither are EVs. EVs are a short term thing until a proper solution is found

    tjagain
    Full Member

    JR – the point is that you cannot claim your car is fuelled entirely on renewables and that any increase in demand is met most of the time by an increase in fossil fuel burning as most off the time wind is maxed out

    If we decide to stop building any more renewable capacity then your point about charging an individual car at a time when renewables aren’t providing 100% of the grid’s power, then yes the increase in demand due to that car is being met with gas.

    Whayhay  someone gets the point! – and not just gas but coal and even sometimes diesel

    Thats the point – EVs are not the answer – the answer is to stop moving people around in individual 2 tonne boxes

    Until we have massive surplus of renewables then this will remain so – and will still remain partially true as there will always be low wind periods.

    tidal is what we need and practical stortage

    J-R
    Full Member

    Not even close to that far. 3 yr old Tesla batteries are already only giving half the original distance per charge

    I simply don’t believe you. What is your source?

    As a benchmark my 7 year old Zoe battery has degraded less than 5%. I don’t think the battery is any better than a Tesla.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    My neighbours Tesla

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    3 yr old Tesla batteries are already only giving half the original distance per charge

    That is total rubbish. Maybe some individual batteries will fail early as with any other product, but the vast majority last much longer. Chrismac – it sounds like your neighbour has a valid warranty claim then and will get the battery replaced for free by Tesla.

    Look at the warranties being offered – Tesla is 8 years or 100,000-150,000 miles (dependent on model). BMW is 8 years / 160,000kM. Tesla criteria is 70% of capacity retained – not sure on BMW but expect it’s similar.
    If the vast majority of the units sold don’t achieve this it will be ruiniously expensive for the manufacturers, hence design life will be significantly more.

    “what to do with them once they are no longer holding enough charge for EVs.”

    The current plans for this are to repurpose the individual cells. They don’t degrade equally so grading allows for high performance cells to be used for another life’s worth of automotive use (in a cheaper / less capable package than the original battery of course), medium ones to do some less demanding work (powerwall type applications), and the truly low capability ones to be recycled. Yes, they are recyclable. There isn’t much commercial capability to recycle yet largely because the demand isn’t there yet – the cells are mostly still in cars in active use.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    3 yr old Tesla batteries are already only giving half the original distance per charge.

    That can happen occasionally – anything can fail, including a cell in a battery – but it is NOT common and it certainly is not the norm.  The average degradation of batteries is about 12% in 200k miles according to the company themselves – who admittedly aren’t reliable sources. But there are tons of cars out there with 80k miles on their original range.  Even my basic Leaf on 66k is showing no signs of degradation.

    My neighbours Tesla

    A sample size of one is meaningless, as I’m sure you know.

    Because with EVs you are creating a whole new class of electricity using thing

    What difference does it make what ‘class’ the thing is in?  Renewable capacity is going up, electricity demand is going down, car charging is a ‘smart’ load that is usually  varied according to renewable availability, and EV usage displaces FF usage which is NEVER renewable and ALWAYS much dirtier than the grid mix.  How can you say my EV is using the FF portion of the grid and my computer is not?

    Daffy
    Full Member

    Daffy – are you genuinely not understanding this?

    Much of the time renewables are maxed out.  When they are all additional demand comes from fossil fuels. Its the intermittent nature of wind generation.  There is no other source for this additional demand

    Now what are you going to do in a winter high pressure event when there is little sunshine, little wind and its cold?  happens every year.

    Answer – burn fossil fuels or the slights go out

    Do you not understand averages?  Renewables should be maxed, that’s an optimal system.  As demand grows, you scale the system to the demand (you build more wind, nuclear and storage).  Outlier demand should be met by something flexible, in this case gas.  The gas power stations are maintained on tick over with gas storage ready to go as required.  MUCH easier than any other solution and will get us to 90% average renewables inside a decade.

    chrismacFull Member
    My neighbours Tesla

    Oooh a single data point, huh?  You’re a proper scientist your are!

    How about a sample of 625 data points over 10 years?

    https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/study-real-life-tesla-battery-deterioration#:~:text=How%20long%20does%20a%20Tesla,80%25%20of%20the%20original%20range.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    The university my wife works won over £5m a year to do primary research into this

    £5m if absolutely naff all in terms of research.  We spent €3.5bn last year….

    dmorts
    Full Member

    @thisisnotaspoon

    Probably not,
    a) “industrial” emissions are already tightly regulated, other large emitters like landfill sites and sewage treatment are better than they were 30-40 years ago (e.g. well managed landfill is now capped with soil overnight and once filled the top is covered in a membrane and the gas collected and used as fuel rather than just vent) the other large emitters are livestock and silage / manure treatment.

    I was thinking more globally. There are countries which are not as strictly regulated. A demand for H2 might encourage more recovery of methane (if economically viable). Then if that’s turned into H2, the impact of the emitted carbon it might be less than just releasing the methane unprocessed.

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