Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Field lines of the bar magnet [image credit: brilliant.org]


A magnetic field line is more a trajectory than an actual entity, despite being discussed as though it really exists. But they are ‘found’ in space just as they are in bar magnets.

New research describes striking similarity of laboratory research findings with observations of the four-satellite Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission that studies magnetic reconnection in space, reports ScienceDaily.

As on Earth, so in space.

A four-satellite mission that is studying magnetic reconnection — the breaking apart and explosive reconnection of the magnetic field lines in plasma that occurs throughout the universe — has found key aspects of the process in space to be strikingly similar to those found in experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

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This may or may not have its uses, but any idea that the whole world could get electricity mainly from the sun and the wind is not credible, with today’s technology at least.

MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand, says TechExplore.

The system may be designed to power a small city not just when the sun is up or the wind is high, but around the clock.

The new design stores heat generated by excess electricity from solar or wind power in large tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowing metal back into electricity when it’s needed.

The researchers estimate that such a system would be vastly more affordable than lithium-ion batteries, which have been proposed as a viable, though expensive, method to store renewable energy. They also estimate that the system would cost about half as much as pumped hydroelectric storage—the cheapest form of grid-scale energy storage to date.

“Even if we wanted to run the grid on renewables right now we couldn’t, because you’d need fossil-fueled turbines to make up for the fact that the renewable supply cannot be dispatched on demand,” says Asegun Henry, the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “We’re developing a new technology that, if successful, would solve this most important and critical problem in energy and climate change, namely, the storage problem.”

Henry and his colleagues have published their design today in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

Record temps

The new storage system stems from a project in which the researchers looked for ways to increase the efficiency of a form of renewable energy known as concentrated solar power.

Unlike conventional solar plants that use solar panels to convert light directly into electricity, concentrated solar power requires vast fields of huge mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a central tower, where the light is converted into heat that is eventually turned into electricity.

“The reason that technology is interesting is, once you do this process of focusing the light to get heat, you can store heat much more cheaply than you can store electricity,” Henry notes.

Concentrated solar plants store solar heat in large tanks filled with molten salt, which is heated to high temperatures of about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When electricity is needed, the hot salt is pumped through a heat exchanger, which transfers the salt’s heat into steam. A turbine then turns that steam into electricity.

“This technology has been around for a while, but the thinking has been that its cost will never get low enough to compete with natural gas,” Henry says. “So there was a push to operate at much higher temperatures, so you could use a more efficient heat engine and get the cost down.”

However, if operators were to heat the salt much beyond current temperatures, the salt would corrode the stainless steel tanks in which it’s stored. So Henry’s team looked for a medium other than salt that might store heat at much higher temperatures.

They initially proposed a liquid metal and eventually settled on silicon—the most abundant metal on Earth, which can withstand incredibly high temperatures of over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last year, the team developed a pump that could withstand such blistering heat, and could conceivably pump liquid silicon through a renewable storage system. The pump has the highest heat tolerance on record—a feat that is noted in “The Guiness Book of World Records.”

Since that development, the team has been designing an energy storage system that could incorporate such a high-temperature pump.

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Research article: Secular decrease of wind power potential in India associated with warming in the Indian Ocean

‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


Another opinion piece pointing out the engineering impossibilities being attempted by countries that try to pursue intermittent renewable power to the limit. Unthinking insistence on such policies is not the way to go.

More and more people are about to realize, that supplying the world with stable energy from sun and wind only, will be impossible, says Kalte Sonne.

Germany took on the challenge to show the world how to build a society based on green energy. They have now hit the wall.

Germany has not reduced CO2 emissions over the last 10 years despite huge investments in green energy production capacity.

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Image credit: BBC Scotland


Sooner or later, preferring ideology to practicality in electricity generation is going to cause trouble. But are leaders aware of the issues, or in Scotland’s case do they just assume the rest of the UK will bale them out in an emergency?
H/T The GWPF

Scotland faces being plunged into darkness for days says The Herald Scotland, possibly resulting in deaths and widespread civil disobedience, due to the country’s over-reliance on green energy, a new report has warned.

A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.

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Chinese electric car [image credit: scmp.com]


As one researcher said of the Chinese government: “Tracking vehicles is one of the main focuses of their mass surveillance.” People anywhere can already be tracked via mobile phones, but this takes it a bit further.

When Shan Junhua bought his white Tesla Model X, he knew it was a fast, beautiful car.

What he didn’t know is that Tesla constantly sends information about the precise location of his car to the Chinese government, reports TechXplore.

Tesla is not alone. China has called upon all electric vehicle manufacturers in China to make the same kind of reports—potentially adding to the rich kit of surveillance tools available to the Chinese government as President Xi Jinping steps up the use of technology to track Chinese citizens.

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Bad news for the workers, but most of the public just don’t want expensive electric cars when better options are available.

CO2 is Life

Six Years Ago Obama Promised to Buy a Chevy Volt. Now It Is Dead

General Motors announced Monday that it would cease production of the hybrid electric plug-in Volt and its gas-powered sister car the Cruze. The announcement came as part of a larger restructuring by the car company as it seeks to focus production around the bigger vehicles in favor with U.S. consumers. (Source)

Economic textbooks are being re-written to explain how a President with so many economic tailwinds could double the debt and have 0.00% interest rates and get so little for it. You really have to try really hard to fail so badly. The silver lining is that all President Trump had to do was reverse Obama’s policies and the economy exploded. Reagan did the same thing after Carter.

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Mobile EV charger


Could this be a viable option for aspiring EV owners who can’t park close enough to their homes to charge their batteries? A bit like a power bank for electronic devices, except not pocket-sized. £40 million is on the table to get a competition started.

FreeWire Technologies, a pioneer in flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, has received funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK to participate in the Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging for Commercial Users competition, reports BusinessWire.

Supported by international energy and services company Centrica plc and delivered in partnership with Westminster City Council, the project will combine FreeWire’s mobile EV charging technology with Zipcar UK’s electrified fleet and driver patterns to test the feasibility of scalable on-demand EV charging deployments.

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Image credit: sunpower.com.au


Saving money thanks to government subsidies always invites the question: who is really paying for the offer? No prizes for guessing.

Labor wants Australian suburbs to run on batteries through a plan to subsidise solar power storage for thousands of households, reports news.com.au.

And it believes the plan could cut electricity bills by 60 per cent.

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Carrington Power Station near Manchester


H/T The GWPF

The sooner Britain gets the interfering EU off its regulatory back the better. With already questionable policies on power generation due to climate obsessions, this aggravation is the last thing needed.

Electricity prices could double after the government suspended the UK’s system for ensuring there is a back-up power supply, experts have warned.

The wholesale power price could hit £121 per megawatt hour (MWh) by next winter unless the so-called capacity market is reinstated, according to a report — risking higher energy bills for millions, reports The Sunday Times.

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Chinese electric car [image credit: scmp.com]


China already has 250 million electric scooters and around 3 million electric cars, most of which face battery replacements in the next decade or so. But high costs have opened the door to ‘cowboy’ operators.

Researchers estimate it will cost nearly US$3 million to reverse the damage caused by just one illegal plant, says the South China Morning Post.

Authorities in eastern China are turning to the courts to raise the millions of yuan needed to rehabilitate water and land polluted by dumping from an illegal lead-acid battery recycling plant.

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VW ID. model


VW claims ‘the First complete transformation of a major car factory from internal combustion engines to e-mobility in the world’. All they have to do then is sell the products to a so-far unenthusiastic public, at a rate of about 900 a day. Before you ask: ‘Power supplies at the Zwickau plant were already changed over to 100 percent eco-power in 2017.’ And they waffle about ‘climate protection’ to appeal to wide-eyed planet-savers.

Germany’s biggest carmaker VW has substantiated plans to transform its product line and drastically scale-up the share of electric cars by revealing plans for a major e-car factory in the eastern German city of Zwickau, says CleanEnergyWire.

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Gas peaking plant [image credit: Clarke Energy]


Renewables advocates keep pushing the idea that there may be ‘gaps’ in power supply due to intermittency. But most sensible people realise it’s the other way round – renewables provide a small percentage of the total power and everything else has to work around that. Here’s an example of the propaganda.

The Ashford Peaking Power Plant is a 21MW facility located at Kingsnorth Industrial Estate in Kent, reports Energy Live News.

It has 14 gas engines on site, which runs for around 1,500 to 2,000 hours a year – it is fully automated, unmanned and is monitored and controlled remotely.

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Typical electric car set-up


We keep hearing this, but the suspicion is that only a fraction of vehicle users are at all bothered, as most don’t want an expensive range-limited electric car with uncertain charging options anyway. Notions of slaying phantom emissions dragons won’t be enough to make them popular, as sales to date show.

The coming electric vehicle boom will significantly increase the demand for cobalt in the EU and globally, says Phys.org.

As a result, demand is expected to exceed supply already in 2020 and the EU must take steps to boost supply and curb demand without hindering the growth in electric vehicles, according to a new report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), presented at the EU Raw Material Week in Brussels.

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


It looks increasingly like the ‘new normal’ to try and get the courts to decide what national electricity generation policy should – or should not – be, by promoting ill-founded paranoia that blames humans for climate variability. Security of supply versus shaky ideology.

ClientEarth objects to Drax Power’s new gas power project, on the grounds that it breaches the government’s planning and climate change recommendations.

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Subsidised plug-in cars driven on fuel

Posted: November 10, 2018 by oldbrew in Critique, government, Subsidies, Travel
Tags: ,

Credit: dieselstation.com


Company car drivers don’t have time to wait for recharges when working, even if they could find an available charging point, and usually they aren’t personally paying for the fuel anyway. Farcical waste of subsidies, but at least the batteries won’t be worn out when these vehicles hit the second-hand market.

Plug-in hybrids bought for fleets with subsidies may never have been charged, research for BBC shows.

Tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) bought with generous government grants may be burning as much fuel as combustion-engine cars.

​Data compiled for the BBC suggests that such vehicles in corporate fleets averaged just 40 miles per gallon (mpg), when they could have done 130.

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Proposed nuclear plant at Moorside [credit: in-cumbria.com]


This puts a large dent in UK electricity generation policy, which expects nuclear energy to supply a significant percentage of its ’emissions-free’ power alongside that from unpredictable part-time renewables like wind and solar.

The announcement is a major blow for the region, says TheBusinessDesk.com.

Japanese firm Toshiba has announced it is to pull the plug on the company set up to build a new £15bn nuclear power station in Cumbria.

The tech giant has announced it is winding up Manchester based NuGen, its UK-based nuclear arm, after efforts to sell the business failed.

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Credit: ukcampsite.co.uk


It seems unlikely that hordes of angry protesters would rush to this project to complain about any alleged dangers of deep drilling – but you never know.

Drilling will start this week at what could become the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity plant in Cornwall, reports ITV News.

Two wells will be drilled through granite rock near St Day, the deepest of which will reach 4.5 kilometres.

Geothermal Engineering Ltd says the aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of geothermal technology to produce electricity and renewable heat in the UK.

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[image credit: Pakistan Defence]


They need to find something else to worry about. Renewables are simply too feeble to take the place of coal and gas power generation, even if such were desirable, and restricting power usage is not a credible option. Quite the reverse in fact – everyone wants electricity, and more of it as time goes by.
H/T Phys.org

Coal-fired power plants operating and under construction in Asia pose a threat to achieving the goal of halting global warming, the head of the International Energy Agency told the Financial Times on Wednesday.

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Fiat 500X hybrid


Tinkering with electric and hybrid vehicle technology is one thing, but getting today’s buyers to willingly pay for it is another, as shown by weak sales despite the already widespread use of hefty subsidies.

Pan-European efforts under the ECOCHAMPS project have led to the development of five hybrid vehicles boasting reduced CO2 emissions, higher efficiency and powertrains with reduced weight and volume, says the European Commission’s CORDIS News.

The current focus on electric vehicles as the cornerstone of future urban mobility shouldn’t make us forget that their hybrid counterparts have a future too – and that this future is now. With electric vehicle range and a lack of charging infrastructure still being a problem, hybrid vehicles are likely to become the preferred solution for travelling beyond city limits, but on one condition: the development of easy to integrate, cost-efficient hybrid powertrain technology.

The ECOCHAMPS (European COmpetitiveness in Commercial Hybrid and AutoMotive PowertrainS) project was created with this requirement in mind. Since May 2015, the 25-strong consortium – which includes light- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers FIAT, Renault, Daimler, Iveco, MAN and DAF Trucks – has been working on solutions to improve powertrain efficiency by up to 20 %, reduce powertrain weight and volume by up to 20 % and, broadly speaking, make hybrid vehicles more cost-effective.

The results of the project, which include a modular system and standardisation framework for hybrid electric drivetrain components and auxiliaries for commercial vehicles (available on the project website), a set of electric components for hybrid powertrains, and optimised drivelines, have been demonstrated in two light-duty and three commercial vehicles at TRL 7. These vehicles are a FIAT 500X, a Renault Megane, a medium-duty commercial truck, a city bus and a heavy tractor.

Guus Arts, coordinator of the project on behalf of DAF Trucks, discusses its outcomes and importance for the future of mobility in Europe.

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Australia fiddles while its own coal burns…elsewhere. That’s exactly it, but what are its apparently confused leaders thinking to allow this to happen?

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia is in the process of destroying what was the world’s most reliable and affordable power supply. The destruction is all down to heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

Meanwhile, our major Asian trading partners, China and Japan are chewing up Australian coal and uranium as fast as we can ship it – and building hundreds of new plants to use our high-grade thermal coal: Full-Steam Ahead: China & Japan Snub Intermittent Wind & Solar to Build Hundreds of New-Age Coal-Fired Plants

That a country once renowned as an affordable energy superpower is throttling itself to death with a cocktail of suicidal renewable energy policies, is not just ironic, it is flat out criminal.

Tens of thousands of blue-collar jobs in mining, mineral processing and manufacturing have already been destroyed by rocketing power prices; and tens of thousands more remain under threat. Once lost, those jobs will never…

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