Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Saturn’s aurora


The report says: ‘Density decreases with altitude, and the rate of decrease depends on temperature.’ Or is it the other way round, i.e. density influences temperature?

The upper layers in the atmospheres of gas giants—Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune—are hot, just like Earth’s, says Phys.org.

But unlike Earth, the Sun is too far from these outer planets to account for the high temperatures. Their heat source has been one of the great mysteries of planetary science.

New analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft finds a viable explanation for what’s keeping the upper layers of Saturn, and possibly the other gas giants, so hot: auroras at the planet’s north and south poles.

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An end to this?


The researchers also imagine devices that would wirelessly power implants in a patient’s body without any surgery to change batteries.

Any device that sends out a Wi-Fi signal also emits terahertz waves —electromagnetic waves with a frequency somewhere between microwaves and infrared light, says Technology.org.

These high-frequency radiation waves, known as “T-rays,” are also produced by almost anything that registers a temperature, including our own bodies and the inanimate objects around us.

Terahertz waves are pervasive in our daily lives, and if harnessed, their concentrated power could potentially serve as an alternate energy source. Imagine, for instance, a cellphone add-on that passively soaks up ambient T-rays and uses their energy to charge your phone.

However, to date, terahertz waves are wasted energy, as there has been no practical way to capture and convert them into any usable form.

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Making electricity unreliable and expensive when it used not be — sounds idiotic, but seems to be the norm with climate-obsessed governments these days.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

I recently got an intriguing email from Professor Guus Berkhout, president of the Climate Intelligence Foundation or CLINTEL. It contained this striking paragraph and the last sentence really got me thinking:

“The past 150 years show that affordable and reliable energy is the key to prosperity. The past 150 years also show that more CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth and increasing the yields of crops. Why do governments ignore these hard facts? Why do they do the opposite and lower the quality of life by forcing high-cost, dubious low-carbon energy technologies upon their citizens? The zero-emission act is a crime against humanity.” (Emphasis added.)

So I looked into the law on crimes against humanity and Professor Berkhout may have a strong case. At its simplest, a crime against humanity is a government policy that systematically and knowingly harms a specific group…

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Typical electric car set-up


The battle of the chargers is underway. Too much home charging could overload the local electricity network, but nobody wants to sit around in public areas every day or two waiting for a more expensive power-up. At present this is of little interest to much of the population anyway, judging by the very low sales of EVs.

“Less-than-ideal” electric vehicle (EV) chargers were backed in last week’s Budget, which ring fenced £500M over five years to implement rapid charging hubs in public places, says New Civil Engineer.

Instead, policymakers should shift their focus away from costly public rapid chargers to investing in the scaled deployment of smaller, slower chargers on residential streets, says the report.

‘Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers’, by EV infrastructure company Connected Kerb, says that many potential EV buyers have no access to the convenience of chargers at home or nearby, and this is hindering EV take-up.

The report found that 67% of current EV drivers would not have bought an EV if they did not have access to overnight charging.

Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones said: “That is a massive red flag when you look at the existing infrastructure deployment strategies.

“Rapid chargers are more expensive and less convenient – inconvenience deters uptake. Focus must be redirected to on-street residential and workplace charging that reflects existing charging behaviours and incentivises more people to transition to EVs.”

Existing charging behaviours indicate that 80% of charging is done at home, with 64% of this being overnight.

“This is where drivers want to charge,” Pateman Jones said. “They use costly public chargers only when their preferred option is not available. They do not think like petrol vehicle owners, going to a fixed location to ‘fill it up’.”

Full article here.


National energy supplies will be manipulated by the government long into the future, under the dubious banner of climate concerns. Providers will have to go along with whatever the latest prescriptive policies are, including forcing up the price of gas. Forget market forces and open competition. What could possibly go wrong?

In his Budget announcement [this week], chancellor Rishi Sunak said the CCS Infrastructure Fund would be worth “at least £800M”, with the first site to be established by the mid-2020s, reports New Civil Engineer.

The initiatives will create up to 6,000 jobs in Teesside, Humberside, Merseyside and St Fergus in Scotland – in a move described by Sunak as “levelling up in action”.

CCS can provide flexible low carbon power and decarbonise many industrial processes. It is important for the UK since other key sources of low carbon electricity – such as offshore and onshore wind and solar – are weather dependent.

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It turns out that a method based on reacting to internal resistance during fast recharges should be less damaging to the battery. However, this suggests not-so-fast mid-journey recharge times.
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Commercial fast-charging stations subject electric car batteries to high temperatures and high resistance that can cause them to crack, leak, and lose their storage capacity, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in a new open-access study published in the journal Energy Storage.

To remedy this, the researchers have developed a method for charging at lower temperatures with less risk of catastrophic damage and loss of storage capacity, reports Green Car Congress.

In order to make EVs more competitive with combustion engine vehicles, development of an effective fast charging technique is inevitable. However, improper employment of fast charging can damage the battery and bring safety hazards. Herein, industry based along with our proposed internal resistance (IR) based fast charging techniques were performed on commercial Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical batteries. To further investigate the fast charging impact and electrode degradation mechanisms, electrochemical analysis and material characterization techniques including EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), GITT (galvanostatic intermittent titration technique), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), and XRD (X-ray diffraction) were implemented.

—Sebastian et al.

Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Cengiz Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, led a group that charged one set of discharged Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, found in Tesla cars, using the same industry fast-charging method as fast chargers found along freeways.

They also charged a set using a new fast-charging algorithm based on the battery’s internal resistance, which interferes with the flow of electrons. The internal resistance of a battery fluctuates according to temperature, charge state, battery age, and other factors. High internal resistance can cause problems during charging.

The UC Riverside Battery Team charging method is an adaptive system that learns from the battery by checking the battery’s internal resistance during charging. It rests when internal resistance kicks in to eliminate loss of charge capacity.

For the first 13 charging cycles, the battery storage capacities for both charging techniques remained similar. After that, however, the industry fast-charging technique caused capacity to fade much faster—after 40 charging cycles the batteries kept only 60% of their storage capacity.

Batteries charged using the internal resistance charging method retained more than 80% capacity after the 40th cycle.

Full report here.


They must be hoping to bludgeon people into accepting the ‘climate neutral’ nonsense if they keep spouting it for long enough. Any government that says “you can’t fly anywhere on holiday any more” isn’t going to last long.

The UK cannot reach net zero before 2050 unless people stop flying and eating red meat, a report says.

But it warns that the British public do not look ready to take such steps and substantially change their lifestyle, says BBC News.

The report challenges the views of campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

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Includes a beginner’s guide to the various types of sprite now known to occur.

Spaceweather.com

March 7, 2020: Sprite season is coming. Spring thunderstorms often produce the year’s first big bursts of upward-directed lightning. To get ready, Puerto Rican sprite chaser Frankie Lucena has prepared a chart to identify the different forms, including a newly-discovered type of sprite called “the Ghost.”

Frankie-Lucena-TLE_Chart_2020_1200dpi_1583176434

“This chart provides just a glimpse of what can be seen and photographed above very strong thunderstorms,” says Lucena. “I used actual images, enhanced and slightly modified to better show what they actually look like.”

“This is the first chart to show the Ghost and a Negative Sprite event,” he continues. “The Ghost is a green colored shadow that appears above some sprites. The green color is caused by electrons exciting oxygen molecules in the mesosphere, approximately 80 km high. A Negative Sprite is triggered by a -CG lightning discharge as opposed to a regular sprite which is triggered by a +CG lightning discharge.”…

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EC Power’s All-Climate Battery


This type of battery, adopted by BMW among others, will be used in runabout vehicles at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing. Its self-heating feature means it can perform well in sub-zero conditions, unlike most Li-ion batteries. One report says it’s ‘only 1.5 percent heavier and costs 0.04 percent more than a conventional lithium-ion battery’.

A lithium-ion battery that is safe, has high power and can last for 1 million miles has been developed by a team in Penn State’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center, reports TechXplore.

Electric vehicle batteries typically require a tradeoff between safety and energy density. If the battery has high energy and power density, which is required for uphill driving or merging on the freeway, then there is a chance the battery can catch fire or explode in the wrong conditions.

But materials that have low energy/power density, and therefore high safety, tend to have poor performance. There is no material that satisfies both. For that reason, battery engineers opt for performance over safety.

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Hybrid car [credit: Toyota]


The electric-only motor bandwagon is now rolling in the UK, and already it looks like open season on hybrids.
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Plug-in hybrid cars are not as good for the environment as manufacturers claim because they can’t operate in electric-only mode if it’s cold, the vehicle has been put in cruise control or the electric motors can’t generate enough power.

That’s according to a green transport campaign, which highlighted the limitations of hybrid vehicles as part of a market review, says This is Money website.

Greg Archer from Transport & Environment said one leading carmaker ‘is conning its customers’ with claims of green grandeur.

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That’s how the BBC sees it, based on a belief that trace amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are somehow a major problem. Fuel-burning power plants are clearly less costly and more productive than wind and solar options, but there’s a lot of pressure from climate obsessives not to build them, despite the obvious benefits.

The continent desperately needs more power but it also wants to avoid damaging the environment, says BBC News.

Africa is both the world’s least electrified continent and the most vulnerable to climate change.

And as the continent with the world’s fastest growing population, the decisions that African politicians make to boost power supplies could have an impact both locally and globally.

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Follow that termite!

Posted: February 25, 2020 by oldbrew in Batteries, Carbon cycle, Emissions, research
Tags: , ,

Termite mound in Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]


So termites could lead us to the solution to…
CO2-generating termites? The wizardry of would-be planet savers – or could it be the sharpness of opportunists? – never ceases to amaze.

Hidden metal deposits needed to transition the world to low emission technologies can be discovered using metallic blue crusts in soils and on termite mounds as signposts, according to new research from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

CSIRO’s study in the southern Pilbara region of WA used new advances in sample analysis to show how metallic blue crusts, known as manganese crusts, display unique zinc signatures that indicate the presence of other base metals in the surrounding area, reports Technology.org.

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Typical electric car set-up


Expensive energy-intensive processes are needed to make a key battery ingredient for electric vehicles. How does this make any sense at all? They talk about the factories needed ‘to meet homegrown demand’ – but where is it?

As Europe looks to declare its tech independence by becoming a leader in next-generation batteries, it will have to start by making its own graphite, says TechXplore.

The problem is, nearly all of it now comes from Asia, mainly China.

So France’s Carbone Savoie and Germany’s SGL Carbon, the only European firms deemed capable of taking up the challenge, have been corralled into an ambitious battery alliance launched by Brussels last year.

“Thank you for bringing us on board this ‘Airbus for batteries,’ though to be honest, we weren’t even on the passenger list,” Carbone Savoie’s chairman Bruno Gastinne told France’s deputy finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday.

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M42 ‘smart’ motorway [image credit: Snowmanradio @ Wikipedia]


Hansard (the Official Report) is the edited verbatim report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and (in this instance) the House of Lords.

These extracts from a very recent debate highlight serious EV safety issues which seem to have been ignored to date:

Lord Snape:

My Lords, like previous speakers I thank the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, for introducing this debate. It is apparent that smart motorways have few friends—other than perhaps in the Department for Transport.

Those of us who have used them are aware of the dangers and see from time to time the awesome consequences of all four lanes of traffic being in use at exactly the same time.

Baroness Randerson:

Finally, I raise the issue of electric vehicles. When an electric vehicle ceases to function, it stops; it does not coast in the way that other vehicles do.

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SMR transporter


The project aims to have the first power generated within 8 to 10 years, and more ex-nuclear sites are being considered. R-R already powers the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet.
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There is a “pretty high probability” that Trawsfynydd could be the site of the UK’s first small nuclear power station, says the company hoping to build it.

Engineering giant Rolls-Royce wants to build a network of mini-reactors, a third of the size of current stations, says BBC Wales.

It hopes to strike a deal with the UK government within the next year.

But it says the site of the old Gwynedd reactor ticks all the boxes to pioneer the technology.

If it goes ahead it would also be one of the first small modular reactors (SMRs) in the world.

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Enormous expense, twenty times more wind turbines, hydrogen production, much less meat eating, carbon capture, hard ‘lifestyle changes’ and so on. Maybe travel to work on a flying pig – and all for what?

It won’t be easy, but clean energy analyst Chris Goodall believes that the UK is entirely capable of becoming carbon neutral, says BBC Science.

Belatedly, the world has realised it has to eliminate greenhouse gases within a few decades.

The UK has promised ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050. Is this is an achievable aim? How much will it cost? In what ways will our lifestyles need to change?

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Lack of public enthusiasm for much-touted electric cars wasn’t overcome by these relatively low-cost offerings. Where they think a sales boom is going to come from is a mystery.

An all-electric car-sharing scheme in London is being scrapped next month in a setback to the capital’s ambitions to get more polluting vehicles off the road, says the Evening Standard.

French-owned Bluecity, which ran a fleet of distinctive red battery-powered cars, said its £5-per-half hour service was no longer financially viable after it secured deals with only three London councils. It will officially shut down on February 10.

A second car-sharing club, German-owned DriveNow, is pulling out of London at the end of next month. It operated 130 electric BMW i3 cars out of a total fleet of more than 700 vehicles.

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M42 ‘smart’ motorway [image credit: Snowmanradio @ Wikipedia]


UK smart motorways have been getting negative press lately for safety – or lack of it – reasons. Running out of EV battery power could be a risk too far on such roads, branded by some as ‘death traps’.
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Smart motorways could be rendered obsolete within a decade as they are not suitable for electric cars, it was claimed yesterday.

AA boss Edmund King warned the routes would be even more dangerous because it would not be possible to tow the stranded vehicles to safety, says All World Report.

He said driverless cars could also run into problems on smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is used as a regular traffic lane to ease congestion.

Developers recommend if a motorist falls asleep in an autonomous vehicle then it should pull over in a safe place – but this may prove impossible with no hard shoulder.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


In short, Scottish wind power often produces too much for the electricity system to handle, yet more is planned. Meanwhile the super-expensive Western Link is failing miserably to draw off the excess power. Matt Ridley is trying to blow the whistle on this fiasco in the House of Lords, with some success.

Last weekend the Italian cable manufacturing company, Prysmian, released a statement announcing to the markets that the Western Link High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector between Hunterston and Deeside had failed again, on the 10th of January, says the Renewable Energy Foundation.

This grid link, which is a joint venture between Scottish Power Transmission (SPT) and National Grid (NG), employs cables manufactured by Prysmian.

This £1 billion project has a peak transit capacity of 2.25 GW and was designed solely to facilitate the export of Scottish wind power to the English and Welsh markets.

In doing so it was expected to reduce constraint payments to wind power, payments which amount to £630m since 2010, with a record £130 million in 2019 alone.

The project was expected to come online at the end of 2015 but in fact did not become fully operational until late 2018 and has been plagued with faults ever since.

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Salar de Atacama, Chile [image credit: Francesco Mocellin @ Wikipedia]


Wikipedia says: ‘Salar de Atacama is the world’s largest and purest active source of lithium, containing 27% of the world’s lithium reserve base…Extraction of lithium-rich brines is causing conflict with water use by local communities and is damaging the ecosystem, including the Andean flamingo.’ Do self-styled planet savers approve of this?

Global demand for lithium is expected to triple in six years.

But mining companies are increasingly coming into conflict with indigenous communities who are worried about the future of their ecosystems, says DW.com.

In the middle of the world’s driest desert is a vast expanse of turquoise basins, each one like a colossal swimming pool, up to 20 times the size of a football field.

The pools are filled with a salty brine pumped up from ancient reservoirs under the desert. It also contains lithium carbonate, the raw material for a light, silvery metal that happens to be a component of the batteries now used by virtually all computers, phones and electric cars.

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