Is the electric car significantly greener?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
The public certainly believes so. Then again, most young people think that the grid can miraculously be powered by solar and do not understand why it is not.

Electric cars require tremendous quantities of:
1) copper - for the motor windings I would surmise
2) lithium - for the batteries
3) cobalt - for battery longevity
4) coal/oil to provide the energy for the grid that supplies the electricity. People seem to believe that "sun farts" magically power electric cars.

Many developed nations are taking steps to eliminate the traditional gasoline powered automobile. Do they have a clue how this all works? Sometimes I think that many politicians are equipped with giant egos and little else.

Meanwhile, our interstates are crammed with large SUVs and pick up trucks loaded with a single driver and no passengers barreling along at 85mph. Which makes driving many small, fuel efficient cars "somewhat" hazardous.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    Scary part about electric cars--If people went over to them in big numbers--The electrical infrastructure would have to (guessing) double or triple in size... At this point, many "green washing" countries are closing down coal and nuclear power plants (and even some hydro) and already having problems supplying stable power at "reasonable" prices.

    Another issue has been, with all of the small/energy efficient/hybrid cars, actual fuel usage has been about flat and miles driven has gone way up. Fuel costs to owners, about the same (excluding fuel inflation costs), and roads became much more croweded--Plus increasing fuel taxes and possible per mile (GPS tracking) taxes to cover hybrid and full electric vehicles (run bio-diesel or soy oil untaxed, big fines if caught. Run electric or natural gas vehicles non-energy taxed, pat on the head).

    Are electric and hybrid vehicles "greener" than a modern car with full pollution controls. Not really. And the whole "clean diesel" lie--Government sets tests and allows "emissions bypass when needed". Diesel car mfg. detect emissions testing and "run clean/non-efficient" test mode. On street, run dirty and efficiently. Government gave tax breaks for "clean diesels" because "low CO2 output: (another scam), now penalties for what are really dirty diesels that are not CO2 "efficient" when operated to emissions requirements.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,933 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 20 #3
    Bill, sort of like Nat Gas was marketed, very low price and then when they 'corner the market' ie most other sources of heat are minimal, the price starts to rise and delivery costs are created and distribution costs, never had them till recently, and, and , and...
    So electric cars... can fill up  for FREE right now, as an INCENTIVE to buy one, the purchase price is subsidized, there are free parking zones for them, they can drive in the Hi Occupancy lanes with only one person, on and on....
    I can't wait to hear the screams when the owners have to 'pony up' the real costs....

     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
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  • manzanitamanzanita Registered Users Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I'm not certain that e-cars are greener, but they do leave the pollution at the generating plant. That may be a big benefit in metro areas. Not so good around the generating plant.

    As already mentioned, it would require significant infrastructure if they were the dominant vehicle type. If you can charge it with a PV system, that would reduce pollution, but cars use a _lot_ of energy if you don't really modify your driving habits. That would mean more PV and eventually add to the PV needing recycling.
  • MarkCMarkC Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭
    What is most interesting to me is the push for optimal battery technologies for EVs .  With the Bolt and Tesla Model3, the range has already essentially tripled or quadrupled from the original Nissan Leaf (I have an old one for around the town use).  Will there ever be enough of this energy storage from EVs (or other new energy storage devices), so that the grid can actually be stabilized rather than stressed  - allow more PV energy to be put on-line?  With every auto manufacturer promising more "electrification", there must be some recognition of a trend - Volvo is touting they will NOT have a pure ICE vehicle offered by 2020.  Being Chinese owned now, maybe it makes sense - sort of "starting from scratch" with their own market.  Will be an interesting next decade or two.
    3850 watts - 14 - 275SW SolarWorld Panels, 4000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy Grid tied inverter.  2760 Watts - 8 - 345XL Solar World Panels, 3000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy GT inverter.   3000 watts SMA/SPS power.  PV "switchable" to MidNite Classic 250ks based charging of Golf cart + spare battery array of 8 - 155 AH 12V Trojans with an  APC SMT3000 - 48 volt DC=>120 Volt AC inverter for emergency off-grid.   Also, "PriUPS" backup generator with APC SURT6000/SURT003  => 192 volt DC/240 volt split phase AC inverter.  
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22 #6

    >Is the electric car significantly greener?

    Depends on where you are.  In the Northwest, where most power is from hydro?  Definitely.  In Appalachia?  It's about a wash; the fuel used is dirtier (coal vs gasoline) but large baseload plants are more efficient, so there's less CO2 produced.

    >Electric cars require tremendous quantities of:
    >1) copper - for the motor windings I would surmise

    So do conventional vehicles - although EV's, of course, use more.

    >2) lithium - for the batteries
    >3) cobalt - for battery longevity

    Tremendous amounts?  A typical EV battery (like the one in a Leaf) has 9 pounds of lithium and no cobalt.  If a Leaf had batteries with NCA cathodes (like a Tesla) then it would have one pound of cobalt in its batteries.  Compare that to 2400 pounds of steel in a typical (non-EV) car.

    >4) coal/oil to provide the energy for the grid that supplies the electricity.

    Most of our electricity comes from natural gas nowadays.  Almost none comes from oil.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    My reddit post detailing obvious problems with electric cars has disappeared into cyberspace. I look at pretty much everything and think......we look pretty screwed right now. Young college people are living in some bubble reality where the truth is generally either racist or fascist or conspiracy or homophobic or transphobic or, more recently, TidePodphobic. I'd say more but that would be changing the subject. 

    Yes....the electric car would help clean up city air but city air is already factors cleaner than it was in the 70's. The EPA did great things for quite awhile. 

    However.....the net affect of pollution spilled into the global ecosphere will be a net negative I suspect. A heavily subsidized net negative I might add. Plus beefing up the capacity of the electrical infrastructure makes that infrastructure more "attractive" to coronal mass ejections. You may refer to these as solar flares. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    MarkC said:
    What is most interesting to me is the push for optimal battery technologies for EVs .  With the Bolt and Tesla Model3, the range has already essentially tripled or quadrupled from the original Nissan Leaf (I have an old one for around the town use).  Will there ever be enough of this energy storage from EVs (or other new energy storage devices), so that the grid can actually be stabilized rather than stressed  - allow more PV energy to be put on-line?  With every auto manufacturer promising more "electrification", there must be some recognition of a trend - Volvo is touting they will NOT have a pure ICE vehicle offered by 2020.  Being Chinese owned now, maybe it makes sense - sort of "starting from scratch" with their own market.  Will be an interesting next decade or two.
    This is already happening to some extent.  Right now, EV's tend to charge at night, when baseload plants have trouble throttling down enough to deal with the lack of loads.  Nuclear power plants in particular don't throttle well; they want to be producing at close to full power all the time for lowest operational costs per megawatt-hour.  Time-of-use metering encourages people to charge at night because costs are lowest.  (Which is also why EV's won't overload the grid for a long time; they are primarily charging during a time when both generation and distribution have gigawatts of extra capacity.)

    As PV gets built out, there will come a time when the excess PV in the middle of the day (actually late morning) will mean that power is cheapest at that time.  When that happens, then TOU metering (and eventually real time metering) will incentivize EV users to use power during that time.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 22 #9

    >Is the electric car significantly greener?

    Depends on where you are.  In the Northwest, where most power is from hydro?  Definitely.  In Appalachia?  It's about a wash; the fuel used is dirtier (coal vs gasoline) but large baseload plants are more efficient, so there's less CO2 produced.

    >Electric cars require tremendous quantities of:
    >1) copper - for the motor windings I would surmise

    So do conventional vehicles - although EV's, of course, use more.

    >2) lithium - for the batteries
    >3) cobalt - for battery longevity

    Tremendous amounts?  A typical EV battery (like the one in a Leaf) has 9 pounds of lithium and no cobalt.  If a Leaf had batteries with NCA cathodes (like a Tesla) then it would have one pound of cobalt in its batteries.  Compare that to 2400 pounds of steel in a typical (non-EV) car.

    >4) coal/oil to provide the energy for the grid that supplies the electricity.

    Most of our electricity comes from natural gas nowadays.  Almost none comes from oil.
    EVs require three times as much copper. 
    Lithium is one of the very lightest elements in the periodic table. Number three in atomic weight/density: https://www.science.co.il/elements/ "Nine pounds" of lithium is a great mass of lithium. Aluminum is ~5 times heavier than lithium.
    No cobalt? Perhaps but that certainly goes against everything that I have read and seen.
    Last I checked, coal still produced the vast majority of our power. That came directly from the CEO of the nations largest power company just a couple years ago.
    When I say "oil" I mean all of the derivatives of oil exploration and refinement. That includes nat gas, propane, diesel, alcohol, butane, and gasoline. Companies drill for "oil" and harvest the derivatives. My deceased brother did that for decades and never mentioned drilling for nat gas, propane, etc. The industry just calls it "oil". 

    EDIT: Apparently density is a more accurate measurement of weight than atomic weight. Wish I would have studied harder sometimes. Either way, lithium appears to be our third lightest element.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭

    softdown said:


    Lithium is one of the very lightest elements in the periodic table. Number three in atomic weight/density: https://www.science.co.il/elements/ "Nine pounds" of lithium is a great mass of lithium. Aluminum is ~5 times heavier than lithium.

    A 9 pound mass of lithium has exactly the same mass as 9 pounds of lead.  You may be saying it has more VOLUME which is certainly true, since it is so light.  But either way there's just not that much of it, compared to (say) steel, which is mainly iron with some molybdenum, manganese, and chromium.

    >No cobalt? Perhaps but that certainly goes against everything that I have read and seen.

    Cobalt - depends on the cathode chemistry of course.  There are li-ion cathodes that use no cobalt, and cathodes that use nickel, aluminum and magnesium.  If we hit a massive shortage of one of those, then we'd switch to a formulation that uses less (or none) of that element.

    >Last I checked, coal still produced the vast majority of our power.

    In 2016, natural gas generated 34% of our power; coal generated 29%.  (It's a good trend.)

    >When I say "oil" I mean all of the derivatives of oil exploration and refinement. That includes nat gas, propane, diesel, alcohol, butane,
    >and gasoline. Companies drill for "oil" and harvest the derivatives. My deceased brother did that for decades and never mentioned
    >drilling for nat gas, propane, etc. The industry just calls it "oil". 

    OK.  I've never heard natural gas referred to as "oil."  You learn something new every day.

    (BTW there is only one state in the US where liquid oil is used in significant quantities for electrical generation - Hawaii, because it's easier to ship.)


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,335 ✭✭✭✭
    ...add to your calculations the oil dropped from gas engines... 
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,334 ✭✭✭✭
    We like our Chevy Volts.  They are cheap to operate and my annual electric bill is about $400 mostly the base charges and taxes.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭
    At the risk of being the grammer cop, "Is the electric car significantly greener?" is missing the noun modified by "greener". Greener than what?

    With current range, an EV typical use case would be short trips in relatively dense urban areas, arguably displacing at least some mass transit ridership. Shorter term, that means more demand for parking and road congestion mitigation, and less pressure for things like light rail or subways. If persistent, it will affect development patterns, away from high density transit nodes, and towards lower density suburban and exurban development - a reversal of trend from the last 20-30 years. People aren't buying an EV to replace a F150 in N.Dakota. Maybe people in NYC think we should because it's greener (than something), but maybe it isn't.

    That said, I'd love to convert my noisy, gas guzzling power boat to a solar electric version. Now that actually would be "green". If EVs make the battery and drivetrain available to me to do it, I'll take it.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭

    softdown said:


    Lithium is one of the very lightest elements in the periodic table. Number three in atomic weight/density: https://www.science.co.il/elements/ "Nine pounds" of lithium is a great mass of lithium. Aluminum is ~5 times heavier than lithium.

    A 9 pound mass of lithium has exactly the same mass as 9 pounds of lead.  You may be saying it has more VOLUME which is certainly true, since it is so light.  But either way there's just not that much of it, compared to (say) steel, which is mainly iron with some molybdenum, manganese, and chromium.

    >No cobalt? Perhaps but that certainly goes against everything that I have read and seen.

    Cobalt - depends on the cathode chemistry of course.  There are li-ion cathodes that use no cobalt, and cathodes that use nickel, aluminum and magnesium.  If we hit a massive shortage of one of those, then we'd switch to a formulation that uses less (or none) of that element.

    >Last I checked, coal still produced the vast majority of our power.

    In 2016, natural gas generated 34% of our power; coal generated 29%.  (It's a good trend.)

    >When I say "oil" I mean all of the derivatives of oil exploration and refinement. That includes nat gas, propane, diesel, alcohol, butane,
    >and gasoline. Companies drill for "oil" and harvest the derivatives. My deceased brother did that for decades and never mentioned
    >drilling for nat gas, propane, etc. The industry just calls it "oil". 

    OK.  I've never heard natural gas referred to as "oil."  You learn something new every day.

    (BTW there is only one state in the US where liquid oil is used in significant quantities for electrical generation - Hawaii, because it's easier to ship.)


    Refineries refer to their byproducts as heavy oils (tar etc), medium, and light oils (butane, alcohol, nat gas). The top produces/refines one type of light oil while a heavier grade is produced as one "progresses" down from the top. http://canaryusa.com/crude-oil-refinery-primer/

    Somewhat counter-intuitive but lighter oils produce less energy/BTUs while being far more flammable. WWII Germany was so desperate for oil that they learned to produce it from....coal. An intricate and expensive methodology. In the end, Germany simply ran out of oil for its planes and tanks etc. They created jets that would fly 100 mph faster than turbo props.....yet were never flown. Which is parroted as part of our Middle East stratagem....assuring permanent access to ME oil. 

    You know what I meant when I said "great mass of lithium". One gallon of lithium weighs just 4.46 pounds.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭
    Germany did fly jets in WWII in the form of V1 and V2s en masse. Jet fighters did exist (eg. me262) but weren't well enough developed early enough to be a major factor in the war. Germany didn't exactly learn to produce it in WWII -the notion of getting oil from coal was probably 100yrs old, and the process of doing what they needed was pre-war tech. They lost access to cheap ME oil, and had to resort to what they had at hand.
    Off-grid.  
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    History.........you can always count on people thinking their source material is superior. 
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  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,933 ✭✭✭✭
    Minor correction may be needed ,  and light oils (butane, alcohol, nat gas)...  I do believe this should read  (butane, ETHANE and METHANE (Nat gas))
    These  are the most common and lightest * anes: Methane with 1 Carbon atom ; Ethane having 2 C atoms; Butane having 3 C , Propane 4 C .
    The number of Carbon atoms corresponds to the amount of energy that can be released from each *ane

     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    I was just trying to get the general gist across. While we are at it, nat gas and propane are often naturally occurring in great quantities rather than being by-products of oil refineries....not as sure about the propane though. I think fracking has been a huge boon to nat gas recovery. 

    It appears, to me, that BTU's/gallon are a more accurate representation of the energy that is released from the various oils:
    alcohol- ~65,000 BTU's/gallon
    nat gas- ~80,000
    propane- ~90,000
    gasoline- ~120,000
    kerosene/jetfuel- ~135,000
    diesel- ~140,000

    Hawaii'n power plant oil?- I have no idea. Intuition is that the number might exceed 140,000. Then again, it may not. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24 #19
    Interesting read about US lithium and Tesla, lithium batteries. One must be cautious when studying such pieces as they may be more advertising than science. That was the mistake I made when investing in a Nevada "lithium mine" stock. 

    http://www.teslarequirements.com/lithium-batteries/

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    Note that Softdown's Nat Gas number is for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at -260F and ~1.4-4 psi (cryogenic storage/shipping).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    Note that Softdown's Nat Gas number is for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at -260F and ~1.4-4 psi (cryogenic storage/shipping).

    -Bill
    All of my numbers are approximations meant for easy comprehension and memory. Real numbers will also vary due to the end product of the refinery. For example, aviation gasoline has more energy that premium gasoline which has more energy than regular gasoline. And all of these facts and figures can be parsed ad infinitum.....along with almost everything else. 

    For example, diesel has closer to 142,000 BTU/gallon than 140,000 BTU/gallon. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    While we are refining names and numbers a bit....here is a report that states "It is estimated that there’s about 63 kg of lithium in a 70 kWh Tesla Model S battery pack, which weighs over 1,000 lbs (~453 kg)":    That is about 138 pounds of lithium, a significant difference than the 9 pounds previously quoted by another. https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/breakdown-raw-materials-tesla-batteries-possible-bottleneck/

    I would vote that being off by up to ~4% is defensible. Being off by an ~ factor of 15? This isn't Congress or a government project where "national security" is the band-aid for all sins. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    I was not addressing the accuracies of your numbers Softdown, just clarifying that a gallon of natural gas is a cryogenic liquid (a big deal to cool, store, and vaporize). In general, any of these numbers probably have upwards of +/-10% of "nominal" value range.

    Regarding the amount of Lithium in a car battery--Yes, that is a big deal, but probably depends on the car manufacturer and specific model.

    At this point, Lithium batteries are not "worth" fully recycling. Roughly, 3% of the cost of a battery bank, and recycled lithium is ~5x the cost of virgin lithium. Getting the cobalt, nickle, copper and such out of the battery--Yes can be worth it.

    https://waste-management-world.com/a/1-the-lithium-battery-recycling-challenge

    Will that change over time--sure.

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24 #24
    As most of us likely know by now, lithium mining is not the problem at all. Lithium turns out to be pretty abundant globally. Cobalt is the high end product preferred in the better cathodes, I think. It is both expensive and dependent on mining in the Congo - an unstable regime to put it mildly.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    China has a good domestic supply of rare earth minerals, and has "signed up" many foreign supplies (like the Congo). Something like 80% of world supply.

    https://thediplomat.com/2017/08/revisiting-rare-earths-the-ongoing-efforts-to-challenge-chinas-monopoly/

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    N. Korea really hit the jackpot in the area of rare earth minerals....worth trillions of dollars. Also........Google used to show plentiful oil reserves off of the north shores of N. Korea.  http://www.mining.com/largest-known-rare-earth-deposit-discovered-in-north-korea-86139/
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,407 ✭✭✭✭
    It's the rare earth minerals that make up the super magnets, that can be a choke point
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭✭
    Neodymium magnets. I was becoming a distributor when an 18 wheeler shorted out many developing opportunities...as memory serves. That was 1995.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    Article on electric cars and local grid;

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/01/how-many-electric-cars-can-the-grid-take-depends-on-your-neighborhood/

    How many electric cars can the grid take? Depends on your neighborhood

    High concentration of EVs can lead to equipment trouble later.

    ...The problem compounds when residential drivers use Level 2 (240 volt) charging to fill up their cars. Although Level 2 charging is faster than Level 1 (120 volt) charging (which means cars won't need to be plugged in for as long), the power demand slope for Level 2 charging is steeper.

    Muratori simulated the changes in electrical demand using data from the US Department of Energy's Residential Energy Consumption Survey. He selected 200 representative houses with 348 passenger vehicles in the Midwest. In aggregate, increased electricity demand was sustainable up to 25-percent EV penetration, as long as you were only counting in terms of kilowatt hours of electricity consumed and assumed all charging was happening at night.

    But when Muratori studied more local scenarios, heavy demand was more concerning. The researcher simulated "a residential distribution transformer connected to six households" with 11 vehicles total. The transformer could handle up to six electric cars charging with Level 1 charging, but the simulated transformer saw demand in excess of its nominal capacity as soon as one EV with Level 2 charging was added to the neighborhood.

    While electrical transformers are built to withstand such temporary surges in electrical demand, Muratori cites research that shows the expected life of transformer equipment can decrease "by two orders of magnitude when a transformer hits '50 percent above its nominal capacity.'" While you wouldn't necessarily have a blown-fuse scenario, the research shows that utilities may soon face a choice of either upgrading the equipment or having to replace existing hardware more often....

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,933 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 25 #30
    THIS
    While you wouldn't necessarily have a blown-fuse scenario, the research shows that utilities may soon face a choice of either upgrading the equipment or having to replace existing hardware more often....

    means that the assumption is it 'just wore out' rather than investigating the root cause of the failure, as in a wind storm where the causal effect is obvious...
    No wonder the grid is deteriorating faster than they can repair it....
     
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 27,055 admin
    edited January 25 #31
    This:
    While electrical transformers are built to withstand such temporary surges in electrical demand, Muratori cites research that shows the expected life of transformer equipment can decrease "by two orders of magnitude when a transformer hits '50 percent above its nominal capacity.'"

    Is probably an editing error... Remember the life equation I like to use (from engineering and calculus) is for every 10C increase in temperature there is a 1/2 reduction in life.

    I could see a transformer at 50% overload running 20C hotter--And 1/2*1/2=1/4 life (rough guess: 80 year expected life cut to 20 years). Remember the "aging" only occurs at elevated temperatures... So if the charging occurs at night (12 hours), then you have only cut the life short by 30 years (40 years at normal rated power, 40 years * 1/4 at elevated power = 50 year expected life)... Still an issue, but not the 2 orders of magnitude.

    I could not see 2 orders of magnitude (10x10=100) or an 80 year transformer with 0.8 years of life--That does not make sense.

    One of the things with the NEC and the 1.25 NEC derating l like to do (20 amps circuit / 1.25 = 16 amps continuous rated current)... Most electricians are very comfortable running 20 amps of load on a 20 amp circuit because it is on for less than 1 hour (or whatever the NEC derating states).

    When charging batteries, you can have 4-5-8 hours of rated current consumed by the battery charger+battery--That is a much "rougher" environment for wiring+electrical equipment than typical residential/commercial systems are designed for.

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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