Re: OT: Electric cars and nuclear power plants
- From: dkomo <dkomo871@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 17:35:04 -0700
On Mar 25, 3:11 pm, dkomo <dkomo...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
It's technology we already have today, only a bit improved. Doesn't
require a new infrastructure as radical as hydrogen fuel celled cars
I'm a nuke. If electric cars became popular, I'd be buying a house
PDQ. However, it's not quite as rosy as you paint.
If there were, say, a million electric cars in a large city, that city
would need massively more transmission capability.
I don't know. Don't the transmission lines have some significant built-in extra capacity? My rough calculation indicates that I would be using roughly twice as much electrical energy per month as I normally do if I had an electric car. If I recharged the car at peak load times, that means the power line coming directly into my house (which I'm looking at as I type this) would have to carry twice as much current. Isn't it designed to do that? I'd be more worried about the electrical wiring inside my house.
Interestingly though, that additional electrical energy would cost only about a third of what the equivalent gasoline energy costs at $2.50 a gallon.
"Q: You may not spend as much money at the gas pump, but wouldn’t the electricity bill go through the roof?
A: Your energy bill will be less overall by driving with electricity. EVs are so efficient that the cost, per mile driven, is significantly less. For instance, a 2002 Toyota RAV4 will travel 100 miles on 4 gallons of gasoline. At $2.50/gallon, this is $10.00. A 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV will travel 100 miles on 30 kWh of electricity. At 10 cents per kWh, this is $3.00."
Even if most
of those cars were charged at night (low rates yada yada) the
power demand would increase dramatically. Even did we suppose
some kind of cycling of batteries, so there was a battery in the
charger all the time, taking power only at low demand hours.
We'd need lots more power plants and lots more wires to be
able to connect them up.
In the heat of summer when everybody is running air conditioners full blast, isn't the problem that power companies can't supply enough energy rather than the fear that the transmission lines can't handle it?
Not to say that it would be impossible or anything. It would be
just more of the same kind of thing we already have. But it
would be significantly more. Not clear exactly how much
more till we have stats on battery performance. But I should
think it would at least double the grid requirements to go
to mostly electric cars. Possibly it would be much more.
A while ago I estimated that if we could get the energy from
nuclear reactors into some kind of energy storage thing,
battery or alterna-fuel or whatever. And if we could do this
at an efficiency comparable to existing generation and
transmission. And if the vehicles then used this energy
at an efficiency comparable to using the energy in current
petroleum fuels. If we could do all that, then we could supply
the energy using nukes. It would roughly double the cost
per mile for the energy. And we would need to build about
two power plants for each one we have right now. That is,
we'd have to tripple the number of power plants. Multiply this
estimate up or down according to your estimate of the
As I said, let electric cars become popular. Please! I would
be buying a new house PDQ.
Make sure the new house has solar arrays on the roof.
"Q: Could a solar system produce electricity for a plug-in car?
A: Yes, easily. EVs typically can travel 3-4 miles (or more) per kWh. If you drive 12,000 miles per year, you will need 3,000-4,000 kWh. Depending on where you live, you will need a 1.5kW-3kW PV system to generate that much power using about 150-300 sq. ft. of space on your roof. In fact, many EV drivers recharge their cars from rooftop solar panels today, generating virtually no pollution for their local driving."
Nukes tend to like to sit at a constant power. Darlington NGS,
for example, generally sits at a constant power for many months,
24/7. So those rechargers on at night, evening out the grid load,
are also very good for my industry. This could let us burn less
coal as well, as coal is often the supplier of choice to handle
the daily peak demand above baseload.
Your nukes will also be competing with greatly improved solar cells and wind generators.
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