First question of any support call, Did you try turning it off and back on again?
Ha, Does that work on final approach?
18 posts • joined 17 Sep 2007
Seriously guys? How hard is it to hack an outlet?!? Just plug something into it. An EV charger is nothing short of a glorified outlet, some with some protection to help manage peak load on the electric grid. Every other outlet out there has ZERO PROTECTION TO MANAGE PEAK LOAD and the grid has been handling that find for over 100 years.
If some truly pathetic hacker wants to make the EV charging outlets, just as vulnerable as the trillions of other unprotected outlets out there, I say pat them on the back for a job well done for your average two year old. Maybe younger ... how old and experienced do you have to be to figure out how to plug something into the wall?
As a resident of California, and a driver of an electric vehicle, let me assure you that this story is simply stupid, surprised The Reg even picked it up.
Almost all of California Utilities have a separate EV rate. They install a separate meter at your house, you are billed separately for it, and it is actually MUCH MUCH lower than the general rate on the house ($0.05 USD/kwh for the car vs an average $0.27/kwh for the house in my neighborhood). Not to mention it took my utility 3 years after the electrician installed the meter bank to get around to plugging a meter into it (3 years of free electricity for the car).
Evidently, the reporter didn't bother to ask the utilities for comment (or whoever they asked didn't have a clue). Definitely didn't bother to find an actual OWNER of an EV. All of them would have pointed out the fatal logic flaw in 1/2 a second.
You should actually drive one of Tesla's roadsters before writing articles like this. They are beyond belief, no need to plaster an imaginary grin on anybody.
I wish GM well with their Volt, but I think The Register missed the point by miles (definitely more than a hop over the pond). It is GM that is on the defensive here. Their Volt is not going to get HOV access stickers (even the current Prius does that), because they couldn't even put enough thought into the engineering process to make sure that they designed it without evaporative emissions. Think about how absurd that is for just a minute. Then let it slowly sink in that GM's range extended EV pollutes more than a hybrid Prius even when it's just sitting in the driveway. What kind of moron would come to market with a product like that?
GM was hoping to get HOV access anyway, but it's not going their way in California, the US state that by legislative quirk, get's to dictate a higher standard for emissions in the US than the national government. GM is the one with the anxiety, hence the attack. They may not have range anxiety, but they have a much scarier one called, "nobody's going to spend extra cash for my fatally maimed high tech car" anxiety. Tesla is still miles ahead of them ... and laughing.
the only difference being an electrolyte suspended in a polymer or not. Both can be optimized for high power density (by optimizing the reactive area) or high energy density (by optimizing the amount of reactive chemical). Google A-123 for a company that works on the high power version of li-ion. Li-polymer cells are just another type of li-ion and can also be optimized for power or energy, but were originally marketed as being high power, like you suggest.
Sorry to rain on the parade., but Lookheed wisely left out any specs re: the fuel cell type. Why? Because they are in effect claiming an energy density for it at least thirty if not fifty times that of Li-ion batteries. No such system exists ... not even close.
Hydrogen fuel cells, with the support systems for the hydrogen storage, hydrogen tanks, air handling, safety systems, and the actual fuel cell have an energy density just UNDER NiMH about 60- 80wh/kg for vehicles. I suspect even more "ruggedisation" would be needed for this, leaving us with maybe 40 wh/kg. That's in the ballpark of an ancient NiCad battery! Isn't the future just dazzling?
Other fuel cell tech, like methanol (insert history lesson re: methanol fuel and armed forces. Hint: drinking it may make you drunk, but also makes you blind), can beat Li-ion's density of around 200 wh/kg, but it doesn't come anywhere close to the at least 6000-10,000 wh/kg they are, in effect, claiming.
One word: Vaporware, doesn't mean they won't get a nice fat US taxpayer check to develop it for 10 years, or however long it takes for everyone to forget about it.
Unless your car gets over 30 mpg (gasoline), it uses more electricity to refine it's gasoline than an electric car uses to go the same distance (7.5 kwh, and that's probably the low end, if you include pumping, exploration and other energy expenditures in securing oil it's closer to 12 kwh/gallon).
Nissan is even advertising the fact: http://twitpic.com/pokps
It also takes at least 20 gallons of water for every gallon of petrol.
The entire meme, of where are we going to get the electricity for all the leccy cars is a red herring that ignores that it takes electricity ... LOTS OF IT ... to refine oil in the first place. Technically illiterates running the MSM are one thing, but The Reg?!? Come on guys, get your act together.
Did the author of this article take the short bus to work? It's whole premise is fatally flawed. Thermal generation of power isn't the only game out there. Chemical storage of electricity is as old as electricity itself (that just happens to be how humans discovered it). There's also hydroelectric storage (pump water uphill when you have too much power and generate by allowing water back downhill when you don't have enough). Plenty of utilities already use both methods (as well as many others) to smooth out power demand peaks and troughs.
Then the second page teaser gets all nutty about electric cars?!? That not an extra problem, it is a major aspect of the solution. It's called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). Google it.
Bottom line: V2G uses a smart grid to utilize the very large battery packs on fleets of electric vehicles as a buffer. Within pre-defined user limits, they absorb power during times of overproduction of electricity, and can then feed it back into the grid if demand is exceeding supply. It makes EV's with V2G tech valuable to the grid and that value can be passed on to the consumer.
at least not as well as batteries, given the same total weight/volume yet. Probably won't in the near future since they require either high pressure hydrogen storage, or highly toxic chemicals (like methanol) storage.
They keep popping up at tech symposiums because the tech-illiterate media hasn't figured out the scam yet (after almost 10 years!) and it's still good for some free press, even here.
No I don't always go to advanced textbooks immediately either, but if I'm trying to prove a point, I don't use other talking heads as source material. Wikipedia does have a place IMO (Youtube, does not), as a source of more valid references. The actual articles there, although sometimes surprisingly accurate, are in reality, little more than opinion pieces that have not been peer reviewed.
As far as hydrogen fuel cell efficiency, this was calculated from the power mains. Taking one aspect of it (hydrolysis) and stating that IS the efficiency is a typical, uninformed, wikipediea/youtube argument. Look at the link, here's the efficiency in total in best case scenario ... your results may vary but will likely be MUCH LOWER (and no I'm not using Myer's efficiency because: 1. It has not been reproducible and. 2. I can't even find a reliable source that addresses it, much less definitively states it.
Electrolysis 75%, Liquification 60%, Transport 96%, Bulk storage 97%, Vehicle storage 97%,Mobile Fuel Cell 60%
Multiply all those efficiencies together and you get the full cycle efficiency ... 0.75x0.60x0.96x0.97x0.97x0.60= 24%
Again, best case scenario. Now go look up the cycle efficiency of lead acid, NiMH, and Li-ion batteries, the three types used in BEV's today. You'll find (in addition to where I get those numbers) interestingly enough, than the least efficient battery actually uses hydrogen (as a hydride) aka Nickel metal hydride cells.
As for using algae and energy from the sun, you are talking about unpublished, unverified research (cold fusion anyone?) but let's assume that everything they claim is true. It still doesn't change the equation, it just makes it far worse. They say their efficiency converting light energy to hydrogen energy is about 10%. I think it's safe to say that it is below 11%, otherwise (at these very low numbers) they would have claimed every additional percentage as it would be significant. I'll be generous and go with 11% and compare BEV to FCEV.
Better end of solar electric panels (from published research in 2005) = 30%
SOLAR POWERED BEV
photoelectric efficiency 30%, Battery charger efficiency 96%, Battery cycle efficiency (worst case) 80%.
Total efficiency for solar powered BEV = 23%
AlLGAEL SOLAR POWERED FCEV
Algael photosynthesis of hydrogen 11%, Liquefaction of hydrogen 60%, Transport 96%, Bulk storage 97%, Vehicle storage 97%, Mobile Fuel Cell 60%.
Total efficiency 3.58%!!!
In other words it is 6.4 times worse. Practically that means it would take 6.4 hectares of these algael vats to power a FCEV the same distance that you could power a BEV with 1 hectare of land covered with maintenance free photoelectric panels. It's even a worse idea than electrolysis which, by using the same photoelectric panels gives you a total FCV efficiency of 7.3% or more than twice as far as algael generated hydrogen but still less than 1/3 as far as the least efficient solar powered BEV.
I know hydrogen hypesters don't like to look at the numbers, but that's where the truth lies. Without breaking laws of thermodynamics, or without some entirely new hydrogen source we have inexplicably overlooked so far, it will never make sense because it is a PISS POOR ENERGY CARRIER, much worse than even a technology as simple and old as lead acid batteries.
Uhm, just stating hydrogen is NOT a piss-poor energy carrier doesn't make it true, and you back it up with wikipedia and youtube references? Seriously?
In fact it is. http://www.econogics.com/ev/fcevreal.htm
Best case scenario, the electrolysis / fuel cell cycle is only 25% efficient ... not counting energy lost compressing the hydrogen, storage losses (hydrogen is so small it leaks out of any container you put it in), or transportation of the hydrogen By comparison most battery chemistries will give you back 85-95% of the electricity used to charge them, i.e. 85-95% efficiency, or roughly 3 to 4x as much as a hydrogen mobile fuel cell.
In other words, just comparing a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to a battery electric vehicle (they are essentially the same except one has a fuel cell stack, the other a battery), it takes almost 4 times as much electricity (regardless of source) to go a mile in an FCEV than a BEV, and the FCEV currently costs over a million dollars each to make.
If you're making hydrogen from natural gas or ANY other fuel source, you're much better off, just burning the natural gas or other fuel source in an on board engine. Honda will SELL or lease you a NG Civic, and you don't have to live in California to get it. Flex - fuel vehicles are also widely available and cheap. Try that with the FCX.
It's the second law of thermodynamics (paraphrasing) that states every time you change an energy's form, you never get out as much as you start with. Hence the problem with hydrogen fuel cells needing a break from the laws of physics in order to make sense.
Hydrogen, as Zubrin correctly points out, is a piss-poor energy carrier ... NOT A FUEL SOURCE.
It doesn't really matter how many myriad of ways you can imagine for hydrogen production. They all take fuel and covert it to hydrogen. It's simply a sign of desperation that the hydrogen hypesters refuse to acknowledge this. Instead, they change the subject to "Microbial Hydrogen Production ..." blah, blah, blah.
Next headline please.
Until you find one that defies the laws of physics or one where vast naturally occurring "hydrogen fields" are discovered (that we've inexplicably overlooked until now), it doesn't change the basic fact that hydrogen is not now, nor has it ever been, (nor will it ever be IMO) a fuel source. It's Just a bad carrier.
That will, of course, not prevent Honda, GM, or any other dishonest corporate entity from capitalizing on this basic misunderstanding to greenwash themselves with a few hundred, "lease only", million dollar FCV's to mollify the masses.
The US still has PBS but its partial privatization (forced by cuts of public funds by right wing nutjobs like Bush) have rendered it nearly useless. Arguing the same for the UK is beyond shortsighted.
It's simply stupid.
The only real result of this will be that the UK will get a stupid, short sighted government in return. It will be responsive only to the same massive corporate interests that have purchased and thereby short-circuited Democracy in America.
Hydrogen fuel cells are endlessly ridiculed for a reason, Namely they can't even come close to the energy storage capacity of a simple Li-ion battery when you include both the stack and the storage tank (only fair since you need both to get power like a battery does).
Let's take the provided example of Jadoo's system. Even with their largest tank (weighing 5.1 pounds, or 2.32 kg) and providing 360 watt hours. Couple that with their stack weighing another 2.32 kg for a total of 4.64 kg. That's a measly 77.6 wh/kg. Even the storage tank alone only has 155 wh/kg, which can't even compete with today's li-ion (which top out at around 220 wh/kg not 190 btw)
Despite what Randy says, lithium batteries continue to advance. Sion power has produced lithium-sulfur cells with over 350 wh/kg and claim a theoretical upper limit of 600 wh/kg. They also claim the next generation of their cells will reach 450 wh/kg. I'ld say they are pretty damn close and a much better bet than Jadoo.
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