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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: atomicbisftw am I the only one who can't use the quote function at the moment?
    Probably. Note, though, that quotes from previous pages of a thread don't work for anybody and never have. You have to do that manually: lots of copy-and-paste operations and severe risk you'll wind up attributing the quote to the wrong person.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaOil is just compressed and heated vegetation with homoepathic quantities of animal. So some those bits floating in the Pacific and Atlantic that get subducted down into the Earth's crust may turn into new crude oil. Take a while mind.
    Are you sure it's by subduction? I thought it was when organic stuff on the sea and lake beds gets covered and compressed by further sedimentary layers.

    The beach outside my window is bounded by remarkably sedimentary cliffs and there's an oil well to be seen out of the other window.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Are plants the only way for a planet to manufacture hydrocarbons?
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016 edited
     
    No. Titan (Saturn's largest moon) has hydrocarbons: mostly methane and ethane. While it's one of the less implausible places in the solar system for life there's no suggestion that the bulk of those came from plants.

    OK, Titan's not technically a planet but it's a planetary body indicating that similar planets might also have hydrocarbons. Mars seems to make methane - it's possible that comes from life but other possibilities are far from eliminated. You don't need a planet to make them, either - there are hydrocarbons in interstellar gas clouds and on comets. Actually, that might be where Titan's hydrocarbons came from (I don't know) - in which case I suppose it might be true that it doesn't “manufacture” hydrocarbons as such. Still, the methane on Mars seems to be being freshly produced somehow as it would be broken down quickly.

    Also, a small proportion of Earth's hydrocarbons (oil and gas) will come from dead animals including, presumably, at least some dinosaurs. But they're not the main constituents contrary to the tongue-in-cheek use of terms like dino-diesel.

    (Sorry, not a lot to do with electric-car battery storage, but FT did ask.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Posted By: Ed Daviesa small proportion of Earth's hydrocarbons (oil and gas) will come from dead animals
    But they got it from eating plants.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesAre you sure it's by subduction?
    It is one of the ways, being capped my sediment is another. This was one of the problems of early exploration. They did not fully appreciate the many ways that oil is formed.
    I think gas (my Father was involved in oil more than gas, though was responsible for the gas terminals up Fife) can be formed by heating the correct type of rocks (There was a bloke in Norway that said if you drill deep enough you will find natural gas).

    Posted By: fostertomBut they got it from eating plants.
    Near enough all fossil fuels are just stored solar energy.

    Back to the battery storage in vehicles being used got grid balancing.
    Assuming this is technically possible i.e. develop a grid (local or national) and the software to mange it (30 million vehicles and 30 million houses plus industry/commercial/warehousing), would the extra mass that vehicles would have to carry around i.e. 3.5 kWh of batteries, not counter any grid efficiency saving?
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeawould the extra mass that vehicles would have to carry around i.e. 3.5 kWh of batteries, not counter any grid efficiency saving?


    Not if I can tell my vehicle it does not need to do its full range and get paid for doing so…. Also provided my battery is filled by the morning, in most cases I don’t care what is done with it in the evening. So it can be used for advert breaks etc, not that these will be an issue for much longer.

    But will enough cars be plugged in at the times that PV is giving its output?
  1.  
    If all the surfaces of a car were covered in solar cells continuously charging the battery, how many miles per day could it drive on the resulting charge?
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenIf all the surfaces of a car were covered in solar cells continuously charging the battery, how many miles per day could it drive on the resulting charge?


    Very little, but if there was a solar cell power fan so there was less need to use AC when a car had been sitting in the sun….
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2016
     
    Say 4 m² facing in any one direction would be fairly optimistic given that covering the windows might be a bit counter-productive. About 2.5 hours sunshine per day on average - quite a bit more in midsummer, a lot less in midwinter. You'd pick efficient solar cells - say 20% efficiency so 4 * 2.5 * 0.2 = 2 kWh per day. 30p's worth of electricity at best. The 85 kWh Tesla Model S does about 4.9 to 5.8 km/kWh depending on which numbers you use so about 10 km.

    That's if you can arrange to park it facing the right way. And it's unshaded. And you can get panels to follow the car's outline. All in all, not worth bothering.
  2.  
    Ed, you drive a very small car! Let's go for a bigger one, say a Focus size, 4 x 2 x 1.5m, area = 8m2 roof/bonnet plus 6m2 each side, 20m2 total. It doesn't all directly face the southern sky so halve it =10m2.

    At 200kWh/a.m2 in UK that's 2000kWh/a, and 0.3kWh/mile that's 7000 miles per year without external charging which is fair chunk of many people's annual mileage.

    Over say 10y lifetime that's 10x2000x0.15 = £3000 worth of electricity.

    What will it take to catch on? First off, a flexible or printable cell technology that can be applied all over a car for <£3k. Not there yet but I wouldnt be at all surprised to see it in next decade or two. Maybe as window tint.

    Then we'd all need unshaded parking spaces - maybe tougher in Uk cities but less problem out of town where people need cars.
  3.  
    The Fiskar Karma plug-in hybrid was supplied with a PV panel roof that was said to generate 0.5kWh per day.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisker_Karma
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2016
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenEd, you drive a very small car!
    Funnily I used the dimensions of a Focus, too, rounded to 1.8 x 1.5 x 4.5. But by the time you take into account window area and the general tapered shape of cars I think 4 m² is closer to the average available cross-section facing in any one direction than 10 m². My estimate might be a little low but I think yours is definitely on the high side; even taking the full width plus the full length to a height of 1 metre gives only 6.3 m² and the plan “footprint” is not much more at 8.1 m².
  4.  
    :-) nice one Ed, but I do think your Focus is a little smaller than mine, though larger than Crispy's rather lovely Fisker.

    An engineer would estimate the solar area of a Focus by parking two Focuses in front of a 20m2 domestic array and eyeblling they are 10 m2 each. An Astra would also work for this.

    A scientist would take the vector normal to each plane on the car surface, compare this to the azimuth of optimal solar yield at their latitude, take the cosine of the result and multiply by the plane area, summing to 10m2. I used radial coordinates but spherical would also work.

    A mathematician would consider an idealised homogeneous hemispherical Focus and derive that the circular area presented to the sky, 10m2, is half the curved surface area, 20m2. I used Glenmorangie for this but Old Pulteney would also work.

    I'm off now to invent the flexible printable translucent solar cell material!

    Edit: drat, someone invented some already. http://www.gizmag.com/transparent-perovskite-solar-cells-graphene-electrodes/39349/
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2016
     
    Surely easier to put a windmill on the roof for when you drive along the motorway?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Posted By: fostertomSurely easier to put a windmill on the roof for when you drive along the motorway?

    :bigsmile:

    There was a fad quite a while ago for building sails onto cars. I think they did work but not well enough to be worth the hasle.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Also a fad for putting sails on boats. :wink: Seriously, there was a scheme for flying a big kite thing, like a paraglider sail, from the front of merchant ships when they were going roughly downwind to reduce fuel consumption. There was a Scandinavian ship (Danish, I think) fitted with one. All done with computer-controlled winches near the bow. I wonder if that was found to be worthwhile and, if not, why not.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    I think the main commercial effort is http://www.skysails.info/english/

    Apparently still in business but not yet setting the world on fire:
    http://www.skysails.info/english/skysails-marine/skysails-propulsion-for-cargo-ships/references/
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Another scheme for vertical axis turbines arranged like masts, which would generate power regardless of upwind/downwind.
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomAnother scheme for vertical axis turbines arranged like masts, which would generate power regardless of upwind/downwind.

    When sailing into the wind, I wonder how the energy gained from the turbines would compare to the increase in effort needed to push into the wind due to the presence of the turbines?

    The 'sky sails' idea seems more practical (aside from anything else there's far less to go wrong when you are in the middle of an ocean, & likely less consequence if it does!)?

    If you really want to generate electricity too, combine sky sails with the idea that flies 'aerobatic kites' in a figure of 8 (on its side) to generate energy... :wink:

    PS. The last para is not entirely serious. I think maximising use of the wind energy to minimise the burning of dirty fuel oil is probably a 'better thing'?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016 edited
     
    skyewright wondered: "When sailing into the wind, I wonder how the energy gained from the turbines would compare to the increase in effort needed to push into the wind due to the presence of the turbines?"

    Blow your mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_(land_yacht)

    (n.b. this forum software has broken the link. You'll need to fix it.)

    Note that buried in the article is that it took the upwind record as well.
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Posted By: djhBlow your mind:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_" >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_(land_yacht)

    Wow! Thank you.
    I already knew that you could go faster than the wind by tacking across the wind, but that 'Blackbird' idea really is "the appliance of science"! :bigsmile:

    I note they didn't use a VAWT... :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    The first vehicle to achieve it was in 1969 as far as I know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFPomTq_PRU

    Note that going downwind there's no turbine at all, either vertical axis or horizontal axis. It's a propellor.

    Going upwind, it is a wind turbine.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    I think I would have trouble getting it under the overhead telephone and power cable where I live.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Any 'mileage' in going back to GarethC's original post on p1?
  5.  
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Add tidal and you're away
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    Posted By: fostertomAdd tidal and you're away

    Boats have always sailed taking advantage of tidal power. I'd say it makes up a significant fraction of a sailing boat's mileage in many cases. Obviously it depends on where you are!
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    OK, back to the original post, at least somewhat.

    Why couldn't you extend the range of an electric car by towing an extra battery trailer? Say you have a car with 100 or 200 mile range. You set out from home on a longish journey and somewhere before 100 miles you pick up a rented charged trailer which runs your car for a while and also, possibly, charges the car. Near the destination you drop off the last trailer and carry on as normal.

    Trailers which aren't in use - either private ones at home or on company premises or rental ones at depots could be used for, e.g., evening peak to then be refilled overnight.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     
    I have lived in two places by the coast that have little tidal range. One had a max of 0.4m and the other a max of 0.44.
    It is odd now seeing tides of 5.8m, and if I went up the coast a bit to Newquay, then it is almost 8m.
    Joe90 country has tides of 9m, then it becomes a different country.

    So I think taking advantage of the tides is a very English thing (and a bit of France and the Bay of Fundy).
   
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