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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    Seems we might be going all electric quicker than we thought!
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/07/jaguar-land-rover-electric-hybrid-cars-2020

    Just hope the price of them comes down a lot more
  2.  
    IMO charging infrastructure and grid implications of same will be the limiting factors, especially when it comes to goods vehicles. I can see an argument for a system of swap-out batteries perhaps under contract so that a 'refuel' takes no more time than tanking up today. But that will need to be designed in at manufacture and will need collusion between manufactures to ensure compatibility across the board. Such a system would speed refueling and could reduce grid loads because the need for rapid charge (and hence high current demand) would/could go away.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017
     
    I think it will be interesting to see if the infrastructure can cope. They have said the grid can cope on a national scale but I have my doubts on a local scale. I also suspect quite a few houses will have a problem running an 11kW charger and a shower..

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/21/dont-boil-kettle-charging-electric-car-will-blow-fuse-national/
  3.  
    Intelligent chargers that sense the house load and reduce the car charging rate to an appropriate level should not be beyond the bounds of possible and so avoid the usage conflict.
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017 edited
     
    Electric *or hybrid* is not all electric.

    Some interesting letters in this week's Economist in response to the article the previous week predicting the death of the internal combustion engine. Worth reading.
      IMG_6806 (2).jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017
     
    I don't think charging HGVs is an insuperable problem as long as there are drivers. They have to take a 45 minute rest every 4.5 hours, so that sets a spec for the chargers. Then a long charge overnight.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017 edited
     
    And who says the technologies have reached their end-point, when both large incremental improvements and promising novel methods are appearing monthly? Underlying the above sceptical, prob vested-interest calcs are projections of the present state of play, and if one thing is certain, that will continue to change.
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017
     
    the pivot to elec power is running in parallel with the move toward driverless. Economics of battery powered freight change under that model, something the correspondent doesn’t address. No need to pay a driver, no rest breaks, highly optimised route planning, convoying vehicles in tight formation to create aerodynamic efficiency. So the cost of batteries will be a factor but under a potentially much changed overall cost model. And I agree with FT, that battery tech will be subject to continuous improvement. Seems to me that predicting the future state of freight based on today's costs and limits of battery power and current operating models seems flawed.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017 edited
     
    Electric power is mainly taking off because it is good enough for light vehicles, and thanks to companies like Toyota (and more recently Tesla) who are prepared to push the boundaries. But hydrogen fuel cells haven't gone away and could provide an alternative for trucks - at least Toyota thinks so. Their 'Project Portal' is trialing a fuel cell truck in the USA: http://blog.toyota.co.uk/project-portal-zero-emissions-trucking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=letd-GRwKwE
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017
     
    Here's how it will play out with regards infrastructure.

    Fuel companies will notice electric car sales rising, so they'll install fast chargers where they can (as will other entities).

    DNOs govern this and don't allow capacity if local grid capacity is too low.

    Drivers get annoyed and start petitioning government.

    Government say "but you didn't want a wind turbine".

    Wind turbines become popular, people get their charge points.

    Everything is rosy.

    :surprised:
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2017
     
    The Southoe wind farm not far from us was consented in 2013 but I don't think it can be built until the local grid is upgraded.
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2017 edited
     
    I think it's healthy to retain a level of skepticism.

    Posted By: djhI don't think charging HGVs is an insuperable problem as long as there are drivers. They have to take a 45 minute rest every 4.5 hours, so that sets a spec for the chargers. Then a long charge overnight.

    If you read those letters I took that it wasn't charging that was the issue it was the size/weight of the batteries relative to the load

    Posted By: fostertomAnd who says the technologies have reached their end-point, when both large incremental improvements and promising novel methods are appearing monthly

    Straw man - No one said that either in this thread or those letters.

    Your faith in 'problems being solved by future technology that hasn't yet been proven' always surprises me. Surely we need to plan for the future with 'knowns' (and hope we get a boost from new discoveries) rather than assuming 'no need to worry, clever people will solve this'.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/charging-ahead-future-of-batteries-180962414/
    https://www.quora.com/How-fast-is-lithium-ion-battery-technology-improving-each-year-in-terms-of-power-density-costs-recharge-cycles-etc
    Battery tech hasn't actually been advancing particularly quickly and Li-Ion batteries have not been getting massively better over the last decade. Until they're in production all these other 'promising novel methods' are just sci-fi.


    Posted By: MarkyPEconomics of battery powered freight change under that model, something the correspondent doesn’t address. No need to pay a driver, no rest breaks


    Economics change mainly in large countries with cities a long distance apart. I'm yet to be convinced UK distances are long enough to have a significant benefit - there are few city to city (depot to depot) trips longer than 4.5hours in UK. And again, those aren't the issues with battery powered freight - it's energy density of batteries that's the issue at present. Throwing more lorries with less individual capacity at the problem creates more congestion issues.

    Of course, city to city/depot to depot goods movement under electric power is already possible - using trains - which don't require clever batteries.

    Posted By: MarkyPhighly optimised route planning, convoying vehicles in tight formation to create aerodynamic efficiency

    The first doesn't need driverless - surely the freight companies are already doing this? Lorries often convoy in fairly tight formation anyway.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: Simon StillYour faith in 'problems being solved by future technology that hasn't yet been proven' always surprises me
    Agree, in general - esp when it leads to blind faith that resource depletion, environmental and social degredation, polution accululating faster than the planet can reprocess it or isn't equiped to neutralise ever - that all these will be solved by future technology unknown, so biz as usual now.

    But looking at the special current case of renewable (esp solar) energy incl batteries, progress and commercialisation has been exponential lately, beyond even the best hopes of the dreamers
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/huge-boost-renewable-power-offshore-windfarm-costs-fall-record-low

    It's more rational to assume this will continue for at least the near future, than to merely
    Posted By: Simon Stillplan for the future with 'knowns'
    Is it really true that
    Posted By: Simon StillBattery tech hasn't actually been advancing particularly quickly
    ? not from what I read (please don't ask for my sources).
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2017
     
    Posted By: fostertom? not from what I read (please don't ask for my sources).

    There is a great deal of research going on into possible solutions for the problems with currently available batteries (there is much money to be made by whoever makes the real breakthrough).
    There are many reports to be read about research and bright new ideas that might lead to something, subject to further research.
    As yet, I'm not aware that any of those new ideas are anywhere near development into useful commercial reality.

    So for the present the main thing improving the economics of batteries is still old fashioned economies of scale, hence Tesla's 'Gigafactory'.

    If you know better, I'd be delighted to hear about it, as I'm sure would others.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2017
     
    I think that's correct - therefore looking good!
  4.  
    Posted By: fostertom? not from what I read (please don't ask for my sources).


    Why? I've provided two sources that suggest immediate future gains are limited.


    Posted By: fostertomI think that's correct - therefore looking good!


    not clear what you're referring to


    Posted By: skyewrightthe main thing improving the economics of batteries is still old fashioned economies of scale, hence Tesla's 'Gigafactory


    Indeed, which is worrying because price per watt is only one of the important factors - it doesn't improve energy density (see issues with trucks in one of those letters) or Lithium production (the second letter).

    What surprised me is that Tesla's car/powerwall batteries are made up of 1000's (in the current generation 6800) individual cells. While their gigafactory will produce a new slightly larger cell design it's still got to be a limitation on reducing overall energy density
    https://qz.com/1073923/taiwanese-human-rights-advocate-lee-ming-che-has-confessed-to-subverting-state-power-in-china/
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2017 edited
     
    Tom, read this:
    http://www.economist.com/node/14298944
    It is about falling costs as production increases. Called the Experience Curve.

    So let us assume that Tesla can double their production every year for the next 5 years. That is a big ask but does depend on where you start.
    I shall chart from 1 unit in year 0 with a cost of 1 per unit.
    I shall also depreciate the cost at 25%.
    Now those figures are pure fiction (do your own research to get real figures), but they illustrate the point very clearly.
    What do you think will happen after year 7?
      Experience and Cost Curve.jpg
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