LENR vs Solar/Wind, and emerging Green Technologies.

  • Some calculations:


    According CBS does the Netherlands uses:

    CBS Statline


    Buildings 380,3Pj = 105,6TWh / year

    Traffic 374,6Pj = 104TWh / year


    Efficiency of an electric drive is around 95%

    Efficiency patrol cars is around 40%


    So the complete traffic needs 0.42*104TWh = 43,68TWh


    Total electric energy that need to be transported if none fossil is used for home heating is 104+43,68= 149,28TWh

    In the Netherlands we have 263679 streets, so amps though every street cable will be:


    149,28TWh /365 days /263679 streets / 24h/ 3phase / 2 street cables /230V = 46,8A


    This is a 24/7 average current to coverage the needed power.

    Peek currents during winter will be a factor 4-5 bigger?

    And on top we have the quick chargers for cars,…


    You need real big cable diameters to handle this power, think not possible.

    And in the calculation we still miss the industry (just buildings and traffic), assume they will get their own power grid.


    This is why I think the electrification will not be possible!

  • Ron, some remarks on your calculations:

    - Current transport losses of electricity are around 10 - 15%.

    - In France almost every household uses only electricity, also in winter, produced by nuclear power plants. Heating a house in winter by solely electricity will likely have a very heavy load to their grids. Adding battery powered cars will thus be an even bigger challenge for France with regards to infrastructure.

    - The netto efficiency of electrical powered cars is much lower since currently most electricity to charge the batteries comes from energy plants that still use fossil fuels. On the longer term this will be supplied by (local) solar and wind however.

    - Smart(er) grids and applications will smooth out peak demand. There are a lot of developments ongoing right now in this area.


    In general I agree with you. In particular in winter, e.g. the north of Europe requires a huge over capacity of wind powered sources that is not required during summer. On the medium term this is only possible by additional nuclear power plants.


    Another calculation to point out some details:

    My personal household on average consumes 2400 KWh on electricity and 1200 m3 of natural gas yearly.

    1200 m3 equals roughly 12000 KWh and is mainly consumed between November and March during winter. This means power consumption in winter is roughly 10 times that of summer due to heating the house. This will vary over different geographical locations of course.

  • - Current transport losses of electricity are around 10 - 15%.

    - In France almost every household uses only electricity, also in winter, produced by nuclear power plants. Heating a house in winter by solely electricity will likely have a very heavy load to their grids. Adding battery powered cars will thus be an even bigger challenge for France with regards to infrastructure.

    - The netto efficiency of electrical powered cars is much lower since currently most electricity to charge the batteries comes from energy plants that still use fossil fuels. On the longer term this will be supplied by (local) solar and wind however.

    You people really need to look more closely at the technical details, efficiencies, and the overall structure of transportation. The problems you describe do not exist. From the point of view of supplies and the power distribution grid, it would be dead easy to covert all automotive traffic to electricity. It could be done with the present infrastructure everywhere in Europe, the U.S., China and Japan. (But not in the third world.) There are problems with electric cars, but not the problems you describe. Here is some old data, but it is still mostly correct:


    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/NRELenergyover.pdf


    Here is why infrastructure is not a problem:


    It takes very little electric energy to power electric automobiles. About 4 times less energy overall than gasoline transportation. About half as much energy even with fossil fuel generated electricity. (See Exhibit A.2)


    Recharging is most convenient for the customer at night. As it happens, all electric power grids and generating systems have the lowest demand at night. By far the lowest. (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42915) In Texas demand is so low, and wind-powered electricity is so abundant, the power companies charge nothing for electricity. Use as much as you like, it costs nothing. You can recharge an electric car for free. No kidding. As long as most cars are recharged at night, there is never any stress on the grid, and no need for new power lines. Fossil fuel generators will use more fuel if there is not enough wind or nuclear power. There is no shortage of fuel, so this is not a problem.


    If all cars were to be recharged at 3 on a summer afternoon in Atlanta or Arizona, that would be a problem! The power would fail. But most cars are parked at the office at 3 in the afternoon. The owners are not recharging them. Recharging them at midnight is about the same as turning on an air conditioner at your house. Just about every house in Atlanta does that in July, but we never have shortages after 6 in the evening. Turning on an electric car charger is equivalent to turning on a second air conditioner or clothes dryer. Not a problem at all, even if every house did it. The power company offers a discount during the summer, encouraging people to use power at night. They say: "By changing when you wash your dishes, do your laundry, or cool your home, you can realize savings over the course of a year." It it not free, the way it is in Texas, but it is cheaper. (https://www.georgiapower.com/r…lans/nights-weekends.html)


    Furthermore, most houses in Atlanta have smart power meters. They are supposed to allow power companies to regulate when electric cars are recharged. I don't think they are doing that yet, but that's the plan. In other words, you come home at 6, plug in the car, and the power company recharges it whenever they have extra capacity available, sometime overnight. They can start at 1 am. You can schedule that yourself, with a cell phone app connecting to your charger.

  • Heating a house in winter by solely electricity will likely have a very heavy load to their grids.

    Nobody should do that in France or the U.S. south of New York State. That is thermodynamically wasteful. You should use a heat pump.


    In the U.S. northwest, in places like Washington State, they have huge amounts of hydroelectricity, which is dirt cheap. Some houses use resistance electrical heating. That's a dumb idea. It is wasteful. On the other hand, it is cold up there, and heat pumps do not work well.


    Nearly all space heating in the U.S. is with gas combustion, which is also thermodynamically wasteful. It converts high grade energy into close-to-zero grade energy. Strictly from thermodynamics, without looking at equipment costs or complexity, it would be best to use a small gas combustion co-generator at your house to generate electricity which runs a heat pump. Those small generators are much less efficient than the power company ones, but the waste heat would also be used for space heating (co-generation), so overall it is more efficient.

  • Hi Rob,


    France has a better power grid than the Netherlands.

    They go from 400kV to 225kV to 63/90kV to 20kV to 230V

    In the Netherlands we go from 380kV to 150kV to 10kV to 230V

    So France has a double capacity in the last step (20kv->230V) compared to the Netherlands.


    Losses on the HV net is 5.6% middle and low voltage net losses are unknown, think they will be 10-15%.

    In the Netherlands the low voltage net has very thin diameter cables and they simply lose power by heat radiation.

    Assume the total loss of the power grid is 15%


    A natural gas turbine has an efficiency of 63% max, so if you don’t use green energy for electric cars and you have to use fossil the patrol car is not so bad.

    So only is we have enough green energy electric cars make sense!


    Biggest problem of the electrification is the transport of it, the power grids can’t handle it.

    Upgrading this grid will take time, between 10-20 years.

    Almost all street cables have to be changed by bigger ones.


    Only a hybrid way of heating can solve the problem.

    Idea to not use natural gas for heating is wrong!


    If you replace the natural gas you need in the winter by biogas, or better synthetic methane form CO2 and H2 out of solar and wind energy, the CO2 emission is also reduced.


    Advance of methane is that you can store it in a liquid form (LNG).

    All solar energy produced in the summer can this way be stored for use in the winter (power to gas).


    For transport I see also methane as the solution, cars can drive on compressed methane (CNG), and trucks can use the liquid form (LNG).

    This are all known techniques.

  • All solar energy produced in the summer can this way be stored for use in the winter (power to gas).

    Good point. This is also valid for wind energy of course.

    Currently I see the focus is on power to hydrogen in the Netherlands. Heating housing with hydrogen solves the issue I pinpointed.

    Challenge with hydrogen is of course storage. Long term storage of pure hydrogen is not easy and very costly.

    Conversion to hydrogen to ammonia and back to hydrogen seems a better solution. Comes with efficiency reduction unfortunately.

  • Nobody should do that in France or the U.S. south of New York State. That is thermodynamically wasteful. You should use a heat pump.

    From efficiency point of view you are correct of course.
    Heat pumps will add up to the energy bills of households, firstly because they are not cheap, secondly they have limited lifetimes and writing them off will add to the bill.

  • Hi Rob,


    Storing hydrogen is difficult, you can only store in a compressed state, the liquid state is near impossible.

    So I don’t understand why the Netherlands wants to use hydrogen.


    Pumping hydrogen though the now available neutral gas pipes isn’t a smart idea.

    Hydrogen leaks through the walls of pipes and what about the gas fittings in your home.

    M3 hydrogen has only 1/3 of the energy of methane at the same pressure, so you have to increase the pressure of make to gas pipes bigger to transport the same energy.


    Ammonia would be an option for storage, but why not methane, we have an excellent network for it.

  • Biggest problem of the electrification is the transport of it, the power grids can’t handle it.

    No, that is simply not true, for the reasons I gave above. There is tremendous extra capacity everywhere in Europe at night. More than enough to recharge automobiles. I do not think you can cite any technical reports from power companies saying that grid limitations will be a problem with electric cars.


    There are problems with the grid. It may be reaching daytime capacity in some places. It may have reliability problems. But electric cars do not use electricity during the day. This is well established. There are already 6.8 million electric cars in the world. We know when the owners prefer to recharge them. We know it does not put any burden on the grid. In Atlanta there are 25,000 electric cars. They have zero impact on daytime power consumption. Partly because the power company gives a big discount specifically for electric cars if you recharge them at night (not just the usual Night & Weekend rate). They charge 20 times less! $0.01 instead of $0.20. (https://envirosparkenergy.com/…make-saving-money-easier/) The power company also gives you a $250 rebate to install a charger. The power company wants you to use electric cars. They want to steal customers from the oil companies. They want your money. If they had to upgrade the grid to get your money, they would upgrade the grid, but as it happens they don't need to, so this is easy money for them. It falls into their hands.


    That's for automotive ground transportation. Most other ground transport in Europe is with electric trains and subways, which the grid already supports. (In the U.S., east coast railroads from Washington to Boston are electric, but for many other routes and all long-haul freight in Atlanta and elsewhere, they use Diesel locomotives.)


    Look at the big picture, https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/NRELenergyover.pdf, p. 17. This is from the year 2000, but things have not changed all the much. The big difference is that wind and other renewables now produce more than coal. (I wish I could find the updated version of this graph at eia.gov.)


    In the U.S., transportation uses 27 quads of energy from petroleum, mainly for cars. Overall energy from all sources is 99 quads. So, automotive consumption is 27% of the total! It seems like a lot. Okay, it is a lot! And you would think that converting this to electricity would put a strain on the electric power companies, and the grid. But you would be wrong. It puts no strain on them. Mainly because cars recharge at night, but also because electric cars use roughly 4 times less energy than gasoline models, so it is 7 quads instead. (That was the estimate 20 years ago. It is about the same now judging by MPGe ratings, which are ~110 mpge average compared to 25 mpg average for gasoline cars.)


    As you see, distributed electricity is 12 quads, so you might think that 7 quads more is a huge burden, but it isn't because of when -- what hour -- it is distributed. The power companies can easily generate it and they will make a huge amount of money selling it to you, so they want to do that. They just need more coal, more natural gas, and more wind to do that. These things are available in unlimited amounts. Meanwhile, of course, the oil business will fall through the floor, declining from 26 quads to practically nothing. Most of that money will be savings (eliminated costs) that accrue to people who buy electric cars. The rest will fall into the pockets of the power companies. That prospect thrills them. They will do whatever they can to get those extra 7 quads of business.


    The automobile makers do not give a damn what you power your car with, as long as you buy the car from them. Contrary to many conspiracy theories they are not in league with the oil companies. They do not care what happens to oil companies, and they don't care if their products enrich power companies instead. For that matter, if they realize cold fusion is real, they will use it as quickly as possible even though it costs nothing and will bankrupt the oil companies and the power companies. That's not Ford's problem. If Ford does not quickly develop cold fusion, GM and Toyota will put them out of business. That will be their only concern.

  • Total energy for traffic is 374,6Pj = 104TWh / year in the Netherlands.

    Has nothing to do with the number of cars used.

    Well of course it has to do with the number of cars used! If people stopped using cars, it would fall to zero. That is, if they stopped going anywhere and stayed at home. Or if they rode only bicycles. Automobile transport will take ~4 times less energy with electric cars, assuming the same number of cars are driven the same number of passenger miles.


    (Note that bicycles are used for 36% of travel the Netherlands, cars are 45%, so this is not completely hypothetical. Electric bicycles are the most efficient means of transportation yet invented. They take less energy than walking or pedaling a manual bicycles does. Walking energy input is food. That is, the energy it takes to grow, distribute and prepare food, not the caloric content.)

  • I only know about the situation in the Netherlands, and it is very bad!


    Here a capacity map of the grid:

    The QUESTION IS how much extra capacity do you need to recharge electric cars? Anwer: Zero. Bupkis. Nothing. Nada.


    You have tons of extra capacity already, sitting around doing nothing, all night long.


    The only thing you need is more fuel. Or more wind.


    There are lots or problems with the power grid, but this not one of them.

  • This is in Dutch, but explains why heat pumps and electric cars are a problem for the grid.

    Heat pumps yes. They are used during the day in winter, when demand is at its highest. Electric cars no. Or, if electric car demand becomes a problem, the power company can fix that by offering a discount to recharge the cars overnight. Most people do not care when the car is recharged. If it costs them half as much, they will do it at night. In Atlanta it costs ten times less. In parts of Texas it costs nothing. Most people will want to recharge for free. Why pay $7.50 when you can pay nothing?


    It is just as convenient to recharge overnight as during the day. The chargers have cell-phone apps that let you choose when the charger will activate. You plug in when you get home, and by the next morning the battery is fully charged.