Author Topic: The future of electric Vehicles.  (Read 40523 times)

BruceM

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #75 on: April 06, 2018, 05:52:55 PM »
The water use by steam turbine power plants is substantial-  a non-issue for some locations, but sometimes a serious issue in desert areas, where you might like to locate solar heliostat/molten salt plants.  No different than for a coal plant.  There are ways to reduce water use dramatically but it is always an issue for everything except pure PV. 

The 773 Megawatt Coronado coal fired plant near me in St. Johns, AZ (completed in 1980) had quite a debacle when they found the local ground water of such poor quality (highly mineralized, full of radon, and corrosive) they couldn't use it.  They have pumping stations and pipes that extend 30 miles to suck ground water from elsewhere, including 1/2 mile from my home.  It is solely owned by Salt River Project and I can't find water use data- a sore subject as our aquifer is also being used faster than it's replacement.

Palo Verde (3.3 Gigawatts) is the largest nuclear plant in the US.  It operates on treated Phoenix "waste water", which is no small feat.  Every other plant in the world is near a river or large body of water.  It uses 20 billion gallons per year, which accounts for 25% of the "overdraft" on groundwater in the Phoenix area.  The overuse of ground water grossly in excess of it's natural replacement is a very serious issue in the southwest.  It's one of those "screw the grandkids" kind of situations.

The future of the SW US will largely be dependent on water, and the piper will have to be paid.  It makes water use an important consideration in planning for future power generation.  It's a real issue here in the SW, not greenwashed foolishness.





LowGear

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #76 on: April 06, 2018, 07:24:18 PM »
Nice link to the basics about salt based power plants.  So here's an educational moment and one that I've wondered about since I saw my first cooling tower.

If these plants are making steam to turn the turbines WHY do they need to cool the water only to re-heat it again?
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LowGear

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #77 on: April 06, 2018, 07:32:12 PM »
Water Conservation and the routine of living:

I think we still pound the drum of water conservation even when the reservoirs are full because we have been brainwashed into believing that there just might be another drought in the future.  Another demonstration of how stupid the democratically elected leaders are in the "Free World".  To actually believe that there will be another drought.  WTF?  Do they believe we live in East Africa or something?

As a friends grandmother used to say as we left the house to play; "Habits are a Pleasure To Do!"
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buickanddeere

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #78 on: April 07, 2018, 12:23:26 AM »
I agree Casey, no matter what the enthusiasts say, the nuclear power industry has shot itself in both legs with cost (and time) of construction and service life.  Not one nuclear plant has ever built built on time and projected costs have always been fantasy figures.  Westinghouse was the last big US nuclear plant builder and they just went bankrupt.

The good point B&D made  is that the true health risks and other costs of other power plants aren't great either...but that's why the rest of the world has been shifting to wind and solar ASAP.

I do like nuclear molten salts-  but I prefer "fusion at a distance" (solar) as the way to do that at least here in the SW.
Much more the kind of thing I would trust the better than average Joe to build and operate.  We all get cavalier about things we work with daily for a long time, it's just the way our wetware works. 

China has the first large modern design fission molten salt system scheduled to be on line around 2024. We'll see how that works out for them, though it will be difficult to get real cost and operation data from China.  Using spent fuel rods would be great but every single promise of such a thing in the last 50 years has so far proven to be vaporware; and the NRC has not approved a single fuel reprocessing plant in the US. 

Continuing operation of our existing nuclear plants to the end of their safe service life seems both likely and wise at this point.

I just hope safety oversight won't get lax.   Our Palo Verde plant upwind of me in AZ has had a long history of bad marks on NRC safety inspections and long delays in making corrections. There were some questions raised from retired NRC experts in the last year over a failed backup generator (blew up on testing) where they continued operations anyway and eventually got an NRC "exemption" despite clear rules that 2 regularly tested, backup generators to run the cooling pumps are required or the plant must start shut down procedures.

  The Chinese and Korean Candu 600 plants were build on budget and on time. In the west politicians/lawyers milk the system to fill their pockets.
   it is not technical issues stopping the build of new units. It is the lack of political will.
   The glut of  power occurring  spring and fall when heating and cooling loads are minimal . And when wind + solar power combined generation are highest. This depresses the wholesale price of power paid to nuclear producers who used to pay the bills with Mon-Fri daytime peak rates.  Even with the reduction of wholesale electrical rates. The retail price of power has increased due to the subsidies paid to wind, solar and some gas plants.   
   Politicians only think as far ahead as the next election. The average citizen who has no idea where the sources of food, power, water and raw materials. They vote based on the trendy fads they hear as they don't want to be mocked for being unpopular. 

buickanddeere

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #79 on: April 07, 2018, 12:32:49 AM »
  It is less trouble to build 500KV AC or a high voltage DC power transmission line than it is to build a power plant away from sufficient cooling water. 
   Cooling towers waste a lot of water from evaporation . Plus the sight of the cooling towers scare the daylights out of the general public . As they consider anything out of a stack as "pollution".
     Always wondered why two power plants on the Saint Clair River between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. The Canadian side withdrew cooling water from the river and returned the water 3-4 degrees warmer. In the over all average temperature of the river , the increase was about nill.
    Yet on the shores of the same river on the US side in Michigan. The power plant used cooling towers. Go figure ???

BruceM

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2018, 01:05:54 AM »
Casey, not sure if you're serious but the answer is, the exhaust steam is much lower pressure than that needed to spin the turbines.  There are schemes to recapture the energy in the "waste" steam.  Recapturing more of the water is done based on the local water situation. It takes massive condensers and more energy. 

If only we had 100 gigawatt hour batteries for direct PV to battery storage.  For now they are relatively small and viable for peak shaving only.  Thus the molten salt approach becomes appealing since solar conversion to heat is about 80% efficient instead of 17% for PV and storing of molten salt is a relatively low tech way of storing massive energy. 

The 750 MW Springerville, AZ plant has had some big upgrades just a few years ago; again, no river or large body of water.  TEP and SRP power companies will keep it going, they say. 

The Springerville,  Coranado, and Cholla plants were all located in rural areas with rail access to the 4 Corners area coal mines.

We also had a paper mill running entirely on pumped groundwater outside Snowflake AZ, operating for about 55 years-  pumping ground water and pouring their waste in large ponds...and thus polluting the aquifer all the way to Holbrook.  Go figure.

The water rights laws in the western US are bizarre... in Phoenix farmers were/are pumping groundwater from 1000 feet depth, from a 2000 year old aquifer no longer being replaced for flood irrigating low value crops such as cotton. 

 












LowGear

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2018, 09:58:02 AM »
I'm still waiting for HELCO to phone to let me know that my 20KW battery system is ready for installation.  That's part of my dream program where the progressive utility corporations start beefing up neighborhood grids.  You know, making the paperwork easier.  Providing design support.  Financing plant and equipment.  They are going to be selling power from my batteries just as surely as they sell power from residential PV systems that are installed today.  100% per day with net due in 30 days as well.  What a sweet deal.
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BruceM

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2018, 05:26:37 PM »
We'll be waiting a long time for power companies to begin acting in the best interests of the public instead of their own profits. 

I thought B&D's comment about "lack of political will" was a hoot.  I heard the same power co. propaganda as a naive young lad in engineering school, relative to the lack of radioactive waste disposal/storage.  In 1975 and 18 years old, I believed it.

This article helps clarify that and the reality of nuclear power economics:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2014/02/20/why-the-economics-dont-favor-nuclear-power-in-america/#4576a4ee470b

Meanwhile, we do have a sustained fusion reactor with a long history of reliability; look up at noon. 





LowGear

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2018, 08:49:29 PM »
Okay.  I've been over at YouTube-U and see lots of articles on how cooling towers work but none of them explain why the water needs to be cooled down before it's heated back up to super steam.  I just don't get it.  Would someone take a minute and tell me where to go?  That's a place where I might learn the "Why?" of cooling the water.
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BruceM

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2018, 12:13:19 AM »
Casey, if you are talking about steam turbine water supply,  the steam needs to be cooled so that water will condense.  Cooling that water futher is counterproductive.  A heat pump can be used to capture  the steam heat energy to be reused to boil the water again.  It's more energy efficient to generate the high pressure steam by boiling water than it is to run an air compressor to compress the old low pressure steam.

Cooling towers are used for chilling (cooling) water and getting rid of waste heat that can't be practically reused.  They would not be used for the boiler water supply as that would be counter productive.

Cooling towers (water falls down, air is sometimes forced upwards) can approach the wet bulb temperature; in dry climates about 20F below ambient air temperature.  I built a 16 foot tall test tower coveted with a tarp for an experiment on water chilling for house cooling via in floor pex.  Alas, when the night time temperatures are at their lowest prior to sunrise, the humidity is at it's highest so performance was disappointing and I couldn't get the 55F- ish water I was hoping for.  If I had been smarter I would have just done wet bulb testing every couple hours through the night. (wet fabric over spinning bulb of thermometer).

Trickling water down barely sloped steel roof panels worked better with less energy due to night sky radiation (10F below ambient), with bonus evaporative cooling with any wind.  The water only has to be lifted a few feet so Lang D5 pump can be used.  Alas, without wind, I need a LOT of roof panel surface area; a minimum of about the square footage of the super insulated house to be cooled (1100 SF). There is no free lunch.







 






M61hops

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2018, 02:03:14 AM »
Good question Casey.  The way I understand it is that energy flows downhill such as from hot to cold to start with.  They say that heat is motion so heat is pumped into water until the molecules are moving very fast and pushing hard on the inside of the container it's in like the boiler and pipes.  There are formulas that express the direct relationship between pressure and temperature, all that pesky detail stuff called laws of physics.  A power plant has a mostly closed loop where the high temp and pressure steam pushes on the turbine blades doing work but losing a bit of heat and pressure as it passes through each stage of the turbine.  After many stages of pushing on the blades the water molecules have slowed and cooled down to where the pressure is reduced and the steam is in danger of condensing back into liquid water that would be rough on the blades if it struck them.  A drop of water turned to steam occupies something crazy like 1700 times the volume of space so it's kind of hard to pump steam back uphill so to speak to the boiler especially when it wants to turn back to water as the temperature and pressure is lost.  Plus I think that if you compress steam you can turn it back to water according to the pressures and temps.  Somebody made up these crazy rules for how matter behaves in this dimension but it's very handy that the rules have a consistency to them most of the time so we can get predictable results.  I think that it's just a matter of being able to handle the water molecules in an efficient enough manner as they go around the loop, pumping a little volume of water gets you a large volume of steam after you add heat.  The massive amount of energy involved with changing the state of water from liquid to steam and back again is a kink in this process and I suspect that is why you are asking the question.  If you could skip the phase change steps at each end and just shove the steam right back into the boiler and reheat it I'd think it would be more efficient.  But the main thing that drives the turbine is the pressure difference between inlet and outlet and condensing the steam greatly reduces the pressure on the low pressure side of the loop.  Seems like maybe you could use the steam leaving the turbine to boil Freon or ammonia and run some of the plant machinery off a smaller steam engine system loop rather than dumping the heat from condensation, but maybe not worth it in the overall energy flow.  To me it seems that if you want 1000 Megawatts out of a fission power plant you have to make 3000 Megawatts of heat.  It would be nice to use all the heat to do something useful although heating the night air could be considered useful in some circumstances.  I used to live 30 miles downwind from a Nuke plant and on some cold nights I could feel a warm fog coming from the power plant.  The homes that heated with heat pumps were pretty efficient compared to homes on the upwind side of the valley!  The power company relocated some vent lines from the cooling towers to a purpose built tower so they could point at the cooling towers and truthfully say that no radiation was coming out of those towers.  That was about the time that I was starting to think that Nuke plants were not the best way to make electricity.  The big fusion reactor in the sky seems to be very reliable and somewhat safe... so far.  :-\
I pray everyday giving thanks that I have one of the "fun" mental disorders!

buickanddeere

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #86 on: April 08, 2018, 06:31:58 PM »
We'll be waiting a long time for power companies to begin acting in the best interests of the public instead of their own profits. 

I thought B&D's comment about "lack of political will" was a hoot.  I heard the same power co. propaganda as a naive young lad in engineering school, relative to the lack of radioactive waste disposal/storage.  In 1975 and 18 years old, I believed it.

This article helps clarify that and the reality of nuclear power economics:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2014/02/20/why-the-economics-dont-favor-nuclear-power-in-america/#4576a4ee470b

Meanwhile, we do have a sustained fusion reactor with a long history of reliability; look up at noon.

There are no technical issues storing waste . The problem is politicians who are afraid of non technical voters who have been frightened by special interest groups . The people in the anti nuc organizations make their income by scaring cash out of middle aged grandmothers who have been frightened about the grand babies future .
  Then there are the consulting firms that make fortunes by only pushing paper.  They donít want any construction go aheads as them they will be out of work.
   Uranium and thorium came out of the ground in the first place . What is wrong with putting it back.
   Some people are as convinced about nuclear as I am about liver and onions .

LowGear

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #87 on: April 08, 2018, 07:52:17 PM »
Thanks for the help with Why we need cooling towers and lots of reserve water to run steam plants. 

So how about the future of electric vehicles?

I spent two hours chasing down a really neat three wheel roadster Friday only to discover it was powered by a two stroke.  From super clean to the dirtiest in one utterance of "Huh".

Have you seen the Edison 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMWveqqMUY0  Cleaver way of getting around the safety stuff "real" cars face.

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buickanddeere

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #88 on: April 09, 2018, 01:45:47 PM »
Thanks for the help with Why we need cooling towers and lots of reserve water to run steam plants. 

So how about the future of electric vehicles?

I spent two hours chasing down a really neat three wheel roadster Friday only to discover it was powered by a two stroke.  From super clean to the dirtiest in one utterance of "Huh".

Have you seen the Edison 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMWveqqMUY0  Cleaver way of getting around the safety stuff "real" cars face.

Modern direct injection two strokes meet and exceed emissions regulations . In common use on boats, snowmobiles and ATVs.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:12:25 AM by buickanddeere »

buickanddeere

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Re: The future of electric Vehicles.
« Reply #89 on: April 09, 2018, 01:53:23 PM »
There is no practical way to exceed approx 50% thermal efficiency . The metal becomes more expensive to purchase and expensive to manufacture for high temperatures . Even exotic alloys erode or corrode . Efficiency comes from a greater delta T of the steam between the primary turbine first row of blades and the last row of blades in the secondary turbine.  prior to the steam entering the condensers .
  There is not way around the thermal loss with change  of state from steam back to water . Well except on Star a trek and it has to be true as we see them do it on TV.