Saturday, February 27, 2016

Energy Storage Issues

In the early parts of the 20th century, an average 400 Americans were struck and killed by lightning annually. That rate has plunged as urbanization has swelled to an average of less than 30 per year.  In fact; the ENTIRE WORLD only have roughly 300 killed by lightning.  Why is this happening?  Several advances in technology including electrification has simply drawn lightning's attention away from us and to the electrified object which is grounded thus making it more "attractive" to the lightning.  In fact, rural areas are much more prone to deadly lightning strikes but mostly because there is nothing out there to hit. Lightning always looks for the easiest path to ground. But if there was a charging station out in middle of nowhere with you, lightning will always take the station and not you!  The question remains is that would I use such a lame statistic as another advantage of Electric Vehicles?  OH HELL YA!!!

The popular weapon of the day for the Oil Company onslaught against Electric Vehicles is inadequate storage; IOW, pathetic battery capacities, poor energy densities, and conversion losses.  LIKE WOW! They have room to talk about pathetic storage capabilities?

We all know about the Horizon Deep Oil Well fiasco and how it took months to stop the flow of poison into the Gulf of Mexico.  Data is still pouring in on possible long term effects of the enormous amount of oil into a vital fishing area and sensitive ecosystem.  But what happened? Excuses.   "Oh we could have done better but it was so deep underwater"  Ahhh poor baby!!  

So what did we learn from it? NOTHING!!!   A USA Today article shows that deep water permits have skyrocketed since the BP led disaster.

The number of permits for deepwater drilling increased from 14 in 2010 and 274 in 2011 to 603 in 2014, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees the drilling.
But in retrospect; risk was never the determining factor in what ultimately happens. Its all about the money honey!  What about leaks that have no real access issues? The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage facility plugged a leak this week. Now is that news? It is when you consider the leak was discovered October 23!  So for one day short of FOUR MONTHS, Methane (a greenhouse gas 40 to 90 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide) has been pouring into the atmosphere.

How bad was Aliso Canyon?  Another article in the journal Science states the single event doubled the Los Angeles area methane footprint.  Flyovers using special equipment measured the leak at 60 metric tons PER HOUR.  

But the one thing we need to not forget when these big ticket items hit the news is the impact of small leaks nationwide. Its estimated that 1.4 Billion Dollars of Natural Gas escapes into our atmosphere annually. A recent study was so shocking that it was discarded and redone with similar results

The most notable thing about the draft, however, is a dramatic upward revision of methane emissions statistics. The new figures for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are about 27 times higher than previous estimates. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, that difference represents a 20-year climate impact equal to 200 coal-fired power plants. It also represents about $1.4 billion worth of lost natural gas.
Yeah, thats right; TWENTY SEVEN TIMES!!

So who has the "storage" problem??  What about accidental leakage?   Thankfully, Natural Gas explosions tend not to kill people. I personally find this statistic to be surprising but not very comforting. Something about explosions, fatal or not, that just does not sit well with me. Either way my plan of illustrating how many more people are killed by Natural Gas leaks over being electrocuted did not work. In the consumer World, we do manage to kill about 60 people a year by using "personal" testing equipment on live circuits but in reality, most electrocutions are from poorly maintained electrical appliances.

So we have to realize that storage issues is not an EV only issue. It is simply more publicized.   But its understandable. After all the Methane molecule is only 3.98 Angstroms (Angstrom is a really teeny tiny thing!)  so its really small and as we all know when we dropped our collection of beads is that the smaller the object, the harder it is to store so...

now we come to the real reason for this blog.
The Hydrogen molecule (yeah that is two of them stuck together) is .74 Angstroms. or 500% SMALLER than Natural Gas and we want to base our transportation system on something we can barely hold on to??  Cmon now!!

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