Hydrogen Vehicles

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kwackers
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Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby kwackers » 8 Jul 2019, 10:15am

PDQ Mobile wrote:I know your a fan Kwackers and I am too.

Fan is a strong word.

I'm a fan of what it can be because I can see how it can work. I'm less of a fan about the haphazard way it's rolled out.

All I personally can do is concentrate on my own use case and I've done enough number crunching to know how I can get my dependence on the grid down to around 10% of current levels (and that's with an EV something I don't currently have).
Not perfect but if the whole country could do the same that would be pretty awesome.

I don't have much of a problem with subsidies. They don't really amount to that much and they're a pittance compared to subsidies applied to fossil fuels.
Perhaps it's worth pointing out that we've reduced subsidies to the point now where we are now one of the few (only?) countries in the world were solar installations are going backwards.
Is that what we want?

PDQ Mobile
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Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby PDQ Mobile » 8 Jul 2019, 10:19am

I agree and going backwards is certainly not what we want.
One would have thought a sensible level of help towards a low carbon economy would be within the capabilities of any normal Govt!
Sadly in this case.....

Shine on that sun! :D

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Cugel
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Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby Cugel » 8 Jul 2019, 2:35pm

kwackers wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:I suggest that given the figures and installation that you have at present, an Electric Vehicle would simply be using conventionally generated electric?
And therefore still nowhere near carbon neutral.

EV's doing average mileage need about 200Wh, call it 600Wh for 8 hours of daylight.
Easily within a solar installation's capabilities.

You can't be self sufficient without battery backup. Most of the time you simply can't use the power produced so it just ends up being dumped on the grid. And when you do need power you tend to need a lot. Most home EV chargers are 7Kw, 3Kw for an electric kettle and another Kw or so for lights, TV and any bits and pieces.

Fortunately apart from the famous soap opera tea breaks demand tends to be sporadic so you can rely on your neighbours solar installations to fill in the gaps.

Obviously as batteries become more commonplace (or grid tied EV's) then your battery/EV can be relied on to provide power during high demand and soak it up as demand falls - both for you personally and the system as a whole.

Now we no longer have the 4Kw "limit" for some people it makes more sense to put a larger array on their roof.
If I was Cugel I'd sneak a few extra panels up there anyway. His inverter may limit the power to 4Kw but more panels mean its more likely to produce 4Kw even on dull days (and obviously more power during the winter).
I believe (but it's worth checking) even in his case he can legally add more panels without issues as long as his inverter is limited to 4Kw.

Micro inverters are a good thing for scaleability. You can just keep adding panels as and when - plus they're less fussy about panels going into the shade.


The balance between electricity used and electricity generated is the first issue. It is possible to reduce electricity use yet still maintain all the electrical gubbins you want or need. This requires a lot of fiddling about with various energy-conservation or cost-reducing things.

For example, our hoose is very heavily insulated indeed so doesn't throw heat away. This reduces the load on the ground source heating pump. Other heat-generating electrical things (e.g. a cooker) also have their "waste" heat heating the house, so the heating system thermostat will turn the ground source heating pump down another notch.

Another costly use of electricity is to heat washing and dish washing machine cold water to operating temperatures. Ground source heat costs far less, as does the associated hot water so we're installing a thermostat-controlled valves to put water as warm as the washing machine program allows into the machine instead of the much colder water of the cold tap.

The hoose has only the most modern & efficient LED lighting, which saves a lot over old fashioned incandescent bulbs but also a significant amount over first generation LED bulbs. The modern ones are specified to last longer too.

I'm sure there'll be other ways to reduce the electricity usage whilst maintaining the "service level" in terms of electrical gubbins to do this and that.

The second issue to how to generate (and store) more electricity at a reasonable cost and without buggeringup the existing payback arrangement. Separate solar panels and a battery, not connected to the grid, seems one route. How to install it all and how to use it are the issues.

I hope to buy more solar panels and use them to feed a big battery that can be used for sporadic things, such as woodworking; perhaps also for low-capacity circuits such as the lighting. But it looks like the grid will always be needed not so much as a supplier as a supply-smoother - always there no matter what the weather does to your solar or wind power.

***
The electric car costs a lot less to tun than buying oil-fuels and, more to the point, it doesn't itself pollute with the engine. Well, it won't when the grid supplies electricity only from renewables and the gas-fired power stations are gone along with the coal burners.

At present we're making a small profit on selling solar electricity but this is because of an inherited high pay-back rate. We have to generate/save a bit more to get our electricity production in terms of KWh equal or exceeding our usage. We will get there, one way or another.

Cugel

roubaixtuesday
Posts: 2248
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby roubaixtuesday » 8 Jul 2019, 3:20pm

Cugel wrote:
kwackers wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:I suggest that given the figures and installation that you have at present, an Electric Vehicle would simply be using conventionally generated electric?
And therefore still nowhere near carbon neutral.

EV's doing average mileage need about 200Wh, call it 600Wh for 8 hours of daylight.
Easily within a solar installation's capabilities.

You can't be self sufficient without battery backup. Most of the time you simply can't use the power produced so it just ends up being dumped on the grid. And when you do need power you tend to need a lot. Most home EV chargers are 7Kw, 3Kw for an electric kettle and another Kw or so for lights, TV and any bits and pieces.

Fortunately apart from the famous soap opera tea breaks demand tends to be sporadic so you can rely on your neighbours solar installations to fill in the gaps.

Obviously as batteries become more commonplace (or grid tied EV's) then your battery/EV can be relied on to provide power during high demand and soak it up as demand falls - both for you personally and the system as a whole.

Now we no longer have the 4Kw "limit" for some people it makes more sense to put a larger array on their roof.
If I was Cugel I'd sneak a few extra panels up there anyway. His inverter may limit the power to 4Kw but more panels mean its more likely to produce 4Kw even on dull days (and obviously more power during the winter).
I believe (but it's worth checking) even in his case he can legally add more panels without issues as long as his inverter is limited to 4Kw.

Micro inverters are a good thing for scaleability. You can just keep adding panels as and when - plus they're less fussy about panels going into the shade.


The balance between electricity used and electricity generated is the first issue. It is possible to reduce electricity use yet still maintain all the electrical gubbins you want or need. This requires a lot of fiddling about with various energy-conservation or cost-reducing things.

For example, our hoose is very heavily insulated indeed so doesn't throw heat away. This reduces the load on the ground source heating pump. Other heat-generating electrical things (e.g. a cooker) also have their "waste" heat heating the house, so the heating system thermostat will turn the ground source heating pump down another notch.

Another costly use of electricity is to heat washing and dish washing machine cold water to operating temperatures. Ground source heat costs far less, as does the associated hot water so we're installing a thermostat-controlled valves to put water as warm as the washing machine program allows into the machine instead of the much colder water of the cold tap.

The hoose has only the most modern & efficient LED lighting, which saves a lot over old fashioned incandescent bulbs but also a significant amount over first generation LED bulbs. The modern ones are specified to last longer too.

I'm sure there'll be other ways to reduce the electricity usage whilst maintaining the "service level" in terms of electrical gubbins to do this and that.

The second issue to how to generate (and store) more electricity at a reasonable cost and without buggeringup the existing payback arrangement. Separate solar panels and a battery, not connected to the grid, seems one route. How to install it all and how to use it are the issues.

I hope to buy more solar panels and use them to feed a big battery that can be used for sporadic things, such as woodworking; perhaps also for low-capacity circuits such as the lighting. But it looks like the grid will always be needed not so much as a supplier as a supply-smoother - always there no matter what the weather does to your solar or wind power.

***
The electric car costs a lot less to tun than buying oil-fuels and, more to the point, it doesn't itself pollute with the engine. Well, it won't when the grid supplies electricity only from renewables and the gas-fired power stations are gone along with the coal burners.

At present we're making a small profit on selling solar electricity but this is because of an inherited high pay-back rate. We have to generate/save a bit more to get our electricity production in terms of KWh equal or exceeding our usage. We will get there, one way or another.

Cugel


Interesting to read and the motivation to be self-sufficient comes through.

Where it falls down a bit at a macro scale is the grid integration. Here, it really matters not a jot whether you, or anyone else generates more or less kWhr than you consume overall. What matters is in the long run is how much leccy comes from non-sustainable resources and how much it costs to drive that reduction.

Solar is, at a grid level, a really expensive way to do this, because in the UK, peak demand is not at the same time as peak production. Where air-conditioning in summer (Arizona, say) is significant, solar makes a lot more sense. But in the UK, peak demand is when it's dark, or winter, or both. Which means solar either needs to be stored (expensive and impractical beyond a few hours) or peak demand needs to be met by other fuels (not sustainable).

Solar can be a small part of the solution, but wind, nuclear and tidal are the bigger potential resources. Biogas, and continent wide grid integration with HVDC are probably the only ways to overcome the winter issue, or CCS in the medium term.

For a non-nuclear take on this, the Zero Carbon Britain project run by the Centre for Alternative technology is interesting.

From a conceptual perspective, the "Without Hot Air" book by the later great David Mackay is unsurpassed, though a little dated on costs now. Available on line.

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RickH
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Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby RickH » 8 Jul 2019, 5:02pm

You can also choose an electricity supplier who sources their electricity wholly, or mostly, from renewable sources. Ovo (60% renewable or 100% with a £5 per month supplement), Ecotricity & Octopus are three I can think of off the top of my head. We switched to Ovo's 100% renewable tariff &, combined with being more careful with usage - easier to keep tabs on with monthly readings (not decided when/if to opt for a smart meter) - we're currently paying less per month than our previous supplier.

Home battery storage should get a lot cheaper as new battery prices start to get cheaper and also "second life" batteries (ones that are no longer able to meet the heavy demands in vehicles but will still operate quite happily for many years in the massively lower demand setting of domestic supply) start to become more available. Some interesting developments going on for commercial scale battery storage too, but I'll leave that for another time.

roubaixtuesday
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Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 7:05pm

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby roubaixtuesday » 8 Jul 2019, 6:19pm

RickH wrote:You can also choose an electricity supplier who sources their electricity wholly, or mostly, from renewable sources. Ovo (60% renewable or 100% with a £5 per month supplement), Ecotricity & Octopus are three I can think of off the top of my head.


We use Bulb.

re battery storage at grid level - not remotely credible for winter coverage from everything I've seen. Gas backup is the only option I'm aware of. But by all means, start a new thread and post links, I'd love to be proved wrong.

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Cugel
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Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby Cugel » 8 Jul 2019, 10:22pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
RickH wrote:You can also choose an electricity supplier who sources their electricity wholly, or mostly, from renewable sources. Ovo (60% renewable or 100% with a £5 per month supplement), Ecotricity & Octopus are three I can think of off the top of my head.


We use Bulb.

re battery storage at grid level - not remotely credible for winter coverage from everything I've seen. Gas backup is the only option I'm aware of. But by all means, start a new thread and post links, I'd love to be proved wrong.


I haven't got figures or case studies but ....

Many local farmers are putting in both solar and a windmill. In winter a windmill in Wales will turn a lot of the time. But they are expensive for something that generates a decent amount. (An 11Kw item is popular with small holders, apparently). Also, a battery to store significant amounts is still very costly.

Incidentally, don't dismiss solar in winter. Out 4Kw array generated a goodly amount for the first quarter of this year, although there was that February heat wave. It can generate significant amounts on a white cloud day and even a bit on a grey cloud day. What if it was a 12Kw array?

I feel that if enough domestic households and small businesses invest in enough energy production technologies such that they all generate an excess over their own needs, over a whole year, then it might be possible to feed the grid enough to make it a sort of self-charging battery for all, especially if it sucks up juice from various other very large arrays of wind & solar. But I have no figures.

Cugel

PDQ Mobile
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Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby PDQ Mobile » 8 Jul 2019, 11:34pm

Cugel, Another late reply.sorry.
I don't really like to labour the point but Roubaix kinda said it anyway.
That point being that a standard domestic solar installation cannot produce enough to heat a house even with a heat pump, run the other stuff and charge an EV or even a bike.
Now the fact that some gets produced in winter is ok and helpful but Welsh winter days are short and all too often densely cloudy just at a time of year when most leccy is needed. So the grid is needed. Sustainable low carbon grid is good for sure.

Windmills are ok.
I like offshore better than onshore but I can see the beauty in the things though the noise could be a pain if one was next door.
Whether I would like to see all of Wales covered in them is another matter though.

As for low consumption; yes heating washing machine water by another low carbon means
is a very big saver. In my case wood.
I have a Welsh made model over 30 years old and it has hot fill, something of a Trigger's broom now!!
A simple switch overrides the heating element circuit and fill is from the hot water tank or a mix depending on temp selected.
It has saved me a small fortune in leccy over the years and just why a hot fill one is now so difficult and expensive to source is quite beyond me.

My annual leccy consumption last year was just under 1000 kwh; partly old stone house only reasonably well insulated and certainly not draught proof! Though always warm and cosy.
To get it under a 1000 kwh was kind of a pleasure; basically the house uses no leccy for heating anything (hairdryer excepted) but otherwise tools, fridge freezer and a freezer, LED lights (mostly) and some water pumping and sundries. Seems sustainable.

What is a washing up machine? :shock:

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RickH
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Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby RickH » 9 Jul 2019, 12:22am

roubaixtuesday wrote:re battery storage at grid level - not remotely credible for winter coverage from everything I've seen. Gas backup is the only option I'm aware of. But by all means, start a new thread and post links, I'd love to be proved wrong.

I wasn't thinking of grid level storage, it was using second life lead acid batteries (retired from their 1st life in uninteruptable power supplies for data centres) as storage for an office building with solar on the roof. Starts at about 8:30 in the link below. (The first part is about vehicle to grid & both are in the Netherlands. )



On grid storage. I can't find a link to it at the moment but I did hear a report of a 600MWh+ grid storage being built. I think it was Abu Dhabi. That would be logical as they've recently brought a 1GW+ solar installation online with plans for 2GW (see "Abu Doubled" in this link.) OK so they probably get somewhat more reliable sunshine.

Vorpal
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Re: Hydrogen vehicles

Postby Vorpal » 25 Sep 2019, 1:36pm

I thought of this thread on Monday. I took the bus home from the town centre.

The bus was all electric, and reasonably full. It was lovely to ride. Clean, quiet, and not a whiff of exhaust smell.

It also seemed to have reasonable acceleration. The route I was on is 'local' but goes to the next town.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

cotterpins
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Re: Hydrogen Vehicles

Postby cotterpins » 6 Oct 2019, 12:44pm

Perpetual motion is the answer! it's not possible of course. The finest example of Perpetual Motion . . . A
Cow Drinking Milk, at the same time as being milked!