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Can it be True, Frac Wastewater Injection Well Seismicity is a Miscue?

August 19, 2014

Workers inspected earthquake damage at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., in 2011.

Workers inspected earthquake damage at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., in 2011.

Two years ago (06/15/2012), an AP report, Fracking-Earthquake Report Suggests Low Risk For Large Tremors, by Seth Borenstein stated, “The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas does not pose a high risk for triggering earthquakes large enough to feel…..”

But these less than formal announcements failed to quell the public’s concern over the relationship between hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal in deep injection wells and the rash of seismic activity near disposal sites. Fast-forward to today (08/18/2014)! Seth Borenstein in “Less shake from artificial quakes, fed study says,” announced the results of a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough – “Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude……..”

In closing, the study seems sound and somewhat consistent with reports from the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC). Yet, the TRC, which has been ridiculed for siding with the oil and gas industry on controversial issues, has announced this week in the Star-Telegram, “After months of disappointing decisions — or mostly indecision — in response to a rash of seismic rumblings in North Texas that some studies have linked to hydraulic fracturing, the Texas Railroad Commission ….. approved new proposed rules that would require oil and gas drilling permit seekers to provide additional information, including data on a region’s seismicity and any history of earthquakes recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey, before drilling new injection wells.

Nevertheless, as a resident of Tarrant County, Texas living on top of the Barnett Shall Play and a proponent of environmentally safe hydraulic fracturing that ensures public safety, it is hoped the report reflects reality. In any event, it is just an issue of managing risk, which we can and no different than any other human activity.

Tesla Hit By Another Harsh Review

August 13, 2014

Tesla crashed model sHuffington Post, by Alexander C. Kaufman, 08/12/2014

“”Tesla just got another dent.

“Tesla Model S has more than its share of problems,” read the headline of Consumer Reports’ review, which was posted online Monday. For the second time in a month, a top critic has published a harsh critique of the electric carmaker’s Model S luxury sedan.

Echoing a review published in late July by the car-critic site Edmunds, Consumer Reports complained that the car died just after 12,000 miles during a 15,743-mile test run requiring a “hard reset” to restore most of its functions. The trim panels needed to be replaced to fix a creaky noise coming from the roof. Multiple parts on the nearly $89,650 car were replaced.

Tesla’s stock stumbled early Tuesday morning.””

To read entire article, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/barrystevens634

 

Can Tesla Ever Break Even?

August 1, 2014

Break even pointThe media resonates with the quintessential EV – Tesla. From the groundbreaking Roadster and family oriented S Sedans to the upcoming Model X SUV and Model 3 for the mass market, a day does not go by without hearing something about Tesla. Now with the not so Americanized $5 billion cylindrical lithium-ion cell Gigafactory beating its drums, Tesla promoted the State-by-State site selection process to an extent exceeding the Grand Balls for suitors seeking the affection of Scarlett O’Hara. And not to mention all the brouhaha surrounding Tesla’s proposed 156 charging stations by end of year 2014.

But how healthy is Tesla, is its temperature moving up or down? This too depends on which side of the EV equation one sits on. On July 31, 2014, C/net’s headlined “Tesla earnings beat (Wall Street) estimates, Gigafactory construction imminent …..”. Great news and a voice of victory!
Then on August 1, Newsday reported “Tesla loss widens as company prepares for new factory ……..”  Bad news and a beat of defeat!

So what gives? Is Tesla’s expectation to meet sales goals better news than its ever growing losses? This depends on what Tesla’s financial wizards, stockholders and to some extent potential customers see and say. And what is the dollars and cents reality of Tesla’s estimates of annular production estimates of 100,000 vehicles by end of 2015, or a current capacity of 200,000 vehicles, or even 300,000 vehicles when the $5 billion battery plant is online by the late 2010s? Another question is Tesla’s understanding of build and sold? Production estimates and capacity are one thing, sales is another!

In closing, this is not meant to belittle Tesla’s role and fortitude in the EV industry. It is a simple question of when the money-well will stop and sprout into a money-tree. Different circumstances yes, but the industry cannot afford another Solyndra.

“NUTS” – One Word to Anthropogenic Climate Change Disbelieves

May 30, 2014

Coal fire electricity generation station emissionsWorld On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction, Species Disappearing Faster Than Ever Before, y Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, 05/29/2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/29/sixth-great-extinction-species-disappearing_n_5412571.html

This report on the Sixth Great Extinction come on the heels of “President Obama’s upcoming announcement of EPA’s proposed rules on carbon reductions to cut greenhouse gases from stationary sources, such as power plants, which account for about 40 percent of U.S. emissions. It’s assured Congress will be deadlock on the draft standards; those standards won’t be finalized until June 2015. And the proposal is expected to allow each state to determine how it will meet the standards. States would have about a year to develop a compliance plan and submit it to the EPA for approval.”

“The cost of inaction on climate is the real drain on our economy,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said in an email to Bloomberg. “In 2012, we saw the second-costliest year in U.S. history for natural disasters. Even the strongest sectors can’t escape the pressures of a changing climate, so it is time for us to lead.”

Obama’s Carbon Battle: Everyone Is Suiting Up For A Fight, by Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post, 05/29/2014 3:45 pm EDT Updated: 05/29/2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/29/obama-carbon-rules_n_5412531.html

So what is your choice; pay for a cleaner environment or pay for the escalating cost to cleanup the aftermath of a continually worsening environment?

 

April Ties For Hottest Ever On Record For The Globe

May 21, 2014

Ghost-Rider-Motorcycle-Fire-Skull-1050x1680Huff Post, Seth Borenstein — “Once again, the world hit record heat levels. The average global temperature last month tied the hottest April on record four years ago.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday say last month’s average temperature was 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit (14.5 degrees Celsius). That was 1.39 degrees F (0.77 C) warmer than the average last century.

The last time the globe’s monthly temperature was cooler than normal was February 1985.”

 

Welcome to the Main Event of the Transportation World – AFV vs ICV!

May 16, 2014

Demoltion Derby 2Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event of the boxing world. Here to show their support is “Transportation,” the organizers of the fight. Fans are buzzing the world over about the ICV vs. AFVs (internal combustion vehicle vs. alternate fuel vehicles) winner-takes-all Championship Boxing Fight. The fight has been decades in the making. Now is the time for AFVs to take a crack at a title. Serious contenders for the belt from all divisions – Lightweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight – are ready to step into the ring in full fighting form. Oddsmakers are taking bets on who will walk away with Belt of Champions. Today, ICV, the all-time king of the boxing, squares off against five AFVs contenders in a lightweight passenger-class division title fight. Contenders, in ranking order by the number of wins in the U.S. for 2013, are: “HEV” (hybrid electric vehicle), “PHEV” (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), “BEV” (battery electric vehicle), “NGV” (natural gas vehicle), and “FCEV” (fuel cell electric vehicle).

Before ringing the bell to start the event, a word about the energy density of the various fuels consumed by the contenders – where energy density is the amount of stored energy per unit of mass or volume. Fred Schlachter states in 2012 for APS Physics:

  • gasoline used by ICV is the champion at 47.5 MJ/kg and 34.6 MJ/L of stored energy – a fully fueled car of gasoline has the same energy content as a thousand sticks of dynamite,
  • per gallon, diesel fuel also used by ICV contains about 12% more energy than gasoline, thus when combusted in engines of comparable efficiency, the diesel powered vehicles gets about 12% better mileage – both diesel and gasoline hail internationally for the highest volumetric energy density any contender; yet compressed hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG) have more energy per mass,
  • compressed natural gas (CNG) has at 2,900 psi (200 bar) CNG has about 53.6 MJ/kg and 10 MJ/L of stored energy – slightly higher volume tic energy density than gasoline,
  • a lithium-ion battery such as that used in a Chevy Volt has about 0.3 MJ/kg and about 0.4 MJ/L of stored energy – gasoline has about 100 times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery, which is partially mitigated by the very high efficiency of an electric motor in converting energy stored in the battery to making the car move: it is typically 60-80 percent efficient,
  • hydrogen compressed to 70 MPa (10,152 psi) has about 123 MJ/kg, 5.6 MJ/L of stored energy – by far the highest mass energy density of any fuel.

Jason Haraldsen reports, ““While a gasoline engine produces more energy per kilogram, the question is about pollution and how much CO2 is produced by each process? According to the EIA, coal generates about 0.230 lbs of CO2 per MJ, while gasoline produces 0.160 lbs of CO2 per MJ and natural gas generates 0.124 lbs of CO2 per MJ. Therefore, coal looks to come out on top. However, if you consider that approximately 30 percent of your electricity is renewable energy, then this brings gasoline and electric vehicles back to level ground, if not giving electric a slight advantage. However, it is still not a zero emission car quite yet.

A final point is some of the top contenders qualify for various federal, state and local incentives (welfare benefits). For ease of comparison, this event looks at federal benefits only. State and local benefits vary dramatically making a fair correlation between contenders a cumbersome exercise.

 

Introducing first….. in the black corner, the undisputed champion of the world is “ICV,” claiming 14.4 million victories in the U.S. lightweight division for 2013. Fighting for ICV is Honda Accord, one of the top boxers in America for 2013. Weighing in at 30 mpg (combined), he goes 516 miles between pit stop to fill up his 17.2-gallon gut.  His strength comes from a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve engine. Accord claims a top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds. Wearing his LX cape, he gets a base salary of about $24,475 per fight.

2014 Honda Accord LX (gasoline)

Known by many as punch-drunk and an aging fossil, he still trains hard to slim down, maximize his performance and stay in tip-top shape. ICV’s boasts his supreme strength and endurance comes from a thrust for liquid gold with its unparalleled volumetric energy density; about 100 times that of BEVs energy source. This allows ICV to go the distance where no other contender has gone before. Only ICV and NGV, a distant relative, can compete in all divisions on land, air and sea! To do this, their trainer spends time and money refining their fighting style.

ICV is riding a 123-year win streak following knockout blows to EVs and Steam Engines in the late 19th and early 20th century. He earns on an average $25,000 for light-duty matches in the U.S. Known to cause havoc wherever he goes, always emits noxious odors and leaves a debris trail. ICV’s well-known drinking problem is aided by more than 120,000 available pit stops in the U.S. alone. His spending patterns to get tanked, varies day-to-day, and is the source of much speculation and rumors. ICV constantly brags that intensive training to comply with the new rules from the U.S. Federal Boxing Agency has improved his efficiency and desire to dink as much. Ironically, many top contenders such as HEV and PHEV use liquid gold as a front man or backup.

Most say ICV’s fighting days are over. To this, he constantly has shrugs off pundits and other aggressive contenders that say it’s only a matter of time before he loses his crown. With so many boxing suits (makes), fighting forms (models) and division titles (light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty) it seems nearly impossible for any contender to gain enough momentum to beat him on all fronts; assuming they are even able to compete with him in all divisions. Yet, promoters around the world are scrambling to find a cleaner, efficient and likeable contender to force a decision against ICV in the lightweight division.

 

In the green corner, is the every-improving and highly popular “HEV.” Fighting for HEV, ranked #1 in the affordable lightweight midsize division by U.S. News & World Report, isToyota Camry Hybrid SE. Weighing in at 41 mpg, he is able to go a whopping 680 miles between pit stops. His total strength of 200-horsepower comes from a 156-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (regular gas) paired to a 3-phase high voltage AC permanent magnet electric motor and 244.8-volt sealed nickel-metal energy pack, which is charged-up by his engine. Camry H claims a top speed of 117 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds.

Wearing his SE cape, he gets a base salary of about $27,845 per fight— a $1,500 premium over his non-hybrid cousin. Unlike BEV contenders, Camry H does not qualify for any federal welfare benefits.

Toyota Camry Hybrid SE

As a family, HEVs added 408,484 victories to their record in the U.S. for 2013, Figure 1. This constitutes about 83 percent of the wins within the entire EV clan, and a 3 percent winning streak against all vehicle bouts including ICV, etc. HEV never needs to plug-in to go the distance. At the local pit stop around the corner, he can easily tank-up on liquid gold to go the distance. His boxing suit keeps getting greener every year while stopping less often at the local bar to get tanked.

 Figure 1: U.S. Electric Vehicle Sales – 20132013 US EV Sales (BEV, HEV, PHEV) bs numbers

Source: EDTA – Electric Drive Transport Association

HEV lives a respectful life well connect to many famous families with names such as “Toyota,” “Lexus,” “Honda,” “Ford,” “Chevrolet,” and “Cadillac.” Unknown too many, his roots go back to 1901 when his great-great-grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche, brought into the world Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid, the first heavy drinker with an electric personality. Fighting mostly in the lightweight division, his promoter is arranging some middleweight and heavyweight bouts.

HEV is a technology wizard by recovering the energy wasted when slowing down to recharge his energy pack. He loses praise from his fans for acceleration and handling. Another complaint is the relatively high price to see him fight. Owners often yell at the trainers for his high cost of maintenance. Yet, HEV typically trades at premium price.

 

In the blue corner, with a split personality and ability to go the distance is “PHEV.” Fighting for PHEV is Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi SE. Weighing in at 100 mpge (43 mpg gas only); he can go the full distance at 620 miles when totally intoxicated on a mixture of liquid gold and electrons. His strength comes from his muscular 141-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an 88 kW permanent magnet AC synchronous motor powered by a 7.6 kWh Li-ion secondary energy source. Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi SE claims a top speed of 102 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds.

Wearing his SE cape, he gets a base salary of about $34,700 per fight – a $10,765 premium over his SE non-hybrid cousin and a $7,420 over his SE hybrid cousin – before qualifying for $4,007 in federal welfare benefits.

As a family, PHEVs added 49,000 wins to their record in the U.S. for 2013, Figure 1. This constitutes about 9 percent of the wins within the entire EV clan, and only a 0.3 percent (10-fold decline from HEV) winning streak against all vehicle bouts including ICV, etc. Many potential fans feel paying to watch PHEV fight makes little economic or practical sense. Yet, overall PHEV saw an increase in fans willing to watch him fight. The “Volt,” setting ticket sales at an all-time high for “PHEVs” in August 2013, led this trend

Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi SE

PHEV shares the fighting characteristics of both ICV and BEV, yet has to plug-in to charge-up either at home or at a station along the way. While PHEV tends to stretch his food budget to go the distance, he earns up to a $10,000 premium per match than fully loaded ICV’s. The most elegant members of the PHEV family use only their electric drive to spin their wheels; they internally combust to generate electricity rather than directly spinning their wheels. Other members of the PHEV family use both engine and electric motor to move around the ring under most fighting conditions.

New to the PHEV family is “Prius Plug-in” who lives almost exclusively in California and earns a base salary of $29,990 per fight while getting about $2,500 in federal welfare benefits. Welfare benefits given to other family members range from $7,500 for the unglamorous “Volt” who earns $34,185 per match to $3,626 for the “Honda Accord Plug-In” who earns $39,780 per fight. Surprising his wealthy brother “Porsche Panamera SE Hybrid” gets $4,751 in welfare before earning $96,150 each time in the ring.

“Volt” another member of the PHEV family qualifies for $7,500 in federal aid before earning $34,185 per match, while “Honda Accord Plug-In” earns $39,780 per fight and qualifies for $3,626 in federal assistance. Surprising their wealthy brother “Porsche Panamera SE Hybrid” qualifies for $4,751 in welfare before earning $96,150 each time he walks into the ring.

To show the potential might of PHEVs, Bob Lutz the legendary promoter behind the Pontiac GTO and Dodge Viper dreamt up VTRUX, a range-extended electric extended cab truck, to fight in the lightweight division. V purportedly goes 40 all-electric miles with near zero emissions. With a little help from his internal combustion engine, he can travel 300 miles on a single fill-up. Weighing in at over 100 mpg, he can make most contenders kiss the canvas. V’s claim to fame is not only the ability to fight in the lightweight, class 2 division, but also his efficiency, which can save his fans $43,000 over 8-years, when going 24,000 per year at a cost of 9.0 cents per kWh of electricity and $3.70 per gallon of liquid gold.

VIA Truck-on-Chasis-Overhead-Angle1

His strength comes from a small lightweight 150 kW 415 Nm torque electric drive motor powered by a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 100 kw electric generator connected to a 201-horsepower 4.3-liter six-cylinder combustion engine . V claims a top speed of 85 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 9.7 seconds. At ringside, V comes in at 5,500 lbs. When fully loaded his GVW winds up at 7,500 lbs; while delivering a 1,500 lb. payload capacity. He fights with either a two-wheel or 4WD cape. He is estimated to command no less than $79,000 per fight while qualifying for $7,500 in federal aid.

 

In the yellow corner, stands what some consider the hope of the future “BEV.” Fighting for BEV is the upstart and headline crazed Tesla S in his 60 kWh cape. Weighing in at 89 mpge, he can go 208 miles between charging up. His strength comes from a 302-horsepower induction motor energized by a 60 kWh microprocessor controlled, lithium-ion energy source. S claims a top speed of 120 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds.

He gets a base salary of $69,900 per fight before a whopping $7,500 in federal welfare benefits.

When wearing his $10,000 85 kWh cape, his strength increases to 362 hp with a 125 mph top speed and a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. When gowning this cape, his base salary increases to $79,900 per fight.

When wearing his $23,500 85 kWh high performance cape, his strength increases to 416 hp with a 130 mph top speed and a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds. When gowning this cape, his base salary increases to $93,400 per fight.

2014 Tesla Model S

He comes from Northern California and heavily promoted by Elon Musk of the Tesla dynasty to be unbeatable owning to excellent speed and high performance. Tesla S comes with a single 10 kW on-board charger capable of plugging into 110 standard household outlet or 240-volt outlet.

A single onboard charger plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet, will get 5 miles of range for every hour of charging. From zero to 300 miles would take about 52 hours at that rate. With a single charger connected to a 240-volt outlet, which Tesla recommends, the pace speeds up to 31 miles of range for each hour of charging, and a full 300-mile charge takes less than 9.5 hours.

Outfitting S with a second onboard charger for an additional $3,600 will double the standard rate of charge, up to 58 miles of range per hour of charge, when combined with a 240-volt 80-amp wall connector. For rapid charging, Tesla offers an external charger for an additional $2,500 to replenish half of a charge in as little as 20 minutes.

Out about town, Tesla’s snob appeal becomes readily apparent; consorting only with the upper class and a few wannabes who want to consort with the stars. On occasion, his fiery personality presents itself. He also tends to eat very slowly and rarely dines out in public. Elon has gone out limb; looking to build two high-end heart centers to ensure BEV has the juice to go the distance. Also, it’s questionable whether Elon is really making money directly from his boxer’s earnings.

As a family, BEV added slightly less than 49,000 wins in the U.S. for 2013, Figure 1. This constitutes about 8 percent of the wins within the entire EV clan, and only a 0.3 percent (10-fold decline from HEV) winning streak against all vehicle bouts including ICV, etc. BEV’s record is marginally on par with the PHEV family, which won 1,300 more fights than BEV in 2013. BEV has not stepped into the ring after losing his Belt more than 100 years ago to ICV.

Other popular members of the BEV family go by street names – i3 (BMW), Spark (Chevrolet) and Leaf (Nissan), just to name a few. To the extent that these fighters lack the performance and “bling-bling” of Tesla S, they earn considerably less per match. Leaf weighs in at 113 mpge and can go about 84 miles between pit stops to recharge. His strength comes from a 107-horsepower motor energized by a 24 kWh lithium-ion energy source. He gets a base salary of $28,980 per fight before $7,500 in federal welfare benefits. Even the i3 earns less at $41,350 per fight before $7,599 in federal assistance.

Leaf’s charging time takes roughly 16 hours via a standard 110-volt outlet, but an optional $1,250 6.6 kW 220-volt onboard charger for an additional $1,250, nearly cuts charging time by 50%. An available quick charge port allows charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at public charging stations.

For the long-term bettor, odds are that BEVs lack of endurance and eating habits will not improve to the point where his fan base will amass and continue to grow.

 

In the grey corner, another aging fossil trying to make it into the ring is “NGV.” Fighting for NGV is the popular Honda Civic Natural Gas Sedan Navi 5AT. Weighing in at 31 mpgge, he can go 220 miles between pit stops, when tanked up at 3600 psi with 8 gge of natural gas, which in the U.S. is plentiful and relatively low cost. His strength comes from his 110-hp, 1.8-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder power source. Navi claims a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 9.4 seconds.

He earns a base salary of about $29,920 per fight. At one time NGVs qualified for federal welfare benefits. Today, these benefits expired and no longer does he qualify for any federal assistance.

Honda Civic Natural Gas Sedan Navi 5AT

NGV has many of the same bad habits as ICV. He fights dirty when sparing against BEV but always gives a clean and cheap fight when matched against ICV. He emits about 28 percent less CO2 than ICV and rarely leaves a debris trail.

Globally, he is putting on the best AFV show. He hails from all parts of the world claiming 18 million fans; winning 16.6 million fights in the lightweight division, 1.2 million matches in the middleweight and heavyweight divisions, and 300,000 bouts in other assorted unclassified fights. NGV more often than not morphs into fighting form after a several day stay in a certified Hospital undergoing a surgical procedure on chosen ICV carcasses. This has allowed him to rank #1 in the world, and therefore, viewed by many as the likely successor to ICV.

NGV fights in 84 nations of which six countries – Iran, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, India, and China – have more than million fans that account for 75 percent of the worldwide popularity. Worldwide, NGV can fill up at ony of 24,400 dining facilities catering to NGV’s dietary needs. In the U.S., a world leader in natural gas production, there are shamefully only 142,000 fans and 1,325 pit stops. Reportedly, NGVs trimmed about 400,000 million gallons of liquid gold from the U.S. economy.

NGVs failings are an obnoxious behavior. By taking a closer look at his entire life from cradle to grave, one finds he may actually put up a dirtier fight than ICV. Natural gas travels a long and winding route from deep below the earth’s surface to his tank. Along the way there are many values, compressors, connections, etc. where leakage can occur. The problem is as much a CH4 emissions issue from wellbore to tank, as it is a CO2 combustion concern from tank to atmosphere. Natural gas’s global warming potential is 86 and 34 times worse than CO2 over 20-years and 100-years, respectfully. Leakage can be monitored and contained but at what cost and when. The scientific community is just beginning to assess the degree of the problem.

As the ultimate successor to ICV, there may be other contenders better suited than NGV to wear the championship belt.

 

And finally….. in the blue corner, sits an empty stool for “FCEV.” Why the no-show? Whatever the reason, the race to zero emissions is more achievable today with EVs rather than FCEVs. Rather surprising, since FCEVs roots go back to the early 1800 when his power source the fuel cell (FC) quietly climbed onto the public stage. By 1960, Allis-Chalmers, a U.S. producer of equipment, fitted a farm tractor with a 15-kilowatt FC, thus giving rise to the first modern FCEV.

In contrast, Wikipedia states, “Battery technology goes back to the mid-1880s when Yai Sakizō f Japan developed the dry cell, patenting it in 1892. Then In 1899, a Swedish scientist named Waldemar Jungner invented the nickel-cadmium battery, a rechargeable battery that had nickel and cadmium electrodes in a potassium hydroxide solution; the first battery to use an alkaline electrolyte. It was commercialised in Sweden in 1910 and reached the United States in 1946. The first consumer grade nickel–metal hydride batteries (NiMH) for smaller applications appeared on the market in 1989 as a variation of the 1970s nickel hydrogen battery. Experimentation with lithium batteries began in 1912 under G.N. Lewis, and in the 1970s the first lithium batteries were sold.”

Now coming to the commercial wide world of boxing, the word is out that Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell SUV may make his debut performance in Southern California by the third quarter 2014. The ix35 is poised to be the first mass-marketed FCEV contender in the U.S. and possibly the world. Reported to weigh in at 67 mpgge, he can go 369 miles between pit stops, when tanked up at 10,000 psi with 5.6 kg of hydrogen gas stored in two aluminum alloy and carbon composite tanks. His strength comes from a 134-horsepower 100 kW induction motor powered by a 100 kW hydrogen fuel cell stack with energy stored in a 24 kW lithium-ion battery. Tucson ix35 claims a top speed of 100 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 12.5 seconds. And unlike BEV, he can reliably start in temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) and takes less than 10 minutes to fill up.

Hyundai Tucson ix35 Fuel Cell SUV exploded view

Fans can see Tucson ix35 fight for a 36-month lease, $499 per month and $2,999 down. The terms of the Lease includes all maintenance, an unprecedented free fuel offer, carpool lane access, and “At Your Service” concierge service for regularly scheduled complimentary maintenance and vehicle service. The Tucson Fuel Cell qualifies for a $2,500 rebate under California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project

Another up and coming contender the Toyota’s FDV-R maybe unleashed in 2015. Sources say Toyota approved 5,000 to 10,000 matches for FCV-R in 2015 at $50,000 and $100,000 per bout. Weighing in at an estimated 40 mpge, FCV-R can travel as much as 400 miles between pit stops; lasting only 3 to 5 minutes to fill-up on his favorite high-pressure diet of gaseous hydrogen. His endurance is made possible by storing his meals in two 70 MPa (about 10,000 psi) high-pressure tanks placed beneath his specially conditioned body.

His strength comes from a stack of cells having a power output density of 3 kW/L and an output of 134 horsepower (100 kilowatts) or more. To boost his endurance, a slight backup of energy is available from an on-board 21 kW nickel-metal hydride battery configured to store and discharge electrical energy regenerated whenever he slows down. Unlike “BEV,” FCV-R can startup and fight anywhere and anytime even in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius).

Not to be overshadowed by reports of these up-and-coming new boys on the street, Honda is reminding the boxing world of its epochal fuel-cell car the FCX Clarity, the world’s first dedicated platform hydrogen FCEV in and around 2008. Clarity was the first to demonstrate fuel cell electric car characteristics such as low-to-zero emissions while offering 5-minute refueling times and long range in a full function large sedan. He is fitted with a 100 kW Honda Vertical Flow hydrogen fuel cell stack. He is only available to fans in Japan and California.

Also, General Motors’ “Project Driveway” came to an end this year with 119 Chevrolet Equinox SUV fuel-cell vehicles tested in the US and Europe. Equinox FC traveled more than 3 million miles since 2007, avoiding the consumption of 157,894 gallons of liquid gold. Automotive Fleet reported “Last year, GM announced two fuel cell-related collaborations. In July 2013, GM and Honda announced a long-term collaboration to co-develop advanced fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems, aiming for potential commercialization in the 2020 time frame. In addition, GM and Honda are working together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.”

Fans may someday place their bets on FCEV as the ultimate solution to achieve near zero emission – harmful gasses and particulates – and ability to go the distance while other contenders such as BEVs peter out earlier in the match. Like BEV, a dark shadow looms over FCEV. While their diet of electrons for BEV and hydrogen for FCEV are a pure as can be, their preparation requires mostly hydrocarbons ingredients that generate CO2, Figure 2 for a Well-to-Wheels analysis. Commercially, hydrogen comes from a reforming process of natural gas and electrons primarily come from gas- and coal-fired electricity generating stations. Both FCEV and BEV can be achieve low-to-zero emissions status, cradle to grave, only when hydrogen is generated by the electrolysis of water using 100 percent clean energy.

Electrolysis is an electrochemical process where water is decomposed to hydrogen and oxygen, by passing a current through it in the presence of suitable substances, called electrolytes. Because of its high-energy consumption and also of the quite substantial investment, water electrolysis is currently used for only 4 percent of world hydrogen production. Nowadays research and development into high efficiency electrolyzers is flourishing in many areas

Figure 2: Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas EmissionsWheel to Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2) HD

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

               Now for the final count…..by knocking out every contender gloves down, ICV remains the undefeated Champ of the US and World. Chastised by the boxing world because of his dirty fighting, unending thirst for liquid gold and rising prices, promoters are pushing their contender into the ring in hopes of striking an early blow to ICV. Today, no contender can compete against ICE’s performance and convenience on equal grounds. More time and training is the game of the day. ICV is so entrenched around the globe a slow and costly death is the best anyone can hope for.

In other matches, the odds are HEV will eventually knockout NGV as a serious contender in the lightweight division. NGV is in the best position to threaten ICV’s rule in the middleweight and heavyweight divisions. While praised by fans for clean fighting against ICV, convertibility from ICV, and quick pit stops; NGV stands to lose ground for life as a fossil and fluctuations in the price of natural gas, which may not be wide enough to offset costs for fueling stations and conversions. Nevertheless, betters beware the final showdown between NGV and all other contenders will be a longtime in the makings.

BEV uses a combination of punches to force a decision against HEV and other AFVs only to have fans give thumbs downs tired of his poor performance, one horse pony show and pricy lifestyle. PHEV may be the best of both worlds in the lightweight division. Being nearly invincible in the efficiency and cleanliness categories, PHEV raises his gloves up high when plugging-in and juicing up. But he too commands a high price to fight and the act of plugging-in only gives a marginal edge in endurance. For local fights, the added mileage may pay off. The odds are PHEV will ultimately lose support as fans tire of his diversity and ultimately disappear from the professional boxing scene.

This leaves FCEV the only standing contender in all three divisions. Praised by fans for his elegance, perceived cleanliness and his quick turnaround time to fill up; he is also shunned by the public for high earnings, standoffishness, idiosyncratic behavior, skeletons in the closet and too few places to eat. With so much attention on the other contenders, the odd are stacked against FCEV beating any AFV by majority decision in the next 10 to 20 years.

Perhaps, FCEV needs to redraw his battle lines. Promoters need to recognize FCEV is not some outside fighter but rather a BEV with another type of chemical battery that generates electricity. The two only differ in how they store fuel. Both share the same DNA – electric drivetrain, etc. Looking down the road, unless there is some miraculous technical discovery, BEV’s batteries are fast approaching the peak of performance. Dollar for dollar, fuel cell’s promise of one giant leap in performance seems a better bet than putting money on lithium-ion misguided hope that it can fit the bill. Question is do we rob Peter to pay Paul. Should this be true, FCEV can carry on the fight against ICV as the next generation BEV. Elon do you copy!

Most who see what’s going on with our environment and believe in climate change agree on one thing – ICV must go down for the count. Advocates of change look to lawmakers to approve incentives and authorize release for research, development, demonstrations and deployment projects (RDD&D). To date, incentives have been less than uniform and deep enough to stimulate demand on a scale that will make a difference. Also, it seems RDD&D funding may be slanted in favor of big names instead of what may be the smartest and wisest, hence Solyndra and Recovery Act Funds.

Another way, though politically highly unlikely of ever happening, is any combination of bold initiatives, such as:

  • retail compliance penalties and standards regarding the amount of fossil fuels consumed or greenhouse gases and particulates emitted,
  • a AFV certificate (AFVC) program whereby owners can recover their investment in the vehicle by selling their AFVCs through spot market sales or long-term sales (this requires adoption of retail compliance penalties), and
  • incremental increases in the price of petroleum and natural gas that reflect their environmental impact or slash subsidizes to the oil and gas industries.

Eventually, one AFV will stand before the world wearing the Belt of Champions. My money is on FCEV the next-generation BEV. The only remaining question is do we have the time and resolve to do what is right?

 

Climate Warming Disbelievers Beware – “What Me Worry?”

May 13, 2014

alfred_e_neumanYou’re a spitting image of Alfred E Newman. Stop gambling with our future!

Part Of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Starting Slow, Unstoppable Collapse, Studies Indicate. Compliments of Huffington Post and AP, May 12, 2014

Read more:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melting_n_5310679.html

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