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Old 10-26-2021, 10:20 AM   #1
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A Fully Solar-Powered Campervan Has Just Driven Through Europe

https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/fully-solar-powered-campervan-has-just-driven-through-europe
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:06 AM   #2
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The one big question they didn't answer in the article...

How long does it to take to recharge the batteries using solar after driving 300 miles?

I ask this because I'm a boondocker so I won't generally be around a charging station.

If it takes two-three days or more, you better plan a lot of in between multiday stops if you plan to go 2,000 miles. Like will it take an entire month to drive 2k miles without plugging in?

I do like the concept, it would be really awesome to take long vactions and stop buying fuel which tends to be one of the larger expenses.
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:09 AM   #3
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The one big question they didn't answer in the article...

How long does it to take to recharge the batteries using solar after driving 300 miles?

If it takes two-three days or more, you better plan a lot of in between multiday stops if you plan to go 2,000 miles. Like will it take an entire month to drive 2k miles without plugging in?

I do like the concept, it would be really awesome to take long vactions and stop buying fuel which tends to be one of the larger expenses.

I don't think the RV is meant as anything other than an experimental beginning, a proof of concept, to shine the light on future possibilities.
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:58 AM   #4
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I don't think the RV is meant as anything other than an experimental beginning, a proof of concept, to shine the light on future possibilities.
From the link:
""The main goal is to really inspire people and the market and society to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable future," says 21-year-old Tijn Ter Horst, a member of Solar Team Eindhoven 2021, which made the vehicle, with funding from sponsors. "What we're trying to do is to show people and show companies what's already possible.""

I am inspired not to take advice from inexperienced college students.

Just because you can something does not mean you should do it.

Life cycle analysis is a tool to evaluate the environmental impact of different ways of doing something. For example how much energy is used to make solar panels and batteries compared to the energy to build a nuke and enrich uranium.

For example, my last nuke plant was designed for 60 years with a 95% capacity factor. My first commercial nuke plant was designed for 40 years at a 70% capacity factor. It is in its 40th year of operation exceeding a 90% capacity factor and life has been extended to 60 years.

Commercial Solar power plants is 25 years at 20% CF. Except solar does not work very well compared to design expectations.

So what do you suppose the capacity factor of a solar RV? Say the power from the panels is used 25% of the time. CF = 5%.

Burning fossil fuel is cleaner!

What have were learned about wind and solar? It is not sustainable because the equipment is not sustainable.
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:56 PM   #5
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The one big question they didn't answer in the article...

How long does it to take to recharge the batteries using solar after driving 300 miles?
They didn't need to plug in or stop for fuel because it was powered by solar. The battery is constantly being charged. That's what solar does!
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:57 PM   #6
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From the link:
""The main goal is to really inspire people and the market and society to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable future," says 21-year-old Tijn Ter Horst, a member of Solar Team Eindhoven 2021, which made the vehicle, with funding from sponsors. "What we're trying to do is to show people and show companies what's already possible.""

I am inspired not to take advice from inexperienced college students.

Just because you can something does not mean you should do it.

Life cycle analysis is a tool to evaluate the environmental impact of different ways of doing something. For example how much energy is used to make solar panels and batteries compared to the energy to build a nuke and enrich uranium.

For example, my last nuke plant was designed for 60 years with a 95% capacity factor. My first commercial nuke plant was designed for 40 years at a 70% capacity factor. It is in its 40th year of operation exceeding a 90% capacity factor and life has been extended to 60 years.

Commercial Solar power plants is 25 years at 20% CF. Except solar does not work very well compared to design expectations.

So what do you suppose the capacity factor of a solar RV? Say the power from the panels is used 25% of the time. CF = 5%.

Burning fossil fuel is cleaner!

What have were learned about wind and solar? It is not sustainable because the equipment is not sustainable.

You use the term "capacity factor". The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) defines it as "the ratio of the net electricity generated, for the time considered, to the energy that could have been generated at continuous full-power operation during the same period." So, it would seem that capacity factor is simply a ratio of how much electricity a power plant produces versus how much it could produce at maximum output. This does not speak to sustainability. It does not speak to pollution, greenhouse gasses or climate change. It does not speak to survival or extinction.

Fossil fuels have their place, at least for now, but they are non-renewable...they are burned and then they are gone. When they are used up the lights go out, the factories and cars stop, and everything comes to a halt, not to mention all the damage done to the planet along the way. Fossil fuels are a dead end street from the standpoint of sustainability as well as survival.

Wind, solar and hydroelectric, while they may have a lower capacity factor, are endlessly renewable. They are sustainable.

You wrote about life cycle analysis and ask the question "...how much energy is used to make solar panels and batteries compared to the energy to build a nuke and enrich uranium." Making something is only one part of the equation. Other things must be considered in order to see the big picture. The carbon footprint of making an electric vehicle, for example, is greater than that of making a conventional gas powered car but over the lifetime an EV is greener than a gas powered car because it pollutes less during use.

Published information from NREL, part of the US Dept. of Energy states "...life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from technologies powered by renewable resources are generally less than from those powered by fossil fuel-based resources." As far as potential power sources for electric RVs and anything else for that matter, it would seem, then, that renewables are a better option than fossil fuels.

Separately, people are rightfully concerned about the cost of electricity. While it wasn't always the case, the cost of electricity from renewable sources has fallen below the cost of electricity produced by fossil fuels. Anyone who cares to research this will see that it's true.

People are also rightfully concerned about having a job. "Nearly 3.3 million Americans [are] working in clean energy, outnumbering fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1. [Source, Forbes: Renewable Energy Job Boom Creates Economic Opportunity As Coal Industry Slumps]. Jobs in renewables are the future.

As they burn fossil fuels create greenhouse gasses that contribute to and exacerbate climate change and the devastating effects we are already seeing such as worsening wildfires, hurricanes, species extinction, flooding of low lying areas, the health of people, animals and ecosystems, etc. That doesn't sound like such a good idea to me. Burning one pound of propane puts two pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: each molecule of carbon, C, from the propane combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form CO2--carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels are a recipe for extinction. IMHO advocating for fossil fuels except when they are the only option is a death wish and urgent and extreme efforts much greater than those currently being undertaken to save this planet are necessary. Why do I think so? That's what the people who really understand this, the scientists are saying. When the scientific community at large comes out with information to the contrary, that's when I'll believe it.
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:58 PM   #7
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They didn't need to plug in or stop for fuel because it was powered by solar. The battery is constantly being charged. That's what solar does!
That is not how solar works. Did you look at the pictures?

The basic problem with the link is it does tell you how it works so you have to figure it out.

I estimate that solar provides about 1 hp going down the road so the batteries are being discharged to provide more hp.

When parked more panels open up giving it about 3000 watts.

It is basically a popup tent camper on a golf cart. Not safe to drive over 10 mph.

The press releases are designed to be misleading.

If this project was at my alma mater I would call the professor and tell if a student drives it out of the parking lot, I will have him charged with reckless endangerment.

It might be a great student project. My senior project was during the 70s energy crisis. I was a MM1 in the navy at the time. I had to go to my professor and tell him it was a bad idea. He said write it up as you see it. Best thing since sliced bread or epic failure, it is still a learning process.
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:06 PM   #8
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They didn't need to plug in or stop for fuel because it was powered by solar. The battery is constantly being charged. That's what solar does!
Yes, agree and understand.

But they never said how long it takes to recharge by solar. They stated on a bright sunny day with a full battery and solar assisting they can drive up to about 450 miles... that means they ended the day with a dead battery, so they won't be able to drive they next day, and possibly a few days, while the solar recharges the battery before they can drive again.
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:10 PM   #9
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Gonna need a generator to make it any kind of real world useable. Anyone who knows how electrical systems work also knows how frustrating this vehicle will be to travel in or even use while stationary.
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:14 PM   #10
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.....

Published information from NREL, part of the US Dept. of Energy states "...life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from technologies powered by renewable resources are generally less than from those powered by fossil fuel-based resources." As far as potential power sources for electric RVs and anything else for that matter, it would seem, then, that renewables are a better option than fossil fuels.

.....
Well written Russ now let me challenge your critical thinking for the one paragraph above.

First off DOE and NREL do not make electricity. The published information you cited is not a LCA per ISO. It is as political document to support a political agenda.

A LCA considers all environmental impacts not ghg to find the better environmental choice. Being a sailor, I like places with good wind resources. Two large wind farms on both sides of where I sail is a huge environmental impact.

I was an environmental consultant for biomass renewable energy to the utility that built one of the wind farms. There rule was do not try to build a wind farm where the people who it it can see it.

NIMBY

LCA compares like to like. Comparing reliable sources of power to intermittent is breaking the rules. Biomass can be compared fossil fuel but wind or solar. There many biomass plants from the 70s that cleaned up the air by replacing open burning and other environmental issues. It works and LCA says it is the best renewable choice.

So what is the problem? Notice that Russ did not mention biomass.

The problem is Russ and capacity factor. Nuclear power and biomass are complicated.

While I do not subscribe climate change, I am an expert at the best was to reduce.

People want sexy solutions. They want solar RVs. The want solar to charge their lithium batteries. They want simple.

I want to see how well it works, or capacity factor. I want to see a LCA to see if it better.

I am a slide rule engineer. A simple back of the envelop calculation on the solar RV tells me it is not going to work. Dangerous and bad for the environment.
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Old 10-27-2021, 06:15 AM   #11
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Separately, people are rightfully concerned about the cost of electricity. While it wasn't always the case, the cost of electricity from renewable sources has fallen below the cost of electricity produced by fossil fuels. Anyone who cares to research this will see that it's true.

People are also rightfully concerned about having a job. "Nearly 3.3 million Americans [are] working in clean energy, outnumbering fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1. [Source, Forbes: Renewable Energy Job Boom Creates Economic Opportunity As Coal Industry Slumps]. Jobs in renewables are the future.
Renewable energy is only remotely affordable because of massive infusions of government money from R&D to production subsidies. One way or the other it's a cost to the end user and when totaled is NOT cheaper than generation from non renewable sources.

What's the carbon footprint of 3.3 million people providing 12% (2020) of the total energy use of the US, versus 1.1 million providing the other 88%?

I live in Michigan, there have been wind farms here long enough that the leases on the land are expiring and some people have chosen not to renew. The bases of the windmills are massive, huge blocks of cement that extend 25' below ground level. There are electrical vaults and huge cables underground. Regulations say anything below 5' can be left, so that's where the vast majority of it is built and that's what's done. Hundreds of acres in a swath of shallow abandoned infrastructure left by the green energy industry for future generations.

We have a problem, and long term fossil fuel isn't the solution. But long term our arbitrary rush to 'Go Green' isn't the solution either. At best it's haphazard patchwork held together with the hope it will work.

What else can you call a plan that mandates an arbitrary date for vehicles to be all electric with no consideration for the fact the grid is aging, not all that dependable and in most areas capacity is maxed out, and within ~30 years it will need to provide most of what non renewables provide tday?
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:19 AM   #12
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Renewable energy is only remotely affordable because of massive infusions of government money from R&D to production subsidies. One way or the other it's a cost to the end user and when totaled is NOT cheaper than generation from non renewable sources.

..... huge blocks of cement .....
We have a problem, .......
Since my job often was R&D I would state that it is an important function of goverment. What are the results? Does it result in tax revenue that far exceeds goverment investment.

One of the first steps in building a nuke plant or wind farm concrete batch plant. Cement is a major source of ghg.

Nuke plants are shelf funded for restoring the site and storing waste.

Finally, 'we' do not have a problem providing energy without renewable energy.

Could there be a problem hundreds of years from now?
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:35 AM   #13
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Renewable energy is only remotely affordable because of massive infusions of government money from R&D to production subsidies. One way or the other it's a cost to the end user and when totaled is NOT cheaper than generation from non renewable sources.

...
OK, let's talk about subsidies. Your claim is that the only reason renewables are cost competitive is because of government subsidies. You don't mention anything about subsidies to the fossil fuel industry which for the sake of a fair comparison you would have to do. Factually, subsidies paid to green energy are a fraction of those paid to the fossil fuel industry. Many kinds of subsidies have been available to the fossil fuel industry and you can find a list of them here:
https://www.eesi.org/papers/view/fac...cietal-costs#1
Anybody willing to take a little time to Google around in regard to subsidies paid to the fossil fuel industry versus the renewable energy industry isn't likely, IMHO, to come away with the impression that renewables have benefitted more than fossil fuels, but if you think about it they should. We need sustainable energy sources. Relying on fossil fuels to the extent we do is not.

According to a recent IMF (International Monetary Fund) report, the burning of coal, oil, and gas was subsidized by $5.9 trillion in 2020 alone. The industry receives subsidies at the rate of $11,000,000 a minute.

A June 2021 headline in TexasMonthly reads "Texas’s Oil and Gas Industry Is Defending Its Billions in Subsidies Against a Green Energy Push".

In another June 2021 piece from the conservative think tank the Brookings Institute one reads "Globally, governments spend more than $500 billion on subsidies for fossil fuels that contribute to inefficiency, inequity, and negative externalities."

In the United States, the federal government has paid US$145 billion for energy subsidies to support R&D for nuclear power ($85 billion) and fossil fuels ($60 billion) from 1950 to 2016. During this same timeframe, renewable energy technologies received a total of US $34 billion. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy...United_States]

Even AmericasPower.org, "the only national trade organization whose sole mission is to advocate at the federal and state levels on behalf of coal-fueled electricity and the coal fleet" itself decries subsidies to renewable energy sources as unnecessary because "Wind and solar are no longer at a cost disadvantage." That's right...wind and solar are already cheaper than coal without subsidies. So, no, it isn't subsidies that make renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. The organization argues that after 40 years of subsidies the renewables industry no longer needs them, yet they conveniently omit the fact that the fossil fuel industry has been happily taking subsidies for a lot longer and in much larger amounts. It's worth noting that the organization is unconcerned with a sustainable future. In their own words its "...'sole mission' is to advocate...on behalf of coal-fueled electricity and the coal fleet". They do not care if they destroy the planet in the process, it's all about money to them.

I think we cal all agree we need to be able to sustain the planet. Many, myself included, think that we are not doing a very good job and need to change directions drastically and rapidly. It may cost us more than we pay now, but the alternative will cost us everything.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:39 PM   #14
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......
Anybody willing to take a little time to Google .....support R&D for nuclear power ($85 billion) ......
Russ what you have shown is that by google you can find a bias source information and not take the the time to understand it.

The power industry pays large amounts of money to the general fund of local, state, and federal goverment for such things as services, generation tax, sales tax, and property tax.

For example, each nuclear power plant pays for the NRC for regulatory services. Congress allocates money to fund the NRC.

The goverment is making a profit.

Not a subsidy.

At one time I wrote business plans for biomass renewable energy projects for my company and public utility districts. I would follow the rules for each customer and present to the board.

At the time, there were no mandates or subsidies where I was at. Governor Bush promoted mandates in Texas and Texas became the leader in reviving the US wind industry.

None of my project were economical.

Under POTUS Bush we got a comprehensive NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY, May 2001. Congress was debating an energy bill on 9/11.

I went home from work. I did not know what I would do next but renewable energy was off the table.

Then there was the 2005 Energy Bill which I have read most of for renewable energy and nuclear. Nuclear power was back and kept me busy until I retired.

If you think that wind and solar can be used to make electricity cheaper than with fossil fuel or uranium, you are wrong.

If you think that wind and solar can be used to make electricity sustainable, you are wrong.

I am not saying this to be mean. I am just sharing my experience and not selling anything. Making electricity is a public service. We will make electricity however you want and pass the cost on to you.

Now that I am retired I spent more time checking my investments. Two of my largest holdings are leaders in wind and solar.

I worked for one of those companies. It was well managed. Provided low cost and reliable power to customers, good return to investors, and treated employees fairly. As a matter scale of producing power to customers they are the size of France.

They have another business line now, mining federal subsidies with wind turbines.

Stop me if you have heard this one. Two hikers are in a tent and hear a bear.....

The point is you make money the old fashioned way. Doing a better job than the competition.

So I have stock in well managed regulated utilities because they traditional safe investments.

I also have stock that defies the 'conventional wisdom' found by google. My coal mining stock is up 400%. Demand is up.
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