Posts Tagged ‘Electric’

Energy Fuel Resource Mix

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Last January, I mentioned my fuel resource mix from my power company in a blog post. Well, I've just received the percentages for 2008. They seem to be a full seven months ahead of schedule.

Source Percentage
Coal 55.0%
Gas 7.0%
Nuclear 34.8%
Oil 0.3%
Captured Methane Gas 0.3%
Geothermal 0.0%
Hydroelectric 0.9%
Solar 0.0%
Solid Waste 0.6%
Wind 0.9%
Wood or other Biomass 0.2%
Conventional Energy Subtotal 97.1%
Renewable Energy Subtotal 2.8%

Looks like a 0.08% improvement in the wind and nuclear category. Yes, I think nuclear is a good power source and shouldn't be overlooked. I have no problem with them using less coal though. I don't see the sequestering thing working out and would bother me to live on top of a crapload of poisonous gas trapped in the ground.

I also just found a spiffy spreadsheet of the resource mix over the last couple years on Delmarva's website.  Enjoy!

Inauguration Day

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Today was a big day of change. I only caught the last part of President Obama's inauguration speech, so I'm hoping the full thing will be on the new Whitehouse.gov Blog soon.  I really like the changes that are visable on the site.  There are some things that are not seen though.  According to Jason Kottke, the new robots.txt file is a mere two lines.  The old robots.txt was over 2,400 lines long.  What this means is that the old Bush whitehouse.gov was telling Google and all the other search engines not to index their site.  The new whitehouse.gov is allowing everything to be indexed, which means it will show up in Google and archived on web.archive.org.  It's nice to see transparency at this level.

Not only was there change at the federal level, but Jack Markell was sworn in as Delaware's new Governor.  Delawareans might notice there are major changes on delaware.gov as well.

I'm happy to see these positive changes at both the state and federal levels.  I have a lot of faith that things will change for the better, but my expectations have risen as well.  These leaders have campaigned on better government and I expect better leadership than Bush and Minner.

On a somewhat not so related note, I got my electric bill today.  They included the energy sources used for the 2007 calendar year.  I'm including it below as it might be interesting to see what that mix looks like in a year or two.

Source Percentage
Coal 55.9%
Gas 7.3%
Nuclear 34.2%
Oil 0.5%
Captured Methane Gas 0.2%
Geothermal 0.0%
Hydroelectric 0.9%
Solar 0.0%
Solid Waste 0.6%
Wind 0.2%
Wood or other Biomass 0.2%
Conventional Energy Subtotal 97.9%
Renewable Energy Subtotal 2.1%

I hope to see large improvements in our energy policies. Such as use of more renewable energies like wind and higher efficiency solar panels that can sell back to the grid to lessen the load on those hot summer months. I think using oil from the middle east in our cars is a larger problem at the moment, but it's all related.

[EDIT 20-Jan-2009: I know it seems strange I'm talking about energy sources from 2007.  Maybe they are that slow??  See for yourself, here is a link to the insert that was included with my bill. ]

[EDIT 21-Jan-2009: The Inauguration is now on Youtube.  I also saw an interesting article on ARS Technica regarding the electrical grid and energy storage.]

Electric Vehicles

Friday, June 13th, 2008

I've always been interested in fiddling around with things and for that reason, building an electric vehicle would be a fun project. I've helped out old friends in the past with many automobile projects. Like swapping out engines or working on Jeeps. But converting a vehicle from gas to electric would be a big undertaking. It isn't cheap either.

While searching and reading many pages on the subject, I found a blog dedicated to the subject. He converted one car years ago and is now working on another one. He just put up a very informative blog post about converting your first car. He also wrote a very cool calculator for figuring out what will work and what won't.

While this could be a fun project to undertake, I'm not sure it's something I'll ever do. I don't have a garage, so that would make the logistics difficult. I also wonder about new battery technology and what could be around the corner. I think many people that convert vehicles end up using lead-acid batteries because of the cost and that they seem to be a little more forgiving than other battery types. The lead-acid batteries more or less work out to ~30 mile range vehicles, which is good enough for 80% of the trips American's make.

So after reading many blogs and websites documenting the work that other people have gone through to convert a vehicle, I started looking at what the big car manufacturers are working on. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids are pretty popular. I'd be more tempted to go with the Civic because of the look of the vehicle and cost. The one I'm most interested in is the Chevy Volt. It was a concept car shown at the last round of car shows. There are some pictures here, including one of the mule they use for testing. The difference with the Volt is that it will plug in and will run for miles. It will only use the gas engine once the batteries have been depleted.

I'm not a big fan of Hydrogen powered vehicles. I can see that technology as an easier thing to replace gasoline, but there is some overhead with generating Hydrogen. The combustion engine wastes a lot of energy as well. Using electric motors is much more efficient and they have great pickup. The big problem is energy storage.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for energy storage. That will effect so many things in our lives.


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