Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

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smashhand
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Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by smashhand » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:47 am

I've heard several electrical engineers say in casual conversations that the nation's electric power grid isn't ready for the new demand imposed by the proliferation of electric cars and trucks. I recall a few years back that several areas (Florida) suffered brown-outs and black-outs during a heat wave simply due to air-conditioning demands. I'm wondering if this is a real problem and, if so, what effect it might have on our economy. What does the board think?

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bottlecap
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by bottlecap » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am

Here’s my guess. Not a near-term problem and no effect.

Don’t own one, don’t want to, but I imagine most people charge them overnight. Not exactly peak demand times.

JT

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TeamArgo
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TeamArgo » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:22 am

I have relatives who work for an electrical utility. They told me just last week that their company has a surplus of generating power, mostly due to the LED changeover. It has been a trend that seems long term, and usage and income continue to drop. They said many, even most other companies find themselves in the same position. As a result, many are abandoning their power conservation operations.
That said, there is probably enough surplus to get the ball rolling with electric vehicles and enough time to react by the utilities if it really does take off like we would like it to. Those doomsday predictions are so "2014". :D
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:39 am

bottlecap wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am
Don’t own one, don’t want to, but I imagine most people charge them overnight. Not exactly peak demand times.
I definitely charge overnight, even without rate incentives to do so. I would expect that 95%+ of users also do this; it’s when your car is parked and you do not care if it’s charging.

Archimedes
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Archimedes » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:11 am

I have 2 electric vehicles. Typical usage for many electric car owners might be to come home around dinner time and plug in to recharge. The late afternoon and early evening are peak hours for use of electricity. So if you charge your car when you arrive home, particularly in hot weather when A/C use is also at a peak, it puts a lot of stress on the electric grid. The computer in my electric vehicles does allow me to select the time of day to charge, but specifying time of day charging is optional.

Our local utility has started a new program that offers incentives to charge during off peak hours, in particular at night when electric usage is at a minimum. This electric utility program offers a reduced cost for electric car charging overnight, and there are supplemental bonus payments if you avoid peak evening times, with higher bonuses in the hot weather season.

In order to take advantages of these rebates and bonuses, you have to install a charging monitor in your electric vehicles. I received the charging monitors with installation instructions, but after some initial installation efforts and setbacks, I have decided not to install them. Installation requires that I remove panels in my vehicles and start pulling apart wires. I don't want to continue mucking around. I might end up breaking something. The inconvenience and cost of a repair would more than negate the offer of cash bonuses. It is not worth the hassle or risk for me to save a couple of hundred dollars per year. But this rebate program does raise awareness and I can still charge off hours to reduce stress on the grid.

And I have further plans for the near future. I currently have a beautiful slate roof on my house and I don't want to cover it with unsightly solar panels. Once the new slate-like solar shingles become more widely available, I am going to use the sunshine on my roof to charge my vehicles. That will further reduce stress on the grid when I am able to fuel my vehicles directly from the sun. Eventually I hope to go fully off the grid.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:22 am

TeamArgo wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:22 am
I have relatives who work for an electrical utility. They told me just last week that their company has a surplus of generating power, mostly due to the LED changeover. It has been a trend that seems long term, and usage and income continue to drop. They said many, even most other companies find themselves in the same position. As a result, many are abandoning their power conservation operations.
That said, there is probably enough surplus to get the ball rolling with electric vehicles and enough time to react by the utilities if it really does take off like we would like it to. Those doomsday predictions are so "2014". :D
Units of use is falling for most North American electric utilities.

The utility model is changing to that of the broadband provider. Your broadband provider sells you bandwidth capacity (equivalent to the max draw you can make on a house without blowing the circuit breaker) and reliability (access to the internet 24/7 - equivalent to the ability to use electricity via the grid any time of night or day).

As "behind the meter" production grows, this is going to be ever more the case.

https://www.amazon.com/Burn-Out-Endgame ... ieter+helm

I cannot but rave about this book-- about the future of the energy industries. Dieter Helm is a respected energy economist at Oxford University, has just published a 250 page review on the Cost of Generation for the UK government.

He takes you through that new world, of cheap fossil fuels (fracking) and the end of units-of-use generation models (electricity). The implications for consumers, companies and countries.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by pshonore » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:26 am

Just curious - anyone got an estimate of what percent of vehicles belong to single family homes with a garage (easy to charge) as opposed to apt dwellers, etc. Obviously a lot of folks in NYC and major Metro areas live in apartments, etc but don't have cars. Whats the average current draw to charge an electric car?

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Top99%
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Top99% » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:30 am

I have a plug in hybrid (Volt) and while charging it consumes far less power than our AC unit. In fact we could charge up 8 miles / hour of range on 2 EVs at about the same amount of power our AC unit draws so assuming we charge at night 2 EVs wouldn't increase our draw on the grid. Here in Texas we have a lot of wind power which produces a lot of power at night so if anything EVs are a great place to stick excess power. The fact that our local utility is encouraging their purchase says it all. As for the EV driving experience, I would never buy another car without a plug.
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by cutehumor » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:41 am

Electric vehicles appear to be the future. GM has said as well. why? the batteries are dropping in price rapidly and the EV range is increasing. I believe the 2018 Nissan Leaf range is 150 miles. Chevy Bolt is 230ish mile EV range. of course, Tesla leads the pack with 300 mile range in their higher end models. When gas stations start installing EV chargers, then you will know the EV revolution is spreading

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dm200
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:44 am

My understanding is that the issue if the peak draw on the power grid - such as daytime air conditioning in a heat wave. It seems that a key to this issue is just when folks may do the charging.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:21 am

pshonore wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:26 am
Just curious - anyone got an estimate of what percent of vehicles belong to single family homes with a garage (easy to charge) as opposed to apt dwellers, etc. Obviously a lot of folks in NYC and major Metro areas live in apartments, etc but don't have cars. Whats the average current draw to charge an electric car?
Off the top of my head 80% of Americans live in detached homes or row house type situations.

America is the country of the suburb and that's where at least 50% of Americans live. People in suburbs live as above.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5180 ... -the-grid/ says fast chargers could pose an issue
The trouble arises when electric car owners install dedicated electric vehicle charging circuits. In most parts of California, charging an electric car at one of those is the equivalent of adding one house to the grid, which can be a significant additional burden, since a typical neighborhood circuit has only five to 10 houses. In San Francisco, where the weather is cool and air conditioning is rarely used, the peak demand of a house is much lower than in the hotter parts of California. As a result, the local grid is sized for a much smaller load. A house in San Francisco might only draw two kilowatts of power at times of peak demand, according to Pacific Gas & Electric. In comparison, a new electric vehicle on a dedicated circuit could draw 6.6 kilowatts—and up to 20 kilowatts in the case of an optional home fast charger for a Tesla Model S.
note article is from 2013

https://www.fleetcarma.com/impact-growi ... ity-grids/

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/el ... hwrQfnyj3g

http://www.indiana.edu/~cree/pdf/TEP%20Report.pdf see pp 31-35 and p 41

In reality, EV owners will enter into supply-demand agreements with their electric utilities. They won't draw power at peak times, and conversely their storage batteries will be available to entities contracted to provide grid reliability (down to some minimum level of charge, say 50%). Thus EV owners will mostly charge at night (when electricity is very cheap or even free at the wholesale level) or at periods of peak sunshine (ditto).

As wind and solar increase on the grid, you are seeing more and more periods where the wholesale power price is zero (if you are a nuclear power plant, you can actually get into negative power pricing at that point, because it's not easy just to come off the grid, and so you have to pay the grid to take away your power-- Ontario has this problem, selling power very cheaply to the Midwest grid, then buying it back very expensively during peak times).

Germany is the poster child for this. Conventional utility economics upended. Zero or negative pricing (wholesale) at many times of the day. And that's only with c. 30% renewables as percentage of total generation.

You can make money as a peak power provider: rows of reciprocating engines or gas turbines, or some kind of Demand Side Response "supply" of reduced electricity demand. Even running very few hours a year, but getting paid to sit, ready.

Valuethinker
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:32 am

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf

7 Kintner-Meyer, M., Schneider, K. Pratt, R. 2007. Impacts Assessment of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles on Electric Utilities and Regional U.S. Power
Grids, Part 1: Technical Assessment. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1607.07298.pdf

198 Taylor, J., Maitra, A., Alexander, M. Brooks, D., Duvall, M. July 2010. Evaluations of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Distribution System Impacts. Power
and Energy General Meeting, 2010 IEEE, 1-6.

Note how much these things have moved along since the dates of these publications.

If we all install Tesla fast chargers, there is an issue. Ditto if we all try to charge up at peak times.

https://www.economist.com/news/business ... e-charging

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/elect ... cture.html

https://ikhlaqsidhu.files.wordpress.com ... -31-09.pdf

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TBillT » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:44 am

About 50% of plug-ins are sold in Ca. so the effect is quite diluted outside of Ca.
One reference said 75% of plug-ins on the road are in Ca. but so far I have not confirmed that one.
Sales statistics are hard to come by as Ca. is the only state I know that publishes (CNCDA.org).
If you want to drill down, you have to buy the data.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by investor997 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:20 am

Twice in the past year, the transformer that feeds the community I live in went up in smoke, cutting power to about 200 homes for upwards of 8 hours each time. Most recently it was due to high electrical demand on the hottest day of the year. The first thing that came to my mind after the second blackout was "Oh great, I can't wait until everyone starts charging their Teslas all at the same time."

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by aristotelian » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:29 pm

cutehumor wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:41 am
Electric vehicles appear to be the future. GM has said as well. why? the batteries are dropping in price rapidly and the EV range is increasing. I believe the 2018 Nissan Leaf range is 150 miles. Chevy Bolt is 230ish mile EV range. of course, Tesla leads the pack with 300 mile range in their higher end models. When gas stations start installing EV chargers, then you will know the EV revolution is spreading
My brother's MIL said she saw 14 chargers at a rest stop on her Thanksgiving travel.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:41 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:29 pm
cutehumor wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:41 am
Electric vehicles appear to be the future. GM has said as well. why? the batteries are dropping in price rapidly and the EV range is increasing. I believe the 2018 Nissan Leaf range is 150 miles. Chevy Bolt is 230ish mile EV range. of course, Tesla leads the pack with 300 mile range in their higher end models. When gas stations start installing EV chargers, then you will know the EV revolution is spreading
My brother's MIL said she saw 14 chargers at a rest stop on her Thanksgiving travel.
I think 12-14 is a common number of new chargers when opening a new station. The older stations, on the east coast, often had 4 charging stalls, but, for example, the new charger at Milford, CT has 14 stalls, the new one at Tarrytown, NY has 12.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 pm

investor997 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:20 am
Twice in the past year, the transformer that feeds the community I live in went up in smoke, cutting power to about 200 homes for upwards of 8 hours each time. Most recently it was due to high electrical demand on the hottest day of the year. The first thing that came to my mind after the second blackout was "Oh great, I can't wait until everyone starts charging their Teslas all at the same time."
Which almost certainly will not happen-- except in rare instances.

One because it will be too expensive to do it that way ie lots of high speed chargers -- except in the sort of 'hoods where if there's a transformer constraint due to the 5,000 square foot houses and their swimming pools, then it gets fixed (note that those places will also be the ones with the biggest solar arrays).

Two because it simply won't be allowed. The smart grid will stagger those turn on times. Just as electric water heaters turn off at peak times.

Right now we have a dumb grid, with the main communication between demand node and production node via the distribution and the transmission systems via, as I understand it, voltage drop.

Three because of course it will happen, and when it does, measures will be brought into place to prevent it happening.

Installing EV chargers into the USA is not going to create another Puerto Rico.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by investor997 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:40 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Which almost certainly will not happen-- except in rare instances.
Not sure about this. Anyone with an electric car will switch to a Time-Of-Use metering plan and program their cars to charge in the middle of the night when rates are lowest. When the clock strikes 10:00, the load will jump to a level probably not dissimilar to that of a hot summer afternoon when everyone's running AC.
One because it will be too expensive to do it that way ie lots of high speed chargers -- except in the sort of 'hoods where if there's a transformer constraint due to the 5,000 square foot houses and their swimming pools, then it gets fixed (note that those places will also be the ones with the biggest solar arrays).
I live in a condo/townhome community. Each unit has a two car garage which, presumably, will be charging at least one car overnight on any given night. Also, there will never, EVER be rooftop solar where I live (HOA).
Two because it simply won't be allowed. The smart grid will stagger those turn on times. Just as electric water heaters turn off at peak times.
What you're basically saying is that electricity will need to be rationed. We won't be able to charge our cars whenever we want (or need) to. Will people willingly adjust their lives according to whether or not their car will have enough juice in it the next day to get them to where they need to be based on what the electric utility decides?

All I know is a typical central AC system might draw between 3-5kW. A Level 2 in-home electric vehicle charger consumes about 6kW.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Zephyrpilot » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:24 pm

I find this particular thread very interesting as I work at a large Public Utility. I can see the overall system and the balance of load and Generation, and I have to say that this is probably one of the most informed discussion on this topic, on a public forum, I have ever seen. Load curves can change dramatically due to weather, and the way the system is now, I imagine with more EV the Overall load curve will shift to a more flat curve instead of a significant valley overnight. The rate of Load growth has dropped, load hasn't, but I often wonder if the lower rate of growth will experience diminishing returns at some point when the rate of energy efficiency increases level off. At some point I have to imagine that we can get to a point where there is no longer a large gain switching out light bulbs to LED's or switching out old Appliances that improve efficiency will end. This is purely speculative, but after we hit the point of diminishing returns on electrical efficiency for the US, combined with increased demand for EV and population growth, that the rate of load growth will start to increase. The future of the Electrical Utility should be interesting
:sharebeer

clutchied
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by clutchied » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 pm

I charge my EV in the early AM. It starts @ 4:00am and the car is pre-conditioned and off the charger by 7:30. All the heavy charging is done by 6:00am and then it tapers for an hour.

Should I charge it earlier or is this early enough to not interfere with start of the day usage?

There are very few EV's where I live.


It's funny the utility talks about notifying them of an EV and they will come out and make upgrades(if needed) to the power pole. Well I called them up to notify and no one knew anything about it. They finally pulled someone up who knew barely anything and said something to have my install permitted then they would do something but I self-installed and have zero interest in pulling permits and getting an inspection.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Iridium » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:16 pm

Aren't coal plants getting decommissioned these days? If electricity demand jumps, it would seem that utilities could defer those decommissionings while figuring out how to get more power supply online, as the plants are being closed down due to economics rather than age.

I think rooftop solar is a far bigger problem for the grid, as it is the big power plants that keep the power in-phase and respond as demand changes. In my area, over 10% of electricity during peak periods is provided by such distributed supply.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:19 pm

Zephyrpilot wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:24 pm
I find this particular thread very interesting as I work at a large Public Utility. I can see the overall system and the balance of load and Generation, and I have to say that this is probably one of the most informed discussion on this topic, on a public forum, I have ever seen. Load curves can change dramatically due to weather, and the way the system is now, I imagine with more EV the Overall load curve will shift to a more flat curve instead of a significant valley overnight. The rate of Load growth has dropped, load hasn't, but I often wonder if the lower rate of growth will experience diminishing returns at some point when the rate of energy efficiency increases level off. At some point I have to imagine that we can get to a point where there is no longer a large gain switching out light bulbs to LED's or switching out old Appliances that improve efficiency will end. This is purely speculative, but after we hit the point of diminishing returns on electrical efficiency for the US, combined with increased demand for EV and population growth, that the rate of load growth will start to increase. The future of the Electrical Utility should be interesting
:sharebeer
yes. But.

Yes it will. Gasoline consumption fell post 2006 and we seemed to have reached "peak US gasoline consumption". With falling oil and gasoline prices, and higher employment and incomes, it is now rising again. Canadian data suggests income elasticity and gas consumption are about 1.0 ie +10% in income per capita leads to a +10% increase in gasoline consumption per capita (price elasticity is about -0.2 in the short run, and -0.5 in the long run).

So for electricity. Per capita income rises will lead, over time, to more electricity demand. I don't know what the parametric evidence is, but it's going to be a positive elasticity.

Then you get to the "plus factors" in addition to that:

- big step changes in efficiency, like that taken by appliances in the last 25 years (particularly fridges) will peter out - there won't be as many old and inefficient appliances to replace in the future. Those electricity eating 1988 monster fridges will just wear out and go.

-- at some point the LED light effect drops away. Not yet, by any means-- there's still a lot of resistance to the product. But in the next 3-7 years I would guess-- the old lightbulbs just burn out and are replaced. And then the old factors kick in-- a greater demand for lighting services meaning more lights, and more lights left on longer (the income effect, again)

- there seems to be no restraint on the appetite of the American household for electronic consumer gizmos, nor of the American office for more hardware

- there could be a step change shift towards say Heat Pumps instead of gas heating. Now at the moment in most of the USA that wouldn't pay off AND there may be policy initiatives (if any) only at the local and state levels. BUT it's the low hanging fruit, and the US already has the Heat Pump culture, in a way perhaps only Japan among the G* has more -- HPs (Air Source) are well established as a technology and quite familiar in many parts of the USA. Conversely, natural gas is cheap and likely to stay cheap, and NG furnaces and water heaters are quite efficient compared even to electricity from a gas-fired power station.

If summers are hotter, too, that could have a significant impact (in at least the shape of the annual load curve, if not actual kwhr pa).

Throw in EVs and you could get some serious demand growth in the next decades.

BUT

"behind the meter" i.e. solar and other renewables, is growing quite fast -- I read somewhere that it is noticeable in New York state for example. And it will grow faster. Whatever means various parties adopt to try to restrain it, it's reached the point where it is economic for a lot of households in the USA. And the USA is the land of big houses, and big rooftops and much of the USA has high solar insolation (compared to say Europe, which is generally further north in latitude and has cloudier weather).

I do urge you to read Dieter Helm, referenced above - Burn Out. The book for me was just one Ah-ha moment after another. His Carbon Crunch ain't bad (he was a big adviser to the previous UK Chancellor (Min of Finance) George Osborne, and had an axe to grind on the fracking debate, which hurt his arguments) but this is better-- it's the best contemporary explanation I have seen of how it is all likely to play out in the long term.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:25 pm

Iridium wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:16 pm
Aren't coal plants getting decommissioned these days? If electricity demand jumps, it would seem that utilities could defer those decommissionings while figuring out how to get more power supply online, as the plants are being closed down due to economics rather than age.
Very few areas have trouble with peak demand at the moment. I am not aware of any US grids that are at serious risk of running out of generation capacity.

Natural gas is cheap (except in New England), and building gas fired stations is cheap and quick (can do it in 18 months from a clean site). And a shift on a coal fired plant can be 500 people, whereas a gas fired runs 10-25 on a shift-- big step change in costs.

The result is that older coal and nuclear stations are closing. They cost too much to operate.
I think rooftop solar is a far bigger problem for the grid, as it is the big power plants that keep the power in-phase and respond as demand changes. In my area, over 10% of electricity during peak periods is provided by such distributed supply.
Welcome to the smart grid. Distributed power is coming, is already here in fact. The incumbents will fight this quite hard, but it is not long run stoppable.

BTW the UK can run 25% of electricity from solar (about 10 GW on 40 GW demand, say) on a sunny day around mid day*. The grid copes.

* the UK has tended to focus on building up wind-- natural given our climate and geography. That solar has come from essentially zero in 10 years. The speed has been blinding.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by randomguy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:34 pm

smashhand wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:47 am
I've heard several electrical engineers say in casual conversations that the nation's electric power grid isn't ready for the new demand imposed by the proliferation of electric cars and trucks. I recall a few years back that several areas (Florida) suffered brown-outs and black-outs during a heat wave simply due to air-conditioning demands. I'm wondering if this is a real problem and, if so, what effect it might have on our economy. What does the board think?
Its a nonissue. EV usage isn't going to skyrocket overnight and we will have 20+ years to adapt. Maybe everyone will have a Tesla Solar Roof and Tesla power wall and basically no energy for charging cars will come from the grid. Or maybe the smart grid kicks in any EVs only recharge when demand is low (i.e. overnight).

It would be like in 1900 saying there will not be enough gas refining to replace all horses with cars. It might have been true. But gas production wasn't close to the limiting factor in replacing horses.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by eye.surgeon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:36 pm

Tesla owner for the last 3 years. 95% of my charging is in the middle of the night when many utilities literally give away or even pay other utilities to take their excess production.
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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by baconavocado » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:45 pm

The thing I think is most interesting about the proliferation of electric vehicles is, now that Tesla, an American company is in the game, we aren't hearing all the vitriol that accompanied the roll-out of the first Prius models in the early 2000s. There was a large segment of the population that absolutely *hated* the Prius and Prius owners. We were pilloried on a weekly basis in conservative media, all kinds of inane jokes were made (who can forget: "If the emissions are so low, why don't they route the exhaust directly into the passenger compartment?"), and demise of Prius and the entire Toyota company was predicted regularly. You don't even hear much criticism of tax incentives and HOV stickers anymore, and now everyone wants the cachet of a $100,000 Tesla in the garage.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Archimedes » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:59 pm

clutchied wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 pm
I charge my EV in the early AM. It starts @ 4:00am and the car is pre-conditioned and off the charger by 7:30. All the heavy charging is done by 6:00am and then it tapers for an hour.

Should I charge it earlier or is this early enough to not interfere with start of the day usage?
Graphs of power usage start to ramp up around 6 am when folks get up to get ready to go to work. But these hours are nowhere near peak usage.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by hightower » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:05 pm

I charge mine at night on a level 2 charger (same as a dryer outlet). My dream is to eventually be off grid with solar and a massive battery array for storage, but can't do it at my current residence (roof too small, no land, house too big). I plan on downsizing to a smaller farmhouse soon. That will allow us to put a large solar install on the property and I'll invest in batteries as they become more affordable.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:26 pm

Not only can I start at 10PM or later, but I don’t have to charge at 40A (or my max 72A), but can just set it to 20A and charge slowly during the night. Or let it skip a night. My use case is usually driving around town to buy groceries, visit friends, bank, drop someone at the airport, etc., and I usually don’t use more than 5-10kwh each day.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Zephyrpilot » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:47 pm

[/quote]
"behind the meter" i.e. solar and other renewables, is growing quite fast -- I read somewhere that it is noticeable in New York state for example. And it will grow faster. Whatever means various parties adopt to try to restrain it, it's reached the point where it is economic for a lot of households in the USA. And the USA is the land of big houses, and big rooftops and much of the USA has high solar insolation (compared to say Europe, which is generally further north in latitude and has cloudier weather).

I do urge you to read Dieter Helm, referenced above - Burn Out. The book for me was just one Ah-ha moment after another. His Carbon Crunch ain't bad (he was a big adviser to the previous UK Chancellor (Min of Finance) George Osborne, and had an axe to grind on the fracking debate, which hurt his arguments) but this is better-- it's the best contemporary explanation I have seen of how it is all likely to play out in the long term.
[/quote]

Solar is always "Growing fast", but its relative to the year prior, so if you had 1 install and now you have 100 installs that is a very dramatic % increase. I know that solar panels are more prevalent in the West, specifically in California, the east coast does not have much generation capacity in solar, currently for PJM, who is one of the Largest Regional ISO's in the US has 285MW total capacity for Solar of 87,000MW total capacity. This isn't to say that solar/wind don't have a place in the market, but the actual output is grossly exaggerated in most media publications. I know NY is planning something like 1200 MW capacity for Solar, this is assuming max efficiency, which is not extraordinarily large. Solar is great in that it peaks generation during the peak load, wind generally peaks at night and battery storage is almost non-existent. The problem is the inefficiency in solar panels. Single pane panels run around 20% efficiency, 33% is a physics based theoretical limit and is currently unobtainable, even in perfect lab scenarios. Solar and Wind both have drawbacks. I know they often give "so and so country ran on wind alone for x hours" but it is an intentionally misleading headlines.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by just frank » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:43 pm

Conversely, EVs make the grid more stable: it is straightforward to enable the utility to regulate EV charging at home via the internet.

In exchange for a lower rate, in the future you can allow to utility to ramp down charging when they want to to lower demand, and to ramp it up when they have excess production. This will be especially useful when there is a large amount of renewable energy on the grid. Lot's of wind power coming in a few hours in the middle of the night when the front goes through...delay all those EV from charging, and then use them to soak up the surge of wind power.

Note, this is very useful even it its just one way...no need to use the car as a grid battery, just a versatile load.

Also, right now both EVs and solar production are growing exponentially, with similar doubling times (about two years)....but solar production is staying well ahead of EV consumption (about 20X greater, at this point). No new fossil production is required at all. 8-)

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by meebers » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:19 pm

There must be an easy way of charging at the appropriate time that is the most economical and without compromising the vehicle wiring etc. If it has not been made yet, plug your car into a timer box, (a simple mechanical type) that would come on at 1am and shut off at 6 am, or the time you need. Plug your vehicle in when you come home and then let the box turn it on/off at your designated time. The box would have a manual override of course.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Buysider » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:35 pm

There must be an easy way of charging at the appropriate time that is the most economical and without compromising the vehicle wiring etc.
All EVs I have driven have such a time of day charging in the vehicle controls. No need to do anything outside of the vehicle.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:56 pm

I think the typical use case would be people driving short distances with a daily top up charge. Or, they could do a full charge from empty about as often as they would get gas. I don't think it would be as bad as thousands of air conditioners running constantly for hours/days.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by IMO » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:25 pm

smashhand wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:47 am
I've heard several electrical engineers say in casual conversations that the nation's electric power grid isn't ready for the new demand imposed by the proliferation of electric cars and trucks. I recall a few years back that several areas (Florida) suffered brown-outs and black-outs during a heat wave simply due to air-conditioning demands. I'm wondering if this is a real problem and, if so, what effect it might have on our economy. What does the board think?
There must already be problems with the electric power grid in many areas if "brown-outs and black outs" occur. If there weren't problems you wouldn't have those, nor would power companies offer you incentives for things like rebates for agreeing to allow your air conditioner to be disabled during peak times.

I don't think the problem currently is with overnight EV charges, as that's not a high peak demand period. So probably some time before that would be a realistic concern.

The real question you should be asking about having all EV's is the infrastructure to provide enough charging stations for future EV's (if they all were to replace gasoline powered vechices)? Imagine every apartment complex needing a charging station at every parking spot. ANYWHERE you have people parking overnight, such as streets in front of high rise dwellings would need to have a charging station so the person would be charged for the next day. Massive numbers of chargers needed at places like shopping malls because many people didn't charge their car enough, or they were in a traffic jam with their AC blowing and depleted their battery. People will need multiple charging stations on remote highways to get past the realistically limited ranges if they want to take a road trip. Gas stations will need to be charging stations when people weren't able to charge fully and there won't be enough space for the cars to park for extended periods (imagine if everyone filling up on gas had to park 30 minutes or longer. You'd drive up to a crowded ski area parking lot from your home 75 miles+ away, and everyone that every parking spot would need a charge station so you could actually drive home while using your heater. Tow tuck drivers will have to be mobile charging stations, called when someone "ran out of juice." Hotels/motels, all parking spots would need chargers. Homes with 2 cars in the garage and 2+ cars in the driveway would all need charging stations, etc, etc.

Since the number of true electric vehicles is so small, none of these things are issues currently.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by just frank » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:58 am

IMO wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:25 pm

The real question you should be asking about having all EV's is the infrastructure to provide enough charging stations for future EV's (if they all were to replace gasoline powered vechices)? Imagine every apartment complex needing a charging station at every parking spot. ANYWHERE you have people parking overnight, such as streets in front of high rise dwellings would need to have a charging station so the person would be charged for the next day. Massive numbers of chargers needed at places like shopping malls because many people didn't charge their car enough, or they were in a traffic jam with their AC blowing and depleted their battery. People will need multiple charging stations on remote highways to get past the realistically limited ranges if they want to take a road trip. Gas stations will need to be charging stations when people weren't able to charge fully and there won't be enough space for the cars to park for extended periods (imagine if everyone filling up on gas had to park 30 minutes or longer. You'd drive up to a crowded ski area parking lot from your home 75 miles+ away, and everyone that every parking spot would need a charge station so you could actually drive home while using your heater. Tow tuck drivers will have to be mobile charging stations, called when someone "ran out of juice." Hotels/motels, all parking spots would need chargers. Homes with 2 cars in the garage and 2+ cars in the driveway would all need charging stations, etc, etc.

Since the number of true electric vehicles is so small, none of these things are issues currently.
I'm not worried about that. We will want a lot of L2's in apartments, hotels, and home garages. As for your 'more space than gas stations' scenario...I'm not worried. I get >90% of my kWh from home, so worst case I would only need to visit a DCFC 1/10th as often as a gas station for a conventional car. If it takes 10X as long (30 min versus 3) its a wash. And more realistically, when more destinations such as hotels and urban parking lots have L2's, I will use even less DCFC.

Along these lines....we might need more DCFC 'stalls' on major interstates, and very few in urban areas, when compared to gas station 'pumps'.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by mouses » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:03 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:25 pm

The result is that older coal and nuclear stations are closing. They cost too much to operate.
...
Welcome to the smart grid.
It is too bad that there is such resistance to nuclear power. If nuclear power plants hadn't been screwed up in the public mind by bad design, bad construction, bad siteing, and bad grade B movies, a lot of the power problem and global warming situation could be improved.

I read an interesting article on the smart grid awhile ago, in terms of recovery from power failures, the grid detecting the problem and automatically rerouting. Wouldn't that be better than days (or in the case of Puerto Rico months) of electric company employees scrambling around at all hours, importing employees from other areas, while people are sitting around sweltering or freezing. The article mentioned an actual smart grid somewhere, but I have forgotten where.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by randomguy » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:03 am

baconavocado wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:45 pm
The thing I think is most interesting about the proliferation of electric vehicles is, now that Tesla, an American company is in the game, we aren't hearing all the vitriol that accompanied the roll-out of the first Prius models in the early 2000s. There was a large segment of the population that absolutely *hated* the Prius and Prius owners. We were pilloried on a weekly basis in conservative media, all kinds of inane jokes were made (who can forget: "If the emissions are so low, why don't they route the exhaust directly into the passenger compartment?"), and demise of Prius and the entire Toyota company was predicted regularly. You don't even hear much criticism of tax incentives and HOV stickers anymore, and now everyone wants the cachet of a $100,000 Tesla in the garage.
You don't read the message boards much do you?:)Read the comments about Tesla and you will get a huge number of haters with the comments about things like coal powered car, range anxiety(can't drive 400 miles straight) and so on. And you will definitely read about people complaining about the subsidies both to owners and the company. And how it will never be cheaper than a gas car. And the comments about Tesla being all hype and being bankrupt in 10 years are definitely there. And so on. The difference is the Model S is a nicer looking car (i.e. doesn't look odd. Model X gets complaints) and unlike the prius it is actually fun to drive so you don't get that set of complaints. You also don't get people camping in the left lane trying to get another 2mpg by hyper miling:)

And it also works the other way. For every Prius advocate talking about how awesome they are, there are at least 2 tesla owners who can't shut up about their car:)

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by clutchied » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:28 am

Zephyrpilot wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:47 pm

Solar is always "Growing fast", but its relative to the year prior, so if you had 1 install and now you have 100 installs that is a very dramatic % increase. I know that solar panels are more prevalent in the West, specifically in California, the east coast does not have much generation capacity in solar, currently for PJM, who is one of the Largest Regional ISO's in the US has 285MW total capacity for Solar of 87,000MW total capacity. This isn't to say that solar/wind don't have a place in the market, but the actual output is grossly exaggerated in most media publications. I know NY is planning something like 1200 MW capacity for Solar, this is assuming max efficiency, which is not extraordinarily large. Solar is great in that it peaks generation during the peak load, wind generally peaks at night and battery storage is almost non-existent. The problem is the inefficiency in solar panels. Single pane panels run around 20% efficiency, 33% is a physics based theoretical limit and is currently unobtainable, even in perfect lab scenarios. Solar and Wind both have drawbacks. I know they often give "so and so country ran on wind alone for x hours" but it is an intentionally misleading headlines.
just an FYI 40% of all new power installation last year was solar(in the US).

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:06 am

investor997 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:40 pm
...What you're basically saying is that electricity will need to be rationed. We won't be able to charge our cars whenever we want (or need) to. Will people willingly adjust their lives according to whether or not their car will have enough juice in it the next day to get them to where they need to be based on what the electric utility decides?

All I know is a typical central AC system might draw between 3-5kW. A Level 2 in-home electric vehicle charger consumes about 6kW.
I don't think that is quite the way it is going to work. Think of the cost of electricity more along the lines of UBER's surge pricing. If I want to change my electric car on my schedule, I can do it, but it will cost more than if I wait until it is convenient for the utility. I don't think this is "rationing" in the classic sense.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Zephyrpilot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:13 am

just an FYI 40% of all new power installation last year was solar(in the US).
If you have a source for this it would be helpful, in my area, I have seen some serious NG generators coming online, but I can't recall a single Solar plant as they are usually on the distribution lines. Now, it makes sense if they are counting number of plants, vs capacity. If 40% last year was truly solar capacity, it must all be out in the Southwest.

Like someone mentioned, Nuclear would be the best stopgap, they are almost 100% on or off, they could easily run w/o coal if we had NG and Nuclear. Energy diversity isn't bad, I just think the impact of Solar is COMPLETELY overblown. I am telling you this not just from articles read, but real time operating experience. This is NE US company, and like I quoted earlier, on any given day Solar is an insignificant part of the system.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:55 am

mouses wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:03 am
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:25 pm

The result is that older coal and nuclear stations are closing. They cost too much to operate.
...
Welcome to the smart grid.
It is too bad that there is such resistance to nuclear power. If nuclear power plants hadn't been screwed up in the public mind by bad design, bad construction, bad siteing, and bad grade B movies, a lot of the power problem and global warming situation could be improved.
I have a bias here, because my Dad built nuclear power stations for the last half of his career. And I am also going to be paying for the most expensive power station in history (Hinckley C - AREVA EPR reactor being built on Bristol Channel in west of England) for the next 40-something years (at a guaranteed, inflation linked price over 2x the current wholesale power price).

The economics of nuclear power have never stacked up. We've had civilian nuclear power for c. 60 years, and no country has managed it without massive subsidies. And Daichi Fukushima reminds us that the unforecastable can, indeed, happen-- something like 10% of Japanese GDP (c. $150-200bn dollars) will be spent over the next 40 years or so cleaning it up. Even France had *rising* nuclear station costs towards the end of its programme of expansion.
I read an interesting article on the smart grid awhile ago, in terms of recovery from power failures, the grid detecting the problem and automatically rerouting. Wouldn't that be better than days (or in the case of Puerto Rico months) of electric company employees scrambling around at all hours, importing employees from other areas, while people are sitting around sweltering or freezing. The article mentioned an actual smart grid somewhere, but I have forgotten where.
The smart grid is incremental change, so in some sense all developed countries are moving to a "smart" grid. It's a concept rather than a specific thing.

In essence there are 2 big trends:

- demand sources (such as fridges or commercial buildings) will get smarter about when they use power - smart meter rollout is mandated for all of the European Union (80% in each country) by 2020 (this will not happen on time but in 28 countries and 550m people that is hardly surprising)
- demand suppliers ditto

The grid thus becomes more flexible in response.

A related issue is that power generation is becoming distributed. Eventually, all south facing roofs and walls (in the Northern hemisphere) will generate electricity and at times export back to the grid.

The economics have changed. Up until the late 1960s it was about scale and scaling up-- Big Al, the Allis-Chalmers generating set bought by Con Ed at the time, generated about 1000 MW. In the 1930s the largest turbine set would have been 100 MW. After that, the maximum efficient size of coal fired stations had been reached. The next revolution was the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, with the 50%+ thermal efficiency (heat value in the fuel into electricity; nearly twice the average coal fired station, modern ones now run in high 30s) which exploded in the 1990s. CCGTs have far smaller staffing requirements (15 people on a shift vs. 500) and are far more flexible (cold to hot start in 30 minutes, say vs. hours) and size of 500 MW to 1000 MW.

We are now in the next age. There are relatively small differences in cost/ MW between a 1 MW and a 20 MW solar farm. Rooftop solar is more expensive (*unless* installed at construction) say 2x-- but that differential will not last forever. As home batteries roll out, the intermittency (non despatchability) problem is reduced for the grid. Wind is a little different but again the unit of cost is a turbine (say up to 5 MW capacity although they are talking about offshore ones at 10 MW, which would be among the tallest structures built by human beings) and whilst the site (and grid connection!) costs are considerable they tend to be one off fixed costs- -whether you then have 10 turbines or 50 does not matter so much.

Generation moves to the edges of the grid, rather than being at the centre. Hinckley C is most likely going to look like a dinosaur in 20 years time-- and a very expensive one. There's tradition in this, the UK has the most thermally efficient nuclear reactors in the world (the Advanced Gas Reactors) which will never be built-- it was a technological dead end and the writeoff cost the British taxpayer 10s of billions of pounds. Roughly speaking an AGR is 40% in thermal efficiency vs. 30% for a Pressurised Water Reactor (Westinghouse standard) but with nuclear no one cares about wasting heat.

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-st ... -buil.html

The economics of distributed generation and "smart grid" management of supply and demand means that the whole industry is changing. The centralized power station is going to disappear in the very long run (I cannot say whether that is 30 years or more). Whereas gas fired stations can be mothballed, it's much harder to do that with a coal fired station (because you have 1500 skilled and semi-skilled workers, and you lay them off, you cannot get them back in a hurry). For the foreseeable future you will get banks of backup power-- essentially diesel or gas fired generators. But electricity storage is coming on by leaps and bounds, so in 10-15 years even that may have been superseded.

PR the grid would have failed regardless-- that much physical devastation would take down the grid. Time taken to repair is another issue, and would take us off into politics ...

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:10 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:39 am
bottlecap wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am
Don’t own one, don’t want to, but I imagine most people charge them overnight. Not exactly peak demand times.
I definitely charge overnight, even without rate incentives to do so. I would expect that 95%+ of users also do this; it’s when your car is parked and you do not care if it’s charging.
Electric cars have the potential to be part of the solution to peak power usage demand. Not only can most people charge overnight when power demand is lowest, but during the day, the batteries can supply power to the grid! Parking lots full of cars with large batteries can be drains on the grid getting topped off, or supply power to the grid if they have excess power. When batteries get big enough, you could be buying cheap power at night and selling it back in the middle of the day when peak pricing is in effect.

http://www.futurity.org/electric-cars-p ... s-1462852/

Imagine the power storage of an airport long term parking lot full of Tesla's that aren't being driven for a week.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by just frank » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:38 pm

Zephyrpilot wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:13 am
just an FYI 40% of all new power installation last year was solar(in the US).
If you have a source for this it would be helpful, in my area, I have seen some serious NG generators coming online, but I can't recall a single Solar plant as they are usually on the distribution lines. Now, it makes sense if they are counting number of plants, vs capacity. If 40% last year was truly solar capacity, it must all be out in the Southwest.
Here is an EIA link up to 2016:

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=30112

It indicates that in 2016 solar was about 30% of new capacity, not number of plants or energy. Given that the capacity factor is likely 0.2 on the solar plants, it is probably about 10-15% of all electrical energy from generators installed in 2016.

In 2017 it would likely be 30% higher....or 40% of new capacity and 15-20% of new energy.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:41 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:10 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:39 am
bottlecap wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am
Don’t own one, don’t want to, but I imagine most people charge them overnight. Not exactly peak demand times.
I definitely charge overnight, even without rate incentives to do so. I would expect that 95%+ of users also do this; it’s when your car is parked and you do not care if it’s charging.
Electric cars have the potential to be part of the solution to peak power usage demand. Not only can most people charge overnight when power demand is lowest, but during the day, the batteries can supply power to the grid! Parking lots full of cars with large batteries can be drains on the grid getting topped off, or supply power to the grid if they have excess power. When batteries get big enough, you could be buying cheap power at night and selling it back in the middle of the day when peak pricing is in effect.

http://www.futurity.org/electric-cars-p ... s-1462852/

Imagine the power storage of an airport long term parking lot full of Tesla's that aren't being driven for a week.
They would all have voided warranties. Tesla sells a battery for such usage, but explicitly forbids such use for car batteries. That might change, but I don’t think I’d sign up for it; I’d hate to come home to a drained car.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:53 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:41 pm
They would all have voided warranties. Tesla sells a battery for such usage, but explicitly forbids such use for car batteries. That might change, but I don’t think I’d sign up for it; I’d hate to come home to a drained car.
It's just an idea that's been floated if we ever develop such massive portable excess battery capacity. You wouldn't be pushing those kinds of extremities. It's for those folks that have 30 mile commutes that don't need a 200+ range.

Also, solar canopies would dovetail nicely with these batteries, so get to work in the morning and you car provides some power to the grid. Midday when the solar panels are producing excess power to the facility, they can charge your car, and if you stay till it's dark, you car can continue to provide power to your building.

Realistically, your building will have it's own battery banks, which should be cheaper than the portable car ones, but who knows, there may be big excess capacity if batteries get efficient enough, cheap enough and light enough to push 300 or 500 mile ranges.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:01 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:53 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:41 pm
They would all have voided warranties. Tesla sells a battery for such usage, but explicitly forbids such use for car batteries. That might change, but I don’t think I’d sign up for it; I’d hate to come home to a drained car.
It's just an idea that's been floated if we ever develop such massive portable excess battery capacity. You wouldn't be pushing those kinds of extremities. It's for those folks that have 30 mile commutes that don't need a 200+ range.

Also, solar canopies would dovetail nicely with these batteries, so get to work in the morning and you car provides some power to the grid. Midday when the solar panels are producing excess power to the facility, they can charge your car, and if you stay till it's dark, you car can continue to provide power to your building.

Realistically, your building will have it's own battery banks, which should be cheaper than the portable car ones, but who knows, there may be big excess capacity if batteries get efficient enough, cheap enough and light enough to push 300 or 500 mile ranges.
It would mean I wouldn’t need a backup generator at home :D

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:19 pm

Zephyrpilot wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:13 am
just an FYI 40% of all new power installation last year was solar(in the US).
If you have a source for this it would be helpful, in my area, I have seen some serious NG generators coming online, but I can't recall a single Solar plant as they are usually on the distribution lines. Now, it makes sense if they are counting number of plants, vs capacity. If 40% last year was truly solar capacity, it must all be out in the Southwest.

Like someone mentioned, Nuclear would be the best stopgap, they are almost 100% on or off, they could easily run w/o coal if we had NG and Nuclear. Energy diversity isn't bad, I just think the impact of Solar is COMPLETELY overblown. I am telling you this not just from articles read, but real time operating experience. This is NE US company, and like I quoted earlier, on any given day Solar is an insignificant part of the system.
It's a capacity number. Wind and solar were more than 50% of all new installations in the USA last year. It would not make sense to count by number of plants given that 1 wind turbine could be a wind "plant".

I'd have to scarf around for the numbers - can't do that tonight (I didn't reply to your other reply for that reason, too).

Nobody is going to build new nuclear plants at current station economics without cost guarantees from a government. That's more or less what the UK government has done with Hinckley C (AREVA EPR 3rd Gen) or rather guaranteed the price/ MWhr at twice the current wholesale price, for 35 years, indexed to inflation-- UK electricity consumers will pay for that. That said, the credit rating agencies are bricking themselves at EDF/ AREVA's construction cost risk (part of which is also born by the UK taxpayer).

In fact wholesale power prices have fallen far enough in the USA that high cost nuclear stations (usually older, often single reactor like Vermont Yankee and that one in Wisconsin) are just shutting down. State legislatures are having to cook Renewable Energy Standards to keep other plants from shutting.

I agree with what you imply that it is cheap gas which is gaining market share in the USA over coal and nuclear. It was the fracking revolution, and expansion into places like the ?Marcellus Shale? in Pennslyvania that has done it.

Granted the Load Factors for the different types of generation are radically different - wind in the USA averages c. 30% LF and solar (not sure?) 15%?

Behind-the-meter is becoming an issue, that's a major reason why utility load growth is slowing. A lot of solar never goes through the transmission network.

I think you are seeing the beginning of something big, and not seeing it for what it is. I think I mentioned that although solar is small in the UK (c. 4% of all kwhr) it has gone from zero to that in 10 years (and most of that in the last 5 years). There are middays when, on the grid, 30%+ of output is solar (roughly 10 GW out of 35 GW).

I don't know how fast this transition will take. But read Dieter Helm (Burn Out) - he sketches out what the end game will look like. He's also just written a report on Cost of Generation for the UK govt (that's 250 pages, but you might want to read the exec summary ;-)).

My father built every type of generation used: hydraulic, thermal coal, thermal oil, (not CCGT), nuclear. I think he'd be fascinated to see where it is going now-- probably with the utility engineer's cautious scepticism, but he'd be fascinated.

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Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:30 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:41 pm
inbox788 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:10 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:39 am
bottlecap wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:57 am
Don’t own one, don’t want to, but I imagine most people charge them overnight. Not exactly peak demand times.
I definitely charge overnight, even without rate incentives to do so. I would expect that 95%+ of users also do this; it’s when your car is parked and you do not care if it’s charging.
Electric cars have the potential to be part of the solution to peak power usage demand. Not only can most people charge overnight when power demand is lowest, but during the day, the batteries can supply power to the grid! Parking lots full of cars with large batteries can be drains on the grid getting topped off, or supply power to the grid if they have excess power. When batteries get big enough, you could be buying cheap power at night and selling it back in the middle of the day when peak pricing is in effect.

http://www.futurity.org/electric-cars-p ... s-1462852/

Imagine the power storage of an airport long term parking lot full of Tesla's that aren't being driven for a week.
They would all have voided warranties. Tesla sells a battery for such usage, but explicitly forbids such use for car batteries. That might change, but I don’t think I’d sign up for it; I’d hate to come home to a drained car.
My laptop sets battery charging to 50% max to preserve battery life.

Analogously, your car battery will have a drawdown limit equal to your commute home + 20%, say.

If you are doing this at scale you can keep rotating which batteries are drawn upon at any given moment-- there are thousands (millions) of cars out there sitting in lots.

In fact, it has already been done in an emergency-- in Japan.

At Fukushima Daichi, the tsunami took out the backup generators and the connections to the grid. The reactors scrammed as designed, but the pumps failed. The residual heat in a scrammed reactor is only a few per cent of full power (the control rods successfully extended into the uranium piles, i.e. exactly what did not happen at Chernobyl) but it takes many many hours for that to drop to zero.

The workers went out to the parking lots, and improvised draws from all the Priuses in the lots to power the emergency pumps. Unfortunately this didn't last long enough, and the reactor cores melted.

It was a brilliant improvisation, alas one that failed.

There were retired utility workers, volunteering to go and suit up and go into those stations-- despite the radioactivity. I thought, had it happened where my father worked, he and his former colleagues might well have done the same thing.

I am reminded of Farmer in the Sky by Robert A Heinlein. The hero, a teenage boy, is on a colony ship to Ganymede, the terraformed moon of Jupiter (it is hinted that one of the reasons it is Ganymede is that it is far enough away to survive an impending nuclear war between nations on Earth). The class has visited Mr Ortega, who is the engineer Torch watcher, charged with monitoring the flux of the nuclear fusion torch drive which propels the ship

Midair Repair:
Bill's father explains why they have an engineer along in space, when the engine is a radioactive torch that can't be shut off in flight.

"There are certain adjustments which could conceivably have to be made in extreme emergency. In which case it would be Mr. Ortega's proud privilege to climb into a space suit, go outside and back aft, and make them."
"You mean—"
"I mean that the assistant chief engineer would succeed to the position of chief a few minutes later. Chief engineers are very carefully chosen, Bill, and not just for their technical knowledge."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/L ... erInTheSky

killjoy2012
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:05 pm

baconavocado wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:45 pm
... and now everyone wants the cachet of a $100,000 Tesla in the garage.
Not everyone - you couldn't pay me to take one. Or a Prius. And any $100k+ vehicle would likely boost one's cachet, so I don't think that's saying much.
IMO wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:25 pm
The real question you should be asking about having all EV's is the infrastructure to provide enough charging stations for future EV's (if they all were to replace gasoline powered vechices)? Imagine every apartment complex needing a charging station at every parking spot. ANYWHERE you have people parking ...
Exactly, and I think this is being somewhat overlooked during this early adopter phase. Assuming EVs are the future, which they may be, are we then expecting all workplaces to provide an adequate # of chargers on-site at the office so that employees can charge their vehicles in prep for their commute home? If so, what does that do to the many assumptions made in this thread that peak demand will stay flat, that only overnight demand will rise vs. current usage levels? My office has ~1,000 employees onsite and 4 EV chargers. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens over time when we have significantly more than 4-5 EV owners, assuming EV adoption accelerates as predicted. Especially in the dead of winter.

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