Category Archives: Energy

Bolt EV too: LGE’s battery design for Ford Mach-E, Chevy Bolt said to have weaknesses

As the Mach-E module section detail above illustrates, the Mach-E’s module architecture apparently contains a significant thermal design weakness – the plastic carrier bottoms. They block direct cell-to-plate heat conduction – the primary thermal path used in most other manufacturers’ current-generation pouch-cell-based packs. The only thermal path is through a long, thin passive aluminum thermal fin. With two cells heating it, this is too much heat for the skinny fin to efficiently conduct down to the cooling plate. It is literally a narrow thermal bottleneck.

Source: Mustang Mach-E Battery Charges Slowly, Overheats Quickly: Why?

For the Mach-E, high accelerations rates can exceed temperature requirements, causing the vehicle to reduce its power available. Probably the same for the Bolt EVs too (see EV Throttle Bottleneck Scorecard graphic at the linked article). These thermal issues might be why the maximum charge rate, which is just 55 KW for the Bolt EV while some EVs are now charge-able, in part, at 125 KW and higher.

Related: LG Energy batteries were also recalled, not just for the Bolt EV cars, but also for their home-based battery packs used for solar PV systems. They too had a defect that could cause them to catch fire.

Air travel may get much more expensive, or could be limited only to the elite

Aviation could face a historic rupture in its growth trajectory as it grapples with pressures to reduce its impact on climate change. The technology shifts proposed will require major investment with success uncertain.

For the flying public, all outcomes in the years ahead point to an increase in the cost of flying.

Yet that distant net-zero emissions target is so radical, and the proposed technology solutions so uncertain, that aviation risks falling far short.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury recently warned that if the industry’s new push for climate sustainability fails, governments could force a reduction in air travel by banning some of the flying that is routine today — a major step back after more than 100 years of passenger flights.

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Elsewhere, particularly in Europe, flying is already being curbed by government policy. France in April banned domestic flights between cities with a train connection of less than 2.5 hours. Various government agencies and organizations around Europe have imposed similar bans on short-haul flights for employee business travel.

Source: As climate concerns threaten air travel, aviation industry banks on technology solutions | The Seattle Times

Additionally, some countries already charge carbon fees on airline tickets.

California, already short of electricity, is faced with more shortages as they shut power plants

The State is short of the power demanded during some summer periods. Under state de-carboning rules, they are shutting gas power plants – plus their only nuclear plant. This puts the state in a bind as it also sees demand increases from increasing population and EVs.

The state is contending with the coming loss of gas-fired power plants and its last remaining nuclear facility in a planned transition to renewable energy.

Source: California Scrambles to Find Electricity to Offset Plant Closures – WSJ

If you’ve got the cash (i.e. the elite), probably best to install solar PV and a large battery bank to keep the lights on.

Another Lithium-ion battery pack fire, burns down garage

This one was not an EV but a portable stand alone Li-ion battery pack.

The failure of a charging portable lithium-ion battery pack sparked a fire Saturday night that destroyed a detached garage and also damaged a nearby home, initially protected by residents with a garden hose, officials said.

Source: Lithium-ion battery pack sparks fire that destroys Powell Butte detached garage – KTVZ

I have an 18 amp hour portable battery pack, likely similar to this, sitting on the floor beside me. Think it will only charged outside. This is the 2nd large fire, locally, due to Lithium batteries – the other being the spontaneous combustion of a Jaguar EV a week ago.

Next up: A push to ban air travel

Air travelers create a lot of greenhouse gas emissions that mostly harm other, less well-to-do people.

Source: Opinion: Big Tech flies too much. It’s time for these companies to practice what they preach to help stop climate change – MarketWatch

The article points out most carbon credit schemes are scams, where people pay not to cut down forests that no one had any intention of cutting down anyway.

In spite of having a solar PV powered home, in spite of retrofitting R-60 insulation in my house, in spite of adding 220 v outlets in my garage and outside my house to power a future EV, in spite of heating using wood waste products (UN says its carbon neutral), I did not even look at the IPCC 6 report or read the news stories. Every headline I saw was written as coordinated propaganda , not something trying to inform me.

Our household carbon foot print is less than 1/4th that of the average American home, and dropping.

I am so burned out on crappy science during this pandemic, I have lost confidence in all science. The IPCC 6 report? What ever. I’m not even paying attention!

California to use fossil fuels for peaking

Who would have expected 100% renewable might not yet be ready to power a state 24 x 7 x 365?

Aug 11 (Reuters) – California, struggling to balance its clean energy push with the need to boost tight power supplies and avoid rolling blackouts, will lean more on fossil fuels in coming weeks to keep the power on if scorching heatwaves stretch its grid.

Source: California’s clean grid may lean on oil, gas to avoid summer blackouts | Reuters

Why it’s the end of the road for petrol stations – BBC News

There are two aspects to this issue:
(1) Many gas/petrol stations will disappear and it seems likely that many do not have a succession plan to address the change over. Plus, the expense of removing underground fuel tanks to convert the property to other uses.
(2) At some point, gas fueled vehicles will become a smaller part of the market and there will be fewer and fewer gas stations. It seems likely that we will still be using some gas fueled vehicles, boats, lawnmowers and other small engine items, for at least 20 years past 2030 to 2035. With fewer and fewer fuel stations, obtaining fuel will be harder and more expensive.

Many petrol stations will close over the next 20 years, accelerating the shift to electric cars.

Source: Why it’s the end of the road for petrol stations – BBC News

Six US States ban the sale of high end gaming computers because “climate change”

My house is powered by solar photovoltaic panels – why should my use of a gaming PC be prohibited? I generate my own power, carbon free.

US States California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have banned the sale of high-end gaming PCs under a new energy bill.

The California Energy Bill was written in 2017, and recently went into effect. This led to several US States outside of California joining in; effectively banning high-end pre-built gaming PCs.

The state had recently published a paper looking into the power efficiency of computer gaming. They claim in their findings is that computer gaming in California consumed 4.1 terawatt hours in 2016, costing roughly $700 million USD in energy bills. They list consoles with taking a bulk of the emissions at 66%, and desktop computers at 31%. In spite of this, consoles are seemingly exempt from the bill.

As an answer to this, Dell has pulled the sale of seven of its eight Alienware gaming desktops from those states. Only the Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop is widely available; packing a i5 11400F, a GTX 1650 Super, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The other R12s which are restricted on shipping feature one major component different; such as a 1TB harddrive or different graphics cards.

Source: High-End Gaming PCs Banned in Six US States after California Energy Bill Limits Sales On High Performance PCs – Niche Games

Politicians are even dumber than public health.