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Posted By astrayelmgod on 08/13/2008 11:36 PM

Les said:
" fail utterly to grasp how anyone cannot understand that there is no free lunch where energy is concerned. Every device has a built-in loss factor. To charge a battery array, or pump up an air tank just moves the site of energy expenditure to a different location. Yes, there's probably savings in quantity production at a single location, but it's likely negligible. "

Not true, Les. Gasoline powered vehicles average about 10% efficiency. A lot more on the freeways, zero at traffic lights, overall 10%. An ordinary coal fired or nuclear power plant runs at about 35-40% efficiency, regular natural gas plants run at 40% to 48%, and combined cycle plants (natural gas powered, plus a Heat Recovery Steam Turbine in the exhaust) run at 60%.

We are currently using 30% of our corn crop to make 8% of our fuel. The government mandate is for ethanol to make up 20% of our fuel by a year that eludes me right now. So, we will need 75% of our corn crop. Trouble is, there wasn't that much excess corn in the first place. And there isn't enough arable but unused land in the US to make up the difference. Plus, corn is a remarkably low efficiency source of ethanol. Ethanol from agricultural waste makes a lot of sense. Ethanol from corn makes zero sense. So why are we going **** for leather down the corn path? Three words: Archer. Daniels. Midlands. ADM went to Washington, and spread a little money around (a little by ADM standards), and pooff, corn ethanol mandate.
I could go on (and on) but I've probably already lost most people, so I won't.




You haven't lost me, for one. I tend to agree with your overall perspective--since it is congenial with mine, for two--but you've made a serious error in your rebuttal of my statement: I was specifically speaking of the costs of energy at least once removed from the device expending the energy, i.e, the $2 recharge of a battery array. You went directly to the efficiency of gasoline engines. I don't know what the efficiency of modern-day engines are. I suspect that the number is not fixed, depending upon who's arguing what point. I know this: I can afford to run my Pontiac Montana with its excellent a/c and other features as far as I NEED to at a price I am willing to pay.

My point has always been that there's a way around high gasoline costs, and that's first, buy less gas (stay home more) and second, with a home-brewed rig running a pair of batteries and a one-lunger engine for recharge or alternate motive power when necessary. And I have both the skills and the tools to construct one of these things. It's the hassle with City Hall that I don't care to deal with. Do I think everyone will like a two-placer sidewalk-runner with a range of ten miles or under? Not even. Given a sharp enough crisis, I think both the above problems will solve themselves.

I'm too old to look for easy fixes. Life's full of tradeoffs, and then there's the vast array of people who await someone else to do their thinking.

Please, if you're going to tell me I'm wrong, tell me why in the terms I've posited. And no, I'm not mad, see/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

Les
 

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Semper,

That reminds me--this is a RR forum--of the time I clued MOPAC RR into where five of their gondolas were. I'd been driving past this overgrown siding with these five gons rusting into the dirt for more than five years, so one day I pulled over and copied the car numbers down. When I got to work I wrote a letter (this was quite a long time ago) with the cars listed and wondered what the story was. I got a grateful reply: they'd lost track of where these things were! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif

Les
 

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RE: New "Air Car" to work like steam locomotive

Les said: " one-lunger engine "

I don't know what sort of engine you are thinking about, but a chain saw running for one hour puts out more pollution than a car driven from Los Angeles to New York City. So, if you build this little wonder, don't drive it down my street.
 

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RE: New "Air Car" to work like steam locomotive

re smart and other fuel efficient european cars.


there are :

- volkswagen lupo 3L , supposed to use 3liters/100km which is roughly 78mpg.
- a friend of mine runs a audi a4 turbodiesel (1.9liter engine) this is a 5-seat station wagen. normaly he uses 4.5lites/100km. something like 53mpg.


bad thing is that these cars are extremely expensive on your side of the pond because of taxes which help to protect your own manufacturers
 
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