How will the Chevrolet Volt be better than a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Adaam, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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  2. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I am not against PV. I have been interested in solar energy since I owned my first solar power watch more than 20 years ago. Either I am not explaining it well or you guys are dense. :D Let me try again.

    Here is my beef with the concept of "cancelling out coal (electricity) consumption by pumping back solar electricity". That's like justifying my gasoline (with Prius) consumption with the sun rising in the east.

    Daily solar energy will eventually turn into petroleum in millions of year. The net result will be zero to the earth (or grid). The root issue really is cheating out million of years for the petroleum (or coal) to fossilize.

    That's why I think fossil and renewable electricity are not fungible. It is great to see EV and PHV owners taking steps with the solar panels. It is a great thing but done for the wrong reason. That's all I am saying. Using that logic you can cancel out gasoline consumption with solar panels as well.
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Usbseawolf2000, generally I agree with your arguments. Sadly, in this case your train of thought has come off the rails. I understand your argument, but it is twisted and contorted beyond logical recognition.

    In truth all electrons are fungible in terms of power applications (non-quantum applications). There isn't any argument about that, and there can't be any valid argument to the contrary. However, free electrons don't spring forth from the fabric of space (well, they do, but once again we are talking about non-quantum effects). All of these working electrons come from some other energy source, whether solar, atomic, thermal, hydroelectric, or fossil fuels. This is the basis for your complaint.

    Obviously all of the underlying energy sources are not fungible. No one has made that claim on this thread. The claim that is being made is that power from one source can be used to eliminate, reduce, or replace power from another source. If someone replaces their oil fired furnace with solar heating it reduces the consumption of heating oil. It doesn't make more oil, but it reduces the consumption. That oil is now available to be used elsewhere.

    The same is true for electrical generation. Using PV doesn't make more fossil fuel, but it does reduce the need to use some other energy source for making the electricity. If the other source is fossil fuel, using PV reduces the demand for fossil fuel, leaving more for other uses. It's as simple as that.

    Tom
     
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  4. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Sorry, still not getting it.

    Are you saying we should burn gasoline and plant trees?

    Would more petroleum forming fossils exist if I just let the solar energy bounce of my roof?

    Is your concern really that I am limiting the amount of fossil fuels that will be available millions of years from now?

    This discussion began with comparison between electric power plant emissions and gasoline tailpipe emissions. Are you saying emissions are moot because all that CO2 was originally in the atmosphere before it was used by the plants to make proteins and locked away in the earth for millions of year and we are really just returning to a more natural primordial state before life on earth and not an artificial man made state?
     
  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Mort the appocolypse is coming and your solar panels will just alert the horsemen where you live. Jebus buried dinosaur bones to make some fools believe in evolution or some such foolishness. If you buy an Ev coal energy gets tagged to it just like a bowling ball will fall to earth if you drop it, coal electricity is the only thing that will power evs. :rockon:

    Oh that doesn't mean pv without an ev doesn't put clean energy into the grid just like pv with an ev does, but..... yes you are probably in the long run doing more for clean energy by hooking up to the grid, than if you just charged your car from those panels.
     
  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Tom, I agree with everything you said. I think we are on the same page. It is simple but complicated. :D

    It is a discussion carried over from this thread. It started with efficiency comparison -> upstream efficiency -> emission -> power source.

    All I am saying is that the underlying energy sources (thanks for the term) are not fungible therefore, efficiency (and emission) is different than what Zythryn originally claimed.
     
  7. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    The flaw in this argument is that in your scenario it takes millions of years to make more petroleum, but Zythryn is making electricity every day.

    Here's a better analogy.

    Imagine the gas station had pumps on the south side of the station where people filled their cars, and a chute on the north side where people could pour gas back into the gas station (and get paid for it).

    Now imagine that Zythryn filled his car at night at the gas station when there are no lines, and then made gasoline in his garage from sunlight in the daytime, and in the day, when there are lines of cars at the pumps and a shortage of gasoline, he went to the north side and poured his gasoline back in.

    He'd be helping the folks waiting for gas by adding gas to the tank, and his net gasoline usage from the gas station would be zero because every day he replaces what he took out at night.

    That's what he's doing with electricity.

    And it works because electricity is fungible: That is, every kWh is indistinguishable from every other. What matters is how much total coal is burned, and since Zythryn is replacing during the day the electricity he takes at night, his net usage from the grid is zero, just as his net usage from the gas station in my hypothetical example is zero.
     
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  8. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    when thinking about power; we need to examine where it comes from. electricity is pretty much home-grown. making it runs the gamut from Mother Nature's lover to an coal baron's dream when it comes to being clean.

    and the source is endless. we will never run out of excited electrons, period. no if ands or buts about that. they are simply too easy to come by.

    problem is the amount we need and when we need it. its not "feast or famine". we have to have a relatively large supply of it and rely on it to be there. it is one of the greatest perks of Mankind. so, making it is something that will only go away when we do. not much question about that.

    gas; we all know its just a phase. like the "terrible two's" it shall pass... but does it? nope. temper tantrums follow us all our lives. we just reduce the amount of kicking and screaming is all....(well, most of us do) but like candy, its an addicting thing. its easy, cheap, fast, etc all those good things. and for certain applications gas (or oil, whatever you prefer) will be around for a long long time. but for transportation? like picking a fruit tree, we must start with the low hanging fruit because the ones in the top will be much harder to pick, which is good, because it will have to last a much longer time.

    which brings us back to electricity. electricity being easy to make, weeeell, that property also makes it just as difficult to store. so, we can't do the celebratory midnite dance in the buff on those great harvest years. because no matter how much of it we have raining down on us right now, it could all stop instantly at any time...

    well ok, that last part was a bit overly dramatic. but again, the hurdle (the only real one) is the one and only thing holding us back.

    ya, if we could store and transport huge amounts of electricity kinda like the Strategic National Oil Reserve. we could eliminate dirty ways of making electricity in less than 10 years and never be in the dark

    that last line should elicit a response
     
  9. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    It takes millions of years to make more coal too.The only difference is coal is being converted to electricity before consumption and electricity is being replaced.

    We are in agreement that electrons are electrons. Gasoline is gasoline. Coal is coal. The net is zero.

    What we disagree on is who gets to claim the "greenness". The owner of the solar panel or the actual person that consumed his solar electricity?

    Perhaps, it should be shared. In that case, the carbon footprint of any electricity from the grid should be considered the same and use only the average.
     
  10. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    Show me the ‘good Samarian’ who will offer to install PV array on his neighbor’s roof leaving the associated incentives to the neighbor…
    Show me the person who will install a bank of batteries in his basement to capture all his PV electricity produced for later personal use when he can get a nice bonus pushing it to the grid.
    Don’t get me wrong, one who install PV has a green mind for sure, purely economically, in the list of options of investments there are probably better options, moving this one to the top of the list is certainly “green†but this is still an investment with a return (i.e. an economical decision).
    Don’t know about your area, in mine – a kWh pushed into the grid worth 3 times more than a kWh drawn. The difference is being paid by the government (aka – us) to the electric company.
    In my area it is becoming a business, you can lease your roof to a company who makes all the investment and claims all the incentives (paid by us all as a society).
    Green credits for private PV array goes to everybody, not the installer alone IMO.
     
  11. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    Show me the ‘good Samarian’ who will offer to install PV array on his neighbor’s roof leaving the associated incentives to the neighbor…
    Show me the person who will install a bank of batteries in his basement to capture all his PV electricity produced for later personal use when he can get a nice bonus pushing it to the grid.
    Don’t get me wrong, one who install PV has a green mind for sure, purely economically, in the list of options of investments there are probably better options, moving this one to the top of the list is certainly “green” but this is still an investment with a return (i.e. an economical decision).
    Don’t know about your area, in mine – a kWh pushed into the grid worth 3 times more than a kWh drawn. The difference is being paid by the government (aka – us) to the electric company.
    In my area it is becoming a business, you can lease your roof to a company who makes all the investment and claims all the incentives (paid by us all as a society).
    Green credits for private PV array goes to everybody, not the installer alone IMO.

    Sorry for the double posting due to database error. Do not know how to remove one!
     
  12. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Ok, I take that you think the owner of the solar panels should get the green cred.

    What about the other person that purchased the solar electricity at a higher rate and consumed it? He gets no green cred?

    I think grid is best to think as "collective". As gwmort pointed out, it is not worth tracking the electrons where they came from. If you charge or contribute to the grid, use the emission and efficiency of average grid electricity .

    If average is used, Volt would emit more CO2 emission (and less efficient) than a Prius or PiP.
     
  13. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I did not say that we should. I was saying that it is as silly of a concept of solar panels cancelling the consumption of coal.
     
  14. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    But Zythryn is making electricity, not coal, and he is making it every day! Your references to oil and coal are irrelevant.

    Consuming energy is NEVER green. Making clean energy is green. It's very simple. You clearly want to make an argument against Zythryn's partial-electric car, and you've stuck yourself with an invalid argument.

    Let's take another hypothetical: A person installs 25 acres of PVs and sells all the electricity to the grid. By doing so, he has displaced some quantity of coal usage in perpetuity. The people using his electricity have done nothing different. The "green" bragging rights go to the person who caused coal usage to be cut back: The person who installed the PVs.

    In Zythryn's case it should be clear to anyone who is not irrationally prejudiced against his car: He has reduced his gasoline usage, and has not changed his net grid usage. The only change in his grid usage is timing, and he's changed his timing so as to reduce the stress on the grid. You cannot possibly argue that people receiving his electricity, who have done nothing different, are suddenly more "green." Again, and this is critical: using energy is never green. Making clean energy is green, and reducing your energy use is less un-green. The green bragging rights go to the person who produces green energy, not the person who consumes it.
     
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  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That's what this is all about, who should get the kudos?
    Is your stance actually, that the consumer of clean electricity is greener than the producer?

    It's bad for an EV owner with PVs to charge the car up at with partial coal made electricity. It's good for the neighbor to have his 30 year old central AC turned down to 68, because he's using the solar electricity from those PV panels for most of ACs power. That's the gist of it, correct? The EV guy can't claim his panels are offsetting the dirtier power used for the car at night, but his neighbors can claim a little green cred since some of their daytime electricity came from his panels.

    Then you claim the Prius is the cleaner option, overlooking that it will always be stuck burning gasoline for its life. If you do support EVs, the Hummer greener than a Prius logic says otherwise.
     
  16. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Thats it!

    More coal would need to be burned to meet demand if I didn't add the PV compared to if I do. My PV cancelled out some consumption of coal.

    I think I now understand you saying it didn't cancel mine it cancelled the consumption related to the Walmarts A/C during the day, but at the end of the day the power plant burned less coal than if I didn't add the cells so some consumption was cancelled out because of what I did at my house.

    The effect of the PV is a net gain for the environment.
     
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Now you are intentionally falsifying the situation! The people receiving Zythryn's electricity are not paying higher prices for solar energy. They are paying the same price they were before! When people voluntarily pay higher prices for clean energy, they are investing in the installation of clean generation capacity. That is what Zythryn has done: Invested in clean generation. And is totally different from simply receiving some solar energy that's on the grid at standard grid prices.

    How can you possibly say that PVs do not reduce the consumption of coal??? Every kW of solar-generation capacity installed, is one less kW that must be generated by coal!!!
     
  18. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    OK, so his main goal is to make sure the owner of the Volt can't claim any reduced emissions for his car.

    What if my neighbor installed PV and I charge during the day?

    I think you should just stick to the script. Volt bad, prius good, mention its a mid-size every now and then and post some graphs.

    BTW, do they make you farm gold between postings?
     
  19. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Sadly, I think you are right.

    Either that, or he made what he at first thought was a legitimate argument and then refused to admit his mistake, and so kept digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole of faulty reasoning.

    I don't much like the Volt. It still burns some gas, which I don't like. But even I can see that what Zythryn did is an improvement over an all-gasoline car, and that his PVs mean that the electric portion of his driving is clean. And even I can see that for Zythryn's driving pattern, and given that he has the PVs to provide clean electricity to his car, the Volt is cleaner than a PiP. And that this will be the case for anyone who drives very few gasoline miles in it, and has clean electricity. (Which I suspect is very few people, and thus I think that the Volt is a good choice for very few people.)

    As is well known, I prefer any pure EV. But usbseawolf has gone off on a rampage of illogic in defending gasoline against solar electricity.
     
  20. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I drive a Prius and consume petroleum. Hawaii generates electricity mostly from petroleum. If I buy or lease solar panels in Hawaii and hook them up to the grid, I can cancel out my petroleum consumption with solar panels, right? According to you, my Prius would emit zero emission.

    This whole "cancelling" concept is just a justification. It doesn't change the fact that I run my Prius with petroleum (and create demand). My tailpipe emission is not zero. My well-to-wheel emission is not zero.

    I don't mean to single out Zythryn or gwmort. I am not attacking the Volt or EVs. I simply disagree with the whole carbon neutral concept being used to claim that Volt/EVs runs on solar power.

    You need to hook up the solar panels directly to the Volt to claim your well-to-wheel emission (purely from energy POV) is zero.
     
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