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Plug-in hybrid cars?

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/06/google_powers_p.html So the hybrid car can backfeed energy from its batteries back into the power grid? Building
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 19 9:30 AM
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      http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/06/google_powers_p.html

      So the hybrid car can backfeed energy from its batteries back into the power grid?

      Building solar arrays that backfeed the power grid are obviously feasible--several buildings
      here in sunny Florida have such a system. But a hybrid car that backfeeds the grid from its
      batteries? Last I checked, those batteries get charged by the car's gasoline engine, which is a
      tad less efficient than your typical power plant.

      Every time the local newspaper has a field day about a so-called "green building", I can't help
      but roll my eyes: as expected, the building is in the middle of nowhere and is surrounded by
      hundreds (if not thousands) of parking spaces. So much for energy efficiency.
    • Jym Dyer
      http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/06/google_powers_p.html ... =v= It can. When the car s gasoline engine runs, it charges up the battery, and you
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 19 10:15 AM
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        http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/06/google_powers_p.html

        > So the hybrid car can backfeed energy from its batteries back
        > into the power grid?

        =v= It can. When the car's gasoline engine runs, it charges up
        the battery, and you can tap the battery to put power into the
        grid. Due to the laws of thermodynamics, energy is wasted every
        step of the way, though, so it's a pretty stupid arrangement.

        =v= The "plug-in hybrid" shares a problem with the electric car.
        Its proponents swear up and down that they would only recharge
        their gadgets from renewable sources, and never from the grid
        during peak energy use. Except that the whole arrangement is
        about personal convenience, and they will always find an excuse
        for when they "need" to recharge in the middle of the day "just
        this once" (twice, thrice, etc.).

        =v= Google's arrangement is actually the best I've read about:
        cars charging from solar panels in a part of the world that's
        usually sunny during the hours of peak energy use. We still
        have no evidence that this can scale up for general use, but a
        handful of Silicon Valley technoid types can feel good about
        themselves (so long as they don't think too hard about the
        energy and pollution that went into building their gadgetry).

        =v= The failure to scale up is the main problem here. The
        numbers just don't add up, so if these practices become more
        commonplace, they'll actually lead to an *increase* in energy
        use (and pollution), thanks to those laws of thermodynamics.
        Already they've been making "100MPG!" claims, a figure that
        of course excludes the "gallons" that went into producing
        electricity for the car. The whole thing only serves as a
        distraction from the necessity to build a solution that will
        work for more than an elite handful.
        <_Jym_>
      • dawie_coetzee
        ... called green building , I can t help ... nowhere and is surrounded by ... efficiency. ... Someone noticed! Thanks Matt, now I don t feel so lonely any
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 20 5:20 AM
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          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Hohmeister" <mdh6214@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Every time the local newspaper has a field day about a so-
          called "green building", I can't help
          > but roll my eyes: as expected, the building is in the middle of
          nowhere and is surrounded by
          > hundreds (if not thousands) of parking spaces. So much for energy
          efficiency.
          >
          Someone noticed! Thanks Matt, now I don't feel so lonely any more! I'm
          working my way to a proper green building, and the first step was
          picking the right site. -Dawie
        • Matt Hohmeister
          My house is anything but green : it was built in 1951 and has the original windows and outside doors. Fortunately, the biggest energy user (HVAC) was
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 1, 2007
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            My house is anything but "green": it was built in 1951 and has the original windows and
            outside doors. Fortunately, the biggest energy user (HVAC) was installed in 1995, so it's not a
            noisemaking energy hog.

            If I weren't renting the house, there are a handful of energy-saving tricks up a homeowner's
            sleeve: insulate the subfloor, new doors and windows, etc.

            It seems that "energy efficient" buildings are actually "energy elsewhere" buildings. The
            building owner can develop on cheap land in a distant suburb, receive massive subsidies for
            building a so-called "green" building, get a free ad on page 1A of the local newspaper, and
            the building's true energy cost is passed to employees/customers/visitors, who have to pay
            their own way out there.

            > Someone noticed! Thanks Matt, now I don't feel so lonely any more! I'm
            > working my way to a proper green building, and the first step was
            > picking the right site. -Dawie
          • dawie_coetzee
            Keep in mind that windows and doors needn t be replaced to improve their performance dramatically. Depending on the design, single- glazed timber windows can
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 2, 2007
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              Keep in mind that windows and doors needn't be replaced to improve
              their performance dramatically. Depending on the design, single-
              glazed timber windows can often be converted to double-glazing by
              cutting out reveal profiles and substituting glazing beads.
              Similarly, reliefs can be cut to accommodate widely-available
              synthetic sealing profiles. That way there is less wastage of
              resources (perhaps rare hardwoods), and the money goes to local
              skilled labour rather than to centralized heavy industry.

              I'm worried about the emerging big-business/eco-authoritarian
              approach that would foist new, mass-produced "approved" windows and
              doors on us, when the same immediate result can be achieved by
              gentler means whose systemic repercussions render them far more
              sustainable in the long run.

              -D

              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Hohmeister"
              <mdh6214@...> wrote:
              >
              > My house is anything but "green": it was built in 1951 and has the
              original windows and
              > outside doors. Fortunately, the biggest energy user (HVAC) was
              installed in 1995, so it's not a
              > noisemaking energy hog.
              >
              > If I weren't renting the house, there are a handful of energy-
              saving tricks up a homeowner's
              > sleeve: insulate the subfloor, new doors and windows, etc.
              >
              > It seems that "energy efficient" buildings are actually "energy
              elsewhere" buildings. The
              > building owner can develop on cheap land in a distant suburb,
              receive massive subsidies for
              > building a so-called "green" building, get a free ad on page 1A of
              the local newspaper, and
              > the building's true energy cost is passed to
              employees/customers/visitors, who have to pay
              > their own way out there.
              >
              >
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