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Energy use rant

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  • J.H. Crawford
    OK. Lance Armstrong pedalling a bike-driven generator can produce about 350 watts and he can probably keep this up for about 3 hours. That is, roughly, 1
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 8, 2007
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      OK.

      Lance Armstrong pedalling a bike-driven generator can
      produce about 350 watts and he can probably keep this
      up for about 3 hours. That is, roughly, 1 kilowatt-hour.

      If Lance drives to the gym in a Prius and he travels
      10 miles round trip, he uses an average of about 10 HP
      for a period of 10 minutes (assuming an unlikely average
      speed of 60 MPH). At 746 watts/HP, this is 74,600 watt-min:

      10 min * 10 HP * 746 watts

      74,600 watt-min is 1243 watt-hours or 1.243 kWh

      So, in ten minutes of driving, Lance uses more energy than
      he can produce in 3 hours of pedalling.

      Now, if it's YOU on the treadmill, how many watts continuous
      can you produced for three hours?

      If you power your car by pedalling a generator to charge
      its batteries, you're going to have to pedal for, say,
      one working shift in order to drive 10 miles back and
      forth to work. Or, you could ride your bike for, say,
      40 minutes each way.

      We MUST get our heads around the notion of just how much
      energy we are consuming. It's truly incredible. Think in
      terms of reducing your energy consumption 10-fold in
      your lifetime. Even THAT is probably not sustainable.

      The fix we're in is so much worse than people think it is,
      simply because they think it's quite normal to put 10 gallons
      of gasoline in the car once or twice a week. The energy
      content of that gasoline is just incredible; only since
      the start of the industrial era have people been able to
      consume energy at this rate. This has only been possible
      because we have been burning fossil fuels created over a
      span of millions of years during the course of a century.

      Rainwater falling off the roof is not going to power your
      next flight to Disneyworld. It's not going to get you to
      the airport. In fact, it's barely going to get you out
      of the driveway.

      Life is going to change. Get used to it. Then figure out
      how to enjoy it. That's not hard. Just imagine carfree cities.

      Joel




      ----- ### -----
      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
    • Doug Salzmann
      Joel s post is an extraordinarily elegant explanation of the brutally simple math that underlies our inescapable energy crisis - and gives the lie to so many
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 8, 2007
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        Joel's post is an extraordinarily elegant explanation of the brutally
        simple math that underlies our inescapable energy crisis - and gives
        the lie to so many facile and fantastic claims about "solutions" thereto.

        If anyone here is unfamiliar with such calculations, PLEASE correct
        that deficiency. Truly understanding the magnitude of the fix we are
        in is essential, if there is to be any chance of survival for our
        civilization.

        -Doug



        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > OK.
        >
        > Lance Armstrong pedalling a bike-driven generator can
        > produce about 350 watts and he can probably keep this
        > up for about 3 hours. That is, roughly, 1 kilowatt-hour.
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