Fossil Fuel Powerplant Efficiency

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SoonerAviator, Mar 24, 2022.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Not to mention that the TX grid was pretty much independent and couldn't even borrow power from neighboring states.
     
  2. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    They have hybrid technology and they reclaim energy from braking. Those two things really help in addition to whatever engine efficiencies they have gained.

    The great thing is those two technologies aren’t hard to bolt onto a regular vehicle.
     
  3. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Good luck with that! This is a snapshot of ADS-B data from this afternoon, only showing military aircraft with ADS-B, there are more that don't have ADS-B currently, not to mention the ones currently out of country. This is pretty typical of any given day. Not that I'm against flying at all, but it always amazes me to think of the amount of Jet-A the military uses daily.

    upload_2022-3-25_14-20-26.png
     
  4. Bell206

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  5. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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  6. azblackbird

    azblackbird Pattern Altitude

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    Not so funny story. When I lived in Litchfield Park, AZ back in the early 90's, I was coming back from vacation and while driving back from the airport to my house, I see an oil drilling rig set up just a few blocks from my house. I wondered WTF, am I seeing things, there's no oil in this part of AZ! So I went over to the rig to see what was up. It just so happened I knew the driller. He was from Kansas as was the drilling company he worked for. He had drilled a few wells that I completed here in CO just a few years earlier. I asked him what the hell was going on, you and I both know there is no oil here in this part of AZ. He spilled the beans and told me that Luke AFB was losing over a half a million gallons a month of Jet-A that was leaking directly into the Aqua Fria aquifer from their underground storage tanks. They were hired to drill down to find out how deep and how extensive the damage was. Naturally the government kept all this hush hush as they didn't want to turn Luke AFB into a superfund site, but if someone cared to do any research, they'd find that the cancer cluster rate south of Phoenix was abnormally high (maybe still is) when compared to the rest of the state.:eek:
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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  8. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I don’t, which is why I said all you’d do is swap one type of pollution for other types. Then there’s the attendant increase in pollution needed to extract and process the heavy metals, some of which are rare as well which means a supply much more finite than O&G, which is still needed to produce some of the final products in an EV, too.

    I won’t go into the nastiness surrounding cobalt extraction in Africa but it’s something worth looking in to if you want a gander at how EV raw materials are sourced.

    If we could go back to a pre industrial era time, we’d find there’s very similar pollution in congregant settings; instead of dirty air from cars, we have dirty air from wood smoke and health concerns due to the open air cesspools and rudimentary sewer systems.

    I acknowledge all that and understand when it comes to humans we’re wired to take advantage of our environment and we will justify whatever pollution it takes to get what we want. But we won’t ever get rid of pollution.
     
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  9. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ah now I get where you were going with that. I still don't think the battery tech is settled out, hopefully better power density to finally get rid of most range anxiety. Raw material extraction in third world **** hole countries will always be an issue. Hopefully it will get better, I don't have those answers though.
     
  10. FormerHangie

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    Not surprisingly, people have done research on this topic:
    https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/04/f14/well_to_wheels_analysis_0.pdf
    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evtech.shtml

    Wikipedia has a listing of specific fuel consumption for various types of shaft engines here. The worst engine on the list is the Rotax 582, which has a peak efficiency of 19%. The best on the list is a GE combined cycle powerplant used for generating electricity, at 62%. As a general rule, larger is more efficient than smaller. The most efficient reciprocating engine on the list is a ship diesel, at 54%. A typical gasoline automobile engine is the 33% - 35% range.

    For most engines, there is range where they are near their peak efficiency, when outside of that range, their efficiency is less, quite often considerably so. The Wikipedia article provides a chart for Pratt and Whitney's PW127 turbine. It's peak efficiency is found at full power, and declines about 10% at cruise, and is about half of peak at approach power. Automobile engines spend very little time running at peak efficiency, while ship diesels and powerplants spend nearly all their time near peak. The fueleconomy.gov link shown above estimates automobile efficiency at 17%-21% foe combustion engine vehicles, with EVs in the 85% - 90% range.

    One last thought. A gallon of gasoline contains the equivalent 0f 33 kWh of energy. I've looked around for what I can find, and it appears that the refining crude oil into gasoline consumes about 15% of the energy in that barrel, which needs to be taken into account when comparing combustion fueled cars to EVs.
     
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  11. Iflydogs

    Iflydogs Pre-Flight

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    I haven’t seen a discussion of Carnot efficiency here so I thought I would throw it in. I was a Nuclear submarine officer, when I got out of the service I interviewed with a nuclear plant in Suffolk VA, I was surprised to learn the thermal efficiency of the plant was relatively low, 33%. The plant manager said that it was limited because they did not have a superheater and therefore only used saturated steam. Without superheating your “T hot” is capped, putting more energy in does not raise the temperature. Don’t know how this translates into efficiency for moving a vehicle but the effect is obvious for heating. I heat with coal. 18 cents buys me a pound of coal which provides me 23,000 BTU, the same 18 cents only buys me a kWhr of electricity which gets me 3400 BTU.
     
  12. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Cost of a KW of energy to me would be the efficiency point.
    Years back 1969 our electric cost was 1 cent per KW. Water generated energy.
    Now It is .06825 per KW Still a bargain .
    Power is from a Co-op . Power prices begin to creep up when private power generation from coal was added . Then when the federal mandate forcing "green power " to be 10% of the mix prices went up again .
    So in my tenure here it looked like water power was the cheapest. Coal added to cost and now the green energy added quite a bit more .
    I realize our power rates are some of the lowest in the nation so not complaining , just pointing out how the costs have increased with the source.
    Water power is fastest on line , Natural Gas , then coal ,as fars as powering from 0 to full generating capacity.
     
  13. Iflydogs

    Iflydogs Pre-Flight

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    We pay 11 cents a kWhr but that’s on top of about $25 distribution fee so the actual cost per kWhr depends on how much you use. 7 cents does sound like quite a bargain!
     
  14. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    I thought Hydro counts as renewable, or it did in the couples places I checked.

    Tim
     
  15. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I'm sure it does, however, I doubt that gets much attention since all the hydro that can be built pretty much already has. It's hard to keep damming up the rivers and lakes any more than they already are. Not much chance for expansion so the Greenies likely have their focus elsewhere.
     
  16. Dan Thomas

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    I know of plenty of nice river valleys that aren't flooded yet. I hope they stay that way. Hydro power is mostly reliable, but the devastation is awesome and all reservoirs eventually silt up and their capacity is reduced so that they can't keep producing throughout the year. It makes for terribly expensive reclamation for some future generations.

    Nuclear makes a lot more sense.
     
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  17. geneseib

    geneseib Line Up and Wait

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    I agree. And with large batteries there is more weight to move. The "zero emission" that they have everyone believing is such a crock.
     
  18. Iflydogs

    Iflydogs Pre-Flight

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    I have been looking at the Hyundai ionic, it is made in a hybrid and an ev version. From their website: The hybrid costs $24k and gets 60 mpg, so at $4/g it cost $40 to go 600 miles. The ev costs $35k and goes 170 miles on a full charge of 100kw for an hour. Rounding down to 150 miles it takes 4 charges at $20/charge to go 600 miles (20 cents per kWhr x 100 kWhr). So it costs twice as much to fuel you get to pay $10k for the privilege, plus add 3 one hour charging breaks to your 600 mile trip. EVs are good for virtue signaling but the numbers just don’t add up yet.
     
  19. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Hybrids make a lot of sense, but who pays $0.20/kwh for electricity?
     
  20. AKiss20

    AKiss20 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A decent number of people:

    https://www.energybot.com/electricity-rates-by-state.html

    I pay $0.287/kWh but also pay about 20% extra voluntarily to get 100% renewable as part of a Boston energy initiative. Cheapest I could get here is probably $0.25 kWh or so.

    I more question what hybrid gets 60mpg "on average". Even the top rated mileage hybrid in 2021, the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, only claims an EPA rating of 58 mpg but we all know that the real world mileage is typically less than the rated

    https://www.greencars.com/post/best-high-mileage-hybrids-2021
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
  21. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I don’t know anyone who claims the supply chain is zero emissions, which makes your statement the crock. The raw materials are mined and the components are brought on ships and trucks, all of which generate emissions. But that is true of everything. If you do it that way, would you claim the pen and pencils on your desk generate pollution? The produce at the organic store?

    But once you have the car and coupled with a nuclear, wind, solar, or hydro plant, the car ends the emissions chain.
     
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  22. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Areas that use so much electricity they have to use fossil fuels to keep up and are forced to buy carbon credits to offset that necessity.
     
  23. tspear

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    I was responding to @Southpaw where he claimed that increasing renewables to 10% of the energy mix raised the rates, when they had cheap hydro power before. That does not make sense.

    Tim
     
  24. geneseib

    geneseib Line Up and Wait

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    Those following the mainstream media are being told about zero-emission vehicles all the time.

    California's mandate to sell only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 isn't as crazy as critics think - CNN
     
  25. Dan Thomas

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    Until that car catches fire:)
     
  26. bflynn

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    Yes, I see it too. I always assume that the term applies to the operation of the car. I am amused when I hear this from California. LA is having rolling backouts from time to time and they want to add 1.21 gigawatts of demand to the system? They're going to need a bigger flux capacitor
     
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  27. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Ideology and reality are two trains heading toward each other, at high speed, on the same track. The collision is going to be awesome.
     
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  28. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I live on the edge of an oil field. It came into production back in 1922. 5 refineries were built in the area to refine the local crude. Now 0 refineries , oil field production greatly reduced . Oil from this area is pipelined to a refinery in the SE part of state.
    The original oil field has lots of old non producing what became stripper wells and then had been abandoned but not plugged .

    New business in town called "Well Done Foundation". They put a gismo over the old unplugged wells to measure CO2 escaping . Then plug well and sell the captured CO2 as carbon credits for some one to continue polluting.

    A few years back 65 or so million $'s (US Grant) was granted to a company in the area to develop a capture and pump back CO2 in a grand carbon sequestration program. Big injection well drilled on top of a non leaky dome.
    Then they went into old oil field, drilling to find CO2 to extract and pump down the injection site.
    Today it's all for not. 'The huge injection well plugged , buried , farmed over . At least a bunch of oilfield guys got their fingers into the pie till funding dried up.

    Now two Helium wells have been drilled in the area . No word on how successful those turned out . One about 5 mile miles east of me. I guess they hit a spot where there is some production. The area has producing natural gas wells so it was quite the process to drill down past the producing field and seal the gas formation off . Then continue on down to the Helium production layer.

    Always some interesting Oil Patch things going on.

    Local joke is , "look out when the Stetson Cowboy hats with Diamond stickpins and Alligator boots guys show up , some one is going to get screwed". :)
     
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  29. IK04

    IK04 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Not to trip up this thread, but the Diesel engine was invented and designed to run on vegetable oil.

    The oil companies didn't like that idea and Rudy "accidentally" went overboard on a trip across the English Channel and was never seen again.

    "Fossil Fuels" didn't have to be the scourge of the Earth and is still the only long term source of affordable energy.
     
  30. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I'd think that nuclear power plant operators might like to have a word with you, lol. From the data I looked at (albeit several years ago), the nuclear plants have slightly lower direct operating costs and less fluctuation in pricing. However, it takes much longer to build and get a nuclear plant operational to start earning payback. Takes something like 20 years to breakeven on the capital investment vs natural gas/coal plants, but costs less to run after that. Who knows about modern Thorium/Molten Salt reactors, but that's the info I saw back then.
     
  31. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Line Up and Wait

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    Correlation is not causation. Is there any evidence that kerosene is a carcinogen?

    Paul
     
  32. azblackbird

    azblackbird Pattern Altitude

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    Here... you decide. I sure wouldn't want to drink it. :eek:
     
  33. Iflydogs

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    Hi sorry for the late reply! Two things you might want to evaluate are tire pressure and driving style. I always have exceeded the epa rated highway mpg in cars that I bought new. I have a very light touch and coast a lot when approaching a stop, with a manual gearbox. But you are right, might be different with a hybrid as those are not manual transmission. Also tire pressure really affects mileage.
     
  34. AKiss20

    AKiss20 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My point was more that the average hybrid is not getting 60MPG when the highest mileage one is getting at most 58MPG. Reports on the Ioniq owners forum also backed up that 60MPG was about the top reported, very few exceeding the 58-60MPG range and most getting in the 45-60MPG depending on circumstances.
     
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  35. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    idle thought (no pun): we know that a heavy foot reduces fuel economy with the ICE. Is the same true for electric? And by "heavy foot" I mean quick acceleration, I'm not referring to the driving habit of quick acceleration and lots of braking.
     
  36. IK04

    IK04 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    When I first got my TDI Passat, I was able to get 1,000 miles out of the first tank of fuel.

    It took some hypermiling, but it was not too difficult, since the driving was in rolling hills.

    After a re-tune, I still get between 40-50 MPG.
     
  37. PaulMillner

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    Hmmm. You said Jet A, then you provide a link to JP4 and JP7...

    Perhaps you're not aware that they are chemically different, which is very relevant to cancer causing propensity.

    Paul
     
  38. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Line Up and Wait

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    Yes, the physics are the same, F=ma, so more acceleration requires more force, that comes from gasoline or electrons.

    paul
     
  39. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Is the acceleration going to hurt your mileage? I figure it takes the same amount of energy to go 0-60 in 5 seconds vs 20. The difference is in the average speed (and air and rolling resistance) over a given distance. If you average 30 mph, your air resistance is what, 1/4 of if you're averaging 60. And then braking is a huge waster of energy. Turning the KE of your 4,000 lb vehicle moving at 60 into brake rotor heat is a complete waste of energy. So stopping and starting kills you. That's where regenerative braking helps hybrids and electric vehicles.
     
  40. azblackbird

    azblackbird Pattern Altitude

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    JP-4 if you want to get specific. :rolleyes: