Greenhouse gas

Common arguments link the production of carbon dioxide to ‘greenhouse gases‘ that have the potential to warm our planet. Less well known is that water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, and whereas carbon dioxide is about 0.04% of the atmosphere, water vapour varies between 0% in cold regions to 4% in humid ones. On average water vapour is about 10 times more relevant to the greenhouse effect  than carbon dioxide. So here is a thought.  Let us use the energy generated by wind turbines at night to power huge dehumidifiers that extract water vapour from the atmosphere and bottle it. The technology is known, available and just needs scaling to provide a much cheaper solution than our ridiculously expensive efforts to extract carbon from the atmosphere. Bottled water is also more useful than lumps of carbon and if done at scale could provide one thread to the solution of regional drought.

Removable batteries?

Would it be better if I could roll into a garage, and a machine took 5 minutes to swap out my battery for a fully charged one? For this to happen, batteries would have to be modular to cope with different car ranges, have the same electrical interface and the same mounting structures. The energy network of garages and battery manufacturers then absorb the problems of battery degradation, and EVs should become easier to repair and therefore insure. We already have a network of garages that could then be re-purposed to charge and  exchange batteries.

This would require a global industry agreement to develop a standard and then implement it for manufacturing and energy supply.

Single phase 100A limit?

We have been looking at how to replace our oil burning radiator system. Could we replace it with a pure electric radiator system?

If we install direct electricity radiators, and they were all on at the same time, the system would use 17KW which is about 74amps, and this does not leave much spare for cooking, water heating, lighting etc.  and could probably not co-exist with an EV charging station. If we go this route we will need logic controlled switches to monitor and control maximum usage.

Retrofitting our connection to 3 Phases would solve the problem, but that is just too expensive.

It would make sense if all new builds were installed with 3 phase grid connections in anticipation of higher usage to support heating and cooling electrification as well as EV charging.

V2H

I have a home. I have Solar. I will not get an EV until I can use its expensive battery to store my excess solar and feed it back to the house. Solar systems have hybrid inverters that use house batteries in a very collaborative way, but they were designed to integrate together. EV manufacturers must evolve their designs to provide an interface that can connect to external hybrid inverters.

Hydrogen in the gas network - do appliances still work?

Putting green hydrogen into the existing gas distribution network seems like a grand idea. Gradually reducing the carbon content of existing supplies and replacing it by increasing hydrolisation using excess energy from solar/wind/tidal/nuclear until the entire gas network runs on clean green hydrogen. However, existing domestic (and commercial) appliances can only use gas with up to 20% hydrogen content. Increasing the H content beyond this requires investment to change the entire estate of gas burning appliances. Still, it does mean that all the infrastructure beyond the burner can be maintained. You would not have to change radiators/pumps etc as recommended for heat pump tech. It would also mean, if fuel cell vehicles ever took off, that a national and international fuel delivery network already exists, even to many homes. Reuse and repurpose!

EV weight

One problem with EV’s is the weight of the batteries. Greater range equals greater weight. Weight has implications on brakes, suspension, tyres, handling, road impact, and in aggregate can affect bridge loading, car ferries, and car parks. Battery weight limits the carrying capacity of people or cargo, which is why alternative and complimentary energy sources are being considered for lorries, airplanes, and shipping. Competing research may increase the energy density of batteries and decrease their weight, or commercialise alternate sources such as hydrogen and bio fuel. Research takes time and developing the infrastructure to exploit it takes longer. It will take decades to transition freight movement to green tech. We should also look to cut down the weight of EV’s by simplifying them, which will in turn give them more range or a lower price. Both of which are required for more general public adoption.

Install solar for winter heating?

Er No! I have 32 panels that in good light at midday are capable of generating 12KW. In winter it rains, there are clouds and mist, it is overcast, daylight hours are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky. All of which mean that the number of days we have excess power, after running the usual domestic appliances, is limited. On a bright clear winters day we might be able to heat some water, but not the house. If only we could store the excess power we generate in summer to use in winter! Mind you our planet has 2 hemispheres -  If only I could trade seasonal excess with a southern hemisphere partner! - Global energy trading market for small scale producers?

My PV installation

Requirements: Create a domestic power system that:

Requirement

Status

Generates as much solar power as possible

12KW panels added to garage roof

Uses as much of that power as possible, and exports excess to the grid

10KWH Battery storage to help balance load and generation.

Uses the grid to supplement use

Grid tied

Provides a UPS capability to cover rare grid outages

Automatic transfer switch installed uses emergency circuit to power entire house with a 5KW inverter constraint and fuse.

Provides EV charge capability to replace existing diesel car for local range travel only

Not yet - waiting for V2H

Provides V2H (Vehicle to Home) and V2G (Vehicle to grid) capabilities

Not yet

Makes use of cheap rate electricity and whatever other price models that are developed to integrate small scale generators into a comprehensive grid

Makes use of off peak rates in winter to fill batteries overnight - further integration work required.

Reduces current oil used for domestic heating and hot water heating

SSR installed for hot water and logic controlled by Pi. Heating is a problem

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