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  • Plug-In and Hybrid Locomotives: Another Sweet Spot for Axion Power [View article]
    You did not mention the stocks held above ground - I don't have figures but you may.
    I know with precious metals a large proportion ever mined is still available.
    Since lead was removed from gasoline the destruction of lead stocks may have slowed a great deal?
    Also it is highly recycled, hence large amounts become available for reuse.
    'Reserves' is usually the most conservative estimate of available base metal resources -
    historically metals have always been thought to be more scarce than they are.
    In the case of nickel, enormous amounts are known to be in deposits which have never been delineated to the 'reserve' status.

    HBU is an ideal, an aspiration , a moral statement which asserts "I do not wish to crowd out others"
    (present and future) in the pursuit of my material well-being.

    In my view the emissions side of the equation is crucial and not given enough weight in your argument.
    CO2 and other green house gases are in serious disequilibrium at this point and a large negative feedback is brewing - with potentially disastrous consequences.
    By my calculations we need to cut hydrocarbon combustion to give around 1 ton of CO2 per person,
    and under my aegis around 250kg, since others emit roughly 3 units to my 1 in a developed economy.
    Hence my 250kg target. So this is the short term imperative in my view.

    It is worth noting that world oil reserves are not much better than the base metals, probably giving 2-4 years driving at 12000miles and 40mpg for the 7 billion.(and no recycling when combusted)

    It is also worth noting that increasing utility of base metals for batteries must at some point tip the equation in favour of EV's even in your model - if PbC batteries end up cycling 200000 cycles would that do?

    Thanks for the discussion- it has focussed my thinking.
    Jun 9, 2011. 08:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In and Hybrid Locomotives: Another Sweet Spot for Axion Power [View article]
    I would define 'Highest and best use' (HBU for short) as;

    "I and 7 billion others could act this way for thousands of years."

    5 years ago I would have broadly agreed with your HBU thesis. 2 years ago I started to see it differently, today I think that an EV has the best probability of HBU. The reason is primarily the dramatic increase in utility of batteries in that time. (factor of >20 for cycles, order of magnitude for charge delivery and acceptance)

    consider this setup for an EV commuter car - as a concept -
    128v system
    8 x 16v PbC batteries
    1 x 5kw/10kwh zinc bromine flow battery - (redflow standard module)

    So total battery storage, say 12kwh (don't know the PbC)

    Weight of ZBr unit 220kg, PbC's say 80 or so.

    weight of motor exchange - save around 100kg by using 128v electric high efficiency motor.

    So we have added 200Kg or so and equivalent of 6 LA batteries in lead content.
    The ZBr batteries are primarily plastic ( some recycled) and electronics.

    The PbC batteries do all the regeneration, superbly efficiently I think and all heavy cycling.

    The Zbr batteries provide 'base load' power as required.

    The I-miev achieves around 10km per kwh, I think the PbC batteries would give a significant advantage
    for regeneration , so assume 'conservatively' 11km per kwh.

    Hence we have 130km or 82 mile range.
    Over a life of 8 years an IC car would recycle at least 1 LA battery,
    we assume we replace the PbC batteries and renovate the ZBr battery.
    We have thus recycled an equivalent of 4 additional LA batteries in lead content. (over 8 years)
    Hydrocarbons saved from combustion are 12000/40mpg*8 years= 2400 gallons

    The effect on the grid is to add 2mwh of storage 1mwh Zbr and 1Mwh PbC.
    These are added to the local substation at equivalent of say 2kwh per day per user.
    The additional grid storage is cheaper than upgrading transmission lines.
    Incremental emissions are small since uptake of offpeak power leads to lower average emissions.

    Since PbC batteries can be run at high volume on existing plant - minimal capital is required.
    Since Zbr batteries are designed for high volume 'electronics' assembly - fast ramp up is possible.

    Higher use of renewables is obvious - either on the car, on the owners house or via the grid.

    An alternative to PbC is Nickel Zinc (from powergenix) or lithium or improved NiMh.

    I can't really see a downside in my eco-fairy nirvana vision!

    Designers could start immediately, think you?
    Jun 8, 2011. 01:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In and Hybrid Locomotives: Another Sweet Spot for Axion Power [View article]
    John, I enjoy your articles, thanks. The major element I can't reconcile is your insistence that plug in vehicles are not appropriate.
    If PbC batteries prove themselves in commercial use broadly as foreseen today, they appear to be eminently competitive for all forms of electric transportation including cars, both in energy and emissions terms. As you know, EV's enjoy an enormous efficiency advantage over IC engines, so much so that net emissions are improved even given a high component of coal-based power in the grid. In my situation, I am motivated to lower my net personal transportation and residential emissions of CO2 to below 500kg per annum for my wife and I. I drive a ford econetic with CO2 emssions of around 100g per 100 km and drive around 7000km pa, so I can't get below 700kg for car alone with this setup. If I buy an EV doing 7km per kwh I need 1000kwh additional power p.a., my local power supply is rated at 230gram per kwh since a major component is hydro electric power (which is also very good for load balancing on the grid) and my emissions drop to 230kg immediately. I also have the option to add another string of solar cells which would more than cover the additional electricity required (I am fortunate that this is the case for me) Since the trend you are following is the grid storage megatrend which , as I see, is going to provide all the solutions for grid stability with high renewables content, I can't see why you are so implacably opposed to PHEVs? (PECC and Megacube from Axion)
    Jun 3, 2011. 12:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Advanced Lithium Ion Batteries Won't Be Recycled [View article]
    Are the PbC batteries from Axion going to be economic to recycle, when the lead content is greatly reduced? ( I take at face value that the process is very similar to normal Lead acid recycling
    May 18, 2011. 08:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment