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Old 10-02-2022, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default Energy - Use + Types + Conservation

I thought I'd take a stab at a new thread about energy. If we can agree up front to not talk politics, not left vs. right, not this administration vs. that administration, and keep it to energy production, transmission, global use, local use, renewable, fossil fuel types and sources, etc. I think we could keep a good discussion going. I'm not a moderator, a relative newbie here, but if I see it get political I'll politely post to see if I can steer it back on course.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:17 AM   #2
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Personally, and I've felt this way for a long time, I feel the answer in all cases is conservation, using less energy in every facet of society from our homes to factories to vehicles. Conservation does not equal renewable as some people tend to lump them. We just need to use less. Less coal, less natural gas, less gasoline, less diesel, and also less solar, less hydro, less wind. Finding cheaper fuel, or building more renewable energy, isn't the answer unless at the same time we are using less.

I will admit out front that I don't always practice conservation. I have boats that burn a fair amount of gas. I have a 3/4 ton pickup that gets awful mpg's. On the other hand we are energy conscious at home. I've been involved in renewable energy projects of several types, and work in a "green" energy business. I feel like nobody has to be perfect, just trying, and I think I fall into that category.

So yes let's try to get energy costs down, let's build out more renewable, let's improve transmission of electric and natural gas. But at the same time we need to make an effort to use less. Part of that is to make it possible for those in lower income situations to use less, which has the double benefit of helping them make ends meet and saving energy at the same time. There are some good programs in place but more can be done.
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Old 10-02-2022, 11:12 AM   #3
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Default Need to redefine how much we need

Implied in "using less energy" is a major shift in attitude away from our consumer culture---the idea that more is better, bigger is better. You say you have "boats" in the plural. Is one boat not enough?

The ultimate consumer would be someone who, say, flies to Italy where he has a mega yacht on the Mediterranean. Wow, what an experience that would be! We need to redefine this idea of "experience." Real experiences should be a primary goal for everyone. After spending my whole life working to get more things and spending much of my time taking care of those things (buying, selling, repairing, storing), I concluded that I had missed out on too many experiences that are the essence of real living and I began to downsize and simplify my life.

Mega experiences require mega energy, especially gasoline. Smaller experiences can be just as satisfying, use less energy, and cost less. There are countless ways to have enjoyable, low-energy, low-cost experiences here in the Lakes Region. I've had plenty of cost-free, gasoline-free experiences in a kayak that can't be matched in a power boat.

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Old 10-02-2022, 12:27 PM   #4
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I currently have 8 "boats" but I only use one at a time...

My wife intends to buy a hybrid Rav4 for her next daily driver.

That seems to be a more livable vehicle than a full electric at this time.
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Old 10-02-2022, 01:46 PM   #5
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I currently have 8 "boats" but I only use one at a time...

My wife intends to buy a hybrid Rav4 for her next daily driver.

That seems to be a more livable vehicle than a full electric at this time.
Hybrids are a a great way to dip a toe in the water of EVs. My wife bought one a few years ago; she'll go full electric next time. Another thing to consider is that if you're a two car family and don't mind switching off every once in a while, one person can get a pure electric and then borrow the gas car if they have a 300 mile day.
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:48 PM   #6
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Lightbulb Energy - Use + Types + Conservation...

Since June, I've used only one tank of gas.

I plan my trips to town: The stops I have to make in Wolfeboro are always on the right. After groceries and a stop at Huck's Hoagies (where sandwich portions are spaced to last a week). I circulate right downtown for mail and hardware, turn right to return home. Additional/forgotten foodstuffs are delivered by the grocers.

Guests wanting dinner-out use their cars, because by the act of "arriving", they've blocked my vehicle in.

(Not enough seats, anyway).
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Old 10-02-2022, 03:02 PM   #7
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Yes. The electric vehicle will use a mixture of largely nuclear and natural gas instead of gasoline to power it. It may even use a local solar array.

But less energy is really a matter of driving less miles.
Moving from a vehicle that got 30 mpg to one that gets more than 40 mpg helped reduce the amount of energy I use... but travelling less would really have the strongest effect.

I do that by better planning my trips. Checking my tire pressures. Watching the dash display to maximize my fuel economy... etc. The trip planning has the biggest effect.

Even for items that I purchase from my work that need to be shipped... I ask them to send them only when a delivery truck will be in my area. It means that I may not see the materials for days... maybe more than a week... but they use less energy on my behalf.

For the house, its weird small items.
Even though the house only loses about 3F overnight... I have the draft dogs and window quilts... but have been thinking about where the ceiling meets the wall. Built in the 70s, I didn't see any energy heels in the truss designs on the blueprints. So I am thinking about urethane, or possibly fake beams filled with rockwool. The headers above the doors and windows are rather close to the ceiling, so I bet my ''insulation'' there is a couple of 2x6s with a piece of plywood between them to make up the width of the wall.

The reason you see so much ''green'' focus on energy production in New England is simply.. everything else is fueled by sources outside of New England.

But on conservation, we are seeing all the old ways coming back really quick.
I have been selling storm doors and weather seal replacement at a much faster pace in the last few weeks; and it isn't I need a special order item... it is what does the vendor have on the shelf that we can get here reasonably quick.

Not sure why, but Larson discontinued storm windows both interior and exterior... so we are going to need a few more tricks to help that front.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:07 AM   #8
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Implied in "using less energy" is a major shift in attitude away from our consumer culture---the idea that more is better, bigger is better. You say you have "boats" in the plural. Is one boat not enough?

The ultimate consumer would be someone who, say, flies to Italy where he has a mega yacht on the Mediterranean. Wow, what an experience that would be! We need to redefine this idea of "experience." Real experiences should be a primary goal for everyone. After spending my whole life working to get more things and spending much of my time taking care of those things (buying, selling, repairing, storing), I concluded that I had missed out on too many experiences that are the essence of real living and I began to downsize and simplify my life.

Mega experiences require mega energy, especially gasoline. Smaller experiences can be just as satisfying, use less energy, and cost less. There are countless ways to have enjoyable, low-energy, low-cost experiences here in the Lakes Region. I've had plenty of cost-free, gasoline-free experiences in a kayak that can't be matched in a power boat.
As I said, there are areas of my lifestyle where I freely admit I don't do what I can to conserve. I generally have 3 or 4 boats at any given time, for various reasons. I can see myself moving toward less items and simpler existence over the coming years but not because of any desire for a new simpler existence, more for practicality and time constraints. I think we do a pretty good job of enjoying life and experiences that are not "mega" as you describe, we spend as much time as we can outdoors doing various activities year round, mostly within a several hour driving radius of home.

Because I don't practice a consistent conserving lifestyle myself I don't judge others. If someone has a mega yacht I'm more likely to just say "that's not for me" than to suggest they are doing something wrong. But having said that, there's no question that the carbon footprint of the uber-wealthy elite class is out of control. It probably takes 100,000 citizens being energy conscious to offset one billionaire with their various homes/boats/planes/cars. That may not be fair but it's part of life and always has been.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:47 AM   #9
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Default Slow Down

When driving on the highway, I drive slower... essentially, I drive the speed limit or maybe just below it.

This has three benefits: it reduces my carbon footprint because I use less gas, I save money, and I gain a slight amount of safety.

Much of the energy expended by a car at high speed is pushing through wind resistance. Wind resistance increases with speed. According to the Dept. of Energy, driving 65 instead of 55 reduces MPG by 16%. Driving 75 reduces it another 16%.

It's true driving slower means that I arrive a little later. But I consider it a worthwhile trade-off.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default Population

Growing up (born 1964), overpopulation a huge issue facing the world. Population in 1974 was 4B, today it is closing on 8B.
https://www.worldometers.info/world-...ation-by-year/
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:25 AM   #11
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When driving on the highway, I drive slower... essentially, I drive the speed limit or maybe just below it.

This has three benefits: it reduces my carbon footprint because I use less gas, I save money, and I gain a slight amount of safety.

Much of the energy expended by a car at high speed is pushing through wind resistance. Wind resistance increases with speed. According to the Dept. of Energy, driving 65 instead of 55 reduces MPG by 16%. Driving 75 reduces it another 16%.

It's true driving slower means that I arrive a little later. But I consider it a worthwhile trade-off.
I think a lot of this depends on the vehicle's design, gearing, etc. I actually get better mileage (per my calculations and onboard computer) at 70 (22+) then I do at 65 (~21). Around 75, it begins to dip. If staying at 30-40 on back roads, I can hit mid-30's in my 4Runner!

In terms of safety, under 70 becomes unsafe...at least on Route 3 South between 6-8 AM and 3-5 PM!

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Old 10-03-2022, 10:50 AM   #12
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With the employee shortage drive thru lines have been eating up my gas. I now send wifey out to get my DD in the morning. Her car shuts off when stationary in the drive thru lane. If she balks at my request I just climate shame her into submission.
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Old 10-03-2022, 11:02 AM   #13
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I can see myself moving toward less items and simpler existence over the coming years but not because of any desire for a new simpler existence, more for practicality and time constraints.
Desire for practicality and acknowledging time constraints = desire for a simpler existence, no?
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:20 PM   #14
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I think a lot of this depends on the vehicle's design, gearing, etc. I actually get better mileage (per my calculations and onboard computer) at 70 (22+) then I do at 65 (~21). Around 75, it begins to dip. If staying at 30-40 on back roads, I can hit mid-30's in my 4Runner!

In terms of safety, under 70 becomes unsafe...at least on Route 3 South between 6-8 AM and 3-5 PM!

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Not to be a naysayer, but I'm going to be a naysayer. Cars, especially SUV's, pretty much can't get better mpg's at higher speeds once you are over 55 or so. Not questioning your math, more the trip in totality, you can't calculate just the time at 70 or 65, it's in combination with other speeds and factors.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chocophile View Post
When driving on the highway, I drive slower... essentially, I drive the speed limit or maybe just below it.

This has three benefits: it reduces my carbon footprint because I use less gas, I save money, and I gain a slight amount of safety.

Much of the energy expended by a car at high speed is pushing through wind resistance. Wind resistance increases with speed. According to the Dept. of Energy, driving 65 instead of 55 reduces MPG by 16%. Driving 75 reduces it another 16%.

It's true driving slower means that I arrive a little later. But I consider it a worthwhile trade-off.
I just can't do it. I tend to drive 8-9 mph over the limit, and in the last few years with traffic speeding up dramatically at times I'm a bit more than that. It's another one of those things that proves there are limits to what I'm willing to do to conserve.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:25 PM   #16
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Desire for practicality and acknowledging time constraints = desire for a simpler existence, no?
Not necessarily. We all are different. Some people crave a simpler existence, schedule, fewer things to have to deal with. I'm not one of them. I tend to take on more and more to fill my time, and do so to my enjoyment and fulfillment. I don't crave simplicity. My getting rid of some stuff is simply because of practical limits to what I can do.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:39 PM   #17
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If you really want to squeeze the most out of your energy buck, buy an electric car. My buddy has a Nissan leaf, that he bought used, he plugs it into a 110V socket, and does almost all his driving in it. It's a little bit older leaf, so he got it relatively cheap (under $20k) he has had it about 3 years, maybe more. He's comfortable with up to a 100 mile range before he starts worrying about range. Best of all it's something like less than a third of what a similar car would cost in gas. He has spent zero in maintenance on it so far. I was not pro- electric car until I sat down and began to understand how much further they can move you on less energy.

My next car is probably going to be a Tesla model Y. I have a Grand Cherokee right now that gets about 21 all around gas mileage. I knew that going in, but it still irks me when fill ups have been in the $80 to $100 range depending on how empty I let it get and where I buy the gas.
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:47 PM   #18
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Not to be a naysayer, but I'm going to be a naysayer. Cars, especially SUV's, pretty much can't get better mpg's at higher speeds once you are over 55 or so. Not questioning your math, more the trip in totality, you can't calculate just the time at 70 or 65, it's in combination with other speeds and factors.
Any (professional) physics nerds here who can answer this definitively?

I always thought mileage was an equation with more than just aerodynamics and that RPM, gearing, etc. all matter.

In fact, I started keeping to 70 after reading about how the 4Runner's sweet-spot RPM is 2k, and my calculations have always supported that.

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Old 10-03-2022, 09:33 PM   #19
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Without doing any math... I am guessing you are probably correct.

The Accent is fairly aerodynamic, but due to engine size... etc, it seems to get the best mileage when the ECO option is activated and the RPMs are around 1500. Of course, the higher the gear that it is in... the more distance I cover and the more the MPG seems to increase.

A bigger displacement should produce more torque at the same RPMs and might even have a different ''sweet spot'' depending on other factors.

So I, don't think it is clear cut across the variants.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:40 AM   #20
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Without stating any facts but rather the reference - the sweet spot is generally at 55 (or below) per the website
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:00 AM   #21
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That is about right for me on flat fairly straight driving.
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:01 AM   #22
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Arrow Chasing The Wrong Devil...

If you are heating with a wood stove, close the doors to rooms which are not being used.

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If you really want to squeeze the most out of your energy buck, buy an electric car. My buddy has a Nissan leaf, that he bought used, he plugs it into a 110V socket, and does almost all his driving in it. It's a little bit older leaf, so he got it relatively cheap (under $20k) he has had it about 3 years, maybe more. He's comfortable with up to a 100 mile range before he starts worrying about range. Best of all it's something like less than a third of what a similar car would cost in gas. He has spent zero in maintenance on it so far. I was not pro- electric car until I sat down and began to understand how much further they can move you on less energy.

My next car is probably going to be a Tesla model Y. I have a Grand Cherokee right now that gets about 21 all around gas mileage. I knew that going in, but it still irks me when fill ups have been in the $80 to $100 range depending on how empty I let it get and where I buy the gas.
But you would not be moved by "less energy".

Mountains of earth are moved to find the minerals necessary to build EVs. The mining, mostly in third-world countries, is accomplished with fossil fuels. Assembly in Asia is managed with fossil fuels or electricity powered by coal (a fossil-fuel) shipped from Australia.

New coal-powered generating plants are being built there at a rate greater than one per month.

Asia has more than six times the number of coal-fired electric generating plants than the USA. (Necessary to build solar panels and EV batteries).

Let's not discuss where millions of EV batteries--depleted of energy--are to be disposed of.

Oops... Am I suffering from " wrong-think"?

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Old 10-05-2022, 06:59 AM   #23
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If you are heating with a wood stove, close the doors to rooms which are not being used.


But you would not be moved by "less energy".

Mountains of earth are moved to find the minerals necessary to build EVs. The mining, mostly in third-world countries, is accomplished with fossil fuels. Assembly in Asia is managed with fossil fuels or electricity powered by coal (a fossil-fuel) shipped from Australia.

New coal-powered generating plants are being built there at a rate greater than one per month.

Asia has more than six times the number of coal-fired electric generating plants than the USA. (Necessary to build solar panels and EV batteries).

Let's not discuss where millions of EV batteries--depleted of energy--are to be disposed of.

Oops... Am I suffering from " wrong-think"?
These are interesting anecdotal points, not sure whether they are true or false. But I am sure that every professional objective analysis shows EVs to be WAY more environmentally friendly that gas cars.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:20 AM   #24
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We are moving to Lithium Iron Phosphate.

But the financial cost of the battery is part of the cost of the vehicle.
So when the numbers are run... it is possible that if someone drives enough to see savings in the EV.
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:25 AM   #25
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Oops... Am I suffering from " wrong-think"?
I think you are, there is a lot EV hate out there. The batteries are being improved so they are almost fully recyclable.

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-100-...cycling-model/

I would also like to see the same analysis as far as earth to product done on gas cars, I'm pretty sure the impacts would be close to the same.

Power production will always be a point of contention. But pound for pound, btu for btu, kw for kw. An internal combustion engine can not come close to the efficiency of an EV. That is pretty much a given now, and will be in the future IMO.

Fossil fuels are in our future for probably at least another 50 years for electricity generation. Solar and wind are just not viable alternatives now, in the near future and possibly beyond then. That leaves nuclear, which would be great but has grass roots opposition. Hydro, which unfortunately would be impossible to scale to the degree necessary to replace fossil. There just isn't any alternatives available presently to justify the wholesale shutdown of fossil.

I think solar and wind my have a chance if our ability to store generated power takes a quantum leap in the next few years. But I'm not holding my breath, and your head would explode if you did an analysis of raw materials to get there versus the materials required for a similar output coal plant.

We need to act intelligently as we try to ween off of fossil fuels. The ignorance being shown now is going to kill people.

I've decided that an EV works for let's say 98% of my driving. For the other 2 % it's less convenient or would require me to rent an appropriate vehicle. When my present car runs out, I'm making the leap.
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Old 10-05-2022, 11:58 AM   #26
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There's no question that there is a significant environmental impact, and challenge, in the ramp up of EV vehicles. We only have one lithium mine in the US, in Nevada. The mining uses a huge amount of water and has a really significant environmental impact. All energy sources are a trade off of environmental impact vs. good, and the under-publicized part of the EV vehicle trend is the lithium ion batteries, where the lithium comes from, how quickly mining and battery production can be ramped up. I'm less concerned with battery disposal, they are quickly finding ways to make them more recyclable.

From my reading I find that most calculations lead to showing a 1/3 advantage with EV cars when evaluating cradle to grave of EV vs. IC. Some claim a 2/3 advantage but from what I've seen that is simply evaluating miles/gallon fuel use and not the complete picture. To me, 1/3 is a huge factor, there are not a lot of technologies that improve on older tech by 33%.

I don't think the push toward EV is a sham, or smoke and mirrors, or anything like that. The environmental gains are real. As mentioned in prior posts we have to have eyes open to where the electricity is coming from, where the batteries and lithium are coming from, but I'm convinced of the overall advantage.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:52 PM   #27
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Oops... Am I suffering from " wrong-think"?
Probably, because you are posting an incomplete analysis.

What about the fact that Tesla is one of the top selling electric vehicles, and the fact that Tesla does not use the traditional dealer network model. How much energy went into building and maintaining all those buildings for brands selling ICE vehicles? How much energy goes into building and maintaining the networks of gas stations, oil change places, emissions-checking equipment, etc. for ICE vehicles?

We really don't have adequate data to analyze the end to end supply chain, sales facilities, service facilities, and end-of-life vehicle disposal factors in a rational fashion. If you want to expand the argument to the full and total impact of EV vs. ICE, then at least put some better effort into it.
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