Tag Archives: electric vehicles

Climate clippings 68

1. Planning for storm surges

It seems the trickiest bit of planning for sea level rise is dealing with the increased risk of storm surges. Scientists have been taking a look at New York City.

The biggest they know about was a 3.2 metre surge in 1821, a one in 500 year event. Most buildings have a 60 to 120-year usable lifespan. With a 3-foot rise a once a century surge of 5.7 feet above tide level could occur every three to 20 years. Continue reading Climate clippings 68

Climate clippings 65

I’m still stressing out over the project I’m working on and various health matters that are annoying, time-consuming but OK-ish. John D has helped as always, but don’t blame him for the fourth one, the one on Rupert’s WSJ.

Australian solar project to be the world’s tallest building

Hyperion solar chimney

Hyperion believes their so-called “solar updraft tower” would provide much needed power to mining operations in Western Australia, and could also connect to the grid. It hopes to go live by 2014. The company is currently seeking approval for the $1.7 billion plan.

Unlike many solar projects, this one would keep the generators humming day and night, as the ground continues to give off captured heat from dusk to dawn. Continue reading Climate clippings 65

Climate clippings 47

EV motor racing is about to begin

The article is behind the paywall, but New Scientist reports Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA), is calling for proposals for a “Formula E”, an electric vehicle championship it hopes will kick off in 2013. They claim the series will drive EV technology, but hey, let’s have some fun along the way.

Meanwhile at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, California on 26 November, we will have the EV Cup. In this race all drivers will have the same vehicle, the iRacer (above), built by UK firm Westfield Sportscars. Each car will have 340 kilograms of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that, for safety, are distributed around the car in eight 50-volt units. That should keep them screaming around the track for 15 to 20 minutes.

And screaming is the operative word. EV cars at speed do make a noise, but the acoustics are being designed to sound like the Pod Racers in Star Wars. Continue reading Climate clippings 47

Climate clippings 44

Giant red crabs invade the Antarctic abyss

From the New Scientist via Huffington Post “Huge crabs more than a metre across have invaded the Antarctic abyss, wiped out the local wildlife and now threaten to ruin ecosystems that have evolved over 14 million years.”

These critters occupy a layer between 1400 and 950 metres deep, where the water is a little warmer. Further up the water is cooled by melting ice.

Global warming seems to be the culprit. Back in 1982 the minimum temperature there was 1.2°C, too cold for king crabs. Last year it had risen to a balmy 1.47°C, enough for the crabs to thrive.

The temperature rise at 0.27°C is not large, but I suspect it takes a lot of energy to produce it. Continue reading Climate clippings 44

Climate clippings 40

German electric vehicle goes 1,014 miles (1,631.5 kilometres) on a charge

That’s the Schluckspecht E developed at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Frauenhofter Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems.

The electric vehicle sports extremely aerodynamic bodywork, two hub-mounted electric motors and an optimized battery management system that evenly divides the load among 14 individual lithium-cobalt battery packs.

More vapourware from Germany? Perhaps, but something good will surely come from it. Continue reading Climate clippings 40

Climate clippings 27

Solar power could crash Germany’s grid

Harnessing the sun’s energy could save the planet from climate change, an approach that Germany has readily adopted. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm for solar panels could overload the country’s ageing electricity grid.

Installed capacity is such that a huge surge can occur when the sun comes out. What’s needed, they say, is an electricity grid that can equalise inputs from the wind of the north to solar in the south.

(Please note the article dates from October 2010.) Continue reading Climate clippings 27

Climate clippings 19

These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.

They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.

Garnaut Update Paper 5: The science of climate change

Garnaut’s series of update papers has now reached Update Paper 5: The science of climate change. This is worth a longer look, but suffice it to say here that the sense of urgency has grown considerably.

  • Observable trends seem to be running ahead of predictions.
  • The 2C limit looks high and may in fact represent the boundary between dangerous climate change and extremely dangerous climate change.
  • 450 ppm looks high, but we are going to shoot through it.
  • Garnaut has picked up on the “emissions budget” approach I have been banging on about. On present trends we (the world) will use up our remaining budget of allowable emissions in a couple of decades.

Continue reading Climate clippings 19

Climate clippings 18

These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.

They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.

China puts climate above reckless growth

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao:

“We must not any longer sacrifice the environment for the sake of rapid growth and reckless roll-outs, as that would result in unsustainable growth featuring industrial overcapacity and intensive resource consumption.”

China’s environment minister on Monday issued an unusually stark warning about the effects of unbridled development on the country’s air, water and soil, saying the nation’s current path could stifle long-term economic growth and feed social instability.

We need them over here to talk to HM Opposition. Continue reading Climate clippings 18