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Topic has already been beaten to death but anyone seen the Torqeedo inboards ... potential?


jercrane
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it is only a matter of time... I have zero insider knowledge but am sure someone at all 3 boat companies is working on it.

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I haven't got time to show the math right at this moment (I will later) but by my reackoning, there's no way it's going to happen anytime soon given the level of today's battery technology. Before I present the math I would appreciate it if someone could give me an idea of how much fuel these Prostars and Ski Nautiques go through per hour when they're working hard pulling skiers. My ski boat is powered by a 150 HO Evinrude E-Tec which is amazingly good on gas but it's nothing like a tournament boat that weighs considerably more and has 2-3 times the horsepower.
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1.25 Gal per ride is normal at my house

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@oldjeep The reason I want to know what the fuel capacity is so I can come up with an estimate of what the weight in batteries would have to be in order to have an equivalent amount of energy storage in an electric boat vs a gasoline powered boat. I understand that no electric boat is probably ever going to have the range of a gas powered boat but still the comparison will be interesting if not informative.
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Okay, let's do a few rough calculations here just to get an idea of how present day Li-ion battery packs compare to gasoline in terms of energy density and so on. These calculations will be rough and people will probably want to improve them or chime in with suggestions on other things to consider or objections or whatever. Fair enough. I'm just trying to make some ballpark estimates here to give us an idea as to whether an electric powered ski boat could be feasible given where we are at the moment with battery technology.

 

Let's work with a skiboat with a 26 US Gallon tank and (we assume) burning 5 US gallons/hr pulling skiers

 

From the Internet I get that gasoline has an energy density of ~34.2 MJoules/Litre. I'm not sure if that's 92 Octane or 87. If we assume that's for 87 then the above energy density figure will be slightly low.

 

At any rate, the conversion factor for MJ to KWH (kilowatt hrs) is 0.278 so that equates to ~9.5 KWh/L

 

times that by 3.79 L/US gal you get 36.03 KWh/US gal - at full efficiency.

 

Someone might want to correct me here but I am going to assume 30% efficiency factor for an internal combustion engine to convert the energy in fuel to mechanical energy. That means ~70% of the combustion energy being lost to heat and sound generation, etc. Fair?

 

0.3 EF x 36.03 KWh/US gal = an effective energy density of ~ 10.8 KWh/US gal

 

For the 26 gallon tank we will then get ~ 280 KWh of actual energy to the shaft. There are, of course, losses after that.

 

If we assume that 5 US gals are needed to make that boat pull skiers for an hour we are using 5 gal x 10.8 KWh/gal = 54.0 KWh to actually move the boat through the water for the hour.

 

If we look at the largest High capacity BMWi technology battery pack on the Torqueedo site (https://torqeedo.com/us/en-us/technology-and-environment/battery-technology.html) we can see that it's rated capacity is 40 KWh.

 

This battery pack weighs 278 Kg (614 lbs). The dimensions of this battery pack are 1.66 m x 0.964 m x 0.278 m or 0.44 m3. In silly units the dimensions are 5.44 ft x 3.16 ft x 0.91 ft = 15.6 ft3. This is roughly enough space to store 116 US gallons of gasoline.

 

The battery is rated at 40 KWh brand new (maybe loses a little over time) but we can't get all of that out of it at one go because it's not wise to drain the cells down past a certain point so I'm going to assume for the sake of argument that we can only get 35 KWhr out of it so that means it will drive the boat pulling skiers about

 

1 hr x 35/54 = 0.65 hrs or ~39 minutes. (someone might want to step in here and tweak this estimate)

 

This is assuming mechanical losses in the drivetrain downstream of both motors are approximately the same but I'm not factoring in mechanical/heat losses in the electric motor. Oh and I THINK (please correct me if I'm wrong) these motors are actually AC motors so there will likely be some losses in the DC/AC inverter as well. Oh yeah, this is also assuming you've got other batteries in the boat to run your instruments and display panels, play your music, run your ZO or whatever you use to control your speed so you're not drawing off your main battery pack to get that energy.

 

But if for the moment, we ignore those other losses I didn't factor in, that 614 lb state-of-the-art BMW battery pack will get you at most 40 minutes of skiing time. Then you've got to take your boat away and charge it back up again. I'm not sure how long that would take exactly but my guess is that even with a high output charging station available, it'll take quite some time to pack 35 KWh worth of juice back into that bad boy. In contrast, I've got a little 12V fuel transfer pump that will pump 11 gallons of gas into my boat in just 1 minute.

 

Oh, and did I happen to mention that mammoth 614 lb battery pack costs $32,000 USD or ~$42,000 CAD? ;)

 

So with the efficiencies and our estimate of only being able to get at most 35 KWhr out of the rated 40 KWhr out of one charge on that $32,000 USD battery pack all factored in, it means that at best that battery pack will do approximately 35/280 = 0.125 (1/8th) of the actual work 26 US gallons of gas (1 tank full) will.

 

I don't know about you but I'd like to be able to run my expensive ski boat with the $32,000 USD battery in it for more than 40 minutes and get more than 1/8th of a tank worth of energy out of it per day no matter how green and righteous I might feel driving it.

 

I know my calcs are a little bit off because I just assumed the electric boat would require just as much energy to move through the water as the gas powered boat. It's possible that the electric boat might be a little lighter in weight (assuming the batteries plus electric motor weigh less than the gas motor and all the gas) but I don't think those differences will amount to much in terms of how much energy it will take to move the boat through the water at speed and pull slalom skiers. In the end, I know there are probably things I failed to account for in the estimates but I think I'm in the general ballpark with these calculations.

 

So unless I've really messed up here and have gotten something really wrong, I would submit that an electric ski boat (or any electric power/speed boat for that matter) is not really feasible/practical with battery technology where it is right now. My guess is also that we've made most of the big strides in Li-ion battery technology and that any efficiency improvements to come will be incremental/marginal at best. I believe that to be practical and useful for the average boat user who wants to run their boat for several hours a day, pull skiers and whatever else, electric boats are not going to be feasible for a good long time to come or maybe not ever unless some major breakthrough in battery technology happens that will increase battery energy density levels by at least a few orders of magnitude. Who knows how long that may take.

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30% efficiency is very generous for a gas engine. The fuel burn numbers came from a 5.7 350 chev which is multi point injected but not direct injected. That is not a particularly efficient engine. When you consider that a lot of the time the engine is idling (0% efficient because it is not doing anything) and it is unlikely to be in the motors most efficient point of operation, it would be a safe bet that efficiency would be closer to 20%

 

Also, an electric engine may fit better with shaft angles and allow more efficient propulsion. Still, you are only looking at about 1 hour of run time if the rest of the numbers in the example are correct. 3 hours might make it viable...

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I know ski schools have a much higher usage, so electric would have to deliver good battery life, but how much usage a day would the average boat owner be doing, I have been to some lakes where boats sit idle for days and then when used, no more than three or four sets.

Actually for Ski Boats would you calculate by hours or number of sets, say six passes, that would be when the batteries would come under maximum load ?

Am I totally wrong here or would I be correct in saying that when a electric boat is not in the course there would be very little energy used while sitting idle at either end, so a six pass set would be 3 minutes of run time under load (being generous), allowing for the run in from either end.

 

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So the only thing I will say is that in 1998 I worked for Ford motor company. I had a friend who worked in power train engineering. We got into a debate at a bar one night about the reality of a mass produced electric car for main stream Automotive use. At the time the only electric cars were glorified golf carts with ranges of like 50 miles. He went through a back of the envelope calculation just like @DangerBoy

His conclusion was that a viable electric car was unlikely to be a reality any time in the near future due to range, weight and price of batteries.

 

Any of you guys see a Tesla model 3 on the road recently? I think I see 2-3 a day on my commute and there are 3 parked in our little office parking lot.

 

I think I agree with @Horton its only a matter of time.

 

 

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@GregHind, one of my observations is with the 5.3 DI in the 2018 Nautique. That was still 5 gallons per hour.

 

By the way, all observations are at about 830 feet above sea level. I can’t say what consumption is at altitude.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@scotchipman I looked at the Site and Google translated it for me. It's very interesting what they've accomplished. From what I saw they have a 100 KWh battery in a GS20 that can run up to 12 hours on light loads but that running time drops considerably when you increase the load. For surfing, the running time is only an hour. If you do a little bit of cruising and maybe a little bit of wakeboarding, you could maybe surf with it for a half an hour. Then you've got to somehow recharge that giant battery. If you're lucky enough to have a Telsa Supercharger station on the lake right nearby where you're boating you could maybe have it charged up again in 2 hours or so. That's if no one else is using the station to charge something else up. It's very unlikely there will be any Superchargers on any docks located near where you're boating so you're more than likely going to have to charge it off the 220V service at your cabin (if you have a cabin). In either case, forget about boating for the rest of the day. It'll take many hours to charge up a dead or near dead 100 KWh battery on anything but a Supercharger station.

 

I think the 220 KW you saw was the power of the electric motor (eq. 300 HP) they have in the electric GS20. I saw no mention of a 220 KWh battery but admittedly, I didn't spend a lot of time looking at the site and could've missed something. I don't think I did though.

 

I have messaged the company and asked them what the cost of the electric GS20 is and to provide some specs on the battery pack (size, weight and charging time, etc.). I'm curious to see what they say.

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@GregHind Okay, if 20% is a better EF number to use for the gas engine that would shift the life of the example battery up closer to an hour but let's not forget I basically used an EF of 1.0 for the electric motor and ignored losses in other places such as in converting from DC to AC in the inverter, etc. Factor those things in and it shifts the lifespan of that 40 KWh battery back down towards the 39-40 minutes I calculated initially.

 

@jercrane when your friend at Ford did those calcs he would've been using either Pb-acid, NiCd or possibly NiMH batteries in his calculations and most certainly would've come to the same sort of conclusions I did for electric cars at that time. Since that time we had a quantum leap forward with the onset of Li-ion and Li metal batteries which have a significantly higher enerty denisities and storage capacities than those other battery technologies. By now, however, we've taken those battery technologies about as far as they can go and they still have limited usefulness in cars and as I've showed here, near zero usefulness in many types of recreational boats.

 

You pointed out that you see two or three Tesla 3s on the road every day. Well, electric drive systems do work and are practical for some automotive uses but as it pertains to our question, think about this: If the Tesla S was appropriately powered with an efficient gas engine and driven in ideal conditions and in an optimum way, what kind of mileage would we expect a car like that to get? 35 miles/US gallon? 40? Have you ever stopped to figure out what the gas mileage is on a ski boat being used for skiing? I don't know that much about the length of ski courses and the distances typically travelled by boats pulling skiers back and forth through the balls so maybe someone else here could come up with a mileage estimate for a ski boat using 5 US gallons per hour. I'll go out on a limb here and guess that it's probably no more than 5 mpg.

 

My point here is that making a Tesla S car roll across the pavement and ploughing a 20' ski boat through water pulling a slalom skier who's doing everything in their power to slow the boat down on a periodic basis are two completely different things. The energy and power required to accelerate a heavy ski boat through the water and get both the boat and a skier up on plane and then get the skier through the course is significantly greater than what's required to accelerate a Tesla S from stop to cruising speed on a paved road. This explains why a gas powered Tesla S could probably get 35 - 40 mpg whereas a ski boat MIGHT manage to get 5 mpg or whatever low number it turns out to be.

 

As for the things other participants in this conversation have asked about, you have to consider that the situations many of you are in with only running your boats on dedicated ski lakes where everyone pretty much just runs the course and that's about it are relatively uncommon in the world of boating. The majority of the boating public have there boats out on large public lakes where they're going up and down the lake with boat loads of people, taking kids tubing, kneeboarding, etc., pulling the odd skier or wakeboarder or wakeskater, etc. A boat that has a huge 614 lb $32,000 USD battery that only lasts 40 - 50 minutes and then requires a long time (possibly hours) to recharge is never going to cut it for those users. And then there's the surf boats. The Ortner Electric boat pointed out by @scotchipman is interesting but we haven'f found out what the cost is, what the physical size of the battery is, what its expected lifespan and it replacement cost is yet. Plus, the thing can only surf for an hour. If you're doing other things with the boat, then it's way less. Then where are you going to charge it? From a practical point of view, it's a useless boat for most people who want to wakeboard and surf, etc.

 

SO unless there's a quantum leap in battery energy densities, electric motor technology will only have very limited practical applications in the boating world but again that new technology would have to give batteries at least several times the energy density we're able to achieve right now. Personally, I suspect future gains in battery efficiencies will be incremental and slow so it will be a long, long time before you start seeing many electric speed boats around. I could be wrong, however. There's always a chance that someone's just a little ways away from announcing some all new battery technology that will blow Li-ion out of the water but I haven't heard of anything like that coming down the pipe.

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@scotchipman That chart goes out to 2025 and yes it shows a downward trend in the price. That said, it's just early 2019 now. Anything beyond today on that chart is nothing more than pure speculation.

 

It is quite possible that battery technology is going to make another leap forward sometime soon but if energy densities and efficiencies stay pretty close to where they are now, the useful applications for EVs are going to be very limited. My guess is we've made pretty much all the progress we're going to make with Li-ion technology so we'll have to see if anything else comes along that beats it and by how much.

 

@Drago The price of the Tesla S starts at $100K USD and goes up from there. Probably 99.5 % of the population cannot afford one but right now, it's pretty much the only electric car that useful for more than just commuting and getting groceries. Oh, and those Teslas are extremely expensive to insure because they write them off after the slightest little accident. Something about fire hazard from the battery packs...

 

Most EVs made today only have a range of less than 100 miles. I know this because I have a good friend who just opened up the first used EV dealership in our province. He buys those compliance cars cheap in California and Oregon essentially importing the $10,000 USD subsidy those state governments give on EVs up here.

 

Just as an example of the econtomics of California's and Oregon's policies, they force the car companies to produce and sell EVs in those states so that 10% of there vehicle sales will meet the requirement for low emission vehicles. To meet this requirement, FIAT-Chrysler produces an electric version of the FIAT 500 (the 500E) only for sale in those two states. They sell each one at a loss of $10,000 USD and that's with the Government subsidy included. After two years, the cars come off lease and are sold at auction to buyers like my friend who take them away and sell them in other markets, effectively taking advantage of the artificially low price created by those Government subsidies. It is those subsidies that are allowing people here to get really good deals on compliance cars coming out of CA and OR thanks to the taxpayers there. Some might call these policies visionary for helping to increase the numbers of EVs on the roads in those two states. I call it something else that's not quite so complimentary. ;)

 

For those of you who think the future is now with respect to electric cars and boats I ask you to think about it from this perspective which I think not many people do:

 

If you think about the sheer number of cars on the roads and boats on a large public lake and then think about what would happen if they all suddenly started converting to electric. Now you'd have thousands of cars and trucks looking for places to charge. Even at Supercharging stations it can take 100 minutes or so to charge a car. There better be lots and lots of stalls at those stations otherwise the line-ups are going to get reallllllly long. Even if there's just one car ahead of you and they just started charging, you're looking at waiting 100 minutes or so before you can start charging your car which could take you up to another 100 minutes. Who's got that kind of time?

 

Also think of what extra demand that's going to put on our power grids. Many more new power generating stations will be required to generate all this electricity and then you've got to move it through the grid. All of our existing cabling will have to be doubled or tripled in size just to get all that power out to all the charging stations that will be needed to charge all these EVs.

 

Think of the size of the power cabling that would be required to power a single Supercharger station that could handle fast charging even 20 cars at the same time. Massive! If electric cars take over the market, how many of these stations are going to be required? They'll need to be as prevalent as gas stations. That will require billions to be spent on upgrading the power infrastructure to handle that. And what will the greenhouse gas emissions be while we're mining, trucking and producing all that copper, shipping and running all that cable and building all those power generating stations? Now think about what would be required to supply enough power and charging stations to a large public lake that has hundreds of electric boats on it. We've already proven they need way more power than cars. Where are they going to get charged? How are they going to get all that power to those places? At what cost?

 

Where I live in Calgary, it seems like half the population leaves the City on long weekends to go into the mountains and wilderness or out to lakes in the neighbouring province of BC. And most people are not travelling in tiny cars or $100K USD Tesla S cars with just two people and not much else in them when they go. They've got trucks, SUVs or minivans or RVs full of kids and tons of gear, maybe pulling a trailer or boat, ort Sea-Doo or whatever. To get there, they've got to go long distances through wilderness in National Parks as they go up and down steep hills making their way through several mountain ranges. How are they going to be able to do that in a loaded down electric vehicle unless there are Supercharger stations every hundred miles or less along the way? There are thousands if not tens of thousands of cars that make that run to BC every day during the summer so there would have to be large numbers of charging stalls at each station so that people aren't literally having to wait days in lineups to get to a charger. But how are you going to get all that power to those stations that will have to be built in the middle of nowhwere (if the environmentalists and Parks Canada would even let them)? You'd need massive infrastructure and it would take billions of dollars and create untold amounts of linear disturbance through highly sensitive and extremely rugged terrain to do that.

 

It's great to think the future is now and that we're soon going to see a revolution where EVs take over everything but as I've tried to show here there are giant ramifications of that which nobody seems to think or talk about. Switching over even just all smaller cars from fossil fuel to electricity will be a horrendously expensive and mammoth task.

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Just think of the issues they'll have trying to make the speed control on the eboat feel the same as Zero Off! They'll have to add a setting for each to emulate the other. I don't see this happening in the 3 event world, not enough market for it. Now if gas shoots up to $10/gal that might change things.

 

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Predictions are hard ... especially about the future.

 

If any of you thought 25 years ago that we'd all be sending/receiving gigabytes per second through the freakin' air and all at the same time, well either you were completely insane or you were a much better prognosticator than I was.

 

When I graduated college there were barely any cell towers in the world and a WiFi HotSpot wasn't even a thing. Cell phones were ... phones! ... and crappy ones at that.

 

Point being: Massive infrastructure can be built in remarkably short order when world-wide demand dictates it.

 

I can't tell you exactly when all-electric boats will be the norm, but all of the obstacles above can be overcome.

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@Than_Bogan In that case copper mining, copper cable manufacturing and companies that build equipment for power stations and transmisson lines, etc., will all be great long-term investments. The western world already consumes a ton of electricity and many power systems are pushed near or right to their limits on a routine basis. Imagine if you took all of the energy generated every day by fossil fuels used in just powering passenger vehicles (bazillions of kilowatts every day) and asked the power networks to be able to supply all of that extra energy in 10, 15 or even 20 years time. It would require absolutely massive additions to all existing power generation and transmission infrastructure and unbelievable amounts of new infrastructure would need to be added as well. If the electric revolution actually does happen, companies that can supply all of the things needed to build and run all of the new infrastructure that will be needed to power it are going to be great investments.*

 

* Any of you who believe this is insightful and happen to make big stock market gains in the future by acting on what I've said here will owe me exactly 1 beer. I, however, cannot be held accountable and incur no liability in case what I've said above turns out to be not insightful and anyone loses money on the stock market because of it. ;)

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You're thinking too narrowly. If this becomes possible it will be because of something nobody has thought of yet. The parallel to my cell example is strong. If the plan was to lay enough wires to transmit data at then-known-possible rates, there probably wasn't enough metal on the earth to handle today's traffic.
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Electric vehicles help make the grid more viable. If everybody drove them and there was a simple system of charge prioritisation for example priority level 1 is not important at all and priority 10 is urgent then the grid becomes much easier to manage. Most of us could easily plug in each night and most do not need to exhaust their maximum range every day. This just means that we can have cheap prices for charging our cars when there is spare solar or wind or whatever and creates huge efficiency for that kind of power. At the moment wind is a problem because it is intermittent but if we had a grid full of cars that could take charge when it was available and wait if it wasn’t then cheap green power is there to be had.

 

And once that level of demand is there for cars, the tech for our boats will be economical. We never would have had the 350 Chevy if it wasn’t for cars making it economical for us.

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@Than_Bogan I disagree. Physics is physics. It takes a certain amount of energy to move a vehicle of a given mass from point A to point B no matter what the energy source is. Yes, you can gain efficiencies here and there to slightly reduce the amount of energy needed to move that mass from A to B but there are limits to what can be achieved so what I said is more or less immutable. Right now, almost all of the energy used to move cars and boats, etc, is being supplied by fossil fuels and it's an absolutely staggering amount. If you want to replace all or a signficant portion of that energy with clean electrical energy over the period of the next few decades you're going to have to create new infrastructure to generate and transmit all of that extra electrical energy because our current infrastructure is largely already near it's limits due to our insatiable and ever-increasing apetite for electrical gadgets (e.g. huge screen TVs, cell phones, tablets, internet connected devices, etc.) Even if there's a magical massive leap forward in battery technologies to get us to where a large SUV toting a family of four or five with all their gear going on summer vacation can go even half as far between charges as they can go on a tank of gas you're still going to need to generate and move the amount of energy needed to move that heavy vehicle and every other one down your power lines.

 

Yes, digital signals can be moved through glass fibres instead of copper lines so the advent of fibre optic communication and wireless technologies have helped to fuel a revolution in signal connectivity but electricity is a different thing altogether. It's somewhat more like water. If you want to triple the amount of water you need to move from A to B, you have to first get that extra water from somewhere and then greatly increase the size of your pipelines to move it. The same goes for electricity.

 

I know a lot of people are gung ho for the changeover from gas to electric vehicles to come and I don't disagree that would be a good thing. I just think it's going to be a LOT more difficult and a LOT more costly and will take a LOT longer than a lot of people seem to think it will. I've put forward most of my reasons for that (I have more as well) and you can choose either to agree or disagree with my way of thinking.

 

At any rate, this is the last I will write on this subject. I hope I've given some of you some food for thought.

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@DangerBoy , thank you for the detailed posts. I Completely agree with your points, and think that if the boat manufactures read this blog, they will abandon any electric boat efforts. I would rather see us dream of cold fusion powered boats. One factor that you left out of the conversation is battery fade. Performance specs for the EV's are based on day one with the batteries, by the second charge those specs are diminished and after year 3 to 5 years of charging the power between charging from the batteries has reduced to near zero. Especially with a rapid charge cycle. Then a new battery bank is required. Resale on a used electric boat is another bothersome unknown. If it is the same as with current EV cars, this would be troublesome.
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Something that hasn't been mentioned here, @GregHind was heading there, but once all the electric cars are plugged into the grid when not in motion, we have a huge battery that can store excess energy but also provide energy during peak demand. One of the problems we have in our current grid system is that we have no way to store excess energy when demand is low but production is high.

 

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@wilecoyote but then doesn't the cycle repeat itself? If we use the cars as a giant battery during peak demand and flatten them, everyone will want to charge them up, which will in turn increase demand again, and so on.................
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@wettek69 Storage is important, allows for the most efficient means of production to be utilized to their utmost - Also catches all of that wind down from having a nuclear/coal/gas plant at full capacity for peak demand when people start going to bed they can start trailing that off and if the comment on prioritization is correct they could eventually get to where all the stuff that needs to be charged.

 

Consider we have a big deep cold event coming through in the next few days. People in parts of the country where heat is seldom used often have electric furnaces, power company will have to provide peak power to supply that demand. Many people get home and want to be warmer so they bump their thermostat up when they get home and for 3 hours the power company needs to make more power. Then bedtime rolls around and people bump it down for overnight.

 

Our grid does not do this well, to get peak power they have to fire more heat into a coal power plant or turn up the nuke. Then as demand lowers they have to reduce supply so the voltage doesnt spike as usage drops.

 

If we had more batteries plugged in a smarter grid could turn on chargers based on priority to smooth demand.

 

Since most states burn fuel to get power (mostly coal and natural gas) and they use this to heat water to turn steam turbines this means they can gradually reduce in anticipation of power.

 

In not really sold on the harvesting power back to the grid side.

 

We get about 63% of the energy out of fuel in modern plants. Then you lose a couple % in the high voltage lines, then you lose quite a bit more in local distribution, and then more into the charger. You lose a lot going DC to AC inverter to backfeed.

 

So to me it is only a good power source to use back in a house already equipped with solar or whole house battery.

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@BraceMaker Agreed fully, I was merely commenting that using the batteries as storage to feed back to the grid is not great, as at some stage they have to be charged again. 65% is a bit high on the efficiency side I would have thought. Most run at 35-50% in my experience. A modern Combined cycle plant will get you to the high 50% range, but not much more. Having said that though, GEs' latest is supposedly 64% and hoping to hit 65% soon. It's definitely improving all the time
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To those who question EV’s - go drive a Tesla Model 3. I was a bit skeptical of EV’s but that thing blows the doors off any regular sedan! Crazy power, sublime handling and an incredible interior with 500km range. Scheduled maintenance is once per year and that is only a battery top up.

 

Obviously the price is still a little high but if they put the same drive train in say a Honda Civic, they could lower the price even more. Once they get the price down a little more, It’s going to be hard not to buy one of these as a daily commuter car...

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The idea of putting power back into the grid is not mine, it was something I had read somewhere else and I thought it was something to consider. While I do agree that AC to DC and back has all kinds of losses, so does running generating stations at ever changing levels, so the real question would be do the efficiency losses of putting power back to the grid out weigh the losses created by constantly ramping up and down generating stations. I don't know.
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