Solar Cars and CO2

Tesla S has a three phase AC induction motor, 1 speed gear (9.73:1). It comes with 60 or 85 kWh lithium ion battery. 56,800 units have been sold worldwide as of Dec 2014. The EPA rates energy consumption as 237.5 Wh per km, giving a combined fuel economy of 89 miles per gallon of gasoline.

Tesla S 60 kWh
208 / 233 miles (EPA/NEDC)

Tesla S 85 kWh
265/ 310 miles (EPA/NEDC)

In their marketing they claim this as 0 CO2/mile. Since the electricity can be made by different methods that is fair, moving cars to electric power is one way to substitute renewable energy for ‘fossil fuel’.

At the moment though much of our electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, we need to consider another number then, how much CO2 is produced in delivering a kWh of energy to our home.

That is a a bit complex, but lets say it depends on the energy mix in your country. In France it would basically be nuclear powered. 🙂

France has 76.6 % Nuclear power, 10.2% Hydro, 4.47% non-hydro renewable, 4.08% coal, 3.69% gas, 0.58% Oil.

In the UK electricital power is mainly generated from burning gas, coal and oil, with 15-20% produced from nuclear power.


Zero Carbon

Hehe, this is a draft post I made six years ago, slightly amended. I note that recently the UK has paid energy companies for providing electricity to the UK market, and we have also agreed the building of a new nuclear power station Hinkley point C, built by French and Chinese governments (I mean EDF, China General Nuclear and China National Nuclear Corporation). I should search for some numbers about CO2 released in different countries of Europe and also how they produce their power.

Just want to make a quick post, pointing out one method to stop CO2 emission. Inspired by those who are calling for a zero carbon. If we all just stop breathing this will eliminate nearly all our emissions. If you don’t believe me it’s possible you can try to just stop breathing for a few minutes first.

The leading country at solving this problem in a practical way may well be Germany, where everyone had a chance to help solve the problem, after the German Government has made sure that everyone has the opportunity to generate electricity which will be distributed on their national grid. I don’t know how much of a practical solution this is, but it makes sense that solar generators and wind power has to be in a distributed network — rather than centralised like a conventional power station. This shifts power away from a dependence on central distribution, and means that appropriate technologies can be quickly developed. This is due to the strength of the green party which has been decisive in forming coalition governments.

Radiation equivalence


“It’s not like if you ate it right away you would be harmed,” Edano said. “It would not be good to continue to eat it for some time.”

Edano said the amount of radiation detected in the milk was the equivalent to one CT scan – the series of X-rays used for medical tests – if consumed continually for a year.

I’m not sure it really works like that, this is misleading because it is comparing two different types of radiation. A CT scan is also done for medical reasons, so it is clearly ethical when it can provide information which can save someone (all that is necessary is that it is beneficial on balance).

The main difference is that the CT scan will effect the whole body, but if you ingest radioactive iodine it will be concentrated in the relatively smaller area of your pituitary gland.

I think this is something about the difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation, and the difference between Sievert scale and Grey or rad.

I also noticed in the media we are constantly confusing what is harmful with that is measurable. There is an assumption that if we can’t measure the harm then none was done. But to be statistically significant you would probably need a lot more deaths, and you would still be able to argue it was dependent on other events.

Should take 2 weeks before radiation emitted into the atmosphere in Japan (or Korea or China) reaches UK, half life of radioactive Iodine is 8 days, so it should be reduced to 1/4 level emitted there, and presumably gets a lot more diluted and gets washed from atmosphere. There is still a risk of radiation wash out if all the cloud of gas is deposited into a small location, for example because of a thunderstorm.


My thought go out to all those in Japan in the continuing disaster which seems to be going on after the earth quake struck last week.

I didn’t understand what is happening in the plant from the media reports I heard on the radio… but the situation seems to still be developing.

Can anyone explain to me why it is not possible to cool a nuclear power station with a passive system like the ones used to move the water around a central heating system? Is it more expensive or less efficient? Are there cooling systems which don’t rely on water?

Information from Wikipedia page Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant:
The units are all GE designed, reactors 1, 2, and 6 were supplied by General Electric, those for Units 3 and 5 by Toshiba, and Unit 4 by Hitachi.

On 11 March 2011 an earthquake categorised as 9.0 MW on the moment magnitude scale occurred at 14:46 Japan Standard Time (JST) off the northeast coast of Japan. This led to cooling problems in reactors 1, 2 and 3. Over 170,000 people were evacuated after officials voiced the possibility of a meltdown. The external structure of Units 1, 2, and 3 collapsed after hydrogen explosions. The containment building of Unit 1 and 3 remained intact, but Unit 2 was feared damaged. On 15 March 2011, the Unit 4 fuel pond caught fire, increasing radiation levels and prompting more evacuations.

Reactors 1, 2 and 3 have been filled with seawater and are likely to be decommissioned, since it is not cost effective to decontaminate.

BBC: UK energy customers ‘overcharged’

A story by BBC on reports that UK households are being charged by 1.6 billion pounds.

The report is denied by the Energy Retail Association. Who say they need to hedge their purchases to guarantee supply.

We need to keep an eye on the reported profits of these energy suppliers (Big 6).