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Electricity Supply

will there be enough?

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Anthony Knights08/06/2019 07:32:36
235 forum posts
72 photos

Just successfully put my car through it's MOT. While filing the certificate, I looked at the registration document and saw that the car's power is shown as 80Kwatts. This is just over 100HP and is probably typical of the average family car. It did however set me thinking..................

Assuming I was still working and was doing a 2 hour daily commute with an electric vehicle, that is 160 Kilowatt hours which I would have to put back into the car when I got home at night. Over 10hrs that is 16Kw/hr which gives a charging current of nearly 70amps. Oh dear, the input fuse to the house is usually 60amp. OK so we'll upgrade it to 100amp. If the whole street have electric cars they will probably have to upgrade the supply cable and the local sub-station as well.

It gets worse. With an estimated 30 million cars in the country, the above figures give a load of 480,000,000 Kw  every hour and that is not including people who use their vehicles all day, such as sales men, service engineers, delivery drivers etc. Then of course you have HGV's and electric buses. That's a lot of windmills. We are on occasion, using more electricity than we produce now and have to import it. Where is all the extra energy going to come from?

These are all just thoughts brought on by the by my car being rated at 80Kw and is not intended to be a scientific treatment of the subject. I shall no doubt be shot down in flames by people who have or are working in the energy industry. One final observation. My present annual consumption works out at about 9 Kilowatt hours/day. I dread to think what my bill would be if I was charging a car, but then I wouldn't have to buy petrol.

Edited By Anthony Knights on 08/06/2019 07:34:52

Edited By Anthony Knights on 08/06/2019 07:37:20

David Jupp08/06/2019 07:40:10
678 forum posts
16 photos

Surely you don't drive the car at peak power all the way to work ?

If you look at some of the 'fast charge' systems - the power ratings for those are very high, which limits where they can be installed.

Michael Gilligan08/06/2019 08:02:26
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13243 forum posts
578 photos
Posted by David Jupp on 08/06/2019 07:40:10:

Surely you don't drive the car at peak power all the way to work ?

.

Note David's important point, Anthony ^^^

But if you do ... then I guess your two hour commute puts 'work' a long way from 'home'

MichaelG.

.

Edit: This may be of interest

https://www.energuide.be/en/questions-answers/how-much-power-does-an-electric-car-use/212/

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 08/06/2019 08:07:54

Robert Atkinson 208/06/2019 08:45:39
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261 forum posts
17 photos

This is a very valid point about plug in vehicles. Rather than looking at max power look at range and batttery capacity in kWh The new Nisan leaf is 160miles and 40kWh so thats 250Wh per mile. A 2h commute at 50MPH is 100miles and 25kWh so still over 100A. for a 10h charge.
Good excuse to get a 3 phase supply laid indevil

There is also the question of where the electricity will come from. We need more (next generation) nuclear power.

My employer also owns a car dealership and a few years ago we were offered a deal for 50% off the lease cost of a small electric car (had to participate in research study data logger etc). I did the sums and even charging for free at work it would still be cheaper to run my 6 year old 150hp turbodiesel estate car for 4 years and then scrap it than to lease the electric.

Robert G8RPI

 

Edited By Robert Atkinson 2 on 08/06/2019 09:09:54

Nicholas Wheeler 108/06/2019 09:06:01
250 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 08/06/2019 08:45:39:

My employer also owns a car dealership and a few years ago we were offered a deal for 50% off the lease cost of a small electric car (had to participate in research study data logger etc). I did he sums and even charging for free at work it would still be cheaper to run my 6 year old 150hp turbodiesel estate car for 4 years and then scrap it than to lease the electric.

How did it compare to a new diesel? I used to make a good profit on using my car for the occasional work trip; it cost about £0.12 per mile, and they were paying £0.37. But it was a 20 year old Cortina that only cost me £65 to buy and get on the road

Chris Evans 608/06/2019 09:06:19
1432 forum posts

Just where will folk in towns with blocks of flats/terraced houses with double yellow lines outside charge their vehicles? I can see lots of extension leads hanging out of windows..... The whole electricity system needs upgrading, it will be a case of charge the car or cook the dinner and wash the clothes. Most (all ?) motorway service stations do not have the supply for more than a few charge points.

duncan webster08/06/2019 09:57:43
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2105 forum posts
26 photos

If I had to drive 2 hours each way to work every day I'd move house, or go on the train, or get another job nearer home. I do realise that this doesn't work for everyone, my last job was 90 miles away, well over 2 hours on North Wales roads, but I stayed over in the week. As a country we need to address the over centralisation of jobs so that people don't have to spend such inordinate lengths of time commuting. Driving 4 hours to work 8 doesn't stack up.

Of course I could be misreading the OP's post, perhaps he does 1 hour each way, in which case he can charge it at work

vintage engineer08/06/2019 10:00:23
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130 forum posts

My neighbour is a retired electrical engineer and confirmed my thoughts. The power cable in our road was installed in 1919 and no way can support the current draw if every house in the road fits a fast charge system. He also said we cannot produce enough electricity to meet demand now, so what the hell are we going to do in the future!

Bazyle08/06/2019 12:00:23
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4582 forum posts
185 photos

There will be stronger pressure to stop long commutes and individual car ownership. Already councils restrict parking permits (but like the revenue) in streets of terraced houses; parking spaces at work are taxed etc. The uber-rich directors of autonomous vehicles suggest you will hire their cars from them when needed.

My company is moving office at the end of the year to a big industrial estate that was designed more than 20 years ago, with parking for only about 25% of the workforce. Staff will only be allowed to park on site 2 days a week and only allowed to work at home a max of 2 days. Go figure.

If people are able to return to commuting less than 10 miles and use (improved) public transport and taxis the number of driving miles and hence charging hours will be manageable.
Who needs to be at work in the future? High street shop workers - gone. Factory workers - gone except for the robot repair tech. 90% of jobs will be petty bureaucrats working from home.

pgk pgk08/06/2019 12:20:31
1354 forum posts
278 photos

My home charger runs at 32A and puts in 7+KW/H for 22miles/H range on a 100KW Tesla which is a heavy car. Their latest Model3 LR has a 75KW pack and goes over 300 miles on a full charge which you should get at home in 10hrs. Peak KW is over 250 compared to your current 80KW.
Charging from the latest generation superchargers can peak at 250KW but in reality the golden area from 20-80% will top-up in 15 mins.
As for electricity bills even without the benefit of night rates it's under 16 squid for a full charge on mine and in warm weather I can get the full 310 range so 5p/mile 'fuel' (double that cost in cold winters). The model3 being lighter and smaller pack etc is more economic.


As to supplying the countries all electric needs.. well that's got a lead time of many, many years to up our game on supply.

One of many interesting ideas is to use old EV car battery packs as home storage units and up our solar panel use.

pgk

SillyOldDuffer08/06/2019 13:19:58
4396 forum posts
956 photos
Posted by vintage engineer on 08/06/2019 10:00:23:

My neighbour is a retired electrical engineer and confirmed my thoughts. The power cable in our road was installed in 1919 and no way can support the current draw if every house in the road fits a fast charge system. He also said we cannot produce enough electricity to meet demand now, so what the hell are we going to do in the future!

Digging up roads to replace old cabling isn't difficult. It will be necessary on a large-scale anyway to replace gas and oil central heating

The future of energy, who knows? My guess is mostly solar, backed up by wind and nuclear. I don't see much difference between importing oil from hot countries by tanker and importing electricity from hot countries with an HVDC. The latter has the advantage of removing dirty ships from the seas, and, of course a good proportion of renewable energy can be home grown.

Other likely changes:

  • More people will work from home and adopt other ways of avoiding travel like video conferencing.
  • Car ownership will drop in favour of leasing transport when you need it. Homes with 3 cars and a van will become less common!
  • No need to learn to drive because computers will control the journey, not you. Note this implies cars can be garaged wherever convenient and turn-up driverless when sent for. GPS, IoT and the mobile telephone system make many smart solutions possible,
  • Electric won't replace all IC engines. Diggers, agriculture, emergency power, some HGV and many other exceptions will burn bio-fuel. But bio-fuel won't be sold at the roadside as commonly as we're used to with petrol.
  • Large numbers of single recharging points will be installed in car-parks, lay-bys, and anywhere else convenient.
  • Cars connected to recharging points will be used by the network as a source of power to meet peak demands for electricity
  • Electric transport will operate without most people having any understanding of the technology, or needing too. Most people want to get from A to B in comfort and style and don't care how it works. Nothing new. Today very few understand how TV works, or the internet, or GPS, or power distribution, or computers, or the economy, or the difference between Energy, Work and Power.

Other forces at play as well as technology. Politics have put the UK into a position where many expect the economy to degrade, or even crash. Even if that crisis fades, climate change and/or environmental damage could unhinge everything. All previous civilisations have failed, perhaps it's our turn.

Whatever happens the future will be different!

Dave

 

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 08/06/2019 13:21:49

Michael Gilligan08/06/2019 13:30:22
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13243 forum posts
578 photos

I checked at our local 'Park & Ride' this morning **LINK**

https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/manchester/hazel-grove-park-and-ride

and found four posts, each carrying two connectors marked 32amp 7.2kW serving free-to-use charging bays.

Rolec Services Ltd. 'Ratio Electric' WallPod **LINK**

http://assets.rolecserv.com/files/catalogue/2016/Power_Solutions_Product_Catalogue.pdf

How long this generosity will continue, and whether there will be more points installed ... I know not; but it does seem a very good start.

MichaelG.

.

P.S. rather disappointed to see that ZapMap is showing outdated information about this facility

**LINK** https://www.zap-map.com/pts/ea624fd/

Andrew Johnston08/06/2019 14:21:14
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4692 forum posts
527 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 08/06/2019 13:19:58:
  • Cars connected to recharging points will be used by the network as a source of power to meet peak demands for electricity

Been there, done that. smile

Back in the early 1990s a company I was with worked with PG&E and CARB on the idea of using electric vehicles on charge at home or work to meet daytime peak requirements and then charge back up at night. One of the issues with US power distribution is that it tends to be radial rather than a true grid, so power limitations of a specific feeder are important.

We also used our vehicle inverter as a power factor corrector, with the batteries replaced with capacitors, as the current recirculates rather than needing to charge. In the UK larger companies pay the price for poor power factor. I thought this would catch on quicker than pure electric vehicles, but sadly it didn't.

Andrew

PG&E - Pacific Gas & Electric

CARB - California Air Resources Board

Phil Whitley08/06/2019 15:25:53
839 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by vintage engineer on 08/06/2019 10:00:23:

My neighbour is a retired electrical engineer and confirmed my thoughts. The power cable in our road was installed in 1919 and no way can support the current draw if every house in the road fits a fast charge system. He also said we cannot produce enough electricity to meet demand now, so what the hell are we going to do in the future!

This is totally wrong, we hit peak demand in the late sixties/early seventirs at about 68gW, today, after de industrialisation and massive drives toward energy efficiency, peak demand is around 45gW. Demand has fallen 15% in the last decade, and is continuing to fall as street,commercial and domestic lighting is converted to LED.

Robert Atkinson 2,

"There is also the question of where the electricity will come from. We need more (next generation) nuclear power".

Unfortunately even next generation nuclear power (should it ever be built) will not provide any extra capacity. It is only being built to replace existing nuclear stations that are long past their sell by date, and will be shut down if the new stations are ever completed. The remarkable reluctance to get on with new nuclear is due to the companies who are supposed to be building them getting cold feet about the possibility of them ever getting their money back, even at the (double todays) tariffs they have been told they will be paid for the power they produce. Add to this that nuclear stations use steam turbines, which are at best 33% efficient, whereas combined cycle gas turbines, which produce the huge bulk of todays electricity, are approaching 50% efficient. The comments about the infrastructure not being able to stand the extra load are quite relevant, but there will be very little extra load, as most people will not be able to afford solely battery powered cars, and there is little chance of a second hand market developing due to the poor battery life.

The recent "first two weeks without coal generation" is a bit hollow when you look at the tiny percentage that coal provides even when it is used! https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ As I write this the figures for the major share of demand are CCGT 27.29%, Wind 23.6%, solar 17.71%, Nuclear 16.1%, Coal 0%. Nuclear is clearly becoming an also ran in the energy stakes!

Robert Atkinson 208/06/2019 15:42:47
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261 forum posts
17 photos
Posted by pgk pgk on 08/06/2019 12:20:31:

My home charger runs at 32A and puts in 7+KW/H for 22miles/H range on a 100KW Tesla which is a heavy car. Their latest Model3 LR has a 75KW pack and goes over 300 miles on a full charge which you should get at home in 10hrs. Peak KW is over 250 compared to your current 80KW.
Charging from the latest generation superchargers can peak at 250KW but in reality the golden area from 20-80% will top-up in 15 mins.
As for electricity bills even without the benefit of night rates it's under 16 squid for a full charge on mine and in warm weather I can get the full 310 range so 5p/mile 'fuel' (double that cost in cold winters). The model3 being lighter and smaller pack etc is more economic.


As to supplying the countries all electric needs.. well that's got a lead time of many, many years to up our game on supply.

One of many interesting ideas is to use old EV car battery packs as home storage units and up our solar panel use.

pgk

Well your 32A may be 7.3 kW draw on the mains but it's not putting 7+kW per hour into the battery. Firstly there is the charger efficiency, maybe 95% so 6.99kW out. Battery charge efficiency is 99% at best so 6.9kW (not including any loses in cables etc). This is as you say worse in winter not least because you have to heat the battery pack. Typically you would need 14-15h for a full charge. Not often you would need a full charge.

On new nuclear, it can of course provide extra capacity, you just have to build enough.

Robert G8RPI.

Nigel Graham 208/06/2019 16:24:12
296 forum posts

One thing I don't recall the Government saying is how it intends to recoup all that lost [Excise + Cost]+VAT income from liquid fuels.

My guess is that it will place equivalent taxes on the electricity (via separate so-called "smart" meters in homes and work-places); but not until the whole process is at a stage when this will be politically feasible. Too early would simply delay their aims.

Someone was asked about "recycling" worn-out car batteries, and he said they could be used in domestic storage equipment. Yes, but when they are too worn-out for that?

Essentially, I do not believe at all that the politicians pushing this have the slightest technical knowledge or appreciation of the practical, financial and social problems it will bring.

Whether these will actually bring the environmental benefits they claim, is another matter, but as I suspect the Powers-That-Be barely know fuel from power from energy, I do not believe they can consider that in any constructive manner at all. They'd far rather listen to self-important schoolchildren and Extinction Rebellion types.

One enormous bird coming home to roost is that Britain could have taken a far greater lead in developing the engineering needed; but over the last 40 years or so an unholy combination of successive industrial internal problems, governments, the money trade and media have together, basically sacrificed all on the triple altars of "service economy", technical ignorance and "inward investment".

Only time will tell if everyone is doing the right thing or not, but even if human activities are affecting the climate, whilst we cannot be complacent we are only accelerating the inevitable and totally uncontrollable. We are IN an Ice Age (a climatic oscillation with periods of some 200 000 years or so); either still thawing from the last glaciation, or warming "permanently" (for millions of years to come) as the Ice Age ends.

Meanwhile I think very vary large numbers of people will no longer be able to own a car. It will be too expensive and impracticable, and the notion of widespread shared or on-demand vehicle use, chimerical.

Chimerical too is the notion engendered by the "lifestyle-journalists' " Great Family We-All, that "most of us" will be working at or from home (not synonyms). Working on what? Trading in others' money perhaps. Certainly not transplanting organs, laying bricks, driving trains and buses, making car-batteries, performing scientific research, servicing the National Grid, making and delivering foods, household goods and medicines; being active in the Emergency Services and Armed Forces ..., ...

Bleak whichever way you look at things........

not done it yet08/06/2019 18:16:55
3009 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 08/06/2019 08:45:39:

This is a very valid point about plug in vehicles. Rather than looking at max power look at range and batttery capacity in kWh The new Nisan leaf is 160miles and 40kWh so thats 250Wh per mile. A 2h commute at 50MPH is 100miles and 25kWh so still over 100A. for a 10h charge.
Good excuse to get a 3 phase supply laid indevil

There is also the question of where the electricity will come from. We need more (next generation) nuclear power.

My employer also owns a car dealership and a few years ago we were offered a deal for 50% off the lease cost of a small electric car (had to participate in research study data logger etc). I did the sums and even charging for free at work it would still be cheaper to run my 6 year old 150hp turbodiesel estate car for 4 years and then scrap it than to lease the electric.

Robert G8RPI

Edited By Robert Atkinson 2 on 08/06/2019 09:09:54

Some of this post is sensible. But:

Exactly how does 25kwh,over 10 hours, equate to 100A?

By simple calculation that would be 2.5kW for ten hours (ignoring innefficiencies) 2.5kW is rather less than a 13 A plug can deliver. So let’s get real! I suggest you try again!

So no reason at all for a 3 phase supply.

More renewables is what is needed, not necessarily more nuclear. Not that any intermittent energy supply will cover all loads all of the time, of course. We need a lot more tidal generation as well - output can be calculated years in advance - and more storage (a small amount compared with hourly usage - but every bit helps. Better to import energy via inter-connectors, but that, of course, carries problems with out-sourcing a national necessary commodity.

Clearly electric car leasing has come down in cost since “several years ago”.

Your case study does not provide any detail. One cannot fairly compare a “small electric car”. For a start, the ICE car had been written down to a quite low value after 6 years, so comparing the capital value of an old car with the historical high cost of electric cars several years ago (expensive and low range). The ICEcar may well have been ready for the scrap heap after ten years, anyway ( my current ‘run-around’ is a small diesel which is about 22 years old, mind)

So only the first paragraph is sensible.

Andrew Evans08/06/2019 18:30:50
236 forum posts

People made similar arguments 100 years or so ago as internal combustion engines replaced horses and steam. Other people, including engineers saw the opportunities and became very wealthy. The same thing will happen today with electric cars. There are big challenges to making it work but people will come up with solutions.

British engineering companies could and should have been in the lead on this, it's going to be a huge growth area.

The reality of nuclear power is that it's been around for decades, has been taxpayer funded for billions of £ in this country alone and has left a legacy that will last for decades and will cost billions of £ to clean up. No one wants a nuclear power plant near them and people are just scared of them. It's never delivered on its promise and unless there are major changes never will. It's a great idea though.

SillyOldDuffer08/06/2019 18:34:13
4396 forum posts
956 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 08/06/2019 16:24:12:

One thing I don't recall the Government saying is how it intends to recoup all that lost [Excise + Cost]+VAT income from liquid fuels.

...

Essentially, I do not believe at all that the politicians pushing this have the slightest technical knowledge or appreciation of the practical, financial and social problems it will bring.

Whether these will actually bring the environmental benefits they claim, is another matter, but as I suspect the Powers-That-Be barely know fuel from power from energy, I do not believe they can consider that in any constructive manner at all. They'd far rather listen to self-important schoolchildren and Extinction Rebellion types.

...the money trade and media have together, basically sacrificed all on the triple altars of "service economy", technical ignorance and "inward investment".

Only time will tell if everyone is doing the right thing or not, but even if human activities are affecting the climate, whilst we cannot be complacent we are only accelerating the inevitable and totally uncontrollable. We are IN an Ice Age (a climatic oscillation with periods of some 200 000 years or so); ...

...

Chimerical too is the notion engendered by the "lifestyle-journalists' " Great Family We-All, that "most of us" will be working at or from home (not synonyms). Working on what? ...

Don't worry about tax Nigel; governments are good at collecting it. For the record, Fuel Tax raises about £27Bn, which sounds a lot until you know the UK's total tax revenue is a bit over £1Tn. Fuel is less than 3% of tax income, I expect they'll manage OK.

Chaps who make things with their hands tend to over-value practical skills. Manufacturing doesn't need them nearly as much as it used to, in fact manufacturing is a particularly tough way to make a living. Fortunately, wealth generation does not depend on making physical goods. If it did, we pensioners would be on the streets begging for food. All that's needed to make money is to produce anything that people want. And people want entertainment, insurance, knowledge, design, planning, management, administration, trade, tax advice, accountancy, lawyers, audit, sales, advertising, software development and a host of other things that don't need a workshop or even an office. Add to that haircuts, funerals, medical care, delivery, decorators, and shopping and you have a lot of money moving. All this depends of course on industry and agriculture, but these are foundations rather than the be-all and end-all of money making. Attempting to return to manufacturing as our main source of wealth would be a catastrophic mistake.

Britain was the first nation to break mankind's dependency on agriculture as the main source of wealth. Britain was also the first to develop a post-industrial society. Rather successfully: today the service sector is about three times bigger than industry. At the same time industry hasn't failed in that it is still creating about the same amount of wealth as it did in its heyday. But because the UK economy doesn't rely on Industry alone, it's more robust and we are all richer.

One problem all politicians suffer from, even dictators, is severe difficulty telling the mob unpopular news. Democratic politicians retire in tears, dictators get shot. Rather than risk ending their careers, they'd rather kick the can down the road until a crisis forces change. This is what's happening at the moment, fossil fuels are starting to run out. Humanity cannot carry on burning coal and oil forever and the end of cheap fossil fuels is within a few generations, not centuries.

As accumulating pollution is causing climate change, I suggest there's a big difference between being wiped out by natural climate change during a 200,000 year long cycle, and committing suicide during the next century. We have to do something different.

Chimerical or practical, time will tell. When it comes to technology, we retired chaps tend to be about 25 years behind the curve or worse. Youngsters active in a field know what can be done now, and also what's already in the pipeline. Chaps working in R&D know what's likely to be deliverable in 10 to 20 years, while the scientists and explorers are looking at what might be practical in 50 years or beyond. I'm afraid boys of 40 have more reliable understanding than I do, despite my vast experience and natural genius (if only!)

My dad, a clever chap, electrical engineer, with wide experience in several technical jobs was absolutely and totally convinced that computers would never catch on. As things turned out, I guess he lacked imagination...

Dave

Colin Heseltine08/06/2019 20:25:08
304 forum posts
67 photos

You are all implying that there is no problem getting a single vehicle charged overnight. What about the number of families who have 3 or more cars. i.e. spouse and children all of who may well have to travel long distances for their jobs. How will they all get their vehicles charged up ready to use next morning.

Colin

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