June 2016
See also: www.energiefeiten.nl
Contents 
page 

Some definitions and fundamental laws  
 
6 
 Power            
 
6 
 Energy  
 
6 
  
 
7 
  
 
7 
      
 
7 
    
 
8 
 Actual energy yield          
 
8 
  
9 9 

 
 
9 
     
 
9 
     
 
10 
 
10 

 Efficiencies at the conversion of energy 
 
11 
 Carnot's formula         
 
11 
 Newton's laws of motion 
 
11 
  
 
12 
Solar energy      
 
13 
     
 
20 
                     
 
22 
     
23 24 25 26 27 

Smart grid       
 
28 
   
 
29 
      
 
30 
      
 
32 
Atomic battery      
 
37 
    
 
38 
     
 
40 
     
 
41 
Vessels       
 
43 
                          
 
44 
 
45 

 
46 

 
51 

 
53 

   
 
55 
     
 
58 
Nuclear energy      
 
60 
1
Some facts, calculations, and things worth knowing
Energy consumption in the Netherlands 
 
 
65 

 
65 

 
 
65 

 
 
 
 
66 
The Sun           
 
 
 
67 
 
 
 
71 

Wind energy 
 
 
 
73 
Comparison of solar and wind energy  
 
 
74 

 CO2 emissions "welltoplug" of electricity   
  
  
75 76 

                
 
 
 
77 
 
 
 
78 

Aircraft  
 
 
 
80 
 
 
 
82 

Cycling  
 
 
 
83 
 
 
 
86 

  
 
 
 
90 
   
 
 
 
91 
 
 
91 

Nuclear power plants   
 
 
 
92 
Electricity consumption in the Netherlands 
 
 
92 

      
  
  
  
93 95 
 
 
 
98 

CO2 emissions of different types of cars 
 
 
99 

Stella, an electric car with solar panels    
  
  
101 101 

 The action radius of cars   
 
 
 
101 
 
 
 
102 

 
 
 
103 

The World Solar Challenge  
 
 
 
104 
       
 
 
 
105 
Bio fuel  
   
   
   
106 108 113 
 Tables and graphs     
 
 
 
115 
 
 
 
121 

Free energy     
 
 
 
125 
  
 
 
 
126 
   
 
 
 
131 
 
 
 
133 

 
 
 
 
135 
The Energy Agreement   
 
 
 
138 
Urgenda     
 
 
 
140 
 
 
 
141 

Water example    
 
 
 
142 
Energy and labour    
 
 
 
143 
144 

  
 
 
 
146 
Some preliminary remarks
~ In this overview abbreviations will be avoided as much as possible ~ When combining different units a hyphen is used. For example: kilogrammetre, amperehour, newtonmetre etc. ~ Units will not be written with a capital letter but always in full words For example: celsius, volt, ampere, watt etc. ~ Periods and commas are used according to the continental conventions ~ Numbers are usually rounded. In this overview relations will be emphasized and not the exact values in the first place. They do not exist actually. Efficiencies of cars, lighting, energy generation etc. are getting better all the time. Of course there are exact laws, such as the Law of Conservation of Energy ~ Many numbers are a snapshot. Internet sites come and go Therefore it is not always possible to verify all numbers via the internet. ~ The amount of energy needed to produce for example cars, windmills solar panels, bio fuels etc. has not been taken in consideration. ~ There are as little units used as possible. Almost everything is converted into kilowatthours and megawatthours. ~ Many people have no idea how the ratios are between the different forms of energy generation and energy consumption. This overview tries to tell facts which are the basis of clarification ~ Power and Energy are confused with each other frequently. For this energy story a good understanding of the definitions is necessary. ~ Discussions about energy usually only concern electricity generation So coalfired power plants, nuclear power, hydro power, wind mills, solar energy etc. One must however bear in mind, that the total energy problem (in the Netherlands) is more than 3 times larger. It therefore should also cover heating, industry, food production, transport and above all cars. ~ By consulting internet sites and via simple calculations one can determine for themselves whether the information in this story is accurate ~ This overview will be regularly updated on the basis of new facts, new insights and comments from readers.
3
The most effective environmental measure The energy consumption and the coherent environmental pollution is proportional to the number of people on Earth. So the most effective environmental measure will be: restricting the world population That will be achieved (in the long run) when the reproduction rate is not greater than 1. So not more than 2 children per couple.
After us the flood
In the book "Na ons de zondvloed"
("After us the flood") the author
P. Gerbrands, writes: "Within reasonable margins, growth of the number of people and economic expansion will be possible, as long as we know to limit ourselves to the consumption of the interest the Earth us offers. But if also the capital named Earth itself is eaten, we as human species will be entering a deadend street"
Quote from “The Greens Party” program 2002
The uncontrolled growing population is a violent threat to life on Earth. Yet there is an explosive growth of the world's population. Just like China India will soon be a country with more than one billion inhabitants. (in 2010, India already had 1,2 billion inhabitants). There is a direct relationship between pollution of the environment and the population rate. More people produce more waste, have more need for food, consume more raw materials, have more hassle, have less living space, get less attention and need more money. The conclusion is clear: birth control is a necessity. If not, we all end up like bacteria on a limited breeding ground. After unbridled growth unprecedented mortality follows.
The population explosion
From 1990 to 2000 each year the world's population has increased with an average of 1,5% Suppose that this increase had occurred always from the beginning of our era until today. How large would the world's population be now, based on 2 people in the year zero?
~ after 2000 years the increase would be: 1,015 ^{2}^{0}^{0}^{0} = 8,55 × 10 ^{1}^{2}
~ the Earth’s surface is
4 π r ^{2} = 4 π × 40 × 10 ^{6} square kilometres
(r = the radius of Earth = 6400 kilometres)
~ the total of earthlings would be:
(2 × 8,55 × 10 ^{1}^{2} ) / (4 π × 40 × 10 ^{6} )
= 34000 per square kilometre, oceans and the poles included
In reality there live on Earth “only” 51 people per square kilometre. (in 2010, on land). In the Netherlands the population density is 504 inhabitants per square kilometre. That means a living place of 45 × 45 metres per person
4
Overview of the population growth (rounded) 

1960 
2000 
2050 

the Netherlands 
11 million 
16 million 
17 million 

World population 
3 billion 
6 billion 
9 billion 

Daily increase of the world population 
(medium variant) 
year 
world population 
increase in 10 years 
increase per day 
6 909 million 
   


766 million 
210 000 


634 million 
174 000 


492 million 
135 000 


349 million 
96 000 
The average increase of the world population in the period 2010 – 2050 amounts to 153 000 people per day. So 1 million per week
in 2011 the 7 billionth earthling was born in 2023 the 8 billionth is expected
5
Power
Power is a measure of the speed at which energy can be generated or used
power = energy / time
Units 
1 watt = 1 joule per second 
Some examples: 
~ an electric power plant has a power of 600 megawatts, even if the power plant is temporary out of operation ~ a car engine has a power of 70 kilowatts, even if the car is stationary. ~ an incandescent lamp has a power of 75 watts, even if the lamp is not in use or is still in the box.
Power is a property
Energy
Energy is generated or used during a certain time
energy = power x time
Units 
1 joule = 1 wattsecond 
Some examples: 
~ an electric power plant of 600 megawatts will generate in 5 hours:
600 megawatts × 5 hours = 3000 megawatthours electrical
energy
(at full power)
~ a car engine of 70 kilowatts will generate in 2 hours:
70 kilowatts × 2 hours = 140 kilowatthours mechanical energy (at full power) ~ an incandescent lamp of 75 watts uses in 10 hours:
75 watts × 10 hours = 750 watthours electrical energy
Energy always generates something: electricity, movement, light, heat, sound, radio waves, a chemical reaction etc.
In the shop one pays for the power
(for example what is stated on a vacuum cleaner)
At home one pays for the energy
(the energy used by the vacuum cleaner)
6
In daily life is valid:
~ the basic unit for power is watt ~ the basic unit for energy is watthour
Law of Conservation of Energy
~ Energy cannot be lost ~ Energy cannot arise from nothing ~ Energy can be converted from one form to another, but the sum of the energies cannot change
Law of Conservation of Mass
~ Mass cannot be lost ~ Mass cannot arise from nothing ~ Mass can be converted from one form to another, but the sum of the masses cannot change
Energy and mass are never “consumed” In normal language mass and energy are “consumed” anyway. For example, if you drive the tank of a car empty, then the petrol is consumed. But in doing so the Law of Conservation of Energy and the Law of Conservation of Mass will be applied
During the combustion of petrol in an engine, chemical energy converts into
mechanical energy (= labour) and thermal energy (= heat). This is linked to
the chemical energy = the mechanical energy + the thermal energy
Petrol is a chemical compound of the elements carbon and hydrogen The combustion of petrol with oxygen, results in carbon dioxide and water
the mass of petrol + oxygen = the mass of carbon dioxide + water
Efficiency 
(the effectiveness) 
efficiency = useful energy / energy supplied 

For example: 
~ a car engine with a power of 50 kilowatts runs for 1 hour at full power. Then the useful mechanical energy will be:
50 kilowatts × 1 hour = 50 kilowatthours ~ suppose the amount of energy supplied is 200 kilowatthours (that is approximately 22 litres of petrol) ~ then the efficiency will be (50 / 200) × 100% = 25% ~ so 150 kilowatthours of useless energy disappears in the form of heat
Efficiencies are always less than 100% So Perpetual Mobile does not exist
7
Production factor
(the availability)
production factor = actual annual yield / theoretical annual yield
For example:
~ suppose the actual annual yield of a windmill is 10950 megawatthours ~ the power of the windmill is 5 megawatts ~ 1 year = 8760 hours ~ then the theoretical annual yield will be 5 megawatts x 8760 hours = 43800 megawatthours ~ then the production factor will be (10950 / 43800) x 100% = 25%
Actual annual yield
(the energy yield)
actual annual yield = theoretical annual yield x production factor
For example:
~ the theoretical irradiated energy per square metre per year on a solar panel = 8760 kilowatthours ~ the efficiency of a solar panel = 15% ~ then the theoretical annual yield = 8760 kilowatthours x 15% ~ the production factor of solar energy in the Netherlands = 11,4% ~ then the actual annual yield per square metre per year will be 8760 kilowatthours x 15% x 11,4% = 150 kilowatthours
Efficiency and production factor are 2 completely different concepts
Some examples:
~ The efficiency of a solar panel is 15% The production factor of solar energy in the Netherlands is 11,4% In the Sahara 33% ~ The efficiency of a wind mill is 50% The production factor of wind energy on land is 25% At sea 40%
The efficiency is a property of a solar panel or a wind mill. The production factor is determined by the location of the solar panel or the wind mill
Comparing energy sources
When comparing energy sources one should not only look at the power, but also consider the energy yield. This is especially true for solar and wind energy, because here the production factor and the efficiency often will be very low
8
Some efficiencies
(approximately)

= 
1% 


= 
5% 


= 
15% 


= 
15% 


= 
25% 


= 
25% 


= 
29% 


= 
33% 

Led lamp 
= 
34% 


= 
34% 


= 
35% 


= 
40% 


= 
41% 


= 
45% 


= 
50% 


= 
50% 


= 
58% 

(water heater) 
= 
65% 


= 
75% 


= 
80% 


= 
80% 


= 
90% 


(CHP) 
= 
90% 

= 
95% 


= 
97% 
Units and conversion factors for power
1 
watt 
= 1 joule per second 
= 1 newtonmetre per second 

1 
kilowatt 
= 1 kilojoule per second 
= 1000 newtonmetres per second 

Units and conversion factors for energy 

1 
wattsecond = 
1 joule 
= 
1 newtonmetre 

1 
kilowatthour = 3600 kilojoules 
= 3600 000 newtonmetres 

Converting kilowatthours to kilogrammetres 

1 
kilowatthour 
= 3600 000 newtonmetres 

1 
kilogrammetre 
= 9,81 newtonmetres 

so 1 kilowatthour 
= 3600 000 / 9,81 = 367 000 kilogrammetres 

Primary energy 
Primary energy is the energy content of fuels in their natural form, before any technical conversion has taken place
9
Energy content of some fuels
= 
5,3 kilowatthours 
kilogram of coal

8,1 kilowatthours 
= 
8,8 kilowatthours 
litre of petrol

9,1 kilowatthours 
litre of diesel oil

10,0 kilowatthours 
= 
33,6 kilowatthours 
In the following the energy consumption or energy yield is converted into litres petrolequivalent (if possible). That appeals a bit more to imagination and it makes a good comparison possible
Thermal energy in 1 litre of petrol
1 litre of petrol = 7800 kilocalories
At an efficiency of 100% it is possible to increase the temperature of 7800 litres
of water with 1 degree celsius
(or to heat 78 litres with 100 degrees)
Mechanical energy in 1 litre of petrol
1 litre of petrol = 9,1 kilowatthours
This would keep a motor of 91 kilowatts running during 0,1 hours (= 6 minutes) on full power. The efficiency of a petrol engine is approximately 25% Therefore such a motor runs only 1,5 minute on 1 litre of petrol. 75% of the supplied energy is converted into useless heat
1 litre of petrol = 3 340 000 kilogrammetres
With 1 litre of petrol one can theoretically lift up a Jumbo of 334 000 kilogram 10 metres. Bringing up such aircraft 10 kilometres, costs (apart from the forward speed, air resistance, efficiency etc.) 1000 litres of fuel
Mechanical equivalent of heat
This indicates the relationship between mechanical energy (= labour) and thermal energy (= heat)
1 kilocalorie equals 427 kilogrammetres
An example:
~ to raise the temperature of 1 litre of water with 1 degree celsius,
1 kilocalorie is needed
(by definition)
~ if one put one's hand in 1 litre of cold water during 1 minute then
the temperature of the water has risen approximately with
1 degree celsius.
~ this corresponds with a quantity of mechanical energy of 427 kilogrammetres. ~ that will be sufficient energy to lift a cow (or 2 pianos) for 1 metre
Heat is the most compact form of energy
10
Efficiencies at the conversion of energy
Conversion of thermal energy into mechanical energy
The efficiency will be limited according to Carnot's formula The maximum achievable efficiency is about 50% For example:
A steam turbine in a power plant has an efficiency of 45%
Conversion of mechanical energy into electricity
This can theoretically occur with an efficiency of 100% For example:
A generator in a power plant has an efficiency of 95%
Conversion of electricity into mechanical energy
This can theoretically occur with an efficiency of 100% For example:
The electric motor of the Solar car has an efficiency of 97%
Carnot's formula
With Carnot's formula, one can calculate the maximum achievable efficiency at the conversion of thermal energy (= heat) into mechanical energy (= labour)
The thermal energy is proportional to the absolute temperature T (kelvin)
(T _{h}_{i}_{g}_{h} 
 T _{l}_{o}_{w} ) / 
T _{h}_{i}_{g}_{h} 
T _{h}_{i}_{g}_{h}  T _{l}_{o}_{w} = the heat which is converted into useful mechanical energy
T _{h}_{i}_{g}_{h} = the highest temperature in the process
T _{l}_{o}_{w}
= the lowest temperature in the process
(the energy supplied) (the residual energy)
Example:
The inlet temperature of a steam turbine is 527 degrees celsius and the exhaust
temperature is 207 degrees celsius
T _{h}_{i}_{g}_{h}
T _{l}_{o}_{w}
= 527 + 273 = 800 kelvin = 207 + 273 = 480 kelvin
(0 degrees celsius = 273 kelvin)
Then the maximum achievable efficiency will be (800480) / 800 = 0,40 = 40%
Newton's laws of motion
1. Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it
2. The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F acting on the body, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass m of the body. F = ma
3. When two bodies interact by exerting force on each other, these action and reaction forces are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction
(these laws are clearly visible when playing billiards)
1 newton is the net force required to accelerate a mass of 1 kilogram at a rate of 1 metre per second squared
11
An average household in the Netherlands (statistically) consists of 2,28 people. In the year 2008 the energy consumption per household was:
~ for lighting 528 kilowatthours of electricity ~ for the refrigerator, washing, ironing, TV etc. 3032 kilowatthours of electricity ~ for heating, hot water and cooking 1625 cubic metres of natural gas ~ for the car 1444 litres of petrol
The electricity is generated with an efficiency of 40% The table below shows how much energy per day is consumed by a household.
energy consumption 
primary energy 

(kilowatthours) 
(kilowatthours) 

lighting 
1,4 
3,6 
refrigerator, TV, washing, ironing etc. 
8,3 
20,8 
heating, hot water, cooking 
39,2 
39,2 
the car 
36,0 
36,0 
total 
84,9 
99,6 
Primary energy consumption of a household
Per day a car consumes one and a half times as much primary energy, as an average Dutch household for lighting, refrigerator, TV, washing, ironing, vacuuming etc.
It makes little sense to save on lighting as it is only 4% of the total energy consumption. But it does help lowering the heating. All energy fed to lighting and devices is fully converted into heat. A living room is not noticeably warmer when the TV or the lights are switched on. Apparently the energy consumption of the lighting and the TV is negligible compared to the energy needed for heating. Many people think: “all tiny bits will help". The "tiny bits" will contribute very little and give the misleading sense, that one does quite a lot for the environment and that therefore one can further go one's own way. (with the heating and the car)
If comfort is at stake, one is no longer "at home".
12
Almost all the energy on Earth comes from the Sun
~ The power of solar radiation outside the atmosphere is 1,36 kilowatts per square metre. (that is the solar constant) ~ At the height of the Earth's surface and at a completely unclouded sky, the solar radiation has a power of 1 kilowatt per square metre. (at perpendicular irradiation) ~ So the theoretical irradiation per square metre per year will be 1 kilowatt x 8760 hours = 8760 kilowatthours (1 year = 8760 hours) ~ The actual irradiation per square metre per year in the Netherlands = 1000 kilowatthours on a horizontal plane (seasons, cloudy sky, day and night included) ~ So the production factor adds up to (1000 / 8760) × 100% = 11,4% ~ To maximise the yield of sunlight in the Netherlands, a fixed solar panel should be mounted under an angle of 36 degrees and focussed on the South. ~ At perpendicular radiation of sunlight on a solar water heater, a solar panel, a parabolic mirror or a solar trough, the amount of irradiated energy per square metre and during the same time is (of course) always the same ~ At a heliostat the radiation is never perpendicular. There, the angle of radiation is determined by the distance from the heliostat to the solar tower and the position of the Sun ~ In the Netherlands the amount of irradiated solar energy on a horizontal plane, in summer (June, July, August) is 6 times as much as in winter (December, January, February) Of course that will not be the same every year, see Leopoldhove ~ In the Netherlands the energy captured by a solar panel consists of 40% direct sunlight and 60% indirect sunlight. ~ In the Sahara the amount of irradiated solar energy on a horizontal plane is only 3 times as much as in the Netherlands (during a year and on the same surface) ~ The annual amount of solar energy irradiated on the whole Earth is 7000 times as much as the annual world consumption of primary energy
13
Solar energy in the Netherlands
~ in 2009 the yield of solar energy was 0,05 billion kilowatthours. ~ then the electricity consumption was 113,5 billion kilowatthours ~ so the share of solar energy was 0,04%
Solar energy in Germany
~ in 2009 the yield of solar energy was 6,58 billion kilowatthours. ~ then the electricity consumption was 592,5 billion kilowatthours. ~ so the share of solar energy was 1,11%
~ in 2014 the yield of solar energy was 32,8 billion kilowatthours. ~ then the electricity consumption was 521,5 billion kilowatthours. ~ so the share of solar energy was 6,29%
ECN (Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland) expects that by 2020 in the Netherlands 4 billion kilowatthours of solar energy will be excited
Some possibilities to use solar energy are:
(bio fuel)
~ direct generation of electrical energy
(electric solar panel)
~ production of electricity with concentrated solar
irradiation
(concentrated solar power)
~ water heating
(solar water heater)
Efficiencies and revenues of solar energy at an irradiation of
1000 kilowatthours per square metre per year
(in the Netherlands)
efficiency 
kilowatthours 
energy type 

< 1% 
3 
chemical 

electric solar panel 
15% 
150 
electric 
solar water heater 
65% 
650 
heat 
The average electricity consumption of a household in the Netherlands is
3600 kilowatthours per year. So it takes 24 square metres of solar panels
to fulfil this need. That are 15 standard panels of 1 to 1,6 metres.
Are there any higher returns possible on solar energy?
~ concentrated solar power with solar cells provides a return of more than 35% ~ with nano antennas an efficiency of 80% would be achievable ~ very high returns seem possible with light trapping
14
Concentrated solar power
(CSP)
At concentrated solar power the solar radiation is concentrated on a small
surface by means of mirrors. This can be done in different ways:
~ with parabolic mirrors ~ with solar troughs ~ with heliostats
Condition for "concentrated solar power" is a suntracking system. The accuracy with which the position of the Sun must be followed, is at least 1 degree. That means, that the system should be adjusted every 4 minutes. In addition, the Sun must shine freely. At a cloudy sky "concentrated solar power" doesn’t work. Therefore it is not applied in the Netherlands. The gains of the higher yield, are
nullified by the fact that the Sun only shines a few hours a day at full strength in
the Netherlands
(on average)
Parabolic mirrors
~ a parabolic mirror revolves around 2 perpendicular axes and follows the position of the Sun. ~ the sunlight can be focused by a factor of 500 ~ then there is a temperature of 1000 degrees celsius in the focal point. ~ a hotair engine (Stirling engine) might be posted there, propelling a generator ~ the generator generates electricity.
15
Solar troughs
~ a solar trough is a troughshaped mirror, with a parabola shaped crosssection. ~ the longitudinalaxis is in NorthSouth direction and the solar trough revolves around this axis in the same position as the Sun, so every day from East to West. ~ the concentration of sunlight in the "fire line" is a factor 80 a temperature of 400 degrees celsius is reached there. ~ oil is heated in a tube in the fire line. ~ in a heat exchanger water is heated to hot steam. then electricity is generated in the usual manner. ~ the efficiency of converting the solar radiation into hot steam is 50% From hot steam to electricity is 30% So the total efficiency is 15% (about the same as at electric solar panels). ~ the advantage of solar troughs is, that part of the absorbed solar heat can be temporarily stored. thus brief sunless periods can be bridged
Heliostats
~ a heliostat is a slightly curved or flat mirror, which turns around 2 mutually perpendicular axes with the position of the sun ~ the sunlight reflected by the heliostat is focussed on the top of a "solar tower". The top of this solar tower, which is about 100 metres high, is lightened by a field of hundreds of heliostats and is therefore the common focal point of a huge surface with a few hundred mirrors. ~ all mirrors must be focussed continuously and individually. very high temperatures are reached in the top of the tower, up to 1000 degrees celsius. ~ the captured heat is used for the generation of electricity ~ the temperature generated at parabolic mirrors or heliostats is much higher than at solar troughs. Therefore the efficiency of electricity generation is also higher. (Carnot)
16
Concentrated solar power with solar cells
Concentrated solar power (in a milder form) can also be applied in combination
with appropriate solar cells. Spectrolab delivers solar cells, that can tolerate a power of 50 watts per square centimetre, provided they are cooled with a temperature below 100 degrees celsius. Under these conditions an efficiency of over 35% will be achieved
Greenpeace solar panel
In the year 2000 Greenpeace introduced an electric solar panel in the Netherlands:
~ the effective surface is 0,75 square metres ~ the yield is 80 kilowatthours per year ~ that is an average of 220 watthours per day.
~ that will be sufficient to watch TV for 2 hours per day
~ this solar panel saves
80 × € 0,20 = € 16, on an annual basis
~ the panel costs € 454, (subsidies included)
~ the paybackperiod is 28 years
An advertisement for solar panels
A quote from a recent advertisement for solar panels:
"This solar panel which has been manufactured with Laser Technology (?) has a high efficiency at cloudy skies and until late in the evening" Yes, perhaps the efficiency is high, but the yield will be almost zero at cloudy skies and in the evening, because the amount of irradiated energy then will be very little.
Solar energy has the potential to ever be interesting:
~ in the Netherlands the amount of radiant solar energy on a surface of 25 square kilometres, annually amounts:
25 000 000 square metres × 1000 kilowatthours per square metre = 25 billion kilowatthours. ~ this is the amount of energy which equals 1 kilogrammass ~ at an efficiency of 100% it would be sufficient for almost a quarter of the annual electricity consumption in the Netherlands. ~ there is no practical possibility yet to capture this energy in an efficient way
17
The Waldpolenz Solar Park
The Waldpolenz Solar Park is a large photovoltaic power station in Germany and is located near Leipzig.
~ the electricity is generated by 550 000 electric solar panels ~ the total land area is 1,2 square kilometre ~ the capacity (power) of this power plant is 52 megawatts ~ the annual production is 52 000 megawatthours ~ the production factor is 11,4% ~ a 600 megawatts power plant produces 80 times as much energy in 1 year.
Compare the largest windmill in the world. That generates 21 000 megawatthours per year
A solar power plant with heliostats In early 2009 near Seville in Spain a large solar power plant, the PS20 was put into service
~ the sunlight is captured by 1255 heliostats ~ each heliostat has an area of 120 square metres ~ so the total surface of the heliostats will be 150 600 square metres ~ the heliostats rotate with the position of the Sun ~ the power of this plant is 20 megawatts ~ the annual production is 48 000 megawatthours ~ the production factor is 27,4% ~ a 600 megawatts power plant produces almost 90 times as much energy in 1 year
The concentrated sunlight heats a barrel with water, which is located on top of a tower of 160 metres. Electricity is generated in the usual way using the hot steam that arises. This sunthermal power plant has the advantage of the possibility of constant energy delivery (during daytime), thanks to a buffer of hot steam with a heat capacity of 15 megawatthours. The production factor has therefore been significantly increased.
18
A solar power plant with solar troughs An even larger solar power plant has been built in Andalusia, the Andasol Solar Power Station
~ the solar radiation is collected in solar troughs ~ the solar troughs are drawn up in NorthSouth direction and rotate along with the position of the Sun ~ the mirrors are drawn up in rows, which are 150 metres long ~ the reflecting surface of a single row is 800 square metres ~ the total surface of the troughs is 1,53 square kilometres ~ the total land area of the plant is 6 square kilometres ~ there is a steel tube in the fire line, where oil flows ~ the concentrated solar radiation heats the oil to 400 degrees celsius ~ in a heat exchanger water is heated to steam ~ electricity is generated in the usual manner by means of the steam. ~ the power of this plant is 150 megawatts. ~ the annual production is 495 000 megawatthours ~ the production factor is 37,6% ~ a 600 megawatts power plant produces 8,5 times as much energy in 1 year
During daytime a part of the collected heat is stored in a huge tank with 25000 tonnes of molten salt. The heat capacity is 1000 megawatthours. That will be sufficient to generate electricity for 7,5 hours when the Sun doesn't shine. This will increase the production factor significantly. At Andasol the amount of irradiated solar energy is 2200 kilowatthours per square metre per year, so 2 times the irradiation in the Netherlands
Comparison of the above mentioned solar power plants
power 
annual production 
production 

(megawatts) 
(megawatthours) 
factor 

Waldpolenz Solar Park 
52 
52 000 
11,4% 

Seville 
(heliostats) 
20 
48 000 
27,4% 
Andasol 
(solar troughs) 
150 
495 000 
37,6% 
19
In 2000 at Zoetermeer, the then largest windmill in the Netherlands was put into service. The mill was demolished in 2014 because its end of lifespan had been reached. (?) The power was 1,5 megawatts (= 1500 kilowatts). That equals the power of 20 cars. (the Opel “Astra” has an engine of 74 kilowatts)
~ the hub height of this mill was 85 metres and the diameter of the blades was 70 metres ~ so the highest point reached by the blades was 120 metres ~ the power was 1,5 megawatts ~ so the theoretical annual yield was 1,5 × 8760 hours =
13140 megawatthours
(1 year = 8760 hours)
~ the actual annual yield was 3000 megawatthours ~ so the production factor was (3000 / 131400) × 100% = 23% ~ the yield in 14 years was 14 x 3000 = 42 000 megawatthours ~ at an electrical energy price of 20 eurocents per kilowatthour the total revenue will be 42 000 000 x 0,2 = 8,4 million euro
The generated energy by a wind mill is proportional to the 3rd power of the wind speed. If the wind blows "half" force, the energy yield is only 1/8 compared with "full" force.
~ the production factor of a windmill on land is 25% ~ the production factor of a windmill at open sea is 40%
The production factor increases as the windmill is higher and larger
Wind energy in the Netherlands
~ n 2009 the yield of wind energy was 4,6 billion kilowatthours ~ then the electricity consumption was 113,5 billion kilowatthours ~ so the share of wind energy was 4,1%
Some Dutch wind farms
number of 
power per 
total 
annual yield 

windmills 
windmill 
power 
(megawatthours) 

Egmond aan Zee 
36 
3 megawatts 
108 megawatts 
378 000 

10 
km off the 
_{c}_{o}_{a}_{s}_{t} 

IJmuiden 
60 
2 megawatts 
120 megawatts 
422 000 

23 
km off _{t}_{h}_{e} _{c}_{o}_{a}_{s}_{t} 

Westereems 
52 
3 megawatts 
156 megawatts 
470 000 

Eemshaven, 
_{o}_{n} _{l}_{a}_{n}_{d} 
In 1 year a 600 megawatts power plant produces about 10 times as much energy as 1 wind farm
20
The largest wind mill in the world
The largest wind mill in the world is the Enercon E126
~ the hub height is 135 metres ~ the diameter of the blades is 126 metres ~ so the highest point that is reached by the blades is 198 metres ~ the maximum power is 7,5 megawatts (100 cars) ~ at a production factor of 32% (on land) the annual yield is 21000 megawatthours ~ a 600 megawatts power plant produces 200 times as much energy in 1 year
At Estinnes (Belgium) 11 of these mills are in operation and at the Noordoostpolder 38 stuks will be placed.
Largescale application of solar and wind energy is only possible, if a solution will be found for storing very large amounts of electrical energy. The problem occurs especially with solar energy, that the need for energy usually is greatest, when the Sun has gone down behind the horizon already. Solar and wind energy is usually returned to the grid. Then (temporarily) less "grey" energy needs to be generated.
Some possibilities for largescale storage of electrical energy
~ pumping of water to an higher reservoir at a hydroelectric power plant ~ pumping up water from an energy island ~ compressing air in underground salt domes ~ the production of hydrogen ~ energy storage in batteries of electric cars ~ energy storage in vanadium redox batteries
22
Hydro power is of limited significance even in Switzerland, because the energy consumption increased in recent years.
The largest hydroelectric power plants in the world A very large hydroelectric power plant, the Itaipu Dam is located at the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Its reservoir is 170 kilometres long.
~ the capacity of this power plant is 12 600 megawatts ~ the energy yield is 75 billion kilowatthours per year
In China an even greater hydroelectric power plant has been built, the
~ the energy yield is 84 billion kilowatthours per year ~ that is 3% of the electricity consumption in China
For comparison:
Annually the Three Gorges Dam will produce 20 times as much energy as a 600 megawatts power plant.
Dutch Teletext 19 May 2011
China admits, that there are problems at the three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River. Agricultural land drying out, the River is less navigable and many people have lost their work. For the construction of the dam one and a half million people had to leave their homes
23
Geothermal energy is extracted from the heat in the Earth.
~ from the Earth’s surface the temperature rises with increasing depth with roughly 30 degrees celsius per 1000 metres ~ this can vary (strongly) depending on local circumstances ~ in volcanic areas temperatures are considerably higher ~ at a depth of 5000 metres the average temperature is about 150 degrees celsius.
Geothermal energy may play a (modest) role in future energy supply. It is now possible to exploit geothermal energy on a commercial scale thanks to the improved drilling techniques developed for the extraction of oil at great depth Geothermal energy is:
~ clean, durable and inexhaustible ~ not depending on weather conditions seasons and time of the day ~ the production factor is 100% ~ there is no CO2 emission ~ the energy is constantly available, so there is no storage problem
Geothermal energy in a few countries
power 
annual yield 
^{A} 

(megawatts) 
(megawatthours) 

China 
1440 
12 600 000 
3,00 
Sweden 
1140 
10 000 000 
2,38 
USA 
990 
8 680 000 
2,07 
Iceland 
760 
6 610 000 
1,57 
New Zealand 
220 
1 970 000 
0,47 
Japan 
160 
1 430 000 
0,34 
A = comparison with a 600 megawatts power plant. Annually that generates 4 200 000 megawatthours
Geothermal energy is already used on small scale in the Netherlands. In the West of the country some greenhouses are heated with geothermal energy while there are also advanced plans for the use in new residential areas in the Hague.
Press release on 23 September 2010
Recently completed test drilling has shown that there is enough water with a high temperature available 2000 metres below ground level to heat the targeted 4000 homes and 20 000 square metres of business premises in the Hague Southwest, as it turns out from the test results. "We had a final goal of 75 °C. Our goal has been achieved”
24
The energy generated by a tidal power plant is indirectly derived from the moon. The largest tidal power plant in the world is in France in the mouth of the Rance river. (since 1966)
~ the difference in height between ebb and flood tide is very large, up to 13 metres. ~ the capacity of the tidal power plant is 240 megawatts ~ the production factor is approximately 26% ~ the annual energy generated is 540 000 megawatthours ~ a 600 megawatts power plant produces 8 times as much energy in 1 year
At high tide the lock gates of the power plant are open and then sea water can flow behind a dam. The water behind the dam has a maximum area of 22 square kilometres. If the highest point of the flood is reached, the lock gates are then closed and the water behind the dam is being held in the mouth of the river Rance. At low tide, the water flows through 24 turbines back to sea. The turbines drive generators, each with a capacity of 10 megawatts. If there is no difference in water height behind and in front of the dam anymore, the production of electricity ceases. The cycle is repeated when it becomes high tide again.
25
Biomass is the collective name for organic materials, which can be used for the generation of "sustainable energy". Examples of such organic materials are: fruit vegetable and garden waste, wood and manure. Special "energy crops" can be grown, such as oilseed rape, maize and sugar cane, which may be used as fuel for vehicles, possibly after digestion, fermentation or gasification.
During the growth of trees for example, oxygen is produced and carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed from the atmosphere. When combustion takes place the opposite occurs. Net, this socalled "short cycle" does not pollute the environment (“CO2 neutral"). The advantage of using biomass: there is no storage problem. The biomass can be incorporated in the fuel of coalfired power plants. (those coalfired power plants which are so maligned by environmentalists). The extra CO2 released is "green" and is deducted from the emissions according to "Kyoto".
Biomass in the Netherlands
~ in 2009 the energy generated by the burning of biomass in the Netherlands was 7,8 billion kilowatthours. ~ then the electricity consumption was 113,5 billion kilowatthours. ~ so the share of biomass was 6,9%
This can not be much more in the near future, because the amount of biomass is limited. One can therefore have legitimate doubts about energy suppliers who are going to sell huge quantities of "green" energy to the consumer suddenly.
26
Maybe someday wind energy will play an important role in common electricity generation. Naturally the supply of wind energy is subject to severe and often rapid fluctuations. The production factor is at best (at sea) 40% because the wind is not always blowing (hard). So in 60% of time no or very little wind energy is excited. Therefore the existing infrastructure for electricity generation should be maintained for 100%. At largescale production of wind energy, storage of electricity is necessary to compensate for the fluctuations in the supply. Energy storage can be achieved by production of hydrogen via electrolysis of water, a cumbersome method with little (total) efficiency. The use of batteries seems to be a more realistic solution to the storage problem of electrical energy, When electric cars will be widely used, the potential storage capacity for electrical energy will be very large. If we assume, that there are 1 million electric cars (in the Netherlands there are over 7 million cars) and each battery has a capacity of 25 kilowatthours, then 25 million kilowatthours of total storage capacity will be available. For comparison:
A 600 megawatts power plant delivers in 24 hours at full power:
600 × 24 = 14 400 megawatthours = 14,4 million kilowatthours This form of energy storage requires an intelligent, automated energy management system. (Smart grid)
27
Smart grid is an energy management system, which controls the distribution between the energy generated by renewable energy sources (wind and solar energy) and conventional power plants. The aim is:
~ the maximum flattening of the peaks and offpeaks in the generation of energy. ("peak shaving") ~ compensation for the varying energy yield of renewable energy sources
A primitive form of energy management already exists in the system of "offpeak hours", which is often applied by suppliers of electricity. Electric boilers are remotely enabled when the demand for electricity is low. (usually at night and in weekends) An intelligent energy management system may offer the following options:
~ thermostats of devices (for example, boilers and air conditioning) can be remotely and automatically disabled or enabled according to the instantaneous load of the grid. ~ batteries of electric cars can be loaded for one moment and the loading can be stopped or the energy from the batteries can be (partially) fed back to the grid, when an energy deficit is likely to occur. ~ as the wind varies, the energy of wind farms will be proportionally supplemented by energy from (rapid starting) gasfired power plants.
28
The efficiency of electricity production in a power plant is approximately 40%. Therefore 60% of primary energy is lost through the cooling water. Many plants are using this "waste heat" nowadays for district heating and the heating of greenhouses. Often the heat must be transported and distributed over great distances, which obviously yields quite a few losses. The overall efficiency of the power plant has nevertheless been increased significantly.
At Combined Heat and Power the generation of heat and electricity (power) is linked directly. Then heat and electricity are exited at the consumer. The main issue is the heat production while electricity is a byproduct. The total efficiency is very high, because there is virtually no heat lost and all electricity is being used. (excess electricity is fed into the grid). Combined Heat and Power is widely applied in hospitals, swimming pools, factories and horticulture. In horticulture the CO2 released is very welcome, because it stimulates the growth of the plants. (carbon dioxide assimilation). The total efficiency of Combined Heat and Power is about 90%
29
A heat pump transfers heat from a low temperature level to a higher level. For example, the lower level is the ground heat which is approximately 12 degrees during the whole year at any depth. The heat pump works according to the same principle as a refrigerator, but the goal is different. In a refrigerator the interior is chilled and the temperature outside is of no importance. In a heat pump, the heat is important. A room can be heated with it. The heat that arises is the total of the pumpenergy and the heat from the ground. The efficiency seems to be more than 100%. With a heat pump one uses the concept of COP (= coefficient of performance). For example, the COP = 4. Then 3 times as much (free) heat, from the ground is tapped compared with the pump energy. The total amount of heat produced is then 4 times the pumpenergy. The COP of a heat pump is greater when the temperature difference between inlet and exhaust is smaller. Therefore, a heat pump is often used in combination with floor heating.
The operation of a heat pump
~ a heat pump consists of a closed circuit, in which a coolant is circulated ~ for evaporation heat is required ~ in the evaporator the coolant evaporates at low pressure and thereby heat is extracted from the ground ~ the vapour containing the heat is pumped into the condenser by means of the compressor ~ by compressing additional heat is generated ~ in the condenser the vapour condenses at high pressure and the heat which is released is transferred to the environment as useful heat ~ in the expansion valve the coolant expands ~ pressure and temperature drop ~ now the cycle starts again
30
Press release on 13 January 2009:
"In the Hague a seawater heat plant has been opened. Over 800 homes in
the Scheveningse district "Dune village" will be equipped with heat, which will be extracted from the North Sea ". Some data:
~ the system consists of 1 large central heat pump, that will pump up the temperature of seawater from 5 degrees to 11 degrees celsius. ~ through a distribution network, water of this temperature will be supplied to the houses. ~ each house has a small heat pump, which will increase the temperature to 45 degrees for (floor) heating and 65 degrees for hot water
Ice stadium and swimming pool heating and cooling each other
The largest indoor sports centre of the Netherlands has been opened in Dordrecht. Heat released when making ice for the ice rink, will be used for heating water of the swimming pool, the buildings and the restaurant. In total 50% less energy is used then in comparable complexes
Combined Heat and Power compared with a heat pump
~ Combined Heat and Power is at the expense of the efficiency at electricity generation. For a useful amount of heat, the cooling water should not be too cold, so the efficiency of electricity generation goes down. (Carnot) ~ Combined Heat and Power is not "green", because it will only work on electricity generated by means of fossil fuels.
~ Heat pumps can work on "green energy"
(in the distant future).
~ A heat pump is roughly 4 times more efficient than "ordinary" electric heating. ~ Some heat pumps can work in 2 directions. They therefore can be used for heating or cooling. Also, they can simply be turned off, this is in contrast to Combined Heat and Power
Possibilities for the generation of heat 
(idealized) 

primary energy = 100% 
electricity 
waste heat 
useful heat 
burning 
 
 
100% 
generating of electricity 
40% 
60% 
 
Combined Heat and Power 
40% 
 
60% 
heat pump 
(40%) 
60% 
160% 
Electricity (40%) is completely converted into heat in the heat pump. At a coefficient of performance = 4 useful heat generated becomes 4 × 40% = 160%. So the heat pump is significantly more efficient than Combined Heat and Power. If the waste heat is also used, the generated heat will be even 220%
31
Alkaline battery
(AAcell):
~ contains 1,5 amperehour at 1,5 volt, that is 2,25 watthours ~ such a battery costs approximately € 0,80 ~ so 1 kilowatthour from an alkaline battery costs € 356,00
Rechargeable nickelmetal hydride battery
(AAcell)
~ contains 2,7 amperehour at 1,2 volt, that is 3,24 watthours ~ the use of rechargeable batteries is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than ordinary batteries.
The rechargeable nickelmetal hydride batteries of GP PowerBank meet up to the electrical specifications for 100%, which may be called noteworthy. I haven't tested other brands, but there is a lot of “chaff among the wheat", especially in quickly rechargeable batteries. Unfortunately, the dimensions of AAcells have not been normalized apparently, or the manufacturers are not always keeping up to the standard. This may cause (mechanical) problems at some applications when alkaline batteries are replaced by rechargeable nickelmetal hydride batteries. Sometimes they are a bit longer and thicker than the alkaline batteries. Also the lower clamp voltage (1,2 volt) may be a disadvantage.
Some of the features of rechargeable batteries
watthours 
cell voltage 
efficiency 
self discharge 

per kilogram 
volt 
charging cycle 
per month 

40 
2,1 
92% 
3% 

60 
1,2 
90% 
10% 

80 
1,2 
66% 
30% 

160 
3,6 
90% 
5% 

200 
3,7 
99% 
5% 

470 
1,6 
   
   

20 
1,2 
80% 
   
The zincair battery
The zincair battery ("electric fuel") is not rechargeable, in the usual meaning of the word. When the battery is empty, the (zinc) anodes must be replaced. Application in an electric car, might be an advantage, because then one doesn't have to wait for hours until the battery is recharged. Instead, the battery has to be exchanged with a regenerated one. The zincair battery for use in electric cars is still in the experimental stage. The energy density is 12 times as much as a leadacid battery, but still 27 times less than petrol. (at the same weight).
32
The vanadium redox battery
The vanadium redox battery is a liquid battery with a very large energycontent. The electrolyte is a solution of vanadium sulphate in sulphuric acid. The battery contains a membrane, which distributes the electrolyte into 2 halves. This membrane will only allow positive ions to go through.
During loading a redox reaction takes place in the battery. The ionisation degree of the atoms changes. In one half the electrolyte is reduced and in the other half oxidized. This will create opposite charges. At discharging, the reverse reactions will take place. Both halves are connected with their own storage tank with electrolyte. The amount of electrolyte (and thus the energy content of the battery) can be made very large. The electrolyte from the storage tank is pumped along the corresponding electrode. When the battery delivers energy, positive ions flow trough the membrane, and electrons trough the external circuit. While discharging the battery, the charges on both sides of the membrane are settled. When the electrolytes are developed, they should be replaced by fresh electrolytes with a new load. The battery can also be recharged by an electric current. Some of the features:
~ the battery is especially suited for stationary applications and can be used to level off the fluctuating yield of solar panels and windmills ~ the energy density is low, approximately 20 watthours per kilogram ~ the lifespan is very large, more than 10,000 load cycles ~ the power is determined by the dimensions of the membrane ~ the energy content is virtually unlimited and is determined by the size of the storage tanks with the electrolytes ~ already a vanadium redox battery has been made with an energy content of 12 megawatthours. ~ an electric train could run 2000 kilometres on this energy content (a 4wagons Double Decker consumes 6 kilowatthours per kilometre) ~ loading may be done (very quickly) by replacing the electrolytes, but the battery can also be recharged by an electric current ~ perhaps the redox battery is interesting for application in an electric car, because loading can be done very quickly by replacing the electrolytes
The principle of the vanadium redox battery resembles Blue Energy. There also a membrane is applied that separates 2 electrolytes, salt and fresh water which have different charges
33
The lifetime of a rechargeable battery or accumulator
~ the lifetime of a rechargeable battery or accumulator will strongly be influenced by the depth of discharge ~ the end of lifetime is reached, when the capacity is only 70% of the replacement value ~ the lifetime is expressed in the number of discharge cycles consumed
For lithiumion batteries is valid:
depth of 
lifetime 
discharge 
(discharge cycles) 
100% 
500 
50% 
1500 
25% 
2500 
10% 
4700 
The effective number of amperehours of a battery
The effective number of amperehours of a battery, will be heavily dependent on the current supplied. For example:
~ a battery of 100 amperehours can deliver a current of 5 amperes during 20 hours ~ at a current of 25 amperes, the battery will be empty in 2 hours, which corresponds to 50 amperehours
The working cycle of a battery of an electric car
The working cycle consists of 5 sub processes, each having an efficiency of 95%
~ converting the mains voltage to the desired voltage of the battery charger ~ charging the battery ~ discharging the battery ~ converting the battery direct current to alternating current with the desired frequency for driving the electric 3phase induction motor of an electric car ~ the electric motor
The total efficiency will be 77%
Quote from "De Ingenieur" ("The Engineer") 13 November 2009:
"Researchers from the TechnionIsrael Institute of Technology have invented a battery which is powered by oxidation of silicon. A battery of this type will have an energy density which is nearly sixty times larger than a highquality lithium battery. Theoretically the energy density is 8,5 kilowatthours per kilogram (which is almost as much as petrol) or 21,1 kilowatthours per litre. An industrial introduction may take place within 3 years. Large silicon rechargeable batteries for use in cars might be available in about 10 years”
34
This story is too good to be true and therefore it is probably not true. Would it be true, then the problem of electric cars would have been resolved. With a batteryweight, equal to a full petrol tank, (and with half the volume), the action radius of an electric car would then be about 2000 kilometres. If the batteries are always charged, when the car doesn't drive, the average energystock would be more than enough for everyday use. The question remains: “how to heat the car in winter”. If the energy is derived from the battery then it will be at the expense of the action radius
Toshiba announces a breakthrough in rechargeable lithiumion batteries
Early 2008 Toshiba launched an improved lithiumion battery, the SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) The main features of the standard module, which contains 10 cells, are:
~ the voltage is 24 volt at 4,2 amperehours (so the energy content is 100 watthours) ~ the battery is very safe (no explosion or fire hazard) ~ the charging time is 10 minutes ~ the energy density is bad in comparison with an ordinary lithiumion battery (100 watthours at a weight of 2 kilograms and a volume of 1,35 cubic decimetre) ~ the lifespan is very large, 10 years or 6000 charging cycles (after 3000 charging cycles the capacity loss will be only 10%) ~ the battery can be used within a wide temperature range (30 to + 45 degrees celsius) ~ the properties of the battery highly agree with those of a super capacitor (high charge and discharge currents and very short charge and discharge times)
Using this new type of lithiumion battery, the electric car, the hybrid car and also the electric bicycle could become a great success. The rapid charging is especially interesting for recovery of electrical energy during braking and speed reduction.
Sony also has developed a new lithiumion battery
The new Sony battery stands out for the large discharge current, which is possible. Some of the features:
~ a cell, type 18650 will deliver 1,1 amperehours at 3,2 volts, so the energy content will be 3,5 watthours ~ the energy density is 95 watthours per kilogram ~ the maximum discharge current is 20 amperes ~ the battery can be recharged in 30 minutes up to 99% of the capacity ~ the lifetime is 2000 charge cycles
35
Nexeon announces a lithiumion cell, with the "highest energy content in the world"
This concerns the type of lithiumion cell, that is often used in laptops and also in the Tesla Roadster. This cell, the 18650, has a diameter of 18 and a length of 65 millimetres. Some of the features:
~ the cell provides 3,2 amperehours at 3,6 volts, so that is 11,5 watthours (compare the cells in the Tesla Roadster, supplying 8,2 watthours each) ~ the energy density is 275 watthours per kilogram ~ n the long term even 4 amperehours is expected, that is 14,4 watthours per cell ~ the lifetime is 300 charge cycles
This may be an interesting breakthrough, for example for use in an electric bicycle
KIT also announces a new type of battery
Another piece of news mentions a new type of battery, with an energy
content 10 times as high as an ordinary lithiumion battery. Maybe it will ever get some with electric cars etc.
The graphene super capacitor
The latest news in the field of batteries and super capacitors is the graphene super capacitor.
Fast charging of a battery
At the fast charging of a battery from the mains, one gets to do with massive charge currents.
~ to charge 9,1 kilowatthours (= 1 litre of petrol equivalent) in 1 hour from 230 volt, a current of 9100 / 230 = 40 amperes will be needed. (efficiencies disregarded). ~ if this amount of energy will be charged in 3 minutes in a battery then the current from the mains will be 20 times as large, so 800 amperes.
So the refuelling of energy in the form of petrol is much easier and faster than the "refuelling" of electrical energy.
Batteries and accumulators are (still) not very suitable for storing (very) large quantities of electrical energy, such as is required in an electric car. Even if by new developments batteries and accumulators will be smaller and lighter, still the problems remain of charging with very large currents or long charging times. At a certain amount of energy the product of charging current and charging time will be constant. At a short charging time, the charging current will be large. Conversely, a small charging current will expire irrevocably in long charging times. In this regard the use of fuel cells is less problematic, because then hydrogen will be refuelled. The (total) efficiency however, will be significantly worse, and of course the question remains: "where does the hydrogen come from".
36
In an atomic battery energy is released by the decay of radioactive isotopes and not by a chain reaction. There are 2 techniques to generate electricity:
Some examples:
thermal conversion
~ a thermocouple produces a small electrical current if heat is applied. ~ a hotair engine starts running if heat is applied
nonthermal conversion
~ a capacitor is loaded if radiation, coming from a radioactive source, is beaming on one of the plates. ~ radioactive radiation can be converted into infrared light, a photocell can convert this into electricity. ~ an electromechanical nuclear battery consists of a fixed metal plate and a bendable plate. ~ both are isolated from each other. ~ radioactive radiation creates opposite charges and as a result the bendable plate will move towards the fixed plate until they touch. ~ then the plates are discharged and the bendable plate moves back again. ~ this process repeats itself 35 times per second. ~ the movement of the bendable plate is converted into electricity by a piezoelectric material
Some of the features of the nuclear battery
~ very expensive ~ small size ~ low efficiency, up to 8% ~ extremely long life, many decades ~ very high energy content ~ small power ~ can work by heat generation or beta radiation as a result of radioactive decay ~ applications in the medical sector (pacemakers) ~ as an energy source for space vehicles and communications equipment ~ in underwater systems and in computerized scientific systems on hard to reach places
37
For a person of 75 kilograms the basal metabolism will be about 300 kilojoules per hour. That is 2 kilowatthours per day. This amount of energy will be needed continuously for heartbeat, breathing, maintaining the constant body temperature (supplementing the heat losses), digestion etc. For example, the energy content of 1 litre of whole milk is 2700 kilojoules and that will be sufficient for 9 hours basal metabolism.
~ approximately 300 kilojoules extra will be needed to walk 1 kilometre 

~ approximately 
60 kilojoules extra will be needed to cycle 1 kilometre 

So walking costs 5 times as much energy as cycling over the same distance Now the calculation for walking and cycling during the same time: 

~ 1 hour walk 
= 
4 kilometres = 4 × 300 = 1200 kilojoules 

~ 1 hour cycling = 20 kilometres = 20 × 
60 = 1200 kilojoules 
So walking will cost the same amount of energy as cycling during the same time The amount of energy necessary for cycling depends heavily on the bike speed and the wind. In this example no headwind is assumed and the cyclist is seated upright. The above figures show how much energy is consumed in the form of
food. The energy content of 1 litre of petrol is 32,6 mega joules. Conversion to the petrolequivalent provides the following values:
Walking: 
Cycling: 

A recumbent 
The air resistance of a recumbent is about 3 times as small as at a regular bicycle
with an upright seated cyclist. Therefore less energy per kilometre will be needed. At a speed of 20 kilometres per hour and no wind the petrol equivalent of a recumbent will be 1 litre per 1235 km
Walking:
~ the mass of a walker is lifted up and down a few centimetres at every step, that takes a lot of energy ~ the energy used is proportional to the mass (weight) of the walker
Cycling:
~ a cyclist is fixated on the saddle and his centre of gravity always remains at the same height. When one leg goes down, the other goes up ~ energy is only used for overcoming the air resistance and rolling friction when cycling on a flat road with constant speed The rider's weight is not an issue. (Newton’s 1st Law) ~ acceleration and driving up a slope costs extra energy Then the required energy is proportional to the weights of rider + bicycle.
38
The amount of mechanical energy required for cycling 100 kilometres
~ an upright seated cyclist has to produce a power of approximately 75 watts during 5 hours, whilst cycling 20 kilometres per hour and no wind ~ so 100 kilometres of cycling requires a quantity of mechanical energy of 75 × 5 = 375 watthours ~ this equals 1350 kilojoules. ~ the efficiency of the conversion of food into mechanical energy in the muscles is 25% ~ so in the form of food 4 x 1350 = 5400 kilojoules will be required, that equals the energy content of only 2 litres of whole milk. ~ one doesn't lose weight by cycling 100 kilometres As a result of heat losses one does lose weight from swimming (and especially by eating less). ~ at a headwind of 5 metres per second (= 18 kilometres per hour) 3 times as much energy will be needed as when there is no wind.
39
~ on an electric bicycle the cyclist is supported by an electric motor ~ this motor gets its energy from a rechargeable battery ~ the degree of support is automatically controlled by a pedal sensor ~ the pedal sensor measures the force that is being exercised on the pedals ~ the motor gets energy proportional to that force ~ the result is, that on a slope or with headwind, support will increase
Ideally, climbing a slope or cycling against wind will be as easy as cycling on a flat road without wind. But of course that will cost a lot of energy. Therefore it is possible at most electric bicycles, to adjust the extent of support more or less progressively by using a switch on the bicycle handlebar. One can for example, choose between the modes "normal" or "power". The action radius of the support is determined by the energy content of the battery and the energy consumption of the motor. The legal maximum power of the motor is 250 watts.
Electric bicycles are so constructed that the electric motor can only be enabled, when one is pedalling. A bicycle with an auxiliary engine in the literal sense of the word.
The energy consumption of an electric bicycle
The energy consumption of an electric bicycle is strongly depending on the
circumstances under which the bicycle will be used. For example:
~ 50% support ~ an upright seated cyclist ~ a speed of 20 kilometres per hour ~ a headwind of 4 metres per second ~ hard inflated tyres
Under these circumstances, the energy delivered by the battery will be
~ the total efficiency of the charging cycle of the battery and the electricity generation is 30% ~ so the primary energy consumption is
5 / 0,30 = 16,7 watthours per kilometre ~ converted to petrolequivalent this is
40
The Double Decker
The Double Decker is the most modern and efficient train of the Dutch Railways.
~ the basic implementation of the train is 4 wagons with 372 seats ~ the total length of 4 wagons is 108 metres. ~ the weight, including the travellers is 254 tonnes. ~ the power is 1608 kilowatts.
The weight and number of passengers in this train is similar to that of a Jumbo. In the following, global calculation we will assume an 85% efficiency of the train, a trajectory of 14 kilometres and a speed of 140 kilometres per hour (= 39 metres per second).
~ the maximum power of 1608 kilowatts will be used during acceleration ~ the speed of 140 kilometres per hour will be reached in 2,4 minutes ~ at that time 3000 metres have been travelled and
54 kilowatthours consumed
~ during the following 9360 metres 1/3 of the power is used
~ in the next 4 minutes, at a constant speed, 30 kilowatt hours are consumed (overcoming the rolling resistance frictional losses and air resistance) ~ the remaining 1640 metres will be used for speed reduction and braking
~ so the net amount of energy consumed will be 54 + 30 =
84 kilowatthours (that is some more than the energy the
Greenpeace solar panel of 0,75 square metres will generate in a year). ~ the total efficiency of the electricity generation and the train together will be 33% × 85% = 28%.
~ for a trajectory of 14 kilometres gross consumption will be
84 / 0,28 = 300 kilowatthours which is equivalent to
33 litres of petrol
~ this will allow 372 persons to be transported over a distance of 14 kilometres ~ which is a consumption of 1 litre per 158 km per traveller ~ during the braking of the train, energy can be fed back into the overhead line. ~ much extra energy is needed for heating in winter ~ that energy should also be supplied via the overhead line
The results of this calculation come out well in line with the data I got from a train driver. In a car the heating is provided by wasteheat. At a train energy for heating is generated with an efficiency of approximately 33%
41
The Thalys
The Thalys, which runs on the High Speed Line, consumes much more energy than an ordinary train. The 1500 volt direct current, as applied in the Netherlands, will no longer be sufficient. The Thalys on the line AmsterdamParis is suitable for 3 different voltages:
~ 25000 volts alternating current
(on all High Speed Lines,
for this the train has been designed)
~ 3000 volt direct current ~ 1500 volt direct current
(in Belgium on existing rail) (in the Netherlands on existing rail)
The switching happens automatically. In the Netherlands, the Thalys partially runs on tracks that already exist. There the speed will be limited to about 160 kilometres per hour especially near Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The train is equipped with 6 different signalling systems, including the Dutch, Belgian, German and French system
~ the Thalys has a fixed composition of 8 wagons and 2 motor cars with 377 seats. ~ its length is 200 metres. ~ its weight, including the travellers is 414 tonnes ~ its power is 8850 kilowatts.
In the following global calculation will be assumed that the train will have an efficiency of 85%. The trajectory will be 100 kilometres and the speed will be 300 kilometres per hour. (= 83 metres per second)
~ during acceleration the maximum power of 8850 kilowatts is used ~ the speed of 300 kilometres per hour will be reached after 3,5 minutes ~ at that time then 8 kilometres have been travelled and 396 kilowatthours consumed ~ during the following 92 kilometres 2/3 of the power is used ~ then in 18,4 minutes, at a constant speed, 1538 kilowatthours will be consumed (for overcoming the rolling resistance, frictional losses and air resistance) ~ so the net amount of energy consumed is 396 + 1538 = 1934 kilowatthours ~ the total efficiency of the electricity generation and train together will be 33% × 85% = 28% ~ for the entire route of 100 kilometres the gross consumption will be 1934 / 0,28 = 6907 kilowatthours ~ this is the equivalent to 759 litres of petrol ~ this allows 377 persons to be transported over a distance of 100 kilometres ~ per traveller this is a consumption of 1 litre per 50 km
42
Electric boat
(seen on an exhibition of boats)
~ a battery of 420 amperehours and 24 volts, so 10 kilowatthours. ~ this amount of energy is sufficient to sail a boat of 800 kilograms for 8 hours at a speed of 6 kilometres per hour. ~ the energy costs about € 2, and for that price 8 persons could be transported over a distance of 50 kilometres. ~ converted to petrolequivalent, that is 1 litre per 91 km per person.
The fast ferry between Harwich and Hook of Holland
~ this boat, a Catamaran, with a speed of 75 kilometres per hour is the fastest ferry in the world. ~ the boat is powered by 4 gas turbines with a total capacity (power) of 69 000 kilowatts. ~ the boat is 124 metres long and 40 metres wide. ~ the transport capacity is 1500 passengers and 350 cars ~ so the amount of energy consumed is 69 000 / 75 = 920 kilowatthours per kilometre. ~ the consumption is 337 litres of petrolequivalent per kilometre at an efficiency of 30% of the gas turbines. ~ a car weighs on average as much as 12 passengers. ~ altogether that is the weight of 350 × 12 + 1500 = 5700 passengers. ~ this is 1 litre per 17 km per "passenger".
This ferry has been taken out of service, because there was too little interest
43
Some global data and calculations:
~ a Jumbo can carry a maximum of 100 000 litres of fuel per wing. ~ the action radius is then 13 500 kilometres. (= 1/3 of the Earth's circumference). ~ the fuel consumption will therefore be:
2 × 100 000 / 13 500 = 15 litres per kilometre ~ a Jumbo can carry 450 passengers. ~ so the fuel consumption is 1 litre per 30 km per passenger (far more economical than a car with 1 passenger). ~ about half of the takeoff weight of a Jumbo consists of fuel (on a long distance flight). ~ the empty weight is 181 tonnes, the maximum fuel weight is
~ refuelling will take about an hour. That's 200 000 litres in
60 minutes = 3 333 litres per minute.
~ 200 000 litres = 200 cubic metres. This is the equivalent of a
"swimming pool" of 2 metres deep with a surface of 10 by 10 metres. ~ the cruising speed at a height of 10 kilometres is 900 kilometres per hour. ~ the flight time is 15 hours for the maximum distance of
13 500 kilometres.
~ so the average fuel consumption of the 4 engines together is
200 000 litres per 15 hours. That is a primary energy consumption
of 200 000 × 10 kilowatthours per 15 hours (1 litre of kerosene = 10 kilowatthours) ~ this is 40 000 kilowatthours per hour useful energy at an efficiency of 30%. A power of 40 000 kilowatts = 40 megawatts. ~ the "take off" speed is 290 kilometres per hour. ~ within 1 minute the Jumbo is independent of the runway So the (average) acceleration is 1,5 metres per seconds ^{2} ~ the distance travelled on the runway is 2000 to 2500 metres (depending on the takeoff weight)
44
The petrol consumption of an average car is 1 litre per 15 km. At a speed of 120 kilometres per hour, that is 8 litres of petrol per hour. The efficiency of a petrol engine is heavily dependent on:
~ the revolutions per minute ~ the delivered torque ~ the momentary power
The maximum achievable efficiency is 25% and this is determined by the compression ratio and the temperature range in the cylinders. (Carnot) The efficiency of a diesel engine is approximately 35%. A petrol engine can approach this by:
~ optimal fuel injection ~ optimal oxygenfuel ratio at all revolutions ~ optimal ignitiontime at all revolutions ~ as many valves as possible ~ variable valve timing ~ a motor temperature as high as possible
Hence ever experiments took place with ceramic engines. That would allow a higher temperature than with engines made of metal. Affecting the efficiency is caused by:
~ the use of the catalyst ~ cold start ~ variable speed ~ variable load ~ cooling ~ idling
45
An electric car from 1916
Already 5000 electric cars had been manufactured in America by Baker Electric between 1899 and 1915. The top speed was 23 kilometres per hour, with an action radius of 80 kilometres. Another wellknown brand in the initial phase was Detroit Electric. This company produced electric cars that reached a top speed of 32 kilometres per hour, at a 130 kilometres action radius.
A car battery of 12 volt, 36 amperehours can provide 12 × 36 = 432 watthours energy. The contents of a normal petrol tank is 48 litres. This corresponds to 437 kilowatthours. which is approximately equal to the energy content of 1000 car batteries.
Nowadays electric cars can cover reasonable distances. That is due to:
~ a better kind of battery (nickelmetal hydride or lithiumion
instead of lead batteries) ~ the higher efficiency of the electric motor (90%) compared with a petrol engine (25%)
~ a lower speed
(the air resistance is proportional to the 2nd
power of the speed) ~ a low rolling resistance, low weight and a streamline ~ regenerating of energy during braking, speed reduction and descending a slope
Some characteristics of the electric car are:
~ the electric car is virtually silent ~ the electric car produces no exhaust gases (but the power plant does all the more) ~ there are only a few moving parts, so there is less maintenance ~ it is relatively easy to drive the individual wheels separately, so there is no need for a differential ~ at the same amount of propulsion energy the primary energy consumption is higher than for a hybrid or diesel car, equal for a petrol car and less than for a hydrogen car ~ at the same amount of propulsion energy the (indirect) CO2emissions is the same for a hybrid or diesel car but lower than for a petrol or hydrogen car ~ the electric motor can deliver maximum torque at all speeds, this enables a quick acceleration ~ the efficiency of the electric motor is high at all revolutions ~ the electric motor is never running idle ~ there is no need for a gearbox ~ the action radius is (very) limited
~ the battery is heavy, very expensive and takes a lot of space
~ charging the battery lasts very long
(minimum 4 hours)
~ heating an electric car comes at the expense of the range
46
For special applications such as courier services, municipal services and commuting there may be a future for electric cars in the offing. It decreases the air pollution in the large cities, however
at the expense of the air pollution at the power plant
The General Motors EV1
The General Motors EV1 (electric vehicle) has been produced between 1996 and 1999. It was an electric 2seater car 1117 pieces have been produced. They were not for sale, as they were meant to be for leasing purposes only. In 2003 all cars were seized and destroyed by General Motors except for a few units, that were donated to museums and schools. At first they were made unusable. This may have happened under pressure of the oil industry. The first draft was created on the occasion of the "World Solar Challenge" in Australia in 1987. The first type, the "Impact" reached a top speed of 295 kilometres per hour. Everyone was excited, except General Motors. They started developing the EV1, to show that time was not yet ripe for a successful electric car. However, the developers were so excited, that it was difficult to curb them. The battery of this car could be charged via an induction coil. This was safe during rainy periods. Slow charging via a plug was also possible. For the user the EV1 was a great success. For General Motors the profit margin was too low and there was fear that the sale of ordinary cars, which created much profit, would decrease. This happened anyway, because Japan imported many modern cars. The EV1 was the best electric car ever made. It was far ahead of its time. Some data:
~ low weight because of an aluminium frame and plastic components ~ a very low air resistance ~ heating by means of a heat pump ~ keyless entry and ignition ~ the power of the 3phase induction motor was 102 kilowatts ~ the car accelerated in 8 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour ~ its top speed was 130 kilometres per hour ~ the energy content of the nickelmetal hydride battery was 26 kilowatthours ~ the action radius was 200 kilometres ~ the average energy consumption was 130 watthours per kilometre ~ the load time of the battery was 8 hours
A film has been made about this car in 2006: "Who killed the electric car?"
47
The Tesla Roadster
In 2008 a 2seater electric sports car was introduced in America, the Tesla Roadster Some data:
~ the power of the 3phase induction motor is 215 kilowatts ~ the efficiency of the motor is 92%
(virtually independent of the speed) ~ the car accelerates in 4 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour
~ then the acceleration is 0,7 g
(g = the acceleration of gravity)
~ the top speed is 200 kilometres per hour ~ the energy content of the lithiumion battery is 56 kilowatthours (that is equivalent to 6,1 litres of petrol) ~ the battery consists of 6831 "laptop" cells (type 18650), which
are cooled liquidly ~ the energy content of 1 cell is 8,2 watthours
~ the energy density of the battery is 121 watthours per kilogram (including housing)
~ the action radius is 340 kilometres
(at a constant speed of 100
kilometres per hour) ~ at this speed the energy consumption of the electric motor is 56 000 / 340 = 165 watthours per kilometre ~ the total efficiency (“plugtowheel”) of the car is 88% ~ so the energy consumption from the outlet is
165 / 0,88 = 188 watthours per kilometre
~ the total efficiency of the production of electricity is 33%
~ so the primary energy consumption is
188 / 0,33 = 567 watthours per kilometre
~ converted to petrolequivalent one arrives at 1 litre per 16 km
~ the weight of the car is 1240 kilograms ~ the minimum loading time of the battery is 4 hours
The quick acceleration is due to the fact that the electric motor delivers a constant torque on the entire range from 0 up to 6000 revolutions per minute. The Mechanics teaches that the same amount of energy is needed for fast or slow acceleration to the same endspeed. At a constant speed on a flat road, the weight of the car hardly is important. During acceleration and climbing a slope the weight is indeed important. But while braking, speed reduction and descending a slope, in proportion to the weight more or less energy will be recovered.
48
The Tesla model S
In 2013 a 5seater electric car was introduced in Europe, the Tesla model S Some data:
~ the power of the 3phase induction motor is 270 kilowatts ~ the efficiency of the motor is 92%
(virtually independent of the speed) ~ the car accelerates in 5,6 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour
~ then the acceleration is 0,5 g
(g = the acceleration of gravity)
~ the top speed is 200 kilometres per hour
~ the energy content of the lithiumion battery is 85 kilowatthours (= 9,3 litres of petrolequivalent)
~ the action radius is 480 kilometres
88 kilometres per hour)
(at a constant speed of
~ at this speed the energy consumption of the electric motor is
85 000 / 480 = 177 watthours per kilometre
~ the total efficiency ("plugtowheel") of the car is 88% ~ so the energy consumption from the outlet is 177 / 0,88 = 201 watthours per kilometre ~ the total efficiency of the production of electricity is 33% ~ so the primary energy consumption is 201 / 0,33 = 610 watthours per kilometre ~ converted to petrolequivalent one arrives at 1 litre per 15 km ~ the weight of the car is 2100 kilograms ~ at home the loading time of the battery is about 8 hours ~ with a supercharger the battery can be loaded to 80% in 40 minutes. That requires 0,8 × 85 = 68 kilowatthours ~ the supercharger delivers direct current directly to the battery. With special cables the loading equipment in the car is bypassed. ~ initially the direct current is 200 amperes at a voltage of 380 volts (76 kilowatts). The current slowly decreases to 125 amperes, until 80% loading is reached ~ the superchargers are built along major highways In the Netherlands there are already 3 pieces.
The Tesla model X
In 2015 the Tesla model X was launched
A few details of the top model:
~ 2 engines with a combined power of 568 kilowatts ~ the energy content of the battery is 90 kilowatthours ~ the action radius is 400 kilometres ~ the car accelerates in 3,4 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour ~ then the acceleration is 0,8 g (g = the acceleration of gravity)
49
The Opel Ampera
A new interesting development is the Opel Ampera. This is a 4seater car which meets with the problem of the long charging time of a battery and the limited range of the electric car. The Ampera will be launched around 2012 and will be equipped with a "charging engine". The energy content of the battery will be sufficient for an action radius of 60 kilometres. The charging engine is only intended to load the battery when it gets empty during a long ride. Thus the action radius will be increased up to 500 kilometres. This will make the applicability of this electric car more attractive. Although the entire concept does not save any energy, at a well planned use, on short distances (commuting) one never needs to fuel the tank, while the risk of an empty battery will be avoided. The charging engine works at a constant speed, with maximum efficiency. The Ampera is solely propelled by the electric motor. The charging engine has the sole task of charging the battery, when it is drained during a long ride. Some data:
~ the power of the electric motor is 110 kilowatts ~ the car accelerates in 9 seconds from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour ~ its top speed is 160 kilometres per hour ~ the energy content of the lithiumion battery is 16 kilowatthours (= 1,8 litre petrolequivalent) ~ the action radius without recharging is 60 kilometres ~ the action radius together with the charging engine is 500 kilometres ~ the power of the charging engine is 60 kilowatts
50
The Prius
In 1997 Toyota has launched the "Prius". This is a hybrid car. In 2004 an improved version appeared. Worldwide there are now (2013) more than 3 million cars of this type. It is a car which is propelled by an electric motor (60 kilowatts), a petrol engine (73 kilowatts) or a combination of both, depending on the situation. Its goal is to achieve an as high as possible (vehicle) efficiency.
~ the efficiency of the (Atkinson) petrol engine is high, but strongly depending on the load and the speed ~ the electric motor always has a high efficiency ~ the electric motor is working when the efficiency of the petrol engine is low ~ the energy for the electric motor is supplied by a rechargeable nickelmetal hydride battery of 1,3 kilowatthours (= 0,14 litres of petrolequivalent) ~ at (regenerative) braking and speed reduction the electric motor works as a dynamo and delivers energy back to the battery ~ in addition, the battery is recharged by a generator, which is linked to the petrol engine ~ the charging happens, when the petrol engine works with a high efficiency ~ the generator can also provide energy directly to the electric motor ~ the petrol engine, generator and electric motor are linked together by means of a mechanical energy distributor, which is controlled by a microprocessor ~ this energy distributor also functions as a continuously variable automatic transmission ~ the efficiency of this automatic gearbox is much higher than an ordinary manual gearbox.
51
The hybrid system can of course never be more energy efficient than the petrol engine which is part of it
All energy is derived from this engine and all energy conversions are accompanied with (small) losses. The profit of the hybrid system is extracted from the following properties
~ the electric motor works during starting from standstill and at low speeds ~ the petrol engine is designed for the average power and therefore it will be extra economical. ~ the electric motor assists the petrol engine during acceleration and shortterm at high speeds. ~ energy is returned to the battery when speed is reduced and while braking. ~ the petrol engine stops once the car is stationary and so never idles. ~ the petrol engine works as much as possible under circumstances when the efficiency is high. ~ at low efficiency of the petrol engine the electric motor assists.
In brakingstoppingacceleration situations the highest effect of the hybrid system is achieved. For instance in traffic jams and in cities with many traffic lights. Over long distances and at high speed the hybrid system is not working. Then only the economical (Atkinson) petrol engine works. The efficiency of this engine is 34%. A normal petrol engine has an efficiency of 25%. The Prius (a luxury 5seater car), with an "energy monitor" on the dashboard, invites you to practise an economical driving style. The consumption then will approach the 1 litre per 25 km provided by Toyota.
The Prius 4
In 2016 the Prius 4 was launched. Some data:
~ the efficiency of the Atkinson engine is 40% ~ the petrol consumption is 1 litre per 30 km
52
Some characteristics of the fuel cell car are:
~ the energy source for a fuel cell car is hydrogen gas ~ in a fuel cell the hydrogen gas is “burned”, as a result electricity is generated ~ at the combustion of hydrogen no harmful gases arise, just water ~ the generated electricity is fed through a battery to an electric motor which propels the car ~ while braking and speed reduction energy is returned to the battery
The question remains: "where does the hydrogen come from" Hydrogen can be obtained by electrolysis (decomposition) of water. The electric energy needed for the decomposition of the water must be generated through combustion of fossil fuels (which causes harmful gases), nuclear energy, wind energy or other forms of "green" energy Hydrogen can also be extracted from crude oil or natural gas. It is said Shell will try to produce this in the near future. But that will cost fossil fuel.
Efficiencies
~ the efficiency of the generation of electricity is 40% ~ the efficiency of electrolysis of water is 80% ~ the efficiency of a fuel cell is 50% ~ the efficiency of an electric motor is 90%
So the efficiency of the fuel cell and the electric motor together is 50% x 90% = 45%
So the car that runs on hydrogen, will be no solution to the energy problem. The total efficiency is only 14%
(40% × 80% × 50% × 90% = 14%) The energy consumption of the fuel cell car, converted to petrol equivalent, is about 1 litre per 9 km
Will the fuel cell car ever appear on the road?
It is not very likely that the fuel cell car ever will appear (largescale) on the road. It is more obvious, that in future cars will drive on synthetic petrol, synthetic diesel oil or electricity. Also GTL (gas to liquid) has enormous potential, in particular now that worldwide gigantic amounts of shale gas are found.
Instructive toy
A working system of a fuel cell car in the form of an instructive toy is for
sale for € 159, It includes a solar cell, a reactor for the production of hydrogen by means of electrolysis of water and a fuel cell car.
53
Toyota 

It is striking, that especially Toyota is very active with the development of "green" cars on all fronts. All are full cars without any compromise in the area of safety and luxury. For years they have been tested and applied in practice on a large scale 

~ the electric car ~ the hybrid car ~ the fuel cell car 
(Prius) 
The production of the electric car has been discontinued, because of low interest. Toyota now produces an assortment of 4 hybrid cars and 1 plugin hybrid car.
In 2015 Toyota launches the first fuel cell car
The Mirai
Some preliminary data
~ this 4seater fuel cell car has a action radius
of 700 kilometres. ~ that is 4 to 5 times as much as an electric car. ~ the hydrogen gas can be tanked in 3 minutes. ~ the pressure in the 2 hydrogen tanks is
70 atmospheres.
~ the car is usable from a temperature of minus
30 degrees celsius.
Large scale application is expected around 2020. Condition for the introduction of the fuel cell car is an infrastructure that makes it possible that in many places (the very explosive and thus dangerous) hydrogen gas can be tanked under high pressure
Honda, as well as Toyota a pioneer in the field of hybrid cars, is now launching the "Insight", after the hybrid version of the "Civic"
Volkswagen says the hybrid car is an "ecological disaster", because it contains a large battery. Nevertheless, it is also concerned with the development of a hybrid car, "because there is a demand for such a car". If the allegation of Volkswagen would be correct, then the electric car should be a major disaster, because it contains a very large battery.
BMW has let us know to refrain from the development of the fuel cell car for the time being. They will however develop an internal combustion engine that will run on hydrogen. The efficiency of this engine would be about 50%.
Opel describes the Prius as "technologically prehistoric". (the grapes are very acidic). The market introduction (in 2011) of the Ampera has been postponed because of problems with the lithiumion battery. (spontaneous combustion)
54
The energy scenario of the future, when the fossil fuels will be exhausted, may be (partially) based on the socalled Hydrogen Economy. Hereby it is assumed that an endless amount of "green" energy will be available around 2050.
~ solar energy (from the Sahara) and wind energy (submitted by wind farms in sea) are not available continuously (the Sun does not shine at night and the wind is not always blowing) ~ thus for the electricity generated by these "green" energy sources, there is a storage problem. ~ it is possible to use electricity for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis (decomposition) of water. ~ unlike electricity, hydrogen can be stored under very high pressure, both in unlimited quantities and during long periods of time. ~ transport could take place through a network of pipelines to tank stations, although huge practical problems will arise. ~ it seems more obvious to produce hydrogen onsite at tank stations. ~ the hydrogen can deliver electricity via fuel cells where the only "combustion" product is water. ~ in this scenario hydrogen is an energy carrier
Some people think hydrogen is an inexhaustible source of energy, but it's not. On the contrary. Producing hydrogen by electrolysis of water will cost 1,25 times more energy than it will deliver
In the media usually the "evidence" of the inexhaustibility is suggested by showing the sea in the background which is nonsense of course, because water contains no energy. First it must be decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen economy provides the following image:
green energy > electrolysis of water > hydrogen > fuel cell > electricity
Efficiencies of storing energy in a battery or in hydrogen
~ the efficiency of storing energy in a battery is 90% ~ the efficiency of electrolysis of water is 80% and of the fuel cell is 50% ~ so the cycle efficiency of storing energy in hydrogen is 80% x 50% = 40%
Hydrogen as a storage medium of energy only seems useful for vehicles, when the oil is exhausted and if there has still been no breakthrough in battery technology. Also it is conceivable that the atomic battery ever might be a solution.
55
Comparison petrol – hydrogen
Comparison of the CO2 emissions at the combustion of 1 litre of petrol
and at the production of 1 kilogram of hydrogen. In this example the hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water with electricity provided by a gasfired plant.
Petrol
~ the energy content of 1 litre of petrol is 9,1 kilowatthours ~ at the combustion of 1 litre of petrol the CO2 emissions will be 3,1 kilograms "welltowheel" ~ that is 3,1 / 9,1 = 0,34 kilograms CO2 per kilowatthour
Hydrogen
~ the energy content of 1 kilogram of hydrogen is 33,6 kilowatthours ~ the production of 1 kilogram of hydrogen by electrolysis of water takes 33,6 / 0,8 = 42 kilowatthours (the efficiency = 80%) ~ for producing 42 kilowatthours by a gas fired plant 42 / 0,4 = 105 kilowatthours of primary energy will be needed (the efficiency is 40%) ~ that is 12 cubic metres of natural gas (1 cubic metre of natural gas = 8,8 kilowatthours) ~ at the combustion of 1 cubic metre of natural gas 2,2 kilograms of CO2 is created “welltowheel” ~ at the combustion of 12 cubic metre of natural gas 12 x 2,2 = 26 kilograms of CO2 is created ~ that is (indirectly) 26 / 33,6 = 0,77 kilograms of CO2 per kilowatthour