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Thread: Hybrid Trip to the summit

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
    A year's worth of meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, for four people, in corn is equivalent to ONE tank of E85? Really? I'm incredulous. If that's true, 1) I can't understand why anyone would want to use Ethanol this way (unless Congress is rigged in favor of the agricultural great plains states) and 2) how it could be economical to use so much food to get so little energy in return. Can you cite a study?
    It seems crazy. It was just a passing comment by an "expert" on CNBC one morning. I'm guessing there are some caveats, errors and gross exaggerations.

    The take away should be that it takes a lot of corn to make one tank of gas. Its worth doing some searching. Just look up the quantity of corn it takes to make a gallon of ethanol.

    On purely a weight basis (assuming 1 pound of corn makes one pound of ethanol) you'd need 240 pounds of corn to fill a 30 gallon tank. Of course, converting corn into ethanol is not anywhere close to that efficient. And that doesn't include the energy needed to grow and transport the crop/fuel.
    Bill
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  2. #22
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    I read in Discover magazine a year or two ago that corn-based ethanol takes 3 units of energy for every 4 units that are created. This is because it takes a great deal of petroleum-based fuel to plant, fertilize, harvest, process, and transport the corn.

    Ethanol, like the hybrids I defended above, is a fledgling technology. If, in the end, it will help more than it hurts, I am all for it. I'm not scientifically qualified to draw conclusions. If it takes food out of people's mouths and does not ease us off our global dependence on non-renewable energy, then it is not worth pursuing.

    Does the future lie with corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, plugin electrics (with a clean, renewable grid), or chicken guts? If you know the answer to that, please tell us all.

  3. #23
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    "Does the future lie with corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, plugin electrics (with a clean, renewable grid), or chicken guts? If you know the answer to that, please tell us all."

    Probably none of the above, or all of the above in addition to some other form of energy production/extraction that we are not aware of now. Each of the above has its own positives and drawbacks. In the interim conservation/ increased efficiency, as well as a decrease in the growth rate of the population is, IMO, the only way to go.

  4. #24
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    Interesting - I was talking with a friend last night who has a Prius. On a drive from NC to NYC he averaged 52 mpg with the car. The worst he has gotten is 42 mpg. I was very surprised.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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  5. #25
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    Toyota plans to manufacture the Prius in America:
    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...QymP7uDxeSsX1g


    They may also put solar panels on the roof to assist with air conditioning:
    http://www.informationweek.com/blog/...ered_to_1.html

  6. #26
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    You don't have to wait..

    Solartec already makes a kit for the Prius (but it looks small with 2 strips for the roof)

    http://snipurl.com/33pp7

    Solar Electric Vehicles makes a full roof solar panel for the Prius

    http://snipurl.com/33ppd

    I think they should cover the hood of the car too.

    Maybe even run a solar strip across that air spoiler in the back.

    Kirk

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