Why battery-powered aircraft will never have significant range

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Rhino

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From 2015: New Study Reveals When, Where and How Much Motorists Drive | AAA Newsroom
and: The Average American Drives This Much Each Year -- How Do You Compare? | The Motley Fool
From 2021: Average Miles Driven per Year in the USA | Policy Advice

What I cannot find is the median daily mileage. I think that would be of more value.
Basically, the general public does not drive nearly as far we imagine.
Actually they drive a bit further than I expected. 12,000 miles/year was always the average before, and apparently it's been going up. Interesting that teenagers are driving less and less. And Policy Advice has some neat little factoids on their flyer, like the most dangerous days and times to drive. AAA even included their statistical calculations, which you don't often see.

Unfortunately none of them include their raw data, so we have no way of seeing individual trip distances, like you said. Lots of interesting stuff though. Thanks.
 

Dan Thomas

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Solar has no moving parts and has an excellent
record of reliability.
And an excellent record of vulnerability and unreliability. It doesn't work at night. Any overcast reduces its output. Snow stops it. Dust settles on it. Hail destroys it. Seasonal and daily movement of the sun reduces its efficiency due to angular light.

Most of its benefits consist of unscientific hype.
 
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Vigilant1

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Slightly further OT, sorry, but my nuke power comments above included the idea that there has to be a working deterrent against corporate rodents sacrificing public safety. Personal, direct liability of each and every executive associated with the nuke plant, with no "corporate veil" LLC or C-corp protection.
Interesting concept, and I understand the sentiment. But is this specific to nuclear power?
And is it specific to corporate leaders? If I own stock (so, part owner of) XYZ corp, should my personal assets be available to satisfy the legal claims against XYZ corp? Gonna make it pretty hard for businesses to raise funds.
 

patrickrio

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You will still raise funds as a company... because another country will allow you to do it with limited liability even if ours creates a law that doesn't allow you to.

This means that, in an economic sense as a country, you must balance the risk of offering limitation of liability for investors and employees with the risk of a different country controlling the technology.

Unless you can get international law to agree to cooperate on international standards for this. Hey, it MOSTLY worked for chloroflourocarbons.....

But it could work out to be a great trade. FDA drug testing laws mean that certain types of drug testing get done somewhere else and this probably works out well for the US.

Whether it is better to keep tech in country or export it really depends on the risks and the tech.

Whether it is a net good for the world won't matter much until there are consistent international legal standards broadly applied. Might be awhile till that happens.
 
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Rhino

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tspear

This doesn't provide the exact answers we want, but it does provide some very good insights. Has some good demographic info too (Americans do not own the most cars per capita. Not even close).


Americans took long trips (over 50 miles) by personal vehicle that totaled over 760 billion miles in 2001. Wow.

Again they don't give raw data, but they come close. 97% of trips 100-299 miles were taken by personal vehicles. 94% at 300-499 miles, 86% at 500-999 miles, 53% at 100-1999, and 22% of 2000 plus miles were by personal vehicle. Those people in the last category must really like spending time in their cars. This also makes me note that you or I never established a 'break even' point for mileage on a long trip, so we kind of left a little bit open to interpretation.

With that many long distance miles travelled by Americans in their personal vehicles, I still feel safe in saying they'd choose cars based on the ability to make long distance trips. But it doesn't look like either of us will find the exact raw data we're looking for. I don't consider it a loss for either of us though, because there was a lot of great stuff in those links. Thanks again.
 

rv7charlie

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Ask the former residents of the area around Fukushima what they think. If the stockholders *were* liable, then *maybe* there'd be enough assets to cover the actual damage done....
 

Vigilant1

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Ask the former residents of the area around Fukushima what they think. If the stockholders *were* liable, then *maybe* there'd be enough assets to cover the actual damage done....
Maybe. But if this sort of recovery became the norm, indemnity insurance products would spring up. They'd have their own huge buildings, overhead, and sharpie lawyers.
Other industries would be hit far worse than nuclear power.
Deaths per thousand terawatt hours of electrical production:
Coal: 100,000 (far lower in developed nations)
Natural gas: 4000
Rooftop solar: 440
Wind: 150
Nuclear: 90 ( includes fairly pessimistic estimates of long term Chernobyl and Fukushima events)
 

patrickrio

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Ask the former residents of the area around Fukushima what they think. If the stockholders *were* liable, then *maybe* there'd be enough assets to cover the actual damage done....
Yes. My point wasn't that something SHOULDN'T be different my point was that a country, for the most part, can't make a unilateral decision that affects everywhere. They can mostly only decide if if happens here or somewhere else right now because of a lack of widespread international laws and enforcement ability.

It's the difference between the ideal, and what actually exists. The current system, at it's worst, causes an international race to the bottom in some ways and in certain situations. At it's best you get trans national railways and an amazing road system...

Ideally this should probably be similar to as Victor Bravo described, internationally. But that just won't likely happen in the current world.
 
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Vigilant1

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This means that, in an economic sense as a country, you must balance the risk of offering limitation of liability for investors and employees with the risk of a different country controlling the technology.
Option 3: Not having the technology at all. Vaccines: Highly concentrated risk, widely spread benefit but (irrationally) low value/price consumers are willing to pay. Huge net benefit, but a problem with normal market forces. It happens...
 
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BBerson

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No civilian deaths from nuclear in the US. It doesn't need any more regulation. Chernobyl was for bomb making using unsafe carbon moderator that would never be used by a corporation.
 

Voidhawk9

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Fukushima had a long history of management issues (not resolving known issues etc) and was an old design with some poorly thought-out mitigations (ie venting 'containment'). Ironically, if they hadn't shut the plant down following the earthquake, it would have been able to continue powering it's own cooling system and no accident would have occurred.

The common nuclear powerplant today is a design derived from naval powerplant reactor design. Navy ships rarely lack for coolant supply, and active cooling requirements are unlikely to be a problem.
Many of the 'new' powerplant designs are passive-failsafe - you can even crack the reactor open and it will safely cool in a recoverable way with no release of radioactive elements, as they don't need to be a pressurized system like reactors are today. There are no 'meltdowns' in molten-salt type reactors, as the fuel is already a liquid - no problem.
 

dog

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And an excellent record of vulnerability and unreliability. It doesn't work at night. Any overcast reduces its output. Snow stops it. Dust settles on it. Hail destroys it. Seasonal and daily movement of the sun reduces its efficiency due to angular light.

Most of its benefits consist of unscientific hype.
Having lived off grid on solar for more than 10
years I can say ,you are wrong on all points,as of right now the sun is going down,I can hear my deapfreez running,just watered the horse,
3/4hp 220v ac jet pump, running from a split
phase 220 v inverter operating from a 400ahr,
48 v dc battery bank.
My up time is better than the grid.
Solar power is now officialy the cheapest power ever built and run.
Solar pv production will more than double over the next two years.
Many many billions of dollars are going into just the research for the next gen solar.
And just to yank your chain.
There is an little known variant of photo voltaics that might interest you Dan, as it runs
on gasoline,useing a pv panel that has been tuned for one specific wavelength of light and built into a cylindrical shaper, then fuel is burned inside the resulting tube and the coulor temp of the flame is regulated to match the
photo voltaics.
 

rv6ejguy

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Having lived off grid on solar for more than 10
years I can say ,you are wrong on all points
Depends on where you live. Warm sunny place is good. Where I live, nope. Between the low sun angle and short days in the winter, the snow covering the panels and the sometimes -30C stuff, solar in only useful for about half the year. But that is helpful at least, just payback time on the investment is doubled.
 

Pops

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My daughter has been off the grid for about 7 years. Bought a farm 2 years ago out a mountain ridge on her private dead end road behind a locked gate. Would cost more to get grid electric out the ridge than what she paid for the farm. She is on solar and 2 NG generators from 2 wells where she had free deeded NG. No problem with power.

Just got my grid electric bill and the last month we used 305 KW. I have a solar system for most of my hanger and use it for the house when the grid power is off . Usually a coupe times a month and can be off a couple hours to a week or so. We can get along good when the grid is down. We use NG as much as possible from a well about 300' from the house. Have DC freezers and refrigerators on solar, all lights are LED's , etc. Have a 110v/220v inverter for the AC needs. Have a NG generator for back up. NG bill for 2400 ft house and 3K hanger is $75 month. Live in snow country, so no solar panels of roofs, and just broom the snow off when needed. Be surprised how much power that is generated on a full moon night. My payback on the solar was about 3 years ago.
 
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tspear

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@Rhino

750,000,000,000 road trip miles out of 3,260,292,000,000 (Dec 19: Moving 12-Month Total Vehicle Miles Traveled )
Assuming my math is accurate that is roughly 4% of the total miles driven in the USA.
Still a big number, but that likely means many multi car families from a mileage perspective can switch to at least one EV.
There still many issues to be resolved, e.g. charging for apartments, battery raw materials....

Tim
 

Vigilant1

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Still a big number, but that likely means many multi car families from a mileage perspective can switch to at least one EV.
Another thing to consider: As the marketing folks will tell us, people usually don't buy products based on an objective evaluation of their present needs or even of their likely future needs. Much more emotion is involved. Folks may be buying cars with long range because they dream of taking long, carefree trips (but they don't do it).
If we want to know the real demand for range limited cars, the best indicator is how many are actually being sold today. People can buy a Leaf, but not many do.
It's probably not hard to figure out what folks could be driving, but unless we start issuing cars, it is more useful to see what they are choosing to drive/buy.
Our family is one of those that could, on paper, do just fine with one long-range car and one "in town" car. But, in reality, if I took the long range car on a biz trip, it means DW cannot leave our zip code without renting a car or flying. If her Mom in the next state calls and needs help, DW couldn't just hop in the car, she'd need to go get a rental. Probably when their office opens tomorrow. Flexibility is really important to me/us, and we wouldn't consider owning a Leaf-like car despite the on-paper case for it. I don't think we are alone in this.
 
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BBerson

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I might buy an economy one or two seat electric car. None available.
The battery replacement cost depends on the weight of the battery. So driving a five seat vehicle with one person is costly.
 
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