Publication: Charging island homes

Do you think islands can benefit from the use of Electric Vehicles?

It’s quite reasonable to agree on the benefits.

Because of the limited distances, because of the availability of renewables, lack of local fuels and high energy dependence, and because of the environmental impact, electric mobility apparently fits there like a glove.

Besides, resiliency to face weather events by storing energy in the vehicle, and reducing peak electrical demand on normal conditions seem to be economically beneficial.

kreta-1364084 car island

Image taken in Crete by Repsaj on freeimages

The research we recently got published in Energy, focuses on the effect of using the vehicle’s energy to charge the home at peak load and charge the vehicle* during valley.

This is what we found out…

Sigue leyendo

The flight “dilemma”

As an international sales manager I have to travel within Europe and Africa regularly… This means a lot of air travel.

So, the dilemma I face is;

While I work to make SDG7 a reality by making grids smarter and greener, at the same time I have a huge carbon footprint by flights.

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I know many other people have this “flight dilemma”, do you?

This issue is also related to SDG13 (Urgent action to combat climate change).* How? Sigue leyendo

NZEB + EV: The decarb combo

Are you aware of these stats?

  1. Buildings account for 40 % of energy consumption and 36 % of energy emissions (EU data)
  2. Road transport accounts for 25 % of energy consumption and 20 % of energy emissions (EU data and EU stats)

Then, what happens when we combine NZEB buildings (net Zero Energy Buildings) with local renewable generation and EVs (Electric Vehicles) charging in these NZEB?

NZEB & EV.png

It’s obvious… -> We can decarbonize 65 % of the energy system!* Sigue leyendo

Sailing 100% renewable

You might have read an old post on electric boats and sea energy harvesting before. I described then, electrifying boat transport as one of the ways to make islands 100% renewable.

Electric sailboats have a lot of sense, and are becoming more and more popular. It’s a fantastic sensation to sail, without the sound of a motor, and for many of us, turning the diesel engine on is to be avoided as much as possible. Moreover, even when the engine is only used for a little time, we strongly feel the pollution.

Precisely because for a sailboat the engine is not used that much, having electric propulsion and battery storage is very reasonable. It can be charged at the normal port outlet, regenerating while sailing, or with a small wind generator and solar panels. Compared to the need of refueling at a port gas-station, the convenience is increased greatly, and also the cost to the owner.

Maintenance of an electric motor is simpler because of less moving parts, the size of the motor is reduced, and the battery can be placed as ballast, incorporated in the hull. Sailboats already have batteries and often the motors have to run just to charge them. By increasing the size of the batteries and having renewable charging (solar/wind), this is automatically taken care of.

Besides, the performance is increased, having more torque at lower rpm, and electric motors are more efficient that the internal combustion counterparts.

Finally, regarding the noise, see this video comparing the diesel engines to electric. Together with the smoke/pollution, this is the most dramatic difference.

In summary, it will amaze me if in 5 or ten years all 95% of all new sailboats are electric. And I hope to sail on one of those soon.

20160730 Sunset desde barco

Sunset near Cala D’Or in Mallorca

If Energythaca were an island, sailing there would be on a sailboat. That was the image on my first post on the blog.

I guess it is an appropriate post arriving from vacations…

Not so sustainable, after all?

Finally sold my car!

Yes, I was considering to buy an EV, as I discussed in the post “To EV or not to EV”. But, for the moment I just sold my car and will try to be “car-less person”. At the end of the day, using public transport, car-sharing (we now have car2go in Madrid and it works great) and the bike is clearly more sustainable than owning any vehicle. (Well, and also borrowing my wife’s car sometimes…)

Parte trasera coche fino

But: I sold it. Which means my 15-year-old diesel guzzling 7-series BMW will still be consuming +15 l/100 km and emitting lots of particles and CO2 pollution. Depending on the distance the new owner will drive, it might be more ecological than him buying a new, more efficient, one. That’s because of increased asset utilization and vehicle construction sunken emissions. However, it might be that the most ecological and sustainable would be  Sigue leyendo

Hot. Classic. ConvertEV

The beauty of many classics is appreciated by almost anyone. Even a 5 year-old child has no problem admiring the lines of an old sportscar…

Ferrari

To keep these hot rides running, when the old engine is hardly repairable, there is an option; to make them electric.

There are at the moment some start-ups focused in EV conversion, as Zelectric motors, specialized in converting classics to electric, for example the VW Bug. Another example are the conversion kits from EV West, allowing individuals to convert the vehicles.

Here in Spain we have Jofemar’s Hidronew Project. And they have proven in EV competitions that their converted vehicles are fast.

TR4

Although with an electric drivetrain these models are more environmental friendly and have the old beauty and the new efficiency, it’s true that losing the original engine and noise is like tearing the soul of these cars. That’s why i’m in favor of converting the vehicles when the original engine can no longer be repaired as original.

MG

As car workshops get used to EV maintenance and repair (simpler than internal combustion drivetrains) the conversions will grow, adding EV units by reusing old cars instead of building from scratch.

I’m sure this is going to get more and more common, converting an old car will get less expensive and it may become the cheapest (and coolest) way of owning an EV.

La única solución al déficit de tarifa y alguna propuesta más

Tras leer el útlimo post de Jorge Morales, estoy de acuerdo en que lo fundamental es proponer soluciones, no sólo criticar la mala política energética. Me animo a recoger algunas reflexiones personales que aunque no pretenden ahondar en todo, al menos me mojaré un poco proponiendo soluciones.

Un tema fundamental sobre el que hacer propuestas es en mi opinión el déficit de tarifa, pues es la preocupación política principal. Para resolverlo, opino que deben darse soluciones a la sostenibilidad actual del sistema sin utilizar parches injustos, retroactivos o indiscriminados. En esto supongo que estamos todos de acuerdo, incluso los que los han utilizado, pues no los consideran como tales.

Realmente hay varias soluciones, muchas serían también atajos injustos, que incluso pueden defender partidos de moda ahora, por ejemplo, expropiar las nucleares e hidroeléctricas, o las redes de distribución, nacionalizándolas por el “bien común” (Es curioso que expropiación suena tan fuerte como sonaba legislación retroactiva hasta hace poco…), multar a las grandes compañías con un importe equivalente al déficit de tarifa por prácticas oligopolísticas…  Por otro lado, opciones como subir el precio, hasta donde sea necesario (que además es la palanca mas potente para fomentar la eficiencia energética), no las defenderá ningún partido. Voy a defender aquí la única opción que yo veo (querido lector, si tiene una solución mejor, por favor responda a este post)

Si el consumo eléctrico creciera lo suficiente, se podrían cubrir los costes del sistema con los precios actuales, verdad? Sigue leyendo