atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5884: Brewfest

Mrs. Fungus and I got back early this afternoon from a trip to our favorite destination in Wisconsin, where we went to get away from all the stress of our regular lives and relaxed a bit. We had a great time, too.

Drove up Friday afternoon, stopping for dinner on the way up. Checked in, hit the swimming pool, then the hot tub, and then back to our room.

Saturday Mrs. Fungus went to the spa for some professional pampering; then we had lunch and rented a pontoon boat for a couple of hours, cruised around the lake, and in general just enjoyed not worrying about things.

If you're not into water skiing, a pontoon boat seems to be a great way to get out on the water. They're not really built for anywhere you'd encounter serious surf, but where we were it'd take gale-force winds to make any chop at all. That particular lake is big enough that it took at least 5 min at full throttle to traverse the length of it, and that was true even with the last boat we rented, which was considerably faster than the pontoon boat.

Two hours, then we went back to the room and flopped for a bit; at 6 PM it was time for the resort's Octoberfest celebration, which we called "Brewfest" because we play WoW. The big draw for that event was the beer: $10 got you a plastic cup with unlimited refills from any of several tables around the event, and they had all kinds of beers available. They also had food, which is what we went for, as neither of us drinks beer. And they had a live band playing polka music.

Pity it was so blasted cold. The air was seasonably cool but there was a strong wind off the lake, making it even colder. I don't think they expected it to be that cold; instead of having it by the lake, they should have had it in the courtyard where they have a fire pit--that would have kept the wind off the crowd.

Oh well.

Mrs. Fungus hadn't wanted any of the food they had there, so I went to get some Chinese for her; and after eating, we hit the pool and the hot tub again.

Got up this morning, checked out, drove home. All told, a pleasant and relaxing weekend.

I'd taken my laptop with me, thinking I'd get some work done on AV, but I never even took the thing out of its case...which is just as well, because when I got home, I saw that the thumb drive I'd put the latest version on was still sitting on my desk. *sigh*

* * *

The part that politicians are not considering in their huge push to make us adopt electric cars. Infrastructure, as I've said over and over and over again. takes a seventy-five amp line to charge a Tesla? Why? A 50-amp line isn't enough? It already takes basically overnight to charge the battery.

But I believe it. I've said and said and said that those who are mandating that the internal combustion engine be phased out are simply NOT considering what must be done to the electrical infrastructure to support their mandate, nor are they doing anything about making the improvements to that infrastructure. In the best cases they give lip service to it, but they certainly don't do anything.

So let's say California gets its way--no new combustion cars by 2030. That gives them thirteen years to upgrade the state's electrical infrastructure to support increasing numbers of electric cars, but this is the same state which is leaning heavily on "renewable" electricity, things like solar and wind power, things which simply will not be enough to replace gasoline and diesel.

People are not running the numbers. It doesn't take any great brain to figure out that we use gasoline and diesel because they are energy sources, and that any vehicle which doesn't burn fuel must get its energy from somewhere. Electric cars must be charged, and perforce the electricity to charge them must come from somewhere, and furthermore solar and wind power aren't enough. For example, you can't just put solar cells on your roof and generate nough power to charge your electric car.

I said it here:
The problem with all this is that no one's looked at how much electricity is required to take the place of the gasoline and diesel that is being used now. It's going to amount to quite a packet; in July of 2015 England used 1,475 million liters of gasoline alone. At 46.6 MJ/kg, that works out to, oh, 466,000 megawatts of power over the course of one month.

That excludes the use of diesel, of course. Diesel is more energy-dense than gasoline and it takes more of it to do things, but lets just say they use as much diesel as they do gasoline, which is a huge assumption and sorely underestimates the actual usage.

932,000 megawatts. Close to a terawatt of energy.

This is a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and subject to many errors, but I think it gets the point across. England does not have the electrical infrastructure to provide that kind of electrical power atop what it is already delivering. They certainly do not have the generating capacity.

Now: this plan gives them until 2040 to accomplish it, and 23 years is plenty of time to build new power plants and string new wires and-and-and...but a billion pounds ain't gonna do it. That's not even a good down payment; building one 600 MW plant will run a cool £1.6 billion. And that's for coal power, which just moves the pollution. A nuclear plant will run £6.9 billion. To replace gasoline with electricity, they'll need to add an additional terawatt of generating capacity; at 600 megawatts per plant, that's about 1700 more generating plants they'll need to build. Just to replace gasoline and diesel vehicles.
That's the problem. It's not just infrastructure but generating capacity which needs to be beefed up, and beefed up a LOT, to support an all-electric transportation system. The electricity must come from somewhere, and it must be transported to the end user.

The people advocating this move to all-electric don't seem to understand that; they seem to think that electricity just miraculously appears at the outlet.

You know: on the way to Wisconsin I saw a billboard touting ComEd's new smart meter program, and it was saying cheerfully, "Fewer and shorter outages, even in warm months!"

Really. This is an advantage of smart meters?

* * *

Perfect example of stupidity in action. The thing is, if you are too close to a semi's front bumper, the driver cannot see you. If you deliberately jump in front of a moving semi, you're in contention for a Darwin Award anyway; certainly you abandon any right to complain about almost being run over, you fucking ass goblin.

* * *

Well! Sunday evening, pleasantly fed and relaxed. Can't beat that.

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