Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Power and Driving

There are two interesting news articles that I saw this morning that are worth sharing. The first article is from up in Bella Coola which is 479km west of William’s Lake. Anyway, the community is currently not connected to the power grid with the rest of the province. Power is currently provide by diesel generators. They are looking at a converter to run-of-river, but with a twist. One of the problems with our current power system is that it needs to be designed for peak power use. This means that at some points of the day we aren’t producing peak power because we don’t have any way to store it. Well, according to the article from CanWest they will convert all the energy available during non-peak times to hydrogen, so it can be used during peak times. This is like a hydrogen battery. It would be interesting to see at what scale this could be done in the future because it will be able to provide us with more energy out of our current infrastructure. And it’s always better to use exciting infrastructure.

In other news Winnipeg's Centre for Sustainable Transportation (we’ve blogged about them in the past) has an article in the Winnipeg Free Press about how drivers underestimate fuel consumption and idling time.
Leaving the car at home for short trips is a staple of green commuting advice, but it didn't seem to matter in the study. Half of the 20,000 trips logged were 10 minutes or less, and of those, about 5,000 were for trips that capped at six minutes. Drivers also made a lot of trips for just one purpose, said Zdan, like going to the bank or grocery store on separate occasions.

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