Week 9 PSC320 W2020

Combustion and Efficiency

Monday’s Class
Before Class

  • Please do PS #8 posted on main class website. It is short and pertinent, and will be discuss and assessed.
  • In particular in PS #8, please find, read and be prepared to discuss an article dealing with some aspect of population management.
  • In his book Drawdown (drawing down our emissions of CO2), Paul Hawken presents plans for carbon reduction. One interesting bit of information is that if you put all the earth’s mammals on a scale, what % do you expect would be people? How about people and livestock? What would be left for wild animals? What does it say about the earth and our place in it? Please read at least the first paragraph and see Fig. 1 of this article about how the mass is distributed between plants and animals on the planet... and in particular how much is dominated by human activity.
  • Please see video: TransportationA and Slide
  • Another showdown between Trump and California: granting a waiver to California, so it can enforce higher CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). MAKE SURE you read the last paragraph.
  • How about riding bikes? City congestion? Bike Shares: please read this article and make note of some of the market mechanisms and similarities with the smart grid incentives to level the load with demand response. Should we do it in SLO?
  • Another video: TransportationB and slides
  • Will internal combustion automobiles (ICE) be completely replaced by electric cars (BEVs)?
    • Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Expert Tony Seba says that ICEs won’t be able to compete in the market place because BEVs are so much better. Please see at least the first 10 minutes of his talk.
    • Will outlawing polluting diesel be the first step to doing away with ICE? How about in Madrid?  or Outlawing Diesel in Germany?
    • What interesting EJ (environmental justice) aspects do you see?

Wednesday’s Class

Before Class

  • HURRAY… this is it, the day you’ve all been asking about. The REN21 2019 (Global Renewable Energy Report) is OUT! Please check it out and at least read the Executive Summary (Page 17-27) then you can look at any other diagrams… especially stuff that relates to your project.
  • Start your third and final self intervention. This is one of your own making. Additionally, this intervention is two fold: you must do something for yourself (like I’m going to meditate/exercise/improve diet/talk with family/ etc.) and one for society/environment (Like ways to decrease carbon, or increase equity, etc.). Please send me your experience by the last day of class: Friday of next week. If you want to see past interventions, see this webpage.
  • Solutions for Assessment #8 are posted on main class website. NOTE: no one got the calculation problem correct, although some did a good job. Please see the solutions.
  • We know that the permafrost sequesters lots of carbon (potential methane), but studies in Physics Today indicate that there may be more Mercury stored in the permafrost than in all other soils and the ocean combined.
  • Please read a story about a WHO report of 1.7 million children deaths due to environmental causes. Please at least read the the first and the last two paragraphs.
  • While we’re at it, we don’t have to go to other countries to see environmental health problems. How about a poor town next to a chemical factory that has cancer rates 700 times the national average. Consider the environmental justice issues… Are you a beneficiary of this environmental damage… you do if you have a wetsuit (like I do).
  • Optional: read this article about recycling car batteries published April 2017 by the American Physical Society.
  • Watch video: LCA and Biofuels and Slides 
  • Each person in the class should send me an Email describing their experience in their group. The email can be very short, as simple as “we’re great working together.” or “we’ve never met, I forget who’s in my group.” or “It’s OK, except that Pete never shows up and when he does, he’s on his cell phone or complaining about something.” Whatever your experience is.

During Class

  • Transportation discussion.
  • Projects discussion

After Class


Before Class

  • Here’s a calculation for you: Pick two vehicles that are similar except one is electric drive and one is ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). Calculate that you drive 100 miles with each of them – 50 miles in the city and 50 miles on the highway:
    • How much fuel/electricity do you use for this trip?
    • How much money does it cost you?
    • How much CO2 does it put into the atmosphere?
  • The project!!! There’s something I am going to add to the project – for the final presentation. If you don’t have all of them, it’s OK… however, this is something I’m going to be looking for. Each presentation should have at least:
    • One calculation related to the class material
    • One environmental concern, effect, benefit, or insight
    • One issue of societal transformation
    • One policy argument
    • One economic insight, calculation, or impact
    • One concept of equity, developing country, or environmental justice.
  • Please send me your #3 self intervention by Friday of next week.
  • Please see Cool Roofs and Paradox. Slides: see the very end of efficiency slides
  • The ultimate cool roofs material has just been invented. Please see from 2019, Feb. 27, Physics Today a surface coating that emits more heat than it absorbs even under strong sunlight. Is that possible?
  • Please see Wind Power and slides
  • If you like, read about a transition from rancher to wind farm technician.
  • When I was at Berkeley 2006 – 2007, we looked at Tethered Wind Energy Systems – could you fly a turbine at the end of a long kite string higher so that it received more consistently strong wind…. even up into the Jet Stream? We did some calculations for this technology, but my response was still that I could see dead kids in a playground with the fallen turbine parts around them. It seems that people are working on this technology on a smaller scale now. Here’s an interesting short video to check out.