Notes and further reading

page no.

29 For the distance travelled per day, let's use 50km. This corresponds to 18000 km (11000 miles) per year. Roughly half of the British population drive to work. The total amount of car travel in the UK is 686 billion passenger-km per year, which corresponds to an "average distance travelled by car per British person" of 30 km per day. Source: Department for Transport [5647rh]. As I said on p22, I aim to estimate the consumption of a "typical moderately-affluent person" - the consumption that many people aspire to. Some people don't drive much. In this chapter, I want to estimate the energy consumed by someone who chooses to drive, rather than depersonalize the answer by reporting the UK average, which mixes together the drivers and non-drivers. If I said "the average use of energy for car driving driving a car - 55.2% h passenger in a car - 6.3% m bus or coach - 7.4% ™ train or tram - 7.1% ■ bicycle - 2.8%

Figure 3.4. How British people travel to work, according to the 2001 census.

in the UK is 24 kWh/d per person," I bet some people would misunderstand and say: "I'm a car driver so I guess I use 24 kWh/d."

... let's use 33 milesper UK gallon. In the European language, this is 8.6 litres per 100 km. 33 miles per gallon was the average for UK cars in 2005 [27jdc5]. Petrol cars have an average fuel consumption of 31 mpg; diesel cars, 39 mpg; new petrol cars (less than two years old), 32 mpg (Dept. for Transport, 2007). Honda, "the most fuel-efficient auto company in America," records that its fleet of new cars sold in 2005 has an average top-level fuel economy of 35 miles per UK gallon [28abpm].

Let's guess a density of 0.8kg per litre. 0.820-0.950 [nmn4l].

Petrol's density is 0.737. Diesel's is

... the actual value of10kWhperlitre. ORNL [2hcgdh] provide the following calorific values: diesel: 10.7 kWh/l; jet fuel: 10.4 kWh/l; petrol: 9.7 kWh/l. When looking up calorific values, you'll find "gross calorific value" and "net calorific value" listed (also known as "high heat value" and "low heat value"). These differ by only 6% for motor fuels, so it's not crucial to distinguish them here, but let me explain anyway. The gross calorific value is the actual chemical energy released when the fuel is burned. One of the products of combustion is water, and in most engines and power stations, part of the energy goes into vaporizing this water. The net calorific value measures how much energy is left over assuming this energy of vaporization is discarded and wasted.

When we ask "how much energy does my lifestyle consume?" the gross calorific value is the right quantity to use. The net calorific value, on the other hand, is of interest to a power station engineer, who needs to decide which fuel to burn in his power station. Throughout this book I've tried to use gross calorific values.

A final note for party-pooping pedants who say "butter is not a hydrocarbon": OK, butter is not a pure hydrocarbon; but it's a good approximation to say that the main component of butter is long hydrocarbon chains, just like petrol. The proof of the pudding is, this approximation got us within 30% of the correct answer. Welcome to guerrilla physics.

calorific values petrol 10 kWh per litre diesel 11 kWh per litre

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment