Category Archives: Energy

CA: “bidirectional electric school buses stabilize the grid”

Long-nosed electric bus. Source: Cajon Valley Union School District

Seems obvious, when you think about it. If all the buses and trains were giant batteries, they could provide grid support.

During a record-setting, 10-day heat wave in September, most EV owners were asked to unplug to reduce demand. Instead, the Cajon Valley Union School District in San Diego County plugged its bidirectional electric school buses in, using their batteries to stabilize the grid. Those buses provided 650-kilowatt-hours of electricity back to the grid in response to “flex alerts” issued by local authorities, enough to power 277 homes. SB233 would enable all future California electric school buses to have this capability.

Reminds me of “load leveling” ideas for battery power on the grid in the 1970s before a corrupt governor of California (Ronald Reagan) became President and shut it all down to favor oil.

Also reminds me that flat-nosed buses are better for maneuverability, traction, visibility… all the safety stuff you think schools would care about. Long-nosed buses are an antiquated truck chassis concept for the old open-highway stuff of anti-pedestrian nightmare suburban planners. You’d think electric would only come with the civilized flat-nose.

Each Tesla Car Crash Cleanup Could Be Estimated at Over $1 Million

A buried environmental harm lede can be found in a story about the unique nature of Tesla car crashes and fires:

Luckily, testing of the ground in the area did not show any contamination, he said. Current estimates are that it could cost between $100 to $150 apiece to clean up the battery cells, putting the total cost of the cleanup at more than $1 million.

That’s one car, one crash, at an incredibly high rate of speed into a tree. The car batteries being spread all over the place are one giant factor in this case, but how often do we get to see hard estimates of real environmental costs?

And why do I call the Tesla battery danger unique? Because, not least of all, Tesla calls themselves unique. Their very special (immoral) engineering culture manifests into a nightmare unlike any other car:

Model 3, capable of hitting 60 mph in 2.9 seconds… left the Tesla heading straight into oncoming traffic, as indicated in this photo taken from the Tesla Model 3 seconds before the crash. With the Model 3 hitting nearly 50 mph and still accelerating, the plaintiff was able to avoid the oncoming traffic, an Amish buggy and utility poles before slamming into the building [seriously injuring a woman at her desk who died two weeks later].”

Perhaps a former NHTSA senior safety adviser said it best?

Tesla is having more severe — and fatal — crashes than people in a normal data set

“In the United States there are no Peugeot or Renault cars!”

Here’s how a Peace Corp veteran tries to illustrate the presence and effects of French colonialism.

I shall never forget a Comorian friend’s reaction to his first trip to the United States. Arriving back in Moroni, rather than enthusiastically describing skyscrapers, fast food, and cable TV, his singular observation was that in the United States there are no Peugeot or Renault cars! This piece of technology, essential to Comorian life, had always been French, and this Comorian was shocked to learn that there were alternatives.

Why would anyone ever expect someone with access to daily delicious fresh fruit and fish to ever enthusiastically describe… fast food?




The French passed draconian laws and did worse to require colonies (especially former ones) to only buy French exports. I get it, yup I do. So Comorians lived under artificial monopoly, and only knew French brands. Kind of like how the typical American who visits France says “I need a coffee, where’s the Starbucks?” Or the American says “I need to talk with my family and friends, where’s the Facebook?”

Surely being forced by frogs into their dilapidated cars, however, still rates quite far above entering into a health disaster of American fast food. A Comorian losing access to the delicious, locally made slow high nutrition cuisine is nightmare stuff.

But seriously…

“This piece of technology, essential to Comorian life” is a straight up Peace Corp lie about cars.

Everyone (especially the bumbling French DGSE) knows a complicated expensive cage on four wheels is unessential to island life, inefficient, and only recently introduced. Quality of life improves inversely to the number of cars on a single lane mountain road.

Motorbikes? That’s another story entirely, as an actual “unexpected” power differential, which the Israelis, Afghans, Chinese and lately Ukranians very clearly know far too well (chasing British and Japanese lessons).

Go home Peace Corp guy, your boring big car ride to a lifeless big skyscraper box filled with tastless Big Mac is waiting. Comorians deserve better. American interventionists should try to improve conditions locally and appropriately, not just drive former colonies so far backwards they start missing French cars.

Used Coffee Grounds Mixed Into Concrete Significantly Increases Strength

Grounds for celebration? Just in case you weren’t already using old coffee grounds as compost or pest management for your garden…

…the team experimented with pyrolyzing the materials at 350 and 500 degrees C, then substituting them in for sand in 5, 10, 15 and 20 percentages (by volume) for standard concrete mixtures.

The team found that at 350 degrees is perfect temperature, producing a “29.3 percent enhancement in the compressive strength of the composite concrete blended with coffee biochar,” per the team’s study, published in the September issue of Journal of Cleaner Production. “In addition to reducing emissions and making a stronger concrete, we’re reducing the impact of continuous mining of natural resources like sand,” Dr. Roychand said.

Suddenly cities full of espresso machines have an entirely new construction supply chain model. The scientists claim they were trying to solve for waste and not just hoping to justify drinking 10 cups of coffee per day.

…inspiration for our work was to find an innovative way of using the large amounts of coffee waste…

And so they conclude 100% of the 75,000 tonnes of waste that coffee drinkers produced in Australia can become a source for structural concrete. Worldwide there’s allegedly upwards of 6 million tonnes available. That means plenty of room still for innovations like powering public transit or making milk and mushrooms.