In previous discussions, we explored how to generate liquid fuel from nuclear power, or other conventional heat sources, in order to save humanity for a few more centuries, and buy shiny things for ourselves. Today, our fellow traveler Rivrdog brings up an excellent point, that electric cars will require the nation’s electrical generation and distribution systems to be made bigger.
So, tonight, instead of generating new liquid fuel, we will replace oil with nuclear power, and calculate how much bigger the electrical system will need to be to replace oil.
5,000,000,000 barrels of oil used annually;
1,022,000 MW of current installed electrical generation capacity;
1 Bbl oil = 5,800,000 BTU;
and 1,000,000 BTU = .293 MW-hr; so
(5,000,000,000 Bbl/yr) * (5,800,000 BTU/Bbl) * (0.293 MW-hr/1,000,000 BTU) * (1 day/24hr) * (1 yr/365 day) = 980,000 MW, or roughly a doubling of the existing electrical generation capacity.
But the thermal losses are before the nameplate rating at the power plant. In the internal combustion engine, the losses are post oil (~80%). So the oil ‘work’ to be replaced seems to be (1/5) times 970,000 MW, or a national increase of ~20%.
20% seems low to me, but the calculator keeps coming up with the same thing.