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@HarveyD I wouldn't count steel out yet. Flash Bainite steel is pretty remarkable and, IMO, a better material for the safety structure because of its failure mode. What we'll probably see in the future is an amalgamation of materials in vehicles: -advanced steel safety structures possibly integrated with composite foam for energy absorption. -cfrp cosmetic panels -aluminum and magnesium suspension components as well as miscellaneous components (seat frames etc) -carbon fiber drive shafts and probably other applications I can't think of at the moment.
Clever. Hopefully this doesn't add too much in terms of cost (eyeballing the components, it shouldn't add more than $500).
@Roger Pham I believe the reason nuclear cargo vessels have not been adopted is because, at this time, any build would be a one-off and the refueling facilities and staff would be specialized/one-offs. As such, there is disadvantage to being a first mover. IMO, SMRs could work now but utilities are capital constrained as they have milked their equity to pay shareholders and pensioners.
@Engineer-Poet, this is true but $3-6/gal is nearly an order of magnitude cheaper than current fuel costs. Further, being able to produce your own fuel at multiple mobile forward points of operations has tremendous value. This seems like a no-brainer decision to me for the military... which is why they'll probably drag their heels, lol. @Davemart: I have a friend at Burns and Roe who has told me that the USN's capital costs for nuclear power are in the $1,000-1,500/kw range so that certainly doesn't seem out of line. No interest payments to make and no regulatory bodies to stop them.
Really interesting and creative design. Coupled with a diesel, this could lead to mid-sized cars that get >60mpg combined. Perhaps allowing the engine to operate in such a narrow range would also do away with the need for certain after-treatment systems as well.
That Cd figure is impressive given the general shape of the vehicle (a box). Appealing and sensible vehicle IMO.
21mpg for a city bus is pretty darned impressive! Passenger mile per gallon is probably in the 250-300mpg range for a dense city.
@Lad: if it weren't for really high production runs a lot of these technologies simply wouldn't be economically viable and I suspect electric cars would be way cheaper on a per-unit basis. That said, cylinder deactivation isn't hard at all if an electronic/hydraulic valve train is used.
@mahonj: reducing the deficit/debt would be counter-productive as that is the only means the Federal Reserve has to convey monetary policy. Deflationary forces still loom large in the U.S. Just look at a chart of M2 velocity: still in free-fall. Japan, South Korea, and the EU have protectionist trade policies to help their automakers. Can't the U.S. respond in kind or are we just supposed to take it on the chin? Yes, cash for clunkers was not efficient. That doesn't mean future implementations couldn't be efficient. Target old, inefficient vehicles and raise the fuel economy requirement of newly purchased vehicles. Simple. Mandate free air pumps at all gas stations and subsidize it through a tax credit or something. Employ people to drive "pace cars" during rush hour on our most congested highways and implement variable speed limits.... there a tons of ideas out there.
@Calgarygary, re: steam to oil 3:1 Your statement is correct from the data I have seen @Thomas Pedersen You're referring to the PRISM reactor. People that I know in the nuclear industry tell me that GE is going to file with the NRC for a design certification with an eye to having a prototype reactor online sometime around 2020. The same people tell me that GE can make a mint by reprocessing spent fuel. Supposedly, the government has a rather large and stagnant fund that the nuclear industry has been paying into since its inception to pay for fuel remediation. It would GE's pearl if they bring a commercial PRISM reactor online... not to mention they might make some money selling electricity into the grid while they're at it.
A more appropriate study in this case, IMO, would be comparing fuel savings to a car lightweighted with a CF hood and trunk.
Way too expensive. Just buy a Tesla at that price point.
Ok, so I shouldn't have said "floating bombs" but, still, this is a terrible idea for so many reasons. They should just build some MSRs and a couple of breeders and call it a day. It's their best option.
It's more dangerous in that when/if the hydrogen is allowed to enter into a gaseous state (note that "boil-off" gas is being used to cool the electrical motor) it's much harder to prevent leaks as hydrogen can tunnel through any material.
Oh yeah, great idea: turn your backs on nuclear and build floating bombs instead. *facepalm
@EP great points all around Two things I'd like to add. First, with such a high potential specific energy, you can afford designs that reduce said specific energy by 20, 30, 50+% and you still end up with an incredibly dense energy source. Second, I get the feeling that this type of battery architecture would have a practically "unlimited" cycle capacity.
If they could design the TEG stack so that it also served as a muffler that would be quite crafty and possibly push the system that much closer to being economically viable. Locating the TEG stack very close to the exhaust header outlet and using a ceramic coating on the inside of the exhaust header to minimize heat loss would improve the thermodynamics of the whole system (hotter hot side, cooler cold side).
You'd think Exxon et al would pour money into an idea like this. "Gas stations" would simply deoxidize the spent electrode.... electrode, right? Meh, it's early...
^Good opportunity to phase in vehicles that can drive themselves as well. In 2-3 years the tech should be "there". Totally worth it,IMO, for the U.S. to spend several hundred billion (if not 1tril+) on "cash for clunkers" program to encourage Americans to cycle into BEVs capable of autonomous operation.
Just seems like alloying would be an easier process, plus, if there was surface wear, the corrosion protection would remain (vs. a surface treatment). Both are viable approaches I guess.
Not going to lie, actually a pretty well thought out process.
Nitriding is a gaseous diffusion heat-treat. It might be easier/safer to incorporate it into the bulk metal especially if concentrations are sufficiently low and the As became bound to the Mg.
@Engineer-Poet: "licensed by Ford" iirc