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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
Personally, I would like to get rid of the CAFE standards and replace it with a sufficiently high carbon tax so that the consumers would go with more efficient vehicles. The tax could even be revenue neutral. But good luck with getting anything rational done with the current administration.
I would tend to doubt the 40% efficiency claim. Very large turbines (> 100,000 KW) used for power generation are in the 40% or maybe 40+% efficiency range and maybe 55+% with a rankine bottoming cycle.
The really right thing to do would be to impose a carbon tax that was high enough so that the market would force the higher mileage standard but that is not likely to happen especially now. So the only thing left to do is "Sue the Bastards" (Trump and friends).
Another interesting research project that resulted in a peer reviewed publication. There is no information about the efficiency of this process which would lead me to believe that is lower than generating electricity with solar cells.
I would be surprised if GM and/or Ford is not working on plug-in hybrid pickups.
Which one is more cost effective and which one has less pollution?
Average fuel economy is 81 mpg? Really? My guess would be closer to 16 mpg considering how it will be driven.
"Would possibly be more practical than short range e-buses?" Not unless you need more than 300 miles of range which you would not need except for long distance inter-city routes. Proterra ( ) offers battery electric transit buses with up to 350 mile range and the total cost of ownership appears to be less than a diesel bus. Where is Japan going to get hydrogen? There are already short on power after they shut down most of their nuclear plants and have increased their consumption of coal.
OK, what is the "New European Driving Cycle"? Is this the typical European Driving Cycle standard which means that the car will realistically have about a 120 km or 75 mi range?
I had 3 different 3D printing machines in my University lab with the first machine dating back to 1990 or 1991. These machines are not very useful in making production parts as they are very slow compared to casting, injection molding, stamping, or even CNC machining. They can do a reasonably job at prototyping models or making demonstration parts. 2 years ago at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, I did see some examples of full strength titanium metal parts that were made using a 3D printer that were real parts but they were one-off bone plates and some low volume jet engine fuel injection parts and even in these parts, it was probably necessary to have critical holes machined with a CNC machine. I sorry, but the idea of making any sizable parts in production volume using 3D printing does not work. These people are just playing in a University setting.
CheeseEater88 Most sewage treatment plants use digesters that convert the waste to methane. Normally, the methane is captured and used for power to drive the pumps etc.
I think that a plugin hybrid van for in city deliveries is a good idea but the article is completely devoid of any technical information on what size the battery is and what electric range might be expected, etc.
"Kawasaki aims to develop a large liquefied hydrogen carrier with a capacity of around 160,000 m3." This should provide the opportunity for an exciting accident. I did the calculations a few years ago for the amount of energy stored in the new large LNG tankers and came up with about a megaton TNT equivalent. You would not get a detonation but you might get a fireball with enough radiant energy to ignite any wood frame building in a 10 mile radius. It has not happened yet but given the number of shipping accidents, it probably will. There was an accident a few years ago where a LNG t-boned a smaller lumber carrier. See
HarveyD: Yes, 12 of these are safer than one larger unit as each unit is inherently a "walk away safe" unit. If every thing else fails, the unit will just power down without a thermal run away. Also, as they can be factory built, it is less likely that there will be a construction error. I did look up the size. They are about 15 ft diameter and 70 ft long so they are an oversize load but not an impossible to move load by rail or truck. As these would be expected to have an availability of greater than 95%, each 50 MW unit should be able to replace about 200 1.5 MW wind turbines without requiring energy storage or backup generation.
This is great news. I hope that the Design Certification process proceeds in a timely manner. It is also good to see that they have the first 12 units pre-sold and that they will be going into a current nuclear site. There is no scale on the drawing but I assume that these reactors can be moved as a complete assembly by truck or train. There was some information on these reactors and other new reactor technology in a recent PBS Nova program. I also hope that TerraPower’s Generation IV traveling wave reactor (TWR) makes it to market shortly. The TWR will burn natural uranium, depleted uranium and even spent nuclear fuel leaving very little waste.
SJC: I was and am deeply disappointed that none of the bankers that were complicit in the sub prime debacle were given prison time.
Yoatmon: Your calculations have some problems 53' x 0.3048 = 16.1544 m 8.5 x 0.3048 = 2.5908 m I rounded off a bit and took 16 m x 2.5 m = 40 m2 I took a solar irradiance of 1KW/m2 and 18% solar cell efficiency but I will use 22% and give you 220 w/m2. This is probably optimistic but I do not know how Panasonic did their measurements. Anyway, this would give you 8.8 KW. However, as the solar cells are not normal to the sun unless you are at the equator on the equinox at high noon, you need to correct for the angle of the sun. I took an angle of 40 degrees latitude and as the sun swings thru a -45 to +45 over 6 hrs I took a scientific wild ass guess of an average of 52 degrees off normal (which is probably a bit optimistic). So you need to correct by the cosine of 52 or 0.62. To get the correct answer you need to integrate over compound angle). See if you want more on this. So now you are down to 5.4 KW or about 32.5 KWhr over 6 hours. But the problem is that most tractors are running about 450 hp or 340 KW. I took a very liberal average power usage of 150 KW but something over 200 KW would probably be a better number. Some of the drivers that are running 80 mph (legal limit in a number of western states) are probably pushing the engine to max and maybe running closer to 550 hp or over 400 KW. Anyway, you would be very lucky to get 10 minutes of driving from this arrangement.
If the execs and employees are found guilty, I hope that they are given some prison time as an example. Oliver Schmidt was arrested last Saturday night in Florida and is in US custody but the others may be harder to take into custody.
Darius: With a US 53 ft long x 8.5 ft wide trailer, you have about 40 sq meters so you might get about 4.5 KW or about 6 hp. The trucks are probably using an average of at least 200 hp or 150 KW so you are not going to get far on 4.5 KW which is about 3% of the required power.
mahonj: I think that you are being a bit optimistic. I measured the roof of a typical hatch back and came up with 1.2 x 1.8 meters. If you use a solar cell efficiency of 18% and a solar flux of 1 KW/m2 (This is at the equator so this is really too much) you have about 388 watts but given a flat panel and a latitude of 40 deg (Kansas City) plus the sun sweeps thru an angle of -45 to +45 over 6 hours, you need to multiply this by the cosine of 52 deg (an optimistic guess as I am too busy to try to do the required integration). So you have an optimistic 240 watts or about 1.4 KW hr for 6 hrs. The Chevy Volt has 18 KW hr and gets about 57 miles so you might pick up about 4.4 miles range
"Do the math"? Are you kidding? Most people seem to have no clue about math or physics.
"The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience." A even dumber feature for a dumb transmission.
"halve its total company CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050"??? I would have thought that the goal would be to have no CO2 emissions before then. However 2050 is so far out that you have no idea what disruptive technology might be available by than. I can believe goals for 2020 because the design and manufacturing is already well underway for 2020. There is a fairly good idea what will be available for 2025 as research and development is already working on that but beyond 2030 is just blue sky. Honda does not even make heavy duty vehicles or other equipment that primarily uses diesel engines. This will be the type of equipment that will be harder to electrify. And even then, it should be relatively easy to halve the total CO2 emissions before 2030.
At least this concept is a real vehicle unlike the VW below. Figure on maybe 45 km (28 mi) SAE unless you try to impress everyone with the acceleration.
This is a concept vehicle and is not even a physical concept vehicle. It is just computer renderings thrown out to see if it stirs any interest in the automotive world.