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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
This concept seems like it might work for lower energy capacity parallel PHEVs such as the plug-in Prius but it would not work for the higher energy capacity and higher power series PHEV Volt. It is obvious that the testing was not done with a Volt as it would never have needed the ICE during a 20 mile commute. The paper should have stated what vehicles that they used but it seems to be a typical academic project that was not that well thought out.
Definitely an interesting technology but it is not going to provide an easy transition to the hydrogen economy. "Because it is a chemical hydride, a chemical processis required to recycle the material; ..." It is not something that you can easily fill up with at your neighborhood hydrogen station. It may have a short time benefit for certain military applications but longer term, I would place my bet on better batteries. If you could get lithium air to work, I believe that it would have a higher energy density and lithium sulfur should also have a comparable energy density and is probably closer to being commercially available
EP To back you up, I would state that not only is the worst nuclear plant in the USA safer than the best natural gas plant in the world it is also safer than all of the supposedly safe renewable energy sources although the most of the renewable energy is safer than fossil fuels with coal being on the bottom of the list. I did some calculations and came up with wind energy requiring an area twice the size of Wyoming to provide enough energy for the US using recommended turbine spacing. Maybe, it could be done but consider the amount of steel and copper, etc that this would require.
34 mpg -- as long as you drive as you would drive a Prius, 55 mph blocking traffic. Not likely 300/350 hp available. Of course, that 34 mpg is the NEDC fuel consumption number and should probably be derated about 20% to meet EPA mileage standards.
Henry: This is what VW was trying to avoid using as it adds more component cost and requires the consumer to add another fluid. However, it yields better environmental results and better fuel economy. VW was trying to have it both ways. I am surprised their competitors did not discover how they were accomplishing their miracle results. I do not understand your obsession with hydraulics. Hydraulic drives are considerably less efficient than electric drives. I am an engineer and part owner of a company that builds a niche agricultural machine. We have replaced some of the hydraulic drives that our competitors use with electric drives and achieve better productivity and higher reliability with about half the fuel consumption. We keep improving our product by replacing the troublesome, inefficient hydraulic components with clean efficient electric drives. Maybe hydraulic hybrids are a reasonable concept for garbage trucks but you would still get better results with electric drives.
I would like to see more progress on new nuclear power plant design. If we are going to get off fossil fuels, we are either going to need more nuclear power or a smaller population. Of course, we could always use fast nuclear reactions to achieve a lower population but that probably be politically incorrect.
In 1959, Allis Chalmers made the first fuel cell vehicle, a 15 KW tractor. I was 16 years old and had learned to drive an Allis Chalmers tractor so I can remember the announcement of the fuel cell tractor. It was obviously the next great step forward and just around the corner along with the turbine powered and flying commuter cars. Fuel cells have their place but I doubt that it will be powering cars anytime soon.
I meant to say: By varying the speeds of the electric motors, you can get the effect of a continuously varying gear ratio but without the the continuous slippage and wear of a conventional friction based CVT
Juan: I would assume that the transmission is not a friction type CVT but a planetary gear device with two electric motor drives. By varying the speeds of the motors, you can get the effect of a continuously varying gear ratio but with the the continuous slippage and wear of a conventional friction based CVT.
@Alan and others complaining about the Bolt From today NY Times in an article titled "Carmakers Forge Ahead With Electric Vehicles" The Bolt is a roomy, four-door compact car that seats five people... Maybe, just maybe, GM did not kill the electric car.
S is used for Siemens, a measurement of conductance which the reciprocal of resistance. Therefore, 1 Siemen equals 1 Ohm or 1000 Siemens equals 0.001 Ohms.
I am left wondering if this is better than high temperature burning for electric power generation. Also, whatever happened to the high temperature plasma converters that were going to turn all of our garbage into methane? This seemed to be the coming thing about 5 years ago.
Why bother with Ammonia Borane when you can fuel vehicles with ammonia? Read or Apparently, while ammonia is an inhalation hazard, it is considered safer than gasoline and combustion results in N2 and H2O. It is a gas at 15 psi but a liquid at about 150 psi so can be handled like propane.
How far will it go at 130 km/hr (81 mph). Certainly considerably less than 30 km (18 miles). 130 km/hr is not a ridiculously high speed. Most of interstates in Utah are posted for 80 mph and even the urban sections are posted at 70 mph which is the typical rush hour speed. If you are going to build an electric vehicle, it needs to keep up with the rest of the traffic.
Maybe Nissan will have turned over the title for having the worse pickup truck fuel economy to Toyota.
I firmly believe that the only real hope for clean safe energy that can displace most of the fossil fuels now being burned is nuclear power. If you read the Energy Innovation paper by Bill Gates, you will see the statement "the IEA has estimated that wind and solar PV could cut the world’s annual emissions from electricity generation 22 percent by 2050." This is a maximum given all kinds of rosey scenarios. Where does the rest of it come from? Fossil Fuels and even for the amount being generated by the so-called renewable, tere needs to be a backup system. "Today that requires maintaining a parallel system powered by fossil fuels." So you often pay twice for the capital cost. Another interesting potential nuclear system is the traveling wave reactor. See Traveling wave reactors essentially burn to completion with very little waste and can use spent fuel, natural uranium, or even depleted uranium as fuel. And who is supporting this? Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold serve respectively as Chairman and Vice Chairman of TerraPower’s activities
Using 2-butanone or MEK as a common fuel does not seem like a good idea. From Wikipedia Butanone is an effective and common solvent. Butanone can react with most oxidizing materials, and can produce fires. It is moderately explosive. Butanone is an irritant, causing irritation to the eyes and nose of humans. Butanone is listed as a Table II precursor under the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. On the other hand, Iso-Butanol, a related chemical makes a reasonable replacement for gasoline and seems to have fewer health hazards.
The new Chevy Volt has two electric motors that work in concert. "GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets." Anyway, it is not necessary to use permanent magnet motors but they have desirable properties in some applications.
An interesting sight out here in the wild west (think central Utah, northern Nevada, parts of Wyoming, etc are signs that say "Next Fuel 120 Miles". This causes real range anxiety. A few years back, I drove about 8 hrs in western Utah and never even passed another vehicle.
Reading this article, it is hard to discern whether or not they have made a practical permanent magnet or if this is just interesting research that might yield practical results in the future. The sentence that makes this unclear is "Although the volume fraction of L10 FeNi phase is low (8 ~ 13%), the hard magnetic L10 phase is both “academically and industrially novel”". I suspect that it is just interesting research that is “academically and industrially novel”.
Arnold Not sure why your comments were addressed to me. Anyway, liquid hydrogen would boil off unless it is being actively refrigerated but none of the car makers are proposing to use liquid hydrogen. Most propose using compressed H2 at about 10,000 psi although some other metal hydrid storage systems have also been proposed. I was not suggesting that the reforming of hydrocarbons be done on the vehicle although it could be done. In fact, I was not advocating making hydrogen for fuel cells at all. $hit will always flow from high pressure to low pressure.
Davemart, Just making a somewhat educated prediction or guess about the future. Ten or fifteen years ago Ford and GM were hard at work on fuel cell vehicles. GM even built a number of test vehicles (see ) and now you do not hear anything from them about fuel cells. However, they are in production with their second generation PHEV Volt and are supposed to have a reasonably priced BEV on the market in 2017. Just my opinion and you are welcome to yours. Hey, maybe MIT will get their compact fusion machine running and electricity will be too cheap to meter. Hard to make predictions especially about the future. I just do not see a reasonable source for hydrogen other than reforming hydrocarbons.
As Yogi Berra was supposed to have said, "It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future". However, I will predict that Fuel Cell vehicles will not be an important player in the mix of light vehicles (cars and small trucks). Almost all of our hydrogen comes from reforming natural gas and is not green nor especially efficient after compressing and transporting. Maybe it would make sense to use high temperature electrolysis if we had a surplus of low-cost nuclear power but this is not likely and battery electric is still a more efficient use of electric power. Also, there is next to no infrastructure for the commercial distribution of hydrogen. The PHEV is a much better idea as you still have long range if you need it but most of the time it will run off electric power. The new Chevy Volt is probably a better deal as it has considerably more electric range.
Jmartin, there are 5 large nuclear units currently under construction in the US with the first scheduled to come online next year and 2 more in 2017. Currently the NRC has 7 applications for 12 total large reactors under review with more applications expected. See
I am glad that the Obama administration is continuing to push for more nuclear power. He seems to believe in real world science and engineering or at least listens to some smart advisers. I would far rather live near a nuclear power station than a wind turbine farm which I consider a blight on the landscape and a far greater safety hazard than nuclear power. Concerning the supposed problem of nuclear waste, there are new designs which will use the so-called nuclear waste as fuel and essentially burn it to completion. Also, the new designs have passive safety systems to do not require power to keep pumps running or any human intervention. Even with the older light water plants, the total nuclear waste that results from providing nuclear power for a person for a lifetime would fit in a 12 oz (355 ml) coke can. And yes, I am an engineer with real dreams for the future. I think that it is smart to use roof top solar energy and maybe thin film solar windows but the idea of large scale solar farms covering the desert southwest are my idea of a nightmare. I think that wind power is safer than burning coal but if you think that wind power is absolutely safe, you should read this, So far this year, there have been at least 15 fires, 14 blades failures, and 5 structural failures all of which are usually spectacular. One of the blade weighed 22 tons and the fires normally occur at heights where the only thing that can be done is to watch them burn from a safe distance.