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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
Well this should make America Great -- NOT. The president who knows little or nothing about science and technology and apparently very little about basic economics is going to cut the basic research that drives the economy and then expect that the economy will grow faster. About 40 years ago, I had NSF funding that supported my doctoral work in robot assembly. This work led to a startup company. The products that I helped design are still be produced. Later about 20 years as a research professor, I had NSF funding that helped support work on CNC manufacturing directly from computer solid modeling. This also led to a startup company that is going strong although I am no longer involved. Kill basic research and in a few years, there will no longer be new innovations.
As long as you have cash, you get to stay in business. At some point, they will need to turn a profit. Personally, I would not buy Tesla stock at it's current price and I do not think that Tesla as an enterprise is worth more than either Ford or GM however neat their vehicles are. I do wish them them luck and do hope that they manage to stay in business and eventually reach breakeven.
A new version of peak oil.
Given that Proterra is offering battery electric transit buses with up to 660 Kwh of battery capacity, I think that most of the drayage could be done with battery electric vehicles. If you assume that the fuel cell is running an average of 75% of full capacity or 60 Kw for the class 8, 660 Kwh would last 11 hrs. Even at full capacity, it would last 8 hr and the class 6 and 7 trucks with only a 40 Kw fuel cell should be no problem for battery electric. I do not know the economics but from Proterra's cost projections showing that the battery electric transit buses are simply cheaper to own than diesel buses, I am guessing that battery electric trucks would be cheaper than fuel cell plus battery although the required battery is much less. The fuel cell trucks may be emission free but the hydrogen generation is not. Most hydrogen is reformed from natural gas. Even if it is generated from renewable electric sources, this is electric power taken from the grid that must be replaced but other power including coal fired plants that I live down wind from.
With current battery technology, long haul trucking is not likely to be a reasonably application for battery electric. maybe this will change if lithium air batteries become practical. (I will have to wait and see what Tesla has in mind). However for drayage operations including some city operations where top speeds to not exceed 40 mph or so and there is considerable stop and go, most of it can be done with battery electric tractors. The yard goat operations are already being done with lower speed battery electric tractors.
Thermal efficiency? This might be an interesting range extender for a small electric plane if the efficiency was not too low -- say greater than 25%.
HarveyD The Proterra buses are available with up to 660 KWhr of energy and 350 miles of range. It is hard to imagine that this is not enough for any reasonable transit system and if you believe their data, they are cheaper to own and operate than a diesel bus. Why would you want the problems of dealing with hydrogen fuel cell?
"electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen" Electricity from the grid including coal fired power from Nevada and Central Utah? I think that this application would be better suited for more efficient Battery Electric Buses as Proterra buses are available with up to 350 mile range and the New Flyer Battery Electric buses must be capable of at least a 200 mile range.
I am a little unsure what the purpose of this truck is. If they are just moving containers around the terminal or other relative short distances, the Orange BEV is probably a better choice. See The truck shown in the pictures looks more like a long haul truck and battery electric probably will not work for long haul trucking with current battery technology. But drayage implies short haul.
If it was April 1 and not April 17, I would have accepted this as an April fools day joke.
ai vin From the load carrying capacity is 2200 lb and the towing is 5000 lb with a crew of 5. This is roughly equivalent to a 1/2 pickup ton with a crew cab but not equivalent to a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel pickup with a full size bed. However, if you do need to tow a backhoe tractor to the work site or carry a full load of 4x8 sheets of plywood, the Workhorse pickup may be cheaper to own.
HarveyD: The Proterra buses are available with up to a 350 mile range which for a transit bus is probably more than a full day of service and the costs of ownership are less that of diesel buses. I think that Proterra is currently production limited. Davemart: I do not know where the bogus concept of fuel cell vehicles cleaning the air came from but one could just about as well make the claim the Tier 4 final diesel engines clean the air as in some polluted places the exhaust is cleaner than the intake.
Actually the overall efficiency is probably 16.2% as one of the authors, John Turner, is the same as in the other paper from NREL which claims the overall 16.2% efficiency from sunlight to hydrogen.
Their use of 114% efficiency is very misleading. If they really had 114% efficiency, they would have invented the world's first perpetual motion machine. It makes good press but it would have been more honest to give the overall efficiency of solar flux in to hydrogen energy out which is probably less than 20%. Also, if you really wanted to generate hydrogen, I would expect it would be better to use nuclear power and high temperature electrolysis.
mahonj: If (when?) rechargeable lithium air batteries become practical, it should be possible to at least build commuter aircraft good for 600+ miles. Also, while the energy density of batteries is lower, most aircraft engines (old low compression air-cooled engines) are probably below 25% efficient while the electric motor system is probably better than 80% efficient ai vin: Most general aviation flights probably take off and land at the same airfield. This would include most training flights, almost all tow flights and many other GA flights are local.
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?