This is sd's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following sd's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
In a number of ways, this is a more important announcement than the Tesla semi. If they can make the cost of ownership less than the cost of a comparable diesel, good bye diesel for local delivery. I have no doubt that this can be made to work. My only question would be whose standards they used for the range estimate. Hopefully EPA.
Davemart Concerning the comments on the acceleration. Last year, The FormulaSAE students from Prauge, Czech Republic built an all wheel drive electric formula car that turned 0 t0 100 Km/hr (62 mph) in 1.513 sec. They were, of course, using race tires and they had fudged the rules slightly to use a total of 100 KW for a demo run while the FormulaSAE rules limit the students to 80 KW during the competition.
Tesla/Musk certainly does not suffer from a lack of ambition or thinking large. I just hope that they can stay above water. I know that they are late with the Series 3 production. I Think that I would have tried a truck designed more for local delivery first. I have talked to a number of our delivery drivers. we get daily deliveries of steel, ltl freight, etc. plus UPS, FedEx, and OnTrac. Anyway, about the furthest that they drive is less than 150 miles. It is much easier to design a truck for relatively low speed stop and go traffic than trying to compete in the long haul market.
Interesting technology. Maybe it will replace reforming as a cleaner and more efficient alternative. I would like to see more information on the energy efficiency.
It is not clear what type of prime mover the new ships use. Their largest current ships use 4 Wärtsilä diesels with a total power of about 70 MW plus they have 2 Cat diesel backup generators with a total of 5 KW so you can see how much emergency power is considered necessary. Anyway, the primer movers may be a NG version of the Wärtsilä which uses a small amount of diesel for ignition. LNG is just the fuel storage. I am reasonably sure that the fuel is actually fed into the engine as a high pressure gas so there should be no loss from boil off. Anyway, this is a much cleaner way to run a ship and maybe even cheaper.
Maybe this would be a good future application for a variation of a small modular reactor if the cost is reasonable.
Going with LNG instead of heavy oil for the main power is a good thing but the total power requirement for a ship of this size is in excess of 50 MW. What are they going to do with a 100 KW fuel cell other than talk about it (more green-wash)? 100 KW would not even run the emergency exit lighting for a ship this size and it is too easy to run larger emergency generators directly with natural gas.
If I were placing bets, I would prefer to bet on lithium sulfur batteries before I would bet on fuel cells. Maybe I am wrong but hydrogen just has too many problems.
They are spending a lot of money for a 1 mile demo. While I have no doubt that it will work, I think that a better short term solution would be to convert all local delivery to battery electric. Longer term, if you want to string catenary, electrify the railroads and use the railroads for long distance carriage. It is cheaper to string catenary for railroads as only one conductor is required with the rails being used for ground.
Peter_XX The problem with you idea is that it does not provide enough coverage for the on going green-wash.
I do not understand this fantasy of surplus/excess REs. We currently get about 7% of our electric power from wind and solar and about 6.5% from hydro but, for the most part, the hydro can be stored and released as needed. Also, the typical efficiency of electrolysis to compressed hydrogen and back to electricity via fuel cell is about 25%.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like it but I am probably too stiff to get in it.
Looks like a fairly reasonable offering for most light delivery tasks. I went to their website to get a little more detail. It has a 70 KWhr Lithium-ion battery pack that is supposed to be good for a 100 range. Their claim is that the average delivery vehicle used in urban areas is driven about 65 miles.
HarveyD You used a reputable source for your data but it has an error. Longer chain alcohols have a higher energy density. See
Tesla built their original roadsters using 18650 (18 mm x 65 mm long) lithium-ion cells. I believe that these cells were used as they were available from the portable tool market. Anyway, they have continued to used cylindrical cells but the Tesla 3 will use larger 21700 (21 mm OD x 70 mm long) cells. Almost everyone else in the EV market uses larger prismatic cells which have a better form factor for packaging and require fewer cells.
HarveyD You have exchanged the the energy values for ethanol and methanol. Methanol has ~19.9 MJ/Kg. Also, if you have a 1 Kg mix of methanol and water and assuming a perfect reformation conversion of 1 methanol molecule (4 hydrogen atoms, 1 carbon atom, and 1 oxygen atom) and 1 molecule of water (2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom) to 6 atoms of hydrogen and one molecule of CO2, you end up with only 0.12 Kg of hydrogen. But you can not just mix methanol and water and get hydrogen and CO2. You also need to add heat to get the reaction to go. Otherwise, things like vodka, Canadian whiskey or mixed drinks would never exist. So again what is the efficiency of reforming process? I am not sure how long it will take but I would rather believe in Lithium Sulfur than in mobile reforming systems. The University of Texas at Austin LiS cells had about 3.4 MJ/Kg
I would have a few basic questions. What is the source of the methanol? What is the overall efficiency of the reformer and the fuel cell and is it better than just burning the methanol in an IC engine? If the bus in question is a transit bus, it would be better to just use batteries.
Interesting research but as they pointed out: "advancements in 3D printing technology via DMLS are required to mass produce large fractal flow fields with a high number of generations." If you look at their charts, they need 6 branching generations and their experimental systems had 3 and 4 generations. However, the real problems are the energy efficiency of generating and compressing hydrogen and difficulty of storing hydrogen.
I look at the above chart and wonder why there is a prediction of a gain in demand starting in the 2035/2040 time frame. Of course this is far enough in the future that such predictions are basically worthless but I would expect demand to continue to drop as our birthrate is currently below replacement, vehicles are becoming more efficient, and electric vehicles will replace much of the internal combustion vehicle demand as batteries improve and prices come down. I expect that shortly, it will just be cheaper to own and operate electric local delivery trucks. It may already be cheaper to own and operate electric transit buses. Also, if autonomous vehicles become a reality, the demand for private ownership of vehicles may become less. Anyway, so much for the peak oil predictions.
HarveyD The Proterra Catalyst E2 Series buses are available with 440, 550 or 660 Kwh batteries and should cost less to own than the diesel buses. They will probably work just fine in your cold snowy winter months. Park City, Utah is getting a number to try. We probably have more snow but may not be as cold.
We are a relatively low volume manufacturer of special agricultural machinery and use a mix of hydraulic and servo electric drives. Currently, the wheel motors use hydraulic drives but I expect that in the future we will go electric for the wheel drives but we may still use some hydraulic cylinder actuation. Anyway, the electric drives are considerably more efficient than the hydraulic drives and we already use only about 1/2 the fuel that our competitors use.
Way to go Toyota. You have made another expensive mistake. If you consider that the battery electric transit buses currently available from Proterra and others that are already more cost effective than diesel buses and have more than enough range for a entire day of driving on a single charge, there is no need for expensive energy inefficient hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I doubt that it will mass produced anywhere. Also, I am quite convinced Batteries are going to improve faster than fuel cells.
HarveyD What is wasted is energy. The efficiency of using electric power for electrolysis of water, compressing hydrogen and then converting back to electricity with a fuel cell is about 36% at best and 25% is probably a better number. You get back about 85 to 90% with a battery. If and when we ever have surplus electric power that can not be handled with the grid, pumped hydro would be much more efficient. There may be a place for fuel cells such as quiet power generation for the military or maybe drones but local drayage is not one of them. Orange EV already makes tractors for both terminal operations and local drayage. I have asked some of our delivery drivers how far they drive in a day. UPS is about 65 miles but the residential drivers drive closer to 100 miles per day. Another driver with a class 8 semi said between 100 and 150 miles. Anyway, almost all local trucking can be done with battery electric vehicles. Look at what Cummins is doing with their electric drive semi tractors.
I doubt that fuel cells will be needed for drayage operations. Orange EV already builds battery electric tractors for both terminal operations and shorter haul on-highway drayage. Battery technology is improving and I expect that Lithium Sulfur batteries will be available in the next 3 or 4 years. The Lithium Sulfur that Rice University recently announced had about 3 times the energy storage of Lithium Ion plus high power, long life and rapid charging. I am less sure about long haul trucking but Proterra now has BEV transit buses that will run over 350 real world miles on a single charge.
I believe that the small modular reactors along with the traveling wave reactors will be the main source of power generation in the longer term.