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Researchers at Washington State University have recently come out with a SOFC that can use gasoline as a fuel without reforming- if commercially viable this may prove to be the perfect range extender for BEVs.
Fastcap claims 13.50 Wh/kg and 37.12 kW/kg)
Very good point Kelly - also electric motors, mostly in regards to power density and heat tolerance.
Perfect as a range extender - run it on a biofuel preferable something made from waste, add about 24KWHs of some advance battery like Envia's and we knock out about 99% of our individual transport problems.
Palladium is used in direct Formic acid fuel cells- of course formic acid fuel cells which seemed to have major buzz about two years ago ( they are similar to methanol fuel cells but have about 4x the power density)have gone silent.
AD "Interresting but what do they do with the formic acids, do they transform that formic acids in fuels ?" There are fuel cells that can use Formic acid directly or formic acid can be reformed as a hydrogen source.
China has the advantages and disadvantages of State run Capitalism- if they are right they will be right in a big way if they are wrong they will be wrong in a big way, one thing they can do that we can't is quickly achieve economies of scale. Could the Chinese for instance use enough carbon fiber to drive down the price- But for anyone who's fearful of China's rise remember America still has a lot of arrows in it's quiver- we have more R and D sitting on shelves collecting dust than the rest of the world combine- it's amazing how many things that come out now were created in the 1960s it's just they are deemed economically viable now.
I'm not necessarily against a pipeline but do the refining in Canada and pipe down the refined product but don't pipe down that ultra toxic corrosive unrefined crap.
Interesting, I've always thought the future was a mainly Battery driven (24-36Kwh) car with a relatively small hydrocarbon fueled gen-set (20-30 Kw) output but recently I was thinking on the opposite end might be a car with a very efficient diesel engine, stop/start hybrid, flywheel regenerative braking, and a 2-3Kwh Scib type battery plug-in that would handle all the normal parasitic losses- of course the thought of what do you do if for some reason you can't recharge came to mind- some combination of solar cells, energy recovery shock absorbers, and having the flywheels generate some electricity, all seemed like good possibilities but energy recovery from the exhaust might be a more reliable addition.
Well a Tesla has a huge battery 53 Kwh- a Leaf has less than half 24 Kwh and a Volt less than a third with 16 Kwh and obviously if you are rocking a huge battery your C rate per Kg means less than if you were looking at 2-4 Kwh in a hybrid - but I don't see this as yet something that would be used in BEVs but very useful in Hybrids, scooters, electric bikes.
I wouldn't just focus on the wh/kg energy density, equally or more important is wh/$, battery life both time and cycle, temperature performance, charging time, safety, level of environmental friendliness. While I don't think we will ever see mass market BEVs that have the range of gas cars I not discouraged- because it is well within our grasp to replace 90% of our hydrocarbon powered driving with electricity and most of the remaining 10% can be powered with biofuels. The Volt is the baby-step in the right direction, what people have to remember is while their batteries have a claimed 100wh/kg energy density the effective energy density is around 65wh/kg because the Volt doesn't fully charge or discharge the batteries to prolong battery life. Imagine a Volt that had batteries with an effective energy density of 200wh/kg- then you could triple the electric only range or reduce the battery pack size and weight by 2/3 for more space and better performance or more likely do a little of both.
Since I think plugin series hybrids are the future I'm glad for any improvements in batteries, capacitors, engines, motors, fuel cells, controllers, aerodynamics, light weighting, bio-fuels, electric power generation, and so on. Don't get hung up on anyone thing, Imagine a Volt that's lighter, cheaper, which has wheel motors that have conquered all the drawbacks, that has a 100mile battery only range, with a more efficient and smaller more power dense ICE engine. A car like that may reduce fossil fuel usage by 90% and if we add a quality bio-fuel then maybe you reduce your fossil fuel usage to 0% for transportation- still would of course have to tackle electricity production but that's doable too.
They were working on adsorbent materials for cng tanks that would allow them to carry equivalent fuel at a much lower pressure- this would allow people to fuel at home without special equipment and would allow a more conventional shape and much lighter weight for the tank, of course like most breakthroughs I read about it a couple years ago and haven't heard about it since.
This is why people have to keep up with science and technology, what was once an environmental nightmare, uneconomical or just plain impossible may not be today.
What's the energy density and the cycle life? So many breakthrough batteries seem to leave this out.
Would love this as a range extender for the power density and it's lack of vibration- could a small hundred lbs gen-set get me the 40-50 KWH I'd like.
I've always wondered why most cars don't have rear fairings and a body pan- so much light-weighting going on to boost mileage a tiny bit, you'd think a little aerodynamic consideration would be mandatory even small things like aerodynamic wheel covers can make a difference.
I think zinc-air batteries would make a good range extender but I'd rather have a rechargeable battery as my primary power source.
If they won't follow recommended safety practices off the coast of America it seems doubtful they would off the coast of Africa- but to be fair BP is in a class of their own when it comes to being a bad world citizen.
I really like their use of space, their power-train layout is very pretty- now that their are multiple players in the field designs are starting to look less like someone just trying to fit electric components into an existing gas car.Now there are a lot of cars coming out that incorporate a great idea but the real progress will be made in the near future when they start incorporating 3 or 4 great ideas in their cars- not lightweight frame or aerodynamics, or high energy density batteries, or a better engine for a range extender, or better use of space, or better electric motor and components but multiple combinations of great ideas.
I really like everything they are trying to do, reducing weight and aerodynamics but then I look at the stats and it seems smaller, slower,with less range than the Leaf somethings not up to snuff, I'm guessing the motors.
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Mar 8, 2010