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NeilBlanchard
Maynard, MA
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In order to just match the number of gasoline stations in the US (about 120,000), we would have to build 1 hydrogen filling station per week - for about 2,300 YEARS. Ain't gonna happen.
It does nobody any favors to make claims about mileage of the Volt - and ignore the electricity used. It is not that hard to measure the kWh of a charge with a 120V EVSE. I hope the gen 2 Volt has (at least) 50 miles of EV range, and that it gets (at least) 50MPG in hybrid mode - and also that it has room in the backseat for tall adults. And I hope they have an EV (battery only) version, in addition the plugin hybrid version. The EV version should have (at least) 100 miles range. 125 or 150 would put it close to the Tesla Model III.
The E-Fan blades are variable pitch. This adds to the range of performance from this airplane in various situations. And as I understand it, the ducted fans are much more efficient than open props of the same diameter. The tips of the blades are moving the fastest, and there is a rotating ring capturing the ends of the blades so almost no air slips around the tip. The air flow is directed into more parallel direction by the duct. Wikipedia says that ducted fan are up 94% more efficient than the same diameter open prop.
So, it appears that we have just seen the peak area of Arctic ice. http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png And rather late, too.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2014 on PIOMAS March 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
There appears to have been two periods this winter when the ice area actually decreased (melted?). Typical wobbles in the graph are decreased rate of freezing, or even a plateau - but actual decreases before March seems to be (nearly) unique.
This is looking a little ominous: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png
Where will the hydrogen come from? How will it be distributed? How much will it cost to fill up? How long will the fuel cell last? How many cars can fill up in a day at a hydrogen filling station? Will the station have a roof? (The ones I have seen so far do not have roofs.) If not, how does this work in snowy areas? How big is the battery pack? Is it a plugin? The three sources of hydrogen that I know of are: 1) It is a byproduct of chlorine production. 2) Steam reforming of natural gas. 3) Electrolysis using electricity to split water. Each of these has it's challenges. We can only get so much from making chlorine, because we only need so much chlorine. It is a "byproduct" but it is probably already spoken for for various and sundry purposes. Steam reforming is not so great because it takes a fossil fuel and adds more energy to it (heat that comes *probably* from burning natural gas?); thereby negating any possible advantages of "clean" hydrogen. Electrolysis is also problematic: it takes a LOT of electricity to split water. Like about 3-3.5X more energy than you can get back out of the hydrogen, as I understand it. And where does the electricity come from? From the grid? If so, then it is 3-3.5X dirtier than an EV. Renewable energy? Then hydrogen is just a really inefficient way to store and transfer electricity. It is very "lossy". One of the bottle necks for hydrogen filling stations is the non-trivial process of compressing the hydrogen to ~10,000PSI. It is "pre-compressed" to ~5,000PSI before a fuel cell vehicle even shows up, and then it is compressed the rest of the way to 10,000 PSI during the fill process. This takes yet more energy - probably electricity from the grid. Having even air stored at 10,000PSI in tanks on the car is problematic; let alone highly acidic and explosive hydrogen. The reason there are no roofs on on hydrogen filling stations is simple - if it leaks, then you do not want to trap it inside. Distributing hydrogen is not something we have even attempted to do, and it is certainly a HUGE challenge to build this infrastructure. You think exploding oil transport trains or burst oil pipelines are a challenge, then hydrogen will be much worse. Battery packs will last 200K+ miles and maybe even more; depending on the chemistry. Prius batteries have lasted 300-500K miles. Do we know how much a new fuel cell will cost? I'm guessing it is probably more than a big battery pack. The last I heard about the cost of hydrogen was from an episode of Fully Charged when Robert Llewellyn drove a Honda FCX Clarity. It was ~€36-37 to fill it with ~4kg of hydrogen. This is roughly £30. Driving an EV the same distance cost under £3.
I saw the 500L for the first time yesterday here in Massachusetts, and it is a *lot* bigger than the 500. It also is rated at just 27MPG Combined, which is ho-hum to say the least. It has very unusual A pillars - there is a piece of glass the butts into the windshield, and it probably is good for air flow. Neil
Why do they count battery replacement costs, but not regular maintenance costs for diesel? Clutch replacement, starter replacement, and brake pad replacement are all quite expensive for diesels, and yet EV's don't even have clutches or starters, and they use their brakes much less, due to regenerative braking. They counted generation ad transmission losses for electricity - but diesel does not appear out of thin air, either! The energy overhead for diesel goes all the way back to discovery of oil fields, and exploratory drilling. It uses a significant amount of electricity along the way; and a lot of natural gas - which has it's own overhead of electricity; and now with fracking, they use a lot of water, and with deep water drilling and with tar sand bitumen, the total rises higher still. I have seen numbers ranging from 7.5kWh to ~13kWh per gallon of gasoline, and diesel can't be all that different. So, if the carbon overhead of electricity is added, in all fairness, to diesel, I think that diesel is not ever going to come out with lower costs. Neil
This is interesting - will it lead the way to also having video mirrors in place of the side view optical mirrors? This would reduce the aero drag caused by optical mirrors, and it could remove virtually all blind spots, too. Neil
So, this means they are only going to about triple the miles they have done so far? In 12 years they did 295 million miles, and in 5 more years they will add another 705 million? So, that was an average rate of 24.58 million / year up to ~141 million / year. That's a bit less than a 6X increase. So, for electric trucks, that means going from ~150 up to ~900. That seems like a low bar to me. Neil
The knee in the extent line on the NSIDC graph is still looking like it is increasing: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png And it appears to be similar to the one in early June of 2012, and it may be even steeper? Neil
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2013 on Problematic predictions 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Does this vehicle have side windows? That would make it a lot more practical; though in some locations they could be left out so it qualifies as a quadricycle. Neil
They need to design a platform specifically for an EV. The battery pack should be in the floor for much better Cg. The grill opening needs to be nearly closed up -- the need for cooling on an EV is minute compared to an ICE, and this would lower the aerodynamic drag by as much as 10%, and the range would be improved by about that much. Does gasoline appear out of thin air? If you are going to account the generation losses for an EV, then you need to also add in the energy overhead to find oil, drill and extract oil, transport it, refine it, transport it again, etc. For a fair comparison, we should use the BTU equivalent of 33.7kWh per gallon of gasoline; as the EPA does. Neil
Obviously, they have added the carbon from the production of electricity -- but did they also add the carbon from the production of gasoline? Since a lot of electricity and natural gas are used all through the long path from oil exploration to extraction, to transportation, to refinement, and more transportation, pumping and storage all along the way (which is similar to grid losses!) I can only imagine what the actual carbon footprint of gasoline is! Nissan has said that each gallon of gasoline represents about 7.5kWh of electricity. So, for the electricity overhead *alone*, a Leaf can travel about 22-38 miles depending on how you drive. The Illuminati Motor Works '7' (X-Prize competitor) could go as far as 50 miles on 7.5kWh; and I believe this can be surpassed! So leave the oil in the ground, and use that same electricity directly in an EV. Also, there is the lubrication oil, coolant, and the other consumables (filters, etc.) used for regular maintenance of ICE powered cars. This is non-trivial and needs to be included in any serious study. Electric cars have virtually no regular maintenance; other than tires and wiper blades, which they share with ICE powered cars, obviously. Also, only renewable energy is truly low-to-zero carbon. Nuclear has a carbon footprint that includes uranium mining, refinement and enrichment, making fuel rods, building power plants that use an immense amount of concrete and steel, hot fuel rod storage, dry cask storage, and then plant decommissioning and *very* long term high security storage of dangerous waste -- all of which has a carbon footprint. Electricity *can* come from renewable energy, and therefore gets cleaner over time. Oil is finite. Electricity is virtually infinite. Neil
I wonder about chicken feathers as a inexpensive source of high quality carbon nanotubes? http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200906261 http://www.happynews.com/news/6242009/feather-fibers-fluff-hydrogen-storage-capacity.htm These articles concentrate on the hydrogen storage potential, but these carbon fibers can be used for other purposes, for sure. They are very consistent and they are very cheap/virtually free. Sincerely, Neil
Sherry, thanks for the perspective on the new version vs the older one. I am disappointed in the lack of "easy coasting" in the new car -- this is by far the most efficient way to go. The regenerative braking should *only* be on the brake pedal. Because, coasting uses the potential energy of the moving car much more efficiently than does regenerative braking. Coast when you need to carry your speed to gain distance, and only use regenerative braking when you must slow down. I really hope that Th!nk makes the (software?) change to make this possible in the Economy mode. Sincerely, Neil
I hope the Nido EV sees production soon! I hope it gets front wheel drive (for better regenerative braking!) and it would be great to see a 24-28kWh lithium (iron or manganese) battery pack in the floor. Another (likely) improvement if they dropped the Zebra battery might be a *much* smaller air grill on the front? If only the Toyota/Scion iQ looked this smooth! Or, the Murray T27... Sincerely, Neil
Greetings, I've been working on a list of things that all car makers could be doing to improve efficiency: http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/post/more-ways-for-auto-makers-to-build-more-efficient-vehicles.html One of the things to add to what Lotus has done, is to add multiple latches to the doors -- this would improve the the strength of the overall structure, allowing the weight to be reduced because the door opening frames do not need to be reinforced as much. And the overall shell is complete, which increases the strength. Another thing that adds efficiency in several ways, would be to redesign the wheels and the suspension, so that the wheels are rigid and non-inflating, and the suspension does all the dampening -- and the shock absorbers could then generate more electricity than they otherwise would. This would eliminate the need for an alternator; especially if, you had a plug in charger. So, greatly improved rolling resistance and reduced unsprung weight, which leads to reduced energy to keep the car moving, combined with regenerative shock absorbers (which can be tunable for ride and handling), which eliminates the need for an alternator. I hope you can read the rest of my list! Sincerely, Neil
Hello, A serial hybrid does not use the fuel combustion motor to push the car, and the HP of the range extender should not be confused with the HP of an ICE driven vehicle. The range extender runs at it's most efficient RPM to charge the battery, and it at that speed it only needs to be able to "keep up" with the discharge rate of the battery. It does not have to be nearly as big as you think: the Aptera 2h will likely use a 15HP engine, and the prototype Mini hybrid with the 160HP hub motor (on each of the four wheels -- so ~640HP pushing the car!) used a 2-cylinder 250cc engine to charge the batteries. Sincerely, Neil