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Barbar
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This Swiss company specialises in LTO batteries but not sure if involved in this project with ABB: https://www.leclanche.com/about-us/our-history/
Although Tesla's use of statistics is more than dubious, its marketing flamboyant, its current sensor suite inadequate, etc., etc., I think the best answer will ultimately lie in the system [across all brands] individually training/evaluating each driver on a continuing basis for fitness to use the AP function up to its full extent, as opposed to now braking the technology when it is improving rapidly. To hasten progress towards being 10x safer than human driving across all scenarios, manufacturers offering AP should be obligated [as part of the licensing requirements] to pool their raw accident data into a government-administered open source repository freely available to all developers and the general public. This industry-wide 'Transparency & Freedom of Safety Information' should accelerate bug elimination/innovation and thus produce more robust systems all round in the shortest possible time.
If the batteries consist of something like Toshiba's SCiB lithium titanate cells, as would seem to best suit this application, you could be talking ~20,000 cycles to 80%: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/01/20150108-jci.html
Brilliant idea, Gor! The 'free market' can invent technology to convert the poors into a sustainable ecofuel [Soylazine?] to power the Robocops needed to farm 'em into the meat processing plants. It's a virtuous circle, if you have the brain of Ayn Rand.
@ yoatmon, hmmn … DLR's approach looks good, neatly solving the vibration/balance issue and being cooler running, but is still one combustion chamber, now having two free pistons, each decelerated and returned by its own 'air spring'. Problem is, this term is deceptive, as rebound alone will not provide the power for a compression stroke, thus, as with Toyota's system, it still requires an external compressor, pneumatic reservoir and sophisticated control valves with feedback from finely resolving piston position sensors to individually meter the air into each 'spring' on every compression stroke. This all runs to complexity, weight, cost and breakdown susceptibility, so Mercedes may have a few valid reasons for not commercialising it until some remaining kinks are ironed out. An alternative FPLG range extender might be one integrated into the vehicle's existing suspension system: mount the PMs on the shock absorber gas piston head and let them move through a stator coil in the housing tube during the normal damping cycles. Each wheel would then act as a separate generator, recovering electrical energy from the road vibrations, without the heat, noise or fuelling problems.
Why not increase efficiency by putting another combustion chamber on the left hand side, firing in anti-phase to the one on the right? Compressing the mixture in either chamber would still act as the required 'air spring' to decelerate the piston just fired from the other side, but without the need for compressors and complicated pneumatic controls, or battery input via the linear motor, to return the piston on each stroke. I suspect the answer is that it is already very difficult to effectively cool this thing, so doubling up on the energy input would only exacerbate the problem that the permanent magnets will be having to survive an environment where maybe 20% of combustion energy is being transferred into the piston as heat rather close by … the best Neodymium PMs start to irreversibly lose magnetisation at ~65°C.
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May 7, 2016