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Christopher Miles
Philadelphia, Pa
Engineer and Sustainability reporter.
Interests: Energy Efficiency, Land Use, Urban Planning, Mass Transit, Renewable Energy
Recent Activity
Any first thoughts on Price/Range? Benefits of this approach vs. the latest from Proterra, BYD, Volvo or NewFlyer?
The Stop and Go nature of postal routes seem a perfect match for electric vehicles. One would have hoped that COTS /Off the shelf vehicles could have been in the bidding mix.
@engineer-poet Thanks for the NASA link. Nice to know that the Spin-off tech got remembered. It's amazing looking at those early 70's experiments in Fuel saving tech- Advanced rail and light rail, Personal rapid transit, GE/Chrysler electric cars, etc. Lots of effort(s) to leverage Federal know how to [then] current problems. Had not known about this NASA effort. Would be interesting to know if the Vortice(s) research went anywhere.
This is a great project/showpiece for GM's Volt technology and it's OnStar telematics technology. On Star and the smart grid. Interesting. It's critical we get the data on how these cars are used, when they are charged, the hit the grid takes (if any) when charging, and how much energy is used vis a vis the solar that some of the homes in this development have on the rooftop. PR? Sure. But also some promise there. If nothing else- this community is in TEXAS- not known for weenine/treehugging stuff- so if things like this work there and solutions seem practical and doable- then they are all the more easy to replicate in other areas of the country. Kudos to all that have worked to move the the Pecan Street Project forward. C Miles http://work-bench.org
Anyone else notice the increase in Hydrogen/Fuel Cell news lately? Interesting that the DOE has come around on this. Also interesting, the new BloomEnergy Factory opening next year in Delaware where they used to make Chryslers. And didn't Apple just announce that at it's huge cloud facility in North Carolina that it would be using these Bloom Energy Servers /Fuel Cells with the fuel source being Landfill (Methane) Gas? If only they had some need/use for the excess heat. CHP for these units would certainly make them more practical. IN future, rather than fuel up with h2 - can we just charge our cars' advanced lithium air batteries with electrons generated from a landfull gas/CHP fuel cell service station?
One wonders whether this nickel-molybdenum-nitride might have applications in exhaust pollutant mitigation catalytic devices. Perhaps lower cost vis a vis Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium. I suppose the nickel tetracarbonyl formation would still be a concern.
Also combats Airbus' A320 NEO Sharklet Boeing is apparently more focused these days on the other less glamorous products. Much of this tech has been available- just applying it all at the same time has been an Achilles heel for them. The experience of engineering all new 787, and building it all over the work- a supply chain inherently unwieldy- I think made Boeing a little less focused on their bread and butter planes. Kind of like GM and Ford not messing with their Pickup lines until they each have to.
This is great to see- We certainly need to be thinking of not just the jet fuel, but everything surrounding flight as bug energy consumer/C02 emitter. Just look at Airports fuel use and emissions (without thinking of the jets for a moment)- the circling airport parking and rental car shuttles- the tugs, the baggage carts, the fuel and support vehicles. With some re-engineering /re-architing(moving things like rental cars closer in, etc) as well as new fuels for support vehicles- we could really make a dent in Airport emissions. Not sure that Fuel Cells are the cheapest way to go here- but it's a start. Rather than re-invent the wheel though- it would be nice if some of the larger carmakers which have each made so much progress- would jump in to this market. I mean GM used to make buses and trains. Would adding GM's Fuel Cell tech to these airport vehicles be another avenue for them to expand their test and user base? I am all for these demo projects- but there have been so many federal demos over the years (going back to the 70's) It would be nice to see one Airport to support an "all of the above" approach to reduce emissions significantly.
I am happy to read that the State is supporting this sort of small- medium scale power initiative. I had feared that under the current NJ Administration all tech/science spending would be curtailed. CHP in the near term offers the biggest efficiency bang for the technology buck. Nice to see these sorts of things funded.
Christopher Miles is now following The Typepad Team
Apr 29, 2012