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They did that in Ireland in the 2000's and got the deaths down from ~370 to as low as 150 / year for a population of ~5M. They got serious on speeding They got serious on drink driving (really!) They got serious on seatbelts and rear seat seatbelts. They introduced a mandatory car safety check every 2 years which got the wrecks off the roads. They build more motorways and dual carriageways so driving from Dublin to Cork was no longer a bloodsport + they lined the roads properly. No magic here, no ADAS systems, just basic common sense and enforcement.
This is a key thing to do. If you have say 1 M cars with 50 kWh batteries, of which they are prepared to lend say 25 kWh each to the gird, you have 25 GWh of storage, which is very useful. As they stated, a lot of wind energy has to be curtailed when there is more than the grid can take. This is predictable as demand and the weather can be predicted for a few days with decent accuracy. Thus, if you can see excess wind tomorrow night, you should be able to postpone fully charging till then. The system should know that you need say 10 kWh / day for commuting, and thus could charge every 4 days if required to. (This is not the case with smaller battery cars like the 24 kWH Leaf, but cars these hays have multi-day batteries, so it is possible for many people). Even if you can just postpone charging till 11 pm (-6am) you are far better off than letting people plug in as soon as they get home in the evening. What we probably need are standards so that a set of rules can apply for anyone who wants it. You also need to figure out how to compensate people for charging according to the grid's needs, as well as their own. (Like very cheap power at overflow times). It is difficult (IMO) to emphasize how important this is.
Anyone see the movie Logan (2017) ... looks like it is coming true... It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
@GdB there is a bit of work to be done on ammonia.,from%20the%20exhaust%20without%20burning. @EP, you mean using microwaves (or lasers) to beam power up - have you any references? Even it if worked, it would be a bit nerve wracking - if the transmitter malfunctioned, you'd be in trouble, so you would want some batteries to tide you over. One thing struck me is that you should be able to transmit power to the plane right up until the moment of takeoff, like an electric train - at least only use the batteries when you are off the ground. (Might be tricky in crosswinds).
If you have a tower 250m high with a large windmill on top, you have quite a bending moment. The turntable will have to have a large diameter to handle big gusts. Also, the belt drive to the generator will have to be very strong - I have no idea if this sort of thing has been done before - a belt 500m long transmitting 10 MW. Still worth a shot, you never know what will come of it. Probably safer than kite windmills.
Two of these would work well in an ATR72 sized aircraft of ~23 tons. Now you just need an energy storage plan. Say it can cruise at 1/2 power, that is 2 MW for 2 of these engines. Then, you need 2 MWh for a 1 hour flight. Say 166 wh / kg, so 12 tons of batteries - maybe not. Maybe better add the RR turbogenerator and say 1-2 tons of batteries. Now we are talking.
@GdB, thanks, that makes sense. + as they have a tank of kerosene, they might as well add a thousand or so km to the range... Makes much more sense than a "Zero carbon or bust" approach.
Why not just use a new turboprop in the first place? What are the advantages over one? a: You can run on batteries for takeoff and so reduce noise and pollution. b: You get to pretend that you have an electric aeroplane. Can it run on a wider range of fuels? Is it more efficient than a straight turboprop? Is it cheaper to make?
I wish the well, but I wouldn't put my life savings into the company. It is mainly about laminar flow, and as the wiki article says, "laminar flow tends to be unreliable in service, as it is highly susceptible to degradation from surface irregularities." Hence no passenger windows in the prototype. If it is as efficient as they suggest, they could just run it on diesel as originally planned. They should get it running reliably (and in service with customers) with a conventional engine, and then go for H2 or NH3 or whatever. Maybe they are just doing this to raise more money. Anyway, I wish them well and every success.
@EP, well said. + I always considered solar roads a crazy idea. If you want solar cells, just put them up and don't drive on them.
@Dave - exactly - more data please. How many cars can they charge at one time? How is the power allocated between many vehicles (or is this a problem at all). If it works as advertised and is easy to fit or retrofit to existing vehicles, it would be a boon indeed. How close does the receiver have to be to the road - how robust is it ? How would it effect the car battery controller if it can be charged every so often as you drive along - could easily cause bugs in the software which would not have anticipated on the go charging when written. And how do you pay for the power and infrastructure.
Typical of large companies, they complicate products for very little benefit. There is a balance problem with e-scooters, but it is front - back, rather than side to side, and is caused by standing to close to the tiny front wheel. This was solved for bicycles in 1885 with the invention of the safety bicycle when you sat between 2 medium-large wheels. IMO, if you want to make scooters safer, make them longer and make the wheels larger (and maybe a bit wider). (Also wear a helmet and maybe gloves). Also, slow them down - they are supposed to be < 250 watts, but you can see many that are much more powerful (and thus faster) than that. You can see them advertised and on the streets. However, this goes against the vibe of scooters which it to be very small and light, but there should be a middle ground between cool and safe. This won't solve any real problem, much like the Segway didn't, but the tiny e-scooters took off by themselves. (rant over)
Interesting - my view is that ICEs are not dead (only resting) and could be very useful for range extenders and also just ICEs. Nice to see this level of efficiency without using diesel fuel. Also, could be used with Ch4 for lower co2 levels.
I would have thought that the main material cost of NMC LI Ion batteries would be the cobalt and nickel. LiPo may well be cheaper, but it is rather heavy (and possibly bulky) - better for stationary storage (or maybe trains).
I'm for it too. Use small nuclear for district heat, electricity and or H2. You might have (human) problems with district heat unless you have a quite long, very well insulated hot water pipe. + there would be a massive amount of disruption as you put the pipe networks into cities.
@Gorr, I'd wait for the infrastructure. I imagine a home electrolyzer would expensive and not very efficient. I'd leave that bit to the big boys - (Unless you have a lot of solar at home ...)
@Roger, it is like a PHEV where the local driving can be done in H2 and the long range stuff on CH4. I hadn't looked at it like that (i.e. changing from trip to trip), I was thinking of vehicle to vehice, but if you could do it with two tanks, why not. (You could even use diesel or gasoline in another version !) Nice idea.
I hope they are running it on green H2. Otherwise they may as well run the engine (or a modified version of it) on methane.
Interesting new minor hobby, satellite spotting. Get a chair and a smallish binocular set and just stare at the night sky when it is clear, best when the sun has just gone down + 1 hour. See how long before you see a satellite crossing your field of vision. Or, look up the ISS passing over your location and watch for it.
@Jer, I agree. Even if the wealthy countries go EV, the poorer countries won't be able to afford them and will stick with petrol or diesel. The only thing that might change that would be cheap EVs from China which could take off in the developing world if the price was right. (See today's Financial Times) The problem with EVs in the west is that people expect 2-300 mile range and this means huge batteries and huge weight and cost. If people in the developing world are prepared to do without such range, their EVs can have smaller batteries and much lower weight and cost. That is out best hope. + Electric 2 and 3 wheelers. (Lots of electric bikes and scooters in Dublin, Ireland).
They could just as easily run it on petrol or diesel or even batteries.
OK, so we are seeing a move from NMC batteries to LFP with a reduction of 1/3 in energy density by weight. That is OK if you know the mileage you require. IMO, what they should pair this with is a trolleybus style power pickup that can be used at the start and end of each route (in the suburban ends of the routes). This would use machine vision and simple robotics to hook the poles up to the wired and the buses could charge up (say) on the the last and first 1/6 - 1.4 of the route. This would have the dual advantage of lower stationary charging times and increased route length with no increase in battery size (maybe a decrease). Initially, you could manually hook the poles on and off (at covered bus stops), and it she system was successful in operation, then automate the process (to de-risk it).
I worry about the prospects for H2 powered flight, or decarbonising flight in general, because you are constrained by weight and volume of H2 storage and processing. It would be better to concentrate on decarbonising shipping (or trucking) where you are less constrained by volume and weight. Maybe you could work out an offset scheme whereby money saved by continuing to use hydrocarbon fuels in aviation can be transferred to shipping, like a point to point carbon tax.
Weight reduction is useful in all vehicles, not just electric ones.
This also says to me that we should fix this rather than aviation as ships can easily have larger or heavier fuel storage and propulsion systems where aircraft are constrained by both volume and weight. So start here, and when this is done, look at aviation.