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Trevor Carlson
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Just because there is some correlation shown in the study does not mean that there is causation. All other factors would need to be controlled which was not done in this case. Looks like lazy scientific research and overzealous editors sensationalizing a summary to match a political agenda. I say political because the only acceptable solution to the pollution "problem" is always that some central global power needs to exert more control. However, If these environmental worry warts would take a step back they should be happy about lower survival rates (assumed risk with pre-term births) since each new person represents an increase in global CO2 and committed resources to support their life. I don't subscribe to that line of thinking but I acknowledge it is at least logical if not overtly evil and insidious.
So how much will a marginal increase in thermal efficiency translate to increase miles per gallon after all the additional hardware to make it emissions compliant is bolted on? 3-7% better at high loads (like towing on the highway) requires a transmission that won't kick down and users that don't over-ride that programming by switching to manual shift mode. In the mean time there's less energy per volume so a tankful of E20 may not get you as far as a tank of E10 even in a vehicle designed to optimize its operating conditions. Most E20 will be wasted in engines that aren't programmed to utilize the fuel as the above research indicates. Therefore I'm led to believe the push for E20 is to get votes via continuation of subsidies to farmers who grow the feedstock to make the ethanol.
So the study used people's postal codes but somehow were able to map them within 50 meters of major roadways? Isn't long term exposure more significant than how close you happen to live at the time of one study? What about other factors... like people that live in heavily metro areas for their whole lives will have been drinking from the same water sources while suburban dwellers may have grown up on a farm or retire somewhere outside a city on well water. I have a theory for dementia that it's not the air so much as it is the treated water. In the U.S. they add all kinds of chemicals to the water supply for various purposes and if you look at the MSDS on all of them and their known effects on humans. Low doses over long periods of time will often build up and affect the body slightly differently than high concentration exposure - the point is if certain chemicals are never used in the body for any purpose, why would you consume them in any concentration? Our bodies are made to handle CO2, and NOX to a certain extent as long as there's enough oxygen. Our lungs can purge a lot of impurities and regenerate when we breathe clear air.
It seems to indicate you cannot run two fuels at the same time. If it cannot run both at the same time there would need to be some period of time when neither engine was running. If that is the case then the engine power would drop to some really low number due to the flywheels and cause a startling change in the driving dynamics. So can anyone figure out why such an engine couldn't run any mix you wanted at the same time? Why not run the gasoline engine at 15% average but variable load and the NG engine at 30% constant load?
I imagine a 300GHz receiver on the bottom of planes and cars could dump a lot of power into a vehicle using arrays of the proper frequency emitting diodes focused on the target of the receiver. Materials could be engineered/chosen to prevent or manage the heating issues at the interface. With high energy capacity capacitors such as the technology in the above article the charging even itself could happen quickly as the vehicle passes over the array.
"Wireless re-charging technology to keep drones flying perpetually"
This technology would also be useful in enabling smaller planes to use electric motors turning propellers giving them extra power during take-off and then driven off a central Primary power unit similar to the APU during cruise. Assuming of course any risk of fire hazard is mitigated and the system weight still makes sense. This would make solar panels on planes a no-brainer for free additional range/increased payload.
1st generation starting here-
Changing people's inefficient use of capital (with personally owned automobiles used primarily in cities) is nearly impossible unless the alternative is so much better that the positive experience creates a paradigm shift. Perhaps city dwellers could use car rentals for the occasionally necessary longer trip. Rentals are nice too because you get what you need, when you need it with no overhead cost-wise. A major metro city may need to sponsor a contract though to increase the available fleet available to the whole city on-demand instead of just the major airport to kick-start that paradigm shift. In this way, even cities like Detroit could be rejuvenated where the inherent high taxes actually become affordable due to the reduced cost of living and increase to quality of life.
I wonder what the limit is for maximizing the charge rate through inductive charging systems. Obviously trolleys and buses can integrate a pantograph but city cars cannot. Major Metropolitan areas (the people living in them) could benefit from transitioning from city buses with a limited routes to a networked solution moving smaller numbers of people as efficiently as possible from/to specific points. My concept for the metropolitan transportation future is that autonomous taxis of all sizes (maybe even a few bus sized ones) could run 24/7 if just major intersections had a quick inductive charging rings integrated and every taxi had an energy storage medium such as the above Li-Ion Capacitor banks in parallel with a longer range/slower charging battery. A networked fleet of such taxis could be used for buffering the grid (when plugged in) and enabling higher adoption rates of distributed renewable power sources and lower "base-load" power generation. (cost savings) The fleet could be deployed all at once for large events specific to the need reducing congestion by helping change people’s behavior (reducing parking near stadiums and infrastructure designed to handle so many vehicles at a time resulting in future cost savings). Smart phone apps with location services enabled would help match groups of people based on their real-time physical location as well as their destination and draw them to a common pick-up point. I'm thinking something like uber but with nearly free rates due to city funding. The solutions are synergistic such that the cost savings of the system pay for itself while simultaneously improving the living experience of people. More and better positive living experiences increases the tax base by drawing people together (towards metro areas instead of repelling them through negative experiences). Such a system/concept could be implemented over the course of a generation or two starting with small autonomous taxis and with minimal investment/tear-up to existing infrastructure.
Cool down there Henrik. Every step forward gets us closer to the end goal which is 100% sustainability. On the other hand you need to also consider that "Zero pollution" solutions that are economically competitive now may actually be a step backwards in regards to sustainability and product lifetime pollution impacts on average. Locally there are places that minimize the worst of those impacts but we must consider global populations and their access to economically competitive sustainable energy.
To expand on my previous post on how this concept could be applied to the aftermarket- Eliminate the rear axle module (referenced in this article) for the trailer idea and use two 15kW motors geared for optimum power efficiency at 55 MPH independently driving each independently suspended trailer wheel. The trailer should be mounted to the hitch with a 2-way swivel (heavily dampened to only allow relative motion during slow parking maneuvers) with load bars to increase pressure on the trailer tires. (vehicle and trailer weight distributed over all six wheels with a bias on the front steering wheels) Since each tire is able to spin at different speeds there is no issue with taking corners and skidding a tire. The e-trailer would have a narrow track similar to motorcycle trailer and a very short trailer tongue. Newer vehicles with electronic steering would have a signal that could serve as an input to the push trailers integrated electronic stability control. 40hp (two motors) is enough to keep 5,000lb minivans at constant highway speed on a flat highway. Using an alternating pulse and coast method between the e-trailer and the vehicle engine would maximize fuel mileage during highway trips*. Placing a hitch ball mid-way between the wheels on top of the e-trailer would allow even small cars to safely tow 2500 lb trailers. The virtually extended vehicle wheelbase would also help in preventing lane-drift and sway where cross-winds are encountered. Parking lot maneuverability would only be affected slightly as the vehicle would essentially drive like a longer car as the two-way tongue swivels a few degrees to prevent the tires from skidding sideways in tight corners. An e-trailer would negate the need to buy a truck just to haul your camper for vacations or a trailer for bulky items. With the money of a new full-size truck you could buy a nice new small car to meet your every-day usage and an e-powered trailer that you hook up only when you'd need the extra utility or want to make your car a virtual hybrid. Using the trailer would help to fill in power delivery, reducing the peak power required from the vehicle's IC engine which would save fuel in certain drive cycles. Insurance savings of the small car vs the truck and reduced fuel costs would pay you back even if the combined cost was greater than a full size truck. *Set your regular cruise-control to a given speed then set the e-trailer to its HIGHWAY “cruise” setting. As it cycles the onboard battery state of charge between 50% and 80% it provides automatically alternating boost and resistance to the vehicle engine.
I'd hope that the control system would allow you to "throttle" the rear motor in proportion, out of phase, or independently to the IC engine throttle. CITY Proportional settings would have eco (default) and power modes for either normal mixed driving versus stop-go traffic. HIGHWAY settings would use an out of phase control strategy to charge the batteries when the engine is working at peak efficiency and discharge the battery and apply power to the road when the engine is at high BSFC. Keeping the battery near it's optimum state of charge. SPORT setting would allow you to independently control the rear wheels for maximum control. It could even be sold as an aftermarket system for any vehicle. A fully integrated system could easily fit on a small classI trailer. A bluetooth controller plugged into the OBD port and a grip throttle on the park brake lever for the SPORT setting would constitute the integration into the vehicle operation. Use your phone to activate the app that controls the system and select the drive mode. I should re-post this on half-bakery. LOL
Give me an example of an "accident" where a fatality was "caused" by speed and I'm pretty sure if you were to actually look at all the factors in those specific accidents, speed was a by-product not the cause in 99.9% of those fatalities. True accidents are caused by things like debris falling on you or something unexpected happening to another driver who then goes out of control. Most times, if something unexpected happens to you while driving then you were very likely not paying well enough attention. Of course this would be impossible for the state to prove and no driver would admit it in court but it doesn't make it un-true. Risky driving behavior such as inattentiveness, inexperience/overconfidence, recklessness, and poor road conditions are the true causes of most accidents that are instead attributed to excessive speed by cops as the "cause" of the so-called accident (that could've easily been prevented). Speed only kills when the vehicle transitions from a well-controlled state to an under-controlled or over-corrected state of motion. The speed itself is not the cause of the lack of control (except when aerodynamic lift reduces traction - not a factor for road cars on public roads) but it may become a factor in how long it takes for the vehicle to get back under control. Crash investigators are not allowed to rule the cause of an accident was due to driver error or inattention unless the evidence is over-whelming but excessive speed is allowed to be the "cause" that does not need evidence other than the fact that there was an accident to make the claim as being self-evidently true. Speed Limits are mostly just easy guidelines put in place to keep most vehicles at the same speed. It is the difference in speed between vehicles the same road that is the real danger but that is difficult to enforce or legislate. Plus speed limits give enforcement agencies an easy source of revenue with very low risk (danger to the officers per $ collected).
Smooth driving IS safe driving. You use less energy and waste less brake pad and tire material. Algorithms could attempt to minimize changes in momentum, this would also give passengers the most comfortable ride with imperceptible course corrections and minimal acceleration ramps. This is one hypermiling technique that might actually work in HOV lanes whereas it's not as feasible when 5-50% of drivers in human traffic aggressively cut into the buffer zones between vehicles that autonomous vehicles attempt to preserve.
California Central Valley sounds like a great place to set up a solar powered atmospheric scrubber as the land form naturally concentrates and holds airborne pollution from spreading. aka trees. Maybe the cities feeding the pollution should pass laws requiring every person to plant enough trees each year (in the valley) to offset their share of the carbon footprint created by humans living there.
Alain, Taking a few steps back to get a bigger picture; such a switch would be a good thing if the sustainability of the entire lifecycle of each product were considered. I'm not so sure the data is conclusive yet that electric vehicles are more sustainable or better for the environment from a full cycle analysis perspective. From an infrastructure standpoint I agree, fossil fuels will need increasingly expensive technologies to compete while solar and solar/lunar derivative energy sources face a decreasing cost curve to their infrastructures. Fossil fuels themselves are also stored solar energy and the carbon that was sequestered so long ago will eventually be used again to feed the growth of new plants and animals. As we learn to harness the energy around us we will begin to discover and innovate ever faster and more sustainably. A few steps more and the picture shows that energy is the easy problem to solve... the tough one is sustainable and responsible populations. As generations of people have utilized the virtually unlimited and low cost energy of fossil fuels, economic and population growth has exploded. Hopefully as the globe tapers off the fossil fuel energy rush we can do so in a sustainable manner as well. So far, most first world nations have bent their population growth curves flatter fairly painlessly (China's and Germany's not among the best practices). Let's all hope the future transitions for the remaining majority of the earth's population will be similarly slow and steady enough to prevent world wars due to rapid shifts in power and their cascading effects. I fear this is not the case though, we're teetering on the edge of Oil's last hurrah. Every time there has been an energy shift there has been a population boom and draw-down as power structures shift and find a new balance (banking and currency structures). ---(secular short story below)--- Muscle/Wind power was tied to the Grain-Salt-Spices (Gold) currencies powering Egypt, Rome (Silver), Persia also utilized by the Vikings, Dutch [paper bills backed by Gold]. This currency innovation led to the rise of the British Empire [paper backed by Silver] which prevailed even as steam power tipped the scales further in her favor. Countries rich in wood sources powered another population expansion and greater freedom/power projection (Britain/France/N. America). This was overtaken by coal which most notably worked out to favor England. Coal empowered many innovations and the Pound Sterling was held as a relatively constant currency but it also contributed to innovations in banking/exchanges. Coal began to peak due to petroleum and power shifted again as the financing of the nation state in power also became unstable in part due to monetary exchanges favoring France and Germany. WW1 and WW2 (aka WW1 part 2) saw a major population draw down and a rapid shift in monetary order. The United States grew in power boosted by petroleum growing its role in international trade. As it did so, the U.S.D. became the international currency (backed by gold). When the system broke down, the dollar was moved to floating exchange rates. We are now deep in the middle-age of multi-currency systems and debt has ballooned so far as to render the banking system so top heavy as to be seemingly unstable. However the US finds new life and continues to innovate and and power global trade as it taps into the natural gas energy boom. (Until Obama shuts it down and empowers the mid-east) The rise of distributed and renewable power sources in conjunction with crypto-currencies could grow to threaten and possibly topple the multi-currency central banking system model if allowed to naturally progress. As public debt becomes more and more burdensome, people work harder to pay off the debts on a massive scale (higher interest rates and runaway deflation). Then as the nation states, that have tried to inflate their way to further growth, lose leverage they will become oppressive and eventually open the door to popular rebellion and dissolution of those nation states power base. (WW3 and/or global civil wars) Such a thing could be financed and sparked by non-national elites and a coalition of global companies and/or by the national elites pulling the political strings of unstable regions to cover their moves to expand their power and reach. Who knows what's really going on but change is in the air and the globe is due for another population draw-down. No matter how it happens a few elites will come out on top.
That list reads like the who's who of the new world order. Now that they're openly uniting they most definitely have more power than any single government entity. If such a coalition decided on a course of action for the globe, there would be nothing anyone (including nation states if they were so inclined) could do to stop them. That is precisely the goal here.
Also, allow consumers to bring suits against companies that profit from cheating by awarding class-action style payouts. Companies who are grossly negligent would do the math and might find out it'd be cheaper to buy back certain products than to expose themselves to the lawsuits. If anyone can think of a way to incentivize governments to be more efficient, straight-forward and common sense in their rule-making when crafting regulations I'd love to hear it. For now it seems that while they're the ones that caused this whole mess, there is no-one that is being fired or even tried for their part in the root cause. For anyone that thinks that it's not governments fault I'd like you to answer the questions- Who makes the rules? What if the rules aren't fair? Personally, I think it'd be awesome if there were some legal mechanism so that when such egregious cheating or negligence is found to be virtually institutionalized, the institutions or at least the agencies responsible for policing them should be de-funded and dis-banded if not in whole at least in part and relative to the measure of responsibility they imposed on society economically.
Therein lies the rub. If your testing doesn't reflect actual usage then it's easier to cheat. The regulations should be scrapped and re-designed so that a few variables could be changed (to reflect actual usage) and the vehicle should still meet the regulations. Obviously with current technology the regulations are too specific and differentiated from actual usage scenarios as to be baseless. Instead of subsidizing and taxing various fuels at various rates and creating different emissions regulations for different fuel, the rules could and should be simplified to allow the market to figure out the best solution. Or you could tax fuels based on the likelihood that the nations fleet is compliant to emissions regulations and let the markets correct themselves in real time. The demand for gasoline and hybrid cars would rocket and the resale on diesel cars would drop (for now). As the fleet of old diesels become worthless they'll get scrapped out sooner and improve the nations emissions profile.
It wouldn't even have to be the government as they're already deeply in debt. Who knows, maybe the Warren Buffets of the coal, salt and oil-rich property owners in this country could be doing this. If I owned a coal mine and couldn't get coal out of it anymore due to burdensome regulations I'd be looking really hard at investing in filling my mines with something that'd be profitable in the future. They could seal the mines and instal piping to make it really efficient to pump the oil back out in the future. No fracking required and it'd be the highest grade sweetest crude possible. The middle east has never been described as stable so it's only a matter of time before the price sky-rockets again and your investments would start paying off in a big way. Doing so would be the height of Patriotism as it'd serve to help buffer the U.S. economy from price shocks. Maybe they could sell shares in a co-op to fund the purchases to fill the mines a bit like the government used to sell war bonds. Who wants to make a couple trillion dollars?
The U.S. should be importing and storing as much of this cheap crude as it can while OPEC is playing this game of pump and dump. Seal and fill all the salt and coal mines throughout the U.S. Then when WW3 breaks out in earnest and wells get bombed in the middle east, we can turn around and pump that sweet crude back out and bring it to market at a premium. It could be used to help stabilize prices by driving up the price slightly in the short term but in the future when stability in the middle east breaks down we could open the taps and drive prices down. This would decimate the OPEC countries economically just when they need the money the most. Maybe just the prospect of us doing so could get them to throttle back their pump and dump business philosophy designed to ruin the business cases and businesses investing in alternative sources of energy.
...and simply being born contributes to 100% of deaths in China and elsewhere.
The issues to implementing such a system in a carbureted vehicle from the 80's versus modern OBDII equipped cars with modern emissions systems intact and control modules connected on a CAN bus system would be completely different. Besides I'm not interested in patenting the idea I summarized above but still it'd be neat to see a product come to market using it in some form.