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william g irwin
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Somewhere in between Davemart's pessimism and Henrik's optimism lies a likely scenario w/o the personal affronts please. I like the potential learnings that the inactive hardware allows, and that information provides a host of test scenarios for any new s/w development and any potential AI maturity. I doubt if the volume cost of the OEM hardware on a volume scale negates the efficiency of uniformity in production by much. It doesn't matter much now but the future benefits are huge. Just don't enable the full autonomy until it is appropriate.
As an EE I recall that the safety limit used to be 42v. Now its 48v. But why can't you use a +48v feed and a -48v feed similar to the US standard household power system w/240v/120v except that it is DC. You have what is essentially a +120v feed and a -120v feed throughout the house, but 240v at the stove/dryer/ac units. This technique gets you up to 96v at the MG set with increased power and still only 48v to ground. It requires a third power wire, or maybe a double cable feed to keep the two feeds separate. Doesn't that satisfy the safety issue? It gives a huge power advantage!
Guys, please remember how old and leaky our NG delivery system is. I am told by folks that maintain the pipes that, especially in cities, there is still many miles of cloth wrapped wood pipe delivering NG. Ouch! Significant money is needed to update and maintain our aging NG pipeline infrastructure. On top of that, the very small molecular structure of H2 makes it very hard to contain - much harder than NG - so that makes an increase in H2 content even more of a leakage problem in pipe distribution with NG.
I am starting to see a sensible set of long term paths forward for H2. The problems are multi fold: * H2 is difficult to seal into containers and pipes - the molecules are so small they squeaze through most materials (especially at increased pressures). Our NG pipeline infrastructure seems at first like a natural solution except that it is very old and sections of pipeline are failing - There is still a lot of old fabric wound wood pipe underground in most cities. That is a dangerous situation that is getting worse, and cities are doing 'whack a mole' repairs to avoid explosions etc. That means lots of money and localized infrastructure upgrades before the NG gets even leakier w/H2 infusion! * Tanker distribution seems a bit impractical yet, and the energy required to haul and transfer volumes of H2 under high pressure seems problematic, not to mention that it requires additional (clean?) energy. * The better solution seems to be localized supply where solar and H2O supply is available. Then the problem becomes storage - slow and irregular manufacture vs fast and sporadic vehicle charging. I see that as primarily a storage problem. This lends itself to the current 'gas' station infrastructure. If the H2 manufacture process becomes standardized, efficient, and modular, then distribution is less of an issue, and storage becomes the potential solution.
If that H2O scheme allows filtered saltwater, this can be set up in locations that do not use up precious fresh water supplies (coastal regions like California etc.). This makes so much more sense than carbon sequestration. This is good news, and I hope to see a commercial prototype demonstration soon.
Hey folks, my personal choice for the short term is a series - parallel PHEV w/ V2G option. We live in a time of rather severe weather due to climate change, just watch the news w/tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and huge fires etc, and I foresee the need for a standby generator for very occasional use. I have been w/o power for 2 weeks at a time during ice storms etc., and that clarifies the problem of trying to live w/o electricity. Even a NG furnace needs a fan to do decent heat in the winter, and many modern heat systems are even more dependent on motors. We may have some backup heat in the North w/NG, but refrigeration is a real problem just to mention a few issues. I would rather spend my ~1k$ on V2G for backup than the same for that backup generator that I have to store and fuel and maintain for the occasional use. I don't see a lot of difference between the efficiency of the 2 options either, and it wouldn't matter in an emergency situation anyhow, and I want the larger V2G fuel tank too. And the V2G has many other low priority short term uses in the great outdoors. The weight penalty of V2G is also quite small considering that most of the electronics is already in place anyhow. As batteries get better and cheaper, and the volume catches up, the PHEV option becomes a no brainer to me. We could use a smaller and more efficient ICE to shift the power priority a bit more to the electric side. The small percentage of folks who climb mountains regularly could spend for the larger ICE version as an extra cost option. The rest of us don't need it. I also see practical new molten salt reactor technology in the works to replace dirty coal generation, and I see a shift in both public and government regulatory perception on the horizon as the fail safe capabilities and reuse of our tons of waste nuke fuel become clear. Anyhow, that's my view!
Sounds promising! What is the value proposition - cost trade offs between this w/single scroll and double scroll turbos? I like the idea of an even smaller ICE in PHEVs! I have also been wondering when the 48v systems will start up in the mainstream auto world. I think of the mass of 12v parts in the system and the reluctance to include another whole set of parts for headlights and bulbs and motors and bats etc. Any one doing 48v systems in mainstream yet, or soon?
Come on guys - too negative. I sense a crack in the dam. I hope something actually comes from this investment in the next 5 years. I believe in the possibilities of thorium salt reactors etc. And I agree that the NIMBY issues need to be overcome with public education.
I sincerely hope that this fuel takes off for airplane and small garden tool use too. Most folks don't realize the dangers that ethanol brings to seldom used equipment and water absorption. The more folks realize the benefits of butanol the faster the use/volume will increase and the price will normalize. Marine fuel is already more expensive than normal because of the unique (monopoly!) dispensing environment.
Anyone who has driven with a partner who drives and concentrates on other things (reads) has experienced the situation where the partner glances up to see a situation (cut off etc) that is alarming without the full historical perspective of the driver. The partner reaction further distresses the driver who is in full control. That has to be similar to a driver who is not paying full attention because he is backup to an auto driving system. The backup driver's reaction time has to be severely compromised due to lack of current/recent situational awareness. A backup driver seems somewhat useless in most cases. The automatic systems won't 'give up' or alert the driver until it is too late, and they just have to be that much better to start with.
I would still like to see the bi-directional power configuration in a hybrid electric car for emergency use. I see a lot of serious weather - tornado, flood, hurricane, etc. dominating the news lately, and a 'portable' generator with a large fuel tank can keep survivors healthy while the grid gets repaired. My power was out for 2 weeks once in the winter after an ice storm and we had no heat or refrigeration. The cost per kwh would definitely have been of secondary concern then. I have not purchased a 'portable' generator for such emergency use yet because of the small tanks, very infrequent use, and huge storage penalty. And you must use it outside the home! Also consider the advantage of remote power off grid for minor repairs/construction and/or vacations etc.
Has no one yet realized that there are much more practical and much safer nuclear options available today? Molten salt reactors are power and cooling fail safe, and actually are fueled by all the current nuclear waste laying around. We simply must get over the inbred fear of the word and concept of 'nuclear'! The atomic energy commission and society need to re-evaluate the current nuclear plant designs as the norm, and concentrate on the newer and very much safer ones for base load. Solar and wind are decent alternatives for peak load supply, and the newer ngas fired plants can fill the gaps.
I thought all you needed was a 220v outlet (like a dryer or stove) in your garage, and the car charger provides the smarts. What magic does a charger provide for these $$? Is that the cost of a box and cable?
Doesn't this imply that a large % of EVs use the same operating voltage? I thought this varied by brand from ~450v to ~600v, and then there are the micro hybrids w/much lower voltage bats. It also means a different plug standard and two sockets in each car - one for AC and one for DC.
We just returned from Paris, and I was surprised to see several streets w/~ a dozen electric cars for rent curbside next to charging stations. You tap an ID card on a car that shows Green/charged, and go. I was impressed by the number of these ugly gray cars I saw scooting around. Things are changing!
I think this is an excellent first step to convince the conservative transport systems to start the fleet conversion. The ICE can satisfy the non-believers that it will keep running in those odd circumstances that they worry about - like breakdowns or traffic jams between charges. Bigger, better, longer, stronger will come as they gain support.
Investing in semiconductor fab facilities etc. seems excessive and expensive. Why doesn't GM just buy an Intel competitor and move on?
Although I like the downsizing that the EcoBoost engine enables, and applaud Ford for that direction, it still seems over-sized for an HEV range extender. Something around half that size would maintain charge at cruise speeds. And a serial HEV version would dump the tranny and save weight and $$$. Wouldn't 2 cylinders be cheaper yet and easier to apply all that high tech to? That gets you into the motorcycle size engines available today. Can't say air cooling is the best way to go though.
@E-P, I have long been a proponent of a generator-trailer for EV range extension for trips. It can also be used as an emergency generator on wheels for homes. I checked out the tzero site, but found no info on the trailer. Was that also an experimental item, or has there been further development?
It is difficult and expensive, but very beneficial to drivers, for a CITY to interconnect/syncronize the traffic light timing/sequence. The signal timing can be aimed at the speed limit. So much fuel and time is wasted by stop and go at almost every signal light in your path.
What ever happened to NG reforming for the FCV? NG is all over and piped in. Can't NG tanks contain as much energy as H2? Can't the NG reformer be part of the FC system on board an FCV? (OK already, NG is not carbon neutral, But it is here now!) I have been an NG proponent for years, but always tripped up on the cost, reliability, and operating expense of the compressor. Doesn't a mini H2 station face the same problem? And the compressor also wears and has to be rebuilt fairly frequently. I believe H2 shares these problems w/NG even if many small local solar/wind H2 generators are considered.
Hey guys, no mention of resonant frequency changes or power xfer speeds etc. from manufacturer to manufacturer yet. How well will a volt, Tesla, or Nissan charge on the same pad assuming a compatible alignment? My wife and I (and/or kids/guests) might have 2 or more different PEVs. Sounds like we may need some standards down the road!
I suspect it would be cheaper for someone who owns property in the sunbelt to put up a car port w/solar panels on top rather than carry the extra weight of the panels around or putting the concentrators on top of the car port. This would only help while at home during the day, which isn't useful unless this is driven by a work at home person. On the other hand, panels on the car allows slow charging anywhere if that is at all useful. This concept would make more sense for an at-work parking lot, but again, put the cells on the car port.
Hey guys, don't forget the 4rth dimension! If we can cut half the cylinders in/out w/o jarring the driver, why not extend that to cut the whole engine in and out in single/double crank rotation cycle bursts (very fast cycles!). This seems like a logical next step between start/stop and cylinder cutout, and is consistent w/start stop techniques at intersections too, except the momentum of the existing flywheel (maybe punched up a bit) could keep the engine turning, and the tranny fluidics might absorb the fast pulses. We already have the computer controlling the motor and clutches anyhow! Sounds inexpensive!
It seems to me that H2 has 2 basic problems, high pressure storage w/compressors etc, and/or transmission and distribution. I've always thought that more local H2 generation could partially solve the distribution problem, but injecting increased amounts of H2 into the NG pipelines can make sense. I worry about the NG pipeline infrastructure as it ages, and the notorious ability of H2 to leak through pipe seals etc. Maybe converting H2 into methane or similar makes sense to allow existing pipeline delivery. At any rate, this SOFC has the potential to be a game changer. The lower the operating temp, the more practical it becomes. I picture a REASONABLE priced <5kw unit as a grid attached home power source for regular use and emergency backup. Depending on size and weight, it has significant potential mobile applications too. I'm not sure how well it works as a flex fuel device, but it seems to have a lot more potential than other fuel cells discussed here. Overall, great news - keep at it!