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Evan
07-28-2006, 11:59 AM
Check it out: Zero to 60 in 4 seconds. Electric. 250 miles range.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/ecar.jpg

http://www.wired.com/news/wiredmag/0,71414-0.html?tw=rss.index

cuemaker
07-28-2006, 02:08 PM
http://www.homeshopmachinist.net/bbs/showthread.php?t=19136&highlight=cuemaker

Evan
07-28-2006, 02:18 PM
Yabut, this one is actually going into production.

cuemaker
07-28-2006, 02:21 PM
I know and its cool. I wish I could afford one.

I looked up my post to see if it was the same guy.

Its interesting that its all happening in the sillycone valley.

The new dot com boom is cars????

JCHannum
07-28-2006, 03:10 PM
Yabut, this one is actually going into production.

So did the DeLorean and Tucker.

They were going to revolutionize the industry too. How many more can you name that turned out to be scams or failures?

IOWOLF
07-28-2006, 03:49 PM
Those guys will be bought out by 1 of the big 3 and never be heard from again.

IMHO

wierdscience
07-28-2006, 09:44 PM
250 miles,but what is it when you flip the ac or the heater on?

BillH
07-28-2006, 10:39 PM
250 miles,but what is it when you flip the ac or the heater on?
My guess is that the AC is opening the windows, as for heat, I guess you could blow some air off the heat sinks for the dynamic breaking instead of routing it back to charge the batteries. Better yet dress warm, lol.
1 cent a mile, i'd do it. You know though, if those LI batteries ever go bad, thats going to cost a fortune...

JCHannum
07-28-2006, 11:02 PM
The AC & heat issue is never mentioned when the wonders of these cars are written up. Also missing, as Bill h mentions is the life and replacement costs of the battery packs. Imagine walking into your neighborhood AutoZone and asking the mouthbreather at the counter for replacement batteries for a 2006 Tesla Roadster.

Oh yeah, what is the 0-60 time at mile 245?

Wareagle
07-28-2006, 11:27 PM
Things will have to go a long way before this becomes a viable option. The technology works and they can build 'em; but who's going to buy them, who's going to service them, and who will have parts for them? Only the wealthy would be able to afford to have one, and it would be more of a token of social status than a method of transportaion.

A range of 250 miles? What about traffic? What about temperature? What about wind? What about grades? What about the fat driver and fat passenger? If they are baseing their claim on labratory conditions, then I could see 250 miles; maybe. Real world is where it counts, and I'd bet the actual range would fall much shorter.

It is a neat looking ride, no doubt. It would be great if this would come of age, but I am affraid that it will be like JCHannum says, another DeLorean.

BillH
07-28-2006, 11:36 PM
I'd take an old honda civic or subaru Justy, make it electric and use it for only driving into the town and grocery store, save the gas guzzler for road trips.
Infact I think I saw a web page where a guy did just that with an old honda civic... Think he used a fork lift motor hooked into the old transmission.

Fasttrack
07-29-2006, 12:25 AM
I think we should go back to steam power - just use big wood burning boilers on all the cars. Everything would be much safer... besides its not like anyone really likes the forests anyway... :D

BillH
07-29-2006, 01:14 AM
I think we should go back to steam power - just use big wood burning boilers on all the cars. Everything would be much safer... besides its not like anyone really likes the forests anyway... :D
If cold fusion becomes fact, we will all be going back to steam. Yes, I dream of steam locomotives comming back but I doubt they will have external rods, just those pesky turbines hidden away. Hmm, nah, the maintence costs would still cost a fortune :(

Mad Scientist
07-29-2006, 01:17 AM
The Doble “steam”cars produced between 1923 and 1930 weighing over 4000 lb. could accelerate from 0 to 75 mph in under 5 seconds and could maintain a top speed of over 95 mph.
They used a flash boiler that could produce a working head of steam in one minute and were known to have traveled over 200,000 miles having only routine oil and tire changes.

dicks42000
07-29-2006, 01:17 AM
Guys;
Remember the General Motors EV-1....no need of conspiracy theories or small companies being bought off....GM did their own product in.....It was a good, high performance car. Engineering an almost-conventional modified lead-acid battery got the range to just over 200 miles per charge....this was in the 1990's....
Most current conversions (Fords Electric Ranger p/u, 1000 lbs of battery & little payload) & small manufactures electric cars are only marginally better than the electric runabouts made at the turn of the century. (Think of a phone booth on wheels packing around 800 lbs. of lead-acid battery. Complete with tiller steering and rubber-bulb AhhOOOgha horn....driven by your crazy 80 yr. old great aunt. I had one in Victoria, apparrently...) As for this new car, or the existing hybrids...you DO NOT want to own a used one & have to replace the batteries....$$$$ ...!!!!
Electric cars need to work most on the storage medium to become truly competitive for anything other than an around-town runabout.
Rick

RobDee
07-29-2006, 01:18 AM
Faster then it has to be. I'd rather cut down on top speed and up the miles.

But I love the idea!

Oldguy
07-29-2006, 01:36 AM
Every few years someone rediscovers and reinvents the electric car. Hopefully, one of these days there will be the breakthrough in either electric cars or some other technology to replace the IC engine and our dependance on foreign oil. Twenty years ago I saw my old Scoutmaster drive around town in his Renault Dauphine that he had converted to electricity. Seemed to work okay around town, but I don't beleive he tried to go much farther.

When California required the production of electric cars it seemed that standard lead-acid batteries were used for power. I always wondered what the enviromenalists were going to do when two of them collided and resulted in sulfuric acid running down the street and into the storm drain, creek, river, etc. Sounds like a pretty massive hazmat situation to me.

It seems that there is always a hidden cost the nullifies most, if not all, of the "great new things" advantages. Electric cars: no pollution and just plug them in at night - and the power plants run full tilt all night. Wind power: the wind blows and it's "free" power - except you can't build windmills because they kill the birds. Don't want to sound too negative as I hope someone does find an acceptable solution, but I'll keep breathing the polluted air in the meantime.

Glenn

Guido
07-29-2006, 02:10 AM
No need to dream, step right up. You guys get off'n your cans and take Burt Rutan up on his job offerings, including 3D milling of full size aircraft components.

Rutan and his Mojave gang just completed a full size, coupe body in Cfibre composites weighing in at less than 500 lbs. For GM. For electric. For concept.

G

A.K. Boomer
07-29-2006, 02:11 AM
The Doble “steam”cars produced between 1923 and 1930 weighing over 4000 lb. could accelerate from 0 to 75 mph in under 5 seconds and could maintain a top speed of over 95 mph.
They used a flash boiler that could produce a working head of steam in one minute and were known to have traveled over 200,000 miles having only routine oil and tire changes.



Im calling you on this one bro ----- give us some proof of this monstrosity that you speak of

its the zero to 75 mph in under 5 seconds and the 4,000 lbs that gets me,,, and believe me the 1923's isnt helping much!!!:eek: :rolleyes: :p


Not that I couldnt have done it in those days --- but it would have required a 1,500lb car and a 2,500 lb fly wheel that i spent a good thirty minutes getting up to speed before take off!!!

nuf said,,, enlighten me

Evan
07-29-2006, 02:38 AM
Engineering an almost-conventional modified lead-acid battery got the range to just over 200 miles per charge....this was in the 1990's....

In the real world the EV-1 was lucky to go 130 miles. It also took all night to recharge. Performance sucked. The design did itself in.

JRouche
07-29-2006, 03:24 AM
The only problem with electric cars is the price of the fuel. Electricity still is a very expensive fuel, gasoline is still a very inexpensive fuel.

Now, if we would get our govment off their money soaked azzes and plant some CANDU stations throughout the country we would be headin in the right direction...JRouche

speedy
07-29-2006, 03:26 AM
I like the idea, apparently running costs at 1c/mile? And how much time/electricity(inefficient production and transmission) to recharge those batteries.
I have a ton and half on the trailer. 0 to a haemorrhage in how many seconds?:eek:

Wayne Floyd had an old Ford 10 with a coal/gas contraption strapped to the front fender/running board that got him to and from work every day. About a 60km round trip from home to the museum of Transport and Technology and back.

I like steam power.

A.K. Boomer
07-29-2006, 03:59 AM
I agree speedy,,, but all that heat coming off the headers of an I.C. engine could be harnessed to run a little steam or sterling engine and it would all be free,,,

you know what that equates to? the little 1990 honda CRX HF (high fuel model) could be getting into the low 70's instead of its rated 56mpg...

And thats not even diesel ---------- ?

Good things will come now --- as long as americans remember they they dont need to drag their entire house with them when they commute back and forth to work....

if work makes it a nesessity fine -- if not leave your hog at home...

speedy
07-29-2006, 04:27 AM
Slightly off topic but still related. I heard a report on the radio news yesterday that Exxon? anyway some huge oil company; their profits had increased 30% in the last year.
What was that I heard? Petrol was on the increase due to a shortage of supply. Bollocks!! Aint wars terrible things? Except for profit!
My wheelchair is extremely efficient. My main complaint however, is calloused hands and damn footpath camber:D

JCHannum
07-29-2006, 09:14 AM
I do not know about the performance figures stated, but a flash steam car with similar characteristics to the electric roadster could possibly have quite similar acceleration. Heat would present no problem.

The Doble was a very advanced steam auto. Here is an interesting paper presented by Doble in 1916. The claim of 0-30 times in 5-1/2 sec and 11-15 MPG on kerosene are quite believable.

http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/automo.Html

By 1925, the Doble was much farther advanced and had a four cylinder uniflow engine with a condensing system, and claimed that a 17 gallon tank of water would outlast the 26 gallon tank of fuel.

Had the technology continued at the same pace as that of the IC engine, I have little doubt that a steam powered auto could compete successfully with an IC engine. A very major advantage is that it would be capable of burning a wide variety of fuels, and that no expensive additives or high end distillates would be necessary, reducing the cost of fuel drastically.

Norman Atkinson
07-29-2006, 01:19 PM
Heard it all before.

Shades of "Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West"?

Norm

Wirecutter
07-29-2006, 02:24 PM
A range of 250 miles? What about traffic? What about temperature? What about wind? What about grades? What about the fat driver and fat passenger? If they are baseing their claim on labratory conditions, then I could see 250 miles; maybe. Real world is where it counts, and I'd bet the actual range would fall much shorter.
Yeah, it kind of reminds me of the old Isuzu TV ad. Happy, chipper young next to a car says, "Hi. I'm Joe Isuzu". Caption on the TV says "He's lying". Chipper guy cites the specs for the new Isuzu Whatever, "...with a top speed of over 300 miles per hour". Caption on the TV says "...downhill in a hurricane."

I think most of us in the real world have become cynically accustomed to hyped claims like this. Does anyone remember the stereos that had a rating for "Maximum Music Power?"



The only problem with electric cars is the price of the fuel. Electricity still is a very expensive fuel, gasoline is still a very inexpensive fuel.
That's not what I heard. I've always heard that electricity is a fairly cheap form of energy, it's just a bitch to store. If petrochemicals were so much cheaper than electricity, then we could all generate our own electricity (from gas, kerosene, biodiesel, wood, whatever) cheaper than we could buy it. At least in most of the US, that's just not the case. Not even almost. (Unless you have the Colorado River running through your property and you can put up a hydroelectric plant. :D )

My wife works closely with the business of electrical power generation. One of the biggest headaches for the electrical power generation industry is that you can't have any inventory. You have to make exactly enough electricity to fill the need - no more, no less. That's why the US national power grid is such a complicated beast. But the reason utilities can make electricity and deliver the product so cheaply to begin with is economies of scale. They do a lot of it, they're better at it, and there's a bunch of money involved.

The way this relates to electric cars? Battery technology. Weight. Do you know what the EV Ford Ranger pickup weighs? (I don't, but I know it has special rear suspension to handle the heavy batteries.) That's why these special high-performance electric vehicles like to use Li-ion batteries, which cost a fortune. Lead acid batteries are heavy. Another of the electric cars promised Real Soon Now (sorry, the name escapes me at the moment) has the "footprint" roughly of a Honda Goldwing motorcycle. It seats two, one front and one back. It's small and a bit weird looking. But it weighs 2000 pounds!

The problem, as I see it, is that petroleum products are a relatively small, safe, and dense way to move energy around, at least as far as cars are concerned.

Now a bit OT: Consider this: All the energy on Earth, with the exception of geothermal and nuclear energy, can be traced back to some form of solar energy. All of the coal, oil, and gas on this planet took millions of years to "make" from decayed organic matter. That organic matter was made using solar energy, broken down by organisms powered directly or indirectly from solar energy. It's a huge "savings account" of energy. Estimates vary, but petroleum based energy will certainly last less than 300 years at the current rates. Millions of years vs hundreds of years? We will run out. We're going to have to find something. (Where's a good dilithium crystal when you need one? :D )

I am really not a tree-hugger. I just think high-performance electric cars are cool. I'd like to glomm together something for fun myself. The idea of doing a "burnout" that sounds like nothing but tire squeal tickles me to death. I want to do it.

Finally, as impressive as the Wrightspeed X1 electric car may be, you should check out the donor car, the Ariel Atom. Internal combustion still beats the pants off of electric. Of course, if I had the money, I'd still take the electric version if I could afford it at 3 or 4 times the cost.

-Mark

Mad Scientist
07-29-2006, 02:44 PM
Steam is cool! I’ve always had a love for steam engines. Just open the valve and immediately you have massive torque even at zero RPM.

But Doble’s cars ran out of steam because of financing problems, some might even see a bit of a conspiracy there.

A few years back I rode on a steam excursion that was but on by a local railroad club. A 6000 HP engine designed for passenger service pulled this train. There were rail fans stacked up at every road that crossed the tracks taking pictures. So to give those on the train an opportunity to take pictures of the train it stopped in a cornfield and those who wanted could get off and take pictures. I elected to stay on board; the engineer then backed the train up about a mile or so to begin his run by. I was expecting a gradual acceleration to 30 maybe 40 MPH, similar to a couple previous station stops. WRONG! With a couple toots of the whistle he opened that engine for all it was worth and all 21 heavy weight cars started to move. Considering the weight, in an incredibly short amount of time we were doing 30 MPH and by the time we passed everyone with their cameras and tape recorders we ran by at well over 60 MPH with whistle screaming. It was quite a ride and show something I will never forget.

Oh yes the engineer did stop and back up to retrieve everyone left in the field. :D

HTRN
07-29-2006, 04:40 PM
I personally think the best application of EV's are postal trucks - short distances, relatively light vehicles, you can put alot of batteries under that flat rear floor, and to recoup some of the electricity used, put some solar panels up on the roof.


HTRN

A.K. Boomer
07-29-2006, 05:00 PM
Now a bit OT: Consider this: All the energy on Earth, with the exception of geothermal and nuclear energy, can be traced back to some form of solar energy. All of the coal, oil, and gas on this planet took millions of years to "make" from decayed organic matter. That organic matter was made using solar energy, broken down by organisms powered directly or indirectly from solar energy. It's a huge "savings account" of energy. Estimates vary, but petroleum based energy will certainly last less than 300 years at the current rates. Millions of years vs hundreds of years? We will run out. We're going to have to find something. (Where's a good dilithium crystal when you need one? :D )

-Mark



So freekin true,,, (even wind power) We are being so bombarded with energy everywhere but its still not practical for photovoltaics to become mainstream, By digging up fossil fuel and burning it we offset our balance of oxygen and CO,,, the reason we have such an oxygen rich environment in the first place is these plants grew and then got burried so they never oxidized, growing our own plants and burning is a good trade off but hardly puts a dent in our demands, yet this is our only "green" answer on how to harness solar to power our cars,,, Im hoping for a huge breakthrough (aint gonna happen by me because my mind dont work that way!) in photovoltaics,,, wouldnt it be great if in the future we all could use P.V. shingles on our home to power everything, or get your Car painted with a special paint and connect your Neg. leads to the front and Pos. to the rear (uh oh -- im seeing voltage spikes with certain types of collisions being an issue)

If P.V. became 75% efficient than it would take about a 4' by 8' panel to run a modest home equiped with special apliances,,, this is of coarse is a rough guesstimate as i used to install these systems with my bro and knew how many panels we had to use and i think they were somewhere between 7 to 11 percent effective,,, also realize not everyone lives in Colo.... (we get tons of sun)
One thing for sure --- somebody makes breakthrough in this area and they are going to be rich... another thing --- many minds around the globe are going into hyperdrive on this so hopefully something comes of it soon...

RobDee
07-29-2006, 05:10 PM
One thing. Most trips are within 25 miles of home and less then 25 miles. Let’s say a mom runs her errands picks up the kids from soccer and all the rest. What’s she going to do, 50 miles? In my rural area, 75 miles? EV’s can do that now.

Running an old Civic is a good idea if you can’t raise an EV from scratch.

I’m making mine relatively light and charging it from my solar/wind/microhydro system. Aside from the cost of the solar and homemade alternator mags and wire it’s free fuel. I’d use the alternate energy system regardless whether I built the car or not anyway.

I’ll run regen breaking and special motor configurations controlled by uC’s.

I think we live in exciting times for alternate energy. We just need to get past the “I don’t want to run on any less power off grid as on” thinking.

Rob Dee

Magic9r
07-30-2006, 07:12 AM
Interesting thread Thanks!

A.K. Have a look at Jay's

http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/sub_coll_leno/1302916.html?page=1&c=y

with a flash boiler & a 2 million BTU gas powered burner I suspect it could shift:D

Regards,
Nick

Norman Atkinson
07-30-2006, 08:31 AM
I am still on the fastest electric milkcart in the West thing!

Once you guys get your Mk11 version, where are you going to drive it?

Now two of my milkcarts are capable of doing 146 mph and have- reached this speed on the open road and legally in Germany.

Well, what's the gen?

Norm

Rustybolt
07-30-2006, 10:48 AM
Well. Norm. That little electric beauty probobly can do all those things. Just not at the same time.

Anybody remember the Stanly Steamer? A flashpoint boiler and sizzling speeds all in 1906.

Norman Atkinson
07-30-2006, 11:43 AM
1906? Bit vague by now. 127mph and crashed nearly killing the driver.
What sort of thing is that? Same speed give or take a midge's foreskin was the speed of Flying Scotsman- and it needed a complete re-build after its run.

So there was old Harry Ward at the footplate of the Royals on the London Midland and Scottish on the Carlisle bit of the run. Bent and buckled was old Harry from the firehole suction. Wasn't Margaret his only daughter, a pilot at Longtown just outside Carlisle? A bit not in Google- you'll note.

Ahem? The Atkinson side of the family was 'in steam' at the time of Stephenson in Shildon. Again, not in Google

Now for real thrills- what about the Flying Kilometre? 1992 Les Arcs 2000 on Aiguille Rouge and the young Hamilton from the US getting the Gold in the French Olympics. Father a jumper! One of the Swiss team went into a snow blower. Now how would I know such detail?

And one man in his time plays many parts.

Norm

lazlo
07-30-2006, 11:55 AM
Check it out: Zero to 60 in 4 seconds. Electric. 250 miles range.

Not fast -- quick.

Electric motors have a lot more low-speed torque per unit weight than internal combustion engines, which is why they're used on locomotives.

If you've ever been to an RC car meet, the electric cars will out-accelerate the nitro cars for the first 20 feet or so, then the nitro cars will blow past them like they're standing still. Which is why you'll see 10 times as many Nitro cars...

Norman Atkinson
07-30-2006, 12:15 PM
Sorry but some of us were talking about models which were scaled at 12 inches to the foot.

I was playing with model ram jets at the age of 14- and doing the first bit of Corinthians 1. xiii.11. at school.
By 18 I was on real Griffon 65's and by 19 was onto Meteor 8's with re-heats- and still doing the last bit of Corinthians 1 xiii. 11.

Just putting things into perspective

Norm

lazlo
07-30-2006, 12:25 PM
Sorry but some of us were talking about models which were scaled at 12 inches to the foot.

I think diesel/electric locomotives show good scaling past 12 inches to the foot. ;)

By the way Norm, I missed your posts -- welcome back from holiday! :)

A.K. Boomer
07-30-2006, 12:33 PM
Interesting thread Thanks!

A.K. Have a look at Jay's

http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/sub_coll_leno/1302916.html?page=1&c=y

with a flash boiler & a 2 million BTU gas powered burner I suspect it could shift:D

Regards,
Nick


Good stuff Magic,,, dont get me wrong i have respect for the past and what was acomplished back then, and i also think steam is cool, but its simply out gunned, And like mad scientist said about the torque is great but torque means abolutly nothing without the other equation, RPM,,, in fact mega torque with zero rpm's (his example) equates to Zero horse power and zero work getting done,,, So many things can be related in this manner, like watts in electrical terms is HP's in mechanical talk, and Amps relates to torque as voltage relates to RPM's, it takes both amps and volts to come up with the final "watts" rateing,,,,,, ten thousand foot pounds of torque dont mean squat if the shaft is turning one revolution per year and visa versa, 100,000 rpms but .00001 ft pounds of torque means almost nothing ,,, steam engines are limited not in torque but in RPM's for a couple reasons, one -- to get any real work out of them they have to have huge displacement as compaired to an IC engine (I.E. instead of thousands of lbs. of combustion pressure they only have hundreds) so parts are heavy and this limits RPM's,,, two --- even if you made a little engine with lots of pistons so you could run it higher your screwed ----- now youv giving up the only advantage a steam engine had by going small bore and stroke, youv given up the torque and heres the real limiter ---- steam cant keep up with High RPM demands anyways because its a low pressure charge that has to "flow" its way into the power chamber --- thats why even at comparitivly low rpms a steam engine starts falling on its face, (yes there have been slight exceptions to this rule but in general you wont see a steam engine that can even come close to a IC engine in the form of the amount of RPM's they can twist, and if you do then they are sacrificing the only advantage they had ---torque)

So where can steam still be practical? on those huge freeking ships where you dont have to worry about space and weight and all that other stuff so you build this massive engine that only twist 50 rpm's yet produces enough torque to compensate for such low rpm's, and at 50 you dont have to worry about "flow efficiancies" ,,, if your inlet pressure is 600psi than thats what the top of your piston is seeing -------- are these powerfull engines, god yes, but take anyone of them and give a diesel with the same displacement yet four times the cylinders so you keep your pistons smaller and can rap it out to 360 rpm's and there will be no comparison in HP.....

I like torque but I also like Rpm's --- how else do you think you get a 3 liter ferrari to run with the big blocks? rap it at twice the r's....:p


I think it would be fun to be Jays mechanic!!!

Norman Atkinson
07-30-2006, 12:35 PM
Best wishes, Lazlo! Thanks for your good wishes which I reciprocate as this is locomotive stuff( oh dear, it gets worse)

Actually, I have been buying a new motor in Spain. Ssssh! It's a 1.1 litre and don't ask the make. The shame, the shame of it all. Me, the shadow of a misspent youth.Oh, woe is me!

Mind you, we have only 10 amp electric meters and wet string to carry the juice. Don't tell 'em , Lazlo. They'll only laugh!

Cheers

Norm

wierdscience
07-30-2006, 12:45 PM
First off steam engines,they have a distinct advantage over IC engines in that they use Both sides of the piston to produce power,few IC engines have ever done that what with the combustion gas/sealing problems.

Second here is what any electric car will have to do to be sucessful-

1-it must cost no more than a vehicle with IC drive
When the E-motor blows $2k should replace or rebuild it,same for the battery.

2-it must be capable of the same longevity,120k miles was the old standard for engine/drivetrain life between rebuilds,it's now close to 250k miles.

3-refuel/recharge must be acomplished in 10 minutes or less.This one place IC engines have a distinct advantage,you can range out 250-400 miles on a tankful and refuel in 10 minutes,then go another 250-400 miles,electrics can't do that.Infrastucture(which currently doesn't exist)could be built to provide a "Battery exchange" system,where instead of waiting for a charge,you simply swap battery packs.

4-performance must be the same as an IC based car.The last thing we need are roads choked with even more poor performing slow moving vehicles.
5-safty standards should be the same or higher.Right now Hybrids and e-vehicles are getting an unfair break,they don't meet federal guidleines for motor vehicle safty.

6-ergonomics must be considered.Tiny little tincans that are difficult to crawl into will not sell and should be banned reguardless of propulsion type.It is idiotic to build cars smaller than the average family can stand.Friends recently bought a hybrid by mistake,they have four kids and bringing home groceries for four kids was tough before,now it's impossible,the hybrid was sold.

7-electric vehicles aren't particulary green either.Batteries contain lead,lithium,cadnium,acids of various types.Production of these now without impact is difficult,if 86,000,000 vehicles started using batteries tommorow you then would have yet another problem.

8-technology must improve or they will never suceed.Electrics are nothing new,they have been around as long as IC driven vehicles.They suffer today from the same problems they suffered from them,storage capacity,range and expense.I predict that by the time storage capacity will improve enough to make them viable in the real world we will no longer be in need of cars with wheels because our new understanding of phyisics and materials will have made them obsolete.

Rustybolt
07-30-2006, 12:53 PM
Cummins Diesel has a deal with a yet to be named automaker to design and build lightweight deisel engines. Bout damn time.

Steam is attractive because of it's potential. But if the fuel comsuption per mile is the same as with other fossil fuels it won't be worth it.Now. If you could hook up a 20 lb propane tank to your pickup and go six hundred miles while towing something, then ya got something.

BillH
07-30-2006, 12:59 PM
Steam's biggest disadvantage, atleast one of them with the railroads is that they could not develop max horsepower unless at speed. An electric motor has full torque from a stand still. This is why electric motors will one day rule the world, unless something better comes along like a anti gravity drive...

A.K. Boomer
07-30-2006, 01:00 PM
[QUOTE=wierdscience]First off steam engines,they have a distinct advantage over IC engines in that they use Both sides of the piston to produce power,few IC engines have ever done that what with the combustion gas/sealing problems.




Its a very good point W.S. But, just because your using both sides of the piston doesnt mean "its for free" ---- it just means that now you have to say the engine is twice the displacment and twice the displacement requires twice the steam and twice the fuel to power it, these engines made the combersome steam engine more practical in the power per weight and size catagory but they still are in no way close to an I.C. engine,,, also in your favor is the steam engine makes power everytime the piston goes down but i have to remind you so does a detroit diesel...

Norman Atkinson
07-30-2006, 01:06 PM
Hey, this is getting good. 20lb of propane to 600 miles- and towing a trailer.
Question is just how much fuel does one use to get up Everest before the down hill bit to give that economy?

And I thought that apart from someone swimming the Atlantic with their legs tied that I had seen most things.

Norm- the Septic

wierdscience
07-30-2006, 02:09 PM
[QUOTE=wierdscience]First off steam engines,they have a distinct advantage over IC engines in that they use Both sides of the piston to produce power,few IC engines have ever done that what with the combustion gas/sealing problems.




Its a very good point W.S. But, just because your using both sides of the piston doesnt mean "its for free" ---- it just means that now you have to say the engine is twice the displacment and twice the displacement requires twice the steam and twice the fuel to power it, these engines made the combersome steam engine more practical in the power per weight and size catagory but they still are in no way close to an I.C. engine,,, also in your favor is the steam engine makes power everytime the piston goes down but i have to remind you so does a detroit diesel...

Not quite,I never said anything about free.The steam engine is developing power on BOTH sides of the piston,steam pushes the piston up and steam pushes the piston down,in other words no lost motion because power is being made every stroke.The IC engine develops power on only one side of the piston and only on the combustion stroke,all the other strokes are parisitic.

The main advantage IC engines have in vehicle applications are instant starts and no need for a boiler.Steam engines aren't big by necesscity,it's just the way things were designed then.

Your Old Dog
07-30-2006, 02:36 PM
So did the DeLorean and Tucker.

They were going to revolutionize the industry too. How many more can you name that turned out to be scams or failures?

Moog Industries are located near me in East Aurora, New York. They do a lot of work for NASA. They had a press conferance a year or so ago with a new electric motor that they produced for a open cockpit race car. The screamed it around the parking lot and it was pretty amazing. The batteries were the technology that was holding them back.

They said a lot of these high torque elecric motors were used mostly in the logging industry.

Oddly enough, Moog Industry started out in a two car garage just like most of you guys have. He started out making small parts for local industry and parlayed that into the company that it is today.

dicks42000
07-30-2006, 03:44 PM
Wirecutter;
The biggest problem with storage is energy density. For portable applications, it is still hard to beat gasoline & diesel. You still have to lug around & pay for batteries, boilers, gasifiers, hydrogen & natural gas tanks....(I drive a NGV van with 300 lbs of extra weight...tanks).
Evan;
Recently finished reading a book on the GM EV program. The parallel engineering stories of the modified lead-acid battery & the metal-hyd. battery was interesting. They claimed 280 miles on a charge for the lead-acid pack....Also the book & movie both claim acceleration like a high performance sports car.
No argument that it took all night to recharge or that the design contributed to it's demise. The high-voltage charger sounded like an expensive system in & of its self.
I don't wish to argue facts with you...I'm no where near your intellectual equal...Just wanted to make the point that GM seems to have been the best, most thorough example of good engineering applied to electric car-power. Not just some guy in a garage converting Honda Civics with forklift batteries & then claiming they are "new & revelutionary" electric vehicles.
A.K. Boomer
Don't ever assume that weight means nothing with marine power plants. Weight & space are two main components of cargo ship design, along with fuel consumption & minimum crew requirements. Space or weight not related to carrying cargo, is non-revenue producing.
I admit that the huge Sulzer engines are impressive...somewhere I have a pic. of me standing on the piston crown of a 6 cylinder Sulzer of almost 1 meter bore....See the picture in an old thread here of a 10 or 12 cyl. Sulzer-Diesel United engine being built in Japan....
There is a reason for the huge, slow-speed engine. Thermally, it is the most fuel efficient IC engine available. Most operators of tankers & container ships seem to prefer the single engine installation for some reason....Never had a Naval Arch. tell me why, though. I would have thought a twin-engine plant would be more reliable. Maybe more weight, space & operating crew problems....
Thanks guys.
Rick

A.K. Boomer
07-30-2006, 05:56 PM
Yeah i think that sulzer is rated at close to 50% if i recall,,, its good stuff, in fact its one of the best...

W.S. as i stated before a detroit makes power every time the piston comes down,, they are a 2 stroke diesel, The biggest other consideration for high yeild out of small packages is that just one of an I.C. engines power stroke is 10 times more powerfull than a steams, and then if you want to get fancy throw on a turbo and pack in another atmosphere ----- or five more atmospheres, you can easily be talking a power stroke 40 times more potent so who cares if you only make one now and then:p


Of torque VS RPM,,, think about this for a second,,,,, all the power in the history of mankinds existance --- from the power it took to build the great pyramids to the present, from all the fuel weve burnt to drive our cars trucks and ships -- to the shuttle launching to space,,, all this energy could be transmitted torque wise through the shaft of a pencil, and all this work could be achieved within a time frame of an hour (just in theory mind you --- no talk of the pencil disintigrating or the outer parimeters growing in size because its surpassed the speed of light or any of that crap)
Sure the rpm #'s would be staggering and we dont have a name for those kinda #'s (maybe Evan does:p )
But lets for a second reverse the tables, lets put the limits on RPM's rather than torque, say one revolution for every 1,000,000 years to get all that work done, and it has to be done within an hour, now your talking a structure many times the size of our planet spinning that slow and it has to be that huge to be able to come up with the same power to get the same job done,,,
these are drastic examples but they get a point across, one means sits in a cup with many others on your desk, the other is to epic to imagine

This is why iv always used this comparison with electricity, volts is rpm, torque is amps, We use high voltage to get the power over many miles because its more efficient to run electricity that way for two reasons, one --- its way more efficient because we get to keep our wireing small (drive train), Two -- we lose less total wattage by stepping up the volts for long distance transport,,, flip things around and try to get the same job done with AMPs and your gonna need some very big wire and your also going to take a huge hit in transport efficiancy ------

Just like the drive train in a vehicle, got a super fast spinning engine you get to keep your drivetrain lighter duty, got an engine that produced lots of torque at very low rpm's and you better build a very strong trans. to match it.... yet power to the rear wheel is the same HP rating..... thats why sports cars use the engine that revs higher,,, you get to keep everything lighter and in a smaller package to get the same job done, yet perfomance is improved...

whould you want this in a truck,,, No, give me the beef...

wierdscience
07-30-2006, 09:01 PM
Yeah i think that sulzer is rated at close to 50% if i recall,,, its good stuff, in fact its one of the best...

W.S. as i stated before a detroit makes power every time the piston comes down,, they are a 2 stroke diesel, The biggest other consideration for high yeild out of small packages is that just one of an I.C. engines power stroke is 10 times more powerfull than a steams, and then if you want to get fancy throw on a turbo and pack in another atmosphere ----- or five more atmospheres, you can easily be talking a power stroke 40 times more potent so who cares if you only make one now and then:p


Of torque VS RPM,,, think about this for a second,,,,, all the power in the history of mankinds existance --- from the power it took to build the great pyramids to the present, from all the fuel weve burnt to drive our cars trucks and ships -- to the shuttle launching to space,,, all this energy could be transmitted torque wise through the shaft of a pencil, and all this work could be achieved within a time frame of an hour (just in theory mind you --- no talk of the pencil disintigrating or the outer parimeters growing in size because its surpassed the speed of light or any of that crap)
Sure the rpm #'s would be staggering and we dont have a name for those kinda #'s (maybe Evan does:p )
But lets for a second reverse the tables, lets put the limits on RPM's rather than torque, say one revolution for every 1,000,000 years to get all that work done, and it has to be done within an hour, now your talking a structure many times the size of our planet spinning that slow and it has to be that huge to be able to come up with the same power to get the same job done,,,
these are drastic examples but they get a point across, one means sits in a cup with many others on your desk, the other is to epic to imagine

This is why iv always used this comparison with electricity, volts is rpm, torque is amps, We use high voltage to get the power over many miles because its more efficient to run electricity that way for two reasons, one --- its way more efficient because we get to keep our wireing small (drive train), Two -- we lose less total wattage by stepping up the volts for long distance transport,,, flip things around and try to get the same job done with AMPs and your gonna need some very big wire and your also going to take a huge hit in transport efficiancy ------

Just like the drive train in a vehicle, got a super fast spinning engine you get to keep your drivetrain lighter duty, got an engine that produced lots of torque at very low rpm's and you better build a very strong trans. to match it.... yet power to the rear wheel is the same HP rating..... thats why sports cars use the engine that revs higher,,, you get to keep everything lighter and in a smaller package to get the same job done, yet perfomance is improved...

whould you want this in a truck,,, No, give me the beef...

One more time:rolleyes:yes a two cycle Detroit produces power on every down stroke,it also consumes power on every compression stroke(parasitic loss)
The DOUBLE ACTING steam engine produces power on the down stroke and on the up stroke,hence the term double acting.

In the case of a IC engine the rpm must be reduced to a useable speed before being transmitted to the wheels,it is a constant HP engine after all and must make revs to develope power.All of that gearing contributes to further loss.

The steam engine on the other hand is a constant force engine.It delivers the same effective power without the need for multiple speed reductions.The power output is constant from 0 to full rpm.No tranny required.

Further complicating things is the fact that the waste heat produced by an IC engine is a total loss were the waste heat from a steam engine can be recycled to pre-heat the boiler feed water.

Now,if the waste heat is recoverd and both sides of the piston are being used and we have no transmission have we not increased effieciency?

As a topper if we design the engine in the DOUBLE ACTING TRIPLE EXPANSION TYPE we can then make the most of our fuel WHATEVER it may be.
That may be the final word on steam-VS-IC. IC you need a combustable refined fuel for it to work,steam anything that will burn will suffice.

A.K. Boomer
07-30-2006, 09:41 PM
WS its all understood how the double acting steam engine produces power on the "upstroke" all im telling You is in smaller aplications its still a massive unit for What an IC engine can achieve, Parasitic strokes dont matter if that one (be it a 4 or 2 stroke) in the IC engine is ten or twenty times more powerful,


"The steam engine on the other hand is a constant force engine.It delivers the same effective power without the need for multiple speed reductions.The power output is constant from 0 to full rpm.No tranny required."


This is incorrect,:rolleyes: you missed my point on the two things it takes to make Horse power,,, it takes both torque AND rpm's

The power output is not constant, the torque may be but remember --- torque dont mean squat without rpm, yes you can chug a steam engine from a dead stop and it will eventually get things moving,,, but even the cumbersome
steam engine likes a little rpm to bring it to its maximum horse power rating,

Anotherwords,,, two identical steam trains --- one takes off in your conventional manner, the other gets to use a E.C.T. trasmission that keeps it at its maximum horsepower rating of say --- 1,000 rpm's,,,, the contest would not even be close because the latter gets to use both torque and rpm's,,, its making ten times the amount of power strokes per second and if its still keeping its effective torque ratio at close to the same then its all over for your train....

matador
07-30-2006, 10:14 PM
Perhaps not directly related to electric power,but there is a guy somewhere locally ,who was on tv showing his motorcycle running on water.Of course,when you went deeper into it,there was some sort of additive in the water.He would not specify what it was,but was shown drinking from the glass of liquid he supposedly put in the bike's tank,but ,this was not shown.
The bike was shown puttering around the car park after the tank being filled with "water/additive" mixture.
I think the tv exposure was mostly an attempt to secure "development"funds.
If it's all above board,he could onto a winner,but personally i'm very sceptical.The guy had too much of the "snake oil salesman"about him.I'm pretty sure he will never be heard from again.

Evan
07-30-2006, 10:45 PM
The bike was shown puttering around the car park after the tank being filled with "water/additive" mixture.

Otherwise known as vodka.

wierdscience
07-31-2006, 01:21 AM
WS its all understood how the double acting steam engine produces power on the "upstroke" all im telling You is in smaller aplications its still a massive unit for What an IC engine can achieve, Parasitic strokes dont matter if that one (be it a 4 or 2 stroke) in the IC engine is ten or twenty times more powerful,


"The steam engine on the other hand is a constant force engine.It delivers the same effective power without the need for multiple speed reductions.The power output is constant from 0 to full rpm.No tranny required."


This is incorrect,:rolleyes: you missed my point on the two things it takes to make Horse power,,, it takes both torque AND rpm's

The power output is not constant, the torque may be but remember --- torque dont mean squat without rpm, yes you can chug a steam engine from a dead stop and it will eventually get things moving,,, but even the cumbersome
steam engine likes a little rpm to bring it to its maximum horse power rating,

Anotherwords,,, two identical steam trains --- one takes off in your conventional manner, the other gets to use a E.C.T. trasmission that keeps it at its maximum horsepower rating of say --- 1,000 rpm's,,,, the contest would not even be close because the latter gets to use both torque and rpm's,,, its making ten times the amount of power strokes per second and if its still keeping its effective torque ratio at close to the same then its all over for your train....

10-20 times more powerful my hairy white arse,an IC burns fuel directly by compressing air and fuel and igniting it.It expands and burns rapidly but the duration drops off very quickly.It has a lot in common with a hand grenade.

No,you missed my point,a steam cylinder doesn't compress and detonate fuel,it has more in common with a hydralic cylinder and the same formula applies,F= PA X SP were F= force,PA = piston area and sp= system pressure.

The instant the steam is introduced to the cylinder it acts on the piston and moves it or bends the conrod trying because it is at max.It doesn't matter if it is 1stroke per minute or 800strokes per minute the force is proportional to the load.

The only time you see an steam engine"chuging" or "luging" is on a steam loco,but that has nothing to do with lack of power or the engine not developing constant force.That is simply due to the engineer cracking the throttle slowly so the drivers don't break traction with the rail.A steam loco can sit perfectly still and slip it's drives like power braking a car,that's why they have sanders to aid traction.

You won't see a Stanley steamer "chug" if your in an econo box you will see the liscence plate getting smaller.

Now here is a real shocker,hp on a steam system isn't determined by the engine or turbine,it's determined by the boiler.

Now take into consideration that developement of steam engine technology and boilers for transportation essentially stopped after WWII.The reason being is during the war the newer technology and materials went towards diesel loco production and wasn't applied to steam.Same situation existed with cars 40 years before.Gasoline was cheap,people were led to believe it was safer and that is the way things went.

People argue that steam engines were more complex than auto engines,well yes and no.If you don't need a transmission and you don't need brakes(another benefit of steam) and your not wasting all that other energy producing and transporting a liquid fuel then they get real attractive real quick.

Finally one other feature that ties into J's post about outmoded technology is after Katrina people found out that modern gas pumps won't run off gensets.After power started coming back on we still didn't have any gas,we did however have lots of firewood.:D

Wirecutter
07-31-2006, 11:40 AM
Wirecutter;
The biggest problem with storage is energy density. For portable applications, it is still hard to beat gasoline & diesel. You still have to lug around & pay for batteries, boilers, gasifiers, hydrogen & natural gas tanks....(I drive a NGV van with 300 lbs of extra weight...tanks).

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was trying to say, but I used too many words. :D It is all about energy density. And the most energy-dense batteries are often the most dangerous, too.

Senior moment here on my part: NGV? Natural Gas Vehicle?

-Mark

PS - Good heavens! The board has edited your username - well, you know who you are.

A.K. Boomer
08-01-2006, 02:00 AM
WS,,, there is a reason that gas and diesels took over, We need to use refined fuels for the masses, things have changed, if we all drove steamers everybody would be dead in the citys and there wouldnt be one tree left standing in north america (not to mention lots of people being late for work) ----- im not baggin on the them, it just wouldnt be practical nowadays, and remember a steam engines efficiency rating doesnt compensate for warm up or waiting at a red light or stuck in traffic were the ic engine gets to run on little idle circuits the steamer or even the flash boiler still has to be kept at a certain temp, hence waste, and when it comes to power output out of the same displacement and weight its not even close,,,,,,,, I'll tell you where the steam engine could make a comeback and we just might see it for the masses ---- a IC/EC engine in which the steam engine scavanges the waste heat from the IC engine and puts the power back into the drive train increasing overall efficiency --- then both me and you will be happy:) .

wierdscience
08-02-2006, 01:06 AM
WS,,, there is a reason that gas and diesels took over, We need to use refined fuels for the masses, things have changed, if we all drove steamers everybody would be dead in the citys and there wouldnt be one tree left standing in north america (not to mention lots of people being late for work) ----- im not baggin on the them, it just wouldnt be practical nowadays, and remember a steam engines efficiency rating doesnt compensate for warm up or waiting at a red light or stuck in traffic were the ic engine gets to run on little idle circuits the steamer or even the flash boiler still has to be kept at a certain temp, hence waste, and when it comes to power output out of the same displacement and weight its not even close,,,,,,,, I'll tell you where the steam engine could make a comeback and we just might see it for the masses ---- a IC/EC engine in which the steam engine scavanges the waste heat from the IC engine and puts the power back into the drive train increasing overall efficiency --- then both me and you will be happy:) .

This guy seems to think steam might make a comeback.It isn't a piston engine,but it is steam and it isn't big or bulky and it certainly isn't slow-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4076811.stm

wierdscience
08-02-2006, 01:43 AM
I might also point out that the Stanley took the prize around 1900 for turning out a top speed of 117mph.It was no heavier than any other car of it's day and the fash boilers had response times in the seconds.

I never intended to mean that we all should ride around in cars burning wood,but that it is possible,we could also burn some of that 88billion tons of buried trash that WE USED TO BURN to make steam/electricity,but now polutes the ground water everywhere.I also was pointing out that our technology that we all know and love could be taken away in an instant.Lights,cellphones,cars,everything,it did happen here after Katrina.


Also this article supports what I have been saying that applying modern technology to steam is something that SHOULD BE DONE-
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Steam locomotives are especially advantageous at high elevations as they are not especially adversely affected by the lower atmospheric pressure. This was inadvertently discovered when steam engines operated at high altitudes in the mountains of South America were replaced by diesel-electric engines of equivalent sea level power. They were quickly replaced by much more powerful locomotives capable of producing sufficient power at high altitude.

In Switzerland (Brienz Rothhorn) and Austria (Schafberg Bahn) new rack steam locomotives have proved very successful. They were designed based on a 1930s design of Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) but with all of today's possible improvements like roller bearings, heat insulation, light-oil firing, improved inner streamlining, one-man-driving and so on. These resulted in 60 percent lower fuel consumption per passenger and massively reduced costs for maintenance and handling. Economics now are similar or better than with most advanced diesel or electric systems. Also a steam train with similar speed and capacity is 50 percent lighter than an electric or diesel train, thus, especially on rack railways, significantly reducing wear and tear on the track. Also, a new steam engine for a paddle steam ship on Lake Geneva, the Montreux, was designed and built, being the world's first ship steam engine with an electronic remote control. The steam group of SLM in 2000 created a wholly-owned company called DLM to design modern steam engines and steam locomotives.
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A.K. Boomer
08-02-2006, 02:11 AM
Nice to see he wants to use a transmission, and even though were not talking piston anymore at least he's using an operating principle that allows steam to stretch its RPM legs a little (i.e. turbine) But if your going to go to extremes than so can i right,,,

Fast time for a Top Fueler I.C. piston engine
4.437 sec. quarter mile@336.15mph
and a reminder,,, these guys are just trying to get from point A to point B,,, speed is just something that happens along the way,,, now give them some room like the salt flats and a car thats slippery and another couple gears----------- And you dont even want to know what a gas turbine can achieve... but i can gaurantee you this, you wont see any steam powered fighter jets anytime soon.

The 1/8 mile is where steam has some potentual,,, here's how you do it --- weaken every other rivot on your rear boiler cap, throw in 1/2 cord of wood, -------- hang on!... (one thing steam has got going for it is you can improvise allot better than an IC engine)

Evan
08-02-2006, 11:58 AM
I never intended to mean that we all should ride around in cars burning wood,but that it is possible,we could also burn some of that 88billion tons of buried trash that WE USED TO BURN to make steam/electricity,but now polutes the ground water everywhere.
On that theme I found when I visited my cousin in Kolding, Denmark, that they incinerate all the trash in a high tech super clean burner. It runs boilers that supply process steam to local industry and also heats most of the town. The steam pipes are run under the sidewalks on most streets and supply heat to individual homes and businesses. As a side benefit, heat leakage keeps the sidewalks ice free in the winter. It works so well that the city actually makes money from it by charging to incinerate trash for other nearby towns.

[added]

On a similar note. The town I live in is a major logging and sawmill town. Wood waste from the mills used to be burnt in beehive burners which polluted the town badly. A number of years back in the 90s they built the largest wood waste incinerator in North America here. It supplies all the electricity to run the city and the mills as well as a local copper mine with some left over to sell on the grid. The air is very clean now and all that comes out of the stacks is water vapor and CO2. The ash is used in part to make some types of concrete.

Rustybolt
08-02-2006, 03:17 PM
Hey, this is getting good. 20lb of propane to 600 miles- and towing a trailer.
Question is just how much fuel does one use to get up Everest before the down hill bit to give that economy?

And I thought that apart from someone swimming the Atlantic with their legs tied that I had seen most things.

Norm- the Septic

Norm. I'm just using it as an example. What would the fuel consumption be by an IC type vehicle carrying the same load. If as much R&D went into steam power as IC power there might be something there. I'm thinking of something along the lines of long haul trucks.

Evan
08-02-2006, 03:53 PM
It's all a matter of efficiency. The actual energy cost of placing one pound in geosynchronous earth orbit is 7.15 KWH or less than a dollar of electricity. The real cost is around $100,000 because of the incredible inefficiency of launch systems.

Nothing is 100% efficient and few prime movers come anywhere close to the theoretical efficiency possible. Most have efficiencies in the 50% or much less range and the overall system efficiency of a car or truck is abysmal, in the less than 10 percent range. Steam engines are the pits in small sizes.

Heat engine efficiency is dependent of the temperature difference of the hot side vs the cold side. This is a basic law of physics known as Carnot's Law. The higher the temperature differential the higher the possible efficiency of the engine. It is very difficult to make a small, portable steam engine that has high efficiency because of the complexity of such a system. To produce such efficiency steam must be superheated to very high temperatures. This introduces a large range of technical difficulties when trying to package such an engine to fit in a vehicle.

Early steam cars may have had reasonable performance and drivability but they did not have efficiencies that would be acceptable by any standard today. Turbines are much better but they run best at constant rpms and still require complex systems to make maximum use of the heat.

There is a reason we aren't driving steam cars and it isn't some sort of conspiracy or other similar fruit loop cause. It also isn't for lack of trying to make it work, just check the patent files. It's because a steam engine is very difficult to make thermodynamically efficient on a small scale.