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Elninio
04-24-2007, 12:37 AM
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=7352118104883452737

Magic9r
04-24-2007, 04:05 PM
Yeah, I'd like to see the same race immediately after they both do 100 miles on the freeway ;-)

speedsport
04-24-2007, 05:19 PM
the electric car would be out of juice and the Ferrari would be out of petrol.

Spin Doctor
04-24-2007, 05:49 PM
the electric car would be out of juice and the Ferrari would be out of petrol.

And the Ferrari could be back on the road with some gas from a can. The electric is gonna need a really long extension cord. While interesting any form of power in the right vehicle could beat the uber cars. I wonder how many people really think about the implications of large numbers of electric cars. What would be the environmental cost of building all the required batteries for mass production*. Just how are we going to get the long range that most of us want and some really need. To me the solution is the electric drive train with a small IC engine running a generator/alternator to provide power for hub mounted motors and battery recharging. This would allow long distance trips (the average car needs something on the order of 15 BHP to cruise ar freeway speeds IIRC). The motor could be a small gas or diesel piston engine or a small single speed gas turbine set to run at the optimal setting for economy vs power. The batteries could supply the power needed to accelerate and power short trips. The engine only starting when required. Another thing with straight electrics is what about A/C?, heating, lights and winter conditions when it is 10 below zero. Lights, the solution is in LEDs. A/C, in greater use of insulating materials and reflective coatings on glass. Winter conditions, the gas/diesel electric is the only solution I can see that can work.

* Another thing with solar cells. What are the environmental costs associated with really large scale production. Large scale solar thermal. Are we willing to devote large areas of land to energy production. All energy options have costs vs their benefits. After all There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

BadDog
04-24-2007, 06:59 PM
Shhhhh... Don't say that out loud. That sort of realistic and rational thinking causes the Enviros fits and convulsions, after which they don't remember anything they heard... ;)

comerrm
04-24-2007, 07:20 PM
I've often thought that the gas/diesel electric power would be a good way to go. Just think of how much power we are able to get out of a 6500watt home generators. You're able to power the heater and fridge and some lights with just that, and it only costs about $2k. What if you took a 20 horse liquid cooled kawasaki or the like, and hooked it to a pair of electric motors. You may be able to get the heating required for a smaller car out of it, and have plenty of power for accessories and lighting. Kinda has me thinking about trying to cobble something together....
-Rob Comer

BadDog
04-24-2007, 07:33 PM
Put 20 hp in, and all you can get out is 20hp minus parasitic losses. So you might wind up only getting 10hp to the ground with the fuel motor running at max power (20hp). The only way that would work is to run 20 hp for a while and store it in a battery so that when you take it out, you can produce 100hp or whatever is desired, though you will empty the reserve correspondingly faster than you filled it; again, minus parasitic losses at every turn. There is no free lunch.

comerrm
04-25-2007, 09:22 AM
Batteries would make a huge improvement but in addition with the electric motors from the car the torque is instantaneous, no lag due to combustion or other mechanical parts. Less horsepower is required to do the same amount of work. In high school I was a part of the Electrathon America organization and we built tiny 24V cars to race. We had a 70lb car with a 1.5hp DC motor and we could run it flat out at 35-40 amps for an hour, at 45 mph. I know thats a really light car, but it seems something comprable could be made.
Just my 2 cents,
-Rob Comer

dicks42000
04-25-2007, 09:43 AM
Spindoc & others;

Glad to see you guys are thinking along the correct lines. The type of vehicle Spindoc is describing is called a "series hybrid", the ones that Honda, Ford, Toyota, etc. produce are "parallel hybrids" that have horrendously complex (and expensive) control systems that you or I couldn't understand or fix our selves. (enslaved by dealers & OEM parts...?)

The one kit or home built hybrid car I've seen was a series hybrid. Nice design that my dog could fix....(This was at a Vancouver Electric Vehicle Assn show.)

My ideal vehicle would be a series-hybrid 3/4 ton Grumman aluminum van. Won't rust, simple to get at the machinery that will fall apart in the intervening 20 years, butt ugly......Then again, it's a work truck not a lifestyle accesssory.

Have fun;
Rick

Evan
04-25-2007, 10:18 AM
I want to see a turbine/electric hybrid. It's an ideal application for a small turbine running at constant rpm. Small is the operative word, too. It needn't be any larger than a coffee can to produce the needed hp to charge and run the electric system. Turbines in that size range are available and can be very efficient because of high combustion temperature and clean because of continuous combustion.

dan s
04-25-2007, 11:02 AM
In my opinion the best solution is fusion (nuclear) power. Itís probably another 10 to 15 years down the road. Itís a multiple step process

1. Produce electricity with a Fusion reactor (slam hydrogen atoms together to make helium)
2. use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen
3. Internal combustion engines burn hydrogen and oxygen and make water
4. Steps 2 and 3 repeat for the next few thousand years.

A.K. Boomer
04-25-2007, 11:14 AM
Generally Hybrids are a joke, Between all the resourses used to build them and all for what -- worse fuel economy, They simply do not make sense for the general public, even city folk spend much of thier time on the freeway's within the city, The only place a hybrid can recoupe losses is if its total stop and go traffic and it has an energy return system on its braking --- In general its far more effective to just put your resources into an efficient IC engine to begin with, We are fully capable of 70mpg's right now out of gas and even higher with deisel and thats with a little car that seats four, They will take a small hit in town but will outexcell the best of hybrid design in the majority of driving, they will also be much lighter and cost much less to produce while useing much less resources, Hybrids are kinda like the "green fuel" its a nice little thought untill you get the idea into the real world.
Hybrids are especially a joke where i live, in colo. if you go to drive in the mountains you end up running the gas engine full tilt while the batteries are being drained, once the batteries drain then your left with a guttless pig that not only cant get all its own weight up the hill, its drinking lots of fuel to try and do it, because of the piss poor losses in all the systems going back downhill only reaps a fraction of what you can utilize later and thats if you have an energy return system, keep in mind if you do its even worse going up the hill because it has yet another "system" to have to carry up the mountain...

Bottom line --- everybody is going to have to change thier ways but not everybody wants to, so meanwhile you will have these stupid futile attempts while the answer has been with us for decades, De-tune and downsize, Or if you want to get technical --- Still downsize and go with variable mechanical engine controls like valve timing and duration and keep some of the power for when you need it but turn it into a puppy when you dont,
Or run a tiny little well designed turbo deisel...

Alistair Hosie
04-25-2007, 11:25 AM
it is very interesting no matter what you think of batteries this is a good sign that things are getting better in developmental terms Alistair

Wirecutter
04-25-2007, 05:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_wRGFfz4X4


I've had occasion to learn a bit about electric vehicle technology lately. The best battery technology seems to be driven by the desire for lighter, longer lasting laptop computers.

I don't buy the bullspit about "Who Killed the Electric Car", myself. Nobody killed it. GM can't market their way out of a paper bag, and the technology isn't attractive enough to consumers, yet.

Case in point - the gokart you see in the video weighs 350 lbs without the driver. Power characteristics are great, but the weight hurts performance.

Storing electrical energy is a bitch, but the energy I get from the power grid is the cheapest energy I use. It has to do with economies of scale - the power company is making a hell of a lot of the stuff and selling huge volumes of it. Eventually, there will be effective ways of storing enough of it to get decent power and range in an affordable electric vehicle.

Electric vehicles will become better and more common, but not just yet.


-Mark

Spin Doctor
04-25-2007, 10:22 PM
In terms of batteries flywheels were a hot research area a few years back. Aside from some concerns about the flywheel coming apart and the need for really strong lightweight containers they raise handling issues. You need to operate them in pairs and in opposite rotation. On attractive thing about them is they can be spun up in a reasonably short amount of time. IMO as long as electrics (the straight version not the series hybrids) require charging times that are overnight they will remain a niche vehicle. But for stuff that is strictly in city use ala postal trucks and the like I am surprised they are not already here

Spin Doctor
04-26-2007, 05:35 PM
I want to see a turbine/electric hybrid. It's an ideal application for a small turbine running at constant rpm. Small is the operative word, too. It needn't be any larger than a coffee can to produce the needed hp to charge and run the electric system. Turbines in that size range are available and can be very efficient because of high combustion temperature and clean because of continuous combustion.

GM and others were working on ceramic materials research around ten years ago. The goal was parts cast ready to use. One potential use was in turbochargers which is nothing more than a turbine engine with an internal cumbustion chamber using pistons :D

Your Old Dog
04-26-2007, 05:47 PM
Hey Alistair! You're back! Good to read you, hope all is well.

If I'm not mistaken the motor in that care is a development of Moog Industry in East Aurora New York. I filmed a race car of that type in their parking lot about 3 years ago. I think they said the motor was originally designed for the logging industry up north. Seems to me they were used for drag lines. Now I don't have audio on my compuker so they may have made comment on it and I wouldn't know!

I must say for those of us that love the sound of a throaty engine with nice pipes on it you are going to really be disappointed when you hear one of these magical electric cars when they get around to taking it off the charger !! I wonder how much coal or natural gas the power plants have to burn to charge one of these babies up?

lazlo
04-26-2007, 06:32 PM
In my opinion the best solution is fusion (nuclear) power. It’s probably another 10 to 15 years down the road.

Yep, fusion would satisfy a lot of the energy shortages from the coming "peak oil" crisis, but fusion has been 10 to 15 years down the road for the last 30 years...

lazlo
04-26-2007, 06:38 PM
I don't buy the bullspit about "Who Killed the Electric Car", myself. Nobody killed it.

I agree that there's no conspiracy, yet. The electric car isn't viable for the real world.

But you can bet that the oil companies would kill a viable electric car, if there were one.
A viable electric car would cause trillions of dollars to change hands, from the oil companies to the energy suppliers.

ckelloug
04-27-2007, 02:20 AM
Rosen Motors was the company that made the flywheel cars. They died mainly for business reasons. Rosen was the Brother in law of Michael Dell from Dell computers. Dell yanked Rosen's funding right before some other funding was about to come through and Rosen Motors had to fold. It just so happened that the day after this happened Mr. Rosen spoke at Engineering Seminar at Harvey Mudd College where I was getting my engineering degree at the time. It was purely a business decision on the part of Michael Dell that ended the company. Rosen made sure to point out that it was fair and that he was not bitter but I always wondered.

dp
04-27-2007, 03:13 AM
I want to see a turbine/electric hybrid. It's an ideal application for a small turbine running at constant rpm. Small is the operative word, too. It needn't be any larger than a coffee can to produce the needed hp to charge and run the electric system. Turbines in that size range are available and can be very efficient because of high combustion temperature and clean because of continuous combustion.

It would have to be left running when the car is parked and empty in order to fully recharge the batteries. Nobody would insure that.

A.K. Boomer
04-27-2007, 09:02 AM
Thats not the problem, this is all about saveing fuel, turbine's are about the last choice I would consider.