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Electric cars off to a big start in the wrong direction. IMHO

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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  2. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    I've been posting with easily verifed facts. Not hyperbole. Anybody that reads can pay attention, dispute, or disregard as they see fit. Digital ink is cheap, and "not reading" is easy to do.

    Some of this stuff, including stats can be very misleading.

    If someone wants to discuss "efficiency", first the word itself has to be clearly defined. It can mean many things.

    I'm not ignorant on the subject, but I also don't know everything. There are many experts in these fields that disgree on many key points.

    My take on the "subject" is this (the subject being sustainable energy to supply the present population with the present standard of living).

    I do not believe it is even remotely possible with science and resources as known at present. Without some sort of huge break-through - there are few options e.g. - a much lower standard of living, much less people, etc. Fudge the numbers all you want and we are still living on borrowed time.

    Now - maybe there will be a huge break-through. I still do not believe that we should squander what resources we have - while we wait for this great thing to happen. We squandered oil for years and we've squandered coal for years.

    Right now - with the present state of technology and infrastructure in the USA, one dollar spent on energy efficiency will yield much more then a dollar spent on alternative energy or present resouces (more coal, oil, etc. ) And yeah, that can change and we ought to be working on both. The USA has never had a genuine long-term energy plan that made any sense. Still doesn't.

    In the mean time, it might behoove a few people to . . . to do their own work on systems for their own families - and maybe not go on vacation or buy a new snow-mobile this year. If you do, don't brag about it and watch out for FEMA. As of a few years ago, FEMA is authorized to sieze privately held resources for the "greater good" during times of emergency. So, if power is gone for a month - and you've got solar or wind electric- don't leave your lights on all night and brag about it to the darkened world.
  3. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    To some degree, conservative's views of "green" cars and liberals views of "utility" vehicles are both culturally based and generated more by emotion than logic. Much of it is driven by the warring media and spread by emotional consumers of the media. Drivers of Suburbans and Priuses are shooting each other the bird, without considering that both vehicles meet specific needs. I don't believe independant thinkers of any persuasion fall for this.

    Libertarian conservative here and a strong proponent of individual independance, including private electricity generation.
  4. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    Electric drive has many benefits; it's smooth, near silent, torquey, efficient and produces no end user emissions.

    All of that is presently downgraded by the inability to carry a sufficient energy supply onboard. If we could erect a big shiny electrified ceiling over the country, then we could just install contacters on poles like the arcade bumper cars have. :lol:

    When the Leaf depletes its energy supply it simply stops. When the Volt depletes its primary energy supply it reverts to a moderately efficient gasoline drive (30-ish mpg). The ICE is incapable of recharging the batteries; it merely runs in a charge sustaining mode of about 30%. In either case replenishing the primary energy -- even with an optional 240V line -- requires stopping for hours (proof that the Volt really is an electric car, not a hybrid).

    Conversely, it takes only minutes to refill a gas tank and that (I believe) is why hybrid vehicles are immensely more practical than electrics. With choices from the 2-seat CR-Z to the 8-seat Tahoe, hybrids are mainstream vehicles now. (So we can stop shooting each other the bird!)

    I don't doubt that electric car range and charge time will improve, but there are significant battery and infrastructure challenges for at least 20 more years.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nissan has been making electric cars for many decades. The Leaf is just the first to hit American shores.

    Note, that the Volt is an electric drive car, it does not revert to ICE drive like the Prius when the battery is low. Instead an on board generator kicks in to provide electric motive power.

    I hope it's not going to take 20yrs to see some big differences in battery and infrastructure. Charging networks are already going in on Interstate 5. And there are some very interesting developments on the battery and super-capacitor front that I hope we'll be seeing within 5 years.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Well for once JD i agree with your entire post.
  7. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    I would agree that the Volt falls in the electric car category. When the battery is depleted the ICE does run primarily as power for the generator -- I shouldn't have called it "gasoline drive." Nonetheless, the net result is about 30-some mpg -- not that great for an advanced car.

    Also, GM has been very evasive about the Volt's drive system. But do a little research on Charge Sustaining Mode. The ICE does in fact, drive the wheels directly when the load requires -- hills and such -- to the extent needed.

    The tech will progress, but I think we will have three basic options; long range with long charging time, short range with short charging time, or charge sustaining mode with gasoline back-up. It will be interesting to see what the market chooses.
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Electric vehicles are not suitable for every consumer. The average driver drives just 30 miles a day. The volt, with a forty mile range would enable many people to seldom buy gas. The leaf would also suit many people.

    What is suffiecient range to you? There was a lead acid electric vehicle produced by Dodge in the sixties with a 250 mile range.

    Dodge also built an 8000 pound service vehicle in the sixties with a 50 mile range, again with just lead-acid batteries. Since lead is the heaviest metal and lithium is the lightest, with lithium having an energy density of twenty times that of lead, possible range is not an issue, only cost is.
  9. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    The Leaf will do well in the city, where distances are short and charging stations will be nearby.

    For those outside the city, 30 miles per day may also be fairly typical, but they need range for the trip to Grandma, vacation at the shore, etc. This is where the Volt's extended range mode proves its worth. If you use no gas at all during the week, then you can certainly afford a miiddling 30 mpg for the weekend trip to Grandma in ERM.

    Sufficient range to me, is 350+ miles, and energy resupply in 5 minutes to go another 350 miles.

    Range is an issue because range is directly related to charging time. For the electric car to succeed, it has to appeal to the middle of the market, where Corollas and Civics live. It has to be practical to the one-car family, (or person). Three hours to recharge, even on a 240 V line, is not practical. It doesn't compete with a Corolla. This leaves (small pun there) the electric car as a second or third car for Mom's errands in a well-to-do family -- an indulgence.

    Then as you said, there is cost. Even as battery tech improves, $30 to $40 thousand is simply out-of-reach for the one car family. There are too many high efficiency gas and hybrid choices that are practical and cost effective. The 2011 Hyundai Elantra gets 29 city and 40 highway, with say about $20000 left over to buy gas. At 15K miles/year that's about 9 years of gas even at $5/gal.

    It's pointless to argue "green" to a lower-middle class family. Economy will win every time.
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Beacause you plan to drive 350 miles and then 5 minutes later drive another 350 miles? Sorry but that is hardly reasonable.
  11. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    The point is that the gas or hybrid car will travel 350+ miles without an interruption for energy resupply (as opposed to 30, 50 or 100 miles electric).

    Then that energy resupply will take only 5 minutes (as opposed to 3 - 8 hours for electric) to make the vehicle useful again.

    ....and yes, if you were traveling across several states, you might well want to drive 600+ miles per day.
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    That is all good, but doesn't change the fact that for many drivers a 100 mile range is suitable.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    The best may top out at 40% and 30% respectively, but the average gas engine is just 20% efficeint, and the average diesel ( the common usage name all over the world, as well as the name of the inventer) is 30% efficient, a difference of 50%, in my world at least. When I talk about the efficiency difference of diesel vs gas, I am commenting on the amount of energy wasted as heat, not horse power.

    I didn't call you ignorant, look at what I wrote. The words I actualy use denote my meaning.

    As for your final statement, 800KW/month x 7 billion, why would I or should I have a plan? I am simply advocating electric cars for those who may find them suitable. I don't claim to have solutions to the worlds problems. Furthermore, most of the world survives on much less energy than we consume in this country, so your math is bunk.
    Why are you so antagonistic?
  14. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    The large capacity NIMH battery may change the landscape when the patent runs out in 2014. IT powered the RAV4-EV for 120 miles a charge in early 2000s before chevron bought up the patent and pulled it from the market while suing toyota to stop production. THose early models are still on the road today holding up quite well.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Ford is coming out with their own all electric later THIS year.100 Mile range. Lots of choices coming.
  16. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Nope -it is NOT the name of the inventor.

    Perhaps a minor point to some, but Rudolf Diesel did not invent the diesel engine, or did he even market the first one sucessfully.

    I'll refer to the "diesel" as a compression-ignition engine beyond this point to avoid confusion.

    D. Clark of Enlgand invented, and marketted the first sucessfull compression-igniton engine. This in 1878. His design used the two-sroke-cycle principle and was supercharged. This basic design later became the world-famous Detroit-Diesel. Probably the most common compression-ignition engine in world-history.

    In 1893, Rudolf Diesel attempted to demonsrate his first prototype, and it blew up. This was 15 years AFTER Clark's successul engine.

    In 1896, Rudolf Diesel's second attempt worked. 18 years AFTER Clark's.

    The design was referred to as a "comprssion-ignition" engine for many years all over the world. At some point - "diesel" got popular in some areas and spread . . . and why . . . I have no idea.
  17. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bldiesel.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Diesel

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_engine

    http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/mechanical/articles/27495.aspx

    Searched this for a while. Did find a Stuart who invented a low compression engine in 1892, but needed an igniton bulb, hence not a compression ignition engine. Found no reference to a Clark.
    Could you possibly provide a link? I do realize that the true inventer is not always credited.

    Could you possibly be talking about Otto, the inventer of the Otto cycle engine (1876) upon which the diesel is based?

    I will keep calling it a diesel for now.
  18. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    Dune is correct about Diesel. Here is why:

    A. "Clark's" engine was NOT compression ignition. His name is Dugald Clerk
    B. Diesel INVENTED the compression ignition engine -- that is why it bears his name.
    C. Clerk gives FULL credit to Diesel for compression ignition.

    The man "Clark" is actually Sir Dugald Clerk. He patented the 2-cycle, or Clerk Cycle engine in 1881. It was NOT a compression ignition engine. The mixture was ignited by a steady burning flame, allowed into the cylinder by a slide valve. Clerk calls the slide valve an "igniting valve".

    This is taken from the book "The Gas, Petrol and Oil Engine", written by Sir Dugald Clerk (1886, last printing 1910):

    (starting page 321)
    Clerk himself gives full credit to Diesel for inventing the compression ignition engine, and he calls it a "Diesel engine":

    (page 31)

    1886 book, "The Gas, Petrol and Oil Engine" by Dugald Clerk
  19. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    I suspect you don't have a lot of experience with primary-records searching and surname-spelling from the 1500s-1700s. Standardized spelling of surnames is a somewhat new thing that came into full swing during the mid-1800s. In fact, it was not uncommon for Europeans to have 2-3 surnames and sometimes . . . more or none. It was also popular for one person to use different names depending on context, and sometimes they were based on family history and sometimes based on pure fiction (like many latter day movie stars do). France was real big on this with "dit" or "ditte" names.

    Tell me the one and only proper spelling for Henry Hudson, or Christopher Columbus, or Galileo Galilei, Giovanni da Verrazano, Luigi Galvani etc. You won't find just one that was used when these guys were around.

    Think what you want -but from what I've seen and read over the years - there is absolutely NO consensus for "one spelling" for the guy I'm calling Clark. So, call him Clerk, call him Clark, call him Dugie, or whateve. He is still the same guy - to say there is only one proper spelling is a big foolish.

    As to who invented the diesel? There is NO one answer. To even come close, you'd need pages of word-definitons. What does "ivnent" mean. What does "diesel" mean. What does "compression igntion" mean.

    Mr. Clark developed many engines; not just the one you cited from Wiki-whatever. Several ran on oil, were forced-scavenged (supercharged), fired cold via some sort of precombustion chamber and hot bulb. Some versions were reported to self-ignite once hot. It was this design that got perfected over the years and evolved in the famous Detroit Diesel two-stroke-cycle "diesel."

    Many modern-day indirect-injection "diesel" engines will not start without glow-plugs. Yet, we still call them "diesels" I believe.
    And yes, they are not hot-bulb engines but . . . certainly cannot run cold with little "hot plugs" to help with ignition.

    Otto did not invent the "Otto Cycle" either. That is clear - at least by my understanding of the word "invent." Otto has a partner/underling who is given much of the credit for the Otto brand of engine. Otto could not hold a patent because several people came before him.

    Nikolaus Otto developed his “silent†four-stroke along with Eugen Langen around 1876.
    A four-stroke design invented and demonstrated in 1872 by Christian Reithman.
    A design for the four-stroke-cycle engine-type had been published even earlier in 1861 by Gustav Schmidt.

    Rochas of France published papers and designs for a compression-ignition engine in 1862.

    Disclainer: I was not around when these guys created their inventions. If I HAD been, I still would of had no way of knowing who really did what. History is full of credit being given out to what I'm going to call - the wrong people.

    World history often gives a Bristish/Scottish doctor the credit for discovering that eating limes prevents scurvy in the 1700s. Yet it is 100% clear - in the hand-written journals of Jacques Cartier and later, Samuel Champlain - that they were both taught how to cure scurvy with extracts of sassafrass trees and cedar trees and that started in the 1500s. They got the info from Indians - probably Huron-Wendats or some Algonquian-speaking sort near the St. Lawrence River. It is one reason why Red Cedar is often named "tree of life", or AKA Abor Vitae. It was these earlier discoveries that made Sir Walter Raleigh a rich man from harvesting sassafrass from the "new world" and selling it in Europe.

    Hey if you think Diesel invented it all, that is your option. I choose not to believe it for a second.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    True, Marconi didn't invent the wireless either, but he was a better entrepreneur than Tesla. Inventions are often a line of successive development. That's just the way it is.

    Note, the Chinese fleet under Zheng He (early 1400's) was using citrus to prevent scurvy in the grand fleet. They knew of this long before the western world.
  21. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'd like to see more diesel... actually a small diesel truck.

    Matt
  22. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    jdemaris, how's that reading and comprehension thing workin' for ya?

    You don't need to do any records search. The man authored a number of engineering books, all still available today. He published those books under his name: Dugald Clerk. I provided you a link directly to his book "The Gas, Petrol and Oil Engine". It is photo scanned into a pdf. You can see the cover page with his name, for yourself.

    Nothing was taken from a wiki. The quotes I provided are from Dugald Clerk's book. This book was reprinted several times between 1886 and 1910, the exact time that these engines were developed and put into service. He specifically credits Diesel with compression ignition AND he calls it the "Diesel engine".

    Clerk, Diesel and others were scientists. They defined "compression ignition" for you a long time ago.

    Dugald Clerk's entire book is available on-line. Read it.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This thread has petered out and is drifting off topic. Digs at other members are not warranted or welcome. Closing thread.
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