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This will be a game changer

Post in 'The Green Room' started by tony58, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I think they have some system where they fill the tank with some fibrous material that makes them more fail-safe.

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  2. JRP3

    JRP3 Member

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    Of course the difference is the gas tank is not always trying to explode from the inside out. Not to mention that gas cars catch fire every day, about 200,000 of them each year.
  3. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    I don't think they'll bring this car to market either, just like the other companies that have promoted the technology.

    I'll bet they don't reach their claimed range either. Maybe it's possible with enough heat exchangers and motor stages, but why spend that kind of money on a refillable spray can?

    You don't have to speak proper english to understand that compressed air is a lousy power source for cars (EXCEPT, maybe, the ones that go 0-60 fast). I'd expect to see steam cars hit the market before air cars, but it's harder to attract suckers to a steam car company, maybe call them vapor engines?

    Edit: HYBRID Vapor Engines
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh fer cripe's sake...we're talking about exploring a concept here. It may well go nowhere. But the people doing the conceptualizing and exploring are a hell of a lot smarter about their business than any of us armchair engineers. Rick

    About Tata Motors
    Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs.1,23,133 crores ($ 27 billion) in 2010-11. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain and South Africa. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also distributes Fiat cars in India, and has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India. With over 6.5 million Tata vehicles plying in India, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the third largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. (www.tatamotors.com)
  5. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    "This will be a game changer" "debut 2012" These statements aren't exploring a concept, they're making some bold claims that are probably not true. I couldn't find anything relevant on Tata's site, or anything else credible. Looks like we're all fools...

    Maybe they are, and maybe they aren't smarter than any of us armchair engineers. I'm not saying Tata is stupid because they spent a few bucks on a crazy idea. If I ever need to replace my Yugo, they're the first place I'll look.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah guy, whatever. The term "game changer" was the OP's phrase, and the first post in the now inordinately long thread has a link to an Aussie article about the concept car. Your Yugo aside, if you ever buy a Jaguar or a Land Rover, you'll be doing business with Tata Motors. No, they're not stupid. Rick
  7. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    So now it's a concept car. I don't consume enough advertising. I didn't pick up on the mixing of present and future tenses in the original article, which may have been months out of date when it was written.
  8. JRP3

    JRP3 Member

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    I'll point out that a bunch of really smart engineers pursued a concept called the Aptera, that failed, which I also predicted. And the Aptera actually worked.
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    This thread is getting very humorous, and I'm proud that a few of the contributors know it all and have been successful prognosticators in prognosticating the failure of other technologies ... which bringa me back once again to the flux capacitor. At least it was proven to work on the silver screen that the flux capacitor works. I've searched the electronic surplus stores far and wide, but the best I can find is a 200 farad behemoth that says "capacitor" and someone penciled in "flux" in front of that. Does anyone know where can I get one, a real one?
  10. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    Albania...very secretive people. Ask for the "Shrimp Cocktail...extra tail", they'll know what you mean ;-)
  11. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I've enjoyed following this thread and I think it's time to chime in. Considering virtually all electricity in the world is generated by steam turbines, be them coal, gas, nuclear, etc, I think you should consider the losses to electricity. Steam turbines aren't terribly efficient, less efficient than a piston engine. Then there are huge losses from transmission, and finally losses from batteries losing their charge over time. It's safe to say that it requires much more energy to power a car by electricity than gasoline for the same amount of given work from the car.

    Air on the other hand, will stay in a tank indefinitely. There should be no losses by transmission if it done by tank, and little if it is done by pipeline. The main loss I see is the heat generated by compression, which may be recaptured by the chilling effect of its subsequent use.

    None the less, it won't work. At least not in the U.S. The powers that be have chosen electricity as our savior and there is little we can do to change that. Hybrid cars don't work terribly well and the efficiency numbers never materialized, so now we are moving to plug in hybrids. The U.S. spent billions of dollars developing hydrogen fuel cells. To date the only manufacturer to build one is Volks Wagon. The cars are only used in China. We developed it and they are reaping the pollution free benefits. We have tons of natural gas in this country. It burns cleaner than gasoline, we already have a pretty good infrastructure to distribute it to large areas, it will lesson our need for foreign oil, and it is a developed technology. However, it doesn't have a chance. The politicians have selected electricity and that's whats moving forward, good or bad. Also, why is that economy cars built in the 1980's with carburetors got regularly got 30-50 MPG? Remember the CRX? The problem is that everybody has the "Do something" mentality instead of the "Do something right" mentality.

    Why not look at energy consumption whole, instead of picking on automobiles? Mandate that every home built in the U.S. be constructed in a super insulated manner. Perhaps a Larsen truss system. When I heated with natural gas, I used more btus in a month for heat than I do to drive my car.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Diesels with a common-rail setup will run about 26,000 - 35,000 PSI in the injectors...so 4,350 isn't astronomical.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not to belittle the point, but don't forget hydropower. 17% of China's power comes from hydro and 99% of Seattle's power is hydro.
  14. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    the great upside to electricty is that its pretty much adaptable to any situation. Very few things with moving parts are resistant to electric power. Steam is still the best way to convert heat to electricty. Its very hard to use coal in a piston engine. If we look at these problems in terms of timelines, electricty is still pretty young. We're beginning to see the weeknesses of our current grid technology and the way we use power all together. I bet data centers consume a huge % of the available power and a huge portion of that is just cooling....talk about inefficiencies. I like the idea of air power. Is it good for all? Heck no, but neither are mopeds (not so good on dirt roads, or in places with more than 2 months of winter). Does that make them bad technology? I think not. Air power works very well for tools, so I'm sure, scaled up, it works for vehicles too. If its low maitenance, has few moving parts, and is easy to build...its a win. How many billion upon billions have been spent to build a 4 cylinder, 4 stroker that can get more than 100HP/liter? And how long did that take? Nuff said.
  15. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    it also just occured to me that if the byproduct of these air powered cars is cold air...pretty easy to add air conditioning without having to run a compressor....nice to have in places like India.
  16. JRP3

    JRP3 Member

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    False. Combined cycle natural gas turbine plants run at 60% efficiency, internal combustion vehicles are barely 20% efficient.
    False and false. Average transmission losses are around 7%, not huge, in fact very small. Lithium battery chemistries used in EV's have almost no self discharge over time.
    As you can probably see since your initial data was all wrong your conclusion is equally so. You must take into account that gas does not just appear in your gas tank with no energy input, petroleum refineries are one of the largest industrial consumers of grid electricity, then the fuel has to be transported and pumped before it gets into your tank. Petroleum for transportation fuels is a horribly inefficient system that has only worked for so long because of cheap abundant oil, which is no longer going to be the case.
    You're missing out that the air is compressed by electricity, and compressing air is a high loss proposition, so if you think grid electricity is inefficient, (which it's not really), then using it to compress air would be even more so.
    Last I checked the Prius worked very well and produced 50 mpg vehicles, putting in a larger pack that can be charged from the grid will further improve on that.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Your the first person I have heard that states a lost of 7% in electrical TRANSMISSION is very small. That is a loss before it even reaches its destination. I consider that huge. I wouldn't accept being shorted 7% of a gallon of gas before it is pumped into my vehicle. 7% of our electricity usage for the USA is a STAGGERING number.
  18. JRP3

    JRP3 Member

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    So you think a 7% loss is staggering, how do you feel about the 80% loss of the energy in your tank that's wasted in the engine, not moving the car one inch? Then we can start to talk about all the energy lost in creating and transporting that gasoline to get it into your tank as well. 7% is nothing.
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the real world, shipmate. Transmission (long distance) and distribution (local) losses across what we casually refer to as "the grid" makes it the single biggest user of the power generated and fed to it. It's the kind of problem engineers have been working on since there were engineers. Could be worse, though, there are 101 counries with less efficient power transmission/distribution systems than ours:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/e...power-transmission-distribution-losses-output
  20. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The 7% transmission loss factor may be optimistic for the US. Generally transmission loss is significantly higher in the US than many other countries because transmission distance is much larger in the US than those countries. Following is information I gathered in 2009 which was directly related to electricity from coal but as to most factors is equally applicable to US electricity generation generally, whether coal, natural gas, or nuclear. I hope all the links are still active.

    DOE - CO2 Report

    In the United States, about 40.5 percent(6) of anthropogenic CO2 emissions was attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels for the generation of electricity in 1998, the latest year for which all data are available.

    Coal has the highest carbon intensity among fossil fuels, resulting in coal-fired plants having the highest output rate of CO2 per kilowatthour.

    CO2 emissions from coal-fired electricity generation comprise nearly 80 percent of the total CO2 emissions produced by the generation of electricity in the United States, while the share of electricity generation from coal was 51.0 percent in 1999 (Table 3).

    Fossil Fuel Power Plant

    Subcritical fossil fuel power plants can achieve 36–38% efficiency. Supercritical designs have efficiencies in the low to mid 40% range, with new "ultra critical" designs using pressures of 4,400 psia (30 MPa) and dual stage reheat reaching about 48% efficiency.

    Older nuclear power plants must operate below the temperatures and pressures that coal fired plants do. This limits their thermodynamic efficiency to the order of 34–37%. Advanced designs, such as the Advanced gas-cooled reactor and the Supercritical water reactor, operate at temperatures and pressures similar to current coal plants, producing comparable efficiency.

    Newton

    . . . this ideal maximum [thermodynamic] conversion efficiency is never achieved, so a
    generous estimate would be 50%. In addition, the "true" cost is a much more complicated calculation. The "true" cost takes into account the cost of mining and transporting the coal, and the operating costs of the generation (plant cost, salaries, environmental costs, and so on). The bottom line is that the conversion of coal into electricity is very inefficient.

    Estimate of 30% efficiency of 30%, or 9% efficiency, for transforming the heat energy of the coal into electrical energy and transmitting it to your home – [does not include the energy used in mining, transporting, and handling the coal before it is burned]

    Fossil Energy

    DOE estimates: only a third of the energy value of coal is actually converted into electricity, the rest is lost as waste heat.

    Energetics

    DOE: America operates a fleet of about 10,000 power plants. The average thermal efficiency is around 33%. Efficiency has not changed much since 1960 because of slow turnover of the capital stock and the inherent inefficiency of central power generation that cannot recycle heat.

    Transmission Losses

    the overall losses between the power plant and users can easily be between 8 % and 15 %,

    Comparison

    In any country, the network, through losses, is the biggest consumer of electricity. In Europe, these losses amount to 4-10% of electricity generated, with an average of 7%.


    THEN END USE EFFICIENCY
    No one disagrees that carbon-based electric generation works to provide electricity. What rarely is discussed, however, are the tremendous inefficiencies and wastes inherent in that form of electric generation, and the “costs†of those wastes to society and the environment.

    America operates a fleet of about 10,000 power plants. The average thermal efficiency of these power plants is about 33% (DOE). In the US line losses range between 8% and 15%. So, starting with a pound of carbon-based fuel (or any energy producing fuel, including nuclear), net delivered energy to the end user ranges between 18-25% of the energy contained in the pound of fuel.

    But even these figures do not relate the “true†cost of electricity produced from fuel-based power plants. The “true†cost must also take into account the cost of extracting, mining and transporting the fuel, the operating costs of the generation, and the costs of disposal of the waste products. The bottom line is that the conversion of fuels into electricity is very inefficient. And for those who have a concern about CO2 emissions, well, carbon fueled power plants, especially coal are exceptionally “dirty.â€

    One also could argue that conversion of wind or solar into electricity also is inefficient (line losses are inherent in the US electric power grid and would apply on average to any form of electrical energy distribution). Average efficiency of wind turbines (energy output in watts/energy in wind) is about 35% (theoretical limit is about 60%), a little better than that of solid fueled power plants. Average solar electric efficiency (energy output in watts/divided solar energy delivered) ranges between 12-18%, although DOE reported in 2006 that new cell technology achieves efficiency slightly in excess of 40%, much better than solid fueled power plants.

    The inefficiencies in wind or solar systems (as well as hydro-electric), however, do not share many of the “true†cost elements of solid fueled plants, such as extracting, mining and transporting the fuel, the costs of disposal of the waste products, and CO2 emissions. In these respects wind and solar systems are not only more efficient, but also they are environmentally “clean,†as compared to solid fueled plants, a fact well-recognized.

    The bottom line clearly is that the “benefits†of solid fueled electric power generation come at a considerable cost, and efforts to improve the generation of electricity from wind, solar and hydro are extremely important.
  21. JRP3

    JRP3 Member

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    To update a bit in 2010 we were down to 45% coal power in the US, and that will continue to drop. Frankly I don't see a way forward without next generation nuclear in the form of liquid fluoride thorium reactors, LFTR's. We had one working in the 50's I think but didn't pursue it because you don't get material for nuclear warheads from it, so we went with conventional nuclear plants. LFTR's can't melt down, produce much less radioactive waste, and the waste that is produced only lasts for 100-300 years, as opposed to 10's of thousands of years for conventional nukes. We also literally have tons of thorium sitting around as mining wastes. Worth looking into: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU3cUssuz-U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHdRJqi__Z8
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    With line loss being the single biggest user of electricity generated, I will have to disagree. I don't need a comparison to a different kind of energy source as a "my daddy will beat up your daddy" argument. 7% of the electricity in the USA is a STAGGERING number. Non-refutable.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I don't know what you mean by "disagree." If line loss is 7%, and if line loss is considered a "single user" be definition, what other single user is greater than 7%? Maybe just semantics. I agree 7% is a staggering number, regardless of whether or not line loss is considered a single user.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I disagree with it being "Nothing".
  25. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i can remember being out in the desert of southeast new mexico on manuvers setting up our Faarp near some high tension lines, at night you could look at them closely and actually see a dull florescing of the lines. you had to look hard at them to make it out though from practically beneath them.

    could also if you looked closely watch satallites in orbit passing overhead the are we were in was not too far from white sands so we figured they were soviet birds, so we all flipped them off if we picked one out on the chance they were watching us ;-)

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