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The Best Car Ever Tested?


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#41 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:40 AM

Ok, the "alternate battery packs" idea can't keep the car going forever, that defies the laws of physics, I guess... but couldn't that system significantly extend an electric car's range? Using two packs, one recharging while the other is powering the car, seems to make sense vs. just one pack that's constantly being drained while driving. Maybe it's a function of battery pack power/range vs. weight and or physical space to fit both packs, or some other technical reason I'm not allowing for.



#42 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

Maybe you missed post #39. A single battery pack is perfectly adequate, as the outflow of energy FROM the batteries to accelerate and maintain speed is computer-juggled and balanced with whatever energy can be generated by onboard means and put BACK IN the batteries.

 

The first iteration of the Jag was to have used battery packs to accelerate, with small turbines powering generators to augment the vehicles acceleration AS WELL AS to recharge the batteries at a rate HIGHER than they were being dis-charged during steady state cruise. As the car went down the road at a constant speed, the battery pack was recharged faster than energy was taken out to maintain cruise.

 

And yes, packaging and weight are VERY important considerations for any EV or hybrid. The Jag CX-75 was probably the most ambitious and highly advanced hybrid yet attempted, was blisteringly fast, and was said to be capable of impressive cruising range burning bio-fuels in its turbine-generators.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 10:59 AM.


#43 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

I'm not talking hybrid, I mean a pure electric. Using dual battery packs, one to power the car, the other being recharged while the car is in motion, then switching from discharged pack over to fully charged pack, etc., to extend the car's range over a single-pack design. I realize that this switching between packs can't keep the car charged and running forever... but it seems a system like that could take what would be a 200 mile range for a single-pack car and maybe make that range 300-400 miles using dual packs.

 

Again, assuming that the 2-pack system was physically feasible as far as weight, size, etc. Maybe that's the problem... fitting two packs would mean that each would be too small to give much range, so a single-pack design would give just as much range? A lot of variables to consider, for sure.

 

Oh well... I'm just thinking out loud. But it's an interesting topic. At least I think so! 



#44 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

Again, perpetual motion. What would recharge the batteries in the second pack while running down the road? Generators on the wheels would ABSORB energy being used to propel the vehicle and discharge the primary battery pack just that much faster. No free lunch.

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but SOMETHING would have to supply the energy to recharge the second pack, and taking it from the wheels of the vehicle, or putting little windmill generators all over it, or ANYTHING similar would only DECREASE the range on the primary pack. With all the energy-conversion losses, there would be a net loss in the overall system performance.

 

About the only FREE recharging of batteries there can be obtained is with PV cells on the body of the vehicle.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 11:15 AM.


#45 sjordan2

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:19 AM

I suspect most manufacturers are also pioneering electric technology, such as Mercedes (in cooperation with Tesla) for both minicars and supercars (4-pack).

 

http://money.cnn.com...tric/index.html

 

 

http://www.extremete...motor-per-wheel


Edited by sjordan2, 09 May 2013 - 11:20 AM.


#46 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:22 AM

Maybe I'm missing something, but SOMETHING would have to supply the energy to recharge the second pack, and taking it from the wheels of the vehicle, or putting little windmill generators all over it, or ANYTHING similar would only DECREASE the range on the primary pack. With all the energy-conversion losses, there would be a net loss in the overall system performance.

 

I was thinking two identical packs, one that would be powering the car while the other was being recharged by onboard generators operating off the rotating wheels somehow. Then switching to the freshly charged pack when the first pack got low, and that pack would recharge... always just switching from one pack to the other, one powering the car while the other was being recharged. But I think you may have hit on it... there would be a loss of energy throughout the process due to friction, heat, etc. But it still seems to me that this system of switching from one pack to the other would result in a longer range than could be gotten with a single pack design.

 

But then again, if this was possible (or feasible), bigger brains than mine would have already thought of it!  :lol:



#47 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

I don't know if you've ever played with generators and motors, but to generate electricity from a rotating something, basically you have to pass a coil of wire through a magnetic field. Just like trying to push two magnet-ends of the same polarity together, there is physical force required to turn a winding through a field.

 

Take the bicycle generator you mentioned earlier. If you hold it in your hand and rotate it, you'll feel it doesn't turn perfectly freely, even if the bearings are perfect. In some of them, you can actually feel the magnetic field resisting the turning of the armature at specific points. If you do all of the power out /power in calculations, you'll find you actually get LESS energy out of the generator than it takes to turn it.

 

Again, this is all scaleable, and generators on the wheels of a car cannot produce more energy than it takes to turn them. Start with the energy it takes to drive the car down the road, add in the extra energy it would take to turn generators on the wheels, and you end up losing energy faster than you produce it.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 11:33 AM.


#48 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

Take the bicycle generator you mentioned earlier. If you hold it in your hand and rotate it, you'll feel it doesn't turn perfectly freely, even if the bearings are perfect. In some of them, you can actually feel the magnetic field resisting the turning of the armature at specific points. If you do all of the power out /power in calculations, you'll find you actually get LESS energy out of the generator than it takes to turn it.

 

I knew there was a reason it wasn't being done!  :lol:

 

You're right, of course. There is no such thing as a free lunch.



#49 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

I admit it's a fascinating idea, but the best we can hope to do, at least with our present understanding of physics, is to recover as much energy that's usually wasted and use it to propel the vehicle. You maybe saw the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) installations on F1 cars...a mostly flywheel-based idea to recover kinetic energy normally wasted during braking.



#50 Scott Colmer

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:28 PM

A freind of mine is an engineer for a company that does electric car conversions. I tried all the angles with him that Harry tried (including a windmill type generator on a moving vehicle) and Skip explained the drawbacks pretty much the same way he did. (I drove his electric Mini Cooper. Pretty fun.)

 

I also asked about solar panels on the car itself. The yeild would be too low to do more than power and am radio on a regular car. But they would make for some cool racing stripes.

 

About home solor panels and night charging - some systems have batteries. The real benefit is that you can feed power back into the grid and build credit. Your best case scenario is a 0.00 bill. I'll take that and a 0.00 fuel bill all day, every day.

 

Scott



#51 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

There's another option that hasn't been enthusiastically embraced, and Honda has proven it to be viable. Rooftop PV arrays would pass a current through filtered waste-water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis (remember high school chemistry, or do they even teach that any more?). The hydrogen is collected and stored under pressure, and the oxygen is vented to the atmosphere.

 

Before the safety hysteria starts, storing gaseous hydrogen is perfectly safe if done correctly, and has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with hydrogen bombs (which involve fusing hydrogen nuclei).

 

Honda's residential rooftop experimental unit was specifically sized to provide enough hydrogen, daily, to power a fuel-cell vehicle the length of an average commute.

 

But here's the really cool part. Gaseous hydrogen makes an excellent fuel for internal combustion engines, the conversion is relatively simple and well understood, and it doesn't require replacing the entire vehicle fleet. The exhaust is water vapor, pure and clean.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 01:47 PM.


#52 Harry P.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:48 PM

There was a lot of talk about hydrogen-powered cars a few years ago, then it sort of just went away. I guess the oil companies don't like that technology one bit! 



#53 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

It's really kind of a shame for all of us that maintaining the status-quo, which includes prolonging our dependence on fossil fuels for as long as possible, isn't replaced by a more rational approach where OIL companies redefine themselves as ENERGY companies, and whole-heartedly embrace and develop technologies that already exist.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing an Exxon logo on my rooftop H2 generator, leasing it from Exxon the ENERGY company, rather than being forced to buy $4 /gallon gas from Exxon the OIL company.

 

Iceland has abundant geothermal energy available, is using it to make hydrogen to power its vehicles, and is getting away from importing petrochemical fuels.

 


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 02:02 PM.


#54 plowboy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:07 PM

This is an idea I have thought could possibly work. Instead of the wheels driving generators to recharge the battery pack, why couldn't a small single or even two cylinder engine (not a two stroke lawn type engine) turn a generator to charge the battery pack? I know that would kill the total electric deal. But, IMO, I would rather have a vehicle with better range and have to still buy a small amount of gasoline than to have something with a short range and totally dependent on electric that takes six hours to recharge. I've never heard any hard numbers concerning the cost of the electric to recharge these battery packs either. Last time I looked at my electric bill, it certainly wasn't free.


Edited by plowboy, 09 May 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#55 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

This is an idea I have thought could possibly work. Instead of the wheels driving generators to recharge the battery pack, why couldn't a small single or even two cylinder engine (not a two stroke lawn type engine) turn a generator to charge the battery pack? I know that would kill the total electric deal. But, IMO, I would rather have a vehicle with better range and have to still buy a small amount of gasoline than to have something with a short range and totally dependent on electric that takes six hours to recharge. I've never heard any hard numbers concerning the cost of the electric to recharge these battery packs either. Last time I looked at my electric bill, it certainly wasn't free.

 

That's a very good idea, and it's exactly how some hybrids already work. See post #39.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 May 2013 - 02:21 PM.


#56 Rob Hall

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

CR even drifted the Tesla while testing..

http://jalopnik.com/...drift-498690581


Edited by Rob Hall, 09 May 2013 - 03:29 PM.


#57 935k3

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:40 PM

I will take this one



#58 JM485

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:46 PM

I don't really understand the whole electric car craze that has everyone going nuts right now.  I think if my truck made no sound when it was driving I would lose my mind, not to mention you can't shift them.  But speaking of that, what if you were to rig up a manual transmission behind one of the electric motors, then you could shift into higher gears in order to save electricity, similar to short-shifting to save gas?  Just an idea I have been throwing around.  The only real new motor technology I like is the ones that run on compressed air.  It may be a bid far off right now, but you still get the sound of the engine like a gas motor and who knows, they might eventually get them to make a decent amount of power.  Just some food for thought.   



#59 Modelbuilder Mark

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:11 PM

Unless I overlooked it and missed the comment, no one has asked the simple question, Could consumer reports have been influenced by the seemingly never ending financial struggles that Tesla has faced. IE: Payola, spin the story etc etc.  

 

Honestly, the last day and a half is the most mention in the press that Tesla has had in a long time that was something OTHER than a talk about their finances. 

 

Purely conjecture and speculation mind you, but a thought I had about it. 



#60 Harry P.

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:13 AM

I read that Tesla has recently shown a profit. So things look they're turning around for them.