What about an EV hybrid?

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pcal
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What about an EV hybrid?

Post by pcal »

OK - I know I'm I'm a rank newby here, but hear me out hey?

I'm not talking about an EV with an ICE booster or anything Prius-ish like that. How about a compressed air engine or two (a la http://www.engineair.com.au/ ) with compressed air storage tanks on board, backed up by an on board electric motor driven compressor?

You would still use the petrol station, but would fill up for free at the tyre bay rather than the bowser, and use the charge from a smaller / lighter / cheaper battery bank to extend the range on the air tanks with a compressor that requires no fancy / expensive control system.

I would expect there would be enough torque from the air engine to keep all the standard automotive systems - power steering, aircon etc. running just fine.

This isn't a considered plan, just a spontaneous mind meld of various technologies I've been watching for a while that seem to look good together. My gut feel is that a working system would come in well below the price tag attached to most of the pure EV options out there. I don't believe Angelo Di Pietro has his air engine on the market for sale yet, but has working prototypes and is looking for joint venture involvement. He didn't reply when I e-mailed to ask if I could buy one of his engines to try out, but perhaps if a larger group was interested he might look at getting involved. There are other air engines out there of course - but this one is locally grown and seems to me to have huge potential.

What do you think?

Glen
Last edited by pcal on Tue, 17 Jun 2008, 15:19, edited 1 time in total.
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What about an EV hybrid?

Post by antiscab »

feel free to correct me,
but every time i hear of an "air car" scam comes to mind.
4 or 5 years ago, homepower did a piece on storing energy in the form of compressed air. they calculated that a 1.5m tall 50cm wide cylinder raised to 3000PSI stored 0.5kwh.

The energy density of compressed air is even worse than capacitors.

but, as i say, feel free to correct me if i got it wrong.

Matt
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Post by Lowndsy »

he wont want people to buy his engine privately cos there will be loads of people out there trying to build a copy and beat him to certain markets.

i have previously looked into the engine, its definately interesting and will "refuel" in seconds etc. i imagine though to produce 60-ish hp (enough to drive a car down the freeway nicely) it will require a huge amount of air. see how fast a die grinder or other air tool will drain a tank, and think about how little that is in comparison.

the engine definately finds good place in the fruit market buggies etc. where replacing batteries every 2 years is an un-nessecary expense and lower weight is a bonus, but the size of the tanks needed for long distance travel are too extreme under any level of air technology. even with battery assist, i doubt a compressor will be able to regenerate lost air fast enough for long enough.

in saying that, i have no calculations to back my statements, just theoretical comparisons. i hope someone prooves me wrong as that is the beauty of engineering!

also another note, considering the simple laws of physics you will have two stores of energy on the vehicle, batteries and air tanks. you will also have two energy conversion devices (air motor and generator). each device will use some of the transfered energy, and one storage device will be more effective than the other. wouldnt it be better to choose the better storage device to hold more energy and couple it with one efficient conversion device to save on wasted conversion energy?
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Post by acmotor »

Lowndsy, You are thinking well, and answered your own question in the last paragraph of that post. As Rob Mason says, just put a few more batteries in !

With my rudimentary physics, I would have estimated that in Matt's example above that the energy input to the compressing system would have been 1.5kWh for the 0.5kWh energy stored. This is mostly related to the law PVT is a constant (Pressure x volume x temperature, was it Boyle ?).
Assuming a 60% mechanical efficiency from power source to compressing point, but then the temperature rise and subsequent heat loss (energy loss) as the air is compressed and the pressure rises in the storage container. This heat loss is total loss and is likely to be 50% or more so we are down to 30% efficiency. Hey, don't take my word for it, go google.

At the other end...
There is nothing wrong with air motors. Fantastic power to weight, craftsmanship in mechanical engineering. But very low efficiency.
Most even have deliberate losses in operation to stop them from freezing as the air expands.

To suggest refill in seconds caps off Matt's scam thought. I'll be standing a long way away if you try to fill a diving bottle to 5MPa in seconds. Once again, PVT is a constant. Note the bottles are normally stood in a water tank to keep them cool, and filled in 10 minutes or more ! (all 0.5kWh)
Remember here that an EV (conversion ?) requires at least 20kWh to go 100km or so. I'm just not certain where to mount the 40 diving bottles and how much it would cost to fill them. Definitely not from 600kPa at the local service station ! OOps, that's assuming 100% eff. from the air bottle to the back wheels... try 30%. No problem I need 120 diving bottles now ! 1.5kWh x 120 x 15c = $27 to fill (electricity cost alone). I just have to find somewhere for 2 tonne of bottles. Ok, unkind, one big bottle... and I could open the tap on the back and sing an Elton John song.

All that said, compressed air transport is practical however not very energy efficient.

Using single gasses rather than a mixture such as air can improve efficiency if the gas undergoes a state change from gas to liquid as part of the process. Refrigeration (in particluar, reverse cycle) is an example of this. This is of course a closed system and relies on the latent heat of vapourisation to achieve energy transfer. Sorry I mentioned it. Nothing to do with EVs (except for reverse cycle airconditioning for heating and cooling).

There is nothing as clean and pure and zero emission and efficient and quiet and controllable and low maintenance and renewable and..... as electricity ! It is very storable and transferable, with storable being the area where most development is required. i.e. batteries or may favourite - ultra caps.
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What about an EV hybrid?

Post by juk »

P.V = J

Where pressure is in pascals and volume is in m3.

So a 100L tank at 13Mpa, which is your standard compressed air pressure from BOC gives you 1.3MJ or 361W if you spread it out over an hour. I'm pretty sure that's for isothermal expansion too.


Last edited by juk on Tue, 17 Jun 2008, 09:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by pcal »

Ouch...

Like I said, not a considered proposal just a conversation starter.

I can't help but think the technical challenges may have been a little overstated given that that prototypes, and test fleets have been running for years now see Beyond Tomorrow segment. There didn't appear to be a semi-trailer full of gas bottles being dragged behind the car that Beyond Tomorrow showed. I guess performance may be a different issue though.

I'm sure I read somewhere that TATA, the giant Indian car manufacturer had licensed the air motor technology from MDI to put into a production model over there, and it has even been reported that the MDI engine was going into production in Melbourne ( report ).

I don't know... I bow to the superior knowledge of those who know why it can't be done, and trust in the bumblebee principle, in hope that someone else who doesn't understand will do it anyway.
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Post by acmotor »

Nobody said it can't be done. Just that it is not very cleaver to do.
The above numbers re energy equations still stand.

It is good that you raise these distractions from our electric future so they can be hammered out.

Clockwork and elastic band cars work too !

Beware any claim that does not add up. Transport requires energy. Try running around !
Even if a car weighs 1kg, I don't and I don't drive in zero gravity vacuum.
A motor can only be 99.9999999% efficient.... or would anyone like to challenge that ?
I am certain that youtube contains many 476% efficient motors. I must check Ebay as well.

Remember Ralph Sarich ? How many millions did he get out of people for his rotary engine ? (Not to be confused with Mazda). Where is it now ? Wasn't it going to do 100mpg ? At least he went on to build some useful fuel injection systems.

Re the links.... Will the air engine inventors seek the sort of funding that Sarich did ? You can already buy electric forklifts so what is the issue ? They are more energy efficient with less wearing parts.

BTW water is not a fuel ! Hydrogen is and oxygen is the prefered reagent. You need to add (e.g. electrical) energy to split the bond between hydrogen and oxygen before you can put them into an ICE and "burn" them to recover the energy.
But Oops the efficiency of the ICE is only 30% so why not use the electricity to run an electric motor at 90+% efficiency in the first place ?   
Where did the electrical energy come from in the Japanese water car ? It wasn't from 'D' cells that's for sure. Kono caruma wa mizu desu ne ! ... If I got the Japanese correct.

I'm off to make a coffee with my 99% efficient electric kettle. (think about it)
Just a small cup mind you. I'll leave 100ml with my diving bottle in case I need to drive around Australia.

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Post by Lowndsy »

pcal dont take is personally, i once thought wouldnt it be such a great idea to add wind turbines to a car so that when it moves they recharge the batteries, even behind the grill so as to minimise added drag, but Newton and his horriblly great laws of physics eventually shut me up.

in saying that, batteries did not always hold the power they do now, and im pretty sure when the first "battery" was discovered the creator didnt think that touching a few metal plates together would one day hold the energy it does today. Just remember that as acmotor says, converting from one form of energy to another ALWAYS uses power. the electric motor is so efficient because fundamentally everything comes from electrical energy, and they give the most efficient conversion of electrical energy into mechanical.

the only thing that can be more effective is the use of chemical reactions. this was the basis of the internal combustion engine, but as it turns out the mechanical power used sends efficiency to hell and also by-products (emmisions) are very difficult to control.

another example is nuclear power, but that has the strange side effect of killing people... doesnt leave much options really.
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Post by Benonymous »

Doesn't that bring us to the other "pie in the sky" alternative. The hydrogen fuel cell. First of all, where do you get the hydrogen? Why you get it from either cracking petroleum gas or from water. This requires an energy input, in the case of hydrolysis, electricity. Then you take your Hydrogen and compress it to 5000psi which takes 30% of the energy stored to get it in the tank. Then run it through your low temperature permeable membrane fuel cell (with platinum catalyst, forget a shortage of lithium!). Result, electricity and water. Run the electricity through your inverter to your AC motor and WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We're moving!!!!!!!!
Seriously, who thought this up? What a ridiculous waste of resources when you could've just stored the electricity you used up in the hydrolysis in some batteries and driven around with that!
I think the whole "Hydrogen Economy" thing was dreamed up to have a dual purpose fuel that could be burnt in an ICE and used in a fuel cell. Anything I see George Bush championing must be intended to benefit either big oil or big auto.
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Post by pcal »

acmotor wrote: not very cleaver
Surely, you're not going to take the axe to me over this!
acmotor wrote:you raise these distractions
A rather prejudicial (ie pre judged) label don't you think? I certainly didn't expect to be "hammered out" for making it.
acmotor wrote:Clockwork and elastic band cars work too !
I was thinking more of something that may have been practical, rather than a toy.
acmotor wrote:A motor can only be 99.9999999% efficient.... or would anyone like to challenge that ?
I don't recall saying anything about the efficiency of any motor technology. Can't figure out how this is relevant to anything I actually said.
acmotor wrote:I am certain that youtube contains many 476% efficient motors. I must check Ebay as well.
I'm sure Beyond Tomorrow never quite attained the status of an Engineering Journal, but in so far as a locally produced science magazine info-tainment program can go, I thought they were fairly widely respected. I don't quite see how one or two of their articles being uploaded to Youtube (or even Ebay were that possible) would suddenly reduce their reporting standard to that of charlatan. Or perhaps the youtube connection was too soft a target in the quest for cheap points? Oh, and thanks for pointing out the 476% efficiency claim, I had completely missed it, as I suspect, had everyone else who actually looked at the clip. It is comforting to know we have such perceptive intellects keeping us on the straight and very narrow.
acmotor wrote:Remember Ralph Sarich ? How many millions did he get out of people for his rotary engine ? (Not to be confused with Mazda). Where is it now ? Wasn't it going to do 100mpg ? At least he went on to build some useful fuel injection systems.
Sorry, but no. I am just a little too young to remember all that first hand. I do recall it being spoken of - generally in terms of the oil giants buying him out and burying the technology so they could sell more oil. That may have been a skewed perspective, I just don't know sorry.
acmotor wrote: You can already buy electric forklifts so what is the issue ? They are more energy efficient with less wearing parts.
But I don't fancy commuting in one! And I don't think there was anything about forklifts in any of my posts or links?
acmotor wrote:BTW water is not a fuel ! Hydrogen is and oxygen is the prefered reagent. You need to add (e.g. electrical) energy to split the bond between hydrogen and oxygen before you can put them into an ICE and "burn" them to recover the energy.
Huh? Is this supposed to be in some other thread? Nowhere have I even thought about that HHO scam. Please don't assume I am a complete idiot just because I had a thought you already disagreed with. - Or is this just more in the cheap points department?
acmotor wrote:But Oops the efficiency of the ICE is only 30% so why not use the electricity to run an electric motor at 90+% efficiency in the first place ?
Getting away from the ICE is the main reason why everyone here is here isn't it? I certainly never promoted any form of ICE. However, the empirical evidence (ie prevalence of ICE vehicles) does seem to suggest that the pure efficiency of energy conversion is not the ONLY consideration in the minds of the vast majority of the worlds transportation consumers. I am not qualified to dispute any of your statements about the energy conversion efficiency of electric motors, nor would I want to. But there are other issues that in the minds of some occupy the other side of the balance to weigh against the electric motors efficiency. The environmental cost of mining / refining / storing / transporting / and manufacturing the copper into wires and that into motors for example. And the equivalent costs of manufacturing the batteries, and disposing of the cadmium, lithium, acids and assorted other nasty constituents at their life's end. An air engine would bypass many (but perhaps not all) of these issues. My point is simply that restricting all issues under consideration to conversion efficiency, and CO2 emission during the operational phase of their life (which are the two factors most in the favour of electric motors), and completely ignoring everything else, and bludgeoning anyone who dares to raise such questions with a deluge of mostly irrelevant cheap shots, is not an intellectually honest way to run a debate.
   
acmotor wrote:Where did the electrical energy come from in the Japanese water car ? It wasn't from 'D' cells that's for sure. Kono caruma wa mizu desu ne ! ... If I got the Japanese correct.

I'm off to make a coffee with my 99% efficient electric kettle. (think about it)
Just a small cup mind you. I'll leave 100ml with my diving bottle in case I need to drive around Australia.

Sorry, never heard of the Japanese car you mention, and don't speak the language either.

But as an electrical technician (with incidentally about 20 years trade experience dealing almost exclusively with machinery driven by electric motors of all kinds and their associated control systems), I am well aware of the efficiency of resistive electrical loads like your kettle, and of how irrelevant it is to inductive loads like the motors we have been talking about. [sigh] Another cheap shot?

As I have stated previously, I am not an expert in anything to do with these air engines. The reported breakthrough in both the MDI and DiPietro systems seemed to be in relation to the small amount of air they require, and low pressures they can work at. All your assumptions and calculations seem to based on standard "die grinder" engines and the like. The engineair website states that their engine uses only 1psi of air to overcome friction.( Ref ) I have no idea if that is true or not - as I already said, I'm a hopeful consumer who would like to see something like this come to fruition, not an engineer that can back up any given assertion with pages of calculus. Nor am I willing to use sweeping genralisations and "back-of-the-envelope" calculations based on wild assumptions to do so.

I have actually e-mailed the url for this thread to Angelo DiPietro himself in the hope that he may come on-line and provide some additional information. I don't know the guy from Adam personally, so there is no particular reason why he would join in the discussion at my invitation. If he does though, perhaps we can get past the generalisations.
Last edited by pcal on Wed, 18 Jun 2008, 18:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by acmotor »

WOW pcal, don't take offence man. I was trying to save you from the miracle sellers.

Forklifts and Japanese water cars were both on the links you posted !
You offered and I clicked and commented on what I saw.

My light hearted comment about the electric kettle and efficiency still stands as the key point to all these alternative motors etc is the question of efficiency. Please read again.

I was not having a go at you and any attempt at homour was not intended to offend. I was making a comment about the TV shows and internet presenting what must be true 'cos they are showing it to us.

I am happy to debate most topics and will back any of my statements.
I am happy to stand corrected at any time.

Being direct and honest is not cheap. It is priceless.

Tell me, what sort of electric motors and controllers do you work with ?
Are you tempted to build an electric vehicle around the systems you have used ?


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Post by Lowndsy »

just a side note on my "die grinder"comparisson, one of them prolly only taks 0.005psi to overcome friction, but its the turning force required to carry out the specified task without bogging down that is the worry. my point as shared with others is that storing air in tanks is not as energy efficient as storing elctricity in batteries, and the energy required to compress a tank to a high enough pressure is greater than that used by an EV.

not saying its a load of crap, its just not as efficient as electric for a domestic vehicle. great it the market cars, but every alternative energy vehicle has a niche, as the internal combustion engine will one day be reduced to.

remember this is a public dicussion forum aswell, so everyone will voice their own opinion as they are entitled to. no-one is ripping on anyone, as since this topic raises alternatives to electric (which the forum is based around) hydro and the like will come into conversation
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Post by lil0WL »

nah nah the compressed air is good! we need a little bottle of that to cool the electric motor when draggin those try hard rice box twin turbo 4cyl Japenese cars Image
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Post by Andrew »

Lowndsy wrote:remember this is a public dicussion forum aswell, so everyone will voice their own opinion as they are entitled to. no-one is ripping on anyone, as since this topic raises alternatives to electric (which the forum is based around) hydro and the like will come into conversation


Well said Lowndsy. We should all remain on the same side! The problem with text is you can't always detect tone of voice or sarcasm.

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Post by fallingbear »

hey yall,
the compressed air is a great idea, i am working on it now,
not to run a car though, the science as written in previous posts is about right, as far as cars go?
but for the rest of elect use???
as far as electricity goes, the present system and how they transport it appears to me to be rather stupid.???
the best example to me of this is the smowy mountains scheme, and those rather silly wind turbines??
the snowy gathers potential energy, uses it basically once, wastes most of its energy sending it over miles of incredibly expensive wire, and the amount actually used is miniscual,?
same with wind turbines?
back to cars,
at some stage soon, i wish to somehow adapt a compressor, to collect the braking losses, with air, use it to increase the engine efficiency for getting vehikle moving,, same as a turbo?
once vehikle is moving, the hp required is heaps smaller to maintain,
then with the help of you fellas, i am hoping to have a hybrid electric system, to use once vehikle is moving?
please feel free to put in your thoughts,,
as i do not wish to totally get rid of my lpg motor, but want to increase its efficiency?
thanks
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Post by Lowndsy »

i dont see how you can state wind turbines to be silly and inefficient, in most cases they provide the best cost-to-renewable energy generated ratio of any source.

as for the "expensive wire", what other system would you propose? the only other alternative that comes to mind is photonics but other than optical cables in digital systems im only aware of its research taking place in the field of micro-processors. the problem is that all energy sources turn incoming energy into an electron flow, and these "wires" are the only way of moving the flow. if photonics were used, another two conversion processes would be needed to make it into a light source and again to convert it back (correct me if im wrong here im not too familiar with fibre optics, but im under the impression that theyre main use is to minimise noise as there is no "hum" from the electron flow).

im not farmiliar with the snowy mountains scheme, but im guessing there have been wind turbines placed on the mountain due to high altitude wether conditions and you're saying that due to the height there is a lot of cabling to transfer the power to a useable region?

also please elaborate on gathering braking losses with air and the system you wish to use to increase accelerating efficiency? this makes no sense to me but im interesed to see what your idea stems from

the main problem with a petrol hybrid is that due to emissions laws a catalytic converter must always be present. they operate at hundreds of degrees, and thus the engine must be running to keep it hot for when it is needed. this is one of the main failings of the prius that allows euro diesels to be more efficient. also, ICE engines have a MASSIVE loss in mechanical energy, and a weak tourque curve to go with it.
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Post by woody »

According to wikipedia (I know, I know)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_p ... ion#Losses

Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 7.2% in 1995 [2], and in the UK at 7.4% in 1998. [3]

Not too bad I think.

They jack the voltage up to 110 kV which means the currents are relatively small, and hence the resistive losses are small too.

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Post by fallingbear »

hey loundsy and s215610976354>. aka woody
what you have both said is completely correct
what i have said is also correct,,,the wind turbines are a massive waste of green house gasses used to make them, massive waste of energy retrieved, and then delivered. for the cost of them?? and because of the waste in sending the electricity huge distances?
the amount of energy needed to just get the electricity along the lines is very large, not to mention the losses, as s215 said it is 7.2%, that is only the losses in sending it along the main wires,, it does not take into account, the losses every time a storm knocks out a system, or a tree falls on a few of them?? or a transformer blows up?
or a generator gives out?? or every time the elec goes through a terminal?? not to mention, the cost of the transmission lines?? [eg $20.000. every hundred metres, on just smaller main wires?

those figures do not take those costs into account.?
my point for thought, is this,,, why waste potential energy?
it seems to me, that the way they utilize the energy from the sun[ is wrong! IMO,,
millions of factories around the world, use electricity to compress air, and then use the air to drive their machines?? why? losses? in all the diiferent machines?? in some cases safety as well,, but mostly efficiency,,,
so i am putting forward the concept, that it is back the front,??
they are producing huge amounts of electrcity, wasting huge amount of the cost of that electricity. in the transporting of it,
100,sand 100.s of thousands of kilometres. and 100,s and 100,s of millions of dollars, just sending it??
so for homes i stand by my outlandish statement, snowy scheme is ridiculous and wasteful,,, and windturbines are as well!!
as far as car goes, i am converting to lpg, so catalytic convertors are not a prob?
My idea for my campervan is as follows,, a smaller elec motor that produces enough kw to drive camper, for alot of the travelling i do?
i believe it is only about 12>15 hp required once van is moving?/
as i will be travelling around, i just cant pull up to elec post and plug in?
but i thought if i was say heading up the hume, and i could switch to battery power for say 20%> 40% of the kilometres travelled,
then with the 30% reduction in lpg costs, and then further reduction with elec,??
this is what i was thinking??
p.s
if i ever sell my current home, and get to where i will be building my next home, then when that is built, you will see what i mean about the silly ways they are using electricity??
silly silly solar panels??
cheers
fbear
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Post by juk »

I wouldn't bother putting that electric motor on the car. Why? Losses!

It's just not worth the effort, unless you bolt a wind turbine to the front of the car to regenerate the battery whilst you're driving!
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Post by fallingbear »

now juk,
everyone knows you cannot create energy,,only convert it,
so a wind turbine on the front, would create drag, and cost energy to push along? and mean no net gain!!
off course with your idea of a wind turbine, well if we had it come out whenever the brake pedal was pushed,,then we would have a gain!!!
how much gain with your idea,,
not sure,,
if i were you, i would ask the cluey fellas?
they will tell you.
cheers
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Post by juk »

I tell you what, i'll remove my tongue from my cheek if you remove your foot from your mouth.
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Post by fallingbear »

gee juk,
i am not sure who has a foot in their mouth here, or who has a tongue in their cheek??
cheers
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Post by pcal »

acmotor wrote:Tell me, what sort of electric motors and controllers do you work with ?
Are you tempted to build an electric vehicle around the systems you have used ?


I started working for an Elevator company about 25 years ago, spent a number of years with a couple of other firms working with automatic doors, boom and sliding gates, a small number of military and correctional projects I'm not allowed to talk about, and ended up back with another Elevator company. Always Building Automation of one sort or another. Most of the motors I deal with are WAY too large for an automotive application.



fallingbear wrote: at some stage soon, i wish to somehow adapt a compressor, to collect the braking losses, with air


I believe this has already been done. There were reports on the news just a little while ago about a company going under because of fed govt cuts to a relevant commercialisation program, who had a system almost ready to launch. What I gleaned from the reports was that they somehow used a hydraulic system on a truck tied into the brakes to compress ... something (report didn't say) effectively bottling up the kinetic energy under braking, to be released again back into the drive train as the truck took off from a standing start. I'm only going from memory here, but I think they said it took about 20% of the load off the diesel during the initial acceleration period, resulting in some phenomenal cost saving in diesel for city driving over a year.
fallingbear
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What about an EV hybrid?

Post by fallingbear »

hey pcal,
yes they had a great way of getting back the braking losses, hydraulics?
i remember it,,
i am surprised they dont use the exhaust brakes to use the energy to turbo charge the diesal?? which they do with turbo chargers off course?
maybe not enough gain, for the efort?
anyways,
cheers
fbear
the future was last decade!
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woody
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What about an EV hybrid?

Post by woody »

Heh, just looked up BMW's regenerative brake - details:
They disconnect the alternator when accelerating - reconnect it when the battery is going to go flat or when "regenerative braking".

I hope they have a big alternator :-)

You could adapt this technology to your ICE or EV.

ICE: stick a relay on your alternator and activate it from both the brake pedal and a battery voltage sensor

EV: stick a big* alternator on the unused shaft of your DC motor and use it to run an inverter to charge your batteries when you want regenerative braking.

* according to wikipedia, large trucks have ~300A alternators x 24 V = 7.2 kW - not bad for mild braking

cheers,
Woody
Planned EV: '63 Cortina using AC and LiFePO4 Battery Pack
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