On 10/27/06, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Tom Barry wrote:
> One of my main attractions to an all electric vehicle is my > software guy's aversion to anything with too many precision > mechanical moving parts. The modern gas engine just has too > many things to service or wear out. It sort of seems like > old-tech to me.
I completely agree with that. Getting rid of the internal combustion engine and replacing it with a one-moving-part electric motor, or one motor per wheel, is very appealing to me as well. I'm simply saying that we have to find ways of doing this without having to rely on batteries. Batteries are always the weak link, even now.
> Of course with the electric cars the darn batteries currently > seem to wear out even faster. But hopefully that will change.
That's why I like the idea of fuel cells. They potentially make electricity directly out of a much better energy source than batteries. The typical application needs H2 as a fuel, but that's not really optimum in the near future.
I thought it was Toyota, several years ago, that announced a scheme where they converted gasoline or other fossil fuel into H2, on board. I guess that turned out to be too hard or expensive to do. But it does seem like the right approach. Use truly efficient sources of energy, and go directly to electricity. Then the electric vehicle becomes as useful and general purpose as cars are now, rather than the compromised golf carts battery-powered vehicles always seem to be.
Check this out:
"Fuel cell vehicles are expected to achieve overall energy conversion throughput efficiencies around twice that of today's typical gasoline internal combustion engines. The fuel cell system is being targeted by DOE to achieve 60% efficiency by 2010. Fuel cell vehicles can run on any hydrogen-rich liquid or gas, as long as it is suitably processed. Gasoline is one possibility, but in addition to pure hydrogen, alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, natural gas, and propane can also be used.
"Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and can be found on Earth in virtually unlimited quantities. Using hydrogen or other domestically produced alternative fuels to power fuel cell vehicles will help reduce our nation's dependence on imported oil."
Note that 60 percent efficiency is twice that of an internal combustion engine, which puts it on a par with the Tesla hopeful thinking. Without having to replace all of the electric power generators in the country to achieve this goal.
Here is another solution. Ethanol and gasoline in seperate tanks.
And the comment I made.
"And nothing says you couldn't make this engine one element in a hybrid. The story suggest that this engine matches a hybrids 30% savings. If this were one element in a hybrid does that mean we save 60%?
And the story says that this engine is half the size of a regular engine. Does this imply half the weight? If so is that fact and the added weight savings in the infrastructure of the entire car been taken into account in figuring the 30% savings and if not how much more savings would we save at this much reduced overall weight? Are we now up to 75%?
Only 25% to go. What we need is a small six pound fusion engine."
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