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Author Topic: Electric bus  (Read 7695 times)
TomC
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« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2011, 09:12:21 AM »

There is a company here in L.A. working on a electric/hydrogen fuel cell truck for local use.  Big battery packs, using a 275kw motor directly coupled to a 2 spd rear axle.  Very expensive, and much heavier (don't know yet, they are still building it).  But-only water vapor for exhaust.
We have electric hybrid buses running-natural gas engines powering a battery pack powering the electric motor.  Sometimes you here them go by with no engine running.  They do accelerate quickly.

As Sean said, trains use Diesel/electric since the torque on an electric motor is at its' maximum at zero rpm.  Budd did have some self powered passenger cars typically using 2-GM 6-110 (like an enlarged 6-71-before the 92 series was brought out) of 325hp apiece through a hydraulic transmission driving each set of wheel trucks, but they were relatively light weight compared to a freight train.  When you see a freight train, the average freight car weighs about 70 tons loaded.  If you have an average train of 100 cars, your looking at about 7000 tons or 14 million pounds powered by about 15,000hp.  That would be the equivalent of a 35,000lb bus being powered by a 38hp engine!  Next... Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2011, 03:16:09 PM »

Ok...Thanks to one of the previous posts... if it takes 460 batteries to power the 30000 +28000 lb bus 58000lbs total i guess (with batteries).... wonder how many batteries the train will need.... and how many box cars just for batteries?
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« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2011, 03:19:00 PM »

Do you have a '49 Chev?  We would love to see it.
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« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2011, 08:10:59 PM »

Lots of naysayers on this site regarding electric vehicles...... yet alone electric buses. My advice would be to go to this site http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/ They have very knowledgable people on the latest cutting edge batteries and people doing a lot of experimentation as well as tried and true works on electric vehicles. Good luck!


  I really think that if people would just study some books on physics, and honestly ask questions looking for honest answers, rather than bypassing (or ignoring) major physical laws and real enviromental impacts, their eyes would be opened. Too many electric car junkies talk they are green, but walk around the nasty battery pile at the scrap yards like it doesnt exist. And they pretend that electric power production coming into thier homes is zero emission, like that big nasty coal burner out in the boonies has some other purpose than powering their car. You really should put a bumper sticker on every electric battery powered car that uses line power to charge, thet says "powered by coal". Because they are.

  About 70% of the power produced in the US is with coal, the remainder is Natural Gas and Nuclear. In all honestly and seriousness, you would burn far less coal building a steam powered coal fired car. And that is not a theory or some pie in the sky fantasy, it is an absolute fact.
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« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2011, 09:11:27 PM »

Not where I live..... here 25% of our power is from coal. I did check into it the last time this came up. My brother works for the solar plant out here, but we also have geo thermal and wind too. Depending on which is in most use they switch us from one to another and back again..

Lots of naysayers on this site regarding electric vehicles...... yet alone electric buses. My advice would be to go to this site http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/ They have very knowledgable people on the latest cutting edge batteries and people doing a lot of experimentation as well as tried and true works on electric vehicles. Good luck!


  I really think that if people would just study some books on physics, and honestly ask questions looking for honest answers, rather than bypassing (or ignoring) major physical laws and real enviromental impacts, their eyes would be opened. Too many electric car junkies talk they are green, but walk around the nasty battery pile at the scrap yards like it doesnt exist. And they pretend that electric power production coming into thier homes is zero emission, like that big nasty coal burner out in the boonies has some other purpose than powering their car. You really should put a bumper sticker on every electric battery powered car that uses line power to charge, thet says "powered by coal". Because they are.

  About 70% of the power produced in the US is with coal, the remainder is Natural Gas and Nuclear. In all honestly and seriousness, you would burn far less coal building a steam powered coal fired car. And that is not a theory or some pie in the sky fantasy, it is an absolute fact.
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 10:30:52 PM »

Another reason for using diesel/electric is that the engine runs a the same rpm no matter what the speed or what the load.  With a mechanical drive, no matter how many gears, the engine is going to vary from its most efficient rpm.   
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 10:58:01 PM »

  Thats really it, keeping the engine humming in the sweet spot and just controlthe load. Its not the very best from an efficiency standpoint, but its not real bad either.

  Re: VW Bus. Back in my younger days when I once owned two camper Buses, a 69 and a 71, I met a guy who put a VW diesel in a camper and turbo intercooled it. Almost 40 mpg and some 500 mile range with more power and torque, and with real hot water heat to boot and it fit under the rear engine cover like it always belonged there. He put radiators on each side of the engine and ducted air through the snorkels and ran electric fans. I would do that in a heartbeat before I would ever load one down with a ton of car batteries.
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« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 11:11:17 PM »

Art, that would be my 2nd choice for sure! The gas engine mine has doesnt work, so Im trying to save the cash to buy the electric motor and all the gizmos that go with it. But in the mean time, I have seriously toyed with the idea of putting a diesel engine in it..... My big bus seems to be chewing up all my extra cash right now though lol, imagine that!
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Sean
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 11:14:05 PM »

... you would burn far less coal building a steam powered coal fired car. And that is not a theory or some pie in the sky fantasy, it is an absolute fact.

Sorry, Art, but I have to disagree with this last statement.  While you are absolutely correct that every electric car is, in reality, running on coal, the fact is that coal-fired power plants burn coal much, much more efficiently (and cleanly) than it can possibly be burned on a small scale at the point of use.  Even when you account for transmission losses and conversion losses, generating electric power centrally and distributing it is still more efficient.  You won't find coal being distributed to retail customers even for its most efficient application, heating, for this reason.

Not where I live..... here 25% of our power is from coal. I did check into it the last time this came up. My brother works for the solar plant out here, but we also have geo thermal and wind too. Depending on which is in most use they switch us from one to another and back again..


We've discussed this before, methinks.

While I know you'd prefer to believe that your electric car will be charged entirely by green energy, that is wishful thinking.

Your power provider is connected to a grid.  It doesn't matter how much wind, solar, or geothermal energy they have; every watt of it gets used.  If they don't have enough demand to use it all locally, the excess gets sent someplace else.

When you plug your EV in, even if the power to charge it is coming from a nearby wind turbine, the fact is that those watts are now no longer available to sent to somebody 300 miles away, who was going to use it to run his air conditioner.  That power now needs to come from someplace else, and that someplace else is a coal-fired plant.

ALL incremental electric power in the US comes from coal.  When demand goes up, more coal is burned, and when demand goes down, less coal is burned.  Nuclear, wind, solar, and geothermal plants are never "throttled down" based on demand -- they always operate at the maximum output for the available conditions (sunlight, wind, etc.).  Hydroelectric is the only  exception -- it is throttled back during low demand to preserve pool levels.  All utility managers use coal as the demand-sensitive resource.

So every EV ever plugged in to the grid causes an increase in coal-fired demand -- no exceptions.  The only way to charge an EV with a zero-coal footprint is to charge it "off grid."

I'm not saying your EV is not green -- if you design it properly, it may very well be.  But if you plug it into the grid to charge, you are charging it with coal power, no ifs, ands, or buts.

FWIW.

-Sean
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happycamperbrat
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« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2011, 12:20:35 PM »

Sean are you ever wrong about anything? LOL, right again! Im so glad to have found this forum!  Wink

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When you plug your EV in, even if the power to charge it is coming from a nearby wind turbine, the fact is that those watts are now no longer available to sent to somebody 300 miles away, who was going to use it to run his air conditioner.  That power now needs to come from someplace else, and that someplace else is a coal-fired plant.

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The Little GTO is a 102" wide and 40' long 1983 GMC RTS II and my name is Teresa in case I forgot to sign my post
Sean
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« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2011, 01:50:50 PM »

Sean are you ever wrong about anything? ...

All the time... just ask my wife Smiley

-Sean
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« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2011, 02:49:06 PM »


 While you are absolutely correct that every electric car is, in reality, running on coal, the fact is that coal-fired power plants burn coal much, much more efficiently (and cleanly) than it can possibly be burned on a small scale at the point of use.  
[/quote]

  Your probably right, especially about the cleaner part. I know they have gone to great trouble to burn it as efficiently as they can. Its just all the conversion losses that take place as you go down the chain, and what those actual losses really are, and were having to trust their numbers. And your absolutely correct about the interconnected grid. I have heard it can take two weeks to bring a power plant online, the idea wind or solar will ever shut one down is simply unrealistic.

  My point was that the power plant is burning coal to boil water to make steam to drive a turbine to drive a generator to make electricity, then running that electric power through transformers, losing efficiency all along the way to our home. Then Mr Electric car owner plugs in a big commercial battery charger, charging a big bank of batteries, and drives the batteries through some conversion into a motor, contributing more losses.

  If you were going to create the same process, burning coal to make steam to drive a turbine to run a generator to make electricity to charge batteries to drive an electric motor, within your own vehicle, I absolutly agree, the power plant will win.  But if you burned coal to drive a steam engine and powered the car directly with steam pressure, I bet you could beat it. But it would be a dirty affair.

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« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2011, 03:16:47 PM »

I am under the impression that most of the peaking plants are natural gas?  My understanding is the plants are only brought online when there is peak demand predicted.  The peaking plants can sell electricity for up to 10 or 20 times the normal wholesale rate as the utilities get desperate on peak days.

Electric cars can be better if new ways are found to make electricity.  Internal combustion cars have a fairly limited choice of fuels and they are going to pollute at least some amount.  Some of the environmentalists don't like geothermal home heating/cooling because it uses electricity mostly generated by coal these days.

Nuclear is a dirty word right now, but nuclear can generate power without emitting CO2 and other pollutants.  Nuclear can be expensive due to the cost to build a plant.  New reactor designs are supposed to be far safer with less waste.  Apparently they can even reuse some of the fuel from the older reactors.
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« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2011, 03:21:41 PM »

I dont know..... but one day I imagine we will have solar stuff up in space powering everything we use on earth
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« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2011, 04:10:07 PM »

I dont know..... but one day I imagine we will have solar stuff up in space powering everything we use on earth


Arther C Clarke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke) proposed exactly this idea decades ago. His idea was to send the energy to earth in the form of focused beams of microwaves. Technically sound no doubt, but imagine the reaction of the public to this idea...

Coal-powered cars - again, entirely possible. Either steam-powered (amateur development of steam-powered cars is a well-supported hobby), or via conventional petrol engines that have been adapted to be fueled by a coke-burning gasifier.

Taking a wider perspective, the best answer is of course not to travel in the first place - I bet many people on this board, for instance, already work from home at least some of the time. And that number is only going to grow as computer and communications technology continues to improve.

And 'genuine' environmental improvements can come in unexpected forms. I heard a radio program recently about some high-profile 'best new green technology' award which was won by a new type of temperature sensor for use inside the steam turbines of - wait for it - coal-powered power stations. Why would such an invention win an environmental award? Because it allowed a slightly more precise regulation of the turbine, leading to a very small (1% or so) fuel saving. But 1% in every turbine in every power station is an immense saving of resources & C02, and no doubt far more than could be achieved by the assorted wind / wave / solar schemes that had been entered in the same competition.

Jeremy
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