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Thread: 15-minute electric car charge system unveiled

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowball View Post
    I once read of an Asian motor company that had developed a similar power unit that worked on compressed air.
    All the Air powered 'cars' I've seen look like Blue Peter have attempted to make a smart car from washing up bottles and straws. In these days of people buying cars based on crash resistance and safety. I cannot see them even being approved for use on the road and less chance of people actually buying them.

  2. #12
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    The manufacturers are spending £billions on research to find an alternative fuel that will work in the real world.

    Hydrogen is promising because it can be extracted using hydro-electric power. The drawback is the storage and distribution of such a volatile gas.
    Biofuels are not the solution because growing the raw material becomes more profitable than growing food.
    Air power doesnt work because of the energy loss in compressing it, and the storage problem.
    Electric power seems to be the only viable way forward at present, but who knows - there may be some guy working in his shed with washing up bottles and string who will come up with an answer.
    How about pick up strips on main roads that would recharge batteries by induction?
    Nuclear? 50s SF saw that as the future.

    Anyone with a solution will make a fortune.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    The manufacturers are spending £billions on research to find an alternative fuel that will work in the real world.

    Hydrogen is promising because it can be extracted using hydro-electric power. The drawback is the storage and distribution of such a volatile gas.
    The demise of the Hindenburg airship comes to mind.
    Biofuels are not the solution because growing the raw material becomes more profitable than growing food.
    There is still a lot of unused land that could be used to grow biofuels, and these could be just one source out of several collective ones.
    Air power doesnt work because of the energy loss in compressing it, and the storage problem.
    I agree. Energy loss would present a rapid drop in storage pressure, and the necessary size of a storage container would be a bulk/weight problem.
    Electric power seems to be the only viable way forward at present, but who knows - there may be some guy working in his shed with washing up bottles and string who will come up with an answer.
    How about pick up strips on main roads that would recharge batteries by induction?
    Small electric cars for short, in town journeys may become popular, but long haul journeys don't seem viable for wholly electric cars.
    The suggestion of pick-upstrips for top-up charging by induction might change support the long haul strategy, but it would be at a cost of immense disruption of the infrastructure. A system of vehicle metering would be necessary for billing vehicle owners for payment of electricity used. All these problems mean that this idea would probably be avoided until there was no option but to invest in it.
    Nuclear? 50s SF saw that as the future.
    Nuclear power in road vehicles would be much too dangerous - a sort of mobile potential Chernobyls.

  4. #14
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    How about steam?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    How about steam?
    Steam was used in early road vehicles, and I have seen several steam driven lorries at steam fairs. Certainly the power is there, but travel was very slow. The late Fred Dibna did a TV series where he travelled around the country with a steam traction engine pulling a closed trailer (did he live in it whilst on the road), but a man could run faster than his outfit. Even if steam-powered vehicles were developed into viable machines, what about the fuel for them? Coal is a fossil fuel, and would not supply of wood on a large scale present the same argument as room to grow biofuels?

  6. #16
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    Compressed air is a none-starter (pardon the pun) due to the losses involved in compressing the air.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowball View Post
    Steam was used in early road vehicles, and I have seen several steam driven lorries at steam fairs. Certainly the power is there, but travel was very slow. The late Fred Dibna did a TV series where he travelled around the country with a steam traction engine pulling a closed trailer (did he live in it whilst on the road), but a man could run faster than his outfit. Even if steam-powered vehicles were developed into viable machines, what about the fuel for them? Coal is a fossil fuel, and would not supply of wood on a large scale present the same argument as room to grow biofuels?
    I remember that journey by Fred - It kept breaking down as well. I was thinking more of a super efficient steam turbine than a traction engine. Maybe fueled with natural gas.

  8. #18
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    I would expect the main problem with a 15min charge time on an electric car battery would be dissipating the heat, and the heat would not help with battery life.

    The main, marketing problem for steam-powered cars is the slight delay on start-up; this is very short with a modern Flash Steam boiler. Efficiency is very good using a triple expansion engine and speed is not a problem, reciprocating steam engines running at diesel type RPM are feasible. I would think a steam car would be expensive to run for very short trips.

    Turbines, steam or gas are difficult to make efficient in vehicles.

    Hydrogen works fine as a fuel in reciprocating engines, the problem is sourcing the hydrogen and storing it. Below are a couple of different ways of generating hydrogen on demand.

    http://www.rac.co.uk/forum/showthrea...5866#post45866

    http://www.quittintime.com/ubbthread...9910&Main=9864

  9. #19
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    Gotta love the "brown gas" nutters. Long since disproved. Don't know about boron except that it is "difficult" and therefore expensive.

    Back to basics: To move people or goods takes energy and the law of conservation of energy says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So the energy needed to move a mass has to come from somewhere and the current preferred method is to explode vapourised hydrocarbons (petrol) in a cylinder and use the energy produced to drive a transmission. All the above ideas are just different ways of converting energy into motion and they all are pretty inefficient. The only way that current technology can produce "free" energy is using solar, but that is still in its infancy.

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