charge with what ??

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Old 03-23-11, 04:04 AM
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charge with what ??

I was watching the local news last night when they talked about using electric cars so you won't have to buy gas. To charge the car's batteries the news gal said it takes 10 hrs with one 10 volt charger or you can charge them quicker using two 20 volt chargers She quickly corrected herself and said it must be 220 volt.

I know they just read a teleprompter but it cracked me up
 
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Old 03-23-11, 04:26 AM
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Aren't they the same?
 
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Old 03-23-11, 04:26 AM
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Yeah, that's what I want to do....drive 100 miles and wait 10 hours for it to charge. Would make for an interesting road trip, huh? Kingsport to Young Harris....you'd have to stay at the cabin......Young Harris to Atlanta.......Motel bill $200......Atlanta to Macon..........it would take a week to get to Orlando!!!
And where are all those charging stations that are supposed to be popping up all over the country for us to use with our new cars?
With her theory, the 220 volt charger would charge it in 45 minutes............same as a Dewalt.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 04:51 AM
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The car in that news report only goes 40 miles between charges although it does have a gasoline engine that will charge the batteries if they run out of juice. The batteries would have less than 1/2 charge by the time I got to Kingsport

The thing that I wonder about is how much electricity money does it take to charge the battery - is it any cheaper than gas?
 
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Old 03-23-11, 11:46 AM
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One other thing to consider is that the state and federal taxes on every gallon of gasoline go towards road construction and maintenance. If enough people buy electric vehicles and quit buying gasoline, the goverment's going to dream up some other way to get their tax revenue out of the citizens.

Assuming a 10 hour charge at 120 volts and 15 amps, that charge would cost about $2.15 assuming 12 cents/KWH rates. This for the purported 100 range of the all-electric vehicles like the Leaf. There are a lot of people around here that commute 100+ miles daily to work. Either our workplaces are going to have to get charging stations or we're not going to be able to utilize electric cars.

To me, CNG vehicles make a lot more sense, IF the natural gas supplies are as plentiful as the gas companies say they are. I know Honda used to have a CNG Civic marketed towards goverment fleet buyers -- I don't know if they still market it or not.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 12:48 PM
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For you people that live in the sticks electric vehicles do NOT make sense but the majority of people live in cities where their average daily driving is less than the 100 mile range of the Leaf and many people could do reasonably well with the 40 mile range of the Volt.

When I was gainfully employed the two years prior to retirement my commute was about 17 miles each way, for the 19 years prior to that last position I had a commute of about 25 miles each way. A 100 mile range would have been absolutely no problem for me. Now that I am retired I AVERAGE about 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year on my car. Many days I don't even leave home. The farthest I might drive to visit friends is about 38 miles one way so a 100 mile range electric would still make sense for me and IF I were to make a long trip (several hundred miles), something that I used to do a couple times a year several decades ago, I would simply rent a car with unlimited mileage.

Where the electric really makes sense is as the second car in a household where (usually) a single person is commuting less than 25 miles to work and uses the second car. IF they weren't so darn expensive on initial cost or else so primitive (glorified golf carts) when reasonably priced I suspect that a huge number of people living in cities or "bedroom communities" could easily make use of an electric that was reliable and had a real-world range of about 100 miles. The cost of operation would in most cases make them less expensive to own and operate than a comparable gasoline or Diesel fuel car.

However, Beachboy DOES have a point when it comes to the road taxes assessed on liquid fuels. The simplest answer is to have the owner self-report the number of miles accumulated each year and then pay a tax based on that mileage. Of course there would be people under-reporting or otherwise trying to cheat the system so the next step up would be some kind of transponder arrangement that would automatically report the mileage on a more frequent basis, monthly or quarterly, and then have the state send a bill to the registered owner. I feel the assessment and paying of road tax issue to be trivial at best.

As for alternate fuels such as CNG, Propane, Hydrogen or the like it is fraught with many of the same (or similar) problems of electricity. I had a propane conversion on my Mitsubishi mini-pickup and it ended up being a mistake. Bulk stations for filling were few and far between and the price at those stations that sold propane for heating purposes was two to three times higher in cost. The road tax issue was handled by requiring a special permit for gaseous fueled vehicles at the price of $100 per year (probably more these days) and because the Mitsubishi had an aluminum cylinder head the propane was injurious to the engine burning up exhaust valves and cracking the head. I converted my mother-in-law's Chevrolet Caprice to propane and she complained about greatly reduced mileage but I think it was because she drove like a race-car driver. I drove the car for a couple of weeks and got very close to the same mileage she had gotten on gasoline but I did notice that the performance on propane was much improved.

The company I worked for converted a large number of vans to CNG with a dual-fuel system and the experiment was a VERY costly mistake. They had to build their own refueling stations at several locations where they had both quick fill and overnight filling arrangements. It may have worked but the drivers of these vehicles hated the CNG and simply switched over to gasoline whenever they left the premises. The municipal bus company in Tacoma (about 50 miles south of me) converted their entire fleet to CNG and was, according to all reports I read, as happy as a pig in mud over the results. Unfortunately they had only one refueling station at the bus yard and about a month ago it caught fire due to (so far) unreported reasons. This left them the necessity to refuel at an alternate station at the airport (some twenty-plus miles away) and limit service on many routes.

Gaseous fuels (propane, CNG, etc.) are stored at relatively high pressures ranging from about 280 psi (propane) to as high as 5,000 psi for CNG. The tanks necessary for this are nowhere near as cheap or as light as the sheet-metal tanks used for gasoline so while the combustion system (and smog reduction systems) are simpler for the gaseous fuels than for gasoline the cost is definitely greater and the mileage obtained from each unit volume of gaseous vs. gasoline is significantly less requiring either reduced range of the vehicle or larger tanks.

I could go on...
 
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Old 03-23-11, 02:56 PM
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20+ yrs ago I worked for a company that had two 3 ton trucks that were converted to propane. These trucks rarely left the 2 county area we worked in. The spray pumps were also converted to propane but that didn't work so well - nobody knew how to get those 16 hp Kohlers to run correctly on propane so they were switched back to gas. Each truck would usually run 2 days [plus a little] on a tank of LP as opposed to 1 tank a day with gas. At that time LP was about 25 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline. The road tax was figured in on the price. The boss was happy at the $ he saved, we would have been happier if the pumps could have run properly on the LP - no need to fill them up
 
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Old 03-23-11, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachboy View Post
Assuming a 10 hour charge at 120 volts and 15 amps, that charge would cost about $2.15 assuming 12 cents/KWH rates.
So that would be a savings as opposed to gas. Not sure I'd want one though. While town isn't that far away, I bet going up and down all the hills would cut into that 40 mile range.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 03:10 PM
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I wonder about external combustion engines but running a closed vapor/liquid loop instead of the old steam engines. I've read where steam engines can be nearly 95% efficient. They would certainly be able to utilize about anything that would burn from powdered coal to sawdust to hydrogen to ethanol. I wonder why we don't hear about using external combustion engines? Ways to get up a head of steam/vapor could certainly be figured out.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 03:27 PM
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I saw a show on TV [discovery channel?] where a guy took an old chevy truck V8 and converted it to run on wood or anything else he could put in the boiler [?] It looked crazy but he ran it up and down the road.
 
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Old 03-23-11, 06:10 PM
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Perhaps 40 or so years ago Science and Mechanics test drove cross country a turbine powered car that was not fuel specific. This was back before self-service filling stations. The writer would pull in to a station and ask for 5 gallons of gasoline then say to the attendant, "Not full yet put in a few gallons of diesel and some kerosene. He said the looks and remarks from the attendants had to be seen and heard to be believed.

Wonder what happened to that idea? Maybe it was shelved to work on the flying cars we will have before the 21st century.
 
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Old 03-24-11, 03:55 AM
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Furd, you are right about us "stick" people. I have a friend who bought one of those Prius's. He quickly found out negotiating mountains and the fuel economy was not hand-in-hand. Sure, if he took the "big road" to Atlanta, he would run on batteries for a long time, but once he hit the hills, forget it. Lasted about a month. Sold it to a treehugger in metro Atlanta for a profit ::
 
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Old 03-24-11, 01:36 PM
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Marksr, There was absolutely no reason why the pumps on those trucks couldn't have been made to run well on propane. I've seen too many small engines for welders, pumps and generators running on propane to think it can't be done. Heck, I converted my Yamaha generator to run on gaseous fuel (propane or natural gas) and it works fine.

You ARE correct that hills will very quickly use up mileage of electric vehicles that do not use regenerative braking. The cheap, glorified golf carts do not use regenerative braking but the high end cars like the Tesla do. I don't know if the Leaf or Volt use regenerative braking but I suspect they do.


Ray, I've "loved" steam my entire life and while I would love to have a steam automobile I know it will never happen. Bill Besler built a boiler that got up to full pressure, I think 600 psi, in less than 90 seconds and it got up enough pressure to move the car in about 30 seconds. But 30 seconds sitting behind the wheel of your car seems like 30 minutes when you want to get going and there are few people that would stand for such a wait. A steam automobile, even one with a "working fluid" other than water would never come close to the efficiency, or simplicity, of today's gasoline powered vehicles. The reciprocating steam engine is inherently inefficient due to the start-stop-reverse action of the pistons so a turbine is the real answer. Unfortunately a turbine of a size suitable for passenger automobiles is even less efficient than the reciprocating engine. It might work for a large (20 ton or more) truck in a turbine-electric drive that also had batteries for instant reaction (a turbine is rather slow in speed changes) but this adds complexity and weight. Trust me, I worked in the field of steam engineering for more than thirty years. Even the best combined cycle gas turbine/steam turbine electric generating plants only get about 60% overall efficiency and you would NEVER be able to install such a plant in an automobile.


Marksr, The show you saw on Discovery featured a car with a gasifier. These were developed during WWII (or maybe WWI) by the Germans to fuel military vehicles because Germany had/has little petroleum to refine into gasoline or Diesel oil. Yes, they certainly work, and they work with a relatively unmodified gasoline engine but they aren't very practical and forget about any kind of "environmentally sensitive" emissions.


Ray, the gas turbine automobile was designed and built by Chrysler. They made several, maybe 100 or more, and tested them with regular people across the country. They had quite a bit of trouble with the metals used in the turbine blading failing because of heat stress but perhaps with today's metallurgy and experience with gas turbines in all kinds of services that problem could be addressed. One of the biggest "problems" reported by the regular people driving them was s l o w acceleration due to the necessity of bringing the turbine up to speed after every stop. In other words, they were slugs in normal driving. This is because a turbine (any turbine) is basically a constant speed machine and when variable speeds are required it loses efficiency and the response time to speed changes is relatively slow. Like I previously wrote about a steam turbine the use of a gas turbine in a hybrid electric drive would definitely work but it also has the inherent power loss of the mechanical-to-electric conversion to contend with along with the weight factor.


Chandler, you have touched the "sore spot" in regard to electric vehicles. The mileage figures usually quoted are laboratory tests and not testing in the real world. Automobiles need certain "creature comforts" such as cabin heaters and A/C, windshield defrosters, lights and several other things that use electricity. In non-electric cars these are simple add-ons to the IC engine or the battery is continually recharged by the engine-driven generator but in all-electric cars the power comes from the same LIMITED battery that propels the car. Use of any electrical accessories WILL decrease the ultimate mileage of the vehicle so night driving in the snowy mountains will get you far fewer miles on a charge than spring-time driving on a highway in the wilds of Iowa that is dead-flat and straight as an arrow for twenty miles.
 
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Old 03-24-11, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
Marksr, There was absolutely no reason why the pumps on those trucks couldn't have been made to run well on propane. I've seen too many small engines for welders, pumps and generators running on propane to think it can't be done.
I would have thought so to but we never could get them to run right on propane....... but that was about 25 yrs ago. I'm sure having someone that knew how to tune them would be key but we couldn't find anyone that could make them run right so we switched them back to gas.
 
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Old 03-26-11, 06:38 PM
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I am waitng for eveyone to plug in their car to charge it on a hot summer day when everyones AC is running full blast. Think about all the brownouts now on a failing infrastructure tha cannot meet demand.
 
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