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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:15 PM   #21
3-foot
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Another question to ask is this.... With the gas engine powering the electric engine, after the first 40miles, how much extra energy is lost as opposed to having the gas engine power the wheels directly at that point?

Electric cars are a good idea if we can increase electric energy output, but where is that coming from? Nukes? Coal? Natural gas? What's the extra cost and loss of efficency by creating and transfering the electricity across the grid to your house and into your car as opposed to generating the electricity directly from the onboard generator? The loss of energy across the electric grid is pretty high something like 25-30% loss, I don't know exactly.

I'd rather have an onboard generator that runs on natural gas that I could hook up at home to refill. It seems to me that natural gas would be 100% efficent during transmission to my house, assuming no leaks there is no loss of potential energy. The only loss of energy would happen when it was burned in the generator of the car. If the same natural gas was burned at a power station to make electricity it would have that same loss in addition to the additional loss during transmission of the electricity to my house.

Even using natural gas directly in the car to run the generator you still have some loss of potential energy from converting energy from the gas engine to the electric motor. So at that point why not just run the whole dam'n thing on a natural gas engine that I recharge at home, and call it good?
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:33 PM   #22
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Another question to ask is this.... With the gas engine powering the electric engine, after the first 40miles, how much extra energy is lost as opposed to having the gas engine power the wheels directly at that point?
Less than none.

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Q: How many miles per gallon will the Chevy Volt get?
A: A bit of a trick question. For the first 40 miles it will get infinite mpg, because no gas will be burned. When the generator starts, the car will get an equivalent of 50 mpg thereafter. One can calculate the average mpg per for any length drive starting with a full battery: Total MPG = 50xM/(M-40)


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Electric cars are a good idea if we can increase electric energy output, but where is that coming from? Nukes? Coal? Natural gas? What's the extra cost and loss of efficency by creating and transfering the electricity across the grid to your house and into your car as opposed to generating the electricity directly from the onboard generator? The loss of energy across the electric grid is pretty high something like 25-30% loss, I don't know exactly.

I'd rather have an onboard generator that runs on natural gas that I could hook up at home to refill. It seems to me that natural gas would be 100% efficent during transmission to my house, assuming no leaks there is no loss of potential energy. The only loss of energy would happen when it was burned in the generator of the car. If the same natural gas was burned at a power station to make electricity it would have that same loss in addition to the additional loss during transmission of the electricity to my house.

Even using natural gas directly in the car to run the generator you still have some loss of potential energy from converting energy from the gas engine to the electric motor. So at that point why not just run the whole dam'n thing on a natural gas engine that I recharge at home, and call it good?
Natural gas isn't quite 100% efficent. It needs to be pumped which requires energy, although probably not much as the pressure is quite low, just a few PSI if I recall. But this leads to another problem. You would have to have a compressor for the natural gas to get enough into you tank to give you any decent range.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:31 PM   #23
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I'd rather have an onboard generator that runs on natural gas that I could hook up at home to refill. It seems to me that natural gas would be 100% efficent during transmission to my house, assuming no leaks there is no loss of potential energy. The only loss of energy would happen when it was burned in the generator of the car. If the same natural gas was burned at a power station to make electricity it would have that same loss in addition to the additional loss during transmission of the electricity to my house.

Even using natural gas directly in the car to run the generator you still have some loss of potential energy from converting energy from the gas engine to the electric motor. So at that point why not just run the whole dam'n thing on a natural gas engine that I recharge at home, and call it good?
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Natural gas isn't quite 100% efficent. It needs to be pumped which requires energy, although probably not much as the pressure is quite low, just a few PSI if I recall. But this leads to another problem. You would have to have a compressor for the natural gas to get enough into you tank to give you any decent range.
Not everyone has the luxury of natural gas, while most everyone that will buy a volt will have electricity.

I would not be able to refuel a natural-gas powered car at my home, as I have propane. Also, along with the cost of natural gas (which is quite inexpensive), you will have to run an fairly stout compressor every night to refill your natural gas tank to 3000 psi.

wat? a 3000 psi bomb in my trunk waiting for an accident to happen? (Though much the same could be said about the dangers of Li-ion batteries)

Also, the size of the tank(s) needed to get you a useful range are huge - and not really suited for smaller cars.
From the web on a ford crown vic CNG taxi driver:
Quote:
CNG Crown Vic experience
I signed up a while ago after my experience driving a FEH cab. Now I have a different experience to share - I recently started regularly driving a CNG-powered Crown Victoria cab. I'm posting because I am curious to know about other people's experiences.

The plusses outweigh the minuses, though there are a lot of both.

Power/Drivability: I believe (but have not researched extensively) that the engine is basically the same 4.6L V8 in the gas Crown Vics, except that the fuel delivery and maybe the timing is altered. In basic driving around town you really wouldn't notice a difference, though on steep uphill grades of the sort we have in San Francisco don't expect to be pulling any Bullitt stunts. Let's say that your stereotypical aggressive taxi driver will not be missing out on any opportunities.

Cargo: The compressed-gas tanks are ginormous and take up about 2/3 of the trunk space if you continue to carry around the normal-sized spare. Some cars are equipped with fewer tanks but this would limit range even further (see below.) Fortunately the car is still so huge that I have yet to run into any problems that couldn't be solved by using the front seat as trunk #2.

Range: A little inconvenient but not unbearable. I generally go about 100 miles in the city before I have to refuel. On the freeway the numbers are a lot better, other drivers have been reporting 200 miles on a freeway-heavy tank.
GM did their research, apparently better than you.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 11:16 PM   #24
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Actually, in Europe there were cars that could run on natural gas or propane back in the 1970's.

The Simca Horizon (Chrysler European model) was one of them. My uncle had one when I was there in 1978. It ran on both gas and propane. I don't remember the range, but a simple switch toggled between the 2. If I remember correctly, a lot of the local driving was done with the propane, and it was also handy on a long trip to extend the cars range.

The tank was in the back, but there was still room for luggage.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 12:53 AM   #25
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wat? a 3000 psi bomb in my trunk waiting for an accident to happen? (Though much the same could be said about the dangers of Li-ion batteries)
Or the dangers of having 20-30 gallons of a highly flammable liquid in your car.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:35 PM   #26
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Or the dangers of having 20-30 gallons of a highly flammable liquid in your car.
Absolutely. But people do not equate that to being dangerous, unless it's in a Pinto. A lot of people know 30 psi goes in your tires, and 100x that amount is scary to many of them just because they don't know.

One of the tensest times in my life I can remember is fueling the composite CNG tank from the hybrid-electric car I helped build in college. The tank creaked, moaned and crackled as we filled it with 3000 psi of fuel. We had to go to the far side of Detroit to get it filled, as there were no places near Ann Arbor to fill it (at the time - early nineties, no idea now).
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:51 PM   #27
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The tanks they use for natural gas and hydrogen are rated far higher than they need to be. I dont remember the exact numbers but I think it was around 20,000 psi aluminum tanks.

This is obviously for the event of an accident.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:58 PM   #28
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Actually, in Europe there were cars that could run on natural gas or propane back in the 1970's.

The Simca Horizon (Chrysler European model) was one of them. My uncle had one when I was there in 1978. It ran on both gas and propane. I don't remember the range, but a simple switch toggled between the 2. If I remember correctly, a lot of the local driving was done with the propane, and it was also handy on a long trip to extend the cars range.

The tank was in the back, but there was still room for luggage.
I'm confused Pete.

Gasoline/LPG or CNG/LPG?

"dual fuel" gasoline/LPG cars have been very popular in the U.K. by fringe customers (same kind of people that would want a Prius or Volt) - simply because LPG is not taxed nearly as much as petrol. Even with less energy per kilogram, LPG more than makes up for the slight loss in F.E. with the price of LPG being much less expensive than petrol.

I have never heard of a CNG/LPG dual fuel car - not saying it doesn't exist, but it I am trying to figure out more in an internets search.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 02:02 PM   #29
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The tanks they use for natural gas and hydrogen are rated far higher than they need to be. I dont remember the exact numbers but I think it was around 20,000 psi aluminum tanks.

This is obviously for the event of an accident.
And the reactor at Cook Nuclear power plant was designed to take a direct hit from a fairly large airplane crashing into it - and people still fear nuclear power for what they don't understand.

Don't think I'm trying to say CNG in a car is unsafe; Ford put many Crown Vics into service that were CNG with no problems - I just wanted to point out that some people see the tanks as "bombs".
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 10:17 PM   #30
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And the reactor at Cook Nuclear power plant was designed to take a direct hit from a fairly large airplane crashing into it - and people still fear nuclear power for what they don't understand.

Don't think I'm trying to say CNG in a car is unsafe; Ford put many Crown Vics into service that were CNG with no problems - I just wanted to point out that some people see the tanks as "bombs".
How can I get you to fill my tank??
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #31
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How can I get you to fill my tank??
I'm working on a system of adjustable shims or collars; last time I tried to fill your tank, the nozzle kept falling out.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #32
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When comparing power coming from our current "grid" to a typical gasoline engine, here are a few things to take into consideration:

A gasoline engine may be 30% efficient at best, but while stopped it is 0% efficient.
A well tuned electric motor can be 90% efficient.
The best electricity generating stations are just over 50% efficient in terms of the energy transfer from fossil fuels to the electricity transmitted from the station using overhead cables.
Transmitting via overhead cables is about 33% efficient.
Charging systems can be about 90% efficient.

Basically, it's a close call which one is more efficient. Dollars and cents, I would say that electricity is the better option. That's why the high mpg rating.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #33
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I'm working on a system of adjustable shims or collars; last time I tried to fill your tank, the nozzle kept falling out.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #34
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When comparing power coming from our current "grid" to a typical gasoline engine, here are a few things to take into consideration:

A gasoline engine may be 30% efficient at best, but while stopped it is 0% efficient.
A well tuned electric motor can be 90% efficient.
The best electricity generating stations are just over 50% efficient in terms of the energy transfer from fossil fuels to the electricity transmitted from the station using overhead cables.
Transmitting via overhead cables is about 33% efficient.
Charging systems can be about 90% efficient.

Basically, it's a close call which one is more efficient. Dollars and cents, I would say that electricity is the better option. That's why the high mpg rating.

This is what I was getting at, from the raw energy source to tires turning on the pavement which is really more efficient?

I'm not convinced that electric cars are any better because of the current infrastructure, but it maybe a good first step.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #35
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I'm confused Pete.

Gasoline/LPG or CNG/LPG?

"dual fuel" gasoline/LPG cars have been very popular in the U.K. by fringe customers (same kind of people that would want a Prius or Volt) - simply because LPG is not taxed nearly as much as petrol. Even with less energy per kilogram, LPG more than makes up for the slight loss in F.E. with the price of LPG being much less expensive than petrol.

I have never heard of a CNG/LPG dual fuel car - not saying it doesn't exist, but it I am trying to figure out more in an internets search.
I believe it was gasoline/LPG. At least I know the gasoline part, memory is a little fuzzy on the LPG or CNG. It was about 30 years ago.

Wasn't really a fringe thing back then either. Lots of cars had these kinds of setups back then. Don't know about these days.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #36
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This is what I was getting at, from the raw energy source to tires turning on the pavement which is really more efficient?

I'm not convinced that electric cars are any better because of the current infrastructure, but it maybe a good first step.
Another advantage of electic over gasoline is that we have many different means to produce electicity, mostly domestic, while gasoline pretty much all many from oil, much of which is imported from countries that don't like us much.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #37
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This is what I was getting at, from the raw energy source to tires turning on the pavement which is really more efficient?

I'm not convinced that electric cars are any better because of the current infrastructure, but it maybe a good first step.
As Brewman said, it's getting us more independent. Also, like I mentioned above, it's saving us money, even though it may be, at best, just as efficient.

Here is something I found that explains the cost savings and the MPG claims:
Quote:
As can be seen from this site...
http://www.teslamotors.com/efficiency/well_to_wheel.php
...the Tesla requires about 110Wh to travel 1km. This translates to about 160Wh/m. According to the EPA, the average passeneger vehicle gets about 25mpg, so multiplying 160Wh/m by 25mpg, we get 4000Wh = 1gal. This is to establish what I call the Electric Gallon (or EG), which is the amount of electrical energy required to drive the same distance as 1 gallon of gasoline; 4 kWh.
Looking at my electric bill from last month, I see that I am paying about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, including all taxes and service fees. So...
$.10 per kilowatt hour times 4 kilowatt hours gives me about $.40 per EG. Of course, if electricity is being sold as fuel for vehicles, the taxes usually charged for gasoline will have to be charged for that electricity in order to maintain roads. Also, if gas stations begin selling electricity, the electric utilities will have to charge at a higher rate, due to the very high current the stations would require. And of course, the fuel stations themselves would have to mark up the price in order to make a profit. Depending on the state in which one lives, gasoline taxes can be anywhere between $.30 and $.50 per gallon...
http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/st...tate_2002.html
... and the national average is about $.40, bringing the price of electrical energy as automotive fuel up to $.80 per EG. So, even if the electric utility and the fuel distributor really gouge the customer at $.10 per Equivalent Gallon apiece, the price still only goes up to $1.00
So technically, you will be paying about $1.00 to drive the same distance that it currently costs you $3.50 to drive.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #38
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I'm working on a system of adjustable shims or collars; last time I tried to fill your tank, the nozzle kept falling out.
I know, I'm sorry. I feel like such a blown out whore.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #39
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I know, I'm sorry. I feel like such a blown out whore.
But you're MY blown out whore, Sweetheart.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #40
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But you're MY blown out whore, Sweetheart.

All better now.
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