E V that generates it`s own electricity ?

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Louis Carballo, Jan 6, 2018.

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  1. Louis Carballo

    Louis Carballo New Member

    In this world of making things smaller and more efficient, is anyone researching the production of electricity in a small unit that can be carried by the EV. I E No batteries?

    The reason I ask this is that a small red neck team in Brazil are working on a small power unit with the output to drive electric motors. The fuel is currently petrol but can be adapted to any fuel source in the futue. The goal is one litre of petrol to give a pickup size vehicle about 100 miles range. Twenty times more than current power units.

    Any one else doing this?

    There are many advantages that would put the market place at ease.

    1. Fuel. Readly available all over the world. We are all firmilier with this processes and supply chains already established. Alternative fuels can also be used. In Brazil we commonly use natural gas but the aftermarket fit can be expensive and is has a bulky gas storage system

    2. Recharge time. A few minuites at the pumps , the same.

    3. Extra MPG. Great selling point. Save money as a consumer but also increase profits for oil companies and government tax revenue. With such an increase in range consumers would not mind paying three to five times the current cost for petrol. This would be a win win win situation.

    4. Upgrade to vehicles. The unit would be small enough and compatible with most cars on the road today. A convertion kit could be installed. In Brazil today Natural gas is commonly used because of the cost of refill. A whole industry has grown around this as the car maunufacturers only make petrol cars . The cars are converted after market. The same could be developed for a whole new power unit.

    5. Car manufacters .Car manufacters could incorperate this power unit into current designs very quickly as the space is the same and Fuel the same .

    6. Enviroment. Massive reduction in emmissions.

    Many things worry me about the current path. Battery powered vehicles are a disaster waiting to happen. The disposal of old batteries will be an enviromental nightmare for generations to come.
    The secound is that the electrical companies will not be able to cope. Millions of people plugging in their cars for the night. They already complain when there is a break on tv program and every body reaches to make a tea or coffee.
    How many times have you heard someone complain that there cell phone is low in power or died. So just imagine that with cars. The emergancy services would have to provide a new service for those people.
    The last , maybe contraversal , point is that we would be giving a lot of political power to the electric compainies as we gave to the oil compainies in the past. We need fuel that is competative and customers can choose not a monopoly.

    Your thoughts on the above would be appreciated.
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  3. jim

    jim Active Member

    That would be a home made Hybrid since that's about what they do. Depending on how it works it could be a series Hybrid like the Chevy Bolt. It basically runs on battery with the gas motor coming on after it's low and recharging itself. We also found it drives the wheels with the gas motor too but it's very similar. The BWM i3 is the same basic idea.

    With the amazing batteries we now have it's twice the cost and half the efficiency running both a fuel and electric. Most small motors are very inefficient, noisy and polluting. What a waste of time and energy. IMO.
  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You can do it in a fuel cell car with an onboard fuel reformer to generate hydrogen that powers the fuel cell.

    Highly inefficient as compared to a BEV, of course.

    That's much too optimistic. BEVs are perhaps 3.5 x as efficient as gasmobiles, so if the fuel cell+reformer car could achieve that level of energy efficiency, then perhaps people wouldn't mind paying 3.5 x as much for gas. But they're not anywhere near that efficient.

    According to the article linked below, a BEV is ~77% efficient at using energy stored onboard to power the car, whereas the FCEV is only ~42% efficient. Plus, the fuel reformer would make the overall efficiency even lower.

    Still, the vehicle should be considerably more energy efficient than a normal gasmobile, and that's nothing to sneeze at!

    From Green Car Reports: "Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis"

    This entire section reads like you copied it from an EV-hater's website. Please educate yourself on the realities of the subject. A good place to start is with the humorously titled "The EV-Hater's Guide to Hating Electric Cars".

    Some points:

    1. BEV batteries have low toxicity and can be legally thrown in a landfill. Even if that were not the case, the environmental impact of making one battery pack once, for the life of an EV, is far far less than the impact of making, distributing, and dispensing hundreds or thousands of tanks-full of gasoline for each gasmobile over its lifetime!

    The claims from EV haters on this point are really weird. They write as if we're burning the batteries like gasoline, instead of using them over and over and over for the life of the car!

    2. Electric utilities are already planning for, and building out, new capacity for charging BEVs as needed. That's their job. When a new technology that uses a lot of electricity becomes widely adopted, like central air conditioning in the 1960s, or (probably) BEVs in the 2020s, then the electric utilities have to build more capacity. Anybody who claims this is an impending disaster is trying to sell you a load of bull pucky.

    3. If you drive an EV, then sure, you have to make sure your car has enough "juice" to get where you're going, just like those who drive gasmobiles have to make sure it has enough gas. Driving an EV does currently involve more planning ahead, altho that will improve as EV tech improves. If you can't deal with that, then buy a PHEV so the car can run on gas when it runs out of "juice".

    4. It seems rather silly to worry about giving "political power" to electric utilities. They already sell us electricity; selling us somewhat more isn't going to change much. Electric companies don't make the obscene levels of profits that Big Oil does, so they don't have all that cash sitting around to use to bribe and lobby politicians, like Big Oil does. Plus, with the growing amount of installed solar and wind power, at least some of our future electric supply is going to come from distributed power sources, and therefore somewhat less from the centralized power generation we see today.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. I am mounting specifications for a electric motorhome, where all energy come from a set of solar panels mounted on roof, 5 fixed and 10 on 2 sliding frames (for extend when stationed); the energy will be stored on 80 batteries settled on a closed and cooled chamber, between the chassi and houseground; two electric engines on vehicle center, powering two axes
  6. Push. In the interests of tranparency I do work for an Electricity distributor (utility). Distribution in moderate to high population areas is fairly straight forward. The cost of any increases to handle new demand is spread across a group of consumers.
    However this does become problematic in remote/low population areas. In this scenario the number of consumers sharing the infrastructure is much smaller and any significant increases to the demand by those consumers can have a more dramatic impact on infrastructure costs which can't be spread across a group. However there are programs in place to understand and minimise the impact of these scenarios.
    At a micro level, solar is an option. An individual or small group of individuals can install solar to offset their power consumption and lower their peak demand to avoid the need for costly infrastructure upgrades. But the problem here is these remote consumers are also the same remote consumers who live hundreds of miles from anything (single leg, not return trip). So right now EVs are not a viable option for them anyway.

    ruisvensson Lets consider a simple case. Feel free to correct any assumptions that don't fit your scenario.
    The small end of a usable EV capacity is around 20Kwh.
    The existing solar panel efficiency is about 14% (20% at the very best, assuming leading edge technology).
    A typical power output from a 1m square solar panel is around 200w.
    Lets assume you plan to make 2 trips per day in your EVs that will use a fair portion of your 20Kwh capacity.
    1 panel would take around 100hrs to charge your EV (not allowing for losses between the panel and your EV, which would be notable)
    10 panels would still take around 10hrs, which is still not a viable option to support 2 trips per day.
    20 panels would get down to something like 5 hrs which is getting close to viable. But even then we are forced to assume 100% sunshine for the period.

    Obviously the specifications for the components you plan to use would alter these simplistic calculations. I am not trying to talk you out of your objective. Hopefuly it provides some useful information for consideration. Hopefully you are planning on using the solar to augment network power rather than to replace it entirely. or maybe you only plan to use the EV for very short distances around your RV.
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Not as a complaint, so please don't apologize; but if you don't mind, for future reference, I prefer "Pushy". (And yes, I'm fully aware of the self-deprecatory nature of that diminutive, as well as the possibly all-too-accurate double meaning.

    HIM: Are you Pushy?

    ME: Yes, I am! :)

    Always good to read a detailed comment from someone who has hands-on experience. Thank you for taking the time to write!

    This reads very much like the problems in earlier eras with rural electrification and rural (land line) telephone service.

    Sure, but in those earlier instances, the push for serving people in very low-population areas only came after most people had electricity or telephones in their homes. Right now, we are at only 1-2% of the new car market being PEVs (Plug-in EVs). Let's wait until that's something between 80-90% before we start worrying about subsidizing upgrades to the electrical grid to support rural PEV charging.

    A good point, and one that I had not considered, so thanks! Altho I think you exaggerate when you say "hundreds of miles". The longest, loneliest stretch of American highway with "No gas for ____ miles" is only a bit over 100 miles, as I recall. Mr. Google suggests 105 miles; but also points out there are even more remote places in Alaska. But then, much of rural Alaska is accessible only by plane, so I don't think that really counts!

    But again, it's unlikely that there would be much political support for beefing up the grid to support PEV charging in remote, very low population areas, until the overwhelming majority of people are driving EVs. And by then, EVs should have increased in utility; they should have longer ranges, and charge significantly faster. So altho a PEV may have only sufficient "juice" for one-way trip on such a long drive, those near-future PEVs should be able to ultra-fast-charge in 10 minutes or less. By then, ultra-fast-charge stations for PEVs should be fairly commonplace. So that shouldn't be all that inconvenient.

    You've chosen to base your analysis on a PEV with minimal range -- I'd say inadequate range -- and then proceed to show one of the reasons it's inadequate.

    I submit that all you've shown is that someone in this situation would have made a very poor choice by buying a PEV with minimal range. If that same person bought a 60 kWh BEV, then he could make both of those trips that day, and two more the next, even if he didn't charge up at all in between.

    I don't think it would be smart for anyone who is living off-grid, and depending entirely on solar power for electricity, to buy a BEV. It would make much more sense for such a person to buy a PHEV, so he wouldn't be stranded if he needed to drive beyond the range of his car's battery capacity.

    BEVs are not for everyone, especially this early in the EV revolution. Just like motorcars were not for everyone, before the Model T Ford appeared on the market. I'd argue that we have not yet seen the PEV equivalent of the Model T Ford. Some people think the Tesla Model 3 fits the bill, but I think it's still somewhat too expensive to qualify as an "everyman" car. Just my opinion, of course.
  9. No problems Pushy.

    In regard to distances I am referring to Australia (my location). We have 1/10 the population of the USA in an area about the same size as the USA. Plus our populated areas are even more concentrated to the coastal regions. So the central areas of Australia easily have stretches of hundreds of miles between towns. Even our #1 Highway has a stretch of 700Km (430miles) between town centres and that is before we start considering minor roads and tracks. There is at least one privately owned property that is over 9,000 square miles. I can't imagine them owning an EV any time soon.

    You are also correct we have some time before we need to worry about those remote scenarios. But depending on who you listen to we may not have too much time. We no longer have a local auto manufacture industry here. As a result we are 100% reliant on foreign markets. If some reports are correct those markets are talking about total bans on fossil fuels in the next few decades. This would flow on to us as there would be very limited markets remaining for ICE cars. I suspect our remote populations will resist the change for some time after that happens by either choosing from the ever decreasing range of ICE vehicles or sticking with their old ICE vehicles. Of course this will all change once we get to a tipping point where the vehicle range + available infrastructure adequately satisfies their individual needs. Maybe we will be at that point in the next few decades coinciding with the foreign market bans. I do hope so.

    You are absolutely correct. In choosing a scenario I had to choose between a combination of a)inadequate EV range and somewhat achievable Solar charging or B) Adequate EV range and totally unachievable solar charging. I choose A) because from the info from the OP it sounds like they were planning on parking their RV as a base and then using the EV for short hops from the base. But yes the length of those hops is going to be very very limited if they are not augmenting the charge with mains power.
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Ah, I didn't realize you were from Down Under!

    Well then, of course, your description of "remote consumers who live hundreds of miles from anything" makes much more sense. Reminds me of the expression: "Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles." :)

    I think ruisvensson (post #4, above) is going to be very disappointed in the very limited range he will get by using solar power to charge batteries for an RV with a BEV powertrain. The analyses I've seen for charging an EV automobile with solar cells on the roof indicate you'd get only a few miles per day, and that's assuming the sun is shining. If it was cloudy, it would be even worse. Furthermore, a large heavy vehicle like an RV is going to have an even worse mass/surface area ratio, so range would be even more limited. I hope they have fold-out panels on the roof that they can use to extend the area for collecting solar energy in their RV, but even then, I don't think they will find it practical if they plan on road trips in that RV.

    A gasoline/diesel propelled RV with solar power setup for power when parked, plus a tiny auxiliary vehicle for local trips (microcar? motor scooter?) would be much more practical, as I think you're suggesting.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  11. Precisely. If they park the RV in a Trailer/Van park and want transport to the office of the park or to the ajoining shops then it is possibly achievable. Anything significantly further than that would require an ebike or something with similar efficiency.
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  13. I think you all are not thinking reasonably - I think so.
    I think in the future there will be two (maybe three) types of EV users:
    A) People living in densely populated areas, which, at the beginning of the night, after all day trips, plug their vehicles in the electricity grid for overnight recharge.
    B) People living in sparsely populated areas that have space to install a photovoltaic system in their backyard, do recharge from that system.
    C) The third one where I am included, people living in a motorhome, who do recharge from an isolated minisystem installed in the ceiling. And while the recharge is not complete, enjoy the surroundings ...
    The calculations of galderdi seem promising to me:
    If 10 panels take 10 hours for full recharge, and 20 panels take 5 hours, I should assume that 15 panels take 6.6 hours, right? But this with panels of 200 w, if I put panels 300 w each, this points for 4.4 hours, OK?
    But perhaps you are doubting the possibility of putting 15 panels on the roof of the vehicle.
    2 sliding frames, each with 5 panels, plus a fixed with 5 panels. Obviously it would only open when parked. Driving, only the 5 of the fixed structure.
    I only hope that the time to carry out this project does not serve as proof of unfeasibility: being a really original project, I will have to reinvent the entire vehicle, and here the government lowered another ridiculous law prohibiting the legalization of vehicles manufactured by hand. Without competition from the backyard industry, the budget points to an absurd increase in project costs. I was setting up the budget foreseeing around 400,000 reais ($ 120,000), but now this can easily double ...
  14. You can consider, also:
    - brasil is a tropical country. We dpn´t have snow, cold temperatures only in the extreme south; sun we have more than enough.
    - Our worse region for solar energy is best than the better region in the Germany, for example.
    - I am planning put on the my vehicle´s wall a slogan: "my recharge station is the Sun!".
    Well, stop in a gas station, only for recharge the driver...
    I will put a 12 V refrigerator, solar collector for heat water for the bath, and more some devices for turn more interesting...
  15. Well, I can add too I am the "low revenues" wizard.
    In a country where the over revenue is the most difunded discipline among authorities, this is very low valuated.
    Do create a budget where the total cost is less than the normal is a witchery plent of secrets and out-of-sense.
    I am cost analyst since some years, helping small business to viabilize projects where others point to no-work.
  16. you can observe this vehicle have panels on the wall side: this because on the north (europe and usa) the sun runs very near to horizon. by same reason, many buildings in germany have this panels on the walls. the declination angle is the point.
    but, in brasil we have sun running far from horizon, then for us is more interesting put panels on the roof. Undesrtand ?
  17. Is a ridiculous situation, where we have peraphs a best situation in the world for get power from the sun, but the investment remains so small...
    In the northeast, we have great areas very dry, where vegetation remain poor, the last dryness have already 5 years...
    I have been created a project to use the solar power to pull water from the sea, cut off the salt, and pump it along 300 km...
    All authorities think this is out of feasibility, but my budget point to a great opportunity to win this poor situation...
    I know, I am quiting from the purposes this blog, but I wish you know I am...
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    How many kWh will a panel generate in a day? And how many kWh per mile does it take to push your RV down the road at average driving speed... and at highway speed? Have you done any calculations for that?

    I don't know enough about the panels you'll be using to have an opinion, let alone doubt it. I have no idea what size they are, or how big you can practically make a "sliding frame". What I do doubt is that you're going to be able to drive very far on the amount of solar energy you can collect in a day. Sunlight simply does not provide that much energy per square foot/meter, and likely the solar panels you'll be using have an efficiency somewhere between 21-33%, so at best you'll only harvest a third of what the sunshine provides, even if you use relatively expensive panels rather than the cheaper ones people usually install on the roofs of their homes.

    And of course, that battery pack has to provide energy not just for pushing the RV down the road, but for all the other energy needs of your motor home, too. So those other power demands are going to cut into your driving range.

    I understand that, being closer to the equator, you will have less need to angle the solar panels on the roof of your RV in order to catch more sunlight on your panels. You might be able to get away with just mounting them in a fixed flat position, which would simplify things.

    But while you will get somewhat more energy from sunlight close to the equator, the difference isn't that much compared to the amount of kWh per mile your RV will need when driving.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  19. Well push,
    I don´t plain 2 trip per day, as some was talking... A trip each 2 days, sometimes a trip a week... in a motorhome the time is less important.
    The total weight will depend others factors, don´t matter now, but the critical point is cut off the costs on fuel, substitute by power from the sun.
    I am cost analyst, my work as professional create budget for viabilize project where others point to no-work.
    So, somebody can call me a crazy stubborn, but I believe they will change their mind when I post my project running.
    For example, for reduce the total weight, I will put a pump for pull water from some river or lake, with a set of filters and purificators; a solar heater only for the water bath, so reducing the power demand; and until some video on youtube can explain the sui generis project, atracting attention on how viabilize something some so original.
    Also, my work now as writter allow many free time, the recharge time can be since 5 to 12 hours, no problem... the nature is a source to inspiration
    Pushmi-Pullyu and Domenick like this.
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    "Pushy", if you don't mind. :) As in:

    HE: Are you Pushy?

    ME: Yes I am! :)

    If you're willing to settle for a rather limited daily driving range in your RV, then sure, your plan could work. I was just concerned that you'd pour a lot of time and money into a project, and only realize how little range the RV had after it was finished, leaving you very disappointed in the result. I certainly don't mean to discourage your project to convert the RV to a BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle), so long as you're aware of the limitations! I hope you'll continue to keep us updated on your very interesting project.

    That will certainly go a long way toward reducing the power demand from the living quarters. But won't the solar collector for that water heater occupy a significant amount of roof space, which will reduce the amount of area available to mount solar panels?

    Anyway, it's clear that you have given serious thought to these limitations, so perhaps my comments are just wasting your time. Or to put it another way: Maybe I'm just being Pushy. :D

    I wish you good luck with your project!
  21. Well, my dear Pushy,
    I am planning a thermoplastic collector on a traveling structure that is lowered and fastened to the rear of the vehicle. When parked, simply erect the structure and drive the pump to fill the water box, which also travels empty.
    The roof of the vehicle will be almost completely occupied by the panels; except for the rear, where I will put the water box, which also during the trip will be lowered to reduce height of the vehicle, traveling in a compartment below the ceiling.
    Smart solutions for small and big problems

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