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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
Old 15th September 2017
KeithL KeithL is offline
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

Hec, continuing: you say, " petrol stations already exist so part of it, i.e. the physical land and buildings are here now. In a small number of countries some stations already have large batteries to smooth grid demand and these utilise old batteries themselves as they can be managed more carefully being static." Yes, that may be so, but lithium batteries and petrol don't mix. They need to be kept a pretty good distance apart.

I have known two people who tried Leafs. One, a neighbour, gave up on it after a year, because of inadequate range and charging points. He has a big array of solar cells on his house roof, so he thought it would be cheap to run. Yes, it is, but cost wasn't the issue. The other guy took up a Nissan offer to borrow a Leaf for a week and use it. He found range a problem; going from Colchester to Cambridge and back, both ways he nearly ran out of charge. It's worth thinking about this: Tesla claim to have solved the range issue with the saloon. Compare its size with a Leaf! You need a big car to fit a battery big enough to give you a decent range; we are likely to want Leaf-size cars, not Tesla saloon size cars, for the most part.

I don't dispute for a minute what you say about the grid; however, I base some of my comments on what I have read in the ITE journal, not in the popular press. One point that is important, is that as the batteries age, they will both retain less charge, and also need a greater charging time. increasing the charging rate shortens the life, so as the battery ages, you can't just turn up the charge rate. Given the high cost of replacing the batteries, this raises another issue: when is the battery at the end of its life? Many people won't want, or may not be able to afford, the cost of the replacement battery. Will the replacement battery be taxed to recoup some of the lost tax on fossil fuels? We don't know. What do we do with end of life batteries. At the moment they are shipped to China for landfill, not recycling. That has a cost, both in terms of fossil fuel for transport, and also environmental damage.

There are many issues to be addressed, and so far, no-one has any answers. Thirteen years away is not long for all of the issues to be confronted and hopefully solutions found.
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Old 15th September 2017
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

Short on time as I'm packing to go to Tanzania tomorrow morning but wanted to do a swift, if insufficient, response to some of your excellent points.

So, in no particular order.

> I haven't got time to sort the links which a proper answer requires but battery technology is being developed moving away from lithium to address safety issues you correctly pointed out along with lithium availability. Faster charge rates and improved power density are the main goals along with durability.

> The stations I mentioned where "smoothing batteries" exist seem to have got round the safety issues of the proximity to petroleum product you, again, correctly point out. Of course the issue does highlight the risks that have long been accepted and dealt with regarding the tank full of highly volatile and carcinogenic liquid we currently drive around with.

> The experience you highlight regarding the limited range of the current model of the Leaf serves to illustrate the limitations of existing EVs, apart from the expensive Tesla model S of course, which we can be certain will be improved as time goes on. The new model Leaf is anticipated to have a realistic real world range of 150 - 160 miles. A long way to go before we get to what I regard as the acceptable minimum for a truly practical EV which is 800 miles assuming that an adequate charging infrastructure exists for journeys beyond that.

> I agree about hybrids but do feel that for the next few years they are probably a practical compromise until the pure EV range is increased.


Many problems exist and need to be dealt with but from the technology/engineering perspective I have no doubt that they will be albeit the timescale is conjecture. More political/commercial/social issues such as, but not restricted to, replacing the tax revenue currently collected from fossil fuel cars will probably be more difficult as the current state of our politics illustrate only too well.

Off to finish packing and the usual last minute tasks to finish. In hindsight I should not have joined in on this thread as it is very interesting and deserves more considered input than I have time to give.


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  #33  
Old 15th September 2017
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

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> I agree about hybrids but do feel that for the next few years they are probably a practical compromise until the pure EV range is increased.
Pure electric vehicles offer many advantages for city driving, but they pose just as many problems on longer journeys.

Hybrids would seem to be a good compromise, but most retain quite large, powerful (and hence polluting) engines, whilst battery range is limited. So we actually end up with very little overall benefit, and a heavier car.

JLR are said to be working on a new hybrid concept for the XJ which seems to me to offer a much better compromise. The car uses a large battery with around 80 - 100 miles range, but has a small, highly efficient three cylinder petrol engine to generate electricity for traction and battery charging. Unlike existing hybrids which retain a conventional drive train the engine can run at optimal, constant speed (rather like a diesel-electric locomotive) as and when needed.

The engine provides sufficient power to run at a constant 80 MPH without battery power, (not that a Jag driver would exceed the speed limit), but has much greater power available from the batteries over medium distances.

Whilst the batteries add weight the engine is light in weight and only a small fuel tank is needed. The transmission system is also much lighter than in a normal car. The XJ already has an aluminium body saving further weight
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  #34  
Old 15th September 2017
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Pure electric vehicles offer many advantages for city driving, but they pose just as many problems on longer journeys.

Hybrids would seem to be a good compromise, but most retain quite large, powerful (and hence polluting) engines, whilst battery range is limited. So we actually end up with very little overall benefit, and a heavier car.

JLR are said to be working on a new hybrid concept for the XJ which seems to me to offer a much better compromise. The car uses a large battery with around 80 - 100 miles range, but has a small, highly efficient three cylinder petrol engine to generate electricity for traction and battery charging. Unlike existing hybrids which retain a conventional drive train the engine can run at optimal, constant speed (rather like a diesel-electric locomotive) as and when needed.

The engine provides sufficient power to run at a constant 80 MPH without battery power, (not that a Jag driver would exceed the speed limit), but has much greater power available from the batteries over medium distances.

Whilst the batteries add weight the engine is light in weight and only a small fuel tank is needed. The transmission system is also much lighter than in a normal car. The XJ already has an aluminium body saving further weight
Most hybrids use simulated Atkinson-cycle engines, Nigel; the Prius started that trend. Very efficient at constant speed running with small throttle. When you need the oomph, the variable valve timing changes back to Otto cycle, which gives maximum efficiency at full throttle/full output, by both increasing the air-fuel charge on induction and also doubles compression.

The small three cylinder engines like the Ford 1L use simulated Atkinson-Miller cycle for the same reason. Try a Fiesta fitted with that engine; you'll be astonished how lively it is, and it's very economical and low polluting too.
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

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The small three cylinder engines like the Ford 1L use simulated Atkinson-Miller cycle for the same reason. Try a Fiesta fitted with that engine; you'll be astonished how lively it is, and it's very economical and low polluting too.
Given Ford's ownership of JLR for a decade or so I suspect this may be the origin of the XJ hybrid engine. This would seem to offer an answer to many of the problems concerning emissions and fuel efficiency.

Such an engine could easily run on LPG or hydrogen, but I do wonder whether the automotive industry has now left it too late for the IC engine to be saved?

I remember Ford and British Leyland collaborating on a 'lean burn' engine back in the 1980's, that was designed to increase combustion efficiency to the point that catalytic converters were not needed. However, this too was a late entry, and the EU ruled that catalytic converters must be fitted regardless, resulting in very significant increases in CO2 emissions.

(I think there was also some confusion at the time regarding the use of tetra ethyl lead in petrol, as it was widely believed that only engines fitted with catalytic converters could run on lead free fuels, which was incorrect. The truth was that catalytic converter equipped engines had to use led fee fuels to avoid damaging the converter, but they would also run perfectly well on lead free fuels without a converter.)

Had the lean burn concept been allowed to continue we may not have the present level of global warming caused by increasing CO2 emissions. In this context I believe it is significant that charts plotting global CO2 levels suggest a steep rise from the 1970's onwards, coinciding with widespread adoption of catalytic converters on petrol engines and the start of budget airlines.
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Old 16th September 2017
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Re: Electric Car Charging Restrictions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Given Ford's ownership of JLR for a decade or so I suspect this may be the origin of the XJ hybrid engine. This would seem to offer an answer to many of the problems concerning emissions and fuel efficiency.

Such an engine could easily run on LPG or hydrogen, but I do wonder whether the automotive industry has now left it too late for the IC engine to be saved?

I remember Ford and British Leyland collaborating on a 'lean burn' engine back in the 1980's, that was designed to increase combustion efficiency to the point that catalytic converters were not needed. However, this too was a late entry, and the EU ruled that catalytic converters must be fitted regardless, resulting in very significant increases in CO2 emissions.

(I think there was also some confusion at the time regarding the use of tetra ethyl lead in petrol, as it was widely believed that only engines fitted with catalytic converters could run on lead free fuels, which was incorrect. The truth was that catalytic converter equipped engines had to use led fee fuels to avoid damaging the converter, but they would also run perfectly well on lead free fuels without a converter.)

Had the lean burn concept been allowed to continue we may not have the present level of global warming caused by increasing CO2 emissions. In this context I believe it is significant that charts plotting global CO2 levels suggest a steep rise from the 1970's onwards, coinciding with widespread adoption of catalytic converters on petrol engines and the start of budget airlines.
I too can remember work being done on lean-burn. There were Wednesday evening lectures on technical subjects for a time in Jaguar Engineering, and the Austin-Morris people involved showcased it at one session. However, it was never going to be practical, given the limitations of technology at the time.

LPG also has issues; simply different ones.

You described Jaguar's scheme as hybrid, but it's actually an EV with a range extender. Such schemes have been around for some 18-20 years; the key to them, just as much as the whole technology scenario, is better battery technology and better motors.

Modern engines run close to stoichiometric (impossible in the 80s), and it is the improvements to real-time computing and engine management algorithms that have enabled that to be practical. The twin issues were detonation and driveability ; the latter made lean-burn engines very unpleasant to drive 30 years or so ago.

The Atkinson cycle is the way to reduce CO2. Petrol engines are at their most efficient when working hard (wide throttle, full load); Atkinson solves that issue. What it does is modify the induction/compression cycle; open the valves, suck air fuel mix in; at the bottom of the stroke, keep the valves open until perhaps the piston has swept about half of the stroke, so expelling half of the mixture into the inlet plenum. Close valves, compress what remains (which, you will realise, reduces compression by half). On combustion, the burn continues for the full stroke, so far more of the mix is burned to create useful energy, and then exhaust as normal. In the Otto cycle, you suck in the same mixture irrespective of load, so much of it is wasted on combustion, and goes as heat into the water and exhaust. Consequently, the Atkinson cycle under most normal running reduces all pollutants, not just CO2. It particularly reduces HC, which is also important, ascending HC down the exhaust is not good.

Atkinson-Miller is the same thing plus a turbo.

incidentally, with the use of Atkinson, the full compression can be raised. IIRC, the Ford 3cyl 1L turbo is around 12.5:1 compression; up to around 14 is possible. Another advantage of Atkinson is that it produces excellent low speed torque.

In the late 1990s, Lotus headed a consortium which I believe included Ford, to design, develop, and exploit a single cylinder research engine with a glass cylinder head. The EC funded the research. That enabled the actual burn to be viewed and filmed with high speed cameras, and that is crucial to getting better efficiency. I am not certain, but I expect that the Ford 3cyl 1L came out of that research.
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