So with the drive to alternative fuel vehicles, especially electric cars...

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by tdager, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. tdager

    tdager En-Route

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    Has anyone give ANY thought to what happens, in oh say a hurricane, and electricity is knocked out for weeks?

    Now in addition to not be able to power your lights or heater/air conditioner, you would be stuck because you could not recharge your car!

    I think all electric vehicles are NOT the way to go and sometimes I think the rush to "find a solution" can leave us in worse shape than when we started.
     
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Ever hear of generators or solar rechargers?

    Wait, I guess you haven't otherwise you would realized a solution already.
     
  3. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    In a major disaster your car could run out of fuel, and you can't refill because there's no electricity for the pumps.

    I'm hopeful that a switch from gas to electricity will lead to investment in the electrical grid.
     
  4. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    So you just run a gasoline generator...oh, ...wait. :D
     
  5. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    In a really major disaster ain't nobody delivering gasoline either, genius.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  6. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Solar ain't gonna get you very far...

    Last big power outage up this way I ended up having to get gas out of one of the cars to keep the generator going to keep food frozen and to boil water.
     
  7. tdager

    tdager En-Route

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    You are kidding right? Seriously....I mean a Cat 3 hurricane has ripped through your area and you think you solar recharger/panels (cause to recharge a CAR is gonna take more than a book sized panel) have survived?

    Also, a generator takes GAS, I thought we were supposed to get rid of that evil, foul, nasty stuff?

    I am serious. It seems that so many of things happen today as a reaction to a decision prior that was a reaction to another decision that was a...well you get the point.

    How about a comprehensive review of ANY alternative "fuel" before we invest in it, it certainly would have shown the folly of ethanol!
     
  8. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    No I am not. Do you know anything about real solar power and energy transfer? You can get several hundred Watt panels for under a $1000 and if you are really interested in performance off the grid you design the system properly. We ain't talking about a Radio Shack special here.

    I would say that just because your imagination is limited in this area does not mean it is impossible or even improbable. But you do have to design the system properly.
     
  9. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Um your point was electric car bad because because of power outage, gas car good. So are you now contradicting yourself. I am not seeing what you are trying to get at except to start a little flame war over electric cars.
     
  10. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Depends on your solar collection system. You need about 6k - 10k on average to run your house. You would need a lot less to just keep a few essential such as the fridge running.
     
  11. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Maybe we should not have converted to gas and just kept horses since oil was going to run out one day? Seriously, you have to plan to handle most contingencies. Right now even getting gas to you in a long period of time without electricity is difficult as the pumps run on electricity. Yet that is not stopping us from still using gas. I know there are hand pumps but how often have you seen them deployed for the general public in a disaster area? Mostly it is jsut wait until the regular system is back up and running.

    You have two ways to proceed in any technology change over. One, do nothing. Or two make the change and start developing the systems that will support the new technology. So you have a choice, remain Amish or move ahead.
     
  12. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    I never heard of horse-drawn aircraft. Closest thing is reindeer-drawn and their supply is limited.
     
  13. Pi1otguy

    Pi1otguy Pattern Altitude

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    Bad example. Unlike other disasters, you see a Cat 3 from a week out and *know* it's gonna hit 2 days out. If you decided to ride it out then you have to accept the possibility of being screwed vs. your preparations. Can you point out an unpredictable disaster in which one has to travel over 80 miles if even that?

    However, living in the land of quakes, leaving the area after a disaster is not a concern. For the most part it becomes check for gas leaks & Russian roulette with the refrigerated foods.

    But if catch one, we can clone them by the thousands.:D Imagine supersonic concord gliders :hairraise:
     
  14. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Just put a hand cranked generator on the front. Make it look like a old car for that retro look:goofy:
     
  15. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Do you need a multi-ruminant certificate to fly with more than one reindeer? :D:dunno:
     
  16. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And how far do you think your electric car will go on a recharge from "several hundred watts" of solar power? Considering the inefficiencies of charging batteries and operating electric motors, 8 hours of charging with 700 watts would run a 5 HP motor for about an hour. That might be enough for an electric Moped but unless your daily commute was about 3 miles an electric car would require about $50k worth of solar panels (which typically last about 10 years) and that's assuming the sun was actually shining.
     
  17. rubber314chicken

    rubber314chicken Pre-takeoff checklist

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    [​IMG]

    I guess no one owns one here?
     
  18. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think this situation calls for a wind generator. :D
     
  19. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Lance I did not say to charge it soley with a several hundred Watt panel I said that you can get 200 Watt panels for around $1000 these days. That is quit a price reduction from just a couple of years ago. That is a basic price point.

    I also said you have to design the system properly. So one would have to decide what their charging rate needs to be and then scale form that price point to determine the economic feasability. I know you are smart enough to know that is how to start to design something.

    The EV1 used 26, 13.2-volt, 77 Ah nickel-metal hydride batteries for it;s storage system. The full full charge was 26.4kW-h of energy.

    With say 6 hours of good sun per day on average you could charge with as little as;

    # of 200Watt panels (negleting transfer losses) = [26 * (13.2*77)kW-h]/[6h * 200W] = 22 panels.

    So if each day you required a full charge we are talking about $22k to $25k for a system. That is the worst case and it is more likely that you would not be having to fully charge each day.

    I think we also need to ask how long you would be going without power as well, a day or two and maybe you get by with what was stored in the batteries to begin with. You may also be suplementing the charge with your gas generator or home wind turbine.

    Sure there is an economic problem we have yet to address but to compeltly dismiss the technology on the off chance that you cannot get a charge is unreasonable and unimagitive IMHO. There are solutions. Are they ideal yet? Well that is up to each person to decide.

    We should not condem a new idea just because there are still issues. If we were to do that we would still be complaining about that new wheel invention as it has too much friction compared to the sled rail system. There is a reason it is called the bleeding edge of technology.
     
  20. fgcason

    fgcason En-Route

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    Which is what blew over and smashed the solar panels just before the roof collapsed into the barn thus destroying the old gas generator and bank of batteries... :rofl:

    Never throw out your hiking boots...or life jackets.
     
  21. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well I certainly wouldn't say that it's not possible to charge an electric car with solar panels but I really don't think it's anywhere near practical today. For one thing I believe you'd need almost twice the panels you stated assuming that the 200W represents the maximum output with a noon day sun unobscured by any clouds. Without a tracking system the average power for a 6 hr period centered on local noon you'd be lucky to get half of that. Also the charging process is only about 80% efficient (10% loss in the battery and another 10% in the charger). Then there's the whole issue of schedule, with most folks the car won't be at home attached to the solar panels during the day.

    -lance

     
  22. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And, then again, you might be without the grid a bit longer. I just exchanged some e-mail this afternoon with a friend who works for HP north of Houston. He and his family left town after being without power for a day and half. Phones down. Cell towers down. Bug out for Waco. Estimates are about 2 weeks before power is restored at his house. I didn't ask about the plant (former Compaq facility). And I remember an ice storm the first winter we lived in this house that knocked out power for 10 days. POTS line, firewood supply and the backup battery for my ham station were about the only things still working when the lights finally came back on.

    On the other hand, most outages lately have been short enough that the UPSs have had enough capacity to keep the home network and key computers on-line. Or at least shut down gracefully.
     
  23. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    I bought a 4 seat Miles electric last spring to experiment with for local driving. It went up in value $3K only 6 weeks after I signed, haven't checked lately. Of course it's backed up by a gas SUV and a squadron of well oiled mountain bikes and practical footwear.
     
  24. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    don't forget that some generators run on natural gas or propane.
     
  25. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Or put a wind turbine on top and drive forever! :)

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  26. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    I just hung up from chatting with my former partner in the A-55 Baron; he's just west of I-45 in Houston. Close to DWH airport. The Eye wall of Ike passed just east of them. They have a generator that is fueled by natural gas; it's working fine. Boarded up the windows and got a little debris, only wind and rain other than that.

    WSJ had a great section yesterday discussing alternative fuel cars and pretty much came to the conclusion the gas car will be here the next 20 years or so for many reasons. Might be worth a read.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  27. John J

    John J Line Up and Wait

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    As a kid growing up on the family farm I learned much from many power losses. On the Eastern Shore the power seemed to blow out quite often. Dad had put in a 1.000 gallon fuel tank for the farm equipement that had both electric and hand pump systems for getting the fuel out of the tank. Several times we would lose power for almost 3 to 4 weeks. We did have a small generator that was used mostly for remote use or for providing heat for the new born animals. Water was easy, we had 3 wells one that had a windmill. One of my chores was bringing in 50 to 70 gallons a day to the house. Food we had lots of fresh chicken,fish, or crabs ( we lived on the Chester River) for dinner or if we could get to the community freezer 10 miles away in town we would get frozen goods. All of the veggies were canned from our farm. Bikes were uses a lot for transportation.

    John J
     
  28. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    I rode my bicycle to work this morning. Don't do it often enough. Two and a half miles from home to the airport, through fields of ripe wheat and barley and canola and birds singing and deer fattening themselves on that grain, all at 6:30 AM. Pull my airplane out and go fly for a while before working on the school's airplanes. Air so smooth at that time, no clouds, warm aloft. Beautiful.
    But it won't last. The days get short here in the winter and temperatures plummet and the bicycles, for all of us except a few diehards, get put away and we start burning gasoline again. Solar panels don't work well with short days. Solar panels don't work well with overcast skies or blizzards. Solar panels don't do much good when they're at home and you're at work when the sun is shining. Even if they did, a $25K array that had a 10-year life would make driving both expensive and uncertain. Until someone figures out a way to create (and bottle) vast amounts of electricity without relying on diminishing fossil fuels or more dams or marginally-efficient solar cells or wind turbines that need lots of wind or expensive nuclear power with its used-fuel problems and the NIMBY attitude toward it, we'll probably burn gas or diesel until they run out and then we'll stop travelling so much and return to the days when a trip to a neighboring town was a real treat. Won't have much choice, will we?

    Dan
     
  29. tdager

    tdager En-Route

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    Spot on.
     
  30. kevin47881

    kevin47881 Final Approach

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    If you can't add something constructive without a smart a$$ comment, consider not adding anything.:mad:
     
  31. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    My brother had an 8 day outage and he's only 25 miles from Chicago. The last house to be reconnected after storms. He bought the whole natural gas generator setup.
    I had at least 8 outages this year - the longest was around 27 hours when my tree took out my service line. I rented a generator.

    I just saw the real estate maven on Today say a generator was one of the worst home improvements you can make, in terms of payback. Right. Until the power goes out for a few days and you're willing to pay your kingdom.
     
  32. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Don't necessarily have to be all electric all-electric... I haven't owned only one car for about 30 years. My commute is only 20 miles round trip; I drive that in a little econobox but I've also got a 4WD SUV. I'd love to replace the econobox with an electric, but I still wouldn't get rid of the SUV.

    I suspect few people will ONLY have electric cars...

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  33. rottydaddy

    rottydaddy En-Route

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    At first glance, that seems like a challenge against entropy itself (TANSTAAFL, and all that), but maybe you could trickle-charge a battery with a wind generator on a car,to run at least peripheral stuff... I think somebody has tried it; not sure how it worked out.
     
  34. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Might work a little if the turbine turned in the wind while the vehicle was parked and was taken off while driving, but the the drag caused by the turbine while driving would require more power in excess of what it would generate, reducing mileage rather than enhancing it. Nothing is free.

    Dan