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Old 08-27-2014, 06:13 AM   #41
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Self-driving cars will just become a means of suicide such as certain bridges. Also could be used as mobile IEDs. Imagine drug lords "sending" a car of explosives to a "friend" of theirs.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:31 AM   #42
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Self-driving cars will just become a means of suicide such as certain bridges. Also could be used as mobile IEDs. Imagine drug lords "sending" a car of explosives to a "friend" of theirs.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:32 AM   #43
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...can get in it and ride drunk, stoned, asleep, or simply not paying attention to anything outside...
I see that all the time...
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #44
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...

But it seems like many industrial installations could do things like this. The big data centers create so much heat that needs to be pulled out - can't they co-locate those with some industry that can use low grade heat?

I wonder if big diesels with refrigerated trailers could use the waste heat to run absorptive air coolers? Those aren't as efficient as compressors ( 0.7 COP vs 3-4 COP for compressor?), but if it is just waste heat, could it make sense? ...
I saw a few articles that address this, thought I'd post and maybe reactivate this thread...

KPMG Captures Heat for Data Center Cooling

Quote:
Enter the fourteen natural gas-powered micro-turbines ...

The exhaust from this miniature power plant reaches a sweltering 600°F (about 315° C), but instead of being vented to the atmosphere, this valuable waste heat is captured and piped from the turbines to the remarkable equipment that extracts its true worth: a pair of absorption chillers.

Absorption chillers are hardly new; they've been in commercial use since the 1920s. But they are considered pricey, and need a lot of heat to work their magic-turning heat into cooling. Instead of using an electric compressor to turn refrigerant from a gas to liquid to begin an evaporation cycle that removes heat from air, absorption chillers use heat-no moving parts-to drive the operation.

These chillers provide the air-conditioning that keeps KPMG's servers in a safe temperature range. "In effect, we're getting free cooling," said Dominick Regina, KPMG's associate director of infrastructure operations.
National Snow and Ice Data Center Gets a Cool Makeover

Quote:
... But perhaps the greatest innovation is how the center will cut down its need for traditional air-conditioning simply by taking advantage of the surrounding geography. "This is Boulder," says Gallaher. Filtered outdoor air is expected to provide most of its cooling needs for the equipment. And on hot days when that's impossible, the data center is installing a new system that uses indirect evaporative cooling—a technology that uses no compressors, but blows air through water, and takes advantage of the change in temperature when the water evaporates.

In fact, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), ... needs 100 kilowatthours per hour of fossil fuel power to process data on the state of the world's frozen regions. ... And about half of that power is spent not to crunch data, but just to cool the equipment.

... "Even in the dead of winter, these things are cranking full-tilt, trying to chill off the 100°F-plus (37°C) heat coming off the back of these units."

With the cool air of the Rocky Mountains all around, it didn't make sense. "We said, 'Why are we doing this?' " Gallaher said. "Why don't we dump the warm air outside and pull in the cool air?"
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:50 PM   #45
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Re ERD50s comment #44. Until recently houses in Albuquerque used this instead of refrigerated air (the comment about evaporative cooling) it is called a swamp cooler. Now it turns out you trade water for electricity and it becomes unclear which commodity is in the greatest shortage. It appears that due to water usage issues Albuquerque is phasing swamp coolers out in new construction.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:12 AM   #46
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I had forgotten about this thread.

Recent announcements about automobile auto-pilot advancements from September, 2014:

Cadillac to Introduce 'Super Cruise' Self-Driving Feature by 2017

Quote:
During a presentation in Detroit yesterday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra confirmed that several 2017 Cadillac models will receive a semi-autonomous driving technology called Super Cruise. In addition, Barra said the 2017 Cadillac CTS will receive vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.
Super Cruise will debut on an all-new Cadillac in a "segment where we don't compete today," Barra said. That could mean the technology will appear on a high-end luxury flagship, such as the Cadillac LTS sedan featured in our Sneak Preview issue that will serve as Cadillac's answer to the Mercedes S-Class. Last month, Cadillac chief engineer Dave Leone told Automobile that the LTS would be one of the lightest, best-driving cars in its segment, and reiterated that it will have a V-8 engine.
Cadillac has experimented with Super Cruise for several years and is now ready to put it into series production. The system allows a car to accelerate, brake, and steer automatically when in highway traffic. Cameras, radar sensors, and GPS maps help the car navigate roadways automatically, with the car's computer controller steering, braking, and acceleration. A more advanced version of the lane-keeping systems available on some other luxury models like the Infiniti Q50 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Cadillac says Super Cruise works both in stop-and-go traffic and during road trips on more open roads. Nissan and Volvo will both offer similar traffic-jam assist technologies, although neither of those systems operate in open-road driving scenarios.
. . .
Barra said as an example that Cadillac Super Cruise could take control during rush-hour traffic on southern California highways, or could drive itself on the freeways between California and Las Vegas. However, Barra said that a fully-autonomous vehicle that can also drive itself in urban traffic might not arrive until the next decade. We named autonomous driving systems our 2014 Technology of the Year.
Self-Driving Cars From Tesla In About 3 Years, Says CEO Elon Musk
Quote:
Autonomous vehicles have become a hot talking point in recent years, as major firms like Google continue high-profile development of the technology.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has also expressed an interest in recent years, and now tells Nikkei that the firm could introduce self-driving technology in the next three years.

Musk says that full auto-pilot technology will appear within a "five- or six-year time frame", but some aspects of the technology would appear in the lower-priced Model 3 electric sedan due in three years time.
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An Update on my OP - Wrightspeed
Old 06-11-2015, 10:31 AM   #47
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An Update on my OP - Wrightspeed

I saw a few news articles pop up on developments on the Wrightspeed approach - serial hybrid garbage/delivery trucks powered by a turbine engine.

Seems they have moved from the Capstone turbine to their own in-house design (The Fulcrum) with recuperation to improve efficiency. They say they leverage work done on automotive turbochargers, which have become common and reliable and are mature and relatively affordable technology.

The recuperator captures waste exhaust heat, and transfers it to the post compression stage, so that heat further expands the gases to improve efficiency. There's a rather vague claim of 30% improvement, but I didnt see any absolute numbers.

The Fulcrum | Wrightspeed

and from this article:

Green Car Congress: Wrightspeed unveils new turbine range extender for medium- and heavy-duty electric powertrains; 30% more efficient than current microturbine generators


Quote:
FedEx, which is already running a couple of trucks using the Route powertrain, has ordered 25 more.

I hope this works out. They are claiming ~2x fuel efficiency in the garbage trucks, and these trucks use so much more fuel annually than a car, that it really makes sense to economize in this area. Economically, and environmentally.

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Old 04-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #48
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Interesting to me. The idea of an opposed piston engine has some positives - no cylinder head, and supposed better thermal efficiency since the heat that would be lost to the cylinder head is contained and used/shared by the two opposed pistons. Better balancing as the piston motion cancels itself out?

Negatives are two crankshafts.

They also show simplification by using ports instead of valves, but I would not think that would work very well for a standard automobile application. Modern engines use variable valve timing to optimize things over different speeds/loads.

But, if this was used in a series hybrid, the engine could run at a constant speed/load, so I would think fixed ports could work well?

Opposed-Piston - Achates




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Old 04-22-2016, 11:00 PM   #49
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That opposed piston 2 stroke design is fascinating. I scrolled through some of the other videos and found a testimonial from one of my former bosses.


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Old 04-24-2016, 08:14 PM   #50
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That opposed piston 2 stroke design is fascinating. I scrolled through some of the other videos and found a testimonial from one of my former bosses.
Wow, interesting that you have an actual connection to that.

They have a military contract now, so maybe something will come of it. I have not heard any updates on the WrightSpeed evaluations and it's been ~ 1 year.

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A 2016 Update on my OP - Wrightspeed
Old 06-18-2016, 10:15 PM   #51
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A 2016 Update on my OP - Wrightspeed

I last posted about Wrightspeed, and their plan to replace the ICE diesel in garbage truck sized vehicles with a series hybrid consisting of a constant speed turbine charging the battery packs when needed, with electric motors providing the drive (and regen braking - a big deal in stop-go garbage/delivery trucks).

I checked a few months ago, and little news. I thought this might be dying on the vine. But some stuff popped up recently:

Mack To Demo Garbage Truck With Wrightspeed Turbine Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain - Forbes

New Zealand Adopts Wrightspeed Jet And Battery Power For Buses - Forbes

(you might need to get through the Forbes "Welcome screen" before these links will work)

Quote:
Wrightspeed has been testing its system for several years now with a variety of companies including FedEx and plans to enter regular production by early autumn of 2016. Earlier this year, Wrightspeed announced a deal to supply powertrains to NZ Bus in New Zealand.
So he has at least got a few more trials going. I hope this pans out, I think there is a lot of potential in this approach (see details in item #3 of my OP).

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Old 06-19-2016, 12:28 AM   #52
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This quote from the Forbes article looks flat out wrong...

"These vehicles are typically powered by big diesel engines that make a lot of noise and pollution while getting anywhere from 3 to 6 mpg and accumulating as much as 100,000 miles per year."

The mpg figure looks ok but the annual mileage is way off. That will significantly impact the payback period.


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Old 06-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #53
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Now the legal responsibility in all cases rests on one person - the driver.
No it doesn't. If the gas pedal gets stuck the manufacturer is to blame, as an example. There already is a shared legal responsibility.

To minimize legal claims and protect civilians we have safety tests and standards that need to be passed, but ultimately the manufacturer is still responsible for delivering a working product.

If the car becomes self-driving that feature becomes the manufacturers problem, as it is an integral part of the product now.

I don't see the legal issues, it is a matter of shifting the demarcation line which already is there.

Likewise, quite a few people talk about how a machine cannot make a good decision between crashing into one vehicle with two small children or a wall. I'd argue in practice a human frequently can't do it either in that split-second of horror when you realize a crash is inevitable. Not to mention there will be fewer of those crashes to begin with.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:39 AM   #54
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This quote from the Forbes article looks flat out wrong...

"These vehicles are typically powered by big diesel engines that make a lot of noise and pollution while getting anywhere from 3 to 6 mpg and accumulating as much as 100,000 miles per year."

The mpg figure looks ok but the annual mileage is way off. That will significantly impact the payback period.
I'll look closer, but that looks like an error on Forbes part. In an interview, Ian Wright said:

https://chargedevs.com/features/qa-w...ectric-trucks/

Quote:
We can save the most fuel. The average full-size garbage truck is doing about a thousand stops a day, and they’re hard stops – they’re triggering the ABS on most of the stops. They’re doing about 130 miles a day. They’re doing 2.8 miles per gallon. Putting our powertrain in there, we can save them about $35,000 a year in fuel per chassis, and another $8,000 in maintenance for the truck.
Assuming that's 5 days/week and 52 weeks/year operation:

130 x 5 x 52 = 33,800 annual miles

He is marketing this as an alternative to an engine/drive-train replacement when that is needed. So the payback only needs to be based on the delta between his retrofit, and a new/rebuilt diesel engine/drive-train.

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Move self driving car pro/con to another thread please?
Old 06-19-2016, 08:46 AM   #55
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Move self driving car pro/con to another thread please?

Could we move self driving car pro/con discussion to another thread please? While self-driving cars could have some green benefits, the pros/cons and legal issues are really very specific to that subject, and become very involved and detailed.

I feel those discussions are kind of watering down the intent of this thread, which is to focus on awareness of a variety of potentially green technologies that may have real merit, along with some general discussion of their ability to actually see the light of day.

Thanks!

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Old 06-19-2016, 11:25 AM   #56
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I'm personally highest about 3D scanners and printers as a great way to recycle broken parts. Honestly, I feel like I might just see a Star Trek replicator in my lifetime.

I'm also very hopeful about 4th generation nuclear power plants that can burn off nuclear waste. I feel like the biggest obstacle is getting around the generational nuclear phobia. I think it'd be good marketing to sell future power plants as "nuclear waste processing and removal sites." The MWs of electricity produced by processing the nuclear waste would be simply the happy byproduct.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3043099/t...-nuclear-waste

If the grid is wholly powered by nuclear, hydro, and wind, then plug in electric commuter cars and electrically heated buildings start making a lot more sense, right?
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:34 PM   #57
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I last posted about Wrightspeed, and their plan to replace the ICE diesel in garbage truck sized vehicles with a series hybrid consisting of a constant speed turbine charging the battery packs when needed, with electric motors providing the drive (and regen braking - a big deal in stop-go garbage/delivery trucks).........
I don't recall if I mentioned this, but before I retired from MegaMotors we were working with Eaton on simple system that captured stopping energy with a hydraulic pump, stored it in a small tank and released it through a hydraulic motor to relaunch the vehicle (like a garbage or delivery truck). It was pretty simple, cheap and compact. Not sure what happened to the project.

EDIT: Oops, I guess it didn't work out. http://www.oemoffhighway.com/news/11...-assist-system
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #58
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I don't recall if I mentioned this, but before I retired from MegaMotors we were working with Eaton on simple system that captured stopping energy with a hydraulic pump, stored it in a small tank and released it through a hydraulic motor to relaunch the vehicle (like a garbage or delivery truck). It was pretty simple, cheap and compact. Not sure what happened to the project.

EDIT: Oops, I guess it didn't work out. Eaton discontinues Hydraulic Launch Assist system | OEM Off-Highway
I remember following the Eaton hydraulic hybrid system. It sounded good - I think it was less expensive and less finicky than batteries (like the Prius hybrid). I think FedEx did a trial with them. Not many details in that release, but it just sounds like they think CNG is a better path?

As you know, even though the Eaton system used hydraulics to run the pump/engine, the energy storage medium was gas (plain air, or maybe Nitrogen? - hydraulic oil is non-compressible). The gas would be compressed by pumping oil into that reservoir on braking, and the compressed gas would force the oil back through the pump to assist with acceleration. Sounds good, too bad it didn't work out.

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Old 06-20-2016, 12:45 PM   #59
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...........As you know, even though the Eaton system used hydraulics to run the pump/engine, the energy storage medium was gas (plain air, or maybe Nitrogen? - hydraulic oil is non-compressible). The gas would be compressed by pumping oil into that reservoir on braking, and the compressed gas would force the oil back through the pump to assist with acceleration. .........-ERD50
No..wait - you mean you can't compress a liquid?
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:26 AM   #60
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Too lazy to redo my research on the subject, but I did find references to the following idea which I thought of perhaps 35 years ago(?) when turbocharging for cars first became "popular" - especially in racing situations. As you know, turbocharging is now available in a number of off-the-shelf cars as well as retrofitting for, er, uh, "hot rodding". IIRC the main advantage of turbocharging is increasing power for the same size engine (or, alternately, allowing the use of a smaller, lighter engine.) As such, it's not all that green. If there is much saving of fuel, it would be reducing the overall weight of the engine rather than any significant increase of fuel efficiency of the Otto cycle. I could be wrong on this - feel free to correct me if so.

In any case, I once fantasied the rough equivalent of the 6-stroke engine, but using a turbo arrangement to recapture waste exhaust heat to drive an alternator or other electricity producing device. I even fantasiced the addition of water injection for such a device to take advantage of the expansion (and cooling effect) much as described in the 6 stoke engine. Don't recall (maybe 2 years back) whether the water injection angle was looked at, but the use of a turbo to produce electrical energy has been looked at by major car companies or their research partners as best I recall.

I see such an approach as a much less sophisticated (read "cheaper" and easily bolted-onto current technology) approach than the 6 stroke engine. Whether there has been any progress, I'm too lazy to look again. Still, in concept, the idea would work. Naturally, YMMV (heh, heh.)
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