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Rail & Rubber

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  • Richard Risemberg
    While I agree with Joel that a simple system of sidings would eliminate the problem (and be useful as alternate routing during track repairs, etc.), I must
    Message 1 of 29 , May 27 4:08 PM
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      While I agree with Joel that a simple system of sidings would eliminate the problem (and be useful as alternate routing during track repairs, etc.), I must point out that railroads already use some maintenance trucks that have steel wheels just inboard of the rubber tires, and operate more or less as m_m suggested. I see them in the local yards often enough. Rail gauge in teh US in considerably narrower than most truck tracking, so it's apparently easy to do.

      Richard
    • Andrew Dawson
      ... You mean Hi-Rail trucks, right? http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_sf_hirail.jpg How about roadrailers?
      Message 2 of 29 , May 27 7:02 PM
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        Richard Risemberg wrote:
        >While I agree with Joel that a simple system of sidings would eliminate the
        >problem (and be useful as alternate routing during track repairs, etc.), I
        >must point out that railroads already use some maintenance trucks that have
        >steel wheels just inboard of the rubber tires, and operate more or less as
        >m_m suggested. I see them in the local yards often enough. Rail gauge in
        >the US in considerably narrower than most truck tracking, so it's
        >apparently easy to do.

        You mean Hi-Rail trucks, right?
        http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_sf_hirail.jpg
        How about roadrailers?
        http://www.wabashnational.com/products/roadrailer/index.htm
        Me, I like trackmobiles.
        http://www.trackmobile.com

        Till later, Andrew Dawson
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... Sidings ARE required if you attempt to do freight with trams, which is now happening after a lapse of nearly a century. With metro-freight, there are two
        Message 3 of 29 , May 28 1:10 AM
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          Rick Risemberg said:

          >While I agree with Joel that a simple system of sidings would eliminate the
          >problem (and be useful as alternate routing during track repairs, etc.),

          Sidings ARE required if you attempt to do freight with trams,
          which is now happening after a lapse of nearly a century.

          With metro-freight, there are two completely separate track
          systems, so passengers never have to wait on freight.

          >I must point out that railroads already use some maintenance trucks that have
          >steel wheels just inboard of the rubber tires, and operate more or less as
          >m_m suggested.

          Yes, these are the so-called "hi-railers". They run on their
          road tires and are propelled by the standard drive train. The
          steel wheels are only for guidance.

          In general, I think we want to base freight delivery on standard
          ISO containers ("sea containers") and need a dedicated system
          for this. The real cost is in the right-of-way and the civil works.
          Once these costs are sunk, there's no point fooling with a jury-rig
          like hi-rail adaptations, which would only mess up the precision
          automated operation proposed for metro-freight.

          >I see them in the local yards often enough. Rail gauge in
          >teh US in considerably narrower than most truck tracking, so it's apparently
          >easy to do.

          Actually, rail gauge is about the same as the track of light-duty
          trucks, which is why hi-railers are quick adaptations of standard
          vehicles and can use their factory-delivered drive trains.

          Regards,





          ------ ### -----
          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Simon Baddeley
          Dear Carfree groups I know there have been discussions/debate about the difference between Carfree cities and Carfree groups. I think the exchange below
          Message 4 of 29 , May 28 1:30 AM
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            Dear Carfree groups

            I know there have been discussions/debate about the difference between
            Carfree cities and Carfree groups. I think the exchange below typifies the
            difference. Carfree Cities frequently focuses on some of the very specific
            and quite detailed technical challenges of how to make such a city
            practical. A feature of Joel Crawford's original work on this and for which
            he gets invited to conferences (among other things) is the focus on how you
            get goods (as well as people) in and out of a Carfree City.

            In order for such development to become politically feasible the
            availability of applicable technical solutions is key. Carfree Groups which
            I enjoy enormously is less concerned with issues of technology or
            infrastructure (though this concern is usually implicit) in the descriptions
            on Carfree groups of life choices. For Carfree Cities politics, economics
            and technology are mainstream along with design and aesthetics. The thinking
            done on Carfree Cities can only be helpful to the aspirations of those who
            spend more time in the other group. Each group complements the other - but I
            realise why some Carfree groupies might scratch their heads at some of the
            Carfree City technical discussions and some of the Carfree City aficionados
            might be less interested in accounts of individual cases of people choosing
            to live free of cars.

            Best

            Simon


            ------ Forwarded Message
            From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
            Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 08:10:07 +0000
            To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Rail & Rubber


            Rick Risemberg said:

            >While I agree with Joel that a simple system of sidings would eliminate the
            >problem (and be useful as alternate routing during track repairs, etc.),

            Sidings ARE required if you attempt to do freight with trams,
            which is now happening after a lapse of nearly a century.

            With metro-freight, there are two completely separate track
            systems, so passengers never have to wait on freight.

            >I must point out that railroads already use some maintenance trucks that have
            >steel wheels just inboard of the rubber tires, and operate more or less as
            >m_m suggested.

            Yes, these are the so-called "hi-railers". They run on their
            road tires and are propelled by the standard drive train. The
            steel wheels are only for guidance.

            In general, I think we want to base freight delivery on standard
            ISO containers ("sea containers") and need a dedicated system
            for this. The real cost is in the right-of-way and the civil works.
            Once these costs are sunk, there's no point fooling with a jury-rig
            like hi-rail adaptations, which would only mess up the precision
            automated operation proposed for metro-freight.

            >I see them in the local yards often enough. Rail gauge in
            >teh US in considerably narrower than most truck tracking, so it's apparently
            >easy to do.

            Actually, rail gauge is about the same as the track of light-duty
            trucks, which is why hi-railers are quick adaptations of standard
            vehicles and can use their factory-delivered drive trains.
          • Todd Edelman
            Hi, Related to this is some new Japanese industry rail/tyre bus, that functions as diesel bus AND diesel railbus (typical small European train with one car for
            Message 5 of 29 , May 28 3:56 AM
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              Hi,

              Related to this is some new Japanese industry
              rail/tyre bus, that functions as diesel bus AND diesel
              railbus (typical small European train with one car for
              non-electrified rail corridors)... it has metal wheels
              and normal tyres.

              BUT now I cant find the details on the web...

              Anyone have a clue?

              Todd


              --- Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:
              > Dear Carfree groups
              >
              > I know there have been discussions/debate about the
              > difference between
              > Carfree cities and Carfree groups. I think the
              > exchange below typifies the
              > difference. Carfree Cities frequently focuses on
              > some of the very specific
              > and quite detailed technical challenges of how to
              > make such a city
              > practical. A feature of Joel Crawford's original
              > work on this and for which
              > he gets invited to conferences (among other things)
              > is the focus on how you
              > get goods (as well as people) in and out of a
              > Carfree City.
              >
              > In order for such development to become politically
              > feasible the
              > availability of applicable technical solutions is
              > key. Carfree Groups which
              > I enjoy enormously is less concerned with issues of
              > technology or
              > infrastructure (though this concern is usually
              > implicit) in the descriptions
              > on Carfree groups of life choices. For Carfree
              > Cities politics, economics
              > and technology are mainstream along with design and
              > aesthetics. The thinking
              > done on Carfree Cities can only be helpful to the
              > aspirations of those who
              > spend more time in the other group. Each group
              > complements the other - but I
              > realise why some Carfree groupies might scratch
              > their heads at some of the
              > Carfree City technical discussions and some of the
              > Carfree City aficionados
              > might be less interested in accounts of individual
              > cases of people choosing
              > to live free of cars.
              >
              > Best
              >
              > Simon
              >
              >
              > ------ Forwarded Message
              > From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
              > Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
              > Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 08:10:07 +0000
              > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Rail & Rubber
              >
              >
              > Rick Risemberg said:
              >
              > >While I agree with Joel that a simple system of
              > sidings would eliminate the
              > >problem (and be useful as alternate routing during
              > track repairs, etc.),
              >
              > Sidings ARE required if you attempt to do freight
              > with trams,
              > which is now happening after a lapse of nearly a
              > century.
              >
              > With metro-freight, there are two completely
              > separate track
              > systems, so passengers never have to wait on
              > freight.
              >
              > >I must point out that railroads already use some
              > maintenance trucks that have
              > >steel wheels just inboard of the rubber tires, and
              > operate more or less as
              > >m_m suggested.
              >
              > Yes, these are the so-called "hi-railers". They run
              > on their
              > road tires and are propelled by the standard drive
              > train. The
              > steel wheels are only for guidance.
              >
              > In general, I think we want to base freight delivery
              > on standard
              > ISO containers ("sea containers") and need a
              > dedicated system
              > for this. The real cost is in the right-of-way and
              > the civil works.
              > Once these costs are sunk, there's no point fooling
              > with a jury-rig
              > like hi-rail adaptations, which would only mess up
              > the precision
              > automated operation proposed for metro-freight.
              >
              > >I see them in the local yards often enough. Rail
              > gauge in
              > >teh US in considerably narrower than most truck
              > tracking, so it's apparently
              > >easy to do.
              >
              > Actually, rail gauge is about the same as the track
              > of light-duty
              > trucks, which is why hi-railers are quick
              > adaptations of standard
              > vehicles and can use their factory-delivered drive
              > trains.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to:
              > carfree_cities@...
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
              > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
              > Group address:
              > http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >





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            • Andrew Dawson
              ... A few years ago, I remember coming across a photo of a GM newlook/fishbowl bus that was hi-rail able. I think it was some where in Connecticut, but I can t
              Message 6 of 29 , May 28 10:54 AM
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                Todd Edelman wrote:
                >Related to this is some new Japanese industry
                >rail/tyre bus, that functions as diesel bus AND diesel
                >railbus (typical small European train with one car for
                >non-electrified rail corridors)... it has metal wheels
                >and normal tyres.
                >
                >BUT now I cant find the details on the web...
                >
                >Anyone have a clue?

                A few years ago, I remember coming across a photo of a GM newlook/fishbowl
                bus that was hi-rail able. I think it was some where in Connecticut, but I
                can't find it now.

                Also the Missouri Pacific railroad had like it too.
                http://206.103.49.193/odds/tx/htm/hns02.htm

                Till later, Andrew Dawson
              • Richard Risemberg
                Anyway, these are of limited utility, as they cannot be as long as even a small present-day tram and still be very viable on-road. PCCs were not much bigger
                Message 7 of 29 , May 28 3:43 PM
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                  Anyway, these are of limited utility, as they cannot be as long as even
                  a small present-day tram and still be very viable on-road. PCCs were
                  not much bigger than a bus but in most cities I've been in or whose
                  pictures I've seen (Hiroshima is an exception, and San Francisco on the
                  F-Line) the trams and trolleys are not only longer but usually
                  multiples.

                  In the densely-populated areas where rail typically goes, you'd need
                  capacity. Areas so lightly-populated that they could employ a bus-like
                  vehicle would have little incentive to put in rail lines, unless they
                  were already there for other purposes and passenger traffic was only
                  hitch-hiking on them.

                  Maybe in 3rd World areas where paved roads don't yet exist but rail
                  lines connect villages? Saw such a thing on a documentary on a Mexican
                  village recently, using a gasoline tram (that didn't have rubber
                  tires).

                  Richard
                  On May 28, 2005, at 10:54 AM, Andrew Dawson wrote:

                  > Todd Edelman wrote:
                  >> Related to this is some new Japanese industry
                  >> rail/tyre bus, that functions as diesel bus AND diesel
                  >> railbus (typical small European train with one car for
                  >> non-electrified rail corridors)... it has metal wheels
                  >> and normal tyres.
                  >>
                  >> BUT now I cant find the details on the web...
                  >>
                  >> Anyone have a clue?
                  >
                  > A few years ago, I remember coming across a photo of a GM
                  > newlook/fishbowl
                  > bus that was hi-rail able. I think it was some where in Connecticut,
                  > but I
                  > can't find it now.
                  >
                  > Also the Missouri Pacific railroad had like it too.
                  > http://206.103.49.193/odds/tx/htm/hns02.htm
                  >
                  > Till later, Andrew Dawson
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                  > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  --
                  Richard Risemberg
                  http://www.rickrise.com
                  http://www.newcolonist.com
                  http://www.living-room.org
                • J.H. Crawford
                  ... All modern trams can run in multiples, and I have seen PCCs running as triples, IRRC, and certainly as doubles, in Boston. The new Dresden freight tram is
                  Message 8 of 29 , May 29 2:48 AM
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                    Richard said:

                    >Anyway, these are of limited utility, as they cannot be as long as even
                    >a small present-day tram and still be very viable on-road. PCCs were
                    >not much bigger than a bus but in most cities I've been in or whose
                    >pictures I've seen (Hiroshima is an exception, and San Francisco on the
                    >F-Line) the trams and trolleys are not only longer but usually
                    >multiples.

                    All modern trams can run in multiples, and I have seen PCCs running
                    as triples, IRRC, and certainly as doubles, in Boston. The new
                    Dresden freight tram is quite large.

                    >In the densely-populated areas where rail typically goes, you'd need
                    >capacity. Areas so lightly-populated that they could employ a bus-like
                    >vehicle would have little incentive to put in rail lines, unless they
                    >were already there for other purposes and passenger traffic was only
                    >hitch-hiking on them.

                    If you use a surface system with sidings for freight service,
                    then you can get enough demand by adding the freight service.
                    Also remember that most delivery vehicles in cities are mostly
                    empty, so if you do load consolidation out at the tram terminal,
                    you can supply a lot of capacity with not all that many freight
                    trams.

                    I don't consider this to be an ideal arrangement, but it is one
                    way to deal with the difficult problems that arise in existing
                    cities, where adding underground infrastructure is very expensive.

                    >Maybe in 3rd World areas where paved roads don't yet exist but rail
                    >lines connect villages? Saw such a thing on a documentary on a Mexican
                    >village recently, using a gasoline tram (that didn't have rubber
                    >tires).

                    Interesting idea. I put a bug in the ear of a Volvo bus guy
                    about developing self-powered tram propulsion units in cooperation
                    with, say, Siemens, so that we would have available rail-running
                    trams that didn't require the most expensive component--the
                    overhead power supply. I'd even prefer to use these in cities,
                    as I hate both the cost and the appearance of the wires (which
                    are also an appreciable source of noise as they slap in strong
                    winds a and "sing" as the pick-up runs along them).

                    Regards,



                    ------ ### -----
                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                    mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                  • Todd Edelman
                    Hi, The first tram with diesel electric drive - Alf Windeck, Director Sales and Projects International, Siemens Transportation Systems, Erlangen , Germany is
                    Message 9 of 29 , May 29 3:58 AM
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                      Hi,

                      "The first tram with diesel electric drive -
                      Alf Windeck, Director Sales and Projects
                      International, Siemens Transportation Systems,
                      Erlangen , Germany"

                      is one of the presentations at UITP Congress in Rome
                      in a few weeks.

                      <http://www.uitp.com/rome2005/congress/en/programme.cfm>

                      I dont think there is anything about it on Siemens
                      website - it is probably not yet in prototype or
                      marketing stage


                      Todd





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                    • J.H. Crawford
                      Hi All, I d be very interesting if anyone has more information on any kind of tram system that is self-powered, including diesel-electric. I couldn t find
                      Message 10 of 29 , May 29 7:15 AM
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                        Hi All,

                        I'd be very interesting if anyone has more information
                        on any kind of tram system that is self-powered, including
                        diesel-electric. I couldn't find anything either on the
                        Siemens site.

                        Thanks & regards,



                        >Hi,
                        >
                        >"The first tram with diesel electric drive -
                        >Alf Windeck, Director Sales and Projects
                        >International, Siemens Transportation Systems,
                        >Erlangen , Germany"
                        >
                        >is one of the presentations at UITP Congress in Rome
                        >in a few weeks.
                        >
                        ><http://www.uitp.com/rome2005/congress/en/programme.cfm>
                        >
                        >I dont think there is anything about it on Siemens
                        >website - it is probably not yet in prototype or
                        >marketing stage
                        >
                        >
                        >Todd



                        ------ ### -----
                        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                      • Andrew Dawson
                        ... Sounds like an interurban line. http://www.people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/boxmotor.html ... In Charlotte NC, before they strung the trolley wire, they were
                        Message 11 of 29 , May 29 9:03 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          J.H. Crawford wrote:
                          > >In the densely-populated areas where rail typically goes, you'd need
                          > >capacity. Areas so lightly-populated that they could employ a bus-like
                          > >vehicle would have little incentive to put in rail lines, unless they
                          > >were already there for other purposes and passenger traffic was only
                          > >hitch-hiking on them.
                          >
                          >If you use a surface system with sidings for freight service,
                          >then you can get enough demand by adding the freight service.
                          >Also remember that most delivery vehicles in cities are mostly
                          >empty, so if you do load consolidation out at the tram terminal,
                          >you can supply a lot of capacity with not all that many freight
                          >trams.

                          Sounds like an interurban line.
                          http://www.people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/boxmotor.html

                          >I don't consider this to be an ideal arrangement, but it is one
                          >way to deal with the difficult problems that arise in existing
                          >cities, where adding underground infrastructure is very expensive.
                          >
                          > >Maybe in 3rd World areas where paved roads don't yet exist but rail
                          > >lines connect villages? Saw such a thing on a documentary on a Mexican
                          > >village recently, using a gasoline tram (that didn't have rubber
                          > >tires).
                          >
                          >Interesting idea. I put a bug in the ear of a Volvo bus guy
                          >about developing self-powered tram propulsion units in cooperation
                          >with, say, Siemens, so that we would have available rail-running
                          >trams that didn't require the most expensive component--the
                          >overhead power supply. I'd even prefer to use these in cities,
                          >as I hate both the cost and the appearance of the wires (which
                          >are also an appreciable source of noise as they slap in strong
                          >winds a and "sing" as the pick-up runs along them).

                          In Charlotte NC, before they strung the trolley wire, they were running
                          their tram by towing a diesel generator behind it.
                          http://www.railwaypreservation.com/vintagetrolley/charlotte.htm

                          Till later, Andrew Dawson
                        • Tony Brewer
                          ... Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries & fool cells. Remember ultracapacitors. Please see
                          Message 12 of 29 , May 29 11:14 AM
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                            J.H. Crawford wrote:
                            > I'd be very interesting if anyone has more information
                            > on any kind of tram system that is self-powered.

                            Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries & fool cells.
                            Remember ultracapacitors.

                            Please see
                            http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/1_3/1_3_2_5.jsp

                            Above page requires Shockwave so here are some direct links:
                            http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/pdf/Mitrac_ES_en.pdf (146KB)
                            http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/media/Mitrac_ES.mpg (7.80MB)

                            By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for trams and
                            lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not necessarily every
                            one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several miles away) with no
                            external power supplied from overhead wires, third rails, etc.

                            Tony Brewer
                          • J.H. Crawford
                            Very, very interesting. This technology makes the Short-Wire tram practical today: http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html I grew up in an era when
                            Message 13 of 29 , May 29 1:57 PM
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                              Very, very interesting. This technology makes the Short-Wire
                              tram practical today:

                              http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html

                              I grew up in an era when one Farad was a LOT of capacitance.
                              Those days are, apparently, far gone.

                              Thanks!


                              >> I'd be very interesting if anyone has more information
                              >> on any kind of tram system that is self-powered.
                              >
                              >Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries & fool cells.
                              >Remember ultracapacitors.
                              >
                              >Please see
                              >http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/1_3/1_3_2_5.jsp
                              >
                              >Above page requires Shockwave so here are some direct links:
                              >http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/pdf/Mitrac_ES_en.pdf (146KB)
                              >http://www.bombardier.com/en/1_0/media/Mitrac_ES.mpg (7.80MB)
                              >
                              >By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for trams and
                              >lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not necessarily every
                              >one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several miles away) with no
                              >external power supplied from overhead wires, third rails, etc.
                              >
                              >Tony Brewer



                              ------ ### -----
                              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                            • Doug Salzmann
                              ... Me, too (and I used to love finding wacky & reckless new ways to discharge large capacitors). ... Apparently. I was unable to download the PDF datasheet at
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 29 2:18 PM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On Sun, 29 May 2005, J.H. Crawford wrote:

                                >
                                > Very, very interesting. This technology makes the Short-Wire
                                > tram practical today:
                                >
                                > http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html
                                >
                                > I grew up in an era when one Farad was a LOT of capacitance.

                                Me, too (and I used to love finding wacky & reckless new ways to discharge
                                large capacitors).

                                > Those days are, apparently, far gone.

                                Apparently.

                                I was unable to download the PDF datasheet at the Bombardier site (kept
                                getting a blank document). Just what *is* the "ultracapacitance" of these
                                devices?

                                -Doug


                                =================
                                Doug Salzmann
                                P.O. Box 1007
                                Larkspur, CA
                                94977-1007 USA
                              • Tony Brewer
                                ... The Mannheim tram has six hundred 1800F 2.5V ultracapacitors from Maxwell (now superseded by 2600F devices). http://tinyurl.com/cqrvo (pdf file)
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 29 3:25 PM
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                                  Doug Salzmann wrote:
                                  > J.H. Crawford wrote:
                                  > > Very, very interesting. This technology makes the Short-Wire
                                  > > tram practical today:
                                  > >
                                  > > http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html
                                  > >
                                  > > I grew up in an era when one Farad was a LOT of capacitance.
                                  >
                                  > Me, too (and I used to love finding wacky & reckless new ways to discharge
                                  > large capacitors).
                                  >
                                  > > Those days are, apparently, far gone.
                                  >
                                  > Apparently.
                                  >
                                  > I was unable to download the PDF datasheet at the Bombardier site (kept
                                  > getting a blank document). Just what *is* the "ultracapacitance" of these
                                  > devices?

                                  The Mannheim tram has six hundred 1800F 2.5V ultracapacitors from Maxwell
                                  (now superseded by 2600F devices).
                                  http://tinyurl.com/cqrvo (pdf file)
                                  http://www.maxwell.com/ultracapacitors/index.html

                                  Maxwell, like some other manufacturers, uses acetonitrile (AN) as the
                                  electrolyte in its capacitors. There are safety concerns with the use of AN
                                  in vehicles as indicated by its alternative name - methyl cyanide!

                                  Fortunately Japanese researchers have proved that safer electrolytes can be
                                  used. I highly recommend the following site
                                  http://www.ecass-forum.org/eng/index.html
                                  The pdf files on the Member Pages are packed with technical information.

                                  Tony Brewer
                                • Doug Salzmann
                                  ... Wow. The possibilities are enormous. ... Thanks! Got em. ... Indeed. It would be critical to strictly separate capacitor electrolyte from passengers,
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 29 8:26 PM
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                                    On Sun, 29 May 2005, Tony Brewer wrote:

                                    > The Mannheim tram has six hundred 1800F 2.5V ultracapacitors from Maxwell
                                    > (now superseded by 2600F devices).

                                    Wow. The possibilities are enormous.

                                    > http://tinyurl.com/cqrvo (pdf file)
                                    > http://www.maxwell.com/ultracapacitors/index.html

                                    Thanks! Got 'em.

                                    > Maxwell, like some other manufacturers, uses acetonitrile (AN) as the
                                    > electrolyte in its capacitors. There are safety concerns with the use of AN
                                    > in vehicles as indicated by its alternative name - methyl cyanide!

                                    Indeed. It would be critical to strictly separate capacitor electrolyte
                                    from passengers, except when the latter are politicians or traffic
                                    engineers.

                                    > Fortunately Japanese researchers have proved that safer electrolytes can be
                                    > used. I highly recommend the following site
                                    > http://www.ecass-forum.org/eng/index.html
                                    > The pdf files on the Member Pages are packed with technical information.

                                    Excellent. Thanks again.


                                    -Doug



                                    =================
                                    Doug Salzmann
                                    P.O. Box 1007
                                    Larkspur, CA
                                    94977-1007 USA
                                  • J.H. Crawford
                                    ... Right. The Short-Wire Tram proposal just got real: http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html This means that we put 150 feet of wire in the
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 30 1:19 AM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Tony Brewer said:

                                      >Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries & fool cells.
                                      >Remember ultracapacitors.

                                      >By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for trams and
                                      >lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not necessarily every
                                      >one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several miles away) with no
                                      >external power supplied from overhead wires, third rails, etc.

                                      Right. The Short-Wire Tram proposal just got real:

                                      http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html

                                      This means that we put 150 feet of wire in the stations only
                                      and don't have to install any power supply between the stations.
                                      We just use these ultra-capacitors to:

                                      absorb braking energy
                                      absorb energy from the overhead system while stopped in-station
                                      assist acceleration out of the station (maybe)
                                      provide power for hill-climbing
                                      provide power to correct speed bleed-off between stations
                                      power on-board climate control and lighting systems.

                                      I hope someone will soon do a full feasibility analysis of this
                                      option. (I have no idea how much these ultra-capacitor supplies
                                      cost, but it's low enough that operators are already using them.)
                                      I suspect that a short-wire system with ultra-capacitor trams
                                      is a considerably cheaper, and far more attractive, approach
                                      to new tram installations.

                                      Regards,


                                      ------ ### -----
                                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                    • Tony Brewer
                                      ... How about the No-Wire Tram or Train? http://www.humanhub.nl/innorail.html http://www.lrta.org/photos/FRA.html (good photos at top of page) N.B.
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 30 2:46 PM
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                                        J.H. Crawford wrote:
                                        > Tony Brewer said:
                                        >
                                        >> Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries &
                                        >> fool cells. Remember ultracapacitors.
                                        >
                                        >> By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for
                                        >> trams and lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not
                                        >> necessarily every one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several
                                        >> miles away) with no external power supplied from overhead wires,
                                        >> third rails, etc.
                                        >
                                        > Right. The Short-Wire Tram proposal just got real:
                                        >
                                        > http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html
                                        >
                                        > This means that we put 150 feet of wire in the stations only
                                        > and don't have to install any power supply between the stations.
                                        > We just use these ultra-capacitors to:
                                        >
                                        > absorb braking energy
                                        > absorb energy from the overhead system while stopped in-station
                                        > assist acceleration out of the station (maybe)
                                        > provide power for hill-climbing
                                        > provide power to correct speed bleed-off between stations
                                        > power on-board climate control and lighting systems.

                                        How about the No-Wire Tram or Train?
                                        http://www.humanhub.nl/innorail.html
                                        http://www.lrta.org/photos/FRA.html (good photos at top of page)

                                        N.B. Ultracapacitor energy storage would allow very short lengths of third
                                        rail (much less than a tram/train length) at stations and nowhere else.

                                        (The London Underground has used a centre fourth rail for over 100 years.)

                                        Tony Brewer
                                      • J.H. Crawford
                                        ... This installation, in Bordeaux has apparently been plagued by reliability problems. ... Yes, that s the idea, only to do it overhead, as part of the
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 30 2:57 PM
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Tony Brewer asked:

                                          >How about the No-Wire Tram or Train?
                                          >http://www.humanhub.nl/innorail.html
                                          >http://www.lrta.org/photos/FRA.html (good photos at top of page)

                                          This installation, in Bordeaux has apparently been plagued by
                                          reliability problems.

                                          >N.B. Ultracapacitor energy storage would allow very short lengths of third
                                          >rail (much less than a tram/train length) at stations and nowhere else.

                                          Yes, that's the idea, only to do it overhead, as part of the
                                          station structure itself. Ground-level power supplies are
                                          inherently dangerous, almost no matter how you do it.

                                          Regards,


                                          ------ ### -----
                                          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                        • Tom Morris
                                          I m going to have to agree, at least for my climate. I live in Miami, which is basically all reclaimed swampland under heavy sprawl. Once in a while, the
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 30 3:53 PM
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                                            I'm going to have to agree, at least for my climate.

                                            I live in Miami, which is basically all 'reclaimed' swampland under
                                            heavy sprawl. Once in a while, the weather attempts to return the sprawl
                                            to its natural state of swampland!

                                            We've got two electric rail systems here, both third rail, and both
                                            quite elevated even where they appear to run at ground level. During the
                                            "No-Name Storm" of late 2001, it was the only usable means of transport
                                            in some areas of the county where roads were under 2-3 feet of water!

                                            My thoughts on the power issue are like this: Where the track's elevated
                                            and pedestrians are NOT within reach, third rail's ok. Otherwise,
                                            overhead power's the way to go.

                                            Supercapacitors do sound like a good system. I never knew of the
                                            toxicity issue before, but if contained in a vessel underneath the train
                                            with fire supression, the chance of a major release would be minor. In
                                            the event of a fire, everyone is to get the heck away from the train as
                                            quickly as possible, so when/if the capacitor packages are breached,
                                            there's nobody nearby.

                                            Recharging could be handled during station stops. My understanding of
                                            super-caps is that they can take a full charge in several seconds.
                                            Therefore, banks of capacitors or batteries in the station can be
                                            trickle charged from an electric utility (thus requiring no exotic
                                            high-current feeds) and used to fast-charge the train once stopped. I
                                            think one good way to handle this would be to have a series of safely
                                            insulated connectors at the station platform for each car which extend
                                            to connect and retract for storage automatically, kind of like the gap
                                            filler mechanisms found on some NYC subway stations with curved
                                            platforms. A feedback system on the train that has control over the
                                            traction motors for dynamic braking can be used to precisely position it
                                            in alignment with the connectors and any other station features
                                            (wheelchair ramps, patterned approach surfaces for the visually
                                            impaired, etc.)

                                            You could have some means of assisting with the train's acceleration out
                                            of the station, if needed, and perhaps a small engine/generator onboard
                                            the train to power it up for longer trips or in emergencies where
                                            outside power is not available. The Capstone Micro Turbine would be a
                                            good option, as it has very clean emissions due to complete combustion,
                                            and versions are available for many different fuel sources.
                                            (Technically, a turbine engine can be made to run happily on just about
                                            anything that can be atomized into fine droplets and burned. Anyone up
                                            for an experiment with ultra-high-pressure peanut butter injection?)



                                            J.H. Crawford wrote:

                                            >Tony Brewer asked:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >>How about the No-Wire Tram or Train?
                                            >>http://www.humanhub.nl/innorail.html
                                            >>http://www.lrta.org/photos/FRA.html (good photos at top of page)
                                            >>
                                            >>
                                            >
                                            >This installation, in Bordeaux has apparently been plagued by
                                            >reliability problems.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >>N.B. Ultracapacitor energy storage would allow very short lengths of third
                                            >>rail (much less than a tram/train length) at stations and nowhere else.
                                            >>
                                            >>
                                            >
                                            >Yes, that's the idea, only to do it overhead, as part of the
                                            >station structure itself. Ground-level power supplies are
                                            >inherently dangerous, almost no matter how you do it.
                                            >
                                            >Regards,
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >------ ### -----
                                            >J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                            >mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >


                                            --
                                            High Prince Sporkington of the Holy Order of Multiball Madness, Suburban
                                            Warrior of Disarray, Master of the Lost Circuit Collective, Member of
                                            the Federal Narcoleptic Ostrich Relocation Department (FNORD)

                                            Also known to the unenlightened as Tom Morris, KG4CYX

                                            Discordian Code V1.3 ( http://www.23ae.com/format/discordiancode/code13.html )
                                            DADA/DO Tpcy c s+:+ a-- Comp+++ P++ E++ F+ R+ tv+ b++ OM5 RAW? DC+ e* h! r
                                            !ys K+++

                                            Uniform Disinformation Locator: http://blueneon.xidus.net

                                            * Do not use this signature as toilet paper *
                                          • mauk_mcamuk
                                            Now, see what happens when people ask questions? :) So, the idea is that rather than fooling with a third rail or overhead wire, you simply pack a wad of
                                            Message 21 of 29 , May 30 10:37 PM
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                                              Now, see what happens when people ask questions? :)

                                              So, the idea is that rather than fooling with a third rail or
                                              overhead wire, you simply pack a wad of ultracapacitors in each car
                                              set and use regenerative braking and "flash" chargeups at each
                                              station.

                                              That is astonishingly attractive, especially given that the
                                              accel/decel problem is a non-point but ONLY if we can use electric
                                              powered cars.

                                              There is going to need to be a SERIOUS traffic control system here.


                                              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Tony Brewer said:
                                              >
                                              > >Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries &
                                              fool cells.
                                              > >Remember ultracapacitors.
                                              >
                                              > >By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for
                                              trams and
                                              > >lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not
                                              necessarily every
                                              > >one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several miles away) with
                                              no
                                              > >external power supplied from overhead wires, third rails, etc.
                                              >
                                              > Right. The Short-Wire Tram proposal just got real:
                                              >
                                              > http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html
                                              >
                                              > This means that we put 150 feet of wire in the stations only
                                              > and don't have to install any power supply between the stations.
                                              > We just use these ultra-capacitors to:
                                              >
                                              > absorb braking energy
                                              > absorb energy from the overhead system while stopped in-station
                                              > assist acceleration out of the station (maybe)
                                              > provide power for hill-climbing
                                              > provide power to correct speed bleed-off between stations
                                              > power on-board climate control and lighting systems.
                                              >
                                              > I hope someone will soon do a full feasibility analysis of this
                                              > option. (I have no idea how much these ultra-capacitor supplies
                                              > cost, but it's low enough that operators are already using them.)
                                              > I suspect that a short-wire system with ultra-capacitor trams
                                              > is a considerably cheaper, and far more attractive, approach
                                              > to new tram installations.
                                              >
                                              > Regards,
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ------ ### -----
                                              > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                              > mailbox@c... http://www.carfree.com
                                            • mauk_mcamuk
                                              ... of ... That s the joy of a capacitor compared to a battery, ultra-fast charging and discharging. Not to mention that these ultra-capacitors seem to have
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 30 10:54 PM
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                > Recharging could be handled during station stops. My understanding
                                                of
                                                > super-caps is that they can take a full charge in several seconds.

                                                That's the joy of a capacitor compared to a battery, ultra-fast
                                                charging and discharging. Not to mention that these ultra-capacitors
                                                seem to have REAL energy density. You can also include a little baby
                                                diesel APU in each car for REAL emergencies, I suppose.

                                                The worst issue with capacitors, charge leakage, is a total non-issue
                                                in this application, as you are never more than a minute away from
                                                the next stop.



                                                > Therefore, banks of capacitors or batteries in the station can be
                                                > trickle charged from an electric utility (thus requiring no exotic
                                                > high-current feeds) and used to fast-charge the train once stopped.


                                                Hrrrm.

                                                Would it not make sense to put the local feeder lines in the same
                                                underground right of way as the train system? As I recall, local
                                                feeders run at 19,000 volts and get stepped down to 220 (US) in the
                                                little "gray barrel" transformers you see up on poles everywhere.

                                                That sort of juice close by would be needed (at a bare minimum) to
                                                run a Carfree City, so high current should not be any issue at all.


                                                > I
                                                > think one good way to handle this would be to have a series of
                                                safely
                                                > insulated connectors at the station platform for each car which
                                                extend
                                                > to connect and retract for storage automatically, kind of like the
                                                gap
                                                > filler mechanisms found on some NYC subway stations with curved
                                                > platforms. A feedback system on the train that has control over the
                                                > traction motors for dynamic braking can be used to precisely
                                                position it
                                                > in alignment with the connectors and any other station features
                                                > (wheelchair ramps, patterned approach surfaces for the visually
                                                > impaired, etc.)
                                                >


                                                Hmmm.


                                                I am not sure this much complexity is really needed, is it? A simple
                                                50 foot long copper rail in the station ceiling and a spring-loaded
                                                pickup plate on the top of each capacitor pack would do the job just
                                                as well, and would have no moving parts to break and require
                                                maintenance.

                                                For ultimate safety, include one of those activator systems like that
                                                French in-ground system uses, so the overhead rail is only live when
                                                a train is under it.

                                                Sophisticated simplicity is always a laudable goal. :)
                                              • J.H. Crawford
                                                Hi All, ... I think so. This means that street running installations should have a shed-like building; see: http://www.carfree.com/papers/05vld05452.jpg about
                                                Message 23 of 29 , May 31 1:18 AM
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Hi All,

                                                  >My thoughts on the power issue are like this: Where the track's elevated
                                                  >and pedestrians are NOT within reach, third rail's ok. Otherwise,
                                                  >overhead power's the way to go.

                                                  I think so. This means that street running installations
                                                  should have a shed-like building; see:

                                                  http://www.carfree.com/papers/05vld05452.jpg

                                                  about the length of the tram (say 150 feet). As mentioned
                                                  in the short-wire proposal, this is enough distance that
                                                  braking and acceleration energy can be managed through the
                                                  overhead wire as long as there are pickups at both ends of
                                                  the vehicle.

                                                  Now, there's a problem. Literature on these ultra-capacitors
                                                  mentions that they have achieved their incredible energy
                                                  density by allowing the internal resistance to be considerably
                                                  higher than normal. This is a warning flag for me. When dealing
                                                  with batteries, internal resistance is a limiting condition on
                                                  cell efficiency--the higher the resistance, the higher the
                                                  losses. I strongly suspect that the same holds true for caps.

                                                  Is there an EE on the list who can:

                                                  find the specs (not the handwaving Mitrac literature)
                                                  do the math on net efficiency
                                                  report back

                                                  If the efficiency is not pretty high, this system does not
                                                  work as we intend (although it may still have its uses).

                                                  BTW--getting a rail-mounted vehicle to stop within a few
                                                  thousandths of an inch of the commanded position, without
                                                  hunting, is old news. We were doing it more than 20 years
                                                  ago with cranes that weighed hundreds of tons.

                                                  Toxics issues are very serious for any vehicle that will
                                                  operate in a tunnel at all. They're serious enough in
                                                  any application.

                                                  Regards,





                                                  ------ ### -----
                                                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                                  mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                                • mauk_mcamuk
                                                  ... elevated ... Sadly, this link doesn t work for me? :( ... Interesting idea, using line power to bolt the vehicle along. At 3 m/s^2 (a value easily
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , May 31 2:37 PM
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    See responses inline below:


                                                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...>
                                                    wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Hi All,
                                                    >
                                                    > >My thoughts on the power issue are like this: Where the track's
                                                    elevated
                                                    > >and pedestrians are NOT within reach, third rail's ok. Otherwise,
                                                    > >overhead power's the way to go.
                                                    >
                                                    > I think so. This means that street running installations
                                                    > should have a shed-like building; see:
                                                    >
                                                    > http://www.carfree.com/papers/05vld05452.jpg


                                                    Sadly, this link doesn't work for me? :(



                                                    >
                                                    > about the length of the tram (say 150 feet). As mentioned
                                                    > in the short-wire proposal, this is enough distance that
                                                    > braking and acceleration energy can be managed through the
                                                    > overhead wire as long as there are pickups at both ends of
                                                    > the vehicle.
                                                    >


                                                    Interesting idea, using line power to "bolt" the vehicle along. At 3
                                                    m/s^2 (a value easily reached via electric drive, and proven to be
                                                    human comfortable through zillions of street cars) you should be able
                                                    to reach 27 meters per second (62 miles per hour) in less than 90
                                                    meters, or, 300 feet. (Assuming of course I did the math right.)

                                                    How long of a train are we thinking of, here? Heck, you might be
                                                    able to get away without ANY powersource on the train at all, simply
                                                    shoot it out of each station like a rollercoaster and brake it down
                                                    at the next stop. :)


                                                    > Now, there's a problem. Literature on these ultra-capacitors
                                                    > mentions that they have achieved their incredible energy
                                                    > density by allowing the internal resistance to be considerably
                                                    > higher than normal. This is a warning flag for me. When dealing
                                                    > with batteries, internal resistance is a limiting condition on
                                                    > cell efficiency--the higher the resistance, the higher the
                                                    > losses. I strongly suspect that the same holds true for caps.

                                                    Er?

                                                    As I understand it, it is exactly the opposite.

                                                    A battery stores electricity via chemical reactions, and thus wants
                                                    LOW resistance so the reaction can proceed unhimdered.

                                                    A capacitor store electricity as physical electrons on a physical
                                                    surface, and thus demands very high internal resistance to hold those
                                                    electrons apart.

                                                    Both are able to achieve quite high efficicncies, but due to the
                                                    radically different storage mechanisms in each, they have different
                                                    needs.




                                                    >
                                                    > Is there an EE on the list who can:
                                                    >
                                                    > find the specs (not the handwaving Mitrac literature)


                                                    While I'm certainly not an EE, here's some specs from a Japanese firm
                                                    making the newest nanogate carbon caps:

                                                    http://www.jeol.co.jp/english/newsroom/2004/050203.htm

                                                    Note the important stat here: 10Wh/kg. Also note the internal
                                                    resistance quoted, 20m-ohm, which seems quite low and reasonable to
                                                    me.

                                                    There was a vigorous discussion over on Energy Resources Group
                                                    recently about electric rail, and it was noted that a working light-
                                                    rail system was reporting energy efficiencies of 20 kilowatthours per
                                                    hour to run one of their trains.

                                                    Now, peak loads would be dramatically higher, of course, but lets get
                                                    serious, every 1000 kg of these capacitors can store 10 kilowatthours
                                                    of juice, and capacitors thrive under heavy peak loads.

                                                    Thus, a 2000 kg cap pack would, in theory, easily run a train for a
                                                    whole HOUR. (!)

                                                    Heck, 10 watthours/kg is only about one order of magnitude below
                                                    lithium ion batteries, and these guys are working to TRIPLE that with
                                                    this existing material. I have long held that current lithium-ion
                                                    tech is barely able to make all-electric vehicles feasible even for
                                                    electric cars, and this is a MUCH less demanding application.

                                                    In a nutshell, this seems perfectly feasible to me, with the caveat
                                                    that (as I will post below) there is a lot of advancement happening
                                                    over on the battery front, as well.

                                                    > do the math on net efficiency

                                                    I don't understand, are you worried about losses into and out of the
                                                    capacitors? As I understand it, that loss is effectively nil. The
                                                    historical issue with capacitors was very low energy density, which
                                                    has been VERY effectively addressed, and charge retention, which
                                                    nobody seems to be mentioning in the literature I have seen so far.
                                                    Luckily, for this application, it's a non-issue. :)


                                                    > report back
                                                    >
                                                    > If the efficiency is not pretty high, this system does not
                                                    > work as we intend (although it may still have its uses).
                                                    >
                                                    > BTW--getting a rail-mounted vehicle to stop within a few
                                                    > thousandths of an inch of the commanded position, without
                                                    > hunting, is old news. We were doing it more than 20 years
                                                    > ago with cranes that weighed hundreds of tons.


                                                    Heh. I think an accuracy of an inch or so would be plenty. :)




                                                    >
                                                    > Toxics issues are very serious for any vehicle that will
                                                    > operate in a tunnel at all. They're serious enough in
                                                    > any application.
                                                    >


                                                    From what I can see, this has been eliminated with these carbon-based
                                                    nanogate caps, and if research pans out on nanotubes, would be even
                                                    less of an issue later on.

                                                    Note: From what I read, it MAY be possible using nanotubes to make a
                                                    capacitor with an energy density exceeding that of gasoline!

                                                    I dunno about you, but that boggles MY mind. :)



                                                    As a seperate but highly encouraging note, lithium-ion batteries are
                                                    steadily and rapidly evolving:

                                                    http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2005_03/pr2901.htm

                                                    That is a lithium-ion device that has a recharge time of less than a
                                                    minute, and a performance envelope that is simply amazing.

                                                    http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-3.htm

                                                    There's a nice summary table of battery characteristics. Compare and
                                                    contrast to the capacitor info I linked above.

                                                    Note that lithium Ion is still a very new technology, and (as the 1
                                                    minute recharge above shows) large advances in use, lifetime, and
                                                    energy density is to be expected.

                                                    It is a fun time to be alive. :D
                                                  • Tony Godshall
                                                    Any links to analyses of such or is this your idea? I do like it. According to mauk_mcamuk, ... -- -- Tony Godshall
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , May 31 4:55 PM
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Any links to analyses of such or is this your idea?

                                                      I do like it.

                                                      According to mauk_mcamuk,
                                                      >
                                                      > Now, see what happens when people ask questions? :)
                                                      >
                                                      > So, the idea is that rather than fooling with a third rail or
                                                      > overhead wire, you simply pack a wad of ultracapacitors in each car
                                                      > set and use regenerative braking and "flash" chargeups at each
                                                      > station.
                                                      >
                                                      > That is astonishingly attractive, especially given that the
                                                      > accel/decel problem is a non-point but ONLY if we can use electric
                                                      > powered cars.
                                                      >
                                                      > There is going to need to be a SERIOUS traffic control system here.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...>
                                                      > wrote:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Tony Brewer said:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > >Forget internal-combustion engines, electro-chemical batteries &
                                                      > fool cells.
                                                      > > >Remember ultracapacitors.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > >By using ultracapacitors it is now possible and cost-effective for
                                                      > trams and
                                                      > > >lightweight electric trains to be charged up at stops (not
                                                      > necessarily every
                                                      > > >one) and travel to the next stop (perhaps several miles away) with
                                                      > no
                                                      > > >external power supplied from overhead wires, third rails, etc.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Right. The Short-Wire Tram proposal just got real:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > http://www.carfree.com/papers/short-wire_tram.html
                                                      > >
                                                      > > This means that we put 150 feet of wire in the stations only
                                                      > > and don't have to install any power supply between the stations.
                                                      > > We just use these ultra-capacitors to:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > absorb braking energy
                                                      > > absorb energy from the overhead system while stopped in-station
                                                      > > assist acceleration out of the station (maybe)
                                                      > > provide power for hill-climbing
                                                      > > provide power to correct speed bleed-off between stations
                                                      > > power on-board climate control and lighting systems.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I hope someone will soon do a full feasibility analysis of this
                                                      > > option. (I have no idea how much these ultra-capacitor supplies
                                                      > > cost, but it's low enough that operators are already using them.)
                                                      > > I suspect that a short-wire system with ultra-capacitor trams
                                                      > > is a considerably cheaper, and far more attractive, approach
                                                      > > to new tram installations.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Regards,
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > ------ ### -----
                                                      > > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                                      > > mailbox@c... http://www.carfree.com
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
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                                                    • J.H. Crawford
                                                      A reminder to everyone: PLEASE trim the junk off your posts-- those parts of the posts to which you are responding that are not necessary to understanding the
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Jun 1, 2005
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                                                        A reminder to everyone: PLEASE trim the junk off your posts--
                                                        those parts of the posts to which you are responding that are
                                                        not necessary to understanding the context of your reply.

                                                        Thanks

                                                        Now....

                                                        >> I think so. This means that street running installations
                                                        >> should have a shed-like building; see:
                                                        >>
                                                        >> http://www.carfree.com/papers/05vld05452.jpg
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >Sadly, this link doesn't work for me? :(

                                                        Oh, sorry. I THOUGHT I had checked it. I forgot to post it.
                                                        It IS now at:

                                                        http://www.carfree.com/papers/05vld05452.jpg

                                                        >> about the length of the tram (say 150 feet). As mentioned
                                                        >> in the short-wire proposal, this is enough distance that
                                                        >> braking and acceleration energy can be managed through the
                                                        >> overhead wire as long as there are pickups at both ends of
                                                        >> the vehicle.

                                                        >Interesting idea, using line power to "bolt" the vehicle along. At 3
                                                        >m/s^2 (a value easily reached via electric drive, and proven to be
                                                        >human comfortable through zillions of street cars)

                                                        No. The PCC cars from the 1930s had the highest acceleration
                                                        I know of, about 2.2 m/sec2. Many modern cars cannot achieve
                                                        anything above 0.8 m/sec2. The PCC values were chosen after
                                                        extensive human-factors engineering tests and cannot, I think,
                                                        be safely exceeded.

                                                        >you should be able
                                                        >to reach 27 meters per second (62 miles per hour) in less than 90
                                                        >meters, or, 300 feet. (Assuming of course I did the math right.)

                                                        I assumed 50 km/hr at 0.2 G, which requires 50 meters to reach
                                                        running speed. I believe that anything above 50 km/hr is unsafe
                                                        and too noisy for street running, but it is common practice to
                                                        run considerably faster than this.

                                                        >> Now, there's a problem. Literature on these ultra-capacitors
                                                        >> mentions that they have achieved their incredible energy
                                                        >> density by allowing the internal resistance to be considerably
                                                        >> higher than normal. This is a warning flag for me. When dealing
                                                        >> with batteries, internal resistance is a limiting condition on
                                                        >> cell efficiency--the higher the resistance, the higher the
                                                        >> losses. I strongly suspect that the same holds true for caps.
                                                        >
                                                        >Er?
                                                        >
                                                        >As I understand it, it is exactly the opposite.

                                                        Let's have a report from an EE who really knows. I believe
                                                        that increased internal resistance always results in increased
                                                        losses. Certainly, the capacity manufacturers were reluctant
                                                        to go to higher resistance but felt forced to due to energy
                                                        density concerns.

                                                        >A battery stores electricity via chemical reactions, and thus wants
                                                        >LOW resistance so the reaction can proceed unhimdered.

                                                        wants low resistance to minimize losses to heat in the cell

                                                        Regards,


                                                        ------ ### -----
                                                        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                                        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                                      • Tony Brewer
                                                        ... The relevant formulae are: Pc = 1 /(1+2RC/t) Pd = 1-2RC/t where Pc is charging efficiency Pd is discharging efficiency (always less than Pc) R is internal
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Jun 1, 2005
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                                                          J.H. Crawford wrote:
                                                          > ...
                                                          > Now, there's a problem. Literature on these ultra-capacitors
                                                          > mentions that they have achieved their incredible energy
                                                          > density by allowing the internal resistance to be considerably
                                                          > higher than normal. This is a warning flag for me. When dealing
                                                          > with batteries, internal resistance is a limiting condition on
                                                          > cell efficiency--the higher the resistance, the higher the
                                                          > losses. I strongly suspect that the same holds true for caps.
                                                          >
                                                          > Is there an EE on the list who can:
                                                          >
                                                          > find the specs (not the handwaving Mitrac literature)
                                                          > do the math on net efficiency
                                                          > report back
                                                          >
                                                          > If the efficiency is not pretty high, this system does not
                                                          > work as we intend (although it may still have its uses).
                                                          > ...

                                                          The relevant formulae are:

                                                          Pc = 1 /(1+2RC/t)
                                                          Pd = 1-2RC/t

                                                          where

                                                          Pc is charging efficiency
                                                          Pd is discharging efficiency (always less than Pc)
                                                          R is internal resistance
                                                          C is capacitance
                                                          t is full charge or discharge time at a constant current

                                                          ------------------------------------------------------------

                                                          The value of RC for ultracapacitors meant for vehicular use is 2 Ohm-Farads
                                                          typically. Consider three examples where the total stored energy can provide
                                                          the maximum required power for 30, 45 and 60 seconds:

                                                          t = 30, RC = 2, Pc = 88.2%, Pd = 86.7%
                                                          t = 45, RC = 2, Pc = 91.8%, Pd = 91.1%
                                                          t = 60, RC = 2, Pc = 93.8%, Pd = 93.3%

                                                          Note that is the ratio (RC/t) that determines efficiency. R and C are
                                                          intrinsic to the type of ultracapacitor, but t can be anything. Lowering the
                                                          power or increasing the size of the capacitor bank will both increase t and
                                                          hence increase efficiency.

                                                          The efficiency during accelerating or braking will be more than the above
                                                          figures because full power is not needed all the time. The efficiency when
                                                          accelerating a tram or train from 0-30 mph is likely to be 90% for t = 30
                                                          and 95% for t = 60.

                                                          Full power for 30 seconds might not seem like much, but it would be more
                                                          than enough if stations are closely spaced and the terrain is not too hilly.

                                                          ------------------------------------------------------------

                                                          I think this proves that ultracapacitors can be very efficient.

                                                          Tony Brewer
                                                        • Todd Edelman
                                                          Hi, Related to this discussion of the supercapacitor-tram, it would not be a possible scheme for shorter distance regional trains (typical European railbuses
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                            Hi,

                                                            Related to this discussion of the supercapacitor-tram,
                                                            it would not be a possible scheme for shorter distance
                                                            regional trains (typical European "railbuses" )
                                                            running on non-electrifried corridors as station
                                                            distances would be too great, right? From 2 to 5km, I
                                                            think.

                                                            Or would this be solved in a hybrid, where an engine
                                                            of some sort would take over as necessary?

                                                            ----

                                                            Also related: For "On the Train to the Future!"
                                                            project I am proposing a reconstructed railbus which
                                                            could be powered by one of various "alternative fuels"
                                                            which would also be "distributed sources": local and
                                                            renewable things like individual windmills, biogas
                                                            from waste or factories, etc. It could be done in
                                                            conjunction with European Commission DG Research
                                                            funded programme "EU Deep" www.eu-deep.com (one of the
                                                            partners also makes the engines for a railbus renewal
                                                            scheme here in Czechia,so MAYBE I am "half way
                                                            there"!!)

                                                            If anyone can look at the summary of the proposal, let
                                                            me know off-list. I might have to send it as an
                                                            attachment.

                                                            Todd, Prague






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                                                          • J.H. Crawford
                                                            ... I wouldn t necessarily rule out the use of capacitors for these uses. Development seems to be on-going, and the biggest shot of energy needed is to
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Jun 3, 2005
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                                                              Todd said:

                                                              >Related to this discussion of the supercapacitor-tram,
                                                              >it would not be a possible scheme for shorter distance
                                                              >regional trains (typical European "railbuses" )
                                                              >running on non-electrifried corridors as station
                                                              >distances would be too great, right? From 2 to 5km, I
                                                              >think.
                                                              >
                                                              >Or would this be solved in a hybrid, where an engine
                                                              >of some sort would take over as necessary?

                                                              I wouldn't necessarily rule out the use of capacitors
                                                              for these uses. Development seems to be on-going, and
                                                              the biggest shot of energy needed is to accelerate
                                                              the vehicle out of the station and up to cruising
                                                              speed. Maintaining the speed of a train doesn't take
                                                              very much energy (due, of course, to its high efficiency!),
                                                              and the capacitors are most efficient when the loads are
                                                              light. So, I think it could be feasible for local train
                                                              service as well.

                                                              Regards,


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                                                              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
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