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Re: battery powered pick-up truck

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  • esbuck@aol.com
    Plan B, a scheme to convert a pick-up truck to electric power for only $10-15,000, was nicely presented. It looks feasible to do. How many scuba or welders
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2006
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      Plan B, a scheme to convert a pick-up truck to electric power for only
      $10-15,000, was nicely presented. It looks feasible to do.

      How many scuba or welders tanks can you buy for $10,000? Put 30 cubic feet
      of tanks in, or under, the pick-up bed, and you can store about 30 kW-hr,
      enough energy (vs. 26 kW-hr for the proposed batteries). The existing engine
      (easier with a diesel,but...) can be converted to run on air by changing the
      cam and putting air injectors in the spark plug holes. Throw away the gas
      tank, catalytic converter, radiator, and water pump, unless you want to use the
      radiator to "filter" the exhaust. The transmission and the rest of the drive
      line remain standard.

      Check an engineering text or experienced engineer, and it (he) will tell you
      that air systems are only about 15 per cent efficient, while battery power
      is about 85 per cent efficient, in terms of energy out vs. energy in. Well,
      they are wrong. In 1930, the Germans ran trials between a diesel-pneumatic
      locomotive and a diesel-electric locomotive, both using the same diesel. The
      D-P used less fuel than the D-E, pulling the same train on the same schedule.
      This is not generally known to textbook writers, but it's true. There is a
      trick (an unpatented "trade secret") involved. Do not use an air-cooled
      compressor, as all that heat from compressing the air is wasted. Instead, inject
      water into the air intake and steam-cool the compressor. You can store the
      steam-air mixture (I call it WCA in patent #5,832,728) and recover the heat
      as the air expands and the steam condenses, reheating the air. (To be
      truthful, the Germans also heated the mixture with the exhaust of the diesel, which
      improved fuel consumption by 29 per cent over the D-E)

      A WCA truck needs a compressor to recharge the tanks. You can do this at
      home with an IC engine (I like the VW Rabbit diesel), using one or more
      cylinders as air pumps, or you can drive the compressor with an electric motor or a
      wind turbine. You can survive windless days or use off-peak electricity by
      storing the WCA. Put the insulated storage tank(s) under the porch or buried
      in the back yard. Unlike a steam boiler, air tanks are fairly safe. If
      they leak, and if they are not fastened down, they can take off like a rocket,
      but they don't explode, and air, as anyone who has had a blowout knows, does
      not burn or poison bystanders. Of course, if these things get popular, the
      gasoline companies may start adding air to their gas stations. You could fill
      up in a minute or so, much faster than recharging batteries. It's hard
      enough to find a parking space, even harder to find a space with an electric
      outlet. With a single gas (air) station, one could run a fleet of taxis or school
      busses, absolutely zero-emissions. In addition, a WCA vehicle will
      out-accelerate any BEV with lead-acid batteries, as such batteries aren't good for
      much more than 500 W/kg without self-destruction. You can get "unlimited"
      power from compressed air, for a short, worthwhile drag race. Your pick up, with
      proper tires, etc., could bewilder the Corvette drivers.

      If course, if you really need a hybrid, you can convert the IC engine to
      compress air and add an air motor to the drive line. This could be parallel
      (allowing one to drive on IC engine alone) or "pure", with the IC
      engine/compressor on its own, probably little or no transmission, and an air motor driving
      the wheels. With proper valving, you don't need a reverse gear, and you get
      regenerative braking.




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