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Old 28-04-2016, 05:59   #46
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
On a side note: I think Ford may have addressed the viable electric car situation. They are putting out a new model and aren't trying for 200mile range, which does nothing for usability. If they bring it out under $25k (actual price) and get 80-100mile range, it could sell on it's own as a commuter car in multi-car families.
There is quite a large potential market for such a car at that price point. But what I really see as viable is a car with an electric range of a bit less than that, with a small, efficient infernal combustion powered generator that would only be used as needed. Series hybrid, IOW. Primary charging from mains power, of course, with the ICE genset used for the most part as a backup charging method either parked or while driving. Some users would never use the generator I suppose, and this would be ideal, but it would be a good failsafe. Others might want to drive the car for long distances, and a generator that would just barely keep up with usage would make this possible, without a $30k battery. Not as efficient as just using an ICE engine to power the wheels in the first place, but acceptable for rare or occasional road trips. It has been done already with limited commercial success but we can do better and we will do better as tech and economics improve.

I think the greatest area for improvement potentially lies in the use of hub motors in all wheels. The problem with this up to now is that it is hard to get efficient and powerful operation at low rotational speeds. And that the motor is subject to ectreme lateral shock from poor road surface. However the advantages are obvious. No transmission, drive shaft, or differential in the drive train. Computer controlled speed for perfect cornering, all wheel drive all the time for good traction. Excellent regen characteristics too. Regen is much more a thing in a land vehicle than a boat, and explains a lot about why electric hybrid turns in such good efficiency figures in city driving. With 4 wheels and 4 motors you could get very good regen braking, with mechanical disk or drum brakes used only for actual stopping.

I think we will see higher operating voltages in the future, too. This will reduce copper losses and also allow the use of much smaller cable. And there is no reason that i can see to stick with 3 phase motors. You could have a 7 phase motor, for instance. Obviously this would operate more smoothly even if power was not perfect sine wave.

Development will come when it is made financially viable to the car makers. This can't be done only with government handouts, and it won't happen while oil is still under $100/barrel. Public acceptance of electric as practical transportation is not going to happen overnight, either, and this is a most necessary part of the equation. It will actually take not merely acceptance of electric, but rejection of infernal combustion and hydrocarbon fueling. America is not quite ready to give up the fume belching, dinosaur juice guzzling, roaring contraptions that for 100 years have been part of the family. And the rest of the world too often waits for America to make such fundamental social and technological changes, first, before they adopt them. We have spent a century convincing the world that Henry Ford's dream is and ought to be a reality, through example and clever marketing, and now the rest of the world totally agrees that every family needs a car or two or more cars, all running on gasoline or diesel. Lot of technological inertia, there. An about-face will be met with considerable skepticism and confusion on some level.
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Old 28-04-2016, 14:00   #47
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Problem is that surface is at a poor angle to the sun and would require less efficient flexible panels with special installation to keep them aerodynamic. The end result being not nearly as much power from the wingsail panels as a simple surface area calculation would suggest.

With 200 m2 of surface (both sides of wing) it's OK, even if panels would work at 50% of efficiency. It this becomes mainstream, it's easy to make textured flex panels with solar elements pointed up (to the sun).
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Old 28-04-2016, 16:33   #48
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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With 200 m2 of surface (both sides of wing) it's OK, even if panels would work at 50% of efficiency. It this becomes mainstream, it's easy to make textured flex panels with solar elements pointed up (to the sun).
And what will that do to the efficiency of the primary role of the sail?
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Old 28-04-2016, 20:52   #49
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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With 200 m2 of surface (both sides of wing) it's OK, even if panels would work at 50% of efficiency. It this becomes mainstream, it's easy to make textured flex panels with solar elements pointed up (to the sun).
First, that will kill it's efficiency as a sail.

Second, it doesn't solve the problem that half the panels are on the side facing away from the sun, so you lost 50% before even considering the angle of the panels relative to the sun. Considering the complex shape of a wing sail, 50% of the panels in shade would likely be your best case scenario. If the sun is inline with the leading edge of the wing, you may have 90% or more of the panels in shade. Remember when at anchor, wing sails are usually allowed to weathervane to avoid providing propulsion. If you try to turn the wing into the sun, the boat may decide to sail away dragging the anchor.

The protype boats that get rid of the sails and basically roof the entire boat in solar panels are about the best option for maximizing electrical production. They work but provide substantially reduced capabilities at much higher cost compared to a diesel/sail boat.
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Old 28-04-2016, 21:06   #50
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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There is quite a large potential market for such a car at that price point. But what I really see as viable is a car with an electric range of a bit less than that, with a small, efficient infernal combustion powered generator that would only be used as needed. Series hybrid, IOW. Primary charging from mains power, of course, with the ICE genset used for the most part as a backup charging method either parked or while driving. Some users would never use the generator I suppose, and this would be ideal, but it would be a good failsafe. Others might want to drive the car for long distances, and a generator that would just barely keep up with usage would make this possible, without a $30k battery. Not as efficient as just using an ICE engine to power the wheels in the first place, but acceptable for rare or occasional road trips. It has been done already with limited commercial success but we can do better and we will do better as tech and economics improve.

I think the greatest area for improvement potentially lies in the use of hub motors in all wheels. The problem with this up to now is that it is hard to get efficient and powerful operation at low rotational speeds. And that the motor is subject to ectreme lateral shock from poor road surface. However the advantages are obvious. No transmission, drive shaft, or differential in the drive train. Computer controlled speed for perfect cornering, all wheel drive all the time for good traction. Excellent regen characteristics too. Regen is much more a thing in a land vehicle than a boat, and explains a lot about why electric hybrid turns in such good efficiency figures in city driving. With 4 wheels and 4 motors you could get very good regen braking, with mechanical disk or drum brakes used only for actual stopping.

I think we will see higher operating voltages in the future, too. This will reduce copper losses and also allow the use of much smaller cable. And there is no reason that i can see to stick with 3 phase motors. You could have a 7 phase motor, for instance. Obviously this would operate more smoothly even if power was not perfect sine wave.

Development will come when it is made financially viable to the car makers. This can't be done only with government handouts, and it won't happen while oil is still under $100/barrel. Public acceptance of electric as practical transportation is not going to happen overnight, either, and this is a most necessary part of the equation. It will actually take not merely acceptance of electric, but rejection of infernal combustion and hydrocarbon fueling. America is not quite ready to give up the fume belching, dinosaur juice guzzling, roaring contraptions that for 100 years have been part of the family. And the rest of the world too often waits for America to make such fundamental social and technological changes, first, before they adopt them. We have spent a century convincing the world that Henry Ford's dream is and ought to be a reality, through example and clever marketing, and now the rest of the world totally agrees that every family needs a car or two or more cars, all running on gasoline or diesel. Lot of technological inertia, there. An about-face will be met with considerable skepticism and confusion on some level.
What you describe is the Chevy Volt. If you want to make a full function electric car, it makes sense but the sticker price is $40k for a base model commuter car is a result. I love the principal but the implementation resulted in another overpriced car.

Hub motors have a major issue of unsprung weight. Unless you can make them very light weight that is probably a deal killer for hub motors. I could see 4 small motors just inside the CV joints as a possibility with large cables taking the place of a transmission. This would provide 90% of the benefits you describe.

I doubt they will do much with voltage. If it were that simple, better engineers than us would have already implemented it. The principal of using high voltage has been well understood for decades by electrical engineers.

The use case for cars, particularly a hybrid design is totally different with cars in city driving getting a huge advantage from the max torque at 0rpm that simply doesn't apply to a cruising boat at cruising speed (there is a minor benefit docking but if you have enough power to maintain hull speed, it's not typically significant)

I agree it's a economic problem not a technological one. Thru the late 80's into the early 00's, you saw almost no change in fuel efficiency because economics didn't demand it. Then you saw gas hit $4/gal and very quickly the car companies independent of govt rules got very interested in putting out more efficient cars. Things they said they could do...they did but it was because the customer demanded it.
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Old 28-04-2016, 22:46   #51
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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First, that will kill it's efficiency as a sail.

These "ribs" might be very fine, literally as grain, so no effect on sailing.


Second, it doesn't solve the problem that half the panels are on the side facing away from the sun, so you lost 50% before even considering the angle of the panels relative to the sun.

Solar panels work even in shade or on cloudy days

Considering the complex shape of a wing sail, 50% of the panels in shade would likely be your best case scenario. If the sun is inline with the leading edge of the wing, you may have 90% or more of the panels in shade. Remember when at anchor, wing sails are usually allowed to weathervane to avoid providing propulsion. If you try to turn the wing into the sun, the boat may decide to sail away dragging the anchor.

Once again, panels work as long as there IS light, and at 200 m2 - that's 100 (!!!) 2 m2 panels.Even at 30% efficiency that's a lot of energy. Best modern flex panels have power 145W per m2

http://www.bruceschwab.com/uploads/2...-handout-1.pdf

So, 145 x 200m2 x 0.3= 8.7kW. I'd say it's not bad for current state of technology.


The protype boats that get rid of the sails and basically roof the entire boat in solar panels are about the best option for maximizing electrical production. They work but provide substantially reduced capabilities at much higher cost compared to a diesel/sail boat.
...while wingsail+solar will give slightly less amount of solar power, but full sailing capabilities(and yes, I'm sure, it's possible to make mount for gennaker for best downwind performance, because in all other directions wingsail beats anything else hands down).
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Old 28-04-2016, 23:22   #52
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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...while wingsail+solar will give slightly less amount of solar power, but full sailing capabilities(and yes, I'm sure, it's possible to make mount for gennaker for best downwind performance, because in all other directions wingsail beats anything else hands down).
1) Massive development and cost for very tiny market.
2) Solar in shade is not "slightly less". It produces very little. In fact a small band of shading will dramatically reduce output on an otherwise fully exposed panel. This is why it's difficult to get large arrays on sail boats. Once they get around the mast and the boom, the shading destroys too much of their production capability.
3) Assuming say 15m high by an average of 4 meters cord...is only 60m2 but realistically, you would be lucky to get much more than 80-90% coverage so really only round 50m2...of course you have to buy 100m2 of panels in case the sun is on the opposite side of the sail.
4) If we accept your wildly optimistic assumptions, you get 10hp for 5hr per day. When you account for the more realistic installation, you will be lucky to get 2hp for 5hr per day but the solar wing sale by itself will probably be a million dollar add on.

If you were talking a building with a solar awning over each floors balconies, your idea would have some merit but on a micro scale without impacting the efficiency of the wing sail significantly, it's sci-fi stuff.
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Old 29-04-2016, 07:08   #53
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

I find it quite instructive when someone vigorously proposes a new technology but does not implement it himself. A solar wing sail sounds great and apparently it can be built, but nobody in the solar wing sail fan club is making and using them.
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Old 29-04-2016, 12:49   #54
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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I find it quite instructive when someone vigorously proposes a new technology but does not implement it himself. A solar wing sail sounds great and apparently it can be built, but nobody in the solar wing sail fan club is making and using them.
For now it's prohibitely expensive for most of us. I would LOVE to test sail such boat. There are only few wingsail cruising boats in the world, and as far as I know, none of them has solar panels on wing.

Apparently, this experimental boat first sale didn't come through, second time it was sold for around 30K. Yes, it's cheap. but how much engineering work needed just to make it work in other application? Everything is tough and expensive until it becomes mainstream.
50 foot Contour Sailboat Used for Experimental Purposes - Government Liquidation

Harbor Wing even has drawing for recreation boat with wingsail. But so far, it's only drawing.
Harbor Wing Technologies - Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel - Commercial Applications
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