Large electric motors, batteries and vehicles

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Proterra is a company making battery packs. Short promotional video with overview of what's in a battery pack:

They will be supplying packs for Nikola semis:
Proterra-Nikola-Logos.jpg


⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡

Webinar this Thursday entitled "EVs: The Next Frontier for Rural Electrification".
So we can settle this once and for all! 😄
 
Last edited:

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
I think one can learn a lot from this Sandy Munro car engineer fellow.

(1 min long: )


(35 min long: )
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
This is interesting and weird. I can't decide if it's practical:

I don't see any reason why carts should be linked together behind locomotives anymore. Having each cart powered by its own battery and wheel motors seems to make a lot of sense. And if we're going to have autonomous transport anywhere, what better place than a one-way rail carrying objects. And why wouldn't a cart be the exact same box that can be carried as is by a semi. I for one, like everything about this.

Parallel Systems.jpg
 
Last edited:

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Well there you go. Who needs a tractor when the trailer can pull itself. And also park itself.

 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
A couple of 1000-hp luxury EV reviews.



 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
This Electra company doesn't seem to have a full-size prototype yet so I wouldn't usually bother, but they just got funding from Lockheed (maker of real space ships, etc.) so I guess that's worthy enough to post in a rocket forum.


 

MidOH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
450
Reaction score
385
Location
Lexington, OH
I don't see any reason why carts should be linked together behind locomotives anymore. Having each cart powered by its own battery and wheel motors seems to make a lot of sense. And if we're going to have autonomous transport anywhere, what better place than a one-way rail carrying objects. And why wouldn't a cart be the exact same box that can be carried as is by a semi. I for one, like everything about this.

View attachment 500666

Those are likely designed to help get containers from the ship to the real rail road. Not replace the rail road. It would be horribly inefficient to have a train with 1000 motors, compared to a train with just 2 engines.

Green power production and storage is still required for any of this tech to be viable. And it's just not there yet. Right now it's just bling, and has terrible effects on the environment.
 

neil_w

OpenRocketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
13,707
Reaction score
6,948
Location
Northern NJ
Those are likely designed to help get containers from the ship to the real rail road. Not replace the rail road. It would be horribly inefficient to have a train with 1000 motors, compared to a train with just 2 engines.
They made some interesting arguments. One is that they're trying more to compete on price with trucks, not trains. Another is that the length of typical trains causes logistical problems of its own, which this could solves.

But the existing rail infrastructure doesn't provide the flexibility of trucking, so I'm not really sure how this all works out. It's an interesting idea if nothing else.
Right now it's just bling, and has terrible effects on the environment.
Citation needed, but this is not the subject for this thread.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Those are likely designed to ...

Please note that the argument thread is here:

In this thread, we report news and progress in battery storage and applications. Like this:

Here's a nice illustration illustrating (Ha!) the meaning of Parallel System's parallel system (Double Ha!), which effectively blurs the line between trains and a tractor-trailers.
Paralellle-Sysems-freign-terminal.jpg

An important property of batteries of course is that they can be charged from many different power sources. Aside from the instant torque, which is a charm in city traffic, it's probably my favorite thing about them.

Here's their website: https://moveparallel.com (And they're hiring)
 
Last edited:

MidOH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
450
Reaction score
385
Location
Lexington, OH
Don't need a doctorate in engineering to see that strip mining heavy metals is bad mojo.

They already have small versions of those train truck things all over large factories. They autonomously deliver parts to the assembly line robots. Tech works fine, give or take the batteries.

I still don't see the point. There's only one rail. Going to one place. A train with 1000 containers is going to be more efficient than 1000 trains with 1 container. If we had rails sprawled out all over the place, I could see it. Maybe in some specialized downtown areas where trains are shifting from one small track, to another small track with yard dogs.

I could see those things replacing yard dogs, that's it.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Don't need a doctorate in engineering to see that strip mining heavy metals is bad mojo.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people here are using electronics and car starters 😁.

Maybe in some specialized downtown areas where trains are shifting from one small track, to another small track with yard dogs.

So be it! I don't know either how far this will go. I just like it when people come up with new ideas like this and see how far they can take it. 🚀

Solid state batteries is one of those ideas. How good can they be? No one seems to really know yet, but what I do know is that people are working crazy hard to improve them, and I respect that.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Porsche’s Mission R on a track:



⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡

Over the next few weeks, a few engineers will be taking apart a Model S Plaid in this series:



⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡

There’s a kind of train called “battery electric multiple unit (BEMU)”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_electric_multiple_unit

I’m still not sure how they compare to other kinds of trains but it looks like a milestone is in progress:

“Starting on 24 January, the Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) will begin revenue service with passengers in Baden-Württemberg and in Bavaria from 5 February”

 
Last edited:

BDB

Absent Minded Professor
Joined
Aug 22, 2015
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
552
I'm just a chemist, jumping in to provide my perspective that no one asked for....

Fuel-cells run off of hydrogen so did the unit breakdown the natural gas into its component elements?
That would be a big source of CO2.

Technically, a fuel cell is a battery-like apparatus that performs a chemical reaction. That reaction is most often H2 + O2 --> H2O, but it doesn't have to be. In this case it would be CH4 + O2 --> CO2 + H2O. (Sorry for the unbalanced equations. I left off the coefficients to make it easier to read.) But you are right--a methane fuel cell would still produce CO2.

Don't need a doctorate in engineering to see that strip mining heavy metals is bad mojo.

Lithium really isn't a heavy metal. It's actually the lightest metal in the universe. It's atomic number is 3, so the only lighter elements are hydrogen and helium. Most importantly, it's earth-abundant. And the technology for extracting it is rapidly improving. I assume we will ultimately be harvesting it from seawater via ion-exchange processes.

If anyone is interested in the economics and technology of lithium harvesting, I recommend this short podcast series: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/how-we-survive/introducing-how-we-survive/
 
Last edited:

BDB

Absent Minded Professor
Joined
Aug 22, 2015
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
552
I should also point out that there are lots of industrial and academic research teams working on alternatives to lithium-ion batteries right now. Solid state sodium-ion batteries or iron-air batteries are showing some real promise. The issue with these alternatives isn't necessarily power--its power density. Lithium's light weight gives it a huge advantage for mobile applications like cell phones and cars. Look for these other technologies (especially iron-air) to be used first for large energy storage applications that are coupled with wind and solar power generation.


My $0.02...battery-powered vehicles are here to stay, but the Li-ion battery may not be.
 

MidOH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
450
Reaction score
385
Location
Lexington, OH
Nickel, mercury, lead, cobalt.

The fire produced when lipo batterys do the thermal runaway bit, is very impressive. It's a shame that they got a bad rap for such. Especially since gasoline isn't exactly toothpaste.
 

Pete.D

Ex Rocket Scientist
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
102
Location
Chittenango, NY
I should also point out that there are lots of industrial and academic research teams working on alternatives to lithium-ion batteries right now. Solid state sodium-ion batteries or iron-air batteries are showing some real promise. The issue with these alternatives isn't necessarily power--its power density. Lithium's light weight gives it a huge advantage for mobile applications like cell phones and cars. Look for these other technologies (especially iron-air) to be used first for large energy storage applications that are coupled with wind and solar power generation.


My $0.02...battery-powered vehicles are here to stay, but the Li-ion battery may not be.
My problem with the current state-of-art in Li-ion technology has always been its relatively slow recharge characteristic: although I love the idea of electric cars, they won't be entirely suitable until their batteries can be fully recharged in 5 minutes or so.

I know that 5-minute recharge was possible for NiCad batteries, but it seems to me that the Li-ion technology is inherently susceptible to overheating when rapidly charged. Are there any developments on the horizon for such improvements to Li-ion technology? How about for the solid-state batteries that you mention?
 
Last edited:

MidOH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
450
Reaction score
385
Location
Lexington, OH
I'd love it if Lipo batteries could be produced ''greenly''.

My 1/8th scale Ebuggy charges at 40 amps. Airplanes often exceed that. Lipo's can charge pretty quickly.

But in the case of a real car. Your houses utility service wouldn't keep up. And our grid isn't ready for it. It would be nicer, if houses had substantial solar panels on the roof, and clean green batteries to store it. Then charged your car overnight. Could get rid of the residential generator at the same time.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
My take:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/idaho-biggest-u-deposit-metal-110000106.html
It will be interesting to see how fast this gets greenlighted . . . no pun intended.

I could add that other projects are also in the works. One problem I'm aware of is that there always seems to be a local group working to prevent mining, even when it involves minerals for batteries. Both sides see themselves as being in the "environment's" side. :dontknow:

I should also point out that there are lots of industrial and academic research teams working on alternatives to lithium-ion batteries right now. Solid state sodium-ion batteries or iron-air batteries are showing some real promise. The issue with these alternatives isn't necessarily power--its power density. Lithium's light weight gives it a huge advantage for mobile applications like cell phones and cars. Look for these other technologies (especially iron-air) to be used first for large energy storage applications that are coupled with wind and solar power generation.

My $0.02...battery-powered vehicles are here to stay, but the Li-ion battery may not be.

I feel like Li-ion will stick around even if alternatives join in. They'll pick the best battery for each product. Smartphones, laptops, commuter cars, performance cars and large energy storage all have different specs to meet so I suspect there's room for everyone.

My problem with the current state-of-art in Li-ion technology has always been its relatively slow recharge characteristic: although I love the idea of electric cars, they won't be entirely suitable until their batteries can be fully recharged in 5 minutes or so.

Once you have the habit of charging a car like you charge a smartphone, that isn't really an issue. Full charge every morning. On long trips, EVs don't really need to charge more often than people have to eat. As far as I'm concerned, it's mostly just a change in habits.

Are there any developments on the horizon for such improvements to Li-ion technology?

All I can say here is that my own EV battery (Li-polymer) is 3 years old, has had no issue, and is garanteed for 8 years. I can't really ask for more.

I'd love it if Lipo batteries could be produced ''greenly''.

My 1/8th scale Ebuggy charges at 40 amps. Airplanes often exceed that. Lipo's can charge pretty quickly.

But in the case of a real car. Your houses utility service wouldn't keep up. And our grid isn't ready for it. It would be nicer, if houses had substantial solar panels on the roof, and clean green batteries to store it. Then charged your car overnight. Could get rid of the residential generator at the same time.

Grids adapt as the number of EVs increase. It's not about being ready for a sudden huge uptake, it's gradual.

Batteries are already part of the most sustainable solutions out there. They can be recycled, and used for home storage/generators, and solar roofs are available. As their numbers increase, I expect their cost to come down.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Electra.aero is run by John Langford, same guy that owns Estes Industries, so more than worthy to post in a rocket forum.

Cool!

Drag racing a Plaid and a Lucid:




An Aptera, the coolest 3-wheeler ever (Cd = 0.13), on a track:




A list of all (?-apparently) electric motorcycles available today:

https://www.rideapart.com/news/561918/every-electric-motorcycle-for-sale/


Boeing investing $450M in Wisk eVTOL:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/24/boeing-invests-450-million-in-flying-taxi-developer-wisk.html


Pacific Gas & Energy is charging ahead with large-scale battery storage:

https://www.pge.com/en_US/about-pge...-8597-4734-b85a-104a9f6e8af3&ts=1643130720013


GM’s largest investment ever:

https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm.../us/en/2022/jan/0125-michigan-investment.html
 
Last edited:

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
I mentionned a webinar on "Rural Electrification" a while back. Well it's on YouTube now:



I haven't watched it yet but I suspect they answer some good questions. I've lived and driven a lot in both urban and rural settings, so I suppose there might be differences.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
Where do the batteries go in the end of life cycle what is carbon foot print of doing so ?

I don't have a number for this, but as with other manufacturing processes, the carbon foot print per battery recycled should depend on how many batteries are recycled at a time. My first guess is that mining minerals from a store of used batteries (some people call recycling "urban mining") should be comparable to mining the same materials from geological mines.

Here's what I found so far (new links and links from previous posts in this thread):

EPA: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/used-household-batteries#auto












⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡

In other news, Walmart orders over 1000 delivery EVs from Ford.

 
Last edited:

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,083
Reaction score
3,062
A short interview with the President and CEO of a battery recycling company.

 

boomtube-mk2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
2,238
Reaction score
1,908
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2022/0...tartup-bets-on-autonomous-electric-rail-cars/

A typical modern intermodal train is upwards of 200 cars, usually in units of five with the cars sharing a common truck, thus a five-unit build would only have six trucks with the two end trucks having couplers.

If the system described in the article were to be implemented, then a 200-car intermodal train would need 240 of those powered trucks each with its own battery.
I can't begin to imagine the cost and complexity that would entail much less the time spent recharging all those batteries.

Realistically the only means by which freight RRs could remove the ICE engine from the equation is to electrify their mainlines.
Ask the Milwaukee Road how well that worked out for them. Oh wait, you can't, they went bankrupt, in large part trying to keep that working on their Pacific Coast extension.
 
Last edited:

MidOH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
450
Reaction score
385
Location
Lexington, OH
There's no point in electrifying freight trains and freight carrying ships, right now. They aren't the major problems. The ICE in a train or ship is fairly efficient. Before we die, they'll be fusion powered.

The best eco things we can do, is solar power to get a homes load, off the grid. Combine errands where a car is needed, or shop only one day a week. Waste less. And never litter, especially plastic.
 
Top