Check this article out at Popular science
13 years ago
Check this article out at Popular science
On 4/13/2010 12:31 PM Frank A. Rosenbaum spake thus:
The comments below the article are worth reading. One thing's for sure: this thing is only "green" in the sense of greenwashing, at least with the current state of electric generation back East. Where does the electricity to charge those batteries come from? If you believe the makers of those despicable Exxon-Mobil and Chevron TV ads, you'd think it was generated from clean, green pixie dust.
Now if only that could be scaled down, say, 1:87. Add a radio link and you could have a miles-long layout needing no external power ...
World's first all-electric locomotive?
I'm sure that would come as news to Robert Davidson (Aberdeen,1837, powered by galvanic cells), Werner von Siemens (Berlin, 1879) and Magnus Volk (Brighton, 1883).
Excuse me? I've known a lot of "greenies" for well over 40 years now, but have yet to meet one who wants the "big power plants shut down". (Doesn't mean that there aren't any, mind you, but it *does* mean that idealistic fruitcakes such as that are pretty damn thin on the ground.)
I *have* met a lot of people who've become aware that we can generate power a lot more cleanly than we're doing right now, and that the main thing standing in the way of that cleaner power in the US is the power companies like PG&E or Con Ed, who see smaller profit margins looming on the horizon and want to put that day off for just as long as possible.
Sane people have all pretty much come to the conclusion that we're going to be needing every single type of power-generating technology we can build or invent if we want to maintain a high-tech civilization in the future, and that includes wind, solar, hydro-electric, tidal, gas and coal-burning plants, and yes; nukes.
This concept that "greenie" refers only to people who'd prefer to live in caves is an invention of the power companies who'd like to discredit anyone who wants them to clean up their act, and has little to do with the reality of a population that's largely wised up to the fact that we're in the process of poisoning the very environment we all rely on for every breath we take, and would like to see power generated with the least possible impact.
As you know, the article didn't say. Since they were automotive batteries, I wonder if it isn't 120. But charging a thousand batteries in two hours can't be too good for the batteries.
On 4/14/2010 6:13 AM Frank A. Rosenbaum spake thus:
Which of course is because charging *one* battery in 2 hours can't be good for it. But I'm assuming they're using some kind of "deep cycle" batteries that can stand that kind of abuse better than conventional units.
That would work. I hadn't thought of that.
Also, someone mentioned pollution at the power source. Yes, I agree if it is a coal or oil burning plant, but would you rather have 24 hours of a diesel loco idling, plus the 'local' pollution? The power for the batloc is just a small part of the use of the power plant that is going to run whether or not the loco needs it.
Frank Rosenbaum Please note the new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Please Support the following train shows: Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society, MI.:
The average major power plant is far more efficient than any railway Diesel locomotive by as much as 200-300% Delivering electricity to electric locomotives (or a battery charging station) can waste up to 20% of the energy. (200%x80% =3D 160% advantage= ) Using batteries will waste another 20% (160%x80% =3D 128%) so the batter= y Electric is still ahead 28% to 92% on new Diesel Electric locos in servi= ce.
What really turns the point is the usage pattern of the loco. As someone mentioned, this loco is not "interesting" as a mainline loco. As far as I see it, it is mostly intended for switching and local service? And for a switcher loco, it might be successful - they can simply switch it off when not in use, in contrast to a diesel loco (which needs the engine kept warm). They have lots of starting and stopping, so regenerative braking is really sensible (recharge the batteries ;-)
As a road loco this would be a terrible failure I guess, but as a switcher this one might be really successful. And in that case the advantage over a diesel (idling for half of the day) might be worth the trouble with the batteries (I dislike batteries).
Battery switchers are nothing new. This is at the National Railway Museum in York
It's a bigger problem for road engines though because they would need charging facilities everywhere they went, and charging takes longer than refuelling.
The big problem is the infrastructure needed. In their early days diesels never went out of range of fueling facilities. While battery chargers are pretty old hat, you need them and their associated power supply everywhere the locomotive would be used, which limits its sphere of operation.
This is also the failing of all-electric cars such as the Tesla. Cross country trips are nearly impossible with the need to recharge it approximately every 300 miles. A recharge takes hours, while refilling a gas tank takes ten minutes. Someday perhaps we'll get around this problem, but until then don't drive one very far from home.
Around Silly Cone Valley many of the technology stores like Fry's electronics have reserved parking slots for electric vehicles, with chargers to "top up" while the customer is in the store.
I don't remember seeing any for commuters though.
For local use you can charge them overnight, but I ain't going to buy a second vehicle just for shopping and commuting. When I lived in England electric delivery vehicles were common. But again, these never stray very far from a central charging facility. I've also seen battery operated local buses on both sides of the Atlantic.
And I recently saw a semi-trailer truck painted for Coca-Cola (IIRC) making a delivery to a convenience store that had a sign stating that it was all-electric. I was past it fairly quick, but I believe I saw the Kenworth logo on the front of the grill.
I don't find anything on an all electric Kenworth, but they do have a hybrid . Presumably this would be mostly electric for short range applcations.
Dan Mitchell ============
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Perhaps it was a hybrid. I only had a second to glance at it as I drove past the store where it was making a delivery.
All the data I have on ordinary lead-acid batteries shows a charging tim= e in the order of 10 hours, normal maximum discharge (operation) rate 2 =
hours, extreme discharging 1 hour. Deepcycle lead acid batteries can be charged=
at about twice that rate. The Prussian Railways had a considerable fleet of battery railcars =
(passenger) for use on branchlines and short mainline runs. These were in service from circa 1900 into the 1950s/60s and some were replaced by the DB inn= the early 1960s. Their obvious use is on short runs with longer breaks betwe= en =
runs. The DRG/BB also had a few battery electric shunting locos. They also had= =
six (I think) Co'Co' battery/overhead electric heavy shunters. The intent of= =
the batteries there was to enable the locos to access non-electrified siding= s. Obviously when a loco is used only for yard work or between two specific=
stations it is never going to be far from a charging station.
The London Underground uses 3rd rail / battery locomotives for maintenance of way trains.
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