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Tickerguy
Posts: 150689
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Well, electrified rails are, surprisingly, not all that stupid. The reason is simple -- you don't have to carry the energy with you, and if DC it can be carried over extremely long distances with very little loss (AC, not so much.)

But, there are construction and maintenance issues that are more-daunting than for conventional D/E drive. Rail engines are an interesting case-study in that D/E undergoes two conversions (to electricity and then to traction) that straight diesel does not, but in a locomotive it still "wins" due to complexity and cost considerations, even though you eat the two conversions. Much of that has to do with the need to accelerate an (insanely heavy) rail load from zero, which is a REAL bitch to engineer for in a conventional traction drive.

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Winding it down.

Wa9jml
Posts: 54
Incept: 2017-04-29

DeKalb, Illinois
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I used to test the Motorola radios for locomotives before they were shipped out. We had to test the spark gap on the DC power lines to the radios. I asked the electrical engineers about that, and was told that there were immense circulating currents in the diesel-electric locomotives, and some really strange differences in voltages between different parts of the locomotive. Those were things I had never considered.
Tsherry
Posts: 957
Incept: 2008-12-09

Spokane WA
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So, I might've missed this, but:

What does one of these bastards weigh? Batteries are hella heavy. The vehicle weight just kills load-carrying capacity all the more.

Or did Elon invent anti-grav too, in addition to Mister Fusion?

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Omne mendacium est.
Dennisglover
Posts: 908
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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Wa9jml, about 35 years ago I worked in a Sperry Systems Management plant/facility on North Church Street in Huntsville. A couple of blocks away was the WAAY-AM/FM radio station and tower, what they called a "50,000 watt transmitter". At least one of the electrical/radio engineers there told me they "had to put a wave guide" down the hallway alongside the laser lab on account of stray "voltages and currents" they could detect. Odd? Guess so.

In that plant we also had a .50-cal simulator project set up on the North parking lot. The simulator used some kind of explosive gas mixture (acetylene/O2?) to mimic the sound of a .50-cal firing.

At the same time, the Madison County Sheriff's Office was directly to the West of our North parking lot. The outcome was that, the first time our simulator did its rather impressive thing, in the direction of the Sheriff's offices, there was a rather rapid response from that office, and quickly.

I don't know that anyone went to jail that day. I do know that I heard the simulated shots and the sirens.

I also know that Spa Babunovich (who served in WWII in the Yugoslavian resistance and was apparently a very good sniper, also famous for answering Dick Buschs's question, "Spa, what did you do in the War?" with "I killed Germans." I'd guess that Spa also knew that Busch was a tank commander in the Wermacht on the Eastern Front...)

Such FUN!

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TANSTAAFL
Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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have you ever seen a large arc or tig welder in action? those usually have less than 300 amps. imagine the same thing happening inside a faulty cable or connector, multiplied by 10 or more, while you charge your e-car.

there are some videos on youtube showing accident involving high power electric equipment. they are very entertaining.

elon musk is a serial liar, but he is just exploiting the armies of ignorant idiots who believe his lies and believe that laws of physics do not apply to him.

these people hail EM as the greatest inventor. he isnt.

he was opportunist (and very lucky) to fill the void left by the abysmal failure that was the space shuttle that left USA without heavy or even medium launchers. but he has not invented anything. after almost 60 years, he still cannot do what NASA (and the russians) did in the sixties, even though he has at his disposal modern metallurgy, computer modelling, cheap advanced electronics.

the tesla cars do not contain any new technology.

the powerwall is just a fancy cover for 20 years old technology.

wont even mention solar rooftiles. it has been a failed idea since over 10 years

and the idea of using li-ion cells to store electricity produced by non dispatchable sources? ah ah. of course, when someone else is paying, why not?

Tsherry, take any good quality 18650 cell. they are everywhere, from your laptop to your cordless drill

people imagine that the Tesla battery pack is made out of some high tech accumulators. nothing of the sort. it contains thousands of those cells. so to calculate the weight is quite simple. wiring, cooling and electronics will of course add some more weight

and btw, most people doesnt seem to realize that the battery packs have a cooling system. here a few info, but if you google, you find more

https://www.quora.com/How-are-the-Tesla-....
https://electrek.co/2017/01/24/tesla-tea....

yes, thousands over thousands of cells, and they do not seem to have individual electronics to manage failed cells. and cells do fail.







Tickerguy
Posts: 150689
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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They use MANY chains in a pack and yes, they do have management electronics on each CHAIN (to do each cell would be prohibitive.) So yes, you can lose quite a bit of capacity as one cell takes an entire chain out.

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Winding it down.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4311
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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Quote:
he still cannot do what NASA (and the russians) did in the sixties


To be fair, SpaceX is doing what they're doing without the help of a NATIONAL CONSENSUS and accompanying budgets and under an existing legislative and regulatory framework that didn't exist in the 60s.

I'm pretty impressed with what they've put together, but admit SpaceX stands on the shoulders of giants. NASA and the USSR had a lot of early mortality issues with their rockets.

I'd also like to ask who's more likely to begin flying astronauts again, SpaceX or NASA/Boeing/USA?

Don't get me wrong, though, taxpayers are still subsidizing his space projecs.

Sharps
Posts: 68
Incept: 2008-12-15

SW Montana
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@Gianmarko" "have you ever seen a large arc or tig welder in action? those usually have less than 300 amps. imagine the same thing happening inside a faulty cable or connector, multiplied by 10 or more, while you charge your e-car."

Look at a few utube "arc flash" videos. Recharging a truck with 460v at 500 amps and one screw up and someone is a crispy critter.
Thomasblair
Posts: 89
Incept: 2009-04-03

NC
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Re: Mr Ferris - "Science Reporters" generally know less about science than the little they know about journalism.

It doesn't occur to the guy to consider just how much 2 MW for 30+ minutes per truck really is because he doesn't even know what he doesn't know.

Dennisglover
Posts: 908
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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This talk about large arcs in welding and other situations is taking me back to early 1971, at Electrician's Mate "A" School at Great Lakes.

It was during the direct current training that the story got told. You've got a 400 volt generator capable of putting out about 500 amps. (If my arithmetic is right, that's a 200 kilowatt plant, assuming no losses, etc.. "Main power distribution" often-as-not referred to current taken from the generating set onto a "bus bar", a huge piece of copper (3" by 6" cross section) going to the load center.

At one or more places along that bus bar there was a thing called a "breakable link", sort of a clamp like thing made of steel that bridged a gap along the bus bar's long dimension. When the breakable link was engaged it carried current well enough, I'd guess, with acceptable losses, etc. Break the breakable link, and you get no current to the load center. To break the link, one used a rather heavily insulated T-handle wrench attached to the proper diameter socket to release the bolt.

Now, here's the rest of the story. Supposedly, at some point in time aboard a DC powered ship, an Electrician's Mate striker got the order to break a link on a fully loaded bus. The way these links were built, one could release the bolt, but if the circuit was still under load, it wouldn't open under gravity alone. Young striker had his orders, to open the link, and when it didn't fall open, he used his T-handle wrench to interrupt the circuit, and in a most catastrophic way with the same kinds of results.

I still don't know if I believe the rest of the story, to wit: the gravity break didn't happen, so the striker used his wrench to hammer the link open, at which time (I would suppose) the awesome arc caused by that air gap did reach out and "cut him in half".

No reason to doubt it, you know, even if it does smell like a "sea story". I'm just glad I never had to see it.

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TANSTAAFL
Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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years ago in my father's company, an electrician went to measure 400V power with a multimeter, but he used the same lead on both sides, shortening a high power 400v line. he was not wearing gloves and he got burned so badly he had to stay off work for months.
high power electricity is dangerous stuff

Ckaminski, SpaceX has had its share of failures and if you count failed landings as failures the success rate is pretty bad

regarding the very impressive landing of the first stage, many experts are not so sure it makes sense at all, the penalization of having to use about 7% of the fuel for landing is pretty large as the last fuel is what generates the largest delta V, and the additional weight of the landing gear reduces the payload

i am not very convinced about the idea of reusability of launch equipment, so far the savings promised have failed to materialize, and lets not forget how the space shuttle turned up.

EM likes to come up with unorthodox, exotic technical solutions, none of which seems to have ever produced a cent of profit.



Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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is it possible that such large companies are controlled by total madmen?

apparently is possible

http://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-rel....
Geckogm
Posts: 4353
Incept: 2007-06-26

Canyon Lake
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smiley
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