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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2023 10:00 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2133
Quote:
"Germany is opting for battery-power over hydrogen: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... in-future/"
In my opinion the only sensible source of carrier hydrogen is blue hydrogen with sequestration, mostly from natural gas or what's removed from degassed Bakken or Eagle Ford crude. (The CO2 drops out fairly early in the compression to storage.)

Green hydrogen is in my opinion a boondoggle compared to using the 'production energy' directly as electricity or in other ways. I won't go so far as to say ammonia-cycle would be more sensible (I don't think any ammonia cycle makes sense in the first place) but from a purely financial standpoint...

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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2023 3:55 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2023 8:43 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Marinette, AZ
While I'm on the side of line electrification all the way, I can see uses for battery-electrics and, if the units CPKC owns are found viable, even hydro fuel cell -- specifically, being thrown onto consists with pantograph-electric locomotives to get through towns whose local governments are resistant to electrifying. Have them shut off or just using whatever they can mooch off the lead engine, then when the wires end 5 miles off the outskirts of NIMBYton, UT, kick the battery-electrics up to full speed to make sure the train doesn't stall from coasting before it can get more power, then recharge using the lead engine's power.

You'd need a coupler design that can transmit power, or add in sockets alongside the brake hoses, though.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2023 9:35 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Much of the 'correct' answer is either implicit in, or can be reasonably easily deduced from, the study that Garrett AiResearch did starting in the late '70s, with the 'dual-mode-lite' SD40-2

With a nod to historic preservation that never quite happened, think back to the GE MATE idea (which started as a revival of B unit capital savings but rapidly grew into more), and then expand this with the general theory of road slugs. The key insight is to avoid operation of an 'electrifying' system with straight-electric operation on the wired portion -- you calculate the train factor and units on the basis of self-propelled horsepower, and run the trains and blocks through regardless of overhead power availability. Dual-mode-lite then allows what I call 'punctate electrification', like an expansion of some of the streetcar schemes like the Swiss flywheel system that only connected to electricity at stops. This allows any breaks or gaps in the wire, including permanent gaps for bridges, yards, crossings, etc. to be negotiated using only the onboard power with no compromise in train performance.

Adding battery locomotives with appropriate road-slug-like power connections -- which could and should be AAR-standardized just as HEP has been -- in the way that the FLXdrive locomotive has been used allows the battery-electric to double as a road slug, or hybrid enablement, or (to take a leaf from Iden's approach) carry the pans and primary transformers for dual-mode-lite connection to powered units.

You can then use the 'additional horsepower' for straight electrification for helping or snapping, or assisting acceleration where PSR limited-notch means added speed is not valuable.

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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2023 11:27 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:17 pm
Posts: 86
leppy232 wrote:
While I'm on the side of line electrification all the way, I can see uses for battery-electrics and, if the units CPKC owns are found viable, even hydro fuel cell -- specifically, being thrown onto consists with pantograph-electric locomotives to get through towns whose local governments are resistant to electrifying. Have them shut off or just using whatever they can mooch off the lead engine, then when the wires end 5 miles off the outskirts of NIMBYton, UT, kick the battery-electrics up to full speed to make sure the train doesn't stall from coasting before it can get more power, then recharge using the lead engine's power.

You'd need a coupler design that can transmit power, or add in sockets alongside the brake hoses, though.


You mean, have locomotives set up like they do for slugs, but the power goes from the slug, to the host. It makes sense, they would essentially become the APVs that Amtrak is getting, which have Pans, inverters, and battery packs separate from the locomotive, so no annoying dual mode gear, just the ability to switch from local power source, to aux power source.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2023 10:28 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2133
Quote:
"Biodiesel works directly in any diesel, that is the entire point of biodiesel. Biodiesel is modifying the fuel to avoid modifying the engine. You only need to modify the engine if you want to run on straight, unmodified veggie oil. (Also, if you're going to use used fryer oil, you need to filter, acid-neutralize and de-water it, and that right there is like 80% of the process of making biodiesel, so you might as well).

The foolish thing would be to run the diesel on low-sulfur fuel. It was there for lubricity, to lubricate fuel injection systems. Newer engines are built not to need it, but older engines need something - and as it happens, biodiesel is a fantastic lubricant. 5% biodiesel in regular diesel replaces the lost lubricity.
"

It's a little more than that: in order for the trick to work correctly, the current in the 'slug connections' has to be bidirectional and controllable, so that all the synthesis inverters take power as needed from prime movers, batteries, or OHLE/smart third rail. In my opinion the way to implement this on AC units is by 'trainlining' the DC Link current, rather than having multiple AC sources for rectification by individual units. (Both the hydrogen fuel cells and the traction batteries inherently source reasonably high-voltage DC in the first place) Some of the design criteria will quickly become obvious with a little reflection. There has been a considerable development of commercial/OTS equipment suitable for utility HVDC lines and feeders, so the necessary components for 12--=1500V DC Link ought to be easily sourceable when the time comes...

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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:57 pm 

Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 11:27 pm
Posts: 13
Overmod wrote:
But I do NOT like the implications of their intending to 'convert it into a shoving platform' if that involves removing any of the existing 'historic fabric' of the modifications, or modifying what's there just to have a cab at the far end of one of their consists...


The unit's long hood was essentially a shell upon donation to the ORM, all the hydrogen fuel cell equipment has been stripped out. It does have functioning cab control equipment I am told, so it needs very little work for use as a shove platform. Another proposal is to fit a couple of generator units into the empty long hood for HEP power. In any case, the ORM's intention is to keep what historical fabric remains intact.

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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:57 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2133
Suits me!

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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2023 11:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 132
Here's how much power you need to have for a normal OTR intermodal operation that you decide to convert into electric trucks. For a fleet of 50 trucks you need to have a powerline capacity of 5 Megawatts into your terminal. Most smaller cities don't even draw that much power. Or in windmill terms it's 4 dedicated for you alone.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2023 2:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 132
I know this isn't a popular thing to do but the first year results are in from PepsiCo and Fritolay with the Tesla Semi in day to day usage and they're not good for Tesla. In order to go just over 1000 miles it requires 3 recharge stops of over 45 minutes each. The longest run they had before needing a recharge was less than 400 miles hauling potato chips. Last winter over Donner Pass they frequently ran out of power trying to get over Donner in inclement weather. Lastly was the reliability out of 21 units delivered 14 or 2/3rds of the fleet suffered a major failure in their drive system or other systems. The vaunted Tesla motor was overheating due to the point of failure mode at times. PepsiCo started limiting the entire group to runs of a maximum 100 miles in duration 6 months ago and they're still having massive problems with them. California is not going to be able to get their utopian dream.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2177
The problems with new electric vehicles isn't because they are electric, it is because they are new. Tesla and other companies haven't had years to work out all the kinks as have the models that have been produced for years. If all the manufacturers had been building electric cars and trucks for 100 years, and then suddenly one of them decided to build an internal combustion engine with a transmission, it’d be full of bugs, too.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2023 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2361
PMC wrote:
The problems with new electric vehicles isn't because they are electric, it is because they are new. Tesla and other companies haven't had years to work out all the kinks as have the models that have been produced for years. If all the manufacturers had been building electric cars and trucks for 100 years, and then suddenly one of them decided to build an internal combustion engine with a transmission, it’d be full of bugs, too.


Huh?

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g ... tric-cars/


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 1:00 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2177
superheater wrote:
PMC wrote:
The problems with new electric vehicles isn't because they are electric, it is because they are new. Tesla and other companies haven't had years to work out all the kinks as have the models that have been produced for years. If all the manufacturers had been building electric cars and trucks for 100 years, and then suddenly one of them decided to build an internal combustion engine with a transmission, it’d be full of bugs, too.


Huh?

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g ... tric-cars/

You missed the point obviously. The fact that they have been tested over the years in very small quantities doesn't change the fact that they don't have the miles on them to work out the bugs yet. All of the major builders have internal-combustion model trucks being produced in the same form for decades, I can't estimate the miles but I would guess easily in the trillions for some models. And when they do tinker with them (say the DEF/ emissions system starting around ten years ago) they cause severe reliability problems like this electric truck is having now. And so this one test of one model of electric truck is dwarfed in the trial and error department. I have been driving semi-trucks part-time for twenty years, over two million miles, all in internal combustion powered vehicles, I put over 750,000 miles on one truck alone, and my dad drove them for another 30 years before that, and in all that time the only electric truck I have seen was a dead Freightliner on a flatbed being taken back to the factory in Washington.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 132
The biggest problem with electric trucks isn't going to be the reliability itself it's going to be 3 factors. The lack of range between charges the weight penalty next and the inability to vary the weight in order to haul different loads.

When you need to recharge every 200 300 miles and it takes 45 minutes to an hour to recharge the battery you're going to see your fleets productivity drop like a stone requiring more trucks and drivers to haul the same amount of cargo as before.

Next is the weight. In order to get that range you need a battery that weighs in at around 8 tons right now. That's 20 percent of the maximum gross weight nationwide and right now the FMCSA is only giving you 2k over for batteries weight. I personally drove a truck that weighed less than the battery pack in an electric truck that thing could legitimate scale 53k pounds in a trailer all day long and had a 60 in sleeper on it.

3rd is the weight of your cargoes. There's times when you're literally going across the nation dumping 50 to 60 gallons at a time in your tanks as the load you're having hauling is too heavy on full tanks. Meat loads are especially good for this running. Those loads pay better than normal rates also why if you're able to scale it out the shippers will pat you to move it. I had a customer that routinely paid my boss's 4 bucks a mile as I routinely carried 50k in my trailer. Why because he didn't need to pay for a second truck.

With electric trucks it's going to be here's the weight limit take it or leave it for shippers and the heavier loads that can't be cut and some literally can't be cut down will be forced onto oversized permitted loads which will really be expensive to move.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:56 pm
Posts: 376
Location: Ontario, Canada.
More somewhat random thoughts, but on topic:
I remember well, back in the 1980s of seeing news reports from the Soviet Union showing lines of women waiting for the store to open so they could get a chance at that one roast of beef on display in the cooler.
The reports would say, the government needs to get a system to get food into the stores like they have in Canada or the United States.
What they didn't understand, was that private enterprise had built an extraordinary system of agriculture, transportation, and distribution over many, many years. Back then, when socialism was thankfully falling in on itself, the capitalist system was working amazing well here in North America. I remember seeing long lines of mechanical reefers on the Canadian National heading east. The cars were filled with produce from California and would arrive at the Food Terminal in Toronto where many brokers would see to it that the goods were delivered to grocery stores. While the women in Moscow stared at empty shelves, here in Canada, even in the depths of winter, we could buy fresh fruit and vegetables at reasonable prices.
Today, much of that is hauled by truck, but the system still works. I was at a moderately sized store today and there were foods from all over the world. Sadly, some of it is no longer at reasonable prices, for the average person. Blame a socialist government here in Canada that is carbon taxing many of us into oblivion, while subsidizing rich people for buying electric vehicles.
Reading your discussions above about the electric trucks, I could not help thinking about the old Soviet Union and the plight of the shoppers, juxtaposed with 2023 shoppers in Canadian stores.
When you take a very complex system of distribution, that took generations to build, and is working well, and add green/left ideology like carbon taxes and electric trucks into the mix, you run the risk of upsetting the system.
It is not a question of the efficacy of electric trucks or whether, in time, they will become useful. Or whether, as the proponents have always said - oh "they" will eventually have better batteries. The danger comes from superimposing ideas and technology based more on ideology and government mandate onto a complicated system that is vital to the economy and the well being of the citizens. Cranky teenaged activists in Scandinavia, silver-spoon socialists in Canada, and green politicians in the U.S. have never worked a day in their lives. They could not run a lemonade stand, but we are allowing them to fritz with our critical infrastructure.
Be very, very careful about messing with something that works very well. Change for changes sake, or even worse, change for the sake of ideology, could leave us all standing in the line waiting to peer into an empty cooler.
I will get some blow back for sure. Please argue the points, and no strawmanning.


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 Post subject: Re: alternate power
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:55 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 am
Posts: 132
This should tell you just how poorly things go when the government gets involved with a private business. In the state of Nevada prostitution is legal in most of the state in taxed and regulated brothels. In the 90s under Clinton the IRS seized the most profitable house in the state of Nevada at the time the Mustang Ranch just across the county line from Reno. They'd arrested the owners for tax purposes. The courts ordered the IRS to keep it open until they sold it to a new owner. They were forced to close it down for failure to make a profit. Yes I'm being serious the federal government literally couldn't run a brothel in a state were it's legal and make any money with the second oldest profession on earth.


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