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The little Zenn city car is to be sold in fall of 09 here in USA. It runs on supercaps that recharge in 5 minutes and suppose to have a range of 250 miles. If this is true, I hope GM takes notice and uses this technology in the Volt. GO Volt Go!
 

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The maths!

Suppose it takes four hours to do the 250 miles using a 20kW motor. To provide this amount of energy in a five minute charge would require almost a 1MW charger! And we are supposed to plug these in where?
 

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Yep. When you consider energy recharge time for vehicles, liquid and gas powered vehicles come out way ahead of battery (or even potentially capacitors someday) power for convenience and flexibility.
 

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Relax people! There are at least two good solutions in-the-pipe for the fast charging of automotive batteries:

1) High power, no contact (inductive) charging from the bottom of the car. The supply system will be another storage system like a super-cap or advanced battery. These batteries are charged all day and night and in-between customer recharges. Thus, the charging stations will not need to extract that high of a flow from the grid all at once. If the station has super high energy requirements then it will make sense to give it a dedicated high power line. Most stations do not run anywhere near the continuous power required for a 5 minute recharge. Also, most of the charging will be done in the garage and in parking lots and will not require the super fast recharge. You will basically be doing charging at every stop, not filling up once a week like you do with liquid fuels. Slight culture change, what's the big deal?

2) Swap-out stations. Just read the solution proposed by Project Better Place. Simple and uses technology of today. Might not work too well for the US because of it's size and difficulty of providing the critical mass of charging and swap-out stations but that's why we have the hybrids, right? After the infrastructure is in place (as long as gas remains viable) then we can conveniently switch to an all EV fleet.

Yes, gas and diesel were great! However, I don't feel they will be needed in the future and the benefits to switching are hard to calculate. Agreed?
 

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Relax people! There are at least two good solutions in-the-pipe for the fast charging of automotive batteries:

1) High power, no contact (inductive) charging from the bottom of the car. The supply system will be another storage system like a super-cap or advanced battery. These batteries are charged all day and night and in-between customer recharges. Thus, the charging stations will not need to extract that high of a flow from the grid all at once. If the station has super high energy requirements then it will make sense to give it a dedicated high power line. Most stations do not run anywhere near the continuous power required for a 5 minute recharge. Also, most of the charging will be done in the garage and in parking lots and will not require the super fast recharge. You will basically be doing charging at every stop, not filling up once a week like you do with liquid fuels. Slight culture change, what's the big deal?
This approach faces the same problem as the hydrogen approach - who is going to build these massive power stations in the densities required to have people feel confident that they can take long trips?

2) Swap-out stations. Just read the solution proposed by Project Better Place. Simple and uses technology of today. Might not work too well for the US because of it's size and difficulty of providing the critical mass of charging and swap-out stations but that's why we have the hybrids, right? After the infrastructure is in place (as long as gas remains viable) then we can conveniently switch to an all EV fleet.
Yes, after paying for your automobile, you get to lease a battery pack, so the car will be cheap but the long term lease is going to hit you hard month after month, and when you can't pay it, they repossess your battery pack, leaving you with a vehicle shell that you can't use.

Yes, gas and diesel were great! However, I don't feel they will be needed in the future and the benefits to switching are hard to calculate. Agreed?
Gasoline, diesel and alcohol are going to hang around until they add enough hydrogen tanks at their filling stations to eventually replace them.
 

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This approach faces the same problem as the hydrogen approach - who is going to build these massive power stations in the densities required to have people feel confident that they can take long trips?
I now see you have definitely sided with hydrogen. Lately, I’ve been seeing the remaining "hydrogen" people slowly and grudgingly switching to other energy solutions. It's good to see there are a few suborn people left. Keep hanging on to that dream, Jason. Let me explain the extreme differences in infrastructure.

1) For hydrogen you need all of the infrastructure in place just to start (chicken and the egg). One of the ways to get around that is to have a hydrogen / petroleum hybrid. Think about it. You still need a battery (at least Prius size but a plug-in hybrid size would be better - grid electricity will always be cheaper than hydrogen), then you would need your fuel cell and associated storage system and finally you would still need your good old fashioned ICE and it’s gas tank. You might be able to put a hydrogen electrolysis station on-board but no way would this be a quick-fill solution. No way. Now I'm sure just about everyone on the planet, except for you, can agree with me that the normal series hybrid option is a tad less expensive. In two years, when the first high-volume plug-in hybrids come out, we will, as a nation, start moving towards the pure electrification of our transportation fleet (standard hybrids started to get the automobile converted but not the complete system - filling up with grid electricity). We can go as fast or as slow as we wish (depending on the oil situation, that is). Now I haven’t heard any news or products planned for the proposed hydrogen / petroleum hybrid but if someone was crazy enough to build one (Jason?) I’m guessing it would take many more years. However, that is just what would be needed. You said it yourself that pure EVs will never take off until all the infrastructure is in place. Same for hydrogen. Unless you create the hydrogen / petroleum hybrid. Now that’s a lot of systems!

2) You need to create the infrastructure to generate the hydrogen and store it. Firstly, using hydrolysis on-site would require a much more efficient processes (horrible efficiency). I have heard about some progress in this area but it’s still in the lab (much like the rest of the hydrogen dream). Here’s the funny thing Jason, to generate the hydrogen on-site you need the exact electrical infrastructure as needed for the EVs stations. The same amount of energy would need to be delivered in a given day. For the hydrogen station however, you need all that AND the hydrogen hydrolosis equipment AND the hydrogen storage system (liquid or high pressure). Thus, you have the difference of batteries vs. hydrolosis machines and hydrogen storage. Again, everyone on the planet except you, could agree that the batteries would be less expensive and easier to get up an running, not to mention more efficient.

3) If you go with the off-site hydrogen generation option you need to re-equip the entire liquid petroleum truck fleet from gas and diesel over to liquid hydrogen (or very high pressure hydrogen). Think about this for a moment. This is above and beyond what was needed for the EV solution. The EV solution does not need ANY trucks. Nada. No huge hydrogen electrolysis generation plants and their associated huge liquid storage facilities which then safely transfer their liquid loads over to the specialized trucks that are driven by their highly trained operators (more costs and heavy medal on the road) delivering their loads to the hydrogen network. Sure they could develop liquid hydrogen pipes all over the country but... Everyone on the planet can agree, expect you, that high voltage power lines are a tad cheaper than liquid hydrogen (or high-pressure) lines.


Yes, after paying for your automobile, you get to lease a battery pack, so the car will be cheap but the long term lease is going to hit you hard month after month, and when you can't pay it, they repossess your battery pack, leaving you with a vehicle shell that you can't use.
Yeah, you are right Jason. This happens all the time in America and the rest of the world over their cell phones and is a huge disaster. <sarcasm> I'm not saying that the cell phone model for battery leasing is the only way to go. In fact I suggested having a smaller, owner-owned battery with the option to rent or lease batteries when it’s convenient.

In the world, if you don't pay your energy bills they are cut off. If you don't pay for your gasoline at the station you get arrested, etc. Everyone on the planet would agree, except you, that it would be preferable to pay the cost of electricity generated by solar, wind, and our abundant (for a few hundred years - depending) coal rather than having to pay the unexpected cost of petroleum based products. Jason, did you read the other day that it appears Russia has reached peak? Second largest oil producer. http://rosemanblog.sovereignsociety.com/2008/04/peak-oil-comes.html (yes, you are going to bring up Brazil but read the article first - it will explain it better) Of course you don't believe in peak oil but when the Russian government says they are not going to produce at a higher level anymore and that they may even stagnate most people can ponder what’s going on.

Thus, you can keep petroleum in the game and deal with peak oil (who knows when we will peak - even switching over to shale and sands will significantly raise the prices - because it requires much more energy to extract) or you can pay your monthly car electric bill like you already do your cell phone with rates that are not changing that much, especially when you see the problems other people around the world are having with their petroleum based cars. Of course you would think that not going to grid energy and investing in hydrogen is a much better option.


Gasoline, diesel and alcohol are going to hang around until they add enough hydrogen tanks at their filling stations to eventually replace them.
No Jason, it won't be hydrogen stations. It will be simply, easy, completely understood electrical stations that will eventually replace the liquid fuels (in high percentages), unless someone like you (or existing oil companies or governments) gets their way and forces us to accept another liquid fuel and all the associated costs.
 

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needed electrical stations?, not

No Jason, it won't be hydrogen stations. It will be simply, easy, completely understood electrical stations that will eventually replace the liquid fuels (in high percentages), unless someone like you (or existing oil companies or governments) gets their way and forces us to accept another liquid fuel and all the associated costs.
I don't even think it going to needed electrical stations at all. I'm sure battery, solar, and wind power will improve much faster and cheaper rate then compare to build infrastructure in place. I really think home will become electrical infrastructure stations. Unless Jason, existing oil companies, or governments force us to change our behavor.

I always enjoy Texas and Jason picking each other. I have no bad view on Jason. He had made good point. When there is a bad point Jason made. It seem Taxas pop out and try to correct Jason's view.
 

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Whats the big deal?

If you're going to take a road trip, you have to be able to quick charge or swap batteries eventually. The E-REV is going to give us the time we need to implement a charging infrastructure. Battery swapping will never work in the USA.

I don't understand why the concept of quick charging is so difficult for everyone to deal with. Yeah, the braided wire charging cable will be a little bigger than a gasoline pump hose, big deal. And we're going to need battery storage the size of a shipping container that cost $1 million, so what. A Three phase 600 amp service to each station, piece of cake.

We'll have less than half as many charging stations as we have gas stations today, because the only time people will need them is on long trips. We certainly wont have three at one intersection like we do now.

This is the future...
Electric cars, charge at home, or the office, quick charge at a premium when you must.
 

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Quick charging can be of value as a convenience item at supermarkets, convenience stores, malls, etc. It could also work at highay service plazas, highwayside restaurants, rest stops, etc. I don't see it being a primary revenue source or being 600V/200A anytime soon. 240V at max A for Volt capability (hopefully 100A) will most likely be available in near term. After that, I see battery capability going beyond 300 miles and extended battery capacity rentals coming on. Buy the capacity that you need on a regular basis and rent the rest for the occasion trip. Swap the rental battery for "quick charge".

For quick charging only to supplant the genset for most people, the battery must be capable of 250 miles or more. It will be a while before batteries are cheap enough and light enough for this. Until they get below $100/KWh, I don't think it will make sense to offer more than 80-100 AER.
 

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Suppose it takes four hours to do the 250 miles using a 20kW motor. To provide this amount of energy in a five minute charge would require almost a 1MW charger! And we are supposed to plug these in where?
Remember, crusing uses much less than 20kW. I looked at these numbers last year - I came up with 125MJ (35kW*hr) for a 200mi range. I would guess 28F charged to 3000V based on the EEstor patents. 5 minute charge from 500V to 3000V is then 230A continuous. This is managable in terms of the cable size.

I also think this is managable in terms of the "pump" hardware, since you are not constrained by weight & volume in a fixed installation. Presumably, the "pump" would contain the same caps as the car it is charging, reducing the peak load on the AC service. But yes, a public charging station would need to be located near an electrical substation. So I say, locate the charging station near an electrical substation.

Batteries have chemical changes happening inside them. Ceramic capacitors however tend to be very stable, since the whole structure is fired in place at high temperature. EEstor has gone one step further by encapsulating small particles of the dielectric with glass. Potentially, such a capacitor could have no wear-out mechanism, just as the power electronics has no wear-out mechanism, and the motor has one set of bearings.

I just hope that the rest of the car is made to last, to match the potential reliability of the electrical components.
 

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I just hope EEstor is not full of it. It would be very disappointing for a lot of people. Well, if they can't get it to work we still have the silicon nanowire lithium-ion battery to dream about.

Now that very inexpensive-to-manufacture solar panels are rolling of the lines (www.nanosolar.com) that only leaves the battery to complete the puzzle. Once we have that safe, long lasting, high capacity, light, fast charging, inexpensive and environmentally friendly beast in our hot little hands it's "Game on"! Until then... <twiddling thumbs>
 

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Quick charge me baby!

Remember, crusing uses much less than 20kW. I looked at these numbers last year - I came up with 125MJ (35kW*hr) for a 200mi range. I would guess 28F charged to 3000V based on the EEstor patents. 5 minute charge from 500V to 3000V is then 230A continuous. This is managable in terms of the cable size.
...but yes, a public charging station would need to be located near an electrical substation.
Joshua-
I checked your numbers and I'd say their fairly accurate. However, I don't think charging stations will need to be located near an electrical substation. The typical output of a substation to feeder lines is a minimum of 6.6kv but is commonly as high as 33kv. These are the smaller overhead lines we see feeding pole top transformers which drop the voltage to 240 for domestic power or 415 volts for commercial and small industrial. You don't need to look very hard to find 6600+ volt powerlines, there everywhere.

The problem however is load management. You may get a 10 minute charge at 7:30am but might have to wait 20 minutes at 4:00pm. Massive storage devices, (I'm picturing a shipping container full of batteries or caps) could allow the sale of excess energy back to the utility and/or help minimize wait times during peak hours.

I bet a cost analysis would show these stations to be comparable to current petro stations even with the high cost of batteries.

I firmly believe a quick charge infrastructure is not a big deal.
 

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Jason, Don't you ever learn? lol. Do you really want me to trash you on hydrogen too? LATD

LATD???
 

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Eric, I not only agree with you but you also brought up an excellent point. The charging station batteries (or caps or whatever electrical storage device) would also act as storage capability for the new smart grid. It will allow a higher percentage of alternative forms of energy to be connected to the grid. It will help reduce the amount of pumped storage hydro capacity needed as well as act as a form of emergency backup for critical services should the grid experience problems.

In my vision of our future smart grid the quick-charging stations will play a big role in emergency backup, stabilization and base load operation. I'm not sure as to what percent it would be but it would be significantly more than zero. This is an important advantage for having an EV transportation fleet supplied by quick-charging stations. All other methods require an additional device to provide emergency or backup capability. For air car charging station infrastructure you would need a large air motor attached to a generator. A hydrogen car infrastructure would require a large fuel cell. A biodiesel car infrastructure would require a large diesel generator. While the fuel cell could be brought on-line quickly (assuming it's not out of service) none would be even near as fast or as ready as a bank of batteries that are being used everyday. The charging station batteries could be an integral part of the operation of the smart grid, not just a backup feature. I feel this is a compelling argument towards the decision to go with an EV infrastructure. It provides maximum utilization of infrastructure resources.

The following is the proposed structure of the future US smart grid:


Future Smart Grid Inputs:

Solar farms - (PV and thermal) standard profiles during daylight.
Private solar - (mostly PV) standard profiles during daylight.
Wind farms - mostly at night but intermittent.
Private wind farms - mostly at night but intermittent.
Hydroelectric - standard hydro.
Geothermal - standard geothermal.
Storage systems - listed below.
Private storage systems - listed below.
Others - other non-renewable, other renewable.


Future Smart Grid Outputs:

Public users.
Private users.
Storage systems - listed below.
Private storage systems - listed below.
Others.


Connecting infrastructure:

High voltage AC.
High voltage DC.
Standard AC.
Standard DC.


Storage systems:

Pumped storage hydro.
Compressed air storage.
Diesel generator - both petroleum and bio based.
Battery banks.
Capacitor banks.
Other electrical systems - including fuel cell.
Other mechanical systems - including flywheel.


Private storage systems:

Quick-charge station storage.
Home battery systems.
Automobile battery systems.
Other.
 

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The Tesla Roadster is rated for 220 miles for 53KWh. This works out to about 48KWh for 200 miles. The Volt will be a little better but the average vehicle will be a little worse. And this is rated mileage not real driving. To figure on 50KWh/200miles for the average vehicle would optimistic. I thought 480V was a standard commercial voltage, but don't recall 415V. At 480V, it would take about 500A and maybe more to charge an average car's battery in 15 minutes (accounting for charging losses and non-constant draw of battery charging). This is a LOT of power for a consumer application. It also requires on site generation and/or large capacity as others have described. The market can be expected to be a declining one from the start. Only along highways and waning as batteries improve. By the time BEV's will be widely practical, battery energy densities will result in about .75 - 1 mile/ 1 pound.

Of course an EESTOR type of breakthrough could change this dynamic considerably, but even then it would be more efficient to swap srorage media than to charge-discharge-charge. Texas' vision of charging stations doubling as grid augmenting and balancing sites is excellent. The value in this is huge, especially for intermittent renewables such as solar and wind. On other blogs, I have also suggested solar canopies for these sites. They all seem to naturally fit so well together. All of this holds true whether the stations do quick charging or storage media swapping.
 

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Oh yeah...I meant 440v

Koz-

The problem with storage media swapping is the necessity for a standard. I don't believe this is possible for several reasons. For the sake of brevity lets call the storage media "batteries". The battery configuration that will work in a compact hatchback is quite different from the one that will work in a mini van or a pickup truck, or a fast sporty coupe, and even more different are the power requirements, voltages etc. A standardized battery dimension/design will limit the storage capacity, vehicle design, and the creativity and innovation that makes great cars great. It also limits future technological advancements. For example, the NiMh batteries in the Ford Escape are 330volts, but the ones in the new Malibu are 36volts. The Volt will be close to 400 volts but the EEStor capacitors operate at something like 3000 volts. I just don't see storage media swapping as a viable option.

Quick charging however is an easy solution. I think where we disagree is the total amount of power available to the charging station. Lets stop talking about voltage and amperage for a moment and simply look at total current. If we use your figure of 50kwh, then a post substation feeder line capable of a ten minute charge can be found literally everywhere you see a power line. Those lines carry 6600+ volts each. The higher the voltage, the smaller the cables will need to be. By stepping the voltage down to a more manageable 440 volts at the charging point does NOT also limit the total available current, it just means we need bigger wires to transfer it.

Here is a video of a ten minute 14kw charge. Enough to drive this EV 120 miles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcbx57Azisw&feature=related

Really people...This is not a big deal.;) But we do need some advanced load management to prevent too much local draw at any one time.

BTW...Texas, I am totally 100% on board with your smart grid concept. I think the big difference we're going to see between the hippy greenies of the 70s and the modern green movement is power sharing. Previously, "green" people wanted to be energy independent and off of the grid entirely. Although I applaud there attempts, its actually quite wasteful because when the batteries are full, no more energy is harvested.
The Global Green concept is where we all stay on the grid and do our part to suppliment it with clean energy eventually displacing coal altogether. This actually assures that all of the energy we can harvest from wind, solar, or whatever is put to use. We get even more benefit by selling it during peak ours when we're not home. (Ironic how peak solar hours correspond with peak electrical loads) This way we have all the power we need to run our homes like civilized people but still contribute to a cleaner world.
As you pointed out, quick charging stations will simply augment the future, smarter, power grid.
 
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