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Thread: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Man, I wish that we had diesel powered SUVs, light trucks, etc. Wonder what the mileage difference would be on a Volt if it used a 1.4L TD instead of the 1.4L gas motor? Considering the torgue difference at low end, a diesel can turn a generator a lot more efficiently than a gas motor can. Most gas motors have to be up around 3000+ rpm to maximise efficiency in the engine under heavy load, a TD would chug along very efficiently at less than 2000 rpm, heck, a lot of diesels used in industry for generators and such cannot even reach a 1000 rpm. Quick someone out there swap a VW TD motor into a Volt and tell us what you get.
    Most hybrids don't operate like trains. The engine isn't just providing power for the electric motor, it's also turning gears under certain conditions. That design makes Diesel engines less efficient because electric motors also have their highest torque on the low end instead of mid-range like a gas engine. Electric engines and gas engines compliment each other as long as the gas engine isn't just turning a generator.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Why all of this? To explain something really quite simple. No matter what we use, be it electricity, oil, natural gas, hydrogen, or wind...a car requires the same amount of energy being applied to it, in order to achieve the same amount of motion. The question is, from where can we derive the most energy, and, of the options, which is the most efficient, and these days, more importantly, which is less harmful to our environment. Where does electricity come from? Why, mostly, from fossil fuels, just like oil. Only, coal does not have NEAR the energy potential that oil has. It has less stored energy. In essence, then, it is less efficient. We can also generate electricity from the wind, and from water, by working in reverse...which is to say, by turning MOTION into electricity, instead of the other way around. But we can only ever generation as much energy this way as those forces can generate motion. In other words, not nearly enough to power all the worlds automobiles, as we currently stand.
    Fossil fuels provide less than half of the electrical power in America and that percentage is getting smaller every day.

    ICE engines waste a huge amount of energy, mostly as heat, even before the transmissions/gears are factored in. The transmission and other gearing loses another 22-24% for automatics, 16-20% for manuals transmissions. Electric motors are the most efficient motors in the world and few electric cars use a transmission for the electric motor. The electric components of electric cars are extremely efficient as far as how much work is being done compared to the energy put into the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    In my mind, trying to make a car that runs on electricity is a step backwards. We already had them in the early 1900s, and ditched them, for the very same reasons they are not too popular now. Think about what electricity is, and what it takes to transport it. What happens when you try to power, say, a drill, with a 5 foot plug, from a wall socket? It runs fine, to tax to the grid at all. Now, whip out a 500 foot extension cord, and try to do the same. Not gonna work out so well for you. This is the inherent problem with it, as an energy source. Oil, on the other hand, does not release it's store of energy without a catalyst, typically, heat. Ideal.
    Electricity is a step forward. Even now we talk about changing fuels but something as simple as switching to NG/LNG will take a huge amount of investment because the entire infrastructure for automotive fuels is built around gasoline/Diesel. To switch to NG/LNG every gas station in America would need new storage tanks. The existing NG pipelines couldn't handle the increased capacity we'd need. Unlike electricity that can be generated locally from wind/solar and stored, NG is only available in some very exclusive places in the country and needs to be transported - and transported - and transported until it finally gets somewhere that can put it into your car's tank. Or we can replace the millions of miles of NG pipelines in country, which is even more expensive. Then 50-80 years from now, if we switch fuels again, we get to do it all over - re-building the entire fuel distribution infrastructure to meet the new fuel's needs.

    Better to switch to electricity now and upgrade the grid as needed (local generation will reduce that need) to be ready for whatever fuel we decide to use in the future. Whatever it is can be used much more efficiently at a fixed, large-scale facility than it can ever be used in a small, mobile application like a car.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    But what of that other elusive source? Hydrogen?
    Even if we get hydrogen to work it'll still be more efficient to burn it at a fixed, large-scale facility than it will be to burn in a car or truck - and much safer, too.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Fossil fuels provide less than half of the electrical power in America and that percentage is getting smaller every day.
    Just to clarify (and I think you know this, but maybe others don't), but oil provides less than 1% (0.9) of our electrical needs. It's mostly coal providing electricity. Thus, to get away from oil, we need to get away from gas-powered cars.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    Just to clarify (and I think you know this, but maybe others don't), but oil provides less than 1% (0.9) of our electrical needs. It's mostly coal providing electricity. Thus, to get away from oil, we need to get away from gas-powered cars.
    Yeah, I misspoke. I was thinking "coal" not "fossil fuel".

    Oil provides almost nothing in the way of fuel for electrical power.

    NG provides about a quarter of our power and that's growing. Coal provides less than half and that's shrinking, at least for now.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 08-23-12 at 01:45 PM.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Yeah, I misspoke. I was thinking "coal" not "fossil fuel".

    Oil provides almost nothing in the way of fuel for electrical power.

    NG provides about a quarter of our power and that's growing. Coal provides less than half and that's shrinking, at least for now.
    Let's hope it shrinks down to nothing. NG is another fossil-fuel that I'd like to stop using, but I'd happily take it in replacement over coal any day. Then phase out NG as necessary, but I could see NG as tiding us over for a while until other tech matures a little more.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Most hybrids don't operate like trains. The engine isn't just providing power for the electric motor, it's also turning gears under certain conditions. That design makes Diesel engines less efficient because electric motors also have their highest torque on the low end instead of mid-range like a gas engine. Electric engines and gas engines compliment each other as long as the gas engine isn't just turning a generator.
    Then perhaps that is the problem with the systems and the cause of the inefficiencies, or at least some of them. Why not just put a small diesel motor turning a generator, apply generated power to electric motor. Since you brought it up, why do they insist on high rpm electric motors mounted at the wheels? Has anyone actually done a power consumption evaluation on whether we would need more or less power if we simply ran the output of the electric motor through the standard drive train? If electric motors actually develope more torque on the low end, and torgue is what actually does the work, then why would gearing the motor to run at much lower rpms be less efficeint that running them directly at such high rpms?

    Tubine engines were not used on cars in the past because they were too impractical. The Army does use one in their M1 tanks. Would a turbine constant speed engine turning the generator be more efficient?

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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    'Fisker Automotive, a green car company that received funding from the U.S. government, is recalling about 2,400 Karma plug-in hybrids to repair a faulty cooling fan unit that was the cause of a vehicle fire in Woodside, California last week.

    The Anaheim, California-based automaker, founded in 2007, said the August 10 fire began in front of the left wheel, where the low temperature cooling fan is located. An "internal fault" caused the sealed unit to fail, starting a slow burning fire, Fisker said in a statement on Saturday....

    ...Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy denied Fisker access to more than half of a $529-million government loan awarded in 2009 due to delays in the Karma launch.'

    Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue | Reuters
    That DOES sound like a lot of bad Karma for Fisker. LOL.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    And what is the predicted enviromental impact of bad batteries and battery manufacture? Few people even seem to take this into consideration. We put less crap into the air, but where do we store all those chemical batteries when they can no longer be used. Isn't that one of the arguments about Nuclear, where do we store the waste?

    Man, I wish that we had diesel powered SUVs, light trucks, etc. Wonder what the mileage difference would be on a Volt if it used a 1.4L TD instead of the 1.4L gas motor? Considering the torgue difference at low end, a diesel can turn a generator a lot more efficiently than a gas motor can. Most gas motors have to be up around 3000+ rpm to maximise efficiency in the engine under heavy load, a TD would chug along very efficiently at less than 2000 rpm, heck, a lot of diesels used in industry for generators and such cannot even reach a 1000 rpm. Quick someone out there swap a VW TD motor into a Volt and tell us what you get.
    Yeah, but to be fair, batteries can be recycled, radioactive waste is more problematic. I personally believe synthetic diesel is the best option, simply because we won't have to build an entirely new infrastructure to facilitate it. Hell, we won't even need automakers to change too terribly much.
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Then perhaps that is the problem with the systems and the cause of the inefficiencies, or at least some of them. Why not just put a small diesel motor turning a generator, apply generated power to electric motor. Since you brought it up, why do they insist on high rpm electric motors mounted at the wheels? Has anyone actually done a power consumption evaluation on whether we would need more or less power if we simply ran the output of the electric motor through the standard drive train? If electric motors actually develope more torque on the low end, and torgue is what actually does the work, then why would gearing the motor to run at much lower rpms be less efficeint that running them directly at such high rpms?

    Tubine engines were not used on cars in the past because they were too impractical. The Army does use one in their M1 tanks. Would a turbine constant speed engine turning the generator be more efficient?
    I believe turbines are not very efficient, i have not done much research into them, but I do believe they are not as efficient as piston engines, more powerfull given for a given size and weight yes, but not as efficient.

    As for your first suggestion

    The ultimate would be a diesel engine powering a generator directly, (excess power stored in the battery pack) and using the electric motor to power the wheels. Diesels are far more efficient then gasoline engines, and all combustion engines have a specific speed that they run most efficiently at. Having the IC engine separated from the driving wheels would allow for that (assuming the battery pack always maintains a minimum charge to provide extra acceleration then when the generator can provide with the diesel running at a constant speed.

    The Volt was originally report to do the above, have the IC separated from the driving wheels, but was later clarified to state that certain speeds the IC engine does power the wheels directly
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    Re: Automaker Fisker recalls some 2,400 Karmas for cooling fan issue

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Then perhaps that is the problem with the systems and the cause of the inefficiencies, or at least some of them. Why not just put a small diesel motor turning a generator, apply generated power to electric motor.
    That would make them more like trains. Most electrics don't operate this way but I seem to remember reading about one that did - though I don't remember which one it was. It was probably in Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Since you brought it up, why do they insist on high rpm electric motors mounted at the wheels? Has anyone actually done a power consumption evaluation on whether we would need more or less power if we simply ran the output of the electric motor through the standard drive train?
    I'm sure they've done computer modeling for that but even on it's face it's a bad idea. On a standard drive-train the transmission has loses of 16-20% for manuals, 20-24% for automatics, not counting any gearing. Electrics often have a gear ratio but it's fixed - no transmission. That ~22% power loss is a killer, though, as is the extra weight the transmission adds.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    If electric motors actually develope more torque on the low end, and torgue is what actually does the work, then why would gearing the motor to run at much lower rpms be less efficeint that running them directly at such high rpms?
    Because of the mechanical loss as noted above. Better to have direct drive and design the motor for higher RPM's so the range with the most use has fairly good torque. If an electric is designed to go 100 MPH then driving at 50 MPH is at half it's rated RPMs.

    The straight line below is a standard torque profile for electric motors, the curved one is power. This is just an example of a idealized electric motor. The actual design RPMs differ from vehicle to vehicle.

    torquepowerspeed.jpg

    http://lancet.mit.edu/motors/motors3.html

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Tubine engines were not used on cars in the past because they were too impractical. The Army does use one in their M1 tanks. Would a turbine constant speed engine turning the generator be more efficient?
    I have no idea.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 08-23-12 at 08:35 PM.
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