EV to Hybrid Trailer

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EV to Hybrid Trailer

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
Hi EV List

I own a Nissan Leaf.  It is a great car.  I get 4.2 miles/kwh of battery and 80 mile range for 24 kwh battery.  I believe this is better than the plug in hybrid, though I do not know.  This works perfect for local trips where 80 miles is plenty and the car can be recharged slowly overnight.  However, I sure would love to drive it to visit my family who are much beyond this range.  

What if we created a trailer that would have a generator with sufficient capacity to charge the battery while traveling distances beyond the 80 miles.  Likely, I would loose some mileage with the extra weight.  However, once at the destination, the trailer could be detached and I can go back to being an all electric vehicle.  

A simple idea that I am sure is not that simple.  However, if I purchased an off the shelf generator that could charge at level 2 Charge Rate 1.41 kW - 6.16 kW, I could use the standard plug, perhaps relocating the female to where the front flap would not need to be open.  One problem that may be beyond my engineering skills is safely allowing the car to charge while in motion.  Currently, the car will not start if the plug is connected.  I am sure this is a feature meant to prevent people from inadvertently driving away with the chord plugged in.  However, once I start messing with the engineered product, I could get into trouble.  

This list has a lot of smart people.  Has anybody tried a similar concept?  

Eli Fishpaw
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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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It would probably be quite difficult to convince the Leaf to use the
onboard charger while also moving.  You would also need well more than 6
kW of power to move down the freeway.

You may find it easier and more efficient to build a "pusher trailer"
out of the front end of a FWD car, such that the gas engine will "push"
your leaf down the freeway, with a remote gas/brake control in the Leaf.

(Or you could use a larger motorcycle back end as your "pusher".)

The leaf could even use regen to recharge on the freeway if the pusher
motor had enough HP.

Jay

On 05/15/2017 10:04 AM, conservation architect via EV wrote:

> Hi EV List
>
> I own a Nissan Leaf.  It is a great car.  I get 4.2 miles/kwh of battery and 80 mile range for 24 kwh battery.  I believe this is better than the plug in hybrid, though I do not know.  This works perfect for local trips where 80 miles is plenty and the car can be recharged slowly overnight.  However, I sure would love to drive it to visit my family who are much beyond this range.
>
> What if we created a trailer that would have a generator with sufficient capacity to charge the battery while traveling distances beyond the 80 miles.  Likely, I would loose some mileage with the extra weight.  However, once at the destination, the trailer could be detached and I can go back to being an all electric vehicle.
>
> A simple idea that I am sure is not that simple.  However, if I purchased an off the shelf generator that could charge at level 2 Charge Rate 1.41 kW - 6.16 kW, I could use the standard plug, perhaps relocating the female to where the front flap would not need to be open.  One problem that may be beyond my engineering skills is safely allowing the car to charge while in motion.  Currently, the car will not start if the plug is connected.  I am sure this is a feature meant to prevent people from inadvertently driving away with the chord plugged in.  However, once I start messing with the engineered product, I could get into trouble.
>
> This list has a lot of smart people.  Has anybody tried a similar concept?
>
> Eli Fishpaw
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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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On 05/15/2017 04:09 PM, Jay Summet via EV wrote:
> It would probably be quite difficult to convince the Leaf to use the
> onboard charger while also moving.  You would also need well more than 6
> kW of power to move down the freeway.

I haven't done it, but I figured defeating the "don't run while
charging" feature would not be a big deal.  You would probably want to
relocate or replicate the Leaf's J1772 connector.  I imagine Cor can
tell us for sure what might work.  When I had a Leaf. I pondered putting
in 200-300 ah of 48v battery.  10-15kwh.  That battery should fit inside
the car.  Good inverters are readily available and semi-cost effective
for that voltage.  You don't need to keep the car moving with the 3kw or
6kw charging power.  The 1-2 hours the main battery lasts can be used to
put in up to 12 kwh.  Half a charge or another ~50 miles.  You could
carry an onboard 48v charger and supply it downstream from the J1772
connection.

The Prius retrofits were conceptually similar though I think they used a
DC-DC to bring the low voltage auxiliary pack up to or maybe slightly
above main pack voltage.  Of course, that IS a charger.  Off the shelf
proven chargers and inverters seem like the safer path to me.  It also
has the advantage of not having to access the high voltage of the main pack.
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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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On 05/15/2017 06:34 PM, Willie via EV wrote:
>
>
> On 05/15/2017 04:09 PM, Jay Summet via EV wrote:
> I haven't done it, but I figured defeating the "don't run while
> charging" feature would not be a big deal.

It would depend upon where the interlock is located. Because the (2013+)
Leafs have the charger as part of the power distribution unit (on top of
the inverter/motor stack), it may be that the charger talks directly to
the inverter and shuts it down when charging.

However, if the "don't move, I'm charging" feature is done via the CAN
bus, it may be that by sniffing on the CAN bus you could find the "I'm
Currently Charging" message and "stomp" on it so the rest of the vehicle
wouldn't "know" that the charger was charging, and would operate normally.

However, I think it may be much more difficult to override than you think.

(On the 2011/2012 leafs, with their separate chargers, it may be very
easy to do....)




>  You don't need to keep the car moving with the 3kw or
> 6kw charging power.  The 1-2 hours the main battery lasts can be used to
> put in up to 12 kwh.  Half a charge or another ~50 miles.  You could
> carry an onboard 48v charger and supply it downstream from the J1772
> connection.

This is a good point, you could certainly gain 50% range.

Jay

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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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Hi Eli,

You've obviously given this some thought already and realize some of the
technical problem you'd need to solve.  Modern EVs -- modern cars of all
kinds, actually -- are pretty much integrated computers-on-wheels.  They
don't take well to things happening that aren't in their programming, such
as attempts to charge them through their charging inlets while they're still
being driven.

I'm not an engineer, but my guess is that you'd need to start with something
like the old range-extending battery plug-in-Prius conversions.  In most if
not all of them, the extra battery was rigged to fool the car's computers
into thinking the car was being fed the extra charge via regeneration.

If you go that route, make sure you know what you're doing.  Not to scare
you but rather to caution you: we have a list member here who recently
bought a junk Leaf for parts.  It was a fire wreck.  The former owner was
trying to extend its range by paralleling extra battery modules onto the
pack'a.  Water got in through the holes he'd drilled in the battery tray and
caused some kind of electrical failure.  The car's interior erupted in
flames.

Do you want to drive continuously on fuel, or are you planning to stop every
now and then to let the genset catch up?  At your efficiency (238Wh/mi)
you'll need a genset of at least 14.3kW to maintain 60mph.  Your max of
6.16kW isn't going to cut it.

One thing you may not have thought about is how dirty and inefficient your
car will become when you use this scheme.  Maybe it doesn't matter to you,
although the facts that you own an EV and use the handle "conservation
architect" suggest that it probably does.  

Efficiency first.  The most efficient EV APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) I know
of was the "Long Ranger" trailer Alan Cocconi built for his Honda Civic
hatchback conversion EV about 2 decades ago.  Cocconi is a genius engineer.  
He designed the inverter for the original GM Impact, which became the EV1.  
The original Tesla roadster was also heavily influenced by his T-Zero
roadster (I think Tesla actually licensed his AC Propulsion drivetrain).

Cocconi used a (Kawasaki?) motorcycle engine in his Long Ranger.  I don't
think I ever read any information about its emissions, but bikes have never
been as tightly regulated as cars, and I strongly doubt that it was anywhere
close to auto engines of the time.  (More on that below.)

It did keep up with the EV's energy use on the highway, though.  Now this is
about as fuel-efficient as you're going to get, and I recall reading that it
got a real world 32mpg highway.  For direct comparison, a similar Honda
Civic VX or HF hatchback of about the same vintage got real world highway
mpg in the 48-56 range.  

As for emissions, it's no contest.  I ran the calculations on this back in
2007, so it's far from up to date, but I think my conclusions are still
worth looking at.  (If you want to see the full assumptions and
calculations, let me know, and I'll post them, but they're kinda dull.)

I based this on a fairly modern commercial grade genset from a reputable
manufacturer that met EPA 2000s portable equipment emissions regulations
(not dubious Chinese crap from Harbor Freight or Ebay), driving a highly
efficient conversion EV of the time at highway speed.  I assumed that the EV
could sustain 60mph with a 10kW continuous input.  That's quite a bit less
than your Leaf, and amounts to about 165Wh/mi -- tough, but maybe possible
for something light and efficient like a gen1 Solectria Force.  

I calculated only for the regulated pollutants NMHC, NOx, and CO, not CO2.

The genset-powered EV would have emissions in grams per mile of:

2.4 g/mi NMHC + NOx
117 g/mi CO.  

PZEV / light duty SULEV-II EPA limits (applied to the 2004-2009 Toyota
Prius, I don't know about current models):  

NMHC + NOx = 0.03 g/mi
CO = 1.0 g/mi

Compared to a 2004+ Toyota Prius), the genset-driven EV produces

7900% more NMHC + NOx (80 times as much)
11600% more CO (117 times as much)

Can you say "gross polluter"?  :-(

In doing these calculations, I ignored the additional aero drag and weight
of the genset trailer.  Those would make the results even worse.   So would
your case, since at 238 Wh/mi your Leaf already uses 40% more energy than my
prototype EV.

There are also some practical considerations.  For example, have you driven
with a trailer before?  Parked with one?  Backed up with one?  It's not much
fun.  

Then there's the racket and vibration from the genset drifting forward every
time you stop.  They kind of spoil the EV experience, as does (IMO) knowing
how much pollution you're spewing into the air.

What you're proposing would be an interesting challenge and possibly a lot
of fun if you're into engineering and serious problem-solving.  

If you're more into just driving something clean, I think you're much better
off borrowing or renting an ICEV for the times you need to take longer
trips.  Alternatively, you could trade your Leaf in on a  PIH.

Heck, you'd even do better (at least on emissions) driving a big pickup or
SUV and towing the Leaf.

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck with it!

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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Thanks to those who replied to my inquiry.  My instinct is that a real engineer with familiarity of the cars design would be needed to pull this off.  

David Roden  makes some very interesting points.  He points out that the emissions are high for less regulated motors. The pollutants that he sites are CO, NMHC + NOx.  This certainly give me pause for moving forward.  CO2 is definitely a motivator for me.  The emissions for this are gallons (10% ethanol) typical x 19#CO2/gal (epa website http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11 ).  

I have evaluated the actual gas mileage using David’s metric of m/kwh x speed to determine kwh/h or kw of continuous power.  I would need 14.3 kw generator.  Using this 15 kw generator http://www.electricgeneratordepot.com/generac-5734-gp15000e-15-000-watt-electric-start-portable-generator-992cc-ohvi I end up with a mere 18.75 mpg not accounting for the reduced m/kwh for the trailer.  Our Honda Element (2nd car) gets 25 mpg.  The trailer would only make environmental sense if we can go back to using renewable energy while we are at the destination. My figures are pasted in from spreadsheet below.  

Though Davids prototype gets higher m/kwh than the leaf, I still promote the all electric car for local use.  This 80 mile range achieves 75% of our annual auto transportation needs.  We added photovoltaic array to produce as much power as this consumes.  This greatly reduces our CO2 emissions for auto transportation.  

Eli

Generator Evaluation
      Milage (miles/kwh) 4.2
      Average Speed (mph) 60
      Energy needed per hour (kwh/h)         14.29  
      Continuous power needed (kw)         14.29  
      gas tank(g) 16
      Run time at 50% power(hr) 10
      Run time at 100% power(hr) 5
      gas consumption at 60mph(gph) 3.2
      gas milage at 60mph(m/g) 18.75

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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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Clearly what we need is a substantial expansion of Amtrak's Auto Train.
(not kidding!)
Cal

> conservation architect via EV <mailto:[hidden email]>
> May 16, 2017 at 3:33 PM
> Thanks to those who replied to my inquiry. My instinct is that a real
> engineer with familiarity of the cars design would be needed to pull
> this off.
>
> David Roden makes some very interesting points. He points out that the
> emissions are high for less regulated motors. The pollutants that he
> sites are CO, NMHC + NOx. This certainly give me pause for moving
> forward. CO2 is definitely a motivator for me. The emissions for this
> are gallons (10% ethanol) typical x 19#CO2/gal (epa website
> http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11 ).
>
> I have evaluated the actual gas mileage using David’s metric of m/kwh
> x speed to determine kwh/h or kw of continuous power. I would need
> 14.3 kw generator. Using this 15 kw generator
> http://www.electricgeneratordepot.com/generac-5734-gp15000e-15-000-watt-electric-start-portable-generator-992cc-ohvi 
> I end up with a mere 18.75 mpg not accounting for the reduced m/kwh
> for the trailer. Our Honda Element (2nd car) gets 25 mpg. The trailer
> would only make environmental sense if we can go back to using
> renewable energy while we are at the destination. My figures are
> pasted in from spreadsheet below.
>
> Though Davids prototype gets higher m/kwh than the leaf, I still
> promote the all electric car for local use. This 80 mile range
> achieves 75% of our annual auto transportation needs. We added
> photovoltaic array to produce as much power as this consumes. This
> greatly reduces our CO2 emissions for auto transportation.
>
> Eli
>
> Generator Evaluation
> Milage (miles/kwh) 4.2
> Average Speed (mph) 60
> Energy needed per hour (kwh/h) 14.29
> Continuous power needed (kw) 14.29
> gas tank(g) 16
> Run time at 50% power(hr) 10
> Run time at 100% power(hr) 5
> gas consumption at 60mph(gph) 3.2
> gas milage at 60mph(m/g) 18.75
>
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> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
> Jay Summet via EV <mailto:[hidden email]>
> May 15, 2017 at 5:09 PM
> It would probably be quite difficult to convince the Leaf to use the
> onboard charger while also moving.  You would also need well more than
> 6 kW of power to move down the freeway.
>
> You may find it easier and more efficient to build a "pusher trailer"
> out of the front end of a FWD car, such that the gas engine will
> "push" your leaf down the freeway, with a remote gas/brake control in
> the Leaf.
>
> (Or you could use a larger motorcycle back end as your "pusher".)
>
> The leaf could even use regen to recharge on the freeway if the pusher
> motor had enough HP.
>
> Jay
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> Read EVAngel's EV News at http://evdl.org/evln/
> Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA
> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
> conservation architect via EV <mailto:[hidden email]>
> May 15, 2017 at 10:04 AM
> Hi EV List
>
> I own a Nissan Leaf. It is a great car. I get 4.2 miles/kwh of battery
> and 80 mile range for 24 kwh battery. I believe this is better than
> the plug in hybrid, though I do not know. This works perfect for local
> trips where 80 miles is plenty and the car can be recharged slowly
> overnight. However, I sure would love to drive it to visit my family
> who are much beyond this range.
>
> What if we created a trailer that would have a generator with
> sufficient capacity to charge the battery while traveling distances
> beyond the 80 miles. Likely, I would loose some mileage with the extra
> weight. However, once at the destination, the trailer could be
> detached and I can go back to being an all electric vehicle.
>
> A simple idea that I am sure is not that simple. However, if I
> purchased an off the shelf generator that could charge at level 2
> Charge Rate 1.41 kW - 6.16 kW, I could use the standard plug, perhaps
> relocating the female to where the front flap would not need to be
> open. One problem that may be beyond my engineering skills is safely
> allowing the car to charge while in motion. Currently, the car will
> not start if the plug is connected. I am sure this is a feature meant
> to prevent people from inadvertently driving away with the chord
> plugged in. However, once I start messing with the engineered product,
> I could get into trouble.
>
> This list has a lot of smart people. Has anybody tried a similar concept?
>
> Eli Fishpaw
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> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)
>
> brucedp5 via EV <mailto:[hidden email]>
> May 15, 2017 at 5:29 AM
>
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/EVLN-i3-EV-lessee-found-BMW-ca-lowered-ad-s-range-after-purchase-gt-deviousness-v-td4686729.html
> EVLN: i3 EV lessee found BMW.ca lowered ad's range# after purchase>
> (deviousness) (v)
> A BMW driver is accusing the company of overselling the performance
> capabilities of one of its electric vehicles, then changing its online
> advertising after the car ...
>
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/EVLN-200-mi-iconic-VW-Beetle-EV-gt-perfect-to-regaining-U-S-buyers-hearts-amp-trust-td4686728.html
> EVLN: 200+mi iconic VW Beetle EV> perfect to regaining U.S. buyers’
> hearts&
> trust
> Op-Ed: The Volkswagen Beetle deserves a third chance…as an EV
> Somewhat thankfully, the black cloud (pun intended) of Dieselgate has
> forced
> VW into a corner, one filled with lithium ion batteries and electric
> motors
> ...
>
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/EVLN-7-11-jp-convenience-stores-using-Electric-Mitsubishi-Fuso-delivery-trucks-td4686727.html
> EVLN: 7-11.jp (convenience stores) using Electric (Mitsubishi Fuso)
> delivery
> trucks
> The electric trucks can reduce the operating costs of delivery vehicles by
> approximately 40% compared to the diesel ones currently used. By employing
> electric ...
>
> +
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/EVLN-Polaris-recall-gt-1-254-GEM-nEV-front-wheels-will-fall-off-detach-td4686726.html
> EVLN: Polaris recall> 1,254 GEM nEV front wheels will fall-off/detach
> Polaris recalls GEM electric vehicles for loose wheel lug nuts
> ... recalling 1,254 GEM electric vehicles, because the front steel wheel
> lug nuts may come loose. This condition could cause the front wheel to
> detach ...
>
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/More-CT-SuperEVSE-installed-while-Tesla-battles-dealerships-megamillion-monopoly-v-td4686725.html
> More-CT SuperEVSE installed while Tesla battles dealerships' megamillion$
> monopoly (v)
> Tesla opens up new electric car charging station in Milford
> In the middle of its battle over the right to sell its cars in
> Connecticut,
> Tesla opened up a new electric car charging station in Milford on
> Friday ...
>
>
>
>
> http://evdl.org/evln/
> For all EVLN EV-newswire posts
>
>
> {brucedp.neocities.org}
>
> --
> View this message in context:
> http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/EVLN-EV-newswire-posts-for-20170515-tp4686730.html
> Sent from the Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list archive at
> Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
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>



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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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How about using a front end cut from a Prius as a trailer? Keep the drive shafts etc, everything just as it is. Then, it is a pusher trailer plus charger with extra regen braking too. There would be a number of ways of doing this, if you want it simple, don't use MG2 Just MG1, and  control the throttle position to control charging current? This will control torque at the same time, maybe even rig up a tow hitch control over throttle, like a trailer brake in reverse?

-----Original Message-----
From: EV [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of conservation architect via EV
Sent: 17 May, 2017 7:33 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [EVDL] EV to Hybrid Trailer

Thanks to those who replied to my inquiry.  My instinct is that a real engineer with familiarity of the cars design would be needed to pull this off.  

David Roden  makes some very interesting points.  He points out that the emissions are high for less regulated motors. The pollutants that he sites are CO, NMHC + NOx.  This certainly give me pause for moving forward.  CO2 is definitely a motivator for me.  The emissions for this are gallons (10% ethanol) typical x 19#CO2/gal (epa website http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11 ).  

I have evaluated the actual gas mileage using David’s metric of m/kwh x speed to determine kwh/h or kw of continuous power.  I would need 14.3 kw generator.  Using this 15 kw generator http://www.electricgeneratordepot.com/generac-5734-gp15000e-15-000-watt-electric-start-portable-generator-992cc-ohvi I end up with a mere 18.75 mpg not accounting for the reduced m/kwh for the trailer.  Our Honda Element (2nd car) gets 25 mpg.  The trailer would only make environmental sense if we can go back to using renewable energy while we are at the destination. My figures are pasted in from spreadsheet below.  


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Re: EV to Hybrid Trailer

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Or even simpler, a 15-20 HP pusher engine with an electric clutch and a
chain drive to a single wheel mounted as close behind the car as possible
(to minimize scrubbing in tight turns.).  Tune the engine to maximize power
and minimize pollution at a calculated speed of 60 MPH, and lock in that
setting.  Use the car's motor to get up to highway speed, then hit a switch
to activate the clutch.  The pusher engine should be able to provide most
of the power needed to maintain highway speed, dramatically extending the
range of the car's batteries which would be called upon to "fine tune" the
speed of the car.  When you exit the highway you hit the kill switch
disengaging the clutch and turning the gas engine off, and continue on
battery power.  The pusher would weigh less than 150 lb. and add little or
no additional wind resistance.  You're proposing to convert gasoline power
into motion to extend your range - why take a detour into generating
electricity and then using it to power an electric motor? just more loss
there.  KISS.

On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 5:46 PM, George Tyler via EV <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> How about using a front end cut from a Prius as a trailer? Keep the drive
> shafts etc, everything just as it is. Then, it is a pusher trailer plus
> charger with extra regen braking too. There would be a number of ways of
> doing this, if you want it simple, don't use MG2 Just MG1, and  control the
> throttle position to control charging current? This will control torque at
> the same time, maybe even rig up a tow hitch control over throttle, like a
> trailer brake in reverse?
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: EV [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of conservation
> architect via EV
> Sent: 17 May, 2017 7:33 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] EV to Hybrid Trailer
>
> Thanks to those who replied to my inquiry.  My instinct is that a real
> engineer with familiarity of the cars design would be needed to pull this
> off.
>
> David Roden  makes some very interesting points.  He points out that the
> emissions are high for less regulated motors. The pollutants that he sites
> are CO, NMHC + NOx.  This certainly give me pause for moving forward.  CO2
> is definitely a motivator for me.  The emissions for this are gallons (10%
> ethanol) typical x 19#CO2/gal (epa website http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/
> faq.cfm?id=307&t=11 ).
>
> I have evaluated the actual gas mileage using David’s metric of m/kwh x
> speed to determine kwh/h or kw of continuous power.  I would need 14.3 kw
> generator.  Using this 15 kw generator http://www.
> electricgeneratordepot.com/generac-5734-gp15000e-15-000-
> watt-electric-start-portable-generator-992cc-ohvi I end up with a mere
> 18.75 mpg not accounting for the reduced m/kwh for the trailer.  Our Honda
> Element (2nd car) gets 25 mpg.  The trailer would only make environmental
> sense if we can go back to using renewable energy while we are at the
> destination. My figures are pasted in from spreadsheet below.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
> http://lists.evdl.org/listinfo.cgi/ev-evdl.org
> Read EVAngel's EV News at http://evdl.org/evln/
> Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/
> group/NEDRA)
>
>
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