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John Petersen is executive vice president and chief financial officer of ePower Engine Systems, Inc., a company that has developed, built and demonstrated an engine-dominant diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for long-haul heavy trucks that promises fuel savings of 25 to 35 percent depending on... More
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Fefer petersen & co.
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  • My Presentation For The Battery Show 101 comments
    Aug 31, 2014 3:46 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    As many readers know, I will be doing a presentation on the ePower Hybrid at The Battery Show in mid-September at the Novi Center in Detroit. Mike Romeo of Axion Power International (NASDAQ:AXPW) will be doing a follow-up presentation on why the PbC® battery is an ideal solution for our drivetrain.

    Both presentations are scheduled for September 17th in the 8:45 to 10:30 Session that will focus on Business Models and Technologies for Transport, Commercial Vehicles, Trucks and Heavy Hybrids.

    Since speakers will be limited to 15 minutes at the podium, a good presentation has to be brief, informative and understandable. Since I've always found longer documents easier to write than short ones, I've spent a lot of time keeping this presentation brief and I would truly appreciate constructive comment from fresh eyes.

    I've posted a draft of the presentation to my DropBox and you can download from this link.

    bit.ly/1pxA3a5

    The rules of the game at this point are pretty simple.

    • I can't add words without taking an equal number of words off a page; and
    • I can't add slides without increasing the risk that I'll run out of time.

    My primary goal in this exercise is making the presentation as good as it can be and crafting the best possible script.

    Disclosure: The author is long AXPW.

    Stocks: AXPW
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Comments (101)
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  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2268) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for sharing it, John!

     

    I would like to see a few words highlighting how the vector drive allows the batteries free rein to either add or receive power based on the dynamic road conditions. Romeo's explanation in the recent article made it understandable. The elegant simplicity of the system, and the lack of a need for other sophisticated power regulation systems is a key point in my mind.
    31 Aug 2014, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'm planning on doing that in my script because I can't figure out how to make a full description brief enough without adding another slide.
    31 Aug 2014, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2268) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I can understand that. Vector Drive Theory is beyond my ken. I just think of it as a magic black box.

     

    http://bit.ly/1rHOJ81

     

    http://bit.ly/1rHOJ84)
    31 Aug 2014, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I decided you were right and added a slide on the Vector Drive because that seamless power management is the heart of our patent.

     

    You'll need to download the presentation again if you want to see the change.
    31 Aug 2014, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2268) | Send Message
     
    Excellent and concise!
    31 Aug 2014, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • Nicu Mihalache
    , contributor
    Comments (1073) | Send Message
     
    John, I only detect one error in your presentation. That is when you talk about "braking energy" and "kinetic energy".

     

    In fact, what you call braking energy is the energy stored in the movement of the mass, that one has to undo by braking. This is precisely called kinetic energy
    http://bit.ly/1jktLrV

     

    Whatever energy is stored in the elevation of the mass, that is after climbing a hill, is what is called potential energy
    http://bit.ly/1zZc8QR

     

    I hope this helps.
    31 Aug 2014, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Great catch Nicu. Many thanks.

     

    FWIW, we've seen a lot of novel thinking from the automakers lately as their engineers search for new ways to recover potential energy with concepts like engine-off coasting in traffic and on hills.
    31 Aug 2014, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4777) | Send Message
     
    You might consider addition of diesel used in that 162 mi trip averaging 55 mph. Something like,

     

    18.12 gals diesel (8.97 mpg)

     

    Could cut reference to Million invested in development, limiting that statement to current generation of tractor.
    31 Aug 2014, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (10233) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John! Just saw it and don't have much time until tomorrow. One thing I thought of immediately, if it's not in there already, is that you might like to add the format size of the PbC batteries. Your audience has no idea what kind of package size they are dealing with. I know your business model was to service whole battery boxes so use this as you see fit.

     

    Small point, On your second slide the term "product test" vs "product testing" is more common in industry.

     

    On slide 4 you mention the hp potential "RECOVERY" on the open road. Then you give a factor for a 3 % "UPHILL" grade. Confuses me but perhaps I'm wrong. How about using just "GRADE" instead of "UPHILL GRADE". Hey, it saves a word!

     

    31 Aug 2014, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Since Mike Romeo's presentation will follow mine and the day cab will be parked in the Exhibition Hall, I think the battery form factor is a bit too much detail.

     

    I think Product Evaluation is probably a better term.

     

    I agree that Slide 4 could use a little work.
    31 Aug 2014, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • ART005
    , contributor
    Comments (432) | Send Message
     
    John, sorry but I found it very difficult to follow:
    * Too much switching back and forth between Kw and hp.
    * What % hill climb potential energy does it recover?
    * What is mpg of baseline 80,000 lb rig?
    * What is mpg of AXPW 80,000 lb rig?
    * What is maximum grade 80,000 lbs can climb at 55 mph with AXPW package?
    * Why only 55 mph? Speed limit is 75 and 80 mph out west.
    * What is weight of 14L base case compared to 6.7L + AXPW package?
    * Is the lifetime savings driven by smaller liters engine or is AXPW also reducing wear on 6.7L?
    31 Aug 2014, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'm sorry you found the presentation challenging, but it's a challenging topic for a well informed audience. At the end of the day the only number that really matters is our ability to slash fuel costs by ~$32,000 per year for appropriate customers.

     

    Our drivetrain is not suitable for 80,000 pound loads and probably won't be for at least a couple years. For the 50%+ of truckers who haul less than 55,000 pounds were a good fit.

     

    Speed is the mortal enemy of fuel economy and each mph over 55 reduces fuel economy by 1/10 mpg. If you want to drive 80 we're not your best choice.
    31 Aug 2014, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • ART005
    , contributor
    Comments (432) | Send Message
     
    Page 4 references 80,000 lb vans
    Page 6 references 55,000 lb vans

     

    Does any weight saving in the AXPW package allow more freight weight?

     

    Good luck.
    1 Sep 2014, 01:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations are divided into two sub-categories.

     

    Class 8A consists of day-cab tractors that typically haul loads of ~10 tons and have gross vehicle weights of up to 60,000 pounds. Roughly 63% of tractor trailers are Class 8A vehicles.

     

    Class 8b consists of day-cab and sleeper-cab tractors that typically haul loads of ~20 tons and have gross vehicle weights of up to 80,000 pounds. Roughly 37% of tractor trailers are Class 8B vehicles.

     

    ePower's current drivetrain is suitable for Class 8A and not stout enough for class 8B. We see a clear path to Class 8B, but we're not there yet.
    1 Sep 2014, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • JohnM121
    , contributor
    Comments (500) | Send Message
     
    Page 7: "lead-­carbon supercabattery from Axion Power"
    Is it a supercabattery?
    31 Aug 2014, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Absolutely! It's not a term that Axion has used in the past, but it is an accurate description that's become more widely accepted in recent years. FWIW, the full technical description of the PbC is an "asymmetric lead-carbon capacitor," a hybrid device that's half battery and half supercapacitor.
    31 Aug 2014, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • dharmabumvida
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    It looked like a typo to me too, and I found it a bit confusing. Maybe it would be more effective to communicate the longer title, like "lead-carbon super capacitor/ battery hybrid".
    1 Sep 2014, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • dharmabumvida
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    It looked like a typo to me too, and I found it a bit confusing. Maybe it would be more effective to use the plain language you just used to describe it: "a hybrid device that's half battery and half supercapacitor"
    1 Sep 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » While the term supercabattery may offend energy storage purists who like to talk about asymmetric lead-carbon capacitors and focus on fine technical differences between devices, my customers despise batteries above all else and the only thing truckers want to know is that our drivetrain will dependably get their cargo to its destination on time and at a lower cost.

     

    I frequently quip that the adjective most commonly associated with the word battery is damned. The most common adjective in the trucking industry is less genteel.
    1 Sep 2014, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1135) | Send Message
     
    John-

     

    Fantastic. On page 10 I would include what one gets in the first overhaul vs a regular overhaul and also the second.
    Also why put the batteries as its own line unless you expect them to buy a new set 1/2 through. I'd explain that.

     

    On page 4 I'd total the % that is class 8a as you can say that you have some thing 64% of the market.
    31 Aug 2014, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    Ruggedness and Reliability are of huge importance in this application and Simplicity is usually seen as important to achieving this R&R goal and the way this PbC battery pack in integrated into the drive system is As Simple As It Gets.

     

    Both you and Mike should make the point using agreed upon language that has a memory hook. The old KISS acronym is a little overworked but always makes the point.

     

    Your system is so simple and the batteries so rugged that you don't even have a battery management system, all you have is a battery Monitoring system. Maybe Vlad can help with the language that you need to make the point.
    1 Sep 2014, 07:26 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Great point Bob! Simple rugged reliability is the name of this game because the freight must arrive on time every time.
    1 Sep 2014, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Your 8.97 mpg at 55 mph will drop to about 5.43 mpg at 65 mph.

     

    By simply driving 55 mph, (instead of 65 mph) a trucker can get the same mileage as ePower without making any changes to his drive system. Just change his driving habits.

     

    (Aerodynamic drag is the cube of speed.)
    1 Sep 2014, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You obviously didn't bother to pay any attention to the trip log graph which shows a 55 mph average speed for the entire trip, including several uphill climbs where the tractor speed fell into the 35 mph range like all trucks do on long steep grades.

     

    In any event your numbers are Balderdash!

     

    According to Ccummins fuel economy falls by 0.1 mpg for each 1 mph increase above 55. That would work out to 7.97 mpg at 65, which still crushes the EPAs 2017 targets.

     

    http://bit.ly/1q6unVo

     

    I know you can't stand the idea that I like one form of electric drive and despise another, but that's your problem, not mine.
    1 Sep 2014, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    The "0.1 mpg for each 1 mph" is a "rule of thumb" according page 32 of the Cummins MPG Guide.
    http://bit.ly/1ucGfns

     

    By looking at the graph on page 6 of the same guide, you can see that the HP requirement for 55 mph is ~175 HP, while the HP requirement to go 65 mph jumps to 264 HP. This is a 51% increase in power, which will translate into 51% increase in fuel consumption. This 51% would turn your 8.97 mpg @55 mph into 5.95 mpg @65 mph. This is typical fuel economy for standard semi driving the standard speed.

     

    We have no difference in MPG between a standard truck drive train and your hybrid driveline when driven at the same speed. It seems you are just driving it slower (55 mph) than normal (65 mph) to make the mpg numbers look better.

     

    I'm sure that an astute fleet owner will point this out at your presentation. Best have some clever response ready.
    2 Sep 2014, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Firstly, we're not driving 10 mph slower. More importantly we're not driving a flat route around somebody's test track, or for that matter a flat route between Fort Worth and Vernon like our more formidable competitors.

     

    Our Route was the 275 Loop around Cincinnati which has over a dozen 200+ foot climbs that pull driving speeds down below 40 mph as the tractor grinds its way up the grade. Those low speed intervals all factor into the trip average and pull it down.

     

    This is a brutal route for an honest vehicle test and there isn't a standard tractor on the road that can maintain 65 mph in this terrain or get anywhere close to 6 mpg traveling the distance.

     

    I don't have a problem with honest comparison or fair critique, but you've never been interested in either. I'm not sure why you're willing to lay out your intellectual dishonesty for all to see, but I do find your behavior appalling.

     

    At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is the trucker's opinion and those that have driven the tractor love it. Our go to market plan is simple. We're going to give the keys to a trucker and tell him to haul his cargos on his routes with his drivers. Once a potential customer has satisfied himself with our tractor's performance in his business we'll be ready to talk about next steps.
    2 Sep 2014, 05:40 AM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    " Firstly, we're not driving 10 mph slower."

     

    Are you not doing your mileage testing at "55 mph average speed" listed on your slide? 55 mph is 10 mph slower than the standard 65 mph that other mileage tests are performed.

     

    Again referencing the Cummins Secrets of Better Fuel Economy:http://bit.ly/1q6unVo

     

    An unmodified semi will get ~5.5 mpg at 65 mph, ~6.7 mpg at 60 mph and ~8.3 mpg at 55 mph.

     

    Further, if you swap the dualies for wide base tires, (just as you did on your test truck) this boosts the mileage to ~8.7 mpg (or a bit more) at 55 mpg.

     

    These are commonly available mileage numbers that Cummins will provide, if you simply ask for them, or bother to look them up.

     

    You can hurl all the personal insults you want, but it doesn't alter the facts. To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
    2 Sep 2014, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Cummins has a decidedly different view of our data than you do, but they've taken the time to understand and analyze instead of throwing out meaningless statistics from the cheap seats.
    2 Sep 2014, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • blauschuh
    , contributor
    Comments (408) | Send Message
     
    Cummins actually says that it is a rule off thumb that's hard to beat and that its based on aerodynamic drag. On another page they list the rule as a Rock Solid rule... i.e. pretty much set in stone.
    2 Sep 2014, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Blauschuh> Killacycle loves quoting figures that don't appear in documents he cites as authority for a proposition. This is a perfect example.

     

    Per Killacycle – "An unmodified semi will get ~5.5 mpg at 65 mph, ~6.7 mpg at 60 mph and ~8.3 mpg at 55 mph."

     

    Per Cummins> "The keys to managing the vehicle’s road speeds involve maintaining the lowest reasonable cruise speeds possible and minimizing time spent at maximum vehicle road speeds. The vehicle’s road speed has a tremendous effect on fuel economy. As road speed increases, so does air resistance and rolling resistance (to a certain extent). Thus, the power required to move the vehicle down the road increases." For example, at 55 mph, you may get 7 mpg; at 65 mph, you'll get 6 mpg; and at 70 mph, you'll get only 5.5 mpg.
    3 Sep 2014, 06:57 AM Reply Like
  • blauschuh
    , contributor
    Comments (408) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    How many miles are on the tractors tires?
    Cummin's claims that a worn tires are substantially better fuel economy wise (5-7%)

     

    Wouldn't it be easier to just have a conventional tractor follow the epower rig 1/2 mile behind and roughly match it's speed (at least it's top speed) over the course ?
    3 Sep 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We don't think any data we generate will be meaningful to our potential customers. Trucking companies have heard nothing but promises for as long as there have been trucking companies.

     

    Our plan is quite simple. We are going to go to Blaushcuh Trucking and say:

     

    "The tractor is out front with a full tank of fuel and here are the keys. Spend a couple weeks using our tractor to haul your loads on your routes with your drivers. The only thing we want in return is copies of your trip logs and summaries of trip logs you created on the same routes with a conventional drivetrain. If you're not happy with the tractor's performance, return the tractor with a full tank of fuel and we'll be square. If you're satisfied with the performance we can talk about next steps."

     

    While truckers may be cynical about data we generate, they won't be sanguine about data generated by their colleagues and competitors.
    3 Sep 2014, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4777) | Send Message
     
    Is the sleeper cab tractor sitting idle or does ePower plan to use it as one of the test vehicles?
    3 Sep 2014, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We think fleet operators will be more interested in testing the day cab but we do want both trucks on the road as much as possible.
    3 Sep 2014, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    When you give this presentation at the battery show in front of an educated, technically astute group of people, they are going to point out these inconsistencies just as I have. They will ask (or at least be thinking) pretty much the same questions that I have. Smart retorts and insults are not going to cut the mustard at the Battery show. You have the chance to answer these hard questions now, or be publicly embarrassed by them later.

     

    Tesla is at $184 by the way. Just thought I would mention that.
    3 Sep 2014, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The difference, of course, is that the audience won't be trying to work off years of pent up hostility and may even be willing to consider something new and very different.

     

    Tesla's actually at $284 as the voting machine runs its course. It will be fun to watch the arrogant and naive demagogues squirm when the weighing machine takes over and bag holders come to the realization that there's no easy way to get out from under the crushing debt that's already in place.
    3 Sep 2014, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Page 68:
    40% reduction in HP from 65 mph to 55 mph = 40% reduction in mpg. (8% per 5 mph)
    http://bit.ly/1t1GH5X

     

    Unmodified truck gets 8.3 mpg @55 mph if it is getting 5.9 mpg at 65 mph.

     

    Add in the _8%_ mpg (page 71) advantage of the super wide base tires you have on your tractor and this brings the unmodified semi-truck up to 8.9 mpg @55 mph. This is the identical mpg as you are getting with the ePower drive.

     

    I don't make this stuff up out of thin air. You just have to do the math.

     

    The only mpg advantage of a smaller displacement diesel engine is the weight savings. You have more than offset that potential advantage by the added weight of the alternator and electric drive motor.

     

    The series hybrid makes no economic sense for an OTR truck. However, a parallel hybrid probably would. Alternatively, a series hybrid could be a good fit for a service truck, or a city bus, or perhaps a garbage truck. You are attempting to force a square peg into a round hole.
    3 Sep 2014, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The math may be simple, but you did the calculations wrong. You're assumption about the tires we used in this test are also baseless. One of our super single rims cracked so we reinstalled duals until we determine whether the rims are defective.

     

    The reality is that all the numbers you're spouting are for smooth roads and flat level ground. They're useless as a baseline comparison for real world tests in urban traffic, particularly when the test is conducted in very challenging terrain.
    3 Sep 2014, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Good try, but...
    http://bit.ly/1t1GH5X
    Page 67:
    "Consider a typical tractor and van
    combination operating at 80,000 lb.
    gross combination weight and at 55 MPH
    on a level highway."

     

    All of these mph, mpg, and HP numbers are straight from Goodyear Tires "Factors Affecting Fuel Economy".

     

    You haven't sited any references at all. Site counter references if you wish to comment on this subject intelligently.
    3 Sep 2014, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You might start with this publication from Caterpillar that digs down into the impact of grade changes on horsepower requirements.

     

    http://bit.ly/1p8oqAj

     

    It was a very helpful resource in the analysis I did before preparing the presentation.

     

    The pretense that numbers for flat level ground bear any relationship to expected performance on a road like the 275 Loop are laughable and your steadfast adherence to the sophistry only makes you look foolish as well as dishonest.
    3 Sep 2014, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    The one thing that seems very clear is that this truck works the hell out of the PbC battery pack and you have been using this same battery pack for quite a while now.

     

    Has Axion looked at the cumulative cycle data and have they checked to see if the battery pack's capacity has changed to confirm that the health of these batteries is holding firm and confirms your published battery pack life expectancy?

     

    I also calculated the power into and out of the battery pack for each data point and found that data to be very interesting. Has the Axion team (Jack, Mike and Vlad) looked at any battery pack power input/output data?
    3 Sep 2014, 10:31 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2851) | Send Message
     
    Bob - earlier suggestion:

     

    Axion Power Concentrator 346 July 03 '14: Share Reverse Split And Authorized Share Reduction Approved; Definitive Reverse Split Consent Solicitation; Q1 '1 CC Transcript & MP3 Available; Q1 '14 Filing Released;Axion Receives 4 Powercubes Order [View instapost]

     

    John - Not sure what engineers you are talking about or with but, ..... the folks that design cruise controls and also write the algorithms for modulation and smoothing with leading/lagging proportional controls may assist with your analysis and display of data which indeed you have or must be experiencing and "measuring" for the like or same kinds of load/coasting the hybrid system is providing, seeing or experiencing.

     

    Both respond to like kinds of changes in demand due to terrain and aerodynamic variations.

     

    The above is true when at cruise speed.

     

    Treating data from stop to speed and the inverse from speed to stop may have new boundary conditions (no longer +/- about a norm, but zero to the norm, and from the norm to zero - which, on the other hand, could just be the extreme +/- about the norm).

     

    Go talk to the mathematicians.

     

    Jul 6 06:55 PM|2 LikesLike|Report Abuse|Link to Commen

     

    and so forth, dialogue:

     

    John Petersen , Contributor
    Comments (29581)| Following | Send Message

     

    You are presming a level of complexity, sophistication and refinement that doesn't exist. Our cruise control functions are handled by the vector drive and there is no separate dedicated hardware.

     

    6 Jul, 07:06 PMReply! Report AbuseLike3

     

    nakedjaybird
    Comments (2667)| + Follow | Send Message

     

    I don't know or understand vector drives. Are there elements of power/energy measurable to/from the device or for monitoring the science of the device as it responds to the demanded external changes? Or, is that what you are struggling with?

     

    6 Jul, 07:12 PMReply! Report AbuseLike2

     

    John Petersen , Contributor
    Comments (29581)| Following | Send Message

     

    I'm just trying to accurately merge data for presentation purposes using feeds from three different monitoring systems that all have different measuring intervals and time stamps. You're trying to make the work way more complicated than it is.

     

    If I didn't have a solution that seemed to be working well I wouldn't be talking about it.

     

    6 Jul, 07:16 PMReply! Report AbuseLike5

     

    nakedjaybird
    Comments (2667)| + Follow | Send Message

     

    Excuse me for getting in the way of your verbalized efforts and solution.

     

    6 Jul, 07:34 PMReply! Report AbuseLike3

     

    John Petersen , Contributor
    Comments (29581)| Following | Send Message

     

    I always appreciate a willingness to help, but sometimes folks offer way more help than I need;-)

     

    6 Jul, 08:14 PMReply! Report AbuseLike3

     

    nakedjaybird
    Comments (2667)| + Follow | Send Message

     

    I understand.. <:=)

     

    Peace.
    4 Sep 2014, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/1p8oqAj
    "The horsepower needed to overcome Air Resistance increases as a cubic function of vehicle speed.
    This means that when vehicle speed doubles, horsepower requirement is eight (8) times greater."

     

    _Exactly_ as I have stated earlier. :-)

     

    From table 3 page 5 of your reference:
    170 HP @55 mph
    243 HP @65 MPH
    (Flat smooth surface in this reference as opposed to "typical level highway" in Goodyear reference)
    170/243 = 0.7 => 30% difference in MPG
    An unmodified truck that gets 5.9 mpg at 65 will get 8.43 mpg at 55 mph, just about the same as your expensive ePower truck 55 mph tests. This is in line with what I have said earlier.

     

    And the point your are trying to make is?
    4 Sep 2014, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3662) | Send Message
     
    BA,

     

    Great questions but it makes one wonder why Axion did not field test and produce its own data for auto applications. I would have presumed otherwise. Anyhow, it sure seems that would help the marketing department.

     

    Hopefully Epower can do the types of things Axion could/should have done 5 years back when they customized their own hybrid vehicle with 320lbs of PbC batteries.

     

    http://edmu.in/1A8OAsU
    ""Axion recently converted a pickup truck (photo, above) to an EV running on its batteries, with an all-electric range of 45 miles, at a cost of "less than $3,000 worth of batteries," said Granville.""
    4 Sep 2014, 03:44 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Bob> Axion gets a full data dump every time we take the tractor out and every couple months they have us pull a battery and send it back for tear down analysis. So far they're very pleased with the PbC's performance and don't seem concerned that our duty cycle is doing bad things. We're not only working the batteries hard, we're working them hard near their TOC. Our string is a 56/52 configuration with a nominal rating of 624 volts. We consistently top the string out at 645 volts because thats the voltage the genset maintains at the DC bus bar. Our low voltage cut out is in the 450 range because any hills that take the batteries down that far need the transmission anyway.

     

    Killacycle> You're so busy trying to make a point that you're missing the point entirely. All the numbers you keep throwing around are for steady state driving on flat level ground. In heavy trucking there is very little flat level ground and grades are the biggest challenge. That's the reason tractors come equipped with 450 hp engines instead of 250 hp engines.

     

    Go back to your basic physics. It takes about 2 kWh per mile to drive a tractor-trailer at 65 mph on flat level ground. At 2.65 million foot pounds per kWh it takes an additional kWh to lift the beast 33-50 feet. Current trucks with highly skilled drivers capture a small fraction of that lift energy, but most of it is dissipated.

     

    Our testing routes are in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky where there is no flat and level ground within a couple hundred miles. We're not testing in the rockies but we are testing in a region with frequent upgrades and downgrades that play hell with fuel economy. If you want a better understanding of how road grade impacts fuel economy this is a good place to start:

     

    http://1.usa.gov/14e5gEv

     

    The other point you're missing is the part about steady state driving. Somebody who owns a test track can do steady state testing all day every day. We can't. We have to use suburban freeway routes in a major metropolitan area where traffic conditions dictate test conditions. Frankly its a minor miracle when we can pull together data from a three hour drive that doesn't involve significant traffic bottlenecks.

     

    If you go a couple pages farther back in the Cat handbook you'll find that a tractor-trailer that needs 170 hp to drive at 55 mph on flat level ground needs 553 hp to drive at 55 on a 3% grade. Terrain matters and it matters immensely.

     

    The trucking industry has incredibly high turnover rates because driving is miserable work for low pay. The high turnover rates virtually guarantee that tractor-trailers are not being driven in the most efficient manner because they're being driven by rookies who don't know how to save fuel.

     

    http://yhoo.it/1tvFAQ0

     

    The biggest advantage of our drivetrain is that the drive by wire architecture minimizes the importance of driver decisions (a/k/a mistakes) and keeps everything running optimally. The fleet operators we've talked to are far more concerned with upgrading their rookies fuel economy from 4 mpg than they are the top end numbers that nobody believes anyway.
    4 Sep 2014, 06:43 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    Bazooka,

     

    That pickup truck was an all electronic vehicle built by a local guy on a lark. It ran just on batteries that had to be plug-in recharged every 45 miles. It had no regenerative breaking and no BMS and even if Axion had done something with it, it would never have provided anything like the high demand HRPSOC cycling data that is coming out of the ePower project.

     

    Can't wait to see Axion's presentation on the ePower PbC battery pack performance.
    4 Sep 2014, 07:20 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
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    John,

     

    "Our string is a 56/52 configuration ..."

     

    I am not understanding the 56/52 meaning, are there 56 batteries in the string or 52?
    4 Sep 2014, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » There are a total of 56 batteries. 52 are connected in series as a single string and the four additional batteries are connected to the string in parallel. The whys and wherefores are out of my depth, but that was the configuration Jack and Jay thought most appropriate.
    4 Sep 2014, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    John,

     

    That makes two of us with no clue as to what that second string of 4 PbC batteries is doing but for sure it is not connected "in parallel" to the 52 battery string without some special electronics to prevent them from being fried. Perhaps the 4 battery string is not connected to the 52 battery string and serves some other purpose.

     

    How close you are getting this 52 battery string to TOC is debatable.
    4 Sep 2014, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » As I understand the wiring there's a 52 battery string wired in series and four of those batteries have an additional battery connected in parallel. It has something to do with Jay wanting the energy from all 56 batteries but wanting to take the batteries to a higher SOC so he can better manage the capacitance. It does seem that the actual TOC voltage can be a good deal higher than a nominal 12.5 volt TOC, but I don't know a precise number and I'd be reluctant to discuss a number that Axion hasn't published even if I did know.
    4 Sep 2014, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    I do understand that wiring of the 56 batteries.

     

    As for this PbC string being near TOC you can look to LAB for a well known and reasonably translatable answer to the required charge voltage for full charge and a discussion of the associated risks of trying for maximum capacity. A short time at a 12V charge voltage is going to leave the battery a very long way from being fully charged and this is magnified for the PbC due to its sloping voltage vs SOC. Just maybe there is a little, or maybe even a lot, more energy to be safely had from this PbC battery pack than Jay is presently using? It is always nice when there is a chance that a good thing can be made even better in the future.

     

    http://bit.ly/1jwTzM6
    4 Sep 2014, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
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    Author’s reply » I suspect that Axion is walking us slowly up the charge curve. We started with a straight string of 56 batteries and wanted to bring them up to a higher voltage. We tried running six batteries as a separate string that relied exclusively on regen for charging but that gave rise to balancing problems. The 50/56 configuration seems to work much better but it wouldn't surprise me to see that ratio change in the future as we get more confidence that the high amp regenerative currents won't hurt the batteries. I've seen the current spike into the 900 volt - 200 amp range for a few seconds when the tractor goes into full regen and Jay's seen AGM batteries reduced to slag, so we're trying to be cautious and get the most out of the PbC without damage. For now, baby steps work.
    4 Sep 2014, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (865) | Send Message
     
    Yesterday on CNBC they interviewed someone involved at a high level in the trucking industry.

     

    He was saying that currently there is a need for 20,000 drivers and that within 10 years there will be a need for up to 200,000 drivers.

     

    Apparently the median wage is about $50k with a new driver getting about $43K.

     

    He cited the minimum age for commercial drivers to be 21 years although younger drivers in some states can drive bigger rigs (forestry industry).

     

    They are targeting returning service men as potential drivers as they are used to being away from home and so could better adapt to a truckers life.

     

    I wonder if the adopters of the ePower system might because of expected savings be able to pay better wages and therefore employ better drivers.
    4 Sep 2014, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The fleet operators we've talked to have all their drivers on fuel economy bonus systems because fuel costs typically represent 35% of direct truck operating costs. One fleet in our region has over 20,000 drivers and their best driver averages 7.6 mpg. Unfortunately for every great driver they have a dozen more who average 4 to 5 mpg. As a drive by wire system our drivetrain takes most decisions out of the hands of the guy behind the wheel. The throttle regulates the target RPM of the drive motor and the automatic transmission always shifts at the right point. It makes the job easier for the guy behind the wheel while improving overall performance. The combination is hard to beat.
    4 Sep 2014, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
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    BA,

     

    I guess my question is more along the lines of why Axion couldn't have done more "show and tells" in the hopes of attracting oem attention, especially back when they were better funded.

     

    I like what EPower is doing. But I think Axion could have had these types of relationships earlier in the game. Too bad the Rosewater thing fell so flat.
    4 Sep 2014, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    We have been discussing what you referred to as the 56/52 string, which I though is the configuration presently being used. What do you now mean by the "50/56 configuration"?
    5 Sep 2014, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » The 50/56 reference was an error on my part. We're running 52 in series with 4 in parallel. There have been discussions about changing the ratio but nothing's changed yet. I'm sorry for creating unnecessary confusion.
    5 Sep 2014, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    John,

     

    <"I've seen the current spike into the 900 volt - 200 amp range for a few seconds when the tractor goes into full regen ...">

     

    If you hit the 56/52 PbC battery pack with 900 volts for even a few seconds it seems likely that you are asking for trouble. From your BMS data it seems the only time the charge current gets >150 amps is when the battery pack is at a lower SOC which makes sense given the PbC's sloping voltage vs SOC.

     

    What that 900V / 200 amps spike does to the positive plate would be important to understand, which is no doubt one of the reasons why, as you said, Axion is occasionally tearing down one of the batteries from your power pack. Bench testing might get them an answer to the potential negative effects of the 900V spikes more quickly.

     

    I am assuming that Axion is replacing the removed batteries with a new PbC battery, which presents an added challenge to the PbC battery's "self balancing" characteristics and is something that you can't do with LABs if the state of health of the other batteries in the string have declined appreciably. Even for the PbC there is probably a limit to how different the SOH of the batteries can be and Axion needs to know that limit.

     

    Axion has no doubt learned many useful things about the advantageous attributes of the PbC battery from the multiple battery strings in their three-four year old on site PowerCube and from ePower's one year old power pack. The battery world might see what Axion has learned about the PbC's utility as impressive - if only they would share. Perhaps some of this kind of sharing will begin with Mike Romeo's upcoming presentation at the battery conference.
    5 Sep 2014, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    Bazooka,

     

    I think EVERYONE agrees, it was too bad that the Axion-Rosewater strategic partnership failed as did the Axion-Exide strategic partnership.

     

    Axion needs new strategic partnerships that work as well as the Axion-ePower partnership appears to be working but they must also offer an obvious and more rapid path to significant revenues.

     

    I am sure that DDG knows this.
    5 Sep 2014, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I have to believe our application is giving the Axion engineers a ton of fun data on the level of abuse the PbC can withstand without damage. FWIW, we haven't noted any changes in system performance when Axion pulls an old battery for tear down and replaces it with a new one, but that doesn't really surprise me given the data I've seen on the CDI charge curve and long string behavior. Hopefully Axion's upcoming conference presentations will raise some eyebrows.

     

    A this point I'll be happy with noisy revenues, even if they're not significant enough to make a serious dent in Axion's burn rate. A fleet of 50 test tractors would only be worth $1 million to Axion, but with the right names even a small test could be incredibly valuable.
    5 Sep 2014, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    John,

     

    Speaking of the PbC cell's CDI self-balancing benefits:

     

    To my mind (soft as it may be) the most shocking thing about ePower's PbC power pack 56/52 configuration is this. If I understand you correctly, ePower has placed four PbC battery pairs (Pairs) (i.e. two PbC batteries wired in parallel) into the 52 battery string along with 48 single PbC batteries (Singles). The string sees these Pairs as just another four 12v batteries except for them having twice the capacity of the other 48 Singles. As part of the series wired string those four Pairs should charge at about 1/2 the rate of the Singles were it not for the CDI effect. To keep the SOC of all 52 batteries in balance the CDI factor must slow down the charge rate of the 48 Singles to keep pace with the slower charging Pairs.

     

    This seems to be a super-demanding challenge/test for the CDI self-balancing characteristic of the PbC cell. To my way of thinking if this PbC power pack can handle that designed in 2x capacity differential in battery capacity within that string, then normal battery ageing variations and battery replacements should be a walk in the park.

     

    Perhaps I am still not understanding the situation and we both need a PbC expert's input on how this mixture of Singles and Doubles in a single string actually works.
    5 Sep 2014, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
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    I would think those four paralleled pairs would basically act as a kind of buffer--providing some extra headroom as it were both at the top and bottom of the SOC range...
    5 Sep 2014, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I hadn't thought about it that way but you're right. We're just letting the PbC do what it wants to do naturally.
    5 Sep 2014, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    481086

     

    These four 'extra' batteries certainly add capacity to the string as intended, and I doubt that any LAB could be added to a battery pack in this way.

     

    These Pairs may, as you suggest, serve as a buffer for the Singles in that they can accept and deliver twice the current/power that the Singles can, but since these Pairs do not act independently and must act as part of the battery string, I don't see how that buffering could happen - but I know little or nothing about such things.

     

    Jay, Vlad, Jack, Mike and others may have a pretty good idea of how the battery Pairs participate in the high rate charge and discharge of the ePower battery pack, I just wish Axion would share that understanding with all prospective adopters of the PbC battery.
    Perhaps this String Buffering (should it exist) is the perfect solution to some existing application's battery problems and an annual orders for 50,000 or maybe a million PbC batteries will come of it. :-))
    5 Sep 2014, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
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    John, out of curiosity, where are the 4 parallel battery pairs located in the string? All on one end, 2 on each end or in the middle. It's interesting because I cannot think of why you would ever do this with capacitors or batteries. But the PbC is a hybrid. So is it helping to manage peak transients in some fashion?
    5 Sep 2014, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I don't know enough about the wiring diagram to answer your question Iindy but I haven't heard any mention of specific performance management goals.
    5 Sep 2014, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Agree with all Bob, especially your last paragraph ;)

     

    I'm just fumbling in the dark, but the way I could envision the buffering is just that as the whole string is taken up and down the SOC curve, IWSTM that the four paralleled pairs would necessarily be at any one time, closer to the mean Voltage/SOC than the other constituent batteries.. IOW their voltage (and by proxy SOC) would lag the others by some small amount and so could act as a kind of cushion at both the top and bottom of the range..

     

    One question I would want confirmed is whether or not the whole string is charged in bulk, ie only at the ends of the series, or is each battery tied into individually...if memory serves it's in bulk, and if that's indeed the case, then the only equalization going on is purely passive, with the lower SOC batteries inherently accepting charge more readily...
    5 Sep 2014, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
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    Thanks John. I suspect the reason lies more in the field of chemistry than electrical engineering.
    5 Sep 2014, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
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    52 in series, 4 in parallel generally means that there are 204 in total. (52S x 4P)

     

    No one runs 4 orphan batteries in parallel with a 52 battery string. (This makes no sense.)

     

    Get the facts from Jay before you give the presentation at the battery show.
    6 Sep 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I have the facts and know exactly what has been done. The whys and wherefores are beyond my pay grade, but I'll be happy to turn the more complex questions over to Jay if they arise.
    6 Sep 2014, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
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    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    I'd love to hear Jay's reply to three questions:

     

    "What advantage(s) beyond the increased capacity is being gained with this unconventional mixture of battery Pairs and Singles?"

     

    "I assume that the BMS monitors the terminal voltage of each battery in the string - so does the BMS show a modest voltage differential between the terminal voltage of battery Pairs vs. Singles?"

     

    "Mixing battery Pairs and Singles in the same string seems to impose a huge challenge to the PbC battery's self-balancing capability, so are you certain that the advantage(s) gained significantly out weigh the self-balancing challenge imposed?"
    6 Sep 2014, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    The performance of the ePower battery pack seems pretty amazing and maybe it provides the justification for Axion coming up with a PbC battery version of the Timex phrase:

     

    -"It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."-

     

    Your truckers might relate to;

     

    - That Axion power pack is really somethin else: "She takes a real beatin and sends it right back at'ya."-
    6 Sep 2014, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I suspect your questions will have to wait for a while because Jay's up to his neck getting the day cab out of the shop and ready for Detroit. If you'll remind me in a couple weeks I'll ask when he has less on his plate. Better yet, you might want to take a day trip to Cincinnati and grill Jay in person. It also won't surprise me if Axion wants us in New Castle for the next stockholders meeting.

     

    This drivetrain truly is one of those things that you have to experience rather than read about. I consider myself a fair hand with the English language but I don't think anything I've written so far does the drivetrain justice.
    6 Sep 2014, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."- amen.

     

    Bob, that was my whole purpose (though somewhat in sport) with my proposed 1C discharge/ 1C charge marathon regimen from hell---(though maybe not really from 100-to-0% and back, maybe more like 95% down to 10 or something) but anyway, the point would be to create some kind of easily graspable durability metric that everyone could immediately understand and respect (you know, marketing), even if it didn't line up exactly with intended uses...

     

    For if the PbC could withstand upwards of 5,000 of such cycles, then I think that would serve to put to rest just about everyone's durability questions.

     

    Now ePower of course is doing something much dirtier and nastier to the battery with their 6C/8C workouts, though not quite to the same SOC amplitude, and it is certainly testament to the PbC's fierceness. And even in the absence of my wished-for experiment, I agree it says plenty...and more than plenty.
    6 Sep 2014, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Pavlof
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    Hmm. Kind of like the arrogant and naive demagogues that recommended shorting TSLA at 33, huh?
    31 Oct 2014, 10:47 PM Reply Like
  • DaveT
    , contributor
    Comments (209) | Send Message
     
    jp, Just been looking at the slides.

     

    I don't know the audience, but do you "jump in" too quickly without a preamble saying the bleeding obvious of:
    What every x% fuel saving is worth
    Why a hybrid might be useful to do this
    Why it hasn't been possible before.

     

    To get better attention I would put the "28 Billlion Gallons" slide before the "garage startup" one (do they really care that much who built it, I know we do, but so what?), and (with a slide count shortage), merge my points above into the "28B Galls" one.

     

    And maybe later (or here) some "basic science": "the batteries store the equivalent of 1/2gal diesel of recovered energy", to make the point about the scale of the recovery (and energy equivalence) - sounds attractive getting that diesel "back in the tank" I think.

     

    The two different Regenerative Terrain Examples, because of the different line colour I'm looking at them wondering if they show something different (ie what have I missed), and whether I'm meant to take the same or different messages from the two charts.

     

    The "How the ePower Drivetrain..." slide, could the "Conventional" and "ePower" words in the titles be made more prominent (so even a quick glance identifies them).
    Having the red and green dashed lines explained in a legend would be helpful, I have no idea what I'm looking (glancing!) at.

     

    Maybe somewhere include some emphasis on the user (driver) experience, is it worse / better / same to dive?

     

    Penultimate slide - "liquid cooled" implies to me too much energy loss (to dissipate, ie not the best efficiency), any chance of more efficient components instead?

     

    On the last slide, does the green lettering "speak" to the audience, don't they want to see the more pertinent "Saving you NNN gallons per year!"?

     

    Not sure whether that helps much as I don't know the way it will be presented etc, but if the slides have a "stand alone" life them maybe some of my points will make them more meaningful.

     

    Cheers

     

    Dave
    1 Sep 2014, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » This presentation is for the biggest battery and electric drive technology conference in the US. The audience will consist of 1) battery people, 2) electric drive technology people, 3) government representatives and 4) financial types (I hope). If there are any trucking people in attendance they'll most likely be major fleet types in search of a green arm band.

     

    I only have 15 minutes at the podium and I can't afford to waste any of them going through the basics. The two terrain maps have the same vertical scale. Fort Worth to Vernon fluctuates up and down in 10s of feet while Loop 275 fluctuates up and down in 100s of feet. That's why they grow quarter horses in Texas and thoroughbreds in Kentucky.

     

    My goal in this conference is to create enough buzz that component suppliers, government types and financial types want to engage in "how can we help with the next steps?" conversations.
    1 Sep 2014, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • bubbleking
    , contributor
    Comments (252) | Send Message
     
    Will your system qualify someone for a hybrid tax credit?

     

    I think the term "hybrid" immediatley turns some people off, as it has the connotation of a compromise in power.

     

    I'm not sure why the industry doesn't adopt the term "dual fuel." Nothing says power like having two fuel sources.
    1 Sep 2014, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Several States have alternative drivetrain voucher programs that cover up to $40,000 of the cost of more fuel efficient alternatives including hybrid and natural gas drivetrains. While the Feds haven't come to the table with their own program yet, it's a pretty safe bet that they will because long-haul trucking consumes about 1/4 of the nation's road transport fuel.

     

    Since the presentation will be given at The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo I don't worry too much about alienating the audience.
    1 Sep 2014, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    bk, I think it's true that at one time, maybe ten years ago, that "hybrid" was kind of a dirty word---associated as it was with the early hybrid passenger autos like the first generation prius and civic, which really did seem to most people I think to be underpowered and flimsy (due to aggressive weight reduction measures)...then of course came all the early copycats that were kind of a mixed bag and didn't deliver fully on their promises. Add to that a measure of suspicion that it was all just faddish PC greenwash anyway, and it's understandable how the label had some disrepute. As time has gone on though, and the tech has matured, and the economies have proven themselves to some extent, I think "hybrid" has gained a lot more acceptance and enjoys a certain amount of respect. It's also descriptively accurate whereas, at least in ePower's case at this time, "dual fuel" most certainly is not...
    1 Sep 2014, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1677) | Send Message
     
    "Regenerative Terrain" is something new. I have not seen the term anywhere else. Very interesting on the part of ePower and this application.
    2 Sep 2014, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
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    Author’s reply » I think regenerative terrain is also the principal target for Norfolk Southern. If you think about the numbers in our presentation, the engine has a Cummins rated fuel burn of 6.8 GPH at 120 kW. We actually burned 6.12 GPH on this 2 hour and 57 minute trip which tells me that total genset output was less than 360 kWh. I don't know how much less.

     

    Over the course of the trip the energy delivered to the drive motor from the batteries was 38.5 kWh. That's about 12% of the cumulative engine energy output during the trip.

     

    When you think about the differences between trucks and railroads, they have lower rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag but the lifting energy for terrain changes is the same value per ton. So energy recoveries of 10% to 12% in a truck may well be on the order of 20% in a train.

     

    If adding a battery locomotive to a consist provides comparable recovery of regenerative terrain energy the fuel savings and economics could be impressive.

     

    I'm not smart enough to even venture a guess, but I am certain that NS will get a bigger bump than we do.
    2 Sep 2014, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2268) | Send Message
     
    I like the "regenerative terrain" idea.

     

    Further, along the lines discussed previously of kinetic and potential energy gradients, one could describe terrain as having "deep potential" or "shallow potential" for "kinetic regeneration."
    2 Sep 2014, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It's more than an idea at this point. In fact it's the only explanation for the BMS data. On this trip we started the tractor, brought it up to highway speed and kept it there for an hour and a half. We stopped the tractor after an hour and a half to reset the data gathering systems and then did the same thing for a second lap. That means there was only one true "regenerative braking opportunity" for the entire trip.

     

    Despite an almost total absence of regenerative braking, the charge current that flowed into the batteries was 45.5 kWh and the energy delivered to the drive motor from the batteries was 38.5 kWh, for a round trip storage efficiency of 85%.
    2 Sep 2014, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • 42itus1
    , contributor
    Comments (232) | Send Message
     
    >John Petersen, Since you raised NSC as a possible benefactor of "regenerative terrain" with their potential OTR construct. And having posed this question a few concentrators ago regarding the very different yard slug 'Huge' dynamic braking charge. I am wondering if your experiences at ePower have caused some caution, regarding the PbC's durability in the different charge/discharge cycles to be found in the NSC yard slug design?

     

    I know this thread is part of your battery show presentation, but you hadn't responded to my earlier inquiry so I am trying here as you related your response to D Lane's question to NSC's use of the PbC. Thanks
    2 Sep 2014, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » So far the PbC has taken everything our drivetrain can throw at it. If you look at the combination graph in the presentation you'll see that our discharge current never goes above 120 kW while our peak charging current is 170 kW. The reason is simple. For the drive motor to pull 120 kW from the batteries it has to also be pulling 150 kW from the genset for a combined power draw of 270 kW (360 hp). That's pretty much the over-rated limit for our drive motor.

     

    When it comes to regeneration power, we don't try to impose arbitrary limits because we want the drive motor and the batteries to do what comes naturally.

     

    Since jackrabbit acceleration, panic stops and big hills are not common operating conditions in a rail yard, I've seen nothing in our data to suggest that NS will have a problem with a battery powered switcher.
    2 Sep 2014, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
     
    John:
    In slide 11 “challenges and uncertainties”
    – Integrated system reliability remains unproven

     

    This seems like a good time to give an update on system reliability success so far, even if it is a short time frame.
    If presentation time is an issue, something as simple as –

     

    The testing continues, but to date, we have logged x number of hours and are experiencing the type of integration success we had hoped for and believe will be long lived.

     

    Good luck with your presentation, and thanks for sharing it.

     

    Kevin.
    2 Sep 2014, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » While we haven't encountered any issues that give us pause or we wouldn't be showcasing the drivetrain as a beta ready product, we believe the only relevant scale for assessing integrated system reliability is millions or tens of millions of end user miles.
    2 Sep 2014, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
     
    Well stated John. You expressed your expectations for reliability while informing me that there are no overhanging issues. Your response to me is what I would say immediately after saying
    "Integrated system reliability remains unproven"
    After bringing up uncertainty about integration reliability in your presentation, it just seems you should address it.
    I'm really in no position to trouble shoot your presentation but, respectfully, your post to me seems a good one line addition to the integration reliability uncertainty. It seems more positive than just leaving the topic hanging there.
    2 Sep 2014, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Since our integrated system reliability is unproven, our launch strategy for Class 8A (the next slide) includes getting a 50- to 100-unit beta fleet on the road ASAP so we can get 6 to 12 million miles a year of experience. The best thing about trucks that drive 120,000 miles a year is that cumulative fleet mileage increases very quickly.
    2 Sep 2014, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1677) | Send Message
     
    "Eaton has confirmed that it's out of the diesel-electric hybrid business in North America, after government incentives and stabilizing diesel prices contributed to a market largely drying up. . .

     

    "We are no longer selling hybrid units in North America," Michels said. "The reason we're not selling in North America any longer is there really isn't a market for those products. If the market comes back we'll re-enter."

     

    The market started drying up when federal credits expired, Michels explained. "We began to see a downturn in orders and it's progressively gotten lower and lower."

     

    Diesel prices that have stabilized as well as an increased interest in natural gas as an alternative fuel have contributed to the decline in demand.

     

    "On the flip side our hybrid business in China is doing fantastic," Michels said. "City bus is a huge opportunity for us in china, and same thing in Europe."

     

    http://bit.ly/1qgcORb
    4 Sep 2014, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Hybrid drive for trucking has been a very difficult market because the systems are expensive, lithium-ion battery packs have a tendency to heat up to unacceptable levels after about four hours in use, and nobody's been able to get more than 8% to 10% in long-haul trucking because regenerative braking doesn't provide many advantages in vehicles that you want to keep rolling for hours at a stretch without stopping.

     

    Our series hybrid captures regenerative braking benefits just like a parallel system, but it also captures regenerative terrain benefits that parallel systems can't, and it does so with a much smaller engine.

     

    The combination of these three benefit streams should make our economics compelling, with or without subsidies, particularly from the perspective of a long-haul trucker who's spending three to four times more on fuel than operators with smaller loads and shorter hauls.
    4 Sep 2014, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1677) | Send Message
     
    If you can get your product to market, it sounds like you'll be competing with one less major player for the subsidies that do exist.
    4 Sep 2014, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We want to develop a relationship with Eaton because we think their UltraShift transmission will be a great fit for our needs. As it turns out, the moderator for my session is Eaton's Director of Technology Planning so I should have a opportunity to initiate things at the right level.
    4 Sep 2014, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1677) | Send Message
     
    Should be an interesting day!
    4 Sep 2014, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • longdated
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Petersen,
    Has your company giving any consideration of the Capstone micro turbine close coupled generating unit?

     

    4 Sep 2014, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The Capstone turbine is a wonderful machine but it's awfully expensive for trucking applications.
    4 Sep 2014, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1677) | Send Message
     
    Fun question. I believe the C30 Capstone costs more than $50k. How much for the Cummins 6.7L you are using?

     

    The C30 Electrical Power Output is 30kW. In theory, would that meet the truck's needs?
    4 Sep 2014, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    D, not to jump in, but at first glance, looks to me like not a chance...

     

    It could maybe work for a passenger car, but a scaled-down ePower type series drivetrain would need a much smaller/lighter battery pack for that to make sense... perhaps if Axion started making the PbC in a motorcycle-sized form factor...
    4 Sep 2014, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • longdated
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    It is difficult for a laymen such as myself to understand how a shaft a foot or two in length, supported by "foil" air-bearings, generator at one end, couple of turbine blades at the other, no need for cooling or lubricating system, within a metal container can cost so much.

     

    With the Author's reply (thank you, btw), I was prompted to research a bit more. Artisan Vehicle Systems (formerly CalMotors) assembled a pretty impressive tractor using a C65 as range extender. In the amateurish video, it is said that the "80,000 lbs rig's full power requirements are met up to 45 mph."

     

    You may be interested: http://bit.ly/1uD3nul

     

    Long: AXPW, CPST
    5 Sep 2014, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I had breakfast in Zurich with Capstone management a couple years ago and they were very frank about the capital cost handicaps of using a turbine in a price sensitive vehicle like a car or heavy truck. Their turbines are miniature versions of the turbines GE and RollsRoyce build for aircraft and the specifications are very bit as stringent. They last forever, but they're darned expensive.
    5 Sep 2014, 10:29 AM Reply Like
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