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Power Wizard

Power Wizard
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  • GM will lay off 1.3K employees for 5 weeks at a Detroit plant as it temporarily halts production of the Chevy Volt amidst sputtering sales. Polypore International (PPO -2.1%) - a supplier to the automaker's battery cell supplier - tumbles on the news.  [View news story]
    You are correct. I had not read much about the Volt before since they lost me at 25-50 miles on the battery (I'm guessing closer to 25). Now that I know it has mechanical coupling, it looses more points. The system is too complex. It seems GM is not focused on saving the consumer money at all.
    Mar 14 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM will lay off 1.3K employees for 5 weeks at a Detroit plant as it temporarily halts production of the Chevy Volt amidst sputtering sales. Polypore International (PPO -2.1%) - a supplier to the automaker's battery cell supplier - tumbles on the news.  [View news story]
    As a power system engineer I do substantial research on new products, including batteries and charging systems. I did not get this information by point-n-click a link from a google search, you will not find it there. I visit battery manufacturers to review their newest products and to help steer the basic unit into a viable product. I'm under nda so I cannot discuss details but I can say that I have seen a battery technology that will solve the electrical energy storage problem for EV working in the lab. This invention solves for size, weight, recharge time and cost. Any invention is a long way out from a marketable product and acceptance by the DOT but the technology does exist. And they have funding to take it to a product. They are not targeting EV but instead utility, where time to market is much faster since the DOT is not in the way and opportunity is ripe.

    I will agree that charging stations, for home use, are limited to 50kW due to the typical 200A service size I showed in my first post. In my house that system would be limited to 45kW because my service is 208V instead of 240V. However, there is no limit to the size of the recharging station at a commercial address. The time it takes to charge your car at your house is not important, so long as it's less than overnight. For a passenger vehicle to be exclusively electric and equivalent to gasoline vehicles, I think it needs to be quickly rechargeable for longer trips. If this were available, electric cars would be just as convenient and useful as small gasoline powered cars, thus marketable.

    The size and weight of the battery are important because that affects the range of the vehicle. A small, lighter, cheaper battery means you can put more battery on-board. The most important goal is to improve the range. GM elected to improve the Volt's range by adding an on-board generator; the market apparently rejected that idea. I was personally disappointed when I learned this was the way they decided to go. It is still a leap ahead since the vehicle does not have a mechanical coupling from the ICE to the drive. It is a far better solution than a Prius type hybrid so the people who wanted a Prius should want it, they just don't. I know that I don't, just because the range on the battery is too short, but I never wanted a Prius either. If the Volt had 100 mile range on battery with a range extender ICE, I would likely be a buyer.
    Mar 14 12:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM will lay off 1.3K employees for 5 weeks at a Detroit plant as it temporarily halts production of the Chevy Volt amidst sputtering sales. Polypore International (PPO -2.1%) - a supplier to the automaker's battery cell supplier - tumbles on the news.  [View news story]
    Actually it is the battery. While you would still be limited at your house to an overnight charge, you would be able to charge at a charging station quickly. There's no trouble getting any power you need installed at a filling station.

    Also, my house has 200 amp service at 208V, which probably aligns with "most" houses, at least those with air conditioning. At 80% load I should be able to charge at nearly 45kWhr while we are sleeping so a 300 mile charge is not unreasonable.

    I've seen the battery working in the lab, and yes it'll take the charge and it's 1/10th the size of existing technology. Indeed it is a breakthrough. Sorry, not yet ready for IPO.
    Mar 12 01:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM will lay off 1.3K employees for 5 weeks at a Detroit plant as it temporarily halts production of the Chevy Volt amidst sputtering sales. Polypore International (PPO -2.1%) - a supplier to the automaker's battery cell supplier - tumbles on the news.  [View news story]
    I really, really, really, really, really, really want an electric car. I just don't want a Volt or a Prius or anything else that's out there. I had a Geo Metro back in my struggling days that got better mileage than a Prius AND it was really cheap to buy. I drove it for over a year but sold it when my wireless stocks soared so I never thought about gas prices after that.

    We have only a few problems remaining to solve to make EVs successful. They must travel 300 miles between charges and they must recharge in less than 5 minutes and the cost must be justified by the savings. I study all emerging battery technologies and I do know that this solution is working in the lab. Soon enough EVs will out-perform the gas vehicle in every category.
    Mar 2 11:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Envia Systems – When Hype Becomes Deception [View instapost]
    More hype than that.

    The capacity actually falls off sharply after a few cycles then barely hangs on to stay above 80% for only a few hundred cycles. This would not be useful in an EV since you would cycle the battery nearly every day. I'm guessing that'll blow their claim to reduce cost by half since you'll need to replace 2-3x as often.

    Also, they compared their cell in a light weight pouch to a cell in a metal case. The pouch will need to be encased in a metal structure to live in a vehicle. I'm thinking a real-world comparison would show little if any net improvement over existing products.
    Mar 1 05:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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