Viewing 26 posts - 41 through 66 (of 66 total)
  • Ariel Hipercar – bonkers!!
  • krixmeister
    Full Member

    OK, not turbine-electric, and not production, but both pre-date the Jag!

    1963 Chrysler turbine car, 50-ish made, back in the days when cars had style!

    And some bloke’s home-made turbine-powered Porsche 928:

    mert
    Free Member

    Ah, if you’re going down the pure turbine car, you’re got to include the Rover-BRM Le Mans car…

    molgrips
    Full Member

    it took a bloke in a shed in Somerset to think of it

    I thought of it years ago, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. I didn’t make it, of course, because I do not design cars for a living.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    Jet engine power units aren’t new they’re called Auxilliary Power Units (APUs) and are fitted to most jet aircraft and helicopters – it’s what’s used to power all the aircraft systems when the main engines are off. Some of them are quite dinky – no bigger than a suitcase.

    csb
    Full Member

    Great toy but what is the point really? I’d be more impressed if this effort was going into hyper efficient practical vehicles.

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    I did a uni project on an electric vehicle with a built in petrol powered charger back in ’92 (also considered a flywheel motor that was spun up by the engine and topped up by the brakes). It was a dustcart rather than a super car, though. I thought it made sense for city use and stop/start driving. The numbers didn’t quite add up cost wise back then, but it would probably work now.

    I had a beer fuelled discussion with a bunch of students about 15 years back about doing similar for a bus. We came up with a whacking great spinning flywheel under the floor that was spun up by an electric motor that got its power from connecting to the mains when it was stopped at bus stops. Not need for batteries or even clever electric motors, just a way to let he electrics connect when it pulled unto the bus stop which seemed relatively easy.

    I wonder if that would work now I am sober?

    sl2000
    Full Member

    I wonder if that would work now I am sober?

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/02/whatever-happened-to-williams-f1s-flywheel-hybrid-idea/

    The flywheel bit was tried on buses: https://busride.com/international-report-7/

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I wonder if that would work now I am sober?

    Pretty dangerous in a crash I’d say.

    CountZero
    Full Member

    Great toy but what is the point really? I’d be more impressed if this effort was going into hyper efficient practical vehicles.

    How do you know it won’t? Nothing is wasted in any kind of R&D, like using those sort of tiny gas-turbine engines. For starters, they can run on any type of fuel that’s flammable, petrol, diesel, vodka, Chanel No5, paraffin, pretty much any cheap alcohol. Combined with the new solid-state Lithium metal batteries that Volkswagen have been involved with which are going to have a life-expectancy of something like 240,000miles, and can charge in 15 minutes, using a small gas-turbine running on isopropyl alcohol to boost the charge means, theoretically, you’d never need to plug the thing in, just make sure the tank’s kept topped up every so often – once the range drops to 100 miles, say,  the jet fires up, tops up the battery, then shuts down. The solid state batteries are supposed to fully charge from almost zero in fifteen minutes.
    Goodbye to worrying about traveling to remote places and not being able to plug the car or van or whatever in, if there’s any sort of liquid fuel like paraffin available, in order to keep the tank full, it’ll keep running.

    I don’t see any practical reason why that sort of system couldn’t become the de facto method of making EV’s, the batteries can be smaller and lighter, there’s no risk of battery fires, because there’s no liquid used inside solid state batteries, the only fire risk comes from the jet fuel, but that’s no different to how things stand now, but if a bio-diesel was used, even that risk is pretty much eliminated. This little beast is a great proof-of-concept, so what’s the problem?

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    I watched the video, it is utterly bonkers. Its the first time anyone had used a turbine as a range extender and it took a bloke in a shed in Somerset to think of it

    hmmm, on further investigation the turbine or “Cat Gen” seems to be entirely the work of Cosworth – they also have it running in two Transit PHEVs and a yacht! With the intention very much to enable “hyper efficient practical vehicles” (their ultimate goal is to get it running on hydrogen). So yeah this Ariel thing probably very much just a toy/test vehicle.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Awesome idea but, will your local indy be able to service a Turbine range extender?

    The mention of a 2wd version and the range extender potentially being an option, the fact the turbine wasn’t working on test day… All just makes me think it will get watered down, once you unplumb the turbine and stick in more batteries it’s still batman’s EV…

    I reckon It’ll end up as a trackable EV for Fat Dad’s to live their best midlife crisis in.
    But the inclusion of a roof and doors may well help sales…

    I suppose the obvious question though has to be, why not just build an Atom EV? (or have they done that already?) that could be pretty awesome toy in it’s own right…

    mert
    Free Member

    The m-KERS flywheel thing was a touted as a demonstrator back in the late 90s. High density composite fly wheel in an evacuated chamber. They were trying to sell it to auto manufacturers (i sat in on the pitch in 2000 or 2001), but that version was a sod to package (big flat “traditional” flywheel). Big ones fitted nicely under a bus though. so they ended up having a couple of buses floating round, usually charged on deceleration to stop, then used to boost the pull away (as no one likes to be covered in diesel fumes at the bus stop.). I guess that died when batteries got more useable…

    I was involved a few years ago with a fuel efficiency program where we tried, in no particular order:-
    e-boost (small container of compressed air and an electric compressor to enable more effective turbo use).
    mini m-KERS to restart the engine during stop/start, just a coke can sized mass spinning at 30-40000, clutched/geared to the flywheel.
    Thermal KERS, a big thermal mass added into the cooling circuit, so once the engine was up to temp, we’d store a load of energy in a thermos strapped to the engine. Meant that warm up time of the engine was massively reduced for up to ~48 hours.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I’d be more impressed if this effort was going into hyper efficient practical vehicles.

    I’m not a fan of hypercars but I don’t begrudge Ariel for doing this. It’s not like they are persuading people out of more efficient cars for daily driving. It’s literally just a toy.

    As for the effort – well, it’s a few people in a small factory, versus hundreds of thousands of engineers and untold billions going into developing everyday cars to be as efficient as possible. I think it’s alright.

    Thermal KERS, a big thermal mass added into the cooling circuit, so once the engine was up to temp, we’d store a load of energy in a thermos strapped to the engine. Meant that warm up time of the engine was massively reduced for up to ~48 hours.

    Second generation Prius had this in the US. It pumped half of the coolant into a thermos when you shut it down. People complained about it but they sold millions so can’t be too bad.

    I don’t see any practical reason why that sort of system couldn’t become the de facto method of making EV’s

    It’s not going to be necessary in a few years’ time, if it even is now. We will cope with 300 mile ranges. Despite what some people think, it is plenty. Yeah there are some disadvantages to it (and as someone who tows I am affected by them) but we can manage. As charging infrastructure gets better, and it will, we just won’t need range extenders. Then we’ll get solid state batteries which I think will result in cheaper cars not just longer range ones. And a key advantage for manufacturers is the simplicity of making EVs with far fewer parts to source and assemble; a gas turbine would roll that back.

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    It’s not going to be necessary in a few years’ time, if it even is now. We will cope with 300 mile ranges. Despite what some people think, it is plenty.

    Its bladder range that’s the key 🙂

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    I like the idea of a turbine range extender tbh and if it was portable be very useful for long off grid trips as you could only carry it when needed, bit like a jerrycan.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    A lot of these things come from research and collaborative projects which get part funding from government (Innovate UK is the umbrella organisation which in this instance is supporting things lightweight and low carbon).

    Recent projects are listed here and you’ll see Ariel and McMurtry mentioned.
    https://www.nichevehiclenetwork.co.uk/

    So if you have some time and an idea, find some collaborators and get some funding to try it out (the short proof of concept support isn’t too onerous to apply for).

    Flywheel concepts have been around for ages. See Parry People Movers and Flybrid.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    I wonder if that would work now I am sober?

    Pretty dangerous in a crash I’d say.

    Also for those action sequences in films where a character is hanging onto the front of aa moving vehicle and decides that the sensible thing to do is crawl along the underside..

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Its bladder range that’s the key

    Maybe they’ll make EVs with drinks dispensers inside, so you sip continuously out of boredom and then have to stop to pee all the time. That would make recharging much less of an issue.

    Or make the seats less comfortable so you have to get out and stretch a bit every 2hrs.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    mick_r
    Recent projects are listed here and you’ll see Ariel and McMurtry mentioned.
    https://www.nichevehiclenetwork.co.uk/

    So if you have some time and an idea, find some collaborators and get some funding to try it out (the short proof of concept support isn’t too onerous to apply for).

    You sound like you’ve some experience – what have you worked with NVN on? I instigated a project back in 2014 and it was a great experience and some of the themes are still being worked on. I actually believe that Ariel will have used the same chassis tech/manufacturer that we did given the parties involved.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    On the bus thing,

    Could you do it by induction maybe? Like with modern phones and electric toothbrushes? Stick one under each bus stop, you wouldn’t get long to charge up but it wouldn’t be far to the next one either. Probably pointless compared to just an overnight charge at the depot of course but, I wonder if it’s possible at all?

    It seems weird to me that we’re looking at EV solutions for cars but not things like buses (or are we?). There’s huge amounts of floorspace to hide batteries compared to a car. Lots of surface area up top for solar panels. Seems like a quick win to replace a sooty diesel.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    It seems weird to me that we’re looking at EV solutions for cars but not things like buses (or are we?)

    when I was in Norway the leccy buses had a pantograph like on a train, at certain stops it would rise up into the bus stop and grab a quick top-up. Very clever!

    molgrips
    Full Member

    It seems weird to me that we’re looking at EV solutions for cars but not things like buses (or are we?

    We are. There are a few E-busses around here. They seem to work the same way as ICE ones.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    very useful for long off grid trips

    Yeah that’s the target market Ariel are clearly going after… 😉

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Haven’t electric busses been a thing in Europe for a long time? Not battery powered ones, like a tram, but without the tracks. Just a bus powered from overhead electric lines.

    I suppose it’s historically a tossup between capex and opex, it’s only the last few years when anyone’s really questioned whether having fossil fuel engines in built up areas is a good idea.

    mert
    Free Member

    Yeah, they have a BEV bus trial running in Göteborg at the moment.

    https://www.electricitygoteborg.se/en

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Haven’t electric busses been a thing in Europe for a long time? Not battery powered ones, like a tram, but without the tracks. Just a bus powered from overhead electric lines.

    aka the trolleybus. Yes, it’s been used all over the world (including the UK) for over a hundred years. Battery buses are a lot more versatile though, and ultimately probably much cheaper/better as the technology advances.

Viewing 26 posts - 41 through 66 (of 66 total)

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