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Old 06-14-2008, 05:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Don't forget that you can design the trailer with 2 recievers and use a single wheel with suspension that swivels. That would eliminate the risk of jacknifing because the trailer simply becomes an extension of the vehicle, which would allow you to theoretically build a removeable boat tail for any vehicle.

That is exactly what I plan to do to the vibe, build it a portable boat tail for better hwy FE.

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Old 06-14-2008, 06:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Don't forget that you can design the trailer with 2 recievers and use a single wheel with suspension that swivels.
In case you have not seen this there are about a million pictures of them on this site to give you ideas.
http://www.singlewheel.com/
Funny how everyone had them and now you never see one.
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:41 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
I attempted a motorcycle-based,one-wheel trailer for the CRX
aerohead,
That sounds really cool. Do you have a writeup about it somewhere?
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I really like the modular and retro-fit features of the pusher trailer. The downside to just adding an EV trailer to an existing gas powered sedan would be around town driving while towing a trailer... the post office, the mall, Starbucks and strip mall parking lots near downtown aren't very 'trailer-friendly'.

On the other hand, an EV pushed by Diesel powered APU trailer sounds more appealing the more I think about it. If you work 10 miles away, use the EV wo/trailer. If you are going out of town, headed out on a long trip, hitch up the APU trailer of choice, have it push you down the hiway. When you get to your destination, hotel, temp job site, aunt Madilda's, un-hitch the APU trailer, chain it to the nearest lightpole and use EV power locally.

Train locomotives generate electricy via big Diesel engines that drive electric motors to propel the train down the tracks. But the torque loads are huge, transmitting mechanical power alone through gears has huge losses so the generator makes sense in that case. I am not sure how efficient an EV car with a Diesel electric generator trailer would be, by nature is sounds kind of lossy.

Either way, the cool thing with the pusher trailer or generator trailer is you aren't tied down to any one source of propulsion. Mix-n-match your auxillary power unit, you can own several... if Diesel goes out of fashion, switch to a gasoline APU while you are retro-fitting your Diesel APU to run on french fry grease or biomass fuel. Gasoline lines too long? Switch over to a compressed natural gas powered APU (CNG) that you Phill up through your household NG outlet (Google "Phill CNG"). Will some sort of fuel cell technology take over in 3 years? Hydrogen? Build a pusher trailer around that.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:21 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metromizer View Post
Train locomotives generate electricy via big Diesel engines that drive electric motors to propel the train down the tracks. But the torque loads are huge, transmitting mechanical power alone through gears has huge losses so the generator makes sense in that case. I am not sure how efficient an EV car with a Diesel electric generator trailer would be, by nature is sounds kind of lossy.
That's the train of thought (sorry...) I had. What's the diesel/electric locomotive's 'reason for being' ? My guess is torque. It would take a whopper of a torque converter on a diesel engine to move a train!
I agree, the diesel/electric concept does sound 'lossy' (hey, it's a new word!) But I would like to see some data...
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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It's also the basic premise of GM's Volt (except gas instead of diesel). You have an electric drive, battery pack and generator that only runs once the batteries drop down to a certain level.

I think the possibility of more train-like transportation is a definite possibility in the future. Imagine taking a modular approach to your standard car. Have a very aerodynamic powered front 'car' towing a single occupant passenger 'car' with a fly-by-wire control scheme. Add passenger 'cars' as you need them, and hook up with others for power-sharing and the aerodynamic benefit. Add a battery car with solar collector for range extending.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #28 (permalink)
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going along w/ the idea of being able to reduce load on lg trucks: the trailer could be used to suppliment durring acceleration and big hills. for steady-state, the trailer's motor would shut off. put regenerative braking, and you''ve got a good trailer brake! Most of the power requirments for towing come from acceleration and hill climbing.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:57 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Charlie View Post
I can see that it would have the greatest advantage in town, but why not optimize it for cruising on the highway?
If the tow vehicle has an engine that is too big for good fuel economy, then it may still make sense to run a smaller engine on the trailer and turn off the tow vehicle's engine.

If the tow vehicle has an efficient engine, then I would try adding a steam engine to the trailer to use the waste heat from the tow vehicle's exhaust.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:34 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyman View Post
If the tow vehicle has an engine that is too big for good fuel economy, then it may still make sense to run a smaller engine on the trailer and turn off the tow vehicle's engine.

If the tow vehicle has an efficient engine, then I would try adding a steam engine to the trailer to use the waste heat from the tow vehicle's exhaust.
Such would be a perfect application for a Stirling Engine:
Stirling engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They work well with low temperature differences, so remaining exhaust heat would could be converted to motive force. It would work especially well on long cruises.

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