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Old 04-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Onboard electric car charger

After reading the posts about the Chevy Volt in another thread about the line shutdown, it's obvious that there are solutions to the issues about the car.

To the folks that are more electric car literate than I am: for something that runs primarily in the city, sometimes highway situation.

How powerful would a onboard charging system have to be in order to keep a 48-96V battery pack up if you only used it for charging and not assisting in powering the car?

Would it be better to have some type of adjustable control that would allow the driver to decide the frequency of generator cut in/cut out?

Nothing exciting, just thought about if a person had somewhere to go and nowhere to plug in, small but powerful charger kicks in and out like a refrigerator unit automatically. Maybe it has been done.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Most electric cars use between 200 watt hours per mile and 500 watt hours per mile, the Leaf is around 330, pickuptrucks are higher, 1,400 pound two seaters like mine are down at the bottom at 200-250 watt hours per mile and that is measured at the wall going in to the charger.
So in theory, a Honda eu2000i gas engine generator says it can run on 1.1 gallons for 4 hours putting out 1,600 watts, that is about right for my 1.5kw charger and that charger is new enough to me that I haven't fully tested it yet, but I hear from others that an hour of charging will give me around 8 miles of range, so if I charged with a gas generator I'd be getting 29mpg, not very good, but it could be done and after 4-5 hours my battery pack would be full.

Just to be clear about how the Volt really works, yes the gas engine can charge the batteries, but that is the least efficient way that it can work and it rarely happens, the transmission is more like a three way split with planetary gears, very close to what the Toyota Prius does, but just different enough that they have their own patents, there for the gas engine can turn the wheel, the motor can turn the wheels and the gas engine can turn the motor to work as a generator, when it mouton mode both the gas engine and electric motor are working together to pull the 4,000 pound car up the long mouton pass, as I understand it the rest of the time it's 100% electric until the battery is down to 20% then it's 100% gas with electric regen braking.

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Man, you are always reliable with the info. Thank you. Are there any diesel gensets that can better that consumption rate? Where would be a good place to start studying about this?

Are there any fast charging solutions that are safe?
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There are several threads re: onboard generators... you've been here a while, haven't you seen any of them? As I see it, the bottom line is onboard generating to charge the battery pack is the least fuel efficient way possible to charge that pack AND the least fuel efficient way to get the vehicle down the road. I'm told vehicle-generated electricity is about 5x the cost of household outlet electricity! So if one is to burden their EV with the weight, cost, and complexity of an ICE I strongly think that ICE should power the wheels directly to make the whole mess go down the road, bypassing all the onboard generating/charging inefficiencies.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
There are several threads re: onboard generators... you've been here a while, haven't you seen any of them? As I see it, the bottom line is onboard generating to charge the battery pack is the least fuel efficient way possible to charge that pack AND the least fuel efficient way to get the vehicle down the road. I'm told vehicle-generated electricity is about 5x the cost of household outlet electricity! So if one is to burden their EV with the weight, cost, and complexity of an ICE I strongly think that ICE should power the wheels directly to make the whole mess go down the road, bypassing all the onboard generating/charging inefficiencies.
5x expensive?


I was thinking more on the line of just having the thing there just to maintain battery power level, not to get the car down the road, just as a backup when you can't plug it in.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, if outlet electricity costs 10c/kwh, car electricity probably costs 50cents.

Quote:
I was thinking more on the line of just having the thing there just to maintain battery power level, not to get the car down the road, just as a backup when you can't plug it in.
Ummm... right. What do you think "maintaining the battery level" is exactly, as it powers or after it has powered the vehicle down the road?

Maybe in some (most?) cases an onboard genset would be an OK range extender or "range anxiety fix", but I keep thinking of my driving pattern and it's usually totally within EV range or way, way beyond it. For within, no ICE; for beyond, ICE to the wheels.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where I live, it's basically flat and the longest distance one way is about 50 miles. Aside from that, stop and go, short trips, inner city, all the stuff that tears an ICE up and wastes gas.

I look at how I drive and the most that I do now is 73 mph, and in the city 43-45 mph.

I was curious since most things can be done with an electric, but considering it gets stupid cold in Chicago during the winter, I did not know whether the power draws from the heater and other electrical components might be a bit much, hence the onboard genset.

Hey, what can I say, little kiddies make a man think of a backup.

In an ideal world, 75-100 miles on a charge should be enough.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleanspeed1 View Post
5x expensive?
Cost to charge my EV from an outlet is around 80 cents to a dollar, to charge off gasoline is going to cost around $5 to 5.25 for low grade gasoline, that wall outlet charging cost is my standard rate, same cost for electricity no matter what time of day and I pay extra for wind source electricity.
A pusher trailer would be a more efficient way to go EVAlbum: Search Results as the gas engine would be used to power the vehicle without converting mechanical energy to electricity, storing that electricity then turning it back in to mechanical energy.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh the irony

Some ecomodders go to great lengths to not have the engine in their cars charge the battery, while some ecomodders go to great lengths to add engines to cars that don't have them in order to charge batteries... all in the name of using less fuel.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Some ecomodders go to great lengths to not have the engine in their cars charge the battery, while some ecomodders go to great lengths to add engines to cars that don't have them in order to charge batteries... all in the name of using less fuel.
Either way, the idea is to use a better source of energy to power as much of the vehicle as possible, just like it being more cost effective to plug in a block heater to preheat a gas engine then it is to have the engine run cold for the first few minutes, even in the summer and if at all possible, I really like having a gas car and an electric car, I haven't driven my gas car in over a week, I'll drive it once tomorrow to head out of town for the morning and leave it parked for another few weeks, the people who did use it however in that time used it instead of vehicles that got half of the mileage.
There are a lot of times tho, that a battery trailer would add enough range that a generator would not be needed, ever.

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