This Solar-Powered RV Runs Without Fuel Or Charging Stations

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by agentaqua, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  2. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    Interesting, I wonder if it'll actually work? I'd assume no problem driving across the Outback or Arizona. But wonder what would happen on a grey rainy fall (short) west coast day up and down the mountains, then stopping for the night popping out the awning (shading the wall), turning on the heat and making dinner then getting up first thing on another grey rainy day to repeat. Will there be enough capacity for it to be the standalone they claim, or just an intellectual exercise for a small niche?

    They say 3000 watts (considerably less actual output most of the time) of charging capacity, does that mean that's all it takes energy wise to move this thing down the road at highway speeds for a normal day and power the coach functions without propane day and night? I have a 3000 watt Honda generator that I can run full load for 8-10 hours on a couple gallons of gas, we all know if this RV was an ICE there's no way it would do all the work mentioned above on a couple gallons of gas or any fossil fuel equivalent. What am I missing in this physics/energy equation? I'm missing something, it's not adding up for me.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  3. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    It's a concept motorhome and not meant for production at this point. It showcases tech that the company is developing and pointing out where they are going. Think about how the auto shows have concept cars and what features that do come to the market like all electric drive or autonomous driving. In this case I would suspect the production unit would have solar on the roof and e-drive with a quick charge for the batteries. You could travel from campsite to campsite using 30 amp service that is there and quick charge on the highway. Ever industry is showcasing their e-drive concepts because they see the future coming and you evolve or you die it's that simple.
    Here is an example from the trucking industry.
  4. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    That makes total sense, but it isn't what the article is claiming it's pretty misleading. It's claiming something totally different.
    aheny likes this.
  5. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    It's important to read what the company is claiming not what the writer dreamed up.

    “By implementing a fully electric powertrain there are many challenges and equally opportunities for the entire vehicle. One significant opportunity is to do without any additional type of energy sources for the vehicle. This means that a motorhome with electric drive will also supply all the onboard services with electricity for the living area instead of gas, for example – and that is why solar power production becomes very important.”

    So I read that as no fossil fuel generator needed to supply power to the system. Your are 100% correct that 3000w is not enough to power everything up and charge the battery to drive 100 miles unless you park it in the sun for a month or two or more..... :)

    Here is another link to the "news"
  6. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    Except for plugging it in every 100 miles or less. Might as well skip the purty panels, gotta be plugged in at camp if you want to leave in the morning anyways.
  7. dabell

    dabell Member

    Without any cost estimates - the "value" is not really known. But since no estimate given.... easy assumption on reality of value.
  8. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    I'd categorize this with a lot of the solar options..."cute idea, check back in a few years and see if it ever went anywhere, or it was just a really effective virtue signalling device for well-off environmentalists".

    PV is typically extremely sensitive to panel angle; you can gain (or lose depending on how you look at it) large fractions of the theoretically available energy depending on how perpendicular you can get the panel to the sun's rays.

    Just getting panels dusty takes a big chunk out of their efficiency; if you have a vehicle that's getting typical road dirt (not to mention rock chips etc) and you have it parked at random angles to the sun and you aren't in the middle of the unshaded, treeless desert of Arizona...efficiency will be really poor. Will you be able to run the camping systems off the panels? Maybe. But unless you're consistently using grid power to charge the batteries, you're going to run into issues with load maintenance and speed of recharge, which can radically shorten the life of current batteries. On top of that, you're looking at an RV which gets used how often? So the battery life factor becomes even more complicated. Are you perpetually keeping this thing on a grid tie all year just so you don't have to throw a ton of batteries out, for the two weeks you use it? And what is that energy cost? And how long do those batteries last even with extensive efforts to ameliorate the problems this machine has inherent to its design?

    I spent a ton of time researching solar options for my off-grid place, because I really wanted a setup that would reliably offer even 1-2kw of power.

    The short answer is "it's really expensive, really inefficient, and you throw a lot of batteries in the garbage".
    dabell likes this.
  9. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    I was trying to avoid that phrase but it was the first thing that popped into my head.
    Drewl and cracked_ribs like this.
  10. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    The problem with solar panels is they are still not very efficient. I know they are getting better, but its size of panel you still need that is the issue. I know everyone whats to believe they are cats ass but the issue is you lose efficiency because of the heat lost when it hits the panels. Battery technologies are getting better with inverter but its still a challenge. That design is neat to get attention but why not place the panels at proper angles on the roof. I worked within R and D and manufacturing with Solar LED locally in Victoria for nearly 7 years so I was in the industry. I think it is a great concept I just question the efficiency. Thanks for posting its interesting.
    cracked_ribs likes this.
  11. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    Got a long way to go.

    German Analysis: Florida Evacuation With E-Vehicles Would Mean “Mass Death On The Highways”
    By P Gosselin on 12. September 2017

    If Florida’s transportation were based mostly on electric vehicles, as activists demand, it would quickly come to a standstill in times of hurricanes and mass evacuations. Charging stations would be overwhelmed and millions of lives put at risk.


    Good thing we have fossil fuel powered vehicles, which can run and be refueled whenever the power is out. Army National Guard load trucks as they prepare to hand out supplies to people in need. E-vehicles would sit idle and leave millions abandoned and at risk. (U.S. Navy photo from FEMA site, by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released)

    E-mobility in times of hurricane would be “a nightmare”

    Yesterday Michael Limburg of the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here posted a brainstorming thought exercise, posing the question of what would the evacuation of Florida look like if most of the cars were electric?

    And to take it a step further, what would rescue services today be like if they depended on electric vehicles?

    EIKE concludes that it would be “a nightmare!”

    “Mass death”

    EIKE cites a post by IT expert Hadmut Danisch here, who drove the point home, saying the outcome would be “mass death on the highways“.

    Though the discussion rages over the degree to which man may be at fault for hurricanes like Irma, one thing is sure: as long as it’s September, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico will always be in peak hurricane season with or without man. Powerful hurricanes have always been the case, and always will be.

    What has emerged, Limburg writes, is: the better the early warning system is, and the more mobile people are, the less victims you are going to see.

    Cars would lose their charge, millions stranded on highway

    Imagine if the environmentalists had had their way and had managed to force the US into electric cars…something that is underway now in some countries like Norway, the UK and soon France. Germany recently has been discussing in earnest banning by 2030 the internal combustion engine.

    And now imagine with Irma if the millions of Floridians evacuating populated south Florida had had electric cars instead and needed to make the 400-mile journey to get out of harm’s way. After 100 miles or so, these cars would have lost their power and charging stations quickly would have become overrun with cars waiting to make the one-hour charge-up.

    Traffic rapidly would have come to a halt. These millions of stranded people then would have been sitting ducks waiting to be blown away by nature’s fury.

    Fossil fueled vehicles never need a rest

    With fossil fuels, the car’s range is far greater, fueling time is just minutes and extra canisters of fuel also can be easily brought along. Power outages would not interrupt petrol stations because the gas pumps can be easily powered by portable fossil fuel-powered generators.

    A hurricane hits. Power lines go down, knocking out the power grid and thus making the charging of vehicles impossible. Solar panels fly off buildings as roofs get torn off. Wind parks automatically turn off because they are not designed to operate in hurricane force winds. Many wind towers simply buckle in the 250 km/hr gusts of wind. The power supply gets destroyed. In summary, solar panels and offshore wind parks in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico would make about as much sense as raising sheep in a wolf-farm.

    And as the storm passes, electric cars would remain immobile because the power grid would be knocked out. Recharging vehicles would be impossible. Emergency vehicles also would quickly lose their power charge and thus remain idle. Recovery and clean up efforts would take months, if not years. The toll on human life would be unimaginable.

    This is the future of electric mobility.

    Today, thanks to fossil fuels, energy is always portable, available and reliable. Fossil fueled vehicles are able to travel great distances, be onsite within a minutes notice, and be refueled quickly. Nuclear and coal power plants stand their ground, and so restoring power is easy.

    Floridians have shown that even in the aftermath of the most destructive storms, recovery and a speedy return to business is a matter of days or a few weeks, all thanks to the always dependable and available fossil fuels.
  12. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    Fun fact: No line ups at any Tesla supercharger during the evacuation of Florida and no running out of gas like 60% of the gas stations in the state. So far only one reported supercharger offline as it's deep in the Keys and the whole area is offline to everything. Reports from Tesla owners so far say they were well served by the infrastructure and the car's ability to route them around traffic jams. They also mentioned they were thankful they did not have to wait in lineup like the friends at those gas stations did. They left with a full charge from their homes as there friends sat in lines waiting to fill up. Seems that if we fear the future we will always find excuses to hold onto yesterday's technology. It's human nature as we age and thankfully it's not a burden to the young unless those Luddite's have their way.
  13. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    Definitely as long as only a tiny percentage of people use EVs the infrastructure appears to be completely adequate. At this point, nobody knows whether it could be scaled up or not so hard to say what that would look like or even if it could be tried.

    So far the only thing we definitely know about fleeing a natural disaster in a Tesla is that tesla will remotely disable the codes they ordinarily use to restrict performance on cheaper models, giving people access to the same performance as the more expensive models.

    How anyone feels about that probably depends a bit on what aspects of that problem they choose to focus on.
    OldBlackDog likes this.
  14. CIVANO

    CIVANO Well-Known Member

    Where do we get the power to charge millions of these electric vehicles? Wind? Solar?

    Certainly fossil fuels can not be entertained.
    OldBlackDog likes this.
  15. Fish Camp

    Fish Camp Well-Known Member

    The tow veicle becomes the charging unit ,plug n play.Your trailer has a carries a still that takes stuff to make fuel for wick ,the armicer of the electic motor is within the still and walla with the steam power we generate while travilin.though mi words are bad ,but can happen.
    OldBlackDog likes this.
  16. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    It's a bit of the chicken and the egg dilemma at this point looking forward. Something that was faced 100 years ago when people did not want buy cars until they knew there were fuelling stations. Oil companies didn't want to build petrol stations until people had cars. It took years for the market to sort it out but in the meantime some were content with their horse.

    fun fact: Tesla is bringing online one supercharger multi bay station every day in North America it means to be ready for the when the model 3 goes into full production.
    fun fact: Tesla opened an eight bay supercharger in Nanaimo last month.
  17. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    I know a family that charges their Leaf from the solar on their roof. They told me that it only takes 6 panels to do it. So yes you could charge from wind and solar if that's important to you. There are many ways to overcome the perceived problems that one can think of. A quick search of google turns up many solutions. For example....

    fun fact: 30% of EV owners also have solar panel on their house.
  18. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    Hey wait a second, Tesla has 30% of EV market share! That sounds pretty impressive doesn't it? Until you think beyond the headline (just like the OP in this thread) then you learn EV's are less than 1% of global vehicle sales, about .86% actually. Fun fact; for every 100 vehicles trying to evacuate .29 were Tesla's. When Tesla can evacuate the estimated 5-7 million that were moved by ICE during Irma with equal troubles to what we saw it'll mean something. I also can't help but wonder if the 5 billion USD in subsidies to Tesla could have been better spent emission reduction wise? Getting .29 cars out of every 100 to become EV's doesn't seem like a good ROI even if we ignore the dirty little secrets of clean energy. The 5 billion doesn't include consumer incentives either, just direct payments to the Muskmeister. I think most people that like to point to Tesla as a beacon of hope and accomplishment also know it doesn't make sense, just look where their dollars go, .29 out of 100 say it's overwhelmingly not to Tesla. Maybe they're worried about long term support if the subsidies dry up, who knows but they really don't sell. They pray at the Church of Elon but leave a tithe at the church of Tillerson.
    OldBlackDog likes this.
  19. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    That's impressive, lets do some math. What's the daily average drive, what size panels, and do they live on the island? Only 6 panels and you can drive for free, why don't you have one yet?
    OldBlackDog likes this.
  20. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

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