Archives for category: Sustainable sailing

Volvo Car Group makes conventional batteries a thing of the past

Volvo Car Group has developed a revolutionary concept for lightweight structural energy storage components that could improve the energy usage of future electrified vehicles. The material, consisting of carbon fibers, nano structured batteries and super capacitors, offers lighter energy storage that requires less space in the car, cost effective structure options and is eco-friendly.

The project, funded as part of a European Union research project, included Imperial College London as the academic lead partner along with eight other major participants. Volvo was the only car manufacturer in the project. The project team identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, whilst maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance. The research project took place over 3.5 years and is now realized in the form of car panels within a Volvo S80 experimental car.

The answer was found in the combination of carbon fibers and a polymer resin, creating a very advanced nanomaterial, and structural super capacitors. The reinforced carbon fibers sandwich the new battery and are molded and formed to fit around the car’s frame, such as the door panels, the boot lid and wheel bowl, substantially saving on space. The carbon fiber laminate is first layered, shaped and then cured in an oven to set and harden. The super capacitors are integrated within the component skin. This material can then be used around the vehicle, replacing existing components, to store and charge energy.

The material is recharged and energized by the use of brake energy regeneration in the car or by plugging into a mains electrical grid. It then transfers the energy to the electric motor which is discharged as it is used around the car. The breakthrough showed that this material not only charges and stores faster than conventional batteries can, but that it is also strong and pliant.

Today, Volvo Car Group has evaluated the technology by creating two components for testing and development. These are a boot lid and a plenum cover, tested within the Volvo S80. The boot lid is a functioning electrically powered storage component and has the potential to replace the standard batteries seen in today’s cars. It is lighter than a standard boot lid, saving on both volume and weight.

The new plenum demonstrates that it can also replace both the rally bar, a strong structural piece that stabilizes the car in the front, and the start-stop battery. This saves more than 50% in weight and is powerful enough to supply energy to the car’s 12 Volt system

It is believed that the complete substitution of an electric car’s existing components with the new material could cut the overall weight by more than 15%. This is not only cost effective but would also have improvements to the impact on the environment.

Source: Volvo

3 Jun 2013 | United Kingdom

Darko Kapelina believes that wireless charging advances will make new EV records such as this one commonplace.

When Drayson Racing Technologies and Lola Cars introduced the B12 69/EV last year, the electric race car promised to be one of the fastest of its kind. Six months later, it set a record at the Goodwood Hillclimb, and it’s now gunning for an even bigger record. Drayson announced this week that it plans to make an attempt at an FIA electric land speed record within a month at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire. It will try to best the 175 mph (282 km/h) mark that was set back in 1974.

The attempt will be made in the sub-1000kg class by entrepreneur, racing driver and former UK science minister Lord Drayson who will drive a low-drag version of the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le-Mans Prototype flat-out along Elvington’s 1.86-mile runway.

Lord Drayson will aim to better the current record of 175mph set by Battery Box General Electric in the United States and which has stood since 1974. This record has held firm for nearly 40 years due to the immense technical challenge of running an electric vehicle consistently and reliably at such speeds when weighing less than 1000kg.

Lord Drayson, CEO and co-founder of Drayson Racing Technologies, commented, “It is not the outright speed that is impressive about this record attempt, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle to such a high speed and sustaining that speed over a measured mile, before stopping safely all within a relatively short distance then turning round and doing it again within an hour. It’s a tremendous technical challenge but we believe it’s about time someone moved this record on to demonstrate just how far EV technology has come.”

Drayson Racing Technologies is a research and development business, pioneering the development of sustainable technologies in the challenging environment of motorsport. With the electric land speed record they intend to showcase what is possible with an electric drivetrain and underscore Britain’s leadership position in the burgeoning EV industry.

The Drayson B12 69/EV was not originally conceived as a land speed car. Having raced the Lola chassis in sports car championships around the world powered by a second generation bio-fuelled Judd V10 engine, Drayson Racing Technologies took the decision to explore the potential of the electric drivetrain and use the familiar Lola chassis as a starting point. This provided the team with a considerably tougher engineering challenge than starting from a ground-up design – particularly in packaging the drivetrain to maintain the rigidity and crash safety of the original car.

In its current iteration, the Drayson B12 69/EV represents the pinnacle of what a bona fide electric racing car can achieve in terms of performance. To challenge for the record some changes have been made to the set-up of the car and drivetrain that are consistent with racing at a low downforce circuit. This will give the B12 69/EV the traction to achieve maximum acceleration in the short distance available, sustain maximum speed over a measured mile and stop safely.

Lord Drayson added, “The reason we are doing this is to showcase the maximum level of EV performance at the moment – and in a real racing car rather than a teardrop-shaped land speed record car. We are also demonstrating the future potential of technologies like wireless charging in speeding the adoption of high performance EVs.”

Darko Kapelina is interested in all clean regenerative sailing ideas and systems

 

Solar Impulse to fly across America – day and night without fuel

Solar Impulse, the Swiss solar powered airplane, plans to depart from San Francisco today with Bertrand Piccard in the single seater cockpit, to complete the first leg of its coast-to-coast flights across the USA. It is the first time that a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, will attempt to fly across America. This journey is also the occasion to launch an initiative called “Clean Generation” to gather worldwide support for the adoption of clean technologies.

Flying Coast to Coast across the United States has always been a mythical endeavor in aviation history. Achieving this in a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, shows the enormous potential of clean technologies in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy use. With this adventure, Solar Impulse wants to inspire and motivate as many people as possible to embrace the pioneering spirit that allowed this revolutionary solar-powered airplane to become a reality.

This is why thousands of people, amongst which James Cameron, Buzz Aldrin, Richard Branson, Elie Wiesel and Erik Lindbergh, are supporting the “Clean Generation” Initiative to encourage governments, businesses and decision-makers to push for the adoption of clean technologies and sustainable energy solutions. Concretely, the names of all those who will join this movement of pioneers will be carried in the cockpit of the airplane as virtual passengers. At every stopover city along the way, more and more names will be added onto the list.

About the first leg San Francisco – Phoenix

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will be Solar Impulse’s first stop. The airplane is expected to take off today at 6:00 am (PDT) from Moffett Field, NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View (CA), and land the following day around 1 am (MST) in Phoenix (AZ). Estimated flight duration is 19 hours.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will alternately pilot the solar airplane to complete the challenge of flying without a drop of fuel across the USA from the West to the East Coasts. The first leg of the flight leading to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (AZ) will be completed by Bertrand Piccard. André Borschberg will fly for the last leg culminating in New York at JF Kennedy Airport.

Solar Impulse Moffett Field – Phoenix Sky Harbor Route:

06:00 am PDT (03:00 pm Swiss Time): Take-off from Moffett Field, Mountain View (CA) USA

08:00 am PDT (05:00 pm Swiss Time): Heading south east towards Fresno – ascending to an altitude of 16’000 ft

01:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm Swiss Time): Passing Bakersfield continues direction Palmdale – cruising altitude 21’000 ft

04:30 pm PDT (01:30 am Swiss Time): Flying over Barstow – continue direction Arizona between Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park

01:00 am MST (10:00 am Swiss Time): Estimated landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor (AZ) USA

For more information about this flight go to www.solarimpulse.com  Darko Kapelina is interested in clean regenerative sailing ideas and sytems.

Diesel engine exhaust contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other potentially toxic gases. It also contains fine particulate matter, some in the form of soot, which can build up in a person’s lungs. People who live in high-traffic or high-smog areas or who work around diesel engines and diesel fumes can develop health problems, some of which can be lethal.

Diesel Exhaust Fumes Linked to Cancer and Other Serious Health Effects

With the recent confirmation by the World Health Organization (WHO) that diesel engine fumes can cause cancer in humans, millions worldwide will now know the serious health risks in breathing in diesel gas fumes. Diesel exhaust fumes are ‘major cancer risk’ and as deadly as asbestos and mustard gas, says World Health Organization.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2158574/Diesel-engine-exhaust-fumes-major-cancer-risk.html#ixzz2O6yEV6MY

People at Risk

Children and the elderly are the most at risk of health problems associated with exposure to diesel fumes. People with cardiovascular diseases, emphysema and asthma are also more vulnerable than otherwise healthy people to the effects of diesel exhaust.

Effects of Acute Exposure

Acute exposure is short-term exposure to diesel exhaust. This short-term exposure can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and can cause the victim to feel light-headed. Breathing diesel fumes can cause those with asthma to suffer an attack and may interfere with the breathing of emphysema sufferers. If a person is subjected to repeated acute exposure, his health problems may become chronic and worsen over time.

Effects of Chronic Exposure

Chronic exposure can either be repeated short exposures or the result of being around diesel fumes for long periods. The fine particles in diesel exhaust have substances such as formaldehyde attached to them. When breathed by a person for long periods of time, these particles and other gases and substances in diesel exhaust can damage the immune system, interfere with hormone production and cause cancer.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation: avoid exposure to diesel exhaust. 

Darko Kapelina is interested in clean regenerative sailing ideas and systems.

Darko Kapelina quotes hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said that to win, “you have to skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is now”.  In 2012 there were an estimated 25,000 electric cars sold worldwide, representing less than 1% of all car sales.  Projections are that by 2018 the number of electric cars sold including 100% electric and hybrid will grow to 10,000,000 or 25% of all car sales! Kapelina is interested in clean sailing ideas and systems.

Darko Kapelina believes that truly clean sailing is within our grasp. There are far too many compelling reasons answering the why? less dependency fossil fuel, no oil in the bilge, no noise, no pollution, no gas, no fumes, an electric motor is silent, clean electricity is far more available than marine fuel stations, no more fear of onboard fuel fire, no more fear of carbon monoxide poising, which leads to the what and how? Darko Kapelina is interested in electric sailing ideas and proven systems.

Darko Kapelina states that aircraft design will never be the same again after the pressure to save the planet, reduce local noise, air and land pollution, reduce dependency on oil and large areas of land for operations and to modernize industry or see it collapse. Belatedly, leaded fuel is being banned for aviation and considerable financial support is now available for the creation of new types of electric aircraft.

Boeing Electric Aircraft</
Source: Boeing

The next generation of electric aircraft is being designed from the ground up rather than shoehorned into existing airframes! According to Darko Kapelina the same will occur in the sailboat manufacturing industry.