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Old 08-13-2011, 02:21 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,418,902 times
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An electric car that doesn't need to get a recharge fix every so many miles...

Quote:
A U.S. company says it is getting closer to putting prototype electric cars on the road that will be powered by the heavy-metal thorium.
And before all the anti-nuke people crawl out of the woodwork:

Quote:
Natural thorium has little radioactivity, Stevens says. What isotopes there are could be blocked by aluminum foil, so the power unitís 3-in. (7.6-cm) thick stainless-steel box should do the trick.
U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:42 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,848,958 times
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Trying to stay within the scope of your OP . . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
An electric car that doesn't need to get a recharge fix every so many miles...
Would not Grid Powered Roadways already do that?

Quote:
And before all the anti-nuke people crawl out of the woodwork:

U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium
[/quote]

A little more to that . . . . .

Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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The federal government is broke, state governments are broke...

Just who will pay for these grid powered roadways?

These grid powered roadways like many other environmental concepts are extremely cost prohibitive, besides, the number of electric vehicles on the road do not justify the cost of these grid powered roadways.

I know these are slightly old figures but it seems the electric car sales in America are mmm how to say it? lousy?

As of March 2011:

Chevy Volt: 928
Nissan Leaf: 173

GM sells just 281 Chevy Volts in February, Nissan only moves 67 Leafs *UPDATE; Autoblog Green

So in the first quarter of 2011 barely 1,000 electric vehicles were sold. What is that? .0004% of the total numbers of vehicles sold in America in the quarter?

America needs a vehicle that's affordable and doesn't change one's driving habits. Smart/solar roadways are interesting but not practical unless America uncovers 15 Trillion dollars to build them and give people the electric vehicles utilize them....

Last edited by plwhit; 08-13-2011 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: DC
6,526 posts, read 6,460,121 times
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Violates the laws of thermodynamics.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,252 posts, read 4,175,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
The federal government is broke, state governments are broke...

Just who will pay for these grid powered roadways?

These grid powered roadways like many other environmental concepts are extremely cost prohibitive, besides, the number of electric vehicles on the road do not justify the cost of these grid powered roadways.

I know these are slightly old figures but it seems the electric car sales in America are mmm how to say it? lousy?

As of March 2011:

Chevy Volt: 928
Nissan Leaf: 173

GM sells just 281 Chevy Volts in February, Nissan only moves 67 Leafs *UPDATE; Autoblog Green

So in the first quarter of 2011 barely 1,000 electric vehicles were sold. What is that? .0004% of the total numbers of vehicles sold in America in the quarter?

America needs a vehicle that's affordable and doesn't change one's driving habits. Smart/solar roadways are interesting but not practical unless America uncovers 15 Trillion dollars to build them and give people the electric vehicles utilize them....
Well on the Leaf here's a report from the same site that say to August 10, Nissan have delivered 5,000 units of the Leaf in the US alone 10,000 worldwide. Which is a hell of a delivery rate...
Nissan Leaf sales crack 5,000 in U.S. — Autoblog Green

Secondly, I'm intrigued by the use of Thorium and lack of "danger". So Thorium will not develop a chain reaction on it's own, however it is fertile and will accept a slow neutron to create after a short decay chain U233 which is fissile (and can be used to make a gun type nuclear bomb). A chain reaction would require an accelerator (not a laser) most commonly a neutron source of Uranium 235, and it's the principle behind a MSR (or other equivalents). However there's no MSR in the world that is small enough to drop into a vehicle, there may be plans to develop a MSR to power a destroyer, but that's a little bigger than even an Escalade, and they are plans, there's nothing that small built yet.

They're also discussing potential energy in that report you linked to which is confusing, is the aim to use Thorium Dioxide as some heat sink, and then regenerate energy from that (sounds like some kind of IR Laser from report)? If they are using the thorium as a heat sink, that introduces limited range again, and the need for a grid connection for reheating the thorium elements.

Finally the third option would be an energy amplifier or accelerator driven system, using a particle accelerator to cause a subcritical reaction and generate enough energy to maintain the particle beam, and generate some power from the reaction. However since the current particle accelerators we have that could create the sub critical reaction, are linear particle accelerators (linac). The energy of the beam would need to be greater than 12MW to fire protons at 1GeV the cost is prohibitive (about $1B), and space prohibitive for a personal vehicle Stanfords Linac is 2 miles long. A subcritical reaction BTW will produce some form of fission product, it's just not self-sustaining.

So... I don't get what they're doing with Thorium to be quite frank.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: DC
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Th 232 is a potential nuclear fuel. It's transmuted by neutron capture and decay to to Uranium 233 which is fissionable. If what these idiots are talking about is this, they are proposing to put a nuclear reactor in a car. That isn't going to happen.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,252 posts, read 4,175,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Th 232 is a potential nuclear fuel. It's transmuted by neutron capture and decay to to Uranium 233 which is fissionable. If what these idiots are talking about is this, they are proposing to put a nuclear reactor in a car. That isn't going to happen.
Nope...

U233 as I mentioned can be used in a gun type nuclear device (Little Boy) the only issue is high gamma radiation from U233 would impact any electronics used, so a purely mechanical detonator would be needed.

And with that we're all now on the DHS Watch list...
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: DC
6,526 posts, read 6,460,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Nope...

U233 as I mentioned can be used in a gun type nuclear device (Little Boy) the only issue is high gamma radiation from U233 would impact any electronics used, so a purely mechanical detonator would be needed.

And with that we're all now on the DHS Watch list...
I don't want to embarrass you, I'm a nuclear engineer. What they appear to be talking about is building a small breeder reactor to install in your car. There isn't a snow balls chance in hell that anyone is going to allow that.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:15 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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just find yourself a 'SteathRabbit' http://www.mrsharkey.com/pusher.htm
Check your neighbor's brier patch, bout $100 should cover it and get it titled.

Ironically, my previous company had a whole parking row of plug-in EV's back in the 1970's. (at several company sites). Employees were encouraged to use company equipment to Invent... and many Cortina's, Simcas, Triumph, MG's, datsun ..., ev's resulted.

I would definately go for the nuclear option, using grease (WVO) is kinda messy. If I don't use the WVO for fuel, it gets shipped to China and comes back to USA as (very expensive) lipstick !
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Yunno, I was really trying not to 'jack your thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
The federal government is broke, state governments are broke...
Yep. Going into debt to buy Oil has pretty much wiped US out.

Low Taxes + High Debt (Reaganomics) is a gross and utter failure as a long term plan.

I think that is pretty clear to everyone / everywhere by now.

At this point just about everyone / everywhere is trying to figure out how to back out of the lies, the debt and the mess without the entire structure collapsing on everyone.

Quote:

Just who will pay for these grid powered roadways?

These grid powered roadways like many other environmental concepts are extremely cost prohibitive, besides, the number of electric vehicles on the road do not justify the cost of these grid powered roadways.
That is why transistions like this are slow conversion processes. If you look at Oil (and other finite resource) depletion curves, slow and steady conversion is all that is required, anyway. It took US around 40 years to transition from horses to autos. Allowing US at least 20 (to 40) years to go off Oil is fairly reasonable.

For a more modern examples, we have been transitioning away from Land Lines to Cell phone system for a couple of decades. Same as we went from Central Mainframe Computers to PC's and networks across decades. Technology changes are rarely just from On to Off. The old systems run right along beside the new, and are slowly replaced across time.

So we back out of Oil (etc.) the same way we got in -- one step, one car, one driver at a time. Builds up to one roadway, one town, one city, one state at time, and after some years we will have reached some hundred of millions of US.

The longest journey begins with the first step.

Quote:

I know these are slightly old figures but it seems the electric car sales in America are mmm how to say it? lousy?
We have discussed this ad nausem. To see the real world condition, you know I placed an order for a Volt? We discussed that, as well. They are not available to even accept new orders until 2012. And there is a long line for that. How can you claim they will not sell, when they are already sold-out and back ordered before they are even built?

You are just making yourself look silly on this part.

Quote:

America needs a vehicle that's affordable and doesn't change one's driving habits. Smart/solar roadways are interesting but not practical unless America uncovers 15 Trillion dollars to build them and give people the electric vehicles utilize them....
15 Trillion is an interesting number.

How did you come up with that? Not saying it is valid or not, just wondering. I have never ran a full budget, myself. Just compared it to the existing path and found the Electric Roadway model cheaper overall than the existing Oil Only methods.

The reason I am saying 15 Trillion is an interesting number is that what I am now seeing quoted as the overall cost of the total bailouts for the Upper-End, Bankers, Wall Street, Insurance Companies, IMF, etc.

So, I guess by that reasoning we can all afford to buy new lifeboats for the folks in First Class, but not so much for the folks who actually go to work and produce the wealth of the world? Typical, huh?

But back to US. Let's say your 15 Trillion is a valid number? Again, not arguing it either way, but let's run a simple model on it. For ease of numbers let's set interest and inflation to zero, as though they are cancelling each other out? On Big Stuff, things often turn out that way. And let's stretch our model to the 40 years for the full transition?

Simple math says:

$15 E 12 / 40 years = 3.75 E 11, or about $375 Billion per year.

Now compare that with our imported Oil addiction.

At about 10 E 6 barrels imported a day and *only* $80 a barrel (current spot price) and 365 days a year = 2.92 E 11 or about $300 Billion per year. And that is only counting the present imported fuel, at a relatively low cost of $80 a barrel. Only going up from that point.

Add in the costs of the Oil driven vehicles to be replaced at least 3 times over that next 40 years, and the present system is way upside down compared to the $15 Trillion (over 40 years) that you are citing.

And all comparison assumes that we could continue to burn imported Oil at our present rate. We cannot -- due to finances, depletion and we cannot kill enough people and steal enough resources to do so. Game Over for US.

Not talking about this because it is pie-in-the-sky, by-and-by. Other than this, we have painted ourselves into a corner. To transition to grid power roadways requires No new technology, no future Mr. Fusion, No additional Coal, No Nukes. All cleaner, faster, cheaper and safer than what things are now.

All the resources to do this are 100% available in the US, and would fully employ the population doing so.

And by your numbers -- it is a bargain.
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