Overclock.net banner

[BBC] 'World's first' fully-electric commercial flight takes off

8557 95

An all-electric powered seaplane has taken flight in Vancouver, Canada, in what the operators describe as a "world first" for the aviation industry.

The short test flight by Harbour Air and magniX involved a six-passenger aircraft fitted with an electric motor.
Source

Awesome stuff, and in my back yard too. What the article doesn't mention is that the test flight was done by the company's CEO - now there's someone who believes in leadership.

Before people start, a few obvious points:
  • Yes, the range is limited, but Harbour Air typically only flies routes <70nmi, which are within the range of this plane (with adequate margin)
  • Yes, this would not work for longer routes
  • Yes, it's only carbon neutral if you generate the power in a renewable manner, which in BC we do (~95 renewable)
  • Yes, they still have to prove reliability
61 - 80 of 96 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
Honestly, the strain on the power grid should be nominal at best. A charging station only uses a 30 or 40 amp breaker normally (about the same as an electric hot water Heater). The gradual transition to more power efficient appliances, better insulation, etc. etc. should be more than enough to offset that.

There will definitely need to be some infrastructure work done in certain locations like UPS hubs, truck stops and such, but its not like more lines will need to be run everywhere.
 

·
✾ ✿ ❀ ❁
Joined
·
68,033 Posts
...yeah, I am in downtown Vancouver for 25+ years now, and it is getting crazier by the minute...seems like no real planning, just construction at every corner, and 'under' every corner and bridge as well. Also, I recently drove from Vancouver to Toronto and when it gets to comparing 'downtowns', I would be hard pressed to pick the '''winner''' :sick: . That said, Northern BC, the Rockies, Lake of the Woods and NE Lake Superior en route still seem like nice Canadian places to spend some time away from it all.

Our condo building just voted to install trickle-chargers in about 1/3rd of the the underground parking area - but it is a relatively new building, across from a freshly upgraded city hub station for 'emergency power & water' with corresponding infrastructure near-by, mostly sourcing hydro-power. Still, I'm not ready yet to go full-electric yet given the type of non-metro driving I also do...a plug-in hybrid will probably be my first foray into this 'electric mobility' world rather than full electric - s.th. like the X5 PHEV or similar. Good thing that there are a lot of choices coming to market now...

And sadly both are like $2000+/mo for a really crappy apartment with 500sqft 1 bedroom with no parking, shared laundry, paper thin walls, awful neighbours, crappy environment and no AC in a building probably built 40-60 years ago.




I really am going to move away from the City as soon as I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
And sadly both are like $2000+/mo for a really crappy apartment with 500sqft 1 bedroom with no parking, shared laundry, paper thin walls, awful neighbours, crappy environment and no AC in a building probably built 40-60 years ago.




I really am going to move away from the City as soon as I can.
If you can handle heat just fine, might I suggest looking into Dallas, Houston, or Austin Texas? Cost of living is way less, tons of good jobs to be had, and our construction in general is pretty high quality on account of our, lets say, semi-locally sourced high supply of labor.
 

·
✾ ✿ ❀ ❁
Joined
·
68,033 Posts
If you can handle heat just fine, might I suggest looking into Dallas, Houston, or Austin Texas? Cost of living is way less, tons of good jobs to be had, and our construction in general is pretty high quality on account of our, lets say, semi-locally sourced high supply of labor.
There are barely any curvy/windy roads, also getting a green card is a massive pain. Even though a its a million times easier that I'm from Canada. Moving to the US has always been on my radar, but I just think of it as not really possible due to the red tape of getting in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
There are barely any curvy/windy roads, also getting a green card is a massive pain. Even though a its a million times easier that I'm from Canada. Moving to the US has always been on my radar, but I just think of it as not really possible due to the red tape of getting in.
Oh yeah, if you want winding roads and some beautiful scenery while being around a reasonable sized city, Texas is not where you want to be.

Never really understood why Toronto was so high end and expensive to be honest. Vancouver I get, but Toronto, Montreal, and those eastern cities just seem too darn cold.
 

·
Eastern Bloc Electronics
Joined
·
5,599 Posts
Honestly, the strain on the power grid should be nominal at best. A charging station only uses a 30 or 40 amp breaker normally (about the same as an electric hot water Heater). The gradual transition to more power efficient appliances, better insulation, etc. etc. should be more than enough to offset that.

There will definitely need to be some infrastructure work done in certain locations like UPS hubs, truck stops and such, but its not like more lines will need to be run everywhere.
I calculated what would happen if Poland was to replace only the diesel stuff with electric.
Simple math based on diesel fuel sales and efficiency. For electric I assumed 100% efficiency for simplicity.

We are talking about around 1/3 of current Polish energy consumption.
That's a ton of energy that we don't have.

And it's not like renewables can provide it.
We don't really have the right climate for those.

It works but ROI time is rather long.
For solar panels usually 10-11 years, give or take 1-2 years depending on parts and labour cost.
With DIY installation the average goes down to 7-8 years, 6 is the minimum I would say.

We don't have nuclear because Chernobyl scared people and construction was stopped in 1990.
Two out of four reactors are used in foreign power plants with no issues.
Talk about stupidity.

So in our case it pretty much means more coal has to be burned to provide more energy for electric vehicles.

In Europe we don't need 30-40A breakers. Even your common modern apartment is provided with three phase 3x400V line (230V phase-neutral, 400V phase-phase, 120° shift). Each protected with 16A breaker. You can push quite some power through this and you only need three wires as neutral is not required for balanced loads. One such outlet will provide little over 10kW. This is with basic 2,5mm2 wires (14 AWG). Thicker wires=even more power.
IIRC my home has maximum power rating of 16kW but I would have to check.

US as far as I know uses two phase 2x120V (240V phase-phase, 180° shift) for most places or three phase 3x208V (120V phase-neutral,208V phase-phase, 120° shift) for more demanding loads.

But in either case you need to get the energy to the place.
Usually by running high voltage lines. In Poland it would be 15-30kV for short distance, 110/220kV for medium/medium-long range and 400kV for long range.

Those things are already running close to their limits.
Especially in regions with renewables (wind farms) where the energy goes back and forth as the production varies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
I calculated what would happen if Poland was to replace only the diesel stuff with electric.
Simple math based on diesel fuel sales and efficiency. For electric I assumed 100% efficiency for simplicity.

We are talking about around 1/3 of current Polish energy consumption.
That's a ton of energy that we don't have.

And it's not like renewables can provide it.
We don't really have the right climate for those.

It works but ROI time is rather long.
For solar panels usually 10-11 years, give or take 1-2 years depending on parts and labour cost.
With DIY installation the average goes down to 7-8 years, 6 is the minimum I would say.

We don't have nuclear because Chernobyl scared people and construction was stopped in 1990.
Two out of four reactors are used in foreign power plants with no issues.
Talk about stupidity.

So in our case it pretty much means more coal has to be burned to provide more energy for electric vehicles.

In Europe we don't need 30-40A breakers. Even your common modern apartment is provided with three phase 3x400V line (230V phase-neutral, 400V phase-phase, 120° shift). Each protected with 16A breaker. You can push quite some power through this and you only need three wires as neutral is not required for balanced loads. One such outlet will provide little over 10kW. This is with basic 2,5mm2 wires (14 AWG). Thicker wires=even more power.
IIRC my home has maximum power rating of 16kW but I would have to check.

US as far as I know uses two phase 2x120V (240V phase-phase, 180° shift) for most places or three phase 3x208V (120V phase-neutral,208V phase-phase, 120° shift) for more demanding loads.

But in either case you need to get the energy to the place.
Usually by running high voltage lines. In Poland it would be 15-30kV for short distance, 110/220kV for medium/medium-long range and 400kV for long range.

Those things are already running close to their limits.
Especially in regions with renewables (wind farms) where the energy goes back and forth as the production varies.

Not gonna pretend to be an electrician, but I can guarantee you are not pulling 10 kW/h thru 14 AWG wire. Pulling 1.5 kW/h thru 14AWG is pushing it.


And yes, diesel is gonna be the big one. Fortunately the vast majority of the diesel is consumed by semi's, construction, and farm equipment so you have very specific islands that are going to be required for charging those in the form of the shipping hubs, truck stops, and major farms. Construction by it's nature will likely never transition off of dependence on diesel, even if the vehicles themselves are electric, diesel generators will be required to charge them anyway. Those other places though, given how much they have to spend on fuel anyway, have a pretty sizable incentive to go totally off grid anyway and just build their own solar array/battery banks anyway for that purpose, similar to how some fab plants already have their own off grid power plants. In fact, i would be shocked if major shipping hubs weren't already looking in to moving their hub next to good sources of renewable energy like rivers, or untapped geo-thermal vents in preparation for when the EV tech becomes financially viable for semi's. The best and worst part of renewable energy is the scaling and while the switch to electric over diesel transportation may not drive their power consumption up to the point of making building a full on traditional power plant for themselves, the renewable method will absolutely still be a viable option.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
Not gonna pretend to be an electrician, but I can guarantee you are not pulling 10 kW/h thru 14 AWG wire. Pulling 1.5 kW/h thru 14AWG is pushing it.


And yes, diesel is gonna be the big one. Fortunately the vast majority of the diesel is consumed by semi's, construction, and farm equipment so you have very specific islands that are going to be required for charging those in the form of the shipping hubs, truck stops, and major farms. Construction by it's nature will likely never transition off of dependence on diesel, even if the vehicles themselves are electric, diesel generators will be required to charge them anyway. Those other places though, given how much they have to spend on fuel anyway, have a pretty sizable incentive to go totally off grid anyway and just build their own solar array/battery banks anyway for that purpose, similar to how some fab plants already have their own off grid power plants. In fact, i would be shocked if major shipping hubs weren't already looking in to moving their hub next to good sources of renewable energy like rivers, or untapped geo-thermal vents in preparation for when the EV tech becomes financially viable for semi's. The best and worst part of renewable energy is the scaling and while the switch to electric over diesel transportation may not drive their power consumption up to the point of making building a full on traditional power plant for themselves, the renewable method will absolutely still be a viable option.
I can't imagine a semi-truck hauling 80,000 pounds using electric motors of any variety. The batteries required to haul loads like these would be astronomically heavy and/or the ranges ridiculously short.
 

·
D'ya like onions?
Joined
·
57,318 Posts
I can't imagine a semi-truck hauling 80,000 pounds using electric motors of any variety. The batteries required to haul loads like these would be astronomically heavy and/or the ranges ridiculously short.

Except most of the energy used is getting up to speed, not holding it. Trucks use around 650-700hp to get up to speed and then around 50-100hp to hold the speed assuming it's a level road. For electric, it would be even better if most of the journey is downhill. There's a quarry that uses electric dump trucks that go up empty and down full. Because of that, the dump trucks are effectively have an efficiency of over 100%.
 

·
Invalid Media
Joined
·
10,847 Posts
...It's all about torque (=twisting force used to accelerate). Big off-electrical-grid locomotives use diesel-electric drives (the diesel turns a generator which in turn drives electric traction motors) as electric motors have a fundamental advantage in torque delivery: In electric motors, max torque is produced from the get go.

That still does not solve the problem of battery storage in rural / off-grid and industrial applications, but it is not very difficult to convert a diesel engine to natural gas, and that is happening these days from trucks to marine diesel engines to stationary diesel power generators. That's not an all-encompassing silver bullet, but still is a major step in the right direction re. environment. In addition, the more electric drives are used (even in conjunction with fossil fuels for now) in the real world, the better the development of electric drive components will get - and be more than ready for more advanced battery and fuel cell tech down the line
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
I can't imagine a semi-truck hauling 80,000 pounds using electric motors of any variety. The batteries required to haul loads like these would be astronomically heavy and/or the ranges ridiculously short.
The only reasons semi's aren't already going full electric are long term durability (those diesel motors can log well over a million miles), up front cost, and to a lesser extent charging infrastructure. Electric engines that have enough torque already exist, and a normal semi has a load capacity of 24 tons, setting aside say 4 tons, dropping the load capacity to 20 tons or something would probably give that bad boy enough juice to go coast to coast without a re-charge. Also, as previously stated, the acceleration eats up the vast majority of the power, so once fully autonomous semi's come out where a driver is allowed to exceed 10 hours a day on the road, I fully expect them to be completely electric.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,237 Posts
The only reasons semi's aren't already going full electric are long term durability (those diesel motors can log well over a million miles), up front cost, and to a lesser extent charging infrastructure. Electric engines that have enough torque already exist, and a normal semi has a load capacity of 24 tons, setting aside say 4 tons, dropping the load capacity to 20 tons or something would probably give that bad boy enough juice to go coast to coast without a re-charge.


Are these not full electric?

https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/semi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
Wow, nice find, that's pretty slick. Scrolling through it appears to be still in testing/concept phase though :(

Looks like they are even closer to being on the road than I originally thought though.

edit: The price is actually reasonable too considering the savings on diesel at $150,000. Shame the drive distance is only 300 - 500 miles on a charge. If not for that I would say they are amazingly viable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
quick math tells me that a semi driver can get almost 1,000 miles before legally being required to stop driving and rest. I wonder why Tesla isn't targeting that 1,000 miles between charges?

edit: that 1000 figure is going 70 non stop for the entirety of the run. Set aside 3,000 lbs and about $15,000 and you can put a 50+kw diesel generator on there to push it up to that mark, and let you charge the batteries while you are on your off time if you happen to be in the middle of nowhere. Oh well, I'm gonna go off on a limb and say Tesla and Freightliner have their reasons and know a wee bit more about the subject then me /shrug
 

·
Eastern Bloc Electronics
Joined
·
5,599 Posts
Not gonna pretend to be an electrician, but I can guarantee you are not pulling 10 kW/h thru 14 AWG wire. Pulling 1.5 kW/h thru 14AWG is pushing it.
14AWG can sustain 16A of continuous current under most common home conditions.
In a three phase system three 14 AWG wires can supply little over 10kW without exceeding those limits.

Three phase system are more efficient if you are looking at saving wire.
You add one wire but you triple the available power.
But that's not the end of advantages. After rectification the voltage never goes down to 0.
So the filtration needs are lower. Less capacity is required to achieve decent ripple which means lower cost.
Wikipedia explains it rather well with simple graphs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectifier#Three-phase_bridge_rectifier_uncontrolled

The thing with power over cable is that cable losses are calculated with Power_Losses=Current*Current*Resistance.
And Power=Voltage*Current. Twice the current means four times the losses. Double the voltage, halve the current and you get four times lower losses.
So if you want to make more efficient transmission lines you increase the voltage to decrease the current.
Chinese right now are using 1100kV transmission lines for this exact reason. Plenty of coutries around the world prefer the 220-240V standard at home because of savings.

The simplest comparison.
USA uses 120V, Europe 230V.
At 16A it means 1920W for USA and 3680W for Europe.
Same wire used in both cases.

As for car charging stations I know a guy from univeristy who was making his engineer's thesis based on a project of such charger. So he got me interested in the subject.
For europe the chargers are simpler because they don't really need much power conversion to happen.
Three phase 3x400V gets rectified to around 565V DC (peak, will drop slightly under load).
Most fast chargers use 400-800V DC. The voltage is already there.

For 240V AC supply based from two phase system (used commonly in US) to achieve a similar voltage you may use a voltage doubler (simple, two diodes, two capacitors) but also an active boost converter.
The second beeing "nicer" as the apparent power (rectifier with capacitors is drawing non-sinusoidal current, creating distortion) is far lower, allowing savings on infrastructure (wiring, transformers).

Well, in most cases charging stations have their own dedicated transformers, stepping down from 15-30kV to supply all the charger with the much needed power.
So in the US I guess that they simply used higher voltages on transformer output to allow simpler power conversion.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
Wow, nice find, that's pretty slick. Scrolling through it appears to be still in testing/concept phase though :(

Looks like they are even closer to being on the road than I originally thought though.

edit: The price is actually reasonable too considering the savings on diesel at $150,000. Shame the drive distance is only 300 - 500 miles on a charge. If not for that I would say they are amazingly viable.
500 mile range for long haul trucking? Bwahahahahahahahahaha. And how long does it take to recharge those batteries as opposed to fill up two tanks full of diesel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,107 Posts
14AWG can sustain 16A of continuous current under most common home conditions.
In a three phase system three 14 AWG wires can supply little over 10kW without exceeding those limits.

Three phase system are more efficient if you are looking at saving wire.
You add one wire but you triple the available power.
But that's not the end of advantages. After rectification the voltage never goes down to 0.
So the filtration needs are lower. Less capacity is required to achieve decent ripple which means lower cost.
Wikipedia explains it rather well with simple graphs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectifier#Three-phase_bridge_rectifier_uncontrolled

The thing with power over cable is that cable losses are calculated with Power_Losses=Current*Current*Resistance.
And Power=Voltage*Current. Twice the current means four times the losses. Double the voltage, halve the current and you get four times lower losses.
So if you want to make more efficient transmission lines you increase the voltage to decrease the current.
Chinese right now are using 1100kV transmission lines for this exact reason. Plenty of coutries around the world prefer the 220-240V standard at home because of savings.

The simplest comparison.
USA uses 120V, Europe 230V.
At 16A it means 1920W for USA and 3680W for Europe.
Same wire used in both cases.

As for car charging stations I know a guy from univeristy who was making his engineer's thesis based on a project of such charger. So he got me interested in the subject.
For europe the chargers are simpler because they don't really need much power conversion to happen.
Three phase 3x400V gets rectified to around 565V DC (peak, will drop slightly under load).
Most fast chargers use 400-800V DC. The voltage is already there.

For 240V AC supply based from two phase system (used commonly in US) to achieve a similar voltage you may use a voltage doubler (simple, two diodes, two capacitors) but also an active boost converter.
The second beeing "nicer" as the apparent power (rectifier with capacitors is drawing non-sinusoidal current, creating distortion) is far lower, allowing savings on infrastructure (wiring, transformers).

Well, in most cases charging stations have their own dedicated transformers, stepping down from 15-30kV to supply all the charger with the much needed power.
So in the US I guess that they simply used higher voltages on transformer output to allow simpler power conversion.

Fair enough, I will take your word for it. Still in my mind it sounds incredibly dangerous to dump that much voltage (enough to push 10 kw/h) through 14awg wire. I'm likely not getting exactly how it works correct, but the higher the voltage, the more likely it is to jump and spark, right? So at those levels, even a minor tear or rip in the shielding or a loose connection on a switch or outlet would be a disaster and I don't care how diligent you are on upkeep, being one dumb rat, or errant nail in the wall is gonna happen eventually, and when it does, bye bye house.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,237 Posts
61 - 80 of 96 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top