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Autopilot "drone car" can recharge you while in motion?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by TEG, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I am not sure if this idea has been discussed before, but rather than stopping at a Supercharger while on a road trip, what if a "recharge fleet" vehicle could be summoned to pull alongside you and do a quick charge while you were moving?

    Say for instance, that Harris Ranch had a bunch of company cars sitting in the parking lot, and they would top themselves off whenever they saw empty Supercharger stalls. Then as someone drove down highway 5 and the software knew the owners' car needed more charge to reach the eventual destination, it would summon one of the fleet cars to drive alongside the customer car and give some charge from the fleet cars' pack to the car on the road trip.

    From what I understand of all the technology, this doesn't seem impossible. Sure there would be regulatory concerns, and some technical details to work out, but I assume cars could be made that allow car to car recharging, and some sort of mobile charging tether (or inductive coupling) could be devised to allow the charging while moving. Autopilot features enable the control of both cars to attempt such a thing. SpaceX does related things with remote satellite deploy, space-station docking, etc. It would seem "up their alley" in terms of things they could tackle.

    I was thinking about this when pondering how military planes can refuel while in flight...
    Aerial refueling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Indeed.
     
  3. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    :biggrin:
     
  4. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    My cousin the KC-135 pilot was just here. Snorkels away, anyone? !!!!!!!!!
     
  5. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    That would be almost as cool as...
    US_Navy_041104-N-3799S-001_An_F-A-18F_Super_Hornet_conducts_in-flight_refueling_from_an_U.S._Air.jpg
     
  6. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Fore-aft is for wimps. Any en-route charging should be via adjacent lanes. And how cool it would be to decapitatulate that wayward lane-squeezing motorbiker....

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yep....that's my cousin! See the "Alaska" logo on the tail?
     
  7. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    That's a pretty blurry image of the logo, can you post a better image of what it looks like, just curious :biggrin:
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Not my pic - no can do. Are you looking at the KC-135 tail? Very top? It's pretty clear on my computer.
     
  9. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Mine, too. And if you enhance, it says "Audie's Cousin" right underneath.. so..
     
  10. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    MMnph. Doesn't say "S___h P___n"
     
  11. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    Oh I got it, thought u were talking about the jet fighter.
     
  12. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Liquid fuel is a lot easier to transfer on the move. The two cars would have to remain linked for some time to transfer any significant charge. Additionally as the donor car's charge drops, the overall charging would slow down.

    This would require Tesla to build complete cars just for this task, which is kind of a waste of resources. However, rethinking the idea a bit, you could come up with a mobile charger that operates in the immediate area of an SC. This would only be deployed at very congested SCs during holiday travel.

    Build a robotic battery pack, it would be all battery, maybe even made from a number of Model S battery packs stacked up. With the robotic charging arm, it could top off at an SC port when there was one available, then it could roam the parking lot around the SC and charge up Tesla's waiting to charge. It could have its own robotic arm to charge up cars when it pulls alongside them. It couldn't deliver a full charge like an SC, but it could range charge enough to get someone's car to a less congested SC up the road. This would just be a peaking unit to relive congestion at the busiest times and at the busiest SCs.

    This is more doable and doesn't require any tricky maneuvers on public roads that might also run into problems with the laws of the road.
     
  13. Kickin

    Kickin Member

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  14. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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  15. Kickin

    Kickin Member

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    Of course it is using today's technology, just saying it makes more sense than the autopilot fueler while in motion. Of course, when we have an EV with a 1000 mile pack, this is all irrelevant anyway...
     
  16. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    It may also be a human health hazard. Exposure to strong EM fields is associated with some forms of cancer. For example aluminum smelters who are exposed to high EM fields working around the arc furnaces are known to have higher leukemia rates than the general population.

    I would expect a wireless fast charger would have to produce a pretty strong EM field to work.
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    One study concluded that people working around aluminum smelting had a higher incidence of leukemia (Pool, 1991). Confounding factors were not directly addressed, and no causal relationship to EMF was drawn or implied. I am unaware that this has been corroborated in any other peer-reviewed literature, but am open to reading some science I haven't seen before. Don't want to derail this thread, so you can look here for recent discussion on EMFs.

    EMF Radiation
     
  18. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #18 Ulmo, Jan 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
    "For now, the trials will be restricted to test areas where regular drivers aren't allowed. The government is committing £500 million ($779 million) to the project over the next five years."

    A BILLION DOLLARS?!?!?!?!?! I could do it for ... one fifth that. I could prototype it for ... one tenth of that. Oh hell, one one hundredth I could prototype it.

    I'd like to see the engineering behind the claim that it is inefficient. I'm not saying it is not inefficient, but I just want to know. In Google I found one claim of 90% in the lab. In-Road Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Breakthrough Yields 90% Efficiency Inductive Wireless Charger – Inhabitat - Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

    Also, wouldn't a huge EM field near humans screw with biology?

    The appeal is obvious: just electrify 5% to 20% of a freeway, and you would never have to stop to charge. This would be best for trucks, since parked-type charging infrastructure for them would be hugely expensive (but not entirely unimaginable: just imagine every truck stop now with drive-thru SuperChargers, but 3rd generation industrial level high speed, dual to quad cables to many inputs or whatever it takes). If government is looking for a one-time free fix of road funds, they could sell a really crappy stretch of freeway (e.g., I-5 a few years ago) (or a relocated freeway still to be built (e.g., CA-99 for the last few years)) to a company that installs the electrified freeway at their cost and charges the customers who drive across it. More likely it's not an effective business so it would be subsidized, but they could minimize costs in some way.

    Honestly, I think the above billion dollar program is either stupid politicians or bad reporting: I could see a billion dollar budget for a contingent approach, where if the studies show it actually will work properly, that then a billion dollars worth of upgrading the whole freeway system would be done, and otherwise the billion dollars would be crossed off the budget and not spent, returned to the taxpayers. In reality, there's corruption and the billion gets spent even if it doesn't work, in USA, so it's effectively theft to budget the billion (even if contingent) before proving it works, which sucks because good ideas get slowed down and even nixed before they get going while bad ideas waste us.
     
  19. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    The test the OP did has a hole or two in it. If he wanted to test if he was being exposed to EMF like cell phones, he was testing the wrong frequency range. He tested with an EMF meter that tested for frequencies between 30 and 300 HZ when the frequency of cell phones is in the microwave range, around 3 GHz. BTW, Bluetooth is centered at 2.4 GHz which is the same frequency microwave ovens use because that frequency is best for heating sugars, fat, and water. (All three have close to the same resonant frequencies.) The Bluetooth spec has built into it a way of dealing with interference with microwave ovens, The power used with Bluetooth is significantly lower than a microwave oven, but I have never worn a Bluetooth headpiece, nor do I ever plan to. I expect Bluetooth is probably not all that dangerous at some distance since the power density drops at the square of the distance and the initial power level is low.

    A quick search on the health effects from EMF did come across this article on the US National Library of Medicine:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19748187

    More study needs to be done in this area, but this isn't just some kooky idea held by the same crowd who doubt the moon landings happened. The problem is there are a lot of interests who don't want these things to be studied. If it turns out EMF from the power in our houses is causing a lot of health problems we've seen in the last 70 years, that means something even more fundamental than oil is causing even more health problems than oil use it.
     
  20. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    This is a published hypothesis, which requires that no research or evidence gathering be done to publish. It's not a peer-reviewed study, and it's by Sam Milham, who is nearly alone among scientists in this belief - and quite famous for it. I recommend you search some of his other hypotheses to see what I mean; he has a clear bias against electricity.

    We can agree that more study is needed (because when isn't that valuable). But considering the extensive literature on the subject and their inability to conclude any human risk from these EMFs, I have to side with the science.

    I don't want to come off as if I'm attacking you on this, as I absolutely respect you and your contributions here. I just think that, given the fact that this is an electric vehicle enthusiast group, it's important that we don't let unfounded EMF claims spread.
     

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