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Range Extenders

Discussion in 'Technical' started by WarpedOne, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    #1 WarpedOne, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2008
    Moderator's Note: Thread split off from here.

    More useful might be another highpower charging port that would work while the car was driving - range extender trailers. If there was one, someone would soon build him self a nice trailer with ICE generator and maybe show his design for others to use and improve.

    Rav Long Ranger Hybridizing Trailer
     
  2. graham

    graham Active Member

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    My current car has a convertible top which folds into the trunk. Previous to this car, my convertibles all had a space between the back seat and the trunk where the roof went. The change with this car (besides being a hard-top convertible instead of a rag top) is that the trunk space is shared with the top.

    This means that a) when the top is up, I have a bigger trunk than I have had in any previous convertible and b) I have to often decide the trade off between putting the top down, or having more storage space.

    I wonder if this could be worked into the "trailer" idea. Not speaking of the Roadster specifically with its thimble-sized trunk, but in future cars. Could you have some sort of generator which could be easily moved in and out of the trunk storage space? Normally you would have a large trunk storage, but for long trips, you could sacrifice 70% of your storage space for an onboard generator? This might end up being more conducive to some who don't like the image of a sports car (or other type of car) towing a trailer...
     
  3. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I don't think a generator large enough to keep up with charging demands would be something you'd want to lift in and out of a trunk, plus all the hookups and exhaust routing.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    And fuel!


    Seriously, what would it do to handling?
     
  5. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Probably not that much worse than towing a trailer...
     
  6. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Handling would not be a problem, the devil is in the details.

    10 kW generator would weigh in excess of 50 kg or 100 pounds. You would need a crane to put it into the trunk without damaging the car. Then you would need to connect at least the exhaust pipe which is a filthy job. Not viable in my view, I'd prefer a trailer mounted ICE generator where you'd only need to connect the electric plug.
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    How much would one of these trailers cost? As has been said before, renting a (nice) ICE car would probably be more viable.
     
  8. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Exactly. If you need range rent an ICE. If you need range on a daily basis, buy an ICE or HEV. Even though a range extender trailer could work fairly well you're still stuck with maintaining an ICE. I suppose there may be some frequency of use where a generator trailer with an EV might make sense over renting an ICE and over owning a HEV, but a PHEV would probably beat both options in that case.
    Another option which may be available someday is renting a genset trailer.
     
  9. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Yes, but these arguments have been used for years... "Buy this NEV or BEV or bicycle or scooter, and rent an ICE car when you need to take a trip." "Don't buy an SUV, or Pickup, just rent one when you need it..." "Take public transport and rent a car if you really need it..."

    Some people do these things, and it does make more sense. But for the most part, people do not do such things. I don't have much faith that people will start now.
     
  10. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Times are, (may be), changing. A reasonable range, 100-200 miles, may be enough to get people to actually adopt that strategy. More likely most households have more than one vehicle so it would be easy to have one of them be an EV. Most of my adult life I've had at least two vehicles on the road.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Nor is the idea that prissy men and women will ever like the idea of hooking up a dirty heavy trailer. It's not a job for the techo/car phobes.

    Not that sliding a genny in the back would be and better/cleaner/less complicated, it's just that there is just a segment of the population that will never do more than the simplest fill-up.

    *******



    And I still say mounting a generator onboard a lightweight EV will play havoc with handling.
     
  12. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  13. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    The thread doug linked to was just the thread I was thinking about. IMO, it's really the best solution.

    But, there's probably regulatory/safety/public image issues to resolve before people start using range extenders like the ones doug linked to. I think it would take one of the big automakers to popularize them. I don't think their use is common even within nerdy inner-ev circles. At least, I've enver heard of anyone in Florida using/making one.

    I know ACP played around with them for a while, judging from the pictures on their website. I haven't seen any pics of their new ebox using the range extender (aka pusher trailer) so maybe they had difficulties with it or something?:confused:
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    A few of us have experimented with them but most feel they are more trouble than they are worth. You build your EV to meet most of your needs and then use an ICE when they don't.
     

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