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Creating a plan to decarbonise transport: call for ideas

 
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Mark



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:31 am    Post subject: Creating a plan to decarbonise transport: call for ideas Reply with quote

Open consultation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/creating-a-plan-to-decarbonise-transport-call-for-ideas

Consultation closes on 31st August 2020
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to bounce some ideas around before answering the consultation I would for starters suggest that the government should issue a prize for a lightweight town/city E-car capable of being autonomous and available on hire: two versions probably with four and, say, an eight seater.

It should also announce a maximum speed limit of 50mph and a weight limit on cars to coincide with the banning of IC engines. Cars could be much lighter and therefore more efficient if they didn't have to be crash tested at silly high speeds and against very heavy objects coming in the other direction. Banning lorries in anything but the inside lane of any highway (except for overtaking broken down vehicles) would aid this segregation of lightweight and heavy vehicles. The sight of one truck going at 54mph being overtaken by another going at 55mph in something that isn't really necessary and should be avoided. If a truck is ahead of his scheduled delivery time ther should be places where it can stop off road.

Integrated transport hubs should become the norm with train feeding bus timetables integrated with trains. That sounds so logical that most people would be surprised that it doesn't already happen!

In order to solve the question of what comes first? The bus/train or the passenger? The government should pay for more local transport solutions while bringing into force restrictions and/or price rises on independent transport solutions. One thing they should do straight away is stop all road improvements unless they are directly related to improving public and private, non car transportation options (bike, scooter, walking) and include a ban on private cars.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would certainly support a move towards smaller and lighter vehicles.
Electrically assisted cycles.
E-scooters.
Smaller electric cars.
We need to move away from "larger, heavier, and faster" being regarded as progress wrt vehicle design.

Public transport needs to be largely electric, trams, trolley buses, and electrifying most of the rail network.
Battery technology has improved significantly in the last few years and therefore several ways to use this technology for public transport.

1) Electric trains could be primarily powered by 25Kv overhead wires but also equipped with a modest size battery. This would allow through operation onto non electrified branch lines, heritage railways and the like.
Battery power would allow gaps in the overhead wires were clearances under bridges are insufficient.
It would allow reduced speed operation to the next station when the wires come down.

2) Electric tramways could be built more economically if MOST of the route was electrified, rather than every last meter of it.
Tramway overhead is relatively cheap on straight or gently curving roads. The expensive bits are at roundabouts, road junctions and the like.

3) Battery powered buses are now a realistic option, and are more viable with charging either from trolley wires on the busiest parts of the route, or at bus stops.
One advantage of trolleybuses is that the same overhead could power delivery vehicles.
For this reason, IMHO we need a NATIONAL standard for trolley bus overhead. To stop each local authority from choosing a bespoke solution.


Most air transport cant be realistically decarbonised, we therefore need to fly a lot less.
And yes I know that a passenger carrying battery aircraft has recently been demonstrated, but the low energy density of batteries if compared to jet fuel would appear to limit such craft to short routes.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Just to bounce some ideas around before answering the consultation I would for starters suggest that the government should issue a prize for a lightweight town/city E-car capable of being autonomous and available on hire: two versions probably with four and, say, an eight seater.

.

Perhaps after Covid-19 is conquered. Until then I will not be getting into any cab or Uber type vehicle.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps we could bring down world emissions if we could convince Americans that compact means a Mini and sub compact means a Fiat 500. Wink
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delivery vehicles using trolley lines and stopping could cause a problem with trolley buses overtaking as they would have to disconnect from the line at each delivery which, on a trolley bus used to involve the driver having to manoeuvre a very long pole from under the bus so that he could unhook the power pole from the line.

There was a illustration posted on the forum somewhere of a new German system of trucks using an overhead electric line on a motorway which showed a truck using a pantograph and a single wire. It has just occurred to me that should not work as with only one wire there is no second wire to make a circuit. Rubber tyres will earth the vehicle from the ground so where would be return current go?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Delivery vehicles using trolley lines and stopping could cause a problem with trolley buses overtaking as they would have to disconnect from the line at each delivery which, on a trolley bus used to involve the driver having to manoeuvre a very long pole from under the bus so that he could unhook the power pole from the line.

There was a illustration posted on the forum somewhere of a new German system of trucks using an overhead electric line on a motorway which showed a truck using a pantograph and a single wire. It has just occurred to me that should not work as with only one wire there is no second wire to make a circuit. Rubber tyres will earth the vehicle from the ground so where would be return current go?


On a traditional trolley bus route, use by delivery vehicles would indeed be impractical due to the need for frequent manual attention as you describe.
More modern systems have automated this. If the bus is too far from the trolley wires, it is automatically disconnected by dropping the current collectors to the roof of the vehicle. Once back within range, re-connection is automatic by means of sophisticated machine vision that can see the trolley wires and manoeuvre the pick ups to mate.

As regards the German system, I suspect a bit of artistic licence rather than technical accuracy.
To power a vehicle with rubber tyres on a concrete road needs two conductors. Rubber is insulating and dry concrete is somewhat insulating.
The obvious way is two trolley wires as used for a trolley bus.
Another possibility is a single wire and an earth return via a metal rail set into the roadway. The former sounds more likely, the later could be rather dangerous.

A single pantograph is a possibility if wide enough and divided into two sections well insulated from each other, one section to contact each of the two overhead wires.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Perhaps we could bring down world emissions if we could convince Americans that compact means a Mini and sub compact means a Fiat 500. Wink
Well you can get me to consider those mini and sub compact but at 6 ft 3" and 240 lbs with old and creaky joints you are not getting me to shoehorn myself or the Missis into one ever. Wink
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
Delivery vehicles using trolley lines and stopping could cause a problem with trolley buses overtaking as they would have to disconnect from the line at each delivery which, on a trolley bus used to involve the driver having to manoeuvre a very long pole from under the bus so that he could unhook the power pole from the line.

There was a illustration posted on the forum somewhere of a new German system of trucks using an overhead electric line on a motorway which showed a truck using a pantograph and a single wire. It has just occurred to me that should not work as with only one wire there is no second wire to make a circuit. Rubber tyres will earth the vehicle from the ground so where would be return current go?


On a traditional trolley bus route, use by delivery vehicles would indeed be impractical due to the need for frequent manual attention as you describe.
More modern systems have automated this. If the bus is too far from the trolley wires, it is automatically disconnected by dropping the current collectors to the roof of the vehicle. Once back within range, re-connection is automatic by means of sophisticated machine vision that can see the trolley wires and manoeuvre the pick ups to mate.

As regards the German system, I suspect a bit of artistic licence rather than technical accuracy.
To power a vehicle with rubber tyres on a concrete road needs two conductors. Rubber is insulating and dry concrete is somewhat insulating.
The obvious way is two trolley wires as used for a trolley bus.
Another possibility is a single wire and an earth return via a metal rail set into the roadway. The former sounds more likely, the later could be rather dangerous.

A single pantograph is a possibility if wide enough and divided into two sections well insulated from each other, one section to contact each of the two overhead wires.
I think the rapid advancement of battery technology as shown in the EV market and proposed heavy trucks has made all wire or rail fed trolleys obsolete. An EV bus or trolley that uses regenerative breaking should have plenty of range to serve through a morning rush hour then get a noon day recharge before the evening rush. Charging stations at central garages and perhaps some at end or route locations would be a lot cheaper to build then wiring up every mile of every route and much more resilient in storm or winter weather conditions.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
Perhaps we could bring down world emissions if we could convince Americans that compact means a Mini and sub compact means a Fiat 500. Wink
Well you can get me to consider those mini and sub compact but at 6 ft 3" and 240 lbs with old and creaky joints you are not getting me to shoehorn myself or the Missis into one ever. Wink


I have a friend who is 6ft 6in and about 280lbs who had an original Mini and a Great Dane that lived across the back seat. There was just about enough room for his rather petite wife in the passenger seat. When they got out it was a bit like one of those student pranks when they see how many people you can get in. He was in his late twenties though at the time.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
kenneal - lagger wrote:
Perhaps we could bring down world emissions if we could convince Americans that compact means a Mini and sub compact means a Fiat 500. Wink
Well you can get me to consider those mini and sub compact but at 6 ft 3" and 240 lbs with old and creaky joints you are not getting me to shoehorn myself or the Missis into one ever. Wink


I have a friend who is 6ft 6in and about 280lbs who had an original Mini and a Great Dane that lived across the back seat. There was just about enough room for his rather petite wife in the passenger seat. When they got out it was a bit like one of those student pranks when they see how many people you can get in. He was in his late twenties though at the time.
Yes I have had very small cars in my younger, less prosperous ,and much more limber stages of life, but that time has past. There are several models of various brands that now fit me and their price and fuel consumption is not enough higher then the smaller"economy" car to entice me into daily gymnastics. I hope the cyber truck when it finally comes out will be a good fit. If not I will want my $100 back and look elsewhere.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
............Another possibility is a single wire and an earth return via a metal rail set into the roadway. The former sounds more likely, the later could be rather dangerous.............


Would the metal ground rail carry any current, Adam? Would it not dissipate any electricity into the ground? Would it have to be AC or DC?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
adam2 wrote:
............Another possibility is a single wire and an earth return via a metal rail set into the roadway. The former sounds more likely, the later could be rather dangerous.............


Would the metal ground rail carry any current, Adam? Would it not dissipate any electricity into the ground? Would it have to be AC or DC?


DC is more or less standard for trolley bus systems, often at about 550 volts. AC could be used if desired.

A metal ground rail would be somewhat risky since almost the whole of the return current, perhaps 1,000 amps or more in total would pass along the rail.
At those parts of the system relatively distant from the substation, the return rail could be at a dangerous voltage due to voltage drop.
Overhead traction supply systems are often designed around average voltage drop of about 10%, or about 20% under worst case conditions.
That could be a voltage drop of 10% in the overhead wire and another 10% voltage drop in the return rail.
That would result in the return rail being live at over 50 volts. 50 volts is dangerous to anyone with bare feet in wet conditions. And whilst people don't normally walk around unshod on motorways, it certainly could happen after an accident.

The other risk is the return rail being broken or disconnected. That would result in that part of the rail beyond the break becoming live at almost full line voltage.

For these reasons, I feel that two overhead conductors is a more likely to be adopted than a return rail.

(and a little O/T, I strongly advise against touching or stepping on the rails of an electric tramway, or an electric railway at a level crossing etc.)
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to remember step potential risks when there is a conductor taking current into the ground. I think there is French system that uses a 'shoe' in an underground chamber to pick up the current from two conductors and there is only electricity in the system when the train is passing over. I expect it costs a lot of money.

Back to the original question in order to have a zero carbon transportation solution there is probably electrical, non-carbon fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia, compressed air or biofuels/synthetic fuels made from extracting CO2 from the air.

In my opinion batteries are better for personal use vehicles that don't mind waiting to charge up. Better use hydrogen for larger vehicles that need a quicker turnaround. With battery technology changing all the time that distinction may be blurred.

Hydrogen and ammonia could be used if non-carbon fuels are desired in IC engines.

Compressed air transportation is probably too dangerous except for very short duration requirements or explosive areas and I think they are very noisy also.

Biofuels probably will take too much from food crops to be any help.

I have heard trolley systems being planned for Australian mines in conjunction with batteries or hydrogen for trucks operating in large open-cast mines. The theory is that trolley pantographs enable heavliy laden trucks to climb out the pit that would otherwise run down batteries very quickly and battery operation will be used for flat driving and driving while empty.

I remember the trolley buses in Wellington New Zealand and how funny it was when the poles bounced off the conductors. There was a long insulated rod stored on the side of the bus to put the conductors back on in such an event. These buses have now been replaced with diesel equivalents due to 'a lack of spare parts'.

In the end if the public are not on board and supportive then it will be all about money about where the market goes.
I suspect that big business will prefer hydrogen over batteries even though the energy round trip on hydrogen is much lower because it allows more 'corporatisation' of the process. It is more difficult to make hydrogen and fill your car with it than it is to charge your battery from a plug outlet. Bib business is only too happy to help you for a price. I think we could see transporation taxes levied on hydrogen more easily than on kilowatts as well.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BDU"
Quote:

Back to the original question in order to have a zero carbon transportation solution there is probably electrical, non-carbon fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia, compressed air or biofuels/synthetic fuels made from extracting CO2 from the air.
Those are not fuels but energy storage mediums. Hydrogen if not derived from Natural gas is merely the stored electrical energy used to electrolysis it from water. burning it returns it to water. It is only carbon free if the electricity used to separate it is also carbon free. The same applies to the others you mention.

Quote:
I have heard trolley systems being planned for Australian mines in conjunction with batteries or hydrogen for trucks operating in large open-cast mines. The theory is that trolley pantographs enable heavliy laden trucks to climb out the pit that would otherwise run down batteries very quickly and battery operation will be used for flat driving and driving while empty.

Or they could use a series of electrically driven conveyor belts to lift the material to the surface. This might require a crusher installed at the bottom to size the material for belt transport but as most materials or ores get crushed to size at some point anyway where the crusher sits is not a factor.
Thirty years ago an engineer I knew worked out a six mile long conveyor system that moved millions of yards for a big project that saved millions of dollars over loading it into diesel trucks.
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