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Offline R-1125FTopic starter

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Electric road in Detroit
« on: December 01, 2023, 06:52:16 pm »
 

Offline Joebeazelman

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2023, 08:10:05 pm »
Every new transportation infrastructure scam is practically a train.
 
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Offline Enginears

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2023, 10:31:54 pm »
Every new transportation infrastructure scam is practically a train.

I'm genuinely curious:
 - How is this electrical induction road + the EVs that can charge off it 'practically a train'? How does this technology have anything at all to do with trains?
 - What qualities of this proof-of-concept demonstration can justify your characterizing it as a 'transportation infrastructure scam'?
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2023, 10:46:39 pm »
That looks like the future. :popcorn:
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2023, 10:51:20 pm »
https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/news-outreach/pressreleases/2022/09/21/partners-on-the-first-in-the-us-public-wireless-ev-charging-road
https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/news-outreach/pressreleases/2023/11/29/mdot-city-of-detroit-and-electreon-unveil-the-nations-first-public-ev-charging-roadway-at-mi-central

Quote
Electreon's wireless charging technology is based on inductive coupling between copper coils installed below the road surface and receivers installed on electric vehicles. When a vehicle with a receiver nears the in-road charging segments, the road transfers electricity wirelessly through a magnetic field. This electricity is then transferred as energy to the vehicle's battery. These charging segments can transfer wireless electricity to the receiver either when the vehicle is parked (static charging) or is driving (dynamic charging). The electric road is safe for drivers, pedestrians and wildlife. Each coil in the road is activated only when a vehicle with an approved receiver passes over the coil. This ensures that energy transfer is controlled and provided only to vehicles that require it.

I can see this being a thing in the farrr distant future where electricity is near free, but this is dumb to do now.

Also niche use cases where you'd be parked and want to charge without having to go out and plug in a cable (buses, ambulances, etc.). But they clearly aren't mentioning that in the article, they are saying how it can be use to make money  ::)
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Offline Enginears

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2023, 05:15:54 am »
The way I see it, the main barriers to EV adoption today are anxiety over range, the cost of a battery stack capable of giving an EV a comparable range to a ICE vehicle (say 300-350 miles, 485-560 km), the time it takes an EV to charge to full capacity at the end of its range, and the need to install today's charging pole & cable with connector charging stations everywhere.

The engineers at GM have demonstrated a proof of concept where a vehicle with this inductive charging system on a roadway with a field generator installed can charge while moving and actually increasing total charge while moving.

The caveat in the video is that the vehicle is not traveling at a high rate of speed on the road during the demonstration. So it's energy requirements are lower than an EV travelling at full speed. We can assume that this charging system can only keep up with this lower demand at lower speeds. Now, if you accept that the technology can improve over time, then we can play with the hypothetical that vehicles can charge on top of traveling at a reasonable 'full speed'.

If that alone becomes possible, then some very interesting economics come into play.

80% of Americans, for instance, live in cities. If you can install this technology along the commuter routes and major artery roads, then the work commute and much of travel within cities for 80% of Americans will not impact the charge level of the vehicle. That would allow city-specific commuter vehicles to be built with a battery range of, say 20-30 miles (30-50 km). That's an order of magnitude smaller battery. Because big batteries are the largest contributor to high EV costs, having vehicles with small batteries that charge while driving is a route to much cheaper commuter EVs. It also simultaneously reduces the supply-side burden of rare earth minerals and lithium, both of which are strategic levers for China, which holds the availability of these raw materials as a diplomatic stick to threaten other powers by withholding them.

For the EVs needed for longer haul distances and those that operate in rural areas, the current EV battery size could be kept. Strategically placed strips of interstate highway between cities could be installed to enable long haul distances. In this scenario, one of these vehicles could travel on battery power for a few hundred miles/kms and then, when it reaches say, 2/3 depleted, would reach the area where it charges the battery while moving. Once topped off, the EV would then continue on to either its destination or the next strip, topping up again and again. No long stops to recharge at the freeway-side rest stop, the other big barrier to EV adoption.

Finally, the inductive charging could be installed underground in parking spaces, eliminating the need to install posts with chargers basically everywhere, as we would have to today. EV charging posts are notoriously prone to failure in the connector, in the terminal, and in the cable. This contactless charging would eliminate those issues.

While what we are seeing in the video is strictly, "Hey! This is what we're thinking about and it works in a limited way," as a proof of concept it's exciting from a strategic standpoint for an entire nation's infrastructure. Do they have a long way to go? Definitely! Is it a pointless line of inquiry that causes more problems than it solves? I don't think so. They're trying to solve the problems of a large required battery capacity, slow charging time, range issues, and total EV cost. As a strategy, a smarter road system might be the way to solve all these problems.
 

Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2023, 08:49:40 am »
The way I see it, the main barriers to EV adoption today are anxiety over range, the cost of a battery stack capable of giving an EV a comparable range to a ICE vehicle (say 300-350 miles, 485-560 km), the time it takes an EV to charge to full capacity at the end of its range, and the need to install today's charging pole & cable with connector charging stations everywhere.

The engineers at GM have demonstrated a proof of concept where a vehicle with this inductive charging system on a roadway with a field generator installed can charge while moving and actually increasing total charge while moving.

The caveat in the video is that the vehicle is not traveling at a high rate of speed on the road during the demonstration. So it's energy requirements are lower than an EV travelling at full speed. We can assume that this charging system can only keep up with this lower demand at lower speeds. Now, if you accept that the technology can improve over time, then we can play with the hypothetical that vehicles can charge on top of traveling at a reasonable 'full speed'.

If that alone becomes possible, then some very interesting economics come into play.

80% of Americans, for instance, live in cities. If you can install this technology along the commuter routes and major artery roads, then the work commute and much of travel within cities for 80% of Americans will not impact the charge level of the vehicle. That would allow city-specific commuter vehicles to be built with a battery range of, say 20-30 miles (30-50 km). That's an order of magnitude smaller battery. Because big batteries are the largest contributor to high EV costs, having vehicles with small batteries that charge while driving is a route to much cheaper commuter EVs. It also simultaneously reduces the supply-side burden of rare earth minerals and lithium, both of which are strategic levers for China, which holds the availability of these raw materials as a diplomatic stick to threaten other powers by withholding them.

For the EVs needed for longer haul distances and those that operate in rural areas, the current EV battery size could be kept. Strategically placed strips of interstate highway between cities could be installed to enable long haul distances. In this scenario, one of these vehicles could travel on battery power for a few hundred miles/kms and then, when it reaches say, 2/3 depleted, would reach the area where it charges the battery while moving. Once topped off, the EV would then continue on to either its destination or the next strip, topping up again and again. No long stops to recharge at the freeway-side rest stop, the other big barrier to EV adoption.

Finally, the inductive charging could be installed underground in parking spaces, eliminating the need to install posts with chargers basically everywhere, as we would have to today. EV charging posts are notoriously prone to failure in the connector, in the terminal, and in the cable. This contactless charging would eliminate those issues.

While what we are seeing in the video is strictly, "Hey! This is what we're thinking about and it works in a limited way," as a proof of concept it's exciting from a strategic standpoint for an entire nation's infrastructure. Do they have a long way to go? Definitely! Is it a pointless line of inquiry that causes more problems than it solves? I don't think so. They're trying to solve the problems of a large required battery capacity, slow charging time, range issues, and total EV cost. As a strategy, a smarter road system might be the way to solve all these problems.

Does no-one ever dig up the road where you live? Do you never get potholes? This is as good an idea as solar roadways.
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Offline mendip_discovery

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2023, 01:57:05 pm »
My thoughts are,
How to you prevent people stealing power? Just place a coil on the road and it's free power.
Would it kill my phone as I walked across the street? Or any inductive item.
What does it do to your health? With the vaccine giving us improved 5G connectivity what are the changes that the conspiracy nuts will blow a cap on the idea of wireless power for stuff.
How much power loss/wastage are we willing to loose.

I think this is just another thing thought up to get investment money with very little chance of it getting anywhere. Taking away funds from actual solutions.
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Offline fmashockie

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2023, 05:51:37 pm »

[/quote]

Does no-one ever dig up the road where you live? Do you never get potholes? This is as good an idea as solar roadways.
[/quote]

I don't see these problems as totally killing this idea.  Whether your roads have copper coils underneath the road or not, potholes will still form and roadwork will need to be done.  In both cases, you can't drive on the road.  If you've ever seen a road repaved, the workers carefully pave around existing utilities like manholes for sewer and power.  I would imagine they would do the same for these, too.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2023, 10:17:04 pm »
I think this is just another thing thought up to get investment money with very little chance of it getting anywhere. Taking away funds from actual solutions.

Yes. But the misconception would be to believe that we (as a whole) actually want to go anywhere at the moment. I'm not convinced this is the case.
Meanwhile, some people get a lot of money that eludes most of others.
 

Offline BrianHG

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2023, 01:07:51 am »
How much power is being lost due to inefficiency?
Might as well go with an ICE if it's not better than 90%...
Also, why are they driving so slow?  Will it work if I driving at 50km/h?  Or 100km/h?


ASLO, am I being charged for the electricity I receive, or for the power that was put in before losses?
Here in Montreal, it costs more per mile for public charging stations versus gas for an ICE.  Public charging is a rip-off.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2023, 01:10:42 am by BrianHG »
 
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2023, 11:01:57 am »

Does no-one ever dig up the road where you live? Do you never get potholes? This is as good an idea as solar roadways.

I don't see these problems as totally killing this idea.  Whether your roads have copper coils underneath the road or not, potholes will still form and roadwork will need to be done.  In both cases, you can't drive on the road.  If you've ever seen a road repaved, the workers carefully pave around existing utilities like manholes for sewer and power.  I would imagine they would do the same for these, too.

You get a pothole over a coil, it's going to kill the coil when vehicles drive over it. And your belief in the care exercised by road workers is touching, but a bit unrealistic.



EDIT: It would be interesting to see the effect of an HGV driving over one of these coils and grinding the windings together, given the prospective currents at play here...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2023, 11:03:39 am by AVGresponding »
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Offline mendip_discovery

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2023, 03:52:05 pm »
I would be interested in how they deal with differences in thermal expansion of the road materials and how they shift over time.

Not sure how it works in other countries but a significant amount of infrastructure is under the roads, like sewage, water, gas, and internet cables and this all gets dug up on a regular basis as thinks break.

The coils would have to be fairly small (1 to 10m) otherwise when it breaks it will take down a good part of the road.

I can see it working in some cities though. Especially where traffic rarely moves. Bristol and London being the UK cities known for being hellish to drive through.

Btw when I was taking about engery loss. I was referring to induction charging systems that are typically 30 to 40% energy loss, and that is just for phones up close not a car at >300mm.
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Online PlainName

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2023, 04:13:11 pm »
How much power is being lost due to inefficiency?
Might as well go with an ICE if it's not better than 90%...
This is one of the ways something can be made out to be useless before any thought is given to it: it's not either/or. If you're in an EV anyway and running a bit low, wouldn't this be good for you? If you're not then it doesn't affect at all, so in the end it helps some, doesn't hinder others, and that's a net plus.

Of course, it has to work, but let's not get the biases in at the start.
Quote
Also, why are they driving so slow?  Will it work if I driving at 50km/h?  Or 100km/h?

Possibly more efficient at slow speeds (and/or the energy being pumped  in isn't going straight out in keeping up speed). And perhaps that demo road isn't too long so they don't want to run out of it too quickly in the video :)

Quote
ASLO, am I being charged for the electricity I receive, or for the power that was put in before losses?

Good question but irrelevant: you pay what they charge or don't take it, so whether or not you're paying for the provider's gold pension is only a factor in that you might think it too high to pay.
 
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Online PlainName

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2023, 04:16:09 pm »
How to you prevent people stealing power? Just place a coil on the road and it's free power.

That was my first thought, but it needn't be a killer. Just make the road a poll road and you both restrict who can take power and charge them for it at the same time.

An added benefit is that people then don't expect every single road in the country to be converted and then 'bust' the idea when it becomes obvious that it can't be done.
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2023, 11:37:43 pm »
Isn't Detroit a failed city with rampart crime, unemployment and homelessness, everything closed down?
And this is how they spend their money?
Our politicians are really so far removed from reality.
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2023, 11:41:36 pm »
Isn't Detroit a failed city with rampart crime, unemployment and homelessness, everything closed down?
And this is how they spend their money?
Our politicians are really so far removed from reality.

And so maybe people electing them are.
 

Online PlainName

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2023, 12:41:20 am »
Is it Detroit that's spent money on this? Or is it someone else that's found a city willing to be bought off to let them try it out? If the latter then surely it's good for Detroit even if it's rubbish idea.
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2023, 12:06:23 pm »
Isn't Detroit a failed city with rampart crime, unemployment and homelessness, everything closed down?
And this is how they spend their money?
Our politicians are really so far removed from reality.

And so maybe people electing them are.
How was it in South Park? The two party system is broken.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2023, 10:10:56 pm »
Yes, it is.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2023, 01:10:47 am »
80% of Americans, for instance, live in cities. If you can install this technology along the commuter routes and major artery roads, then the work commute and much of travel within cities for 80% of Americans will not impact the charge level of the vehicle. That would allow city-specific commuter vehicles to be built with a battery range of, say 20-30 miles (30-50 km). That's an order of magnitude smaller battery. Because big batteries are the largest contributor to high EV costs, having vehicles with small batteries that charge while driving is a route to much cheaper commuter EVs. It also simultaneously reduces the supply-side burden of rare earth minerals and lithium, both of which are strategic levers for China, which holds the availability of these raw materials as a diplomatic stick to threaten other powers by withholding them.

Depending on the city, 60-90% of commutes are sub 50 miles round trip (80km), which can be done with <15kWh, a relatively tiny pack.

Until you can convince people here that small cars are OK to buy or legislate away non-commercial trucks and SUVs, nothing will change.
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Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2023, 06:16:16 am »
80% of Americans, for instance, live in cities. If you can install this technology along the commuter routes and major artery roads, then the work commute and much of travel within cities for 80% of Americans will not impact the charge level of the vehicle. That would allow city-specific commuter vehicles to be built with a battery range of, say 20-30 miles (30-50 km). That's an order of magnitude smaller battery. Because big batteries are the largest contributor to high EV costs, having vehicles with small batteries that charge while driving is a route to much cheaper commuter EVs. It also simultaneously reduces the supply-side burden of rare earth minerals and lithium, both of which are strategic levers for China, which holds the availability of these raw materials as a diplomatic stick to threaten other powers by withholding them.

Depending on the city, 60-90% of commutes are sub 50 miles round trip (80km), which can be done with <15kWh, a relatively tiny pack.

Until you can convince people here that small cars are OK to buy or legislate away non-commercial trucks and SUVs, nothing will change.

On the (mostly) flat, in "normal" (ie around 20c ambient) temperatures, carrying no extra load.
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Offline Wallace Gasiewicz

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2023, 01:54:33 pm »
This looks like it could be implemented in manufacturing where electric vehicles take parts to different points on assembly line.   
This indoor use would make installation and maintenance of the charging system more manageable.
There are lots of "robotic" functions like this that use battery powered vehicles and the lead acid batteries are changed and recharged when low.
I guess the implementation of this technology would depend on the efficiency of the energy transfer as compared to the energy transfer involved in charging batteries. 
 Maybe the robotic delivery carts would not even need batteries? 
These vehicles do not consume anywhere near the  electricity that a HiLo Forklift does. 
Just some thoughts, I have not been in a manufacturing plant for many years. 
Maybe they are already doing it?
 

Offline Wallace Gasiewicz

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2023, 02:05:51 pm »
The vehicle powered by this contraption is a Ford., so i highly suspect Ford is behind this. 
As far as "cost" I would think that the implementation of this short charging line is minuscule compared to the R&D money spent on the project. 
Especially the repaving...There are always roads that need repaving... just pick one and go from there...They seem to have picked one in an area that has little traffic. I am from Detroit and believe I know the location of the project. (or at least close).
EDIT: I think this is part of a bigger project that is being done by Ford as it is near this project:   

https://www.freep.com/picture-gallery/news/local/michigan/detroit/2022/01/12/michigan-central-station-new-transformation-details-photos-site-enters-final-phase/9176548002/
« Last Edit: December 06, 2023, 02:19:42 pm by Wallace Gasiewicz »
 

Offline AVGresponding

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Re: Electric road in Detroit
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2023, 05:05:33 pm »
This looks like it could be implemented in manufacturing where electric vehicles take parts to different points on assembly line.   
This indoor use would make installation and maintenance of the charging system more manageable.
There are lots of "robotic" functions like this that use battery powered vehicles and the lead acid batteries are changed and recharged when low.
I guess the implementation of this technology would depend on the efficiency of the energy transfer as compared to the energy transfer involved in charging batteries. 
 Maybe the robotic delivery carts would not even need batteries? 
These vehicles do not consume anywhere near the  electricity that a HiLo Forklift does. 
Just some thoughts, I have not been in a manufacturing plant for many years. 
Maybe they are already doing it?

In a closed environment like that it's probably more efficient to have automated docking ports, unless you need 24/7 operation.
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