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Hybrid ATV - Honda Generator Options
John Edward Mercier
#1 Posted : Saturday, April 28, 2007 3:30:22 PM
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ATVs are useful as utility vehicles when more than a garden tractor, but less than a compact tractor is necessary.

I believe there are some electric models out there, but I'm not sure of their work value.

John Stiles
#2 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2007 10:55:22 AM
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John Edward Mercier
#3 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2007 12:41:18 PM
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I still didn't see a snowplow, winch kits, or any agricultural attachments. And I would like to see independent results of pulling power, and long term maintenance costs.

 

JAK
#4 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2007 2:46:38 PM
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I hadn't thought of it for use as a tractor in my original post. I was thinking more about their potential for recreational use, as slower and quieter alternatives to ATVs and snowmobiles.

.

That brings up an interesting point however, the efficiency and effectiveness of tractors. For some work, it is not the power that matters, but the pulling force that can be generated. I understand this depends to a large part on the weight of the tractor, for which the weight of batteries doesn't hurt. Shetland ponies are also very competitive in this respect, even though they might only be half a horsepower. For travelling greater distances at speed the weight of batteries does start to become a serious disadvantage compared to diesel and gas engines. Regarding the total efficiency of electric vehicles, one might consider the product of several factors, including some or all of the following. If you are using solar or wind power then some might not apply.

1. Generation Efficiency - typically 35% at thermal generating stations.

2. Distribution Efficiency - depends on distance, but usually 95% or better.

3. Conversion Efficiency - AC to DC might typically be 80-95%.

4. Battery Charging Efficiency - Varies with application, buy typically 60-90%.

5. Battery Charge Retention Efficiency - Varies with application, but generally >95%.

6. Battery Discharge Efficiency - Varies with application, buy typically 60-90%.

7. Battery Payload Efficiency - If battery is 50% of vehicle weight, this might be 50-75%.

8. Utilization Efficiency - Depends on how you measure it, but motors are ~ 90%.

So for a plug in electric car perhaps you might get somethink like:

35% x 98% x 90% x 90% x 98% x 70% x 75% x 90% = 13%

It is important to know what to include and what not to include when making a fair comparison. A light neighbourhood electric vehicle might be more efficient than a regular car, but would it be more efficient than the same light vehicle with a small diesel? Probably depends on range. But say you are commuting to work in a Smart Car that weighing 1700 pounds, and you only weigh 170 pounds, then even if the diesel engine was operating at 20-40% thermodynamic efficiency most of the time what is the real efficiency? How much work should be required to get that 170 pound person to work safely? For that matter, how far should you have to drive? The efficiency of our vehicles is mostly limited by how our cities are built, how heavy and fast the other vehicles are flying at you, and where we choose to live and work. Similarly, how do you measure the efficiency of agricultural or silvicultural work? How much work is actually needed. How much work should be required to pull stumps cultivate soil or haul stuff around? How do you compare the efficiency and productivity of methods like three sisters or coppicing? Somehow we need to equate land use with energy use and GHG emmisions in order to make fair comparisons. Particularly for smaller homesteaders on locations where land might be relatively cheap, it might be worth considering alternative methods to emulating the operations and equpment of large agricultural and forestry operations. Perhaps a post hole digger instead of tractor or rotor tiller. Or perhaps just a shovel and a bush axe.

John Edward Mercier
#5 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2007 6:27:00 PM
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Something happened to your post.

Maybe you could break you thoughts down into something smaller.

 

JAK
#6 Posted : Monday, April 30, 2007 11:03:02 PM
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Sorry about that. I lost some of it, but I'm sure it will come back to me. :)

 

John Edward Mercier
#7 Posted : Tuesday, May 01, 2007 5:13:47 PM
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I would assume that a small homesteader would look for the least expensive, smallest, most efficient way to do most things.

 

John Edward Mercier
#8 Posted : Friday, May 04, 2007 2:07:13 AM
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How about a UTV with the generator placed on the bed. Battery recharging and portable power.
AdamT
#9 Posted : Tuesday, August 24, 2010 7:31:42 PM
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You know new engines are good but lets remember that what is the best source of energy are our own feet. Bicycles are also quick and clean. I have bought new bike  and tried it out really excelent quality but the design didnt quite speak to me. I changed it at bicycle motor they have chrommed it and now it looks a lot better if you have that bike i really advice to do the same. What i was trying to show is that there is a lot of veraiety in this businees. Every one will find something that's great for him/Her.


John Edward Mercier
#10 Posted : Thursday, August 26, 2010 3:43:17 AM
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We're homesteaders Adam... so we were discussing moving people/cargo over sometimes less than smooth terrain. The concept of the electric golf cart/UTV/ATV also was for the advantage of having a battery bank and power backup.

JAK
#11 Posted : Thursday, August 26, 2010 3:43:17 AM
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Sorry. Another thoughtless thought experiments. LOL.

.

OK. The idea is to build an slow quiet energy efficient ATV, based the Honda EU1000i.

http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/ModelDetail.asp?ModelName=eu1000i

900w of AC, plus 96w DC, for 18% efficiency combined at rated power. 50 pounds.

At 25% output efficiency drops to about 9%. Does the DC drops proportionally ???

We can run on battery power some of the time, using 2-4 hub motors, 400w each.

http://www.goldenmotor.com/

Their efficiency peaks at 80% @ 25% power, about 100w each. Weight is 13 pounds each. For more power and traction and more effiency at higher power, you could have 4 hub motors. For less weight and running efficiently and quietly off batteries at lower power, just 2 hub motors. You would need an AC to DC converter also, to run these DC motors off the AC generator. Alternatively you might have an AC motors in addition to the two DC motors, or something like that, but the hub motors keep it simple and eleiminate transmission losses, and when running directly off the generator you eliminate the battery losses, so we can take the bullet on the converter losses. Converter efficiency might average 80%. Batteries would be sized to keep average charging and dicharge efficiency down to 80% also. Charging would be at 100w when running motors off generator. Discharging would be at 200w on average for silent running, but capable of up to 800w on short hills without having to kick the generator on, though you would for a longer hill. Two keep the battery cost down, without adding two much weight, lets just look at some common deep cycle batteries. The hub motors are 24v, so lets look at a couple of these babies:

http://www.trojan-battery.com/Products/ProductSpec.aspx?Name=T-1275

Totals for 2 x 12v, 164 pounds total

120 AH at 5hr rate = 576watts for up to 1 hours to 40% discharge

150 AH at 20 hr rate = 180 watts for up to 2.5 hours to 20% discharge before recharging.

With the generator this much battery is probably overkill, but shows that lead acid will work. You could recharge on the long fast stretches or the long uphills, and run off  batteries on scenic bits. The generator is pretty quiet though, 56db at 25% and 59db at 100%, but not silent. This could be just a regular golf cart or gator plus generator and charger, but I think it would be neat to build your own out of rugged mountain bike parts. The intent is a maximum speed of only 30mph, and a normal cruising speed of about half that. Using hub motors without gears and freewheeling gets a bit complicated if you want such a range of speed and there are hills, but we will overlook that for not. The idea is to be able to freewheel, or perhaps regenerative braking, but in any case definitely keep the rolling resistance and friction losses to a minimum, so I have electric bike technology in mind more so than normal golf cart technology or electric car technology, and so the top end speed needs to be kept within reason also to keep the stresses and weights down.

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What sort of fuel economy might be expected? It would depend mostly on the total weight and trail surface at cruising speeds, but somewhat on wind resistance on roads at max speeds.

Lets say the total weight = 50 pound generator + 26 pounds motors + 164 pounds batteries = 240 pounds. Add another 360 pounds for vehicle and payload for 600 pounds total. Let's say the average ground surface and wind resistance is equal to 2% of vehicle weight, for 12 pounds of drag, or about 50 newtons. In cruise mode at 200w the speed would be 4 m/s = 9mph. The average fuel consumption for this mode would be 0.6 gal every 3.8 hours for 700w allowing 30% losses for converting and charging and discharging. So 9 miles x 700/200 / 0.6 gal = 52.5 mpg. On hard pavement it sould be double that however, even at 20mph. At more agressive speeds on harder surfaces there would be more wind resistance, but the converting and charging and discharging losses would not be all that different in total, so you would still get about 50mph at speeds up to 30mph depending on how much air drag there is. On the other hand, if you were to charge it very slowly at home, plugged in, and just go for a leisurely 5 hour Sunday drive, up to 50 miles, you would only pay for about 1.5 kwh, 15 cents or so.  Even in $1.50/gallon terms that's the equivalent of 500mpg. You could still bring the genny, and 1/2 a gallon of gas, just in case you don't make it all the way back before the batteries get down to 60%. If you are off-gridding it, charging at home energy costs would be higher, but perhaps half as on the road, so plug in to wind power might get you the equivalent of 100mpg. The beauty of this if your off-grid is you could use the same batteries and generator from the home system, as long as you equalize the module before you put it back in parrallel with the others. You could also produce hydrogen during peak wind power rather than store it. Hydrogen conversion of gas engines is supposed to reduce power somewhat, but boost efficiency. I wonder what it might take to convert a Honda Generator to run off a propane tank full of hydrogen ???

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