Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

Post Reply
User avatar
Sea Skimmer
Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate
Posts: 37231
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Contact:

Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-03-10 12:35am

Not really, but closer then you might expect! Also battery fires!
At 50 tons and 700 kilowatt-hours, this truck is the biggest EV in the world
Each round trip will generate 10kWh of spare electricity for the grid.

Jonathan M. Gitlin - 9/21/2017, 3:47 PM
Enlarge
Andreas Sutter, Lithium Storage GmbH
126

When it comes to bench-racing electric vehicles, the kilowatt-hour is king. And over in Switzerland, there's an EV that will make Tesla's P100Ds look positively puny. But this is no carbon-fiber hypercar, and it's never going set any records for 0-60 times or the standing quarter. No, this is an altogether more practical creation that's meant to work for a living. It's a Komatsu quarry truck that's being modified by Kuhn Schweiz and Lithium Storage, weighing in at almost 50 tons (45 tonnes) and powered by a whopping 700kWh battery pack.

The e-Dumper has been in the works for a couple of years now, during which time its battery capacity has grown from the original 600kWh to what is now the equivalent of seven top-of-the-line Teslas. The cells in question are nickel-manganese-cobalt, 1,440 of them in total, weighing almost 10,000lbs (4.5 tonnes). And once the team has found space in the chassis for all of that energy storage, the idea is for the e-Dumper to spend the next decade trundling between a Swiss cement quarry and the Ciments Vigier works near Biel.

Here's the really cool part: each round trip actually generates electricity. Because the e-Dumper goes up the mountain empty and descends carrying 71 tons (65 tonnes) of rock, it captures 40kWh on the way to the cement works via regenerative braking. But climbing back up to the quarry only requires 30kWh, so every trip will feed an extra 10kWh into the local electricity grid. Not bad when you then consider that the e-Dumper will be doing that trip 20 times a day.

Of course, this is still an experimental project, and Empa (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) is working with the e-Dumper team to study battery performance in such a harsh environment and use case. Empa's battery expert, Marcel Held, says that a big question is what happens if there's mechanical damage to the cells—a real possibility in an environment like a quarry.

"Some batteries start smoking, others burst into flames," he said. "The crucial thing in this instance is to make sure the neighboring cells are not damaged by the fire and heat. Otherwise, there is the risk of a chain reaction."
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/09/th ... c-vehicle/
Of course railroads have been using regenerative braking to restore power to the gird for decades, and sometimes on mining routes which have majority downhill traffic flow, but a practical heavy haul truck use of this idea could be applied to hundreds of mining and construction sites in the world. And since much of this kind of equipment is leased in the first place the actual end users wouldn't necessarily be locked into it if conditions change.
"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

User avatar
JI_Joe84
Youngling
Posts: 149
Joined: 2015-11-01 09:53pm

Re: Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by JI_Joe84 » 2018-03-12 12:01am

But but but there is no free ride! Dough.... Lolcopters

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4478
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by LaCroix » 2018-03-12 02:19am

It's the same principle as high altitude water reservoirs for energy storage, but with the mountain taking the place of the water. The swiss have pretty much have found a way to turn their mountains into electricity...
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

User avatar
JI_Joe84
Youngling
Posts: 149
Joined: 2015-11-01 09:53pm

Re: Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by JI_Joe84 » 2018-03-12 10:02pm

I think fully charged already did a show on this also.
There is one glaring problem with lithium batteries of this size and that is their extreme cost, apparently lithium is one of the more rare elements.
Did you know back in my 20's I could get a lithium polymer batterie for my rc planes for about 40 dollars. The are 140 dollars now.
If some body could make a batterie perform like lithium but use sodium or some other abundant element, we could make a killing in green energy. Any ideas?

Sky Captain
Jedi Master
Posts: 1141
Joined: 2008-11-14 12:47pm
Location: Latvia

Re: Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by Sky Captain » 2018-03-13 05:58pm

Interesting, wonder why the truck has massively oversized and certainly expensive battery for the job. If it require only 30 kw/h to get back up to the quarry and 40 kw/h are generated during descent then smaller and cheaper 100 - 200 kw/h battery would be plentiful.

User avatar
Sea Skimmer
Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate
Posts: 37231
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Contact:

Re: Perpetual Motion Dump Truck

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-03-14 12:29am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-03-12 02:19am
It's the same principle as high altitude water reservoirs for energy storage, but with the mountain taking the place of the water. The swiss have pretty much have found a way to turn their mountains into electricity...
Similar but better yes. Pumped storage hydropower is 90-98% efficient depending on how much stored water evaporates out of the lake and how big the pumps are vs grid voltage being supplied. What's being claimed here is the same as claiming 133% efficiency. An actual net gain vs small losses.

In both cases capital costs are very high, but for the battery powered truck the cost is mitigated by the fact that heavy equipment iss usually electrically powered in the first place even if it has an IC engine, because that's better then driveshafts at high power levels, and in the case of pumped storage it's better then the alternatives of bulk batteries or compressed air storage, t he later still having yet to be demonstrated on industrial scales though posing no real technical questions (imagine a group of grain silos, but full of compressed air, next to a waste heat source like an oil reinfery)

JI_Joe84 wrote:
2018-03-12 10:02pm
I think fully charged already did a show on this also.
There is one glaring problem with lithium batteries of this size and that is their extreme cost, apparently lithium is one of the more rare elements.
Did you know back in my 20's I could get a lithium polymer batterie for my rc planes for about 40 dollars. The are 140 dollars now.
If some body could make a batterie perform like lithium but use sodium or some other abundant element, we could make a killing in green energy. Any ideas?
Lithium isn't that rare in absolute terms, but several of the best sources of supply are tied up in major political problems. Bolivia being at the forefront of this where it's vast high quality lithium reserves are directly linked to a battle for the rights and economic future of it's indigenous population. Whom also happen to be major backers of three term president Evo Morales, whom in late 2017 managed to get the Bolivian supreme court to rule that CONSTITUTIONAL TERM LIMITS were a violation of his human rights, and is now attempting to run for a forth term. Still other sources exist, the mining industries of the world are just very reluctant to invest in anything but the best sources of supply because they will take a long term to pay off the investment, and it's plausible that batteries based on different technology like carbon will pan out before said investment is recouped.

Of course if we can make carbon based batteries world the raw material can literally come out of the air if we wanted, and in more practical terms it can come from trees or coal or oil.

On the other hand electric motors are also very dependent on certain rare elements like cobalt, which also come from less then politically amazing locations, and for motor production we have far less reason to think technology could change in the near future (take that as ~20 years). Also the spike in demand for cobalt and several other materials has exceeded that for lithium, and shows no signs of abating. If Volkswagons electrical car plans alone were to be full realized they would need 1/3rd of all existing cobalt production by the early 2020s. The demand for lithium started earlier so it's been dealt with a little bit better, the sudden rush for electric car motors post dieselgate though is about as abrupt as it gets.

Personally I don't think this will cause international wars (the Congo and a few other countries are likely to suffer further internal conflict over it ) but it's all but certain to become a tension point akin to oil markets in the 2020s.

Mining the seafloor may mitigate some or nearly all of these problems, but the true environmental effects of that form of mining remain badly studied at best. Though frankly if we overfish the ocean enough, like we are already, it literally won't matter.

A cobalt shortage may also ironically just force the world into using more of rarer elements, which we neglected because of high environmental costs, but which may become perfectly practicable to extract, even in a 'safer' manner, if the price goes high enough. The US alone spent about 3.6 trillion USD on oil products in 2016 alone. That's a pretty tremendous amount of money that could be diverted into other energy sources if they are actually practicable.

it's also worth noting that in the long term multiple technology paths exist towards motors that would not be highly dependent on rare elements. It's just we have no way of knowing when that will pan out. Same for hydrogen technology, which has the same general problems at the present but might be able to be based on pure iron and a lot of sunlight in the future.

As a final thought we should also recall that while the world has a surge of demand for XYZ right now, once extracted if we RECYCLE THIS STUFF we can keep using it forever. Please recycle your electrics, even minor stuff like cables and chargers. This is fundamental to the future of human civilization.
"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

Post Reply