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Freightliner SuperTruck hauls goods, sips fuel

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/03/26/freightliner-supertruck-hauls-goods-sips-fuel/?intcmp=features

This seems like a more common sense approach to making trucks more energy efficient than passing a bunch of regulations that are costly and forcing things on people that haven't even been proven to work yet. Only some of the technology is being used now, but eventually they will work a lot of the bugs out and make them cost effective.
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    "There's nothing new under the sun!"- - - - -some of the supposedly "new" innovations have been used by experienced truckers as long as I can remember, and long before that. Ever heard of "Georgia Overdrive"? Coasting downhill in neutral was used for years to save fuel until it got outlawed in most states- - - -too many crashes in turns from rigs that wouldn't go back into gear. Mack trucks used shutters on the radiator instead of a thermostat as far back as the early 1950's that I can remember, and truck manufacturers in the 1930's bragged about "streamlining". Diesel/electric power- - - - -been around since the 1940's- - - -on railroad engines! Every now and then, oldtime technology gets dragged out of the closet, buffed up and renamed, and touted as something new!
    Jerry
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,708 Senior Member
    Damn, diesel electric a mind boggling advancement. Pray for the poor guy that has to repair that truck.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,288 Senior Member
    Diesel electric trucks have been around for a pretty long time. Sayin'.

    12126.jpg
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,708 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Diesel electric trucks have been around for a pretty long time. Sayin'.

    Ships have been using diesel electric for as long as I remember.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,391 Senior Member
    Is this a diesel-electric "series" or "parallel"? I'm guessing from the description that its parallel, but its not really clear. Steam from exhaust heat has been played with a bit (BMW?), has always sounded like a good idea. My only question is, will the projected $28K/year fuel savings be eaten up by maintenance and acquisition costs? Complex technology is expensive and unreliable compared to simplistic. I'm all for wheel skirts! :tooth:

    In any event, diesel-electric makes a whole lot more sense than the idiotic gasoline-electric everyone seems intent on fooling around with.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Converting mechanical energy to electrical, then using an electric motor to change the power back into mechanical- - - - -lots of opportunities for inefficiency and waste along the way. If the engine can run at a steady, governed speed and the generator is efficient enough, it's good for moving big, heavy loads at relatively constant speeds. Don't expect sports car weight and/or performance from that type of powerplant, though!
    Jerry
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    That concept works well here: http://www.american-rails.com/images/DSLMILWOakdaleSD402.jpg :applause: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Converting mechanical energy to electrical, then using an electric motor to change the power back into mechanical- - - - -lots of opportunities for inefficiency and waste along the way. If the engine can run at a steady, governed speed and the generator is efficient enough, it's good for moving big, heavy loads at relatively constant speeds. Don't expect sports car weight and/or performance from that type of powerplant, though!
    Jerry

    You beat me to this. The only reason they use it on locomotives is torque. They used to have DC generators and dc traction motors. You had a rheostat and you could rev the engine up to 700-900 RPM with relatively no load on the engine and start screwing in the rheostat. it was like a super low geared automatic trans. Starting out the engine was revving but virtually unloaded. As you upped the amps with the rheostat, it accelerated. It equated to a Variable pitch prop on an airplane. It let the engine get up into its highest torque band and then start increasing the pitch as you picked up speed. But you can do the same thing in a truck with a good multi geared transmission. A transmission like that in a locomotive would require a lot bigger engine compartment. Plus it would involve a lot more moving parts to wear out.

    But like Teach says, you take mechanical power and convert it to electrical power and go back and use it as mechanical power you've down to about 30% efficiency. Lots more fuel burned for unit of work done.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Fat Billy wrote: »
    That concept works well here: http://www.american-rails.com/images/DSLMILWOakdaleSD402.jpg :applause: Later,

    Yep, and that's exactly where it does work.

    Now another application Diesel Electric filled a niche was submarines. But back in the day, they ran on batteries when submerged and when on the surface they ran the diesels to charge the batteries. But the main propulsion was DC electricity.

    Also, the newer locomotives have AC generators. I haven't read up on why or what advantage they have on the old DC traction motors, so I can't comment on them. But just taking a wild guess on it, I would imagine it has something to do with new technology in relation to the variability of speed of AC electric motors.

    Then again, maybe the traction motors are still DC and they have better technology of converting from AC to DC voltage.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,607 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    "There's nothing new under the sun!"- - - - -some of the supposedly "new" innovations have been used by experienced truckers as long as I can remember, and long before that. Ever heard of "Georgia Overdrive"? Coasting downhill in neutral was used for years to save fuel until it got outlawed in most states- - - -too many crashes in turns from rigs that wouldn't go back into gear. Mack trucks used shutters on the radiator instead of a thermostat as far back as the early 1950's that I can remember, and truck manufacturers in the 1930's bragged about "streamlining". Diesel/electric power- - - - -been around since the 1940's- - - -on railroad engines! Every now and then, oldtime technology gets dragged out of the closet, buffed up and renamed, and touted as something new!
    Jerry


    Why not use something really new, like solid tires? :roll2:
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    coolgunguy wrote: »
    Why not use something really new, like solid tires?

    My Massey-Ferguson tractor has foam-filled front tires- - - -I got tired of fixing flats every time I ran over some fallen branches from a locust tree- - - -the ones with 2" needle-sharp thorns!
    Jerry
  • DeanDallasDeanDallas New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    The real push is to LNG, they have fuel tanks now that you store LNG in just like CNG. By recirculation of the gas to keep it from venting off.
    I just got a look at 300/150 gal new tanks and 300 more are coming in.
    I have 2 CNG vehicles that I am happy with no matter where the gas prices go to.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    I guess it depends on how you look at it. This is total government investment in the program over 5 years, not to this specific company. Three other trucking companies also participated, so we're really looking at just under $6 million per year per company to develop technology capable of reducing our nations total fuel consumption by 10% (class 8 trucks use ~20% of all fuel in the US). Even if only half of that goal (reducing fuel consumption by 25%) is actually achieved, we're talking about close to 1 million barrels per day of fuel savings which is roughly equivalent to the entire production of the bakken shale in ND that we're no longer required to import from the middle east. That equates to $15-$20 billion a year less that we send to the middle east to buy their oil (at current low prices). With growth in domestic production we now only import 2 million barrels a day from the middle east (the rest we import from places like Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and Russia), so we're talking about this one suite of technologies cutting our middle east imports in half even if it only achieves half of its goal. Furthermore the technologies developed will give a competitive advantage to the companies who participated in selling trucks overseas, further reducing global oil demand. To me that sounds like a pretty damn good return on investment for any government program.

    But you must remember that before getting all pie in the sky giggly over this remember that it was done in a test environment, albeit on the road, but everything was set up conducive to getting the desired results. If that's a real truck on the road with your average driver gearing up and down and constantly changing engine load it probably won't show that sort of efficiency. If they want to try something like this it would be the perfect scenario for a gas turbine. Gas turbines do very well with a constant load. And their exhaust runs hot enough to more readily reliably boil water and super heat steam (Gas Turbines just do this better as they generate more waste heat). Put waste heat boilers on the exhaust as they did in this project and generate steam but super heat that steam and run the steam through an expander on the drive shaft. It would produce even more power and add to the efficiency. Condense the steam after it passes through the expander turbine and pump this condensate back to the BFW tank. There's true efficiency, lots of free HP. Actually, not really free, but recovered waste. All engines have waste but this allows you to recover some of it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Here's another comparison on return on investment. For the cost of this program, we could have kept our troops in Iraq for another 10 hours at the average burn rate of $280,000,000 a day.

    But you're talking only ONE truck.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • DeanDallasDeanDallas New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    Back in the 60s I watched Freightliner's turbine truck they road tested for CF back their glory days.
    Using a raw straight aircraft type turbine from Boeing with duel 12 inch stacks
    The tork at the wheels like to have ate them up climbing Snoqualimie, they had no tires that could stand up to it.
    Can you imagine climbing that mountain on the West side at 60 mph pulling a set of doubles?
    In the repair center on Swan Island at Portland they had to turn off the sprinkler system when they drove it in.
    At 3 miles to the gallon & the cost of tires I guess they figured it was not cost effective.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Hmmmm- - - - -stories like this one make me wonder how many of those "researchers" are fudging the figures to keep the goobermint subsidy dollars flowing. The "climate change" charlatans have turned feeding at the public trough into a cottage industry- - - -why not let a few more oinkers at the swill?
    Jerry
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Hmmmm- - - - -stories like this one make me wonder how many of those "researchers" are fudging the figures to keep the goobermint subsidy dollars flowing. The "climate change" charlatans have turned feeding at the public trough into a cottage industry- - - -why not let a few more oinkers at the swill?
    Jerry

    Exactly. Lots of fudge factor here.

    If they want to get better mileage out of trucks, just put engines in them like they used to have, such as the old 250 Cummins. They won't run 90 miles per hour but they'll get probably 8-10 MPG reliably. They will run the speed limit. With these modern marvel 500+ HP giant engines in them, they all drive too damn fast anyway. Having an 18 wheeler pass me like I'm standing still and I'm already going 75, doesn't exactly give me the Warm and Fuzzy.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Saw a story today about semis going that fast and none of the tires are rated above 75 mph. Even the trucking industry wants gov't intervention in states that have higher speed limits.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • DeanDallasDeanDallas New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    Saw a story today about semis going that fast and none of the tires are rated above 75 mph. Even the trucking industry wants gov't intervention in states that have higher speed limits.
    This is right as rain but the insurance companies will be the ones that decide how fast they will go. Most truck speed limiters can be bypassed with a simple diaper pin, taking a break one from construction. I got to running a dry freight box nation for a small company out of the Dallas area. A freightliner conventional that I had bypassed the speed limiter on, it was scary on how fast it would run.
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