Progress Rail Battery Switcher

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 1:02 PM

My goodness that thing is ugly.  Looks like some of the worse Australian or EMD export designs, or perhaps an FM end-cab unit that got squashed. 

Hopefully its performance will more than make up for that!

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 1:33 PM
 

SD70Dude

My goodness that thing is ugly.  Looks like some of the worse Australian or EMD export designs, or perhaps an FM end-cab unit that got squashed. 

Hopefully its performance will more than make up for that!

 

 

LOL.. I would expect a cabless remote unit to be an option in the future.

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:01 PM

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:10 PM

BaltACD

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric.

Cover it with solar panels?

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:27 PM

SD60MAC9500
LOL.. I would expect a cabless remote unit to be an option in the future.

I've used one of those already. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:46 PM

I think the Joule was designed as a 'world locomotive' of sorts, made to fit restrictive loading gage -- compare its external dimensions to, say, a MRS-1.  I don't see it as dramatically ugly, just unfamiliar, in the way a class 66 is.

There is no particular reason why fairly rapid recharge (on the order of 20 minutes or so between 20 to 80%) could not be arranged.  If you have sufficient current capability, multiple connections to cell strings in the battery, and really good smart cooling.  I am not of the opinion the Joule is equipped for the full level of cooling to do this repeatedly, although it certainly could be (with circulating liquid cooling and bigger radiator capacity) so I suspect the idea is an extended runtime followed by off-peak recharge over a longer interval, something I suspect many types of switching or terminal operation could be made to support.

For extended 24-hour service you'd need distributed charging infrastructure, or some sort of onboard charging arrangement (if not in fact a full hybrid).  If that is not clear to Progress/EMD now, it will be in time. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:00 PM

BaltACD

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric.

 

How long is the crew's lunch break?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:17 PM

MidlandMike
BaltACD

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric.

How long is the crew's lunch break?

We get 25 minutes

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:43 PM
 

zugmann

 

 
SD60MAC9500
LOL.. I would expect a cabless remote unit to be an option in the future.

 

I've used one of those already. 

 

What's your verdict on their operation?

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 7:27 AM

SD70Dude
 
BaltACD

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric. 

Cover it with solar panels?

Solar panels lose power generation capacity when it is cloudy.  

My Holiday Inn Engineering degree leaves me to doubt that solar panels can generate enough 'recharge power' to keep the unit(s) working during long term 'gray days'.  There are numerous locations around the country where a Sunny Day is the exception, not the rule.  Additionally taggers love 'fresh canvas'; to work solar panels would not like a coat of tagger paint.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 8:12 AM
 

BaltACD

 

 
SD70Dude
 
BaltACD

It won't have 99% active use time - unless it can recharge the batteries in a time frame equivalent to pumping fuel into a diesel-electric. 

Cover it with solar panels?

 

Solar panels lose power generation capacity when it is cloudy.  

My Holiday Inn Engineering degree leaves me to doubt that solar panels can generate enough 'recharge power' to keep the unit(s) working during long term 'gray days'.  There are numerous locations around the country where a Sunny Day is the exception, not the rule.  Additionally taggers love 'fresh canvas'; to work solar panels would not like a coat of tagger paint.

 

True about efficiency dropping without Sun light. Though this unit will be operating in Sou Cal. So solar panels would work in this regard. Over 300 days of sunshine, or better per annum.

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 9:06 AM

BaltACD
Solar panels lose power generation capacity when it is cloudy.

Or, um, at night (or indeed when the sun is not 'oblique to the panels' ... it is doubtful they would be arranged to follow the sun's track!

My Holiday Inn Engineering degree leaves me to doubt that solar panels can generate enough 'recharge power' to keep the unit(s) working during long term 'gray days'.

If indeed they can on even bright sunny days.  That's a LOT of area required.  For grins, we can let Erik gin up figures with current tech (no pun intended) for exactly how much it would have to be.  Especially given the required voltage and overall current required.

The graffiti is little problem.  These panels can be faced with hard-surface glass.  Or a modern silane hydrophobic coating, whether or not Californians have kittens over ODTS.  Whatever spray paint fails to adhere could be removed with simple solutions -- applied by the culprits you catch with your orbiting drones...

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 11:53 AM

SD70Dude

My goodness that thing is ugly.  Looks like some of the worse Australian or EMD export designs, or perhaps an FM end-cab unit that got squashed. 

Hopefully its performance will more than make up for that!

 
It has a general resemblance to the Baldwin road switchers exported to French North Africa and equipped with Rotoclone air filters for desert operation.
Although this locomotive is lettered for PHL, it is serving more as a demonstrator.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 12:37 PM

Solar and Wind Powered? :)  They will run great during when the Santa Ana winds come again!

Could see a application where you have some areas with 3rd rail or overhead lines to power and charge.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 1:54 PM

   Nothing is absolute.  The solar panels don't have to supply all the power.  If they supply a "trickle" charge, they would extend the time between charging from a plug-in source or from third rail or catenary on part of the track.

_____________ 

  My mind's made up.   Don't confuse me with the facts.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 2:11 PM

Paul of Covington
The solar panels don't have to supply all the power.  If they supply a "trickle" charge, they would extend the time between charging from a plug-in source or from third rail or catenary on part of the track.

The problem is that the solar panels aren't free, they're comparatively fragile, and they interfere with some uses of the locomotive.  And I believe even current photovoltaics have a relatively limited lifetime, probably lower than usual in a typical 'locomotive' setting.

Increasing the effective runtime by a few minutes is not worth the expense and complexity; neither is the likely saving of the 'free power' per kWh before the debt service on the solar arrangement and its maintenance is paid off. 

I presume you have seen the relevant parts of "Planet of the Humans" -- there are some sensible criticisms of the general picture there in this link, but you still have enormous mismatch in cost/benefit for onboard panels, and perhaps even for solar-cell fields connected to some set of distributed charging points.

Note how carefully the subject of rare-earth elements in high-performance thin-film photovoltaics is avoided even though the technologies are named.  

Personally, I continue to think that if net-carbon-neutral technology is important in American practice, we should value liquid carrier fuels above fancy low-carbon or 'free renewable' approaches.  Especially if we want locomotives that actually work reliably at rational cost, both in operation and 'net' of welfare-economic concerns.

Again, this would be an ideal service for the Oxford Catalytics direct-steam cycle.  If we could get around the TATP issue...

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 4:11 PM

Overmod

If indeed they can on even bright sunny days.  That's a LOT of area required.  For grins, we can let Erik gin up figures with current tech (no pun intended) for exactly how much it would have to be.  Especially given the required voltage and overall current required.

IIRC, battery capacity on the Joule is 2.4MWhr and for solar recharging plan for 4 hours of full sunlight per day (maybe 6 hours with tracking panels). This implies 600kW worth of solar panels and with the best panels good for  maybe 20W per square foot, we're looking at 30,000 square feet (~3/4 acre).

I would assume optimal use for the Joule would be one shift per day allowing 12 to 16 hours for recharging.

While waiting my occasional injection of fission products this morning, it occurred to me that the present renewable energy push resembles the nuclear weapons programs of the 40's and 50's. That is a mad push to get things done but little attention paid to waste disposal.

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 4:19 PM

Erik_Mag
While waiting my occasional injection of fission products this morning, it occurred to me that the present renewable energy push resembles the nuclear weapons programs of the 40's and 50's. That is a mad push to get things done but little attention paid to waste disposal.

 

Waste disposal -- my state is now having an issue with used windmill blades.

The 20-year-old windmill blades are now worn out and being replaced.  However, no landfill wants them.  They are very difficult to break apart and crush.  They cannot be recycled or  buried.

There is one landfill about 50 miles from me that now is taking some of the blades to just store them until someone figures out what to do with them.

York1 John       

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, November 20, 2020 1:14 PM

York1
The 20-year-old windmill blades are now worn out and being replaced.  However, no landfill wants them.  They are very difficult to break apart and crush.  They cannot be recycled or  buried.

Just toss them next to the casks at all the decommisioned nuclear plants - since we never figured out what to do with those. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, November 20, 2020 1:16 PM

zugmann
York1
The 20-year-old windmill blades are now worn out and being replaced.  However, no landfill wants them.  They are very difficult to break apart and crush.  They cannot be recycled or  buried.

Just toss them next to the casks at all the decommisioned nuclear plants - since we never figured out what to do with those. 

Dump them in the Arctic Ocean, to make artificial icebergs and save the Polar Bears!

I should note that this suggestion is exactly as serious as my earlier remark about the locomotive solar panels.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, November 20, 2020 4:58 PM

zugmann
 
York1
The 20-year-old windmill blades are now worn out and being replaced.  However, no landfill wants them.  They are very difficult to break apart and crush.  They cannot be recycled or  buried. 

Just toss them next to the casks at all the decommisioned nuclear plants - since we never figured out what to do with those. 

Are worn out solar panels recyclable?

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:46 AM

BaltACD

Are worn out solar panels recyclable?

I haven't heard much about any success in recycling used solar panels, the expense of the solar cells is more in the processing than the raw materials.

Aparently some work is being done on making wind turbine blade from thermoplastics instead of thermosetting plastics to facilitate recycling of the materials.

As for wind turbines with non-recyclable blades, I'd reckon the volume of the blades for a 5MW turbine is probbably close to the volume of spent fuel for a thirty year run of a 1,000MW nuclear plant. Of course the spent fuel has to be disposed a -um- bit more carefully... As for other materials, I would expect that a MW-hr from a wind turbine would require more steel and concrete than a MW-hr from a nuclear plant.

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Posted by zugmann on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:55 AM

BaltACD
Are worn out solar panels recyclable?

Dump them there, too.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, November 23, 2020 8:01 PM

just watching a "this old house".  They showed a 5 MW vertical wind turbine that had full out put at 20 MPH.  Much better visually than windmills.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, December 14, 2020 9:54 PM
My current pet zero carbon energy technology that I obsess about is Geothermal. California currently has 2.7 GW in production with an additional 815MW planned. It's the big part of their energy sector that is never talked about. But I'm really more interested in some of the EGS solutions starting to be built and the future AGS solutions. Partly because they are made possible by the technologies developed for fracking, but mostly because they have the potential to be effectively built anywhere. Solar on the locomotive is of course not particularly plausible. Maybe this is what you guys were talking about, but wouldn't a combined platform that included Batteries and the Supercap be pretty effective in regenerative switching scenarios? Also, in a scenario like passenger where the locomotives were combined with a Diesel electric, wouldn't the diesel not require the full HP? Ignoring for the moment the age of the platforms, 3000HP+ Platforms combined with either a supercap loco or a battery electric would rarely need to make run 8 power (nor run the HEP presumably) Lower cost power plants that are also smaller reducing loco costs and making another round of rebuilds more plausible?
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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 12:17 AM

With the 815MW expansion of geothermal, CA's geothermal generation will be about equal to the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona.

The great thing about geothermal is that the power output is fairly constant and does not stop when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing. It also doesn't have the visual impact of large scale solar farms or wind turbien farms.

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Posted by tdmidget on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 12:55 PM

Erik_Mag

With the 815MW expansion of geothermal, CA's geothermal generation will be about equal to the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona.

The great thing about geothermal is that the power output is fairly constant and does not stop when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing. It also doesn't have the visual impact of large scale solar farms or wind turbien farms.

 

Not so fast. In 2007 the solid wastes from these tiny plants was 54,000 metric tons. I say tiny in reference to their output, rarely over 50MW. Their pysical size however is roughly equal to a 250-300MW gas fired steam plant.

The wastes include ,If I remember correctly 4 radionucleides in the total of 80 or so hazardous materials. I worked in the Brawley field around 2009-2010 and they had at least 50 tractors and trailers hauling the wastes to landfills. The visual impact is OK, y'see, if it's someone elses problem.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 11:09 AM
Yeah, traditional Geothermal is not perfect. EGS and AGS though are different beasts that are currently starting to garner interest. In part because a whole bunch of fracking companies see a way to generate revenue.
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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 12:02 PM

tdmidget

Not so fast. In 2007 the solid wastes from these tiny plants was 54,000 metric tons. I say tiny in reference to their output, rarely over 50MW. Their pysical size however is roughly equal to a 250-300MW gas fired steam plant.

The wastes include ,If I remember correctly 4 radionucleides in the total of 80 or so hazardous materials. I worked in the Brawley field around 2009-2010 and they had at least 50 tractors and trailers hauling the wastes to landfills. The visual impact is OK, y'see, if it's someone elses problem.

FWIW, most of California's geothermal power comes from the Geysers geothermal plant, which generates a lot less waste than the Brawley plant. The radionuclides are normally occuring radioactive material (NORM) - I would suspect the radiation levels around that waste would be lower than standing by the pallet of potassium chloride water softening pellets at Home Depot.

I would also expect the geothermal power generated from frac'd rocks to produce a lot less waste than the Brawley plant.

50MW from the Brawley plant is about what 30 to 40 5MW wind turbines would produce on average, or on the order of 250 acres worth of solar panels. This does not include the energy storage required for wind and solar.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 12:15 PM

tdmidget
Not so fast. In 2007 the solid wastes from these tiny plants was 54,000 metric tons...

Note that Ormat implies in their investor dog-and-pony show that 100% of the geothermal well material (in their binary-cycle plant) is returned via injection.  I don't know the percentage of TDS that actually winds up in the heat exchangers but I'm not surprised to find it is relatively high.

The working fluid as I recall is isopentane (2-methylbutane) which boils in the high 80-degree F range; I don't know how this increases with pressure.  I'd assume there are valid reasons for selecting this over, say, 2-methylpentane (one more carbon in the chain, with a slightly higher condensation phase-change temperature). 

The wastes include, if I remember correctly, 4 radionuclides in the total of 80 or so hazardous materials.

Would you be able to find what these are and provide a reference that has a qualitative analysis of those materials?  Most of what I saw concentrated more on corrosion and deposits than on disposal concerns.  Surely these are naturally-occurring isotopes (not that it's insignificant to concentrate them selectively in scale or other waste)?

I assume the exchangers are made to be easy to turbine with low downtime -- but I also suspect that California has a whole bunch of applicable regulations for how you prepare and execute such operations and what to do with the tools and 'materials' involved.

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