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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:23   #1
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Default Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

Siemens conducts tests in America to gauge effectiveness of emissions reducing systems.

Full Story Here -

Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs| Zigwheels.com

Wondering in power starved country like India, will this be just a dream ?
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:32   #2
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

Interesting concept, but we already have trains, don't we?
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:59   #3
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

Bah. Yet another manufacturer attempt to sell their technology in the name of environment.

Besides key inner city routes for a handful of buses, pantographs are not used extensively even in europe (IMLE). eHighways? Surely a pipe dream!

Given most of the electricity produced is anyways from fossil fuels (outside say france) - it *may* not be very efficient. Invest multi billions in the infra - Produce energy -send it to these trucks (after all the T&D losses). What is the net fossil fuel impact? Mostly marginal I'd surmise. And if u include Infrastructure cost (and its carbon footprint) - little savings ecologically or financially.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 14:48   #4
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

For sure the concept is interesting. Provided (a) electricty generated to support this grid is generated using renewable sources and (b) the distribution network has low parasitic losses. And most importantly its got to be financially viable to set up this enormous infrastructure.

What we are more likely to see in the next 5 - 10 years in the Commercial vehicle segment are 'in vehicle' concepts that capture energy that is currently 'wasted' and utilize it to power the vehicle and\or aggregates.

While the diesel engine itself is a comparatively efficient way of using fuel to produce usable mechanical torque - a modern electronically controlled commercial diesel engines with a variable turbine geomerty turbocharger has about 50% efficiency - only 1/3rd of the energy produced by the engine actually powers the vehicle.
About 20-30% of the power generated by the engine is lost via the exhaust system and an almost equal part is dissipated as heat by the engine cooling system. Engine power is also harnessed to run accessories but this is not as significant compared to what is 'thrown out' by the exhaust and cooling systems. And most of the energy that is thrown out is in the form of heat.
Similarly a lot of energy is generated and dissipated in the braking system.

Off topic rambling ends here.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 16:45   #5
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

This is for sure an experiment which will not come into immediate effect, at least not in the next 10 or 20 years (or maybe never)!

As mentioned in earlier posts, how "clean" is electricity?
Already there are quite a few debates going on regarding the so-called "environmentally friendly" electric cars! I guess we can include this idea too into that list.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 18:14   #6
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

As all above have already noted its environment friendliness is suspect. Beijing already has such buses in some of its areas whereas 70 percent of China's electricity comes from coal-fired stations and most of them use dated technology and low grade coal!
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Old 24th May 2012, 11:21   #7
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Interesting concept, but we already have trains, don't we?
Yes Sure we have trains from the British Era. Starting something new needs a push and that's how projects get delayed / cancelled due to political pressures and in keeping all states and everyone around happy. There are villages in Maharashtra which have power only for 2-3 hours a day and im sure such people will protest not understanding the benefit of such infrastructures. Also, in India power is not as cheap as some of the western countries.

All said and done, what sense does it make if producing electricity itself is not eco-friendly.

Last edited by TaurusAl : 24th May 2012 at 11:24.
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Old 30th May 2012, 17:53   #8
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

This is an excellent way to reduce our dependence on diesel, demand for which will surely escalate in the future apart from oil prices that is. Instead the switch to local resources to produce energy for road transportation - coal , hydel, nuclear will become a possibility.

If the government takes this up atleast on the golden quadrilateral, plus major corridors I think this will be quite a boon, apart from ensuring lane discipline. Only railways may take a hit, but competition is always healthy. this system will offer terrific flexibility and cheaper operating economics.
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Old 30th May 2012, 19:14   #9
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Default Re: Eco-friendly trucks with pantographs

The idea is good. There will be zero emission theoritically.

India is a power starved country and i doubt whether these would work. Even if at all private players like Tata and reliance enter the market and setup a network like this, It is going to be too expensive. The average trucker will not be able to afford that.

Even if at all it is installed, people would misuse the system (A.k.a local trains) and blame the technology. It is a railway rule not to cross tracks / jaywalk on tracks but in-spite of at least one accident reported daily, people still cross tracks. Someone may attend to the call of nature on that pole, get electrocuted and blame the infrastructure for it.

Positives:
  • Zero emission
  • Reduce burden on diesel and petrol
  • Cleaner, greener and environment friendly option
  • Can maintain a uniform speed for all vehicles
  • People's impatience of honking / overtaking etc can be curbed
  • Better traffic discipline as we are bound to the electric overhead wire.
Negatives:
  • Power shortage in India. Even Metros dont get 24X7 power.
  • If implemented will be very very costly to use.
  • Cannot cover 100% of highways with this technology
  • One Breakdown will result in a chain effect. (A.k.a Calcutta trams)
  • People are not matured enough to use such infrastructure (see above example)
  • One lane would be blocked on the existing highways. I am pretty sure a new lane would not be built.
  • Gives way to collecting tolls under newer heads (inflation)
  • New Scam might arise. Nepal already uses such a technology. Buy old and use technology and equipment and double prices of new equipment.
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