Tech Tuesday 10/10/17 – Electric Boogaloo Edition

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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    “AERO1 – Electric airliners are going to be a thing, it would seem.”

    The plan for exactly how the planes will work depends on advances in battery technology. If batteries get a lot better in the next decade it will go all-electric — and if they don’t, it will use a hybrid system similar to a Chevy Volt. Last year Boeing and Airbus sold 967 planes in the 737 style at about $90 million each. Even replacing a fraction of that market could be a big opportunity.

    So, it would seem, a big maybe

    Plus…

    We suggest high-energy-density batteries for aviation! Each large electric plane may need several megawatt hours of batteries. Add in the rise in drones, and it’s a big market.

    If you know of battery scientists exploring this space, feel to reach out to us.

    (emphasis in the original)

    …the thing they need to most to succeed, the thing that’s their critical path – they’re not actually working on.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      And 10 years ago, it wasn’t even a maybe. Like, not even on anyone’s radar. 10 years ago, electric aircraft were limited to small drones and some crazy lightweight x-planes. Now the energy density of batteries is getting high enough that people are seriously thinking about it. I mean, look at ENRG3.

      Additionally, when we were kicking the idea around at Boeing, every iteration was a turboprop style (electric motors spinning eggbeater props). It sounds like these guys are shooting for something closer to a turbofan (although looking at the images, perhaps it would be multistage ducted fans?).Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Fair enough. My other criticism is that they are trying to break into the short haul air travel market, the most “commodified” form of air travel, as I see it, and one that depends heavily (as I understand it) on quick plane turnaround times for its economic viability.

        So the problem isn’t just sufficient energy density to get airborne, it’s how quick (either due ot charging or cell swap outs) you can get up to full stored energy.

        (e.g. remember this)Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          That would be ENRG4, Toshiba’s latest fast-charge battery. Although I’m not sure I want to be anywhere close to the kinds of DC currents that would be involved in charging the battery pack for an airliner in six minutes.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe
          Ignored
          says:

          I am betting the first generation of electric airliners will be some kind of hybrid. Even if you do have quick recharge on the batteries without DC current sufficient to cook your eyeballs from 10 paces, a hybrid setup just offers a nice way to have some backup energy in case something goes wrong. I don’t even think it’ll necessarily be a technical issue, but a regulatory and logistics one. The FAA & their counterparts around the world will probably just feel a lot better issuing type certs if the plane has a backup generator, and it’ll take time for every airport to have the kinds of electrical infrastructure in place to charge an airliners batteries, but they will all have JP blends, so if an electric airliner has to divert from, say, ORD, to some smaller airport, it won’t be necessarily stuck there.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            a hybrid setup just offers a nice way to have some backup energy in case something goes wrong to power the air-conditioning when sitting on the tarmac under a blazing sun.

            There… now your research if funded.

            This is why engineers need sales reps.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    BIO4: Yet another application of the tech developed for fabricating integrated circuits and high-density printed circuit boards.Report

  3. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    Link problem:

    “AERO3 – What happens when two giant pools of suck collide?”

    didn’t connect to highlights of the Chargers/Giants game.Report

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