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MartinW

Sun Flyer 4 seat electric.

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A short while ago we were limited to 30 minutes flight time. The new sun flyer 4 seat is now up to 4 hours. The technology is advancing rapidly.

 

  • Seats 4
  • 46" Cabin Width
  • 38' Wing Span
  • 120 Sq Ft Wing Area
  • 18.7 Glide Ratio
  • 800 lbs Crew & Passengers
  • 2,700 lbs Gross Weight
  • 130 kW Propulsion
  • 1,250 fpm Best Rate of Climb
  • 55-130 Knots Normal Speeds
  • 4 Hour Flight Endurance

 

 

In other news, Tesla have just unveiled their new Roadster, fastest production car ever made. 0 to 60 in a ridiculous 1.9 seconds, 250 MPH top speed and a massive 630 mile range. Not to mention a mind-blowing electric truck with a 500 mile range that can be recharged in 30 minutes, the length of time it takes to offload the vehicle. 0 - 60 in 5 seconds, fully loaded, for a truck is astonishing. Pulls as much weight as legally allowed on US roads.

 

Automotive, but bodes well for future electric aircraft, in terms of the rapidity of development.

 

http://sunflyer.com/specifications/

 

 
Edited by MartinW

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Not there yet though. The original Sun Flyer 2 prototype has been around since March 2016 with a three hour endurance.

 

Both the Sun Flyer 2 and Sun Flyer 4, which was announced back in July 2017, are yet to receive FAA certification approval.

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don't get the point of 0-60 in 5 secs in a truck...not really a selling point....

 

as someone who worked as an owner driver for over 20 years after leaving the Army there are a few things that you require with any vehicle used in industry, initial cost, electrics are still over priced, cost of running the vehicle, will it do the job? range and load capabilities.....

 

we now run a family cleaning business, we have 3 vans all diesel, I have a small van that carries approx 500lts of water for window cleaning, currently to replace that van for a similar size is dearer and has a range of approx 120 miles, my furthest job is 74 miles away, not compatible, also if the UK swapped completely to electric we would bring the grid down.....

 

vehicle wise the way to go is hybrid, electric around the city or in traffic where polution is highest, and normal engines on the open road...

 

not to sure I want to go in an aircraft that relys on electricity.....

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"don't get the point of 0-60 in 5 secs in a truck...not really a selling point.... "

 

Actually, yes it is in a round about way/Marketing Hype. It means tons of torque ie...no probs starting on steep hills, or hauling big loads up them. :)  Electric motors thrash diesels and petrol engines for torque throughout their rpm range.

 

In the US Tesla went all out installing charging stations across the country, so range is not an issue for Tesla buyers in the US, although charging times still are some issue for the early/current models....sounds like they have addressed that issue with their new truck maybe? They are no doubt doing similar charging station creation in other countries where they are permitted to do so, in order to eliminate the range concerns for new markets. Around major cities we have lots of EV only parking spaces, especially at Office Complexes, but also on city streets in some areas. If their new 18-wheeler can charge up in 30 minutes, that is about the time spent at a diner for lunch, a long sh** break...or as stated, the time it takes to unload the truck. No doubt Tesla will be installing charging systems at loading docks and truck stops all around the country as we speak.

 

As for aircraft. I'm pretty excited about the progress being made. I have more faith in the relatively fewer moving parts in an electric motor than the thousands of moving parts in the engineering and computerized nightmares that are modern combustion engines. :( My only concern is lightning strikes tearing through the circuitry/wiring/cells, but am confident engine/battery compartments, and wiring harnesses are easy enough to Faraday Cage/Shield to prevent problems.

 

Some charging thoughts:

-I wonder if aircraft skins can be made into large capacitors to capture and store the static electricity that builds up on the surfaces...could that be trickled from a capacitor into the main bank via computer magic as a way of extending range?

-Certainly incorporating solar cells into any available upper surface would help with charging on ground and a slight range extension in flight, if not actually adequate to power the plane in flight, to help reduce costs/dependence on charging stations.

-And I assume (I hope) any aircraft supplied would come with it's own "power converter/charger" so that it could be plugged into normal 115-120V AC power (Or regional normals if different elsewhere) at an airfield and do the AC/DC conversion for charging internally.

 

A last thought I just had:

When a normal petrol aircraft runs out of fuel...it is Out of Fuel...thats it...done deal. Batteries on the other hand when they go empty will "regain" a small charge after sitting for a little while, and can give a short burst of power after a break. So in flight if an electric 'runs out of juice' like a normal aircraft it will have to glide to the nearest airfield, but unlike a regular aircraft, the electric has a chance to turn the motor back on briefly during approach for a short burst of power....could mean the difference between making the threshold or hitting a tree before it.

 

Edited by Captain Coffee

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14 hours ago, wain said:

don't get the point of 0-60 in 5 secs in a truck...not really a selling point....

 

 

 

 

I must apologise for that, it's 5 secs empty. Fully laden it's 0 to 60 in 20 seconds. still very fast for a lorry. It can take a 5 percent gradient at 65 mph rather than 45 for a diesel truck.  

 

 

Quote

 

as someone who worked as an owner driver for over 20 years after leaving the Army there are a few things that you require with any vehicle used in industry, initial cost, electrics are still over priced, cost of running the vehicle, will it do the job? range and load capabilities.....

 

 

 

In regard to the initial cost, not announced yet, but in terms of total cost, purchase price, servicing fuel etc, it's 20% cheaper than running a diesel truck. Range is 500 miles, and that's a worst case scenario. Load is 80,000 lbs. 

 

 

Quote

also if the UK swapped completely to electric we would bring the grid down.....

 

 

 

True enough, upgrades required. It wouldn't happen over night though, so enough time for the necessary upgrades to be made.  Power companies now have a new set of customers to profit from.  Japan are already further down the road and doing okay. Here in the UK  battery storage technology is being deployed throughout the grid, but sadly barely in the news. Homeowners are installing Tesla Power Walls and similar products from other manufactures. Tesla are also building the biggest battery array in the world in Australia, paired with a wind farm. Nissan are trialling V2G (Vehicle To Grid) technology in the UK and abroad. This will enable owners of the Nissan leaf to sell energy from their cars back to the grid to ease peak demand. So a lot going on, things are changing pretty fast. 

 

 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/02/electric-car-battery-savings-nissan-leaf-ovo

Edited by MartinW

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3 hours ago, Captain Coffee said:

 

In the US Tesla went all out installing charging stations across the country, so range is not an issue for Tesla buyers in the US, although charging times still are some issue for the early/current models....sounds like they have addressed that issue with their new truck maybe? They are no doubt doing similar charging station creation in other countries where they are permitted to do so, in order to eliminate the range concerns for new markets. Around major cities we have lots of EV only parking spaces, especially at Office Complexes, but also on city streets in some areas. If their new 18-wheeler can charge up in 30 minutes, that is about the time spent at a diner for lunch, a long sh** break...or as stated, the time it takes to unload the truck. No doubt Tesla will be installing charging systems at loading docks and truck stops all around the country as we speak.

 

 

 

 

 

Range anxiety is a bit of a myth for Tesla owners. Model S 300 miles I recall. Well most of us would be taking a break before that to visit the toilet and to stretch our legs. Unhealthy not to. And with Tesla super charging taking a mere 30 minutes to charge the car, and totally free to use, not so much of an issue. The trip meter on my Mazda CX5  reads 350 miles, although I admit, I drive mostly urban. If you compare a Tesla Model S with a petrol car of similar performance, Lamborghini, Ferrari, I doubt you'll see much greater range. 

 

The new Tesla truck will be using a new "mega charger" network, rather than existing super charger technology. 

 

 

Quote

 

-I wonder if aircraft skins can be made into large capacitors to capture and store the static electricity that builds up on the surfaces...could that be trickled from a capacitor into the main bank via computer magic as a way of extending range?

-Certainly incorporating solar cells into any available upper surface would help with charging on ground and a slight range extension in flight, if not actually adequate to power the plane in flight, to help reduce costs/dependence on charging stations.

 

 

 

Not so much static electricity no, but "structural Batteries" are under development, whereby part of the structure is actually a battery. BAE have a carbon fibre composite structural battery under development. As do other companies. 

 

 

 

Quote

 

A last thought I just had:

When a normal petrol aircraft runs out of fuel...it is Out of Fuel...thats it...done deal. Batteries on the other hand when they go empty will "regain" a small charge after sitting for a little while, and can give a short burst of power after a break. So in flight if an electric 'runs out of juice' like a normal aircraft it will have to glide to the nearest airfield, but unlike a regular aircraft, the electric has a chance to turn the motor back on briefly during approach for a short burst of power....could mean the difference between making the threshold or hitting a tree before it.

 

 

 

Electric aircraft do have regenerative braking. Hybrids have a system whereby when they reduce power for decent the prop recharges the battery. 

Edited by MartinW

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True enough, upgrades required. It wouldn't happen over night though, so enough time for the necessary upgrades to be made

 

Personally I think this is a big concern. Having worked with the UK Electricity Industry for 17 years I fully understand how stretched it is at the moment. For several winters now we have been on the verge of brown outs. 

With the government’s commitment to electric vehicles in the relatively short term being ambitious I don’t think that enough new power sources can be built in time to meet this.  The daily amount of energy used by the combustion of oil based fuels is enormous. If we quickly convert that to electrical energy the existing generating capacity on the National Grid will not be able to cope.

The only answer to a demand increase of such a magnitude will require an amount of additional generation that can only be supplied by nuclear power. (New gas powered generation defeats the point of moving to electric power).  Ask yourself “How long does it take to build a new Nuclear power station from get go to it producing useable power?” The answer is decades. We are all supposed to be driving electric in less than one. It can’t happen.  

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11 hours ago, J G said:

 

We are all supposed to be driving electric in less than one. It can’t happen.  

 

 

 

Actually 2040 according to the government. That's electric and hybrid though, most will be hybrid. 

 

 

Quote

Ask yourself “How long does it take to build a new Nuclear power station from get go to it producing useable power?” The answer is decades.

 

 

And costs a bomb of course. Hinckley C is a disaster and will be the most expensive electricity ever produced. Households could end up paying £50bn. New offshore wind on the other hand is fast to implement and now 10 times cheaper than new nuclear. Hinckley C's subsidy bill has quadrupled. 

 

 

Quote

Personally I think this is a big concern. 

 

 

There are challenges for sure. $2.2 bn was the figure I saw. 

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The problem with wave and wind power is it is very dependent on the elements. No wind, no power.  Too much wind, no power. The power generated can suffer from phase issues and to get enough power out of the windmills the whole of the UK would have to be covered with them.

 

The efficiency of wind generation will no doubt improve but the weather part will never do so.  Wave power would be more consistent but it has been demonstrated that a good storm can wipe out all your generation. There are an increasing number of storms because of climate change which in turn mean that less clean energy can be produced. A very vicious circle. Long term Nuclear power is the only answer. but there is much work to be done before they can reduce the waste problem.  It is in this area where the biggest costs lie in the longer term. 

 

Edited by J G

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On 22/11/2017 at 10:01, J G said:

The problem with wave and wind power is it is very dependent on the elements. No wind, no power.  Too much wind, no power. The power generated can suffer from phase issues and to get enough power out of the windmills the whole of the UK would have to be covered with them.

 

The efficiency of wind generation will no doubt improve but the weather part will never do so. 

 

 

 

As we speak, grid-scale storage technology is being deployed across the grid, designed to cope with the intermittent nature of wind and solar. When the wind does blow, the excess energy is stored by the batteries. That stored energy is then available when the wind isn't blowing. Same for the domestic environment, the Tesla Power Wall is now relatively cheap and many that install solar panels are also opting for the power wall. There are a number of other manufacturers also providing the technology. So no, the weather won't improve but battery technology has and will. 

 

The nice thing about lithium ion batteries in this sense, is that we now know that when they are used in vehicles, or for grid or domestic energy storage, that the batteries don't behave like the small versions in our phones and laptops. there are numerous 20 year old Prius's still driving with the original batteries, and the Tesla automotive batteries are loosing 10% of storage capacity after 50,000 miles, but then losing capacity at a crawl thereon. There are a number of Tesla's used as taxis that have achieved 300,000 miles while still retaining around 80% capacity. 

 

 

Quote

the windmills the whole of the UK would have to be covered with them

 

 

Well no. Offshore wind is the biggest growth area. And now that we have offshore "floating" wind farms we are in a position to unlock expanses of ocean for generating power. In these locations, wind speeds are far higher. Four times more energy, per square metre can be extracted from open ocean than from land based wind farms. We have enough offshore wind potential here in the UK to power 75% of UK households. Worldwide, The National Academy of sciences tells us that approximately 3% of the windy North Atlantic has the potential to power the entire world in winter and Europe and the US in summer. 

 

http://www.renewableuk.com/news/348633/New-report-highlights-UKs-massive-offshore-wind-energy-potential-.htm

 

 

Quote

“It’s almost unlimited. Currently we are saying [floating windfarms will work in] water depths of between 100 and 700 metres, but I think we can go deeper than that. It opens up ocean that was unavailable,” she said.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/27/hywind-project-scotland-worlds-first-floating-windfarm-norway

 

 

Quote

Long term Nuclear power is the only answer.

 

 

I used to believe that too. I don't now.

Edited by MartinW

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:Hijacked:

This has gone way off topic, we are a flight sim/ avaition forum, not a renewable energy forum.

I can't see this going anywhere good now so I'll bring it to an end.

Thanks for all your contributions.

Joe 

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