When overhead wires feed energy to trucks in California demo

When overhead wires feed energy to trucks in California demo
Credit: Siemens
(Tech Xplore)—Siemens has announced that an electrified highway demo is running on a highway stretch in the United States. Siemens and South Coast Air Quality Management District are keeping watch on the highway near two ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. SCAQMD noted that heavy-duty trucks were the number one source of smog-forming emissions in Southern California.

The company makes a case for why this is important to watch; similar to what many say about the effects of conventional road freight transport on the environment.

That transport largely depends on combustion engines running on fossil fuel. The carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions put human health at risk and the environment in general.

The one-mile demo, where three big-rig trucks hauling freight are running along the stretch of highway, is to demonstrate an eHighway system when applied to truck operations on in an urban U.S. setting.

The eHighway is in Carson, California.

"This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using overhead catenary wires," said Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD's executive officer.

To connect the system, a sensor checks if the traffic lane is equipped with the contact line. The truck raises its pantograph, which positions itself to the overhead contact line. The pantograph can be easily connected to and disconnected from the contact wire at speeds ranging from 0 to 90 km/h. This is done automatically or, at a push of the button, manually.

Credit: Siemens

The pantograph transfers energy to the electric motor, and simultaneously it can charge the battery.

One battery-electric truck, a clean natural-gas hybrid-electric truck and a diesel-hybrid truck are driving on a catenary system. "Catenary system" refers to overhead wires used to supply electricity to a locomotive, streetcar, or light rail vehicle equipped with a pantograph.

"Pantograph" refers to an apparatus mounted on the vehicle to collect power through contact with the overhead wire.

Since the pantograph can connect and disconnect automatically, it allows the eHighway trucks to switch lanes or to pass other vehicles without being permanently fixed to the overhead systems.

This demo is not a global first; Last year, Siemens launched the world's first eHighway system on public roads in Sweden. The eHighway there runs on a highway section through next year.

When overhead wires feed energy to trucks in California demo

In 2019, three field trials of the eHighway technology on German highways are planned to start operation.

Siemens noted varied use cases for such a system: Shuttle transport, electrified freight transport in mines and electrified long-haul traffic.

Quoted in Fast Company, Andreas Thon, head of turnkey projects and electrification in North America for Siemens, said he was convinced there were other locations apart from this one in Los Angeles, "where it would be really worthwhile to install these kinds of projects."


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Nov 10, 2017
What's old is new again.

https://upload.wi...rona.JPG

The trick with the old trolleybus is that the booms rotate and reach over, so the vehicle can switch lanes without losing contact. That's also how it pulls over to a stop.

Nov 10, 2017
Trolleys don't have to back up to loading docks at remote warehouses. Can you imagine asll the wires strewn all over the place, the infrastructure needed to construct, repair, and replace them?

What's wrong with batteries and induction charging? These things will need battery backup anyway.

This is nuts.

Nov 10, 2017
"Can you imagine asll the wires strewn all over the place, the infrastructure needed to construct, repair, and replace them?"

Yes I can, because it was and does exist. Where do you think the trolleybusses go after hours?

https://upload.wi...ight.jpg
It looks quite complex, but that's how they work.

It's a yard criss-crossed with wires, very complicated routing schemes and switching points that allow the busses to switch between wires, roll in and out of garages etc.

Nov 10, 2017
Seriously. These things still exist, and are widely used, and frankly very useful because the wires are easier to install than tracks for trams, and they can get around parked cars etc.

http://l7.alamy.c...f9ae.jpg

All the stuff already exists. California is just re-inventing the wheel here.

Nov 11, 2017
Kenworth Trucks built a truck that could run on Seattle's 2 line 600 volt DC Trackless Trolly lines in the late 1950's. Only so much power can be delivered through such lines and it is probably less than what typical over the road trucks require. The idea might be fine for private point to point routes. The big problem is the ugly overhead lines that create some safety problems but the infra-structure cost is totally unsustainable and not affordable. Try thinking electrical rail. Dual source (electric and diesel) can be done however (Seattle has such buses for running in tunnels).

Nov 11, 2017
@Eikka yes the sound of that is riddiclous, why not just invest in and use an electric Rail network.....take the trucks off the roads entirely, leaving them for personal motor vehicles and other light transport...

Nov 11, 2017
The article mentions charging of batteries, yet some think that backing up to a loading dock at remote locations requires wires, as if the battery could not be used in many of these situations. If sufficiently remote a location, another system would be used anyway.

Nov 11, 2017
Welcome to the future. Technology from the 19th century. Meanwhile, people are having their inventions confiscated for "National Security purposes".

Nov 11, 2017
"Yes I can, because it was and does exist. Where do you think the trolleybusses go after hours?"

Eikka longs for the past
https://io9.gizmo...29961917

We want fewer wires not more. Wires are ugly and dangerous.

Nov 11, 2017
"The article mentions charging of batteries, yet some think that backing up to a loading dock at remote locations requires wires, as if the battery could not be used in many of these situations. If sufficiently remote a location, another system would be used anyway"

Sorry wireless is the future.
https://www.wired...0-beers/

-Trucks named otto. Natürlich

Wonder how much the copper industry is paying these guys in order to save itself?

Nov 12, 2017
"Only so much power can be delivered through such lines and it is probably less than what typical over the road trucks require."


Higher voltage allows for higher power. whole trains run off of overhead cables.

" The big problem is the ugly overhead lines that create some safety problems but the infra-structure cost is totally unsustainable and not affordable."


Overhead lines are cheaper than laying tracks, and the infrastructure is more easily changed to accomodate new routes and re-routing because the whole thing is suspended in the air instead of dug into the ground, and it's safer than having powered rails on the ground where people can touch them.

The whole point is that trucks solve the last mile problem which trains can't.

"Wonder how much the copper industry is paying these guys in order to save itself?"


The copper industry is in no need of saving itself, since the demand for copper is going up all the time anyways.

Nov 12, 2017
"Eikka longs for the past"


That past was because phone companies didn't have automatic exchanges and couldn't multiplex because they didn't have the technology, so every telephone everywhere had to have a full separate line to a central switching board, which meant a massive number of cables.

With the automated switching board, they could deploy a number of automated switching stations that could assing you a line from a number of available cables, and that reduced the number of connections needed dramatically. As electronics got more advanced, they figured out how to modulate a higher frequency carrier signal and send multiple phone calls on the same physical wire, which again reduced the number of connections needed.

It had nothing to do with trams and trolleys, where only one set of wires per road is needed.

Nov 12, 2017
"Eikka yes the sound of that is riddiclous, why not just invest in and use an electric Rail network.....take the trucks off the roads entirely"


That would be nice, but the rail network has a last-mile problem where the actual deliveries have to be done by truck anyhow, because the rail network is rather inflexible. If you only have trains, then people have to re-locate their businesses close to the tracks and stops, and that creates scarcity of land and the property prices go up, which makes the prices go up and pushes the poor people away - it causes social inequality.

So trucks, while being less efficient in absolute terms, are more more efficient overall because they allow you to reach people and that lowers costs elsewhere. They also make for cheaper access to resources, as the mines and fields and factories can't all be located next to the railroad.

So the question is, how to make the truck better? You can't run them on batteries, that'd be too expensive.

Nov 12, 2017
Yeah thankjs for all the useless wiki ancillary info. It has everything to do with trams and trolleys. Wires are ugly, dangerous, and waste resources.

Batteries are fine and you dont need catenarys to charge them.

And I guess you haven't seen this

"Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne," Musk tweeted to his 12.6 million followers late Wednesday afternoon. "Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal."

Nov 12, 2017
Heres another one

"AUG 29, 2017 @ 01:56 PM
Cummins Beats Tesla To The Punch, Unveiling Heavy Duty Electric Truck

"With a 100-mile range, the Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins' goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020..."

- So the question remains: why catenarys when batteries are available?

Nov 12, 2017
"Sorry wireless is the future."


Autonomous driving hasn't got anything to do with delivering power to the vehicle, wirelessly or otherwise. Your link was completely irrelevant to your argument.

And if you are arguing wireless power transmission, such as laying inductive tracks under the roads, then ironically you need much more wire per mile because the cables are looped around in coils to make the magnetic field stronger. Otherwise you'd have to use such massive currents that the losses would be unbearable.

Nov 12, 2017
You're right but my last 2 posts do.

Don't they?

The Cummins is meant to serve the same purpose as the catenary.

I must remind you about researching before offering opinions (guessing)

Nov 12, 2017
"why catenarys when batteries are available?"


Because you need megawatt-hours of battereries for a long-haul truck, and they cost millions and weigh multiple tons, and they wear out and die of old age too soon. They're a good solution only if you have no other solution - or you make other solutions illegal which is what's happening in California.

You could make a truck run on methane gas much cheaper than you could make it run on batteries, but there's a political issue with that.

Nov 12, 2017
So... you know more than tesla and Cummins.

Nov 12, 2017
"Cummins, a leading maker of diesel and natural gas engines for commercial trucks, unveiled a Class 7 heavy-duty truck cab Tuesday featuring an advanced 140 kWh battery pack that it will sell to bus operators and commercial truck fleets starting in 2019.

"The 18,000-pound tractor cab, dubbed AEOS after one of the four-winged horses driving the chariot of the Sun God, Helios, across the sky in Greek mythology, is just a demonstration model. But the Class 7 urban hauler tractor is fully operational and capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer."

Nov 12, 2017
"You're right but my last 2 posts do. Don't they?"


A truck with a 100 miles range has an operating radius of less than 50 miles from base. Like the article says, it's an urban delivery vehicle, it's not even meant to go along the highways. As it is now, the same truck does both the long haul and the local delivery, but that's not possible with a battery electric vehicle because you'd need so much batteries that it's not affordable.

The point of the overhead cabling is that you could take such an "urban delivery vehicle" and put it on the highway, make it travel between cities, so you don't need two different trucks and all the hassle over changing loads.

"So... you know more than tesla and Cummins. "


No, you're just reading into it more than they're actually saying.

Nov 12, 2017
Catenaries also urban only. Planning councils and zoning board's are NOT going to approve wires above interstates, local highways, and urban centers. How many million miles do you think this is?

But again, you missed the 300mi range by 2019. How come?

Here's another one

"Navistar CEO Troy Clarke told Forbes on Wednesday he's looking at battery-powered options for the company's line of International trucks, without saying who it might work with. "We're very excited about the electrification of the vehicles. In the immediate term we're far more interested in batteries (rather than fuel cells) as the way to carry the energy around."

Nov 12, 2017
"Catenaries also urban only."


No they're not. That's the point here: put the wires along the highways.

"But again, you missed the 300mi range by 2019. How come?"


That's just wishful thinking. The economics just isn't there.

"Here's another one"


Again, more words, more hype, no results. People are "looking into it" a lot, but because trucks needs 10x the batteries compared to a car, it's just not working out. You can build one, but nobody will buy it unless they're forced to by law. If that happens, consumers will suffer from increased transportation costs and the prices go up everywhere, and the politicians' heads start to roll.

Nov 12, 2017
"No, you're just reading into it more than they're actually saying."

-ahaaaahaaa and you're not reading anything into it because you didnt bother to read it.

"SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) next month plans to unveil an electric big-rig truck with a working range of 200 to 300 miles, Reuters has learned, a sign that the electric car maker is targeting regional hauling for its entry into the commercial freight market."

Again eikka knows more than engrs at tesla, Cummins, and international trucks.

Nov 12, 2017
"Again, more words, more hype, no results. People are "looking into it"

"Class 7 urban hauler tractor is fully operational and capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer."

-what an ass.


Nov 12, 2017
Planning councils and zoning board's are NOT going to approve wires above interstates, local highways, and urban centers


That's funny, because they already have the infrastructure for it:

http://graphics8....rge2.jpg

Nov 12, 2017
"Currently, the Interstate System is 46,876 miles long"

"Currently, the NHS includes over 164,000 miles of highways. Approximately one percent of all public roads are part of the Interstate Highway System. Of these 47,000 miles of Interstates, 65 percent are in rural areas and 35 percent are in urban areas."

So. Eikka wants 100k miles of wires and support structures ×2, complete with all the power plants, substations, service companies, and miscellaneous infrastructure as reqd.

And eikka thinks light pole infrastructure is the same as catenary infrastructure.
https://en.m.wiki...n_system

Nov 12, 2017
"-ahaaaahaaa and you're not reading anything into it because you didnt bother to read it."


Tesla can promise to unveil anything - they have a bad habit of not actually meeting their promises or their price points. It's all just hype at this moment. Right now they're in great troubles making the Model 3, and the unveiling of the truck is just a distraction for the stock market, away from their production issues. Elon Musk is a magician who waves a wand in one hand to make you look that way while he drops the coin in the other hand into his pocket - whoops, where did it go?

"Class 7 urban hauler tractor is fully operational and capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer." -what an ass."


You're mixing up two claims now, and ignoring my point.

"Again eikka knows more than engrs at tesla, Cummins, and international trucks."


Again, you're just reading much more into it than what is actually there. You're delusional and confused.

Nov 12, 2017
"So. Eikka wants 100k miles of wires and support structures ×2, complete with all the power plants, substations, service companies, and miscellaneous infrastructure as reqd."


Why would I want that? What's this got to do with me?

Read the article:
"SCAQMD noted that heavy-duty trucks were the number one source of smog-forming emissions in Southern California. "


The Californians are looking into electrifying part of their most heavily trafficed highways so the trucks would stop belching diesel fumes all over the place. It doesn't mean the technology has to be everywhere and reach every road through bumfuck nowhere.

Nov 12, 2017
Hey here's another one

"The [daimler ag] E-Fuso Vision One prototype can carry 11 tons of cargo as far as 350 kilometers (220 miles) before recharging, the world's largest maker of commercial vehicles said Wednesday" -Note the pic of the thing driving down the highway.

"could go on sale within four years"

And

"The E-Fuso underlines the brand's position as "the frontrunner in electric trucking,"

-A field occupied by at least 4 major manufacturers, all with roadworthy preproduction models, which eikka claims is all delusion and wizardry.

Nov 12, 2017
"SCAQMD noted that heavy-duty trucks were the number one source of smog-forming emissions in Southern California. "

-And so this means in eikkas mind that electric trucks are delusion.

??

Nov 12, 2017
"The Californians are looking into electrifying part of their most heavily trafficed highways so the trucks would stop belching diesel fumes all over the place. It doesn't mean the technology has to be everywhere and reach every road through bumfuck nowhere."

-In order to be profitable there needs to be an economy of scale. Eikka wants a small scale system where loads are transferred to dedicated catenary trucks at huge new terminals necessarily located in high priced suburban and urban districts.

As opposed to the replacement of the majority of diesel tractor trailers with electric, which is the way the entire transportation industry is headed, and which at least 4 manufacturers says is inevitable.

Which do you suppose would need to be more heavily subsidized?

And which do you suppose would be preferred by subsidy-loving corrupt liberal California politicians?

They do love their electric trollies don't they?

Nov 12, 2017
One last point

"A truck with a 100 miles range has an operating radius of less than 50 miles from base."

-So eikka assumes I guess that diesel trucks must return to the service station where they got their last fill up.

I can't do all your thinking for you sir.

Nov 12, 2017
Hey G-u, you sound like a True Patriot and Heroic-level commentator. How about blowing the whistle on the specific inventions that have been suppressed by the MIB for national security?

Now as for the other comments proclaiming the age of electrical perfection.

I do not remember who, but a physicist was asked "Why are batteries so crappy?"

And his reply was "You can have a Universe with perfect batteries but no biological life would be possible."

"Or, you can have a Universe where biological life can exist but you will always have crappy batteries!"

It's the very imperfection of existence that makes life possible, if not probable.

Thereby, some genius needs to invent and develop a commercial product that stores and distributes energy more efficiently than petroleum.

The batteries we have had, have now and will have in the near future are just a stopgap until inspiration strikes.

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