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Old 07-06-2009, 03:52 PM
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Diesel Electric Conversion

Hello, I'm new to the site and trying to nav my way around. I have to say that you guys provide alot of good info here.

My question is, has anyone thought about doing a diesel / electric conversion on their truck? I called a few companies about two years ago on this subject and they all said I was crazy for even thinking about it. Said that I needed a small car or truck for a conversion and they had several cars already I could buy (?). When I tried to make my point that trains had been doing this since the 50's, they treated me like I was an idiot with no clue, but still tried to sell me one of their ready made cars.

I think that the 7.3 model trucks would really be a great choise for this.

Anyone have any ideas or comments on this? Thanks
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:06 PM
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Its a valid idea. However, one must consider the Reynolds factor. IE, would it be effective to load the axles with big heavy electric motors, load the body with a big generator, batteries, and still be able to have the power to weight ratio that we enjoy with our stock trucks? This set up works on trains because of LOW FRICTION. Our trucks use big fat tires on asphalt, concrete, and dirt. A diesel/electric engine uses steel wheels on a set of steel rails with a really quite minimal contact footing, and never deviates from that surface (Hopefully). Think about it. A diesel/electric f250 would almost certainly weigh in much heavier with big permanent rare earth magnet motors and a sufficient generator/battery set up. AND it would have to contend with high friction operation efficiently, and still offer the load carrying capacity that we now enjoy.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:42 AM
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While I do understand your point about the Reynolds factor and the drag coefficient of iron wheels vs. rubber and rock , that is negligible. The weight of the motor and generator would add several hundred pounds I agree (batteries are not needed unless you are trying to store the energy), but the torque output of a properly sized electric motor could be much higher than the 7.3 and allow for better effiency. I have found several motors that put out between 600 and a 1000 ft-lbs of torque at 2500 rpm and weigh about 200 lbs. These motors are from 16 to 25 hp and you have to remember that electric motors have a continuous rating under load, and combustion engines are rated at peak horespower with no load and is always at a 5252 rpm constant due to the formula. Horsepower is just a selling tool and was created in the 18th century by James Watt (guess what he sold....steam engines!). Torque is what propels us down the road and up hills, starts us moving when stopped, and accelerates a drag car to 300 mph. 5000 horsepower sounds so cool but is really point less, its the torque that gets you there.

I'm just trying to figure out why my 99 F-350 gets 12-14 mpg weighing 7000 lbs and a 80,000 lb semi gets around 6 mpg. Half the mpg, but over ten times the weight(?)!!! The math just does not add up and there is a better way to make these things work.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrproffitt View Post
While I do understand your point about the Reynolds factor and the drag coefficient of iron wheels vs. rubber and rock , that is negligible. The weight of the motor and generator would add several hundred pounds I agree (batteries are not needed unless you are trying to store the energy), but the torque output of a properly sized electric motor could be much higher than the 7.3 and allow for better effiency. I have found several motors that put out between 600 and a 1000 ft-lbs of torque at 2500 rpm and weigh about 200 lbs. These motors are from 16 to 25 hp and you have to remember that electric motors have a continuous rating under load, and combustion engines are rated at peak horespower with no load and is always at a 5252 rpm constant due to the formula. Horsepower is just a selling tool and was created in the 18th century by James Watt (guess what he sold....steam engines!). Torque is what propels us down the road and up hills, starts us moving when stopped, and accelerates a drag car to 300 mph. 5000 horsepower sounds so cool but is really point less, its the torque that gets you there.

I'm just trying to figure out why my 99 F-350 gets 12-14 mpg weighing 7000 lbs and a 80,000 lb semi gets around 6 mpg. Half the mpg, but over ten times the weight(?)!!! The math just does not add up and there is a better way to make these things work.
The answer to your question is in the transmission and gearing. 9-18 different gear ratios vs 4 in our trucks
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:53 AM
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I feel like I'm in science class!!! Great posts guys
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
The answer to your question is in the transmission and gearing. 9-18 different gear ratios vs 4 in our trucks
Yea, but even with a gearsplitter, I dont think we'll be getting 2x as much mileage...which is still way off of his semi comparison. Otherwise we'd all have one, right?

Diesel electric is pretty cool freight trains that can move one ton 420mi on one gallon (according to the CSX radio ad)...thats much more efficient. Thats 10 times our truck efficiency and about double that of a semi..
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:52 AM
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I feel like I'm in science class!!! Great posts guys
Agreed, this is awesome.

Craig
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kinghawg98 View Post
Yea, but even with a gearsplitter, I dont think we'll be getting 2x as much mileage...which is still way off of his semi comparison. Otherwise we'd all have one, right?

Diesel electric is pretty cool freight trains that can move one ton 420mi on one gallon (according to the CSX radio ad)...thats much more efficient. Thats 10 times our truck efficiency and about double that of a semi..
It would be close to that I would bet. The main reason we dont is the fact that its impractical for the average person who drives a pickup
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
It would be close to that I would bet. The main reason we dont is the fact that its impractical for the average person who drives a pickup
What make it impractical? Other than cost right now, I dont see it. The printing press was thought to be impractical in its time too, but as history has shown, it was one the greatest inventions of all time.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrproffitt View Post
What make it impractical? Other than cost right now, I dont see it. The printing press was thought to be impractical in its time too, but as history has shown, it was one the greatest inventions of all time.
The reason it was deemed impratical is the average person doesnt want to or doesnt know how to operate a split shift trans
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