Trans Ʌmerica | BEV RҲ Demonstrator Project

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Muiraine, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    A Fossil-Fuel to Electric Drive Vehicle Conversion Project
    Primary Goal:
    These are battery-electric drivetrains and compact range extender, with intended offerings to be Open Source and Proprietary based Direct Drop-in Alternatives for Internal and External Combustion Engined Vehicles.

    Test Mules: Liter scale motorcycles will be converted to electric in such a way as to render their electric nature virtually indistinguishable by a casual inspection and ride from their pre-conversion state.
    *Note: The concept includes ADV Motorcycle Trailers

    Demonstration: Real-Life Experience Trans America Trail Camp Tour from the Marin Headlands of California to the coastal city of Beaufort, South Carolina on a single tank of fuel.

    Trans America Trail or TAT
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_America_Trail
    A roughly 5,000-mile (8,000 km) cross-continent vehicular route, intended to be a way to cross the United States using a minimum of paved roads for leisure. The trail is largely traveled by riders of motorcycles who can choose to be self-sufficient by camping, often rough (or wild camping), motel supported or vehicle supported.

    Marin Headlands of the San Francisco Bay Area
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_Headlands
    A hilly peninsula at the southernmost end of Marin County, California, United States, located just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge, which connects the two counties and peninsulas. The entire area is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is famous for its views of the Bay Area. The center point of the Marin Headlands skyline is the 920-foot Hawk Hill, the lookout point for the largest known flight of diurnal raptors in the Pacific states.

    Beaufort, South Carolina
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort,_South_Carolina
    Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Lowcountry. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture.

    The city has been featured in the New York Times and named "Best Small Southern Town" by Southern Living, a "Top 25 Small City Arts Destination" by American Style, and a "Top 50 Adventure Town" by National Geographic Adventure.

    HW/SW Systems Integration and Testing Site
    The Trans Ʌmerica BEV RҲ Demonstrator would benefit from the donation of workspace for hardware and software integration and testing. Said space would be an unfinished garage or ground floor work area within a mixed-use industrial building.
    • Spatial dimensions would be approximately 30’ deep and between 35’ to 45’ width or 1,050 to 1,350 sq ft with power suited systems integration with hand and power tools.

    • Space must be secure enough for unsupervised storage of tools and sensitive testing equipment.

    • The site use would involve frequently late hours and all-nighters. One staff, at most two would be resident camping with sleeping cots, fridge, hot plate, portable cassette toilet.
    Muirén Ní Sídach
    She, Her, Product Architect
    ΛrTintrí Ξlektromotive Cooperative
    artintri.com | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Personal Blog
    m.ni.sidach@artintri.com
    #1
  2. HadesOmega

    HadesOmega Been here awhile

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    I've ridden my DR650 from San Jose, CA to the start of the TAT in NC and rode it all the way to the Idaho TAT. I had to fill up quite a number of times. I think fuel was the biggest expense right next to food. Good luck. So you are basically making a hybrid gas/electric motorcycle?
    #2
  3. jsinclair

    jsinclair Been here awhile

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    We own a BMW i3 with the range extender, it's impressive what you can do with just a 35hp range extender in a relatively aerodynamic car.

    I would love to have a bike like my super tenere work the same way. Unfortunately motorcycles just are not aerodynamic enough.
    #3
  4. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    35HP on the i3?:scratch Might be a bit off on that. I show 181HP and 199 ft/lb torque.
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  5. jsinclair

    jsinclair Been here awhile

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    The range extender engine only makes that much power, as it's a de tuned 650 scooter engine. We drove 1,200 miles in the past few days, relying just on the engine.
    The car is 100% electric drive, the rex engine simply charges the battery. Generally speaking if you keep your speed below 75 the engine is able to keep up and you don't "use" any of your battery state of charge.
    #5
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  6. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Ah, forgot about the gas generator on the car for range. Makes sense.
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  7. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

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    "Demonstration: Real-Life Experience Trans America Trail Camp Tour from the Marin Headlands of California to the coastal city of Beaufort, South Carolina on a single tank of fuel."

    found the small print: :rofl
    [​IMG]



    But in all seriousness I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome of this thread/project. I'm skeptical of a single tank of fuel but open minded and looking forward to being surprised. If the ICE generator is set to produce power at its most efficient rpm perhaps that will help overcome the inherent inefficiencies of the power conversion process.


    The VW concept car comes to mind which was designed to travel 100km on 1 liter of diesel. It was a hybrid electric/diesel design. So if that were succesful it could travel 5000 miles on about 25 gallons of diesel. perhaps a motorcycle that looks more like a throat lozenge with optimized aerodynamics and a sufficient tank would see the desired result.
    #7
  8. more koolaid

    more koolaid Been here awhile

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    MPG with range extender engine ?
    #8
  9. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    The range extender is an ultra-compact turbo genset whose designer promised me the IP rights allowing this application. It is about the size of the thermos bottle in a kid's lunchbox. If there was any part of this that was easy for any of you get without serious effort then any one of a half dozen corporations would already have done it. This isn't some DIY toy I decided to play at, cobble together on a whim, but an investment of decades in research and experimentation.

    For the fairy glamour image below, I used a Yamaha Ten as the base. The haptic feedback technology I have incorporated into the design makes use of infrasound. I tried and failed to have a serious discussion about automotive sound emulation for electric motor vehicles some time ago here in the forum. Never mind there are car manufacturers from the most mundane to the most expensive and exotic that have secretly been using that technology for years, everyone in the forum dismissed my years of work as a joke after a few moments of thought.

    I didn't return thinking anyone would take this any more seriously than anything else I've said here. I actually came back to the forum by accident, following a thread found in a google search. The Beel Mule conversion prototype bike, if only ridden alone, would make a 5k trip. With the Emule Packtrain in tow, the aim is to spend no more fossil fuel than one would use in preparing food with lightweight camp cooking gear.

    To tow is probably too strong a descriptor because of each mule being powered and working together in concert using hard and wireless connections, a gang of sensors that aid in self-balancing complement a hub motor with absolute position features, the Bell Mare, and Emules are able to navigate extremes of terrain using a centipede algorithm.
    header_at_de_aistear_1160x300px.png
    #9
  10. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    I'm not a dirt rider, but my understanding is that the TAT is for real dirt bikes - a liter-size ADV on its own is going to meet some very serious challenges along the way. An e-mule train adds a whole 'nother level of complexity to that - and a demanding multi-year development project on its own.

    How demanding is the TAT at its worst spots? Does it get down to gnarly single-track? Loose, rocky climbs? Drops off of ledges? What sort of terrain would you need for development and test for this project? Would it be best to have the development space out near that area?

    So I don't understand the assumption of liter-size ADVs. Why that big? You get much better range and off-road capability with a smaller, lighter vehicle. Since the e-mule train is powered, this should be possible. Or is the mule power only an assist, not full self-power? (Seems to me either a tow load or a push force due to the train would seriously screw with your handling in technical sections.)

    And why the insistence on making the lead vehicle visually and dynamically indistinguishable from an ICE ADV? It's not an ICE. Why make it look or act like one? The dynamics of EVs are a large part of the reason for buying an EV for many. Seems a useless design requirement when you have bigger fish to fry, and the e-mule train on its own is already unusual enough to get you plenty of attention.

    I also wonder if this effort makes more sense as a promotion for the e-mule and compact turbo-gen technologies for broader applications than EMs in general. Like The Long Way Up with Livewires, it's not something anyone would consider as a practical enterprise. That made sense as artificially contrived 'reality'-show entertainment. It wasn't a promo for EMs, if anything it demonstrated how inappropriate an EM is for remote long-distance travel. No one is going to see that and think, "That's my next vacation!"

    To be very clear I think both the e-mule and turbo-gen technologies are very interesting in their own rights, and this project would be a great demo for both, in large part because it's so unusual. Not sure what the best application is for either, but if you think there is any market for Joe ADVRider to buy a conversion kit to turn his Super Ten or GS or Multi into a dual-hub motor hybrid EM so he can pull a string of one-wheel ducklings behind him through the Outback (at a total cost of what, triple that of the ADV, plus the ADV itself?), I believe you are sadly mistaken.

    Suggestion: Don't do hub motors, because duh. Way too much unsprung weight for technical dirt work. Do something similar to what Christini does with a 250-scale dirt bike. If you want two motors and much more flexibility than the Christini approach, put the front motor in the steering head. That allows full-time AWD and variable traction balance on-the-fly. Christini's approach provides neither. That is the vehicle you need for the TAT, being ~200 lbs.(!!!) lighter and far better suited to the terrain than what you've proposed.

    It doesn't lend itself as well to conversion, but it would arguably be the biggest advance in dual-sport tech in decades, re-writing what we know about AWD even more profoundly than what Tesla has done for AWD in cars. It has far broader application than hub motors or e-mules.

    BTW, some of the response to your automotive sound project was serious, thoughtful and focused. You just didn't like it. Did that project go anywhere?

    If my response here seems confrontational, it's not. (Blunt maybe, but it's necessary.) I learned long ago that the best time-saver imaginable in a development project is to turn up all the rocks in your path early on to make sure none are show-stoppers and that you can remove or get around at least most of them. It seems like negativity to some, but in fact it leads to far more frequent success. The only people who object to it are those who have some grand dream and insist on pursuing it regardless. They respond as if pointing out potential obstacles (tarnishing the dream) was a personal attack. Their idea of a path to success is to just hope that any surprises along the way are somehow surmountable.

    Hope is not something you want to be relying on when budgets and schedules are involved. This is especially important if you're relying on the donation of workspace, or any donated resources of any kind for that matter.

    What, exactly, is the goal you wish to achieve by a successful navigation of the TAT by this means? Be very specific. Not how to do it, but why it's a good idea. Who wins, and why?

    Or to put it another way, don't ask "Can we do this?" Instead, the more intelligent question is "Should we do this?"

    Should we? Why? Make your case.

    I'll leave you with this: Decades ago Honda built the V-4 four-stroke NR500 to counter the two-stroke dominance of GP racing. It had oval pistons, each on two connecting rods, fed by eight valves per cylinder. As if that wasn't enough, they also started playing with 16" tires and a monocoque chassis.

    If it's not obvious, any one of those was a massive development project on its own. To try to bring all those challenges together in one project on one bike was the stupidest thing I have ever seen any company do. And we're talking Honda here, the world's largest producer of ICEs. The reality was so bad that they couldn't even make the grid at some races and literally bought off the last guy who made it to save face.

    How much have you bitten off, what challenges do you have ahead, and what resources do you have? Looking for donated work space is not an auspicious start. I suggest you narrow down your goals, and determine if there is a market for them.
    #10
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  11. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    Let me address the overarching assumption guiding your diatribe.

    You clearly own an amazing sense of presumed entitlement.

    You post interjections that lead readers into thinking I have some reason to qualify myself, suggesting that I haven’t . . .

    This is NOT some casual idea I have just throw out without much thought

    You are NOT some voice of reason and presumed authority

    This is NOT Shark Tank

    I’m NOT here to sell my work or sell myself

    In my work I always let curious people that share my interests have a voice in the creative process. I actually get paid for that so go figure. It is termed Participatory or Collaborative Action Research, Design, Development, Delivery and advocated and lectured on the subject for several years now inside a half dozen major corporations and as an elected community leader.

    Let me first qualify my own biases. I was taught that science is less about being definitively right, and more about the humbling business of trying to be less wrong, and that the essence of science is the hard thankless work of asking better questions, in order to arrive at progressively better answers.

    I am a Systems Engineer and Project Manager of over 40 plus years of professional experience and 20 of formal education. In my experience with other creative and productive people, we share visions, and help that process move forward by working as collaborative problem solvers, together asking those hard questions.

    But I digress.

    I may have just enough time and patience to address your first two poorly thought out insinuations.

    ctromley said: “TAT is for real dirt bikes - a liter-size ADV”

    FIRST: The TAT is NOT just for “real dirt bikes”. Not only have I rode parts of the trail years ago on less than ideal 1980s and 1990s Kawasaki UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycles), but I am also a member of two separate groups of ADV Riders, one of which is all women and only a few ride pure trail bikes.

    You are on the Internet and couldn’t be bothered to take a split-second to get your facts straight?!?!?

    Hey sub genius, this is a quote from literally the first paragraph on the Official TAT website . . .

    “As the trail is made up of dirt, gravel, forest, farm, and brief sections of paved roads, The TAT may be traversed using either a dual-sport motorcycle or a 4×4 vehicle.”

    SECOND: I use the term Litre-Scale, NOT Litre-Size, because I will be using something like the Super Ténéré or Tiger 1050 as a donor bike for the prototype. You could have asked for more information about that if by some miracle the pictures on the website and posted here didn’t already make that obvious.

    As the title of the thread explicitly suggests and is detailed on the website you could not possibly have glanced at, this project is a Fossil Fuel BEV as in battery-electric with Range eXtender.

    The range extender is an ultra-compact turbine genset developed by an MIT grad professional associate from Japan, who loves the concept so much he gifted me access to the engine’s IP rights. Perhaps I need to let him know that your clearly informed opinion outweighs his and a half dozen other scientists, engineers, maybe I need to contact all the technical representatives I’ve been working with over the past few years and let them in on your opinions?

    It isn’t that we can’t all be seriously wrong. Lots of really smart people go down the wrong road or have what looks to literally everyone like a great product that is either stillborn, drops dead on delivery, or just doesn’t end up finding its audience.

    The point is that you put more work into trying to invalidate me personally while trying to make it superficially sound like you were being reasonable, than putting any effort into being open-minded, reasonably curious, provisionally supportive.

    You literally have nothing useful to contribute to the discussion beyond stroking your own ego, so just stop it and behave yourself, young man.

    Addendum | The following people taught me never to waste my time with people like you . . .
    My most influential personal scientific mentor was Dr. George Sperti University of Cincinnati, who took me under his wing as a teenager and taught me ethical science, not just science. Dr. Sperti was a pioneering inventor who developed an early version of now common precision metering system for electric power, numerous patents for Vitamin D Enrichment, the first therapeutic medical sun lamps supported by scientific evidence, but you are more likely to of heard of what I consider a product of less importance, Preparation H, a pain-relief cream for hemorrhoid sufferers.

    The first time I complained about pompous naysayers, Professor Sperti, would remind me of Clarke’s Three Laws

    1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

    2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

    3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    My most influential personal business mentor was Prof. Sandy Eustis, founder of one of the first Masters programs for Entrepreneurial Studies, here in the US at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. It was Sandy who convinced the then CFO of Micheal Valentine’s Cincinnati Microwave, Inc to partner with me on one of my earliest tech startups.

    The most influential in the multi-disciplinary field of Environmental Psychology, Ecological Group Work, Collaborative Action Research, Design, Development for Human Factors has been and continues to be Robert K. Conyne, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus UC, and to a lesser degree but no less important there was Prof. Ellen P Cook, Ph.D.
    #11
  12. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    That's a lot of outrage in response to a post that was mostly questions. Especially since you answered none of them.

    The whole point of your project is to ride the TAT with your collection of new inventions. After stating clearly that I did not know, I asked how difficult the TAT is for other-than-serious dirt bikes. I later read that in places you can (as you say) ride a street bike on it. But other places will give a big ADV fits. I then stated the obvious, that a smaller, lighter bike will be more capable and get better range/mileage/whatever. Pretty basic stuff. Apparently there are bypasses on the TAT for the big, ungainly ADV bikes. If you end up taking the bypasses around the hard parts, did you ride the TAT? Did you prove what the whole enterprise set out to prove? If you can do it on a street bike I'm not seeing much value in the demo. (Check out some videos of big ADV bikes on the hard parts of the TAT. They're pretty eye-opening.)

    Care to answer any of the other questions I raised, questions that are likely to float to top-of-mind for anyone considering donating work space? There were plenty to choose from. All that outrage blather without any answers is not a good look.

    Let's start with one focused question - Why is what you're doing a good idea? That's what matters. All the name-dropping does not. Your idea stands or falls on its own merits. What are its merits?

    I did go to your website, and found answers to none of my questions, except that this project isn't a demo for something else - an e-mule train led by a big ADV is the product you're selling. (And yes, I was well aware from the start, even before seeing your site, that you were talking about a hybrid gas/BEV 'bellmare'.) Which begs the question, how much demand for this concept might there be after you establish that it works? In what situations is it useful, where viable alternatives don't already exist? Remote, long-term field research in very challenging terrain is all I can come up with. (Though using the TAT demo as an example, it seems to me most of your payload will need to be fuel. Would that largely negate the benefit of long-term back country operations if long distances are involved?) I'm not seeing the rescue application as being compelling (unless an e-mule train can carry a basket stretcher safely over randomly undulating terrain - an intriguing additional challenge - so if it can, please share), and for the military it might be the perfect thing for a very small number of situations.

    Here are a couple more specific questions that might help clarify. What is your proposed weight carrying capacity and cg offset limit (in two axes - critical for the self-balancing characteristics) for each individual e-mule unit, and what are the realistic target costs of the hybrid ADV and e-mule units in production quantities?

    Doing something new and cool doesn't matter unless it will sell. Has a market been established, or are you speculating at this point?

    One last suggestion: Go back through the posts of mine that you object to and find where you think I (in your words) "put more work into trying to invalidate [you] personally while trying to make it superficially sound like [I was] being reasonable, than putting any effort into being open-minded, reasonably curious, provisionally supportive." I think you'll find all my concerns relate to the project's viability and nothing more. By going on like this you are in fact characterizing yourself as I described above, "The only people who object to [my technique of turning up potential rocks in the path] are those who have some grand dream and insist on pursuing it regardless. They respond as if pointing out potential obstacles (tarnishing the dream) was a personal attack. Their idea of a path to success is to just hope that any surprises along the way are somehow surmountable."

    I'm not attacking anyone, I'm identifying challenges. If you want credibility for your work, simple explanations of how you intend to meet those challenges are all you need. You might be quite surprised at how open-minded I can be. (Others too, but I seem to be the one you're going after.) Going so far in the other direction only makes things worse. Why not just answer the questions? If some answers aren't entirely worked out yet, that's OK, it's a project still in development. (I get it, I'm a product development engineer.) Just provide an idea on progress on that point. You say you're highly qualified (which I believe) and you've done your homework (which I have no reason to disbelieve except for some possible gaps), so that should be easy. Which is why the nature of your response is such a disconnect. Your insistence on outrage rather than answers is easy to read as not having answers, which would not bode well for your project.

    Or is the difference in our views simply because you are looking at this from a perspective of pursuing a grant for academic research, and I come at it as an engineer who, first and foremost, must make every project pay off? (I'm actually pretty good at that.) That might explain why I care so much about answers before diving in (much higher success rate, witnessed over 40 years of experience) and you seemingly don't care, you simply want to set off and learn the answers along the way. Is that what this is about? If so, leading with that might have avoided a lot of discord.

    One of your statements is particularly troubling:

    "It isn’t that we can’t all be seriously wrong. Lots of really smart people go down the wrong road or have what looks to literally everyone like a great product that is either stillborn, drops dead on delivery, or just doesn’t end up finding its audience."

    If that happens to you very often in the private sector, it gets much harder to land any more projects. Perhaps even to remain active in your profession. It's easier to get away with such a dismissive attitude in academia. Your statement reads like you think a market failure is no big deal, just a cost of doing business. It's actually a very big deal. It generally means somebody wasn't paying attention when they could have, and the cost of that failure was very high. Not just what you flushed, but the opportunity cost as well. There is of course always some uncertainty, but you need to nail down all the knowns you can. Otherwise you're willingly and seemingly even casually adding unnecessary risk.

    I once saved a struggling company from the brink of bankruptcy by asking the right questions and re-imagining their core technology in a way that provided customers with the right answers. That company had literally created the industry they were competing in. (An industry that is at least peripherally important to many, probably most, of the man-made items near you as you read this.) For a variety of reasons they had stopped asking the right questions, and nearly paid the ultimate price. You may not like my questions, but they serve a critical purpose. You ignore or deflect from them, or similar questions from others, at your peril.

    If, OTOH, this is an academic journey of discovery with no need for the end product to pay its way - and everyone knows that up front - there's certainly nothing wrong with that. By all means, have a ball with it. We need more basic research. I'll be one of your most-interested followers of the project. But it would have been nice to know that at the outset.
    #12
  13. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    I hope that was as satisfying for you to type as it was for me to read! Cheers!
    CD
    #13
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  14. Crash217

    Crash217 The short guy with a beard

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    I’m interested in seeing this project. Good luck.
    #14
  15. Muiraine

    Muiraine Adventurer Supporter

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    Actually, I am done with online communities where the members and mods encourage this behavior with your silence.

    There is nothing more bizarre than reading how I am outraged written by an entitled male who obviously was so triggered it overrode his capacity for reason.
    #15
  16. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    For the record, gender plays no part here. I did not know you were female until you mentioned the women's riding group, which means I also didn't know while the discussion of your automotive sound project was active. I have a strong record of support for women in traditionally male roles, in motorsports (I went way beyond the call of duty on that one), academia and the workplace.

    Also, go back and re-read my post #12 in this thread. I've added to it, including a possible reason for our differing views.
    #16