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Old 07-30-2007, 12:50 PM   #71
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skewbe- don't blame the methanol vapors; it's a vaporless systaem, totally closed. No sir, this is what ya get when a totally logical, stable thinking man finds himself surrounded by California.
Lovely spokes-wife says we can move when her parents "are gone"...
yeah. I thought about it. Not seriously, but thought about it all the same.
California is great, it's the political climate that hurts.
Oh yeah, TDI's rule.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:58 AM   #72
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Latest tank-593 miles on 12.2 gallons= 48.6 MPG; and alot of the driving was with 2 adults, 2 kids and all the accoutrements that come with them. Not bad for 140k on everything original except brakes and tires. Thankyouberrymuch.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:27 AM   #73
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...
Whatever you build a battery with, you still can't just toss one in the trash- at least not in California. Not even an AAA. I'm curious, though- what does it take to make a NiMh battery in terms of resources, starting at the mine, through the smelter, the manufacturer and finally to the user. And what do they do with them when they've been exhausted? I'm not baiting anyone, I'm actually curious. I'd drop some coin on a diesel hybrid.
Robbo
Somewhere I saw a report that PG&E (the huge California utility made infamous in the movie "Erin Brockovich") plans to buy up used/no longer fully serviceable hybrid batteries for use as energy banks. Charge them up at night when power is cheap and plentiful, discharge them into the grid during daytime when demand is high. Considering the quantity of batteries that should eventually become available this could have a significant effect on electrical demand. Here in the Northeast there's a facility that "banks" cheap late night power by pumping water up a mountain. Daytime they let it run downhill to generate power.

The report is at
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busin...ion=2007073006
about 2.3 of the way down the first page.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #74
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Sounds like a good idea, but they'll have to weed out the deads, the ones that won't hold a charge, etc., otherwise they'll just be turning money into heat energy. Speaking of which, don't the transformers that turn A/C current into D/C and verse-visa lose alot in heat radiation or has technology conquered that?
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:33 PM   #75
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Sounds like a good idea, but they'll have to weed out the deads, the ones that won't hold a charge, etc., otherwise they'll just be turning money into heat energy. Speaking of which, don't the transformers that turn A/C current into D/C and verse-visa lose alot in heat radiation or has technology conquered that?
Nah. Well - Typical AC/DC converters probably lose a significant amount. Usually the simple ones use just one half of the waveform and waste the other half, if I understand it right. They block the negative side of the waveform by using a diode. But a transformer only changes AC voltage, it's not converting from ac to dc. Transformer does not = ac/dc converter.

My guess is that for this scheme to charge batteries they'd use a more evolved design that captures the other half of the waveform and flips it around to make it "positive" again - that is - to match the other half of the wave. That way they can also direct that energy where they need it. I sure hope so, anway!

Transformers are strictly an a/c device.

A transformer is basically a huge electromagnet with two wire coils, where the input circuit has x number of coils and the output circuit has a larger or smaller number of coils. The a/c pulses on the input side create this pulsing electromagnetic field which causes voltage to be created in the output coils. Since there is a different number of coils the output voltage is higher or lower. But it's still a pulsing phenomena, ac current.

I've kinda reached the limit of my knowledge on that - if you need to more you'll need to ask wikipedia.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:42 PM   #76
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The old ones last forever and make great veggie cars. The new (ie - post-1987ish) VW's suck though. They are prone to all sorts of mechanical problems. I'm curious about the new TDI's though that supposedly finally burn clean.
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:07 PM   #77
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You think the old ones are better mechanically? Im not sure from a strict comparison, but I remember them being pretty bad when I was shopping for one way back when. Shoddy glow plugs, weird noises, rusty strut towers,  rusty rust!

But I never had too much experience with it since I never owned them...
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:42 PM   #78
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Brucepick- yow... 'lectricity sure is complicated stuff. I'm just glad it comes out of the outlets in my walls and I don't have to make it. I keep some in a battery in my car, too. Handy.
Are there any TDI owners who think they suck? I mean, I know they're a few TDI drivers who moan and groan about glitches here and there, but are there any folks out there who have owned a TDI and have said "they suck, I made a mistake and I'll never do it again!"?
I've heard stories about "relay 109" and the "check engine light" gremlins, but every car has its quirks. Except Hondas. Aside from the "plain vanilla" styling and the current lack of a diesel offering, Hondas are automotive anvils, right? Well... I've heard stories...
I've never owned a Honda, so let me speak from experience- TDI's rule!!
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:32 PM   #79
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I've heard stories about "relay 109" and the "check engine light" gremlins, but every car has its quirks. Except Hondas.
I worked with two women who bought new Honda civics, one in 2001 and one in 2006.....

The 2001 Civic broke down a few times, refusing to start....eventually the fuel pump was replaced and she dumped the car, being concerned about future no-starts out of warranty.

The 2006 is a regular one (not Hybrid) and she had two complaints: one: when shifting gear (it's a 5 speed), the linkage echoes inside the cabin (it sure does, I heard it) and while that's not a reliability issue, the next one might be: it hiccups unexpectedly at certain random times, like a brief misfire....the dealer can't figure it out.

So much for the perfect Honda myth! But yeah, on average, they're WAY more relaible electrically than VWs.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:32 PM   #80
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N.l.a.m. You could drive your Civic over a cliff, I guess. .
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