Sunday, February 26, 2012
  Edison's revenge on Tesla



A super-modern Tesla electric roadster shows off its super-modern propulsion system. Occasionally the Tesla is propelled by electric motors, but if you mistakenly allow its batteries to discharge, it becomes a Brick, absolutely immovable and unrollable and unrechargeable. You have to haul it to a Tesla dealer and spend $40,000 (uninsured, unreimbursed) for new batteries. This is apparently part of the aristocratic Gaian thrill you get in return for your original $170K investment.

Meanwhile, Polistra hums sedately past the Brickmobile in her 1910 Detroit Electric. The Detroit has roughly the same short range as the Tesla, but lacks the super-modern super-digital Brickification feature. If you discharge its primitive batteries completely, you just have to recharge them. Dull. Analog. No more exciting than refilling an empty gas tank.

The picture was inspired by this delightful story. (Link leads directly to a PDF.)

Outline of the story: A remote Adirondack hunting lodge had been lighted since 1924 by an Edison DC generator outfit using 80 nickel-iron storage batteries. The system had been used fairly steadily with spotty maintenance. When the lodge's owners decided to sell, they offered the antique electric stuff to people who would preserve it or display it, rather than discarding it.

The authors of the story heard about the batteries, went up to the lodge, took the system apart, and brought the batteries down to their lab. Some cells still had electrolyte, some had been empty for many years.

Best part of the story: The authors flushed out and refilled the cells, and every single one still worked, still charged up to specified voltage, still discharged smoothly.

Edison had advertised his nickel-iron batteries as lasting a hundred years, and he was right!

Nickel-iron cells are no longer made in America ... [Didn't really need to say that, did I?] ... but one Chinese and one Russian company still make them. Aside from the obvious advantages (not turning to Bricks when they discharge, and lasting a century) nickel and iron are common minerals in plentiful supply. Contrast with the Tesla's laptop batteries, requiring rare Lanthanide minerals found mostly in China.

= = = = =

Later: Another testimony to Edison's nickel-iron cells. When car collectors restore Baker Electrics from around 1910, they don't need to replace the batteries! After a full century the nickel-irons still work perfectly.

= = = = =

Much later addendum, Jan 2013: Looks like the gov't is considering a rule that electric cars must emit sounds. As a perpetual pedestrian, I love this idea. I've been vastly more careful and 'optical' since I got whacked by an SUV in 2008, but I still rely on hearing for a general sense of approaching cars. Been fooled several times by quiet Priii and Leaves.

Electric cars should constantly emit characteristic tunes, like the ice cream man with his Entertainer Rag (aka the Sting tune). The Tesla Roadster needs to emit the following song over and over and over and over:

Oh give me a place
where the wind turbines race,
where the birds and the bats die and scream;
where subsidies pay
for my Latté Grandé,
and exploded dams kill human dreams.


Home, home is my range,
where the volts charge my batteries quick,
I can quietly roam,
thirty miles from my home,
then my Tesla turns into a brick.

Labels:

 


<< Home

blogger hit counter
My Photo
Name:
Location: Spokane

The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.

My graphics products:

Free stuff at ShareCG

And some leftovers here.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 / December 2017 / January 2018 / February 2018 / March 2018 / April 2018 / May 2018 / June 2018 / July 2018 / August 2018 / September 2018 / October 2018 / November 2018 / December 2018 / January 2019 / February 2019 / March 2019 / April 2019 / May 2019 / June 2019 / July 2019 / August 2019 / September 2019 / October 2019 / November 2019 / December 2019 / January 2020 / February 2020 / March 2020 / April 2020 / May 2020 / June 2020 / July 2020 / August 2020 / September 2020 / October 2020 / November 2020 / December 2020 / January 2021 / February 2021 / March 2021 / April 2021 / May 2021 / June 2021 /


Major tags or subjects:

Carbon Cult
Carver
Constants and variables
Defensible Cases
Defensible Times
Defensible Thymes
Defensible Spaces
Equipoise
Experiential education
From rights to duties
Grand Blueprint
Metrology
Morsenet of Things
Natural law = Sharia law
Natural law = Soviet law
Shared Lie
Skill-estate
Trinity House

Powered by Blogger