Transport

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The World Could Save Trillions With Buses and Bikes

We need cycling infrastructure to flourish Robin Heydon; Cambridge News; 4 Mar 2016

Low-carbon transport could save billions Tereza Pultarova; The IET Engineering & Technology Magazine; 20 Apr 2016

Abandoning fossil-fuel powered transportation in favour of cleaner resources like hydrogen and electricity would not only improve the environment, but also reduce the cost of transportation by billions of pounds a year, a study has found. According to an analysis by Cambridge Econometrics, the world would save £232bn a year between 2020 and 2030 if it pushed for more renewable transportation. This push would lead to lower demand for oil, which would subsequently translate into lower prices. Money saved for oil could then be invested into the development of even more sustainable systems.

Why Automakers Keep Beating Government Standards Annie Sneed; Scientific American; 1 Dec 2016

The reason is likely a combination of regulations, technology, and historic gas prices—as well as a possible loophole

backfire effect / Jevon's Paradox

More efficient cars may be one of the causes of increased greenhouse gas emissions from road travel Paul Anderson; Bristol University Cabot Institute; 6 Jul 2016

New computational modelling work suggests that, despite improving transport efficiency, the increasing accessibility and popularity of road travel is actually leading to higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The research, carried out by University of Bristol Cabot Institute members Drs Rachel Freeman, Chris Preist and Mike Yearworth at the University of Bristol’s Systems Centre, focused on developing a new approach to a problem that has been identified by many but for which the causes are not very well understood - the ‘rebound effect’ or ‘Jevon’s paradox’. Jevons’ Paradox suggests that more efficient technologies actually lead to increased usage of a resource. For example, modern lighting technologies have become over nine hundred times more efficient at converting energy to light, yet overall energy consumption for lighting has increased by forty times overall. The ‘cheaper’ a resource is to use, the more popular the technology becomes, eventually increasing demand and overall resource use. Dr Freeman’s study indicates that in the past increased travel consumption completely offset any gains from more efficient vehicles and that this is likely to be true in future unless a systemic suite of interventions are introduced. To achieve the EU goals of a reduction in emissions of 40% by 2030 in the UK’s road transport system, there would need to be much greater increases in technological efficiency, costlier travel and significantly reduced travel consumption than are currently being planned for.

convoy/platooning

Daimler Trucks is connecting its trucks with the internet Daimler press release, Düsseldorf; 21 Mar 2016

Today, on the A52 autobahn near Düsseldorf, Daimler Trucks presented an impressive example of the possibilities opened up by the digital connection of trucks: Three WiFi-connected, autonomously driving trucks operated on the autobahn with authorisation for public traffic as a so-called platoon. Such a combination can reduce fuel consumption by up to seven percent and the road space requirement on motorways by almost half - while improving traffic safety at the same time. Based on the Daimler Trucks Highway Pilot system for autonomously driving heavy trucks, the three trucks link up to form an aerodynamically optimized, fully automated platoon. Daimler Trucks calls this advanced system development Highway Pilot Connect.

Analysis of fuel consumption and pollutant emissions of regulated and alternative driving cycles based on real-world measurements

Discrepancies between real-world use of vehicles and certification cycles are a known issue. This paper presents an analysis of vehicle fuel consumption and pollutant emissions of the European certification cycle (NEDC) and the proposed worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure (WLTP) Class 3 cycle using data collected on-road. Sixteen light duty vehicles equipped with different propulsion technologies (spark-ignition engine, compression-ignition engine, parallel hybrid and full hybrid) were monitored using a portable emission measurement system under real-world driving conditions. The on-road data obtained, combined with the Vehicle Specific Power (VSP) methodology, was used to recreate the dynamic conditions of the NEDC and WLTP Class 3 cycle. Individual vehicle certification values of fuel consumption, CO2, HC and NOx emissions were compared with test cycle estimates based on road measurements. The fuel consumption calculated from on-road data is, on average, 23.9% and 16.3% higher than certification values for the recreated NEDC and WLTP Class 3 cycle, respectively. Estimated HC emissions are lower in gasoline and hybrid vehicles than certification values. Diesel vehicles present higher estimated NOx emissions compared to current certification values (322% and 326% higher for NOx and 244% and 247% higher for HC + NOx for NEDC and WLTP Class 3 cycle, respectively).

Fuel economy testing of autonomous vehicles

Environmental pollution and energy use in the light-duty transportation sector are currently regulated through fuel economy and emissions standards, which typically assess quantity of pollutants emitted and volume of fuel used per distance driven. In the United States, fuel economy testing consists of a vehicle on a treadmill, while a trained driver follows a fixed drive cycle. By design, the current standardized fuel economy testing system neglects differences in how individuals drive their vehicles on the road. As autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is introduced, more aspects of driving are shifted into functions of decisions made by the vehicle, rather than the human driver. Yet the current fuel economy testing procedure does not have a mechanism to evaluate the impacts of AV technology on fuel economy ratings, and subsequent regulations such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets. This paper develops a method to incorporate the impacts of AV technology within the bounds of current fuel economy test, and simulates a range of automated following drive cycles to estimate changes in fuel economy. The results show that AV following algorithms designed without considering efficiency can degrade fuel economy by up to 3%, while efficiency-focused control strategies may equal or slightly exceed the existing EPA fuel economy test results, by up to 10%. This suggests the need for a new near-term approach in fuel economy testing to account for connected and autonomous vehicles. As AV technology improves and adoption increases in the future, a further reimagining of drive cycles and testing is required.

Electric Vehicles *

compressed air

Tata AirPod Compressed-Air Car To Launch In Hawaii This Year: Report Green Car Reports; 13 Feb 2015

Compressed air isn't really dense enough to provide much energy storage, making it difficult to adapt for use in even a very small, very light-weight car.

marine

HIGH SEAS, HIGH STAKES - HIGH SEAS PROJECT FINAL REPORT TYNDALL CENTRE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

methodology for assessing CO2 emissions of shipping, CO2 reduction options, future strategies, wind power, nuclear power

This is an incredible visualization of the world's shipping routes Brad Plumer; Vox; 25 Apr 2016

About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go 'round. And now there's a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute:

shipmap.org

aviation

Is it all over for the age of cheap air travel? Jillian Ambrose; Telegraph; 8 Oct 2016

The aviation industry has crossed a threshold. After almost two decades of talks, 191 countries gathered in Montreal last week to adopt a global market-based system to tackle the rise of carbon emissions from international air travel. The deal has been welcomed by governments as an unprecedented diplomatic success, and by green groups as a hopeful starting point for further environmental progress. But for some embattled airlines, it could deliver a fatal blow to the gilded decades of low-cost flights.

NASA will test distributed electric engines on a two person plane in 2017 NextBigFuture

Tecnam P2006T

Solar-powered plane completes journey across Pacific Ocean (Update) Phys.org; 24 Apr 2016

A solar-powered airplane on a mission to fly around the world landed in California, completing a risky, three-day flight across a great expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Airbus to provide solar cells for MicroLink Zephyr UAV GPS World; 18 May 2016

The Zephyr platform is a new class of unmanned air vehicle that operates as a high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) enabling affordable, persistent, local satellite-like services. The aircraft runs exclusively on solar power, and the Zephyr aircraft is at the forefront of the HAPS arena, holding world records with regards to absolute endurance (more than 14 days) and altitude (more than 70,000 feet).

World’s First Four-Seater Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plane Has First Flight Evan Milberg; Composites Manufacturing; 17 Oct 2016

The HY4 – the world’s first four-seater hydrogen fuel cell plane took off for the first time at the Stuttgart airport in Germany. The plane, which impressed visitors at Hannover Messe earlier this year, was developed by researchers from the German Aerospace Center (known in German under the acronym DLR) with help from Hydrogenics, Pipistrel, H2FLY, the University of Ulm and Stuttgart Airport. DLR made the hydrogen fuel cell power train, which consists of a hydrogen storage system, a low-temperature hydrogen fuel cell and a battery. The hydrogen is carried in two high-pressure tanks, made of carbon fiber, located in each of two fuselages by the passenger cabin.
video HY4 - technology; YouTube; 15 May 2016

biofuels

David Mackay - Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air metaFAQ

There has been quite a lot of work done on using bio-fuels to power aircraft. All three major engine manufacturers have recently had successful flight trials. The suggestion is that these can be produced by either algae or jatropha. Given the willingness of aviation to pay a relatively high price for its fuel, is this unrealistic?
I think that using biofuels for aviation is one of the few sensible applications of biofuels. I think algae and jatropha are interesting, and standard crops such as oil-seed rape. The land area or water area to sustain today's level of aviation from biofuels can be computed using the numbers in my book. My book includes data for jatropha. It would be a substantial land area. For the UK to power its own flights from its own biofuels, for example, would require roughly one fifth of all agricultural land in Britain.

airships

Other ways of staying up - Airships David MacKay; Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air

Let’s assume we desire to travel at a speed of 80 km/h (so that crossing the Atlantic takes three days).... To get the best possible transport cost, what is the longest blimp we can imagine? ... If we say L = 400 m, ... If useful cargo made up half of the vessel’s mass, the net transport cost of this monster airship would be 0.06 kWh/t-km – similar to rail.

Helium Dreams - A new generation of airships is born JEANNE MARIE LASKAS; New Yorker; 29 Feb 2016

Three hybrid airship projects are currently attracting the most attention:
  • the Airlander 10, which just launched this month, in England;
  • Lockheed Martin’s LMH-1; and
  • Pasternak’s Aeroscraft