Hybrid electric power

This is an initial submission for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition made by Dmitry Shkipin, San Francisco, California on May 1, 2021. The proposed product describes a bridge between all-electric and hybrid-electric power systems.

Glideway is a hybrid-electric mobile auxiliary for all-electric vehicles

The future of vehicle design is all-electric. The future of transportation is hybrid-electric. From the energy design perspective, this is a problem. All-electric vehicles encourage clean power, are easier to maintain, and can last longer on the road. Hybrid vehicles encourage versatility and better battery weight characteristics. There is an understanding between these two very different, yet very similar, power systems – energy efficiency.

Such an understanding has a market – owners willing to operate and maintain a lot of types of all-electric vehicles including: airplanes, helicopters, watercraft, double-track road vehicles, single-track motorcycles, or any other mechanically powered vehicles we have not yet invented.

The missing bridge between all-electric and hybrid-electric power is a special adaptor, an auxiliary, rather than a hard necessity. For example, an all-electric road vehicle can be retrofitted with a highly efficient clean diesel Genset that is attached to the rear tow hitch of the vehicle, or placed in a boot of the vehicle (with special consideration for a small engine compartment) that can be easily and engaged during longer trips.

Such devices should be unique for each vehicle and can be sold to a variety of owners. A 2021 Tesla Model X, for example, would require a very different Genset auxiliary design than a 2021 Nissan LEAF. Both of these vehicles can take advantage of such systems easily, via a legally-towed trailer behind a vehicle.

Proposed Tesla Model 3 with Glideway system

Proposed Tesla Model 3 with Glideway system

Similar bridge devices can be made for almost any type of all-electric vehicle, but some, such as all-electric airplanes must be installed inside the vehicle, away from the air circulated in passenger compartments, in regressed areas such as loading bays.

I believe that scaling full research and development of Glideway systems that bridge this divide sufficiently meets the requirements for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Guidelines because the mass adoption of these systems will offer a higher incentive for consumers to buy and use electric vehicles longer in a much greater capacity around the world. Such incentive removes one of the largest deterrents to all-electric vehicle use: range and battery life. Solving for this deterrent and offers a viable business model for worldwide adoption by existing and new owners of fully electric vehicles.

Provided that this project is selected as the finalist for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal, the available funds will be used to develop such systems for Tesla all-electric vehicles first, before any other vehicle manufacturers.

However, for the full Carbon removal impact, owners of all-electric vehicles must be able to purchase such systems designed to serve them and their vehicle of choice.

Proposed Ford E-Transit with Glideway system

Proposed Ford E-Transit with Glideway system

Glidway Integration into Home Electrical Grids

Glideway systems must be easily integrated into consumers’ home electrical systems so that the Genset can act as a backup during a power outage.

For example, the Blacktail Solar Homes information webpage currently states: “Beginning with Phase II, Blacktail Solar Homes PV installations provide the opportunity to do more than generate electricity. The base installation includes a module called Backup Interface, which includes a place to connect one or more home batteries, a car charging station, or a generator.” Blacktail Solar Homes is an excellent example of a project that focuses on the ultimate solution for the global warming crisis – home solar.

Home solar is, by far, the most efficient way to deliver local clean energy for residential use because the transmission and control of power are easily managed by the occupant and because it is some of the cleanest energy sources available for a typical US household.

A mobile Genset becomes an ideal proposition for the occupant who may be willing to rely on solar systems knowing that an alternative power source is available to them to a point of eventuality where an owner may be willing to disconnect their entire home electrical systems entirely from their dirty power grid. With enough solar capacity, this option becomes quite possible for some homeowners.

The provision for AC power becomes an integral provision for being able to connect Glideway systems to home solar systems employing either a direct connection to the Backup Interface module, or either one of the all-electric vehicles that the owner may have access to, or both.

A device built with a purpose to extend the vehicle’s range is also a device that helps the owners of remotely located areas survive power outages and improve their options on what type of energy to use in their home, preferably, integral clean energy solutions that place their solar farm at the center of their energy use.

Glideway system parking layout with two all-electric vehicles per household

Glideway system parking layout with two all-electric vehicles per household

A dedicated parking spot for a Glideway system becomes a required necessity with a permanent purchase. Glideway systems should become easily integrated into the design of a garage, for ease of use for anyone willing to purchase a Glideway system and keep it there with their vehicles. Glideway system should also be easily parked unhoused at dedicated spot next to the electrical main panel, and secured with vehicle antitheft devices.

An efficient integration between alternate AC systems, by design, makes Glideway systems an ideal point of integration between two very valuable assets in consumers’ lives: (1) a car and (2) a home. To that extent, some owners will be much more likely to purchase a Glideway system instead of renting one, if an owner also wants to keep a stationary backup generator in their home as well.

Glideway Systems as Rear Brakes on Semi-trailer Trucks

Glidway can accept an air brake (or a hydraulic system for smaller vehicles) at the most rear axle. Glidway system should be the last car towed behind the main load because it is self-electrified. This advantage allows for several safety improvements. Glideway system should be able to stop itself in an emergency, such as if it becomes unintentionally disconnected. Glidway system can also activate brakes in difficult towing situations where a load of the towing vehicle begins to overtake it. This can be particularly helpful for heavy loads transport during icy road conditions. Glidway system can accept its own AI driving unit that focuses on the function of brakes, not acceleration. The braking-only function prevents any misguided accidents because the Glideway system should only be able to slow itself behind the towing vehicle, not drive itself.

Proposed Tesla Semi with Glideway system

Proposed Tesla Semi with Glideway system

The main advantage of all-electric trucks equipped with Glidway systems is fuel savings over conventional semi-trucks with conventional diesel-driven transmissions. As a towed trailer, lightweight diesel AC Genset is a much better alternative to conventional clean diesel engines. Fuel savings end up paying for the Glideway system over the entire lifecycle of the system. It is difficult to predict the exact savings of fuel without a functioning prototype. In theory and practice, an all-electric semi-truck gains an unlimited range with a Glideway system - a versatile instant charge point anywhere on the road. A Glideway system should be easily towed by any semi-truck on the road.

Hydrogen-powered Glideway Systems

Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity produced from hydropower. In 2015, hydropower generated 16.6% of the world's total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity and was expected to increase by about 3.1% each year for the next 25 years.

Glideway Systems can operate on Hydrogen fuel generated in “reverse” from clean power such as Hydrogen fuel generated from hydroelectric power. Such conversion allows the storage of mechanical energy in the fuel of high density, other than fossil fuels.

For example, Ondskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant located in Kamenniy Bor, Republic of Karelia, Russia has an installed capacity of 80 MW, compared to that of the largest facility in the world, Three Gorges Dam located in Sandouping, Yiling District, Hubei> with a 22,500 MW installed capacity.

Ondskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant

Ondskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant located in Kamenniy Bor, Republic of Karelia

As of May 2021, of the currently installed 80 MW capacity at Ondskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant, about 20 MW are actively used to mine Cryptocurrency to validate Bitcoin (BTC) transactions on a Public Blockchain.

Cryptocurrency mining supports illegal currencies, is a heatsink, and is a waste of perfectly good clean energy. Instead of crypto mining tasks, this clean energy can be converted into Hydrogen fuel to power Glideway Systems attached to all-electric vehicles. Glideway Systems are indifferent to the type of fuel used to power them, making clean Hydrogen-powered auxiliary fuel cells for all-electric vehicles feasibly possible.

Glideway Systems can produce clean power for a paying consumer: all-electric vehicle owners looking for an efficient bridge conversion from excess hydroelectric power, via axillary fuel cells, aka Hydrogen-powered engines.

Provided that the fuel cost of Hydrogen is comparable to that of diesel fuel, this type of auxiliary is feasibly possible because Glideway Systems are primarily used to extend the range of all-electric vehicles under mild power demand conditions compared to that of a direct drive fueled engine. A Hydrogen fuel cell likes to be taken care of, not driven by rapid acceleration power demands of a direct drive engine.

A Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), under mild and consistent power demands, are easier to maintain than internal combustion engines (ICEs). Glideway System, in effect, preserves fuel cell membranes against excessive power demands. Mild to moderate power demand on a fuel cell auxiliary is best suited for all-electric vehicles that already operates with a high capacity battery capable of accepting spikes in demand during rapid acceleration.

If a reliable paying customer for clean Hydrogen fuel can be produced, hydroelectric plant facilities such as Ondskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant can extend their 20 MW excess capacity to create valuable clean fuel instead of validating transactions to maintain a pirate currency.

Glideway Systems are designed entirely about the high efficiency of an electric engine supported by an efficient AC power Genset, allowing clean energy power plants to deliver all-electric propulsion via Hydrogen fuel cells, paid for, with a reliable revenue.

Well-to-Wheel Emissions of Glideway Systems

"Zero-emissions" vehicles are physically impossible. All vehicles produce some form of emissions, including all-electric vehicles, called “well-to-wheel” emissions. The calculation formula for such emissions, in comparison, is difficult to establish for a number of reasons.

First, different types of fuels produce valuable by-products (such as paints, plastics, oils, etc. from fossil fuels) and/or can be coupled with by-products of auxiliary fuel production (such as residual heat from a nuclear reactor, residual heat from a solar farm, an outflow of a cascading hydro plant, etc.)

Second, consumers, businesses, and governments place very different values on the price of carbon emissions.

Third, the replacement costs of existing “well-to-wheel” fossil fuels-based energy transportation and power systems infrastructure and technology are staggering. It is not easy to reform a profit sector that has been developed subject to immense revenue since the birth of Standard Oil.

Fourth, some fuels and some production methods are more dangerous than others, are geographically limited, and/or require very different means and economies of scale to succeed.

Fifth, fuels and mined components of all energy systems are finite. Some resources, such as Lithium brine used in Li-ion batteries and Platinum arsenide used in Hydrogen fuel cells are either too finite and/or too rare for mass adoption in worldwide transportation markets without subsequent shortages and/or unsustainable pricing with overwhelming demand.

Sixth, some vehicles, such as hybrid plug-ins and all-electric vehicles, can accept electricity from any number of energy sources, depending on the type of recharging. For example, an all-electric vehicle connected to an autonomous Home Solar system, both in technical and practical terms, is charged with an entirely different energy than that same vehicle connected to a Coal-driven power grid elsewhere.

A fully-charged plug-in hybrid vehicle leaving a charging point has different fuel consumption and “well-to-wheel” emissions rating compared to that same vehicle leaving a charging point on a nearly empty battery, fueled with gasoline.

Seventh, the quality of fast all-electric vehicle recharging networks and the rate of auxiliary mobile range extender devices further complicate the calculation due to the added fuel versatility and practical considerations.

To change the balance of fossil fuel is, in some way, is to change the infrastructure of “well-to-wheel” fuel delivery, cost of said delivery and efficiency of the way fuels are produced, maintained, stored, and used safely and reliably, on a worldwide scale.

Well-to-Wheel Energy Depletion into Mechanical Power with Glideway Systems

Commonly available, economically and physically possible pathways of “well-to-wheel” depletion of the Earth’s energy resources into the aggregate mechanical horsepower available for transportation of the vast majority of all ground vehicles.

Further, formulated assumptions must be made, complicated by the fact that some fuels, such a Hydrogen, may be produced cheaper with the use of fossil fuels rather than utilizing direct clean energy input. Is this a benefit, or a deterrent to Hydrogen adoption? According to the USDE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, this Carbon-emitting process remains an important technology pathway for near-term Hydrogen production.

The economic costs of releasing Carbon are highly subjective and are nearly impossible to establish, other than by free and open market forces subject to correct subsidies schemes from the major governments.

In some sense, Hydrogen fuel developed by storing clean energy from Hydropower is not the same thing as Hydrogen fuel developed via Natural Gas reforming. Yet, Natural Gas reforming builds upon the existing Natural Gas pipeline delivery infrastructure and is better than Coal-fired electricity. Today, 95% of the Hydrogen produced in the United States is made by Natural Gas reforming.

Eventually, it is the entire “well-to-wheel” energy system, that produces the best overall market outcome is cheaper to operate because it is a trifecta of (1) efficiency, (2) versatility, and (3) utilization of existing infrastructure on a hyper-local scale. This is why it is important to explore bridges and fuel-agnostic solutions that can improve all relevant energy systems in some way, through scaled adoption.

Each of the energy systems can be categorized by (1) overall efficiency, (2) costs of emissions, (3) perceived costs of emissions, (4) maturity of infrastructure, (5) capacity, (6) longevity, (7) sustainability, etc. Starting with the production of fuel, and ending with the application of power by any vehicle against a much greater, free-standing body, our planet Earth.

This ever-evolving formula is calculated in such ways that there are no perfect energy systems for transportation, instead, there are optimal energy systems that rely on highly efficient components that combine into a single task of transporting a “Thing of X” from a “Point A” to a “Point B”, and subject to a superior UX.

An all-electric vehicle, by itself, does not make for a “clean energy” or a “zero-emissions” vehicle, but it is the best possible “base” for the application of clean energy due to the high efficiency and versatility of the electric motor compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE).

An all-electric vehicle can physically operate at a nearly-perfect 99.05% efficiency as of 2017, making it an ideal application of power.

However, DC motor on any vehicle remains deeply separated from the local energy delivery systems. Indeed, there studies that show a large number of first-time EV owners who have recently purchased all-electric vehicles have also switched back to fossil-fuel and hybrid vehicles shortly after as a result of impossible inconveniences and poor UX - the limited range and the slow recharging time.

Glideway Systems make it possible to deliver a coupled solution between the cleanest local energy available to a clean power vehicle, provided that the consumers and businesses can easily purchase, store, refuel, and safely forget about the fuel leftover in the system (something much easier done with diesel, than Hydrogen.) However, Glideway System is more likely to accept Hydrogen as fuel before any other vehicle, because AC Genset is an entirely optional auxiliary that efficiently operates to meet a consistent ICE auxiliary demand (+/-1,800 RPM) compared to a wide range of power demands, from (700 RPM to 7,000 RPM) placed on an ICE direct drive.

The task of the vehicle is to drive the fuel efficiently, while the task of the fuel is to deliver an unlimited range and a quick refueling capability to that same vehicle from the cleanest localized resource available (such as Hydropower, Nuclear Fission, Wind Farms, Solar Farms, and Home Solar) instead of the worst possible energy sources (such as Coal.)

NiMH or Li-ion batteries are unable to meet high demands imposed on the fuel because of the poor low energy density and weight characteristics (Heavy Lithium and Nickel components become a dead weight as they discharge.) The common availability of highly dense alternative fuels (especially relatively clean fuels, in comparison to Coal-fired AC) must work to help all-electric vehicles extend their range, instead of becoming a deterrent to owning one.

Crude and Shale oils are best used for their chemical properties, not as energy storage, but they are also predominantly used to power almost everything in our everyday lives. The task of utilizing existing infrastructure correctly, or wisely, is the task of building energy-agnostic efficient systems, able to utilize all fuel delivery pipelines, more efficiently, and become able to explore difficult fuels, such as Hydrogen, before the competition.

By design, Glideway Systems can help create a greater consumer market for Hydrogen fuel, and to reduce the need for fossil fuels (allowing for wider chemical uses of Shale and Crude oils) by coupling high-efficiency, lightweight ICE AC Gensets with a nearly 100% efficient all-electric DC motors already successfully coupled with NiMH or Li-ion batteries for daily trips.

Access to a Glideway System allows EV owners to bypass a slow, sparse, unreliable, and expensive network of stationary Coal-fired AC power charging points that may or may not be available to the end-user on arrival.

Glideway Systems are bridges for all-electric vehicles to become an ideal central element of clean energy transportation systems, by coupling the NiMH/Li-ion batteries and their dedicated DC motors to local high-density energy resources via a mobile network of AC charging points.

Proposed Glideway Systems are to be developed for and sold to EV owners (consumers and businesses) as optional mobile auxiliaries, for any specific set of all-electric vehicle product groups, makes, and models.

Thank you for your consideration,
Dmitry Shkipin on May 1, 2021


Why a Genset instead of an extra battery pack?

Clean diesel power makes the most efficient and reliable type of combustion and it can be adopted into any environment almost anywhere on the planet. A gasoline Genset also works and it can be modified into use with propane as well, which is ideal for rare use applications. The type of combustion is not relevant, as long as the hybrid-electric power option is realized from what otherwise is an all-electric power vehicle.

An extra battery pack to bring an electric vehicle to a full range won’t work. An AC power must resupply the main battery to resemble the plug-in capability of the owner's plug-in outlet. Glideway system acts as a bridge that saves from a rapid discharge and allows for an "unlimited" range. The "unlimited" range is the main selling point to the vehicle owner because it allows the vehicle to be recharged en route, in addition to any other stationary charging point. A Genset approach further solves a rare, but also a very severe problem that vehicle owners face during an unexpected power-outages.

Do you have an approximate cost and ROI for any such Glideway system?

It is difficult to name numbers without a working prototype, this is a grand proposal for a design and development for several different Glideway systems that can be used across many different all-electric vehicles with minor retrofits for a standard trailer hitch. Even if only 10% of all-electric car owners are willing to use Glideway systems, it is worth it, because, in theory, that is 10% more all-electric vehicles that someone will be willing to buy, due to an ability to take long-distance trips.

Glideway system is not likely a purchase that every all-electric car owner will make - most owners will probably not. Renting the Glideway systems from the local dealerships will likely be the most common way for consumers and for businesses to offset the full upfront cost of each system and the required maintenance.

What about the disadvantages that come with towing a trailer?

A Glideway system trailer is the most likely version for a road vehicle to be adopted. An ability to compartmentalize the system is the key to keeping it safe. There is a lot of danger, noise, smoke, heat, oil, fuel, and other unwelcome elements on the engine compartment space, so it is ideal as a separate compartment sphere rather than an adjacent sphere.

A Genset plus a fuel tank, no matter how small, is almost impossible to deliver without some form of wheelbase. A properly sized trailer with a wheelbase similar to that of a towing vehicle helps stabilize it and to keep it on the road behind the car. The trailer should be as small as possible, and as close to the vehicle as possible, it should become an extension of the vehicle, instead of a burden.

A Glideway system could also have an extra compartment for things like camping gear. This device would be most attractive for long trips without worrying about charging stations, and long trips often are short on cargo space.

This seems cumbersome, are you sure anyone would use it?

The overall UX for Glideway systems is going to be very important. Almost any person age 16 to age 116 must be able to easily secure their auxiliaries to their vehicles, be able to drive with them, be able to park with them. The proposed Glideway systems are not a silver bullet, but more of a stake through the heart approach to making electric vehicles more versatile.

This is somewhat of a crude solution to the difficult problem of turning all-electric power into fully-functioning plug-in hybrid cars. However, Glideway systems also solve big problems of all-electric vehicle adoption, specifically to deliver an instant charging capability for an all-electric vehicle on almost any road anywhere, while allowing that same vehicle to maintain a high level of performance without the Glideway system attached on short daily trips.

There are no mechanical transmissions in this application and zero added weight until the Glideway system is attached to the vehicle. This means that if consumers and businesses are offered a genuine well-designed option, some of them are highly likely to use it.

Glideway builds highly efficient bridges between power systems in all-electric vehicles capable of accepting a dedicated Genset. Every all-electric vehicle, at some point in time, requires a dedicated Genset, and vice-versa. An efficient delivery mechanism of an “unlimited” range of a hybrid plug-in vehicle design resides with an ability to deliver a reliable, highly efficient, and an easily maintained AC charging point to the all-electric vehicles at all times, anywhere it is required. A seamless integration between an all-electric vehicle and a dedicated Genset allows for a fully functioning plug-in hybrid. Any owner of any all-electric vehicle should be able to easily buy, rent, maintain, and re-sell dedicated Genset units on the open market capable of an easy interchange between various all-electric vehicles makes and manufacturers.

Your feedback is incredibly valuable.

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