A Lighter, Zippier Tire for Electric Airplanes?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Tires are not usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of airplane design.  On most aircraft, the landing gear is an awkward necessity, something to help one get airborne and settle on after committing aviation.  Our future electric aircraft might have power-driven wheels to shorten takeoff and landing distances, making them less inconvenient and more beneficial. Conventional rubber tires and wheels are heavy, though, and reducing their avoirdupois would enable better performance from a lighter airplane, or allow more batteries for longer range or better performance.  Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, wants to visit the best of all possible tire worlds by exploring the potential of polyurethane tires, reducing the need for …

Life Cycle Analysis and a Letter Grade

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) have published a study in the current edition of the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, “Contribution of Li-Ion Batteries to the Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles.”  The paper is available in its entirety online. It’s abstract notes that, “Little is known about the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of the lithium ion (Li-ion) battery. This makes it difficult to compare the environmental impacts of BEVs with those of internal combustion engine cars (ICEVs). Consequently, a detailed lifecycle inventory of a Li-ion battery and a rough LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) of BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) based mobility were compiled.”  This blog has an earlier introduction to …

LCA – Life Cycle Analysis

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

The Link below provides a conceptual background for the study and chart, which give us insight into life cycle analysis, a valuable tool for determining the true costs of our energy sources. Note in the following that the actual costs and carbon emissions for a product may be greater than those for the actual operation of that product.  Obviously, wind turbines and solar cells are clean in their operation – but what does it cost to manufacture, transport, and dispose of the obsolete or unservicable units?  This is a good tool for making those assessments, but I’d love personally to have even more definition of the “human equivalents” listed in the chart found in the link below.  Perhaps an expert in …