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Mike last won the day on July 11

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  1. Mike

    Hydrogen train

    Nope. Hydrogen isn't a fuel, it's an energy storage medium - and not a particularly good one. Hydrogen needs to be created - which takes energy. Molecular hydrogen does not exist naturally on Earth, it was lost to space almost immediately after the Earth was formed. So you have to liberate hydrogen atoms from other molecules like methane or water, and once you create molecular hydrogen it needs to be compressed, cryogenically stored, and transported to where it's needed - all of which takes more energy. Then it needs to be put through a fuel cell (with significant inherent losses) to be made into electricity again to run the electric drive of the train. All in all, from creation to consumption you get about 30% of the energy you put in to making the hydrogen back out. It's basically a crappy battery with a propensity to explode if not handled correctly. And that's not an exaggeration, two hydrogen handling facilities exploded this year, one in California and one in Norway. California is still without hydrogen as we speak and it has been many many months. Norway has halted sales of hydrogen vehicles altogether as a result of their explosion. It's much more efficient to use the electricity created by hydro dams, solar farms, wind arrays, nuclear facilities etc. and run that electricity through high voltage wires (at minimal loss) which already exist and then feed it directly into an overhead catenary system to be used by trains. There are fewer losses, no risk of explosions and the infrastructure already exists. Why move a physical, bulky, leaky and potentially explosive thing when you can just push electrons through some wires? A similar argument works for cars as well which is why you've likely never seen a hydrogen car in real life but pass dozens of electric cars on your commute every day. The argument for hydrogen is tenuous at best. It may have a place in large ships, where it can be produced in a port facility and put directly into vessels that dock, but for daily use in cars and trains its foolish because better alternatives already exist thanks to batteries and OCS's. Oh and fun trivia...do you know why it's called a 'fuel cell'? When the Americans were trying to get a man to the moon they realized they needed some kind of onboard power supply and solar wasn't going to cut it (in the '60's). They couldn't use their standard nuclear batteries that they put on basically every deep space probe because there would be people onboard and radiation doesn't mix well with humans. The problem was they also had a severe weight restriction since getting to the moon is hella expensive and every gram counts so that meant dedicated batteries were also not really an option (lithium ion batteries wouldn't exist for another 30 years or so). Some bright boffins figured out a way to combine the rocket fuel they already had onboard (aka hydrogen) with the oxygen they already had onboard (which was the oxidizer for the rocket fuel) in such a way as to create an electrical current and get pure water as the byproduct, which was handy because people need to drink water to stay alive anyway. To the "fuel" in fuel cell is referring to rocket fuel. Cool eh?! But wait! I said hydrogen isn't a fuel right?!...that is true as far as how most people understand a fuel. When people think of a fuel they see it as a source of energy. Gasoline requires a little bit of energy to percolate it out of a barrel of oil but the return on energy to do that is relatively low plus the oil in that barrel gushes out of the ground in some places by itself and is even usable without refinement if you wanted to so even gasoline is a net energy gain. Natural gas just comes out of the ground by itself too and is a great source of energy as well (environmental damage notwithstanding). Hydrogen isn't a source of energy like that, it's a net energy loss. It consumes energy just to get it to exist here on earth. NASA has to create hydrogen for its rockets to use it as a "fuel". It's expensive for them to make but when you're talking space things it's relatively cheap. It has decent energy density and is non-toxic compared to some of the other rocket fuels available. Plus it really likes to explode which is good if you are making a rocket (but not so much if you are into airships, cars, or trains). The cost is prohibitive for us non-space faring mortals plus you can't run an overhead catenary up to the ISS.
  2. Mike


    Over the past few years I've been collecting the renders RTG and the city would put out with the idea that I would compare them to what has actually been built. I went out today and did the first batch of stations and images. I still have more images to process but here's an initial look at renders compared to reality for Rideau.
  3. Mike


    Over the past few years I've been collecting the renders RTG and the city would put out with the idea that I would compare them to what has actually been built. I went out today and did the first batch of stations and images. I still have more images to process but here's an initial look at renders compared to reality for Tremblay.
  4. Mike


    Over the past few years I've been collecting the renders RTG and the city would put out with the idea that I would compare them to what has actually been built. I went out today and did the first batch of stations and images. I still have more images to process but here's an initial look at renders compared to reality for St-Laurent
  5. Mike


    Over the past few years I've been collecting the renders RTG and the city would put out with the idea that I would compare them to what has actually been built. I went out today and did the first batch of stations and images. I still have more images to process but here's an initial look at renders compared to reality for Cyrville.
  6. Mike


    So over the past few years I've been collecting the renders RTG and the city would put out with the idea that I would compare them to what has actually been built. I went out today and did the first batch of stations and images. I still have more images to process but here's an initial look at renders compared to reality for Blair.
  7. Wow. There's a lot to unpack here so I'll try to go through it point by point. True, gasoline has a relatively high energy density when compared to many things. Luckily, that is irrelevant to this conversation since buses are big and have more than enough room for batteries (see here: https://www.proterra.com/vehicles/catalyst-electric-bus/). Electric vehicles are also relatively 'slow' to charge but again this is irrelevant since fully 2/3's of the bus fleet is idle in the depot for most of the day affording them ample opportunity to charge. OC Transpo's dispatch software also already includes the ability to account for charging needs of buses when scheduling them on routes so charging needs can be easily managed. Supercharging doesn't cause "faster wear" per se, what it causes is a bit more heat which isn't good for batteries generally but modern battery packs have active thermal management which take away excess heat and thus very successfully mitigate that problem rendering the concern moot. I have some ideas about why the Hybrids are being replaced but they are not material to fully electric buses and have no baring on this conversation. As for the current OC fleet spending nights outside, yes there are many buses that overnight outside in the cold. They are actually kept idling all night because diesel engines to not like to start when cold so a lot of fuel is wasted in the winter months just because the buses wouldn't start otherwise. Even still many cancellations in the winter are caused by buses that didn't start. Electric buses completely avoid these issues while reducing emissions, fuel consumption and increasing fleet reliability and dispatch availability. Contrary to what you claimed, physics says that electrons actually flow better in the cold (superconductors anyone?) and it would not be difficult for OC to simply charge the buses outdoors overnight which solves two problems. What you are thinking of is that batteries do not like being cold, which is true, however as previously mentioned all modern electric buses have active thermal management of the battery packs thus eliminating this concern. Furthermore, by charging the buses overnight heat is generated which also helps to keep the pack warm. I'll dispel another point you seem to believe which is that battery packs will die prematurely. Electric buses (and all electric vehicles for that matter) the battery packs are designed to last the life of the vehicle (up to around 20 years or so for industrial uses like buses) and are warrantied as such so even if a pack craps out (which would be very unlikely) the bus maker would be on the hook to replace it. And finally no, you are not correct about the distances. OC Transpo buses travel much farther than 15 kms. 15 kms is nothing and even the worst electric vehicles will easily do a paltry 15km. In fact, currently some buses travel as far as 150km! This is not an issue either though as all battery electric buses currently on the market can easily cover such distances with a wide margin, some can even do over 400km to a charge which is well in excess of any typical OC Transpo route. I should mention that these are all verifiable facts and that most major Canadian cities have committed to switching their fleets to battery-electric buses over the next decade. (https://globalnews.ca/news/5136476/edmonton-electric-bus-fleet/) Ottawa is lagging in this regard. Both Montreal (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/stm-stl-montreal-laval-electric-bus-purchase-1.4792790,) (with similar winter conditions as us) and Toronto (https://globalnews.ca/news/5345722/ttc-all-electric-buses-toronto/) are purchasing battery-electric buses en masse as part of their ongoing fleet replacements. Electric buses are now at the point of being drop-in replacements for diesel buses. The only thing holding the city back is outdated, incorrect, or misleading information about electric vehicles.
  8. Cool!! I like the weekly updates they did for Stage 1 so having them for Stage 2 will be nice since it's the Stage that will actually bring a station closer to my house! I look forward to following the progress!
  9. Literally none of what you wrote here is true. Please do some research before posting uninformed opinions.
  10. The more Inveros taken off the streets the better!! Thanks for keeping track of everything. I understand from the forums here that the seat-padding issue on the new Nova's was actually a mistake made when they were ordered and that newer ones will have more padding or something? I'm always amazed at how quiet the Nova's are for a non-electric bus (I'm also always surprised at how loud the Inveros are all the freakin time!). Now if the next batch of 40' replacements were electric things would be looking really good for the city!
  11. I guess that's why they awarded New Flyer (Nova's main Canadian competitor) "Canada's largest-ever battery electric bus contract" then? https://www.newflyer.com/2018/08/montreal-and-laval-award-canadas-largest-ever-battery-electric-bus-contract-to-new-flyer/ If the Nova's were any good they would have continued with them and not switched to a competitor for follow-on contracts. The new batch of Nova's they bought were to fill in the gaps and complete the electrification of the limited routes the Novas are already being used on. For actual fleet replacement needs they went with New Flyers battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE. Per the press release, they're getting one pilot bus from New Flyer to make sure the depot charging stuff gets all sorted out before the rest of the fleet of production buses follow starting nine months later. If STM were actually happy with the Nova's one would have expected them to leverage the existing infrastructure from the Nova trial program and expand on it. Instead they're going with a competitor and only taking a few months to get the depot charging set up before they deploy a fleet of them That speaks volumes about the Nova buses.
  12. The people who built the trains here are likely the same people who will be maintaining them. It makes sense to move new production to whoever is currently building their own LRT trains since it would allow the facilities in Ottawa to transition to repairing an maintaining the fleet. Building and maintaining the trains would need essentially the same skillsets so I expect most of the people involved in building them will be kept on for the long term in maintaining them.
  13. I can't wait for the Inveros to die a quick death. I dislike them so much. They are obnoxiously loud both inside and outside, jerky, uncomfortable, and their doors are the slowest opening doors in history. I can hear them inside from two blocks away. Why are they so loud?!? I hate those buses so much. Literally any bus is better than the Inveros. I hope they all retire and are turned into scrap as soon as humanly possible.
  14. En-route charging and overhead pantograph charging like Nova Bus uses are not only expensive but are unnecessary and a waste of limited financial resources as each pantograph charger costs as much (if not more) than a bus. The Nova buses used by Montreal and recommended at the aforementioned city meeting are perhaps the least representative, least-capable battery electric buses on the market. It's almost as if the project as proposed was intended to fail. It's telling that the TTC and Montreal did not buy Nova electric buses for their most recent purchases. TTC bought BYD (factory is currently being built in Newmarket) and Proterra (built in California) while Montreal eschewed Nova due to their experience with the buses mentioned in the previous post - and despite them being a hometown Montreal company - and instead went with competitor New Flyer (built in Winnipeg) for their new fleet of battery-electric buses. Edmonton has also chosen Proterra for its fleet after having tested several buses in 2015 under harsh winter conditions. Those competing buses are currently on the market and are already in use in all over North America in ever-increasing numbers. They are able to replace diesel buses one for one by using far less expensive depot charging and do not require expensive en-route pantograph charging infrastructure. Of the major Canadian cities Ottawa is the laggard in the electric bus space. Other cities have tested and put them into service and we still have people making (false) claims about how they might not have enough range or might not hold up in our winters despite similarly cold Canadian cities having no issues with either perceived 'issue'. Remember, the average trip length for an OC Transpo bus during a day is around 250km with many buses doing less than that. Most electric buses (other than Nova) are more than capable running those distances with a wide margin of range to spare. That average will also come down once LRT is up and running as the train will take over the cross-town spine duties and break up routes currently being preformed by buses. With 2/3rds of OC Transpo's fleet inactive during off-peak times there is plenty of potential time to charge the fleet. OC Transpo's scheduling software even has the ability to take such needs into account already. Battery-electric is the future and I'm happy the Transit Commission put the purchase up to tender rather than sole-source it to an inferior product that is doomed to fail. The city should buy any one of the offerings from Nova's competitors and start seeing the fuel and maintenance savings as soon as possible. (Not to mention the environmental benefits!) All future fleet replacements should also be electric as far as I'm concerned. Diesel is done.
  15. The vote options are missing some important players; BYD and Proterra. I have it on good authority that when the big fleet renewal requirements start to hit in 2023 and beyond the city (City Council anyway) wants to go with mostly electric buses instead of diesel. They're spending $6 million (possibly more with Fed funding) this year on a tender to buy "as many electric buses as possible" (most likely a half-dozen or so) to start and it looks like going forward they want most if not all new bus purchases to be battery-electric. Personally my money is on BYD. The TTC has bought a bunch and they're building a factory in Newmarket to build more of them so I can see BYD becoming a big player. If I were king of Canada though I would tell OC Transpo to get Proterra buses because they're awesome. Oh, and LRT will necessitate more buses, not less. OC Transpo will find that they will need to feed the beast that is LRT so they will need more local routes and buses further out to shuttle people to the LRT stations. Every city in the world that has built an LRT system has had to increase the size of their bus fleets. It's more a question of composition. I see more 40' buses being needed and fewer 60' artics as the BRT is replaced with LRT.
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