Transport Solution for Pollution-free Cities

Prompted to solve the terrible traffic problem of Manly Warringah and the Spit Bridge in Sydney, by Dr Peter Macdonald, the mayor of Manly (separate document available) has developed to an Australian Patent of Potential World Significance. Traffic problems are not unique to The Spit Bridge; they are the world over, thus this Australian patent is ideal to solve the urban transport problems of the world. It is applicable to the developing countries of China and India.

It is an Australian invention intended to be developed in Australia for the benefit of Australia. This then can be for the benefit, a present if you like, from Australia to the world as a transport answer for the reduction of greenhouse gases and global warming. All this as well as the enormous commercial advantage of carbon credits.

If you are a visionary and forward thinker, you will know he inevitable scarcity and increase in the cost of liquid transport fuel will change the way we live, even be described as dramatically as cripplimg to many economies. This is not just some future thing, it is with us now.

The state governments are spending billions on roadways and road tunnels that are controversial, and on railways like the $3.5b allocated just to fix past mistakes. We're on the wrong track.

The Australian federal government is rightly spending $billions to solve the woes of Australia, including clean power, global warming, pollution, etc. Can a little please be directed this way for Australia through measures such as CSIRO, universities, private industry, or a special fund? It's urgent!


The Spit Bridge problem is only part of a whole, as symptomatic of those transport problems. To make the bridge more efficient would only increase and move the problem further down to Mosman with its already-clogged streets. Modern urban design ideals separate traffic from living, thus logic says modern high-density suburbia appropriately puts its traffic under, not through, its suburbs. This easily could, and should, be provided for Mosman.

The ultimate transport solution therefore has to be all of cheap to manufacture, cheap to install, cheap to run, infinitely and universally flexible, clean and green, pollution-free, energy efficient, applicable equally to above or below ground, and be the basis of and expandable to a transport system of the future. The logical answer has to start with and be based on all electric with the electric power be continuously available to existing road-based type vehicles. The logical answer therefore has to be the concept of an elect-road.

Internal combustion engine vehicles which have to carry their own volatile fuel supply are not the best of ideas, but underground is inherently very dangerous and these vehicles pollute the tunnel. This pollution has to be ventilated in stacks and no one wants a polluting stack in their backyard. In addition, these tunnels are very large and with their entire infrastructure very expensive.

Electric trains or trams (or elect-roads) in tunnels are pollution-free, need only small tunnels, naturally ventilate the tunnel, require virtually no infrastructure and comparatively cheap. Remember when electric trams went underground to Wynyard, where you could transfer directly from an underground electric tram to an underground electric train. Bradfield, 80 years ago, had vision and common sense when he designed the Harbour Bridge and got it right. Why since Bradfield did we get it so wrong? It's time to correct!

The starting point is to electrify the existing bus transport system using our existing roadways. This could be followed by express buses to the existing outer suburbs and the planned new suburbs in place of expanding the very expensive and disruptive railway with their dedicated steel tracks and overhead wiring. (Rail transport in Sydney is currently subsided at $6.03 per passenger.)


An argument can be put that all this invention is doing in providing for all electric vehicles, is transferring the otherwise dirty fossil fuel combustion of the internal combustion engine of vehicles in a city to the dirty fossil fuel combustion of the power station. At present, this is partially true as all power generation is not yet green power and we still have some dirty power stations. With the present people pressure and concerns for global warming it is inevitable that all power generation will become totally green as we have today already in place readily available proven green power technologies.

Liquid fuels essential for transport are a very different problem. They are running out fast and increasingly becoming very much more expensive. Oil is the basis of much of the world's political upheavals and conflicts without even mentioning Iraq. Liquid fuels have grown to be used in many circumstances where other fuels and technologies are now more appropriate and responsible.

There is still no proven readily available substantial fuel alternative for the onboard power of the internal combustion engine transportation. The logical solution, where possible, is to not carry fuel on the vehicle at all but collect it for immediate use when and where needed. The logic therefore is to eventually have all transport with the ability to collect electric power. This all-transport first step is too big a eap to the future so let's start with the most beneficial and very easily converted public transport bus.

Let's immediately start with electrifying the existing buses on the existing roads. Even more immediate than this is for all new buses to be the state of the art very efficient hybrid diesel/electric bus now adopted in many major cities in the USA and Europe, but surprisingly not Australia. This would have magic synergies with the introduction and rollout of the elect-road as these buses would be available to run on the all-electric elect-road where available, and it's on board diesel/electric elsewhere.

Rough indicative order or efficiencies of motive power is diesel 40% more efficient than petrol, hybrid diesel/electric 40% more efficient than diesel, electric (elect-road) 60% more efficient than hybrid diesel/electric.

Concept of the Elect-Road Patent

Power Distribution Systems and Connectors Therefor
Field of the invention

The present invention relates generally to power distribution systems and apparatus for vehicles, as well as methods and apparatus for connecting to the power distribution systems and apparatus.

The overall requirements of the concept of the elect-road of providing electric power at ground level as the power supply to vehicles covers three main areas:

1) Power-Track being the method and apparatus of providing continuous electric power at road level in a safe manner whilst also providing a track for the automatic steering of the attached vehicle.

2) Power-Pod being the method and apparatus of engaging with and insertion into the power-track and the collection of the electric power in a fail safe manner. Fail safe means in an emergency or power failure the power-pod automatically disengages and extracts from the power-track.

The power-pod also is able to connect and disconnect with the power-track whilst a vehicle is in motion.

3) Power-Rod is the connecting rod from the power-pod to its vehicle while providing the automatic steering mechanism for its attached vehicle. the power-rod also conducts the electric power from the power-track to its vehicle via the power-pod.



Elect-Road Power-Track Patent Design Covers...


Elect-Road Power-Track Patent Design Embraces...


Elect-Road Power Track consists of only Two Parts, Base and Top.
The two sides of the top are the same product, just one installed in reverse to the other.


The Future

In researching known technologies when designing the elect-road, a much-praised one found is the new Bordeaux Tram in France. This is known as the Ground Level Power Supply System and consists of a middle third rail to conduct the power. Only the section of this third rail that is under the tram is energized, requiring very complicated switching. Though very attractive without the otherwise overhead wiring there had to be a better way, hence the elect-road.

The elect-road concept of vehicles following a dedicated track provides for precise and ordered traffic flow, thus more efficient traffic flow.

The elect-road concept allows for all types of vehicles incuding cars and trucks. Vehicles could have an onboard power meter with automatic billing similar to that now introduced road toll billing.

The elect-road concept technology now contains the basis of the essentials for the inevitable futuristic completely automated transport system.

The future technology of the elect-road bus and bus/train concept on a dedicated expressway could easily provide for all vehicles to interlink, (probably by magnetic coupling), with each other. This would include for allow vehicles to enter and leave the train as required. The theory of this concept maximizes efficiently and reduces collisions and accidents. This clearly maximizes the use of the road surface and thus the cost of infrastructure and our footprint on the earth.

Copying the idea of the multi-carriage trains, let there be multi-carriage bus/trains with the inherent flexibility and novelty of each carriage be able to split off to a final specific destination. Why take the whole train amost empty to the end of a single lien which is very inefficient in energy and use of infrastructure? A bus/train could also be made upo of varying combinations of vehicles best suited to its final destination and efficiency of operation. Dedicate some elect-road to goods deliver say 11pm to 5am.

Am I game enough to suggest there may even be a time when economics dictate that the existing railways being replaced with the elect-road concept?


Cost of Power-Track - Estimate

The manufacture of the power-track is designed for the very efficient and common extrusion process similar to the polyethylene pipes extensively used for agriculture and industry.

Pipe sizes up to 140mm diameter are delivered in coils of 4/5 meter in diameter and 100 to 200 meters in length. This makes for ease of delivery, handling and installation.

It is envisaged for installation of the power-track that it be fully assembled in the factory including the conductor, earth contact, sealing cover opening hinges, etc., in such coils on a spool mounted on a flat bed truck or trailer. NOTE: No overhead wiring required.

This would provide for very efficient installation in 100 to 200 meters at a time.

It is envisaged for retrofitting into existing roads that a profile cutting tool (approximately 150mm wide by 75/100mm deep) the width and depth of the power-track would provide the slot in the road surface, immediately followed by the roll out of the power-track, enclosing the slot.

There is no reason that an installation rate of 100 to 200 meters could not be completed in an evening shift from 10pm to 5am. Liken this to be a very much simpler and less invasive procedure to the road resurfacing procedure now common on city roads overnight.

[Formatting needed in following lines.]
A liberal installation cost would thus be $5,000 per 100meters - $50 per meter
Installation subtotal - $50 per meter
Poly pipe quoted by Vinidex is $15 per meter for 125/140mm size pipe.
Base section of power-track @ $10 per meter for the poly section plus
earth contact, cover sea and hinge, say another $10 per meter = $20 * 2 - $40 per meter
Cost of the power conductor dependant upon size and material, say $10 * 2 - $20 per meter
Power-track provision subtotal — $80 per meter
At 100-meter intervals (possible 200-meter intervals) allow for a connection, expansion, drainage
box @ $500 each. This equates to $5 per meter length - $5 per meter
Power connection to be provided from the nearest available grid each kilometre
requiring a transformer, meters, disconnect, etc., at $10,000 per kilometre - $10 per meter
Cost of power-track subtotal - $95 per meter
Therefore overal installation cost of $50 per meter plus supply cost
of $95 per meter gives - overall total cost of $145 per meter +
bugger factor of 20% @ $30 gives reasonable cost estimate - $175 per meter

Installation into a new road would be on the order of $150 per meter
excluding of course the cost of the road itself.

Compare this cost to the other of today's transport systems. This cost comparison must also take into account the efficiency of electricity as transport motive pwer incuding braking regeneration, the cost of electricity compared to liquid fuels, no fuel be carried on board, the simplicity of manufacture and maintenance of electric vehicles.

Most important incalculable cost saving is that of pollution and global warming.

Created by Hugh Walker. Last Modification: Wednesday 31 of August, 2011 17:29:08 AEST by Hugh Walker.