TerraLiner:12 m Globally Mobile Beach House/Class-A Crossover w 6x6 Hybrid Drivetrain

luxeshower

New member
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biotect

Designer
Hi Safas,


Many thanks for your patience; and many thanks adam88 and luxeshower for your suggestions!!


In the meantime, I would strongly recommend reading the following book by Steven Wigglesworth, that appeared appeared just a few months ago (December, 2016): Build Your Overland Camper --see https://www.amazon.com/Overland-Camper-manual-Haynes-Manuals/dp/1785210769 . Perhaps Wigglesworth's book has already been recommended and reviewed elsewhere on EXPO?


The book is terrifically well-written, well-illustrated, and jam-packed with excellent information. And it is endorsed by no less an authority than Stephen Stewart -- see http://www.xor.org.uk .


Particularly noteworthy are Wigglesworth's comments and his chapter about pivoting subframes. Wigglesworth is quite clear that one possible solution might be no pivoting subframe at all; but rather, a super-rigid chassis frame that does not twist, or that twists very little. Indeed, Wigglesworth's first "case study" is the conversion of a security truck into an overland camper, where the cargo box that was to hold the money was constructed so robustly, and placed directly on top of a chassis frame strengthened to be very rigid, such that no pivoting subframe was necessary.


So for those waiting for this thread to get going again, Wigglesworth's book should provide some excellent background reading.

Naturally enough, Wigglesworth's book is directed at the self-builder who wants to keep things super-simple and very "practical". Wigglesworth's book is not like this thread at all, which has been a sustained exploration of "what if" scenarios and technologies. As one might expect, Wigglesworth's book recommends a base chassis that is 20 years old or more, i.e. a chassis that is pre-electronic.



As suggested earlier in the thread, a pre-electronic vintage chassis is fine for self-builders, but a total non-starter for designers, who are expected to work with contemporary technologies and emissions regulations to create something completely new. And 10 years from now, pre-electronic trucks will all be 30 years old or more; and at a certain point, the supply of reusable pre-electronic vehicles will simply dry up.


Wigglesworth's book does not address this eventuality, which is to be expected, because Wigglesworth's target is the self-builder today, and not the motorhome designer today, nor the self builder or motorhome designer of 2025.


But aside from that minor quibble, Wigglesworth's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the design, engineering, and construction of large, expedition-style overland campers.


All best wishes,




Biotect

 

biotect

Designer
Hi Safas,

Also wanted to thank you for that incredible link to the "Nikola" motor company -- https://nikolamotor.com/one and http://www.overdriveonline.com/startup-company-targeting-owner-operators-with-electric-class-8-truck/ .

The first video below is a fairly comprehensive official presentation describing the truck; for the unveiling, skip ahead 32 minutes, 30 seconds:








The extraordinary thing is that the Nikola One truck seems to specify much the same powertrain as we were specifying for the TerraLiner.


For instance, a battery pack circa 300 kW; six electric motors that combined can output 2000 HP (recall that we imagined six Tesla motors producing circa 400 - 600 HP each, or 2400 - 3600 HP in total); the ability to climb long, steep gradients at 65 MPH; battery power supplemented by a "fuel agnostic" turbine generator; a panoramic, full-visibility cab that is almost COE, even in the North American market, because there would no longer be any need for a long bonnet in front housing a diesel engine; and fully independent suspension, provided by Meritor -- see https://www.meritor.com/productsandservices/defense/defense_protec.aspx , https://www.meritor.com/productsandservices/defense/PDF/ProTec_Series_30.pdf , http://graphicvillage.org/meritor/sp11140.pdf , and https://www.meritor.com/productsandservices/defense/default.aspx .

But note that in its latest version of the truck, Nikola is now proposing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell as range-extender, instead of a turbine -- see https://nikolamotor.com , https://www.wired.com/2016/12/tesla-inspired-truck-might-actually-make-hydrogen-power-happen/ , http://www.maxim.com/rides/nikola-electric-truck-introduction-2016-12 , http://fortune.com/2016/12/04/nikola-motors-hydrogen-truck/ , http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2016/12/02/nikola-hydrogen-powered-semi-truck-revealed.html , https://www.h2-international.com/2017/03/02/the-tesla-among-trucks/ , http://www.newschannel5.com/newsy/electric-is-the-future-for-semis-garbage-trucks-and-buses , https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/nerdcore/electric-is-the-future-for-semis-garbage-trucks-and-buses/vp-AAnem6n , http://www.businessinsider.com/nikola-one-hydrogen-truck-photos-features-2017-2/#nikola-has-partnered-with-truck-manufacturing-company-fitzgerald-to-produce-the-first-5000-trucks-the-rest-will-be-produced-by-nikola-motor-companys-manufacturing-facility-which-will-produce-50000-vehicles-a-year-the-location-of-the-facility-will-be-chosen-at-some-point-this-year-12 , http://www.businessinsider.com/nikola-one-hydrogen-truck-photos-features-2016-12 , http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/electric-big-rig-startup-nikola-comes-up-with-a-surpris-1789586024 , http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/mysterious-startup-says-this-semi-has-no-emissions-but-1784650665 , http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/news/a31773/1000-hp-turbine-powered-hybrid-big-rig-inches-closer-to-production/ , http://www.ccjdigital.com/nikola-one-unveiled-a-zero-emission-fully-electric-truck-with-1000-hp/ , http://www.ccjdigital.com/report-sales-of-electrified-powertrain-trucks-set-to-balloon-over-the-next-decade/ , https://www.freightwaves.com/news/why-us-xpress-is-backing-the-nikola-one-hydrogen-electric-tractor , https://www.trucks.com/2016/12/07/nikola-one-hydrogen-electric-semi-truck/ , http://www.equipmentworld.com/inside-the-nikola-one-the-electric-semi-is-packed-with-tech-to-revolutionize-trucking/ , http://www.overdriveonline.com/new-electric-class-8-truck-1000-hp-1200-mile-range/ , http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=44104&t=Nikola-Reveals-Class-8-Hydrogen-Electric-Truck , https://www.constructionequipment.com/nikola-unveils-fuel-cell-electric-heavy-truck , http://www.carscoops.com/2016/12/nikola-one-hydrogen-electric-semi.html?m=1 , https://www.trucks.com/2016/12/02/nikola-motor-ceo-hydrogen-fuel-cell-truck/ , https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/videos/check-out-the-first-hydrogen-electric-semi-truck-the-nikola-one/ ,
http://www.nbcnews.com/tech , http://www.trucknews.com/blogs/nikola-seems-putting-money-mouth/ , http://www.pcmag.com/news/350040/electric-nikola-one-marks-end-of-diesel-engines , https://arstechnica.co.uk/cars/2016/12/nikola-hydrogen-fuel-cell-truck/ , and https://nikolamotor.com/press#articles .

The proposed fuel-cell for the Nikola is 300 kW, which suggests that our earlier speculation was broadly correct, namely that the TerraLiner's range-extending diesel generator will need to be at least 200 kW, and ideally 300 kW, if only to be able to recharge the 300 kW battery pack in less than 2 hours, with a view to keeping the farmer happy when boondocking on his land.... And recall that the Pratt & Whitney all-electric, no-bleed-air, turbine APU, the "APS 5000", produces 450 kW -- see http://www.pwc.ca/en/engines/auxiliary-power-units , https://www.pw.utc.com/Content/Press_Kits/pdf/PrattWhitney_Brochure.pdf , and https://aerocontent.honeywell.com/aero/common/documents/myaerospacecatalog-documents/Flight_International.pdf .

Recall that the APS 5000 was imagined as an extremely light-weight back-up generator (just in case the primary diesel generator fails), as well as a power-booster when tackling long, steep inclines. So again, nice to know that we were in the same rough ballpark, when speculating about the power needs of the TerraLiner's drivetrain.

Whether the TerraLiner's range-extender should be a fuel-cell instead of a generator is of course an open question. Given that hydrogen fuel is currently hard to come by even in First World countries, and will remain so for at least another 10 years, I would be inclined to say "no", at least initially. But the TerraLiner's generator compartment could be designed in such a way that, once fuel cells become more realistic for global travel, they could easily replace the generators in the available space. Just a bit of design and engineering forethought with this eventuality in mind might prove sufficient.

The reason all of this is so exciting, of course, is because Nikola will end up doing the necessary multi-million-dollar powertrain R & D, including working out how to get the electric motors to function properly as retarders when descending steep grades. Recall that an important question emerged earlier in the thread: what happens to the energy that the electric motors produce when functioning as retarder-generators, if the battery pack is full? When conventional trucks descend steep inclines, their kinetic energy is transformed into an enormous amount of heat, which needs to be dissipated; hence, why conventional trucks descend inclines very slowly. And those that don't quickly burn out their retarders, and/or catch on fire.

In any case, it's nice to see that someone is working out the serious engineering required to produce the equivalent of a Tesla in a semi truck.


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grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
Nice to see you posting again, even though I dread the volume you produce Biotect :)

I have not quite finished Wigglesworth's book, about half way through, but I had previously read Ulrich Dolde's. So far I think Ulrich's is more helpful, and well worth a look although targeting the same people in a similar way. The English version has been available on DVD for a while, and is now in print too.

https://www.selfbuildmotorhome.com/
 

biotect

Designer
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Oshkosh has in a sense already done this for a large truck intended for bad-road/off-road applications, namely, the HEMMT A3 Diesel-electric -- see https://oshkoshdefense.com/components/propulse/ , https://oshkoshdefense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ProPulse_SS_6-13-11.pdf , http://tanknutdave.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/HEMTT_A3_SS_6-13-11.pdf , and http://www.hybrid-vehicle.org/hybrid-truck-hemtt.html .

But the Oshkosh A3 only has ultra-capacitors, and not a battery bank; and hence, as near as I can tell, the A3's electric motors are not configured to function as retarder-generators replenishing a battery pack when descending long, steep inclines.

The HEMMT A3 seems just a slightly more sophisticated version of a Le Tourneau stacker. Compared to a truck like the Nikola One, the Oshkosh A3 does not seem like a genuine "serial hybrid" at all. But "serial hybrid" is an imprecise term, so perhaps this is debatable.

For lots of links about the Oshkosh A3, and military serial-hybrid technology more generally, see post #334, at forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/124789-TerraLiner-12-m-Globally-Mobile-Beach-House-Class-A-Crossover-w-6x6-Hybrid-Drivetrain?p=1604506#post1604506 .

Now in another sense, the A3 does serve as a nice analogue for the TerraLiner's power capability when boondocking. The primary military application of the HEMMT diesel-electric A3 is to serve as a huge, go-anywhere, all-terrain mobile generator, a generator that can export enough power when stationary (approximately 200 kW) to light up an airfield:







In the case of the TerraLiner we don't want to light up an airfield. But we do want to recharge the TerrLiner's 300 kW battery bank as swiftly as possible, so as to minimise the "noise imprint" of the TerraLiner when boondocking on farmer's land. Ideally, the TerraLiner's 300 kW generator should recharge the battery bank in less than 2 hours, only once every 4 days - 2 weeks, depending upon the power consumption when camping. Massive solar will supplement the generator's power output, thereby significantly extending the time available for boondocking; which, of course, will also depend on the generator's rate of fuel consumption, and the size of the diesel tank, which should be the maximum allowable, circa 1000 litres.


One major TerraLiner operational goal is sustained boondocking on farmer's land without a power hookup of any kind, for 3 - 6 months. And for most of that time (well over 95 %), the TerraLiner should "glamp" in complete silence, because the generator will not be running. Calculations earlier in the thread suggest 3 - 6 months is eminently possible, even in a high-power-consumption scenario, e.g. with the Air Conditioning running in a hot, tropical climate.


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The video in the following link provides a nice survey of some of the more recent initiatives in serial-hybrid-electric trucks and buses, including Wrightspeed and Proterra, which have been discussed extensively in the thread -- see http://www.newsy.com/stories/the-future-of-semis-garbage-trucks-and-buses-is-electric/ .

It's still early days for Nikola, and even if they manage to put together the capital necessary to realise their vision, the first Nikola trucks will probably see active service only around 2020. As already suggested, the "engineering" side of the TerraLiner is not going anywhere anytime soon, so in that sense at least, there is no huge "rush".

But it's nice to discover that a serious start-up company has been devoting millions to producing a serial-hybrid powertrain for a heavy-duty truck, very similar to the TerraLiner powertrain that we have been imagining in this thread. And apparently Tesla also seems interested in creating an electric articulated truck -- see http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/12/1874240/ .

So once more, many thanks Safas, as always, for yet another incredibly useful link!!

All best wishes,




Biotect


PS -- Here is my favourite movie sequence, so far, of Tesla's instant-torque acceleration capability in "ludicrous" mode, from the television series "Good Behaviour":




The TerraLiner's acceleration will not be even remotely similar. But at least the TerraLiner will handle a bit more like a car than a truck. According to Nikola, not 0 - 60 mph in 3 seconds, but rather, more like 0 to 60 mph in 30 seconds, which would be pretty darn good for a fully loaded semi truck....:smiley_drive:





 
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biotect

Designer
Nice to see you posting again, even though I dread the volume you produce Biotect :)

I have not quite finished Wigglesworth's book, about half way through, but I had previously read Ulrich Dolde's. So far I think Ulrich's is more helpful, and well worth a look although targeting the same people in a similar way. The English version has been available on DVD for a while, and is now in print too.

https://www.selfbuildmotorhome.com/

Hi grizzlyj,


Nice to hear from you too. And my apologies for having "wrapped around" your posts.....


Actually, I am not returning to regular posting at all. Rather, I simply wanted to pick up on and emphasise the terrific link posted by Safas, to the Nikola One truck. It's a significant breakthrough vehicle, because it's one of the first examples of a "true" serial-hybrid semi truck, and it's fully intended as a prototype for production, and not merely as a concept truck.

Thus far, most concrete, non-vapour-ware hybrid proposals for semi trucks have been "parallel hybrid", with an electric motor merely supplementing a conventional diesel engine. And recall that earlier in the thread, some participants were trying to convince me that parallel hybrid was the way to go for a large, truck-like vehicle such as the TerraLiner. But somehow I could intuit the "extreme boondocking potential" of a genuine serial hybrid solution, because of the massive battery bank required. So the unveiling of the Nikola One is sweet vindication.

Wrightspeed has of course already developed a serial hybrid drive train for garbage and FEDEX trucks, and Peterbilt in alliance with Walmart, Capstone turbines, and Great Dane trailers has proposed a serial-hybrid concept truck -- see https://www.wired.com/2014/09/fedex-wrightspeed-diesel-ev-trucks/ and https://www.wired.com/2014/03/walmart-big-rig/ . But these prior proposals are not quite as convincing, somehow, as the Nikola One. Or at least not as clearly applicable and relevant to the TerraLiner.

I will not be returning to regular posting again for at least a few more months, because like you, I've been reading. For instance, I do have Dolde's book and CD in English, which I ordered via Amazon.de, but haven't started reading it yet -- see https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3981855310/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅZÕÑ&qid=1489091259&sr=1-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&dpPl=1&dpID=51gTN7lIGQL&ref=plSrch and https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3981495616/ref=mp_s_a_1_10?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅZÕÑ&qid=1489091259&sr=1-10&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65 .

About six months ago I went on a bit of a book-buying bringe, spending roughly 4,000 EU to pick up titles on everything from truck design history (Mercedes, Volvo, MAN, etc.), to overlanding logistics on various continents; from Airstream, VW Kombi, and Vintage Bus design history, to RV electrics. Felt that I'd reached a point where I wanted to write much less, and read and sketch much more. Still immersed in the same.

When I do begin posting again in earnest, would only want to do so via a more "structured" series of sub-threads organised around the TerraLiner theme, as proposed by Libransser. But setting up all those sub-threads and getting them going will entail quite a bit of focus, and a few hundred hours of labour. And right now, I'm enjoying reading and sketching tremendously, at least for another few months....

All best wishes,




Biotect

 
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biotect

Designer
Libransser said:
Hey biotect,

I'm seeing you are posting again. Does that mean the thread will come out of hibernation? I would like to post some thoughts on key aspects of the TerraLiner that would probably further the discussion, but I don't know if the latest posts are something temporal or not.

Regards.

Hi Libransser,

I've taken the liberty of reposting your message, just so that my response is visible to all.

By all means, please post away!! :wings:

At the very least, you will have an audience.... Roughly 8 months ago, when I stopped posting and stopped logging on to ExPo, the thread had about 300,000 views. Since then, this figure has grown to almost 600,000.

These "views" were most definitely not me! I've been rather religious about trying to avoid the thread, so that I could get other work done. But you will always be welcome to post, because you are -- well -- you.:ylsmoke:

The same of course applies to other reliably civil and sympathetic participants, like Safas, Haf-E, egn, Joe Maninga, graynomad, campo, Iain, dwh, grizzlyj, Nick, Luke, Optimus-prime, backwoods, etc. etc. (My apologies if I missed anyone). And so too, Adam88 and luxeshower who most recently posted would be very welcome to continue. But at best, my own participation would need to remain sporadic, at least until June.

Things may go more smoothly now that the Nikola One truck has been unveiled. The TerraLiner's serial-hybrid drivetrain was by far the trickiest and most "speculative" aspect of the whole concept. But when a fully serial-hybrid semi truck like the Nikola hits the market, suddenly the TerraLiner's proposed drive train will no longer seem so "blue sky" after all. And, because the TerraLiner's drivetrain will be an exercise in massive redundancy (six electric motors, multiple separate battery packs, two generators, etc.), and because there will be no single point of failure, the engineering problem of overlanding reliability for a completely new drivetrain may finally be solved.

Just in the nick of time too, because by 2025, the "least old" pre-electronic trucks will be over 30 years old, and counting.

All best wishes,


Biotect
 
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Libransser

Observer
Hi biotect,

All right then, it would take me like a couple of days or a bit more to properly organize my notes, pictures and whatnot. I'll be posting once it's coherent and worth reading.

Though, prepare to throw away those sketches and draw new ones. You'll probably like what I gotta say.
 

leunam

New member
Hi Safas,


Particularly noteworthy are Wigglesworth's comments and his chapter about pivoting subframes. Wigglesworth is quite clear that one possible solution might be no pivoting subframe at all; but rather, a super-rigid chassis frame that does not twist, or that twists very little. Indeed, Wigglesworth's first "case study" is the conversion of a security truck into an overland camper, where the cargo box that was to hold the money was constructed so robustly, and placed directly on top of a chassis frame strengthened to be very rigid, such that no pivoting subframe was necessary.




Biotect


Hello. For an example of "rigid truck", here in Spain there are coaches built from unimogs and eurocargo 4x4 chasis, like mine.

Hope it helps.

http://www.foro-overland.es/foro/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2573

Best regards
Manu

Maestro usted me enseña a luchar, pero me habla sobre la paz, ¿Cómo puede usted conciliar ambas cosas?
El maestro contestó: "Es mejor ser un guerrero en un jardín, que ser un jardinero en una guerra."
 
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biotect

Designer
Hello. For an example of "rigid truck", here in Spain there are coaches built from unimogs and eurocargo 4x4 chasis, like mine.

Hope it helps.

http://www.foro-overland.es/foro/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2573

Best regards
Manu

Maestro usted me enseña a luchar, pero me habla sobre la paz, ¿Cómo puede usted conciliar ambas cosas?
El maestro contestó: "Es mejor ser un guerrero en un jardín, que ser un jardinero en una guerra."
.

Hi Manu,

Many thanks for the link to your thread on the Spanish equivalent of Expo. This Spanish website seems just as equipped as Expo with "advanced graphic capability". And in your build thread you've clearly taken full advantage of that capability, packing your posts with abundant pictures....:ylsmoke:

In the beginning of your build thread you explored various interior design possibilities. But as near as I can tell, at present you are still occupied with refurbishing the chassis and its mechanical components?

4 x 4 and 6 x 6 buses made by Iveco and Toyota have come up before in this thread. See in particular posts #205 and #206 at http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/124789-TerraLiner-12-m-Globally-Mobile-Beach-House-Class-A-Crossover-w-6x6-Hybrid-Drivetrain?p=1577769#post1577769 , post #209 at http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/124789-TerraLiner-12-m-Globally-Mobile-Beach-House-Class-A-Crossover-w-6x6-Hybrid-Drivetrain?p=1577791#post1577791 , post #211 at http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/124789-TerraLiner-12-m-Globally-Mobile-Beach-House-Class-A-Crossover-w-6x6-Hybrid-Drivetrain?p=1579826#post1579826 , and post #281 at http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/124789-TerraLiner-12-m-Globally-Mobile-Beach-House-Class-A-Crossover-w-6x6-Hybrid-Drivetrain?p=1594413#post1594413 .

I am a huge fan of such bus conversions, and if I were interested in developing a design for a more medium-sized overlanding vehicle, like you a 4 x 4 bus conversion would be my first choice!! As per American "skoolie" school-bus conversions, when it comes to interior design, it really helps to have a camper shell with abundant windows as the default starting position. Design then becomes a matter of deciding which windows to take away or block, and the usual end-result is still an interior that is full of light, and that communicates with the outdoors.

Whereas the typical expedition motorhome camper box made out of GRP sheets just glued together, will be perforated only very intermittently with horribly tiny windows. The resultant interiors almost always feel cramped, dark, and claustrophobic.

I also like the "cultural" connotations of bus conversions. A Toyota coaster is, in effect, a supersize VW Kombi "samba", and calls to mind the same cultural and historical associations as the iconic Kombi: freedom, the 1960's counter-culture, surfing, dropping out to travel the world for a few years, the "hippie trail" to India, and psychedelic paint jobs:





Granted, the paint jobs on the Toyota coasters in the above videos are more "rap" and "graffiti", than "peace, love, and psychedelia". Still, as a designer it always fascinates me which vehicles people decide are lovable enough to merit very expressive, personalised exterior graphics.



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biotect

Designer
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Here is a great Toyota coaster 4 x 4 conversion that's all about the beach, the sea, and an interior bathed in glowing sunshine:






[video=youtube;lxagiMITOG4]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lxagiMITOG4[/video] [video=youtube;XYVXR3zwFgY]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XYVXR3zwFgY[/video]


[video=youtube;RkbJAUoQ6us]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RkbJAUoQ6us[/video] [video=youtube;RpQJjoVxNSI]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RpQJjoVxNSI[/video]


[video=youtube;FVjuVpzewyg]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FVjuVpzewyg[/video] [video=youtube;4l5mFYPON74]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4l5mFYPON74[/video]



For me, these videos capture the "spirit" of the TerraLiner: how I want the TerraLiner's design to "feel", and express its central purpose as a surf-glamper. But of course the TerraLiner will be much larger.


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