Considering Electrification at Arcosanti

Andrew Wheeler is one of the 22 March workshoppers who came from the Boston MA based Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Of the 22 students almost all are men (except 2) and most are getting architecture degrees (some civil engineering and construction managment).

Andrew is an architect but his family background is engineering and so he plans to go to graduate school and pursue an engineering degree.

He loves cars but unlike when I grew up around muscle cars he seemed more interested in tweaking out small fuel efficient cars. So I selected him to be on our team along with Arcosanti’s Angus Gluck on retrofiting the 5hp gasoline powered 9 cuft concrete mixer to run on electric.

We decided to do this for several reasons:

  1. Health issues associated with handling a unreliable gas engine that includes constant expose to fuel and fumes.
  2. Loud and noisy engine that often made communications difficult
  3. Inefficient as compared to electric motor
  4. Unreliable nature of gas engine

After several days work and good metalworking skills of Angus we were able to do a maiden voyage of mixer last wed. It was very quiet and we realized that it did the same amount of work needed to stir the concrete mix with about 1/3 the horsepower. What that translates on a practical level is energy savings in that we need 1/3 less energy to do the same job.

We hope that future plans can include a system to charge the Concrete Mixer using solar panels. We are now looking into how this can be done.

I also feel that this could be the start of a effort to reduce our reliance on gasoline power devices including cars.

On that note I recently saw this on the Clean Tech discussion group about: White Zombie – World’s Fastest Street Legal Electric Car

The White Zombie is a Datsun 1200 that turns 11.466-second elapsed times in the quarter mile with a trap speed of 114.08 miles-per-hour. And to cap it off, there are about 800 pound-feet of torque at zero rpm. How’s this possible? Well, it’s solely through electricity. It’s an electric-powered Datsun 1200 and it can smoke gas-powered

Complete Story and Video here:

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