Moving around efficiently: Energy and transportation
Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University – P.O. Box 9504, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Worldwide, transportation takes almost 20% of the total energy use, and more than half of the oil consumption. By far the largest part is used by cars powered by internal combustion engines. The reason is simple: oil and gasoline are ideal energy carriers for transportation, since their energy density is extremely high. However, in terms of energy efficiency the internal combustion engine has a poor performance: about 25% only. How does this compare with electric cars? What are the alternative transportation systems and their efficiencies anyway? In this lecture we will analyse the efficiency of various transport systems, using elementary physics principles. We will look at cars, buses, trains and TGVs, ships, aircraft and zeppelins. Also the efficiency of human powered vehicles will be considered. Special attention is given to future mobile energy carriers like hydrogen, batteries and super capacitors.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences - SIF 2013
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