Archive for January, 2018

Battery Stations for Electric Cars (Innovative Idea – 1)

January 29, 2018

Battery Stations for Electric Cars

Most of us are innovative in our own way and in our own fields of interest. But only a few of us have time enough to crystallize such ideas into workable models. And still very few of us have the wherewithal to develop these innovative ideas into products or into patents to be developed by others. So, it is natural I have some ideas innovative enough to present in a few blogs to follow. I won’t know whether they are good enough to deserve patents. But, even if so, I make it clear here, these ideas will remain free of any patent rights and hence any developer may use these idea or modify them in any way to evolve a product useful to the humanity. However if somebody finds it economically viable only to produce under a patent, then they can apply for a patent, but only with my express permission and agreement. My first Innovative Idea is about Electric cars which are being developed by car manufacturers. I am sure some of these ideas could have occurred to, many of the engineers involved in this project in different companies. But here it is all in one place for them to think about.

We are in the era of electric cars. When electricity was invented by Edison and Tesla, their initial application was for electric traction. But for personal transport the petroleum is still ruling as the most convenient fuel and source of energy for more than a century. Electric traction is preferred only for public transport on fixed routes and for minor applications like golf carts etc. The reasons are obvious:

  • The electrical energy can be stored and transported only in the form of batteries.
  • Larger the amount of energy, larger is the size and weight of the batteries, and hence, the problem of transporting the battery itself.
  • The range of travel possible by a single unit of battery is limited as of now, to a maximum of about two hundred miles.
  • The charging of these batteries to full capacity always takes a minimum of about an hour, and many times even more.
  • As the battery gets used up with many discharges and charges, its capacity to store energy gets reduced, thereby reducing the range of travel gradually.
  • As the battery gets older it takes even longer to get fully charged, if at all.
  • Older batteries will finally need to be replaced.

As of now, all the electric car manufacturers spend their efforts in finding ways of:

a) reducing the battery size and weight,

b) increasing its capacity, and

c) decreasing its charging time.

These efforts delay introduction of newer models of electric cars and also makes the cars more expensive. Instead we should introduce more numbers of initial models of these cars and incentivize buyers to go in for such cars in large numbers. The benefits to users, the society and the world in general are fairly obvious. But then how do we solve the problems of electric cars as cited earlier.

We can bring electric cars to greater use only with the following facilities:

  1. Batteries for cars should be treated as a source of energy very much like gas or petrol. Hence like gas stations or petrol bunks, we should provide Battery Stations on roads and highways where we can change the discharged battery, with another fully charged battery for a price. The price may be fixed based on the energy stored and battery brand of both the new and exchanged batteries. We have to design battery tariffs accordingly
  2. The design of the battery compartment in the cars must be in such a way that used batteries can be easily jettisoned in a road-side Battery Station and the fully charged battery can be picked up and docked automatically, (very much like in a gas station or petrol bunk).
  3. Cars may be provided with a reserve battery of smaller size and limited range of a few miles. This will also be a part of safety feature, to cater for main battery failure. Alternately cars may even be provided with duplicate batteries, of suitable capacity and size.
  4. The first ever battery for the new car may be provided against a deposit, just like gas cylinders for domestics fuel.

Even in the near future if manufacturers come out with Electric cars with bigger and better batteries with ranges of 400 miles or more, the problems of aging and charging of the battery will still continue. Hence it may eventually be better for general public, to go with the now-available technology in a big way, with the help of the wayside Battery Stations suggested as above. In places like India, the auto-rikshas may be electrified straightaway thereby reducing the pollution levels to a great extent.

Please check my future blogs for more such innovative ideas.




South Indian National Party

January 18, 2018

South Indian National Party
Today (11th March 2017) is the day our Prime Minister Modi and his party, the BJP have scored big wins in UP and Uttarakhand. While one can be happy that Modi and De-mo have eventually won, the size of victory was definitely not expected. Personally I am afraid that this may lead to complacence among the leaders of BJP. In a more narrow sense, I am even afraid this may lead to increased neglect of South India where BJP (and congress) are considerable weak. I have always been thinking we need a strong South India based national political party to offset this neglect. No central government, which is predominantly run by North India based national party, show much interest in solving the problems of the south. It perhaps wants the southern states to be permanently in a state of mutual conflict so that they do not gain much political clout in New Delhi. These North Indian Parties may even feel politically threatened by the unity of southern states. I have listed some of these issues in the following paragraphs. This is precisely the reason why I feel there is a need for a “South Indian National Party”. This party, SINP, should encompass all the southern States namely, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra, Telengana, Goa and Puduchery. In this context, I remember the old suggestion of elder statesman Rajaji, to form a Dakshin Pradesh, as compared to Uttar Pradesh in the North, which eventually developed as power centre in the national politics.

The neglect of south starts from early days of Sri Lankan Tamils conflict in 1960s. SPKF, Liquidation of LTTE, gifting of Kaccha Tivu are all subsequent effects of such neglect. There are several great rivers in the North, flowing through several states and being shared by them in a peaceful manner with proper agreements in place and monitored by the Central Govt. To name a few: Bhakra Management Board for sharing of Sutluj and other rivers among Punjab, Haryana, HP and Rajasthan; Narmada water between Gujarat and MP. But when it comes to south, Central Govt is keeping the following river problems unresolved for many years: Krishna water to Andhra (Almatti Dam issue), Mullai Periyar issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Palar issue between Andhra and Tamil Nadu and finally Cauvery issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Even after Supreme Court has ruled a solution to this problem, Central Govt is not willing to form a Cauvery Management Board. Recently we have seen the inept handling of Sasikala, Jallikattu and Hydro Carbon issues. Only time we had some unity among the southern states was when, Kamaraj, Nijalingappa, VKRV Rao, C Subramaniam and R Venkatraman were at the helm of affairs in the Congress Party.

Hence I feel the leaders of next generation of politicians in South India, should think of forging an alliance with other such leaders in the other southern states and try and form a South based national party which we may call as “South Indian National Party”. It may propose a unified solution to the problems of South India. Some of their ideals could be:

1. Any inter-state problems should be discussed dispassionately between all the stake holders and propose at least temporary or interim solution which could ward off a permanent state of animosity between the states and its peoples
2. Discuss methods of sharing all the natural resources in a mutually profitable manner
3. Forge a cultural unity among the peoples of southern states. (Music, Dance, Movies and Literature will help a lot in this respect)
4. Impress on the central Govt to have at least one short session of Parliament in the South, say Bengaluru.
5. Arrange for members of legislators of other states to attend the Assembly sessions of any state. We may even invite a few members of Parliament for such sessions. This will promote unity and also familiarity with the problems specific to such state.
6. Last but not the least, there should be mutual respect among the different language groups and cultures.
7. Could promote Southern Tourism in a big way.

Many more ideals could be added after discussion with leaders of different regions.

I am sending this note to several new wave politicians in Southern States to set them thinking on these lines. I wish they will respond and take my idea forward.

L V Nagarajan / 11th March 2017