Batteries, Wind, Solar and More: Why Our General Manager is Building an Electric ’51 Dodge (It Means Your Alternative Energy Project is in The Best Hands)
In the world of alternative energy, innovation, and forward-thinking leadership are essential to driving progress and change. At Re:Build Optimation, our commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new frontiers is not only evident in the projects we undertake but is also exemplified by our General Manager, Bill Pollock, who is currently building an electric ’51 Dodge! That’s right, Bill equipped his 99-horsepower internal combustion engine with a 99-horse electric motor powered by Tesla batteries, and you’ll be curious to find out how that ends!
This blog briefly covers Re:Build Optimation’s involvement in battery building, the excitement around perovskite solar panels, and the wind energy sector, all while shedding light on how Bill’s curiosity and professionalism are woven into our company’s DNA.
Table of contents:
- Introduction: Curiosity and Commitment
- Alternative Energy Case 1: Energizing the Future with Batteries and Fuel Cells
- Alternative Energy Case 2: Perovskite Solar Panels
- Alternative Energy Case 3: Harnessing the Wind’s Potential
- The Fun Case: Bill’s Electric ’51 Dodge
- Conclusion: Leading the Charge in Alternative Energy
Introduction: Curiosity and Commitment
The journey into the world of alternative energy begins with Bill’s passion for innovation and sustainable solutions. Beyond the conventional, his endeavor to transform a classic ’51 Dodge into an electric marvel is a testament to his curiosity and determination. Just as Bill’s project showcases his dedication to pushing boundaries, Re:Build Optimation is equally committed to being a trailblazer in the field of alternative energy. We believe that our mission extends beyond projects; it is a commitment to shaping the future through renewable and sustainable energy solutions.
Alternative Energy Case 1: Energizing the Future with Battery Building
Battery technology is a pivotal component in alternative energy, seamlessly intertwining with the world of web coating. Our involvement with companies (ex. Ultralife and Imperium 3) has allowed us to contribute significantly to advancements in battery assembly machinery.
For instance, our collaboration with Ultralife focused on the creation of battery assembly machines tailored for cylindrical batteries. These batteries, resembling compact cylindrical AAA cells, utilize a configuration known as a “jelly roll.” In essence, they are composed of multiple layers of lithium and rechargeable materials. It’s fascinating to note that the structure of these batteries, while intricate, isn’t a far cry from a collection of smaller batteries working in tandem.
In contrast, trapezoidal batteries, another facet of our work, deviate from the cylindrical norm. These batteries employ layers of anodes, cathodes, copper, aluminum, and insulators to form square battery units. This design allows for higher density packing, optimizing space utilization. However, the trade-offs involve considerations such as cooling and heating systems, crucial for maintaining optimal performance and efficiency.
The diversity of battery types underscores the intricate dance between size, weight, power output, and application. Consider electric cars, for example. Striking the right balance between battery size and weight is crucial for efficiency and range. It’s worth noting that once the scale reaches a certain point, such as in semi-tractor trailer trucks, the excess weight of batteries can be counterproductive. This challenge has led to the exploration of alternative solutions, such as fuel cells.
In alternative energy, battery technology connects various aspects of sustainability and innovation. Re:Build Optimation’s team is at the forefront of battery technology, developing innovative solutions that drive efficiency, longevity, and sustainability. While we may not be directly manufacturing fuel cells themselves, our expertise plays a pivotal role in various aspects of the hydrogen economy.
Generating hydrogen is a critical step, and we collaborate with partners who specialize in hydrogen manufacturing equipment. Once the hydrogen is produced, another challenge lies in efficiently transporting it to its destination. This involves developing systems and solutions to ensure that hydrogen reaches its intended users in a safe and effective manner.
The process of adopting hydrogen as a fuel source necessitates the development of fueling infrastructure. This is particularly evident in logistics and transportation, where the initial adopters of hydrogen fuel cells have been trucking companies. Warehouse operations, like those at Amazon and Walmart, have recognized the advantages of fuel cell-powered forklifts over traditional gasoline or diesel options. The speed and convenience of refueling, coupled with the consistent power output of fuel cells, make them an attractive option for indoor operations.
Fuel cells offer a different approach to powering larger vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells provide a lightweight and efficient alternative to massive battery packs. They hold the advantage of quick refueling, making them a viable option for long-haul trucks. While hydrogen refueling stations are still relatively sparse, their strategic placement along major highways ensures efficient and uninterrupted movement for freight carriers.
The transition from lithium batteries to fuel cells in larger vehicles, especially in the context of electric semis, showcases the intricate considerations involved in alternative energy solutions. While fuel cells offer advantages in weight and refueling time, they come with their own set of complexities and costs.
Re:Build Optimation’s role extends beyond just fueling systems. We are actively engaged in designing and constructing fueling stations that cater to a range of vehicles, from trucks to cars. Additionally, fuel cell testing is a crucial step before these technologies hit the market. We have been creating test systems that ensure the quality and reliability of fuel cells.
The concept of electrolysis adds another layer to the picture. Electrolyzers essentially function in reverse, utilizing power to create hydrogen from water. This innovative approach provides a pathway for producing hydrogen using renewable energy sources, contributing to the overall sustainability of the hydrogen economy.
In Re:Build Optimation, safety is priority, as hydrogen is flammable and possesses explosive potential, we continue to progressively advance in safety protocols, regulations, and technology.
For example, the Hindenburg disaster serves as a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences that can arise when flammable gasses encounter an ignition source. In the past decades, we have witnessed a concerted effort to understand, control, and harness the potential of hydrogen in a safe and responsible manner.
Fuel cells and the broader hydrogen sector are experiencing remarkable growth in the United States. The convergence of government support and private investment has fueled unprecedented advancements and opportunities within this space.
Today, a web of regulations, codes, and safety measures envelops the hydrogen industry. These safeguards are not merely arbitrary rules; they are the result of meticulous research, rigorous testing, and collaborative efforts to ensure that hydrogen can be utilized as a viable and secure energy source. The lessons learned from historical incidents have paved the way for a comprehensive approach that prioritizes safety without stifling innovation.
It’s important to emphasize that hydrogen, like many other substances, can indeed be safely harnessed within the framework of established guidelines. The transformative potential of hydrogen as a clean and efficient fuel source is not overshadowed by its flammability. Instead, it is complemented by cohesive rules and guidelines to safety, responsible practices, and ongoing research.
Re:Build Optimation learns from history and applies effective lessons to build a foundation of knowledge and expertise. The juxtaposition between the Hindenburg disaster and the contemporary hydrogen landscape underscores the evolution of our understanding and the strides made in ensuring that innovation and safety coexist harmoniously.
Alternative Energy Case 2: Perovskite Solar Panels
Named after the naturally occurring mineral perovskite that shares their crystalline structure, PV solar panels are set apart due to its remarkable efficiency and versatility. These solar panels have the potential to capture sunlight more efficiently than traditional silicon-based panels, resulting in increased energy output from the same surface area.
One of the most exciting aspects of Perovskite Solar Panels is their ease of fabrication. Unlike traditional solar panels, which often require complex and energy-intensive manufacturing processes, Perovskite panels can be produced using relatively simple techniques. This opens the door to streamlined production, reduced costs, and increased accessibility to renewable energy solutions.
Central to the promise of Perovskite Solar Panels is the concept of roll-to-roll coating, a cutting-edge manufacturing technique that Re:Build Optimation is a world leader in. Also known as web coating, this method involves depositing thin layers of material onto a flexible substrate that moves continuously through a series of processing stations. Read more about our Roll-to-Roll (Web Coating) Manufacturing Process.
Re:Build Optimation’s proficiency in roll-to-roll coating is a game-changer for the mass production of Perovskite Solar Panels. This advanced technology allows for the precise and uniform deposition of perovskite materials onto large, continuous rolls of substrate material. The result is an efficient, high-volume manufacturing process that significantly reduces production costs and accelerates the deployment of solar panels on a global scale.
Alternative Energy 3: 3D Printing and Windmill
While most wind turbines are manufactured in Europe, we are actively engaged in increasing the efficiency of these turbines right here in the United States. One of our groundbreaking contributions is the development of a large scale, dare we say possibly the world’s largest, 3D printer for concrete, a technology that has the potential to reshape the way wind turbines are built and positioned. By utilizing this advanced printing technology, we’ve engineered a solution to construct taller windmill bases, significantly enhancing their efficiency and energy output.
Our initial notion revolved around the challenge of constructing towering wind turbine structures using steel, a costly material. This led to a groundbreaking idea: what if we could utilize concrete to create the foundational lower portion of the tower, upon which a smaller metal tower could be mounted? This approach would effectively double the tower’s height, resulting in quadruple the energy output while maintaining the existing windmill blade configuration. Crucially, this method would be considered cost-effective if the expense of printing the concrete base proved to be lower than manufacturing another windmill head.
To bring this plan to fruition, Re:Build Optimation secured a facility and worked on a collaborative effort with GE (General Electric). Our joint endeavor focused on developing a 3D printing technique to create the foundational bases. Yet, the complexity of printing concrete bases involves multiple considerations. One key factor is the incorporation of rebar (reinforcing steel) during the printing process, as utilizing only concrete, devoid of rebar, would compromise the structural integrity and functionality of the base. In logistical and technical aspects of printing concrete towers, the towers are spaced at specific intervals, necessitating the mobility of a large 3D printer to transport it between locations for base printing.
An essential aspect of the process involved careful management of the concrete’s setting time. Balancing between rapid solidification and avoiding blockage in the pipeline, we executed precise pauses in printing to introduce reinforcing steel using a robotic arm. This ensured optimal integration of steel within the liquid concrete, producing a structurally sound base for subsequent curing.
As we continue to refine our approach, Re:Build Optimation’s expertise in engineering, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness positions us as pioneers in the field of wind turbine construction, optimizing energy production and contributing to a greener future.
Fun stuff: Bill’s Electric ’51 Dodge
To blend a classic automotive charm and cutting-edge electric technology is not an easy thing to do, but it surely is fun. Bill’s venture involves a 1951 Dodge pickup truck that has undergone a remarkable transformation. While the front of the truck retains its original 1951 Dodge design, the chassis is now a 1993 Dakota model, and the back half has been fabricated from scratch, resulting in a unique amalgamation.
The journey of Bill’s electric truck began with a 99-horsepower internal combustion engine, typical of its time. However, he made the decision to embrace the electric future by equipping the truck with a 99-horsepower electric motor. This synchronicity between the original power output and the electric motor’s capabilities adds a serendipitous touch to the project.
To power the electric motor, Bill integrated used Tesla batteries, utilizing six Tesla modules to create a 144-volt system. While this voltage level is notably lower than the robust configurations found in Tesla’s vehicles, it aligns with the amateur realm of electric vehicle conversions. By maintaining a familiar transmission setup, Bill opted to forgo the direct drive approach utilized by Tesla and retained the classic transmission connecting the motor to the drivetrain.
The aim was never to replicate the impressive range of a Tesla, but Bill’s electric truck project embodies the spirit of innovation and sustainable transportation. It’s a labor of love that marries the nostalgic charm of a classic truck with the modern advancements of electric propulsion.
While deadlines may not drive Bill’s progress, the joy of the journey and the excitement of pioneering in the electric vehicle space motivates him every step of the way.
In the end, this project serves as a reminder that alternative energy solutions can seamlessly blend with any history, legacy, and systems we have in place, breathing new life into classic vehicles and transforming them into symbols of sustainable progress.
Conclusion: Leading the Charge in Alternative Energy
At Re: Build Optimation, our commitment to alternative energy extends far beyond the confines of our projects. It is a commitment that we carry in our hearts and in our actions. Just as our CEO, Bill, embraces innovation through his electric ’51 Dodge project, Re:Build Optimation is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in battery technology, solar energy, and wind power. We stand at the forefront of change, pioneering solutions that transform industries and inspire a more sustainable future.
As we drive forward, fueled by curiosity, expertise, and a shared vision for a cleaner, greener world, Re:Build Optimation remains resolute in our pursuit of excellence. Our journey is one of discovery, innovation, and leadership, shaping the landscape of alternative energy and empowering a brighter tomorrow for all.
In the hands of our capable team and under the visionary leadership of our CEO, your alternative energy project finds its perfect ally. Re:Build Optimation is not just a company; it’s a force of positive change, leading the charge toward a future powered by renewable and sustainable energy solutions.
To start an alternative energy project, reach out to us using the form below! We’re experts in –
- Battery Energy Storage Technologies
- Fuel Cell Technologies
- Photovoltaics including but certainly not limited to Perovskite
- Power Generation via Wind, Solar and Hydro
- Petro based fuel processing
- Green fuels, such as Ethanol and derivatives
- And more!
And, to interview our CEO Bill Pollack about his amazing 1951 Dodge Restoration & Reimagination project reach out to Meghan Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Form located in the contact us page