Originally Posted by Speed Daemon
...Sure the turbine can be shut down and restarted at will. Why would you think otherwise? Sorry if I was unclear about it, but I am talking about a purpose-built turboshaft powerplant that's designed from the ground up to generate electricity and nothing else, with the possible exception of heating the passenger compartment when needed. Since it's for use in an electric car, there will be ample battery power available to spool the turbine back up. I'm not talking about jet engines here. Big difference!
Yes a turbine engine can be stopped and started like any engine. Never suggested it can't. However the turbine isn't efficient anywhere from start to 90% of it's optimum engine speed. And unlike a piston engine, a turbine would take more time for the rpm to speed up to optimum rpm. And no I'm not talking about a thrust propulsion engine. =)
I'm not saying it can't be done, but given the current technology, it's either not practical nor cheap to do so. There are companies working on concepts on what you're suggesting. Jaguar already have a concept car out, but this is more of a study than anything else. Other companies are looking to conserve the energy that has already been built up on the turbine. One study has a flywheel like device similar to a flywheel (mechanical) hybrid. Others are looking into an electric motor to spin the turbine to optimum operating speed, given the electric instantaneous torque, I feel this is the best approach.
Give it another 10 to 15 years before the technology is practical. By then I bet the mainstream powersource would be from batteries. =)
Happy New Year!!!