- Apr 8, 2016
That article is far from conclusive on how this would function. High charging rate, would be accompanied by faster-than-a-battery discharging rate. There's a reason capacitors aren't used in place of batteries everywhere.Here is an article on using ultracapacitors (via Maxwell Tech) @48V to power A/C on gondolas. Granted this is not in a Florida environment, but it does show that high-rate charging can happen at the stations during operation. Capacitors have superior cycle life as compared to conventional battery designs, but are typically more costly.
When following one of the links in the article, it states that these are used on gondolas that make a "5 minute trip."
Googling further, I discovered something surprising. That gondola system had an outage that lasted 40 minutes about a month after it opened.
Dozens of passengers were left dangling up to 300 feet in the air yesterday after a multi-million pound cable car linking key Olympic venues broke down in the searing heat.
In the above article, a passenger that had ridden on a normal, 5-minute trip, had this to say: "“When we got on there it took only about five minutes and it was very hot so I can’t imagine what it was like up there for more than half and hour.”
So, it's debatable that this Emirates gondola line is a quality example of air conditioning working on a gondola.
Whether or not air conditioning is technologically possible, I was opposed to it because of this exact scenario that occurred at Disney. Here's why:
1) There is just no real engineering answer to practically air condition a gondola for 3+ hours in Florida. The London AC gondola system that is being held up as the example of this can't even cool one for 5 minutes - in London.
2) An AC gondola stuck in the air for 3 hours would be way more uncomfortable than a gondola designed for passive cooling - because the AC will quit long before 3 hours. A gondola that is designed for AC would not also be equipped with the same amount of rider-controlled passive cooling because it would defeat the AC when people opened the windows. So, window use by the riders would be severely limited, by design. Even emergency windows would not be designed to cool as well as an entire cabin that was designed with passive cooling.
A passively cooled gondola is not as comfortable as sitting in air conditioning. It's just not. But it is the only practical type of gondola to use for comfort and even safety. This breakdown really proves that because no one has ever proposed an AC solution that lasts for 3 hours.