cube wrote:Lets not try to be coy here now.All your examples are still running off fossil fuels.
Huh? What are you talking about? They are run on electricity.
Yes I know that vehicles can be powered by electric motors; that was never the question, everybody knows that......it is the source of the electricity that I'm interested in.
*google search* http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4071124.html
Electrical power supply method and system for open pit mining equipment
A land vehicle such as an electric motor-operated power shovel working on the floor of an open pit mine is supplied with electrical power from a remote source by a flexible electric power cable. To prevent vehicles working within and moving along the floor and terraced sides of the mine pit from being obstructed by or traveling over and damaging the power cable, such cable is suspended between its ends from a lighter-than-air balloon tethered at an elevation above the shovel and terrain between the power source and the shovel. The balloon is tethered to a support cable anchored at one end near the power source and at the other end to the shovel. Connectors placed at intervals along the support cable interconnect the support cable and the power cable while enabling the power cable to slide in opposite directions along the support cable. The support cable is connected to the shovel in a manner enabling the shovel to rotate while working without twisting the cables.
Damn! Never heard of that before. Now that is interesting but there's still a slight problem. You can't have all your vehicles run on an electrical extension cord lifted by a balloon. *insert mental image*
So long as vehicles do not "cross paths" then you're okay. But some of the vehicles MUST have the flexibility to go around each other without fear of tangling up electrical cables. They would need to be battery operated. (remember we're envisioning a post PO world where diesel fuel does not exist). This system would probably work best for those special construction/mining sites where there is this one super large machine such as those coal excavators that need to move around but only slowly.
Bagger 288 for example
A vehicle such as a dump truck or any truck would need to be battery operated b/c it absolutely must have the mobility. It makes me squeamish to think how much $$$$ in lithium ion batteries that's going to cost. There's also the problem of transporting and installing a windmill in a post PO world. You can't drag a power cable behind you on a freeway! One thing is for certain there will be a lot less construction going on in a post PO world that's for sure.
Electric cable powered construction/mining vehicles seems interesting but the application is to limited / specialized to save humanity. It would only work in an open pit mine and on the plus side most iron ore is mined through open pits but I still see a die-off scenario.