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More Burn From Gasoline

01/14/2008 1:41 PM

I want to know why no one has in the electronics engineering community, Taken a 2008 Ford- Chevy- Dodge and changed the emissions system, To improve the fuel MPG. The system that these folks have created is only about 18% efficient, I believe the fuel delivery system is very much at fault. And by just changing the parameters of the computer should gain a lot of mileage and cut fuel emissions . These sensors and vacuum systems are not very affective , They are really not needed to drop emissions or Improve fuel mileage. Lets look at the Model T which got about 20 MPG, verses the cars of today. And the eighty percent that we are throwing away. If we want to make a contribution to a Green future, I feel it should start here. Our infrastructure is already in place for this technology. This is an achievable goal, So What do you think?

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#1

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/14/2008 9:18 PM

Due to the inherent inefficiencies in the gasoline-powered engine all the elements add to reduce the overall efficiency (incorrect fuel/air mixture, waste heat, friction, etc), problem is a moderate increase in efficiency in one of them (in this case the emission system) will only slightly increase the efficiency of the vehicle overall. The thing you need to remember is that the energy conversion of gasoline to mechanical movement has a naturally poor efficiency with a maximum upper limit efficiency only slightly higher than what we achieve now. Still, every bit helps.

As for the model T Ford, it was a lot lighter and slower than todays vehicles which certainly helped get that efficiency up (heck the electric vehicles of the time were run on nothing more than banks of carbon Zinc D-cell (ish) batterys).

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/14/2008 11:12 PM

Very nice points and I agree about the Model t. But 18% of the fuel this is not acceptable. As far as what we can achieve now with this inefficient motor is , about 100 mile to the gallon. 3/4 ton pickup. and maybe more with a different motor that is really made to run gasoline. I need to find an electronics enginer that knows these systems. And the energy conversion of gasoline is at the least 4 time greater than what we are presently getting. It is not the engine that is the problem really, It is the fuel delivery system.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/14/2008 11:35 PM

You've got a better chance of hitting it big with the lottery. Seriously - don't you think other people have thought of this? Jack-of-All-Trades gave a very cogent answer and you disregarded what he had to say (except for the minor point of the Model T). How much have you studied this topic and associated? Have you ever taken a course in thermodynamics?

Just wondering where you're coming from.

BTW, you need work on your grammar and punctuation.

Mike

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#19
In reply to #4

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:40 AM

No I did not disregard what He said , Actually he said almost what I said[[ The inherent ineffeincy of the industrial engine]] do I need to repeat that?? I just don't agree that it can't be inproved greatly. Andy from germany made a comment that only futhers the cause. IF there were anyone with a positive attitude on increase of fuel use, it would be useful. 25-30 percent fuel use is far fetched. 97 % way of the board. Just the fact that they put a catalytic converter on a car should tell you something. It is not there to do anything but to try to burn up wasted fuel. In 1973 I had a Ford LTD a boat that got 24 miles to the gallon. In 1998 I bought a 68 chevrolet that got 20. I have owned numerous 1950 up pickups that got 20 MPG. I also bought a 1991 Ninety eight regency with a 5.7 diesel that produced 40 miles to the gallon. So were is all this Increase that you guys are talking about?? The only cars that even come close are the very small autos 25% fuel effecient. Lets think about the fuel delivery system, It injects or spays fuel. The fuel that is not burned 82% is exssecive but cools the pistons and moves on to the converter. This fuel is injected. Lets look at a [[vapor]] system inhanced with water vapor. what would we have?

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#51
In reply to #19

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:19 PM

Dear Gibsonrockin247. The engine design itself is inefficient. Reciprocating parts are not efficient. A rotary design is. Not the Wankel. It has been tweaked to within an inch of its life to merely operate.

The increase is hype and bluster. The only increase is to the energy brokers wallets. I am a mechanical engineer and a chemist. The most efficient current design reciprocating engine is 27% at no load.

The engine design I am in the process of patenting is more in the area of 89%.

Dragon

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:32 PM

SO SO SO I found the Guy that has created the new motor .Prove it

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:37 PM

Dear Gibsonrockin247, I did not say that I created it, just refined and perfected it. Nikola Tesla created the prototype in 1911. And if Fortunata smiles on me and the oil brokers don't have me killed you will see it.

Dragon

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:41 PM

I hope you pulled it off, I've tinkered with the idea for years.

Good luck on it all.

Brad

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#122
In reply to #56

Re: More burn from gasoline

03/26/2008 6:02 PM

I read your comments and I wish you nothing but the best in your endeavors. I ordered one of the fuel cells, I don't have a clue if it works but I'm going to keep a positive attitude until I see for myself. It's amazing how many naysayers there are, too much energy wasted saying (it cant' be done.) How is your project coming along, I hope it works out for you. BillyD

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 1:30 AM

I'm not quite sure where you're getting this 18% conversion figure. Standard gasoline engines are approximately 25 to 30% efficient. The rest of the energy is lost as heat largely dissipated out the tailpipe and the radiator. The automobile engineers have made remarkable progress in the last 38 years since my avatar was produced. If you pull up some back issues of car magazines you'll find performance and fuel economy dropped dramatically in the early 70s due to emission laws. Currently automobile engines are commonly producing close to 1 hp per cubic inch, which matches the horsepower to cubic inch ratios of the 60s muscle cars, with lower emissions and better fuel economy. This is remarkable considering emission considerations have a negative impact on both economy and performance. The trick in increasing fuel economy is to keep as much heat as possible in the cylinders as long as possible. Ceramic blocks,fast burn combustion chambers (to allow an increase in compression ratios) shutting cylinders off when not needed are currently being used ,or are on the drawing board. I may be wrong but I cannot see the fuel delivery system having anything to do with fuel economy. As far as a three-quarter ton pickup getting 100 miles to the gallon, if I baby my Hemi powered Dodge ram I can approach 20 miles to the gallon on the freeway. Taking 25% efficiency as the starting point the best I can possibly see would be 80 miles to the gallon at 100% efficiency, however I may be missing something here so if you can explain how the fuel delivery system can increase that figure, all ears.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 8:21 AM

Correcting a mistake I made, obviously the fuel delivery system has an effect on fuel economy, it has already been pointed out that there is very little left to improve on modern fuel injection systems

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#2

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/14/2008 11:09 PM

Plus the fuel used during the model T days is a lot different.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 12:43 AM

Plus the fuel used during the model T days is a lot different

So was the compression and weight of the parts. The issue is the whole system and industries reluctance to change. Retooling cost big. Between the unions and the stock holders vieing for control the consumer looses.

The fuel has inherent issues. sulfur, waxes, lubricity, emissions, cost vs. compression ratio.

Plus the fuel used during the model T days is a lot different Very true todays gas is a Napthene with additives to improve it. Originally gas was a viscosity driven and combustion driven commodity. Things like sulfur and carbon were ignored.

Even if you overcome any of these issues you will find change hard to enact.

Prove your assertions and build a company to exploit it.

Brad

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#58
In reply to #2

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 12:02 AM

Yes it is. the fuel we run today is a long chain fuel which was changed in about 1979 so it wouldn't burn. this is to stop people from making vapor fuel systems. the tempature has to be around 450 F to get it to vaporize. That is you goverment at work with there buddys the oil conpanies. But don't exclude the automakers they are working with them. THIS IS MY LAST POST ON THIS SIGHT, WHY ? YOU PEOPLE WOULDN'T LISTEN TO ANYONE IF THEY HAD A REAL 100% VIABLE NO EMISSIONS CAR ANYWAY. YOU BEEN IN COLLEGE SO LONG THAT YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO DO ANYTHING. YOU HAVE SO MANY NUMBERS ROLLING AROUND YOUR HEAD, AND YOU CAN'T PROVE ANY OF IT, THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING AND YOU ALREADY GOT IT FIGURED OUT . YOUR ALREADY GETTING 99% FUEL EFFIENCY ON YOU CAR ANYWAY. SO GO BURN IT UP.

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 12:18 AM

Please don't YELL! it does not prove your point. Agree to disagree and go on.

You have a limited amount of time, and time is life not money. By irritating others you close their minds to your perspectives. Thus you become frustrated and frustration leads to anger. Stress Kills.

So much to learn and so little time.

Brad

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#62
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 10:52 AM

YOUR ALREADY GETTING 99% FUEL EFFIENCY ON YOU CAR ANYWAY. SO GO BURN IT UP.

We may have spent too much time in college, but you have obviously not spent enough, as your comprehension of the English language is obviously wanting.

No one anywhere on this post has claimed to get 99% fuel efficiency, ever.

What they said (correctly) is than 99% of the fuel being delivered to the cylinder is burnt IN the cylinder.

If you equate that to 99% efficiency, then you need to go back to the books and look up some definitions.

While there, you may want to check on the second law of thermodynamics, which, to my admittedly limited knowledge (B.Eng honours, Materials Science and Engineering) has yet to be repealed!

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#65
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 11:25 AM

The only thing rolling around in my head is my eyes.

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#75
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 2:03 PM

Given your arrogance and abrasive demeanor, I will not miss you. However, I wouldn't want you to leave without any benefit of having been here. In another post to you in the 60 mpg Hummer thread, I provided several links which range from a simple explanation from the university of Virginia, through a hot rodder's explanation, to a computer model from Harvard. All support the contention (widely held by virtually everyone with a general understanding of engine technology) that essentially all the fuel introduced into the cylinder is burned in the cylinder. This is not theory or some "notion". It is simple fact.

In today's engines, one can set the system for lambda of greater than 1, meaning that not only is all the fuel burned in the cylinder, but also that there is oxygen left over to burn even more fuel (if it were there). There are several reasons for not setting lambda higher than 1, but the simplest is that the catalytic converter needs a tiny amount of fuel to work. The cat is not there simply to burn unburned HC. That would be easily and more cheaply handled by air injection.

Good luck with your endeavours elsewhere.

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#82
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 6:51 PM

Dear Gibsonrockin247, My training was a very long time ago and I have intentionally forgotten many things, but one of the things I have not forgotten was how to recognize passion . Passion is constructive anger. Please do not let your passion become destructive. I do not know everything, nor would I let hubris make me for one moment believe that I did. We are batting ideas around and leaving is depriving yourself of the pleasure of the hunt.

However, if you choose to leave, I wish you success on whatever road you take.

Blessed Be Dragon

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#121
In reply to #58

Re: More burn from gasoline

03/26/2008 5:55 PM

I just came across this comment and I wish you the best. I'm looking into the Hydro Assist Fuel Cell. I don't know a thing about engineering, I'm just a regular guy. I ordered one of these fuel cells and I don't have a clue if I'm being scammed but I'm keeping a positive attitude until I see for myself. It's amazing how many naysayers there are and how vicious some of them can be, it's scary. Progress is made by dreamers and doers, not naysayers. Billyd P.S. Whatever you do I wish you the best!

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#123
In reply to #121

Re: More burn from gasoline

03/27/2008 12:29 AM

Billy, I read some of your stuff in the HAFC thread and then saw it here. I truly wish you the best. But, when Dennis says that the engine only burns 15-20% of the fuel going in and the rest is burnt in the CC, you need to stop and think to yourself...Does this guy really know what the F he's talking about. I'll say this now, I do not no much about much but since I came to cr4 a few months ago researching this HAFC I have learned more than I could have imagined. See, a friends wife bought 2 of these after she was convinced she ought to buy a second huge vehicle to show them off with her soon to be new dealership. That was when I joined cr4. She is still waiting.

Please listen to what these guys have to say and take heed.

Lets use this example: 01-05 dodge stratus CC is 275 bucks at autopartswarehouse.com. (Nothing special just found on a search.)

Lets say this car gets 30mpg cruising at 60mph. My neon gets about 32-34mpg at 60mph stock. Now if you drove for one hour at 60mph at 30 mpg you would use 2 gallons. If 80%/25.6 cups of gasoline burned up in the CC then 1 we would be paying much more for a CC, 2, cars with out CC's (there are many) would be pouring fuel out all over the road and 3, the engine only needing 6.4 cups to go 60 miles would be outstanding as far as efficiency goes. When you look at it that way it's just a foolish claim. The ICE is very inefficient but that is due to heat loss, friction and other things as explained over and over by these patient gentlemen here at cr4. If you talk to any smog guy they will tell you that before the CC there is only allowed about 100-200ppm (parts per million) and after the CC there is allowed 50ppm. That is not much fuel left over nor is it much difference before or after the CC.

Also, on the actual page for the HAFC/PICC it talks about a 318ci engine in a Chrysler van going 65mph at a 30% incline. Blink mentions in yet another thread that the 318 does not even have the power to pull the van up a 30 degree incline.

This is direct not modified reply from him when I asked him to break it down for me. I would listen to him, he is somewhat of a subject matter expert.

"A dodge van (of the type that would have a 318) is about 6000 lbs. Rolling resistance of radial tires is about .013%, so at 65, it requires 13.52 hp to overcome this resistance. The coefficient of aero drag for the typical van is .45, and the frontal area is about 36 sq ft (about 6' x 6'). This is actually conservative, because I am ignoring the contribution to frontal area from the tires. At 65, this works out to 30.62 hp required to overcome aero drag. If you add these, it means that a Dodge van would require 44.14 hp to do 65 on a perfectly level road. (For a reality check, that would mean about 22 lb fuel per hour, which is 3.38 gallons to go 65 miles, or 19.2 mpg -- pretty close to right on the money.)

The killer is the grade, which, at 30 degrees is staggeringly steep. That's a 57.7 % grade. That requires 600.8 hp to climb at 65 mph. So the total required hp is 645. That's three times what you can reasonably expect from a 318 installed in a van. BUT... making it more ridiculous yet... they claim that this figure is just 50% power, so this engine would have to be capable of producing just under 1300 hp."

As i said in the other thread, I am not saying that the things in the HAFC package wont work. I am simply saying they wont work as well as advertised IF it shows up.

I have done a bunch of research and there are cheap to build designs that produce more gas than the HAFC. I am working on one now. As far as the special optimizer that comes with it. It is made up of a few fairly simple circuits that modify the signal coming from specific sensors such as the MAP/MAF, IAT, CTS, and of course the o2 sensor going to the ECU to allow a lean burn. You can find simple easy to read build instructions for these as well. This Dennis guy is no good. I know that what ever is said to debate or debunk his claims/findings is quickly rebutted by some ridiculous excuse that people keep buying into. Be careful man. I wish you the best and hope that I am wrong about him and his product. I seriously doubt it though.

Dan

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#124
In reply to #123

Re: More burn from gasoline

03/27/2008 1:18 AM

HI Dan,

I've not seen you here before, but welcome to CR4! You have put your thoughts on this subject in a logical and understandable way without being demeaning or offensive to the opposite view. This is (I believe) most desirable in the debate process. There will always be those with who's views we can become quite agitated about. The best road at that point is one of restraint, exhibited by self-control - not backing down, mind you, just being honorable in our replies.

OK - Enough philosophy!

I'm giving you a point for "good answer"

Mike

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#125
In reply to #124

Re: More burn from gasoline

03/27/2008 10:20 AM

Thanks Mike,

I wish I could say I've been this tactful since getting here. This (HAFC) has been somewhat of a touchy subject for me and I some of my posts while trying to play nice almost turned to hate mail by the end. Still working on it. Practice not perfection...

Dan

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#127
In reply to #123

Re: More burn from gasoline

05/12/2008 3:49 PM

Dan, I have ben following some of your posts on here, and it would seem that you are very matter-of-fact about the HHO producers. I saw the youtube video you linked of the guys switching their mileagemeter back and forth with a hydroxy burner, (or if you will a homemade hydro-assist fuel cell) and the difference was pretty astounding. (15MPG up to 25-30MPG)

Have you completed any testing of your own for this? It would seem that you are interested in knowing the truth of the matter, and several of your posts referenced this, bit I haven't seen any results. I am considering buying some kind of HHO device for my vehicle, but I wanted to know if you trusted any of the sites selling them, or if you had made one yourself. You are located in Lemoore, I am in Fresno. If you have a car with one installed, or know anyone who has, and have tested it, I would like to hear back from you and come take a look at it. It would be really nice to get a REAL RESULT and a final answer on the feasability of installing a hydroxy burner in a car. (Also where to get it, and who could properly install it)

Just in case I can't get back to this thread, my email is jasonautnormal@juno.com. I look forward toa response.

Jason Guenther

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#6

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 1:15 AM

In current engines, 97-99% of the fuel is completely burned in the combustion chamber, and the rest is used to keep the catalytic converter working. Current engines are much more efficient in every respect than a model T engine: the model T was going much slower and weighed less. You can find BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption) charts for new and old engines to prove this to yourself.

The fleet average fuel efficiency has gone down slightly since the 1980's because we buy more powerful cars: My 2004 Honda is 160 hp, and 3500 lbs. My 1976 Accord was 76 Hp and about 2500 lb.

You've picked that area in which there is the least room for improvement. These systems are closed loop and keep the fuel injected to very tight limits, adjusting for air density (temp., pressure, humidity) engine speed and load, oxygen content of the exhaust, etc. The electronics are very precise and can be reprogrammed to suit particular performance needs -- search the web for aftermarket controllers. Be aware that changing the ECU affects emissions, and in the US is illegal. You could spend many months tinkering with fuel injection systems and not improve at all on the manufacturers settings (if you stay within emission control limits). It is possible to produce more power with aftermarket controllers, but they use more fuel -- they don't improve efficiency, just power -- BSFC remains the same, or even drops.

Some are areas in which large improvements can be made:

lower weight

better streamlining

smaller size for less frontal area

regenerative braking

replacing gasoline engines with diesel engines

idle stop control

various hybridizing schemes

fully electronic programmable valve control

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#8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 3:23 AM

The production costs of the fuel play a role that a lot of people like to forget!

I would not personally be surprised if the actual figures, once you have financed in the cost of getting the raw oil, the refinery and the cost of transporting it to where you pump your fuel, were even worse than the 18% quoted!!!

Furthermore, many US citizens drive cars with overlarge engines that further reduce efficiency......most of the people never exceed 70MPH ever.......at least if they want to stay legal that is......and the feel they are doing a great job if they manage to average over 20MPG!!!

My car, averages 6.6 Liters of Diesel per 100 KM, which translates to (if I get my maths right) a little over 35MPG (US Gallons not UK!) as an average using the European testing cycle......

I can travel almost twice as fast as most US Citizens are legally allowed to (its still legal in many areas of the German Autobahn system!) with this car, that is slightly over 200KM/Hour.....aprox 125MPH if I wish.......of course then the consumption is not as good as the average, but with a steady 100MPH I still average over 30MPG......traveling at a steady 70MPH I have not tested yet, I will do, but I would not be surprised to see more than 40MPG....

I can seat 6 persons in my car (there is a cheaper 7 seater version, but my Wife wanted the leather seats and I the Xenon front lights) and the car is about 1.845 tons in weight!!! I am allowed to tow up to 2 tons behind the car.....therefore of course, it is not a Rover mini.....its a Mitsubishi Grandis DI-D, with a 136BHP VW Diesel Motor......

If US citizens began only buying cars with a reasonable fuel economy, the efficiency problems would be much improved by the manufacturers and very quickly too!! Also, cars better orientated to the blanket speed limits that you have in most areas......

My question is, what are your car designers doing to have such awful fuel consumption figures......and please believe me, there are plenty of European/Japanese cars that are FAR more economical than mine......mine is really nothing special. I need such a car as I tow a heavy Caravan around Europe on Holiday.....

Why is it that so many US cars only burn petrol (as against Diesel)?

Why do so many Petrol engines, NOT have a conversion kit to burn gas?

What have you got against Diesel motors in cars? (With a filter of course!)

Also, I could rant on further about the way the most of the US generally ignores the good points of Synthetic oil and continue to use oils (changing frequently for little good reason) that were "Old Fashioned" when my Father was a relatively young man!! But I won't!!! But this alone places a far greater quantity of used oil back in the environment than really necessary....that must also be got rid of in some way......

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 8:09 AM

One of the reasons Europe (and Japan) use so much more diesel than gasoline is because diesel is subsidized in both places so the price is much lower! The added expense of a diesel engine (or a hybrid system in the case of the Prius) is about $4000US. That runs to about 1333 gallons of gas at $3 per gallon (which is a lot less than in Europe because, believe it or not, gasoline is taxed at a much higher rate in Europe than in the US).

I don't have the rest of the statistics to hand, but a rough calculation of 20mpg for the "average" US vehicle versus 40mpg for your diesel is another 26,000 miles, or about two years worth of driving for the average American (that's considered 12kmiles per year by my insurance company).

For most people the upfront costs are noticable while the running costs over time kind of merge into the noise of everyday life. At least that's my observation.

Why don't people convert to LPG gas? The expense plus the issue of finding a filling station. People are used to pulling in to a gas station, LPG stations are used for 20# tanks for outdoor BBQs. They aren't set up for filling cars.

I run synthetic oil in our vehicles (heck, the VW demands it) but again, for most people it's the up front expense, which is roughly double. Plus, until just recently, most manufacturers insisted on a 3kmile oil change if using synthetic or not. If you don't follow the 3kmile change cycle then the warranty is void. Since most engine warranties are at least 36 months or 36,000 miles that becomes an issue.

So why do Americans love big cars? I don't know for sure, but with all the rotten drivers it is a lot safer to be in a tank. There's also that Texan thing that bigger is better. And, of course, there's no substitute for horsepower. That's an American colloquialism. Sort of like "der Weg ist das Ziel."

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#23
In reply to #10

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:53 AM

<One of the reasons Europe (and Japan) use so much more diesel than gasoline is because diesel is subsidized in both places so the price is much lower! >

The statement is incorrect. UK tax-per-unit-volume-purchased is around the highest in Europe. Subsidised it is not!

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:58 AM

Sorry, never bought diesel in the UK. Still not sure it's part of Europe....

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#66
In reply to #24

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 11:47 AM

<....the UK. Still not sure it's part of Europe....>

OK, that's one more....

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#108
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Re: More burn from gasoline

01/20/2008 5:06 AM

Both geographically and politically it is. I assume the USA is part of Canada...?

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#27
In reply to #10

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:30 AM

Why don't people convert to LPG gas? The expense plus the issue of finding a filling station. People are used to pulling in to a gas station, LPG stations are used for 20# tanks for outdoor BBQs. They aren't set up for filling cars.

Come to Canada. Its hard to find a gas station that doesn't sell propane for vehicles!

Conversions are available for just about any engine, a large number of the cabs and courier trucks run Propane.

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#43
In reply to #10

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:01 PM

Rarely have I seen such unmitigated rubbish written in a CR4 blog by someone using a name other than Guest, you do not have a clue as to what you are talking about on anything to do with Europe, or Diesel or car taxes etc etc it would seem!!!! You should check up before writing anything....

If this is what some Americans believe (the ones I personally know do not believe such rubbish, believe me) then no wonder some of you are F****D up!!!and get criticized for many things....

I cannot believe that you actually meant what you wrote, I feel you just wanted to get me up and running, well you have achieved that alright!!!

Common sense tells me that you have some sort of chip on your shoulder or you should be taking some form of medicine!! Where you got your chip, I haven't a clue, but thats your personal demon....not mine....

A few facts to start you off, all checkable on the internet. I will take Germany as an example as I know it better.

1) Diesel is usually around the same price or slightly lower than normal petrol. Recently it was for a time here the most expensive fuel of all....

2) The road tax is far far higher for Diesel cars in Germany (most other countries it is the same for both), you need to drive (depending on model and make) between 10 - 25,000 kms per year here to make it worthwhile against the same car with a petrol engine of lower BHP.

3) The European cars (sorry, the cars sold in Europe is more correct!) generally, seem to have far better average MPG than any US car or truck....why????

4) The cars here are more expensive new with a Diesel engine that is true, but they sell secondhand at far, far better prices, whereas Petrol cars are far cheaper (greater loss) as a secondhand car because nobody (with any sense) wants them!! This means that if you want a return on your investment after a few years, then you go Diesel. Germany sells more that 50% of new cars as Diesel, some other European countries are even higher....
If you buy a Diesel and rack up no miles on it, then why buy a car in the first place? Real Diesel users rack up a lot of miles. I have been retired 2 years and with two cars we have driven over 100,000 KM in that time....

5) Diesel and petrol in most European countries have little or no difference in price. In the UK Diesel comes usually I believe between normal and Super in price for example....

6) If I believe you with LPG, then the USA has not yet found the need to use LPG. Till the need is there, the filling stations will not appear!! Simple economics.....In Germany, LPG is less than half the price per liter of Normal petrol....a lot of people use it, at least half the petrol stations sell it as well as a lot of supermarkets....who sell no petrol or Diesel!!

7) Generalization with regard to oil change time is just simply wrong, the manufacturers that know synthetic oil like VW for example have it as a requirement since about 2001. Often with a 15-20,0000 km change interval. Later VW car versions have a computer to check the way the car is driven to set the oil change point. My VWs that I had before with this computer, required an oil change at around 32-35,000 KMs....and that was including a lot of trailing with a 1.5 metric ton trailer....that is between approximately between 20-22,000 miles!!! This shows you the difference synthetic can make when a manufacturer tests fully and builds his engines to suit. It would appear that US manufacturers have yet to make the tests!!!! They do not have a clue about synthetic!!! If I believe some of what you say!!!The warranties are to say the least, very 1920 style!!! Europe lives fully in the 21st Century, take a tip and follow as quickly as you can!!

With such technology you can save between 4 to 5 oil changes (don't forget both filter and manpower costs) if you drive a modern economic car....

By the way, I have had about 8 vehicles since 1989 running on synthetic, I have never had an engine changed for any reason and I have run up to 400,000 kms on these vehicles. All ran perfectly and used oil well below the manufacturers limit.....generally about 0.5 to 1 liter of oil between servicing.......all were sold in a fully functional and running condition by the way....

My wife filled a previous held Mitsubishi Gallant Diesel with petrol and went for a hot run on the Autobahn of about 120 miles there and back. All the cooling water was blown out, the engine needed a new head, but the car ran for a further 100,000 kms before being sold in a running condition with the same block!! Saved by Synthetic oil.....

Diesels by the way, last generally speaking a lot longer than a petrol engine and engine life is surely important for you Guys too? or not?

8)I run a big car for other reasons, safety is also important, which is why I have Airbags at the front, at the side and for the rear passengers. I have 6 seats, but the car could have had 7 if I had not gone for leather and Xenon.....how many seats do you need personally for you and yours? 98% or more of the time I am alone or with my wife.....are you any different? 2 seats does it for me most of the time....Many people feel here in Europe, that small Guys with big cars for no proper reason really only bought a Penis extension.....some big Guys too......

9) Safety, Diesel burns only at a far higher temperature than petrol. Petrol, at normal US/European temperatures literally explodes, Diesel will just burn, it only explodes if you heat it first above about 45°C or higher.....you have to get it really gassing to explode....so it has a significant safety angle if an accident occurs over petrol....

10)And the need for horsepower is a silly childish attitude that should have been recognized as such when you got blanket 70 and 55 MPH speed limits many years ago, or do you also regularly break the law and drive far faster than allowed? If not, then the HP just brings a low petrol mileage, nothing more nothing less......but then, you still have not recognized that yet either have you?

11) My car emits 176 grams of CO2, which is quite a low figure. But plenty of smaller cars have an even lower figure.... Cars will soon be taxed on the amount of CO2 emitted if the politicians have their way....

I am sorry to be so negative, but you appear to be still living in the car dark ages. I am sure that this is not all Americans (I know this to be true), but it would appear to be enough to be an attitude, sorry Guys......

Wait up Guys till the petrol price starts doubling every few years, your big V-8, V-6 gas hungry cars will not be worth a dime.....suddenly!!

I still admire the USA for a few things still where you lead the world, but not in this area.....

A further point about the dark ages, it was only recently (very recently!) that the USA signed up to reduce the US's Carbon footprint during the next 10 years or so. A truly and fully civilized country should have doe that long ago.....been the first and set an example etc.....but you were also not alone, Canada and Australia were also "lagging" behind.......China too.....so that is also not an area where we can admire you.....almost last but not least?

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#52
In reply to #43

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:03 PM

Dear Andy Germany, I wish to point out a few small misunderstandings. I will use your numbering of your points to elaborate.

3)the average MPG of any model that may be sold in the U.S.(not all models of autos sold in Europe may be sold in the U.S.) is because the autos are intentionally de-tuned by E.P.A. regulations. (C.A.R.B.)

6) L.P.G. is also made from crude oil. The same energy brokers all over again.

7) If you buy a vehicle made for Canada and bring it to the U.S., no U.S. dealer or licensed repair facility will honor any warranty agreement. And the reverse is true. These are vehicles made and sold on the same continent. The problem is one of politics not engineering. The engineers have made the tests and once again the politicos won.

Diesels on average operate a much lower RPM than petrol engines, hence longer life.

And finally my father had a 1974 Chevrolet Suburban with a 5.7 liter (350cid) four bolt main engine. He wore out three transmissions and two bodies while driving 750,000 Km all while changing the oil (conventional) any damn time he felt like it.

P.S. China is one of the worst CO2 sources on the planet with two coal fired power plants going on line per month. They are also one of the loudest complainers about how the U.S. is destroying the environment, so their opinion is worth what?

Dragon

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#53
In reply to #43

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:17 PM

We really don't have much of a choice here with some of our vehicles. Even if imported from Germany. They will not get the fuel milage that your car will get. The same car will not , WHy. The federal goverment will not allow it. It is in the national interest that they don't get fuel miliage. They are taking care of there buddys. I have a freind that just moved here from england. HE says he had a vw V6 diesel that got about 55 miles to the gallon. They would not allow him to ship it here for that reason, the fuel milage. THat is what he says. Do you think this could be true?

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#55
In reply to #53

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:32 PM

Dear Gibsonrockin247, Proverbial nail on the head.

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#68
In reply to #53

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 12:46 PM

I'm still amazed at the number of conspiracy theorists. The mileage is probably not there because of any number of factors, weight, emissions, federal safety requirements, etc and not because some president doesn't want high mileage cars because it will help his friends. Come on now.

Remember too, that EPA mileage figures are based upon a consistent test so you can comparison shop between vehicles. Your mileage WILL vary. And potentially a lot either way depending on the driver's attitude and weight of the right foot.

The EPA says my 2005 (Mark IV) Jetta with the base model 2.0L and 5 speed manual transmission gets 21 city and 28 highway. I have tracked my mileage and entered it into an Excel spreadsheet for over 42,000 miles and the worst mileage I achieved was when I was pulling a small trailer hauling three dirt bikes at 23 MPG. I easily get 30+ MPG on the highway even when driving 75-85 mph, typical highway 33-34 MPG at 65-70 mph. My city mileage is at worst 26 MPG. My lifetime average on this vehicle is a combined 28.7 MPG.

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#73
In reply to #53

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 1:39 PM

They would not allow him to ship it here for that reason, the fuel milage.

This is utter nonsense. We are unable to import Eurospec cars because they do not meet our emission and other standards -- it has nothing to do with fuel mileage. You cannot legally import a Eurospec Lamborghini despite its atrocious mileage figures.

We do have a few conversion companies, but converting a Eurospec car to meet US standards only makes sense for exotics, in which an additional $50,000 added to the cost is no big deal.

55 miles to the imperial gallon is 45.6 mpg (US gallon) which is a figure that drivers of a VW Passat diesel can achieve.

There is no conspiracy to keep fuel efficient cars out of the country. The Prius is selling like hotcakes, 11th in sales of any model, and still climbing.

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 9:05 AM

Hello Andy
136 hp my motorcycle has almost as much, goes faster and gets better fuel economy. Just teasing you diesel guys. The motorcycle does get crowded with six people on.

The point I was trying to make in my previous post was that internal combustion engines whether that be gasoline or diesel have room for improvements with technology breakthroughs such as materials that can survive at high temperatures without need for cooling.

Your post did raise a question however, the current average figure is about 19.6 gallons of gasoline for every barrel of crude. I was unable to locate any figures for diesel per barrel. While diesels are slightly more efficient engines, I'm not sure they make better use of natural resources.

Alternative fuels are available for both engines. In the United States we lack the sugarcane that Brazil has and corn is currently impractical for large quantity conversion into ethanol. Diesels on the other hand seem to be adaptable to a large variety of alternative fuels such as animal fats and peanut oil. Biodiesel is increasingly available in parts of the United States, just curious if alternative fuels are prevalent in Germany.

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#44
In reply to #13

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:05 PM

Diesel and house heating oil is a by product of petrol production, they are basically the same product, but due to tax differences, the heating oil has a trace chemical color marker added to it.....

A few years ago there was a glut of it as you HAVE to make it to make petrol, which was why for many years that Diesel and house heating oil were so cheap, I am not exactly aware of the present situation in that area...

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#16
In reply to #8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:15 AM

Thanks Andy for information, I would like to know more about your test and any furher tests that you might perform. Have you consider a small hydrogen unit on you car?? I have installed one on both of mine and the 3/4 ton chevrolet has jumped from 16.5 to 20 MPG. The mazada has jumped from 21 -31MPG. I am interested in the vehicle that you are driving, anything you can tell me would be helpful. My next step is a fuel vaporizer system which I am Presently test on two 10hp motors ,looks very promising. I am trying to burn 1/3 gasoline and 2/3 water, Through a reactor to turn it into a plasma gas. The motors run very well on it and better than they do on gacoline.

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#45
In reply to #16

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:09 PM

I like the 6 stroke diesel and petrol engines being developed at this time. They have no need for water cooling!!! Lighter engine, but use water for the 5th and 6th strokes.....

See:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_stroke_engine#Crower_six_stroke_engine

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#17
In reply to #8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:35 AM

Andy...please remember that the USA was built on the back of hard work and innovation; the mechanics of design and invention have shifted from the design of physical entities to the design of financial systems that allow money to be made from selling airwaves and soundbites. President Bush's family have tight financial ties to big oil. He has given huge tax breaks to oil conglomerates, and started a war based on falsehoods and lies, to protect his oil interests. Get the picture??? It's not corruption if it's legal, but the interests of "We the people" or world citizens will never be served as long as the law tolerates "special interests" (lobbyists) to dump literally billions of dollars each year to get certain politicians elected - and to buy oil-saving patents, only to bury the ideas, thereby drowning out the voice of TRUE progress and reason. Meanwhile, although we know the score, there is little we the people can do other than kick and scream, and search for honest politicans not yet corrupted by big money, to vote into office. (But Bush stole the LAST election, didn't he???)

Welcome to Real World 101

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:48 AM

So just how much energy did it take to make your tinfoil hat?

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#60
In reply to #21

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 9:45 AM

OK guy, stop searching for weapons of mass destruction and get back on track. [come on now, that tone of denial is sooo familar...] The guest interjected some glaring truths underlaying US policy and the setting of U.S. gas consumption benchmarks, but it looks to me like if things are being done in Europe that US car makers are saying are impossible, perhaps European car makers need to do a better job of getting the word out. Facts, people...just the facts, please.

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#63
In reply to #60

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 11:02 AM

Ford has European divisions, so does GM (Vauxhall etc) and there are obvious similarities in the design and shape of many of the vehicles. If the American manufacturers say it is not possible to produce vehicles with European economy standards, that is ludicrous, as their European divisions already do!

I think the bigger issue is the (perceived) mentality of the American consumer. Virtually ALL of the commercials I see on US channels for vehicles (whether domestic OR import) are all about speed and power, safety trailing far behind , and economy hardly mentioned at all.

The ad agencies seem to only focus on being "most powerful in class", "biggest towing capacity in class" big, Big, BIg, BIG, BIG.

That, in my mind is the biggest problem

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#46
In reply to #17

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:10 PM

...but European and Japanese cars with high MPGs are sold in the USA, vote with your purchase!!!

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#18
In reply to #8

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:38 AM

We recycle our used motor oil as I am sure you recycle your used motor oil in your country. (At least I hope you do) Every commercial establish that sells motor oil is required by law to accept the used oil for recycling. Not to mention that waste handling and transfer facilities (we used to call them "dumps") have tanks to accept used motor oil, coolant, lead-acid batteries and other hazardous wastes. I won't even start on the economies of synthetic vs mineral bases oils.

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#47
In reply to #18

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:13 PM

Waste oil has to be handled, that costs money.

Converting to Synthetic allows a saving of up to 5 changes less as against normal oil, which should also include 5 less filters and 5 times less to pay for the work, assuming you have someone do it for you!!!

Plus the fact that the motors last longer and leak less....

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#9

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 3:37 AM

Go back to horse and cart? Or maybe just dont use the dodge?

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: go back to the horse and cart?

01/15/2008 8:15 AM

if you look at all the problems created by all the horse manure that results from moving all the cargo you'll see that the move to the internal combustion engine reduced the problem of pollution a lot more than you might imagine.

Of course, metaphorically speaking, we create more bull manure with these discussions than all the horses in NYC, but there you are....

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#126
In reply to #11

Re: go back to the horse and cart?

04/06/2008 7:20 AM

This depends on your definition of pollution. The horse is carbon neutral as it does not eat fossil fuel. A horse turd is clearly visible but harmless, car emissions are nearly invisible and dangerous.

And the cost of mushrooms increased when horses stopped being used in cities.

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#14

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 9:42 AM

One reason the US prefers larger cars is the difference in driving conditions. We travel farther, both commuting and vacationing. I, for example, put about 300 mi/wk on my car commuting and know a lot of people that travel farther than I do. With that much time in the car, comfort becomes more of an issue.Some of us spend more time in our cars than in or living rooms.

I realize the higher annual miles drivin should create a demand for higher MPG vehicles, but as stated above, the gas cost paid in smaller increments and we don't feel the pinch as much as we should.

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#15

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:00 AM

I have to disagree with the above statements that there cannot be improvements made in fuel delivery systems. Anyone who has ever really gotten thier hands dirty with a car knows if you run open headers (that is, remove the exhaust system to improve performance), you'll see flames come out of the pipes. Those flames are hydrocarbons which were not burned in the cylinder. Many cars place thier oxygen sensors too far back from the exhaust ports in my opinion, so that some fuel is consumed in the pipes and not the engines. My '88 pontiac fiero 2.5l engine had the O2 sensor maybe 6 inches from the exhaust ports and on a good day I could get nearly 40 mpg (highway). My 2001 Chevrolet Tracker on the other hand, with a 2.0L engine only averages about 25 MPG (highway) and it's O2 sensor is 3-4 feet away from the ports. Granted the tracker is a bit heavier, but you would think 13 years difference would produce something better (especially because the older car is throttle body injected and the newer is multi port). Hell, I reccently saw a new Honda Ridgeline and the window sticker said it got 15/25 MPG (city/highway). My '02 Dodge Ram Van (thats a full sized all steel van, not a Caravan; I haul motorcycles in the back) with a 318 in3 V8 gets about 18 mpg (combined)!

My feeling, other then finding ways to recycle heat in an engine, is that modern fuel injection needs to have an analog controller and not a digital one. Air does not flow in discrete time intervals. Pressure does not change in discrete time intervals. Heat does not flow in discrete time intervals, etc. I also think that much improvement can be made in the response time of things like oxygen sensors, TPS and IAC's and timing. Furthermore, I think we should research safe alternatives to the lead additives of the past and bring compression ratios back up.

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#20
In reply to #15

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:41 AM

on digital electronic timescales, internal combustion engines take an awful long time between power pulses, in this time it is possible to do a huge number of calculations and adjustments. There are also the benefits of programmability i.e. being able to make changes in code. Intuitively I understand your thought processes on this topic but in fact digital is best these days.

having gained all these improvements in power output per litre, the time has come to reduce the available speed. Match the engine to the lower demands of such a profile this will mean a smaller engine a lighter car and more fuel efficiency. People spend a lot of their time rushing from A to B going too fast on one stretch and stuck in traffic in another, with a resultant poor average speed overall.

While on this topic, traffic management involving on-board (in-car) intelligence would be a good step to maximise traffic throughput whilst reducing accidents which make some people buy bigger cars to stay safe. It will also improve the efficiency by burning less fuel per car per unit time for the same distance travelled.

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#25
In reply to #15

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:59 AM

It is a very rare car on which you can run open headers and maintain the original closed loop system. On race cars, and modified street cars, you can throw out all we've said re 97-99% being burned in the cylinder. In racing, excess fuel serves an important cooling function: it's alway safer to run rich.

As far as sensor placement goes, it's better, in my opinion to have to closer to the exhaust valve, but it doesn't matter much in practice. If, as a combustion engineer, you suspected that a lot of fuel was still burning in the exhaust system, you'd simply calibrate the injection timing and volume to cure that in your prototype. The important thing is that the right ratio shows up at the entry to the catalytic converter to get rid of oxides of nitrogen. You'd place several sensors at points along the exhaust path, and see if you needed to move the sensor to optimally place it. You wouldn't guess.

About 20 years ago, digital control of virtually all processes (industrial, automotive, audio, etc) became the norm, because processing speed was adequate to look at samples frequently enough. For the vast majority of people CD's sounded much better (and measured much better) than vinyl even though what should be a sine wave was really a bunch of little stair steps. The difficulty in analog computing is that when you multiply 12 by 12 you can come up with 145 one day and 143 the next. Temperature, input voltage, sensors, etc, etc, all have to be controlled more accurately. I'd guess an analogue computer that would provide the required accuracy for an ECU would cost 10 times as much and would weigh far more. Analog computers are, mainly, museum curiosities. The digital processing rate of a $24 dvd player is far more than required to manage fuel injection and ignition timing.

Your geo tracker illustrates that aerodynamics count. CJ Jeeps, with 190 hp 4.0 liter engines, only go a bit over 80 mph, if you've got the nerves of steel required to drive one that fast. They are not rpm limited at that speed (obviously) they simply don't have enough power to overcome air drag. The original Hummers were obscene in this respect, rarely exceeding 10 mpg, and absolute toads in every measure of performance: A 40 hp VW could run circles around one.

Even cars that look fairly streamlined are not necessarily. The Jag XKE had a Cd over .4 while the Prius is .26 and the EV1 was .19. For comparable frontal areas, the Jag would require twice the HP of the EV1 to overcome aero drag.

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#109
In reply to #15

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/20/2008 5:09 AM

Analogue computer... RAOFL .. damn I laughed so much I let my mouse go..

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#22

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 10:49 AM

Whilst on this topic, what's the rush? People buy faster and faster cars, drive like nutters and for what? They are just going from one queue to another. And what does everybody do with the time saved? I've seen them having jumped red lights, cut up other road users to gain two car lengths, pull over to read a map or get out stretch and relax. Here's an idea why don't they leave earlier? They have wasted the apparent time saved; as well as fuel efficiency let's remember time efficiency.

That's better.

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#26

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 11:23 AM

OK, I'll take my turn at this, although I'm no expert.

I agree with one poster that the engine will burn 100% of the fuel put into the cylinder, either in the cylinder or in the catalyst. What that ratio is I don't know, but I bet it's pretty good under steady state conditions. It's better than it was 10 years ago during acceleration as well.

But even if you burn that fuel completely all the heat produced is not captured by the engine and converted to mechanical work. A lot goes "out the pipe" as heat. Then you have transmission losses to friction, etc. Losses as the tires engage the road surface. Probably a long list here.

There has been a lot of work done on finding materials that can operate at temperatures that would be at the peak efficiency for the thermodynamic process of the engine but, from what I understand, the materials that can handle the temperature can't take the stress.

Now personally I'd be interested in learning if a small turbine driving a generator that charged a battery set as well as drove motors with regenerative capability as well as plug in capability to recharge the batteries off the mains....short of fuel cells I would speculate that this would be the most efficient system you could come up with. But I bet it's not cost effective at the present cost of fuel.

And that's the bottom line - people will pay for what they want. You can't force people to a "green future," only economics is going to do that.

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 12:19 PM

Now personally I'd be interested in learning if a small turbine driving a generator that charged a battery set as well as drove motors with regenerative capability as well as plug in capability to recharge the batteries off the mains

That, in combination with very light weight, low frontal area and streamlining is the recipe for my vehicle. With one expection. A small turbine is not only expensive, but also inefficient. They are used as APUs in aircraft primarily because they are compact and light, rather than fuel efficient -- the small diesel APUs used in trucks are more efficient. Jet engines in general are not fuel efficient -- if we weren't in such a hurry we'd travel by prop planes. The turbines used in power plants are efficient only when waste heat is recovered and used for some other purpose. Otherwise, you might just as well use a diesel generator, as it typically done for power in remote settings.

Of course, because there is no large market for small turbines the prices are astronomical. At one point I had a tiny plane that I was considering powering with a small turbine or a small gasoline engine. The gas engine (experimental, not certificated) was about $2000. The turbine (also experimental, not certificated) was $80,000 many years ago.

But your post is spot on in other respects. (Although I'd might also disagree a little with forcing people to a green future -- if it weren't for government forcing emissions controls, engines would be far less efficient, and 2 or more orders of magnitude more poluting in terms of NOx, CO, and unburned HC. A 2-stroke Saab, from pre-emission days, emitted about 25% of its fuel unburned right out the tailpipe. On a per mile basis, this is many thousand times higher than todays cars. Also, in the US, our laws and lack therof favor high energy usage per capita. In countries where laws do not favor high energy consumption, yet where the standard of living is as high or higher, energy usage per capita is much lower, by 50% and more.)

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 1:56 PM

"And that's the bottom line - people will pay for what they want. You can't force people to a "green future," only economics is going to do that."

No truer words were spoken. Economics is the all powerful persuader.

Many of the contributors to this thread have touched on the "hurry up and wait" type of driving we all have seen.

Long ago in the 1950's, Mobilgas held an annual economy run, a contest between various makes and models to find the most economical production automobile in classes ranging from big V8 automatic transmission cars to small standard transmission cars with overdrives.

The unusual thing about these contests was the choice of drivers. They were all young, averaging eighteen years old and were drawn mostly from the local hot rod clubs.

The rules were simple, no coasting, no driving over or well below the speed limit. Each car carried four people, three drivers and one Mobilgas observer. The drivers were trained to treat the accelerator pedal gently and move it as little as possible. In fact we used the term "balloon footing it" to indicate the gentle acceleration which would yield the best mileage and not engage the gas guzzling accelerator pump in the carburetor.

The "circuit" was always about 175 miles long and went through the city and countryside so we could experience and try our skills at driving economically. One skill we were taught was to time the traffic lights so we seldom had to stop completely.

"Keep it rolling" was drummed into our heads by the Mobilgas instructors who taught us in specially equipped cars with visible hood mounted fuel reservoirs. I was amazed at how far one pint of fuel would take a 1956 V8 powered automatic transmission Cadillac sedan when driven by the instructor (about 2.5 miles).

I still practise those driving techniques stretching my mileage well beyond all reasonable expectations for a 650 horsepower 67 Chevelle "musclecar". In fact I've achieved better than 20 miles per gallon around town and 25 mpg on trips. As a result, I can still enjoy a 12 second blast down the dragstrip at 10 mpg and not strain my bank account.

Driving techniques play a more important role in obtaining fuel economy that most people realize. My son once drove me in my car and complained about the "lousy gas mileage". I told him to fill it up (on my card) and we went for a ride thru traffic and then on the open highway.

When we got back a few hours later after having a nice lunch, I asked him to fill it up again. He was astonished at how little gas we had used. I pointed to his "hurry up and wait" and his jackrabbit starts as an expensive style of driving. This brought a new parent/child relationship where his respect for "the older generation" was greatly increased LOL.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 2:59 PM

Many of the contributors to this thread have touched on the "hurry up and wait" type of driving we all have seen.

So True.

My first example is when I had the dubious honour of driving my boss out of town and back. A later model Honda Minivan. He is a FAST driver, darting in and out of traffic, making full used of the kick-down to pass on the highway. When I drove he could not understand why we managed the trip on less than a tank of gas, he expected to have to fill up on the way.

I drive like a wuss, and am proud of it. I set the cruise control, watch the traffic in front and change lanes in plenty of time. That's it, nothing magical, but a 20% fuel saving.

My second example is from a few years back

When I first came to this country many years ago, I and my then wife drove a 67 four dour chevelle, with a 283 CI V8 and a two speed automatic.

It used to take her a tank and a quarter of gas to drive from Edmonton to Lethbridge (in Alberta). When I drove, it took 3/4 of a tank.

She did not believe me when I told her how she was driving. She would stomp on the gas pedal to get to 10-15 KMH over the desired speed, then coast to 10-15 under, then stomp on the gas again.

A couple of months later, we were back seat passengers in her father's car ( a mid 70s Caprice classic with a 400 CI V8). On the dashboard was an economy meter, which would swing wildly from really good fuel economy to really bad. I asked her to watch what her father was doing, and the economy meter.

Her had taught her to drive, so she drove the same way as him, using the gas pedal as an on/off switch!

After that, I managed to 'de-programme' the way she drove, and taught her to be smoother. That and reducing the speed from 120 kph to 90kph is what made the difference between a tank and a quarter or a three quarter tank trip!

No matter how fuel efficient the vehicle, if the driver has a race track mentality, the fuel economy will be way less than it could be.

If/when we get the the point that the cars drive themselves, that will be the biggest single leap in fuel economy we will see!

On a slightly off topic note, my personal belief is that all private vehicle should be electrically powered, or hybrid at the very least. That way, at least the OPTION of zero emissions vehicles will be possible, as you can plug your vehicle into a renew-ably supplied energy source to charge it.

For the long distance runs, and heavy goods vehicles, I think fossil fuel is still going to be the major power source for many years to come (Unfortunately)

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 3:27 PM

OK, maybe I've got the daffynition wrong, but to me "zero emissions vehicle" is an oxymoron right up there with government efficiency. The problem is that, to move a vehicle, you have to expend energy. Electric powered vehicles, short of fuel cells, simply move the emissions out of the LA basin (yep, picking on the left coast now) and put the smog into the grand canyon - coal fired smog too! NIMBY in the exterme.

The only way you're going to get a ZERO emissions vehicle is to generate hydrogen from water using electricity from non polluting sources (wind, hydro, solar, nuclear?) and use the hydrogen to power a fuel cell.

You are probably only going to have enough power (unless you use nuclear) to move public transportation - everybody having their own vehicle is too inefficient.

The changes to society to allow that are going to be huge. The US and Canada are not set up for this. Europe and Japan are a lot closer.

I'd bet it will take a good hundred years and an economic crisis.

I agree with you completely on jack-rabbit driving techniques....

And I don't believe taejon is old enough to have been driving in the '50s....

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 3:37 PM

I dis-agree with the Hydrogen approach, for the simple reason that it adds more cost, in-efficiency and complexity to the whole process.

Rather then use (hopefully green) power to generate hydrogen which must then be compressed (which heats it up, so it must be cooled, wasting energy) and stored at high pressure (it should be noted that because of the small atomic radius, NOTHING is impermeable to hydrogen), and then burnt in a fuel cell, I think the best option is to use that green energy to recharge batteries or supercapacitors (or something like that) and use them to drive the electric motors directly.

As many a person has told me, K.I.S.S.

The fewer parts, the less the complexity and cost, and the greater the reliability.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 3:43 PM

Yeah, the hydrogen cycle has a lot of inefficiency built in. Unfortunately, given the current state of battery technology, the range of a battery-only vehicle just doesn't fit the culture well. A plug in hybrid isn't bad, but it's not zero emissions. A decent choice for commuting though.

Oh well, better minds than mine are working on this.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 3:47 PM

Yep, I agree.

I can't wait until we can buy cheap fusion reactors at Wal-mart like the one in Back to The Future II (?) (though it looked suspiciously like a blender to me!)

Bung in a couple of banana peels and some coke and half a bag of chips (crisps for the English viewers) and off you go for another 10,000 miles!

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 3:49 PM

erm, would you really want to buy a cheap fusion reactor from anywhere? But I like the idea.

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#37
In reply to #32

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 5:13 PM

Precisely.

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#49
In reply to #32

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 8:09 PM

I did except for this.

Removal of the last 5% of the water cost more to remove than the rest. This is usually accomplished by zeolite absorption.

Hydrogen produced this way should be cheap and as needed, eliminating the storage problem all together. Now we just need a better conversion for our thermal input.

2bits from

Brad

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#128
In reply to #32

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

06/05/2008 2:06 AM

Hydrogen changes the burn charicteristics of the fuel - that is all it is good for -

That is good for 20 % increase in MPG and a 45 % DEcrease in emissions on my

Ford 460 F 350 CrewCab -

Listen to the people who are DOING the work.

rcb

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#36
In reply to #31

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 4:35 PM

"And I don't believe taejon is old enough to have been driving in the '50s..."

Indeed I was driving in the fifties, however my Avatar, who's photo graces the left hand corner of my posts, was not driving until well into the sixties. In that case I am guilty of "robbing the cradle".

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#38
In reply to #31

Re: Zero emissions vehicle?

01/15/2008 5:24 PM

The only way you're going to get a ZERO emissions vehicle is to generate hydrogen from water using electricity from non polluting sources (wind, hydro, solar, nuclear?) and use the hydrogen to power a fuel cell.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Zero emission vehicles are not zero emission vehicles (unless they are charged via solar, [etc] and you ignore the environmental cost of making the cells [etc]).

I am not a huge fan of petroleum, but is a great interim step, via high efficiency plug in hybrids. People like the concept, it's incremental, there's little reason for buyer resistance, etc. Biodiesel, ethanol, etc. perhaps in time, but right now no gas station wants to devote pump space to those for such a tiny market.

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#48
In reply to #30

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 7:22 PM

There are basically NO Zero Emission cars at this time, the production of the Hydrogen or electricity is usually done with Fossil fuel!!! A lot forget that!!

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#67
In reply to #30

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 11:57 AM

<...I drive like a wuss, and am proud of it. I set the cruise control, watch the traffic in front and change lanes in plenty of time. That's it, nothing magical, but a 20% fuel saving....>

Indeed; there's a lot to be said for wussy driving techniques.

OK - just done the calculations for a 1400cc VW Polo Estate 2 door. Over the last 253.5 miles mixed between town and dual carriageway ("freeway") driving it achieved 50.47mpg (imperial gallons), at a fuel cost average of £0.0931GBP per mile. Much of that can be attributed to gentle driving below the posted limit, and partially using the slipstream of larger vehicles at speed whenever safe and appropriate to do so. There's still a long way to go to catch up Blink's figures, though!

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#71
In reply to #67

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 1:25 PM

it achieved 50.47mpg (imperial gallons), at a fuel cost average of £0.0931GBP per mile.

In the US, that would be about 42 mpg. We have very few cars in the 1400cc range, although I happen to have an old Daihatsu that has a 1000cc engine. With careful driving, along the lines of what you have described, I once recorded slightly over 50 mpg over a distance of about 300 miles. I would routinely get 40 mpg, even in town.

The problem with fuel mileage in the US has little to do with engineering (our Prius gets the same mileage as a Eurospec Prius) and everything to do with buyer behaviour*. US drivers simply love to drive gas hogs. Nothing short of magic will make a fuel efficient vehicle out of a Hummer H2.

Fortunately, Priuses are selling like hotcakes, GreenTech is the hot investment, and there is an astonishing alliance among security types (who don't want to rely on foreign oil), environmental types (for obvious reasons), and conservative Christians (creation care)... all of whom favor using less oil.

Obviously, I am hoping the interest in efficient vehicles continues.

BTW, while your Polo might not match my Pod One in fuel efficiency, I'd look quite strange trying to carry 4 people. (Of course once I magnetize the fuel line, pre-vaporize the fuel, add the hydrogen generator and the windmill energy capture device, then I'll be able to bring out the BIG version, and still get 200 mpg.)

* Buyer behaviour is strongly influenced by car manufacturer advertising and tax policies that favor buying ultra large vehicles for the business write-off. The traditional style SUVs here are based on truck platforms, and have obscenely high profit margins, partly because there is more profit on a 6000# vehicle than on a 3000# one, partly because there is a lot of profit on the accessory gee-gaws these monsters are equipped with, and partly because a 50 year-old-tech chassis is cheap to produce.

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#74
In reply to #71

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 1:50 PM

One other thing about the SUV's built on truck platforms (in the US) is that they are not required to comply with either passenger car safety or fuel economy standards.

Most of the imports do, as in markets outside the US this ludicrous exception is not permitted, and most imports are designed for world markets (with regional variations and tweaks)

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#103
In reply to #71

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/17/2008 9:45 PM

Ken your pod will never break 200 miles to the gallon, inless you install the weighted hubcaps.

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#105
In reply to #103

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/17/2008 11:37 PM

I was hoping to keep the weighted hubcaps secret. That, and the larger rear wheel so it's always going downhill.

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#115
In reply to #105

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/29/2008 11:48 PM

Well it was just posted on another forum. I wanted to be the first one to move it over here to more burn from gasoline. Pre ignition catalytic converter. Ken I need to borrow the pod. It looks like 400 miles per gallon is possible by combining technologies.
http://www.preignitioncc.com/us/index.htm

PS. Also need good fuel stabilizer. Afraid fuel in the tank will go stale.

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#116
In reply to #115

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/30/2008 1:11 AM

In the other thread, I posted a link to a video about Dennis Lee, fraudster extraordinaire, who is promoting the PICC. He's done jail time, but he's out and up to his usual tricks. He's the guy who is sucking exhaust in the video. "Dennis Lee scam" (in quotes) turns up 100 hits on Google. "Dennis Lee" fraud: 12,000 (many of which are other Dennis Lee guys, I'm sure.

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#117
In reply to #116

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/30/2008 10:23 AM

Dear Ken, speaking of "fraudsters", once many moons ago, Bob a brash young engineer in our group, was convinced a device which installed in the distributor to "ionioze the incoming mixture" would improve his gas mileage. Bob installed it and each noon Gary, one of the engineers, would drain a gallon of gas from the forklift and pour it into Bob's tank.

Of course Bob was delighted with his vastly improved gas mileage and exulted in announcing his superior judgement over our wiser heads. This went on for two weeks and then Gary started draining a gallon from Bob's car and returning it to the forklift each noon.

Bob's mood changed from elation to a funeral somberness. After two weeks Gary stopped removing the gas from Bob's tank having evened the debt to the forklift. We would ask Bob about his great mileage and he would mumble something about it being suddenly better but he was returning the device to the manufacturer "for his money back garantee"(which he never got in the year we worked together).

Since Bob understood little about engines and tended to believe every ad for water injection, monopole spark intensifiers, fuel line magnets and this "ionizer" gadget as being based on factual data, he began to suspect his engine needed an overhaul and started asking for our reccommendations.

That's when we knew we had to tell him the truth. Bob learned a lesson about how devious a cadre of engineers can be (LOL) and something about the intricacies of the Otto cycle engine. I lent him a few books and of course, the masterful work by Harry Ricardo.

Bob later came to the realization that if it worked as well as the ads proclaimed, it would certainly be used by the teams of race car mechanics who look for even the slightest edge to put their driver into the winner's circle.

Regarding PICC, certainly a "50% improvement in gas mileage" would get the attention of Jack Roush and other NASCAR owners. Imagine the Darlington 500 mile race without the need for half of the fuel pit stops. NASCAR could silence all the 'greenies' who claim auto racing's technology has done nothing to improve fuel mileage. But alas, the PICC is just another scam just like Bob's 'add on' gadget from the JC Whitney catalog.

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#118
In reply to #117

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/30/2008 12:29 PM

Great tale

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#119
In reply to #117

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/30/2008 12:47 PM

Thanks! Great story.

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#120
In reply to #116

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/30/2008 8:42 PM

Love the video, where do these guys come from. At least as a faith healer you got to watch a show before he took your money. Well got to go,going to send your link as well the one I reposted to a friend, he needs a good laugh.Maybe I can find one on the Dale,do you remember that three wheel contraption?

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#113
In reply to #71

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/21/2008 11:03 AM

More data: Same VW Polo filled from the same pump, this time with a higher proportion of city driving (a trip through central London included in the figures) and significant motorway ("freeway") driving up to 70mph (the National Speed Limit). 362 miles at 48.6 miles per imperial gallon average. £0.097GBP per mile average fuel cost.

Each vehicle keeper pays a road fund licence to central government. The smaller vehicle attracts the lower rate of £110GBP per annum, and insurance is cheaper too. It is apparent that there is a higher proportion of smaller vehicles on the UK's roads these days, so it seems these incentives are working.

The application of 'Pod One' would be an interesting development here, though it is probably ahead of its time - for the moment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5 makes interesting reading too.

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#114
In reply to #113

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/21/2008 1:09 PM

If only the Polo were the norm here: good handling, responsive, pleasant to drive, and about twice the fuel efficiency of our current fleet average.

When I want a pickup truck, I hitch up a 4'x8' trailer to my Honda, and voila! For the other 99.99% of the time, I leave the trailer at home, and I get to drive a nice efficient car, instead of some evil-handling, crude riding, overweight, 50's design, gas-guzzling pickup or SUV.

The Pod One may be a bit ahead of its time here, too. On the other hand, there has never been a time when people have been as concerned about fuel efficiency for so many reasons. Loads of new companies are starting up to make small vehicles -- I hope many will be commercially successful, but it's a crowded field.

I remember the Sinclair -- which was the brand of my first electronic calculator, which my brother gave me after having built it from a kit.

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#79
In reply to #30

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 4:45 PM

Zaphod2Headed you said"

On a slightly off topic note, my personal belief is that all private vehicle should be electrically powered, or hybrid at the very least. That way, at least the OPTION of zero emissions vehicles will be possible, as you can plug your vehicle into a renew-ably supplied energy source to charge it."

I agree to some extent. In the interim this would be an answer. Ultimately mass transit must be developed if we are to effectively reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on fossil fuels. Mass transit, which serves from the shortest of trips to the transcontinental journeys, must be inexpensive and frequent enough so the citizen can depend on arriving at a destination with regularity.

This is one area where government could actually benefit the citizens. Government subsidies for mass rapid transportation systems would encourage innovation and development. In the US the government did do this long ago when it created the Interstate Highway System during the Eisenhower administration.

Now freeways and Interstate highways have replaced the old two lane blacktop roads as primary routes of travel, speeding commerce and the public to destinations once thought to be beyond reach within reasonable travel times. Many now commute 50 or more miles to work, dismissing this as an acceptable distance where our grandparents would have considered this to be a journey of considerable proportions.

The economic object of public transportation is not to deny freedom of movement by restricting the methods chosen to exercise that freedom. Public good comes from the choices to spend time, money and energy availing various modes of transportation.

In other words, we should all get to choose the mode of transportation we wish to use. What we need are more choices and electric is certainly viable however I don't think it should be mandatory.

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#81
In reply to #79

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 5:07 PM

HI Taejonkwando,

I agree that making something mandatory is usually a heavy handed approach, and if something IS going o be mandatory, there had better be a good reason for it (Seatbelt laws come to mind).

I think electric propulsion should be the ultimate aim where feasible, because when (please please please!!!) the storage capacity/quick re-charging problem is resolved, it will be the simplest and hence cheapest and therefore most acceptable zero emission technology (assuming the power generation is green, though we still have a long way to go on THAT score).

I don't for-see electrically powered (battery/super capacitor etc) powered commercial aircraft, heavy equipment or transport trucks, due simply to the massive amounts of energy they would require. Personal vehicles are the obvious starting point, because for the most part the required range and capacities needed for everyday use are quite small, and in the interim at least, hybrids offer a stepping stone that address the biggest drawbacks of electric propulsion (lack of range, fear of 'new' technology) while offering the comfort and convenience of something familiar (a good old internal combustion engine).

I think it will be a very long time indeed before there is no longer a use for fossil fuelled internal combustion engines, but the more we can do to reduce their use in the meantime the better.

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#39

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 5:28 PM

It occurs to me that my 1969 Alfa Romeo had a fuel injection system you would like. It had an analog computer, in fully mechanical form. Bosch made such a system for Mercedes, Porsche, and others.

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#40

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 6:08 PM

Given the inherent problems associated with IC engines, why is more effort not spent on the development of steam-driven vehicles? Wasnt the Stanley Steamer a fairly robust automobile? Couldnt improvements in this type of technology reap rewards?

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 6:22 PM

If I remember correctly, steam engines suffer from the same kind of thermodynamic efficiencies as IC engines.

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#64
In reply to #41

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 11:15 AM

"If I remember correctly, steam engines suffer from the same kind of thermodynamic efficiencies as IC engines."

Yes. I remember back in the 70's Bill Lear of Lear Jet fame built some steam powered busses for the City fo San Francisco. I remember there was a lot of publicity but they seem to have faded into the past.

Perhaps the advertised efficiency wasn't achieved or the prototypes were unreliable but you are correct, steam engines suffer from the same inefficiencies as any other external or internal combustion engine.

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#86
In reply to #41

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/17/2008 9:24 AM

Fun stuff!

... Let's see, where did I put that tea kettle?

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 6:27 PM

If you can close the water circuit, maybe. Otherwise, you need to stop often for water. That could be an issue up here, when its 20oC below freezing.

The other problem would be the time it takes to go from a cold start to operation.

People these days just don't have the patience to wait for a boiler to produce steam!

But, you are still using a heat engine, so you are still limited to a theoretical max efficiency of way less than 50%.

If you used electricity, your efficiency would be over 95% at point of use.

If you are using a heat engine to produce the electricity, then you are back way below 50% total efficiency.

The use of renewables to generate electricity directly (solar, hydro etc) would bring your total efficiency up over 90% again. (OK, I realize that PV cells are only about 25% efficient in their conversion of sunlight to power, but sunlight is free, and any 'unused' by the PVs does not cause pollution and so the inefficiencies of PV cells does not detract from the overall efficiency in the same way an IC engine's inefficiency does)

I do think that it may bring back some of the romance to travel if we all had steam powered vehicles, but from a practical perspective, I think the glasses are definitely rose coloured!

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#76
In reply to #42

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 2:19 PM

Pullin' numbers out of your butt again...oh well. Alberta, eh? And you haven't put a remote starter on your car yet?

Sorry, got caught up with that pack of wild dogs that have been nippin at ya.

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 3:28 PM

No worries SPIJman,

The '79 civic being a manual choke beastie isn't particularly well suited to the addition of a remote starter; the '07 was ordered with one as part of the sales contract!

I have to admit to mixed feelings about the remote of the comfort/conscience variety. Since I usually park in a garage at home, using the remote first thing in the morning isn't really an option, but I have to admit that when is 25 below with a windchill to 35 below, my finger has been known to 'accidentally' hit the remote button a few minutes before I leave work in the evenings!

As for the 'animated discussions' in the forum, point and counterpoint is where it gets interesting, and the vast majority of posters here seem to accept that we will all have our points of view. For those that don't/can't, we that's their loss.

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#50

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/15/2008 9:27 PM

Yeh,

All is about the money...look who is in the control now. Just bunch of well groom gays of whom we little know about. Really we do not know them at all. Study economics again do not be narrow-minded. Our input (from us little consumers) to Green effect driving the biggest cars is nothing what the air force and army contributes. There have been a lot of innovations in this field but that industry buys there rights to make sure that it will not resurface. King is money.

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#70
In reply to #50

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 1:25 PM

Wow, you are soooooooooo misinformed. You should know that I work for a major defense contractor and our biggest problem is that manufacturers produce goods more for consumers (MUCH BIGGER $$$$) than the military. Our high reliability ceramic IC's and other parts are falling by the wayside for plastic parts that have no lead. We have vendors who just tell us, sorry you don't buy enough parts to make it worth our while. Here, you can use the same parts folks design into $10 throw-away cell phones. The consumer market drives electronics. Period. The automotive field is no different.

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#61

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 10:19 AM

While there are ways to make small improvements in the efficiency of the IC engine, what gets overlooked way too much these days (especially in the USA) is the huge energy savings that could be made by cars that are designed to efficiently transport our butts around. The biggest areas of waste are in using engines that are way overpowered for the vehicle. A second big waste is the air conditioner (in areas of moderate climate). It seems people are way too soft, expecting to always move around in a tight comfort zone.

I am still driving my 1990 Honda Civic DX, and last week got the typical 46 mpg (January in Ohio). This car has a 1.5 liter engine and can easily pull a fully loaded Camper & Boat. It is hard to find a car with an engine below 2.0 liters. See picture & more info in my previous blog at:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/96030

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#69
In reply to #61

Re: More burn from gasoline

01/16/2008 1:00 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_stroke_engine#Crower_six_stroke_engine

If you haven't already read about the six-stoke mentioned earlier, I recommend it. Are any automotive manufacturers interested in developing it?

It is obvious that the "limited" mpg restrictions do not only apply to American built autos, but imports are either modified or prohibited from being imported into the USA. Differences in Emission control standards are cited as the reason. I very much want to get my hands on both sets of standards for comparison. I don't understand how a small or mid-size automobile can be prohibited while Hummers are popping up like dandelions.

Strictly from an environmental perspective; Things we can do while waiting on the government and auto makers to change:

Live close to work, or between both workplaces of a household. (OK - the longest drive uses the smallest car..) I have never lived farther than 7 miles from my job (currently two blocks 0.25 mi.) - and I have lived in various cities, states and countries. One needs to be flexible and adaptable.

Carpool - obviously

Solicit more companies to shift to 4 day work weeks.(10 hour in US, 40 hr. work week) Also saves on industrial heating and cooling costs, or at the least provides 3 day weekends for employees on a staggerd shift. It's a responsible choice, and many reasonable companies do so once they analyze the cost structure.

Tax horsepower or engine size and give breaks to big vehicle owners only when the truck is actually used on the job (not to drive the Hummer to and from the resteraunt they own). Many macho truck owners buy big trucks for show, and justify the purchase by using it to pull a trailor once a year. (OK - will need to organize petitions and contact senators, congressmen and the White House to get this done - but..OK!)

You get the point...we can sit around huffing and puffing all day waiting on the other guy, but if this conversation is driven by economical or environmental concerns, (this is not directed at the engineers of the group) get off your duff and do your part.

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