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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
HarveyD This is basically the same platform as the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze or Buick Verano. If you want an electrified version, buy the Chevrolet Volt which was being sold in Germany as the Opel Ampere.
This article is quite misleading. Most contemporary cars are front wheel drive (or AWD and based on a FWD) and do not have a separate differential case. The differential is enclosed in the transmission housing which is almost always made from an aluminum alloy. Maybe pickup trucks are still using a cast iron differential housings but even rear drive cars already have aluminum differential housings.
I wish they would fund more research and development on traveling wave reactors which have the potential to burn the waste from conventional reactors plus use the vast stores of "depleted" uranium. These proposed reactors would burn the fuel to completion and leave almost no waste, do not require refueling over their design life and do not have a runaway mode.
So what could be wrong with this statement? "We calculate that with a physical area less than 10% the size of the Sahara Desert, our process could remove enough CO2...." Fun with numbers but did they calculate how much of the world's resources would be consumed by covering 10% of the Sahara Desert with Solar Collectors. Maybe we could just use floating mirrors on the Oceans to beam the sunlight back into space. Of course, we would just burn less coal or maybe even support birth control.
Yup, this is crazy. If and when there is "Superfluous electricity from renewable sources", it would make more sense to pump water uphill and then generate hydro power. In Germany, they could first quit burning peat (which has to be worse than burning coal) and then they could quit burning coal. Or failing that, they could just store the existing water and use more hydro at night or when the wind is not blowing.
mahonj I believe that it uses a liquid salt bath (fluorine lithium beryllium (FLiBe)) to absorb and carry away the heat. The hot salt will then be used to heat helium to run a Brayton cycle (closed cycle gas turbine) power plant. There is a little detail in the caption for the drawing. Anyway, I hope they get the funding to keep working on this project as this is the most hopeful thing that I have seen on Fusion. I would also like to see more work on traveling wave fission reactors that have the possibility of consuming the current nuclear waste and burning mostly U238.
Diesel is typically cheaper in the summer than the winter in the US as it is a similar product as heating oil which has a higher demand in the winter.
I also wanted some more information on average cruising speed. Were they able to basically keep up with traffic to achieve this or were they a rolling traffic hazard?
ai vin Water injection was also used on many of the turbo-charged bomber engines and on some of the early jet engines. In the case of the bombers, it allowed the use of higher boost at low altitudes for take off. The 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire (GM) which I believe was the first turbo-charged production car also had water injection.
@Bob Wallace Just doing the math: (1.51 - 0.28) / 1.51 = 1.23 / 1.51 = 0.81457 = 81.5%
@ai vin I probably was mostly thinking of America when using "we" but the only place that probably has an excess of "clean power" is Iceland in the form of Hydro and Geothermal energy along with a small population. Germany is burning Peat to generate electricity which has to be worse than coal. Also, the US is shipping wood pellets to some European countries including Denmark to burn for electric power which is somehow counted as "green power"??? What I am trying to say is to replace this power instead of trying to make hydrogen or liquid fuels. @Bob Wallace I think that the measure of efficiency is the amount of overpotential. The article mentions 1.51 V (280 mV overpotential) to reach a certain current density and they give an efficiency of 81.5% which I take to mean that the overall energy value of recombining the hydrogen and oxygen is 81.5% of the energy that when into splitting it. No free lunch.
I will not fault their research as I truly believe that knowledge is important. However, the idea that we can use surplus "green" electric power to make hydrogen or other liquid fuels seems unrealistic. We only generate a few percent of our electric power with wind or solar. If we have more wind or solar power, it makes much more sense to just quit using coal and then cut back on natural gas. If we ever got to the point that where we had a temporary surplus of "green" power, it would make more sense to pump water uphill.
Impressive power density for a diesel with over 100 hp/liter. The GM 2.0 liter SIDI gasoline engine gets just over 135 hp/liter and is one of the most power dense non-race engines.
This will be known as the Goodenough battery? Seriously, why they did not say was anything about energy or power density but maybe that will come after the basic research.
I believe that the Class 8 Heavy Haul would be somewhat better using LNG with diesel pilot for ignition as being marketed by Westport Innovations. This allows the engine to run as a true compression ignition diesel while primarily running on natural gas. The article does note that this type engine was not considered as there was not sufficient data.
Yup, hard to make predictions especially about the future. Very difficult when the future is 10 years out and you do not know what the breakthroughs will be. Maybe Tesla will have taken over the automotive world or maybe they will have gone bankrupt and be all but forgotten.
GM either has or will have a more random deactivation scheme that is basically load following. For a V8, it could fire 5 cylinders one revolution, then 4 or maybe even 3 and all cylinders would see an equal loading.
Water injection was commonly used during WWII for turbocharged radial aircraft engines during takeoff. (high power and low altitude) It was also used in the 1962-63 Turbocharged Oldsmobile F-85.
This thing sets a new standard for UGLY. It would be more like a rain drop if was running in reverse, except that a raindrop only has that shape as it drips off of something. Once it is free, the surface tension pulls it into a sphere. You can get the same effect of the so called bone structure by separating 2 skins with either foam or honeycomb material which is how most race cars and contemporary aircraft are made. If I was grading it, I would give it a D at best.
Lad Ford is not shipping jobs out the US to Mexico. The US auto companies have had a long standing agreement with both Canada and Mexico where no duties are paid either way as long as the dollar value being shipped both ways balances. Ford builds engines in Mexico which are shipped to the US and US made Ford Taurus (for example) or US made Ford Escapes are shipped to Mexico. What this accomplishes is that it allows the smaller Mexican and Canadian markets to have a complete lineup of Ford (or GM) vehicles. Unfortunately, I do not have a solution for the low interests rates on savings.
I think that it is a beautifully designed car and it is probably really pleasant to drive but I still think that the price differential over the Chevy Volt is way too much. Maybe, I could justify a $10,000 price differential but the differential is apparently more like $30,000 (2016 ELR price and 2015 Volt price?).
This car looks really nice and the coefficient of drag of 0.26 is impressive but it will not get 60 mpg. With the diesel, it might get a real 45 mpg and with the 3 liter turbo-charged gasoline, it might get high 20's with careful driving. The numbers that come out of the European and Japanese driving cycles are very much inflated.
The Malibu is a larger vehicle than the Volt which more the size of the Chevrolet Cruze. Anyway, I am glad that GM is bringing out a reasonable strong hybrid onto the market. With the Volt, the Bolt (which needs a better name in my opinion) and the Hybrid Malibu, GM will have a reasonable electric lineup to build on.
Probably the only practical way to make hydrogen without generating CO2 is high temperature electrolysis using nuclear power and even then it is questionable. We will never have enough "renewable" electric power to waste on electrolysis. The power density is just not there. A good estimate for average electric capacity is 1 w/m2 for wind energy and about 25 w/m2 for solar photovoltaic for a reasonable sunny location. I did a calculation for the land area just to supply the current electric requirements for the US using 1.5 Mw wind turbines with the recommended spacing and ended up with twice the area of Wyoming.