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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
I will echo Herman's "Well Done" comment.
Every time I see a prediction like this I am reminded of Yogi Berra famous quote -- "It is really hard to make predictions, especially about the future." Navigant is just some hired gun consulting group. These types of predictions are usually wrong as they do not know what types of break-throughs will be made in the next 20 years.
Part of this effort was a research project and there is value in knowledge gained. However, the total energy is only 2 KwHr which is not that that large for a Lithium Ion battery. And to emphasize electric-car-insider's comment, they should state the overall system efficiency.
SJC Not a big deal but just for the record, I am a practicing Mechanical Engineer with 3 degrees including a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from MIT along with a degree in Physics. I have designed springs and taught others how to design springs. I used to teach the senior design class in the local University and still am the adviser for students competing in the FormulaSAE competition so I know a fair amount about springs and suspensions.
SJC I know that the Corvette uses leaf springs. They have 2 cantilever transverse leaf springs, 1 for the front, 1 for the rear. It is a relatively clever system that keeps the unsprung weight down. However, I would argue that a spring is a spring and they managed to replace what would have been a piece of steel with a lighter material that is also corrosion resistant.
OK but this is not really new. GM has been using glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) springs in the Corvette for at least a decade. I do wonder why they use glass instead of carbon fiber which is even stronger for the mass.
Almost 45 years ago (spring of 1970), I was a master's student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT and was attending a weekly seminar in fluid mechanics. The inventors of the magneto-rheological fluid came in and gave a seminar on the properties of this fluid and had some demonstrations. I remember that they did not have any particular use for the fluid and were not sure what it could be used for. However, it had some interesting properties which they thought might be useful for something. Sometimes, it takes a while to go from lab curiosity to practical use.
This article is rather loose with the numbers and the math. How do you reduce the NOx emissions by 457%? Reducing it by 100% would imply no emissions. Also some of the reduction assumes that a diesel engine is replaced with a gasoline engine plus their hydraulic hybrid system. It would probably be more efficient to replace the hydraulics with ultracaps and an electric drive but it might not be less expensive.
I would like to know more of the technical specs on this engine and how they manage to run cleaner than a 4-stroke engine. Unfortunately, they do not have any cutaway drawings in their literature. Are they using the back side of the piston for pumping as is common for 2-stroke engines or do they run a separate pump/supercharger? Are they running exhaust after treatment? Most likely. Anyway, these engines are not light. The 300 hp engine weighs 558 lb
HarveyD Yes, this was only a engineering concept car. However, as they said: "Our goal was to investigate how to design and build a mixed-materials, lightweight vehicle that could potentially be produced in high volume, while providing the same level of safety, durability and toughness as our vehicles on the road today." This type of engineering research work usually proceeds actual production engineering. You might also note that their research has also led to a weight reduction of 700 pounds (318 kg) in the new production F-150 through the use of high-strength steel and aluminum.
It all depends on how you drive. I once drove a colleague's older Prius and got about 40 mpg. I was immediately told that I should have gotten about 50 mpg but I was driving as I would have driven any other vehicle and not trying to hyper-mile.
D Absolutely correct. As some one (maybe Mark Twain) said that are lies, damned lies, and statistics.,_damned_lies,_and_statistics
HarveyD It is easy. Ford could license it for a very nominal fee maybe as low as $1 for unlimited use. Audi essentially did this with their shift lock patent that requires the brake to be applied before shifting from Park to Reverse or Drive and is now found on all cars.
This is about the dumbest idea I have seen. Yes, you can make Methanol out of CO2. It just takes energy. And where did the CO2 come from. It cam from burning something to make energy and now you use even more energy with all of the inherent inefficiencies to convert the CO2 to Methanol. If you had non-polluting energy, use it to power whatever you need to use the energy for. If you should ever have an excess of non-polluting energy (which I doubt), use it to pump water uphill.
@SJC You got the math wrong but still got the right answer. It should be 0.9988 ** 100 = 0.88685 = 88.68% Sometimes doing the wrong thing still works.
"The trick is to get from CO2 to CO" All it takes is energy as the reaction wants to go the other way. Basically, you can make anything if you have enough energy. However, I am really tired of hearing how we are going to make fuel out of surplus renewable electric power. We do not have surplus renewable electric nor do I believe that we ever will have. Maybe, we could use nuclear power especially if you can use the hear directly and skip the stage of generating electric power.
On and off between about 1990 and 2001, I worked on a 2-stroke opposed piston diesel engine that had the same crank, piston and connecting rod layout except that it now had 1 cylinder, 2 pistons, 4 connecting rods, 4 cranks, and a whole gear train to couple all the cranks together. I was not the designer but made an animated solid model of the assembly along with actual 1/3 scale rotating model of the first design which had a 1.5 liter displacement. The designer was Marius Paul from Engine Corporation of America (ECA). Unfortunately, their web site is no longer active. Later I was involved in making the cranks, connecting rods, and gears for a 3 liter per cylinder version. The engine was designed to run with an extremely high boost of about 150 psi. The 1.5 liter engine ran but had a number of problems with injectors, piston rings, etc. The 3 liter version was never completed. Anyway, I wonder some about the claim that "Neander invented a “space ball” design" as the engine I worked on had this design. Also, I know that FEV and Southwest Institute (SWI) had access to the ECA engine designs. Some of the original work was done with Detroit Diesel under a DARPA contract. The design does have the advantage that it does not have any piston side loads and it also has an advantage that they did not mention in that the compression take about 160 degrees of rotation while the expansion has about 200 degrees. However, it also has a lot of complexity that the single connecting rod, single crank engine does not have. I thought that the opposed piston opposed cylinder (OPOC) engine from EcoMotors with a single center crank was a clever solution to the multi-crank opposed piston engine with the gear train required to couple the cranks together. Interestingly, FEV was also involved with the OPOC engine.
This is probably better engineered but the 1957 Golden Hawk Studebaker (remember them?) offered a Paxton supercharger that had a variable speed drive. Is anything ever new? Of course Studebaker also offered electric vehicles about 110 years ago (1902-1912). Personally, I think that an electrically driven turbocharger is a better idea. At low power, you drive the compressor to produce more boost. At higher power, you pull electric power out of the turbo to control the boost and put the excess power back into the battery or drive other electric auxiliaries.
Thanks Herman More typing than I have time for but pretty much in line with my thinking. The VW vehicles look like a serious attempt to provide a range of electrified options along with other high efficiency vehicles.
Engineer-Poet: I would guess that more fuel is burned in local/regional trucking than long haul but use of LNG in long haul trucking is coming. UPS uses some LNG trucks between LA and Salt Lake. I believe that most interstate routes will have enough LNG refueling stations available by 2016 so that it would be possible to long haul on most routes using LNG.
Herman On a more serious note, I recently attended ConExpo (Construction Exposition) in Las Vegas mostly to look at Diesel engine emission technology and potential drive and part sources. John Deere had 2 diesel electric hybrid front-end loaders on display, one large (644K) and one very large (944K). Both used ultra-caps for energy storage. The 944K had individual electric motor drives while the 644K had a single electric drive motor with a more conventional drive train. Impressive machines. I was hoping that there would be one or more ultra-cap vendors with a display. Maybe next time.
I was at the recent ConExpo in Las Vegas (Construction equipment exposition) and talked to CAT, Deere, Volvo, Cummins, MTU, JCB about emission technology and efficiency. As best I could tell, running SCR which uses urea injection for NOX control instead of using cooled EGR allowed higher combustion temperature and therefore higher efficiency. Everyone seemed to have a slightly different story but everyone was claiming higher efficiency. The new Tier 4 final engines are quite clean and may even clean the air in certain polluted conditions.
Looks like it would be much more exciting to drive than most of Toyota's rather boring lineup.