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Technology Consultant
Interests: Energy efficiency, automobiles, space flight.
Recent Activity
Wow....another adder to engine technology. Like all modern engines, I am sure this HCCI engine will be reliable, BUT the complexity that is going into such engine designs points to a tipping point in propulsion for personal vehicles:
Sensible, although it may raise some hackles in Washington. HOPEFULLY, it will raise some hair on the back of Washington's collective neck and get it moving in a similar direction. Tesla has achieved there first goal of showing that over 95% of personal vehicle needs can be met with clean, battery-electric vehicles. As of this week, we can also see that this fake news story from China is actually TRUE!!
Good news is that there is an appointment. Is there any good news about how serious GM will be in pursuing green transport?! Remember, the Chinese are definitely coming!
So....does this mean that when we burn coal we are also putting all of those REEs into the sky?
Five years?! VW needs to get serious about zero-emission vehicles. This stream of press releases and concept vehicles lacks substance. Here's an idea. Even though it is five years away, why not take $1000 deposits for the Microbus, just as Tesla has done. It shows commitment...and consumers can show their interest.
Confirmation - again - that it is not possible to make a Diesel clean.
And so it continues. Our ICE makers are racing headlong towards a cliff of obsolescence...and they will not go quietly! So, add Miller Cycle and Water-Cooled Exhaust Manifold (WCEM) to the list of solutions to extend the life of the ICE. See the full list, as I know it:,q_70,fl_lossy,dpr_3,c_limit/v200/6b2f2d9b5ff73c9e1e037d6bb918050c
Hats off to the PR department at Volvo! Tesla will take all of the oxygen out of the room this month with the Model 3, so even though Volvo is basically doing squat on electrification, they pot together a well-times press release! Here's what is going on:
It is amazing how complex our engines have become, yet how good they are. Still, when I list all of the "stuff" we have added to engines to make them clean, efficient and drivable, it suggests we may be approaching at tipping point in favor of electric propulsion for our daily driving needs: Positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valves Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves Vacuum amplifiers Electronic ignition Lead-free gas Oxidizing catalytic converters Air injection systems Electronic Engine Controls Fuel injection Barometric Pressure Sensor Reducing catalytic converters Sealed fuel tanks Vapor recovery systems Vapor recovery fuelers Cam and crank timing sensors Knock sensors Mass airflow sensors Manifold Absolute Air Pressure Sensors Free oxygen sensors Electronic throttle control - pedal and throttle position sensors Variable valve timing Low sulfur fuels Diesel particulate traps Cylinder Deactivation Hybrid ICE/battery electric vehicles High Multi-Speed transmissions Continuously variable transmissions Multi-Clutch transmissions Urea injection and selective reduction catalysts Direct fuel injection Turbocharging Intercoolers ...and most recently: 48V mild hybrids with start/gen units LiIon batteries plus electric turbochargers Continuously variable compression ratio crankshafts Quad turbocharging ...and, soon: Electric turbochargers Opposed piston engines? Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition? Camless valve systems?
Imaging LIDAR has been in development for a decade or more. A good example of a vehicle test with a lower resolution system is here:
Darius: Yes, $26K seems like a lot, but in just thinking about all the earth and concrete that must be removed to make an installation, I think I am OK....and pleased that it will finally get underway by utilities, who have an interest in doing it right.
This sounds familiar. In the 1970, I was convinced that Detroit spent more money on lobbying against emission standards than they did on engineering to meet the standards. In the end, they met all of the requirements....but because of their foot-dragging and focus on applying political pressure, they produced lousy, almost undrivable cars. In the meantime, the Japanese met all the requirements and scoop up major market share from the Detroit boys. Here we go again?
This appears to be a useful research tool, but it would be good to know if they really have created any kind of serious advancement in power density or charging time. My hope is that this story is part of paving the way to kill off hydrogen fuel cells vehicles in favor of battery electric vehicles...soon!
The camless valve system is a brilliant design and can certainly be made reliable. is just another of the many complexities we have added to ICEs to make them cleaner, so I added it to my list: PCV EGR Computer controls Electronic ignition Lead-free gas Air injection Oxidizing catalysts Electronic Fuel injection Mass airflow sensors Manifold Absolute Pressure sensors Reducing catalysts Sealed fuel systems Vapor recovery fuelers Free-oxygen sensors Electronic throttle Low sulfur fuels Hybrids Variable valve timing Turbocharging Intercoolers Multi-speed transmissions Continuously variable transmissions Multi-clutch transmissions Urea injection 48V mild hybrids with Motor/Generator, LiIon battery and electric turbocharging Continuously Variable Compression Ratio Camless valve systems ICE vehicles will not be going away (trucks, for example), so there are some attractive markets for which the camless valve system seems like an ideal next step. The parallels to aero engines is remarkable. In the early 1950s, with the threat of turbine engines looming, piston engine companies pushed the technology to almost unbelievable levels of complexity, insisting that turbine engines would never be efficient enough. When the 707 prototype took to the air in 1954, the tipping point was reached. Are we watching the same thing with automobiles today? Is the tipping point near?
My hope is that: 1. This was a program that got launched 9 months ago or so, and the more recently-understood reality could not stop it in time. 2. $30 million is not enough money to really do anything useful except fund some post-docs 3. Toyota and California will abandon hydrogen fuel cell investments 4. Nothing will come of it
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Nov 8, 2016