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I would also like to see government require or heavily tax gas fueling stations who do not provide a mix of EV and/or biofuel pumps. I mean, heck, even Big Oil has to realize that they are no longer in the oil business, they are in the energy business. Energy can be stored in many chemical lattices and all should be available in the marketplace to insure we are not addicted to only one. Just my $0.02.
If not mistaken, the Chinese government has mandated start-stop technology on all cars manufactured after a certain yaer. Given GM's Buick division is a popular product in China, they may want to leverage their A123 acquisition to take advantage of China's government mandate. And that would use low voltage start-stop 24V or 48V systems. Start-stop, while not glamorous, is one of the best ROIs in terms of reducing fuel consumption.
Roger, Aren't you describing the PHEV Chevy Volt, the PHEV Prius, and PHEV Ford Focus? I have doubts whether a 2 or 3 cylinder engine would provide the power density necessary to push a family sedan around, but I agree with you that a PHEV is a good solution for covering both short trips and long trips using the cheapest, most available fuel for the application. Ralph
Well, isn't Glycerol the waste product from Biodiesel production?
Engineer-Poet wrote: I really like plug-ins but I have to admit that we just don't have the capacity in the supply chains to build what it will take. ------------------------------------------------------- I like fairy dust and unicorns, too, but that doesn't mean they are anything but pure fantasy. Until batteries last well over 100k miles, have charge densities greater than or equal to lithium ion AND cost less than $100 per KWH, I doubt they will ever pay for themselves in any drivetrain. The key is the cost per service mile and we know PHEVs just don't cut it. Regular hybrids pay for themselves long before PHEVs. I suppose that could change if gasoline were 10 dollars or more a gallon. But I think you can make gasoline from plants for less than that even if oil is completely gone. Ralph
@jayson, Why do you assume the primary reason why we should make oil part of a basket of energy carriers is environmental? Ralph
Peter wrote: "By the way, do you trust a car company more than a University?" Toyota has a long track record for producing fuel-efficient drivetrains. Given that Toyota is also the leader in the production hybrid world and they're already selling a gasoline vehicle with 37% peak thermal efficiency, I'm far more apt to believe Toyota over a research lab who has not sold a single vehicle. Don't believe the semi-scientific principle that the best determinant of future behavior is past behavior?
Peter, To Harvey's point though... there is more reason to think Toyota will do what they've claimed than a research lab in Wisconsin which lives on government, foundation and industry grants.
@Roger: "How do you go about achieving that? 70% efficiency is real close to Carnot's efficiency..." First of all, I said that 70% should be the aim. Second, you presuppose I'm talking about gasoline as the only possible fuel. The Carnot efficency can either be raised by increasing the fuel combustion temperature or reducing the ambient temperature. The key to hitting 70% without resorting to exotic fuel cells is to either burn hotter fuels or reduce the ambient temperature. Ralph
Toyota, which I presume to be far more reputable than Scuderi, has already promised a new engine for 2014 which is around 45% peak thermal efficiency. The current generation Atkinson cycle 1.8L Prius engine returns 38% peak thermal efficiency. If Toyota hits their number, then Scuderi has to be 50% or higher to even stand a prayer of being successful in the marketplace. I think ideally we should aim for around 70% peak thermal efficiency -- which would probably involve multiple stages -- because once the design is mass-produced the fuel saving benefits transfer quickly around the world and without the need of hybrid technology. Ralph
All, I think I may have figured out the mystery of the efficiency percentages. There are two ways to measure thermal efficiency: indicated thermal efficiency and brake thermal efficiency. In general, we are more interested in brake thermal efficiency because that is efficiency at the driveshaft. In the graph, they state they are measuring gross indicated efficiency. I found the original paper from Lund University here: In the paper, on page 23, you will see the "brake efficiency" is close to 49% not 57%. The "gross indicated effiency" is 57%. Also, Roger, I am not an engineer, but the theoretical maximum efficiency for an Otto Cycle engine is 60% at 10:1 compression according to here: Now, 49% is very good and is the best I've ever seen for a gasoline powered engine. The question is will the production version of EcoMotors OPOC engine be the same or possibly higher? Ralph Ralph
Federico (aka Pendejo) spewed: "My car gets 53 MPG on combined...and it's a diesel Audi A2 1.4 TDI dated 2003...there's something wrong on your way of considering an ecological car... maybe yours are too heavy, too big, too old on tech... maybe American's car producer are kiddin'you all..." Stupid Europeans. Don't they ever learn? 1) Diesel has 20% more energy (BTUs) per liter than gasoline which means the tiny A2 is not particularly impressive except on the highway. 2) In the city, the hybrid will probably equal it or better it. 3) Diesel costs more per liter than gasoline so it's relative economic advantage is dubious. 4) The diesel engine itself will add significant cost to the car -- usually more than the hybrids. So you have to figure out how long it will be until you pay off the higher starting cost. 5) One barrel of crude oil produces roughly 10 gallons of diesel and 19 gallons of gasoline which means diesel is a better niche fuel and gasoline is better general purpose fuel. Exactly the way it works in the USA. 6) The only reason Europeans have so many diesel cars is because the governments of the EU have tax preferred diesel fuel and cars for years. The market prefers gasoline cars because they have more crisp acceleration overall and the fuel is cheaper especially when used in a hybrid. The only thing in favor of diesel engines is the overall thermal efficiency of the engines which is something like 43% in a TDI and 36% in the Toyota Atkinson Cycle 1.8. But no one wants to pay the extra upfront costs for such a small gain and hybrids work better for fuel economy in the city so diesels become best as highway vehicles which is why they are popular for trucks. Batteries are likely to get cheaper. The cost of building diesels is not. But thanks for the help, Europeans. You did so well in World War 2 without us. Ralph
Peter XX, Given that you only get about 10 US gallons of diesel per barrel of oil and 20 US gallons of gasoline (petrol) per barrel of oil, I would argue that for a gasoline engined hybrid like a Prius to return 50 mpg is actually much more significant than a BMW 320D to return 50 mpg. Not just because of the fact that diesel contains 20% more energy per gallon, but the fact that there is more gasoline in a barrel means that the best utilization of the petroleum is to use gasoline for passengers cars and diesel for trucks and buses. Hopefully, at some point, we can have gasoline used on a diesel cycle to push its thermal efficiency over 40%. Ralph
Am I the only one who found this statement oxymoronic: "a permanently-engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)"? I'm assuming what they meant was it's an "electronic CVT" similar to the Toyota Prius where the gasoline engine output shaft is fixed ratio, but electric motors provide additional torque as needed. Right?
"Kitty Poon"?!? Are you sh*tting me? Ralph
Well now we know what GM's 230 campaign refers to. Ralph