OT: Internal Combustion Breakthrough?

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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

They still make them and they still race well!
This past summer at Lime Rock, I was checking out an RX-8 that won the 2008 24H of Daytona. Man, is that engine physically small!
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And or does not get offered 10 million for the patents and then we never hear anything again.
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That already happened. He offered it to the big three car companies and the only way they would do it if he signed over control to outside parties. Which is why he went dark for two years. The military also offered to bankroll him if he produced the engine just for them. He said no.
His game plan is to start a small manufacturing plant and offer franchises to retrofit existing vehicles. Once that is developed enough, he would then license the technology to others. Thereby maintaining control and ownership.
There is a lot of interest in this technology and NASA has given him an award. It is getting out there in terms of working pototypes, etc. The trick, of course, is a working engine for sale. If he pulls that off, it will get very interesting.
As for the skeptics, read his stuff. He explains how he does it. I have two primary concerns. The first is that the metals, machining, bearings, etc will all work together in a fashion that the engine would be viable for a reasonable service life. The other concern is that some psycho (or spook) will blow him away.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Right now it looks like he's got a cute little air motor. If it actually runs on fuel, doesn't overheat at high power, holds together for a few thousand hours, gives reasonable throttle response, passes emissions, and if it really achieves the efficiency he claims, _then_ he's got an engine.
Incidentally that "award" was second prize in a contest (yeah, they call it the "first prize" but there's also a "grand prize").
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The air is used in public settings to meet fire codes. He has run them on fuel for awhile now. The easiest fuel for it to use is deisel. All of his initial offerings will be in deisel. He can make a few changes to use other fuels.
Again, he has to build something beyond prototypes. I wish him the best. It is a real creative feat. But real life has a way of dashing dreams.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Does he have a video of it running on something other than air? I didn't see one on his site. I know he _says_ that he has, but where's the meat?

I wish him well too, but don't really expect him to deliver. In engineering when someone comes to you with something that looks too good to be true, it generally is.
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J. Clarke wrote:

People including those in Washington do not understand there is a fixed amount of energy in the Carbon bond. When the Carbon molecule is oxidized it release a known amount of energy that can be calculated. (This energy can be found in any Handbook of Engineering, Physics, or Chemistry and probably hundreds of sites online) Regardless of what you do, you can only recover 100% of this energy. Hence with cars to get higher miles per gallon you have to reduce the size of the car. A roller skate should be able to get a couple of hundred miles per gallon.
Like Bigfoot, I have heard of the supper carburetor for years, but it still is not real.
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While any given fuel does in deed only has a fixed amount of stored energy reducing the size of the vehicle is not the only way to increase gas mileage. Simple engine tweaks can do this, advancing the ignition timing will do this. I currently have a heavier, taller truck with an engine that produces approximately 50% more horse power than my previous truck. It gets at least the same, often better gas mileage than the older model did when it was the same age. It is simply a matter of getting more out of the fuel burn than what has been gotten in the past. Some engines burn fuel more efficiently than others. Because most gasoline burning engines do not do not get 100% return on the fuel that they burn they can be improved to do better. With the common day usage of on board computers and fuel injectors gas mileage has improved dramatically over the last 30 years. You can look as fuel injectors as the today's "super carburetor".
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On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 11:50:33 -0600, "Leon"

While it is true that fuel mileage has improved over the last few years, Ford's Corporate Average Fuel Economy for the whole fleet is the same as it was in 1919 with the model "T" - aprox 21MPG US.
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Well, you are talking "Ford". ;~)
Given that comment which is not a fair comparison, considering the amount of work being done by current fleets to the 1919 fleet. The 1919 model fleet probably got better gas mileage but could a 1919 vehicle pull 50,000 lbs. or did they have AC, power steering, or an automatic transmission. Or could they pass emission tests designed for 2009 model car?
If you want to do a fair comparison, do it with that Model T and say, the Focus.
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The only one of the Big Three not standing on the corner with a tin cup.
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LD wrote:

Doesn't Ford sell a diesel powered car in Europe that gets 60 mpg? It was all over the internet so it has to be true, right?
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

And of course the Model T is capable of highway speeds and passes all Federally mandated safety and emissions regulations.
Hint, Congress took gas mileage out of the auto manufacturers hands years ago. They build to the regulations. If you don't like the regulations, take it up with Congress.
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This guy must be claiming exhaust temperatures at room temperature? Regardless of how much of the explosion gets transferred to the drive- shaft, you're still dealing with thermal absorption at the piston and cylinder walls, not to mention what blows out the exhaust.
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wrote

This guy must be claiming exhaust temperatures at room temperature? Regardless of how much of the explosion gets transferred to the drive- shaft, you're still dealing with thermal absorption at the piston and cylinder walls, not to mention what blows out the exhaust.
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He's not claiming 100% efficient USE of the fuel. He's claiming a better burn - less unburned fuel going out the pipe.
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Keith Nuttle wrote:

The trouble is that current cars (or base-load power plants for that matter) do not come anywhere close to recovering 100 percent of that energy. 30 percent is very good for an internal combustion otto-cycle engine, so there is considerable room for improvement.

Or increase the thermal efficiency.

I'm not sure how relevant that is to the engine in question. He's claiming that it gets the performance of a really good diesel or maybe a wee bit more in a much smaller and lighter package--if that's so then in addition to the thermal efficiency benefit the car could be smaller and lighter due to the smaller, lighter engine, which would again provide a gas mileage benefit.
The question is whether he can actually deliver that thermal efficiency in an engine that passes emissions and is reliable and driveable. If he can the world is going to beat a path to his door, but if their engineers thought that he could the car manufacturers would have engaged in a bidding war to get the rights to his design.
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wrote

The car manufacturers, particularly in the US, are victims of NIH Syndrome.
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LD wrote:

You really think that if Ford could reduce the size of their engines by a factor of ten while doubling the efficiency in these days of CAFE they'd ignore it because of "NIH"?
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J. Clarke wrote:

<SNIP>
I hate to burst your bubble, but, ---
When CAFE was adopted there was a big hole in it for trucks - they were excepted.
The big 3 thought, and rightly so, that they could carry on as before as long as the cars they produced were on a truck platform.
Do you remember SUV, Crossover, AWD, Hummer??
All of these are produced on a "truck" platform and, as a result, did not get counted in CAFE.
Think about which vehicles have been touted the most and which ones sold as "safest".
This has come back to bite us with 10 or less mpg in a lot of the really big vehicles.
I think the greed of the "bean counters" prevailed and any effort to garner efficiency was castigated.
P D Q
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PDQ wrote:

Some of the "really big" vehicles do pretty well. My '04 Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel (6500 lbs) gets 21 mpg highway at 75mph and 14.5 mpg towing a 10,000 lb 5th wheel at 65 mph.
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