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hotrod

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  1. hotrod

    Ethanol Pipelines.. NOT a Good Idea

    I disagree, They ship petroleum by pipeline for a reason --- it is the most cost effective way to move bulk liquids. Same applies to ethanol and ethanol compatible products. There should be at least a few "back bone" ethanol pipelines. It will allow fuel sharing when stocks are low in one area, and help hold prices down for all, as buyers/suppliers can move supplies to satisfy local needs, and take advantage of more efficient producers cost savings. Larry
  2. He got no traction with his argument and Kum Dollison (19:58:37) : has already nailed his hide to the wall. I'm just going to leave sleeping dogs lay at this point. His assertions have been shown to be exaggerations, so to add a comment would only be feeding the troll right now. It has taken a long time but I am finally learning to pick and choose which threads to respond to. Sometimes responding only adds credibility to the argument. They obviously are more interested (as am I) to discuss Lindzen's comments. Larry
  3. Current regulation limit methanol content in fuel ethanol. You can produce synthetic crude oil at about $90/bbl oil prices at break even costs. From that synthetic crude you would get about 1/2 of it as natural gasoline, and the rest could be sold as a byproduct, such as diesel, kerosene and naptha. Do a little research on the South African synthetic oil industry -- the commercial scale production process is already well developed, although slightly more costly than natural crude at this point. Larry
  4. hotrod

    Plug in cars?

    That is the major issue with plug in cars, in most cases they do not do what most buyers are trying to do. They simply shift the pollution source to a fixed facility rather than a mobile source. The actual energy economics is break even in most cases. Thermal efficiency of most coal fired power plants is in the 33% range and newer combined cycle plants can get up to 50% range. So in the case of coal generated electricity the at the plant thermal efficiency is comparable to a typical automobile engine. Once you add in all the other energy losses, power conversion efficiency in the transformers, (3 or more steps in the transmission process) the power transmission line losses, efficiency losses in battery charging and discharge then the electric motor efficiency. Each by it self is pretty good, but you add them all in series and as mentioned above in many locations only 50% of the electrical energy generated gets delivered to the drive wheels of the car, making the over all thermal efficiency of the electric car about 1/2 that of a well tuned gasoline engine. In the case of wind power typical net power generation is only about 25% of the name plate capacity of the wind farm, and you can have outages that last for days where a given facility can generate essentially no power at all. Same for solar, site location considerations make solar much more viable out west where I live where we have 300 days of sunshine compared to areas like Seattle where constant cloud cover greatly reduces total energy available. To use renewables effectively you need to combine very low intensity energy use (homestead level technology) and careful management where you use each sort of power to its best advantage. I went 100% solar electrical power one summer and got by on only about 100w output panels but I was very frugal with power usage. My setup was more like you would find on an ocean going sail boat where power usage is very carefully monitored, and a couple small panels will get the job done. There is a conversion loss every time energy is changed into another form. If your end usage is as heat, (still) you should probably store solar energy as heat energy in a well insulated rock bin storage. The beauty of thermal storage is you can run several sources in series and improve the quality of the heat at each stage. For example the composting might only produce heat at 140 deg F, but that is a lot better than 45 deg F outside air. Take that heat and run it through at rock bin heated to 250 deg F to finish the heat input to a level that is useful for the application of distillation. In that setup you don't need to worry if the sun is out when you want to make a distillation run, only if the rock bin is hot enough to improve the heat quality of the heat harvested from the composting. If both of them combined is not quite hot enough use that pre-heated air in a small methane burner and let the burner finish off the heat input to what ever temp is necessary. By running the systems in cascade you get full benefit from each so you are not totally dependent on any one stage of heat generation. Rocks are cheap and so is insulation. If designed properly you can also heat the rocks with a wood fired heater if the solar is not quite getting the job done. Larry
  5. hotrod

    lean burn on e85...

    No problem on my 88 and 86 turbo Subaru wagons on E85. The turbo run a bit lean/hot on straight E85 but its radiator needs to be replaced (all the fins are banged shut from rocks hitting the front of the radiator. That is only under high load where it is in open loop fueling (ie reading directly off the ECU fuel look up tables). In closed loop fueling both of them will adapt over time to higher blends but since I have made no compensations for the fuel of any kind I can only run straight E85 in hot weather with both of them as they have major starting problems when temps get down in the 60's and below. With oversized injectors or some other modification such as adjustable fuel pressure to richen the mixture appropriately I am sure they would do as well as the WRX. Lean mixture is only an issue in carburated engines that have not been re-jetted for the fuel and EFI engines in open loop fueling which is usually not seen except when accelerating or pulling a hill in normal driving. In light throttle cruise EFI setups will try to use the closed loop fuel trims to compensate for the fuel, and seem to do an acceptable job at least up to 30% to 50% blends on almost all cars. Larry
  6. hotrod

    lean burn on e85...

    That is because there is essentially zero problems with E85 "due to the fuel". Just like gasoline it is not the fuel that causes the problems it is stupid tuners that do silly things that kill engines. If you tune it correctly E85 is a much more forgiving fuel than common gasoline. Stunts that will kill and engine on gasoline in a heart beat, will not hurt the engine in almost all cases on E85. If you kill an engine on E85 you would have killed it far sooner doing the same dumb stunt on gasoline. Example: I know guys that had turbo boost control hoses blow off and have boost spikes to over 30psi on E85. The same event on even good racing gasoline would have blown the top out of a piston due to detonation. I have run over 7 psi boost on 15:1 AFR (not intentionally) with no harm to the engine on E85. The same on gasoline would have burned a piston or killed it with detonation. Alcohol fuels are slightly more prone to pre-ignition than gasoline but a sensible tune should never even get close to that situation in the first place. Common summer blend E85 acts about like 112 octane gasoline, so anything you can do in a good racing gasoline you can do on summer blend E85 and in many cases you can do more. E85 has wider flammability limits so it will "allow" both much richer and much leaner fuel air mixtures than gasoline. Just because it will allow you to run those extreme mixtures does not make it a good idea. Same goes for stupid amounts of ignition advance. More engines are killed by advance happy tuners than just about anything else. There is no cure for stupid tuning and no fuel is immune to the consequences of making dumb choices. It is not the "fuels fault" in those cases it is the "fools fault". Larry
  7. hotrod

    Extreme fines- Govt gone wild

    That sort of thing has been going on for years. A company I worked for asked OSHA to inspect their plant to be sure they were in full compliance. He found a few fire extinguishers were mounted a foot too low and a few other trivial deviations from the regs like a couple signs that were not right. Instead of patting the company on the back for trying to be sure they were with in the letter of the law OSHA sent them a very expensive notice of failure to comply with signing and fire extinguisher placement. Government agencies (especially self funded agencies that get their revenue from fines) are notorious for that sort of slap in the face behavior. The solution is to publicize it far and wide and make them spend $120,000 providing materials and briefings to reporters explaining why they are idiots. When it costs them more in public uproar than they get from those sort of punitive fines, they will either stop doing that, or they will find legislative action mandating lenient treatment of self reported incidents of trivial impact. Larry
  8. hotrod

    Seriously sick to my stomach

    Sometimes I have made a point of buying just a dollars worth of E85. It is a hint that I bought just enough fuel to get to another E85 outlet ;D There have been a few times I made the effort to go into the store and explicitly tell them their price was too high and I would have bought a full tank if they were not trying to rip me off. Larry
  9. hotrod

    Lifters making a racket..Oil Pump

    Do you drive mostly short trips? One issue with E85 is the engine never getting hot enough to burn off condensation in the oil, which will lead to sludge build up. When I started monitoring my engine temps in cold weather I found that the WRX would barely warm up the engine after a 17 mile commute. The engine temp would be around 160 F - 180F for almost the entire trip. I switched to a warmer thermostat and engine temps were much better in cold weather. With a 190 deg F thermostat it would reach max engine temps of 214 deg F on a hot summer day idling in traffic so the hotter thermostat was not a problem in warmer weather either. Larry
  10. hotrod

    Seriously sick to my stomach

    Start a phone marketing campaign, with the stations. Start calling them up and asking them why E85 is so much cheaper across the river in a neighboring state. Check the rack prices in your area first so when they give you a song and dance about cost, tell them the actual rack price in their area. Call them up and tell them you were going to fill your tank until you saw their price and decided to drive across the river and buy a full tank of fuel from them instead. Don't forget to mention they would get maximum revenue with a larger price spread picking up more volume than they lost on unit sales, with best net profit at around 20% price split. If that does not work do some shopping around to find a TV consumer reporter that likes to poke people with a sharp stick and ask him some pointed questions, and link him to the e85 fuel prices web site. Slow continuous pressure. Larry
  11. Given the 5% or so power gain you could expect from E85 as a fuel they might shift to a smaller engine displacement and get the power back with the fuel. Running just as fast on a smaller engine would be one way to beat the problem of too fast to control. If they drop displacement by 10% and then change fuel and get back 5% they get a safe car speed that is easier on the tires, (which is a problem right now). They will also likely lose some power due to shifting to EFI. A well sorted carburetor frequently will make more power than EFI due to the evaporative cooling that takes place in the engine manifold from the fuel mist. There are several high end engine builders and prostock level drag racers I have seen comment that they never could beat the power they were making on carburetors with EFI. They could get close but they could not beat them. Modern carburetors are a far cry from the carburetors in use when fuel injection was introduced on the corvette. Fuel injection mostly improves things like throttle response, and the ability to tweak very precisely certain areas of the power curve. It would also be a learning curve for the race engineers. They have 30+ years of experience with carbureted engines and manifolds designed for wet flow (fuel mist in the air). When they switch to EFI all that changes and they will be dealing with dry flow conditions in the manifold (unless they mandate a throttle body injection setup). If they go to individual cylinder injectors, then they can also trim fuel air mixture on a cylinder by cylinder basis, and will no longer need to battle centrifugal force throwing fuel to the right hand engine bank in corners, and the left hand bank trying to go lean at high g cornering forces. Larry
  12. It will be interesting to see how they handle the fuel injection change. That will open up a whole new ball of worms regarding engine management, and things like traction control via engine management (ie cutting out cylinders when they spin the wheels coming off a corner or on the restarts. I suspect in time they will discover there is no way to eliminate traction control just like F1 did and end up allowing it. Same goes for fuel economy. EFI will allow them to run the engine on 2 - 4 cylinders on the caution laps to save fuel. It will have a huge impact on fuel management. Likewise on EFI engines you completely cut off the fuel during throttle lift to save fuel and maximize engine braking, where on a carburator, throttle lift sucks a lot of fuel into the engine due to high manifold vacuum. The shift to E85 is pretty much inevitable for lots of reasons, I hope they do not put restrictive limits on engine compression that blocks the engine builders from making full use of the fuel. I think they are current limited to about 12:1 because some of the restrictor plate engines were playing with 18:1 compression ratios to make up for the effects of the restrictor plate. They will never allow speeds to get much over 200 mph on the tracks they are running. Aerodynamics make it almost impossible to keep the cars on the ground after they get over that speed. Even with the roof flaps and roof rails at around 210, they start to blow over, and NASCAR has already made it clear that they never want a car to go into the stands. At current speeds the retaining fences are just about at their limit to keep debris out of the stands during a high speed impact with the fence. They will do what ever it takes to hold speeds down to a <210 mph for that reason. The empty stands has a lot to do with the current economy. With the quality of TV coverage today it is real easy to talk yourself out of spending a few hundred dollars to attend a race. Same goes for the sponsors, there was a big contraction in the industry when the financial crunch hit a year ago. That won't change much until companies start to see better cash flows and can get financing when they need it. They are not going to tie up a good fraction of a million dollars to buy a hood sponsor spot, if they are not sure that they can get short term loans to cover cash flow issues. They will keep the money in the bank, or buy a cheaper quarter panel spot. The teams are trying to cater to that now by running more advertisement that is only for a single race or a couple races, and sharing sponsor opportunities among more companies, rather than having one major year long sponsor and a few smaller year long sponsors. Larry
  13. Wow that will keep you off the street for a while. Good project, I agree replacing rusted out floor pans can be a long process. Larry
  14. hotrod

    Fuel Choice

    Buy an M1 Abrams tank, they will run on any liquid fuel you can put in the tank --- they do only get about 3 gallons / mile (no that is not a typo). Larry
  15. hotrod

    National E85 Price Spread 20%

    We are rapidly approaching the time of year they start ramp up gasoline prices. Easter travel surge is just 2 weeks away. Larry
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