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Everything posted by hotrod

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. We are rapidly approaching the time of year they start ramp up gasoline prices. Easter travel surge is just 2 weeks away. Larry
  16. Throttle plate pumping losses are one of the primary reasons diesels are more efficient than conventional spark ignition internal combustion engines. Diesels control engine speed by throttling fuel flow not air flow. They always run with excess air, and only use enough fuel to provide the power needed. You can't do that with spark ignition gasoline engines because of low flammability limits of the fuel air mixture (could not light off really lean mixtures) and very high combustion temperature at some fuel air mixtures. Those electric turbos are pretty much useless on most engines, it takes a lot of power to compress air in large volumes. Most turbos are postioned in front of the throttle butterfly so the intake manifold goes into vacuum when the throttle is closed. This is absolutely necessary to allow you to control the engine, as the only way to control the power output of a gasoline engine is to reduce the intake air charge to the cylinder. At idle most engines have a manifold pressure or 18 inches of vacuum (29 inches being a perfect vacuum). Electric turbos are really only useful for very brief increases in power (like passing) and on very small engines. Yeah it has been interesting but I have been noticing that over the last year the opposition has been very gradually getting less and less irrational. I saw the same sort of change in attitudes on E85 and water injection on some of the subaru forums a few years ago. It takes about 3-5 years to slowly change the prevailing belief about something like that among a large group. Larry
  17. The most practical choice is a turbocharged engine, but it has to have proper engine management changes to make it work. The solution would be to build a small displacement engine (about 2 liters - 122 CID) engine. In most turbocharged engines today they have a base (mechanical) compression ratio of 8:1 so they can run high boost (about 14 psi). Instead of that build the engine with a 9:1 base compression ratio -- that gives it descent gasoline performance off boost on common gasoline, but on E85 you could boost it to 14 psi or even more. The high performance guys are able to run 35 psi boost on 8:1 compression engines of this size on straight E85. You would also need an engine management system that alters the boost profile based on the fuel composition. It would run 2-3 psi boost on gasoline. Just enough to warm the intake air charge and improve atomization, but not enough to cause detonation. Then as your fuel blend increased toward straight E85 it would richen the fuel air mixture appropriately and jack the boost up to between 14-20 psi max. NA on gasoline the engine would put out around 100-110 hp, on E85 it would cruise at similar power levels but at WOT could deliver 300+ hp. It would not take but one tank of E85 before the owners would run E85 every time they could find it. I have essentially this setup in my Subaru 86 turbo wagon. The engine was rated at the factory at about 100 hp on gasoline, but this engine is running the NA short block for a higher 9:1 compression ratio and I limit the boost to 6 psi. I really don't need any more boost that that! It is a front wheel drive and if I try to hard to accelerate from a stop light it just spins the front tires It gets 27 mpg on gasoline in daily driving, E85 fuel mileage is down a bit from that but I have no engine management at all -- it is running the stock injectors and engine management. I can run it on 50%-100% E85 if the weather is hot, but it gets cranky when temps drop down into the 70's or colder because I have no ability to richen the fuel properly for E85. It does however provide a proof of concept for that setup. I broke a cam timing belt last week taking it to red line to out run a BMW that was closing on me fast, so will be going through the engine this summer and doing the full conversion when I can afford the parts I need. Larry
  18. Interesting info thanks! I was thinking conventional transmission there Larry
  19. Sounds to me like he lugged the engine to death and beat the bearings out of it and wants to find a scape goat. Yes your engine should be very happy even on a moderate mixture of E85 and pump gas. Larry
  20. That means the technology would also work for ethanol from coal using producer gas generated by the water gas reaction, of carbon and superheated steam, which produces a mixture of H2, CO and CO2 with some sulfur oxides depending on the grade of coal used.. Larry
  21. You would basically be duplicating the cold start enrichment injector setup that some cars have used for years to help with cold starts. Some of the older fuel injected cars had a second cold start injector that only came on when engine temps were very low, sort of an alternative to active choking. Instead of restricting air flow like the old carburetors did, they pumped extra fuel during cold start through that second injector. It obviously works, but the manufactures found easier ways to do it through software firing the standard injectors longer during the cold start rather than having the complication and expense of an additional cold start injector. You would just be creating a manual push button analog to what many modern ECU's do for cold start. Larry
  22. In general yes, at least up to around 70 psi or so. It is not huge but I have seen several references mention it as an effect of raising pressure. If you go too high then you start creating other problems but under 70-75 psi most injectors work fine. Larry
  23. For a starting fluid you want a fuel with wide flammability limits. Starting fluid uses Diethyl ether to satisfy that requirement. Most other flammable liquids fall far short of those limits. FLAMMABLE LIMITS IN AIR (VOLUME %) UPPER: 48.0 LOWER: 1.8 http://www.sharecorp.com/msds/8550%20Starting%20Fluid.pdf Acetone has relatively wide limits too at Flammable limits in air % by volume: lel: 2.5%; uel: 12.8% As you can see ethanol has wider flammability limits than gasoline and so does methanol but they will not form a flammable mixture at cold temps due to their flash points being relatively high.
  24. It is not the air temp at the intake, but it is the air temp at the moment the cylinder tries to fire while cranking which matters. During a start cycle, the first few compression cycles of the engine, the cylinder does not see air that came all the way from the cold air intake. During those first couple rev's, it is pumping air that is in the intake tract volume and intake manifold. By holding the engine itself at 30 deg F or so, you also completely eliminate the quenching action of a very cold cylinder, cylinder head, and piston crown on the air charge during compression. The critical factor is that the air charge in the cylinder at the moment the spark fires is at or above 55 deg F so that the ethanol can evaporate and create a flammable mixture. Below that temperature, you are trying to start the engine only on gasoline vapors because ethanol will not create a flammable mixture in air below 55 deg F, but it will substantially cool the air charge by evaporation. If the engine is cranking slow, you also have more time for the heat of compression to be sucked out of the air charge by the cold metal of the head, cylinder and piston. All those factors combine to give you a favorable condition for engine start. All you need to get the engine started is for one or two cylinders to light to spin up the engine to minimum running speed of around 150-200 rpm long enough for an additional one or two cylinders to fire to kick it up to minimum idle speed of about 500 rpm. At that point engine speed is fast enough that compressional heating of the air will over come the cold intake air charge and continue to provide a flammable mixture long enough for the engine to stabilize at idle speed. In warm weather a well tuned, high compression engine will start and run with only one revolution of the engine at minimum starting speed, in cold weather it only takes 3-5 turns of the engine to get it running at minimum starting speed. If the engine is warm soaked at 30 deg F. in cold weather, even if it does not start on the first crank you are much better off. If you pause a second between start attempts, the cold air that came in from the intake will pickup heat from the manifold and heads and rapidly warm to near the same temperature of the block. The specific heat of the air in the intake is a very very small fraction of the specific heat of the engine block, heads and intake manifold. The adiabatic heating equation shows what is going on. T2 = T1 x (P2/P1)0.286. If T1 = 0 deg F ( 456 K) and your compression ratio is 8:1 then, minus thermal losses to the piston crown head and cylinder the air will be increase by 456 x (8)^0.286 = 456 x 1.81 = 826 K = 370 deg F That of course would be with no fuel present. The fuel would cool that air charge to approximately the boiling point of the dominant liquid as fuel droplets evaporate during the compression stroke. As a result until the engine is turning rapidly it is impossible to get the intake air charge in the combustion chamber much over the boiling point of ethanol or around 173 deg F. Yes you are correct in the changes you discribed between the old 1970's vintage carburetor intake systems that had hot air ovens and dampers that drew the intake air from the engine bay and over the outside of the exhaust manifold for quick start and warm up. On my WRX the intake volume is several times the engine displacement, so it takes quite a few revolutions of the engine before the intake ports where then injectors are see really cold air. You are better off with an under hood air intake during cold weather, (which I also tried) but the warming of the under hood mass (engine and accessories) substantially helps cold start. Especially as ambient temps drop below 0 to -10 deg F. Larry The only requirement is that you turn the engine over fast enough so that compression occurs quickly enough to approximate adiabatic compression. If it cranks too slow, you have huge heat losses to the engine block, head and piston and the air temperature in
  25. That test was done on my E85 conversion 2002 WRX! The 40W bulb was placed on top of the intake manifold right beside the throttle body. The reason I did it, was precisely to test and fix cold starting problems and document a simple solution for folks who are having that problem. It makes a very substantial difference when the engine is pulling in 30 deg F air vs -15 deg F air. In a car on E85 that is having cold start problems near freezing, might need to crank for several minutes to get it to fire and then warm up for several more minutes to be able to move the car under its own power. By warming the engine compartment just 10-15 deg F, it can change the situation to a start that takes just a moment longer than normal and the ability to pull out of the drive way and get underway immediately rather than sitting idling for 3-5 minutes. The warmer engine compartment not only improves intake air temp but it substatially increases battery voltage under cranking which allows faster cranking speeds in cold weather. If you are having a problem with cold start and get stuck where the engine will not start during a surprise cold snap with a summer or fall E85 blend in the tank, this trick will get the car running so you can either top off with a couple of gallons of gasoline or continue with your tuning efforts to solve the problem. The trouble with cold start issues is you cannot fix them in warm weather, only in cold weather do you know if your tuning adjustments worked and that might leave you stranded some place if you don't have such a work around available. In an emergency where you do not have ready access to electric power, any means to get warmth in the engine bay will help. Even placing a couple gallon jugs of hot water under the hood and closing the hood to let the heat from the water take the chill off the engine compartment. Larry
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