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1outlaw

More on the Ricardo

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Ricardo has a very good approach and by reading the comments to the link below the ethanol industry has a lot of hurdles ahead to educate the public.  If you look at the possibility to operate at higher efficiency then economy will play in our favor.  I have some very good SAE paper and seen recent proposals that achieving 45 percent brake thermal efficiency is possible for all ethanol engines.  That make ethanol near equal to gasoline by volume and doing it with 30 plus percent less energy.  Start putting that in tractors and school buses where infrastructure is not an issue and that is one big step forward.

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Yes Steve- the EPA also had ethyl alcohol and methanol tests done in a very high compression (19:1) spark ignition ethanol lab engine that got 42% efficiencies- and that was a few years ago and with less tech put into it.

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they mention that this is "scalable" up and down the size spectrum... since they are downsizing the engines, replacing what was a 6.6l with a 3.2l engine, it would be interesting to see what they could do on a much smaller scale. 

 

Say taking a smaller car (Dodge Caliber, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus sized), and taking what was a 2.4l and downsizing it to 1l, optimized for ethanol...

 

That could be really cool, and highly marketable, probably pretty fun to drive!

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I read once the European subsidy was working on a 3 cyl 1L?

 

Those big turbos taking free exhaust energy and bump up overall engine efficiency.  The EBDI engine, also, controlled with EGR to cool combustion chamber and make less burnable oxygen available, in effect decreasing cu inch of engine when in lighter horsepower condition. 

 

So, the high teck motor will provide torque of diesel with a less cost and much lighter engine weight. It's superior efficiencies only possible with high octane ethanol, developing max torque upon max concentration of ethanol.  However, the lowest cost or best bang for the fuel dollar about 40% ethanol.  The driver should normally run on E40 unless high torque required.

 

Just thinking out loud....wouldn't it be nice if the engine controller did the optimum fuel mix? You know for a few seconds of acceleration upon passing or going uphill....consumer E85. Going downhill E40. Maybe input cost of fuel and let the computer calculate optimum blend? Two fuel tanks?

 

Also, competition from Clean-Teck, another company busy with a 50:50 hydrous fumigator (injection) system for diesel to meet tier 4 pollution standards. The local paper had a story of a ethanol company in Holland, Michigan that's working with Clean-Teck to supply 100 proof ethanol for their diesel conversions. This company selling a $100k ethanol plant with a 780 gallon ethanol brew process. One of those processing plants on a skid. A pharmaceutical company left behind a lot of PHD's in chemistry, that formed a new energy company.  This ethanol brewing technology supposed to be used by small groups of farmers for their own fuel requirements. Expensive diesel fuel supplanted with home made ethanol. 50% less diesel use. 

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Two fuel tanks?  Search Ford and Bobcat Engine and you have what you are talking about.  This could see low blends in the main tank and E85 to E98 in secondary tank.  It doesn't sell much ethanol but makes ethanol more valueable then gasoline due to extending the downsized engine power capabilities.

 

I think it needs to start in the correct strategies.  The basic approach to what Ricardo is doing could start in today's downsized engines but the optimum blend would be more E20 to E30.  If the engine is limited by its peak pressure then raising the BMEP for efficiency will be limited.  The Ford Torus with the new V6 Ecoboost should come out optimized for ethanol and then E30 gives the performance better the Premium fuels but best cost per mile.  Wishful thinking at this point.

 

Also, once blender pumps succeed and more intermediate blends are available then push for the more robust engines to handle higher limits.  Trying to operate at higher BMEP during the drive cycle is the goal but the gain comes when you don't reach the knock limit of the fuel.

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What's Ford's doin makes sense to me. Others say having two fuel tanks way to complicated and bothersome for consumer market. Now, if we start to get more blender pumps that would solve some optimal blend desires.

 

What you post about normal strength engines wouldn't be able to utilize full power pressure efficiencies, but its a start. I think that is right on. Take what you can get. Remember the GM high compression efficient engines of yesteryear required high test gas. They warned customers their car is of superior performance and requires a superior fuel. That would be a perfect fit for ethanol. A superior fuel for efficient engines. I wish the fuel business and the stupid EPA would have standardized on regular E0, mid-grade E15, premium E30.  Give consumers with 2 cycle boat motors E0, the anti ethanol folks E0, and the renewable advance engine technology folks premium. Yes put in the blender pumps and E-85, but make the ethanol blends above regular grade.

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Ya know boosted engines seem to require more fuel than a similarly sized NA engine under load, and it doesent seem like Ricardo is aiming for max efficiency as much as they are taking advantage of a smaller engine doing the work of a larger one. They are staying within the restraints of a flex fuel engine and using boost to vary the cylinder pressure rather than using static compression and valve timing events, so is limited from the start. Its an interesting way to get around the limitations of gasoline and still utilize some of ethanol's properties. Its not the way I would go about it, but then again I havent even been considering using gasoline without more than 70% ethanol added to it. The really cool thing to me is they are making the small v6 act more like one of my stump pulling 455ci v8s with low rpm power and towing grunt. Impressive for a working engine, but still not going to sell many commuter engines like this, because they shine under high demand situations, not stop and go traffic or a steady cruise speed. Really though for the target market they are shooting for, it looks promising.

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