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Alternatives and efficiency trajectory

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Desenso has some interesting products for automotive efficiency. They have a development path for heavy duty engine starter that will allow quick engine start stop. Engine will shut off upon zero power requirements. First gen a high speed starter always engaged. This setup popular in Europe. Latest generation will disengage and be able to reengage with engine turning. To support the technology, a d.c. coolant pump to keep heater hot during engine off periods. A thermal battery, probably a chemical with phase change energy storage, which will keep A.C. cooling with engine off.


The thermal battery doesn’t sound good, to me. It would take cooling ability away for possible need during engine off. Cabin would stay warmer, longer as result. The water pump makes good sense and would be very good device to facilitate external heating of engine. If buying public has no problem with plug in vehicles….one of the easiest and quickest to afford a return on investment….instead plug in the coolant heater.


Non road tax electric power utilized to heat engines up before startup. The fuel saving much greater than electric cost, even in summer. Cold start air pollution greatly decreased (the most problematic for automotive emissions), lives would be saved per immediate use of defrosters, comfort factor high, as cost savings. Doesn’t get much better than that, especially now with troubling wasteful practice of installing remote car starters. A better alternative for automotive to adapt plug in engine heater with remote control. A quick high power engine coolant heater. Not a big step to utilize house power to drive the A.C. for southern states. A.C. pumps drives probably will be electric in future or solid state technology. Heat your engine cool your cabin. 


Read an automotive report on future projections of alternative fuel use. Steady rise in use of ethanol, natural gas, biodiesel, and battery alternative fuels. While conventional fuels will reign supreme, steady gains for alternative fuel for 12 years, after this an acceleration of alternative fuel use. During this 12 year period, electronics within automotive technology will explode much like what cell phone technology accomplished. Electric control will propel use/value of alternative fuel. This makes me think the auto will exploit strengths of combined fuels. Meaning the fuel will be mixed within engine controls per pollution control requirements, power, cold engine, high hp demands, low hp demands, braking, and efficiencies. Batteries, capacitors, and more electric motor power definitely within mainstream technology and within the fuel mix, probably not like the expensive hybrid technology, but more to maximize efficiency of ICE operation on the cheap.   


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My guess?


Read the HCCI ignition technology that GM developed, would increase efficiency 20%. Problem was lack of control and flexibility. They had to limit HCCI to low power and steady state conditions. So, pretty easy to predict automotive will not let that much mpg gain go unutilized, especially with the vastly coming improvement of engine control technology approaching.


May they be working on dual fuel that can manage combustion one power stroke at a time? An igniter fuel and power fuel combo whereupon the engine can gain better control of HCCI. A custom blend of fuel to facilitate compression ignition under diverse conditions. Good to do away with spark plug. Ethanol may be most efficient when

DI shortly after ignition for power boost? At least for start up. Exhaust gas will be introduced under precise controls for mpg gains under low power.


Engines also will be built for extreme boost and compression surpassing diesel. The use of variable valve timing with result variable compression ability will support the HCCI ignition. Engines will be smaller, lower rpm, longer stroke, and high torque for max efficiency and compression flexibility. Turbos will harvest some exhaust energy for battery charging and Efficiencies should top those large diesel ship engines rated 50% thermal. Most of this is currently utilized within automotive albeit in infancy. 


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Heavy over the road trucking manufactures appear to me as a leading indicator of future automotive trends. As per the golden age of low cost rides and mass production, nowadays production volume a mere fraction, at a time when complexity, regulation, liability, and consumer demands at an all time high. So, if business as normal per corporate attempt to meet the challenge a mass consolidation will ensue to minimize competition and maximize economies of scale. The surviving companies will cooperate or wise up to understand they can’t separately accomplish the mission. Trucking, refrigeration, and appliance manufactures have gone through this economic realignment. Would guess the current branded automotive companies mainly a purchasing agent and assembly plant. Lot of that going on currently as these companies purchase parts from same supplier. Maybe more like trucking where the customer specs out desired engine and transmission, specifying a Cummins diesel, Dana transmission, Eaton axle, Warner brake, Beloit clutch, etc.. Parts will be standardized and interchangeable for maximum flexibility.  U.S. companies learn this trick to fight back much cheaper foreign manufactured product that can’t adapt to this production model easily.


Quality and cost will magnified as an engine manufacturer performance easily graded.


To that end, the vehicle would be adaptable per the Ford model to accept array of power plants be it battery power, hybrid, or traditional. Customer focuses on their needs and value. Old cars could be quickly remanufactured with off the self parts for the second generation low cost alternative to foreign import choice.


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Hydraulic hybrid-


A transmission shop owner invented a hydraulic assist system for truck transmissions. Quite impressive to capture brake energy and idle energy for take off. UPS bought into the invention and was outfitting a test fleet of delivery truck with this South Dakota transmission shop hardware.


Flash forward to today’s news of EPA adapting hydraulic hybrid technology to Chrysler mini van. This the technology found to be so successful upon those UPS delivery trucks and city garbage trucks. Current design, a series hybrid with hydraulic motor drive. Efficient constant rpm drives the pump with accumulator to store energy. Van expected to increase mileage 35% with the hydraulic system engineered from an Ann Arbor, Michigan firm installation.




EPA has been working the hydraulic hybrid technology since ’05. 


What is the payoff exactly? The increases in fuel economy equal huge savings, financially and environmentally. Because the energy in a hydraulic hybrid doesn't pass through an electric motor, it recovers more energy lost during braking. A gas/electric hybrid recovers 30 percent of braking energy, while a hydraulic hybrid can recover 70 percent.


The EPA also estimates that with less maintenance than a gas/electric hybrid and less fuel then a conventional truck, UPS could save up to $50,000 over the lifespan of each hydraulic hybrid truck.


Another payoff is the efficiency of the hydraulic components themselves.

Because the components are lightweight and use simple mechanics, they're easy to build, maintain and repair. In contrast, gas/electric hybrids use heavy batteries that may become obsolete and, as we've learned, are sometimes toxic and difficult to dispose of.


So, maybe gaining efficiency of hybrid not so complicated after all? The engine drives a hydraulic pump that stores energy within accumulator tank then shuts off. 

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BTW, if plug in battery car so efficient.....why then is the household NG co-gen power plant such as Honda's able to justify their $10k cost by displacing grid power? Note that grid power costs are expected to rise dramatically as utility companies forced to purchase or produce "green" power.  Also, note, that grid power pays no road tax.


Fact is NG energy pumped and piped around country is much more efficient distribution of energy. Especially now since they have a clever device to harvest the high pressure energy when decreasing pipe line pressure.


Electrical grid requires fuel, also, just to get the process going. So, natural gas a common fuel for electrical generation. Each electrical transition step loses energy. Energy in this case natural gas. So, first the turbine, then generator, line loss, transformer, and phase/load imbalance wastes incurred just to arrive the electricity to consumer. Now, specifically with plug in cars were farther inflict loss of energy with inverters and chemistry of battery. I'm sure I forgot a few?

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Sorry to interrupt... ;)but...


I read about the hydrolic hybrid thing yesterday on Greencar Congress... pretty cool.


Chrysler and EPA to partner on hydraulic series hybrid powertrain for light duty vehicles

19 January 2011


Chrysler Group LLC and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working together to determine the possibility of adapting a hydraulic series hybrid system for application in large passenger cars and light-duty vehicles. The announcement of the partnership was made at the EPA laboratories in Ann Arbor, Mich., following a meeting with Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group CEO, and Lisa P. Jackson, Agency Administrator for the EPA.


The hydraulic hybrid system, developed by the EPA’s lab in Ann Arbor (earlier post), is well known and currently used in industrial applications, including large delivery trucks and refuse trucks across the country. The technology has shown substantial increases in fuel economy when compared with traditional powertrains in the same type of vehicles.


Hydraulic hybrid systems consist of two key components: high pressure hydraulic fluid vessels called accumulators, and hydraulic drive pump/motors. The accumulators are used to store pressurized fluid. Acting as a motor, the hydraulic drive uses the pressurized fluid to rotate the wheels. Acting as a pump, the hydraulic drive is used to re-pressurize hydraulic fluid by using the vehicle’s momentum, thereby converting kinetic energy into potential energy.


Working together, both parties hope to reduce the size and complexity of the hybrid system and produce a technology that is sensitive to the needs of drivers for smooth and quiet operation.


The research project will focus on adapting the hydraulic hybrid system to a Chrysler Town & Country minivan equipped with a 2.4-liter, inline four-cylinder gasoline engine. Components of the hydraulic hybrid system include a 117 cc engine pump, a 45 cc drive electric motor and a two-speed automatic transmission. Fluid for the system will be stored in a 14.4-gallon high pressure accumulator.


The system produces power with engine torque driving a hydraulic pump that charges the high pressure accumulator of up to 5,000 psi (34.5 MPa). The high-pressure accumulator delivers the pressure energy to the axle hydraulic motor, giving the vehicle power to drive the wheels. The gas engine will remain off if the accumulator charge is sufficient to drive the motor.


EPA and its partners announced the world’s first series hydraulic hybrid urban delivery vehicle in 2006. (Earlier post.) In 2004, EPA had combined a full series hydraulic hybrid system with a diesel engine in a 2003 Ford Expedition SUV. This vehicle was announced and displayed to the public in 2004 SAE World Congress. The prototype showed an 85% improvement in fuel economy.


    Hydraulic hybrid vehicle technology is one more promising path worth pursuing in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, and we are excited to partner with the EPA to push forward on this track.


    In this hydraulic hybrid project, the Chrysler Group and EPA will evaluate and, hopefully, validate fuel-efficiency gains and greenhouse gas reductions. One of the aims of Chrysler Group’s integration efforts will be to meet driver expectations for smooth and quiet operation, so that Americans will want to buy and will enjoy driving vehicles with this technology.

    —Sergio Marchionne


Chrysler Group also will introduce 150 Ram 1500 trucks with a plug-in hybrid electric system in the coming months as part of a project with the US Department of Transportation.






      EPA: How series hydraulic hybrid vehicles work


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Hydrous ethanol-


Much info on water benefiting the combustion process, improving efficiencies. Never understood why this was possible other than reduced temperatures, steam, and increased density of exhaust helpful in turbo power.


This engineering tip website had a good explanation:




Basically, hydrocarbon fuel molecules of hydrogen and carbon in the presence of temperature and oxygen break down to form-


OH radicals and CO – this chemical reaction occurs fast and may cause engine knock

    -water molecules obstructs (in the way) this process and slows down reaction (no engine knock).


After this phase of combustion, a slower process that develops 2/3 of the total power.


CO oxidizes to C02 late in combustion

- this process produces 2/3 the power

- OH radicals slows down this process


Free water will promote quicker chemical reaction of CO to CO2 and present an improved power stroke with less CO pollutants.  Lean burn fuel ratios are o.k. per reduced combustion peak heat.


Drag strip engines apparently utilize water injection as max power generated while keeping temperature down. In fact most antidotal evidence appears the benefit mainly at high horsepower that normally would result in damaging high temperatures. Lean burn damaging temperatures decreased, also. Turbo engines often run rich fuel mixtures to prevent engine damage, yet it’s a bad chemical process as more fuel will produce OH radicals that obstructs the more powerful oxidation of CO. Meaning your losing the efficiency of turbo for better mpg. Water injection would be a big improvement to mileage, or running hydrous ethanol mix.


So, hydrous ethanol may be an excellent fuel for those future engines powering hybrid technology. Much like the Chevy Volt that operate at an efficient constant rpm powering either a hydraulic pump or electric generator. A high compression turbo’d  engine running upon lean hydrous ethanol fuel air mix a perfect match. 


Thanks, Husker, interesting comments following that article that tended to imply hydraulic hybrids would be the fastest near term solution as the technology is available now, more reliable, and cheaper.

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OEM recommended-


My brother a retired Engineer. He has little expertise within auto technology other than thermal dynamics theory within the educational system. Per his book THE only person reputable upon autos, the one who designed the car. So, he reads the Owners Manual with utmost respect, never varying. This is probably good advice for those who trust no one and afraid of making a blunder. However, most would understand that even the designer of that car can’t know everything. For instance the manner in which you typically drive, the conditions, your budget concerns, up to date technology and better understanding of the particular auto faults upon history.


The car company will not bother to update specifications to achieve better performance or life span for auto owner, nor will they inform public of new after market products to make the car last longer and be more efficient. So, the recommended oil change interval, oil, spark plugs, tires, tire pressure, etc. all tied up within legal liability of when the auto was built. No reputable business will venture outside this critical zone of minimal liability.


Oil change intervals- specifications that increase mileage between oil change will accommodate advertisements offering low maintenance vehicle as compared to older models. Would the consumer be truly better off? Listen to consumer reporting apparently? Yet, they to will never disobey OEM recommendations. So, who is watching out for your wallet concern….no one.


Spark plugs- ask yourself why do new model cars spec out the latest technological advances upon spark plugs, yet no new OEM re-specification for your old car? Answer, they don’t want to spend the money. Your car will operate the way they intended if you stick with OEM specs. No better, no worse.


Tires- since tires are spec’d for acceptable safety upon a wide diverse operation range and upon a minimal cost to accomplish this. This, usually the prime zone to improve, as we desire to achieve better performance for our particular needs. Traction, high speed, rain, snow, low cost, or low rolling resistance. The manual doesn’t exactly cover all this. What to do? Consumer advice urges public to read and follow car manual. Why is our culture so afraid to educate the public? They seem to exclaim….don’t think, follow directions! You’re not smart and should not attempt anything on your own. In fact this attitude is hammered into youth. Much like my brother, they will laugh at anyone attempting to be independent thinkers. The bottom line…..you can’t possibly be credible.


This may be the primary obstacle to E85 fuel. It takes some self confidence in a person’s ability to seek the truth. Most fear they will be snookered per the non expert advice. If the car was not designed specifically for ethanol blended fuel, bottom lines don’t risk using it. Specifically, the vehicle engineered for gasoline for maximum performance and lifespan.  Historically this the case and average consumer believes buying better gasoline will be good for the car i.e. Shell fuel or premium. Some cars have ability to burn up to 85% ethanol maximum. Meaning you need at least 15% minimum gasoline for proper engine function. Beginning to read like the ethanol portion a compromise fuel. Sure it’s better (laugh) who are you to tell me? My brother is exactly this mindset. He will always hunker down within OEM specs. Not even if later E15 is accepted per automotive manufacturer as this a compromise to original design. 


Did look up a old '95 GMC manual with big bold warning on 5% methanol maximum as they describe methanol as wood alcohol. Maximum 5% as the fuel corrodes metal parts in your fuel system and also damage plastic and rubber parts. A specification of 10% ethanol is acceptable as they describe the additive grain alcohol. So, owner of the vehicle would conclude this version of alcohol better as the additive only destroys 1/2 the metal, rubber, and plastic parts as compared to methanol. Great.


Read a couple days ago of a bio fuel organization spokesperson promoting the idea of doing away with self service gas stations as a good idea to keep customers tied to OEM spec fuel. To keep customers from making mistakes…..this is a pleasant cover to accomplish preventing customers from having choice.

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here is another hydraulic hybrid story for 'ya flee...  this one for retrofitting existing garbage trucks...


Eaton Launches Hydraulic Hybrid Retrofit Program for Refuse Trucks

22 January 2010



Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation will begin offering retrofit versions of its Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) hybrid power system (earlier post) for refuse trucks later this year. The Refuse Retrofit Program will be offered through select qualified partners and installers. Eaton is currently seeking partners for the program.


The Eaton Hydraulic Launch Assist system is a parallel hybrid system, in which the conventional powertrain is supplemented by the addition of the hydraulic system that captures braking energy to use to propel the truck forward and helps to slow it down. The system is best suited for vehicles that operate in stop and go duty cycles such as refuse trucks—the initial commercialization target.


The HLA system has two parts: regeneration and launch assist.




      Regeneration. During braking, the vehicle’s kinetic energy drives the hydraulic pump/motor as a pump, transferring hydraulic fluid from the low-pressure reservoir to a high-pressure accumulator. The fluid compresses nitrogen gas in the accumulator and pressurizes the system. The regenerative braking captures about 70% of the kinetic energy produced during braking.



      Launch Assist. During acceleration, fluid in the high-pressure accumulator is metered out to drive the pump/motor as a motor. The system propels the vehicle by transmitting torque to the driveshaft. The Launch Assist has two different settings, the economy mode and the performance mode.



      Economy Mode. When the Hydraulic Launch Assist System is operating in Economy Mode, the energy stored in the accumulator during braking is used alone to initially accelerate the vehicle. Once the accumulator has emptied, the engine will begin to perform the acceleration. This process results in increased fuel economy.



      Performance Mode. When the Hydraulic Launch Assist System is operating in Performance Mode, acceleration is created by both the energy the stored in the accumulator and the engine. Once the accumulator has emptied, the engine is completely responsible for acceleration. While fuel economy improvements are seen in Performance Mode, the greatest benefit is increased productivity


Benefits of the system include 20 to 30% improvement in fuel economy, longer brake life, and increased productivity due to the extra power the HLA system provides.


    By retrofitting existing trucks, Eaton is giving our customers a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Until now, our refuse market customers in North America have been frustrated in their efforts to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in fleets of newer trucks with many years of service left in them. The have been asking for a hybrid solution that does not require the purchase of a new truck, and we’re pleased to deliver the retrofit option.


    —Seth Deutsch, manager – Hybrid Market Planning


Eaton offers the most complete line-up of hybrid systems for commercial vehicle applications. Eaton hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and two hybrid hydraulic power systems, parallel (HLA) and series, are available or in development on truck models including International, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, Iveco, DAF, Daimler, and Ford and on bus models from Foton, Zhongtong, Yutong, JNP, King Long, Shen Long, Heng Tong, BCI and Solaris. Eaton hybrid power systems have accumulated more than 30 million miles of road-tested service around the world.


Here is another article about Peterbilt offering a new model with this technology built right in from the factory, along with the ability to use CNG or LNG for it'd fuel... I'd look to see these things as standards in the industry.



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