A CARB Christmas

Ah, heck. I made the mistake of turning on my PC and looking at Russ Steele’s blog this morning. At least I slept in.

Poor Rudolph. Now the other reindeer will really laugh and call him names, especially with that new nose.

Lest you think this spoof is off the mark, let me remind you that CARB wanted to outlaw dark colored cars in California:

Now CARB and other groups are pushing for a 60 mpg efficiency standard, perhaps as early as 2017, which is very close (if not over) the the maximum efficiency limit of gasoline in an internal combustion engine.

The 60 mpg standard by 2025 presumes a 6% annual improvement in fuel economy over the 2016 Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 34.1 mpg established in April, Hwang said.

“We were very surprised when environmental groups called for 60 mpg because just last year we worked with the Obama administration and the State of California and environmental groups to agree on a new national standard that would reach over 35 mpg by 2016, and before we’ve even achieved those new heights, in fact, before the program has even taken effect, there are already calls for almost double the mileage,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that represents General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and 10 additional auto manufacturers.

Who doesn’t want better fuel efficiency? However, reality can be a real bitch.

From Wikipedia, The MPGe

Description

The miles per gallon gasoline equivalent is based on the energy content of gasoline. The energy obtainable from burning one US gallon is 115,000 BTU. Thus one mile per gallon gasoline equivalent is equal to 115,000 BTU per mile.[1] For alternative fuels, energy required to manufacture the fuel may also be considered. To convert the mile per gallon rating into other units of distance per unit energy used, the mile per gallon value can be multiplied by one of the following factors to obtain other units:

1 MPGE = 1/115,000 miles/BTU
≈ 1/33.7032 miles/kW·h
≈ 1/20.9422 km/kW·h
≈ 1/75.3919 km/MJ

Conversion to MPGE

MPGE is determined by converting the vehicle consumption per unit distance, as determined through computer modeling or completion of an actual driving cycle, from its native units into a gasoline energy equivalent. Examples of native units include W·h for electric vehicles, kg-H2 for hydrogen vehicles, gallons for biodiesel vehicles, cubic feet for compressed natural gas, pounds for propane or Liquefied petroleum gas vehicles, and gallons for liquefied natural gas vehicles. Special cases for specific alternative fuels are discussed below, but a general formula for MPGe is:

 MPGe = \frac{total~miles~driven}{\left [ \frac{total~energy~of~all~fuels~consumed}{energy~of~one~gallon~of~gasoline} \right ]}

Depending on the purpose, overall energy consumption for the vehicle may also need to include the energy used in the production of whatever energy carrier is used for the vehicle and the energy used in filling the “tank”. For example, with electrically powered vehicles, a full accounting of all energy consumption would include the efficiency factor for conversion of primary fuels into electricity and the efficiency factor of charging the battery from the electrical plug.

Basic values for the energy content of various fuels are given by the defaults used in the Department of Energy GREET model, as follows:

Fuel Unit Btu/Unit
gasoline gallon 116,090
electricity kWh 3,412
diesel gallon 129,488
biodiesel gallon 119,550
ethanol gallon 76,330
E85 gallon 82,000
CNG SCF 983
H2-Gas SCF 289
H2-Liq gallon 30,500
LPG gallon 84,950
methanol gallon 57,250

Note, however, that – except for electricity – the energy content of a particular fuel can vary somewhat given its specific chemistry and production method. For example, in the new efficiency ratings that have been developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – see below – the energy content of a gallon of gasoline is assumed to be 114,984 BTUs

The maximum efficiency of an internal combustion engine running on gasoline is said to be about 30%. This is before drivetrain , road friction, and air friction losses. Tank to wheel efficiency of a standard gasoline car is said to be only around 15%. Most of the energy in gasoline is converted to heat by combustion and friction.

From Wikipedia: The largest internal combustion engines in the world are two-stroke diesels, used in some locomotives and large ships. They use forced induction (similar to super-charging, or turbocharging) to scavenge the cylinders; an example of this type of motor is the Wartsila-Sulzer turbocharged two-stroke diesel as used in large container ships. It is the most efficient and powerful internal combustion engine in the world with over 50% thermal efficiency. For comparison, the most efficient small four-stroke motors are around 43% thermal efficiency (SAE 900648); size is an advantage for efficiency due to the increase in the ratio of volume to surface area.

To reach that 50% efficiency standard required to get to 60MPG, maybe CARB is planning to have US automakers outfit the vehicles with advanced technology like this:

CARB might benefit from reading this essay on the folly of magic carburetors to help them design achievable standards.

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58 Responses to A CARB Christmas

  1. Alvin says:

    The goal is not more efficency, that would come with the free market. All things being equal, you would buy a car that gets 40 MPG over one that gets 30 MPG. Power, looks, comfort. That is why environmentalists push this through government. The goal is not a more efficient gasoline engine. It is to put the gasoline engine out of business and eventually, cars in general.

  2. TimM says:

    Go back to you holidays and don’t turn on your computer or TV for the rest of the week!

    Cheers and happy holidays

  3. R. Shearer says:

    CARB is pursuing legislation to repeal the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics.

  4. Ric Werme says:

    Now CARB and other groups are pushing for a 60 mpg efficiency standard, perhaps as early as 2017, which is very close (if not over) the the maximum efficiency limit of gasoline in an internal combustion engine.

    I’m sure 60 mph can be achieved, but only in small, light weight vehicles and with speed limits lowered to 35 mph.

    Note there’s nothing that includes seating capacity. If you have a family of four, just take two cars on the summer trip.

    Also, CARB could get the state to repeal tailgating laws, at least on tailgating tractor-trailer trucks. I tried drafting one during the 1970s oil embargo. I didn’t have instrumentation, but I was able to significantly let up on the gas pedal.

    CARB doesn’t seem terribly concerned about safety and common sense, I wonder how they’d respond to the tailgating suggestion.

    Anthony: Be gone!

  5. tallbloke says:

    My Diesel powered Skoda Estate was doing 50mpg when I sold it. Pretty good really. Of course the other hidden agenda here is to get everyone to drive slower. 56mph is reckoned to be the efficient speed. Small cars can already do 60mpg at that speed.

  6. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    As a Canadian remote from the electric car in California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F and its premature death-by-design) it is fascinating to watch the CARB dog and pony show from a safe distance.

    It is impressive to see people pushing the envelope on thermal laws. Perhaps the next important envelopes to be pushed will have ballots in them.

  7. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    You guys really look stupid. CARB dropped this early this year! No cool cars, no bans on black paint.

    And who are the alarmists?

    [You missed the key word "wanted" in the link. "CARB wanted to outlaw dark colored cars in California:"

    Note that the link did not say "did outlaw", "outlawed" or "implemented". If it did, you might have a point. As it stands you are the one "looking stupid"- moderator]

  8. Wucash says:

    Fuel efficiency is a noble goal, however the biggest reason why someone should become fuel efficient is cost saving. However the more efficient things like gas boilers become, the higher prices the energy companies put up. In the end, it’s all about profit, and the less fuel we use the more they lose in revenue. Simple really.

  9. JDN says:

    @Anthony: Of course everyone knows you can’t do it with traditional piston engines. They are limited by a small stroke volume. The power recovered from combustion is the Delta-PV work. Higher power cars use higher pressure, short stroke, high RPMs and a hell of a lot of fuel. You get the most work out of the first portion of the expanding gases because pressure drops so rapidly as the power stroke progresses. More efficient cars try to increase the stroke volume. But you can get a larger stroke volume if you drive the pistons with a linear drive. Here are some of the contenders:

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Linear_Combustion_Electromagnetic_Engines

    Engineers typically try to recover about 1/3 of the total energy produced by any power system because it’s the most cost efficient. The question is whether any of these improvements in engine technology will pay off for recovering that extra power. There is absolutely no guarantee that any of these ideas will pay off.

    Another practical note is that reduced weight of vehicles coming from increased use of continuously variable transmissions and carbon fiber will also increase fuel economy to a lesser degree. I’m not an expert on these new engine concepts, but, I wouldn’t go accusing the CARB people of violating the laws of thermodynamics just yet.

  10. Baa Humbug says:

    just last year we worked with the Obama administration and the State of California and environmental groups to agree on a new national standard that would reach over 35 mpg by 2016,

    I’m sick of these environmental groups having their filthy hands in every decision made these days.

    If ever I’m installed as a benevolent dictator………..

  11. Steve Oregon says:

    Where in history did any irrational advocacy lead to innovation and advancement of science?

  12. Baa Humbug says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    December 26, 2010 at 11:06 am
    You guys really look stupid.

    Rattus it’s offical, you look stupid.

    [ OK, that's one each. Now drop the name calling. -MODe ]

  13. Baa Humbug says:

    Ric Werme says:
    December 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Also, CARB could get the state to repeal tailgating laws, at least on tailgating tractor-trailer trucks. I tried drafting one during the 1970s oil embargo. I didn’t have instrumentation, but I was able to significantly let up on the gas pedal.

    Ric I used to drive Adelaide-Melbourne-Adelaide at night about once per week in my trusty old 1984 Holden Kingswood (GM) 6cyl
    Most trucks would double team and tailgate each other most of the way, and cross over the median lines at bends to cut distance. I’d join in behind the second whenever I could. (too young, too dumb, so maybe the greens will go for it)

    Quite scary and dangerous, I’d rather pay the extra fuel cost. (older and wiser lol)

  14. john ratcliffe says:

    Do remember that the US gallon is smaller than the imperial gallon, so the US is operating on a different scale other parts of the world, To gain a little more parity, maybe decimalise the foot (10 inches??), for a shorter mile.:-)

    regards john r (in a very cold and white Wales)

  15. harrywr2 says:

    I used to have a Chevy Sprint. I averaged at least 50 MPG ‘real world’ with just me driving it. Of course at 1,500 lbs it weighed half of what a Toyota Prius weighs.

  16. Bruce Cobb says:

    Apparently, CARB doesn’t see the electricity used for all the hybrid and electric vehicles they are pushing as a fuel. So, the 100% electric plug-ins, I suppose would have an “efficiency rating” of an infinity mpg. Impressive.

  17. F. Ross says:

    It is my understanding that, many years ago, the US Navy set a long distance un-refueled flight record using the P2V Neptune [an anti-sub search plane] by injecting a small amount of water into the cylinders and making use of the expansion caused by the conversion of water to steam to increase (?) fuel efficiency as well as helping to cool the engine.

    Questions:
    Does anyone know if this is true or not?
    If true has any thought been given to using that same process by the auto industry?

  18. Ian L. McQueen says:

    F. Ross posted:
    December 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm
    It is my understanding that, many years ago, the US Navy set a long distance un-refueled flight record using the P2V Neptune [an anti-sub search plane] by injecting a small amount of water into the cylinders and making use of the expansion caused by the conversion of water to steam to increase (?) fuel efficiency as well as helping to cool the engine.

    Questions:
    Does anyone know if this is true or not?
    If true has any thought been given to using that same process by the auto industry?

    [Attempted partial answer follows]
    Injection of water and water-methanol into cylinders has been used when the engines were subjected to heavy loads to reduce or prevent pre-ignition (knocking), and I recall reading that the Crosley Super Sports (excuse any errors- this is from memory from 50+ years ago) had injection of one of those liquids to enable its then-high 10:1 compression ratio. (Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated wrote that he noticed no difference whether it was used or not.)
    I believe that the expansion of water sprayed into a cylinder would come at the expense of the reduced expansion of the air-fuel mixture being burned. I suspect that it would balance out to no gain.

    IanM

  19. Don Shaw says:

    Anthony,
    Thanks for this post exposing the irrational use of science and lack of engineering thermodynamics knowledge displayed by the White House, Congress, and the CARB folks.

    BTW it is not normally made clear, but the Federal requirements are that the auto get 39 mpg to allow for the fact that trucks are permitted to get less mpg. Better buy your new car before these mandates kick in especially if you have a large family or have a need for a larger vehicle, or want to drive a safe vehicle.
    See Below:

    “UPDATE: The NYT story is not entirely accurate, and, separately, sources tell me there appears to be a little confusion as to exactly what mpg standard is set for what class of vehicles (see below). ”

    UPDATE2: The numbers appear to be 39 mpg for cars, 30 mpg for light trucks (see here).”

    Also one needs to note that the additional issue ignored is that the mandated ethanol content lowers the mpg, because as you noted the ethanol only has about 2/3 the energy content. Does the unrealistic mpg standard apply with the irrational ethanol mandate especially as the EPA shoves more % ethanol upon us?

    One of the most irksome aspect is that this comes from an administration that needlessly fires up Air force One for “joy” rides such as those to stop and speak for a brief short period or to sign a bill in friendly territory or use multiple planes to go on vacation or fly to Asia or Europe. I’m waiting for the MSM to report the administrations carbon footprint
    The message is that we need to suffer and the “small” people will need to cram their bodies and family in undersize cars and limit their speed to circa 50 mph while the elite ruiling class ride in limos and large SUV’s.

    My proposal is that this high mpg requirement be first imposed on the Administration officials and the Congress for a 5 year trial period to see how it practical it is. All government cars will be mini size, No Limo’s, Especially for those Congressmen who allow their family to abuse the use of the Government registered Escalade like the guy from Michigan.

  20. Dan in Nevada says:

    It is a pretty well-known fact that in the ’70s, several 100+ mpg carburetors were developed (even better mileage for smaller cars), but the patents were all bought up by the big oil companies to increase their profits. As many of those patents must have expired by now, I have been thinking about actually producing some of these as retrofits for the inefficient fuel-injection systems found on most of today’s cars. I’ve tried all of the on-line patent search sites to try to find these old patents so I can copy the designs, but have been totally unsuccessful. Could Anthony, or someone else here with ties to Big Oil, tell me where to go?

    [ You might not like the answer ;-) No one here has 'ties to big oil' AFAIK. Never seen a 100 mpg carb. -MODe ]

  21. Aviator says:

    F.Ross – Water/methanol injection is used to reduce detonation under high loads; the Wright R-3350 turbo-compound engine in later models produced 3400HP “dry” (ie., no injection) and 3700HP “wet” with injection. This was generally only used for take-off. The P2V you refer to, “Truculent Turtle”, would not have used water-methanol injection for the entire flight since the goal was range, not climb or speed performance. Certainly getting off the ground would have been helped, but the engines would have been leaned out and then run on normal fuel with no additives. That is based on my experience (5000 hours) with big radials. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so!

  22. JRR Canada says:

    Californians , allow me to recommend the human hamsterwheel as the solution to your future energy shortages. As community service( sentenced under the return to sanity act) all those, who undermined sensible energy solutions with magic thinking, imposition of insane regulation and using public money to subsidise unworkable alternate energy, will be sentenced to work off their debt to society in kilowatt/hours generated by running them on human hamster wheels connected to the grid and the rate of payback should be set at 1/3 or less of the current price/kWh as this would have been your cost without their wise help. Of course they might be running forever but that would cause me no pain. Hows that for social justice?

  23. snork says:

    You almost connected the dots. The reason why they’re pushing these thermodynamically impossible “equivalent” numbers is so that they can ratchet up the mpg requirements a la CAFE, and pretend that mpge is a real mpg number for legal purposes, and eventually start forcing electrics and hybrids to displace ICE cars in order to continue to meet mpg standards.

    The fact that electric mpge is a complete fiction from a physical standpoint won’t matter; the important point is that it’s completely real from a legal standpoint. The real fun starts when people start expecting to charge these things without building any new power plants. Yes, California, I’m talking to you.

  24. Steve Ski says:

    [Does anyone know if this is true or not?]

    Hot Rodders have been playing with all sorts of high efficient engines such as Bruce Crower’s Six Stroke which was/is a modified Diesel engine

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20060227/free/302270007

    The problem with all these imposed standards is they come from people who don’t have backgrounds in automobiles, engines, mechanical or thermal engineering or sometimes reality.

    Smokey Yunick developed some (seemingly) astounding in his day but had to admit on his death bed they were more slight of hand and not all that practical to use everyday.

    http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=78116

  25. Don Shaw says:

    F. Ross,
    This is well known technology,
    When I studied IC Engines over 4 decades ago we injected water during the testing of actual engines under load.
    Don’t under estimate the capability of the engine manufacturers who are constantly being bombarded with irrational demands from Washington. Even the oil Companies used to test auto engines to optomize the fuel.
    Remember the initial EPA requirements initially killed the performance and mpg of all the engines.

  26. Albert Kallal says:

    As a note here the question was NOT about injecting water to manage ignition (or pre ignition). The question was would using water (or some water) that would expand more then air yield any benefits? I mean we did have steam engines at one time, so expanding water in place of air is not a new concept to drive a piston.

    With direct injection systems, then keeping the air + some water could be reasonable kept separate from the gas mixture that burns. So the question remains would introducing water into the air mixture (not the gas mixture) to utilize a material that expands MORE then air give any benefits? An interesting concept and I suspect there not much benefits.

    However, the water could perhaps absorb more of the heat energy and thus you get more work done since less heat energy would be going out the tailpipe and more heat would get converted into expanding. That water mix would expand more then just air and thus absorb more heat and thus result in more motion.

  27. TimM says:

    “JDN says: December 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    @Anthony: Of course everyone knows you can’t do it with traditional piston engines. They are limited by a small stroke volume.

    Here are some of the contenders:

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Linear_Combustion_Electromagnetic_Engines

    There is absolutely no guarantee that any of these ideas will pay off. ”

    Cool stuff. Reminds me of the “Gun Engine” a chap up in BC, Canada was working on. I’ve always wondered why people limit themselves to ICE designs? The alternate one I like the most is the toroidal design. At 20 to 1 better weight to displacement than an ICE engine it is amazing stuff ( http://www.angellabsllc.com/ ).

    I love your last line. The rude rocks of reality will be the downfall of many a good ship but those that can make it by will be truly amazing.

  28. Phil says:

    Of all the choices, diesel is the only practical alternative that could possible meet this goal, but a number of market barriers exist and continue to be added that make converting a large amount of the US transportation system now fueled by gasoline unnecessarily difficult. Regulatory barriers include emissions regulations that are unduly restrictive and high certification costs. Fuel taxes also favor gasoline. The result is low supply and high cost of diesel passenger vehicles, which naturally dampens demand. What is oxymoronic is that a proven technology exists that can significantly improve fuel mileage, but this technology is discouraged instead of being encouraged.

  29. cyberdrop says:

    Porsche plans to build a plug-in hybrid. The e-engine has enough power to run the EU standard test for hybrid vehicles with a 3l per 100km (78 MPG) equivalent. If the battery is empty or the e-engine is to slow you still have the normal 700 HP engine. But the car is labeled with a consumtion of 3l ;-)

  30. Bruce Cobb says:

    Coming soon
    Car of the future (deluxe model) if the Greenie Weenies get their way.

  31. JEM says:

    The key here is that if CARB pushes through a 60mpg standard, the true beneficiaries will be those out-of-state dealers selling to California buyers on eBay and Autotrader.

  32. harrywr2 says:

    Dan in Nevada says:
    December 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    “It is a pretty well-known fact that in the ’70s, several 100+ mpg carburetors were developed”.

    It’s not at all difficult to get extra MPG of an engine. Honda has managed to get engines to run with an A/F ratio of 60-1 compared to the standard 14-1.
    What gets hard is to manage the heat dissipation with the materials we have to work with or manage the NOx emissions.

    Various manufacturers have played around with ceramic engines for decades. The result tends to be the same, a small crack in the ceramics develops and the engine self destructs.

    There isn’t lot of point from a manufacturers standpoint in rushing an engine made of ‘new materials’ to market. The Chevy Vega was one of the first aluminum block engines and enjoys infamy as one of the all time POS cars to have ever been built.

    Hence,’miracle ideas’ tend to get shelved as soon as ‘reliability’ concerns come up.

    Various ‘backyard inventions’ tend not to be so miraculous when the engine is disassembled after a few thousand miles.

  33. George says:

    It is going to get worse in California before it gets better. If you have ever entertained thoughts of moving here, you are too late, you missed it.

    Moonbeam is going to utterly destroy this state but I believe that is the goal of the “progressive” movement. The idea is that you create such a complete and utter disaster that the people have no choice but to turn everything over to Govt. to sort out.

  34. Dan in Nevada says:

    [... Never seen a 100 mpg carb. -MODe ] That’s because of the patents – duh! OK, for the record, my last post was sarcastic/ironic. More seriously, I’m pretty convinced that regulatory mandates (e.g. CAFE) are uniformly destructive and divert wealth away from activities that would actually benefit humankind. Free markets have been unfailing in producing technologies and bringing them to market at precisely the time they are needed and with very little disruption (to the masses, anyway). “Planned” technologies, such as ethanol, rarely pan out. It’s likely that the technology that displaces fossil-fuel fired internal combustion engines will slide in smoothly with very little fanfare and , in retrospect, will be seen as obvious and inevitable.

  35. LazyTeenager says:

    Now CARB and other groups are pushing for a 60 mpg efficiency standard, perhaps as early as 2017, which is very close (if not over) the the maximum efficiency limit of gasoline in an internal combustion engine.
    ————-
    I don’t believe that there is a tight relationship between engine thermodynamic efficiency and distance travelled. Higher MPG figures have been demonstrated.

    However i agree that 60MPG is a really big ask for consumer transport.

  36. Doug in Seattle says:

    PNL in Richland WA did a scoping study of electric and gas electric hybrids a few years back (~2005 I think). They found that the threshold for gas hybrids using the existing grid was around 5% of the market.

    Remember too that this was before significant wind power was deployed here in WA and the resultant drain to the power grid.

    PNL’s study (paid for with DOE tax dollars) was not well received – and was quickly forgotten.

  37. jorgekafkazar says:

    Dan in Nevada says: “It is a pretty well-known fact that in the ’70s, several 100+ mpg carburetors were developed (even better mileage for smaller cars), but the patents were all bought up by the big oil companies to increase their profits.”

    It isn’t a fact. It’s thermodynamically impossible for a normal weight passenger vehicle to approach 100 mpg with a gasoline engine, unless you drive it over a cliff.

    “As many of those patents must have expired by now, I have been thinking about actually producing some of these as retrofits for the inefficient fuel-injection systems found on most of today’s cars. I’ve tried all of the on-line patent search sites to try to find these old patents so I can copy the designs, but have been totally unsuccessful. Could Anthony, or someone else here with ties to Big Oil, tell me where to go?”

    Don’t waste your time, Dan. There’s a reason you haven’t found the patents: They don’t exist.

  38. renminbi says:

    Injecting water for anything other than anti-knock is not productive. The heat of vaporization that is absorbed from the combustion goes out the exhaust and is wasted.

  39. Ric Werme says:

    Dan in Nevada says:
    December 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    … but the patents were all bought up by the big oil companies to increase their profits. … I’ve tried all of the on-line patent search sites to try to find these old patents…. Could Anthony, or someone else here with ties to Big Oil, tell me where to go?

    Well, I don’t have ties to big oil, and I think it a little odd that you only want answers from those who do.

    Then again, you probably don’t want my answer….

    Intellectual property is protected in two different ways.

    The patent system is part of the US Constitution. Someone with a non-obvious idea can get protection to use his invention, but has to make the details public. Conversely, he can keep the invention as a trade secret and unpatented. He does have legal recourse to people who steal it and harm the owner’s value from the trade secret (the formula for Coca-Cola and KFC’s spices are oft-mentioned trade secrets.

    If the patents exist, then they’ve been public all these years, and very likely made into some collection on the web. If you can’t find it, then you may want to consider the stories are urban legends and look into taking a few thermodynamics courses.

    Don’t forget that one reason for changing to fuel injected engines was to better control fuel mix and combustion. So you might also broaden your search and look for those 100 mpg fuel injectors that must be out there.

    I refurbed a snow blower carburetor once and was left with the distinct impression that there is magic in carburetor design. I don’t know how many people understand it, but I suspect most of them are retired now. The last car I had with a carburetor was a 1976 VW Rabbit. The next year a service bulletin was released that described changes that allowed the car to run clean enough without a catalytic converter to meet the EPA rules of the day.

  40. F. Ross says:

    Ian L. McQueen
    Aviator
    Don Shaw
    Albert Kallal

    Thanks to all for your interesting responses. I guess the “final” answer may be that the process was, overall, not much benefit.

  41. Retired Engineer says:

    harrywr2 says:
    “The Chevy Vega was one of the first aluminum block engines and enjoys infamy as one of the all time POS cars to have ever been built.”

    The Vega failed because of bad management. When aluminum blocks overheat, they do bad things. Like warp, and leak oil all over. The Vega came with a postage stamp radiator (cheaper) and suffered the consequences. It worked for a year (amazing that the warranty ran out just then) I replaced the dinky cooler with a great big one early on and had no problems. The space in front of the radiator even had prestamped cutouts. So someone thought about this at one point. If other people hadn’t run into me (4 times) the car would have lasted longer.

    Do not mistake corporate stupidity and greed for bad technology. Bean counters can destroy anything. Government do-gooders will destroy anything left behind.

  42. Mike McMillan says:

    Wucash says: December 26, 2010 at 11:13 am
    Fuel efficiency is a noble goal, however the biggest reason why someone should become fuel efficient is cost saving. However the more efficient things like gas boilers become, the higher prices the energy companies put up. In the end, it’s all about profit, and the less fuel we use the more they lose in revenue. Simple really.

    The problem there is the fact that the utilities are forced by the regulators to use natural gas instead of coal for new capacity, We are now in competition with the power company for our gas, which raises prices. Think of it as your contribution to a cleaner environment. Feel better?

    Yeah, me too.

  43. Mike McMillan says:

    F. Ross says: December 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm
    Ian L. McQueen
    Aviator
    Don Shaw
    Albert Kallal
    Thanks to all for your interesting responses. I guess the “final” answer may be that the process was, overall, not much benefit.

    We used water injection in the C-123K for takeoff, P&W R-2800 engines, 60 inch manifold pressure as I recall. The useful product in combustion there is the pressure rise, not the temperature, so turning some of that heat into steam gave more power and lower cylinder head temperatures.

    The early B-52 models and all the KC-135 tankers used water injection for takeoff. In addition to the pressure rise, the idea with jet engines is also exhaust mass. Water injection both cooled the exhaust and added mass. It was a maintenance nightmare, though, especially in northern bases where you had to download the water when there was a chance of freezing. In cold temperatures, the jets produced enough thrust you didn’t need the extra boost.

  44. Mike McMillan says:

    Yes, I always proofread for missing </i>’s after pressing the “Post Comment” button.

  45. Chris F says:

    I think its time all the car companies refuse to sell in California.
    Call their bluff.

  46. Roger Sowell says:

    “Cars” in mileage competitions routinely achieve 1000 miles per gallon equivalent, or more. Shell Oil Company sponsors an annual competition for this. (see link).

    It appears that CARB, or their favored consultants, honestly believe that cars not only can, but should achieve such mileage.

    A few facts. The ultra-high mileages typically are achieved by a combination of things. Such things as very low weight; low wind resistance (low drag); low speed; lots of coasting with the engine off; direct drive without transmission; oil-lubricated bearings; reclining driver position to promote low wind resistance, and others.

    Such vehicles are not suitable, nor legal, on the highways because they do not meet minimum safety standards. Shell addressed this issue some time back and created a category for “urban concept.” These cars achieved 433 mpg with a “street buggy” in the 2009 competition. Even so, 433 is a big improvement over 25 mpg of today’s average cars.

    There is also a competition known as the X-prize for cars that achieve 100 mpg or better. see this link: http://www.xprize.org/news/automotive-x-prize-seeks-100-mpg-car

  47. dp says:

    I think the real goal of the green movement is to promote laws that require manufacturing only cars that people will not drive a lot. I’ve been known to hop on my Harley and ride to the other side of the US just to have some beers with friends. Imagine how many people drive cars all over the place for less trivial purposes. The most efficient cars will be useless for more than a few hundred miles per trip. People who wish their kids to see the US by car will be disappointed like those kids in the UK that will never know snow. We saw a hint of this in the cash for clunkers program what was such a great success for off-shore auto manufacturers.

    Perfectly good cars were destroyed along with the value they had in the economy. Guess, anyone, how much pollution was created in the making of their replacements.

    When one political party has a monopoly you get a crazy world.

  48. Corky Boyd says:

    Water/methanol injection is used in aircraft IC engines to cool the induction air to provide a denser (more oxygen) charge similar to intercoolers used now. It’s a simpler fix than intercoolers. Engines can run a higher boost pressure before preignition or destructive detonation and produce more power.

    Race engines (unsupercharged) produce 10 to 15 more horsepower than gasoline because of the cooling power of methanol. But methanol has significantly less energy density than gasoline and gives horrible mileage.

  49. MJW says:

    Those still knocking “Dan in Nevada” might want to read his 4:31 PM comment (or re-read his original comment, which is quite clearly humorous).

  50. Don Shaw says:

    From the x prize:
    “That much is certain, if the X Prize group’s own survey is accurate. The contest organizers conducted a poll and found that 52 percent of Americans believe there is a conspiracy between car manufacturers and oil companies to deprive consumers of technologies that produce high fuel economy.”
    This speaks to a serious mis information problem created mostly by the MSM and a few crazy Senators and Congress persons with media support.

    If they were honest they would point out that only a small portion of oil production is controlled by the US Companies and most is controlled by Government owned companies.

    Also does any intelligent person seriously believe that all the energy starved countries in the world would allow the USA auto/oil companies to withhold technology from their economy that would provide greater efficiency transportation vehicles. Doesn’t Japan design most of the US vehicles? How much longer can they lie about the laws of Thermodynamics?

    It’s the same progressive anti capitalist mantra that convinces the public that it is the US oil giants that can control the prices that China, India, etc pay for crude every time the price goes up.
    How many times have we heard this lie from Senators from the left without the MSM even questioning the power of US oil companies over China etc .
    Keep in mind that they have more engineeers than we do!!
    Finally have you noticed that the price of gasoline has gone up over a dollar/gal. under Obama, which is about 50%. Does anyone believe that the policy of choking off US oil exploration/production is a factor in oil prices?

  51. grayman says:

    Hello all, I knew my expertise would come in handy one day on this blog. I am an auto mechanic,25 years plus. Yes water injection has been used in old radial and jet aircraft engines for years and anybody who had to tear them down to repair them saw the samething i have, water injected into the combustion process no matter the material, be it steel, iron, alum., even ceramic have the same problems! steel and iron pit out small pieces of the material and grow with use almost the same with alum.,and forget ceramic it just self destructs, all of this does happen over time as someone else commented earlier,longjevity is a BIG ISSUE. Not to mention the condensacion issue that happens when you have shut down and the engine sits over night or day, the rust that forms cause even more damage when you start up the next time. As was said before it is good for a power boost in some applications but in an automotive use it is useless except to use for carbon build up and that is only in short burst at highway speeds and driven a few miles to clean it out; please do not try this at home! Carberators is an old specialty of mine of course very few on the road any more, fuel injection is more effcient mileage, emissions and driveability wise. Sorry for all the spelling mistakes me and Jose Quervo are argueing over lazy teenagers duma$$ comments for some reason.

  52. grayman says:

    Corky Boyd your comment has a flaw IMO. I used to race drag and circle track and street. Intercoolers are great but to get maxim use you need to use ice and water mix around the induction hose to cool the air down even more. In street drags we used to ice the fuel line to cool the fuel even more, colder fuel is more dense hense more power and also we would wait to do most racing at night because colder air is more dense so more power. Old carb engines really love cooler air.

  53. Dave Springer says:

    60 mpg in a gasoline powered vehicle is easy enough. Motorcycles capable of highway speeds get up to twice that. The problem is the government imposes draconian safety standards on 4-wheeled vehicles otherwise you can build a light weight passenger car out of motorcycle components for wheels, frame, transmission, and engine while making the body with components from tents – canvass, clear plastic, and zippers. You’d definitely want to practice defensive driving but it would still be safer than a motorcycle.

  54. Dave Springer says:

    100 mpg diy 3-wheel car

  55. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Water injection has been done, it does provide a “boost” by converting heat in the cylinder to water vapor thus increasing pressure. But modern engines are designed to run hotter for better efficiency. For example, engine thermostats (which set the minimum operating temperature) used to run around 160°F but nowadays are around 195°F, with a cited efficiency limitation factor being the boiling limits of the traditional water/antifreeze mix. They’ve already boosted temperatures by increasing the operating pressure of the cooling system to suppress the boiling point. Thus water injection is incompatible with modern engines due to its cooling effect.

    Also, engine cylinders are not absolutely sealed, piston rings are not perfect and gases do escape the combustion chamber. That’s why there is a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve, to prevent buildup of pressure. With water injection there is too much water vapor getting into the crankcase space, getting mixed into the oil, leading to greatly increased wear and corrosion. That’s a reason why it doesn’t work, and a second reason why it doesn’t work with modern high-temp engines.

    This leads to the current incarnation of water injection, the HHO Generator which makes the miraculous “mono-atomic hydrogen” etc, feel free to Google for the hype. Electricity from the vehicle is used for electrolysis, breaking water down into hydrogen and oxygen, which is piped into the engine’s air intake. Inside the engine they recombine into water as vapor. Since it’s a combustion reaction, engine temperature and that part of the efficiency is not noticeably reduced. But it’s gases coming in, water vapor going out, thus nothing like the pressure boost of traditional water injection. What benefits there may be largely come from having an additional puff of steam in the combustion chamber (see preceding paragraph). Note the growing trend, if not absolute by now, to use all stainless steel exhaust systems, due to modern engines being so efficient there is considerable water production in the combustion process and also in the catalytic converter as the few remaining unburnt hydrocarbons are consumed. Traditional water injection had some notable benefits in the older cooler engines, which some thought offset the drawbacks. Promoting HHO Generators for modern vehicle engines is just a scam.

  56. Richard P says:

    This basically is a an argument about the Laws of Thermodynamics, and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Broken down to its simplest parts it takes a certain amount of energy to propel a vehicle with a particular mass, to overcome rolling friction, and aerodynamic drag. These are related to Newton’s laws of motion. The The Laws of Thermodynamics show your the efficiency of the system, energy in work out. Thus all we can do in manipulate these factors to optimize the system for energy consumption.

    Thus, this 100 MPG carburetor is meaningless without knowing all of the factors involved in the system. I can design a very efficient power supply for a very limited application. However, if that system sees any variation from narrow window I have tuned it to, the efficiency will suffer, or the system will fail. This hold true for cars as well. You can design a very efficient system if you are only on level ground, make gentle turns, have a good Reynold’s number (irregardless of the space and safety constraints), keep your air flow velocities with a particular range , and use low friction tires. Who would want to drive this vehicle on the open road? Not me, and there is the problem.

    Unsafe, efficient vehicles are death traps. The NTSB has figures for the increase in traffic fatalities, due to the CAFE standards. Every 100 pounds of weight reduction results in a 5.63% increase in the fatality rate for small cars, 4.70% for mid size cars, and 3.06% for light trucks. Thus this causes between 2,000 to 3,900 additional deaths per year. Yes, air bags and other safety restraints can help, but air bags specifically are very dangerous in the amount of energy delivered. As originally designed they were built to stop a large man from impacting the steering wheel and or windshield. As they soon found out this a level of energy was sufficient to kill infants, children, and small adults.

    So I have a question, how much energy is required to propel a car down the road during various conditions? I am sure this data exists somewhere. What are the efficiencies in the current ICM and or Electric with Drive Train system, and how can we improve them. These definitions and data would allow for reasoned understanding of the system. Thus the targets should be related to improving those portions of the system that can be changed without violating the laws of physics (neither Congress or the Administration can repeal the laws of physics no matter how hard they try). Then we will work with real data not some pie in the sky, Lawyer/Political Science major generated number pulled out of their distal colon whose sole purpose is to make some English major environmentalist happy.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    One of the things I rarely see mentioned is how we HAD 50 MPG cars. They died at the hands of regulators.

    The original Honda Civic was 52 or 54 MPG ( I remember drooling over the ads…) and the original VW Diesel Rabbit was 50 (something).

    Detuning and added “stuff” to meet smog requirements resulted in a lot of fuel being burned for less “go”. Thus lower MPG. At the same time, more weight was added for more safety equipment. The end game of more detuning to carry more weight was that now folks are often thrilled at a 25 or 30 mpg compact car when it could be much higher.

    (No, I’m not avocating for more smog, just pointing out a cost of ‘control’ that is hidden and often ignored.)

    FWIW, I have an old 1979 Mercedes FULL SIZED station wagon (near 2 ton, about 3800 lb wt). It goes over 110 mph ( I chickened out…) and I’ve gotten up to about 28 mpg from it (not at the same time ;-) but rather on a long run cross country at slow freeway speeds). Usually I get closer to 24 mpg and can get down to 22 mpg around town in winter if I stomp on it a lot. It accellerates “nicely” ;-)

    The kicker? It is a 2.3 L in line 4 cylendar engine with a Stromberg side draft carburettor on it. European grey market car. The 230T was not a regular US import.

    I also have the newer 1990 ish equivalent. A much lighter weight 300Te wagon that is shorter and narrower with somewhat better aerodynamics. It gets 17 mpg around town. Top speed is about the same (or at least MY top speed is about the same ;-) and on the freeway can SOMETIMES on a good day make 22 mpg. It has an inline 6 cyl 3 L with fuel injection and electronic ignition.

    So why do I get less milage with less car? Where does all the gas go? Into the need to meet California smog requirements.

    FWIW, my Diesel wagon (yes, I have 3 Mercedes wagons… what can I say… I like them… ) has the 5 cyl 3 L Turbo Diesel and gets about 22 mpg around town (in the larger size frame, it’s a 1984 so the same style as the 230T with carb but heavier suspension) and gets up about 24 mpg on the freeway. I find it fascinating that the carburetted engine gets about the same MPG as the Diesel. They did something very right in that engine…

    The most efficient in the fleet is the 240 D, a 2.4 L inline 4 cyl Diesel (no turbo 8-(
    It has very poor accelleration and tops out at about 85 ( 90 mph on a good day..)
    But I’ve gotten up to 36 mpg in it and typical is 26 just about anywhere. ( I once got a tad over 40 mpg, but that was drafting close to a semi-truck at 60 on the freeway for hours, so doesn’t count ;-)
    It carries 5 folks in comfort and weighs about 3600 lbs.

    Do I care about CARB? Not at all. I’ll be driving these cars for the rest of my driving days. They can keep their green econobox over regulated mandated whatevers. I’ll just keep driving my ‘ol Diesels. That era MB can go over 1,000,000 miles and I’ve owned one at about 500,000 miles. The present ones are about 200,000 and 120,000 miles, so “young ones”… (Which, BTW, do nicely on soybean oil cut with a little kerosene, jet fuel, lamp oil, or paint thinner… so they can do whatever they want with the price and availability of Diesel fuel too. I’ll just keep on keep’n on…)

    Care to guess what happens when 2 tons hits 1 ton? Each takes the same share of M*V due to conservation of momentum. I’ll take my share as 2M, they will take their share as 2V. Energy goes as V^2, so they will get 4 times the energy… and I’ll have twice as much mass to absorb my ‘share’… Yeah, that’s worth something to me… I’ll swap 10 mpg for not having (2V)^2.

    (I’ve had a lot of years to think about how I’d want to be prepared for The Day when Carb completely breaks things. I’m set. Looks like they are teeing up the shot now…)

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