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Old 07-26-2008, 06:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I don't want to sound like the fine print here, but it depends on the test. Simply driving a car without scientific equipment exposes it to too many variables.

All of the fuel economy tests Enerpulse reports are performed on an eddy current dynamometer using the EPA US06 driving cycle. We condition the car (tire pressure, fuel, new plugs) and tap into the fuel line with a digital flow meter linked to a computer to measure real time fuel flow. We then run the spark plug followed by the pulse plug and measure the difference in fuel consumption. The test driver has to follow the driving cycle on the computer screen and match it precisely. The test lasts 596 seconds at an average speed of 48 mph and includes acceleration ramps up to 80 mph. We test practically every day and have seen some gain in every vehicle we test. On average we get 6% improvement across all vehicles. For full test details see http://www.pulstarplug.com/pdf/epep.pdf.

I know that people who buy our product might feel good about our scientific tests, but they really only care about saving money. Most of them do. But, we concede not everyone will ultimately feel it in their wallets.

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Old 07-26-2008, 06:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dparker View Post
...We then run the spark plug followed by the pulse plug and measure the difference in fuel consumption...

http://www.pulstarplug.com/pdf/epep.pdf.
...
Thank you, so there is no A-B-A testing, just the stock plugs first, then the pulse plugs get tested after the engine is more heat soaked?!? If that is the case then the mpg claims are pretty shakey at best.

There was no mention of temperature controls in your testing document.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Great observations! Actually the US06 test is normally done as a hot start test both A and B. This avoids the problem you cite. Further, if you read our EPEP test procedure http://www.pulstarplug.com/pdf/epep.pdf. you will see that before the US06 is run we perform 3 dyno pulls and 3 acceleration tests (40-80 MPH). Then we run the US06. As you can imagine the engine warm! Your point about returning to the A test has been considered and tested. We have not seen any complelling evidence this makes a difference. Of course, doing an ABA test without scientific equipment would make a big difference!
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Forgive me, but 3 dyno pulls from low rpm to redline does not imply a fully warmed up engine. nor even if you follow it with an acceleration from 40 to 80.

I wouldn't be so skeptical, but these plugs aren't turning into real world mpg results AFAICT. I mean we are talking about folks who can tell if a mirror is removed and NOT noticing any improvement with these plugs.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Understand your concern, but I don't know of anyone who would actually do a dyno pull at WOT on a cold engine. If you do, don't let them do it on your car.

By the way, does you group have a certain test procedure like those recognized by the EPA - FTP75, HWFET, US06? How are the vehicles prepared? What instruments are used to measure fuel flow? Do you use dynos or actual driving? Is there a closed loop track or course you run? From your comments concerning ABA testing there seems to be more science there than just filling the tank and looking at the odometer.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Sorry guys, I could not find that actual post from dcb, but here is his question: "Are you suggesting that the EPA method is an accurate way to predict MPG gains in the real world?"

My answer:

It is the only way I know. Certainly the Soceity of Automotive Engineers (SAE) would disregard "real world" testing without scientific methods. I am not suggesting that EPA tests necessarily reflect the actual mileage you will get. That will be influenced by altitude, vehicle condition, quality of gasoline, tire pressure, etc. But, it will scientifically demonstrate the relative benefits of any fuel economy product, which is the reason most product offerings don't do it. That's why I was interested in your test methodology. If your members do an ABA test themselves knowing which product has been installed, it is already a flawed test. If you wanted to make it more scientific, you could run a double blind test where the driver never knows what product is in the car and another person drives the car. The EPA drive cycle takes this subjectivity out of the test by forcing the driver to follow the computer. Of course it takes road conditions, traffic conditions and weather conditions out of the equation as well.

I once ran a "real world" fleet test with the U.S. government comparing products over 2 3 month test periods. One test period had 45% more idle time in it than the other. The government claimed that was "real world." I suppose if they simply parked their cars they would claim even better fuel economy. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it simply points out the subjectivity of "real world" testing. Today any company claiming fuel economy benefits and worth its salt must use recognized protocols or risk a visit from the FTC.

So, how do you guys do it?
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Some of the folks who are reporting no gains with your plugs are not here, you will have to locate them to query their methods. There's nothing in it for me, they have no profit motive for saying it didn't work, in fact they have risked some in suggesting it was a mistake that they spent the money. And they are part of a community I trust in general, all the more so when they can be so honest and not afraid of ridicule.

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..knowing which product has been installed, it is already a flawed test...
Just saying it was done in a "lab" does not eliminate bias. The order of the tests, and the interpretation of the results are still being done with profit in mind. This is why ABA and independent verification are important, regardless of the equipment. There are still humans with human faults and biases looking for an advantage, consciously or not.

But for fun, let's assume you are both correct. That there is something about efficient driving style that negates the mpg advantage of these plugs.

Consider that these folks spend very little time idling and aren't racing down the hiway at 80mph or flooring it and slamming on the brakes everywhere.

Where does your test results actually show the improvement coming from? Is it in certain rpm and load settings? Do you have a before and after (and before again) BSFC map, that would tell the story pretty well also. And, FYI, you cannot be too detailed in describing the test setup and the assumptions and adjustments being made. The PDF file isn't really detailed enough to be considered useful.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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If I understood your testing procedure I might be able to add more insights. But, if you are driving for utmost fuel economy that would mean you deliberately avoid steep transients (rapid rpm changes). A product like Pulstar is going to give greater returns through transients than at steady state. This still does not answer the question of concerning your testing. Is there a standard test procedure your group uses?
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #29 (permalink)
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This still does not answer the question of concerning your testing. Is there a standard test procedure your group uses?
You will have to do your own work to determine why these individuals are reporting no gains with your plugs. It is your responsibility to represent your product accurately and make sure those claims hold up in the real world. I have nothing to gain by doing your work for you.
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Last edited by dcb; 07-28-2008 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:18 AM   #30 (permalink)
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You are right, it is our responsibility to represent our product accurately and make sure those claims hold up in the real world. We have done the former and are trying to do the latter. I have put our test procedures under your group's scrutiny, but you have not offered me the same. And yet, you make claims, which are counter to industry-recognized testing and potentially damaging to my company. We certainly don't expect or need you to do our work for us. But, if you are seriously interested in fuel economy gains, then you must be serious about testing as well.

This will be my last post for I fear I have overstayed my welcome. If you care to comment on your testing I will remain interested.

Cheers.

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