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Old 05-02-2008, 06:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi

I've been wondering about this place so I thought I would stop in. Looks like there are some familiar faces, quite a few not so familiar. Guess I'll go browse a bit.

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Old 05-02-2008, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site, tell us a bit about yourself,
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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brick -

Welcome to EM, and may your Flywheels be Quantified! :

http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home5/PG01898441/flywheel.htm

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Old 05-02-2008, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I've been in the FE game for a couple of years. My focus has been on driving technique first with my Accord and now with my Prius (for the last 18 months). It's a fantastic piece of machinery and I have a good relationship with it, having turned in tanks in the 65-70mpg range in mixed driving. I haven't messed with the hardware much except for the ubiquitous "EV button" and the usual good setup and maintenance practices. The car's one major shortcoming is highway mileage, as FE drops off sharply above 60mph or so. I did away with the speed bug long ago but I would like to find ways to improve the highway numbers in the 60-65mph range since I make a couple of ~2000mi trips each year to visit family. Fortunately it's a good car for road trips.

Beyond that, I'm a mechanical engineer so I spend my days either making sense of data, in the lab figuring out how to get more data, or pushing the paper around my desk that proves than my data is meaningful. (I really enjoy fresh design work but don't get to do much of it in my industry.) And I do have a thing for theoretical physics, though I rarely understand the math. It's the concepts that intrigue me, and I have to believe there is more to this universe than we currently understand. The engineer in me wants to hurry up and figure it out so that I can apply it already! The sooner we get more cheap, clean, abundant, and safe energy (and get better at using it!) the better. Life is too short to waste it fighting over black sludge, you know?

So that's my story.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool story welcome to EM!
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Brick, nice to see you.

I have to say I was mildly disappointed when you decided to trade the Accord rather than mod it out, but I understand. The Prius is a fun & capable machine.

I've been meaning to bug krousdb to chime in with reports on the aero tweaks he's done to his car (lower grille block, rh mirror delete, full undertray, wheel discs.. I think). He's had them on long enough now that I'm sure he has comparitive data from last year to this. I know he's recorded several personal bests in the last month or so.

But being the consummate engineer, he's been unwilling to credit the mods in the absense of a control.

Gotta love it. Seriously.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Hi Brick, nice to see you.

I have to say I was mildly disappointed when you decided to trade the Accord rather than mod it out, but I understand. The Prius is a fun & capable machine.

I've been meaning to bug krousdb to chime in with reports on the aero tweaks he's done to his car (lower grille block, rh mirror delete, full undertray, wheel discs.. I think). He's had them on long enough now that I'm sure he has comparitive data from last year to this. I know he's recorded several personal bests in the last month or so.

But being the consummate engineer, he's been unwilling to credit the mods in the absense of a control.

Gotta love it. Seriously.
OK, OK, OK, OK fine. But absence of a control is a big deal.

Based on that data that I have, the cumulative effect of the mods is 0 - 4 MPG +/- 2 MPG at 59 MPH.

The data is confounding due to ever changing environmental conditions. Wind speed and direction can make up to a 15 MPG difference, best case vs worst case. The amount of traffic that is passing me (the corridor effect) varies from day to day, worth 2 - 4 extra MPG on a Friday vs any other weekday. Weekend mornings are nearly devoid of traffic so I can lose another 1-2 MPG when I work on the weekends.

What I really need is a control. Say someone with an unmodded Prius who lives near me who could take a highway cruise as the control car. Someone like Brick??
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Dan! Good to hear from you.

Control, schmontrol. What we need are exciting claims with bold type and lots of exlamation points!!!

How would a side-by-side comparison work, though? How big an assumption is it that two Prii are identical to begin with?
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I have to say I was mildly disappointed when you decided to trade the Accord rather than mod it out, but I understand. The Prius is a fun & capable machine.
I can't blame you for that. Truth is that I would have kept it except for one thing: space. My mistake was buying the coupe, which made it nearly impossible to carry any single item larger than ~20" square. There was room in the car, of course, but no opening big enough to get said cargo into the cabin. After more than a few times beating my head to find another vehicle to borrow, I decided it was time to trade. I do miss it for its style, comfort, and efficincy/price ratio, but the Prius is a real winner when in comes to fitting the lifestyle of someone who has moved three times in the last four years, takes trips, and likes to DIY to the greatest extent possible. So please don't be too hard on me.

I'd be up for some control runs. But even that might not do the trick. Mine has 100k fewer miles on it, different wear on the tires, probably different oil, different battery condition, different ECU settings (for fuel trim, etc.), etc. I understand the problem, though, since I'm involved in this Pulstar plug trial for CleanMPG. The only thing I know to do is collect as much data as humanly possible and do A-B-A trials as conditions change. So I have been recording FE and conditions info from my daily commutes on the same route for the last couple of tanks, and I'll do the same once I install the plugs next weekend. Rinse and repeat for a couple of months, then mine the data for any effect. I'm lucky in that I have access to some fairly powerful statistical analysis software and the training to use it properly. But even then, it isn't perfect! So we'll see what happens with that.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brick View Post
I'd be up for some control runs. But even that might not do the trick. Mine has 100k fewer miles on it, different wear on the tires, probably different oil, different battery condition, different ECU settings (for fuel trim, etc.), etc.
Not a perfect control, but better than nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brick View Post
I'm lucky in that I have access to some fairly powerful statistical analysis software and the training to use it properly. But even then, it isn't perfect! So we'll see what happens with that.
Minitab and Crystal Ball?

I will be at N. Myrtle Beach next weekend. I do most of my testing there, on Rt 22. Let me know if you can join me.

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