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Old 02-06-2016, 10:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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At large alternator makes 160A, that's ~2.2hp at full load. Even with all the losses from crank to output, it won't ever take more than 3hp to drive it.

20hp is what it takes to drive a whole small car at freeway speeds.

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Old 02-07-2016, 01:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Would I be a pariah if I replaced my alternator with a tiny nuke?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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No Xist, I think the right term for that is "dead"

I agree though with the others, using a turbo to drive the alternator would be a fun project, but not really useful.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planejob View Post
I don't think that would work in theory either. You are restricting the air intake, making the air do "work" and "work" is never free. The engine would be doing the same or more work to make the same electrical power as a belted alternator.

Same theory as putting a windmill on top of your car. It's not free to push the blades through the air.

Putting half of a turbo on the exhaust side and running it through a planetary gear reduction seems pretty plausible.

Take a look at the centrifugal superchargers. They use a belt off of the accessory pulley to spool a compressor wheel... just use the same gearing and use an exhaust turbine to spool your alternator.

A broken centrifugal supercharger on eBay could yield some fantastic parts... I really like the idea.
Well, the windmill setup would work (impractically, still) if the wind is strongly behind. Which is analogous to the situation here.
We have a lossey vacuum because of the need to restrict power on partial load. The name for that (pumping loss) is telling. The vacuum is created by the engine drawing air in against the vacuum.

The "work" therefore is already happening. It is controlled by air friction over the edges of the throttle plate.
It makes no difference whether you do that restriction by a throttle plate or a small turbine, as long as the restriction matches the need.
But the turbine could drive an alternator - for free, basically.

The vacuum traditionally gets used for other purposes as well - to power brakes and there have been cars where it was even used to power the windshield wipers. When you wiped the windows on those while idling the engine would rev up slightly for the extra air flowing in.

You can hold your hand ahead of the carburetor but you cannot sense the vacuum behind the throttle plate. That can be as low as 20% of atmospheric pressure at idle. Which you can easily monitor if you have an OBDII device... I saw it go down to 20% on my Insight, I guess that is a normal value at idle.

Then again, even if you manage to control the turbine well enough to double as a throttle valve it will still be hard to maintain the power needed for the 12V system. It would need all the work done with a regular alternator delete, and compared to that it would be hard to make a ROI on the extra parts for the turbine.
Technologically possible, but economically feasible just for special cases.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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One problem with the harvesting turbine on intake would be a drop in intake air temp.
If you draw a vacuum the temperature drops. Some of the heat loss is overcome by the friction, but if you take that away with a turbine then the air temp would drop more - quite some in fact. This may reduce the combustion efficiency.

Would be good combined with a WAI though
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
At large alternator makes 160A, that's ~2.2hp at full load. Even with all the losses from crank to output, it won't ever take more than 3hp to drive it.

20hp is what it takes to drive a whole small car at freeway speeds.
Memory is hazy. My bad, I believe it's about 20 with everything, including AC.

I recall one dyno we did where turning on all the electricals sapped some 5 horses (on a small car) from the wheels. But that's everything on except AC... which you won't be doing a lot of.

Still... I don't think it's worth it.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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IIRC the on-board electric power generation on commercial aircraft while they're flying is provided by stators/magnetoes driven by the turbines. Sure it's not the same as a turbocharger, but might give you some inspiration.

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