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Old 11-27-2009, 12:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi,

I have been meaning to try and organize The List in a way that shows what "kind" of an improvement it is:

A car has one basic function: it rolls over the ground and moves people and things.

The two main "kinds" of improvements I am thinking of are: passive improvements of the rolling function -- so this would include reducing rolling resistance, and reducing drag and other friction.

The second "kind" are improvements are in the energy input -- so these include improvements to the power plant.

I think that the first kind are the most important, and they have to be done in order to get the most out out of the second kind.

Up until now, most cars are designed by making a vehicle how ever you want to, and then throwing a big enough engine at it to move it. If on the other hand, a vehicle was designed from the ground up to do the main thing you need it to as well as possible, and then use the best power plant that you can to get the job done; is the way we must go in the future.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Seriously, the manufacturers are well aware of all those things. As a matter of fact, THEY discovered them, THEY developed them, THEY tested them... then they opted to use to various degrees or ignore those developments as MARKETING decided.

I disagree that cars are designed by "making a vehicle however you want to". It's just that they are not terribly interested in "our" segment- in particular "my" segment- as we don't spend much money.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi Frank,

On the list, as I originally wrote it (in the blog) starts with the inexpensive stuff and works it way (approximately) up to the expensive stuff.

If the major car companies already know all this stuff, then they are successfully ignoring it! Using my Scion xA as an example (since I am familiar with it) they could have done much of what I have done for virtually zero additional cost:

The front cooling openings are about 4X bigger than they need to be. Closing them alone would boost the EPA rating (which is 27/30/34) up by 15-20% and cost virtually nothing.

They could have designed much tighter wheel openings.

They could have put a 3.56:1 final drive in, (rather than the 4.31:1) and just not offered cruise control, unless they used the super low final drive; or just "make" you shift.

They could have made the A/C optional/defeatable in the defrost mode.

They could have lowered the floor in the hatch area, to provide better aero and bunch more storage area at the same time.

They could have exhaust vents for cabin ventilation air that help "suck" air out, and provide more effective cooling passively.

They could coat the window glass with low-e to reduce the heat gain.

I am postulating that all of these would cost virtually the same to produce -- and they just got lazy and "forgot" how to make a better more efficient design. And as I've written before, the fact that car companies redesign cars every year, just for the sake of having a new model to sell is stupid, and frankly, is a lot of why they are in so much trouble now.

They design arbitrary, "pretty face" cars so they can point to the changes and sell more cars -- rather than making evolutionary, functional improvements that are real substantial improvements in the function, and add to the longevity of the car!
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
On the list, as I originally wrote it (in the blog) starts with the inexpensive stuff and works it way (approximately) up to the expensive stuff.

If the major car companies already know all this stuff, then they are successfully ignoring it! Using my Scion xA as an example (since I am familiar with it) they could have done much of what I have done for virtually zero additional cost:
Yes, they are ignoring it, with premeditation! Car companies do not want their cars to be as efficient as possible. They want to leave some wiggle room for three reasons:
  1. So they can easily and cheaply comply to newer fe/emissions standard when they show up,
  2. So they can make eco versions and sell them for more than the base model (eg Peugeot 207 Economique),
  3. So they can tweak the fleet's mpg and say "See, we're trying real hard and we're getting better".
Quote:
The front cooling openings are about 4X bigger than they need to be. Closing them alone would boost the EPA rating (which is 27/30/34) up by 15-20% and cost virtually nothing.
Grille openings are for two things: looks and worst case scenerios (highspeed, desert, uphill, A/C, full load + trailer, etc.).
Quote:
They could have designed much tighter wheel openings.
But then larger aftermarket wheels wouldn't fit.
Quote:
They could have put a 3.56:1 final drive in, (rather than the 4.31:1) and just not offered cruise control, unless they used the super low final drive; or just "make" you shift.
The drive ratio is a compromise between performance and fe.
Quote:
They could have made the A/C optional/defeatable in the defrost mode.
You must be joking, that would be too easy...
Quote:
They could coat the window glass with low-e to reduce the heat gain.
Extra costs, which most people won't notice when their A/C is on all the time.
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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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Old 11-29-2009, 07:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Yes, they are ignoring it, with premeditation! Car companies do not want their cars to be as efficient as possible. They want to leave some wiggle room for three reasons:
  1. So they can easily and cheaply comply to newer fe/emissions standard when they show up,
  2. So they can make eco versions and sell them for more than the base model (eg Peugeot 207 Economique),
  3. So they can tweak the fleet's mpg and say "See, we're trying real hard and we're getting better".
I agree with you!

Quote:
Grille openings are for two things: looks and worst case scenerios (highspeed, desert, uphill, A/C, full load + trailer, etc.).

But then larger aftermarket wheels wouldn't fit.

The drive ratio is a compromise between performance and fe.

You must be joking, that would be too easy...

Extra costs, which most people won't notice when their A/C is on all the time.
Larger aftermarket wheels are combined with lower profile tires and the overall diameter does not change much.

Every other model Toyota sells with the exact same engine and transmission gets the 3.56:1 final drive?

I am not joking about the A/C -- I pull the fuse to get better FE in the winter. I have to be able to melt ice on the windshield...

I'll bet with better ventilation and with low-E glass, that we would not need A/C in much of the USA. So the cost of the low-E would be more than offset by that -- and the weight savings would be a good thing, too.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Lowest aero CD.

Lowest rolling resistance tires.

These are obvious.

The power train is where the best improvements can be made.

Capacitive storage of engine produced energy, regardless of the primary fuel consuming source.

Battery electric
Diesel
Ic
Steam
Others

Infinitely Variable Transmissions.
Allow precise applications of energy to compensate for overall losses. Storage of energy and IVT's allow application and recovery of energy to be highly efficient as well as very effective at regeneration.

Electrical regeneration is very poor efficiency wise, generally recognized as in the range of 30%. Hydraulic regeneration is currently approaching 80%.

If hydraulic drives can get to 85+% then you are matching the efficiency of conventional drive trains while having the capability to apply and recover energy to the vehicle without compromising maximum engine efficiency. This is a proven technique for separating engine efficiency from vehicle efficiency.

Consumable fuel should only be used to restore capacitive energy reserves, regardless of the consumable energy source.

Capacitive storage allows the vehicle to pulse&glide itself automatically without any driver input. Make the vehicle P&G itself.

Capacitive storage using hydraulic accumulators is currently at 99% (not a misprint) efficiency. You can not get better than that, and batteries will never do the job.

Step one is launch assist, using the undriven wheels and a small accumulator that has just enough capacity to store the energy from a single 60-0 stop. The stored energy, reapplied to the vehicle at 85% efficiency means that portion of the next acceleration event will require no fuel to be used. This applies even to electrically driven vehicles and could be the range extending solution to the electric car. This is especially true in urban stop and go scenarios where electric cars will be utilized, while battery technology is advancing to the point where it eventually will replace IC primary power sources.

While current electric vehicle advocates think there is no necessity for a power train, most researchers realize that some form of transmission will be necessary to allow downsizing of the primary electric motor drive.

The problem is any transmission has to be extremely efficient or the benefits will not outweigh the losses involved.

This is why I advocate accumulators, or flywheels for capacitive energy storage. Long term storage in vehicles is an unnecessary capacity. The key is to be able to apply and recover inertial losses in a very short period of time, at an extremely high rate of efficiency.

Accumulators and flywheels have life expectancies measured in decades, while batteries are measured in thousands of cycles. Bladder type accumulators are easily rebuild able.
Batteries are very expensive to replace, and when that is considered as offsetting the fuel saved the payback period is a very long time, if ever.

My in-wheel IVT design is the result of knowledge dating back to 1970, when I first read about an Opel Kadett wagon that got 124 MPG while averaging 26 MPH, very close to the current EPA city cycle average speed. To achieve that mileage in a car that would probably get 35MPG if driven normally, makes it obvious that the dramatic increase in mileage was due to more than increasing the engines efficiency, by close to 100%.

Argonne labs is currently working on engine designs, with a goal of achieving 60% efficiency, This will require some form of energy conversion from wasted heat energy losses from the engine, as well as operational tactics that eliminate any inefficient operation of the engine.

Cars should be made simple, with plug in accessory capabilities. The basic platform would be the most basic transportation, with all accessories being plug & play. This allows the purchaser to chose exactly the accessory packages they desire, and upgrading to more accessories is a very simple job.

The next generations will consider vehicles as just another appliance. I see fuel economies in 2200 pound 4 passenger cars approaching 150 MPG in 20 years. If battery technology ever replaces oil based fuels then the changeover to all electric will be complete within 20 years of that event.

regards
Mech
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Better/smaller fuel tanks. I have a 16 gallon tank on my PT and have never put in more then 12 but have run out of gas and put in 12.5. I have never put more then 10.5 in a 13 gallon tank on Mazda Protege. By hypermilling I fill up my 13/10 gallon tank every two months. That means for 1 month I'm hauling around 5-6 gallons or 36 lbs.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busypaws View Post
Better/smaller fuel tanks. I have a 16 gallon tank on my PT and have never put in more then 12 but have run out of gas and put in 12.5. I have never put more then 10.5 in a 13 gallon tank on Mazda Protege. By hypermilling I fill up my 13/10 gallon tank every two months. That means for 1 month I'm hauling around 5-6 gallons or 36 lbs.
SO are you saying that if you had a 10 gallon tank you'd fill up with 10 gallons? Or would you only drive for 8-9 gallons, then fill up? See what happens?

Why not just use more of the fuel in your tank before filling up? 36lbs is really nit picking when it comes to efficiency, especially if a large percentage of your driving is highway.

Also, if you fueled up after, say, 12 gallons of the 13 you have, you'd be stopping at the fuel station 20% less, saving you time and fuel economy (less stops to make).
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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No I ran the tank dry and was only able to put in 12.5 of 16 gallon tank. Filled to top of filling tube. Does this mean my fuel pickup leaves 3.5 gallons in the tank and I'm constanly carring around 20lbs of unuasable fuel. I want the vehicle designers to do it correctly.

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