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Old 01-08-2008, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Video: Armory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute - promoting design of efficient cars

I want to pass on some info about the Rocky Mountain Institute and Armory Lovins. I am including a link to a video of Armory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. I have been to many of his lectures, read his publications and we have had a few sit downs with him and his colleagues at my office.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/v/kMTCNOlozTA[/YOUTUBE]

I encourage everyone to research more into Mr. Lovins and The RMI.

To those who want to challenge the weight vs aero debate please listen to what Mr. Lovins has to say. "3/4 of fuel use is caused by the weight"

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/01...-efficient-ch/

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Old 01-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Smoky -

I like what RMI has been doing for a lonnngggggg time. They argue in favor of solutions that are win-win for business and the environment.

They used to have a "hypercar" concept :

http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid191.php

... But that changed into a company that is trying to develop the technology for affordable super-light (carbon fiber) construction :

Fiberforge
http://www.fiberforge.com/

Fiberforge Brochure
http://www.fiberforge.com/DOWNLOADS/...geBrochure.pdf
Quote:
Fiberforge’s patented Relay™ Station changes everything.
The Relay Station is a fully-automated, high-speed layup system that
rapidly produces Tailored Blanks. A Tailored Blank is a near net-shape, twodimensional,
high-fiber-fraction preformed flat made from multiple layers of
continuous fibers and thermoplastic resin. Following layup, the Tailored Blanks
are shuttled off for consolidation, forming and trimming. By separating the
manufacturing process into four rapid, discrete steps, our process enables
the production of advanced composite structures in under one minute per
part. The Relay Station also allows for a high degree of customization. Fibers
are oriented within the part so that loads are carried along the fiber direction,
improving performance and minimizing cost. Since the process only places
material where it is needed, scrap and cost are reduced significantly. All in all,
the Fiberforge solution embodies all of the best characteristics of advanced
composites while overcoming traditional processing limitations.
...
Fiberforge’s Advanced Thermoplastic Composites are:
200% tougher than thermoset composites
500% stiffer than injection molded plastics
60% lighter than steel
600% stiffer than steel
25% lighter than aluminum
60% less scrap during production than sheet goods
Sustainable – can be recycled for use in other processes
RMI, good stuff.

http://www.rmi.org/


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Old 01-09-2008, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Smoky -

I'm aware of RMI & think they promote good ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky View Post
To those who want to challenge the weight vs aero debate please listen to what Mr. Lovins has to say. "3/4 of fuel use is caused by the weight"
I'm not sure why you think this is a debate that needs settling. Each factor dominates as the major proportion of energy consumed under different circumstances. In urban type driving, I don't have much difficulty believing Lovins' figure.

You of course noted that his presentation also featured vastly improved aerodynamics in all the "concept" vehicles shown. And the very first improvement suggested for heavy trucking, for example (where high speed travel dominates) is: "better aero".
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You guys tried to beat me up over the weight issue last weekend. I only stressed weight because it looked to me that everyone already had a handle on aero enhancements.

I was just trying to give some cheap and in most cases free ways to improve mpg. Most people I know only drive short city cycles where extreme aero-mods are not practical and stop and go eats into their economy. I just thought there needed to be a little balance.

Anyway, I ran into RMI about 5 years ago and have been fascinated with the work they do. I encourage anyone and everyone to research more about them. RMI does a great job at being able to break everything down to simple concepts that can be understood and applied by every level of society; me, you, small business, big business, governments, and continents.

One of the last events we had with Mr. Lovins really concentrated on the whole weight issue. We discussed many concepts and facts about how weight affects nearly every aspect of the auto. The video in the link just touched on this point. They brought in samples of materials that were extremely light, cheap to produce and mold and had very specific characteristics so they could be used for many different purposes.

As an example of the many things Armory talks about in the video is how the OTR industry could benefit. WalMart has begun to incorporate many of these ideas: better aero, hybrid drivetrains, reduced idle times, bio fuels, more efficient logistics. Large corporations realize that they can 'green' their bottom line just by conserving.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky View Post
You guys tried to beat me up over the weight issue last weekend. I only stressed weight because it looked to me that everyone already had a handle on aero enhancements.
That may have been more a response to the tone used while stressing your points. Remember the "aero crap"?

Quote:
I was just trying to give some cheap and in most cases free ways to improve mpg. Most people I know only drive short city cycles where extreme aero-mods are not practical and stop and go eats into their economy. I just thought there needed to be a little balance.
Fair enough, and valid too. The people here doing aero mods are aware that aero won't help at very low average speeds. basjoos does primarily highway commuting in his Aerocivic - the benefit of aero in his case is demonstrated in his fuel log.

Another point to consider... it's much harder for the average DIY efficiency enthusiast to improve urban efficiency through weight reduction than it is for that same person to improve highway efficiency through aero mods (if that's the type of driving they primarily do).

How much weight can be realistically taken out of an existing car?

FYI, currently I have about 100 lbs stripped from my 1830 lbs (stock) Metro, which the EPA tells me is worth about a 2% improvement in fuel economy. But that 100 lbs reduction is extreme: it means just 1 seat in the car, and no spare tire!
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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every bit helps. 2% here, 1% there, 3% and so on.

You could take molds of your side and rear windows pretty easily and drape form plastic ones and save more weight. After you have the molds you could sell window replacements to others and more than recoup your investment in materials.

Buy some underdrive pulleys for the motor. replace halogen headlamps with HID bulbs and LEDs for the other bulbs.

Remove the alternator and buy a solar charger (or 2) that plugs into the OBD port. Replace all fluids with synth ones. Replace engine driven fan with electric one. remove AC

Seems like you are pretty serious about this if you are driving around in a 1 seater. The window mod seems right up your alley.

I prefer motorcycles myself, but I am planning a project car this spring with the goal of 85mpg avg without sacrificing performance.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Rocky Mountain Institute' Hypercar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky View Post
I want to pass on some info about the Rocky Mountain Institute and Armory Lovins. I am including a link to a video of Armory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. I have been to many of his lectures, read his publications and we have had a few sit downs with him and his colleagues at my office.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/v/kMTCNOlozTA[/YOUTUBE]

I encourage everyone to research more into Mr. Lovins and The RMI.

To those who want to challenge the weight vs aero debate please listen to what Mr. Lovins has to say. "3/4 of fuel use is caused by the weight"

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/01...-efficient-ch/
I went to RMI in 1991 after Bonneville and Chrysler Proving Grounds with the CRX to meet with their director of transportation affairs.I thought they might be interested in the car,since Amory had been talking about Hypercars for some time.Amory,himself,was driving a CRX HF,and the director intimated that Amory's CRX was returning as good a mileage as my streamliner.Sometimes altruism punishes you.Anyway,subsequently,"Future Cars" aired on PBS recently,and they had a spot on RMI,and they're composite mock-up of the Hypercar.From looking at the vehicle,I was unsure how they would meet they're 200-plus mpg target.I like the carbon-fiber part,although they appear to miss the mark by a country-mile with aero.It just doesn't appear that they can reduce the road load to such a degree,so as to achieve their target mileage.I hope they make it.And if they do,I hope they drive it all over the world,demonstrating its prowess at the fuel pump.The Renault Vesta-II,quite similar in appearance to the Hypercar,and quite small,returned only 146-mpg,and that was at 63 mph.With speed limits as high as 80-mph now,and aero hp demands varying with the cube of the velocity,its gonna take some really creative technology (more like Sylph ar Aptera ) to crack that 200-mpg nut.Weight (mass) is an issue,but its not the holy grail.

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