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  1. #21
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    approx 4 yrs ago i read an article about a constant speed gas turbine attached to a generator running an automobile. of special interest about this auto was that it was being developed by the man that founded compaq computer. he claimed their hybrid was getting 150 to a gallon of gas. he also said he had patented an air bearing that allowed the shaft of the turbine to ride on a cushion of air, friction free. also at this time he was storing electricity on two shafts constantly rotating ( verticle ) in front of the firewall, wound with a carbon fiber composition. at the time of the article he felt the system was refined enough to place in commercial vehicles in different parts of the country to test durablity and to further improve the system in a five yr test. ? has anybody else heard of this.

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  3. #22
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    It sounds like you're referring to Ben Rosen, former Chairman of Compaq. He and his brother Harold (founder of Hughes Space and Communications and 'father of the geostationary satellite') founded Rosen Motors. Their main goal was to store energy in a flywheel. This would allow them to create either a flywheel-hybrid vehicle or a pure flywheel driven vehicle.
    Unfortunately, Rosen Motors went broke in about 2001.
    Among the reasons I heard for their failure were that it was hard to get people to trust something spinning very rapidly in an automobile.

  4. #23
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    There was a mention of the wenkel rotary engine somewhere up there, but i dont think it was discussed as a genset capability but rather as the drivetrain. Is a micro gas rotary engine a more suitable direction for serial hybrid genset than a turbine ? Thks !

  5. #24
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Complexity of a turbine engine; Tesla had one 100 years ago that used PDE combustion. Combined with Siemens motor/generator a Tesla gas turbine today (SEE: Phoenix Navigation, Inc.) would provide 140 mpg on ethanol with water injection at zero emissions. Why are fuel efficient solutions not provided to the public? Corporate Greed! The Tesla gas turbine is so simple a person with a machine shop could build their own. Simple solutions for a foolishly complex world.

  6. #25
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    I don't think a turbined coupled with an electric generator is efficient enough (in producing electricity) to be worth it. Electric motors are allready not that effecient, couple that with a generator and you get a lot of wasted energy.
    And also the problem with purely electric car (with or without onboard powerplant) is the weight of the battery packs! Thats why the new hybrids have DC-DC converters to boost voltage from fewer battery packs.
    I think all we really need is cleaner fuels, not new engines.

  7. #26
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Robert,

    I'm not sure where you get the information about motor efficiency. Modern electric motors exceed 90% efficiency while internal combustion ones in vehicles are around 20% efficient.

  8. #27
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Well if you look at just the motor yes indeed an electric motor is effecient... just like a turbine when well tuned and used at the optimal setting. And it'd be much more efficient to just run the turbine straight to a "hybrid synergy drive" so full power can be applied to the drive train. What my point though is that there's no point in creating this complex system under your hood when all you could do is switch to a cleaner fuel such as hydrogen or else. When creating electricity can be done cleanly and cheaply then why not run on full electric. But I don't believe we've reached that point. The best solution short term is a better fuel IMO.

  9. #28
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Thanks Robert,

    I see your sources of confusion.

    1. the electric motor, unlike any combustion engine, is efficient throughout it's performance range. Max torque is at zero RPM but it remains pretty much flat up to a point where it starts to roll off (magnetic eddy currents start to hold it back). Efficiency remains pretty much constant up to the point where it starts to fall off.
    2. ICE's do not lend themselves to easy fuel swapping. The injectors, sensors, compression ratios, ignition, and fuel handling systems (tanks, fillers, filters, fuel lines, etc) all need to be radically changed to handle fuels with different properties. A good example of this is the difference between a diesel and a gasoline engine. Fundamentally, they are very similiar but practically they are totally incompatible. Hydrogen modifications are even more severe.
    This places great burdens on coming up with fuels that mirror the properties the engines are designed for. While theoretically and practically possible, it is very expensive and inefficient. Coupled with the inefficiency of the ICE, this isn't a very economical system.
    The beauty of the plug-in electric is that many energy sources readily lend themselves to conversion to electricity and we have a very efficient, nearly ubiquitous grid to deliver it nearly anywhere we need it.
    The trick, of course, is getting someone to make plug-in vehicles in sufficient quantities to be affordable.

  10. #29
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    The really exotic ideas are for aircraft. There is a new small jet in the works called the Elclipse. It is a 6 passenger aircraft that gets about 1300 miles with a 45 minute safety reserve on 249 gallons. It can cruise between 250-370 mph.

    The more far out ideas are to use a turbo prop with electric assist for take off with high efficiency batteries. In other words, a hybrid electric airplane.

    Electrics now are taking over model airplanes. Some people think hybrids for big planes are next.

  11. #30
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Thanks for all that info ex-EV1 driver!
    Maybe you can clear up another issue I have with full electric cars:
    Arent batteries toxic and need replacement every 5 years or so?
    I thought we were no where near having green batteries.
    And I thought that was the reason hybrids are using so little batteires (that and the weight... but weight is getting better with litium and the like)
    And would you agree that if not using batteries, using a gas motor to generate electricity is kind of not efficient or dare I say... pointless for the future?
    (cost of research, engeneering, etc... for such a temporary solution)
    Also, I think converting natural gas engines to hydrogen or other gaseous fuel has been done without much modification. That could be a cheap alternative to reengeneer complete engines (be it electric or other)
    Oh.. one last point I'd like to debate is the ruggedness of electric motors compared to ICE with winters or sandy / dusty places. I think ICE would produce less landfill garbage in the long run, what do you guys think?

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