Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Automotive Innovation, American Know-how

June 7th, 2010

At last, something sunny to blog about!

This MIT Technology Review article and associated links describes new technology to make automotive (and truck) gasoline and diesel engines more efficient. The research promises increased mileage, perhaps to 70 MPG or more, less pollution, and perhaps no significant increase in vehicle cost. Among the innovations are more efficient ways to burn gasoline, in some cases mixing gasoline with other fuels, such as diesel, or jet fuel. This is done with computer controlled fuel mixing & valves, direct injection of fuel into the cylinders, and preheating the fuel and air. One experiment involves switching an engine from four-stroke to two-stroke on the fly, depending on load. Additional experimentation involves using compressed air instead of battery power in hybrid propulsion systems.

What’s most interesting about these technologies is that they are all derivatives of common gasoline or diesel engines, running on fuels we have now. There’s no need for PC in these experiments, unlike the $0.5 Billion each that the federal government has poured into backing plug-in electric sports cars by Tesla and scissor company, Fiscars (an Al Gore investment, yet). Basic economics, not politics, governs success or failure of these independent and practical experiments.

And to top it all off, they’re being done in AMERICA! YEH for scientific innovation. YEH for inventive engineering. YEH for American universities. YEH for American Venture Capital. YEH for Boeing and Ford!

Yankee technical know-how survives and thrives in the good old USA.

One Response to “Automotive Innovation, American Know-how”

  1. comment number 1 by: bkalafut

    Have you seen the six-stroke water-injection setup? Makes timing and manifold design a bit more complicated, but a very nice way to lower T_c and get higher thermodynamic efficiency.

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