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New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:32:07

aspera wrote:Ford hybrids also use the Atkinson cycle:
The Fusion Hybrid is a "full" hybrid because both propulsion sources, an electric motor powered by a Sanyo supplied 275 V nickel-metal hydride battery, and a 2.5L Atkinson cycle, 156 hp 136 ft.lbs. gasoline engine with intake variable cam timing (iVCT), have substantial power ratings and either can be used alone to propel the vehicle

Perhaps this is reference to the pre-2013 Ford Fusion models? The wife has the 2014 Energi model and it has the same drive train as the Ford 2013 Fusion hybrid, just the battery is bigger, and they are 2.0L engines, and lithium ion battery packs. And as the Energi model, it is an EV for about 20 miles at a time, which is entirely the mode she uses it in. As far as I'm concerned, it is a "true" hybrid, unlike the Gen I machines that couldn't run above 40mph without turning on the engine, needed the engine for A/C and heat, and most everything else. All they really did was coast really well under 40mph, and turn off at stop lights. Maybe they could move around a parking lot...slowly. Her Ford Energi can get right up to 75mph on all electricity, with the heat or A/C on, radio blasting, and do it all the way to work. She doesn't put any gasoline in the thing because, to her, it is fully functional as an EV.
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Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby aspera » Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:40:59

That's true. Second generation Ford hybrids were better (Fusion Gen 2 info below). We have a C-Max Energi (now discontinued as they bring out their new lines of PEVs). My spouse uses it around town and like yours stays mainly in EV mode (we live in a housing co-op with no way to plug it in right now, so charging happens elsewhere (e.g., at work, public parking sites with chargers).

[The second [Fusion] generation hybrid has a powertrain with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four – downsized from the 2.5-liter unit used in the first generation Fusion Hybrid. Total output is estimated at 185 hp (138 kW) and 130 ft⋅lb (180 N⋅m), running to the front wheels via an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. The lithium-ion battery pack saves weight and generates more power than previous NiMH batteries, and allows the second generation Fusion Hybrid to raise its maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 to 62 mph (76 to 100 km/h).
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Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby Revi » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 13:44:02

I posted a pic of a Borque engine earlier. Any of these rotary engines seem like a better idea than the Otto Cycle engines we are using now. I saw an original Otto engine at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum last summer.



The tragedy of the oil age is that we used about half of the oil on these inefficient engines, when we invented a lot of other kinds of engines way back in the 1800's and early 1900's.
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Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 14:25:45

Revi wrote:The tragedy of the oil age is that we used about half of the oil on these inefficient engines, when we invented a lot of other kinds of engines way back in the 1800's and early 1900's.

If motor fuels had gotten expensive enough, for long enough, for motorists to truly highly prioritize fuel efficiency, auto makers would have gained a competitive advantage by offering seriously more efficient engines.

Now that vehicle electrification appears to be on the horizon to offer serious competition, AND global oil demand seems likely to keep upward pressure on oil prices as a long term trend (at least until EV production rivals that of the ICE) engine efficiency might finally get some serious attention.

Economics and capitalism in no way ensure optimal longer term solutions are chosen, as they aren't necessarily required for short to mid term profits to be realized.
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Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 14:40:46

I still think you would be better off with a nice simple 5 cylinder small radial, we have literally produced millions of these things and know how to make them run without a lot of new testing and development for your 4 cylinder Borque design. I know it is hard for an entirely new system to break through into production but small radials have been produced nearly as long as simple Otto inline engines. A two stroke version is well within our technical capabilities for the same reason it works for the Borque, it is all about how the piping is run and on a radial design it is a heck of a lot easier to run than on an inline design like those used in most ICE vehicles today.
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Re: New Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy by Half

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 11 Jan 2018, 16:42:44

Revi wrote:People have forgotten about the wankel
Mazda stopped making the Wankel because it had poor fuel efficiency and poor emissions - 2 areas automotive makers are paying more attention to.

The Mazda Wankel engines (a type of rotary combustion engine, specifically a Wankel engine) comprise a family of car engines produced by Mazda. Mazda rotary engines have a reputation for being relatively small and powerful at the expense of poor fuel efficiency. Mazda last built a car powered by a rotary engine in 2012, the RX-8, but had to abandon it largely to poor fuel efficiency and emissions. It has continued to work on the technology, however, as it is one of the company's signature features. Mazda officials have previously suggested that if they can get it to perform as well as a reciprocating engine they will bring it back to power a conventional sports car.
Mazda Wankel engine

Through the history of internal combustion engines, there has been plenty of evolution, but few revolutions. Talk of radically different designs always leads to a single name – Wankel. The Wankel rotary engine, most notably used in automobiles by Mazda, has been around since the late 1950’s. The Wankel rotary is an example of a design which makes sense on paper. However, practical problems cause it to underperform in the real world.

Reality sets in
So why aren’t we all driving Wankel-powered cars? The problem lies in the pitfalls of the design.

Fuel Economy: The Wankel’s combustion chamber is long, thin, and moves with the rotor. This causes a slow fuel burn. Engines try to combat this by using twin (leading and trailing) spark plugs. Even with the two plugs, combustion is often incomplete, leading to raw fuel being dumped out the exhaust port. The small 1.3 liter 232 horsepower two rotor engine in the 2011 Mazda RX-8 gets worse fuel economy (16 city / 23 highway) than the 6.2 liter 455 horsepower V8 engine used in the 2015 Corvette Stingray (17 city / 29 highway).

Emissions: The unburnt fuel, along with burned oil (described below) both result in terrible emissions from Wankel engines. The emissions problems are one of several reasons the RX-8 was pulled from production.

There is no way to keep the oil lubricating the seals out of the combustion chamber. Mazda engines include an injector pump which pushes small amounts of oil right into the engine housing, as well as into the air intake. This oil is eventually burned, causing increased carbon and emissions over the life of the engines.

Overhaul interval: Rotary engines in general don’t last as long as piston powered engines. As explained eloquently by Regular Car Reviews, the primary problem is with the seals. Browsing Mazda and rotary forums shows people rebuilding somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 miles.

What does the future hold for the Wankel rotary engine? Most likely more of the same. Mazda will continue to support the engine, and it will continue to be used in some niche fields. However, it would take a major advancement in materials and design to correct all the issues that have thus far relegated the Wankel engine to a footnote in the history of internal combustion.
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