October 31, 2007

Claim: Gonzo Car-Kitter Can Convert Big Sedans To Get 100 MPG, While Cutting Emissions 80% *and* Doubling Their Horsepower
— Ace

This reads like total crap to me. Like the guys who produce oil from chicken gizzards.

But it's a big grabby story, so whatev's.

“Check it out. It's actually a jet engine," says Johnathan Goodwin, with a low whistle. "This thing is gonna be even cooler than I thought." We're hunched on the floor of Goodwin's gleaming workshop in Wichita, Kansas, surrounded by the shards of a wooden packing crate. Inside the wreckage sits his latest toy--a 1985-issue turbine engine originally designed for the military. It can spin at a blistering 60,000 rpm and burn almost any fuel. And Goodwin has some startling plans for this esoteric piece of hardware: He's going to use it to create the most fuel-efficient Hummer in history.


Goodwin leads me over to a red 2005 H3 Hummer that's up on jacks, its mechanicals removed. He aims to use the turbine to turn the Hummer into a tricked-out electric hybrid. Like most hybrids, it'll have two engines, including an electric motor. But in this case, the second will be the turbine, Goodwin's secret ingredient. Whenever the truck's juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it'll recharge a set of "supercapacitor" batteries in seconds. This means the H3's electric motor will be able to perform awesome feats of acceleration and power over and over again, like a Prius on steroids. What's more, the turbine will burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel; a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half. And when it's time to fill the tank, he'll be able to just pull up to the back of a diner and dump in its excess french-fry grease--as he does with his many other Hummers. Oh, yeah, he adds, the horsepower will double--from 300 to 600.

"Conservatively," Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, "it'll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You'll be able to smoke the tires. And it's going to be superefficient."

He laughs. "Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!"

This is the sort of work that's making Goodwin famous in the world of underground car modders. He is a virtuoso of fuel economy. He takes the hugest American cars on the road and rejiggers them to get up to quadruple their normal mileage and burn low-emission renewable fuels grown on U.S. soil--all while doubling their horsepower. The result thrills eco-evangelists and red-meat Americans alike: a vehicle that's simultaneously green and mean. And word's getting out. In the corner of his office sits Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 Jeep Wagoneer, which Goodwin is converting to biodiesel; soon, Neil Young will be shipping him a 1960 Lincoln Continental to transform into a biodiesel--electric hybrid.

His target for Young's car? One hundred miles per gallon.

What say the car enthusiasts? Bullshit... or Not?

Man, I wish Halloween was every month.

Posted by: Ace at 11:45 AM | Comments (52)
Post contains 540 words, total size 4 kb.

1 It will, no doubt, have a Fish carburetor.


Posted by: Ric Locke at October 31, 2007 11:49 AM (DTj4I)

2 It was posted at Daily KKKos, so it <b>must</b> be true!

Posted by: Master Shake at October 31, 2007 11:50 AM (tcMQZ)


Gotta be a joke. The turbine claim is total BS.  Chrysler tried to build turbine-engined cars way back in the '50s: they couldn't manage the RPMs, or the torque, or the noise, or the air-filtration needs of a jet engine operating at ground level.

The Granatelli brothers built a turbine-powered Corvette back in the '80s. It idled at 60 mph; you controlled the speed around town with the brakes.

In an age when Detroit's (and Tokyo's, and Wolfsburg's) engineers would trade their first born for a +5 mpg breakthrough, I've no confidence that some joker in a garage has found something they -- with millions of dollars available for development -- have not.

Posted by: Rittenhouse at October 31, 2007 11:56 AM (zS9LP)


You're kidding about the fuel from biomass, right?  Because it's as real as real can be.

Whether it's cost-effective, that's another story.  But definitely not "total crap."

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at October 31, 2007 12:00 PM (4P9aC)


This stuff has been around for decades. It's about Big Oil. Big Oil buys all the patents and buries them.

100mpg carburetor - Big Oil bought and buried it.

Turbine powered car - Big Oil again.


Bush and Cheney are Oil Men people sheeple. When are you going to wake up the this Neocon Conspiracy?

Posted by: Kos Crackhead at October 31, 2007 12:03 PM (x0jT7)


Remember Henry Silva as the coked up homo assassin in Sharky's Machine?  Ahh, what a classic role that was.  And the last role anyone probably remembers him in.  Well, except for Bullshit . . . or Not!

Posted by: Sharkman at October 31, 2007 12:07 PM (gzbD0)


I saw the 50's ish turbine car movie too.  I think the problem was with starting and clutching the darn thing.  I don't know about ground level turbine problems, what with M1 tanks using the things in the desert, but I would imagine that turbine to generator technology is fairly advanced.  Its just that battery/capacitor technology just hasn't been that useful for this.

So, it sounds neat.  The toyota's prius electric motor puts out a disturbing 295 ft pounds of torque.  However, the horse power is less than a 100.  But, I imagine its all about tuning so I don't think that motor power is a problem.  I do think that the turbine will be spinning for more than a few seconds.  Try a few minutes, maybe a half hour.  Turbines are only fuel efficient at full speed, which is why navy ships cycle their turbines on or off in series depending on speed. 

So, with a mostly forgotten engineering degree, I think that this sounds cool.  I believe that mpg will be improved, but I would cut those numbers in half.  The key is turning the thing on and off. 

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 12:08 PM (eQF5r)

8 Okay Kos Crackhead... Whatever you say. But I'd sure like to see from proof of your claims. But I'm guessing you have none aside from some long winded wordy explanation. Psychopath.

Posted by: Pastafarian at October 31, 2007 12:08 PM (IPOaY)

9 I loved Amazon Women on the Moon and am still in love with the girl at the end with Andrew Dice Clay.

Never with a worm like you Ray!

I heard rumors that the Loch Ness Monster was Jack the Ripper...anyone else?

Posted by: JavaJoe at October 31, 2007 12:11 PM (Am6n/)

10 as for the granetelli corvette, yeah, if you directly jack the turbine into the gear box, it always has be running.  This is different because the turbine fires intermittenly into a storage system, and I assume there is also regenerative braking.

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 12:11 PM (eQF5r)

11 Obviously Kos Crack head be joking.  You don't "bury" patents.  You can  buy them, but they only last for a few years (relatively speaking).

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 12:13 PM (eQF5r)

12 Yeah,That dude was scary in the that movie in the "He enjoys what he's doing kinda way".Good Burt Reynolds movie from way back.

Posted by: Nug Tun at October 31, 2007 12:14 PM (oU0k1)

13 When will someone invent an engine that will run on shit. I mean human shit. I want a toilet seat in front of the steering wheel. So when the old lady leaves the Tahoe on empty, I can run down to P.F. Chang's for some orange peel beef and beer to fill 'er up.

Posted by: Penn State Marine at October 31, 2007 12:26 PM (DFVTW)

14 Corinne Wahl....I'll be in my bunk

Posted by: JavaJoe at October 31, 2007 12:27 PM (Am6n/)

15 So how does he start the turbine? Don't they normally start using an electric motor or a system that blows air? Once a turbine is running at full speed it's very efficient, but the energy input to that point is not negligible. With a mixed energy input system obviously he can use the electric power or a small bio-diesel engine to start the turbine. Once that's up it depends how long the turbine takes to return that energy back, and what the fuel supply size is to get to that point. I'm just a computer guy and don't have enough background to pound out the numbers to find out.

It sounds pretty exciting to me. The turbine would probably have to be attached to the frame to handle the vibrations. It also is probably uncomfortable for the passengers because they would get high-frequency vibrations and sound.

Posted by: bonhomme at October 31, 2007 12:30 PM (jvG2F)

16 Whenever the truck's juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action
for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it'll
recharge a set of "supercapacitor" batteries in seconds.

Well, unless it's "magical" it's unlikely to generate more energy into a battery than is consumed in fuel running the turbine.  But that's just one of those "Laws of Thermodynamics" which I suspect were created as a hoax by the oil companies...  back in the early 1800's.  you know, Oil Barons tricking Physics students for centuries with this stuff... and faking the Moon Landing or something.

a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half

And this makes perfect sense.  You add a new fuel source, and use less of the initial fuel.  It's like my magical coal train that uses approximately 0 coal... once I infuse the engine with Diesel of course...  Oh, is his hydrogen going to blow up when you wreck the car?  What kind of tank is he using; and how much hydrogen does it need to carry?  And where do you get the hydrogen in the first place?

biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel

Yeah, biodiesel is "super-efficient" as long as you aren't making from corn (which we do) and therefore using between 90% and 105% of the energy produced (while also reducing the food supply).  When it takes 1 gallon of biodiesel to create 1 gallon of biodiesel; I have to ask how you've calculated the emissions.  you obviously aren't taking into account the 1 gallon of normal diesel you ran the farm on to create biodiesel.

But hey, so we're going to need all the farmland in the U.S. to make biodiesel to run biodiesel farms... eating is overrated.  (Note, switchgrass biodiesel is a different process that would work better; but we don't do it because nobody is really serious about trying).

So, define "bullshit"? 

Does your emissions count get to ignore that you've burned hydrocarbons along the way, just not in the car?  Does H2 created from electrolyzing water with electric coal plants providing the initial energy count as "zero emissions"?  If so, then yes, he's reduced emissions.

Do you get to fill half your tank with gas, and half your tank with a separate fuel, and claim you ran 300 miles on half a tank of gas (ignore the half a tank of other fuel)?  If so, then yes; he has created a marvel of fuel efficiency.

Do we ignore any potential hazards of running an open turbine on the road, and his claim of hydrogen is likely to require a tank of hydrogen (explosive gas).  But if you're willing to completely ignore safety; then we'll drop this.

Oh, and it's crucial that you absolutely ignore the cost of parts, manufacturing, repair costs; and any real "vehicle cost" because making a hybrid with the newest battery possible and an airplane engine in a H3 Hummer isn't going to be a cheap project.  I suspect I can buy a Cessna airplane, and flight lessons for cheaper than he can consistently manufacture these cars.  Airplane turbines aren't cheap when you're having them installed in planes.  Having them retrofitted for cars isn't likely to be a stock modification...

Oh, and who is qualified to do the repairs, or even the oil change on that thing?  Only a guy in Kansas?  But we're also ignoring repair costs, repair difficulties, and maintenance issues I guess.

But if you're willing to cheat the numbers, ignore a claimed fuel source, and handle a cost higher than my parent's house; then your car can get double the fuel efficiency for a few years.

Posted by: Gekkobear at October 31, 2007 12:35 PM (X0NX1)

17 You don't like sound? What are you a communist?

Posted by: Infidelsalwayswin at October 31, 2007 12:35 PM (HGgaJ)


Huge Henry Silva fan here.   I especially liked him in Ghost Dog as a mob boss.  There used to be a clip on YouTube of him being cold and menacing, and then just taking it wayyy over the top as he discoursed on who the name "Ghost Dog" made him think of Indian names.

Crazy Horse...Sitting Bull...Black Elk...MWrooooh!

PS "Worm like you Ray" was Steve Guttenberg, with Rosanna Arquette (Eric Stoltz's face-pierced wife in Pulp Fiction).

Posted by: See-Dubya at October 31, 2007 12:41 PM (drTeV)


In the mid-70s, it was believed that the internal combustion engine managed to extract about 30% of the latent chemical energy from gasoline. No doubt the figure is higher now, but I don't know what it is. Let's imagine it's 40%. That would mean that if the dream of extracting 100% of the chemical energy from gasoline were achieved in an engine of some kind, it would get about 2.5 times as much bang for every gas buck as cars do today. The arithmetic puts the article's claims into the sphere of possibility...just barely . Now the questions become:

1. Would it be possible to extract the energy slowly enough to turn the gain completely into improved fuel economy?

2. What unintended consequences would that have?

3. How much would it cost to build a roadable car with that sort of power train?

I'm inclined to dismiss the whole notion as a fantasy, purely from the physics involved.


Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at October 31, 2007 12:41 PM (PzL/5)


I know that small tubine electrical generators have been getting more common (esp in Silicon Valley), so presumably this guy is piggey-backing off that technology?

Posted by: holdfast at October 31, 2007 12:46 PM (Gzb30)

21 Total bunk.

Posted by: Alexander Hartdegen at October 31, 2007 12:47 PM (1AOJB)


Hopefully, the turbine won't be vibrating too much, because if it were it would blow up.  What I mean is that with rotational motion, the vibrations should be minimal because there is no reciprocation.  Instead, a well balanced (and it had better be) turbine/rotary engine shouldn't be lurching or vibrating about.  Also, because you aren't reciprocating a cylinder, the turbine is inherently more efficient.

As far as repairs to a turbine goes, its all black box.  You take the box out of the machine and send it to GE or whoever.  Lou down the street doesn't get to see the inside.

Ok, so fine. The one good point made by Gek (an "open" turbine?) is that the laws of thermodynamics, if you believe in that sort of stuff, is that there is only so much energy in a gallon of recycled fryer oil (ahem, biodiesel).  I would bet that it would be more efficient than a regular engine.  And while the few minutes it would take to fill up the batteries, the turbine would guzzle fuel, when the turbine is off, it drinks nothing.  Thus, there are very few idling losses.  Bingo, more fuel efficiency.  Again, the engine is more efficient because there is no reciprocating.  More efficient.  So, I can't guess at the benefit, but I would guess you put those factors together, you can double output per unit of fuel.

Finally, starting up a turbine is no more an engineering challenge than starting a cold reciprocating engine.  You do it every day with a battery, a capacitor, and a starter motor.  Turbine technology is mature, electric motors are mature, the killer is the batteries.  If you can do that, then no biggie. 

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 12:56 PM (eQF5r)


and, apparently, turbines can run on anything.

So, bio-diesel is simply a nod to the ecovangelists.  You can use rubbing alchohol (I guess) or angel farts.  Whatever.

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 12:58 PM (eQF5r)

24 This stuff reminds me that George C. Scott made some claim 30 or so years ago that the the the government had the solution to the energy crisis and it was locked up someplace at Texas A&M University.

Posted by: profligatewaste at October 31, 2007 01:01 PM (cu9nm)


You can use rubbing alchohol (I guess) or angel farts.

Look, dude, what do you have against demon farts, huh?  This country has a demonism problem and you can't even respect them on Halloween.

Posted by: The Artist formerly known as Lucifer at October 31, 2007 01:06 PM (1AOJB)


another interesting final point.  The thermal efficiency of an internal combustion engine is higher than a turbine because the inside of a cylinder burns at a higher temp than the turbine. 

Interesting, so you trade off thermal efficiency with less mechanical inefficiencies.

Whatever, its all about the batteries, you fools.

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 01:06 PM (eQF5r)

27 Actually the solution is in an old shoe box in my closet, but I've been bought out by BIG OIL, so no one gets to see it. Bwaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: GarandFan at October 31, 2007 01:11 PM (+tCxF)


PS "Worm like you Ray" was Steve Guttenberg, with Rosanna Arquette (Eric Stoltz's face-pierced wife in Pulp Fiction).

Wrong.  Correct movie, but wrong scene.  The bit you're talking about with Guttenberg was near the beginning, the bit he's talking about is at the end with Andrew Dice Clay and a freaking GODDESS of a woman who you do actually get to see a lot of... and man, did she have a lot to show...

...I'll be in my bunk.


Posted by: Qwinn at October 31, 2007 01:12 PM (/FDfc)

29 The coolest part about turbines is that they spin so fast that they build up really large angular momentum.  When you try and change the direction of travel, you are forcing a change in the angular momentum, that that causes the device to react in non-intuitive ways.  If something is spinning while pointing away from you, and you push it from the side, it will twist upwards (or downwards) (you can try this with a gyroscope.  

So, in practice, if you had a turbine spinning at 60Krpm, and took a sharp highway exit going reasonably fast you'd stand a good change of flipping your car on it's roof just from the change in angular momentum.  Lotsa fun!

Takeaway lesson cars with turbines should not turn.

Posted by: Kevin Canuck at October 31, 2007 01:20 PM (sS03U)

30 One of the big reasons we never made the giant switch to turbines that the auto manufacturers predicted is that they are still expensive to build.  Their positives are that they can move a plane faster than a piston-engine driven propeller ever could and they have a long duty cycle before they need to be inspected / repaired as compared to piston engines.  You don't need either virtue in a car, since if the engine fails in a car you don't fall out of the sky as a result.

They also run on low-octane fuel.  I cannot imagine why you would want to use diesel in one unless you somehow built a turbine with a very high compression ratio.  They normally have a compression ratio of (ballpark) 6:1 or so, and burn kerosene.  Diesel would be wasted in such an engine.

One more thing: Jay Leno has a turbine powered motorcycle.  It's for the man who has everything, I guess.

Posted by: cranky-d at October 31, 2007 01:29 PM (XbM2O)

31 Try a little science. Isaac Newton style. It is a scientific fact that it takes 1 newton to move 1 kilogram 1 meter. Now simply calculate the amount of energy in any fuel and then calculate the maximum  100% efficient  machine that can  use that fuel.
(Note: nothing can be 100% inefficient as the by products of combustion will be left to deal with )
You will find that 30mpg is a pretty good return.

Posted by: NortonPete at October 31, 2007 01:33 PM (fVuwW)

32 Wesley Snipes once claimed that when he worked as a telephone repairman for PacBell, the "company" would routinely send voltage spikes through the lines to intentionally burn out non PacBell equipment.

Next thing I heard he was being targeted by the IRS.

Coincidence? I'm just raising questions.

Posted by: mrobvious at October 31, 2007 01:49 PM (8Y/fG)

33 I stand corrected.  And intrigued.

Posted by: See-Dubya at October 31, 2007 01:54 PM (9hI24)

34 Okay Kos Crackhead... Whatever you say. But I'd sure like to see from proof of your claims. But I'm guessing you have none aside from some long winded wordy explanation. Psychopath.

Posted by: Pastafarian at October 31, 2007 05:08 PM (IPOaY)


Chevron much? Midol too little?

Posted by: Guy who gets taken too seriously at October 31, 2007 01:59 PM (x0jT7)

35 Norton Pete is right and yet wrong.  The figure he quotes is, I believe, the energy required to move 1 kg of mass vertically.  Horizontal motion is a different thing.

If we are already up to speed, and on a level road, all we need to overcome is wind resistance and the friction of the tires with the road surface.  If all you needed to do is maintain a certain speed, you could have a motor with a very small horsepower output.  This is totally from memory, and could be completely bogus, the an average sedan probably requires 20 hp or so to maintain speed (I'm quoting what I remember from car magazines).

Naturally, it takes more power to overcome inertia and accelerate a vehicle at a reasonable rate, which is why engines put out much more power.  No one would put up with waiting forever to get up to speed.

However, NP is correct in that we could figure out whether this is bogus or not fairly easily.  I think it is.  That won't stop people from believing it, of course.  I had an engineer friend who really believed that the 100 mpg carburetor was real.  He now is responsible for working out maintenance schedules for navy jets.  Scary.

Posted by: cranky-d at October 31, 2007 02:11 PM (XbM2O)

36 Oops, we of course must overcome driveline friction as well.

Posted by: cranky-d at October 31, 2007 02:12 PM (XbM2O)


And from the pilot side (not the car geek), there's another little fly in the ointment I noticed Goodwin didn't mention, *especially* since he's relying on firing up that turbine like the gas motor in a Prius.

Problem is, most turbines I'm aware of come with two restrictions: time before overhaul and number of cycles before overhaul.  If our boy Goodwin fires up that turbine several thousand times, it doesn't matter if it only ran for a few hours total time.  Off to the shop for a slightly pricey rebuild.  Emphasis on the sarcastic side of 'slightly'.

Posted by: Additional Blond Agent at October 31, 2007 02:24 PM (PMGbu)


Ok, look, to figure out an engine's theoretical maximum efficiency, you calculate its thermal efficiency.  Google it, its simple to understand.  An engine that burns fuel that is at about 500K at 1000K is, I think, 50% efficient.  Turbines use most of their engine compressing air(fuel) so that it burns at a somewhat high temperature, so the number I have seen is a thermal efficiency of 40%.  Apparently, car engines burn hotter.  And apparently, cranky, the compression ratio for a turbine actually is 6:1, but then again, a diesel cycle engine needs 11:1?

That's the first step.  Then you can worry about the other inefficiencies.  Like pushing a cylinder around in a back and forth motion.  ABB, so is merely starting up the turbine a killer?

Cranky, speed is determined by horsepower.  The faster you go, the horsepower required exponentially rises.  On the other hand, these motors crank out sweet, sweet torque, which is the ingredient for pleasing acceleration.  But the point is is that the electrical portion only supplies power when needed. 

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 03:17 PM (eQF5r)


...prob'ly shouldn't open my mouth, but "speed" isn't necessarily determined by HP: I think you meant acceleration is determined by HP ...once you reach a set speed you don't need to keep applying the same HP (given the offset to meet various losses due to frictional "factors") to keep it at that speed. You do need Big HP to get the damn thing moving at an "acceptable rate of increase", and the heavier the machine, and the faster you want to accelerate that machine, the more horsies you need to pony up with (couldn't resist).

...and as I recall, the amount of HP you need to keep a 3000 lb. American car at highway speed (say 65mph) once you get there is around 7HP (some surprisingly inconsequential amount) ...Ford was experimenting with automatically "turning off" most of the cylinders in a V8 once the car - they had the engine in a test-bed Crown Victoria as I recall - had reached cruising speed at one point, to try and increase mpg sometime in the late 1970's or early '80's (so futzing with this stuff ain't exactly new).

Hell. If you could achieve 186.000mps (lightspeed) on one HP in even a goodly sized spaceship ...if you had enough fuel and a lot of patience (and a really, really long life span) ...a really, really LOT of fuel ...well, if for the purpose of this illustration you stipulate zero losses to particle collision (not possible: space isn't really "empty"). The tricky bit is all the fuel you need to achieve constant acceleration for - prob'ly - millenia

I think. (Or maybe I don't: its been a long day and a longer week, and it's only Wednesday.) Oops ...trick-or-treaters: gotta go.


Posted by: davis,br at October 31, 2007 04:59 PM (5xoMO)

40 OK, we  need to bring competency to vote tests.

One question HAS to be:  "Explain the Second Law of Thermodynamics" in layman's terms.

Optional Essay Question:  "Explain why your Prius, Goodwin Soopercar, etc., is exempt."

If they try to write the optional essay, they fail automatically.

By the way, with the gearing on a HumVee, how is he going to get that kind of acceleration?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 31, 2007 05:16 PM (yIy7z)

41 Actually the 'oil from tukey gizzards' bit actually works.

look up 'thermal depolymerization'.


It's new-ish tech, which means it's spendy, and not very efficient, but it -does- work. It will, with some effort, convert damn near anything organic into a synthetic crude oil.
The down side is that it's bloody explensive to set up, and apparently smells worse than Santan's Asscrack when running.

Posted by: roguetek at October 31, 2007 05:22 PM (XiJlI)


davis, you are mixing up torque and HP.  HP is what is necessary to drag your vehicle's dented, rusted out, paint peeling, air resistance gathering corpse through the "atmosphere" as your speed increases.  Air resistance increases at square function, so while some cars may need only 100 HP to push through the atmosphere at 100 mph, they will need 400 HP to do so at 200mph.  So, following that logic, you'll need 25 HP at 50mph.  which is why 5th gear is usually organized to hit 55 at around 2500rpm.  And maybe 6HP at 25mph.  Whatever.

so, yeah, you should not have opened your mouth.  Torque is basically what is associated with acceleration (gearing helps too, ya know).

As for hitting lightspeed, I suppose you somehow make up for your mass hitting infinity, that whole f=ma thing becoming a pain in the ass.

Also, I think someone has mixed up the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 06:36 PM (eQF5r)


Who's Santan?

IMO, a turbine-hybrid Hummer is perfectly plausible.  Turbine generators are quite commonplace, and International (I think) experimented with a turbine-powered tractor in the 40-50hp range back in the sixties or fifties, I think, so a turbine of appropriate size for a Hummer is certianly available somewhere.  Big turbine-genorator sets are more efficient than say, a big reciprocating diesel, so I could see a small turbine being more efficient, and hybrids gain some, too.  Of course, the hangup is cost-- for the battery, for the turbine, for the genorator, for the computers 'n stuff to control all of it.  This is why only the rich are buying these, and why Detroit isn't making them. 

Posted by: Calix at October 31, 2007 07:06 PM (8d3U/)

44 ABB, so is merely starting up the turbine a killer?

Sure. No matter how delicately you cool them down after running them and no matter how you start them up, you thermally cycle them. It takes repeated cycles but eventually that alone will cause engine damage.

Posted by: Additional Blond Agent at October 31, 2007 07:34 PM (DQDJU)


I dunno, from what I have read, turbines don't burn as hot as ICE's, and your comment reminds me of the problems ze Chermans had with turbine technology in ze WWII.  Back when they used steel instead of titanium.

Whateve's, if this is a rich boy toy, that's fine.  First adopters make things easier for you to afford.

Posted by: joeindc44 at October 31, 2007 09:07 PM (eQF5r)

46 I don't know about ground level turbine problems, what with M1 tanks using the things in the desert

The M1 Abrams engine and its associated filters are also about the size of an H3 Hummer and require a rediculous amount of maintenance.

Posted by: Ranba at October 31, 2007 09:23 PM (h2MEX)

47 24

and, apparently, turbines can run on anything.

So, bio-diesel is simply a nod to the ecovangelists.  You can use rubbing alchohol (I guess) or angel farts.  Whatever.

Posted by: joeindc44

Ecovangelists ? ROFL ! Well joeindc has properly owned this entire thread.

Posted by: goldenpears at October 31, 2007 09:51 PM (gHfeK)

48 If my engine burned mythane (aka my fart gas), I could make it cross-country on a large pizza and a six pack. Give me a beef and bean burrito for turbo mode.

Posted by: electron john at November 01, 2007 01:41 AM (ZvbcI)


A diesel-powered electric vehicle?

Congratulations: He's just invented the locomotive.

Posted by: Rittenhouse at November 01, 2007 02:09 AM (HoHnk)


joeindc44 - Naw, I don't think I got it wrong ...I was talking about power (I don't care whether you measure it in HP, newtons, joules, ergs or whatever), and you're talking about work. More precisely, the [rotational] measurement of work done at rpm, which is what torque is.

Great explanation here: http://craig.backfire.ca/pages/autos/horsepower

To better illustrate my point. Let's take an asteroid. Big mother. Ceres size even. Let's ignore both gravitational and wave and particle "influences" for sake of illustration: no friction, no motion ...the things at rest.

Put a 1HP rocket on it (placing it where the force from the rocket doesn't rotate the rock, but - begins to - nudge it, along the line of force). Keep applying exactly 1HP of force (and keep ignoring the indisputable fact that "space" isn't "empty", just for the purposes of this illustration). The rock will start to move. Period. Don't care how big it is: megatons. (Torque be damned: rockets don't have torque ...well, their control systems do, but let's ignore those for a bit too.)

You keep doing that ...running that tiny 1HP rocket  ...and in a few millenia, that big rock is gonna approach (it will never get there in Einsteinian space) lightspeed. Period. Can't not. (Again, ignoring all the other "forces" acting on it.)

...and that's the point I apparently unsuccessfully tried to make. Not that anyone is going to care - or read - a dead Ace thread.

And hell, you may be right about me being wrong about the 7HP needed to keep that Crown Vic' moving; it was a long time ago when I read about Ford trying to cut out cylinders when the vehicle was at highway speed, and my memory truly sucks sometimes.


Posted by: davis,br at November 01, 2007 06:12 PM (5xoMO)

51 Well, I'm just a car geek not a petroleum chemist. But this stuff about turbine engines that 'burn anything'- especially in an super-'efficient' manner, gets my hackles up. While there have been some attempts to make hybrid cars utilizing turbine engines before- by those oh-so-stubborn stick in the muds at General Motors, no less- they had a lot of important differences from this. Mostly explainable because that particular plan was intended to be sorta-kinda-practical rather than a Prius for the super-rich that isn't quite as hairshirty, just requiring you to get it overhauled every few thousand kilometers.

It was light. It wasn't built by someone who thinks putting lead acid batteries- which in normal use leak hydrogen gas, and which if impacted in a collision could explode into a beautiful shower of sulphuric acid. It had a specially purpose built turbine, built to burn high-octane super-clean alternative fuels very very efficiently. In other words, it was an amazing job given that GM is GM.

The only serious claim he makes is that he put a GM Diesel in an H1 before GM had anything to do with Hummers! Big woop! If I put the engine from a Suzuki Swift in a Hummer and increase the fuel economy, do I win a medal? Oh, and there's some rubbish in there about that fucking awful MTV show Pimp My Ride. Wow. Daily Kos seems to have him down as a fraud, and it wouldn't surprise me.

Posted by: John Nevard at November 01, 2007 10:46 PM (ora23)

52 dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

Posted by: wow power leveling at March 26, 2008 12:14 AM (2CIuY)

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