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The Car of the Future — Today! June 28, 2007

Posted by federalist in Energy, Transportation.

I love energy efficiency just as much as the next guy, which is why I’m always fascinated by improved engine technologies.  A good idea makes so much sense that it doesn’t need massively distorting government subsidies or mandates to be marketable.

Last year I noted Hydraulic Hybrids.  Today I came across Ethanol-Boosted Turbochargers.  As Technology Review explains, this concept boosts the efficiency of gasoline engines by 30%.  How can you get more energy out of gasoline?  First, by raising the compression ratio you can extract more energy from combustion because you increase the expansion ratio of the hot byproducts.  Second, by extracting more energy from the same space you can use smaller engines, which lose less energy to friction.  (Ever wonder why the same car with a bigger engine has a lower mileage rating?  It’s almost all due to waste heat in the engine.)



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