Hybrid powertrains grab all the headlines these days, but conventional internal combustion engines are also advancing at a torrid pace. Technologies such as variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, direct injection, and turbocharging are boosting engine performance and fuel efficiency as never before.
Here, we've collected photos of engines representing some of the latest innovations in powertrain technology. From tiny inline-fours to muscular diesels to split-cycle engines, we offer a potpourri of engine technologies.
Click the image below to start the slideshow:
The Chevy Cruze Eco punched up its fuel economy to 42mpg highway by using a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine. The engine's Turbo Airflow uses a compressor wheel (driven by hot exhaust gas) to draw air into the intake. The air is forced through an intercooler and then travels to the engine's intake manifold. The intake manifold subsequently distributes air to cylinders, where fuel is added, and combustion takes place. (Source: GM)
Recently we had someone at PriusChat pose the same question: can an efficient engine compete with a Prius if everything else is the same?
It turns out Toyota has done the experiment with the "Prius c" and "Yaris". Comparing the 1.5L, automatic Prius c to the 1.5L, automatic Yaris:
53 MPG :: 32 MPG - City, Prius c to Yaris
46 MPG :: 35 MPG - Hwy, Prius c to Yaris
$19,737 - $24,016 :: $14,840 - $ 17,200 - Prius c to Yaris
Since 2004 when the battery modules and transaxle were redesigned, we're not seeing failures. In fact, salvage Prius are providing parts for the 2001-03 Prius which also continue to keep on running. I've got 150,000 miles on our first Prius and we're still getting 52 MPG. Since we put over 15,000 miles/yr on that car, it has been a very good deal with low maintenace (the engine is loafing) and we still haven't replaced brake pads or shoes.
Like any new technology, the Prius isn't for everyone ... just those who prefer to bank their fuel savings. For those who don't drive much, any car will do. But if you're driving more than 15,000 miles per year, the Prius can help make a car payment every year . . . even after the car is paid off.
One reason: the photosynthesis cycle doesn't remove CO2 permanently. It binds carbon with hydrogen (from water) to release O2. However, there are other processes that release carbon, consuming O2. Animals are one (eat carbohydrates, eliminate CO2). Microbes do it (composting, wetlands, etc.). Fire does it.
So, just planting greenery doesn't necessarily modify the amount of carbon in play. It takes also preventing the hydrocarbon from breaking down. Otherwise, it is just a wheel turning around, figuratively speaking.
"... Natural diamonds are commonly believed to have been formed millions of years ago.
If the rate carbon 14 decays has been consistent, any carbon 14 older than 100,000 years is undetectable by current measuring techniques.
But carbon 14 has been measured within natural diamonds. Either the decay rate of carbon 14 is not uniform, the diamonds are younger than believed, or both. Carbon 14 in diamonds is evidence that the earth is thousands of years old, not millions.
Minerals Have Too Much Helium
The shiny black specks in granite are mica. Within mica are natural zircon crystals, only a few microns in size. Helium quickly diffuses out of zircon.
If the granite is millions of years old, as commonly believed, all the helium should be gone.
However, measurements indicate that much of the helium still remains. Either the diffusion rate of the helium is not uniform, the zircon crystals are younger than believed, or both. Helium in granite is evidence that the earth is thousands of years old, not millions.
The Sea Does Not Have Enough Minerals
There is not enough salt in the sea or mud on the sea floor for the seas to be billions of years old.
Every year, salt accumulates in the ocean from rivers. Given the present rate it is increasing per year, the current 3.5 percent ocean salinity is much too low if this process has been going on for a very long time.
Mud enters the seas through rivers and dust storms. This occurs at much faster rates than plate tectonic subduction can remove it. Each year, 19 billion tons of mud accumulates. If the oceans were ancient, the oceans would be choked with sediment dozens of kilometers deep.
"... While the early faint Sun paradox does not tell us that the Solar System is only thousands of years old, it does seem to rule out the age being billions of years.", The Young Faint Sun Paradox and the Age of the Solar System by Danny Faulkner, Ph.D.
I'm NOT a celestial scientist, BUT I've heard enough learned scientists discuss rationally the origins & read enough literature to know that science has dated the physical Earth at more than 2 billion years age. And, there's been plenty of dialogue even for a lay person to understand that the sun has enough "fuel" remaining to provide us with light for at least ONE million more years. And, what about fossil remains & other artifacts unearthed which have been carbon-dated well in excess of 100,000 years? I supposed they were flown in to support some esoteric theory ....
Since I'll not have to concern myself with any near term flame-out, nor will my heirs, I think it's not worth further discussion. And, one PhD in the mix, does not a quorum make!
"Rational science has it that Mommy Earth is roughly 2 BILLION years old,..."
Hmmmmm.... I wonder just how BIG the continually consumed Sun would have been 2 BILLION years ago? Big enough to toast the Earth? Big enough to have occupied the space where the Earth now orbits?
According to an article called, The Sun Is Shrinking by Russell Akridge, Ph.D, "The change in the size of the Sun over the past 400 years is important in the study of origins. Over 100 thousand years these changes would have accumulated so much that life of any kind on the Earth would have been very difficult, if not impossible. Thus, all life on the Earth must be less than 100 thousand years old. The Sun, 20 million years ago, would have been so large that it would have engulfed the Earth. The Earth cannot be more than 20 million years old." (Bold added)
Rational science has it that Mommy Earth is roughly 2 BILLION years old, and since we recently celebrated Mother's Day, it is fitting that we owe her a debt of gratitude for spinning on her axis, lo these many years.
IF it takes a cataclysmic event, or natural attrition, or human intervention (ala global war) to "readjust" systems to where they should be, then so be it.
And, to those who claim we have only a short time before all the fossil fuel is gone, I say, BUNK!! This concept is nothing more than a political football, which some have deigned to be passed from one generation to another. So frequently we are witness to confirmed science giving us details of vast new finds of "oil". I would venture to guess that in the ceentury plus of consuming fossil fuel for power, we have not yet put a dent into the total supply, but that's just a hunch, NOT an accurate scientific pronouncement.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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