<<  <  Page 4/4
User Rank
Re: Doing what they do best
naperlou   2/6/2013 9:54:28 AM
williamweaver, Diesel Electric Locomotives are similar to hybrid cars except for one thing, the battery.  This is changing, of course.  Even though they are very efficient, making them more efficient is worthwhile, considering how much they are used.  Actually, GE is taking the next step and putitng in batteries.  These can be charged during operations and can recover energy while braking.  They then provide low speed power which is more responsive than the diesel gen set. 

As for turbines in cars, it has been tried.  A maker of microturbines, Capstone, ran a test of a 10kw microturbine genset in a small car a couple of years back.  Looking at their web site now, they do have gensets, 30kw and 65kw, for larger vehicles, like busses.  These cost more to buy, but are much cheaper to maintain and get much better mileage than standard diesel engines.  I don't have any information on why the smaller turbine project was not pursued.  If these types of systems were used for trucks and busses, though, it would lower our use of fuel overall.  In addition, they can run on multiple fuels, liquid and gas.  My experience was with gas, but they can also use diesel and kerosene.  Perhaps in the future they will be sized for automobiles. 

User Rank
Doing what they do best
williamlweaver   2/6/2013 7:56:54 AM
Thanks for this, Chuck! We seem to be continuing our more than century-old love affair with automobiles. Maybe that is having a strong effect on our new designs.

I'm not a powertrain engineer, but perhaps yourself or others can help me out. It's my layman understanding that modern Diesel locomotives are Diesel-Electric hybrids, having a very efficient Diesel-fueled turbine that does one thing well... it turns an electric generator. Because the turbine does one thing well, it can be optimized for power, torque, fuel-consumption, etc. to produce electricity. The electricity is then used to power the traction motors that have no mechanical transmission or clutch -- all through the magic of magnetic field induction. The electric motors do one thing well, they turn the drive shaft. As far as power goes, Wikipedia lists that a modern Diesel locomotive can start moving trains weighing in excess of 15,000 tons. The M1 Abrams tank uses a 1,500-hp gas turbine engine, but uses a mechanical hydrokinetic transmission.

I continue to be perplexed as to why the Automobile industry does not integrate technology that has been successfully developed by other industries. I would have thought that General Electric would have used their turbine expertise to capture the automobile market by now. And I don't know about you, but as far as keeping the motorheads happy, if folks get excited about a "turbocharged" engine, I would love to be on the marketing team for the first "turbine jet" powered commercial automobile...

<<  <  Page 4/4

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Siemens and Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering to address limitations in the current additive manufacturing design-to-production chain in an applied research project as part of the federally backed America Makes program.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Check out these gifts that will make you the hero of your Secret Santa party.
Voting has closed on our 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year contest, but it is not game over yet for two competing projects.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Design News Webinar Series
11/10/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/29/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/20/2015 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/2/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 6 - 10, Building Raspberry Pi Controllers with Python
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service