Author Topic: A better diesel engine  (Read 16226 times)

Offline Tinker

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A better diesel engine
« on: September 01, 2009, 08:44:23 PM »
While sitting here doing this:

 :coffee:

I read this:

I know such a design doesn't happen by magic - and I'm not in a position to preach as I know sod all about it - but I would put real money on the fact that if a new thread was opened up on this forum called "A better diesel engine" or "A fuel efficient 2-stroke engine" and everyone threw their ten-pence worth in, then some remarkable things - some remarkable idea's - would happen in days.

Well folks...

 :poke:


Offline Bernd

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 09:30:17 PM »
I've often wondered what would happen if instead of air one used 100% oxygen metered at the precise amount for combustion. Would you get more power? Use less fuel?

BTW, if somebody tries this and succedes I get half the royalties.  :lol:

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Offline Darren

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 05:12:30 AM »
It might give more power, but 100% oxygen is a tad more expensive than free air....
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Offline crimson

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 05:48:28 AM »
i reckon an external form of compressing the fuel air mixture e.g. supercharger/procharger.
thus leaving the crankase to hold the oil so no premix would be used,
this might also allow the compression to be raised. probably a bit complicated though  :borg: 
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Offline John Hill

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 06:00:21 AM »
Crimson, I think that is often done with big diesels and not so big ones too like the Commer "Double Knocker".
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Offline Mike K

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 05:18:20 PM »
Wouldn't a nitrous system be cheaper and simpler?  Are there, in fact, nitrous systems on diesel engines?  :scratch:

Mike

Offline Tinker

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 11:38:49 AM »
On a diesel, propane injection works much like nitrous does on a gas engine.

Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 05:25:22 AM »
There are some disadvantages to adding enriched gasses (oxygen/NOs etc) to Diesels.  One of the disadvantages of a diesel engine is that it has to be built very strong; you can't use lightweight metals like aluminium for the cylinder blocks and heads, as the high compression at which they run just overpowers the light metals.  Diesels also inherently vibrates a lot more than other types of engines, requiring beefing up to keep material stress down.
 
So if you add the enriched gasses, the engine needs to be built stronger, thus heavier.  For a mobile application, you want an engine as light as possible, as it has to move it's own weight as well as that of the vehicle it is installed in.

It is now common to have turbo charging on diesels - it does not add too much extra pressure to the engine, but adds a lot of power and torque, as well as bringing economy down. I drive a turbo diesel VW Polo - while it is a hoot to drive (LOTS of torque and acceleration) - that big lump of cast iron in the engine bay makes it understeer and oversteer very easily in corners.

For Stationary or ships engines, weight is not that critical, so rather than using special gasses, you just build the engine bigger to use free air. The running costs using special gasses would also be astronomical, making it unfeasible.

Now, I did not spout the above verbal diarrhea without coming with an idea, which might be just as ridiculous  :lol:
 
One thing all internal combustion engines do is produce a lot of heat - a lot of which is wasted in the exhaust gasses (the rest by cooling through the radiator).  Now, if one could turn the exhaust manifold into a boiler, and add a steam cylinder or two to the engine - i.e. a hybrid petrol(or diesel) and steam, that might work.  At cold startup, it would be a full IC engine, until the exhaust manifold(boiler) becomes hot enough to start producing steam, and you can then get extra performance, and thus economy from that.  Obviously, this will only be of use on extended trips in motor cars.  In stationary/marine, and even locomotive engines that run for extended periods of time, there might be a distinct advantage.

Cheers, Arnold

Offline Darren

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 05:43:05 AM »
The extra weight on the steam side might negate much of the gain?

I've always thought that if the waste heat could be harvested for home heating there may be a colossal advantage.
Of course the practicalities are probably going to sink the idea just about one second after any effort was made to pursue.
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Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 07:32:19 AM »
The extra weight on the steam side might negate much of the gain?

Yes and no... Very little development on steam engines has been going on - mostly just on turbines.  Some of the new materials available on the market could make very powerful, yet lightweight steam engines.  A "plastic" engine with e.g. carbon fiber linkages and rods is not far fetched; many "plastics" can withstand the temperatures, and you don't have the issue of having to cope with explosions and corrosive gasses. One might even get away with a self-lubricating engine, requiring no oil.  This would suit automotive needs.  As to stationery/marine/locomotive engines, they don't care too much about the weight; in the case of marine and locomotive, sometimes additional weight is welcome, as long as there is an increase in power as well - for marine as ballast, and for locomotive to give additional traction.

It's also interesting to note how people think differently about heating and cooling in different parts of the world :D...  Driving through town here in Windhoek this morning, the temperature was already up to 29 deg C - and our spring has just started.  Like Darren said - people in the UK think about heating, whereas we here in Namibia think cooling - we have 3 coldish months in the year, the rest of the time daytime temperatures remain pretty much above 30 deg C...  Now if only I can figure out an effective way to use the sun to cool down my workshop....

Cheers, Arnold

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 08:39:29 AM »
Arnold ..

Diesel/Steam engines were made .. in case you are not aware ...

http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/POWER/still/still.htm

Bit like me apparently .. not spectacularly successful    ::)

I think there was a write up in ME (or EIM), but a long time ago. Maybe '50's '60's

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Offline Darren

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 04:04:50 PM »

It's also interesting to note how people think differently about heating and cooling in different parts of the world :D...  Driving through town here in Windhoek this morning, the temperature was already up to 29 deg C - and our spring has just started.  Like Darren said - people in the UK think about heating, whereas we here in Namibia think cooling - we have 3 coldish months in the year, the rest of the time daytime temperatures remain pretty much above 30 deg C...  Now if only I can figure out an effective way to use the sun to cool down my workshop....

Cheers, Arnold

Oh please don't tell me how warm it is there Arnold, Summer seems to have finished here now and it's deff getting colder. Winters are long and wet these days. Much longer than they used to be when I was a kid.

Interesting point regarding how we perceive the excess heat in different parts of the world though. Thanks for the prod on that.... :thumbup:
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Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »
Darren, So much for "global warming" then!  :doh:

Dave BC, thanks, I was not aware, and with that you just urinated over all six cells of my lead-acid 12 Volt battery...  :(  Thought I had the embryo of an idea there.... - so we're both relegated to "not spectacularly successful" status. Who supplies the T-Shirts  :scratch:  :lol:

<OK... More verbal diarrhea / hypothesizing / dreaming /imagining mode ON>
This is turning out to be a very interesting and mentally stimulating thread.  If I look at the environment I live in, within a radius of 400 km  (250 miles), there is the following:
A lot of "ambient" heat
Very much Sunshine (>300 days a year) - except for up to ~30 km inland from the coastline where fog is regular and heavy.
A fair amount of wind.
Fairly cold Atlantic ocean.
Normally rough seas on that same Atlantic ocean - causing biggish waves to break on the coastline.
Very limited fresh water supply.
A big desert with wide open spaces.
Damaging the environment is SEVERELY frowned upon.

Now, if I can figure out a fairly economical way to harness all those and make a difference, I'd be happy.  It would go something along the lines of:

Use wave energy through "hydraulic rams" - (known to the ancient Romans) to pump cold sea water inland into the dessert; pre-heating it along the way (black above-ground pipes?)  Use focused mirrors at the end point (in the desert with lots of sunshine) to create steam from the water, drive a turbine/steam engine to generate electricity through a generator.   Cool the exhaust steam down by wrapping it around the incoming feed water - result is demineralised water (add a couple of drops of the incoming water to that and you have potable drinking water).  Force excess incoming feedwater into high holding tanks (gravity tanks), and for short burts, you can actually run a water wheel for an energy boost.  Hook up wind turbines to generators to provide additional electricity, or pumping power for the gravity tanks...

"The incredible machine"? - Yes...  I'm trying to think about it. There are many "what-ifs" and "won't works" etc. associated with this, and to be honest, no really new ideas.  Most of this is also based on mechanical/electrical methods; I've always been a dud at chemistry but there might be ideas from people in chemics, nuclear physics or any of the other engineering fields that might be inspired.  A Eureka!! moment may be just a neuron away; one never knows.
<More verbal diarrhea / hypothesizing / dreaming /imagining mode OFF>

I could go on,but most likely I've already bored you enough, sooooo:
Cheers, Arnold

Offline dsquire

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 06:41:54 PM »
Darren, So much for "global warming" then!  :doh:

Dave BC, thanks, I was not aware, and with that you just urinated over all six cells of my lead-acid 12 Volt battery...  :(  Thought I had the embryo of an idea there.... - so we're both relegated to "not spectacularly successful" status. Who supplies the T-Shirts  :scratch:  :lol:

<OK... More verbal diarrhea / hypothesizing / dreaming /imagining mode ON>
This is turning out to be a very interesting and mentally stimulating thread.  If I look at the environment I live in, within a radius of 400 km  (250 miles), there is the following:
.
.
.
.
<More verbal diarrhea / hypothesizing / dreaming /imagining mode OFF>

I could go on,but most likely I've already bored you enough, sooooo:
Cheers, Arnold


Arnold  :doh:

It is ideas like this that give other people ideas and someone starts to refine those ideas and more input from someone else and there you have a workable solution. This thread is getting very interesting and I for one will be following along with it. I would love to hear any more ideas that you might have runnning around in your head.

Cheers  :beer:

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Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 09:49:54 PM »
Thanks Don.

I didn't really give a new idea.  I just want to stimulate brain cells -my own included- into "thinking" again - there is too much "parroting", and too little thinking going on nowadays in my limited and humble opinion.

If even a tiny bit of my ramblings inspires someone, that is good.  I like to keep track of the old and original ways of doing things.  I can still light a fire with a couple of sticks  rubbed together - done that on many occasions.  Horror of it is, nobody seems interested in learning how to do it.  "Just use a refillable lighter" is the norm...

I'm VERY close to nature; played with lion and cheetah cubs, baby elephants, and assorted other animals, lizards, birds and insects.  I consider myself extremely fortunate to have access to these privileges.

From the previous, you  might glean that I am close to nature... One thing I would like to do in my life, is to get a good balance between "human nature", and "real" nature...

Cheers,  Arnold

Offline John Hill

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2009, 04:38:52 PM »
If I remember correctly the DC6-C was the first aircraft to make commerical airliner crossings of the Atlantic practical and they were able to do this because the engines where fitted with exhaust turbines which helped to drive the propellers through a hydraulic device.

Now consider all the loads that the typical car has in addition to just moving it along (fans, water pump, air conditioning, alternator) and imagine how much more power (or economy) there would be if these were driven by some other means.

Well I am thinking that those ancilliary loads could all be electric and they could be driven from an exhaust turbine driven alternator and quite a bit of the energy used would come from what is presently wasted.

Of course it might be difficult to design an alternator that would hold together at turbine speeds but how about a Faraday Disc?  I think a suitably motivated Madmodder could just about make one of those.
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Offline Tinker

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2009, 07:40:51 PM »
Hhhmmm...

Anybody here up to building a Tesla Turbine suitable for insertion to a cars exhaust system?

Seems like it'd work.  Little to no extra back pressure to confuse modern ECMs.  Can drive an alternator without necessarily overdriving it.  Sounds like an idea with potential...

Offline Stefan Pynappels

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2009, 07:00:12 AM »
Hey Arnold,

I like where you are going with your contraption!  A friend of mine who is a hydraulic engineer with a large multinational corp told me of a project someone he dealt with was working on. It involved making a large displacement but heavy float which went up and down with wave action. This movement was transferred to an inner sliding weight using hydraulic cylinders and the oil being forced through the pipework drove some manner of turbine/wheel which generated electricity. The rig could be tuned to wave frequency and amplitude by varying the oil pressure and aperture sizes etc.

It sound a bit Heath Robinson, but in tests it looked like it was a very promising idea. And because it is anchored miles offshore, nobody can see it and complain. Must actually check up on what happened to the project....

But it does show that there are environmentally friendly ideas being developed out there which use  wave and other natural energy sources.

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2009, 08:51:23 AM »
Spynappels ...  'Nobody can see it and complain'  ... nice thought.
You can bet your last shilling that some crackpot outfit like eg. 'Friends of the Plankton' or the like will start squawking ...
Look at this ..

http://www.reuk.co.uk/Severn-Barrage-Tidal-Power.htm

A simple old sod like me can come up with a simple solution ..

Eat the freakin' ducks.
Build the Barrage.

QED

Dave BC

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Offline kellswaterri

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2009, 11:48:48 AM »


This is a shot of one of the test beds for the big diesels...this particular one almost killed the guy on the right....to enlarge a bit, this engine had almost finished its run in period and was being run up for its test load to check horse powerwhen the rings seized on one or more pistons...compression immediately shot into the sump thus blasting boiling hot oil all over the test area just as this young lad was walking past the sump oil filler, had it hit him full on he was toast...lucky man...
                             

Just spotted the Commer bit in J hills post...this engine was the one I dreaded testing ...a more vicious pernickity sod of an engine I have rarely seen, it had a nasty little habit of shucking one of its connecting rods through the crankcase when least expected...my job and that of the guys in the photo shot taken about 50 years ago
was to overhaul and test run the diesel engines for the transport system in our country.
                              John.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 12:19:06 PM by kellswaterri »

Offline Stefan Pynappels

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 02:05:31 AM »
Spynappels ...  'Nobody can see it and complain'  ... nice thought.
You can bet your last shilling that some crackpot outfit like eg. 'Friends of the Plankton' or the like will start squawking ...
Look at this ..

http://www.reuk.co.uk/Severn-Barrage-Tidal-Power.htm

A simple old sod like me can come up with a simple solution ..

Eat the freakin' ducks.
Build the Barrage.

QED

Dave BC



Very true, but when oil costs $300+ a barrel and we cannot afford to pay to have lights on in the house, I think these loonys will just not have the same power as a certail amount of pragmatism has to take over.....

Hmmmm, duck with Hoi Sin sauce, I'm hungry already.

Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 03:56:15 AM »
Quote
Very true, but when oil costs $300+ a barrel and we cannot afford to pay to have lights on in the house, I think these loonys will just not have the same power as a certail amount of pragmatism has to take over.....

Yep, and when "sensitive" areas all over the world get flooded due to global warming - what are they going to try and save ? - Sacrificing some areas now to ensure a better global tomorrow doesn't appear to have entered their one-track minds.

I feel there is a lot of people in the world who just "join up" to "causes" to get rid of excess energy and frustration.  How 'bout us engineering types cobble together some gym equipment that drives generators - and stick those in public places to let those people work off their frustrations and excess energy.  Might be a win-win situation all round; the masses are kept occupied and fit, while generating power, and we get to make weird contraptions  :lol:

Heck, could even extend the principle to day-care centers: "Here, little Johnny, pedal this thingy and see how long you can keep all the pretty little lights burning"  :)

 :beer: Arnold

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 05:28:20 AM »
Straying slightly on this one.

Quote
Re: A better diesel engine


But it doesn't really matter.

I will just bring you into the real world, without piddling on your shoes too much.

If you can think of an idea that gives just 0.01% efficiency increase, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone has already thought of it and slapped a patent on it. Awaiting the day someone comes along with some similar idea and starts to market it.

Then you get a letter from some slimy corporate lawyer stating that if you don't pay the patent holder X squillion bucks, they will drag you thru every court in the land and make sure you end end up hanging yourself thru frustration.

Unless you aim for improving very modern technology, you can almost guarantee anything to do with old technology has already been thought of and covered.

You maybe hoped that by throwing ideas around, you would come up with an easy solution. It doesn't work like that in most cases. Homework is the key to anything like this, hours upon hours of frustrating research, followed by heartache when you find something the same or very similar has been done before. If you do find a small niche, you have got to keep your mouth shut and share it with no-one, not even the dog. Only releasing the results when you have it proved and covered by the legalities of a patent. Even then, unless you have squillions in cash to fight legal battles, you can find your ideas stolen and into production before you can even get someone interested in your design. By the time the robbers have been tracked down, they have made their bucks and disappeared into the night.

I worked for a small American company for a few very unhappy years, and as usual, they had you covered under contract, that any ideas you came up with while working in their factory, became their property. I had to catalogue everything I did to the machinery in there, and the boss would check my workbook each weekend. I am sure he patented a lot of the ideas I had come up with to get his machinery running more efficiently. His office wall was covered in metal plaques, engraved with all sorts of patented ideas. If I had took the time to look closely, I am sure a lot of them would have been mine, as the wall started to fill up with each passing month.

It is great having discussions of this type on here, but you take the time to reflect, unless you are the one in a billion, you just will not be able to realise your dreams of ever getting anything truly inventive into the marketplace.

Just resign yourself to helping out a few modellers who take the time to read your ramblings.
I made that decision a few years ago, and it gives me great enjoyment and satisfaction seeing one of my ideas being used. When I see someone post, 'I pinched this idea from a chap called Bogs', you know you have been recognised as someone who has helped others along their way.

Bogs

Offline Bernd

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 12:18:38 PM »
Patents don't help anybody. Watch the story or read the book on the intermitten windsheild wiper. The guy that invented it fought the Ford company and died broke. If you have something patentable have version 2 ready when you introduce the first version. That way you can stay ahead of the competion untill you make some money.

Bernd
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Offline arnoldb

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Re: A better diesel engine
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 12:28:55 PM »
Bogs, Bernd, thanks for the  :wack: back to reality - I think I needed that.

Back to making things out of bits of metal (and a lot of studying!)

 :beer:, Arnold