April 2002 Newsletter
An email from a prospective customer reads:
From: GREG RAUSCHER
This is what I got on a car site after asking a question so please comment:
The following message was posted by Gord on Thursday, March 21st at 11:08:48 AM
The efficiency bottleneck in the internal combustion engine is not the fuel delivery system. Never has been.
Even antique engines with primitive carburetors would run well at their design speed, and burn nearly 100% of the fuel supplied. Improved carburetors and now, fuel injection
have brought us closer to 100% combustion than ever before.
This gadget can't possibly give 40% better mileage because there is NOWHERE near
40% unburned fuel. If there were, your exhaust would probably peel the paint off the car behind you, and city dwellers would long since have died off from lipid pneumonia.
Internal combustion engine have relatively poor efficiency because even though they do burn their fuel nearly completely, most of the heat from that combustion is rejected through the engine's cooling system and exhaust pipe. It's the HEAT that makes power, by expanding the gases in the cylinder and creating pressure. If we could make an engine that would run reliably at 500° F, it would get much better mileage. But we don't presently have materials and lubricants that will hold up at such temperatures.
There are people working on ceramic engines, and other approaches at high-temperature operation, but there is no magic bullet.
If anyone tells you that their magic bolt-on gadget will give you 40% better mileage, they are trying to snow you, no buts about it.
My response was as follows:
I agree. Now go to the top of my Newsletter page and read the first paragraph.
There, Greg would find the following:
I would like to make sure you understand that the Hydrogen-Boost System is a system, not just a device. Though the installation of a hydrogen gas generator will increase the mileage of most vehicles by a considerable amount, usually 15-25% or more, the system that accounts for 50% to 100% increases in mileage includes the implementation of the numerous maintenance and driving recommendations outlined in the operator's manual. No simple device could give 50% to 100% increases in mileage. If we had such a device we would sell it for $5000 or more and it wouldn't be long before the vested interests in the automobile and petroleum industries would find a way to close us down.
The Complete System
The Hydrogen-Boost system is a culmination of comprehensive ongoing research that takes the best of all gas mileage enhancement devices and concepts and brings them together in a unified symbiotic system. The Hydrogen-Boost system is not a fuel delivery system only, but utilizes components that reduce inefficiency caused by many other parts of the automobile. Let’s start off by looking at a schematic that I found a couple years ago on the web:
Chevron Technical Bulletin
Fuel Economy of Gasoline Vehicles
Fuel economy focuses on the energy in gasoline that's converted to work at the wheels. But it's also informative to look at the energy that's lost. This alternative view provides insight into how fuel economy might be improved by design changes. The gasoline internal combustion engine is relatively inefficient. In an actual driving cycle, it
converts 62 percent of the chemical energy in gasoline to heat and only 38 percent to mechanical energy. And only about one-third of the mechanical energy reaches the wheels to do useful work (Figure 2).
The energy losses show that the potential routes to better fuel economy involve:
Increasing the thermal efficiency of the engine
Decreasing energy losses within the vehicle
Decreasing the work needed to move the vehicle
Simplified Vehicle Energy Balance 2
Passenger Car in EPA Urban Cycle (FTP 75)
It is important to note that this chart is for a “Passenger Car in EPA Urban Cycle (FTP 75)” which is probably quite typical for our daily driving but not necessarily applicable to all driving conditions. But for discussion this is the best place to start.
Waste Engine Heat
In the chart above notice that 62% of the energy in the gasoline is converted to waste engine heat. This waste can be reduced in a number of ways and by a number of the components of the Hydrogen-Boost system. One way to reduce this waste is to shut off the engine when it is not being used to move the car, like when it is sitting at a traffic light or in stopped traffic. This technique is considered by some to be extreme but did you know that the Toyota Prius hybrid automobile does this automatically? Whether you implement this technique will depend on your personal preferences and more likely on your need for air conditioning on hot days.
Other ways to minimize the waste engine heat is to improve the fuel delivery system so that more of the fuel delivered to the engine is completely vaporized. The Hydrogen-Boost system utilizes a fuel heater and a vaporization circuit and canister to accomplish this. The fuel heater does this in two ways on most vehicles. Heating the fuel that is injected insures that more of what is injected will vaporize, and heating the fuel that returns to the tank causes more vapors in the tank that are routed to the intake by the vapor lines already installed on most modern cars (some by way of a charcoal canister).
Another way to minimize the waste engine heat is to process the fuel going into the intake so that it will combust quicker and earlier in the power stroke, thereby getting more work out of the fuel delivered to the engine. There are a couple devices that are being tested by Hydrogen-Boost that claim to do this. Both of these devices were obtained from HIMAC Research in Niagara Falls, Ontario (www.himacresearch.com). The first device is called the power cube, which is a high voltage high frequency generator that sends a signal to an antennae system installed on the spark plug wires. The claim is that the electromagnetic energy is transferred to the spark plug center electrode which acts as an antennae, which transfers the energy to the fuel molecules, which prepares the molecules for ignition by giving them part of the activation energy needed to react with the oxygen in the combustion chamber. This device is currently being tested and we may or may not have results to report before this newsletter goes out.
The second device is called the Condensator or PCV jar. This container is placed in the hose between the PCV valve and the intake manifold and claims to have a catalyst inside that can break down the blow-by gases that pass through into more volatile fuel. Whether the catalyst actually does what is claimed is being tested, but one obvious function of the Condensator is separation of the oily hydrocarbons from the blow-by gasses. When these dirty hydrocarbons (oil mixed with partially burned hydrocarbons) are prevented from going back into the intake manifold, the result is a cleaner fuel/air mix and a cleaner combustion chamber. The Condensator is especially needed when your engine’s compression rings are worn and when the PCV valve is not operating properly.
The hydrogen gas generator of the Hydrogen-Boost system enhances the fuel/air mixture by adding hydrogen gas and activated oxygen gas to the mix. The hydrogen will help spread the flame faster during the initial part of the combustion process and the activated oxygen is more active in attacking the fuel molecules for combustion. The result is a quicker burn of the fuel/air mix and more work produced because more of the burn is accomplished at the top of the power stroke where the combustion is actually pushing on the piston. By the time the piston gets more than half way down the power stroke it is no longer being pushed by the expanding gases. Fuel being combusted during the bottom half of the power stroke is only producing waste engine heat. This is one reason that most internal combustion engines are more efficient at doing work when they are operated at lower RPM’s (1000 to 3000).
A driving technique that will help you get better fuel mileage is to operate your vehicle in the highest comfortable gear where the engine will run smoothly without shuddering or bucking, usually between 1000 and 2000 RPM unless you need quick acceleration or more power for going up hill. Check out the Hydrogen-Boost operator’s manual to learn how to do this with an automatic transmission. Read the December 2001 Newsletter for a report on results of experimentation with this technique.
A quick look at the chart above will give you ideas on how to reduce waste due to engine mechanicals. Many customers have mentioned to me the use of K&N Air Filters which are effective at reducing the resistance of air flow through the normal air filter. When I was young and stupid (wise as a teenager) I used to remove my air filter for this reason. After all, I drove mostly on paved roads and figured that I didn’t get a lot of dirt into my air intake, so why make that engine suck that air in through a piece of paper. Have you ever tried to run a mile race with a surgical mask on? Well the use of K&N Air filters will accomplish the same thing as removing the air filter except not quite as much or as fast. You can reduce the drag of the air filter but you can wear out your engine much quicker.
There is a good solution to this dilemma. Find a filter that is a low flow resistance filter that still filters the air as good as, or better than, the normal paper filter. There is one on the market and it is offered by AMSOIL. Please visit their site by going through www.hydrogen-boost.com/tech-info.html so I can get credit for your visit or purchase through their affiliate program. Better yet, go through my site and become an AMSOIL dealer and get 30% off your purchases.
While we’re talking about AMSOIL, let’s discuss how to reduce the engine friction. I recommend AMSOIL Series 2000 0w30 synthetic oil. This unique formula has a drain interval of 35,000 miles which will make up for its high cost (unless your engine burns a lot of oil). But to keep your oil clean for more than 1000 miles you will also want to install a “by-pass” oil filter. AMSOIL sell these for about $250 and others sell for as low as $120. They all require external plumbing, which I don’t particularly like. My choice is an $80 quasi “by-pass” filter put out by TRASKO that screws on where your regular filter screws on. The TRASKO is not quite as big as the others but is a lot simpler and cheaper to use. I am testing my first one on my Saturn. Even if you decide to use regular petroleum motor oil, I recommend the “by-pass” filter option to reduce wear and friction in your engine.
Also effective in reducing the friction inside the engine is the use of some of the engine treatments on the market. Let me tell you about my first test on engine treatments.
Back in the early 1980’s I flew a twin engine ultralight aircraft. I went to an air show/fly-in upstate New York and saw Slick-50 being demonstrated in a four-stroke engine without any oil. That was great except I had two-stroke engines on my ultralight. The salesman had an engine treatment for two stroke engines that was squirted into the intake during operation of the two-stroke engine. He suggested that I purchase two bottles but only treat one engine, saving the second bottle for after I was convinced of the effectiveness of the treatment. I did indeed treat one engine but never did the other because I misplaced the second bottle. By the time I flew home the treated engine had to be throttled back to about ¾ throttle to match the RPM’s of the untreated engine.
By the time I needed to rebuild the engines (three years later) the untreated engine needed rebuilding six month before the treated engine. I was convinced of the effectiveness of the Slick-50 treatment and have used engine treatments ever since. Just last year, however, I found out that the Slick-50 of the early 1980’s was not the same as the Slick-50 after 1985. The company apparently split up and one partner kept the Slick-50 name and subsequently sold a mixture of Teflon and oil, while the other partner kept the original formula which is now sold under the label of XCEL Plus, and a couple other minor labels.
I am still convinced of the effectiveness of the XCEL Plus formula and use it today in all my vehicles. It is available at the Hydrogen-Boost web site for the same retail price as from XCEL Plus directly. If you are going to purchase some, I encourage you to at least come through www.hydrogen-boost.com/tech-info.html so I can get my commission.
The last way to reduce engine mechanical energy waste is to reduce the use of accessories. Electrical radiator fans or thermostatic mechanical radiator fans are better than a solid mechanical fan. Fresh air venting is better than air conditioning. Lights off, except when needed, is better than lights on. Vented fresh air is better than forced (fan blown) circulated air.
Drive Train Mechanical
Any reduction of friction and drag in this category will cause a corresponding reduction in the fuel needed to produce the mechanical energy needed to overcome that friction and drag. When this mechanical energy is produced by an engine that is 20% efficient, it becomes very evident that any reduction in energy losses in these last two categories is most important. Many drivers are very critical about their choices of motor oils to reduce the friction in their engines, and then ignore the friction and drag in their drive trains. I have researched the topic and have found that many imported new cars use a light weight motor oil in their tranaxles instead of 75w90 gear oil. Also most drag racers use light weight synthetic oils in their transmissions and rear ends. I have replace my transaxle lubricants with the same AMSOIL Series 2000 0w30 synthetic oil with no adverse affects. Your choice of lubricants is up to you but I would at least recommend that you replace your drive train lubricants with an equivalent synthetic lubricant.
Another cause of drive train mechanical friction and drag is brakes. If your brakes are “hanging up” like a large percentage of them are, you should get them working properly. To test them, jack up your car and spin each wheel by hand while in neutral gear. If your wheel only revolves once before coming to a stop you have hanging brakes or some other serious problem. If you spin your tire by hand and get 5 revolutions before stopping, you have a good situation. If you have hanging brakes, get a competent mechanic to free them up so they work properly.
Of course driving techniques explained in the Hydrogen-Boost operator’s manual will help reduce the drive train mechanical energy losses. Some of these techniques include energy management with the proper use of coasting and potential energy-vs-kinetic energy exchange. When using these techniques you will not use the brakes as much, thereby maintaining the energy of the moving vehicle and using it to bring you down the road instead of using excess fuel to do so.
Energy at the Wheels
Even in this section of the chart there are ways to reduce the energy needed to move your vehicle down the road. The most important is also the most controversial, and that is proper tire inflation pressure. A comprehensive article was written in our newsletter a couple months ago and should be referenced if you want to argue with the following statement. I recommend that drivers, when checking their tire pressure at a station on a relatively warm day, inflate their tires to a pressure of 50 PSI. Most drivers operate their vehicles on dangerously under-inflated tires and don’t understand the label on the side of the tire. A driver can check his tire pressure at certain times and read 35 PSI on the gauge and have dangerously under-inflated tires, even though the tire’s sidewall label says “maximum 35 PSI.” Read the February 2002 Newsletter article to find out why.
Other ways to reduce the energy losses in this category are to get rid of excess weight carried in the vehicle and clean up the outside by not carrying extra bike or roof racks and ornamental drag inducing devices (some spoilers). To see how much this matters, read the May 2001 Newsletter.
The Hydrogen-Boost system includes components and maintenance techniques that reduce the wasted energy in all categories of the chart above. Together with the driving tips in the operator’s manual the use of the Hydrogen-Boost system can easily improve highway mileage by over 50% and city mileage by as much as 100%. Ongoing research is being done to further improve the mileage capabilities of your vehicle. Keep in touch by reading future newsletters and visit www.hydrogen-boost.com for updates on our technology.
By the way, Gord was not entirely correct about efficiency of the internal combustion engine. The efficiency is not directly proportional to the completeness of the burn before exiting the tail pipe. An engine that burns the fuel early in the power stroke will be much more efficient than an engine that burns most of the fuel in the latter half of the power stroke and in the catalytic converted, even when both have the same tail pipe temperature.
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