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When the mods are too radical?

  #1  
Old 06-16-2006, 08:16 AM
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Question When the mods are too radical?

Hi,

I just installed a receiver hitch on my Prius and given the variable nature of tow loads, will stop recording those data points. But I have some more radical modification in mind that will significantly change my NHW11 Prius mileage.

When I put in these changes, I'm thinking about stopping mileage reporting on my "03 Prius", basicly 'retiring' it, and then starting a new vehicle, "03 Prius Rev. D". This vehicle will have significant changes from the stock Prius so its performance won't be easily (if at all) repeatable. Comments?

The modificaitions I'm planning are:
  1. engine and transmission, plug in heater
  2. transmission pan 'cozy'
  3. automatic variable radiator air inlet
  4. aerodynamic tune-up
  5. turbo alternator
Items 1-4 should be done by my October, 1st year anniversary date and are well within the capabilities of any stock Prius. Item #5 is the biggie that should give me unusually good highway MPG.

So, is there any problem with "03 prius Rev. D" showing up this fall?

Thanks,
Bob Wilson
 
  #2  
Old 06-16-2006, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: When the mods are too radical?

If I read you correctly, you want to know if your 1st gen Prius will still be a valid contributor to the database?

Several folks have done #1-4 and contribute in the usual categories. I don't think the delta is all that significant to invalidate their (your) input - as long as you annotate it in your car profile so folks can find why your mpg may be different.

As for #5, that may put the car out of the norms? I think the more appropriate category for recording FE once you have done that mod is the 'nonhybrid' list?
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-2006, 09:45 AM
MPG FANATIC WITH GUZZLERS
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Default Good idea; it will be a "new" car.How much energy per hour?

Bob, that sounds like a good idea; it will be a "new" car, so treat it like a new car. Just add a second car to your "cars."
Do you remember a short blurb here about some Brits developing a turbo alternator?Do you have any idea how much energy you could extract per 5 minutes .The Prius-2006- will show up to 200 watt-hr per 5 minutes; what sort of ball park energy do you expect to recover? Maybe 100-200 watt hrs per hour?
I will be watching your turbo alternator closely.I'm going to have to force myself to become more electrically adept, if I'm going to "steal" all theses great ideas I see here.
Have at it.Luck,Charlie
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-2006, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: When the mods are too radical?

I think you should keep it as the same car, as technically you'll be counted twice if you add a new one. It would be a good idea for us to add an option to the database to take your car out of the aggregate statistics for things like this. Hopefully we should be able to do this during the next big update.
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-2006, 10:55 AM
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Talking Re: When the mods are too radical?

Originally Posted by Jason
I think you should keep it as the same car, as technically you'll be counted twice if you add a new one. It would be a good idea for us to add an option to the database to take your car out of the aggregate statistics for things like this. Hopefully we should be able to do this during the next big update.
That works for me.

But if you are taking suggestions, I'd like to see someway that we keep the historical records, over a year, but not include them in the 'current' performance metrics. Over time, this will 'retire' but not eliminate the vehicles that were sold, the "one trick pony" and the inactive entries. This would also handle my modifications as well as 'retire' my "learning curve" entries (aka., the first 290 miles at 39 MPG.)

Bob Wilson
 
  #6  
Old 06-16-2006, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: When the mods are too radical?

Bob,

There have been repeated conversations about deactivating old cars and the conclusion always drawn for multiple reasons is that it's a bad idea.
 
  #7  
Old 06-16-2006, 11:36 AM
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Wink Re: When the mods are too radical?

Hi,

My goal is to come up with some fair way to represent these modifications and reflect them in the car without "gaming the system." For example, one of the gas advocates implemented a full belly pan yet there were gas advocates who appeared willing to ignore the nature of these modification to make an unsubstantiated claim. To a lessor extent, we've had the manual vs. automatic problem with our desiel friends and some of the gas advocates. But something we've not really addressed is "magic driving" or operating the vehicle outside of some set of undefined normal and in some cases, illegal modes.

I don't care what is used to improve performance PROVIDED there is full and open disclosure. I think it is a good idea to try these hardware and software experiments and share the results. They may or may not be picked up in the future but at least we know instead of dealing with idle speculations or unreproducable results.

Originally Posted by gonavy
. . .
As for #5, that may put the car out of the norms? I think the more appropriate category for recording FE once you have done that mod is the 'nonhybrid' list?
Actually #5 is what I anticipate the 3d generation hybrids being (or 4th if you consider plug-in EV mode as 3d generation.) It effectively becomes a compound engine where the wasted exhaust energy is being recovered back into the drive train. Consider what would happen if I kept the turbine in as a turbo-charger.

As a turbo-charger, there would be no question that it remains a hybrid-electric although now something called a Miller cycle. But let's go one step beyond and further increase the intake valve opening and let the turbo-compressor provide the higher power range. So instead, my Prius becomes a 50 hp, non-blown ICE but with the turbo-charger, back to a 70 hp engine. I've increased the thermal dynamic ICE efficiency at lower power by saving the compression energy and use the turbo-charger to supply the additional compression.

Another option is running the turbo-charger air into an 'air motor' coupled to the engine and increase the engine power. (Alternatively, it could pass through a venturi and jet out the back.) Regardless, it is now a pneumatic-coupled, compound engine.

What I'm proposing to do in #5 is make it an electricly coupled, compound engine and avoid having to add an 'air motor' or other air handling plumbing.

BTW, one other option of a turbo-charger is I could use the vaccum to implement laminar flow suction at critical points. This would not modify the hybrid-electric mechanism at all but suddenly the Cd might take a dramatic nose dive.

There needs to be a fair demarcation and notification of modification and I'm happy to keep my modified Prius in the line-up with some annotation that indicates "user modification." This is fair because it shows the base car yet documents the changes an individual can achieve.

But if because of my modifications, my hybrid-electric car mileage can no longer be considered as part of GreenHybrid.com, why should I stay? Would you stay if your mileage didn't count?

These modification have not been implemented, yet. But you may have noticed, I'm not prone to idle speculation. I'll let folks know my progress but if we reach a point where I announce a modification and it is declared "dead," . . . we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Bob Wilson
 
  #8  
Old 06-16-2006, 12:31 PM
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Talking Re: When the mods are too radical?

Originally Posted by bwilson4web
. . . I'll let folks know my progress but if we reach a point where I announce a modification and it is declared "dead," . . . we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Upon further reflection, we won't have to cross that bridge. If announcement of modifications is the problem, then I don't have to announce them . . . here.

Problem solved.

Bob Wilson
 
  #9  
Old 06-16-2006, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: When the mods are too radical?

Bob,

That definitely isn't something that anyone wants. I didn't mean to say that you couldn't be a part of the database -- I only meant that when the final mileage figure for a model was calculated based on the average of all cars, any miles assisted by significant third-party modifications would skew the results. Therefore, although all your information would be available for the community and your data would remain on the website, only the mileage figure on the main page would not include the vehicle.
 
  #10  
Old 06-16-2006, 06:56 PM
MPG FANATIC WITH GUZZLERS
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Default Use steam-total loss system.

Bob, rather than hanging a turbine in the exhaust gas, maybe you could put a radiator grill in the exhaust-maybe put it in a bypass loop that could be mec hanically activated.You could put a well insulated 6 gallon water tank in the engine bay-maybe have it radiate into the radiator( good for your radiator variable air intake).Fill the tank when you go on a long trip-no point in carrying the extra weight-after 10 or so minutes of driving the water should be at 200 degrees or so.Draw it from the bottom of the tank-under some pressure-and run it thru the exhaust gas "radiator".It should get very hot and flash to steam which you will then direct thru your turbine alternator.
The advantage over having a turbine in the exhaust is the turbine won't be exposed to 1200+ degrees, and the actual plumbing will be simpler.You could also get your steam from very close to the exhaust valve.It won't "plug' the exhaust track as much either.You will also be using some of the wasted energy from the "regular radiator" also.
The disadvantage is you will be carrying 50 lbs of water, and I'm not sure how much energy you can get from 50 lbs of steam at 500 or so degrees.
The water would just be lost-too complicated to attempt to condense and reuse it.If just used for hy trips, the extra water weight won't be too big a deal.Luck,Charlie
 

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