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GM Seeks Patents To Harvest Vehicle Engine Heat

4291 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bonaire
GM is hoping to increase the efficiency of their combustion engine cars by recapturing some of the emitted heat. The post below shows how they are thinking of doing this. Short answer: shape memory materials that change shape at different temperatures.
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>> According to GM, this technique can currently improve fuel efficiency by 3 percent

Ah, yes. But so could some of these:
- proper tire inflation and then 2-3 psi harder than recommended.
- driving 5mph slower on the highway.
- better aerodynamics rather than "sharp designs"

3% is very very little. 22 mpg with 3% improvement is 22.66 mpg. It will affect the MSRP by adding in the costs of this additional engineering. For the consumer, the added cost will not be realized as return on investment.

ICE engines are just inefficient. And people want "high horsepower" vehicles. We should hire psychologists to talk people down from their wants and establish some reasonable, responsible thinking patterns.
The new technology of heat regen at 3% or so is never going to go into the national fleet, due to patents, at much of a scale. The eAssist can become a new norm-of-car-manufacturer just like differentials and windshield wipers. An eAssist vehicle's technology is simple and utilizes already-viable technology techniques. Hybridization of cars does add to costs but then they reduce again due to cost-of-scale when you produce 10 Million vehicles a year can add up quickly. eAssist and similar technology could help the national vehicle mpg averages grow by 3-5 by 2020 (SUV and CUV adoption should be included).
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