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So GM, you no longer need to develop the ICE or the battery pack, just license them, along with the electric motor, from Bosch Rexroth:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/04/capstone-turbin.html#more

"In the DesignLine application, the MicroTurbine powers an auxiliary power unit (APU) to maintain an approximately 40 kWh battery pack at a medium state of charge."
"The buses use two Bosch Rexroth 120 kW traction motors, and come in 30-, 35- and 40-foot models. The Capstone MicroTurbine can run on a range of fuels, including natural gas, biogas, diesel, propane or kerosene."
 

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Here is the link from the old forum talking about the microturbine range extender:

http://gm-volt.com/volt-discussion/?forum=5&topic=160&search=1&value=turbine%1&ret=all

Too bad the link for the picture of the EV1 with the microturbine gen-set does not work. It shows how forward-thinking they were way back when. I think one the lead engineers on the EV1 program is working for the Rocky Mountain Institute. Very smart dude.
 

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Not the Capstone

I've read about those busses. That Capstone Genset is not small or light. Fine for a bus, but not practical for a car. However i do like the idea of using a 2 or 3 stage microturbine with cogeneration as the gen set for an EREV. I dont think GM is going to do that because thats probably to much of a leap for most people to take.

I own an RX-8 and i know that sales of that car have been hurt by myths and rumors about the engine. I dont think that the average joe is going to be willing to take the leap and buy not only a whole new drivetrain, but also a new engine type that no-one outside of a few people in GM will be able to work on.

I would buy one in a hearbeat. but I think for the initial offering GM's phasing in of new/new combinations of technologies a solid business plan.

People dont buy what they dont (think they) understand. And most people dont really understand turbine engines.
 

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Well, I was not entirely serious about GM stopping the Volt development, just thought that the article was interesting and that the E-REV concept is also moving to bigger vehicles. Maybe this would be a good concept also for 18-wheelers and bigger trucks and vans. Before this I was thinking they would not be able to use hybrid technology because the batteries were not cheap enough. But if you think of the batteries only for the peak power, then this would work.
 

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Agreed. I think some brave soul will have to do a garage conversion and prove out the concept by driving around the country showing how well it performs (if it's that much better). Lately, because of the work of the Rocky Mountain Institute, I have been concentrating more on the weight of components. An advanced microturbine gen-set could potentially be very light and small. Might sound like the batmobile but is that a bad thing? ;)
 

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$$$$

Been toying with the Idea of converting my motorcycle to electric, and using an RC microturbine (very small) hooked to a generator as a range extender. I think the small size of a microturbine is the only practical RE for a motorcycle. Even using an innefficent single stage (about the same efficiency as a ICE) I think it could work. The main problem would be where to route the exhaust cause it would be HOT.

I believe between myself and some of the other engineers i work with that i could assemble enough brain power to make it happen.

However turbines are super spendy. And the best manufacturers are in England so the weak dollar is not helping. So baring a winning lottery ticket, It will just be a dream for now.

However if i was going to do a car, i would probably pick a truck. One, because i need a truck, and two because there is more room in the engine comparment for the additional hardware. But i still think that some of the RC turboprops are the right size and power for a vehicle application.

Anyone know how much power is required to maintain 65mph in a ford ranger??
 

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Been toying with the Idea of converting my motorcycle to electric, and using an RC microturbine (very small) hooked to a generator as a range extender. I think the small size of a microturbine is the only practical RE for a motorcycle. Even using an innefficent single stage (about the same efficiency as a ICE) I think it could work. The main problem would be where to route the exhaust cause it would be HOT.
You might try an exhaust system design that uses a Pitot / Venturi method of drawing ambiant air into the exhaust to cool the exhaust ahead of expelling it.
 

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Here is the link from the old forum talking about the microturbine range extender:
http://gm-volt.com/volt-discussion/?forum=5&topic=160&search=1&value=turbine%1&ret=all

Too bad the link for the picture of the EV1 with the microturbine gen-set does'nt work.
It shows how forward-thinking they were way back when...
I 've posted the pic of the EV1 with the microturbine gen-set that I posted in the old forum.
Heres a Wiki link for the EV1 with the microturbine gen-set:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV-1#EV1_series_hybrid
 

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Guy, Great read. Thanks. Should be required reading by any hybrid or EV fan. Anyway, I copied the following from the article. Amazing how close they were so many years ago.


"EV1 series hybrid

EV1 series hybrid prototype at EVS-16 in Beijing, 1999The series hybrid prototype[36] had a gas turbine engine APU placed in the trunk. A single-stage, single-shaft, recuperated gas turbine unit with a high-speed permanent-magnet AC generator was provided by Williams International; it weighed 220 lb (99.8 kg), measured 20 inches (50.8 cm) in diameter by 22 inches (55.9 cm) long and was running between 100,000 and 140,000 rpm. The turbine could run on a number of high-octane[citation needed] alternative fuels, from octane-boosted gasoline to compressed natural gas. The APU started automatically when the battery charge dropped below 40% and delivered 40 kW of electrical power, enough to achieve speeds up to 80 mph (128.8 km/h) and to return the car's 44 NiMH cells to a 50% charge level.

A fuel tank capacity of 6.5 gallons (24.6 l) and fuel economy of 60 to 100 mpg (3.9 to 2.4 L/100 km) in hybrid mode, depending on the driving conditions, allowed for a highway range of more than 390 miles (627.6 km). The car accelerated to 0-60 mph (96.6 km/h) in 9 seconds.

There was also a research program[37] that powered the series hybrid Gen2 version from Stirling engine based generator. The program demonstrated the technical feasibility of such drivetrain, but concluded that commercial viability was out of reach at that time.
"
 

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Fossil fuels powering micro-turbines? Aside from hydrogen,(which currently is prohibitively expensive to produce)the other fuels WILL run out eventually.Everyone needs to recognize the threat that Big Oil presents to the world economically and politically.ICE technology is not the solution, it is the problem. The quicker we get off oil and non-renewable fuels the better. If you've ever been to Wyoming and seen the thousands of wind turbine generators, you can admit to the viability of electric powered vehicles using renewable power sources.
 

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diversity and flexibility

One of the many things I feel makes a turbine valuable is that it can run on many different fuel types. Even if its designed to run on gasoline, it could (possibly) run on ethanol, syngas, bio-butanol, and others. If the objective is to get off of petroleum, then having the versatility of a turbine goes a long way.
 
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