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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the possibilities of using a turbine engine rather than a piston engine in the volt to generate the electricity? It seems like a match made in heaven. A turbine engine is 2x as efficient as a piston engine weighs half as much and is much more compact. Not to mention far fewer moving parts. In theory you could at least double it's mpg while it's utilizing gas/e85 to keep the battery charged. I'm no expert on turbine engines though. Would this be possible? I know GM made and tested a turbine powered car, but it never worked all that well because of the variable speeds needed for a direct drive turbine car, but this seems like a match made in heaven. Your thoughts please
 

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It's been suggested by Jason and others, and even presented possible turbine and rotary type engines as excellent candidates because of the reasons you suggested. The idea is good only if we can find less polluting engines. One type of rotary engine that have excellent potential would be the new one patented by Moller. If worked as claimed, it will be a match made in heaven (you can search for posts of Jason Henler). As of now, most consider it as vaporware. Do you have any candidate turbine or rotary engines (must pass EPA pollution standards) in mind that are already out there?
 

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Jonathan is who you need to talk to:



Fast Company visited John's garage and found a 2005 Hummer H3 on jacks. John is going to put a 60,000 PRM, 1985, turbine, jet engine in the Hummer. The turbine engine will run on biodiesel or waste vegetable oil with a hydrogen-injector. John plans to make a series hybrid with this turbine engine. A beauty like that going to waste as a range extender? No, it charges a set of super capacitors in a matter of seconds, giving the car 600 horse power.

That's not all. Jon says "it'll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You'll be able to smoke the tires. And it's going to be superefficient. ... Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!"


http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/10/20/biodiesel-turbine-super-capacitor-series-hybrid-hummer-60/



Or how about this sweetness from Jay Leno? All that would be needed is to rip out the transmission, attach a very powerful generator to it, add some batteries and there you go. Don't have to worry about emissions because it runs on biofuel. This was done way back in 2006.








http://www.autoblog.com/2006/10/31/jay-lenos-bio-diesel-turbine-supercar-isnt-a-joke/
 

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Here you go. These Capstone turbines are already certified and used in buses



http://www.microturbine.com/prodsol/products/index.asp

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified Capstone Turbine Corp.'s (Nasdaq:CSPT) diesel-fueled microturbine power system for use in commercial hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

Using a CARB-approved cycle for testing emissions of microturbine systems, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of the 30-kilowatt Capstone MicroTurbine using common diesel No. 2 is 0.70 grams per brake horsepower-hour, more than 75% cleaner than the lowest-emitting CARB-certified heavy duty bus and truck diesel No. 2 engine.


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2001_March_21/ai_71961899


These engines will run for millions of miles not hundreds of thousands of miles. However, you better bring your pocketbook! Ouch. I bet someone will find a used turbine/gen unit and convert a Volt. Might not be cheap or cost effective but it sure would be cool! lol.
 

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I know we've talked about turbines in many threads, even on the old gm-volt.com forums.
So please forgive me if it seems like I'm beating a dead horse, but I love turbines.

GM actually built an EV1 turbine serial hybrid prototype, and it was cool.
EV1 Turbine Serial Hybrid

A turbine version of the Volt would be my dream car.
I'd run mine on peanut oil.
 

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Here you go. These Capstone turbines are already certified and used in buses



http://www.microturbine.com/prodsol/products/index.asp

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified Capstone Turbine Corp.'s (Nasdaq:CSPT) diesel-fueled microturbine power system for use in commercial hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

Using a CARB-approved cycle for testing emissions of microturbine systems, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of the 30-kilowatt Capstone MicroTurbine using common diesel No. 2 is 0.70 grams per brake horsepower-hour, more than 75% cleaner than the lowest-emitting CARB-certified heavy duty bus and truck diesel No. 2 engine.


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2001_March_21/ai_71961899


These engines will run for millions of miles not hundreds of thousands of miles. However, you better bring your pocketbook! Ouch. I bet someone will find a used turbine/gen unit and convert a Volt. Might not be cheap or cost effective but it sure would be cool! lol.
I wonder if this would be a good application for semi-trucks, which would recoup their money very quickly through freight hauling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
very cool

Thanks for the links and such. That was some very interesting and informative reading. It would seem the only reasonable reason not to use a turbine generator is the potential cost and I didn't see any specs on exactly how noisy/quiet they could be; which would also be an important factor for a passenger vehicle.

I was thinking range extender; because of the plug in electric vehicle aspect of the volt. That way you not using anything but electricity unless you go over the batteries range. In which case you would want the lightest, most compact, most efficient power plant possible. I just really like the idea of getting off of foreign oil. It just causes so many political and financial problems for everyone involved.

Making a super efficient super car is also a big plus, but doesn't seem to be the main purpose of the volt, but definitely an intriguing possibility for a different model of serial hybrid.
 

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Turbines are very small for the power they deliver. They don't make much noise. They are expensive. But they are less efficient than an ICE.

So, for milage, a micro-turbine is not good.
 

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They wont do it because its just too awesome.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
micro

After doing more research it would seem you are correct for now. The best micro turbines are only about as efficient as an ICE, but at a higher cost. I think with more need they will probably eventually seen efficiencies closer to they're larger turbine generator brothers that have reached efficiencies in the area of 46% for a single cycle generator at the top end; which is much more efficient than any ICE. Oh well still a little out of reach. The potential is there, but hasn't quite developed to the point that it'd be economical yet.
 

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Does anyone know who's making the Volt genset?
Also, where can I get specifications for the Volt genset?
As far as is known now, it will be a 4 cyl. turbocharged 1.4 Liter engine.
Excerpt from the links provided:
The initial Chevy Volt concept model had a 3 cylinder 1.0 L engine as the generator to keep the battery charged. The model with this engine suggested the vehicle would get 50 mpg when running beyond the 40 mile EV range. Recently we heard rumors on this point, neither confirmed nor denied, that GM might be considering a 4 cylinder 1.4 L engine instead.

Now GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed these rumors. The 1.4 L turbocharged ICE is expected to power the Chevy Cruze we’ve recently just seen photos of, the car Wagoner refers to as the next generation Chevy compact.

Wagoner answered the following question, among others posed of him by the Flint Journal, centered around the fact that GM was planning to built this engine’s assembly plant in Flint, Michigan:
http://gm-volt.com/2008/07/20/gm-ceo-confirms-4-cylinder-14-l-engine-being-considered-for-the-volts-range-extender/

http://gm-volt.com/2008/06/24/has-gm-increased-the-size-of-the-chevy-volts-ice-from-10-l-to-14-l-and-cylinders-from-3-to-4/
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Turbines are very small for the power they deliver. They don't make much noise. They are expensive. But they are less efficient than an ICE.

So, for milage, a micro-turbine is not good.
My understanding is that turbines have a bad rep for mpg, but that slam (while true) is due to the constantly changing rpm. Given a constant RPM, they are much more efficient than an ICE. If you have some links addressing this with test data I'd be interested in reading them. Heard (and participated) in this before with no hard data.
 

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Its just so cool.

If you have some links addressing this with test data I'd be interested in reading them.
EV1 series hybrid
The series hybrid prototype had a gas turbine engine APU (auxiliary power unit) 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 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.
I know I'm always harping on the EV1 Series Hybrid Electric but I can't help it, I just think it was so cool.
_-=
 

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Guy Incognito where did you get the EV1 series hybrid pic?
I've been searching for it all over the place. Please let me know.
 

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That's what I don't get. GM has already developed a serial hybrid that gets 60 to 100mpg. This hybrid will even run off of NG. What is it that makes a turbine so expensive to make? If it's volume GM could drive down the price of them the same way that the price of batteries is going to go down.

What gives? When Toyota came out with their hybrid the writing was on the wall.
 
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