Gasoline-powered, internal combustion engines are notoriously inefficient. Some estimates say as much as 70 percent of the fuel's energy is lost to friction and heat. An Automotive News story has engineers saying that only three percent is due to friction. To engineers, that's a huge pot of low-hanging, fuel-efficiency fruit.
Over the years, General Motors has not often been seen as a forward-thinking company when it comes to green technologies. Sure, the Chevrolet Chevette was one of the first American cars to crack the 30 miles per gallon mark (the diesel model got north of 50 mpg). True, the EV-1 experiment showed some promising results (or, depending on who you ask, helped kill the electric car). But for the most part, The General has put most of its blood sweat and tears into basic, and not particularly breakthr
French start-up Heat2power has been making a little noise in the Hexagone thanks to a new technology that increases fuel mileage using heat energy otherwise dissipated via the exhaust pipe. There are others that use a similar system, but the company claims that their device captures even more energy. The basics include installing an additional cylinder linked to the crankshaft with a clutch that is powered by exhaust heat. The exhaust gases circulate inside a heat exchanger linked to a closed-ci
Not long ago, we reported that BMW was awarded a prize for installing a thermoelectric generator at the exhaust pipe of a car. This device works under the Seebeck effect and generates electricity by the difference in temperatures. Although we can't use the generator to fill up our hybrid batteries, we can use one to produce about 30 percent of the electricity a car needs when running. A new prototype, shown at "Thermoelektrik - Eine Chance Für Die Atomobillindustrie?" meeting, generated abo
BMW has won an ÖkoGlobe award for the second straight year. The award was presented to the Bavarian automaker for its work on a thermoelectric generator. Um, what's that? Basically, using a process known as the Seebeck effect, electricity can be generated by a difference in temperatures. All right, fine... who cares? Under the hood of every car ever sold that has an internal combustion engine, a huge amount of heat is generated while the engine creates power to drive the vehicle. In fact, o