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Why No Turbine Powered Cars?  
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

As piston power is fairly inefficient, why have manufacturers never really botherd to invest in making a turbine powered car ?.

Not talking huge jet powered things like Thrust SSC or that thing that Richard Hammond crashed.

From what I know of a/c engines, turbines only have one moving part and are much more efficient in turning the fuel into power as very little power is lost in the movement of the engine.

Surely the technology is there to produce a small turbine that would be able to power a vehicle.

 Smile


"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3763 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3314 times:

It might surprise you, but this was actually tested in the 70s, and believe it or not, piston engines are much more suited for cars.

Airplanes tend to cruise at the same RPM for a long time, while cars must speed up and down all the time. Turbine engines are bad at speeding up and down compared to piston engines. You can easily speed up a piston engine very fast, while it takes some time for Turbine engines.

Of course, you could use a turbine to power an electric engine for a car, but this is highly inefficient.

Also, a Diesel engine is, in fact, a very efficient engine. Just because the piston engine principle is old does not mean it is outdated.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12281 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3314 times:
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Noise and speed control come to mind. I would imagine it being hard to control the speed, and where would the HOT exhaust go?

It has been done though. Not a success  Smile Love the sound on the webpage, and can you imagine smelling Jet A-1 while driving...mmmm Big grin

http://www.turbinecar.com/turbine.htm


http://www.familycar.com/Classics/ChryslerTurboCar.htm



“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2):
and can you imagine smelling Jet A-1 while driving...mmmm

aaahhhh man thatd be heaven!! My fave part of any airport is standing behind the active take off runway and smelling the fuel as it burns when they take off.

Isnt a fair bit of energy wasted as heat in a jet engine though?

Rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1412 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3301 times:

Try the following web site and you will see that the Rover cars produced a jet powered car in 1950 , but it never went into general production

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...march/8/newsid_2516000/2516271.stm

littlevc10


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3292 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 1):
Airplanes tend to cruise at the same RPM for a long time, while cars must speed up and down all the time. Turbine engines are bad at speeding up and down compared to piston engines. You can easily speed up a piston engine very fast, while it takes some time for Turbine engines.

So much so that with the first German jets, the Arado bomber had (then) acceptable engine life, because of limited throttle changes whereas the Me262 with basically the same engines had no end of trouble because of the demands for throttle change and accompanying wear of the engines.

Quoting VC10 (Reply 4):
Try the following web site and you will see that the Rover cars produced a jet powered car in 1950 , but it never went into general production

The rather lousy fuel consumption they quote was probably with the version that had a complex heat recovery system using, IIRC glass beads. Another problem was the lag on acceleration, apparently it was very difficult to drive out of a corner. Nothing much happened as it spooled up and then all hell was let loose.

It is a pity the main account seems only to be the contemporaneous "gee whiz this is new" sort of article.

Rover's association with gas turbines was problematical to say the least. They were designated by the UK Government to deal with Power Jets and Sir Frank Whittle, but made such a pig's breakfast of it during WWII, that the main work was taken over to RR. Whittle's autobiog is quite revealing on the subject.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12281 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3289 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Baroque (Reply 5):
The rather lousy fuel consumption they quote was probably with the version that had a complex heat recovery system using, IIRC glass beads. Another problem was the lag on acceleration, apparently it was very difficult to drive out of a corner. Nothing much happened as it spooled up and then all hell was let loose.

Reading the Chrysler site, it seemed like it worked really good, but was killed by treehuggers because of too much Nitrous Oxide emissions



“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offline777DadandJr From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1516 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2):
where would the HOT exhaust go?



Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 3):
Isnt a fair bit of energy wasted as heat in a jet engine though?

This was a bit obstacle to overcome. I remember reading an article some time ago about the Chrysler Turbine of 1963. It was said that at idle the temperature of the exhaust emitted from the tailpipe was in excess of 500 degrees!

Wouldn't want to step off the curb in sandals behind one of those puppies!

Russ  wave 



My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3229 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2):
Love the sound on the webpage, and can you imagine smelling Jet A-1 while driving

That sounds great. I'd love to hear that humming along every morning. IIRC you could run a diesel car on Jet A-1 without any modifications. A guy I used to know used to fuel his Renault 5 GT Turbo with Av-Gas then take it for a blast down the runway at RAF Linton-on-Ouse !!.

Surely though the turbine technology has come a long way since those cars back in the 60's/70's that could make it a viable alternative when combined with electric motors.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1525 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3219 times:

But what would happen when a car turned left and the jet flow hitted against pedestrians?

User currently offlineSv2008 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3218 times:

Quoting 777DadandJr (Reply 7):
the temperature of the exhaust emitted from the tailpipe was in excess of 500 degrees!

Gas from a piston engine can be as much as 800'C - although a smaller amount, and it cools a bit before leaving the car.

I think lack of low speed torque was a problem too, something you need for cars.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3212 times:

I'm surprised this didn't get a mention:
http://www.indy500.com/news/story.php?story_id=1923
http://www.autodrome-cannes.com/indy67_grid_parnelli_jones.jpg

Personally, I'd love to have:
http://962.com/events/FOW_day/fullimages/DSC_0009.jpg
With a PT6 in it!!!

It's not a car, but I'd also love to have:


User currently offlineSv2008 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3201 times:

^Those cars are turbine/electric hybrid presumably?

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3763 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3196 times:

Not a "car" in this respect, but worth mentioning is the M1 tank, which also uses a gas turbine. As far as I know, there are no real advantages compared to a big Diesel for a tank.

User currently offlineSv2008 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3189 times:

Only power to weight ratio presumably, but they would have many other disadvantages.

User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 6):
Reading the Chrysler site, it seemed like it worked really good, but was killed by treehuggers because of too much Nitrous Oxide emissions

Well if you read the Rover stuff it is all gee whiz - wonderful. But the realities were a bit different. One of histories great ideas that on further examination was not that great. Mind you, Rover and turbines had not gone well previously, so that might have been one extra problem.


User currently offlineDuff44 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

Quoting Sv2008 (Reply 12):
^Those cars are turbine/electric hybrid presumably?

The top one and the boat are straight turbine drive... no electric.

The Nissan has a V6 twin-turbo

How about a turbine motorcycle?
http://www.marineturbine.com/motorsports.asp

320HP Roll-Royce Allison 250 series gas turbine, top speed appx. 227mph/365kph


One big problem with turbine power is heat. You don't want to be touching an exhaust that's at 1700º or whatever it is.



I'll rassle ya for a bowl of bacon!
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

Didn´t checker sell a turbinecar?

User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3124 times:

The turbine delay was about 5 to 10 seconds. They took a while to start moving after you hit the gas.

Mark


User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

Part of Sonntag's (Rep 2) pretty well sums it up. Turbines are efficient at steady throttles and they also take time to throttle arrive.

The general demands of automotive performance (with some exceptions, say, WOT at Indy as per the Granatelli car, save execution demands for a wreck or ingress/egress pits), requires constant throttle changes expecting constant and immediate vehicle responses in daily driving. Turbines are poorly responsive in this area, and even if perhaps a 20+ speed transmission or equivalent power-transfer program were engineered to enhance a turbine's plus/minus fuel flow were perfected, I would think that the cost/weight etc would still result in a minus in the total efficiency spectrum.

Many years ago, myself and a couple others designed and packaged a small constant RPM turbine (a Williams unit, IIRC) as an APU for luxury cars. The design intent was to completely eliminate all auxillary take-offs from the car's engine (alternator, water pump, power steering, brakes, electrical loads, etc, etc), so the engine would be free to power the car at whopping increase in torque and horsepower and much better mileage, but too many hiccups in the overall scheme lead us to turbocharging/supercharging and increased CIDs to make up for added power loads.

I would opine that even with today's technology, gas turbines in automobiles would rank on the same page as screen windows in submarines. Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3081 times:
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Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2):
where would the HOT exhaust go?

I was able to ride in a Chrysler Turbine car in the mid 90s just after the Museum of Transport in St. Louis got theirs running again. We didn't go far, just a few laps around the parking lot. The exhaust was incredibly hot and there was a lot of it compared to a regular car of the 60s. Just standing behind it for a short period was enough to break a sweat.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 18):
The turbine delay was about 5 to 10 seconds. They took a while to start moving after you hit the gas.

There was a bit of delay I recall, but since I wasn't driving I really didn't notice. I know the driver said it took some getting used to.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 17):
Didn´t checker sell a turbinecar?

I don't think so.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 6):
Reading the Chrysler site, it seemed like it worked really good, but was killed by treehuggers because of too much Nitrous Oxide emissions

That might be true. US federal emissions came in for 1971 and California had them in 1966 (I think). In the mid 60s emission controls were not a big deal, but if Chrysler was thinking for the future that would be a good reason to kill it off.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13200 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

Despite the relatively few parts involved with small turbines, they are very expensive, much more so than a piston engine. The extreme heat, very tight tolerances, the costly labor costs for the machining needed and the very expensive materials needed, along with pollution, fuel consumption, and other factors noted in previous posts, means that turbine powered cars or light trucks are impractical.

User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 11):
I'm surprised this didn't get a mention:
http://www.indy500.com/news/story.ph...=1923

Remember that race, the teams were complaining that the turbine car had an unfair advantage. Parnelli Jones was just cruising like he was out for an weekend drive, when the $6 part gave out, with 3 laps to go.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Gas turbines are only really efficient at their top rotation speeds. Ideally you'd want a turbine powering an alternator powering an electric motor to get any practical use out of it.

Even still fuel consumption is still poor. Though lower maintenance required is another advantage.


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6965 posts, RR: 76
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2979 times:

How about a constant speed turbine and a continuous variable transmission? *evil grin*

I wonder how good this would be for trucks...

As for the exhaust, well, make for some use of the heat... or diffuse it further.

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
25 N231YE : I don't know about the heat being that much of a problem. I remember reading an entire book on this car a while back, and it had heat exchangers in th
26 Glydrflyr : A very important issue not mentioned in any of these posts is the matter of braking in a turbine powered car. A recip engine in cars or trucks provide
27 Post contains images KaiGywer : Also known as an APU?
28 Baroque : The heat exchanger on the Rover was quite bulky (that is what the glass/ceramic beads were for) and IIRC the fuel consumption was still lousy.
29 Sv2008 : No, because it's not aux it is for the main engine. The problem with this arrangement is heavy batteries are needed to store the energy. This doesn't
30 Post contains images KaiGywer : Well, in an airplane. A jet engine used to power a generator though, is basically an APU However, what's the point?
31 Cptkrell : Glydrflr did bring up what I think is an additional important point; inherent engine braking (a point I might mention, totally lost with some naive po
32 N231YE : Very true. I wonder how many miles per gallon or litres per 100 km the car obtained? Its good that you mentioned that...I never knew that brakes and
33 Post contains links and images RJ111 : Gas turbines were once a viable option for train, and still are in some cases. But the rise in fuel prices has all but nullified this. This article sh
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