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Engine Efficiency: More = Better

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Ordinarily I don't like to link to things that I find on other sites that link to things, but this one deserves a comment. I found on slashdot.org a link to a new hybrid engine that BMW has put out: the turbosteamer!

We learn in basic physics we learn that your average automobile engine is roughly 20% efficient. That is to say that 20% of the potential energy from the fuel is actually converted for actual use, while 80% is lost... often to heat.

Capturing that heat would raise the efficiency of an engine. A way to do that with our current fondness for the internal combustion engine is, according to BMW, to trap that heat and add a secondary steam engine to the vehicle! The estimate this adds 15% efficiency to the engine system.

Very, very cool.

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