Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aerodynamics Gets Noticed - Again!

August 26th, 2009: Next-gen trailer aerodynamics project gets $500,000!

New York State has made available nearly $500,000 to ATDynamics to continue development of next-generation trailer aerodynamics, the company has announced.

The Article - In Fleet Owner - goes on to say the the money was awarded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority - NYSERDA - which is a 50% Cost Share Match with ATDynamics.

Also on August 26th, 2009, was announced by cnet News - Green Tech: Hummer gets better than 100 mpg?
"The plug-in hybrid Hummer H3E by Raser Technologies actually gets better mileage than originally estimated."

"It plans to reduce the size of the battery pack so that the SUV gets the original target of all-electricity for the first 40 miles. By doing that, the company can reduce vehicle weight and make the SUV available to customers for a cheaper price, according to Raser."

On August 29, 2009, Autospies got a report out about:
The BMW That Will Change The Way Alt. Energy Vehicles Are Perceived: Vision EfficientDynamics

Down in the article - not quite 1/3rd the way down - comes the Headline of reference:
Aerodynamic qualities reflecting BMW’s Motorsport experience.
"BMW Vision EfficientDynamics also takes a new approach in its design and streamlining, the body and the interior clearly expressing the unique combination of supreme efficiency and the sporting performance of the brand. Following BMW’s design language, this concept car visualizes both highly efficient aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction."

All of the above is to say that Vehicle Aerodynamics are becoming more focused, and that the AeroCap Project is travelling along a path that is becoming more considered, and promoted by the Major Auto makers. Even General Motors admitted that they needed to clean up the aerodynamics of the Volt Prototype to get the desired 40 Miles per Charge thwy wanted!

Gas Mileage Update

Gas Mileage Figures from July 16th, 2009 to August 5th, 2009 on The Dodge Dakota with Aerocap (Mostly) on and one trip with it off.

The image shows the Average Fuel Efficency per Tank of Gas at refueling time. This includes any and all construction events over a course of 300 - over 600 Kms per tank, and of course hills, dips, trucks (Semi's), and other traffic issues. Also things like - stops for eating, detouring to a Berry Farm for Blueberries, and overnight sleeps, etc.

It should also be noted that the box was pretty filled with Camping Gear - Air Bed, Tent, Extra Camping Gear, Clothing, Booster Battery, Suitcases, etc.Gas Mileage performance Chart for Summer Trip

The Chart shows that the fuel efficiency values varied more with the short Trip up to the Barrie Area with the Cap Off, than they did on the whole trip through Windsor, Detroit, on to Chicago, and up to Oshkosh with a return the same way.

The Best Mileage was from the Pilot Travel Center in Michigan, to Toronto and then up the 404 to Richmond Hill, Ontario at 9.52 Litres per 100 Kms (LHK)!

The Figures for the leg from Benton Harbour to Oshkosh would likely have been lower as an all Highway travel figure, but it included about 4 days of camping, and driving back and forth about 10 minutes to the Travel Plaza for Breakfast, and again for Supper each day. Since the city performance is more weight related than aerodynamics, this skewed the figures lower than they would have been if I filled up at the travel plaza on arriving in Oshkosh on the 28th of July. Still they managed to be at 10.96 LHK for that run.

The Generally worst leg, for some reason, was from Windsor Sunoco, trough Detroit (Parked at the Wayne County Airport for a week) and on to Benton Harbour, Michigan, at 12.29 LHK! Whereas, the leg from the Barrie Area on the weekend of the 18th of July, to Toronto was 10.70 LHK, and the leg from Oshkosh back to the Pilot Travel Center, in Battle Creek, Michigan got 10.74 LHK.

The Second Best Efficiency was from Toronto to Windsor with 10.35 LHK as the result.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

AeroCap Travels to Oshkosh, Wisconsin (Incognito) & Gets over 30 Mpg!

AeroCap Traveling 'Incognito' under a Green Tarp, Arrives at OshkoshBecause of the Delays in working on the Extruded Polystyrene foam, the sun bakes it and it starts to powder - so I covered it so as to last the time in the sun and make the trip to Oshkosh Wisonsin - about 1,000+ kms each way. I used a Green Tarp, and we simply taped it over the pink foam with Packing Tape.!

7.2 Litres per 100 Km - In a Dodge Dakota!
Even with the Green Tarp Over the AeroCap, it still looks pretty good, and delivers decent aerodynamics


Preliminary figures suggest good performance even with the un-even covering of the tarp over the foam! This first image of the Scangauge - taken while Driving shows 85 kph (about 52 mph) with the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor, as I understand it) showing just 17 - or very light on the throttle, delivering 7.2 Litres per 100 Kms fuel efficiency! That is like a little to mid-sized car - driven well! This is about 31.8 - 32 Mpg!

Just 9.0 Litres of Fuel per 100 KmsHere is a shot that shows just 9.0 Litres per 100 Km, while driving at 95 Kph, (about 57 Mph), with the TP"S - Throttle Position Sensor showing a reading of just 19 - or very light on the Throttle - fuel burn of just 8.6 Litres per Hour! (Now if the Ultralights could get that...!) This is 26.1 Mpg! That's as good as a Chevy Malibu Hybrid! (See the link - bottom of the article!)

When I can I will put together a Video of the ScanGuage display as I drive and post it. I need to make up some kind of steady hand bracket to hold the camera at the right place so I can just set it on record and drive. (Or - maybe convince somone to sit in the little jumps seats in the back and hold down a tripod with the camera on it!)