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Old 03-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #62
l'oiseau
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,154
I think that companies will use technologies which they think they can make money on. How do I know this? Because the technologies already exist to increase efficiency but no one will just implement it willy nilly. Companies in transport tend to be very conservative.

Government regulations and grants from the DOE drive a lot of the actual development. So in essence our tax dollars pay for development of technologies that may or may not be implemented. They are only used if there are profit margins.

In terms of impossibilities, there are limits. The laws of thermodynamics aren't easily broken, actually never, even in the quantum world AFAIK (other than realizing that mass is energy). When dealing with heat engines, which is what every fossil fuel (and nuclear) powered power plant, jet, car, truck, generator, etc is, you deal with that fundamental efficiency up front. And it's all downhill from there. Every improvement has just been minimizing those losses.

You want to know the really odd thing? Almost all of the technology that is used on fossil fuel powered machines was thought of in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The rest has just been the technical challenge of implementation, manufacture, and materials.

So if you are expecting miracles, I suggest you get a college level Thermodynamics book and calculate out the efficiency of a Carnot, Brayton, Otto and Diesel Cycle. I could tell you what the numbers are but they aren't what you might think. That is the best we can do without going in a completely different direction.

Last edited by l'oiseau; 03-05-2014 at 08:38 PM..
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