View Full Version : Man builds 100 mpg engine using 200-year-old technology

The One
16th June 2016, 07:49
Yes, I know... it's FOX news, but i think it maybe a legit story.

Josh "Mac" MacDowell of San Antonio Texas had a brilliant idea. He took a Stirling engine, a type of engine developed 200 years ago, and added some 21st-century technology to it. The result is a hybrid electric car so efficient that you never have to stop to recharge, reports Houston's KHOU11.

The centerpiece of MacDowell's innovation is the Stirling engine, which was created in 1816. The closed-cycle air engine uses the expansion of hot air and the compression of cold air to generate the power needed to drive an engine. Unlike steam engines which utilize a similar principal, the Stirling engine has an internal regenerative heat exchanger that keeps the hot and cold air at the correct temperature. This recycling feature boosts the engine's efficiency to a whopping 50 percent. For comparison, a standard internal combustion engine operates only at 14 percent efficiency.

Click here for video of MacDowell's creation (http://www.khou.com/features/san-antonino-man-has-engine-that-gets-100-mpg/242673922)

Though mechanically sound, the Stirling engine never caught on in the 1800s, with most businesses choosing to use steam engines for their industrial applications. NASA even experimented with the engine in the early 1980's, and was able to achieve 54 miles per gallon, but the Space Agency never went any further with the technology. MacDowell borrowed one of these Stirling engines from NASA and began experimenting with it to see if he could use the regenerative engine with 21st-century automotive know-how.

MacDowell coupled the engine with existing hybrid technology, creating a system that will deliver 58 miles per gallon to a Ford F-150 and at least 100 miles per gallon in a smaller SUV. In his model, the Stirling engine runs at a fixed RPM generating electricity that is used to charge the batteries, which drive motors that propel the vehicle.

Using this thermopile technology, a Stirling-powered vehicle can drive at highway speeds without having to recharge. MacDowell also redesigned the Stirling engine to have the dimensions and appearance of a standard four-cylinder engine, making it compatible with existing automobiles. His idea was so brilliant that Texas A&M University became involved in the project, providing MacDowell with technical expertise and a testing environment to aid in the development of the engine.

To showcase his original engine, MacDowell intends to drive an SUV across the country on less than 40 gallons of gasoline. He also plans to submit his laboratory findings to the Texas Transportation Institute, which will verify his 100 miles per gallon claims. Once proven and tested, MacDowell believes his idea will revolutionize the hybrid engine industry leading to the eventual end of the internal combustion engine. Source (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2016/06/15/man-builds-100mpg-engine-using-200-year-old-technology/)

16th June 2016, 08:02
let me guess..
this will or might take place in about 100 years?
give or take?
more give than take...

16th June 2016, 08:14
I wouldn't at all be surprised by this either. Volkswagon just came out with a car that gets 261 miles per gallon (~110 kilometers per liter) not that long ago, but they act like it's some kind of super space technology and aren't even trying to mass-market it. It's apparently selling for $150,000 in Europe, according to this article: http://jalopnik.com/we-drove-the-261-mpg-volkswagen-xl1-in-manhattan-becaus-1482688104

It's not even legal in the US because apparently there is a technicality in the laws (this is what I read online anyway) that requires certain proportions of things in the exhaust, that this car cannot accomplish due to its massive efficiency. So basically the car is so efficient that it's illegal in the US. At any rate it really is illegal here except in special circumstances, like the guys testing the car out in the article above.

16th June 2016, 14:07
I'm a Tesla fan. 89 mpg equivalent (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/35980.shtml)

And it will do 0-60 in like 2.8 seconds. :p

Technology patented by Nicola Tesla (AC induction motor) in 1888 (https://teslauniverse.com/nikola-tesla/patents/us-patent-555190-alternating-motor)


... And depending on how you calculate the equivalence, you can get over 150 mpg (http://ecomodder.com/forum/256287-post18.html)


... And hyper-miling can also increase efficiency. Mr Spencer drove twice the range just by changing driving style. That puts the Model S at about 178 to 300 mpg.

But one Tesla Model S 85D owner by the name of Casey Spencer has just managed to break the record for the number of miles driven by a Tesla Model S 85D on a single charge by covering an astonishing 550 miles without running flat. That’s more than twice the vehicle’s rated range, representing an overall fuel economy of 140 watt-hours per mile (7.14 miles per kilowatt-hour).

16th June 2016, 23:16
There is actually quite a bit of innovative minds out there. This is worth watching.


17th June 2016, 01:46
NH3 or anhydrous ammonia has been used in internal combustion engines quite successfully for the past 80 years..... much like propane to use and an energy density higher than propane...basically a carrier for hydrogen.... the canadian government was petitioned vigorously back in the mid 80's to carry NH3 at the petro-canada fuel stations, but they would rather whore for big oil, as we all can plainly see.