One problem with turbines is that they have a narrow load range for efficient operation and are highly inefficient when idling. They are great on aircraft or ships where they can run most of the time at 95% full load, but more difficult to adapt to a car where much of the time is spent at much lower loads. You would have to add battery and/or ultracapacitor storage so the turbine could run at its otimum loading to recharge the batteries, then shut down until the batts need recharging. And since turbines are slow to start and to shutdown, the batts would have to have enough capacity so that the turbine wouldn't have to cycle on very often.
biff, the "run a turbine at a constant speed and drive a generator" concept is many decades old. Jet planes have a small turbine in the tail that is easier to start than the big turbines, it is then used for air conditioning on the ground and supplying enough power to start the larger engines. It's called an APU, or an Auxillary Power Unit. They are not magically efficient, and a hybrid would still have to run a generator and an electric motor for all its locomotive power. And gas turbines are not that much more efficient than diesels in practice anyway.
I think weary is the right word. It is retarded to go to all that expense to try and save gas then put it in a hummer anyway. Get a dirt bike if you want fuel efficient fun off the road. Small vehicle and thrifty engine, that is a formula for MPG success.
The idea is genius, though... The turbine is one of the more efficient engines out there, if I'm not mistaken.
The only difficulty that exists with it is lag between applying throttle and acceleration, and more importantly, cessation of throttle and cessation of acceleration. That's the big thing that killed it's use with cars. It was tried back in the 60's.
But if you were to have the turbine completely detached from the wheels, and only powering a generator, and were to have electric motors powering the wheels.. That's an incredible combination! The efficiency and power of the turbine motor, but no worries about lag, and you could expand it even more by completely eliminating the drivetrain. Instead of a single large electric motor attached to all four wheels, have four small electric motors attached each to one wheel. Regenerative braking would be very easy, and without having a driveshaft, transmission or even transaxle, the underbody would be incredibly smooth...
If you were to design a car around that turbine/electric setup, you could VERY easily have both worlds of incredible speed and incredible FE. Or if you were to even to design it and have it not be powerful, you could have downright stupid high FE.
Turbines can indeed be very efficient. BUT, the whole notion of turbines as high-efficiency engines is a rather new one. This guy is using a 22 year old turbine in that Hummer. SO efficiency will probably be significantly less than newer designs. Also, as I said in my previous post, the turbine is likely to use a centrifugal compressor and turbine. This is VERY typical of smaller turbines, as they are cheaper to manufacture. BUT, centrifugal turbines are not very efficient - both because of the efficiency of the turbine/compressor themselves AND because they tend to have a low pressure ratio (posibly 15:1 or less). Efficient gas turbines all have two things in common: axial flow design and high pressure ratio (30:1 to 40:1).
Also a turbine car was at Indy until they outlawed it because of its advantages over the rest of the field.
The biggest advantage with a turbine is you could run just about any type of fuel without any changes...now that is cool.
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD...Founder of L.O.S.T.
OME 2.25" Lift w/ Toyo Open Country HTs 235/75/16s
ASFIR Alum Eng/Tranny/Transfercase/Fuel Skids
2002 Air Box Mod...Air Tabs (5) on Roof...(3)each behind rear windows
Partial Grill Block with Custom Air Scoop and 3" Open Catback Exhaust
Lambretta UNO150cc 4 Stroke Scooter
This is a magazine article about a guy who is taking a Hummer and replacing the conventional powertrain with a turbine and electric motor hybrid combo. Supposedly the Hummer will get 60 MPG and do 0 to 60 in 5 seconds. Is this for real? I suspect the magazine "sexed it up" a tiny little bit.
This is really weird.....one of our Wichita news stations just ran a spread on Johnathan this morning...I've known him for 6-7 years. Had heard he was doing Hummer mods, DIDN'T know he was into FE mods.
He can definately think outside the box....maybe he can get an "air car" design going on this side of the pond.