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If you listen to motorsports enthusiasts, which is often not
a choice, they will drone on about how racing drives
technology forwards and that the road cars of tomorrow
will benefit immensely from the expensive, fun & noisy
circus that is a typical race series. This is of course largely
Almost all the innovation in F1 for example, is
getting around the rules. You can get more out of creative
interpretation of the guidelines surrounding the rear crash
structure than you can with engine design. The point is,
this idea, like careful vortex management and damper
packaging isn't useful in the real world, but might
represent a creative rule work around.
F1 engines are limited in terms of capacity, i.e. the swept
volume of the cylinders is limited to 1.6l, or
0.8l/revolution. They are allowed to mess with this by
using a turbocharger, typically they boost 4-5 Bar (60-
75psi, 4-5 atm.). They generate 850-1000bhp, which is
impressive for a 1.6l engine, except turbocharger means
it's really an 8l engine that consumes 9l engine amounts of
fuel because of all the efficiency losses caused by spinning
To get more power, you need to burn more fuel, but, the
rules constrain the engine size/rpm & turbo pressures, so
there's not much left, or is there?
What do we have to work with, well, we already have a
supply of 5 Bar compressed air from the turbo, this is to all
intents and purposes infinite. We are allowed 2 waste
gates electronic or pneumatically controlled, these are to
control flow out of the compressor stage. We have an
intercooling system. My system fits in just after that.
So, after the intercooler, 5 bar air enters one of two
chambers, these will be carbon fiber and a little balloon-
like springy if possible to allow pressure buffering. In that
chamber, will be zeolite, or whatever exotic high
performance material is best. At turbo pressure and below
(2Bar normally), this mineral** adsorbs nitrogen causing the
remaining gas to be O2 enriched. Adsorbing N2 will cause a
volume/pressure drop that will increase the efficiency of
the compressor/intercooler stage. Now the engine may
breath air deficient in useless N2/enriched for O2. More
fuel, more bang, more go.
Obviously the capacity of the adsorption material isn't
infinite, hence the dual chambers, once chamber one
becomes saturated flow is switched to the second and the
first chamber is allowed to depressurize/dump N2 into the
exhaust, ahead of the turbine where the flow will help
drive the turbo.
What we've built here is a pressure-swing adsorption O2
concentrator. These exist for people who need
supplementary O2. In that application, they deliver say,
10l/minute of 90% O2. This is minuscule compared to the
1000's of litres needed for an engine. But, given the high-
pressure pump is built in, and expense/exotic materials
not a problem, I'd say F1 engineers could build a 1000l/min
system into a car. Then, of course, it doesn't need to run
all the time. Braking periods & part-throttle cornering are
at least 1/3rd of a lap & additional power isn't always
advantageous. Also, lower concentration ratios will be
exponentially more efficient, taking O2 from 20-30% rather
than 90% is likely to be achievable at 10x the rate.
*the positively agricultural NASCAR push-rod V8 engines
develop similar power with less fuel, but, you know,
smaller engines, more efficient you know.
**available as cat litter
Back when some effort was put into kid's entertainment.
Brilliant music. [doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2020]
Zeolite adsorption kinetics
[bs0u0155, Jul 27 2020]
||<starts to scribble of back of used envelope/>
// Almost all the innovation in F1 for example, is getting around the rules. //
||What a pity VW don't have an F1 team ...
||Is this adsorption or absorption?
||//What a pity VW don't have an F1 team ...//
||There should be a moratorium on cheats, in motorsport
especially, they're a form of genius. Toyota's Celica turbo
restrictor workaround is brilliant, but I bet there are better
we don't know about.
||//Is this adsorption or absorption?//
||Where do you anticipate them stowing the hundreds of pounds of material?
||OMG; [WcW]: How nice to see you back here!
||Yea, thought we lost another one.
||Need to start doing head counts.
||Creative. Exactly the sort of thing that would get banned right away.
||I miss the X-wings... now that was some creative rule interpretation.
||Beware, beware, the scribbles of the Borg;
For when they're done, you're going to the morgue.
The things begun if guiltless or benign
when made complete, eviscerate your spine!
No car, no food, no pretty thing you sees
or else you'll be covered in jam and bees!
||Good effort, but the last line needs work on the scansion, and
"eviscerate your spine" doesn't really make sense because the
spine neither is nor has any abdominal organ.
||It's good but hampered by my reading the first line's
cadence as similar to the "Heffalumps and Woozles"
song which would need 4 more syllables.
||Beware, beware, the scribbles of the Borg.
For when begun, before he's done you're going to the
morgue. (or something)
||But I'm not sure if that's the rhythm you're going for.
If not, I'm going to need some sheet music.
||Is it inspired by the Winnie The Pooh song or am I
missing the mark? (link)
||//Where do you anticipate them stowing the hundreds of
pounds of material?//
||I didn't think this was going to be an issue. A few pounds,
a few tens of pounds would be workable since this could
be placed down low on the inner portions of the side pods
for example. The N2 capacity by weight isn't that bad. I'm
seeing figures of 1-2 moles N2/Kg of zeolite. That's about
36l of N2 at STP. By cycling the system 30x per minute
you could treat 1000l with a Kg, which is actually pretty
impressive. The problem is of course <link> that the
kinetics aren't that fast. This being chemistry, I assumed
things worked quickly, in fact it seems to take 10's of
seconds for the on/off kinetics. This is about 15 fold too
||It could still be done with modest amounts of material
but you'd need multiple intake "channels", say 4/cylinder,
and the switching is not workable in the f1 rules.
||Where it could work is in systems where time/weight are
non-critical. Generators/ships/trains etc. A 2 stroke
marine diesel of 10800l capacity & 100rpm is 540000l air
volume could be treated with 432 tonnes of average
grade zeolite. This is nothing on an engine where the
crankshaft weighs that much. Volume would be on the
order of 7-12 standard containers.
||There would be a host of advantages to this, the nox
emissions would be gone, which means you can run more
compression. The turbo should be more efficient & you
could get ~5x the power per cylinder. That would mean
you could make the piston/cylinder arrangement much
smaller, with less inefficient sliding surface area.
||However, if you think a nitrous oxide boosted engine is
almost a bomb, this is worse.