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5871Power from Water

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  • Chris Boyer
    Mar 14 3:52 PM
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      There have been some misunderstandings in the media about cars driving on water.  Water does not contain any energy, and so it can not power a car.  So how did all these misunderstandings get started?  The following are two "water" improvements that make scientific sense (maybe not economic sense):
       
      Water can be used to capture heat and convert that heat to mechanical work.  Currently, engines are water cooled with water externally removing heat from the metal surrounding the combustion zone.  The heat is wasted by throwing it away to the air via the radiator.  Some of that heat can be recovered by injecting water into the cylinder during the power stroke and the resulting vaporization and thermal expansion of the steam will recover some of that heat and convert it into mechanical work - thus improving the efficiency.  I guess the added cost of water injection and storage is more than the benefit of the improvement.  Maybe that will change with increasing fuel costs, or a higher mandated fuel efficiency (MPG).  Are there any companies modifying engines this way?
       
      There is also an invention for improved burning of fuel when hydrogen is injected into the cylinder with the fuel. The efficiency gain by the combustion apparently is worth more energy than that used to create hydrogen by electrolysis.  I don't know to much about this, but I think the overall efficiency improvements are very small and do not justify the high cost of equipment for the hydrogen on-board generation.  Does any one else know more?
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