PORTLAND, Ore. ó Piggyback electronics and an add-on "vapor chamber" could be used to increase the mileage of existing automobile and truck engines by almost one-third while lowering emissions.
Vapor Fuel Technologies (Beavercreek, Ore.) claims it accomplishes this by vaporizing fuel and mixing it with super-hot air, enabling modified electronic control circuitry to coax the same horsepower out of engines while burning less fuel and cutting emissions. The company plans to offer retrofit kits for American vehicles within a year, and hopes to close deals to include its technology on new models from U.S., European and Asian auto makers by 2010.
"What we have is a fuel-conditioning system," said Raymond Bushnell, founder of Bushnell Engineering Inc., also of Beavercreek, the contract engineering company developing the fuel vaporization system for Vapor Fuel Technologies. "We are working with Unichip of North America, which is creating the necessary electronic control circuitry to integrate our vaporization system into a retrofit. So we can take this technology and put it on existing vehicles, typically the gas hogs."
Electronic modules from Unichip (Hillsboro, Ore.) are typically used to boost the performance of existing vehicles by intercepting signals from sensors and modifying their values before delivery to an engine control unit. Instead of increasing horsepower, a module being created by Unichip for Vapor Fuel Technologies will modify data flowing to and from the stock control unit to accommodate the super-heated vaporized fuel mix that provides increased fuel economy and lower emissions.
"We are currently finalizing the specifications of the electronics we will supply to Vapor Fuel Technologies as an OEM module," said Jack Friedman, general manager for Unichip of North America. "By modifying our firmware so that it offers the necessary functions to manage the vaporized fuel mix, Vapor Fuel Technologies will be able to fine tune our unit to control the engines of existing vehicles."
Electronics supplied by Unichip for retrofits, however, will not be needed by auto makers that license the vapor fuel technology. Car manufacturers will only need to modify their intake manifolds and reprogram their existing control units to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions.
Vapor Fuel Technologies hired an independent laboratory, California Environmental Engineering (Santa Ana, Calif.), which is certified by both the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board . The results of the testing showed performance comparable to a stock Ford F-150 test vehicle, while achieving fuel economy that was better by more than 30 percent; about 30 percent less emissions were released, the tests found.
"It's hard to both increase gas mileage and reduce emissions at the tailpipe, but Vapor Fuel Technologies has accomplished just that," said Joe Jones, California Environmental Engineering research director. "We think they have room to make even more improvements in future versions."
If this company claims to have independent test performed that confirm their claims of 30% fuel savings with no loss of horsepower, they need to publish those tests on their website (those tests docments are conspicuously absent on the company's website.)
In other words, it's time to put up or shut up.
A quote from the test company's research director that conducted the test isn't enough for you? Why would you need to see such test documentation? Reading both the companies web site, this article, and the other posted on their news page (which it looks like you failed to do) would indicate that they have all ready "put up". Who are you to say what a company need to put on their web site? I didn't know there was an Internet Police, perhaps you have a badge number? So, Mr. Broccoli, where is your fuel saving device, patents and independent test result? I see you failed to post them.
This does sound on the edge of too-good-to-be-true (and you know what your mother said about things that sounded too good to be true) so I am going to follow up in 6 months -- if the numbers are true this will have made a big splash by then -- it not, their web page will remain static. I will also try to determine whether they are using this annoucement to bring in investors.
when you say "The same fuel mixture enters the engine, but because hotter air occupies more space and provides more power, it enables a simultaneous savings in fuel economy and lower emissions." you are contradictating yourself. If the air is hotter and occupies more space, then you have less mixture inside the cylinder (a constant volume unit) and you should have less maximum power output from the engine. If your engine is a large one, you can get savings because you also reduce the drag associated to the vacuum in the intake.
I'm not a engine expert, but I think the same work could be done with variable intake valve timing.
Oh, no. Not another one. Doesn't anyone think that if it was that easy to improve mileage and cut emissions, that car manufacturers with their millions in research dollars would have done this twenty years ago? This inevitably will turn out to provide little to no improvement in either fuel economy or emissions except by the fuel savings gained by lightening the wallet of the consumer.
To answer why I think test documents should be made available:
1) If the test data proves out the inventor's claims, it would only be to the inventor's benefit to make the test documents available.
2)There's huge precedent for supposed fuel-saving gizmos that just somehow never pan out.
3)Modern engines already burn fuel 98-99% completelly, so there just isn't any room for this claim of 30% improvement in mileage of a car retrofitted with this vaporization system. See this link for more explanation of this point:
So since the inventor's claims don't make any freakin' sense, I think it pretty reasonable to ask for the test data.
between the hydrogen generators, fuel catalysts and other things that never seems to make it to the big market its easy to be a skeptic, but you never know until you try it. however i am curious how they can claim a more powerful combustion by displacing gas with hot air, everything i've learned about cars says that cold air and a leaner mixture creates more power...but warmer air improves milage since less fuel is needed to keep the air fuel ratio consistant
im also curious about how they could control their "auto ignition" without causing premature detonation
Heating the air to force the evaporation of the fuel may give better mileage, it will also cause a serious problem with pre-ignition and detonation in the cylinders. When the piston compresses the air/fuel mixture, it will cause it to heat up (basic physics). If it is pre-heated "to near the point of spontaneous combustion" the added heating of compression will cause pre-ignition which will cause significant damage to the engine. Then there is the issue of getting the same amount of power out of the engine. By preheating, the mixture density is lower giving a lower combustion pressure. The result is a lower amount of power from the air/fuel mixture. The F150 in the article will have a very hard time trying to pull a trailer with this type of fuel system feeding it. The full amount of power of a carbureted or fuel injected engine will be impossible to achieve with this system.
"Work to Ride",
GM had an experimental intake manifold and carburetor in the early 1950s. It somehow got into a production 1951 Buick Roadmaster that reached a dealer in Pittsburgh. The car was sold to a local man. The man came back to the dealer for routine maintenance and raved about how he was getting 35 miles to the gallon. A short while after, representatives from GM came to acquire the car back from the dealer. When they found out the car was sold the GM folks approached the buyer to buy back the car. At first the buyer wouldn't sell but eventually he did. In case you didn't catch that, this was a Buick Roadmaster. That's a big heavy car with a V-8 engine.