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Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 10:50 AM
Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html

Sparko
03-30-2014, 11:25 AM
It goes by the more common name of "Chemistry"

Kbertsche
03-30-2014, 11:47 AM
Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html
I see no "imprimatur" of Cornell. The fact that they host Arxiv implies no more imprimatur than does a public library that holds a book or journal.

The claims sound quite fishy and wrong, almost a repeat of the discredited "cold fusion" claims of the 1980's, as detailed in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Catalyzer

sfs1
03-30-2014, 11:47 AM
Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html
Cornell hosts the preprint server. That's all. It doesn't vouch for the reliability of anything on the server, and preprints have not been peer reviewed.

Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 03:40 PM
Oh, Cornell is merely the host! Another fiasco of a thread start! But have NASA, MIT, DOE, DARPA et al. publicly disowned the claims of their involvement, to your knowledge? If so, please provide a link or links. And this website claims 1700 peer-reviewed papers worldwide.

I'll look at the Wikipedia entry now, but I might not comment.

sylas
03-30-2014, 04:43 PM
This looks worthless. The "inventor" of the device (Rossi) has a history with such claims that raises red flags from the get go, and the flaws in the supposed test are legion. (Note that the paper cited is not by Rossi himself, but his restrictions mean that the tests reported by the authors of the preprint can't substantiate the claims.) I suspect the preprint cited here could not get through any serious peer review in a reasonable science journal. There have been a number of blog reactions (which are of course also not reviewed) some of which express cautious interest and others which eviscerate the flaws.

There is another preprint on the same Cornell server that documents flaws in the study: Comments on the report "Indications of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder" (http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.6364). Also, if you look through the blog references in the original link you find more informally written commentary which might be easier to follow.

For my money; a good summary from a well regarded source of commentary on science is here: 5 Reasons Cold Fusion is Bunk (http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/5-reasons-cold-fusion-bunk-130528.htm). (at discovery.com)

I also like the final word from this blog: More On Rossi's E-Cat: Ericsson And Pomp Rebut "Independent" Test (http://www.science20.com/quantum_diaries_survivor/more_rossis_ecat_ericsson_and_pomp_rebut_independe nt_test-116259). (By Tommaso Dorigo at science2.0; not as consistently reliable as discovery imo, but still worth a look)

It remains for me to note, as I think I also did before, that I don't believe that much harm has been done by the E-CAT to the perception of this science by the general public. When interest is raised on otherwise distant and arcane topics, we always win. As Oscar Wilde once noted, it is not important what they say about you; more important is that they talk about you! So let's keep talking about cold fusion and keep by-standers interested: with their help and support, maybe some honest version of Andrea Rossi, somebody with a truly working idea, will one day indeed come out of the woods and change our life...

That is -- I'm thoroughly skeptical about cold fusion; but remain interested and excited about any possibility of something new in the world of science. This isn't it; not so much because of the claim, but rather because of how it was investigated and presented. The preprint cited here describes tests that don't actually show anything because of the many flaws -- most of which follow from the manifestly unscientific approach and restrictions of the "inventor" in question. I personally think the hope expressed in the above quote is far fetched; IMO there's no reason to think a truly working idea is going to come out of the woods one day. But by all means keep looking! If someone more credible comes up with a proper scientific demonstration of such a phenomenon it would be wonderful.

Cheers -- sylas

Addendum added in edit:


Oh, Cornell is merely the host! Another fiasco of a thread start! But have NASA, MIT, DOE, DARPA et al. publicly disowned the claims of their involvement, to your knowledge?

I don't know what claims of their involvement you mean. Can you clarify? As far as I can see, those organizations have no involvement at all in the study you have cited, and none is claimed.

They may have some involvement in other scientific work looking at the possibility of low energy nuclear reactions -- I don't know about that. If so, there's nothing wrong with that or any reason to disavow it: but I'd be surprised if they were doing anything more than giving funding in the usual way for scientists who make a credible case for support of their own research into whatever. I don't think they were involved at all in this study though.

Cheers -- sylas

JonF
03-30-2014, 05:38 PM
Sylas! Long time no type!

Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 05:39 PM
There are at least three possibilities:
1) Rossi is trying to defraud people. Not necessarily for the money, but maybe he enjoys trying to fool people as long as he can or has serious psychologial "needs."
2) He is fooling himself.
3) Despite acts and behavior that look suspicious, his work is bearing fruit.

Neither 1) nor 2) imply that others' work are therefore fraudulent. Now let's assume for a moment 3). People can be malicious or mistaken. Especially, they can be turned off by lack of scientific reproducibility. Also, someone cited Rossi's refusal to let people look at the innards of his invention as suspicious, but I've seen a statement that says Rossi wants to keep details of his invention secret for commercial purpose.

After reading this Wired article http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-02/27/rossi-roundup/page/1 I am puzzled about why things are so murky around Rossi, but some parts of the article are quite intriguing.

I may not post about any fresh developments again until . . . well, when they appear in the news.

Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 05:44 PM
I don't know what claims of their involvement you mean. Can you clarify? As far as I can see, those organizations have no involvement at all in the study you have cited, and none is claimed.

They may have some involvement in other scientific work looking at the possibility of low energy nuclear reactions --In that link I gave to the series of slides, all those organizations were cited as involved in LENR. I did not mean Rossi's work specifically. Sorry.

sylas
03-30-2014, 05:50 PM
Also, someone cited Rossi's refusal to let people look at the innards of his invention as suspicious, but I've seen a statement that says Rossi wants to keep details of his invention secret for commercial purpose.

The main issue for me is not so much that his restrictions as suspicious, but they make it impossible to do a valid scientific test. There's more than only the refusal to look at the innards involved; a number of other restrictions and omissions (whether suspicious or not) mean that the tests performed are simply not able to show what is claimed. As far as I can see, this includes isotope testing of the reaction products, proper control of the AC energy input, testing for radiation; and the curious temperature measurement used (IR imaging). The citations I gave above are more specific and from people with more relevant background and knowledge.

If he makes a commercial product; excellent! But over the years the only commercial opportunity for Rossi that is apparent, is winning funding or venture capital from the naive, I'm afraid.

Best -- sylas

PS. Hi Jon, and others!

Addendum added in edit.


In that link I gave to the series of slides, all those organizations were cited as involved in LENR. I did not mean Rossi's work specifically. Sorry.

No problem. As indicated previously... I don't see any reason for them to disavow involvement in LENR. There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research. But it's perfectly okay for folks to keep trying out new ideas and theories and to seek funding for them.

Cheers -- sylas

Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 05:55 PM
I see that in post #5 http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1467-Are-Low-Energy-Nuclear-Reactions-for-real&p=37130&viewfull=1#post37130
that I omitted the link to the series of slides--here it is: http://lenrweb.com/slide_11.html

Truthseeker
03-30-2014, 06:18 PM
The main issue for me is not so much that his restrictions as suspicious, but they make it impossible to do a valid scientific test. There's more than only the refusal to look at the innards involved; a number of other restrictions and omissions (whether suspicious or not) mean that the tests performed are simply not able to show what is claimed. As far as I can see, this includes isotope testing of the reaction products, proper control of the AC energy input, testing for radiation; and the curious temperature measurement used (IR imaging). The citations I gave above are more specific and from people with more relevant background and knowledge.

If he makes a commercial product; excellent! But over the years the only commercial opportunity for Rossi that is apparent, is winning funding or venture capital from the naive, I'm afraid.Maybe Rossi just wants to go commercial. I would indeed take millions of happy customers as adequate scientific proof! Heck, I'd settle for 1,000.
There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research.But the phenomena is so poorly understood, that's not a reason to quit.

shunyadragon
03-30-2014, 07:58 PM
Cornell hosts the preprint server. That's all. It doesn't vouch for the reliability of anything on the server, and preprints have not been peer reviewed.

Correct, and I also agree the work is suspect to the point of being worthless as sylas described.

sylas
03-30-2014, 08:29 PM
Maybe Rossi just wants to go commercial. I would indeed take millions of happy customers as adequate scientific proof! Heck, I'd settle for 1,000.

There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research.
But the phenomena is so poorly understood, that's not a reason to quit.

We seem to be talking past each other. I also would be ecstatic if Rossi did actually go commercial and had happy customers. He doesn't really need a scientific proof of the mechanism for that. He just need to sell something to someone who actually uses it as an energy source in some commercial application, and is happy with the result.

ONE such customer would be really exciting news.

But so far, he's still just making prototypes and doing tests that don't really stand up as demonstrations that the device does what is being claimed. For years now.

Also, I haven't said anything about whether anyone should quit. Indeed, I've said quite explicitly that it's a good thing for scientists to keep chasing up ideas and seeking funding. As said previously, I don't see any reason any organization should disavow working on LENR.

What I do say is the work which has been done already suggests that this is not a productive avenue for ongoing research. If there was a real phenomenon here that we didn't understand, then that would be an excellent reason to keep studying. But what the research tends to indicate is not so much that the phenomenon is poorly understood... rather than the phenomenon doesn't exist at all. That's the best supported hypothesis at present. IMO -- and in that of most working physicists -- the research indicates NOT a phenomenon that is poorly understood -- but a phenomenon that doesn't exist at all. Make sense?

The slides you link to are much more upbeat about prospects, which is of course their prerogative. But those slides include as positive results all kinds of experiments which have been pretty thoroughly investigated and confirmation invariably fails. This aspect of the research into LENR is missing from the slides. LENR seems to be a small and fringe field of science rife with credulous optimism and frankly pretty shoddy experiments.

Now again... this ISN'T a reason for ethusiasts to quit. Scientists are perfectly free to explore all kinds of ideas, including ones running counter to conventional physics. It is a good thing for such ethusiasts to seek and receive funding for exploring their ideas. It's not that anyone is trying to STOP them. It's rather than nothing yet stands as a good repeatable indication of a LENR phenomenon at all. If that changes -- great! But so far: not happening.

By all means keep your eye on the news and keep reporting any further results you find!

Best wishes -- sylas

Truthseeker
03-31-2014, 09:53 AM
But those slides include as positive results all kinds of experiments which have been pretty thoroughly investigated and confirmation invariably fails.What that says: LENR researchers are either quacks or fools.
This aspect of the research into LENR is missing from the slides.I won't ask for an example. Yes, rather frequently researchers could not get scientific reproduction of experimental results. I am unwilling to dismiss the whole field as of now based on that. And why do you dismiss the claim of 1700+ positive reports? Are there that many quacks and incompetents? Have you investigated a substantial fraction of those? If so, where is your detailed critique that would strongly create doubt?
LENR seems to be a small and fringe field of science rife with credulous optimism and frankly pretty shoddy experiments.Well, yeah, unfortunately. But to be frank, I suspect you are not as familiar with the LENR field as your replies make you appear to be. Sorry about that opinion.

sfs1
03-31-2014, 10:33 AM
What that says: LENR researchers are either quacks or fools.

There is robust evidence for the existence and even abundance of both quacks and fools. So far, robust evidence for LENR seems to be lacking. I know which explanation I'd put my money on.

sylas
03-31-2014, 02:27 PM
What that says: LENR researchers are either quacks or fools.

NO. That is NOT what is says. Don't put words in my mouth, please. What you quoted from ME was simply a bare factual observations about the slides.

YOU are adding the additional inferences; I do not endorse them. You go too far. You should not (and I do not) go on to make any generalized inference about LENR researchers in general from one flawed slide show. IF anyone really wants to go on and make inferences; then they properly apply only to the author of the slide show -- and perhaps the editors of the website that host it. I also don't think "quack or fool" is an adequate or exhaustive set of possible inferences and absolutely decline to go on into speculations or hypotheses on the highly personal matter of why someone writes something.

This is corrosive of the discussion, which should focus simply on substance. It's no response at all to a criticism of published material to cry "but but that would reflect badly on the authors!".

My recommendation is just DON'T. Don't spend a lot of energy going on to make claims or inferences about WHY the slide show is as it is, or respond to statements specifically on substance by side tracking into persons.


Yes, rather frequently researchers could not get scientific reproduction of experimental results. I am unwilling to dismiss the whole field as of now based on that. And why do you dismiss the claim of 1700+ positive reports? Are there that many quacks and incompetents? Have you investigated a substantial fraction of those? If so, where is your detailed critique that would strongly create doubt?Well, yeah, unfortunately. But to be frank, I suspect you are not as familiar with the LENR field as your replies make you appear to be. Sorry about that opinion.

I don't mind your opinions at all. But again, you are still talking right past what I have actually written.

I have NOT dismissed the whole field. I have said that the indications are that this line of research is unproductive. For all that, I have said people who are more enthusiastic about it should carry on and that it would be great if it does turn up something more useful. That isn't dismissing the field at all.

I did NOT dismiss the claim of 1700 reports. I didn't even mention it. I said rather that the slide show is not giving an adequate account of the research and investigations that have indicated problems with LENR claims. Science is a debate; people propose ideas, and other people test them, and over time the process involves a lot of to and fro and frequently a lot of disagreement. That's fine.

The slide show itself looks pretty dreadful, frankly... but that is a comment on the slide show only. It is not a comment on the author or a comment on LENR in general.

I don't claim any great expertise on LENR. With respect (since you have been so free to get personal with my background I feel it's okay to return the favour) I am pretty sure I have a much better background by far than you do. But it's still pretty small.

It shouldn't matter. I won't mind at all if I am wrong and you actually know more about the field than what you've seen in a quick look at the links you found recently. Nor do I mind at all if you have less background than I yet have difference views. No problem from me at all. As I said -- by all means keep reading and feel free to report any other news as it comes to light. We don't have to compare expertise; we're all onlookers to this.

No one should rely on my background here; I recommend instead looking further; and I've suggested some links (for the specific experiement listed in the OP). By all means look at the website of lenrweb; but don't just take it (or anything else) at face value. Look at the criticisms as well. It's not just because people are being unkind that LENR is so much on the fringe of science. There are LENR researchers who are serious and more credible than Rossi: and there's nothing wrong at all with them continuing to work on the idea. LENR will get more scientific credibility when it gets more reliable and replicable results, more thorough analysis of the specifics of reactions occurring, and some physical theories for the results that can be tested and used as the basis for more experiment; just as for any other new and radical idea in science.

The best available answer at present to the question posed in the OP is --- most likely not: low energy nuclear reactions are probably not real.

The addendum to that is that there are some scientists who are still exploring the possibility that low energy nuclear reactions might be real. Good luck to them. There's nothing wrong with that at all. There are most definitely quacks and fools who are are pushing LENR, which is no doubt embarrassing for other investigators... but DO NOT charge me with painting a broad brush to label all LENR investigators that way. I have not. OK?

Best -- sylas

Truthseeker
03-31-2014, 07:23 PM
There is robust evidence for the existence and even abundance of both quacks and fools. So far, robust evidence for LENR seems to be lacking. I know which explanation I'd put my money on.

Please don't just assert. Put on the "robust" evidence or provide links to webpages that provides that.

Truthseeker
03-31-2014, 07:31 PM
Let me add that I am puzzled why any reasonable person would run around saying, lack of robust evidence, if he has not actually tried to personally investigate things, such as going to demonstrations, trying to see any problem with them, asking questions about them, chatting with the demonstrations principals, etc.

Omniskeptical
04-17-2014, 01:15 PM
It may be that there is such a thing as cold fission, but how much energy does this concept produce? :)

klaus54
04-17-2014, 01:54 PM
It may be that there is such a thing as cold fission, but how much energy does this concept produce? :)

Do you mean "fusion"?

K54

P.S. Concepts don't produce energy. :wink:

sfs1
04-18-2014, 11:08 AM
Please don't just assert. Put on the "robust" evidence or provide links to webpages that provides that.
You need me to provide evidence for the existence of quacks and fools?

Truthseeker
04-18-2014, 05:55 PM
You need me to provide evidence for the existence of quacks and fools?No.

I think it's possible you meant evidence someone in particular is a quack or fool. If you have evidence most people will accept, may we not have it? No mere assertion, please.

sfs1
04-19-2014, 05:56 PM
No.

I think it's possible you meant evidence someone in particular is a quack or fool.

That's not what I meant. I meant that the prior probability that people involved in anything are either quacks or fools is non-negligible. (Personally, I would make the range of possibilities larger, since there are multiple ways of fooling yourself even if you're not generally a fool, but you were the one who suggested those as the only possibilities.) I was also suggesting that the prior probability of extraordinary phenomena that violate multiple pieces of well-understood physics is lower than the prior probability of quackery or foolishness. I would require compelling evidence before those priors could be overcome.

Truthseeker
04-19-2014, 06:59 PM
Be both skeptical and hopeful. Even if a claim looks doubtful, the payoff (if the claim turns out to be a good one) would be great indeed.

sfs1
04-19-2014, 08:21 PM
Be both skeptical and hopeful. Even if a claim looks doubtful, the payoff (if the claim turns out to be a good one) would be great indeed.
You may feel as hopeful as you wish. I've already told you why I'm not hopeful. The number of oddball claims out there that would be really neat or very useful if true is large. Having seen a parade of them pass by over the decades, I have no reason to be hopeful about any of them.

Truthseeker
04-20-2014, 01:23 PM
Did you hear about the Volkswagen car that goes 500 miles on 2 gallons? What do you think?

Sparko
04-20-2014, 02:04 PM
Did you hear about the Volkswagen car that goes 500 miles on 2 gallons? What do you think?

well at a price tag of over $100K, you would never make up the cost of the car in gas savings during the lifetime of the car

Truthseeker
04-20-2014, 05:48 PM
well at a price tag of over $100K, you would never make up the cost of the car in gas savings during the lifetime of the carYou're assuming that the engine can't be mass produced for less. Also assuming that the car is a middle-class or lower-class car?

klaus54
04-20-2014, 06:22 PM
Did you hear about the Volkswagen car that goes 500 miles on 2 gallons? What do you think?

No. Could you post a hyperlink?

K54

klaus54
04-20-2014, 06:31 PM
Looked it up. It's a 2-passenger 47 hp diesel with an electric assist motor. Not very attractive to middle-class families. Don't have any idea of the cost. But, this is the important point -- conservation of petroleum will effect only a slight delay in the inevitable.

Oh, I forgot -- "Sun Gas".

And what the bee-jeebers does this have to do with "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions"?

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/2014-volkswagen-xl1-first-drive.html

K54

Truthseeker
04-20-2014, 06:41 PM
Looked it up. It's a 2-passenger 47 hp diesel with an electric assist motor. Not very attractive to middle-class families. Don't have any idea of the cost. But, this is the important point -- conservation of petroleum will effect only a slight delay in the inevitable.

Oh, I forgot -- "Sun Gas".

And what the bee-jeebers does this have to do with "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions"?

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/2014-volkswagen-xl1-first-drive.html

K54
http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/drive-more-than-500-miles-on-2-gallons-of-fuel/

The reason I mentioned the car was, I'd hoped the news would be somewhat an antidote to that hopeless post.

klaus54
04-20-2014, 08:10 PM
What hopeless post?

I wonder why the article would say "500 miles on 2 gallons of fuel" rather "250 mpg"??

Anyway for 2-member families who can afford it, it would be an interesting option. But the overall effect is at most a slight pause in the arrival of peak oil.

By "low temperature nuclear reactions", I assume you mean fusion at a temperature that can occur in a controllable manner and that's contained in a reaction vessel that won't melt. (As opposed to the millions Kelvins needed for uncontrollable H --> He fusion.)

K54

Sparko
04-21-2014, 06:06 AM
You're assuming that the engine can't be mass produced for less. Also assuming that the car is a middle-class or lower-class car?

I am not assuming anything - it is a two-seater car, made of lightweight materials to keep the weight down. I am going by the news reports that confirmed it with Volkswagen. Actually I did assume one thing, Gas at $5/gallon. I suppose if gas went up to around $30/gallon it might become cost effective. But at $5/gal prices, you would only save around $14K over 100,000 miles compared to a normal car that gets around 30/gal.

The cost of the volkswagen is supposed to be over $100,000 (I have seen articles that price it at $150,000). The cost of a typical equivalent car is around $20,000. It would cost you over $80,000 to save $14,000 in gas.

You could even do a lot better just buying a motorcycle with a side car.

IF they could get the price down to under $30,000 then it might make sense.

http://jalopnik.com/we-drove-the-261-mpg-volkswagen-xl1-in-manhattan-becaus-1482688104

Carrikature
04-21-2014, 07:12 AM
I wonder why the article would say "500 miles on 2 gallons of fuel" rather "250 mpg"??

The mpg rating has been under some criticism with the advent of electric-assist. It's misleading to call it a 250mpg car when the gas (in this case diesel) engine is not actually much more efficient than is standard.

Last I heard, there was discussion whether to revise mpg standards or exclude certain cars from posting mpg ratings.

oxmixmudd
04-21-2014, 07:32 AM
The mpg rating has been under some criticism with the advent of electric-assist. It's misleading to call it a 250mpg car when the gas (in this case diesel) engine is not actually much more efficient than is standard.

Last I heard, there was discussion whether to revise mpg standards or exclude certain cars from posting mpg ratings.

I don't think it is misleading. It tells you how much gas/diesel you will need to buy to go 500 miles. MPG rating is not in any way supposed to equate to 'total cost of ownership', nor is it supposed to allow computation of the total amount of petroleum required across all possible consumers of petroleum associated with that 500 mile trip. It just tells you approximately how much gas/diesel you will use based on the number of miles and type of driving you do. And that number is as correct for hybrids as it is for any other kind of car that burns fuel as part of moving around.

It could perhaps be claimed that if one plugs a vehicle in and pays for the electricity stored in the batteries that some other sort of measurement would be appropriate if the intent is to define 'immediate cost to drive 500 miles'. Then one would need some sort of KWh/mile or per charge electrical cost measure as well.

I think it is a mistake to try to create some sort of MPGE (miles per gallon equivalent). As fuel and electricity costs are not necessarily correlated, nor necessarily even constant (e.g. assuming you plug in your hybrid overnight the cost of the overnight charge is unlikely to be directly correlated to how many miles you drove the day before.)

Jim

Carrikature
04-21-2014, 07:59 AM
I don't think it is misleading. It tells you how much gas/diesel you will need to buy to go 500 miles. MPG rating is not in any way supposed to equate to 'total cost of ownership', nor is it supposed to allow computation of the total amount of petroleum required across all possible consumers of petroleum associated with that 500 mile trip. It just tells you approximately how much gas/diesel you will use based on the number of miles and type of driving you do. And that number is as correct for hybrids as it is for any other kind of car that burns fuel as part of moving around.

It could perhaps be claimed that if one plugs a vehicle in and pays for the electricity stored in the batteries that some other sort of measurement would be appropriate if the intent is to define 'immediate cost to drive 500 miles'. Then one would need some sort of KWh/mile or per charge electrical cost measure as well.

I think it is a mistake to try to create some sort of MPGE (miles per gallon equivalent). As fuel and electricity costs are not necessarily correlated, nor necessarily even constant (e.g. assuming you plug in your hybrid overnight it is a fixed electrical cost regardless of how many miles you drive the next day)

Jim

I agree that mpg is not meant to imply total cost of ownership, but then cost never had anything to do with mpg. MPGE does not correlate fuel and electricity costs, either. Rather it establishes a ratio of fuel to electricity which can then be used to create a single standard for all motor vehicles. Cost has nothing to do with it. It's incorrect to say that it tells you how much gas/diesel you will need to buy to go to 500 miles, though.

The reason why it's misleading is not related to cost. It's related to portrayal. In an era where high mpg is valued, it's easy to represent an engine as having high mpg when in fact the internal combustion engine portion is not any more efficient than is standard. Enter the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid with a supplemental internal combustion engine. Originally, the mpg rating for this vehicle was presented as the combined distance reachable with a fully charged battery and the supplemental engine. The engine itself wasn't anything very special in terms of mpg, but with the added mileage from the electric motor, it looks super efficient. The Leaf and Volt were claiming ~100 mpg even though the gas engine only got ~30mpg. Take away the electric motor, and you have the same mpg you always had. In truth, an owner could conceivably never need the supplemental engine if they charged regularly and realize mpg ratings in the hundreds or higher using the basic formula of miles driven divided by total fuel consumed.

That's why MPGE was/is needed. Rather than using miles per gallon of fuel consumed, now we measure using miles per unit of energy consumed. Changing fuel types no longer lets you look pretty in a numbers game short of actually changing consumption needs. No more gaming the system, and no more selling cars as super-efficient that just don't do what's claimed.

oxmixmudd
04-21-2014, 09:48 AM
I agree that mpg is not meant to imply total cost of ownership, but then cost never had anything to do with mpg. MPGE does not correlate fuel and electricity costs, either. Rather it establishes a ratio of fuel to electricity which can then be used to create a single standard for all motor vehicles. Cost has nothing to do with it. It's incorrect to say that it tells you how much gas/diesel you will need to buy to go to 500 miles, though.

The reason why it's misleading is not related to cost. It's related to portrayal. In an era where high mpg is valued, it's easy to represent an engine as having high mpg when in fact the internal combustion engine portion is not any more efficient than is standard. Enter the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid with a supplemental internal combustion engine. Originally, the mpg rating for this vehicle was presented as the combined distance reachable with a fully charged battery and the supplemental engine. The engine itself wasn't anything very special in terms of mpg, but with the added mileage from the electric motor, it looks super efficient. The Leaf and Volt were claiming ~100 mpg even though the gas engine only got ~30mpg. Take away the electric motor, and you have the same mpg you always had. In truth, an owner could conceivably never need the supplemental engine if they charged regularly and realize mpg ratings in the hundreds or higher using the basic formula of miles driven divided by total fuel consumed.

That's why MPGE was/is needed. Rather than using miles per gallon of fuel consumed, now we measure using miles per unit of energy consumed. Changing fuel types no longer lets you look pretty in a numbers game short of actually changing consumption needs. No more gaming the system, and no more selling cars as super-efficient that just don't do what's claimed.

Your last line isn't accurate. If a car can go 250 miles on a gallon of Diesel, there is nothing deceptive about advertising that. No one is saying the engine is that efficient. They are say the car is that efficient in regards to its gasoline/diesel use. The car is the entire package. And in point of fact, if I own a volt, then my costs will be divided between the electricity I buy and the gas I buy. But no matter what, on average and depending on driving habits, I'm going to buy 1 gallon of gas per 100 miles driven. I might buy less if I use more electricity, I might buy more if I goose the engine a lot. The only way it would be deceptive is if I can't go that far on that much gas period, no matter what I did, or if it was a number that only applied to very special cases. IOW, if I could only get that efficiency for the first hour of the trip and then after that I'm only getting what the internal combustion engine can deliver. That is not the case with these cars.

If, OTOH, I'm looking for a way of comparing all cars no matter what the type of fuel, and comparing them directly on their relative use of energy, regardless of its form, then we do need another metric. Nevertheless, in either case, MPG still gives me a good idea of how much gas I'm going to need to buy relative to some other car. And so I don't see calling that 'deceptive' - unless one is somehow dealing with a public clueless about the fact that if I have a plug-in car, then part of my cost for driving the thing is going to be seen in my electric bill.



Jim

Carrikature
04-21-2014, 10:27 AM
Your last line isn't accurate. If a car can go 250 miles on a gallon of Diesel, there is nothing deceptive about advertising that. No one is saying the engine is that efficient. They are say the car is that efficient in regards to its gasoline/diesel use. The car is the entire package. And in point of fact, if I own a volt, then my costs will be divided between the electricity I buy and the gas I buy. But no matter what, on average and depending on driving habits, I'm going to buy 1 gallon of gas per 100 miles driven. I might buy less if I use more electricity, I might buy more if I goose the engine a lot. The only way it would be deceptive is if I can't go that far on that much gas period, no matter what I did, or if it was a number that only applied to very special cases. IOW, if I could only get that efficiency for the first hour of the trip and then after that I'm only getting what the internal combustion engine can deliver. That is not the case with these cars.

For a plug-in system like the Volt, you could go hundreds of miles without even burning gasoline if you recharge regularly. Cost doesn't matter, and how much fuel you need to buy to go X miles isn't relevant. Your case for it being deceptive is exactly what happens. You can only get that efficiency for however long the battery lasts, and after that you're only getting what the internal combustion engine can deliver. MPGE is electric-mileage plus gas-mileage. MPG is only gas-mileage. They're not equivalent. The vehicles were being presented with MPGE as if it were MPG, and that is deceptive.



If, OTOH, I'm looking for a way of comparing all cars no matter what the type of fuel, and comparing them directly on their relative use of energy, regardless of its form, then we do need another metric. Nevertheless, in either case, MPG still gives me a good idea of how much gas I'm going to need to buy relative to some other car. And so I don't see calling that 'deceptive' - unless one is somehow dealing with a public clueless about the fact that if I have a plug-in car, then part of my cost for driving the thing is going to be seen in my electric bill.

You agree that another metric was needed, so that's cool. However, MPG doesn't tell you how much gas you need when potentially all of your mileage doesn't even need gas. That's kind of the point. A plug-in hybrid like the Volt could go hundreds of miles without burning a drop if it's regularly recharged.

Regardless, calling the public clueless is generally a safe bet. :hehe:

Truthseeker
04-21-2014, 12:17 PM
The impression I got from the first article about the VW car was that it was 100% gasoline (or diesel?). I was surprised to read that it was in fact a hybrid.

I don't know what test they used on which the mileage claim is being made.

The best number is the lowest cost per mile. If using electricity is expensive compared to gasoline or diesel, then go 100% the latter (no recharging).

Sparko is writing about a car that is not being mass-produced. And it's a hybrid, which is in a class that is not exactly flying out of dealer showrooms. Still, he does have a good point, if cars like the VW, even if much more roomy, never become popular.

Carrikature
04-21-2014, 12:31 PM
The impression I got from the first article about the VW car was that it was 100% gasoline (or diesel?). I was surprised to read that it was in fact a hybrid.

I don't know what test they used on which the mileage claim is being made.

The best number is the lowest cost per mile. If using electricity is expensive compared to gasoline or diesel, then go 100% the latter (no recharging).

Sparko is writing about a car that is not being mass-produced. And it's a hybrid, which is in a class that is not exactly flying out of dealer showrooms. Still, he does have a good point, if cars like the VW, even if much more roomy, never become popular.

I'm not sure how you think we can compare cost per mile since it's location and type specific.

klaus54
04-21-2014, 01:05 PM
The impression I got from the first article about the VW car was that it was 100% gasoline (or diesel?). I was surprised to read that it was in fact a hybrid.

I don't know what test they used on which the mileage claim is being made.

The best number is the lowest cost per mile. If using electricity is expensive compared to gasoline or diesel, then go 100% the latter (no recharging).

Sparko is writing about a car that is not being mass-produced. And it's a hybrid, which is in a class that is not exactly flying out of dealer showrooms. Still, he does have a good point, if cars like the VW, even if much more roomy, never become popular.

The most efficient diesel engines today get around 40% thermal efficiency and 60 mpg. So at 100% efficiency (which is impossible by 2LT) they would get 60/.4 = 150 mpg.

K54

Truthseeker
04-21-2014, 05:23 PM
I'm not sure how you think we can compare cost per mile since it's location and type specific.

If a certain location makes a big difference, bring all the types there and let's see how they do.

Some types obviously would do worse than the rest in most cases so we could safely ignore them.

Truthseeker
04-21-2014, 05:25 PM
The most efficient diesel engines today get around 40% thermal efficiency and 60 mpg. So at 100% efficiency (which is impossible by 2LT) they would get 60/.4 = 150 mpg.

K54

Your point seems to be that the mileage claim for the VW car is fraudulent. I don't think so, it's not 100% diesel, as you yourself pointed out.

klaus54
04-21-2014, 06:07 PM
Your point seems to be that the mileage claim for the VW car is fraudulent. I don't think so, it's not 100% diesel, as you yourself pointed out.

But at first you thought it was. I was just doing a little cipherin' with respect to the absolute (and unobtainable) limit of a diesel engine. Of course this is not taking into account power. A very small (say 30 KW) diesel engine would do better, but it wouldn't be able to move much of a vehicle.

K54