Chryslers Turbine Cars of the '70s

".....There were numerous functional challenges and limitations with the 
Turbine Cars, of which sluggish throttle response was the biggest. This is an 
inherent design limitation of turbines, as they need to spin up to over 40,000 
rpm to develop full power. The Turbine Car had a one and a half second lag from 
first pressing the throttle. That could be considered dangerous; it certainly 
would by today’s standards. Throttle lag was noticeable at higher speeds too. 
Performance was reasonable, about 12 seconds 0-60, but substantially less than 
if a 383 V8 were under that sleek hood. One extended test produced an average 
fuel economy of 11.5 mpg. Not terrible, but far from good. A comparably-quick 
conventional car at the time would be expected to achieve about 15 mpg.

The turbine offers the potential for superb longevity, but that depends on the 
extent to which exotic and expensive materials are utilized. Chrysler’s own 
test found that its turbine had a lifespan of “up to 175k miles”. Good for the 
times, but not really exceptional. Chrysler’s own slant sixes would typically 
go that far or further.

The scope of this article is not to fully explore the pros and cons of 
Chrysler’s turbines and their theoretical development potential. Suffice it 
say, the changing climate on emissions and fuel economy played their part in 
finally ending  the turbine program during the seventies. But the biggest 
single hurdle was cost. In Chrysler’s own words: “the technology did not exist 
to produce turbine engines at a price anywhere near competitive to conventional 
internal combustion engines...."

Dan Penoff wrote:
> This reminds me that Kohler was doing something not long after I had left 
> with “capstone” turbines.  Not sure of the significance, but I do recall the 
> term being used.
> I know they would have been relatively small units, if I recall in the 
> 10kW-15kW range.
> They were talking at one time about producing them for use by restaurants 
> like McDonald’s and Burger King to peak shave and provide hot water.
> The projects I worked on that predated this were for the GE “Smart House” in 
> Maryland.  One system we actually built and had operational there consisted 
> of a three cylinder Yanmar diesel converted to natural gas running at 1200 
> RPM.  There was a power management system using high current TRIACs that 
> would allow the loads to be switched between the utility and the generator 
> based on load balancing and peaks.  It was crude by today’s standards but 
> worked well.  And the engine also produced hot water for domestic use through 
> a heat exchanger, too.
> One unit we took out of service had over 12,000 hours on it without ever 
> being shut down or taken offline.  It could have gone a lot longer.  The 
> insides were almost like new.
> Dan
> > On Sep 11, 2015, at 1:45 PM, Curly McLain via Mercedes 
> > <> wrote:
> > 
> > Craig,
> > 
> > You might find these interesting.  Jim Ettaro did many experiments with 
> > small gas turbines using hydrogen as a fuel.  I saw his turbocharger air 
> > pump run and I also saw the one in the second article run, and he had a 
> > third version he built that I saw run. Each was quite interesting, and the 
> > startup procedure did not appear that complex.  It would have been fairly 
> > simple to automate start up and shutdown with Jim's designs, however making 
> > one of the designs "failsafe" may not be simple.
> > 
> > Video of his small hydrogen turbine used to be on the calstate LA website, 
> > but I have not been able to find them for many years now.  I wish I had 
> > downloaded and saved them.  However Virgil Seaman at Cal State LA may be 
> > able to provide the video.
> > 
> >
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Shhesh!  
> > Okiebanz has lasted longer than Mercedes veterans or the Dickarde list.
> > 
> >
> > 
> > 
> > I would theorize that the small size of Jim's turbines and the hydrogen 
> > fuels avoided some of the problems Grant and Dan encountered with larger 
> > versions.  What is called a Microturbine generator (like a capstone) is in 
> > the 30 kW range, so is substantially larger than what Jim was dealing with.
> > 
> > I don't remember what engine he got the turbocharger from, but it was 
> > similar in size to the one on the 1.6L VW turbodiesel.  The final turbine 
> > engine I saw (that Jim made) was about 5" dia also.
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________
> >
> > 
> > To search list archives
> > 
> > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> >
> > 
> _______________________________________
> To search list archives
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> -----
> No virus found in this message.
> Checked by AVG -
> Version: 2015.0.6125 / Virus Database: 4409/10620 - Release Date: 09/11/15

-- <>


To search list archives

To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:

Reply via email to