About the efficiency of engines

In summary, the conversation discusses the potential use of Starlite, a heat-resistant material, in creating an entire car. The efficiency of the combustion engine and the potential for improved use of dissipated energy are explored, but there is not enough information about Starlite to determine if it would be a suitable material for an engine block or turbine blades. The inventor of Starlite did not disclose the composition of the material, making it difficult for anyone to reverse engineer it. Overall, there is limited knowledge and research on Starlite and its potential applications.
  • #1
José Ricardo
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if we had an entire car made of Starlite (a material that was created resistant to 18032 °F). Would the efficiency of the combustion engine be close to that of the electric and that of the electric would be almost 100% efficient?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlite
 
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  • #2
"Resistant to" 10000°C is not the same as stating a melting point.
There is not enough known about "Starlite" to determine if it would be an appropriate material to use in forming an engine block or turbine blades.
 
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  • #3
I thought the following: When a turbine produces work, there is the heat loss, soon it spends more than produce (30% of efficiency). I thought if the pistons and all the surroundings were made of starlite, then there would be a tiny perch of heat, I just don't know if I'm correct. I think I am, and from what I understand by your comment, there is no way to know, correct?
 
  • #4
José Ricardo said:
I think I am, and from what I understand by your comment, there is no way to know, correct?
The inventor died apparently without passing on what this material actually was. There some public demonstrations - but hardly the type of experiments that you would need to do before building an engine with it.

As far as creating a "perch of heat" engines work in response to a difference in heat. If you can force more of the heat flow to occur within the engine rather than being wasted, that would be an improvement. I'm not sure about a turbine engine, but with an internal combustion engine, much of the work heat is dissipated through the body of the engine. So blocking it would kill the whole process.
 
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  • #5
Now I'm back, Scott. Sorry for haven't responded you, I was blocked by 2 weeks because of linguistic problems.
So, you are saying if a cooling system were made of starlite, would that cooling system "kill" the car? And then we wouldn't have the better use of dissipated energy? And why someone didn't do a reverse engineering to discover what that material was made from?
 
  • #6
José Ricardo said:
So, you are saying if a cooling system were made of starlite, would that cooling system "kill" the car? And then we wouldn't have the better use of dissipated energy?
Yes. Dissipation of the heat (releasing it into the air) is both a practical and theoretical requirement. Insulating an engine cannot, even in principle, make it perform substantially better.
And why someone didn't do a reverse engineering to discover what that material was made from?
Evidently he never let anyone have a sample. Perhaps his family knows. Coincidentally, there is an active thread on this topic:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/a-cautionary-tale-on-inventing-from-the-bbc.956762/
 
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  • #7
I'll take a look in this topic. Thanks, Russ!
 

1. What factors affect the efficiency of engines?

The efficiency of engines can be affected by several factors, including the type of fuel used, the design and size of the engine, the operating conditions, and the maintenance and tuning of the engine.

2. How is the efficiency of engines measured?

The efficiency of engines is typically measured by the amount of fuel consumed per unit of energy output. This is often expressed as a percentage and can be calculated using the formula: Efficiency = (Energy Output / Energy Input) x 100%.

3. What is the difference between thermal efficiency and mechanical efficiency?

Thermal efficiency refers to the percentage of energy from fuel that is converted into useful work, while mechanical efficiency refers to the percentage of energy lost due to friction and other mechanical losses. In other words, thermal efficiency measures how well an engine uses the energy from fuel, while mechanical efficiency measures how well the engine converts that energy into useful work.

4. How can the efficiency of engines be improved?

The efficiency of engines can be improved by optimizing the design and size of the engine, using more efficient fuels, and maintaining and tuning the engine regularly. Additionally, technologies such as turbochargers and hybrid systems can also improve engine efficiency.

5. Are electric engines more efficient than traditional combustion engines?

Electric engines have a higher efficiency than traditional combustion engines because they do not have as many mechanical and thermal losses. However, the overall efficiency also depends on the source of electricity used to power the electric engine. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, the overall efficiency of electric engines can be higher.

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