GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

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reikiman
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GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

I found an article this morning on C|NET about a startup company, GMZ Energy, that has received venture funding. They've developed some nanotechnology that improves the efficiency of the thermoelectric effect and they're looking to build a power generator that more efficiently captures 'waste heat' turning it into electricity. I found a bunch of related articles and posted on 7gen.com (link below).

The Thermoelectric Effect is what drives the Peltier cooler technology that is sometimes used in portable coolers, or in CPU coolers. I remember a couple years ago a couple teenagers in Utah won a prize for developing a car air conditioner powered by this same technology. In any case it appears the idea is when you heat a wire the electrons run to the other end, maybe electrons don't like heat? Somehow they're able to capture the electrons and make them into electrical current. I've only briefly glanced over the articles, so if you're interested I've got a whole bunch of links on my other site.

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

Start-up wins funding to draw electricity from 'waste' heat

SPEDcial Forces
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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

What sort of efficency are they getting? would it be enough to run a small electric motor in a hybrid car? Or at least enough to take care of all that crap on the acessory belt (alternator, AC, and power steering, ect...) that drains power and efficency from the engine (I read something about only %40 of an engine's power goes to moving the car forward, so acessories take a heavy toll).

I had an idea to some sort of frion mixture over the exaust manifold and sext to the cylender heads where the heat would cause it to boil and gassify (and it would cool the engine and lower the pressure in the exaused, increasing power and efficency) and the power a turbine that would power a genorator which would deal with all the acessories and leave the engine to do it's thing (making your vehicle move).

I did the math though (eficiency of transfering one type of energy to another, that is heat to kenetic to electric) and even using numbers from top of the line generators (which this wouldn't be, as the ICE is set up to produce kienetic energy, not heat) there would not be enough electric power unless you were using a larger engine, or reving really high...which is bad for fuel economy.

So the whole frion thing was silly, but this looks like a good direction provided they can get good efficency. In addition to how much electriciy is produced from heat, how much cooling does this offer? enough to replace the radiator? Enough to reduce air pressure in the exaust system?

The thermoelectric's also seams to offer something alor of hybrid systems lack- symplicity. Cars today are stupidly expensive, alot of which is due to complexity. They are harder to fix, again, due to complexity. And while they are more relyable than they were, they'd be even more relyable if they were simpler.

chas_stevenson
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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

SF please don't take this wrong but I had to laugh at you circular argument.

Cars today are stupidly expensive, a lot of which is due to complexity. They are harder to fix, again, due to complexity. And while they are more reliable than they were, they'd be even more reliable if they were simpler.

So if cars were simpler like they used to be they would be more reliable? But because they are more complexed they are more reliable than they were when they were simple. Something here sends me in a tail spin.

If you asked me, and I know you didn't, but if you asked me the reason cars are so expensive is because of all the safety and pollution control devices they are putting on the cars today.

I lived in California during the 70's, Yes I'm as old as dirt and proud of it, and the car I had at the time was a 72 Chevy. I removed all the pollution control devices from the car and it still passed California smog inspections with flying colors. One technician told me it was one of the cleanest running V8's he had ever checked. The car got 22MPG city and over 32 MPG hwy. with a small V8. The only reason all the smog junk is on the cars of today is because people will not keep the engine tuned properly. If they did they would get much better mileage. If I could get my car to run without the smog junk on it I would but the computer gets upset when you remove the junk. Been there, it stinks!! in more ways than one.

Grandpa Chas S.

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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

Ooops...Yeah, I have a habbit of taking something thats mildly intelegent and making it sound stupid.

Now didn't engines naturaly fall out of tune though? I mean what were you doing to get that kind of milage out of a carburated V8?

chas_stevenson
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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

Well as you said those were simpler times at least where engines were concerned. The car I had was a Nova with a 350 V8. Lots of mussel when you needed it but in day to day driving this size engine in a small body light weight car preformed very well. I was always puttering with the engine, my younger days I fancied myself a gear head, and I kept the thing tuned all the time. I know most people can't do this but even if you tune the engine once a year we would not need all the smog junk. I also did not tune it to factory specifications. The timing was advanced somewhat and I readjusted the carburetor, Quadra junk, so it would not kick in the secondarys so easy. Remember there was a gas crisis in the early 70's so I was going for gas mileage even back then. $2.00 a gallon for gas was outrageous. LOL If you stick your foot in it then of course you could expect 17 MPG but normal driving I could get 22 MPG to work and back all city streets, never any highway for that trip. The other big thing I did was I changed the oil every 3000 miles. I noticed a fall off in mileage if I forgot to do this. I also ran my tires about 5 PSI over their rating. As I think back on this I was worried back then we might be approaching peak oil, we just didn't call it that. If history teaches us anything it is we don't learn from history we are too wrapped up in our own little worlds to really care and the few of us who do care are told to shut up, sit down, and color.

Words of Wisdom?
Grandpa Chas S.

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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

BTW I also helped a friend strip the smog devices off of a Vega and tune it up. We were able to get 44 MPG on the highway with it. It also passed California Smog test when we were finished!

Grandpa Chas S.

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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

Very nice! What were you getting in terms of horsepower? Would it be equivelent to a modern fuel-injected 1.0 litre (thats the only thing other than a hybrid that I can think of off the top of my head that might get neat that amount)?

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Re: GMZ Energy - Startup pursuing thermoelectric improvements

I know my Nova was putting out 278 HP @ around 3600 RPM according to a test dyno at a local speed shop. But of course that was pushing it to it's limits. I don't know what the Vega was. My best guess would be at least 110 HP. I do know the Vega had the big 2 barrel Hollie Carburetor which is what Chevy considered the big engine for the Vega at the time. I think it was a 2.4 liter engine. This guys Vega had enough punch to put you back in the seat as good as any 6 cylinder I ever drove. Too bad it was a Vega they did not have a very good reputation because of the aluminum engine block.

Grandpa Chas S.

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