(Dec. 2003) Competition for batteries for portable military equipment may come from the diesel engine. Tectonica of Australia is working on a prototype of a diesel engine which is a “tiny, single cylinder with a bore of about one centimeter, generating about 25 Watts at around seven Volts” according to Stephen Thomas, Tectonica’s business manager.
Currently, the U.S. military in Iraq use two tons of radio batteries a day. Most batteries weigh in the one kilogram range and are not rechargeable. Typical cost for these batteries are US$100.00. Tectonica hopes to replace these types of batteries with a tiny, quiet diesel generator which a solider can wear on his belt to power all of his equipment. (For additional information, see the following website: http:www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/26/1069825836764.html)
(December 2003) DIESEL FUTURES
In a study conducted by General Motors, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Alberta in Canada found that the well-to-wheels efficiency of diesels was better than that of fuel cells and gas/electric hybrids. Details of the study were not made available. Mercedes–Benz will join Volkswagen in with new diesel passenger cars most likely in Europe only, since European cetane levels are close to 3 percent that are then the U.S. diesel, facilitating quick starts and continuing combustion.
Using highly controllable injection systems, reduced sulfur diesel fuel, high cetane rating, and high technology exhaust after treatment systems, the possibility for high mileage, low pollution engines may lie with the diesels.
The reader is impressed with the diesel possibilities which are within reach today, using present fossil fuels.
Ref: Popular Mechanics, Nov., 2003, pp. 94 – 98