1921-01-01

FUEL PROBLEM IN RELATION TO ENGINEERING VIEWPOINT 210016

The author states preliminarily that it is believed that never before in the history of the Society of Automotive Engineers has a single problem been so universally studied as the fuel problem that is confronting the industry today. It is also believed that never before has the industry had a problem which includes such a wide scope of work. The solution calls for the service of every class of engineer, inventor and scientist.
The paper does not attempt to give highly scientific information; its real purpose is to appeal for a broader viewpoint and to give illustrations and tests which show that the solution of a problem may lie in an entirely different method than that which often becomes stereotyped by sheer usage, rather than by its specific merit. In the solution of the fuel problem we undoubtedly will have to change some of our old habits, replacing them by studiously worked out viewpoints. The further object of the paper is to seek the correlation of the experience of the entire engineering fraternity, to obtain the comments of its members and receive any suggestions they may offer.
After giving recognition to the cooperation and assistance already received and making general comments upon the desirability of radical changes in viewpoint, the author enters upon a discussion of the engine power required to drive a car at constant speed and the effect of using higher piston compression-ratios, illustrated by a table and chart, with a view to demonstrating the value of modified viewpoint. In like manner he discusses the constant-clearance aluminum piston and the fuel vaporizer. The basic principles of the engine used in testing are next considered and copiously illustrated, together with the apparatus used in the dynamometer and practical driving tests that were made. Charts show the percentage comparison of results and these are explained.
After a discussion of ideal economy, it is stated that the tests show that an absurd waste is rampant in the present method of applying the indicated engine power and that this subject should be studied from every angle. A close study from the brake-horsepower standpoint may justify changing both transmission and rear-axle drive ratios. The latter combinations, together with engine developments, look the most promising at present. The progress we make will be measured by the extent to which we expand our engineering viewpoint.

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