Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Equivalent MPG conundrum

Here's some Auto stuff..

This is the age of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Every company is coming up with its HE (hybrid electric) versions of the cars claiming that they improve the fuel economy. Some numbers tell that the Prius has a fuel economy of 48 miles per gallon (mpg) on city cycle, Honda Civic hybrid was rated 40mpg whereas the latest hype is about Chevy Volt, claiming 60 mpg (combined mode) and 93 mpg (electric only mode).

The basic assumption lies in the fact that this equivalent fuel economy is higher because unlike normal vehicles, in HEVs or EVs less amount of gasoline is burnt. They had to find some way for comparing the fuel "burnt" as "electricity" (which produces no emissions) to the fuel that is burnt in conventional vehicles to come up with a number: miles per "gallons" (where there are really no "gallons" of fuel "burnt" in electric vehicles).

"To reach this number EPA created a conversion factor between quantity of electric energy (KWHr) and volume of gasoline (gallons). They did this by dividing the heating value of a gallon of gasoline by the energy in a KWHr of electricity to get a conversion factor of 33.7 gallons/KWhr." ..states the article below

But is this the right way to do it? Should they account for the energy losses in "preparing" that electricity? after all we should be concerned more towards reducing the fossil fuel usage rather than "increasing" the power train efficiency per se

..and if they do what are the new numbers? are they more realistic?

This is a very nice article which sheds light on this issue. One of our profs shared it with us. You guys will find it interesting

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Open to Interpretations!!

After having Pizza and Coke we headed to Central Campus for the midnight celebration. Me, Anish, Rohit, Vaibhav, Vineet and Yash with Yash having the control over the steering wheel reached central at around quarter to 12 (without taking any repetitive U turns or changing 2,3 lanes in one go). After having a tough time finding parking, we finally got one at some place which I don't know!!

As decided we headed to Grizlly's Peak Restaurant and Bar to see and be a part of the New Years celebrations. The restaurant was closed and bar was storming with people. Screens were put up which displayed live celebrations going at Times Square, NY. With a glass of beer in hand and chatting in a group of few, everyone was waiting for the stroke of 12, to see the famous ball drop, and to get insane in welcoming the new year.

It was going to be 1-1-11 within a minute and everyone including us started screaming the countdown. 5-4-3-2-1 and that was it! The ball dropped, couples kissed, singles danced, sane people became insane and drunk became the eye-catchers. The whole country and hence each and every single person at the bar welcomed the new year with immense enthusiasm! Music was put on, floor changed into a dance floor... and we, a group of 6.. stood in the corner and watched people!

And there she came, a blonde, not-so good looking, but.. guys.. a blonde! She approached us greeting.. "Strangers.. Happy new Year, Happy New year!!" We greeted the same adding to her enthu!. Then she directly approached one of us... aur uske balon se khelkar usko personally greet kiya... Happy New Year!!!! ...Wow!! Now that was unexpected.. we all were stunned and looking at that guy and imagining ALL what could have followed IF he had not jus stood there smiling! Bolta hai... "apna culture abhi tak bhoola nahi hu!"

This was not all. We came out. We were deciding.. Now where? She was there, that same gal, in a corner. And she approached us again.. Looking straight into the eyes of the same guy (I guess he is the most good looking amongst us!) she asked him if he had a lighter! He, along with one other guy.. smiled and said.. NO, we don smoke!!

She went away, opened her purse, pulled a lighter and lit her cigarette!!

We looked at each other, we looked at that guy, we smiled.. Happy New Year 2011.