Monday, October 01, 2007

From the mouths of babes, and a question

My 7 year old daughter had an interesting thought; if your nose was pierced, but you didn't have the nose ring in, and you sneezed, it could go all over.

Hope you were eating while you read that. :^)

On another note, I've read a few reviews of hybrid cars, and one thing that pops out is that most of them can tow less than non-hybrid vehicles, even those equipped with the exact same gasoline engine. This is really counter-intuitive, as the first major use of hybrid drive trains is the diesel-electric railroad locomotive. Such drivetrains are renowned for the low end torque required to tow large loads, and electric motors generate their maximum torque at 0 rpm--from a stop.

So it's confusing to me why the "ideal" setup for pulling heavy loads would actually be capable of pulling less than would be the case if you simply (more or less) removed the motor--the part most capable of handling the torque.

Maybe it has something to do with the control electronics, or the transmission & differential. Whatever it is, I'm perplexed.

8 comments:

Mercy Now said...

I'm not scientist but is it because locomotive run on rails and therefore less friction?

Palm boy said...

Mercy, I think you want friction, ie traction, when taking off from a stop.

BB, I think this case for towing is because the electric motor doesn't run as strongly over a long period of time like a gas engine. It starts strong, but its power wanes as the battery fades, or it requires the engine to generate more electricity, causing a drain on the engine reasources.

kingdavid said...

How big a factor would friction play on a big wad of snot being forced through the hole of a pierced nose?

How much internal air pressure would be required to not only get it through a hole that small, but to propel the snot far enough to hit dad in the face?

Let's not get sidetracked on such silly issues as the towing capability of hybrids.

pentamom said...

I like your daughter's analytical style. My question about those has always been, "Why would you want to attach something to your nose that, at first glance or in someone else's peripheral vision, makes it look like you have a large zit on your nose? As a FASHION STATEMENT?"

Bike Bubba said...

Palm Boy, maybe, but the most difficult part about towing (besides parking when you want to get a bite to eat) is getting the load started, not keeping it at highway speeds. To go fast, you just use a lower gear--a good idea to begin with since the engine supplements the brakes.

KD, I'll ask her her opinion on these vitally important matters.

Bike Bubba said...

Pentamom, are you saying that a ruby nose ring wouldn't exactly be the cat's meow?

Marklark said...

How big a difference was there in the towing capability? Perhaps it's just the difference due to the vehicle having to pull the batteries, generators, etc...

Bike Bubba said...

It can be pretty significant. The Escape loses 500 lbs to 1000 lbs, and the Highlander appears to lose 1500 lbs to 3500 lbs with the hybrid option.

It should, however, be just the opposite--unless the reliability of the motors is suspect enough that the carmakers don't want to risk people trying to pull stumps with their Priuses.