Green(er) Towing... fuel choices? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-04-2007, 11:41 AM   #43
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Peter, better do some research on our nickel mines, our smelters run on electricity and natural gas, not coal.

and we meet some of the toughest standards in North America.
We are ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 compliant.
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:58 PM   #44
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Peter, better do some research on our nickel mines, our smelters run on electricity and natural gas, not coal.

and we meet some of the toughest standards in North America.
We are ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 compliant.

Both of those documents (ISO 9001 and 14001) are not emission standards. They are management system documents. I don't have much experience with 14001, but I'm very well aware of the requirements of 9001.

That's not to say that emission starndards aren't being met.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:56 PM   #45
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...We looked at the Prius and Civic Hybrid prior to buying the gas Civic. The hybrids are stellar for in-city driving and really do get pretty close to their advertised 50mpg under those conditions. If you drive at 53 mph you will also realize 50 mpg highway with the 1,000 cc gas engines that they have...
The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Specifications indicate a 1339 cc (1.3 L), 110 horsepower engine. This is certainly more than 1,000 cc, and about 50% more power than my perfectly adequate 1984 Tercel had. If the electric system all died, the remaining gasoline drivetrain would provide performance that we would have been satisfied with a generation ago - we're getting very spoiled.

Similarly, the Prius has a 1497 cc (1.5 L) engine. In this case, it only has 76 hp because it is optimized for economy, and the design is more dependent on the electric components. In fact, the transmission system fundamentally integrates an electric motor and generator, and is inoperable without them; the Honda design is more of an add-on approach. This is not a criticism, just an explanation of why it is not possible to say what the Prius would be like without the hybrid component.

I agree with the relevant point, which is that any improvement in highway fuel economy in this cars due to the hybrid design comes from allowing the use of an engine which is [b]more optimal for the sustained moderate power demand of highway cruising. This doesn't seem like a great match with towing... thus a limitation in the advantage which might be expected from going hybrid in the tug.

Both sets of specifications are for U.S. models, since that's where most FiberglassRV members live. Earlier versions of both models had different engines, but the Prius was certainly never a one-litre, and I don't believe the Civic was. The now-defunct little Honda Insight coupe engine might have been as small as one litre.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:16 PM   #46
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...the only reason nickle (and many other) mining operations are so dirty is they haven't been forced to clean up their act. The sulpher dioxide emissions, for example, are due to burning cheaper high-sulpher coal in their smelters; they could dramatically reduce their emissions by burning low-sulpher coal.
In about four minutes of research I found the air and sulphur dioxide emission sections of Inco's 2004 Environment, Health & Safety report. It appears that burning cheap coal is not the cause of the problem, and I think Cdn$845 million is a significant expenditure towards better technology to control the problem. I don't think I am sufficiently informed or qualified to judge whether the situation is acceptable (although I am confident I'm better in both respects than the Daily Mail staff), but I'm not about to avoid nickel on an environmental basis.

Now here's a relevant [b]material issue: our trailers reduce energy and other resource use, compared to some alternatives (such as typical motorhomes) in two ways, by virtue of being trailers made of structural fiberglass shells:
  1. as trailers, they can continue for decades in effective service without needing replacement due to mechanical breakdown (the trailer advantage); and,
  2. they don't rot or corrode (the bodies, anyway), also avoiding replacement (the fiberglass advantage).
The nasty part comes when it really is the end of the road: if the shell is destroyed (such as in a collision) or it just makes sense to go to a new unit for a better shape, superior insulation, or whatever, the material's [b]recyclability is poor. Metals can be melted down and purified (huge fractions of steel, aluminum, and lead - for instance - are routinely and economically recycled), many plastics can be melted and formed into other products (although of lower grade if the material is not kept pure), and glass is trivial to remelt and reuse. In contrast, I think a lump of glass-reinforced polyester with foam or carpet glued to the inside is doomed to become landfill. Am I mistaken?
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:47 PM   #47
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25 years ago, Sudbury and area was a black hole, an eyesore of unbelievable proportions.
it was so desolate, the NASA astronauts did some training up here.
through intensive emission reductions, process improvements and huge efforts at re-greening, our district is now once again a gren and blue jewel. it isn't perfect, but it is getting very nice.

ISO 14001 does have a section dealing with refuse, waste and pollution controls.

Sorry if I sounded snotty, that isn't what I intended.



Joe
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #48
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ISO 14001 does have a section dealing with refuse, waste and pollution controls.

Sorry if I sounded snotty, that isn't what I intended.
Joe
I didn't think you came across as "snotty" or any other negative. I just felt that there was a bit of a misunderstanding what ISO documents are and what they do. Both documents are management documents. These management documents generally are the how you're going to meet the requirements of customers (ISO9001) and environmental laws (ISO 14001).
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:53 PM   #49
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Peter, better do some research on our nickel mines, our smelters run on electricity and natural gas, not coal.

and we meet some of the toughest standards in North America.
We are ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 compliant.
Oops & Ouch! Joe is quite right.

INCO, which operates the Sudbury plant, does run fossil-fuel-fired generating stations for some of its smelters, but the Sudbury plant is not one of those operations.

Reading again and more closely, the Sudbury copper and nickel seam, a deposit likely left by a large & ancient meteor collision, is particularly high in sulpher. When released as sulpher gas during smelting it combines with oxygen to form sulpher dioxide. Though they've cut emissions to 1/6th the levels seen in the late 80s, the Sudbury smelter is still the single largest point emission source for Sulpher Dioxide on the planet.

--Peter
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:58 PM   #50
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You know what's really neat? We may not all agree on how to be environmentally friendly, but we all seem to agree that taking a more environmentally friendly approach is important.

--Peter
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:12 AM   #51
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You know what's really neat? We may not all agree on how to be environmentally friendly, but we all seem to agree that taking a more environmentally friendly approach is important.

--Peter
Peter, what's really interesting to me is how many ways there are and how many different facets of modern life need to be cleaned up. Of course, no one agrees to what extent various things need to be done, but we seem to all recognize that most of them are problems.

Roger
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:34 AM   #52
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The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid Specifications indicate a 1339 cc (1.3 L), 110 horsepower engine. This is certainly more than 1,000 cc, and about 50% more power than my perfectly adequate 1984 Tercel had. If the electric system all died, the remaining gasoline drivetrain would provide performance that we would have been satisfied with a generation ago - we're getting very spoiled.

... but the Prius was certainly never a one-litre, and I don't believe the Civic was. The now-defunct little Honda Insight coupe engine might have been as small as one litre.
Brian... my "one liter" comment was to indicate a smaller engine (as compared to my 6.8L V10) than the 1.8L engine offered in the gas models; not to be precise about engine size. FWIW, the 1.8L engine is now a 140hp wonder, and the current Civic is almost exactly the size of the '87 Accord I had several years ago...

But... since you opened the barn door... engine size isn't all that relevent in determining either the amount of power a specific vehicle has or estimating what kind of gas mileage it can achieve. As I've said before, I can nearly eek out as good of gas mileage figures from my Excursion with it's 6.8L V10 as I've gotten from a 3.0L V6 Toyota truck. Gearing is significant, but the bottom line is horsepower to weight ratio. Efficient use of power is what moves a car down the road, and horsepower, along with aerodynamics and gearing, really determines gas mileage by limiting how hard the engine works.

Without doing the math on HP/weight ratios, and JUST on engine size alone... the original 1973 Civic had a whopping 1169cc 50 hp in-line four (not much more than a liter, BTW). The 1975 Honda Civic CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) had a 1488 cc 53 hp in-line four. Both had curb weights of 1500 lbs.

The Civic Hybrid is dragging around 2875 lbs (curb weight) with that 1339cc 110 hp engine. My '06 Civic EX loaded is still lighter than the Hybrid at 2807 curb weight with the 140hp 1.8L. The weight to horsepower ratio on the Hybrid is very similar to the original Civics which were underpowered when they were introduced. Thy Hybrid, while not exactly sluggish, isn't exactly a powerhouse either. My loaded Civic EX is surprisingly snappy in comparison.

I had a roommate years ago who had a '75 CVCC and I was always amazed at how sluggish it was in comparison to my '74 Mitsubishi powered Dodge Colt (which was a piece of junk in it's own right... but that's another discussion).

Roger
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:52 AM   #53
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You know what's really neat? We may not all agree on how to be environmentally friendly, but we all seem to agree that taking a more environmentally friendly approach is important.

--Peter

Agreed!

As to sluggish cars - try driving one of the A2 series ('85 - '92) of VW Jettas with the normally aspirated 1.6 diesel. 52 hp!
If nothing else, it teaches you the concept of consevation of momentum, and how to plan a passing maneuver well in advance!


(edited to fix model years)
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:25 AM   #54
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You know what's really neat? We may not all agree on how to be environmentally friendly, but we all seem to agree that taking a more environmentally friendly approach is important.
That's the positive view, Peter. The related but not-so-positive view is that nearly everyone agrees that an environmentally friendly approach is needed - but they think that they themselves have pretty much achieved that already, and that it's what you and I do that needs changing......

Each of us picks the good things that we already do and is happy to explain that if everyone behaved like them we wouldn't have a problem. But we rarely look at the bad things we do.

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As to sluggish cars - try driving one of the A2 series ('85 - '92) of VW Jettas with the normally aspirated 1.6 diesel. 52 hp!
Pah! You are joking, surely? That's a powerhouse.

I used to own a Citroen 2CV, with all of 32hp. Maximum speed: 69mph. Cruising speed: 69mph (gradient permitting).
http://www.citroen.mb.ca/cItROeNet/passeng...2cv/2cv-14.html

Andrew
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:58 PM   #55
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Roger, I agree that the exact engine size isn't really important; I would have said "very small" instead of "1,000 cc"...

I realize today's hybrid sedans are heavier than the subcompacts of the 1970's. In using my Tercel for comparison I realize that it was lighter than the Civic hybrid, but the power-to-weight ratio is still about the same. I never held up the flow of traffic with that Tercel, and I still maintain that even in common sedans we have more performance available to us than we ever have before... and don't need it. Just like people who drive knobby-tired 4X4 trucks to work and the shopping mall - and never off road - we and the environment pay for unnecessary and unused capabilities.

Roger is also completely correct about the importance - or rather the lack of importance - of displacement. Even peak horsepower is not very meaningful by itself to fuel economy, since some engines are designed to run at a large percentage of peak power efficiently, while others (usually much lighter per peak horsepower) should run under more moderate load, and with the peak expected to be used only for brief periods.

It's all about matching the full range of engine characteristics to the job. That's why a small passenger car towing a two-ton trailer and a three-ton SUV pulling a tiny egg are both unlikely to be efficient combinations, even if the vehicle is well-suited to its other uses.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:01 PM   #56
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... they think that they themselves have pretty much achieved that already, and that it's what you and I do that needs changing....
There's always a risk in quoting part of a statement for reference that it will be taken out of context, but this is one that has truly broad applicability - way beyond environmental issues!
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