One Watt of power is equivalent to one Joule of energy expenditure per second. It may require 300 kJ of energy to accelerate a car to 55 mph but that would generally depend on the amount of time taken to do the acceleration. Once you're moving, maintaining a given speed is dependent on your friction and drag losses, and requires a certain rate of energy expenditure - i.e. a certain amount of power.so, how does one convert the 300kj needed to push a 1 ton car just over 55mph into watts needed then? by seconds?
how about this?
a natural gas burning 100-150cc generator followed by a stirling engine "turbo generator" to recycle some of the energy lost as heat? any promise of noticeably higher efficiency than a standard ICE there? turbochargers nearly double ICE efficiency. i'd bet a stirling engine is more efficient than a turbo charger if one can be run off the temperature difference between one's hand and ambient air. the heat difference from an exhaust compared to to fresh air is much greater and if propane expands from it's liquid state into a gaseous one for combustion, that could form an air conditioner style "intercooler" for even greater efficiency. i first thought of it in a steam engine configuration until i saw how inefficient steam power is.
my research dead ended with a pure alcohol burnining ICE which would run cheaper than anything if you distilled your own fuel, but natural gas is the emissions champ for easy conversions.
you just can't find much info on hydrogen conversions. virtually any link for it is for a conversion kit of which i've heard rumors many are bogus and a lot of dead links.
there just have to be answers to questions no one has asked yet. i guess this is another dead end though as a puny 5hp stirling running off combustion is HUGE. the returns from an already 5hp engine's exhaust would be minimal, even with it's 40% efficiency.
Turbochargers do improve energy efficiency of an engine but not by 100 percent. They can double the power output but only at a substantially greater fuel consumption compared to the naturally aspirated engine.
As a rule of thumb, a contemporary gasoline engine will typically convert 1/3 of the chemical energy in the fuel to mechanical work at the crankshaft, 1/3 into cooling system heat, and 1/3 into exhaust heat. The turbocharger recovers some of the exhaust heat and effectively turns it into available work at the crankshaft. The end effect is that the exhaust gas temperature of a turbocharged engine is lower than a naturally aspirated engine, for a given gas flow rate. Assuming that equal combustion temperatures are reached, this implies that the turbocharged engine is more efficient.
Stirling engines are interesting in many regards, but their thermodynamic efficiency is determined by the same equation as for any other heat engine, and the hard thing with Stirling engines is to design one that will tolerate very high temperatures at one end and near-room temperature at the other, while also having minimal 'dead' space for the working gas (which ideally is kept at as high a pressure as possible). And you still need a near-frictionless sliding seal for the pistons and a reciprocating-to-rotary motion conversion system. In contrast, the turbocharger can extract the same energy from the exhaust with one moving part.