The issue with 'artcars'....

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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space monk
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The issue with 'artcars'....

Post by space monk » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:19 pm

OK, to be clear, i luv artcars, artbuses, trains, planes, i luv it all. i luv everything about BurningMan, truly. with that said, let me share a quick story with you.

It was sunday and i had placed a manuscript in a can at the temple and looked forward to seeing it go up in flames. so back at my camp, around 8pm, a young kid yells: "the temples burning!" so i rush out there and it's not on fire yet. little punk was wrong. so i'm hanging around (with 15,000 of y'all) and i couldn't stand in one place for more than 2 mins b/c of the fumes from all the 'artcars'. there was a ring of them really close to the temple, hundreds. was like Dehli in july. loud, noxious, i had to leave. i ended up watching the temples burn from my camp...

most of these artcars wouldn't pass emissions tests in texas. my favorite artcar was a huge bus, red with billowing crimson drapes & torches on the roof. was really badass, but when the thing was idling (which was 90% of the time) you couldn't stand within 30 yards. i ended up not liking the people who brought it, but still luved the bus :0)

there must be a way to at least keep these things away from the man and temples. even biodisel prodces really strong fumes, so that's not a big change. there MUST be a movement away from internal-combustion engines. and maybe a fund to build some big electric vehicles. and people could write grants for $$. and maybe give incentives to people who bring electric artcars.

thanks for reading,

space monk
TheFuseIsLit......

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:34 pm

Yeah Monk, Stay with the theme.. Go green.. A bunch of us are going man powered art for 07.. I'm hoping to have three kenetic art forms on the playa.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:02 pm

OK, we use electric motors... and where is all that electricity gonna come from? Solar? Got any idea how many solar panels you'd need to run a vehicle on? A LOT! It's been done successfully by one person I know (Reverend Gadget) but he had a job where he was able to scavenge what would have been about $7000 worth of solar panels to get his power.

Gasoline or diesel powered generators are still the only practical way to make enough power... and there you are at Square One again.
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Post by Tiahaar » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:46 pm

Another idea: It could actually help if vehicles had a tall exhaust stack to put engine/genny fumes +8' up or so, would be a fairly simple fix to work into a mutant design, yes? This could be a good trend to start.
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Post by Dork » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:43 am

I'm tempted to give you crap for complaining about smoke interrupting your enjoyment of an enormous bonfire, but you are right about the oo some of the cars are letting off. Cars are already kept far back enough from the burns to allow some buffer between them and the crowds. If you feel adding a few more feet was needed for any particular burn, you might email BMORG to suggest it. They are never going to be banned completely.

Internal combustion is still king, and that isn't going to change. Clean burning cars don't produce much of anything. The problem is many cars are built on top of buses that were too trashed to keep in service and cars that were not worth fixing up for regular use. Many were chosen because they were exempt from smog laws. There is no little peer pressure on car builders to use efficient engines. I'd dare say there's more pressure to get an old carbureted beast because people think it will be easier to maintain. My experience tells me modern fuel injection and small engines are the way to go, but I'm in the minority.

If the cars are all electric, they're going to need a generator to charge it and run the booming sound systems. Just like the cars themselves, many people will not spend the extra money for something clean and quiet.

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Post by space monk » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:16 am

i like the 'snorkle' idea, like nyc buses. at least it creates a buffer. this year, for some reason, the artcars were right up in there at the temple. when the man burned they were far enough away. and come on, there's no comparison between fire smoke and fumes coming out of a 1978 engine.
i guess the only solution is for one of us to invent the fusion drive that works on organic garbage. or maybe the aliens could lend us some of thier tech?
TheFuseIsLit......

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Post by unjonharley » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:31 am

The stack thing is a real good idea. On a still day/nite those generators are real gasers.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:47 am

So, welcome to Delhi, prabhu.

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Post by Dustdevil » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:19 am

Dork is absolutely correct. A smaller engine that is fuel injected is by far a better way to go. A modern electronic fuel injection system will adjust for the altitude (air density). A carbureted vehicle will produce more emissions at idle due to the altitude. While the idle circuit can be adjusted on a carburetor, it is not a simple task to change the main jetting. Also, a fuel injection system is more complex and the tends to scare off those who have little or no working knowledge of the systems. Somewhere internal combustion is charging the batteries of most of the electric vehicles. No easy answers.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:24 am

Dustdevil wrote:Somewhere internal combustion is charging the batteries of most of the electric vehicles. No easy answers.
Is a coal burning fuel plant using the same process as "internal combustion"?

My other question--why were these cars idling? Why not turn off hte engine?

Just a thought.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Post by space monk » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:17 pm

when we speak of 'internal combustion' we mean an engine that burns fosil fuels. ALL fosil fules damage the biosphere. coal is a fosil fuel. hybrids aren't the answer, neither is biofuel. (i've read that even if we slated all farm land world-wide to growing 'fuel crops' we'd still only account for 2% of needed fuel. and we'd have nothing to eat. there isn't enough biomass on earth to equal oil. oil is really crazy thing. some are starting to think it may not be compressed biomass, some also think it may be 'created' by some earth process we are unaware of. makes me think about the X Files and the black alien oil...)

WE NEED A NEW ENGINE!!

maybe something that runs on magnets or flux capacitors, or emotions or playa dust.
TheFuseIsLit......

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Post by EspressoDude » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:31 pm

Dustdevil wrote:Dork is absolutely correct. A smaller engine that is fuel injected is by far a better way to go. A modern electronic fuel injection system will adjust for the altitude (air density). A carbureted vehicle will produce more emissions at idle due to the altitude. While the idle circuit can be adjusted on a carburetor, it is not a simple task to change the main jetting. Also, a fuel injection system is more complex and the tends to scare off those who have little or no working knowledge of the systems. Somewhere internal combustion is charging the batteries of most of the electric vehicles. No easy answers.
Actually carburetors DO adjust for altitude. A carburetor is a mass flow metering device. The mass of air flowing through it causes the fuel to be pulled into the air stream. Higher altitude means less dense air, so less fuel is pulled into the air stream. The horsepower output does drop about 3.1% per thousand feet elevation, and that is true whether carbureted or fuel injected.

One thing about carbureted engines is that they do not have an oxygen sensor in the exhaust like EPA computerized fuel injected engines. These engines constantly monitor the exhaust looking for unburned fuel(not enough oxygen) and adjust the fuel injection accordingly.
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Post by gyre » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:53 pm

Clogged air filters are a problem out there.
Many cars have stack intakes made by the factory for desert areas.
They typically run up the side of the windshield to the roof.
It prevents sucking up water in a creek as well.
A really good filter is never a bad idea.
Prefilters can be added easily, but must be maintained.

I have a car with a K & N cone filter mounted inside the fender well.
These have a wire mesh liner.
A bolt penetrated this filter, went through several turns and destroyed the supercharger and engine totally.
I think stainless mesh is a good idea now.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
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It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:16 pm

space monk wrote:when we speak of 'internal combustion' we mean an engine that burns fosil fuels.
That may be what you mean by it, but I don't think that usage is universal.
An engine in which both the heat energy and the ensuing mechanical energy are produces inside the engine. Includes gas turbines, spark ignition gas, and compression ignition diesel engines.
http://www.coalitionforcleanair.org/air ... ssary.html

An engine in which the combustion of the fuel takes place within the cylinder.
www.aeroplanemonthly.com/glossary/glossary_IJ.htm

An internal combustion engine is an engine that is powered by the expansion of hot combustion products of fuel directly acting within an engine. A piston internal combustion engine works by burning hydrocarbon or hydrogen fuel that presses on a piston; and a jet engine works as the hot combustion products press on the interior parts of the nozzle and combustion chamber, directly accelerating the engine forwards. The rotary combustion engine uses a rotor instead of reciprocating pistons.
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion_engine
I had only ever heard it used to described automobile engines. I'm quite fine with keeping that to mean that particular kind of engine/generator and use "burning fossil fuels" to mean "burning fossil fuels."
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gyre
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Post by gyre » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:25 pm

It's a reference to internal versus external combustion.
A coal plant would be external combustion.
A petrol external combustion engine is possible but thay are not generally around.

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Post by geekster » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:09 pm

"ALL fosil fules damage the biosphere"

Uhm ... all fossil fuels came FROM the atmosphere (where did that CO2 come from to begin with?) and end up back in the atmosphere (eventually that coal or oil field will subduct or have a volcano erupt through it). Have a look at google earth sometime and notice the Western edge of the Arabian peninsula ... see all that black ... that's recent (geologically speaking) volcanism. At some point or another, a volcano will likely erupt right through an oil field and dump as much CO2 into the atmosphere in a day as we have in a century. People have no idea what nature can do on her own.
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Post by Dustdevil » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:50 pm

Expresso,

My gas analyzer and I must disagree with you. While that may be true to a very minor degree, I believe you may be confusing air density with air velocity. Two examples: When we race in Steamboat Springs, CO we are forced to jet our carburetors down almost 5 sizes depending on the ambient temp. An engine of any given size turning a given number of rpms is going to draw in a given volume of air. The air fuel ratio must be close to 14:1 for ideal horsepower. If the air is thin, but still has a high velocity the lamda figure will go into a less than effective range. On a closer examination, when we race at Sears Point (Infineon) Raceway in Sonoma, we change our main jets between a morning qualifying and mid afternoon sprint races. This is due to the fact that the warmer air is less dense and we must jet down accordingly. This occurs at sea level when the ambient temp changes more than 20dgs F, which is usually the case in Sonoma during the summer months. Also, if the air density was not a factor, there would be no need for a MAP or BMAP sensor on electronic FI vehicles. If you go to any major race event, you will see the high dollar teams actually have a weather station and they also adjust for humidity as well as temp and air density. That being said, little or no driving on the Playa should ever be fast enough to use the main jets. IF the speed limits are observed, the idle circuits of a carbureted vehicle will produce enough power to cruise at 5 mph. The exception naturally being a large bus or getting a heavy vehicle underway. During those time the power valve opens and releases more fuel into the system. While the Playa is close to 4000 feet, on a hot day, 90 dgs or better, the air density is equal to being at a figure close to 7000 feet. At night the temp drops below standard for the altitude and the engine will act as if it is at 2000' MSL. That is why it is not practical to jet a carb for that climate. The climate varies so dramatically. And driving at low speeds really creates the best of compromise. Please understand that I am not trying to be argumentive, but after 25 years of racing my Shelby both at sea level and very high alititude, I have acquired a good deal of carburetor tuning experience. The fly in the ointment is another factor. We can add chemicals to the fuel that are called oxygenators. In Colorado where I would normally jet down 4 or 5 steps, I only need to go down 1 or 2 steps. The downside is, if they chose my car to tear down and scrutinize, I would be disqualified if the additives were discoved. The top fuel drivers change the amount of nitro in the mix depending on ambient temps and air density as well. When the rules for racing create a level playing field for the engine specs, the tuning becomes far more important.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:58 pm

gyre wrote:It's a reference to internal versus external combustion.
A coal plant would be external combustion.
That's what I thought.

And DD, sorry if it sounded like I was nagging you, I was just trying to get clarification.
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Post by Bin Noddin » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:30 pm

gyre wrote:A petrol external combustion engine is possible but thay are not generally around.
Diesel fueled steam locomotives are around, quite a filthy plume of smoke. Like this gorgeous babe who lives in Portland (retired SP):
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Post by space monk » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:37 am

i recomend the movie STEAM BOY.
we should run everything on steam. that's the answer. have one mobile nuclear plant that the BLM rolls in, then we use the steam!
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Post by gyre » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:46 pm

Maybe we could use Apokalyptika's radioactive pile to generate steam?

I want to caution anyone who drives at burning man about the return.
I didn't drive again until I got home.
I was so used to the 5 mph reaction time, I nearly plowed into someone at a low rate of speed, the first time I drove.
Exodus probably gives most people time to adapt.

Be forewarned though.
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It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by Toolmaker » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:47 pm

[quote="space monk"]that's the answer. have one mobile nuclear plant that the BLM rolls in, then we use the steam![/quote]



Nuclear is BAD!!!

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Post by EspressoDude » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:27 pm

Bin Noddin wrote:
gyre wrote:A petrol external combustion engine is possible but thay are not generally around.
Diesel fueled steam locomotives are around, quite a filthy plume of smoke. Like this gorgeous babe who lives in Portland (retired SP):
Bin, I believe most of the "stuff" out the front stack is water vapor. If you look closely at the stack there is nothing visible for about a foot then the steam starts to condense and become visible.

SP 4449 is a beauty for sure, and I have watched it go by several times. Steam has a very distinct sound and can be distinguished from regular diesel/electric at a couple miles away.....AND then there is the whistle..

picture I took in 1999 in "freedom train" colors

Image

this is pulling a shortie excursion, and at about 20mph and not yet hot enough to get clear vaper out the stack
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Post by EspressoDude » Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:17 pm

further research:

The vapors coming out of the stack are a large percentage steam. There is a device mounted under the stack called a blastpipe. Exhausted steam from the cylinders is directed from the bottom of the boiler casing upward through the stack with the purpose of increasing draft through the fire tubes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blastpipe
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Post by BAS » Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:47 pm

IIRC, white=water vapor, yellow=sulfur compounds, blue=oil/petroleum by-products, black=carbon in the mix. Based on the pictures, and the fact it is a steam locomotive, I'd be reasonably certain that what is coming out of the exhaust is at least mostly steam/water vapor.

Mostly what did in steam trains was that they were/are more labor intensive than diesel/diesel electrics. Diesel exhaust might be cleaned up (at least mostly) if the algae produced biodiesel experiments pan out. (I hope they do-- it would go a long way to weening us off foriegn oil!)

Well, I really need to get to bed.


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Post by Bob » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:56 pm

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Post by Isotopia » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:17 am

Image

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Post by EspressoDude » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:04 am

now that's some art!!
Is 4 shots enuff? no foo-foo drinks; just naked Espresso
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Post by ZaphodBurner » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:42 pm

We tried using dual exhaust stacks for our gennie box in 2005.

If you do it, you MUST make sure that you have proper cooling and airflow. For example, our generator breathed just fine, but it got so hot the power switch melted, so we had to basically strangle it to shut it down or risk burning fingers getting to the fuel cutoff.

Ended up having to replace parts on a borrowed ex-burner's generator. (Shitty thing is, after we got it all fixed and cleaned and returned to him, somebody broke into his place and stole it.)

We used dual 8" diameter by 8' stacks with a solar-recharged 12v battery driving fans in the stacks. ...in theory. In practice, playa dust destroys fan bearings and they ended up not working out anyway. Ultimately, we ended up not using the generator except for an hour or so after sunset when we wanted to play music.

Next time....NEXT time...

-c
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Post by Bob » Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:29 pm

Image
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