Although petro-hydraulic hybrid technology has been known for decades, and used in trains and very large construction vehicles, high costs of the equipment precluded the systems from lighter trucks and cars. In the modern sense an experiment proved the viability of small petro-hydraulic hybrid road vehicles in A group of students at Minneapolis, Minnesota's Hennepin Vocational Technical Center, converted a Volkswagen Beetle car to run as a petro-hydraulic hybrid using off-the shelf components.
In the s, a team of engineers working at EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory succeeded in developing a revolutionary type of petro-hydraulic hybrid powertrain that would propel a typical American sedan car. The accumulator vessel size dictates total energy storage capacity and may require more space than an electric battery set.
Any vehicle space consumed by a larger size of accumulator vessel may be offset by the need for a smaller sized charging engine, in HP and physical size. Research is underway in large corporations and small companies. Focus has now switched to smaller vehicles.
The system components were expensive which precluded installation in smaller trucks and cars. A drawback was that the power driving motors were not efficient enough at part load. The pump is highly efficient at all speed ranges and loads, giving feasibility to small applications of petro-hydraulic hybrids.
The BMW i, gave double the mpg in city driving compared to the standard car. The design of petro-hydraulic hybrids using well sized accumulators allows downsizing an engine to average power usage, not peak power usage. Peak power is provided by the energy stored in the accumulator. A smaller more efficient constant speed engine reduces weight and liberates space for a larger accumulator.
It is restrictive and far from ideal to install petro-hydraulic mechanicals into existing bodies not designed for hydraulic setups. One research project's goal is to create a blank paper design new car, to maximize the packaging of petro-hydraulic hybrid components in the vehicle. All bulky hydraulic components are integrated into the chassis of the car.
One design has claimed to return mpg in tests by using a large hydraulic accumulator which is also the structural chassis of the car. The small hydraulic driving motors are incorporated within the wheel hubs driving the wheels and reversing to claw-back kinetic braking energy. The hub motors eliminates the need for friction brakes, mechanical transmissions, drive shafts and U joints, reducing costs and weight. Hydrostatic drive with no friction brakes are used in industrial vehicles.
Energy created by shock absorbers and kinetic braking energy that normally would be wasted assists in charging the accumulator. A small fossil fuelled piston engine sized for average power use charges the accumulator. The accumulator is sized at running the car for 15 minutes when fully charged. In January industry giant Chrysler announced a partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA to design and develop an experimental petro-hydraulic hybrid powertrain suitable for use in large passenger cars. In an existing production minvan was adapted to the new hydraulic powertrain for assessment.
The hydraulic and electronic components were supplied by Robert Bosch GmbH.
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Another form of hybrid vehicle are human power-electric vehicles. These include such vehicles as the Sinclair C5 , Twike , electric bicycles , and electric skateboards.
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In a parallel hybrid vehicle an electric motor and an internal combustion engine are coupled such that they can power the vehicle either individually or together. Most commonly the internal combustion engine, the electric motor and gear box are coupled by automatically controlled clutches. For electric driving the clutch between the internal combustion engine is open while the clutch to the gear box is engaged. While in combustion mode the engine and motor run at the same speed.
The first mass production parallel hybrid sold outside Japan was the 1st generation Honda Insight. In a power-split hybrid electric drive train there are two motors: a traction electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The power from these two motors can be shared to drive the wheels via a power split device, which is a simple planetary gear set.
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The combustion engine can act as a generator charging the batteries. On the open road, the primary power source is the internal combustion engine. When maximum power is required, for example to overtake, the traction electric motor is used to assist. This increases the available power for a short period, giving the effect of having a larger engine than actually installed.
In most applications, the combustion engine is switched off when the car is slow or stationary thereby reducing curbside emissions. A series- or serial-hybrid vehicle is driven by an electric motor, functioning as an electric vehicle while the battery pack energy supply is sufficient, with an engine tuned for running as a generator when the battery pack is insufficient. There is typically no mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels, and the primary purpose of the range extender is to charge the battery.
It operates as an electric vehicle until the battery charge is low, and then activates an engine-powered generator to maintain power, and is also available without the range extender.
The Fisker Karma was the first series-hybrid production vehicle. When describing cars, the battery of a series-hybrid is usually charged by being plugged in - but a series-hybrid may also allow for a battery to only act as a buffer and for regeneration purposes , and for the electric motor's power to be supplied constantly by a supporting engine.
Series arrangements have been common in diesel-electric locomotives and ships.
Ferdinand Porsche effectively invented this arrangement in speed-record-setting racing cars in the early 20th century, such as the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. Porsche named his arrangement "System Mixt" and it was a wheel hub motor design, where each of the two front wheels was powered by a separate motor. This arrangement was sometimes referred to as an electric transmission , as the electric generator and driving motor replaced a mechanical transmission. The vehicle could not move unless the internal combustion engine was running. In Toyota released the first series-hybrid bus sold in Japan.
Using supercapacitors they claim up to mpg in a series-hybrid arrangement. Another subtype of hybrid vehicles is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle PHEV. The plug-in hybrid is usually a general fuel-electric parallel or serial hybrid with increased energy storage capacity, usually through a lithium-ion battery , which allows the vehicle to drive on all-electric mode a distance that depends on the battery size and its mechanical layout series or parallel. It may be connected to mains electricity supply at the end of the journey to avoid charging using the on-board internal combustion engine.
This concept is attractive to those seeking to minimize on-road emissions by avoiding — or at least minimizing — the use of ICE during daily driving. As with pure electric vehicles, the total emissions saving, for example in CO 2 terms, is dependent upon the energy source of the electricity generating company. Current tax systems in many European countries use mineral oil taxation as a major income source. This is generally not the case for electricity, which is taxed uniformly for the domestic customer, however that person uses it.
Some electricity suppliers also offer price benefits for off-peak night users, which may further increase the attractiveness of the plug-in option for commuters and urban motorists.
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A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report examined hybrid electric vehicle accidents that involved pedestrians and cyclists and compared them to accidents involving internal combustion engine vehicles ICEV. The findings showed that, in certain road situations, HEVs are more dangerous for those on foot or bicycle. For crashes involving cyclists or pedestrians, there was a higher incident rate for HEVs than ICEVs when a vehicle was turning a corner.
But there was no statistically significant difference between the types of vehicles when they were driving straight. Several automakers developed electric vehicle warning sounds designed to alert pedestrians to the presence of electric drive vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles EVs travelling at low speeds. Their purpose is to make pedestrians, cyclists, the blind, and others aware of the vehicle's presence while operating in all-electric mode.
The hybrid vehicle typically achieves greater fuel economy and lower emissions than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles ICEVs , resulting in fewer emissions being generated. These savings are primarily achieved by three elements of a typical hybrid design:. Other techniques that are not necessarily 'hybrid' features, but that are frequently found on hybrid vehicles include:. These features make a hybrid vehicle particularly efficient for city traffic where there are frequent stops, coasting and idling periods.
In addition noise emissions are reduced, particularly at idling and low operating speeds, in comparison to conventional engine vehicles. For continuous high speed highway use these features are much less useful in reducing emissions. Hybrid vehicle emissions today are getting close to or even lower than the recommended level set by the EPA Environmental Protection Agency. The recommended levels they suggest for a typical passenger vehicle should be equated to 5. The three most popular hybrid vehicles, Honda Civic , Honda Insight and Toyota Prius , set the standards even higher by producing 4.
More fossil fuel is needed to build hybrid vehicles than conventional cars but reduced emissions when running the vehicle more than outweigh this. Though hybrid cars consume less fuel than conventional cars, there is still an issue regarding the environmental damage of the hybrid car battery. Today most hybrid car batteries are one of two types: 1 nickel metal hydride, or 2 lithium ion ; both are regarded as more environmentally friendly than lead-based batteries which constitute the bulk of petrol car starter batteries today.
There are many types of batteries. Some are far more toxic than others. Lithium ion is the least toxic of the two mentioned above.
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The toxicity levels and environmental impact of nickel metal hydride batteries—the type currently used in hybrids—are much lower than batteries like lead acid or nickel cadmium according to one source. The lithium-ion battery has attracted attention due to its potential for use in hybrid electric vehicles. Hitachi is a leader in its development. In addition to its smaller size and lighter weight, lithium-ion batteries deliver performance that helps to protect the environment with features such as improved charge efficiency without memory effect.
The lithium-ion batteries are appealing because they have the highest energy density of any rechargeable batteries and can produce a voltage more than three times that of nickel—metal hydride battery cell while simultaneously storing large quantities of electricity as well.
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