Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Jun 23

More Efficient Hybrid Vehicles

Posted in Energy Inventions | Hybrid Cars | Transportation

Hybrid Vehicles If we can control the excess carbon emissions from fossil fuels we can control the global warming to a great extent. When we start our cars and apply brakes using combustion engines we use generous amount of fossil fuel and the carbon emission too is in the direct proportion of the amount of gas used. Now researchers are trying to concentrate on two points: starting a combustion engine and applying breaks. If we start using hybrid cars that use electricity for breaks and then run on fossil fuel for the rest of your journey then we will be able to reduce the emitted carbon quantity. Now companies are paying heed to the green consumers and launching hybrid cars in the market. They produce less pollution.

Toni Font, a recent graduate of the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyers Industrials de Barcelona (ETSEIB) proposed a way to make hybrid vehicles more efficient. They are supposed to reduce fuel consumption by 67%. Toni Font’s proposal focuses on the drawbacks of the conventional mechanism of breaks. While we are driving a fossil fuel car and apply breaks on and off we see the loss of kinetic energy. This act of ours results in very high fuel consumption. So it follows the GIGO principle here, though not exactly the garbage in and garbage out sort of way, but high fuel consumption results in more carbon emissions. Toni Font has focused on solving this problem. He is working under the supervision of Ramon Costa who is the lecturer at the Department of Automatic Control (ESAII). Ramon Costa shares his outlook, “The project modifies the structure of conventional cars to introduce elements that help to recover lost energy and re-inject it into the system. It is made up of two parts: one related to hardware components, and one to software components”.

The whole mechanism is governed by software and the installation of a supercapacitor battery. The supercapacitators assist the battery. Supercapacitators regulate the current peaks. They put a stop to current peaks because that weaken the performance of the battery and also reassign the remaining energy. The software visualizes four operational approaches for the vehicle, which depend on the propulsion system. This technology goes easy on our pockets as we use less fuel and reduces CO2 emissions. In a standard driving cycle, the modifications lead us to 67% less fuel consumption and that will result in 63% less energy consumption than a usual vehicle of the same size with no hybrid apparatus. In addition, it uses 55% less energy than a standard hybrid vehicle.

Toni Font speaks about the possible applications of his proposal, “It could be used in sectors related to energy generation and management that aim to work in the most sustainable and efficient way possible. It could also be applied to the areas of the transport sector that use petrol and diesel motors”.

As a result of this research, Toni Font has received one of the six research grants that Ferrari will award in 2009, in the category of CO2 emissions reduction.

  • ARGale

    This isn’t about today’s topic but rather the Electric/Hybrid market in general:

    1. Why are we (American inventors, manufacturers, etc.) exporting our talent, ideas and futures instead of producing product here? Ford has announced 2 products that we need and also announced that neither of them will be here! First a small high-efficiency diesel and second a PHEV (?) Escape.

    2. When the Stimulus(?) bill was drafted it originally contained a provision/requirement that Stimulus projects use/employ American parts. materials and labor. This was objected to bu the rest of the world. Yesterday China released their declaration, within China, that they required Chinese projects/buyers to buy Chinese! What is the difference – other than being obviously two-faced? (China, not us, or maybe us too?)

    We can not borrow our way to prosperity. Neither can we get there on “Service Economy” like we have been told we are doing (then outsource those services also!) It is time we woke up and started seriously recovering our manufacturing base that was once the shining star of the industrial world.

  • ARGale

    It seems to me that there are 2 types of hybrid-electric vehicles out there now. One uses an electric motor directly connected to a transmission and the other uses an electric motor mounted to the crankshaft of the gas/diesel engine. The one using the directly connected motor can provide electric-only drive and subsequently uses dynamic (electric) braking as a matter of course. The other can’t easily do that since it needs to brake the gas engine, which is not an efficient way to brake the vehicle unless it uses a manual transmission, which they don’t.

    What is it about this “new” idea that is not being done?

  • Stan


    In case you did not notice, the inventor is from Barcelona, not the US. Cheers.

  • Kyra

    I agree with what your saying but 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Tom G

    To ARGale:

    Not sure this will answer your question but as I understand the tax code – tax incentives are provided to companies who manufacture products outside the U.S. There are also trillions of dollars sitting in overseas accounts [some as the result of the tax code] and nothing in the stimulus has changed this tax benefit that I am aware of. Of course I haven’t read the whole 12,000 pages of the stimulus package either LOL

    Historically I believe this all started in the late 80’s or early 90’s when we were all told that it was o.k. for us to become a society of consumers and not manufacturers. Our exports were at the time almost enough to level the playing field. I also think part of the reason was that a lot of people didn’t want all that dirty manufacturing stuff around. Even today just try and get a manufacture plant built in the U.S. If my memory hasn’t completely left me I believe there was a small token effort in 2008 or early 2009 to change some of the tax code to bring home some of the trillions of dollars held in foreign banks but the effort died in committee and I am sure you can guess why LOL

    p.s. and yes the use of caps to level the energy profile of hybrids is an excellent idea. They can be charged and discharged almost instantaneously.

    Have a great day

  • Folke Günther

    I am in favour of the hybrid vehicle concept, but I don’t see the need for using fossil fuels as the fuel. To change them from low carbon dioxide emitters to carbon dioxide absorbers, you just have to change the fuel. Most of us know of the generator gas engines used during the WWII. They burned biomass for fuel. By that the became ‘carbon neutral’. But there are even better methods!

    Instead of using a syngas generator, burning all the wood, leaving just ashes, a pyrolysis reactor should be used. A pyrolysis reactor leaves about 75% of the wood energy to engine power, but leaves the char unburned. This char can be used as biochar, a soil amendment that permanently remove carbon from the air, improves plant growth and stays there for thousands of year, since char is in practice stable in soil temperatures.

    Thus, using such a hybrid car for transport would constantly reduce the carbon dioxide content of the air, more the more you drive!


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