In an era where energy conservation has become the latest topic of discussion not only among the erudite but also among the ordinary responsible denizens , fuel efficiency along with minimum pollution has become the benchmark for any new automobile.
And in the same context Hybrid Cars come as the latest addition. By the name itself it can be inferred that a hybrid car is an improvisation to the traditional gasoline engine run car combined with the power of an electric motor.
The seminars on the above topic intends to bring to notice the concepts associated with the hybrid technology through the following topics â€œ components and constituents, need , efficiency, performance,etc.
Have you pulled your car up to the gas pump lately and been shocked by the high price of gasoline? As the pump clicked past $20 or $30, maybe you thought about trading in that SUV for something that gets better mileage. Or maybe you are worried that your car is contributing to the greenhouse effect. Or maybe you just want to have the coolest car on the block.
The 2000 Honda Insight hybrid electric car
Currently, Honda and Toyota have the technology that might answer all of these needs. It's the hybrid car, and both manufacturers have begun selling their versions in the United States. You're probably aware of hybrid cars because they've been in the news a lot. In fact, most automobile manufacturers have announced plans to manufacture their own versions.
How does a hybrid car work? What goes on under the hood to give you 20 or 30 more miles per gallon than the standard automobile? And does it pollute less just because it gets better gas mileage.In this seminars we will study how this amazing technology works and also discuss about TOYOTA & HONDA hybrid cars .
What Makes it a "Hybrid"?
Any vehicle is hybrid when it combines two or more sources of power. In fact, many people have probably owned a hybrid vehicle at some point. For example, a mo-ped (a motorized pedal bike) is a type of hybrid because it combines the power of a gasoline engine with the pedal power of its rider.
Hybrid vehicles are all around us. Most of the locomotives we see pulling trains are diesel-electric hybrids. Cities like Seattle have diesel-electric buses -- these can draw electric power from overhead wires or run on diesel when they are away from the wires. Giant mining trucks are often diesel-electric hybrids. Submarines are also hybrid vehicles -- some are nuclear-electric and some are diesel-electric. Any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power that can directly or indirectly provide propulsion power is a hybrid.
The gasoline-electric hybrid car is just that -- a cross between a gasoline-powered car and an electric car. Let's start with a few diagrams to explain the differences.
Figure 1 shows a gas-powered car. It has a fuel tank, which supplies gasoline to the engine. The engine then turns a transmission, which turns the wheels.
Figure 1. Gasoline-powered car
Figure 2 below shows an electric car, which has a set of batteries that provides electricity to an electric motor. The motor turns a transmission, and the transmission turns the wheels.
Figure 2. Electric car
You can combine the two power sources found in a hybrid car in different ways. One way, known as a parallel hybrid, has a fuel tank, which supplies gasoline to the engine. But it also has a set of batteries that supplies power to an electric motor. Both the engine and the electric motor can turn the transmission at the same time, and the transmission then turns the wheels.
Figure 3 shows a typical parallel hybrid. We'll notice that the fuel tank and gas engine connect to the transmission. The batteries and electric motor also connect to the transmission independently. As a result, in a parallel hybrid, both the electric motor and the gas engine can provide propulsion power.
Figure 3. Parallel hybrid car
By contrast, in a series hybrid (Figure 4 below) the gasoline engine turns a generator, and the generator can either charge the batteries or power an electric motor that drives the transmission. Thus, the gasoline engine never directly powers the vehicle.
Take a look at the diagram of the series hybrid, starting with the fuel tank, and you'll see that all of the components form a line that eventually connects with the transmission.
Figure 4. Series hybrid car
Hybrid cars contain the following parts:
Â¢ Gasoline engine - The hybrid car has a gasoline engine much like the one you will find on most cars. However, the engine on a hybrid will be smaller and will use advanced technologies to reduce emissions and increase efficiency.
Â¢ Fuel tank - The fuel tank in a hybrid is the energy storage device for the gasoline engine. Gasoline has a much higher energy density than batteries do. For example, it takes about 1,000 pounds of batteries to store as much energy as 1 gallon (7 pounds) of gasoline.
Â¢ Electric motor - The electric motor on a hybrid car is very sophisticated. Advanced electronics allow it to act as a motor as well as a generator. For example, when it needs to, it can draw energy from the batteries to accelerate the car. But acting as a generator, it can slow the car down and return energy to the batteries.
Â¢ Generator - The generator is similar to an electric motor, but it acts only to produce electrical power. It is used mostly on series hybrids.
Â¢ Batteries - The batteries in a hybrid car are the energy storage device for the electric motor. Unlike the gasoline in the fuel tank, which can only power the gasoline engine, the electric motor on a hybrid car can put energy into the batteries as well as draw energy from them.
Â¢ Transmission - The transmission on a hybrid car performs the same basic function as the transmission on a conventional car. Some hybrids, like the Honda Insight, have conventional transmissions. Others, like the Toyota Prius, have radically different ones, which weâ„¢ll talk about later.
Parts of an Engine
Here's a quick description of each one, along with a lot of vocabulary that will help us understand what all the car ads are talking about.
The core of the engine is the cylinder. The piston moves up and down inside the cylinder. The engine described here has one cylinder. That is typical of most lawn mowers, but most cars have more than one cylinder (four, six and eight cylinders are common). In a multi-cylinder engine the cylinders usually are arranged in one of three ways: inline, V or flat (also known as horizontally opposed or boxer), as shown in the following figures.
Figure 6. Inline - The cylinders are arranged in a line in a single bank.
Figure 7. V - The cylinders are arranged in two banks set at an angle to one another.
Figure 8. Flat - The cylinders are arranged in two banks on opposite sides of the engine.
Different configurations have different smoothness, manufacturing-cost and shape characteristics that make them more suitable in some vehicles.
The spark plug supplies the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture so that combustion can occur. The spark must happen at just the right moment for things to work properly.
The intake and exhaust valves open at the proper time to let in air and fuel and to let out exhaust. Note that both valves are closed during compression and combustion so that the combustion chamber is sealed.
A piston is a cylindrical piece of metal that moves up and down inside the cylinder.
Piston rings provide a sliding seal between the outer edge of the piston and the inner edge of the cylinder. The rings serve two purposes:
Â¢ They prevent the fuel/air mixture and exhaust in the combustion chamber from leaking into the sump during compression and combustion.
Â¢ They keep oil in the sump from leaking into the combustion area, where it would be burned and lost.
Most cars that "burn oil" and have to have a quart added every 1,000 miles are burning it because the engine is old and the rings no longer seal things properly.
The combustion chamber is the area where compression and combustion take place. As the piston moves up and down, you can see that the size of the combustion chamber changes. It has some maximum volume as well as a minimum volume. The difference between the maximum and minimum is called the displacement and is measured in liters or CCs (Cubic Centimeters, where 1,000 cubic centimeters equals a liter). So if you have a 4-cylinder engine and each cylinder displaces half a liter, then the entire engine is a "2.0 liter engine." If each cylinder displaces half a liter and there are six cylinders arranged in a V configuration, you have a "3.0 liter V-6." Generally, the displacement tells you something about how much power an engine has. A cylinder that displaces half a liter can hold twice as much fuel/air mixture as a cylinder that displaces a quarter of a liter, and therefore you would expect about twice as much power from the larger cylinder (if everything else is equal). So a 2.0 liter engine is roughly half as powerful as a 4.0 liter engine. You can get more displacement either by increasing the number of cylinders or by making the combustion chambers of all the cylinders bigger (or both).
The connecting rod connects the piston to the crankshaft. It can rotate at both ends so that its angle can change as the piston moves and the crankshaft rotates.
The crank shaft turns the piston's up and down motion into circular motion just like a crank on a jack-in-the-box does.
The sump surrounds the crankshaft. It contains some amount of oil, which collects in the bottom of the sump (the oil pan).
Parts of an Electric Motor
Let's start by looking at the overall plan of a simple two-pole DC electric motor. A simple motor has six parts, as shown in the diagram below:
Â¢ Armature or rotor
Â¢ Field magnet
Â¢ DC power supply of some sort
Parts of an electric motor
An electric motor is all about magnets and magnetism: A motor uses magnets to create motion. If you have ever played with magnets you know about the fundamental law of all magnets: Opposites attract and likes repel. So if you have two bar magnets with their ends marked "north" and "south," then the north end of one magnet will attract the south end of the other. On the other hand, the north end of one magnet will repel the north end of the other (and similarly, south will repel south). Inside an electric motor, these attracting and repelling forces create rotational motion.
In the diagram we can see two magnets in the motor: The armature (or rotor) is an electromagnet, while the field magnet is a permanent magnet (the field magnet could be an electromagnet as well, but in most small motors it isn't in order to save power).
Evolution of the Hybrid
The hybrid is a compromise. It attempts to significantly increase the mileage and reduce the emissions of a gas-powered car while overcoming the shortcomings of an electric car.
The Problem with Gas-powered Cars
To be useful to you or me, a car must meet certain minimum requirements. The car should be able to:
Â¢ Drive at least 300 miles (482 km) between re-fueling
Â¢ Be refueled quickly and easily
Â¢ Keep up with the other traffic on the road
A gasoline car meets these requirements but produces a relatively large amount of pollution and generally gets poor gas mileage. An electric car, on the other hand, produces almost no pollution, but it can only go 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km) between charges. And the problem has been that it is very slow and inconvenient to recharge.
A driver's desire for quick acceleration causes our cars to be much less efficient than they could be. You may have noticed that a car with a less powerful engine gets better gas mileage than an identical car with a more powerful engine. Just look at the window stickers on new cars at a dealership for a city and highway mpg comparison.
The amazing thing is that most of what we require a car to do uses only a small percentage of its horsepower! When you are driving along the freeway at 60 mph (96.6 kph), your car engine has to provide the power to do three things:
Â¢ Overcome the aerodynamic drag caused by pushing the car through the air
Â¢ Overcome all of the friction in the car's components such as the tires, transmission, axles and brakes
Â¢ Provide power for accessories like air conditioning, power steering and headlights
For most cars, doing all this requires less than 20 horsepower! So, why do you need a car with 200 horsepower? So you can "floor it," which is the only time you use all that power. The rest of the time, you use considerably less power than you have available.
Smaller Engines are More Efficient
Most cars require a relatively big engine to produce enough power to accelerate the car quickly. In a small engine, however, the efficiency can be improved by using smaller, lighter parts, by reducing the number of cylinders and by operating the engine closer to its maximum load.
There are several reasons why smaller engine are more efficient than big ones:
Â¢ The big engine is heavier than the small engine, so the car uses extra energy every time it accelerates or drives up a hill.
Â¢ The pistons and other internal components are heavier, requiring more energy each time they go up and down in the cylinder.
Â¢ The displacement of the cylinders is larger, so more fuel is required by each cylinder.
Â¢ Bigger engines usually have more cylinders, and each cylinder uses fuel every time the engine fires, even if the car isn't moving.
This explains why two of the same model cars with different engines can get different mileage. If both cars are driving along the freeway at the same speed, the one with the smaller engine uses less energy. Both engines have to output the same amount of power to drive the car, but the small engine uses less power to drive itself
The key to a hybrid car is that the gasoline engine can be much smaller than the one in a conventional car and therefore more efficient. But how can this smaller engine provide the power your car needs to keep up with the more powerful cars on the road?
Let's compare a car like the Chevy Camaro, with its big V-8 engine, to our hybrid car with its small gas engine and electric motor. The engine in the Camaro has more than enough power to handle any driving situation. The engine in the hybrid car is powerful enough to move the car along on the freeway, but when it needs to get the car moving in a hurry, or go up a steep hill, it needs help. That "help" comes from the electric motor and battery -- this system steps in to provide the necessary extra power.
The gas engine on a conventional car is sized for the peak power requirement (those few times when you floor the accelerator pedal). In fact, most drivers use the peak power of their engines less than one percent of the time. The hybrid car uses a much smaller engine, one that is sized closer to the average power requirement than to the peak power.
Besides a smaller, more efficient engine, today's hybrids use many other tricks to increase fuel efficiency. Some of those tricks will help any type of car get better mileage, and some only apply to a hybrid. To squeeze every last mile out of a gallon of gasoline, a hybrid car can:
Â¢ Recover energy and store it in the battery - Whenever you step on the brake pedal in your car, you are removing energy from the car. The faster a car is going, the more kinetic energy it has. The brakes of a car remove this energy and dissipate it in the form of heat. A hybrid car can capture some of this energy and store it in the battery to use later. It does this by using "regenerative braking." That is, instead of just using the brakes to stop the car, the electric motor that drives the hybrid can also slow the car. In this mode, the electric motor acts as a generator and charges the batteries while the car is slowing down.
Â¢ Sometimes shut off the engine - A hybrid car does not need to rely on the gasoline engine all of the time because it has an alternate power source -- the electric motor and batteries. So the hybrid car can sometimes turn off the gasoline engine, for example when the vehicle is stopped at a red light.
Figure 5. The frontal area profile of a small and large car
Â¢ Use advanced aerodynamics to reduce drag - When you are driving on the freeway, most of the work your engine does goes into pushing the car through the air. This force is known as aerodynamic drag. This drag force can be reduced in a variety of ways. One sure way is to reduce the frontal area of the car (Figure 5). Think of how a big SUV has to push a much greater area through the air than a tiny sports car.
Reducing disturbances around objects that stick out from the car or eliminating them altogether can also help to improve the aerodynamics. For example, covers over the wheel housings smooth the airflow and reduce drag. And sometimes, mirrors are replaced with small cameras. This site provides more information on car aerodynamics.
Â¢ Use low-rolling resistance tires - The tires on most cars are optimized to give a smooth ride, minimize noise, and provide good traction in a variety of weather conditions. But they are rarely optimized for efficiency. In fact, the tires cause a surprising amount of drag while you are driving. Hybrid cars use special tires that are both stiffer and inflated to a higher pressure than conventional tires. The result is that they cause about half the drag of regular tires.
Â¢ Use lightweight materials - Reducing the overall weight of a car is one easy way to increase the mileage. A lighter vehicle uses less energy each time you accelerate or drive up a hill. Composite materials like carbon fiber or lightweight metals like aluminum and magnesium can be used to reduce weight.
What's Available Now?
Two hybrid cars are now available in the United States -- the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. Although both of these cars are hybrids, they are actually quite different in character.
The Honda Insight &Toyota Prius
The Honda is about $18,000, and the Toyota about $20,000. Both cars have a gasoline engine, an electric motor and batteries, but that is where the similarities end.
The Honda Insight, which was introduced in early 2000 in the United States, is designed to get the best possible mileage. Honda used every trick in the book to make the car as efficient as it can be. The Insight is a small, lightweight two-seater with a tiny, high-efficiency gas engine.
The Toyota Prius, which came out in Japan at the end of 1997, is designed to reduce emissions in urban areas. It meets California's super ultra low emissions vehicle (SULEV) standard. It is a four-door sedan that seats five, and the powertrain is capable of accelerating the vehicle to speeds up to 15 mph (24 kph) on electric power alone.
Both the Honda and the Toyota have long warranties on the hybrid systems. The Insight has an eight-year/80,000-mile warranty on most of the powertrain, including batteries, and a three-year/36,000-mile warranty on the rest of the car. The Prius has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery and hybrid systems and a three-year/36,000-mile warranty on everything else.
The motors and batteries in these cars don't require any maintenance over the life of the vehicle. And the engine doesn't require any more maintenance than the one in any other car. And because both hybrids have regenerative braking, the brake pads may even last a little longer than those in most cars.
However, if you do have to replace the batteries after the warranty expires, it will most likely cost you several thousand dollars.
Hybrid Mileage Tips
You can get the best mileage from a hybrid car by using the same kind of driving habits that give you better mileage in your gasoline-engine car:
Â¢ Drive slower - The aerodynamic drag on the car increases dramatically the faster you drive. For example, the drag force at 70 mph (113 kph) is about double that at 50 mph (81 kph). So, keeping your speed down can increase your mileage significantly.
Â¢ Maintain a constant speed - Each time you speed up the car you use energy, some of which is wasted when you slow the car down again. By maintaining a constant speed, you will make the most efficient use of your fuel.
Â¢ Avoid abrupt stops - When you stop your car, the electric motor in the hybrid acts like a generator and takes some of the energy out of the car while slowing it down. If you give the electric motor more time to slow the vehicle, it can recover more of the energy. If you stop quickly, the brakes on the car will do most of the work of slowing the car down, and that energy will be wasted.
Though at present the concept has been put in to maximum utilization by Honda & Toyota,it is indeed an important research avenue for other car manufacturing units as well.One can surely conclude that this concept,and the similar ones to follow with even better efficiency & conservation rate are very much on the anvil in todayâ„¢s energy deficit world.