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How does Hybrid Motor Works

Updated on March 29, 2011

Hybrid Vehicle


A hybrid vehicle, more specifically a hybrid vehicle is a vehicle with two propulsion systems, such as electric motors with internal combustion engine, coupled with the most widespread. Some also define it as the hybrid vehicle thermal policarburante (petrol / LPG, gasoline / natural gas, gasoline / kerosene, gasoline / hydrogen).



The two engines are designed to coexist as they have complementary characteristics. The internal combustion engine converts chemical energy of fuel (high energy density and easy to supply from the mains supply) with an acceptable efficiency, particularly in some operating points. The electric motor converts but with greater efficiency and versatility of energy available on board in smaller quantities. Each electric machine itself is capable of working in traction and generation (and in both directions) and every hybrid vehicle tries to exploit delays in the ability to "slow down" with the electric motor, generating energy otherwise wasted in braking.


The electricity can be stored with the use of various devices that can be used simultaneously.


Batteries have lower energy density than the fuel can be sized to collect the maximum energy, maximum power or to share with a compromise between the two extremes. The batteries work with electrochemical processes distributed within them and is non-trivial check all the conditions, such as temperature, as far as possible to limit the decay of electrodes and electrolytes.


Supercapacitors: compared to the batteries have lower energy density but can give and receive more power. They are based on a physical process, more controllable.


Electrically driven flywheels: the energy is stored as kinetic energy of a flywheel put in rotation by an electric car, is an entirely mechanical process and has control issues still different from the previous ones. Depending on the degree of hybridization (power of the electric motor than the total installed capacity) and capacity of the hybrid propulsion system to store electricity is informally define some levels of hybridization:


hybridization full (full hybrid), when the electrical system, eg. that can only be to advance the vehicle on a standardized driving cycle, while disregarding the battery life


Hybridization light (mild hybrid), when the pure electric mode is not able to follow the entire driving cycle normalized


hybridization rate (minimal hybrid), commonly confused with traditional propulsion fitted with stop-start function,


characterized by a decreasing distance in pure electric mode and a decreasing degree of hybridization.



The vehicles stop and start function is also improperly called "micro-hybrids, but this feature also typical of many hybrid vehicles, is produced by traditional components and not with a different propulsion system.


There are two major building schemes for the integration of an internal combustion engine and an electric car: hybrid series and parallel hybrid. The combination of the two gives rise to hybrid mix.

Hybrid Series


This technology is very similar to that used in diesel-electric locomotives. In this type the heat engine is not connected to the wheels, it has the task to generate the current to power the electric motor that turns it into motion, while the superfluous energy is used to recharge the batteries.


At a time when you request a large amount of energy, it is drawn from both the heat engine that the batteries. Because the engines are able to operate on a wide breadth of engine speeds, this allows you to remove or reduce the need for complex transmission. The efficiency of internal combustion engine changes with the number of turns in series hybrid systems, the rpm of the internal combustion engine are set to achieve maximum efficiency by not having to be neither accelerated nor decelerated. Given this condition and to compensate for additional processing power, you can use an internal combustion engine (generator) which has a range of exploitation / operation very narrow compared to the total schemes and that this has a higher efficiency of heat engines classics, for at least in the rev range.


In some prototypes are installed small electric motors at each wheel. The advantage of this configuration is to control the power delivered to each wheel. One possible purpose could be to simplify the traction control or on / off four-wheel drive.


The major disadvantage of the series hybrid is the serious reduction in efficiency compared to heat engines only under conditions of high and constant speed (as do the 130 km / h on motorways). This is caused by the fact that the thermal-electric-bike conversion of the energy is lost while not happen with a direct transmission. This drawback is not present in the parallel hybrid. The series are the most efficient hybrid vehicles that require continuous braking as the car and starts to urban use, buses and taxis.


Many hybrid models have series, included a button to turn off the engine. The function is used especially for driving in areas with limited traffic. Battery life is limited to battery power, the internal combustion engine, however, can be reactivated by pressing the same button. The engine is also switched off automatically during stops.

Parallel Hybrid

This architecture is among the most widely used in hybrid cars. It is characterized by a mechanical coupling of the power node, so both engines (the electric and thermal) provide torque to the wheels. The engine can also be used to recharge the batteries if necessary. The construction and mechanical construction of the node to its position in the propulsion system are used to distinguish pre-transmission parallel hybrid (electric motor ahead of the exchange rate), post-transmission (downstream of the electric motor gearbox) and post-wheels ( the two axles are mechanically independent of two engines, the coupling is thus constituted by the way).Parallel hybrids can be further classified according to the balance of the two motors to provide motive power. In most cases, for example, the internal combustion engine is the dominant part and the electric motor has the simple task of providing more power in times of need (primarily off, accelerating, and the maximum speed).

Most projects combine a large electrical generator and a motor in a single unit, often located between the internal combustion engine and transmission, in place of the flywheel, replacing the starter motor is that the alternator. Usually the change is automatic.

The advantage is the elimination of low gear (those that consume more fuel) and consumption without tractors or walking pace. It also allows the lower cylinder as fast as the internal combustion engine can be supported by the electric (even if only for a few kilometers). This makes of vehicles adapted to the rhythms citizens rather than long-distance highways.

Hybrid Mixed


The hybrids are characterized by a mixed mechanical node, as in the parallel hybrid, and a power node, as in the hybrid series. Like the latter, have two electric cars. The construction method to achieve this dual coupling may vary. A relatively simple example is given by the architecture of the Toyota Prius, which achieves the mechanical coupling between the internal combustion engine, two electric motors and shaft final drive through the combination of a planetary gear and a gear.

Energy Management


The management of energy flows between the various converters (internal combustion engine, motor / s electrical / s, transmission) and batteries (batteries, supercapacitors) to respond to a given demand for power (torque and speed) by the driver is task of the supervisory controller. The controller, a typical hybrid vehicle, falls, compared to a control structure in traditional couples, in an intermediate position between the algorithms of interpretation of the will of the driver (change the position of the accelerator pedal and brake torque request) and those control of individual components (engine, transmission, brakes). The algorithms are inspired by the energy management policy of minimizing the total energy consumption (fuel and electricity) bound by an average constant state of evolution of the battery, besides the physical limits of components and constraints dictated by needs of driving pleasure (driveability).


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