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  1. #1
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Does anyone know if any automakers are working on a hybrid vehicle with a turbine engine? These would be more fuel efficent, lighter and simpler than an internal combustion engine. I also believe you could use a variety of fuels. Then the electric engine would alleviate the problem of sluggish accelleration with the turbine engine.

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  3. #2
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Turbine engines are very expensive to make.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Turbine engines are only efficient if they are powering very heavy equipment (like a dump truck) or very fast equipment (like a military jet) because of the extreme RPM's they generate. Automobiles are neither as heavy as a dump truck, nor as fast as a military jet. If a turbine engine were placed into a car, not only would it be many orders less efficient (fuel would be consumed based on weight, not by volume), but every free square inch of the car's internal storage space would have to be filled with fuel.

  5. #4
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    This question is also debated in experimental aircraft circles. Turbines are better suited to aircraft (no need for very low speed, rather constant power once airborne), but even there they are not as efficient as a well-tuned ICE. The main reasons they are considered is their simple construction (well, relatively), high reliability, and superior power-to-weight ratio. Emissions and noise have never been high on pilots' list of priorities...

  6. #5
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Rather than a turbine, the optimum engine is more likely a diesel engine as in the hybrid HMMWV (Humvee) shown in 1998 (!) - see http://evworld.com/archives/conferen...14/humvee.html (among others).

    VW has a Rabbit diesel that gets great mileage - imagine coupling that engine in a hybrid platform. Is VW working on a hybrid?


  7. #6
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    There are some similarities in operating conditions that would suit putting a turbine engine into a hybrid. The main thing would be that turbines like to operate at constant speeds, which is how the Prius engine would like to run. However, since turbines operate at high temperatures and high rpms, they require exotic metals and metal-ceramic composite materials to keep from melting and would require an "extreme" transmission to gear down from 10-30,000 rpm at the shaft, to typical axle rpms. So they are probably too costly for automobile use.

    I think a diesel-electric hybrid would be a good choice, although I don't know the relative efficiencies between the Atkinson cycle gasoline engine and the diesel engine. I would suspect that the reason we haven't seen them yet is because the auto companies think most consumers wouldn't want a diesel. Whether or not that's true, I don't know. Diesels also put out a lot more particulate matter than gasoline engines, which is costly in health care costs.

    Scientific American Frontiers (a show on PBS) had a special a month or two ago on future automobiles, highlighting manufacturers from Europe and the USA. There are going to be a lot of really interesting cars (and trucks) coming out in the next decade!

  8. #7
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    Volvo did a gas-turbine hybrid concept in the 1990s. It was called the "Environmental Concept Car" or some such (they tend to have very bland names for their concept cars). It was a serial hybrid, as I recall, not a parallel like the Prius and Escape. The turbine was used to drive a generator that produced the electricity.

    Volvo's aero-engine subsidiary was responsible for producing the power plant.

    I may have more info buried somewhere on this concept car if others are interested.

  9. #8
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    VW recently demonstrated a hybrid Golf diesel with an average 57 mpg, but has not yet taken a decision about massproduction.

    Since dieselcars already have a better fuel economy than gasoline cars, benefits from a hybrid version are not that spectacular. That's probably the reason why diesel-hybrids are not yet on the market.





  10. #9
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    A Stirling engine might be a good alternative too. It's in fact a external combustion engine.

    Like a turbine, it get's great efficiency at stationary load, but is not suited for variable speed. Combined with a electrical motor it could do much better than four-stroke hybrids, especially on highways. I'm not sure that it would beat a four-stroke hybrid in city driving

  11. #10
    Guest

    Hybrid w/turbine engine

    There's also the issue of particulate emissions with Diesel, especially in North America where our Diesel fuel is rather dirty.

    Diesel cars are still hard to market in the US after GM turned out some real citrus fruit types in the late '70s.

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