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  1. #1

    Hybrid: An emerging technology

    Should Hybrid be considered as an emerging technology, being a whole new S curve by itself, or should it be considered as an incremental innovation, extending the S curve of current combustion engine?

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  3. #2

    Hybrid: An emerging technology

    hard to call it "new" when so much of the hybrid concept was presented in the early 80's if not sooner.

    i consider it an extension of the basic motor. simply involving a recovery system to re-apply energy lost.

    see ya

  4. #3

    Hybrid: An emerging technology

    Actually the very first hybrid was developed about 100 years ago by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. It's older than overhead cams and has in fact been used in a slightly different form in submarines and freight trains for decades. It just hasn't been mass-marketed in passenger cars until late 99 with the introduction of the Prius and Insight.

    I would personally still consider it a "new" technology, in that it hasn't been marketed for long, but not am emerging technology. I consider emerging technology to be things that haven't ever been tried on anything, ever. For example, fuel cell technology. It's not used in anything, industrial or otherwise. That's an emerging technology.

  5. #4

    Hybrid: An emerging technology

    Hybrids aren't a technology in themselves, they are the combination of improvements in three different technologies:

    Batteries: they were not as good even twenty years ago. Bulky, heavy, and low storage. Yes, submarines in WWII had electric motors and batteries. But submarines 90 percent of the time travelled on the surface: underwater they were slow and had limited range. No real efficiency gain from having an electric motor: the advantages were strictly in terms of stealth (electric motors made no noise and could operate underwater).

    Electrical systems: Many cars soon will have integrated starter generators. The IMA system in the Honda is basicly an extension of the starter motor generator, with the ability to recapture some braking energy and to turn the driveshaft using some of that energy- a starter motor generator is not a hybrid in itself (if we define a hybrid as any powertrain design that can capture braking energy and apply that energy to acceleration). At one time, before the alternator, most cars had starter motor generators, but they were weak, used direct current, and powered only a set of lights or a horn. With the advent of all kinds of electrical accesories for cars, the generator could not cope. The military needed small generators for vehicles, so the alternator was created, and later used in cars. Now days, with better engineering, and an emphasis on fuel economy, the starter motor generator is comming back into its own and is expected to eventually supplant the starter and alternator in all cars within the next decade. The main benefit will be using things like air conditioning, DVD players, onboard computers, etc., with less fuel economy penalty, and also a small gain from having the engine shut off when the car would normally be idling. It will also allow inexpensive hybrid designs with smaller batteries, similar to the Honda Civic Hybrid, that can be mated to any conventional transmission (the Prius, OTOH, has a more costly battery, computer control system, and transmission).

    Computers: Ferdinand Porsche indeed invented the first "hybrid car". But basicly his idea was no different than a diesel-electric locomotive- the electrical motors become the transmission to convert horsepower to torque (and hence, never require gears). That's fine for diesel-electric locomotives, which operate at peak efficiency much of the time, and exhaust the braking force as heat waste (the regenerative braking on a locomotive converts the braking force to electricity, and then to heat, and then out the vents on the top of the locomotive). But for a car that starts and stops alot, such a design would be very, very wasteful. So you need a computer to tell a car how to blend energy from the electrical system with energy produced from the engine (even the IMA system has this, it just has a conventional transmission, and the engine cannot send power to the hybrid electrical system directly, unlike the Prius). Computers than can do this have only really existed for the last decade or so.

  6. #5

    Hybrid: An emerging technology

    i think that a hybrid type car might as welll be researched as far as it can go. with the fuel prices going up, who knows how long we middle class people can afford to splurge on a tank of gas! i think we should put as much research into this field as we nmay be forced to go to another manner of transportation.

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