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  1. #1

    an old hybrid configuration

    some years ago, when hybrids were first discussed the configuration was a small fuel driven engine that would run a generator which would keep some batteries charged so that the car was only being driven by the electric motor. Question #1 what ever happened to that idea? it seems that the efficiecies might be better in that configuration, (because there wouldn't be a transmission and the motor generator could be tuned to run the generator at its peak efficiency off multiple fuels and it could be a diesel or a 2-stroke or ?) has there ever been a study done on that vs. todays hybrid configuration?

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  3. #2

    an old hybrid configuration


    You're referring to what is commonly called a 'Serial Hybrid'. They are a design that clearly is not popular with ICE companies. The ICE manufacturers justify the choice of the 'Parallel Hybrid' because they claim the Parallel configuration is cheaper. It only has one electric device (the motor) that also serves as a generator. The Serial configuration requires 2 seperate devices (generator and motor).

    I think the real story is a bit less technical and more political:

    The elimination of the transmission is a non-starter with an ICE company. You'll exclude the 2nd largest division (power trains) from the product and obsolete half the patents. You also marginalize the largest division (power plants) from directly powering the car.

    As you point out there are a lot of advantages with the serial configuration:
    1. ICE only runs at optimal speed
    2. Full performance with plug-in capability
    3. Better Fuel economy
    4. Awesome acceleration can be achieved with minimal hit to fuel economy
    5. Cheaper (electric motors and generators are much simpler than transmissions)
    6. Less Maintenance
    7. Simplified/cheaper ICE doesn't have to operate under different speed and load conditions
    . . .

    For the customer or driver, there isn't much not to like. For the incumbent ICE industry, it's almost as big a threat as the pure Battery Electric Vehicle.

  4. #3

    an old hybrid configuration

    first i'm glad to know the correct terminology ie "serial hybrid". what is ICE? if this system is as good as you say (and it sounds like you are well versed in this area) why don't we as a group try to promote it or at least get some type of test data. maybe there are some other handy individuals out there that could make one.

  5. #4

    an old hybrid configuration

    I guessed "ICE" = "Internal Combustion Engine".


  6. #5

    an old hybrid configuration

    My bad. I'm guilty of overuse of jargon. Yes, ICE means Internal Combustion Engine or for all practical purposes "normal gasoline engine".

    As far as whether serial is better than parallel, I, personally believe that either topology can be made to be pretty efficient although I believe that at the end of the day, the serial hybrid will prove optimal. This topic has been discussed previously in this list and I recommend you look at some of the discussions and other references on to date at this site:



    As to whether we should devote effort to promoting these, this is a personal decision about where you want to invest your energy.

    There are a lot of 'religious' reasons that the ICE manufacturers don't like the serial hybrid. Rather than go against this, I, personally believe that efforts would be better spent pushing them to provide stronger parallel hybrids. With stronger hybrids, the electric part can produce sufficient power to allow the ICE to shut off much of the time, even under normal freeway conditions (current hybrids only can run with electric only up to about 35 mph).

    Once strong hybrids exist, the transmission becomes superflous and the ICE can begin devolving to the simple efficient thing that it needs to be, similiar to the serial hybrid. The main difference between a strong parallel hybrid and a serial hybrid is that the strong parallel hybrid still requires a gear mechanism to allow both the electric and ICE to connect to the wheels while the serial hybrid requires a simple generator. There may be even better configurations that smart people may come up with over time. See: http://hybridcars.com/discussion/dis...=462&replies=2 for one possible thing that was just proposed a few days ago.

    Once the ICE industry acquiesces to making strong hybrids, they may become more open to the serial topology.

    I'm directing my personal energy towards getting plug-in capability into hybrids(http://www.pluginamerica.com/) since I think that in the short term this is more important.

    I hope that natural market pressures (like better acceleration and higher gas mileage) will eventually force hybrids to be stronger although a little encouragement by the public won't hurt.

    Here are a few questions to ask the next car salesman you see about their hybrids:

    1. If it's half electric and half gas, can I plug the electric in to the wall so I only have to go to the gas station half as often?

    2. If its half electric and half gas, can I run it only off of electricity only and not pollute?

    Sorry if this got long and wordy.

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