Hybrid Engines - in Series ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Engines - in Series

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hybrid Engines - in Series

There are two types of hybrid engines. These two engines are differentiated by how the electric and fueled halves of the powertrain connect. All hybrids have regenerative brakes where the battery is charged from when you brake your vehicle.

When the engine is not directly connected to the drivetrain, but instead powers an electrical generator, you have a series engine. Electricy flows out of the generator into the motor that moves the car. Excess energy is used in charging the battery.

When in high stress situations, energy is fed from both the generator and the battery pack. Since electric engines work fairly efficiently at all speeds, the transmission in a normal engine may be removed all together.

This flexibility allows for a simpleness in the design, although you do need a separate motor for the gas engine and the generator. The combined efficiency is actually lower than that of conventional transmission.

A series engine is most efficient in stop-and-go situations, so you may see this engine type more often in a hybrid delivery truck or a hybrid bus.

Read about parallel hybrid engines.

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