December 22, 2008

Structures of Hybrid Vehicles

Structures of Hybrid Vehicles

Global warming has become a major issue in the past year. Although environmental issues are recognized, they are not given that much attention on a wider scale. Now, more and more people are becoming aware of how much mankind has affected the planet. The need for solutions is recognized more than ever to address environmental issues. Due to this hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular to consumers.

The shift from conventional cars is not just because of environmental concerns but also due to soaring gas prices. Hybrid vehicles bridge the gap between using an SUV and caring for the environment. There have been lots of improvements in the hybrid technology as the millennium came and it will be just a matter of time before it dominates the fuel dependent dominated automobile industry.

The hybrid vehicle drive train

Hybrids come in different types depending on their structures. Although they may differ in some aspects all of them are made with the same purpose. These vehicles are designed to reduce fuel consumption, reduce pollution and noise emissions and provide an alternative for customers.

They come in three structures. The parallel hybrid system has a diesel engine and an electric motor that is connected to a mechanical transmission. A large electrical generator and a motor are combined to replace the starter motor and the alternator.

A series hybrid system has a similar design with a electric battery vehicle. It is also referred to as the Range Extended Electric Vehicle. The difference is the diesel engine drives the electric generator instead of the vehicle's wheels. The electric generator in turn charges the battery and powers the electric motor which propels the vehicle. A super capacitor or a flywheel can be added to recapture braking energy which reduces the losses in the battery.

The combined hybrid system, as it names suggests is a combination of the parallel and the series system. It is incorporated with power split devices so that the power paths placed from the engine to the wheels can be either electrical or mechanical. This is done to decouple the power supplied by the diesel engine from the power needed by the driver.

If a consumer wishes to convert his or her vehicle aftermarket kits are available. The owner has the option of buying a glider and a hybrid or an electric motor from the automaker. He or she will then receive the vehicle installed with the hybrid drive train structure.

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