Hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly relevant as electric and fuel cell vehicles become widespread. The driveline, or powertrain, is key component of any vehicle and a source of cost, weight and power consumption. Leading engineers from Imperial College London have developed innovative driveline technology, which has already been implemented in Racing Green competitions. Novel series and parallel hybrid powertrains have been patented for various applications. Our technology provides an approximated 40% cost saving in the powertrain, as well as reduced complexity, weight and volume.
Parallel Hybrid Powertrain
The accumulator provides peak power, the engine provides average power. Only one electrical machine, and minimal power electronics are required. A field wound DC machine is used, therefore the voltage can be controlled using the field current.
Engine torque is controlled by the engine power. Electrical machine torque is controlled by the field current, both negative and positive, enabling control of the accumulator charge/discharge. Field control currents will be an order of magnitude or two smaller than the main current path, requiring minimal power electronics. This invention significantly reduces the cost of the hybrid drive train. Further savings are enabled by downsizing the engine to meet the average duty cycle and optimising for efficiency.
Series Hybrid Powertrain
A supercapacitor or battery can be used as the accumulator. The accumulator provides peak power while the internal combustion engine provides average power. The system can respond passively to short spikes in power demand in both directions, and long duration discharging with only one control input (engine output power). The internal combustion engine constantly runs at the most efficient point. Since the NSEHP only utilises existing components, further savings can be achieved by downsizing the engine and optimising for efficiency to meet the average duty cycle.
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