Scientist proposes way to make hybrid cars more efficient

June 14th, 2009 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 14 (ANI): A scientist has proposed a way to make hybrid cars more efficient, by solving a problem in the vehicles that leads to a waste of energy and very high fuel consumption.

The scientist in question is Toni Font, who recently graduated from the ETSEIB (Escola Tecnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona).

His proposal is based on one of the problems of conventional vehicles: the loss of kinetic energy during braking.

This waste of energy leads to very high fuel consumption and, consequently, to an increase in CO2emissions.

Under the supervision of Ramon Costa, lecturer at the Department of Automatic Control (ESAII), Toni Font has focused on solving this problem.

According to Ramon Costa, “The project modifies the structure of conventional cars to introduce elements that help to recover lost energy and reinject it into the system. It is made up of two parts: one related to hardware components, and one to software components”.

The study proposes the installation of a supercapacitor battery and the creation of software to coordinate and manage the new elements.

The supercapacitators facilitate the work of the battery, as they prevent current peaks that can diminish performance and transfer the remaining energy.

The software envisages four operational modes for the vehicle, which depend on the propulsion system.

As the most suitable motor is activated for the type of driving, this technology brings about energy savings and reduces CO2 emissions.

In a standard driving cycle, the modifications lead to up to 67 percent less fuel consumption and up to 63 percent less energy consumption than a conventional vehicle of the same size with no hybrid components.

In addition, it uses 55 percent less energy than a standard hybrid vehicle.

“It could be used in sectors related to energy generation and management that aim to work in the most sustainable and efficient way possible. It could also be applied to the areas of the transport sector that use petrol and diesel motors,” Toni Font explained.

As a result of this research, Toni Font has received one of the six research grants that Ferrari will award in 2009, in the category of CO2 emissions reduction. (ANI)

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