How Do Hybrid Engines Work?

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Ever wondered how do hybrid engines work? Within the context of car, hybrid engines are an efficient blend of a petrol engine with an electric motor. You may think that your very fashionable hybrid car is at the cusp of cutting edge technology, and while the technology is incredible, it is by no means a new idea. Sowing the Seeds of Hybrid Technology
 
Sowing the Seeds of Hybrid Technology
 
1903 saw the first hybrid car using a petrol engine to supplement a battery pack. It has taken over one hundred years to produce a hybrid as efficient and viable as the Toyota Prius. Hybrid technology has also been used to propel diesel-electric locomotives, buses and even submarines. The fine tuning of the hybrid technology has resulted in the mass production of user owned hybrid cars, because the technology has become both more affordable and more efficient. Due to growing environmental concerns, the need for hybrid technology has not been quite so necessary until now.
 
Three Hybrid Configurations
 
Hybrid cars are typically available in three different configurations or layouts:
Parallel hybrid car – in this conventional variation of the hybrid, the transmission is powered by both the petrol engine and the electric motor at the same time. The petrol engine dominates and the electric motor serves to give the engine a boost in power.
 
Series hybrid car– this is the oldest type of hybrid. The petrol engine turns on the generator which can power either; the electric motor and the transmission, or it can charge the batteries.

Series-parallel hybrid car – this configuration allows the vehicle to rely on either the petrol engine or the electric motor to power the transmission. With the help of a computer to monitor the driving conditions, the vehicle switches between power sources based on which is most efficient at any given time. This system requires a continuously variable transmission in order to switch between modes without interruption.
 
Hybrid Heralds Technological Advancements
 
Along with the intelligent configuration of the petrol engine; electric motor and battery pack, hybrid technology makes use of some other very clever and specially developed mechanisms in order to save additional energy in hybrid cars. 
 
Stop-start technology – the engine switches of when the car reaches a complete stop, when the accelerator is engaged, the car restarts. This saves petrol while the car is idling. 
Power/drive assist – the electric motor gives the petrol motor an extra boost in power during acceleration.
Engine downsizing – the size of the engine is decreased drastically in order to decrease the overall weight of the car, making propulsion easier. 
Advanced aerodynamics – every measure is taken to ensure that drag is reduced to a minimum
Regenerative braking – momentum wasted coasting or during braking is harnessed and stored in the electric motor.
 
So now you no longer need to ask, ‘how do hybrid engines work?’. The incredible thing about hybrid technology has been the ripple effect it has had on the motoring industry. With all the emphasis on reduced petrol consumption, manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce petrol consumption in all of their vehicles, not only their hybrid car models. So while the petrol price keeps climbing, there will always be ways to reduce your petrol consumption.
 
 

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