Any vehicle is hybrid when it combines two or more sources of power. In fact, many people have probably owned a hybrid vehicle at some point. For example, a mo-ped (a motorized pedal bike) is a type of hybrid because it combines the power of a gasoline engine with the pedal power of its rider.
Hybrid electric vehicles are all around us. Most of the locomotives we see pulling trains are diesel-electric hybrids. Cities like Seattle have diesel-electric buses -- these can draw electric power from overhead wires or run on diesel when they are away from the wires. Giant mining trucks are often diesel-electric hybrids. Submarines are also hybrid vehicles -- some are nuclear-electric and some are diesel-electric. Any vehicle that combines two or more sources of power that can directly or indirectly provide propulsion power is a hybrid.
The most commonly used hybrid is gasoline-electric hybrid car which is just a cross between a gasoline-powered car and an electric car. A ‘gasoline-electric hybrid car’ or ‘hybrid electric vehicle’ is a vehicle which relies not only on batteries but also on an internal combustion engine which drives a generator to provide the electricity and may also drive a wheel. In hybrid electric vehicle the engine is the final source of the energy used to power the car. All electric cars use batteries charged by an external source, leading to the problem of range which is being solved in hybrid electric vehicle.
Components used in hybrid electric vehicles are given below:
• Gasoline engine - The hybrid car has a gasoline engine much like the one you will find on most cars. However, the engine on a hybrid will be smaller and lighter, and is more efficient than the engine in a conventional vehicle, because the engine runs at a relatively constant speed, and does not need to provide direct power for acceleration, which is the biggest reason for large engines. Use advanced technologies to reduce emissions.
• Fuel tank - The fuel tank in a hybrid is the energy storage device for the gasoline engine. Gasoline has a much higher energy density than batteries do. For example, it takes about 1,000 pounds of batteries to store as much energy as 1 gallon (7 pounds) of gasoline.
• Electric motor - The electric motor on a hybrid car is very sophisticated. Electric motor used in hybrid cars are usually dc series motor since it’s versatile and ease with which a variety of speed-torque characteristics can be obtained, and wide range of speed control is also possible in this. Advanced electronics allow it to act as a motor as well as a generator. For example, when it needs to, it can draw energy from the batteries to accelerate the car. But acting as a generator, it can slow the car down and return energy to the batteries.
• Generator - The generator is similar to an electric motor, but it acts only to produce electrical power. It is used mostly on series hybrids. Generator used in hybrid electric vehicle is alternator since cooling is easy and hence maximum output and also the output/weight ratio is higher than that of the DC generator.
• Power split device –The power split device is a clever gearbox that hooks the internal combustion engine and D.C.motor together. The power split device helps the vehicle to accelerate to a speed of about 15km/hr before switching on the gasoline engine. The engine starts only after the vehicle attains a certain speed. Once the engine starts it operates on a narrow speed band. The power split device allows the engine to stay in its most efficient load and speed range most of the time.
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