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Is this Hybrid Hummer the Real Thing?

by Dan
(New York)




Ca I hook up a gas or diesel generator directly to the a ac or dc motor, insted of the usual batter/charged system?

I am a photog and I know that one of my flashes uses a battery cluster and once charged the AC adapter can be plugged into the flash and will bypass the batteries that have charged the capacitor and then run directly on AC power for the most part.

I would like to know if there is a way to do the same using a (once charged), battery/capacitor and (bypass) with AC directly.

Can the generator be running all the time, and will it be enough power to directly power the car?

I heard that the Army has done something of the same, in which a HumVee uses a diesel power generator to power the vehicle and then (when needed) can run silent for a short time, then turn back on the generator and keep on going (without the need to stop and charge) before continuing on the down the road.

Hi, Dan -
You're talking about the hybrid Hummer? Yeah, I heard about it. It's got batteries, though. Were you thinking of ditching the batteries altogether, or just charging them on the fly?

If you were thinking about losing the batteries, the problem is that while a big enough generator will supply plenty of power to run your electric motor, the generator is designed to run at a constant speed. Is it possible to have a variable-speed generator powering an electric motor? I don't see why not in theory, although I don't know anybody who's doing it. Check out the video up there, though...it seems like these folks are doing something like it, but still with batteries.

Even the Chevy Volt went with batteries in their series hybrid, and they wouldn't have if there was any way around it. Batteries are too heavy to take on board lightly. (Sorry about that; )

Now, a battery/capacitor combination? That's actually in the works, I understand. I heard Zenn and Eestor are hooking up to build an electric car with batteries for the main job of powering the car, and an ultracapacitor for the heavy lifting. It's not here yet, so we'll see how that goes.

All the best with your project, and keep us posted!

Regards,
Lynne


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Generator
by: Roy

I should have added the obvious, if you use even a small battery like the Pirus (5kWhr) then you can cut the generator requirement in half, so about 40kW would be enough for a small car.

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Generators
by: Roy

Simple answer, yes any suitable drive source can be hooked up to a generator. For a small car you would want about 100hp = about 75kW a lot more than your 2kW Honda generator. AC is more efficient than DC. Most auto generators are AC with permanent magnets.

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you getting close
by: Anonymous

Roy, your right, similar to the Train idea. But what your missing is that most generators run at full capacity for (x) amount of time.(example) my Honda 2000 watt runs 15 hours on idle and 6 hours on full. That would be less than a gallon of fuel for a run time of 6 to 15 hours depending on the load. Now I have a brother who works on the railroad, and from what I can gather they do have the gen set(diesel) and batteries and electric motors on each wheel axle. Now If I remember correctly, the Electric Hummer does something like that. Either way the gen is powering the electric. Now as for having to stay with gas, that is mainly what I wanted to know if we could somehow use a generator that can be replaced at any given time, (ie) removed simply by un-hooking it and lifting it out of a holder and replace it with anything that comes along, (ie) and fuel cell or bio-diesel generator, or anything to off set the cost when new fuel becomes ready. As an example, today I can run the old electric car on a small 35lbs Honda Gas generator, that powers the electric motor, by charging a small set of batteries that in turn power the capacitor and then the electric. The electric hummers does this with a diesel generator and it is a big monster of a truck, can this be done with a smaller truck/car and instead of a large generator like the ones used in a Humvee or even a train, use a smaller (because of the smaller size car) a smaller generator that can be removed or replaces as new tech on generators comes available. If this can be done, what parts are needed, AC versus DC and so on. If the trains do it electric, and the Humvee does it electric, both using generators as the main power source, why can it be done with like say a ford Ranger, and a couple of Honda 2000watt generators and an electric motor, capacitor or two and a few batteries.

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Still more
by: Roy

Dan,
I went back and read your original post, and realized that you were inquiring about the possibility of running with the ICE genset all the time and not having any batteries. Was the idea to save the high cost of the batteries? Yes this is possible. In this arrangement the motor and controller become an infinitely variable transmission. This is exactly the arrangement used by desiel locomotives. The Genset is usually sized smaller than the normal engine and uses the battery pack to get extra boost when accelerating or going up hills, so if you eliminated the batteries you would want a larger engine or suffer with lower performance. Either way it is an expensive transmission and you gain no benefit in gas milage.

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More for Dan
by: Roy

Dan,
Somehow you got the details right but missed the overall idea. I said WHEN the ICE genset is running. It does not run all the time. The GM Volt is designed to run on battery for 40 miles then when the battery has run out, the genset starts up and you can continue to drive on gasoline. On more mild hybrids like the Toyota, the car may run only at low speed <20 mph on battery and then above that speed the ICE motor turns on.
You seemed to get the idea that the car would run on gas, and then switch over to battery when the gas ran out, the opposite is true. Also you pointed out correctly that you could power your house from the genset in the car. This would be a good idea in an emergency when the power lines are out, but it is not something you want to do all the time. Gasoline is one of the most expensive ways to purchase energy, the electric power going to you house is much cheaper. That is why you want to charge your hybrid or BEV from your house and not via the genset.

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bad speller, that me!
by: Dan

sorry for some of the misspells, it late 3am and I need to get to bed. "aloud" meant to say allowed. Geez, do I need to start proof reading a bit better. (lol) Anyway, thanks again to all for your help. "D"

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Thanks so far for Annoms. and Rod
by: Anonymous

You guys are on the right track, and I thank you both. After looking at the info that some of you sent, the closes to my question is what Roy said, that the generator, even a small one, is in fact the main source of power for the electric motor. By either powering it directly or powering up a capacitor to electric motor, is in fact my question. Even if the battery is used, it would be only if like say, you ran out of gas for the generator, and was in need of getting home, just run/switch over to the battery and off you go. I think this in fact would be a better design, only because I thought that if some one came up with a design that aloud one to use a standard or even possibly a Honda type (EU or EI 2000.watt gen)that if you needed to replace it, just take it out and replace with the same or a bit bigger. Also one could use it to power the home/campsite. I have two and can gang them together to make a 4000 watt. gen that can power the 5th wheel I live in with no issues. Kinda like a duel use situation. Also as fuel cells become ready for market, all one needs to do is (un-strap,un-secure) the Honda and insert a fuel cell generator/power plant. I think that would make going electric even more useful. Kinda like that Razor Truck, that goes on down the road, and when at home, plug it in to power your home. Only instead of running the truck(leaving the keys in it) just take the generator out and then plug it into the home. The idea comes from the electric Humvee I read about, and now with the help from all of you that sent comments in, I think you all are getting me. Thanks so much for all your help and effort in finding out if this is even possible. If it is, I have a ford Ranger waiting to be converted, she has almost a million miles on her (1992) and she is getting a bit old in the tired old motor. She still runs and can pass smog, but some day she goes to my son and I would like him to be able to have her in Electric mode by then. Thanks again for your help. Sincerely Dan L.

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Repeat +
by: Roy

Hi Lynne, Not to put too fine a point on it, but I said all generator/battery systems, not all hybrids, and gave examples of two series hybrids. To the extent that an electric motor is being used to assist an ICE in a parallel hybrid, it is still true, that is the generator attached to the ICE powers the electric motor directly, if required, as well as re-charge the battery.

Dan's point was that from his photo experience he noticed that his flash would work directly from the charger and did not require the battery to be re-charged first. I confirmed that this is standard, to the point that I know of no exceptions. There are very good reasons for this approach, battery life is primarly determined by the number of charge/discharge cycles. If you designed a system that forced the battery to be charged, and discharged even when there was another power source, it would unnecessarily shorten the life of the battery.

GM has even gone the extra step of desiging the Volt so the battery is NOT charged by the on-board generator. Once the battery is run down the Volt runs of the generated power, and the battery will not be re-charged until it is plugged in. This insures that you will always get maximum benefit in terms of charging the battery from the cheapest possible source. They said that this was done to qualify for maximum CARB points in California.

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Gen/Battery Topology
by: Anonymous

Just a couple of corrections.

First, ALL generator/battery systems such as the Volt and Hummer described work that way, i.e. when the gen set is running, power as required goes directly to the motor, excess power generated goes to charging the battery.

Second, Zenn plans to use EEStor's ultracapacitor INSTEAD of the battery, not to supplement it.

Hi, Anonymous -
On the first point, all hybrids do not work the same way. Wikipedia lays it all out pretty nicely, with pictures.

Here's the breakdown.

In a series hybrid, like the Volt and the Hummer that's described, the thing that's moving the wheels is an electric motor, and it's powered by batteries. The generator isn't involved in that process at all, except to recharge the batteries.

In a parallel hybrid, like some of the fake "power assist" hybrids SUVs that came out a while back, either the gas engine or an electric motor could, theoretically, move the car. These don't have to be "fake" hybrids, but a lot of them are.

In a "synergy drive" hybrid, aka the Toyota products, there's a combination of parallel and series hybrid drives, operated by computer.

If you're making the point that on all three hybrid system possibilities, the batteries end up getting charged by the gas engine? This is true.

I don't think that's where Dan was going with his question, though.

On the second point...I believe you're right. I looked for the reference that made me think there was going to be a battery/ultracapacitor combination in the Zenn city car, and I can't find it. The only thing I could find was this GM-Volt interview with Ian Clifford in June of 2008, in which he states clearly that the Zenn city car will only have EEstor ultracapacitor power, not batteries.

Good catch, and my mistake.

Regards,
Lynne


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