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Energy Recuperation Advantages

  1. Jul 3, 2012 #1
    Well, the basic advantages of energy recuperation in vehicles include
    1. optimization of fuel consumption
    2. lower CO2 and NOx emissions

    Are there any other advantages that needs to be highlighted? Also, please mention the disadvantages of energy recuperation (if any)

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2012 #2
    • better efficiency in stop-and-go traffic. That's what they are designed for, after all.
    • Quieter in electric-only operation. (although some people consider this a danger).
    • Future designs may optimize the ICE for just topping up the batteries and using electric-only to accelerate the vehicle. Train have been running like this for several decades.
    • Hybrid designs may also prepare the way for alternative ways of topping up the battery, e.g. fuel cells.
    • Increases vehicle weight.
    • Higher production cost
    • Environmental impact of materials used in e.g. NiMH batteries.
    • Potentially higher maintenance costs.
    No advantage if just cruising along without stopping.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Jul 4, 2012 #3
    Thnx for the reply. However, can only partly agree with your disadvantages. 1, 2, 4 could actually be overcome on long run if utilized properly.
  5. Jul 5, 2012 #4
    Maybe yes, maybe no. These are disadvantages of the existing designs.

    The energy density of fossil fuels is much much higher than any rechargeable battery on the market or under development. This makes big and batteries heavy and is the main stumbling block for all-electrical vehicles.

    Hybrids still need to buffer serious amounts of electrical energy. On top of that they need to carry the generator and ICE or other means of generating power.

    In present hybrids the ICE still drives the wheels via the usual gear box etc. If the ICE drives only a generator, then one could loose the gear box and one would have much more flexibility in operating the ICE at its maximum efficiency RPM - the speed of the ICE is completely decoupled from the speed of the car/wheels. The weight of the generator is probably comparable to that of the gear box, so not much gained/lost here. One would probably need larger electric motors as all the power accelerating the car will come from them. If 4 motors are put directly on the wheels then no more differentials are needed, saving some weight. Direct traction control of each wheel would be easy, as you can power each motor independently.

    Production cost is of course a function of the number of cars sold. On the other hand batteries and high-efficiency electric motors do rely on exotic materials that are expensive.
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