Hybrid Cars and Electricity: Description
Created in order to reduce the harmful effect of the cars that run on petrol, hybrid cars are a rather successful marriage of two vehicles, which are an electric car and the aforementioned gas car. While a hybrid car has its problems, the key one being its weight and bulkiness, it clearly has a number of advantages in terms of saving the environment from the toxic CO2 emissions that gasoline powered cars are so infamous for. By using the motor of a car as both the generator of electricity and the key source of the mechanical power to rotate the wheels, the designers managed to make a logical compromise between the unreasonably expensive yet environmentally safe electric cars, which, for the most part, remain concepts, and a traditional gasoline powered car, which obviously harms the environment more than its owners can possibly imagine.
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The link between gasoline and electricity
Describing the principles of a hybrid car work, one can claim that, in contrast to a traditional car that runs on gas, a hybrid car uses an electric motor in order to supply the power for the wheels to rotate. Though rather general, this statement is quite right; however, the source of the electric power generated for the motor still remains rather obscure. A closer look at the processes of energy conversion, which occurs in a hybrid car, will help resolve the above-mentioned mystery.
Time to recharge batteries
To start the car, it is required that electricity should be delivered to the motor; hence, the need in batteries arises. A hybrid car design presupposes that the mechanism should run on two key power resources, i.e., two batteries, which are charged with the help of a power generator described below. The batteries allow the electric motor mentioned above to rotate the wheels (Westbrook 2001a, p. 12).
Generator: the heart of a hybrid car
It would be wrong to assume that the batteries mentioned above also serve as the source of power for the generator. In contrast to the motor, which is run on batteries, the work of a power generator is facilitated by a gasoline engine. As it has been stressed above, the key specifics of a hybrid car is that it comprises two different sources of power, i.e., the energy produced from a gasoline motor and the energy generated from an electric current (Westbrook 2001, p. 7). The key task of the designers, therefore, constituted the methods of linking the two into a single system. The power generator appeared to be the solution. By using the MG1 and MG2 inverters, generating the AC power becomes possible (Xaodong & Chau 2011, p. 641).
However, when it comes to defining the core of the mechanism, one must admit that the generator is only what facilitates the production of electricity. The power split device is what makes it possible to start the car’s engine – allowing for the transformation of electric energy into mechanical one, it literally makes the car run.
Nevertheless, speaking of the production of electricity inside a hybrid car, the generator is what technically provides the aforementioned resource; seeing how it charges the batteries with the energy required for making the wheels turn, it can be assumed that the given part of a hybrid car is the focus of the electricity generation process.
At this point, it is necessary to mention that the flow of electricity is not consistent – instead, it is supposed to change its direction depending on whether the device performs the function of a motor or an electricity generator. In the latter case, it is supposed to flow “out,” seeing how a generator must consume mechanical power in order to produce electricity (Dijk & Masaru 2010, p. 1371).
Conclusion: Taking Care of the Environment
A hybrid car is far from being the perfect solution for the environmental pollution problem that has been brewing for several decades running. However, the energy transformation facilitated by the inverters and the power split still helps reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. Though temporary, the solution that the invention of a hybrid car and the use of the energy transformation principle provide will help in making the air cleaner.
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