Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Smart people buy Priuses - Page 15

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Posted by Jeff DeWitt on August 8, 2007, 12:22 am

Michael Pardee wrote:

I stand corrected on turboprops, however please note I said the CURRENT
hybrid technology.  A Prius or similar car is more of a gas powered car
with an electric assist and because of that it's a lot more complex and
expensive than it needs to be (and so also less efficient).

They ARE an advancement over conventional drivetrains, and your right
about the usefulness of disconnecting the engine from the accessories,
that is going to become increasingly important as automotive technology

And of course you do realize there is a form of hybrid technology that
has been performing a vital roll in Americas transportation system for
the last 50 years or so... the diesel locomotive.

Jeff DeWitt

Posted by Marc Gerges on August 8, 2007, 11:14 am

Although many diesel locomotive are diesel electric, there's no buffer
battery between the diesel engine and the train. The generator-traction
motor setup is nothing more than the system that transmit power from the
engine to the wheels.


Posted by Jeff DeWitt on August 9, 2007, 2:02 am

Marc Gerges wrote:

True, but having diesel engines and electric motors meets the dictionary
definition of hybrid.

"something (as a power plant, vehicle, or electronic circuit) that has
two different types of components performing essentially the same function"

Both the diesel engine and the electric motors produce mechanical energy
sufficient to operate the locomotive... and yes I realize I'm being a
bit picky here <G>

Jeff DeWitt

Posted by Michael Pardee on August 9, 2007, 3:15 am

If I'm understanding it right, the electric part is merely a transmission
rather than a motive source. Oddly, "how stuff works" still refers to it as
a hybrid system although there is no secondary source of electric power; it
comes straight from the diesel. The train doesn't move if the engines aren't
generating power. Now it's my turn to be picky ;-)


Posted by Jeff DeWitt on August 9, 2007, 3:27 am

Michael Pardee wrote:

I wonder... In the northeast there are a lot of trains that get their
power from overhead wires.  I wonder if any of those locomotives also
have diesel engines to provide power when the overhead lines aren't

Jeff DeWitt

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