Utilizing Wasted Energy

When you are designing a vehicle for maximum fuel efficiency, you use all the energy sources you can find. That’s why design engineers of hybrid vehicles tap the energy that gets wasted when a hybrid’s brakes are applied. Instead of converting the motion of the vehicle into wasted heat via the brake pads (as ordinary cars do), hybrid vehicles have a small generator on each axle that converts the car’s braking energy into electricity. This electric power is then fed to the vehicle batteries and eventually used to power the vehicle.

Seat Mii Ecofuel-4

In any internal combustion-powered vehicle, another source of energy is the movement of the exhaust gases that exit the tailpipe. This is classic wasted energy and not put to any use. What if this wasted gas energy was used to spin a turbine that drives a generator?

The Japanese firm YGK recently unveiled a hybrid powertrain that does just that. YGR has named their exhaust energy recovery system the “EER-Hybrid” system. The stunning news is that it reportedly provides a 10-percent boost in overall vehicle efficiency. This is a major improvement in efficiency and is likely causing many automotive companies to think twice.

It should be noted that EER systems are not new. For the last few years, various Formula One teams have been using exhaust gas recovery systems. The energy that they harvest from the powerful exhaust gasses exiting the engine are converted directly into electricity and this is fed back into the electrical system of the race car. It effectively eliminates the drag of an alternator on the car.

So, when will we see the use of EER systems on our street cars? The engineers at YGK are currently working Jaguar and other car manufacturers. In fact, Jaguar is putting an EER system on their new XJR-15 model. According to UseHonda.com, the word on the street is that Honda is looking into EER as well.

Source: URSE Honda

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