Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lotus's True Hybrid Engine

What is a Hybrid engine??

Hybrid engine's are a special type of engines which have two sources of power.The most popular hybrid engines these days are gas electric. They combine the power of non polluting  electric motor with gas engine.The gas engine and brakes (regenerative braking) help keep the batteries charged.
Generally, in a full hybrid, the electric motor takes control of the car when its cruising, or when slowly accelerating. When more power is necessary , the gas engine comes in to give the acceleration expected.By giving the electric motor to take control hybrids are able to a get better fuel economy than their standard counterparts with only gas engines. But since a lot of the energy is conserved when the car is braking, hybrid cars  give better mileage in city driving. Which is just opposite case in gas cars.

Lotus's Hybrid Engine

Lotus has come up with a new engine which they will setup a in a hybrid vehicle. The  engine made its debut in a concept segment that was at the biggest motor show the Frankfurt Motor Show. The engine features include all aluminum 1.2L engine and has 3-cylinders, It will be used in the Range Extender unit.
The new series hybrids are being developed with special technology, it makes sense that one important part of the power train—the engine is been designed and engineered for the purpose, isnt’t it?
It’s a fact that most of the Hybrid cars make use of regular existing engines with adaptation and minor tweaks. As a result the efficiency is compromised. But lotus has considered this point and has made a special engine for its new Range extender unit. The engine weighs just around 56kg in mass which is really great thanks to its all aluminum body.
It has an optimized twin-valve port-fuel injection,combustion system that has high thermal efficiency, low fuel consumption, multi-fuel capability [methanol  or ethanol] and a 35KW peak output from a 1.2L ,low-cost architecture. This was said by Lotus Engineerings Technical Director Simon Wood  in an interview.

Technical specs of the Engine

General – 1.2 L, 2 valves,3-cylinder,SOHC
* Belt drive
* All aluminum
* Balance shaft
Bore and Stroke                       –   75.0 x 90.0(Millimeter)
Engines Compression ratio        –  10:1
Maximum power produced        –  35 KW (47 BHP) @ 3500 RPM
Maximum Speed of the Engine  – 3500 RPM 
Construction                           – Mono block with Exhaust Manifold Integrated
Fuel System                             – Lotus EMS,Port fuel injection system
Fuel                                        – methanol/ethanol
Weight                                    – 56 kg
The engine can runs either on alcohol-based fuels or gasoline. No word yet from Lotus on a possible production vehicle, Lotus also helped develop the Tesla Roadster's chassis and it builds on a contract basis in the past.

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