hybrids - Ian Tierson Dr Karim Physics in Modern Technology...

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Ian Tierson 9/11/2006 Dr. Karim Physics in Modern Technology A recent trend of increasing gas prices has caused many american consumers to look for fuel economy as a determining factor in the vehicles they purchase. Hybrids, while they do inccrease fuel economy over a standard ehicle, do not produce enough benefit to outweigh the costs. A hybrid car works on a simple philosophy. This philosophy is that by combining gasoline power with electric power you can balance efficiency with capability. The basic concept is that a standard gasoline powered engine is accompanied by an electric motor. As the picture to the left demonstrates, the primary components of a hybrid vehicle include an internal combustion engine, a battery or collection of batteries, an electric motor, a generator, a computer, and a transmission. The physics of a hybrid car are extremely complex, however they can be summarized in a reasonable manner. The car has a gasoline engine that is very similar to the one in most cars on today’s market. However there is one primary difference, the engine on a hybrid is smaller and reduces emissions to increase efficiency. Gas is much more efficient than battery power for storing energy, it takes about 1,000 pounds of batteries to create energy equivalent to 1 gallon of gasoline(which weighs about seven pounds). The hybrid car uses a very technologically advanced electric motor with
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Tierson - 2 - electronics that allow it to act as a generator besides driving the car. It does this by taking the kinetic energy of the car and tranferring it into electricity while the car is slowing down. A hybrid generator works like the electric motor’s regeneraative braking feature. While the transmission on a hybrid car performs the same basic function as the transmission on a conventional car, some hybrids have very different transmissions. Another featur of hybrids that helps to maximize efficiency is the ability of the vehicle to
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHYS 113 taught by Professor Karim during the Fall '06 term at St. John Fisher College.

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hybrids - Ian Tierson Dr Karim Physics in Modern Technology...

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