In the first edition of the magazine United Life, we revealed more about the pseudo-adiabatic engine from the Slovak producer RTU Europe. This time, we will have a look also at further alternatives of ecological engines, which could replace the present combustion unites in course of time.
Electromotors and hybrids
Automobiles with an electric drive or those with the hybrid solution are experiencing their greatest boom in these months. However, the electromotors are no novelty in the professional practice and also their using in cars is not exceptional, however to the environment of commerce accessible automobiles they got not until today. The car makers put big trust to electromotors and hybrid solutions and only with the aim to improve them, billion of euros are reinvested yearly. The pioneer in hybrid engines is the Japanese Toyota, however the significant contribution to development of this ecological trend brings also BMW with its model line „i“.
Electromotors have compared with combustion engines more advantages. The first is of course the activity conditioned only by the electric energy. No liquid, gas or solid fuel are needed, what results also in a bit more safety rate, lower the risk of explosion or fire. Moreover, the electromotors can work without the loss of effectivity in revolutions, which are for todays combustion engines borderline or even far beyond the border. The course of torque is moreover accessible practically at any time without the need for change of speed gear. Just thus there are no clutches and nor the torques in electromobiles.
The basic problem whitch fight the electric cars with is their high energetic demandingness and disability of producers to make such battery which would handle this demandingness. Automobiles with an electric drive can namely drive relatively short distance on one charging. Just thus we meet the electromobiles rather in smaller and lighter cars, for example Citroën Zero, which are predetermined for the city drive.
We waited to see a progress also in this direction. Chevrolet Volt brought to the world of electromobilism the priciple of electric energy recuperation, thanks to which the trailing throttle lengthened up to 600 kilometres. This is value which can compete with most of common cars. Chevrolet is charged only for 4 hours, it is needed to plug it in common 230 V socket. A bit shorter trailing throttle, but on only one charging without recuperation will drive the American Tesla Model S. On one 85 kWh battery it drives to 426 kilometres. High costness of car equipment by the sufficient energy storage is differently solved by producers, besides the recuperation for example also by hydrogen…
Hydrogen drive in two ways
It seems as the trend of electromotors overshadowed not so old popularity of the hydrogen drive. However, it is not entirely truth, because already hydrogen drives could represent the maintainable and ecological concept. At last motor show in Frankfurt Hyundai showed the hydrogen ix35. This big SUV looks at first sight as each other car, only after starting there is no typical sound of combustion engine. Pure hydrogen is „tanked up“ to the car which then through the fuel element makes electricity. That charges the battery which keeps the standard automobile electromotor. Hyundai plans to make thousand pieces of hydrogen-electric ix35 to the year 2015 and after 2015 to 10 times more. Just at that time the price of automobile should get to the acceptable levels. With the similar hydrogen drive we met also by the car makers Honda, General Motors, Daimler and also BMW, which introduced BMW Hydrogen 7 in the framework of project BMW Clean Energy few years ago. The older generation of saloon car class 7 was equipped by engine which was able to work also with hydrogen which was making electric energy. However, today the development of this technology is not very assumed, the future is the sub-brand BMW-i and its electric engines.
Hydrogen as the basis for the field production of electric energy is however not the typical concept of the hydrogen drive. As it was written that electromotors did not overshadow hydrogen, because that can be their part, now it will not apply. Pure hydrogen drive is today almost passé. It is not acceptable even for the car makers and nor the customers to have high-pressure vessels with liquid hydrogen overcooled on -253°C with an explosive potential in car. Hydrogen drive is based on not very complicated concept which produces the water vapour as emissions. Thanks to that it is ecological entirely clean.
„What did that Citroën introduce in Frankurt? Car on air? Unbelievable!“ say the experts and lay observers too. The second prototype of drive Hybrid Air waited to see a beautiful marketing and public perceives it as „something what is able to drive on air“. However, this is not truth, even though the air plays an important role in the whole process of drive.
Prototype of automobile Citroën Cactus with drive Hybrid Air is equipped by economic 3-cylinder engine and air tanks. Those are the storage of condensed air which gets in them by sucking with the use of recuperated energy. When there is sufficient pressure in the air tank, it can help the combustion engine and so lower its energetic demandingness. That means, the energy obtained during drive on combustion engine changes to pressure which is able to shift the automobile a bit further or a bit faster. With this help the fuel, amount of emission and of course also financial budget of driver are saved.
Eco-effectivity at the expense of emotion
How does the future of automobile drive look like? It is not even today, at time of top technologies, obvious at all. With a big probability the commerce automobile industry will change the orientation to electric engines in the course of the nearest decades, but development in the field of supplying an energy for this engines will proceed also in the future. Hydrogen, compressed air, maximum effective recuperation, these all is only a fraction of that, what still not quite a clear future offers to us. What can we however assume with the big certainty is gradual fadeaway of today so popular combustion engines or their shift to marginal position. Do we live the last decades of honest strong noisy automobiles?