OT: Diesel hybrids

Recently we have discussed hybrids and touched on the question of whether diesel engines could usefully be applied to them. Today
I heard about a design which points one way to the future. (All of this from memory. Excuse errors.)
Bus manufacturer Wrights of Northern Ireland is supplying six (6) evaluation diesel hybrid single-deckers to London for evaluation. They'll be tested against six (6) normal buses on the same route.
Broad stats: 1.9-litre diesel engine (as in GM's Vauxhall Astra) runs continuously, driving an electric generator which charges 28 accumulators below the floor. (Inference: low centre of gravity for the bus.) These batteries power an electric traction motor. New bus currently costs GBP200K, compared with normal GBP120K. Fuel saving is around 30%. There are major emissions reductions (eg: NOx, particulates, carbon oxides). One driver reported it pleasantly quiet but otherwise operates much like a normal bus.
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snipped-for-privacy@deltrak.demon.co.uk (Andrew Stephenson) wrote:

Do you have a link to this story.
I was told that Toyota is coming with a diesel hybrid truck.
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     snipped-for-privacy@smeltherose.com "The Benevolent dbu" writes:

No. It was a BBC-tv item. But I gather Wright are a biggish UK bus maker. Google for them: maybe try keys "Wright", "bus" and "northern ireland".

Sounds likely but I have no info.
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snipped-for-privacy@deltrak.demon.co.uk (Andrew Stephenson) wrote:

OK.
Toyota is supposed to announce a new pickup truck in Chicago soon. I wonder if it will be a diesel hybrid.
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(Andrew Stephenson) wrote:

The Chicago Auto Show comes to town this weekend, and the 2007 Tundra will be introduced on Thursday.
Thanks to problems with consumer diesels by various makers in the 1970's, diesels have a bad rap in the U.S. There will have to be a general consumer re-education before diesels are widely accepted as a viable passenger car option in the U.S. AFAIK, only German makers offer a passenger car diesels for sale in the U.S., even though Japanese makers offer diesel passenger car engine elsewhere in the world. My guess is that a consumer diesel hybrid would be introduced in Europe or Asia before it is introduced in the U.S.
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A diesel hybrid would be good in my mind. I remember the VW diesel, (not a hybrid), 50 MPG. I also like the trains, LOL. I wonder, if it would be likely there could be diesel hybrid 18 wheelers?
Let's hope we get them back.
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<snipped>

If VW's TDI can get 50 MPG, it seems logical that a hybrid could do even better.
The challenge to producing a ddiesel hybrid 18 wheeler (tractor-trailer) is weight. The amount of cargo tractor trailers can carry is often limited by gross vehicle weight. In other words, the trucks are capable of carrying more weight than is legal on many roads. The batteries needed to acceptably power a tractor trailer would probably reduce the vehicle's payload too much to carry anything but really light loads like feathers or bread.
BTW, I believe that the term "18 wheeler" is going to become one of those anachronistic terms like "dialing" a phone number or "ring" tone. Single wide tires are gradually replacing dual tires for improved fuel efficiency at lower cost so an 18 wheeler will become a 10 wheeler.
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Ray O
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Batteries=weight, but perhaps in future batteries the weight will come down, however I see your point. Why not then have a 18 wheeler (tractor-trailer) set up like the locomotives on rail, diesel-motor generator or won 't that work? I don't believe they use batteries or do they? One thing for sure the hybrid vehicles electrical/electronic systems are a complicated one to say the least, with 600 volt motors ect. I wonder about the long term reliability in harsh climates.
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DETROIT (Jan. 10, 2005) - The Opel Astra diesel front-wheel drive concept vehicle, equipped with a two-mode full hybrid and the 1.7-liter CDTI engine, delivers up to 25 percent improved fuel economy while maintaining fun-to-drive performance.
The concept vehicle is based on the production-version Opel Astra GTC and was built at GM's European International Technical Development Center in Russelsheim , Germany .
How Two-mode Full Hybrids work
GM's two-mode full hybrid system has been established as the starting point for a GM-DaimlerChrysler collaboration.
The unique architecture can be scaled to fit FWD, RWD and AWD vehicles and adapted to both gasoline and diesel engines. Two electronically controlled electric motors act on a series of gears to create an infinitely variable drive system. The system fits within the space of a conventional automatic transmission. A battery pack supplies power to the electric motors and also allows for full-electric propulsion.
As a packaging study, the Astra Diesel Hybrid demonstrates how hybrid components can be integrated into a compact car without compromising passenger comfort and the vehicle's utility. The nickel-metal-hydride battery pack is located in the spare tire well, along with cooling fans. The battery was developed with specialist Varta.
"We decided to use a diesel-powered car as a starting point because in the mid-term, we don't see a demand for gasoline hybrids in Europe ," said Hans H. Demant, GM's European engineering vice president and Opel's managing director. "Our state-of-the-art CDTI engines already deliver impressive dynamics and low fuel consumption. The Astra concept demonstrates that fuel efficiency and vehicle dynamics can be significantly improved by hybrid technology."
The Astra Diesel Hybrid is propelled by a powerful 92-kw (125-horsepower) 1.7-liter CDTI engine with a maintenance-free particulate filter and by two electric motors, rated at 30 kw and 40 kw, respectively. Depending on the driving conditions, the electric motors will deliver additional power for the diesel engine or will propel the Astra with full electric power. A sophisticated controller determines the propulsion mode. The electric motors boost the already strong performance of the turbo-diesel engine, delivering a feeling of performance that would otherwise be achieved only with a larger-displacement engine. Acceleration performance of less than 8 seconds from 0-100 kph (62 mph) is expected with the Astra Diesel Hybrid concept.
With fuel consumption below 4-liters/100km (MVEG mix), the Astra Diesel Hybrid is projected to be 25 percent more fuel-efficient than comparable diesel models. This is achieved through the hybrid system's operating parameters, which include full engine stop at idle and full electric propulsion at launch. The electric motors also are used for deceleration, where kinetic energy is recuperated and stored in the battery. During braking and coasting, the electric motors work as generators to charge the battery pack.
As with other vehicles using the two-mode full hybrid technology, the Astra Diesel Hybrid incorporates two separate on-board electrical systems. The drive system uses a high-voltage system, while the other converts electricity to operate a 12-volt system that powers safety and convenience items such as the lights, HVAC and the audio system.From the outside, the Astra Diesel Hybrid, with its unique panoramic glass roof, doesn't look much different from a production-version Astra GTC. Inside, however, the tachometer in the gauge cluster has been replaced by instruments that provide feedback on the operation of the hybrid propulsion system, such as traction provided by the electric motors, traction from the diesel engine, or both. Another gauge displays the battery's charge level. Also, a video animation in the graphic information display located in the center console depicts the current propulsion state of the vehicle when it's driving.
The two-mode full hybrid technology can provide a significant reduction in fuel consumption helping to meet ever-stringent carbon-dioxide emission targets. Its scalability enables the technology to be applied to markets around the world.
TECHNICAL DATA: Opel Astra Diesel Hybrid Concept Vehicle
Vehicle type:
front-wheel-drive, five-passenger concept vehicle based on the Opel Astra GTC
Dimensions (mm / in):
length: 4290 / 169 width: 1729 / 68 height: 1433 / 56.4
Diesel engine:
1.7L CDTI with 92-kw/125-hp and 280-Nm/206 lb-ft of torque; with maintenance-free particulate filter
Electric motors: two:
30-kw and 40-kw; integrated within transmission case
Two-mode Full Hybrid:
electronically controlled electric variable with mechanical lock-up
Battery :
type: 1.3-kw NiMH (Varta) weight: 35 kg / 77 lb location: spare tire compartment
Performance:
0-100 kph / 62 mph = less than 8 seconds
Fuel consumption:
less than 4 liter diesel / 100 km in the MVEG cycle
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<snipped>

I'm sure future batteries will be lighter than those available today so perhaps big truck hybrid technology will become economically feasible.
I don't know if current diesel-electric locomotives use batteries or not. I saw an article about a hybrid diesel-electric locomotive with batteries so I'm guessing that the current technology does not have a means to store significant amounts of electricity. The big advantage of electric motors, besides being clean, is that they produce significant torque, which help when starting from a dead stop. A diesel hybrid would probably be better suited to a truck that does a lot of stop-and-go than to one that is used primarily for over the road use.
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     rokigawa@tristarassociatesDOTcomn "Ray O" writes:

Potentially there are other advantages of using electric traction in a lorry (US:truck<g>).
Each wheel assembly (think of it as lump, regardless of number of wheels) can have a separate motor with its own controller. This should cut production costs (make many identical ones) and repair costs (unplug and unbolt a faulty assembly, then drop in a new one -- thus also reducing down-time).
This does away with bulky, heavy, mechanically lossy and costly gearbox, transmission shafts and differential gearing. Braking can also be done in part by regeneration, conserving energy and taking some of the load off conventional brakes, maybe extending their life (and making them smaller, though I'd not bet on that).
Another advantage suggests itself: if each trailer were built as a unit controlling as many of its own functions as possible (eg: power storage cells, motors+controllers, brakes), then it could be easier, quicker (maybe safer) to link multiples of the unit, trailing behind the one cab, where the electric generator would be along with the driver and his/her stuff.
All of the above contains much back-of-a-braincell guesswork.
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On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 09:16:58 GMT, The Benevolent dbu

If thy could get the fleet owners to pay a lot more initially for the trucks, a Locomotive style hybrid system would be safer, and probably cut maintenance costs drastically. Even if they can't store enough regenerative power in batteries to be effective, just having a dynamic braking system with a load bank of big resistors would improve safety immensely.
Rather than overheat the service brakes to failure or rely on a Jake Brake on the engine, you turn the braking force into power and then dump the heat through the fan-cooled braking load resistor bank - the service brakes stay cool.
Just the thing for companies with routes taking the high mountain passes regularly - long steep grades are hell on brakes.

But they don't have to worry about snapping driveshafts or bad clutches - Locomotives are very reliable.
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Yes, it probably will. And the 42 wheelers I see in Ontario will become 22-wheelers? (11 axles, I'd sure hate to try turning that thing.)
Charles of Schaumburg
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<snipped>

I bet triples will be a prime candidate for those new single wide tires. I've always wondered how those triples manage to maneuver, even if just on highways.
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On Wed, 8 Feb 2006 16:59:09 -0600, "Ray O"

There were several Toyota diesel pickups around here. Seemed to perform well. Main gripes were clatter, poor acceleration and the diesel smell. The Isuzu diesel was quite popular as a commercial work truck also. Damn near impossible to buy one as "They Who Have" tend to hang on to the trucks until some bozo runs over them.
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wrote:

Toyota sold diesel pickups, Corollas, and Camrys in the U.S. and also diesel Land Cruisers in Canada. The Camry was a turbo-diesel, available only with a 5-speed.
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     snipped-for-privacy@deltrak.demon.co.uk "Andrew Stephenson" writes:

I have since gone looking. It's trivially easy to find several items, by Googling for "+wrightbus +hybrid". Two examples:
Text overview, with interesting numbers: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/02/london_testing_.html#more
Replay of the BBC-tv item from the BBC site: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/4694544.stm
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