[ad#post_ad]GM went with a 1.4 L four cylinder normally aspirated gas engine for the first generation Chevy Volt generator. Though perhaps not optimized for efficiency within the serial hybrid model, the engine was readily available, mass-produced and relatively low cost. GM didn’t have time or money to build a powerplant specifically for the Volt.
“It offered us a nice balance,” said Volt vehicle director Tony Posawatz of the chosen engine. “It was a high-volume unit with existing capacity in a plant, and the output of the engine allowed us to meet the associated performance requirements.”
Engineers have done their best to optimize the efficiency of the system using this engine, though other powerplants could make charge-sustaining mode fuel efficiency even better. GM has not officially announced CS MPG though they have gone on record saying it will be better than any other car in its size class.
The engine will operate within a fairly narrow band, switching between several RPMs depending on the driving load at the moment. Most of the time it will probably operate at about 1800 RPM.
“We’re still finalizing the details but we’ll probably allow it to go up to 4,000 rpm, and that would only occur at high speeds or high loads, otherwise it would be relatively modest, almost imperceptible by the customer,” says Posawatz.
That GM has been able to achieve respectable performance and seamless transition into charge sustaining mode with an off-the-shelf combustion engine is nothing short of remarkable. However, the company isnt sitting still. Posawatz and his team are engaged in several advanced projects studying alternative options for the next generation Volt generator.
“We didn’t spend a lot on the extended-range feature, but you can bet that we are already looking at advanced projects on what an extended-range feature should operate like in the belief that this propulsion system will resonate with customers,” says Posawatz. “That may be a Stirling cycle engine, perhaps it’s a Wankel, a gas turbine, a small displacement motorcycle engine– you can extend the possibilities to a lot of different alternatives.”
Source (Automotive Engineering)
This entry was posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 6:33 am and is filed under Efficiency, Generation II, Generator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.