And, the beat goes on

The AFS Trinity web site reports that “a 2007 SUV straight off an American automaker’s showroom floor and subsequently equipped with the patent pending Extreme Hybrid™ (XH™) drive train, exceeded 150 mpg,

Ultracapacitors combined with standard deep-cycle batteries comprised the energy storage in an experimental, flex-fuel, plug-in, Saturn Vue converted by AFS Trinity Power Systems of Bellvue, WA.

AFS Trinity Power Corporation presented their latest prototype at (NAIAS) the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Intrinsic to this hybrid drive is their new Fast Energy™ technology: “patent pending control electronics to cache power for short periods in ultra-capacitors and provide this power in bursts for all-electric acceleration that is better, in many cases, than the internal combustion engine of the host vehicle.” The control unit integrates power from the ultra-capacitors with energy from a low cost, deep cycle battery pack. The life of the batteries is extended because kinetic energy reclamation goes to the ultra-caps, whereas the batteries re-charge by plugging into a household socket.

Writing an exclusive for the New York Times, Matthew Wald explains that the rate of energy flow is an issue with regenerative braking. As the brakes are applied to slow a hybrid car, its electric drive motor turns into a generator. This process converts the car’s motion into a powerful stream of electric current, but the batteries in today’s hybrids capture only about half of the energy produced this way. While very expensive advanced lithium batteries are better capable than current systems to take these short bursts, ultracapacitors can absorb a much higher percentage than current systems.

The ultracapacitors take up about as much space as the lithium ion batteries, although they store a total of less than one kilowatt hour. Mr. Bender described the entire package as looking like an 18-pack of Red Bull cans, shrink-wrapped.

Everybody say “DEN-SO”

A converted Toyota Supra GT won a 24-hour endurance race in Japan because the hybrid “was able to deliver energy more quickly, accelerate faster, and use braking generation more efficiently,” says Kevin Mak, an analyst with research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics and author of a recent study that explores the potential for ultracapacitors to complement and possibly even replace batteries in hybrid vehicles. “The days of the large hybrid vehicle battery pack may be numbered,” he adds.

Wald explains that the AFS Trinity prototype is a “through the road” hybrid, i.e., “the Vue Green Line’s standard hybrid system drives the front wheels, and the motor added by AFS Trinity drives the rear wheels.” This type of drive system has been used extensively by Challenge X team competing for the acknowledged best conversion of a Chevrolet Equinox. It also is the type of drive system recently displayed by Volkswagen in an Audi plug-in concept car. “It saved us from mechanical integration and made it basically a software integration,” explained Don Bender, the chief technology officer for AFS Trinity.

A helmet tip to Shogun Joe Romm.Similar Posts: AFS Trinity Plug-In Drive Train The days of the large hybrid vehicle battery pack may be numbered Battery / Capacitor Combined Energy Storage Zero Inertia Drivetrain 250 MPG PHEV

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