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Using Exhaust Energy

Did you know that your vehicle’s exhaust can be a source of energy that you can use to improve your cars efficiency? New concept? Nope, turbochargers have been doing it for years. What a turbocharger does is use the exhaust gas to drive a fan that pushes additional outside air into an engine. More air (technically oxygen) means stronger explosions that drive the pistons. This makes more power. Turbochargers are very common today on everything from sports cars to large diesel trucks.

The Japanese firm YGK recently unveiled a hybrid powertrain that uses exhaust gases to spin a turbine that generates electricity, just like an alternator does. In this YGK embodiment, the exhaust turbine-generator charges up a “super-capacitor”. In theory, an exhaust turbine-generator could be used to charge a battery pack but for instantaneous use, a large capacitor could be used also. YGR has given their system the name the “EER-Hybrid” (Exhaust Energy Recovery). The stunning news is that it reportedly provides a 10-percent boost in overall vehicle efficiency. To an automotive engineer, this is a big deal.

EER systems are not new technology for the racing set. Various Formula One teams have been using several types of exhaust gas recovery systems since 2014. Race car engineers tend to use the terminology “Kinetic Energy Recovery” when referring to these systems. The principle is the same. As physicists know, kinetic energy is a type of energy manifested in something that moves. In the case of race car exhaust, it is the energy of the exhaust gases being blown out the tailpipe that is used. This energy is then converted to electricity and fed back into the electrical system of the race car.

So, when will we see the use of Exhaust Energy Recovery systems on street cars? The engineers at YGK are currently working with the engineers at Jaguar and putting their system into the XJR-15 supercar. Apparently the folks at Jaguar are looking to make a statement of the concept before it migrates down into standard automobiles. It probably won’t take long. Any technology that improves the overall efficiency of car by 10% is bound to be adopted quickly.

Source: URSE Morgantown Used Vehicles