Posted tagged ‘diesel engines’

Super Charger

September 28, 2011

 

Engines combust (burn) fuel and use the energy of that combustion to do work. The more fuel that is combusted in any given time then the more energy is available to carry out the engines task. Fuel requires air (or the oxygen contained within air) to burn so if there isn’t enough air mixed with the fuel it will not burn. This also means that the amount of air entering an engine determines how much fuel can be burnt and consequently how much energy (or power) an engine can produce. Superchargers are essentially an air pump designed to cram extra air into an engine allowing it to combust more fuel than would otherwise be possible.

2011-Mustang-Supercharger

Mercedes pioneered automotive superchargers on their race cars during the 1920’s. These were simple reciprocating compressors attached to the engine by an electrically operated clutch. A switch activated by the accelerator pedal turned the pump on when extra power (full throttle) was required. A flurry of engineering endeavor ensued in order to reign in Mercedes advantage on the racetrack. Within a few short years most of the basic designs for modern superchargers had appeared.

mmfp-0609-02z-2b1999-ford-f150-lightning-2bwhipple-supercharger

During the 1930’s superchargers were largely the preserve of marine engines, aircraft and race vehicles but gradually found their way into commercial diesel engines by the 1950’s. It has been common for truck engines to be turbo supercharged (a.k.a. turbocharged) for decades but car engines originally had difficulty in effectively employing this technology.

01-supercharger-layout

Superchargers mostly fall into one of two categories, mechanically driven superchargers and turbo superchargers driven by exhaust gasses. A third category is starting to make an appearance and that is electrically powered superchargers.

01-super-charger-work

Turbo superchargers (a.k.a. turbochargers or turbo’s) are relatively compact, lightweight and efficient but suffer from turbo lag and heat stress. By turbo lag we mean the amount of time it takes for the turbo’s rotor to speed up to full efficiency. Some of the earliest turbo charged vehicles took so long for the turbo to produce a usable amount of boost that they were all but useless. Modern turbo chargers are much better in this regard but turbo lag is still a problem. Heat is another bane of turbo chargers. Exhaust gasses are extremely hot and can cause so much heat to build up in the turbo that oil will burn and congeal within its galleries leading to a bearing failure. This is why many turbo chargers have a turbo timer. The timer will cause an engine to continue idling for a few minutes after it is switched off allowing excess heat to be dissipated.

01-super charger schematic diagram

Mechanically driven superchargers usually don’t suffer from turbo lag and can often produce more boost than an exhaust driven charger (turbo). On the negative side they are generally bulky, heavy, and have a cumbersome drive mechanism (usually belt drive). Furthermore most chargers of this type have to supply air at all engine speeds and loads making them difficult to match various engine conditions precisely.

As our supercharger is electrically driven we have devoted an entire article to the advantages and disadvantages of this type.

Heat exchangers (intercoolers) are frequently used in conjunction with superchargers. Compressing air increases its temperature thus making it less dense. By re-cooling the compressed volume of air before it enters, density is increased allowing even more air to be forced into the engine. Intercoolers are more important for turbo superchargers as there are two heating sources present, the act of compression and heat from exhaust gasses both increase air temperature.

MECHANICAL GOVERNORS

September 13, 2011

 

Diesel Fuel Systems
Mechanical Governors
This Meeting Guide is the third in a series dealing with the basic
diesel engine fuel system and components. It is about the diesel
governor.
Fig. 01Each Caterpillar diesel engine is equipped with a governor. Why?
Diesel engines can accelerate-increase speed-at the rate of more
than 2000 revolutions per second. Yes, PER SECOND. Without a
governor a diesel engine can quickly destroy itself.
Fig. 02
GOVERNORSNever operate a diesel engine without a governor controlling it. If
you were to move the fuel rack of a diesel engine to the full “ON”
position without a load and with the governor not connected, the
engine speed might climb and exceed safe operating limits before
you could shut it down. One second…two seconds…before you
knew what was happening, the engine may have been seriously
damaged by overspeeding.
This warning – never operate a diesel engine without a governor
controlling it – is concerned with one of the purposes of governors:
to prevent engine overspeeding. Governors also keep the engine at
the desired speed and increase or decrease engine power output to
meet load changes. WARNING

Fig. 03This presentation introduces and explains the mechanical governor.
The mechanical governor is the simplest of the various types of
governors and is basic to their operation.
Besides the mechanical governor, Caterpillar engines use: servomechanical
governors, hydraulic governors and electronic
governors. These governors will be discussed in future
presentations.
MECHANICAL
Fig. 04This tractor is equipped with a mechanical governor. We can see the
governor control lever, the control linkage, the governor and the fuel
injection pump housing.

Fig. 05.
This is a closeup of the governor, mounted on the rear of the fuel
injection pump housing.
Let’s look at the construction and operation of the mechanical
governor using schematic illustrations.
Fig. 06Diesel engine mechanical governors consist of two basic
mechanisms: the speed measuring mechanism and the fuel changing
mechanism.
Fig. 07
The speed measuring mechanism senses engine speed changes, and
the . . . .
Fig. 08. . . fuel changing mechanism increases or decreases the amount of
fuel supplied the engine to correct these changes.
Let’s look at each basic mechanism separately and learn how it
operates.

Fig. 09
The speed measuring mechanism is simple, has few moving parts
and measures engine speed accurately. The main parts are:
1) gear drive from the engine,
2) flyweights, and
3) spring.
Fig. 10The flyweights and “L” shaped ballarms which pivot are mounted
on the governor drive.

Fig. 11
The flyweights are rotated by the engine.
Fig. 12As the flyweights rotate, they exert a centrifugal force outward. The
flyweights move outward pivoting the ballarms upward. The amount
of outward force depends on the speed of rotation.
Centrifugal force is the basic operating principle of the speed
measuring mechanism. Now, what is centrifugal force?

Fig. 13
If we tie a ball on a string . . . .
Fig. 14. . . . . and swing it around and around . . .

Fig. 15
faster and faster, an outward force-centrifugal force- is exerted on
the ball. This centrifugal force swings the ball outward and upward
until the ball is nearly straight out.
And, we can see that the faster we swing it, the greater the pull on
the string and the farther outward it swings.
Fig. 16This force – centrifugal force – is the basic principle used in the
speed measuring operation of the diesel engine governor. Keep
centrifugal force in mind as we discuss the other parts of the speed
measuring mechanism. Remember, the greater the engine speed, the
greater the centrifugal force and, therefore, the greater the
movement of the flyweights and ballarms.

Fig. 17
We need to control this centrifugal force, so we have the governor
spring. The spring acts against the force of the rotating flyweights
and tends to oppose them. The force exerted by the spring depends
on the governor control setting.
Fig. 18
A lever connected to the governor control pushes on or compresses
the spring. The spring force opposes the flyweights to regulate the
desired engine speed setting.
The governor control, shown here as a simple push-pull knob, may
be a hand operated control lever or a foot operated accelerator
pedal.
Fig. 19
As long as the spring force equals the flyweight centrifugal force,
engine speed remains constant.
Fig. 20
The speed measuring mechanism, then, senses and measures engine
speed changes. The fuel changing mechanism links the speed
measuring mechanism with the fuel injection pumps to control
engine.
Fig. 21The fuel changing mechanism consists of the:
1) connecting linkage,
2) rack and
3) the fuel injection pump.
Fig. 22
Flyweight movement – outward in this example – due to engine
speed changes, are transferred through the simple linkage to the
rack and, therefore, to the fuel injection pump plunger.
Fig. 23When the engine load increases – as when a dozer digs in – the
speed decreases. The flyweight force decreases, and the spring
moves the linkage and rack to increase the fuel to the engine. The
increase fuel position is held until the engine speed returns to the
desired setting, and the flyweight force again balances the spring
force.

Fig. 24
When the engine load decreases, the speed increases. The flyweight
force increases, overcoming the spring force, moving the rack to
decrease fuel to the engine. The decrease fuel position is held until
engine speed returns to the governor control setting, and the spring
force again balances the flyweight force.
Fig. 25
In summary, the basic governor consists of the:
drive gears, flyweights, spring, and control lever of the speed
measuring mechanism, and the connecting linkage, rack and fuel
injection pump of the fuel changing mechanism.
Fig. 26
The rack which meshes with the injection pump plunger gear
segments extends from the injection pump housing into the
governor. The rack and fuel injection pumps are parts of the fuel
injection pump housing assembly.
Fig. 27As you recall, Meeting Guide 43, Fuel Systems: Part 2, explained
fuel injection pump operation and how the fuel injected into each
cylinder is increased or decreased.

Fig. 28
In this cutaway governor and fuel injection pump housing, we see
that the rack extends into the governor. Rack movement controls the
amount of fuel injected in each cylinder.
Let’s look at a closer view of our cutaway governor.
Fig. 29In this cutaway section of our housing, see the flyweights, spring,
spring seat and thrust bearing. The thrust bearing (not previously
mentioned) is an anti-friction bearing between the flyweight
ballarms which rotate and the spring seat which, of course, does not
rotate.

Fig. 30
The governor is driven by the lower gear bolted to the fuel injection
pump camshaft.
The control lever has been removed from its shaft in the governor
housing and set in place to show how it is positioned.
Fig. 31Looking closer, we can see (from right to left) the drive gear ,
flyweights , spring, spring seats, control lever and the collar and bolt
which connects to the rack. The purpose of the collar is explained
later.
Fig. 32
This governor cross section illustrates: (1) lever, (2) spring seat, (3)
spring, (4) spring seat and thrust bearing and (5) flyweight
assembly.
The arrows indicate drive gear rotation and rack movement.
Fig. 33Two adjusting screws limit the travel of the governor control lever
between LOW IDLE position and the HIGH IDLE position.
The low idle stop and high idle stop are simply minimum and
maximum engine rpm settings with no load on the engine.

Fig. 34
The high and low idle adjusting screws are located under the cover
on the governor.
Fig. 35
Notice that the holes in the cover are shaped to lock the screws and
prevent them from turning after they are adjusted.
Fig. 36The operators control is positioned at the desired governor setting:
low idle, high idle or fuel off.

Fig. 37
When the lever in the governor is in the LOW IDLE position, a
spring loaded plunger in the lever assembly contacts the low idle
stop of the adjusting screw.
Fig. 38When the lever in the governor is in the HIGH IDLE position, the
lever contacts the high idle adjusting screw.

Fig. 39
To shut the engine down, the governor control is moved full forward
– past . . . .
Fig. 40. . . the low idle stop. It is necessary to force the plunger over the
shoulder on the low idle screw . . .

Fig. 41
. . .to move the rack to the FUEL OFF position.
Fig. 42Looking, again, at the governor cross section see
(1) the high idle adjusting screw and
(2) the low idle adjusting screw. The lever is against the HIGH IDLE screw.
The low idle and high idle screws, then limit minimum and
maximum engine rpm with no load on the engine. What limits
engine power output when the engine is fully loaded?
Fig. 43
A collar and stop bar limit rack travel and, therefore, the power
output. The collar is secured by a bolt connecting the rack linkage.
The stop bar is mounted in the governor housing. With the rack
moved to the FULL LOAD position, the collar just contacts the stop
bar.
Fig. 44
When our engine is operating with the governor at high idle (1) and
picks up a load, the speed decreases, flyweight centrifugal force
lessens, and the spring moves the rack to give the engine more fuel
increasing power. The collar (2) and stop bar (3) limit the distance
the spring can move the rack. As the collar contacts the stop bar,
full load position is reached. This limits the fuel delivered to the
engine so as not to exceed design limitations.
Fig. 45
Returning to the governor cross section, note the location of the:
(1) collar,
(2) stop bar,
(3) bolt and
(4) rack.
Like other diesel engine components, the governor must be
lubricated for long life. Let’s look at a governor lubrication system
schematic.
Fig. 46
The governor is lubricated by the engine lubricating system. Oil
from the diesel engine oil manifold is directed to the governor drive
bearing. All other governor parts are lubricated by splash.
The oil drains from the governor, through the fuel injection pump
housing, back to the engine crankcase.
Fig. 47
In summary, we have discussed the mechanical governor’s primary
components and principle of operation. Remember a governor has
two basic mechanisms: the speed measuring mechanism and the
fuel changing mechanism.
Fig. 48In our cross section we located the lever, spring, spring seats,
flyweights, thrust bearing, drive gears and rack. We also discussed
the high and low idle settings and the full load stop.
At the beginning of this lesson we warned: NEVER OPERATE A
DIESEL ENGINE WITHOUT A GOVERNOR CONTROLLING
IT. Why are governors so important to a diesel engine?
Fig. 49
Note: The instructor should make clear we are not saying
gasoline engines never have a governor. Some
gasoline engines use a governor for the same reasons as
a diesel: to control engine speed and to regulate engine power output.
First, gasoline engines are self-limiting. Engine speed is controlled
by a butterfly valve in the intake manifold which limits the air
supply Limiting the amount of air taken in for combustion, limits
engine speed.
Fig. 50
Diesel engines, however, are not self-limiting. Engine air intake is
not limited, and the cylinders always have more air than is needed
to support combustion. The amount of fuel injected into the
cylinders controls engine speed.
Fig. 51
And, as the fuel is injected directly into the cylinders rather than
into the air intake manifold, engine response is immediate. This,
resulting greater power stroke, adds up to very rapid acceleration.
As we said earlier, diesel engines can accelerate at a rate of more
than 2000 revolutions per second. Because of this rapid
acceleration, manual control is difficult, if not impossible.
Fig. 52NEVER OPERATE A DIESEL ENGINE WITHOUT A
GOVERNOR CONTROLLING IT.

Fig. 53
At this point, we have built up the basic diesel mechanical governor.
This governor works fine on engines whose engine speed is held
fairly constant and the governor is controlled by hand. However, on
other engines, the force needed to compress the governor spring or
to move the rack -just operating the governor – could be very tiring
to the operator.
Fig. 54With the servo-mechanical governor, the work operation of
compressing the governor spring is done with engine oil pressure.

Fig. 55
With the hydraulic governor, the work operation of moving the fuel
injection pump rack is done with engine oil pressure.
These governors are discussed in . . . .
Fig. 56. . . . Meeting Guide 60, “Servo Mechanical Governors.”

Fig. 57

 

AUTOMOBILE ENGINES

September 10, 2011

The working of an automobile engine follows the same principle as an internal combustion engine. Air, from outside, enters the engine through the air cleaner and reaches the throttle plate.
The pedal in your car is the control for the amount of air that you would want to be taken in, and you control it by pressing on this gas pedal.
The air is then distributed through the intake manifold of the cylinders.

At some point fuel is injected into the air stream, and the mixture vaporizes and is drawn into the cylinders as they start their intake stroke.

This way, when the cylinder has reached its bottom, it has drawn in sufficient mixture. As it moves up, compressing the mixture, the spark plug ignites the mixture, and as the powerful gas formed expands, it pushes the cylinder to the bottom with the cylinder once again drawing in the mixture.

In designing automobile engines, you need to be a specialist in automobile engineering.
The consideration that is taken while designing such an engine is whether it should be a carburetor or a diesel one. carburetor engines are most commonly found in passenger cars and low capacity trucks, while trucks with a capacity over two tons are fitted with diesel engines, including dump trucks, trailer tractors and bus.

Increasingly the medium and low-capacity vehicles are being fitted with diesel engines, since the fuel consumption of these engines are 30% to 50% lower than the carburetor engines.
Diesel engines not only cost more, but maintenance is much more expensive than the other type of engine. Diesels require more metal parts per kilowatt.
The critical parts of diesel engines are made of alloy steel, and the fuel injection system is much more expensive than carburetor engines.

However, the cost of manufacturing carburetor engines has increased with the use of higher mechanical grade components, considering the thermal loads of the material used. At the same time the use of high alloys and increase in production costs have contributed to the higher price of such engines.

There is a sharp rise in using aluminum alloys in design of carburetor engines in passenger cars, and with the use of high octane petrol, the cost of operation of these cars have come down extensively. Using alloy steel in constructing the engine body and other parts of the engine, makes the car lighter and hence fuel consumption goes down substantially.

The main parts that are made of high steel alloy are the main casting of the engine, the cylinder head, water and oil pumps, oil filter housing, end covers of the generator and starter, and the intake pipes. It has been observed that by using high steel alloys, the weight of the car is reduced by 35%.

The power per liter, per unit of piston area, and the brake effective pressure are 6% to 8% lower in air-cooled engines, compared to engines having liquid cooling mechanism. This is due to the fact that in engines with liquid cooling there are great losses in cylinder charging caused by the high temperature in pipes, ducts in the head, cylinder walls and head, etc.

The size of air cooled engines are much bigger than the engines with liquid cooling having the same capacity, and this is because the cylinder axes difference is larger in air-cooled engines. Taking account of the radiator dimensions, if both engines are compared, the air-cooled engine will vary slightly with its height a little longer than or approximately the same length as the water-cooled engine. As far as the width and the height is concerned both engines are about the same.

The auxiliary units of the feed and ignition, and generator and starter systems are a bit difficult to fit on the body of the air-cooled engines, because of the presence of hoods and having a danger of over-heating.

Governor

September 8, 2011
Diesel engine speed is controlled solely by the amount of fuel injected into the engine by the injectors. Because a diesel engine is not self-speed-limiting, it requires not only a means of changing engine speed (throttle control) but also a means of maintaining the desired speed. The governor provides the engine with the feedback mechanism to change speed as needed and to maintain a speed once reached.

A governor is essentially a speed-sensitive device, designed to maintain a constant engine speed regardless of load variation. Since all governors used on diesel engines control engine speed through the regulation of the quantity of fuel delivered to the cylinders, these governors may be classified as speed-regulating governors. As with the engines themselves there are many types and variations of governors. In this module, only the common mechanical-hydraulic type governor will be reviewed.
The major function of the governor is determined by the application of the engine. In an engine that is required to come up and run at only a single speed regardless of load, the governor is called a constant-speed type governor. If the engine is manually controlled, or controlled by an outside device with engine speed being controlled over a range, the governor is called a variable speed type governor. If the engine governor is designed to keep the engine speed above a minimum and below a maximum, then the governor is a speed-limiting type. The last category of governor is the load limiting type. This type of governor limits fuel to ensure that the engine is not loaded above a specified limit. Note that many governors act to perform several of these functions simultaneously.

Operation of a Governor
The following is an explanation of the operation of a constant speed, hydraulically compensated governor using the Woodward brand governor as an example. The principles involved are common in any mechanical and hydraulic governor.

The Woodward speed governor operates the diesel engine fuel racks to ensure a constant engine speed is maintained at any load. The governor is a mechanical-hydraulic type governor and receives its supply of oil from the engine lubricating system. This means that a loss of lube oil pressure will cut off the supply of oil to the governor and cause the governor to shut down the engine. This provides the engine with a built-in shutdown device to protect the engine in the event of loss of lubricating oil pressure.

Simplified Operation of the Governor
The governor controls the fuel rack position through a combined action of the hydraulic piston and a set of mechanical flyweights, which are driven by the engine blower shaft.

Figure 28 provides an illustration of a functional diagram of a mechanical-hydraulic
governor. The position of the flyweights is determined by the speed of the engine. As
the engine speeds up or down, the weights move in or out. The movement of the
flyweights, due to a change in engine speed, moves a small piston (pilot valve) in the
governor’s hydraulic system. This motion adjusts flow of hydraulic fluid to a large
hydraulic piston (servo-motor piston). The large hydraulic piston is linked to the fuel
rack and its motion resets the fuel rack for increased/decreased fuel.


Fig 28 simplified Mechanical-Hydraulic Governor

Detailed Operation of the Governor
With the engine operating, oil from the engine lubrication system is supplied to the
governor pump gears, as illustrated in Figure 29. The pump gears raise the oil pressure to a value determined by the spring relief valve. The oil pressure is maintained in the annular space between the undercut portion of the pilot valve plunger and the bore in the pilot valve bushing. For any given speed setting, the spring speeder exerts a force that is opposed by the centrifugal force of the revolving flyweights. When the two forces are equal, the control land on the pilot valve plunger covers the lower ports in the pilot valve bushing.


Fig 29 Cutway of Woodward Governor

Under these conditions, equal oil pressures are maintained on both sides of the buffer piston and tension on the two buffer springs is equal. Also, the oil pressure is equal on both sides of the receiving compensating land of the pilot valve plunger due to oil passing through the compensating needle valve. Thus, the hydraulic system is in balance, and the engine speed remains constant.

When the engine load increases, the engine starts to slow down in speed. The reduction in engine speed will be sensed by the governor flyweights. The flyweights are forced inward (by the spring), thus lowering the pilot valve plunger (again, due to the downward spring force). Oil under pressure will be admitted under the servo-motor piston (topside of the buffer piston) causing it to rise. This upward motion of the servo-motor piston will be transmitted through the terminal lever to the fuel racks, thus increasing the amount o f fuel injected into the engine. The oil that forces the servo-motor piston upward also forces the buffer piston upward because the oil pressure on each side of the piston is unequal.

This upward motion of the piston compresses the upper buffer spring and relieves the pressure on the lower buffer spring.

The oil cavities above and below the buffer piston are common to the receiving
compensating land on the pilot valve plunger. Because the higher pressure is below the compensating land, the pilot valve plunger is forced upward, recentering the flyweights and causing the control land of the pilot valve to close off the regulating port. Thus, the upward movement of the servo-motor piston stops when it has moved far enough to make the necessary fuel correction.

Oil passing through the compensating needle valve slowly equalizes the pressures above and below the buffer piston, thus allowing the buffer piston to return to the center position, which in turn equalizes the pressure above and below the receiving
compensating land. The pilot valve plunger then moves to its central position and the
engine speed returns to its original setting because there is no longer any excessive
outward force on the flyweights.

The action of the flyweights and the hydraulic feedback mechanism produces stable
engine operation by permitting the governor to move instantaneously in response to the load change and to make the necessary fuel adjustment to maintain the initial engine speed.

ULTIMATE ECO CAR

August 23, 2011

01-ultimate_eco_car-developments of hybrid technology-development of hydrogen fuel-fuel cell-hybrid technology

Continuous improvement in conventional engines, including lean-burn gasoline engines, direct injection gasoline engines and common rail direct-injection diesel engines, as well as engines modified to use alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas (CNG) or electricity (for Electric Vehicle).

Engineers may disagree about which fuel or car propulsion system is best, but they do agree that hybrid technology is the core for eco-car development.


01-ultimate_eco_car-diesel hybrid-fuel cell vehicle-alternate fuel hybrid vehicles


“Plug-in hybrid” technology brings further potential for substantial CO2 emissions reductions from vehicles. It has a higher battery capacity and is thus more fuel-efficient than the current hybrid, assisted by the power of engine. For a short-distance drive, it could be run with electricity charged during the night. Depending on how electricity is generated, the vehicle could run with much lower CO2 emissions. In order to commercialize the plug-in hybrid, there is again a need for a breakthrough in battery technology. It is necessary to develop a smaller-sized battery with higher capacity. Plug-in hybrids could contribute to reducing substantial amounts of CO2 emissions from vehicles, as well as fossil fuel use, by charging from cleaner electricity sources in the future.

Challenges of increasing power performance

In order to improve the driving performance, its power train was completely redesigned. To increase motor output, a high-voltage power-control was adopted. Although this technology was used in industrial machines and trains, the idea of incorporating it into an automobile did not easily occur at first. First of all, the system itself would take up a substantial amount of space and secondly, there was no prior example of applying this method to a motor that switches between output and power generation at such a dizzy pace.

Once the development of the high-voltage power circuit began, there was a mountain of problems, such as what to do about the heat generated by increasing voltage and the noise generated. To reevaluate the power train, the project team had to produce prototypes and repeat numerous tests. The prototyping stage went to seven prototypes instead of the usual three, and the total distance driven by these prototypes during testing exceeded one million kilometers.

ULTIMATE ECO CAR

August 23, 2011

01-ultimate_eco_car-developments of hybrid technology-development of hydrogen fuel-fuel cell-hybrid technology

Continuous improvement in conventional engines, including lean-burn gasoline engines, direct injection gasoline engines and common rail direct-injection diesel engines, as well as engines modified to use alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas (CNG) or electricity (for Electric Vehicle).

Engineers may disagree about which fuel or car propulsion system is best, but they do agree that hybrid technology is the core for eco-car development.


01-ultimate_eco_car-diesel hybrid-fuel cell vehicle-alternate fuel hybrid vehicles


“Plug-in hybrid” technology brings further potential for substantial CO2 emissions reductions from vehicles. It has a higher battery capacity and is thus more fuel-efficient than the current hybrid, assisted by the power of engine. For a short-distance drive, it could be run with electricity charged during the night. Depending on how electricity is generated, the vehicle could run with much lower CO2 emissions. In order to commercialize the plug-in hybrid, there is again a need for a breakthrough in battery technology. It is necessary to develop a smaller-sized battery with higher capacity. Plug-in hybrids could contribute to reducing substantial amounts of CO2 emissions from vehicles, as well as fossil fuel use, by charging from cleaner electricity sources in the future.

Challenges of increasing power performance

In order to improve the driving performance, its power train was completely redesigned. To increase motor output, a high-voltage power-control was adopted. Although this technology was used in industrial machines and trains, the idea of incorporating it into an automobile did not easily occur at first. First of all, the system itself would take up a substantial amount of space and secondly, there was no prior example of applying this method to a motor that switches between output and power generation at such a dizzy pace.

Once the development of the high-voltage power circuit began, there was a mountain of problems, such as what to do about the heat generated by increasing voltage and the noise generated. To reevaluate the power train, the project team had to produce prototypes and repeat numerous tests. The prototyping stage went to seven prototypes instead of the usual three, and the total distance driven by these prototypes during testing exceeded one million kilometers.