June 26, 2006


Decades back I used to pick up an occasional copy of Mother Earth News, for the build-from-scrap articles. I vividly remember one, however, which snagged my attention with a writeup of an experimental hybrid automobile. It was a Ford Granada which got an astounding 38 mpg thru the use of a hydrostatic drive augmented with accumulators. I figured that the ideal application would be a 1948 Cadillac hotrodded with an Eldorado engine, and continued to have that concept pop up on the to-do list ever since. The general notion of hybrid drive switched almost immediately to electric hybrids, and has stayed there ever since.

Now I see that the hydrraulic hybrid has come around again, in an application even heavier that the old uptrimmed compact. It may well be that between computational fluid dynamics and CNC machining the thermodynamic losses inherent in converting motion to pressure and back to motion have been reduced, just as the similar losses in electric hybrids have. Between this progress and increasing fuel costs, such a system might actually pay off when the duty cycle is sufficiently stop-and-go.

Posted by triticale at June 26, 2006 07:21 PM | TrackBack
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