Hybrid for heavies

25 April 2008

A new hybrid power system for heavy vehicles and construction equipment is claimed by manufacturer Volvo to give fuel savings of up to 35%. Lower maintenance costs are also claimed as a result of reduced wear on the braking system.

The design uses I-SAM (Integrated starter, alternator, motor), a combined starter motor, drive engine and generator. It operates with an automated mechanical transmission, an electronic control unit, a conventional diesel engine and batteries that are charged by braking energy. The linked electric motor and diesel engine are claimed to have more capacity than series hybrids.

I-SAM can start and accelerate heavy vehicles without using the diesel engine, which reduces noise.

Volvo is also helping to develop a new type of battery. Effpower, based on proven lead-acid technology, has doubled the power, Volvo claims, while manufacturing costs “can be significantly reduced compared with alternatives.”

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