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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default New BMW hybrid has 1,350lbft torque!

Hi guys, more hybrid news!

This is a picture of the latest experimental BMW X5, only just revealed to the press this week. I thought you might be interested because, for the first time in history, this BMW is a Hybrid.



Of course BMW have never been all that interested in fuel economy and arent about to start now. Instead, BMW reckon customers will only be prepared to pay the hefty price premium required for hybrid vehicles is if they can demonstrate not a gain in economy, but a significant gain in performance.

To this end, theyve basically tripled the low rev urge of their X5 with electric assist. The standard torque of the 4.4 litre engine is about 470lbft. However, with electric assist, this jumps to a massive 1,350lbft (yes, you did read that correctly!)

Of course traditional batteries (unless unfeasibly enormous) just dont have the enormous discharge rate required for this kind of brutal output. Instead, BMW have achieved their power hike by fitting the X5 with a bank of ultracapacitors. Unlike batteries, ultracapacitors can be fully charged or discharged in seconds with massive power outputs, over millions of cycles with no appreciable degradation (vs ~1,000 for the best batteries, or ~10,000 for 60% discharges in the Prius battery).

Lying somewhere in between batteries and standard capacitors in format, todays ultracapacitors have energy densities about 1/10th that of the NiMH technology used in the Prius. This means that the BMW can discharge at full power for only 7 seconds before all charge is depleted. HOWEVER, because charge can be put back into the capacitor just as quickly, it means a lot more energy can be recouped from regenerative braking than into a battery without a buffering capacitor.

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/?previe...y.php?id=38421
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Of course, BMW are being very coy about the exact technical details of what’s under the bonnet of their X5 as they don’t want their competitors to find out exactly where they are in their research. Having said that though, I think we can still come up with a reasonably accurate educated guess as to what’s under the skin of the new X5 by performing some simple sums from the figures that BMW have provided.

1) Power output:
According to the article, the electric motor provides an additional torque of about 878lbft at 1,000rpm. So maximum power of the motor must be at least 167bhp, or 124kW (878*1000/5252).

2) Energy storage:
Assuming that maximum power can be maintained for only 7 seconds, this means that the capacitor in the X5 contains a maximum charge of no more than 240Wh (0.24kWh) – approximately one eighth that of the Prius battery maximum storage amount.

3) Weight of ultracapacitor:
The best ultracapacitors today have an energy density of around 6Wh/kg (vs ~65Wh/kg for the Prius battery). This means that the capacitor in the X5 must weigh a minimum of 40kg, not including housings and ancillaries.

4) Cost of capacitor:
This is really difficult to quantify, but assuming that the ultracapacitor used in the X5 is made up of a bank of commercially available individual 2.5 volt, 5,000 Farad capacitors (see below for an example of what these look like), they would need approximately 55 of these to provide 240Wh of storage. I’ve worked this out on the principle that 240Wh is equivalent to 864,000 Joules, or 276,480 Farads at 2.5V full charge – somebody please write in if I’ve made an error somewhere!



These individual capacitors currently cost something like $150 each, so we can guess-timate that to make a bank this big yourself would cost at least $8,250 – and that’s before all the control circuitry and traction motors are factored in! However, Maxwell technologies reckon that by next year, if ultracapacitors are manufactured in volume, the cost will drop to around $0.01 per Farad, or $50 per 5000F unit capacitor ($11,500/kWhr). At this price the X5 pack would cost a more reasonable $2,750 (compared to the market value of around $1,200 for the current 1.8kWhr Prius battery).

What capacitors could mean for the Prius:
The whole circuitry of the Prius is geared to being kind to the battery. If it wasn’t, the NiMH battery would be ruined very quickly. So, rapid charging or discharging is avoided. Complete depletion of the battery is also avoided as much as possible. Finally, every effort is maintained to ensure the battery only ever undergoes the shallowest possible depths of charging and depletion – meaning that for much of the batteries life it remains close to a fixed optimum percentage of battery charge. Thus, in everyday driving, the battery may only go up or down by maybe 20% of total charge, allowing many more charge/discharge cycles than the 1,000 limit if it were fully discharged each time.

On the other hand, ultracapacitors don’t need to be looked after anything like as much as traditional batteries. They can be charged from 0 to 100% charge in seconds, allowing huge power inputs which in turn means that a much higher proportion of braking events and hence braking energy can be directed to a capacitor compared to a battery. What’s more, this can me done millions of times over before any loss in efficiency is observed.

This means that for most applications for most of the time, you can get away with using a much smaller ultracapacitor than you can with a battery. For example, the Prius may use for the majority of the time a charge/discharge depth of only 20%, or about 0.36kWhr. This is equivalent to a 60kg bank of todays ultracapacitors which despite the lower overall total capacity could do much the same job as the battery in the Prius, most of the time.

As discharge is also extremely quick, a capacitor could easily be added to provide, say, an extra 200bhp for a 10 second burst of acceleration . This amounts to around 410Wh in energy, or 68kg in weight - easily worth the weight disadvantage. By way of comparison, the maximum depletion rate (and hence power output) of the Prius battery is currently 15bhp for a maximum of 10 seconds.

So todays ultracapacitors could have a place in todays hybrids if they weren’t so expensive! But my opinion is that if there’s any area of technology that gets cheap very quickly, it’s electrical components. Also, I’ve heard rumblings on the internet that a new wave of ultracapacitors may be on the way, borrowing ideas from the latest lithium polymer and organic electrolyte research, with energy densities approaching 100Wh/kg. If these things came to be, you could recharge an electric car in under one minute for a range of at least 150 miles.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-04-2003, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
If these things came to be, you could recharge an electric car in under one minute for a range of at least 150 miles.
But capacitors (and presumably, ultracapacitors) self-discharge, right? So some of the charge would be lost in the time it took to drive 150 miles. And, you'd have to charge it just before you start driving. I like the idea of using capacitors to supplement the batteries, but it seems risky to have only capacitors for electrical storage.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2003, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, but it's not as bad as with traditional capacitors. Carbon aerogel ultracaps are meant to discharge quite slowly over several weeks.

Lithium-sulphur is still the best option for EVs, with ultracaps only used as load levelling buffers.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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Does anyone have any idea what sort of electric motor they might be using?

It must be pretty special to get that sort of performance!!!!!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: New BMW hybrid has 1,350lbft torque!

a combustion engine is combined with a large electric motor which is powerful enough drive to the hybrid car.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: New BMW hybrid has 1,350lbft torque!

Why are the dynamics of a typical BMW so difficult to emulate by other manufacturers ? I was thinking if a Japanese firm could produce a car as good to drive as a BMW, combined with their reputation for reliability, surely they would have a world-beater on their hands ? Every challenger to the 3 series, for example, seems to fall short when it comes to the drive / feel / dynamics. What makes a BMW so unique ?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: New BMW hybrid has 1,350lbft torque!

there are several diesel Hybrids that were presented at European auto shows this year. Volkswagen, Opel and Citroen are all working on this technology. A TDI'er friend told me that through one of his Detroit friends, that there is also an American company trying to develop a DIesel-Hybrid! I will try to dig up some info on the cars that were shown if anyone is interested.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 10:05 AM
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The BMW i3 hybrid is going to be a game changer I think!
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