Cars beyond Otto's internal combustion engines
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Road transportation as an important requirement of modern society is presently faced with restrictions in mainly two respects, namely the ever tightening emission legislation as well as the availability of petroleum fuels, and as a consequence the fuel cost. But in any review of power sources for future road transport vehicles, the performance of the existing internal combustion engine is likely to be the yardstick against which other power sources will be compared. The power sources most likely to provide favourable comparison are those, which can display comparable range and speed, long and reliable life and manufactured at a cost comparable to petrol engine. A vehicle which fails in any of these requirements is unlikely to achieve anything but a niche market share. This article is an appraisal of a variety of proposed electrochemical systems, viz. rechargeable batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors, for an electric car. It is surmised that a viable electric car could be powered with a fuel cell to provide power for cruising and climbing coupled in parallel with a supercapacitor/battery bank to deliver additional short-term burst-power during acceleration.
KeywordsFuel Cell Aerodynamic Drag Fuel Cell System Tire Friction Otto Cycle
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