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Forum Index : EV's : Hybridization of a big standard diesel car

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mab1
Senior Member

Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 198
Posted: 06:12pm 04 Oct 2022
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Hello all, I currently drive a diesel car and whilst i would like an EV or even a hybrid, the prices are too high at the moment. I try to drive as economically as possible,  but as i live in a very hilly area there's often no option but to use the brakes downhill and use the trottle on the uphill.

So i was considering slightly hybridizing my existing car.

As it's my everyday work vehicle i can't do very much, but thought that if i could turn off the alternator when going uphill then turn it on again when going down, it would save some fuel by transferring the electrical load to when I'm engine braking anyway, and is a relatively easy mod.

Looking on the internet i get estimates of 2 - 4% fuel use on powering ancillaries, and as my car (vauxhall/opel astra) has electrically powered steering it nay be on the higher end of the estimates.

I was just wondering if anyone had tried anything like this? Or if folks thought it would not make a noticeable difference? Or had an opinion on whether the 2-4% fuel use was at all accurate?

I have two ideas of how to actually achieve this mod:
1) literally break into the wire between the voltage reg and the alt brushes. Possibly use an AGM starter battery to cope with the cyclic operation.
2) have a small liion battery and a buck converter to push the battery volts to just above the alternator setpoint,  and another boost convertor to charge the liion battery on the downhills.

In the initial phase i was going to try manual operation by the driver, but would be better to automate eventually either using the brake light swt or even reading the canbus to determine throttle position and engine revs.

Edited to say that should be 'bog standard' in the title - I've turned the damn autocorrect off on this thing but I'd swear it sneaks a few words in anyway!
Edited 2022-10-05 04:20 by mab1
 
Revlac

Guru

Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 976
Posted: 09:13am 07 Oct 2022
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Not sure how much you would save but it should be easy to at least try.
Have an old Magna and the Voltage Regulator crapped (Every few years) due to heat as it sits in a hot spot near the exhaust manifold and behind the radiator.
As it was cooking the battery all the time and use more fuel doing it, we used the wire that turned on the the regulator and put a relay on that wire and run another wire inside to a switch (wired to ignition power wire) to turn the regulator on or off, done that for years until the new regulator was made with heatsink and cooling fins.
So in this case turning off the alternator was helpful.

For a long time we left the alternator off, the car battery was left charged from a solar panel in the carport, a short round trip of 70km get home then plug the solar panel back in, and it can sit charged for a week or 2.
Edited 2022-10-07 19:18 by Revlac
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
mab1
Senior Member

Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 198
Posted: 01:42pm 07 Oct 2022
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Hi,
Yes, it might not save enough to be apparrent, but I'll probably try anyway. The 2- 4% figures may be for average drivers, so an economical driver might end up using more on ancillaries - maybe.

Simply leaving the alt off and charging off pv is a viable possibility in the summer as i don't need lights, heater, demist, etc, but in winter i think the lifepo maintaining 14v is better option
 
Godoh
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Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 416
Posted: 06:15am 08 Oct 2022
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Maybe you could look around and find an electric motor that can be installed on the car somewhere to give it a boost on hills.
Possibly a motor driving a belt onto the tailshaft or similar.
Then you could use the downhill runs to charge a battery and run the motor going uphill.
A small DC motor could be setup to be a generator when driven by the car and a motor when driving the car.
Pete
 
Davo99
Guru

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 1578
Posted: 01:35pm 09 Oct 2022
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As you are Driving a Diesel,. You could save a lot more money just Blending in some WVO or Your own Home Brew Biodiesel.

Lots of people in the UK doing it and a lot of groups on the net you could learn how it's done.
 
mab1
Senior Member

Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 198
Posted: 11:02am 10 Oct 2022
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Pete,
That could be the next phase i suppose, but is a bit more involved engineering wise and would be difficult to do without taking the vehicle off the road for too long,  as i need it for work, Whereas having a battery and some electronics connecting to the back of the alternator is much easier. That's my thinking anyway.


Dave,
My primary motivation for this is environment(although saving a bit would be nice too), as the car represents the largest carbon emission part of my life at the moment.
Having said that, if there was a source of WVO handy i would be very keen to exploit it - but i think there are enough folks using it here already that I'd be lucky to fine someone who'd sell it to me at a reasonable price.


I've just had delivered a few 2nd hand VW lifepo packs; 44v (12s), approx 1.1kWh. I don't need a whole pack for this hybrid conversion,  but the rest will be going into a new stationary battery for the house (i seem to remember promoting lead acid on here recently, but i got these at a price that deep cycle lead acid just couldn't compete with).
 
pollenface

Regular Member

Joined: 01/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Posted: 07:32pm 04 Jul 2023
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A friend of mine makes black diesel.

He collects waste motor oil from mechanic workshops, it's a win win situation because he gets the oil he needs and the workshops who would usually pay for oil disposal have it taken off their hands for free.

He mixes it 50/50 with fresh diesel and runs it through a centrifuge. A centrifuge is needed to isolate the fine soot and water suspended in the oil. His car is an older diesel that is not too fussy.
Off grid man caver
 
Trev

Guru

Joined: 15/07/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 639
Posted: 09:30am 02 Aug 2023
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Belts are friction and require energy to make it move.
Weight requires and energy to make it move.
So removing alternator, reducing friction and weight, requires that extra battery, adding the weight back on. But with a good lithium battery, this could be a step forward.

In my EV's, this is how they work. No Alternator.
EV Hilux has a 100Ah lithium 12v battery
T-Rev has a 40Ah lithium 12v battery.
Both are powered by a DCDC from the main pack which is plugged in to charge.
My main pack is plugged in from my house solar or can be plugged in to single phase wall outlet or public charging Type 2 (which is 3 phase)

However, since you don't have a main pack, you could have the solar panel on you car, but be aware that extra wind resistance will also require energy to make it move. This would also require the car to be parked in the sun.

Experiment is how to find out the answers to your questions. I don't wish to deter you from your experiment. Please post your results!
Trev @ drivebynature.com
 
mab1
Senior Member

Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 198
Posted: 11:43pm 02 Aug 2023
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Hi Trev,
I still haven't progressed this very far.

I have been logging my current mpg - generally between 50 and 55mpg - in order to have something to compare to, and i have a 6 cell 25ah LiMnCo battery.

Current plan is to use a buck converter (probably a slightly modified Poidas 45A MPPT) set to slightly over alternator voltage to unload the alt, under acceleration/cruise,  and a boost converter to recharge the li pack when decelerating - intially under manual switched control (i live in an area of large hills, so may be engine braking for 2 - 3 miles, then motoring for another 3, etc.

When i get results i do intend to post them.
 
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