What is a hybrid 48v and why you must know

Following the announcement by Volkswagen of restyling of the current Golf, some media have speculated about the arrival of hybrid engines 48v to leveraging the restyling range. It is a type of powertrains why many, especially German, European manufacturers are betting for the immediate future.

With standards increasingly stringent emissions, especially for diesel engines, several manufacturers will launch into the market models gasoline “mild hybridization”, which in the industry known as “48V Mild Hybrid System” or “hybrid 48 volts ” . In fact, since Valeo to Delphi, to Schaeffler or Continental, component manufacturers already have these systems ready.We tell you what that hybrid 48v and why many will come to market.

what-is-a-hybrid-48v-and-why-you-must-knowWhy Golf 2017 could be a hybrid 48v

Normally, the restyling of Golf is usually not very pronounced and rarely is accompanied by a profound change in its architecture. But just as it is unusual that Volkswagen announced with so much noise the restyling of a car. In addition, it is presented after the Paris Motor Show and before the Hall of Los Angeles, where he will debut to the public that should conquer. Thus all the foci of the media will be on him. This suggests that the restyling is more important than it seems.

Moreover, after a few weeks of Dieselgate it became clear that Volkswagen would accelerate the electrification of its range. Already it planned to make the shift to hybrid and electric, but the need to clean up its image, especially in the US, has changed the plans of the brand and that process should start with this new Volkswagen Golf.

In addition, other events such as the resolution of the Bundesrat asking regulations and incentives to the European Union on zero – emission cars, suggest that the next Volkswagen Golf will have a hybrid version of 48v.

How does it work

Adapting an existing platform for “mild hybridization” is not something particularly expensive, especially if that platform already has hybrid and electric versions (for example, the MQB of the Volkswagen Golf). For Delphi, which has developed several prototypes of mild hybrids, these tienen 70% of the advantages of conventional hybrids by 30% of its cost. That is, we are not talking about completely changing platform

The basic idea of this type of hybrid is to optimize the use of the combustion engine to only move the car and the energy of all auxiliary systems and electrical systems on the car (air conditioning, browser, etc) come from another energy source.

Settings spoken for compact, like golf, is that of a gasoline engine small displacement, as a 3 – cylinder 1000 cc, supercharged an electric compressor and combined with a starter / generator or MGU ( its acronym, Motor Generator Unit) over sizing. This MGU could be between 9 and 12 kW, depending on the manufacturer Delphi. A battery of 1 kWh or less, would be responsible for storing energy kinetic recovered and the energy provided by the MGU. The MGU act in combination with the automatic stop / start system of the car.

Unlike a classic hybrid, the 48V not equipped with an electric motor but the heat engine receives assistance from the starter / generator. The belt connecting the starter / generator with the crankshaft pulley also allows for a plus power and torque to the heat engine when it needs it, for example when you accelerate hard. Conversely, when we raise the foot, the brake motor drives the starter / generator via said belt to create energy.

If you do not move the wheels, what it is

Recovered electricity is not used only to help the heat engine, also used to power the electric compressor. Thus you can get more torque at a very low rate (therefore with more immediacy) of a normal compressor which eats power of the engine or a turbo, which requires a minimum exhaust gas to rotate -.

But above all, the recovered and generated electricity is used, after conversion to 12V to power the auxiliary systems of the car (water pump, power steering, etc.), active safety (Piloted suspension, ESP, ABS, etc.) and comfort (climate control, browser, windows, etc). In a conventional car, all these systems are powered by the combustion engine in a hybrid 48v, the combustion engine is relieved of that task and therefore consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced.

Many manufacturers are betting on mild hybridization assume an inexpensive way to reduce consumption (the cost of a lead-acid battery of new generation is outrageously lower than a lithium ion) and emissions of their cars (calculated 15% less CO2 on average). The Volkswagen group, for example, already partially anticipated these technological solutions with some functional concept cars such as the Audi RS5 TDI 2011 and its electric compressor.

Shortsighted solution but, they say, unstoppable

The Dodge Intrepid ESX3 Concept is one of many concept cars that have explored the path of microhydrodynamics

Seen this way, one cannot help but think of hybrids 48v “why manufacturers had not thought of it before?”. The reasons are multiple (standards, R & D, market demand, etc.), but the reality is that it is not a new idea. Mazda, with the i-ELOOP system that can equip their models, including the small Mazda MX-5, has already implemented a similar idea.

In the case of Mild Hybrids, it goes further than a capacitor that recovers kinetic energy. But the idea is the same. Nor Mazda was not the only brand to venture out there. Dodge introduced a concept car in 2000, the ESX3 Concept equipped with a mild hybrid system 42v.

Still, it seems clear that the hybrids Mild are a temporary solution, a sort of patch, before taking the final step towards hybrid plug-ins and pure electric. Be that as it may, analysts and IHS Automotive, provide a global market exceeding 12 million cars in 2025 mild hybrid, these being more than half the market for hybrids. The reason is the need to comply with emissions standards getting tougher in Europe and China.

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