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Traction Technology Selects UQM Generators for Series Hybrid Buses

Traction Technology Plc has ordered UQM PowerPhase 100 and PowerPhase 150 generators to power their series hybrid electric power packs in city buses in the UK. The generators will be coupled directly to a diesel engine.

Traction Technology also has plans to introduce the UQM PowerPhase 150 as a propulsion system option later this year. The Traction Technology hybrid electric power pack is expected to enable a city bus to meet the upcoming Euro V Diesel Emissions Standards while at the same time improving vehicle performance. Working in conjunction with Transport for London operator Epsom Coaches, Merseytravel and Ipswich Buses Limited, Traction Technology plans to develop the hybrid power packs to meet the Low Emission Zone requirements set forth by the 2010 EU air quality objectives.

Earlier, Traction technology selected the Enova 120kW hybrid drive system in combination with a supercapacitor energy storage system for application in four series hybrid Optare Solo Buses contracted by Merseytravel. The award follows competitive trial evaluation by Merseytravel. (Earlier post.)



UQM has some good looking motors, but the price is very high. I suppose in a bus design, the cost is not the major factor. That might be the strategy of some American companies, find a niche where you can make high profit margins and do not compete on price.

Henry Gibson

The sale of UltraCapacitors into the hybrid market can only damage the reputation of hybrid vehicles with the possible exception that they are used in parallel with other high-capacity low-power batteries. For a vehicle as large as a bus, the ZEBRA battery gives much higher performance and allows the bus to run miles on the battery alone producing no pollution. UltraCapacitors can only run the bus for a few hundred feet and require far more complexity and electronics. The advertised high-power capabilities of the capacitors can only last for a few seconds at most, but the same weight of ZEBRA battery designed for high power could give minutes of the same high power. A flywheel with an imbedded switched-reluctance motor\generator would give better performance at lower costs in the mass market than capacitors. Having only a small energy store requires that the engine and generator be much oversized and thus more inefficient. There are several full electric busses in operation with ZEBRA batteries that have proven their ability to operate well. The number of cells in a ZEBRA battery is far less than the number of capacitors needed and the cells have intrinsic protection from overvoltage that is not available in an Ultra Capacitor. The need for several ZEBRA battery packs in a large bus also gives the required power that cannot be done in a hybrid car. And it also gives the capability of running on cheap nuclear electricity imported from France instead of expensive diesel. A straight series hybrid such as this is probably better and more cheaply implemented as an air hydraulic hybrid like the UPS truck. Parry People MOVERS have implemented a flywheel hydraulic hybrid rail vehicle that is quiet and efficient and low cost. SRDrives can build lighter and more efficient motor generators than are being proposed. A large flywheel attached directly to the engine would eliminate the need and expense of the Ultra Capacitors in such a bus. Locomotives were built with large flywheels and motor/generators attached directly to them so that they could run freight on the third rail electrified suburban tracks out of London and pull smoothly through the gaps in the third rail and even pull a full load out of the gap from a signal stop. They have been replaced by electro-diesels that use electricity from a diesel-generator when there is no third rail or catenary..hg..

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