12 mechanical engineering students devise electro hydraulic hybrid vehicle

Vehicles of the future already have several of their tasks cut out: high efficiency levels, use of clean fuel and smart combination of basic engine mechanism are among the most important expectations, if the prototype vehicle models being designed as part of engineering projects are any evidence.

In their efforts to design a car that eliminates the use of pollution causing fuels, while retaining high levels of efficiency, 12 final year mechanical engineering students from M.A.R. College of Engineering and Technology, Viralimalai, have devised an electro hydraulic hybrid vehicle (EHHV).

“Though electric vehicles in the market are environment-friendly, their efficiency levels aren’t high, they cannot be used over long distances and Indian roads are not yet equipped to provide charging points (for the electric vehicles) on the go,” says T. Rajkumar, one of the team members.

Their EHHV, on the other hand, marries the energies generated by two engines, an electric engine and a hydraulic engine, to produce greater mileage and load carrying capacity (up to 1000 kilograms).

The multiplier capacity of a hydraulic engine enables the EHHV to increase the torque with less input power, according to Rajkumar.

“For instance, if an electric engine generates 1 hp power for a given amount of fuel input, the hydraulic engine can give 1.5 hp for the same amount of fuel, there by increasing energy efficiency,” he explains.

He also adds that the hydraulic engine is generally used in heavy duty vehicles such as earth movers and forklifts.

P.M. Abid Nazeel from the team describes the working mechanism of the EHHV they have designed: “While the electric engine takes over when the car is moving at a near-constant speed (it acts as the car’s primary mover), the hydraulic unit takes care of the acceleration or deceleration, which can be controlled through corresponding valves.” In this way, the electric engine stays efficient for longer and there is no cause of pollution because the hydraulic mechanism requires no combustion. The team seems confident about the commercial viability of their model.

However, they point out that it is possible only if it is built using various batteries like lithium batteries, which are yet to enter Indian markets.

If it is built thus on a mass scale the car can run up to 400 kilometres (almost double of electric vehicles), according to the team.

The prototype was built over three months at a cost of Rs. 2 lakh and it was developed by P.M. Abid Nazeel, P. Hariharan, A. Julfaharali, T. Rajkumar, M. Sathish Babu, R. Sugan, D. Vignesh, P. Amal Arockia Britto, E. Antony Joe Jerold, G. Mahaselvan, R. Thirupathi and K. Velmurugan.