F1 inspire Mercedes intelligent hybrid charging

Hybrid charging technology

Hybrid technology is still relatively new and now that it is becoming more mainstream with manufacturers and the government opting to focus on low emission vehicles, manufacturers are attempting to make their vehicles more appealing.

One of the main problems with these newer vehicles is the low battery power and high charge time. As such, Mercedes-Benz have been developing an energy management system for hybrid vehicles to efficiently recoup energy and optimise benefits of the electric motor.


The new hybrid charging system


The system, dubbed, the Intelligent HYBRID system, has featured in the S-Class since 2013 and shortly the C-Class will be equipped with the same technology. This system ensures that the battery has enough charge to capitalise on recuperation offered by route and terrain.

Essentially, the system monitors the terrain using the navigation system and calculates the potential of recouping energy during travel. The information is then processed by the Central Powertrain Controller (CPC) which initiates the steps to lower the battery charge to be in line with the situation before a downhill stretch is reached by expanding all electric boost periods.

According to Mercedes, many hybrid vehicles waste energy when driving downhill because frequently the high-voltage battery has too high a charge at the wrong time to be able to store the additional recuperation energy thereby generated.


More on the hybrid charging system


In case the navigation system if inactive, the Intelligent HYBRID system calculates based on the assumption the user will make a turn depending on the road category. For instance, if the hybrid vehicle is driven on a motorway, the system will assume that the vehicle will continue to be on the motorway for the next four to seven miles.

Further adaptive control algorithms additionally take the current vehicle weight, the driving behaviour including vehicle speed and braking behaviour into account for predicting the recuperation potential.

According to Mercedes, the increased usage of the electric motor leads the vehicle to use less fuel and emit less CO2. The extent of saving fuel depends on the topography the vehicle in question is on. In the case of mountain terrain, the fuel savings are expected to be higher.

In developing new hybrid models, Mercedes-Benz says it has benefited immensely from cooperating with its Formula 1 racing team, which also makes use of advanced hybrid engines to achieve fuel savings. This can result in synergistic effects for hybrid vehicles, both for series production vehicles and as racing cars.

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