Optimum Engine Power Point Determination Method to Maximize Fuel Economy in Hybrid Vehicles
One of the advantages of hybrid vehicles is the ability to operate the engine more optimally at a low brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) as compared to conventional vehicles. This ability of hybrid vehicles is a major factor contributing to the fuel economy improvement over conventional vehicles. Unlike conventional gasoline powertrains, hybrid powertrains allow engine to be switched off and use battery power to propel vehicles. In order to maintain battery state of charge neutral operation between the start and end of a drive cycle, the net electrical energy consumption from the battery requires to be zero. An optimization algorithm can be developed and calibrated in different ways to achieve net zero battery energy over the cycle. For instance, the engine can be operated at powers higher than the power of the drive cycle to charge the battery. This accumulated energy can be used for all-electric propulsion by turning off the engine.