electrical energy generated. The total losses can be lowered by turning off the generator and let the battery supply the loads. Thereafter the generator is turned on again, and the output current becomes higher since the loads and the battery needs to be supplied.
One way to lower the generator losses is to let the battery supply the electricity when the power need is low. The generator can then be run during shorter periods of time when there is a greater need for power.
In hybrid vehicles, however, it must be decided when to run only the engine, the electrical machine or both. There are many different input parameters to consider, for example how much energy is left in the battery, in order to get optimal use of the electrical energy in the hybrid vehicle.
EE-VERT, an EC funded project
Many of the electrical system improvements are investigated in a European Commission funded project, EE-VERT (Energy Efficient Vehicles for Road Transport). Volvo is one of a total of nine partners from seven different countries. The partners represent universities, vehicle manufacturers and subcontractors. More information about this project can be found on the web site: http://www.ee-vert.net/