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Engines of the Future

With the world subjected to climatic changes, the manufactures are presented with a daunting task of inventing engines which have low emission and at the same time are very efficient. Even if this is possible, the possibility of this engine being within the budget of the common man is a question.

Automotive manufacturers not only aim at making advanced modified internal combustion engines but are also looking forward to find engines powered by alternate sources of energy. Cylinder deactivation and Direct Fuel Injection have become common in today’s world. The manufacturers are also using turbochargers and superchargers with small engines to make them fuel efficient while being able to deliver the same torque and power similar to the large engines.

Nowadays people are also inclined towards hybrid cars. The peak sales of hybrid cars over the past few years is an example. Advancements to hybrid cars are happening day by day and plug in cars are now more preferred than ever. These cars are capable of being charged over night by the inbuilt plug in with a cord that can be connected to any household electric outlet. There are suitable for short distance non- commercial rides.
A notable advancement in hybrid cars is now getting popular. This was first introduced in Chevrolet Volt and it solves the problem with charging the electric motor on the go. The car has a gasoline powered engine and that recharges the battery pack if the battery level falls below a particular level. Many such ideas are to get shape in the future.

More cars like Honda Civic Sedan that is capable of operating by natural gas is to hit the road in the future. Fuel cell powered cars are also making their way into the market. A fuel cell works by a chemical reaction that happens inside the cell. This produces electricity and that electricity is either used to directly power the electric motor or it is stored in the rechargeable battery pack. The byproduct of this reaction is usually water which can be converted to steam if circulated to carry the heat away from the system. This is very advantageous as the byproduct of the chemical reaction is not harmful for the environment.

Camless engines are potential engines that can be highly successful in the future. Even though Variable Valve timing and Variable valve lift mechanisms are used, they do not guarantee very high flexibility. Camless systems do not have as many mechanical components like the existing ones and hence they are very flexible. Any adjustments can be made without making any mechanical changes to the engine.

Direct Injection Ethanol Engine is an advancement to the IC engines as well as alternate fuel engines. The reason why more efficient IC engines weren’t possible was because of the dependence of compression ratio on the fuel used. Higher compression ratios were impossible because of the use of petrol and diesel. Ethanol is capable of withstanding higher compression ratios and hence the usage of the same can increase the efficiency of the engine.

Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems are to be popular in the future too. The principle is that when a car is braking, the kinetic energy is lost as heat. This loss in kinetic energy can be recovered by connecting the flywheel while braking to a generator thus producing electricity to recharge the batteries. This has been adopted by leading manufacturers in the world like Volvo and Jaguar to improve the fuel efficiency.

In the near future, it seems that the innovative Internal combustion engines and variations in electric motors are most likely the available options for vehicle propulsion.

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