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Old 04-06-2008, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electrocharger

Hey guys!

While cruising around on the internet looking for possible ways to increase the efficiency of my truck, I found this electrocharger

I searched the forums for anything on this, but I didn't find much. What are your thoughts? Good? Bad? Ugly? Anyone know of anybody using something like this that's a retrofit? I suppose it basically turns a vehicle into a hybrid, right? Except that it's an after-market product.

My first concern is... Does it actually increase FE? Looking at the site, they seem to push the performance bonuses of it more than efficiency. I'm guessing the only FE bonus would come from its regenerative braking. Also along that line of thought, if I were to install this on my truck, how would I rig it to charge the battery pack when I brake, since it's a retrofit type deal and not a factory install? How would this affect ABS?

All this is speculative for me, any major mods I do to my truck are a few years away once I'm done schooling. Keep in mind that while I have a good understanding of how everything in a vehicle works, I wouldn't call myself an expert in automotive mechanics. As well, I'm new to ecomodders so I'm not familiar with some of the the eco-lingo


Last edited by Achtung; 04-06-2008 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I know nothing specific....

But if you've got a place to store the energy - awesome. Using waste energy is only a good thing.

I wonder just how beefy that belt is
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm just gonna go ahead and say it's probably NOT worth it. It basically looks like GM's hybrid system on the Saturn Aura and all it's clones.
Essentially an alternator and battery on steroids.

Just for laughs, the Saturn Aura base I-4 gets 22mpg city/30mpg highway.

At $4000 more, the Saturn Aura Hybrid I-4 gets 24mpg city/32mpg highway, and it has 5 fewer horsepower and 1 fewer ft-lbs of torque.

That's gonna take an awfully long time to pay for itself.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The site says it has a "Super Capacitor Battery Pack (SCBP) that provides up to 600 amps at 48 volts to the electric motor."
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, this does look very similar to GM's BAS (Belt Alternator Starter) system which they are billing as a Hybrid, but then when you mention that it gets the car only a couple more MPG, they then say "well, it's a MILD hybrid".

Looks like a good idea for a DIY hybrid setup though.
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Achtung -

I've been watching this for a few years, but it hasn't panned out. Notice this update from late 2004 :

Quote:
Sept 1st, '04: Electrocharger will be unveiled at the '04 SEMA Show in Las Vegas on a '05 Pontiac Vibe GT courtesy of GM & the Pontiac Division.
From late 2004 to 2008 and nothing to show for it, .

I definitely believe in retrofit. Not counting drive style changes, that's basically what we are doing here.

Without any hard data, I am guessing that the solution isn't viable for most cars. Jack of all trades and master of none, so to speak. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with hashing out the solution. I know there are some here that have done "similar" things, like the 5th wheel Honda Insight.

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Old 04-06-2008, 08:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been watching the Electrocharger for years, and it looks like the company has pretty much abandoned it.

Too bad.

I think it would detect when you went for WOT, and would switch briefly to motormode and help pull the engine along. Aside from that, it was just a generator.

It looked to me like it was being pitched more to racers and dragsters than anything else.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Too bad. I wonder if there were issues with crankshaft damage... If it weren't too spendy (meaning I could recoup costs in a couple years), I'd really consider it for my Jeep.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Andrew, yea I was reading up on the malibu/aura... not much more efficiency there. I noticed that GM only uses a 36 volt electric motor, while the electrocharger uses a 48 volt. I don't understand electricity all that well, but would this make a difference in how much energy it would recover?

cfg, i noticed that too, how it seems to be taking forever to come out.

I bet there's someone smarter than me on these forums that could easily rig this up themselves for pretty cheap... Or perhaps they've already done so!
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achtung View Post
I noticed that GM only uses a 36 volt electric motor, while the electrocharger uses a 48 volt. I don't understand electricity all that well, but would this make a difference in how much energy it would recover?
It won't make any difference in how much energy the system can recover under regen-braking.
It *should* make a difference in how much power it can apply at one time to the propulsion of the car.

A higher voltage means higher potential energy. That usually means more power.

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