Currently reading: JLR develops gas turbine tech
Ultra Lightweight Range Extender to be used in hybrid and electric cars
Autocar
News
1 min read
1 March 2010

Jaguar Land Rover is co-developing a micro gas turbine to charge batteries in hybrid cars on the move.

The system is called the Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE), and is being worked on by a consortium of companies with government backing.

See the pencil-sized micro gas turbine engine

The axial-flow gas turbine engine has been developed by Isle of Man-based company Bladon Jets, and is coupled to a high-speed generator using technology developed by UK firm SR Drives.

Jaguar Land Rover is overseeing the coupling of this application of the system to road car technology.

Axail-flow technology enables the production of highly efficient, small gas turbine engines that are ideally suited for use in hybrid electric vehicles.

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Rover P6 3500S 26 March 2010

Re: JLR develops gas turbine tech

Thank you! I have been banging on and on and on about this for years... long overdue! Bye bye, Mr Prius... hahahahahaha!

FR3000 1 March 2010

Re: JLR develops gas turbine tech

Zadster wrote:
It is the weight advantage that makes turbines optimal for big planes.

It's the temperature difference strictly speaking - delta T between intake and compressed air plus the further temperature increase due to combustion. In very simple terms the higher the temp difference you can achieve between intake and combustion the better.

At high altitudes around 30,000 feet plus you are dealing with very low intake temperatures in the region of -35degC. 747's for example are best flown around 35,000 feet - drop them to 29,000 and the increase in air temp has a negative effect on performance. It's all a balancing act.

FR3000 1 March 2010

Re: JLR develops gas turbine tech

streaky wrote:
I'm no engineer but I believe the answer is yes. Turbines, if allowed to run at constant speed, are very efficient. They can burn a variety of liquid fuels, are extremely compact and have far fewer moving parts.

I am; and you are correct. A more detailed article on this was published in the recent edition of Professional Engineer magazine. The architecture is particularly elegant and it also referenced the robustness to a wide range of fuels. The 'pencil size' issue was actually in reference to the diameter of the turbine housing; there was a smaller version around previously but it wasn't an optimum trade off between size and efficiency.

The primary application for a compact turbine would be to run at optimum speed connected to a high speed generator system - this would power electric drive sytems and supply some reserve power to batteries, essentially negating the convential hybrid drive.

Noise is a small issue since that it easily reduced and a major benefit comes in the form of a removal of a number of other mechanical components which has a major effect on packaging flexibility. Importantly the estimated weight reduction could be in the region of 10% of the vehicle which as most people will tell you has a big effect on efficiency.