This probably is not the best week to be discussing improvements in automobiles, given the crisis with Volkswagen and test measurements. However, there is no time like the present time, as they say. Business Vibes provides a good post on the Business 2 Community website about the technological developments that have improved energy performance. Especially given what has happened this week, your views will be more than welcome.
How Technology Increases Energy Efficiency in Automobiles
Since the invention of the Model T, which became America’s first widely affordable car, Americans have had an uncontrollable obsession with cars. To us, the automobile represents freedom, the ability to pursue your own path in life.
Recently however, much of car culture in America has revolved around the inefficiencies of our automobiles, and the affect that it has on our environment. While muscle cars are a celebrated part of our history, the large engines that produced raw power, were also responsible for the emission of many harmful fumes into the air we breathe. This has led car manufacturers to find ways to make cleaner, more fuel efficient engines, while still allowing for plenty of power to be generated.
Some of the best innovations in engines have to do with how the fuel is injected, and using technology that varies the timing of certain parts of the engine to increase efficiency and power. VW is one of the manufacturers leading the way in both of these areas. That combination provided by cutting-edge VW performance parts is highly attractive for today’s automobile enthusiasts, and with many more on the road eventually needing repair, consequently online auto parts retailers regularly have those parts in stock, which not to mention can also be used to tune-up the efficiency and power in older models.
Increases to Efficiency
One way efficiency is being increased is through the use of direct fuel injection technology. Standard injection, involves the mixing of air and fuel in the intake manifold before being injected into the cylinders.
Direct injection bypasses that step, by injecting the fuel into the cylinders that are already filled with air. Direct injection can more accurately predict how much fuel is needed, at specific times. Using less fuel at lower RPM’s means better efficiency. While this is not the most recent innovation, it helps save on fuel and is the groundwork for other technologies being used.
Another improvement is through the use of the variable intake manifold. This part of the vehicle is responsible for the releasing of air into the cylinders, where it will be mixed with the fuel. The demands of different speeds and types of driving required mean that the requirements of the intake manifold changes. By using an electronically controlled intake manifold that can vary in its length, they ensure the best possible efficiency by allowing the perfect amount of air released at every speed.
Increases to Power
Volkeswagen’s performance parts are taking the efficiency of these engines and combining it with increases in power. The use of turbochargers in engines help increase this power, by pressurizing the air. A turbo charger, general speaking, consists of two fans. One fan spins off exhaust fumes, and the other squeezes air into the cylinders at a higher pressure. When this pressure is released, so is more power.
Direct-injection, turbocharged engines are improving both energy efficiency and the power of the vehicle, which is great news to consumers. The direct injection component allows for fuel to be saved at lower speeds by releasing less of it, while the turbocharger allows for an extra burst of speed at higher RPM’s. These engines are maintaining efficiency even when releasing large amounts of power.
Another innovation is the allowance of the turbines to be regulated variably. The geometry of these turbines is continually adjusted while the engine is running, making the engine smarter and more efficient. By constantly adjusting, the gas pressure can be reduced at low speeds, and increased at higher speeds, which also benefits the amount of emissions given off.
Volkswagen is using more direct methods of fuel injection, in conjunction with engine components that vary how much air and energy are used to drastically increase fuel efficiency. Additionally, adding turbochargers with the ability to regulate their airflow allows for an extra burst of energy, while maintaining that efficiency.