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博主胡德良:邢台学院外语系英语教授,中国译协专家会员,河北省译协常务理事,邢台市译协副会长。爱好翻译,内容涉及宇宙探秘、医疗卫生、家庭保健、生命科学、能源科学、地球科学、环境科学、散文小说和纪实文学等领域。所译文章曾见于《光明日报》《科技日报》《健康时报》《健康报》《英语世界》《英语知识》《科技英语学习》《科学之友》《科学与文化》《世界科学》《生命世界》等全国各大报刊。博客特色:英汉对照、图文并茂,融趣味性、科学性、知识性为一体。

靠空气行驶的汽车  

2009-09-23 08:07:00|  分类: 尖端科技 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Powering hybrid cars with compressed air rather than electric motors could be a cheaper way to increase fuel efficiency—

如果混合动力汽车不用电动机而利用压缩空气,可能会提高燃烧效率,从而更加经济实用……

Running on air

胡德良

 BEING green can be expensive, as any driver of a Toyota Prius can tell you. The car is a hybrid, combining a petrol engine with an electric motor that powers it at low speeds in the city and provides bursts of acceleration when needed. It is the most fuel-efficient car sold in America, but it costs upwards of $22,000, a price that can wipe out the savings on fuel. One reason for the high price is that the car contains expensive batteries. Another is that the transmission system had to be completely redesigned. But there may be a cheaper and simpler way to make a hybrid, using air power instead of electricity.

 追求环保可能意味着付出昂贵的代价,任何驾驶丰田普锐斯的司机都会让你领略到这一点。丰田普锐斯是一种汽油发动机和电动机相结合混合动力汽车,在城市里低速驾驶的时候,由电动机提供动力,一旦需要,也可以猛然提速。这种车是美国市场上销售的最节省燃料的汽车,但它的售价在22,000美元以上,这个价位会把在燃料上节省的开支化为乌有。价格昂贵的原因之一是这种车装有昂贵的电池,另一个原因是必须将其传动系统进行彻底的重新设计。然而,也许会有更为经济、更为简便方法来制造混合动力车:利用空气动力代替电力。

 Using compressed air to power a car has one obvious disadvantage: compressed air has a low energy-density, so not very much energy can be stored. However, in urban driving this may not matter. One of the most important roles of the batteries in a hybrid is to store energy recovered when the car brakes. The idea with a pneumatic hybrid is to store this energy as compressed air. Such a vehicle would run on petrol but would use its reservoir of compressed air to boost the engine’s power when needed. This would not demand a serious redesign because every car already has a makeshift air compressor in the form of the engine itself. Building a pneumatic-hybrid car would thus be relatively cheap.

 利用压缩空气来为汽车提供动力有一个明显的缺点:压缩空气能量密度低,所以无法储存太多的能量。然而,在市区开车可能没有问题。混合动力汽车中电池的主要作用之一是储存能量,当刹车时能量可以得到补偿。空气混合动力汽车的理念是把能量储存为压缩空气。这种车要靠汽油驱动,但是当需要之时可以利用储存的压缩空气来提高汽油发动机的动力。这种车的重新设计不需要大费周折,因为每一辆汽车本来都有一台可以代用的空压机,位于发动机本身内部。因此,制造一辆空气混合动力汽车的花费相对较少。

 When the driver of a pneumatic-hybrid car applied the brakes, the fuel supply to the engine would be shut off and the pistons that normally propel the vehicle would help slow it, pumping pressurised air into a tank as they did so. This compressed air could then be used to force more air into the combustion chamber during acceleration. This allows more fuel to be burned (since there is more oxygen available to burn it with) and thus provides a burst of extra power. According to Lino Guzzella of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, who has built a prototype pneumatic-hybrid engine, this sort of approach could reduce fuel consumption by 32% compared with a normal engine, and would offer 80% of the fuel savings of an electric-hybrid vehicle at a lower price.

 当空气混合动力汽车的司机实施制动时,发动机的燃料供应将被切断,平时驱动汽车的活塞将帮助汽车减速,同时将压缩的空气推进一个气缸里。然后,在加速时压缩的空气又可以把更多的空气推进燃烧室。由于有更多的氧气可以用于燃烧,这样就能够燃烧更多的燃料,因而可以猛然增加额外的动力。瑞士联邦理工学院苏黎世分校的利诺·伽泽拉制造了一台空气混合动力发动机的原型,他说:跟普通的汽油机相比,这种办法可以减少32%的燃料消耗,燃料节省相当于电动混合动力汽车的80%,但成本较低。

 It is well known that today’s engines are too large, being sized for acceleration rather than everyday driving, says Dr Guzzella. So the trend is towards smaller engines augmented with turbochargers. (A turbocharger uses exhaust gases to drive a compressor that forces more air into the engine.) The trouble is that turbochargers can take several seconds to provide the extra oomph. But a pneumatic-hybrid engine can deliver it immediately, thus enabling a smaller engine to deliver the same kind of driving performance as a larger engine, but with considerably better fuel consumption.

 伽泽拉博士说:众所周知,当今的发动机太大,偌大的发动机是为了便于加速,而不是为了日常驾驶。所以这个领域的发展趋势是较小的发动机外加涡轮增压器。涡轮增压器的工作原理是,利用排出的气体驱动空压机,迫使更多的气体进入发动机。涡轮增压器的麻烦在于,需要好几秒钟的时间才能提供出额外的动力。而空气混合动力发动机可以立刻释放额外动力,因而能够使较小的发动机表现出与较大的发动机相同的驱动性能,而且从很大程度上来讲,这样使燃料的消耗更加合理化。

 Pneumatic-hybrid cars are best suited to city driving, according to John Heywood of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The compressed-air tank needs to be kept topped up by regular braking, and drivers brake less often on motorways. But stopping and starting is not a problem for one type of pneumatic hybrid. Hua Zhao of Brunel University in London has been developing a variation of the technology for lorries and buses. Some commercial vehicles are already designed to use their engines as compressors to slow them down and prevent the brakes from overheating when going down long hills. And many such vehicles use air-driven starter motors. Dr Zhao reckons he can make a pneumatic-hybrid engine using these existing components.

 麻省理工学院的约翰·海伍德称:空气混合动力汽车最适合在城市里驾驶。容纳压缩空气的气缸需要通过不断的制动才能保持饱和,而司机们在高速公路上使用制动较少。然而,对于某种类型的空气混合动力汽车来说,停车和起步都不成问题。伦敦布鲁内尔大学的赵华一直在开发卡车和公交车的各种技术。他已经设计出一些商用车辆,这些车在爬下长距离山坡的时候发动机可以起到空压机的作用,为车辆减速,以防止制动器变得过热。很多这样的车辆利用了空气动力发动机。赵博士认为,他可以利用现有的部件制造出空气混合动力发动机。

 But instead of injecting compressed air into the combustion chamber, Dr Zhao’s design would use the compressed-air tank to replace the electrically powered compressors that feed air-driven starter motors. Simulations suggest this would significantly reduce fuel consumption, says Dr Zhao, who is now looking for a commercial partner to build a test vehicle.

 然而,赵博士的设计不是往燃烧室里注入压缩空气,而是用压缩气缸代替电动的、为发动机提供空气动力的空压机。赵博士说:模拟显示,这样会大大减少燃料的消耗。目前,赵博士正在寻找商业合作伙伴,以制造一部试验车辆。

译自:《经济学家》杂志纸质版

原著:不详 

欢迎光临我博:http://huzhangao.blog.163.com 

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