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This sounds really interesting. An internal combustion generation engine wastes a lot of energy as heat, so if that waste heat can be used (other than to heat the passenger compartment), that would be very efficient.

Hybrid engines work by combining ... normally a battery and an internal combustion engine. The battery is meant to recapture ... for instance the energy wasted during braking. Interestingly, Honda has found a new alternative source of energy in respect of this.

The Japanese automaker is currently involved in a research using a Rankine cycle co-generation unit, in which the system works by capturing the exhaust heat from the engine and converting it to electricity.

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Honda managed to successfully defeat the uncertainties on this system, by fitting the said unit into a standard Honda Stream and testing it. The test unit generated three times more electricity than other common systems found in hybrid cars these days.
The full article is available at: http://www.worldcarfans.com/9080218.017/honda-tests-advanced-hybrid-system.
 

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That's awesome! A typical gasoline engine is only able to utilize about 25% of the energy contained in gasoline. Most of the other energy is wasted as heat. I've been saying all along that capturing the heat from burning gasoline would be an excellent way to capture wasted energy.

I think a year or two ago, BMW came up with a way to capture heat from the exhaust for an auxiliary drive unit that added 15HP.

Co-gen electric plants running on natural gas operate with something like 90% efficiency because the turbine can capture energy from burning gas and then the heat is captured for other uses. Where I live, the captured heat is used to produce steam used for building heating and cooling.
 
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