In 1999, the University of Roma 1 launched a project to study the theoretical and practical feasibility of a hybrid passenger car in which the thermal engine is a Gas Turbine unit. The feasibility was demonstrated on paper, and some experimental tests were conducted at the ENEACasaccia Laboratories on a small (45 kW) gas turbine set, to investigate the performance of the propulsive unit (turbine plus batteries and electrical motor) under the standard european ECE emission tests. After successful completion of these tests, a further analysis was carried out to identify an “optimal” hybridization ratio with respect both to driveability and to fuel consumption: the results indicate that an absolute “optimal” configuration does not exist, because not only the system performance, but also the absolute and relative sizes (i.e., nameplate power) of the turbine and of the battery pack depend substantially on the type of driving mission the car is called to perform. The present status report describes all the above activities in some detail, and constitutes an attempt to put into perspective the entire Project. Using commercially available data for the components, the preliminary design of a road prototype is described and briefly discussed. For practical reasons the first prototype is likely to be equipped with a sub-optimal propulsion system: the differences and their implications are discussed as well.

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