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Hybrid System gearboxes used
in some Vauxhall Cars.
Global Hybrid Cooperation (formerly called Advanced Hybrid System 2 or AHS2)
is a set of hybrid vehicle technologies jointly developed by General Motors and
DaimlerChrysler, with BMW joining in 2005. It uses two sets of gears in an automatic
transmission: One for the internal combustion engine and another to multiply the
power of a pair of electric motors. General Motors has stopped using the "AHS2"
name as of 2006, preferring to call it simply a "two-mode hybrid system".
Technology used for some Vauxhall
Cutaway of the longitudinal GHC transmission
Exploded view of the Two-Mode transmissionThe group touts its technology as "two-mode"
to differentiate it from the "single-mode" systems. The two modes of operation
1) Input-split mode
— At low speeds, the vehicle can move with either the electric motor/generators,
the internal combustion engine, or both, making it a so-called full hybrid. All
accessories will still remain functioning on electric power, and the engine can
restart instantly if needed. In this mode, one of the motor/generators acts as a
generator, while the other operates as a motor. This mode is operational using the
first and second gear ratios of the transmission.
2) Compound-split mode
— At higher speeds or heavier loads, the internal combustion engine always runs,
and the system uses advanced technologies like Active Fuel Management and late intake
valve closing to optimize fuel efficiency. This mode begins at the point where one
of the motor/generators reaches zero speed; at this point some clutches within the
system engage while others disengage to alter the physical configuration of the
transmission, and the velocity is Vshift.
Immediately after the shift,
both electric machines operate as motors and the first gear ratio is employed. At
a given velocity above Vshift, the second gear ratio is employed, and M/G 2 begins
to operate as a generator, while also slowing down its angular speed. When the angular
speed of M/G 2 is zero, the third gear ratio is employed, and M/G 1 begins to operate
again as a generator. As the vehicle velocity increases, the fourth gear ratio is
employed, and M/G 1 begin to operate as a generator and M/G 2 as a motor again.
Although the transmission mechanically has only four conventional gear ratios, the
electric motors allow it to function as a continuously variable transmission. This
variable ratio functions in addition to the torque multiplication of the planetary
Despite the "two-mode" marketing
pitch, however, it is the packaging of the first application of the system which
is unique. A special automatic transmission incorporates two 100 kW (133 hp) three
phase induction motors, two planetary gearsets, and two selectively-engaging friction
clutches. This system amplifies the output of the electric motors similarly to the
way in which a conventional transmission amplifies the torque of an internal combustion
engine. It also transfers more of the engine's torque to the wheels, making the
transmission more efficient even without the electric motors in use. Finally, the
whole system fits into the space of, and indeed appears as, a conventional 4L60-E
A 300 volt battery pack is housed elsewhere in the vehicle to store energy. Most
applications will also include 120 volt AC power outlets.
The two-mode transmission seems to resemble at least some, if not most, aspects
of the SEL Transmission, researched and documented by TU Chemnitz under a public
research grant, in July 2000.
Vauxhall vehicles on the market
Agila, Corsa, Meriva, Tigra, Astra, Zafira, Vectra, Signum, VXR8, Antara.