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Architecture

The basic architecture of IMA consists of a compact electric motor sandwiched between the internal combustion engine and transmission. A nickel metal hydride battery pack is used for storing the energy captured through regenerative braking. The final component is the power electronics module that incorporates the inverter, battery management system and motor control.

When the first generation Insight launched in 1999, it was only available with a manual gearbox until a continuously variable transmission (CVT) was added in 2001. The manual was discontinued around 2003 and all subsequent Insight and Civic hybrids were only available with the CVT. The short-lived Accord Hybrid used a conventional step-ratio five-speed automatic. The introduction of the CR-Z marks the return of a manual transmission, this time with six forward ratios, with a CVT as an option.

Motor


The motor is integrated into a 61 millimeter wide case that's bolted directly to the output face of the engine. From the beginning, IMA has used a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor which is both compact and efficient. The stator is fixed to the internal perimeter of the case while the rotor is bolted to the output face of the crankshaft. The clutch for the manual transmission or the input plate for the CVT are bolted to the output side of the rotor.



The electric current in the adjacent coils of the stator is flowing in opposite directions, creating reverse magnetic fields. The motor control causes the current direction (and thus the field) to switch back and forth, which causes the rotor to move in response. The switching rate controls the motor speed and as the rotor spins, it applies drive torque to the transmission providing an electrical boost.

Since the motor is hard-coupled to the engine, there is no mechanism to shut-off and de-couple the engine and drive on electric power alone the way strong hybrids like those from Toyota and Ford. Starting several years ago with the Civic Hybrid, Honda added the ability to shut off fuel flow and close the valves with the VTEC variable valve timing system when cruising at low speeds. This allows the car to motor along on just electricity. However, the hard-coupling means that the crankshaft is still turning and the pistons are pumping. The result is more drag than you would find in a strong hybrid. Because of the sportier nature of the CR-Z, the VTEC system has been used to increase power rather than boost efficiency, so it can't motor along on electrons alone.

At 13 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque, the motor (which is shared with the Insight) is adequate for providing a noticeable boost in performance, but not really sufficient to propel the CR-Z on its own for any significant time or distance. However, the beauty of an electric motor is that it typically produces maximum torque at zero speed and stays at that peak before dropping off, making it ideal for boosting off-the-line performance without sacrificing fuel consumption.



Engine

While Honda's inline-four cylinder engines are highly regarded for smooth and efficient operation, low-end torque has rarely been considered a strong suit. This is certainly true of the 1.5-liter unit in the CR-Z with its 113 hp and 107 lb-ft peak torque, especially since that peak occurs at a fairly lofty 4,800 rpm. At 1,000 rpm, the engine is producing barely 80 lb-ft. The addition of IMA has allowed powertrain engineers to fatten up the bottom end of the net torque curve so that it produces 128 lb-ft of torque between 1,000 and 1,750 rpm on the six-speed manual-equipped model. On the flip side, the CR-Z with the CVT is limited to 123 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of the transmission choice, total combined peak power of the engine and motor is 122 hp at 6,000 rpm.

In addition to providing a torque boost during acceleration, the IMA motor is also used to start the engine when you twist the ignition as well as re-starting it after an idle-stop. Generally, any time the car comes to a stop, the engine will shut-off to conserve fuel and cut emissions. However, if the battery state of charge is too low or the electrical demands are too high (when driving with the headlights on or with the air-conditioning turned up) the engine won't be shut off. On the manual transmission CR-Z, the engine is only halted if the car is stopped and the transmission is in neutral. When the clutch pedal is pressed or the brake released, the engine automatically re-starts.



Regenerative Braking

Like other hybrid systems, applying a drive torque to the rotor turns the motor into a generator. During deceleration, the motor is used to recharge the battery and slow the vehicle, negating the need for the brakes to be used as much. The low cost nature of IMA hybrids means that Honda doesn't incorporated fancy brake-by-wire systems to blend friction and regenerative braking. Instead, the regenerative braking is overlaid on the friction brakes and then gently ramped out at low speeds. Compared to the Civic Hybrid, which exhibits a distinct loss of deceleration at about seven mph as the regenerative braking is switched off, the Insight and CR-Z have a much more gradual phase out making the transition almost imperceptible.



Battery

The key to any hybrid, whether it's a mild or strong system, is the energy storage system. Like every other system on the road, the CR-Z uses an electrochemical battery; in this case, a nickel metal hydride unit. The 100.8 volt unit consists of 84 "D-sized" cells arranged in seven modules of 12 cells each. It has a total capacity of 580 watt-hours, a bit less than half the size of most strong hybrids. Like the motor, the guts of the battery pack in the CR-Z are basically carried over from the Insight. The most notable change for the battery is the air cooling system which has been upgraded to improve its efficiency. The cell temperatures are closely monitored and controlled closer to the optimum operating temperature.

Batteries have a limited temperature range where they can provide optimal performance both for charge and discharge. The new cooling system is better able to manage the battery, especially at higher ambient temperatures which improves the ability to recapture and release energy when it's hot. Tighter control of the temperature also improves the durability of the battery pack.



Sport and Econ modes

In keeping with the CR-Z's mission of being a sporty hybrid, Honda has also added a driver selectable sport mode in addition to the Normal and Econ modes found in the new Insight. The Econ mode filters the driver commands and slows down the throttle response to smooth out acceleration and improve efficiency. The new Sport mode does the opposite, cajoling the CR-Z to life. Both the manual and CVT versions receive reduced steering assist and increased throttle response in Sport mode, while the CVT chooses a lower gear ratio range for higher engine speeds and more available power. With the manual transmission, the system monitors the accelerator pedal position and if the driver applies the gas beyond a certain rate, the IMA will provide full motor power immediately rather than ramping it up.

Given the limited hardware capability of the IMA system, Honda has managed to do quite a bit with it. While Toyota arguably created the first performance-oriented hybrid systems with the Lexus GS450h and LS600h, Honda is the first to create a dedicated platform and body that is overtly sporty. The CR-Z is by no means a speed demon, as you've read in our driving impressions, but it certainly feels much stronger than the Insight.

Fans of the original CRX of the late-80s may complain that the hybrid CR-Z can't match the 51 mpg combined rating of the old HF. However, it's also important to remember that the way fuel economy sticker values are computed has changed several times in the last 25 years. The EPA estimates that under the current procedures the CRX HF would have been rated at 43 mpg. The CVT version of the CR-Z is rated at 37 mpg combined which is lower than the CRX but the new car is considerably larger and heavier. The CRX would never meet current emissions or crash safety standards and it's also considerably slower than the modern car. In almost every way, the CR-Z is a much better car.


More images...
6MT:

CVT:

Battery Module:

Intelligent Power Unit (IPU):


Article and images found here Deep Dive: Getting intimate with the 2010 Honda CR-Z's powertrain — Autoblog Green
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A very nice article you have written.I appreciate the helpful information.
actually I always face this IMA breakdown problem but now I am Happy and thanks to you Dude!!
Looking forward to read your next informative post!! :thumbsup:
thanks for the credit... but i stole this from online somewhere :iorun:
 

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Nice article bizzy, but a footnote may be needed, since the Honda Service Manual references a starter motor powered by the 12V battery in its Starting System - Component Location Index. Perhaps the IMA motor is used for auto stop / start, which might explain the smoothness, but a cold start (from key-off) probably uses the starter motor; the article needs to be updated, otherwise it's very informative!
 

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Perhaps the IMA motor is used for auto stop / start, which might explain the smoothness, but a cold start (from key-off) probably uses the starter motor; the article needs to be updated, otherwise it's very informative!
The conventional starter is there in case of a failure of the IMA system's battery. Also as a back up for cold weather operation. In normal operation, the IMA motor starts the car. IMO, the 12v battery is also there to run all the car's electronics since they're already designed to run on 12v not the higher voltage that the IMA battery pack supplies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The conventional starter is there in case of a failure of the IMA system's battery. Also as a back up for cold weather operation. In normal operation, the IMA motor starts the car. IMO, the 12v battery is also there to run all the car's electronics since they're already designed to run on 12v not the higher voltage that the IMA battery pack supplies.
:yeahthat:
 

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.. the 12v battery is also there to run all the car's electronics since they're already designed to run on 12v not the higher voltage that the IMA battery pack supplies.
FYI, when the 12V battery ran out on my Insight, the car would not start. There wasn't even enough power in the battery to 'roll down' the windows.

The white zone for loading and unloading on the Fourth of July in front of our local airport. Not a good time or place to have a car that won't start.
 

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FYI, when the 12V battery ran out on my Insight, the car would not start. There wasn't even enough power in the battery to 'roll down' the windows.

The white zone for loading and unloading on the Fourth of July in front of our local airport. Not a good time or place to have a car that won't start.
I suspect that this might be due to the fact that the ECU runs on the 12V battery. There was probably lots of juice in the high voltage IMA battery but the car didn't know what to do with it. (my theory only)
 

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I suspect that this might be due to the fact that the ECU runs on the 12V battery. There was probably lots of juice in the high voltage IMA battery but the car didn't know what to do with it. (my theory only)
I would tend to believe you. You could disconnect your starter motor and bolt any wires together going to the main starter bolt so they still pass power. I have not looked at ours, but there may be more than one large gauge wire on it. If the car still starts you know 100% the IMA motor is doing it.

We took at long bar put it on the starter motor and felt / listened for vibration when cranking and could not hear anything coming from it. I would say that the IMA system is doing all of the work.

Now as far as the factory 12V battery goes, I am possibly going to upgrade mine to something with a higer CCA and amp hours so it runs my system better. But for now, I have not killed it yet with my stereo running for an hour at several car shows.
 

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Engine auto stop/start

Quick question: I was always under the impression that shutting off an engine for a short period of time and then starting it back up was not good, both for the engine and fuel economy. I was always told (by my dad) if you are going in and out of a store or something its better to leave the car running than shutting off the engine and then turning it back on 5 minutes later. Is the CR-Z's engine different that this does not apply to it? or is this just a myth and shutting off an engine for short periods of time and then back on really doesn't harm the engine in any way and its actually more gas saving than leaving the car running.
 

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Quick question: I was always under the impression that shutting off an engine for a short period of time and then starting it back up was not good, both for the engine and fuel economy. I was always told (by my dad) if you are going in and out of a store or something its better to leave the car running than shutting off the engine and then turning it back on 5 minutes later. Is the CR-Z's engine different that this does not apply to it? or is this just a myth and shutting off an engine for short periods of time and then back on really doesn't harm the engine in any way and its actually more gas saving than leaving the car running.
First. Welcome to the Forum.. I see it is your first post..

Second, the IMA system is different. Your not restarting the car in the traditional sense.. Do a little searching here on IMA and you will get your answers... and maybe get a lot other good information on your search.. The Honda Hybrid IMA system is a proven technology.. been around for quite a while...
 

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Thanks for welcoming me!
and you are right, I am sure the IMA system is different, but so does that mean that my dad was right? turning off and on a TRADITIONAL engine is bad? and I did read the entire IMA breakdown but I didnt see anything specifically detailing how how the auto stop feature was different from turning off a traditional engine and turning back on... but I will do more research.
 

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^ I think that is an old myth.. Maybe.. it was truer with older vehicles, but not now - whether starting with a traditional starter motor or with the IMA, I am not of the opinion that that it is harmful to the engine - above and beyond normal wear and tear..

Here is some information... The argument can be subjective...

Idling Your Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quick question: I was always under the impression that shutting off an engine for a short period of time and then starting it back up was not good, both for the engine and fuel economy. I was always told (by my dad) if you are going in and out of a store or something its better to leave the car running than shutting off the engine and then turning it back on 5 minutes later. Is the CR-Z's engine different that this does not apply to it? or is this just a myth and shutting off an engine for short periods of time and then back on really doesn't harm the engine in any way and its actually more gas saving than leaving the car running.
this was true many many years ago when cars ran with carburetors and other inefficient components... on a typical fuel-injected car of today's standard, idling a car for about 2minutes is equivalent to starting up the car once...

so if you're at a light that you know is a 5minute light, then shutting off the car is more efficient than leaving it running... but if it's a short light, you're better off just leaving it running...

Honda's IMA does not use a traditional starter for it main source of starting the car so you don't have to worry about wearing out any components there... and even on a regular car, a typical starter will likely outlive other parts of the car... so even shutting if off to save a little bit of gas isn't going to do much damage...
 
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