12 Propulsion Technologies that will Will Increase Future Cars’ Efficiency

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 - autos

12 Propulsion Technologies that will Will Increase Future Cars’ Efficiency

For most of the 130 years that will the hydrocarbon-fueled, reciprocating-piston internal-combustion engine (ICE) has been around, the item has held an effective monopoly on automotive propulsion. Steam along with electric power weren’t true competitors for very long after the turn of the 20th century. In fact, ICE has been so dominant that will, if you add up the cumulative sales of all the alternatives, they still only amount to a tiny fraction of the global sales of ICEs in an individual year. The ICE has maintained its leadership position by virtue of its high power density, practicality, along with low cost; along with for those reasons, the item’s not going away any time soon. However, the practical realities of the globe we live in will drive more modifications inside coming decades than we have seen since the transition through the horse to the automobile.--This specific content is actually part of A Look at the Future of Driving.The practical realities of global manufacturing along with refueling infrastructure investment mean that will the internal-combustion engine (ICE) will probably be the dominant powerplant for several more decades. One of the key technologies that will will help ICEs become more efficient is actually the 48-volt electrical system. Most of today’s engines drive alternators, coolant pumps, oil pumps, along with air-conditioning compressors mechanically via a belt or directly, along with they generally run continuously. The common automotive 12-volt electrical systems max out at 2 to 3 kW of electrical power along with, with today’s widespread use of electronic engine, chassis, along with Centeng controls, plus creature comforts along with infotainment features, nearly all of the item is actually used. As ever more electrical features are added, such as semi- or fully autonomous systems, more electrical power will be needed. Stepping up to the 10-kW output enabled by 48-volt generators will allow those brand new features along with today’s mechanical accessory drives to go electric. that will will reduce the parasitic loads on engines along with potentially boost fuel economy by about 10 percent. The  insanely complex $231,825 Bentley Bentayga along with the  Audi SQ7 TDI, with its electric supercharger, have 48-volt electrical subsystems today, although the item’s expected that will This specific will spread to the mainstream inside coming years.Early attempts at so-called mild hybrid systems, notably through General Motors, were largely met with yawns through the auto-buying public. By combining lower-voltage batteries along with weaker motors than what Toyota installed in a Prius, these systems managed to achieve far less of an efficiency gain while still costing nearly as much. Engineers at This specific point expect the advent of 48-volt electrical systems to enable brand new mild hybrids that will achieve 70 percent of the improvement through a Toyota-style hybrid at only 30 percent of the cost. Since those earlier mild hybrids operated at 100 to 170 volts, they still required all the extra safety features of any system that will exceeds 60 volts. With the 48-volt electrical architecture, brand new mild hybrids can use thinner-gauge wiring along with lower-cost connectors while still providing some regenerative braking, electric power boost, along with expanded auto stop-start capability.Many automakers know the perils of being first to market when the technology actually isn’t ready. -For the 1981 design year, Cadillac introduced an innovative brand new V-8 engine variant that will could automatically switch off two or four cylinders. Paired with throttle-Centeng fuel injection along with exceedingly crude electronics, the V-8-6-4 was far through a success. Today, cylinder deactivation is actually commonplace along with generally imperceptible to the driver. inside coming years, additional sensors along with sophisticated control algorithms will increasingly enable engines to run more of the time on less than their full complement of cylinders. By the end of This specific decade, GM along with Delphi, licensing technology through the startup Tula Technology, expect to have V-8 engines that will have advanced variable cylinder deactivation. This specific means that will both the number of cylinders disabled—leaving as few as two active in light-load conditions—along with which specific ones aren’t firing will vary continuously, depending on operating conditions. According to GM, This specific could cut fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent.the item seems as though hydrogen fuel-cell technology has been claimed to be ten years away for the past 20 years. With the recent launch of the  Toyota Mirai along with the  Honda Clarity coming later This specific year, plus the  Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell for lease to California residents, perhaps the hydrogen-fueled electric vehicle will finally arrive. For at This specific point, the fuel cell remains expensive, along with the refueling infrastructure is actually still patchy. One possible solution to This specific problem was first shown by Ford nearly a decade ago in its  Airstream concept, which used a plug-in-hybrid structure to try to achieve a better balance of cost along with usability. the item was followed up with drivable prototype of the powertrain installed in an Edge crossover. although the gist is actually This specific: Fuel cells work most efficiently when outputting a constant stream of power. They need a battery or a capacitor to act as a buffer along with handle the unavoidable fluctuating power demands of real-world driving. Using the fuel cell as a range extender could potentially achieve greater overall efficiency with zero tailpipe emissions. (Conceptually, the item’s similar to the  Chevrolet Volt, that has a fuel cell replacing the Volt’s gasoline engine.) Although Ford only built one of its Edge demonstrator vehicles,  Mercedes-Benz recently announced that will the item will produce a plug-in fuel-cell type of the GLC crossover, the GLC F-Cell, in 2017.Besides the cost of the fuel-cell stack along with the lack of a refueling infrastructure, the different major issue with This specific alternative to the battery-powered car is actually storing the hydrogen. Until at This specific point, fuel-cell-powered vehicles have stored hydrogen gas in bulky carbon-fiber-wrapped cylinders at pressures up to 10,000 psi. For several years the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) has been funding a variety of research projects to develop conformable storage systems for compressed natural gas. One in particular could be adapted to hydrogen storage. The “intestinal” storage system developed by San Francisco startup Volute consists of a series of what are essentially little gas cylinders linked together in series along with wrapped back along with forth on top of one another. An arrangement like This specific provides much greater packaging flexibility than one or two large cylinders, generating the item practical in smaller cars along with in irregularly shaped areas.The battery-electric vehicle is actually almost as old as the auto itself. Unfortunately, even with the advances made in recent decades with electrochemical batteries, their energy density pales in comparison to liquid fuels. The 960-pound, 60.0-kWh battery for the upcoming  Chevrolet Bolt EV contains the same energy as just 1.8 gallons of gasoline, since a gallon of gas contains roughly 33.7 kWh of energy. Therefore, a 60.0-kWh battery pack is actually carrying the equivalent of 1.8 gallons of gas. The engineers along with scientists haven’t given up, however, along with there are some very promising technologies on the horizon, including silicon anodes inside battery. Silicon can absorb a lot more electrons for a greater energy density than current chemistries that will consist mostly of nickel, manganese, along with cobalt. Unfortunately, absorbing all those charged particles makes the electrode swell, so pure silicon anodes are out of the question for car batteries. However, companies including Nissan are developing blends of silicon that will could boost capacity by a claimed 10 to 40 percent within the next a few to 10 years.To convert heat energy to mechanical work, an engine must efficiently pump air (specifically, oxygen) along with fuel into the cylinders along with purge exhaust gases. However, the optimal timing for when the intake along with exhaust valves should open along with close varies widely based on engine speed along with load. Modern variable valve lift along with timing along with cam phasing have worked wonders in getting closer to optimal flows, although there are limits to what you can do with the classic camshaft, along with the item’s difficult to vary the timing across individual cylinders. Ideally, each valve could be managed by its own actuator, perfectly timed for what is actually happening on that will cylinder along with crankshaft position. While electromechanical along with hydraulic solenoids have been used in research labs to simulate different cam profiles before machining parts, these consumed too much power to be beneficial in production, not to mention that will they were rather noisy in operation. The shift toward 48-volt electrical systems along with downsized engines with fewer cylinders along with valves could make the camless engine a reality in coming years. Lotus Engineering first demonstrated a camless engine inside late 1980s, along with supercar maker  Koenigsegg showed off its FreeValve prototype engine in early 2016.Batteries are showing tremendous promise for electrification of cars along with smaller light trucks, yet when payload is actually important, batteries are just too bulky to be practical. For bigger cargo haulers ranging through package delivery to trash collection along with long-haul trucking, batteries consume too much of the payload capacity along with take too long to charge to be used alone. Early Tesla team member Ian Wright’s company, Wrightspeed, has devised a plug-in-hybrid powertrain for big haulers that will contains enough battery for nearly 30 miles per charge along that has a turbine powering a range-extending generator. Recent startup Nikola Motors carries a similar system for big rigs,  designed to run on compressed natural gas. The cool thing about turbines is actually that will they can run on pretty much anything that will will burn, along with they are very efficient when running at constant high loads, letting the battery handle acceleration along with recapturing braking energy.The turbocharger is actually another classic piece of engine technology that will has received a brand new lease on life in recent years, thanks to electronic controls along with high-pressure direct fuel injection. Despite the advances in design along with controls, basic physics dictates that will exhaust-driven turbos will almost always be subject to some lag, along with underhood plumbing is actually a complicating factor as well. However, replacing the exhaust-driven turbine with an electric motor is actually the next big wave in engine downsizing. The response of an electrically driven compressor can be almost instantaneous, because a battery can spin the item to eliminate lag. With an electric supercharger, an engine with cylinder deactivation can keep fewer cylinders firing, while more air is actually pushed into those that will are left to provide the torque needed to climb a grade. When a vehicle is actually going downhill, the air flowing through the compressor can drive the motor to send energy back to the battery. Audi’s SQ7 TDI is actually the first production vehicle with an electric supercharger, along with we expect more to follow.The electrochemical battery continues to be a troubled energy storage source for electric vehicles, thanks to its stubbornly low energy density. Significant progress has been made with each jump in chemistry through lead-acid to nickel-metal hydride to lithium-ion. Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, a cutting-edge 60.0-kWh lithium-ion battery today that will weighs nearly 1000 pounds has the same energy capacity as just 1.8 gallons of gasoline. One of the limiting factors in battery performance is actually the liquid or gel electrolyte that will sits between the electrodes. the item’s not the greatest conductor, along with if the electrodes short, the electrolyte can be highly combustible. Enter the solid-state battery that has a crystalline electrolyte material that will passes electrons faster along with never degrades. These batteries could last longer with greater density at lower cost. Or at least they have that will potential, once the researchers through Sakti3 (recently purchased by the U.K.’s Dyson), Samsung, Google, along with different companies figure out how to make more than one cell at a time.inside hunt for both enhanced efficiency along with reduced emissions, researchers have tried to develop brand new combustion strategies that will combine the best characteristics of both the Otto (gasoline engine) along with diesel cycles. This specific is actually called homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI). An engine with the HCCI combustion mashup could run on gasoline, while using the heat generated by compressing the incoming air to ignite the fuel without using a spark plug, like a diesel. HCCI engines should be able to improve fuel efficiency by 15 percent or more without the complex along with expensive exhaust aftertreatment that will diesels require. When automakers, including General Motors along with Daimler, were demonstrating HCCI engines inside late 2000s, they projected that will these engines might be available about at This specific point. Although work continues, This specific technology remains at least several years away.When maximum torque is actually needed through an engine, a higher compression ratio can be just the ticket. Unfortunately, maximum output is actually rarely needed, along with when a vehicle is actually operating at lighter loads, high compression diminishes efficiency. Just as modern electronic controls have enabled different parameters to be continuously varied, compression ratios can also be adjusted based on fluctuating engine operating conditions. Early test-lab work on variable compression ratios typically used complex mechanical systems to adjust the piston’s motion relative to the crankshaft. that will approach added weight along with friction, which offset some of those benefits. The expanding operating range of variable cam phasing along with valve lift has enabled a variable compression ratio based on keeping the intake valve open longer (to reduce the effective compression ratio)—This specific is actually also known as the Atkinson cycle—or closing the item sooner (to improve the item) during the compression stroke. If camless engines become a reality, the adjustments could even be made on a per-cylinder basis.

12 Propulsion Technologies that will Will Increase Future Cars’ Efficiency

Source: 12 Propulsion Technologies that will Will Increase Future Cars’ Efficiency

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