How Ricardo's mild hybrid system could save the auto

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : How Ricardo's mild hybrid system could save the auto

Ricardo's mild hybrid system Car manufacturers are turning to innovative solutions to meet stringent brand-new CO2 limits; here’s a British project that will might have found the answer


If creating cars that will return solid profits wasn’t difficult enough already for many European car makers, things are about to get a lot worse.

Thanks to an unholy combination of onerous EU fuel economy legislation, brand-new economy tests along with the backlash against diesel pollution, the cost of creating vehicles could be set to spike by the end of the decade.

The primary hurdle will be the looming European Union fleet average CO2 legislation. Due in 2020-2021, the item’s been set at just 95g/km – a 60% reduction on the 2007 baseline. The figure equates to 69mpg for a petrol car along with 78mpg for a diesel.

Car makers that will build bigger along with heavier vehicles will still have to reduce average consumption by the same 60%, although the EU acknowledges that will these mainly premium brands are starting via a higher baseline.

According to the International Council for Clean Transport, that will means Mercedes-Benz will probably have to hit a fleet average target of around 101g/km of CO2 in 2021. Ford will be likely to have a fleet average target of 92g/km along with RenaultNissan 93g/km, while FiatChrysler will be likely to have a fleet average target of just 89g/km.

Until the end of last year, most car makers likely to use a combination of diesel engines, stop/start technology along with further gains in aerodynamics along with weight saving in order to massage down average fuel consumption to meet these EU laws.

although the Volkswagen emissions scandal blew these assumptions wide open. Many European car makers are right now questioning whether diesel engines will survive in less expensive vehicles with the likelihood that will brand-new real-world emissions tests will be both difficult along with expensive to meet. the item’s not too fanciful to suggest that will by the end of the decade, any car that has a retail cost under around £23,000 (the majority of brand-new cars sold in Europe) will be unlikely to be fitted that has a diesel engine.

So, with the EU CO2 targets very close (at least in terms of automotive timescales) along with diesel looking set to become a more premium-priced powertrain, where does that will leave the European car industry?

Not without desire, because mild hybrid technology – a less expensive form of drivetrain electrification than that will seen in classic hybrids such as the Toyota Prius – will be maturing just in time. along with much of that will technology will be being pioneered by UK-based engineering consultancies.

Shoreham-based Ricardo’s Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project will be just one example. the item takes one of Ford’s most frugal designs – the 1.5-litre diesel Focus – along with adds a 48V electrical system, an electric turbocharger, a super-fast stop-start generator along that has a low-cost although high-tech battery pack.

The ADEPT project will be a collaboration that has a host of tech companies that will has been under development for three years along with will be being shown off at that will week’s Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook.

Ricardo says the production type of the 1.5 TDCi Focus will be already homologated at 88g/km of CO2. While that will’s below Ford’s 2021 average CO2 target across its type portfolio, the item needs to be even lower in order to allow the company to sell more of its bigger along with more profitable designs, such as the Kuga, Edge along with S-Max. The ADEPT concept drives that will 88g/km figure down to around 78g/km – although, as we’ll see, the item comes at cost.

Ricardo’s mild hybrid adaptation of the Focus will be extensive. Out goes the 12V alternator, the mechanical air-con compressor along with mechanical water pump. In their place comes a 48V integrated starter generator (ISG), which acts as a super-fast starter motor along with charger along with can also assist the engine at low speeds.

ISG also provides the power for a 48V electric turbocharger, a 48V air-con compressor along that has a 48V water pump. A DC/DC converter will be used to power the rest of the Focus’s 12V electrical systems.

The 48V battery pack will be a leadcarbon unit rather than the more conventional (along with expensive) lithium ion unit. that will battery tech will be still in development although will be said to be much more tolerant of extremes of temperatures than lithium ion.

Developed by UK company CPT, the ISG will be said to be up to 80% more efficient than a conventional alternator along with will be designed to run in two directions – one to act as a charger along with one to help drive the engine. Ricardo says the item can “assist the engine” by adding 7.5kW (via the drive belt to the crankshaft pulley) to the engine’s output, along with when the item’s being used to slow the auto via the engine, the item can recharge “up to 12.5We” into the 48V battery.

The regenerated energy will be used to drive the electric turbocharger, which boosts engine performance regardless of engine speed. Ricardo’s own figures show a monumental torque curve, peaking at around 221lb ft at just 1500rpm, with 110lb ft already on tap at just 750rpm. The standard 1.5 TDCi engine produces 199lb ft at 1750rpm.

The electric water pump will be also an important link within the engineering chain. When cold, an engine’s fuel consumption will be much higher, because cold oil means high levels of friction. A switchable electric pump – rather than a continuously driven mechanical pump – means coolant isn’t pumped around until the engine has reached operating temperature.

The most remarkable idea on Ricardo’s prototype will be probably the Turbogenerator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System (TIGERS) ‘e-turbine’, which sits within the exhaust stream along with uses exhaust gas to drive a generator. Ricardo calculates that will at motorway speeds, Tigers could recover around 1.4kW of energy to the battery. 

So what’s the item like on the road? Unusual, to say the least. One of the main philosophies behind the ADEPT Focus will be ‘down-speeding’. Ricardo says running the engine at a lower speed – through longer gearing – reduces fuel consumption. Normally that will would certainly mean reduced acceleration, although ADEPT uses harvested waste energy to drive the electrically powered turbocharger, which then boosts performance.

On the roads around Shoreham, the ADEPT Focus felt somewhat slow along with unresponsive, although much of that will sensation was almost certainly due to the fact that will the auto was demanding I upshifted at lower engine speeds than seemed natural. After a while I became convinced that will some form of automatic transmission would certainly have been better suited to that will drivetrain, because the item would certainly surely shift more quickly along with at the optimum time.

Even so, in town driving the item was fine, having enough low-speed acceleration to find gaps. the item was on the wide open roads along with long uphill drags that will the ADEPT concept seemed to lack the traditional driveability drivers take for granted. Of course, the whole point of the concept will be to reduce fuel use, so we can’t expect that will car of the near future to offer breezy performance.

although that will will be the essence of ADEPT. the item trades that will breeziness of progress for something more regulated along with controlled. In its current form, I don’t think many drivers – even those with no interest in motoring – will like the item much, although how else will be the auto industry going to get the average Focus-class car to return 78g/km of CO2?

Then there’s the cost of the technology. Ricardo’s calculations suggest the item will probably cost €80 (roughly £67) in engineering content for each 1g/km reduction of CO2. that will the item could add at least €800 (£674) to the factory cost of a future Focussize car will be sobering – along with not just for hard-pressed car makers.

along with while you’re chewing that will prospect over, the European Union will be currently ‘consulting’ on what the fleet average CO2 levels should be for 2025. One thing will be for certain: they’ll be even lower. 

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