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Electric vehicles

Fuel cells and the electric motor are examples of highly-efficient, electric drive trains. Electric vehicles are expected to one day outstrip sales of combustion engines vehicles. Innovative technologies such as fuel cells, electric motors and electric vehicles will influence our future mobility. The market for electric vehicles boasts the most potential.

Fuel cells, electric motors and electric vehicles are currently experiencing a breakthrough. Fuel cells are being used in new applications such as automobiles or laptop computers. Like electric vehicles, fuel cells are still in the development phase however. The potential is far from being exploited. Because a genuine fuel cell boom is anticipated, mass production is already underway. Like fuel cells, the application potential for electric motors and electric vehicles is still in its infancy stage. The discovery of the relationship between magnetic fields and electricity laid the foundation for the electric motor, and thus the electric vehicle. The electric motor that eventually resulted from this discovery is driven by the Lorentz force, which is the force on an electric charge as it moves through a magnetic field. The development of traditional technologies such as fuel cells and the electric motor has led to a rise in environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are still dominating the market in the segment for environmentally-friendly automobiles however. Utilizing a combination of combustion and electric motors, hybrid vehicles are slimmed-down versions of the electric vehicle.

Fuel cells

Fuel cells are based on the principle of a galvanic process. The composition of a fuel cell is influenced by both electrodes. The fuel cell energy stems from the electrode potential, which is created by the charging of the anode and cathode. The charging results in a potential difference in the fuel cell, which is eventually transformed into electric energy. From its discovery, to today's high-technology status, the fuel cell has experienced an astounding development. Fuel cells are already being used in a variety of applications today. But its impressive career is far from over. Because of their simple operation, the use of fuel cells in electric vehicles represents the market of the future.

The electric motor

Theelectric motor began as an electromechanical transformer. As the description implies, the electric motor is capable of transforming electricity into mechanical energy. The electric motor functions by transforming its mechanical force into motion. Like fuel cell technology, the electric motor is a popular drive train alternative in electric vehicles. The development of the electric motor as a drive train for electric vehicles is still a work in progress however. The first genuine electric motor was produced as early as 1834. Today, state-of-the-art, innovative technologies are still based on discoveries made by researchers nearly 200 years ago, as illustrated by the examples of the fuel cell, electric motor and electric vehicle.

The electric vehicle

While electric motors and fuel cells were originally used in industrial machine applications, electric vehicles are the technology of the future. At the beginning of their development, electric motors were initially used in locomotives . At this point, the focus is on the development of roadworthy electric vehicles. The key drivers of modern research into the electric vehicle are the electric motor's high degree of efficiency and low CO2 output, two factors that are behind current efforts to combat energy resource and climate change issues. The major issue is energy storage , which is the why researches are focused primarily on this aspect. For this reason, hybrid model electric vehicles - the combination of electric and combustion motors - are still in their infancy stage.

Automotive Engineering

Automotive Engineering highlights issues related to automobile manufacturing - including vehicle parts and accessories - and the environmental impact and safety of automotive products, production facilities and manufacturing processes.

innovations-report offers stimulating reports and articles on a variety of topics ranging from automobile fuel cells, hybrid technologies, energy saving vehicles and carbon particle filters to engine and brake technologies, driving safety and assistance systems.

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3D scans for the automotive industry

How does an automotive assembly line have to be retrofitted for a change of model? 3D scanners are an elegant way to find this out. Professor of computer science, Andreas Nüchter, is a specialist for the job.

The variety of car models has increased significantly over the past decades. Take Volkswagen: In 1950, the automaker produced just two model ranges – the...

16.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits

Fast integrated circuits (ICs) are used in many ways in applied electronics. Especially, for hard driven fast or high-power components in the circuit, however, there is often a risk of breakdown, e.g. in oscillator circuits (radar systems, etc.) or “smart power” circuits. At the pn junctions present in all components, the breakdown occurs starting at a critical field strength. The circuit is thus destroyed or becomes unusable. A photodiode-controlled feedback prevents breakdown at pn junctions.
TLB GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovation.

Fast integrated circuits (ICs) are used in many ways in applied electronics. Especially, for hard driven fast or high-power components in the circuit, however,...

09.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects

First-time mathematical formulation by IST Austria computer science professor Bernd Bickel solves problem of technical modelling

During the annual top conference of the Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which took...

11.08.2016 | nachricht Read more

Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

05.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Pioneering joining technology for high performance hybrid automotive parts

Flexible production cell for Hybrid Joining – FlexHyJoin

Aim of the international project FlexHyJoin, funded by the European Union’s program for research and innovation “Horizon 2020”, is the novel development of a...

18.12.2015 | nachricht Read more

Direct-drive Linear Switched Reluctance Actuator for Automobile Active Suspension Systems

Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a linear switched reluctance actuator for automobile active suspension system. This system can significantly improve suspension performance and collect suspension energy.

This invention by researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPolyU) is a linear switched reluctance actuator for automobile active suspension...

27.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

ACOSAR: standardizing merged numerical simulation and real tests

The ACOSAR EU project kicks off in Graz in late September. The project consortium consists of leading European vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and research establishments, which are jointly working on the standardization necessary for modular, distributed and open system development. The goal of the project is to develop a system interface that allows real-time systems to be linked together also over relatively large distances and to be merged into functional prototypes consisting of virtual and real components. The project is managed by the VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center in Graz. The anticipated results are a more economical development process and opportunities for new business models.

Increasingly stringent statutory provisions such as Euro VI or zero-emission zones, larger urban populations, the booming Asian automobile market and...

06.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

The Drive for Digital Cars

A research consortium headed by Siemens plans to replace the jumble of electronic systems in cars with a kind of operating system, that will open the door to drive-by-wire steering and braking, as well as plug-and-play updates. The first vehicle based on this new architecture is now being developed and tested.

Cornel Klein, a Siemens software engineer, steers a compact yellow van through a city. After a left turn, he stops at a traffic light before proceeding...

24.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

International training concept on technical cleanliness inspection

There have been fixed standards regulating technical cleanliness inspections of component parts in the automotive industry for over a decade. These are codified in the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) vol. 19.1. So that companies can inspect components in accordance with policy, laboratory managers should be qualified “Technical Cleanliness Inspectors”.

To this end, Fraunhofer IPA has been offering the required training for over ten years now. Given that demand abroad has risen substantially on account of the...

15.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

EU-LIVE launches: European researchers and manufacturers developing smart urban light vehicles

A European consortium of leading vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and research institutions is developing a comprehensive solution for the next generation of electrified, cost- and energy-efficient light vehicles. The unrivalled modular development approach of the collaborative EU-LIVE (Efficient Urban LIght VEhicles) project will provide a complete range of different electrified powertrains and vehicle bodies with different designs that are cost-efficient and easy to produce.

Across the globe, the urban population continues to grow. While around 750 million people lived in cities in 1950, this number reached almost 4 billion in...

22.06.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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