This second-generation starter alternator reversible system (StARS) is intended to enable the European automotive industry to meet new EU emissions legislation and significantly reduce fuel consumption without needing to redesign the engine.
Additionally, it will fulfil global demands for more energy-efficient vehicles. Market forecasts indicate some one million vehicles a year will be using these systems by 2010 with a 4% penetration rate worldwide in the automotive market for such micro-hybrid applications in 2015.
European Union legislation is set to reduce average carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions for new cars from the current 160 g/km to 130 g/km in 2012. This will lead to a 19% reduction in CO2 emissions and place the EU among the world leaders in fuel-efficient cars. The proposal is also intended to benefit consumers through important fuel savings.
Results of the EUREKA i-StARS project will help enable the automotive industry to meet these new regulations effectively. “Not only will it be possible to reduce consumption emissions without any major change to engine design, but this translates into a 6% saving in fuel use for the car driver,” says Derek de Bono, marketing director of project leader Valeo Electrical Systems in France. Valeo is one of the world's leading automotive suppliers, providing a range of components and integrated systems for cars and lorries.
Hybridisation offers innovative solutions
Hybrid solutions have to be as minimally intrusive as possible in standard mass-produced power trains for cars. This calls for a high level of integration between the electrical machine assisting the internal combustion engine and its associated power and control electronics. Such a high level of integration imposes harsh thermo-mechanical constraints on the whole system, making it difficult, if not impossible, to use standard electronic assembly technologies. While robust electronics have been developed for railway and industrial applications, they do not correspond to automotive industrial requirements in terms of flexibility, yield and cost.
A first generation of alternator-based 'stop-start' systems developed by Valeo has already been in serial production with Citroen since 2004, on Smart cars since 2007 and on Mercedes-Benz A- and B-class vehicles as of the first quarter of 2009. This system performs a comfortable stop-start function that is completely transparent to the driver: the belt-driven starter-alternator system shuts down the engine during idle phases and restarts the engine quickly and silently on request. As a result, there is no fuel consumption, gas emission, vibration or noise at standstill. In the European standard driving cycle, fuel consumption is reduced by 6%; while in congested urban traffic, savings of up to 25% have been observed.
However, Valeo was keen to reduce the size of the micro-hybrid system to a single integrated package combining the alternator and all the power and control electronics required. In the current design, the electronics need a separate box.
Seeking external expertise
As Valeo had no in-house microelectronics capacity, it decided to set up a EUREKA project with two microelectronics partners: ON Semiconductors – formerly AMI Semiconductors – in Belgium for the two application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) controlling and driving the system; and Freescale in France for the power-switching transistors. Valeo itself took the responsibility for the assembly of the mechatronics unit. The resulting unit has to provide high reliability in the harsh environment found under the car bonnet.“EUREKA labelling provided credibility at a national and European level,” says de Bono. “It is also enabling us to get the technology to market faster, speeding European access to cleaner technology and opening up global markets for our equipment.”
Reducing emissions to 130 g/km adds costs for car manufacturers, forcing innovation in car design. This is a clear example of legislation putting the onus on industry to innovate; the goal is naturally to meet legislation without changing the functionality that car drivers have grown to expect from their car today. “Having a consortium in Europe enables us to develop the technology in Europe first before spreading it out globally – giving us a lead in innovative products,” says de Bono.
The Peugeot-Citroen group has already announced that it will adopt the new second-generation technology on over a million cars a year as of 2010/11. “We are also talking to all the other carmakers in Europe – and there is interest in Asia, particularly from China, which is keen to reduce energy needs, and in the USA to meet the 35 miles/gallon limit they committed to in 2007,” he adds.
Shar McKenzie | alfa
Further reports about: > CO2 > EUREKA > Hybrid solutions > Semiconductors > Valeo > automotive industry > automotive market > car driver > emissions legislation > energy-efficient vehicles > fuel consumption > hybridisation > mass production > micro-hybrid applications > micro-hybrid technology > power and control electronics > second-generation starter alternator reversible system > start-stop system
The Future of Mobility: tomorrow’s ways of getting from A to B
07.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
ShAPEing the future of magnesium car parts
23.08.2017 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy