Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Software patch makes car more fuel-efficient

A car wastes energy almost continuously. Whether it is running in first, second, or a higher gear, there is only one position of the accelerator that guarantees optimal performance.

Accelerating a little less or a little bit more can cause considerable loss of energy. John Kessels has designed a way to save energy by enabling the car to achieve optimal engine performance more frequently. With a relatively small modification it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by 2.6%. Kessels obtained his doctorate from the Technical University Eindhoven (TU/e) on Wednesday February 14, 2007.

Car manufacturers are frequently criticized for failing to reduce fuel consumption. In order to meet the Kyoto objectives, European car manufacturers have agreed to reduce the emission of CO2 for their fleet to 140 grams per kilometer in 2008. Many car manufacturers have not yet attained this reduced emission. Ford is one of them and the company has been diligently searching for a way to further increase the fuel-efficiency of its cars.

Hybrid cars

One way to reduce fuel consumption is to build so-called hybrid cars. In these cars the internal combustion engine is more fuel-efficient because a secondary power source is available: a generator. If the power from the combustion engine exceeds the actual power demand for driving, this generator stores the excess power in the car’s battery. It also works the other way around. The generator can provide extra power if the car needs more power than the combustion engine can provide at optimum performance. Hybrid vehicles thus reduce fuel consumption by 25% or more.

Electric energy systems

Kessels examined the possible savings without using the advanced hybrid technology. He found that excess power can be used to charge the car battery. In addition, the generator, which charges the car battery, can be turned off when it is inefficient for the engine to power it, which leads to reduced fuel consumption. The car can also brake electrically, generating energy, which can be stored in the battery. Finally, he found that it is possible to partly shut off the electric energy systems, such as rear window and seat heating, for further improvement of the power supply system.

Software patch

With his new method Kessels can achieve a total fuel savings of 2.6%, without having to replace any of the parts of the car. Simply uploading a software patch to the car’s computer and adding one single small cable suffices. If it were possible to shut the engine off when it is idle, a savings of 5 to 6% could be achieved. This, however, would require significant adjustments to the car, including installing a more powerful starter motor and an automatic gearbox.

Xavier Theunissen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>