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  • 10-May-2012 09:29 EDT

Advanced Combustion & System Engineering - Affordable Fuel Economy?


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Future fuel economy targets represent a significant challenge to the automotive industry. While a range of technologies are in research and development to address this challenge, they all bring additional cost and complexity to future products. The most cost effective solutions are likely to be combinations of technologies that in isolation might have limited advantages but in a systems approach can offer complementary benefits. This presentation describes work carried out at Ricardo to explore Intelligent Electrification and the use of Stratified Charge Lean Combustion in a spark ignition engine. This includes a next generation Spray Guided Direct Injection SI engine combustion system operating robustly with highly stratified dilute mixtures and capable of close to 40% thermal efficiency with very low engine-out NOx emissions. The use of micro-hybrid functionality for energy recovery, e-boost technology for enhanced transient response, advanced thermal systems for octane control and a low cost energy storage system have been explored to provide an Intelligent Electrification approach to systems engineering. This combination of technologies is shown to be highly cost effective in comparison with full hybrid systems.

Mark J. Christie, Ricardo Inc.

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One promising solution for increasing vehicle fuel economy, while still maintaining long-range driving capability, is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). A PHEV is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) whose rechargeable energy source can be recharged from an external power source, making it a combination of an electric vehicle and a traditional hybrid vehicle. A PHEV is capable of operating as an electric vehicle until the battery is almost depleted, at which point the on-board internal combustion engine turns on, and generates power to meet the vehicle demands. When the vehicle is not in use, the battery can be recharged from an external energy source, once again allowing electric driving. A series of models is presented which simulate various powertrain architectures of PHEVs. To objectively evaluate the effect of powertrain architecture on fuel economy, the models were run according to the latest test procedures and all fuel economy values were utility factor weighted.
Conventional hybrids have been marketed in the US for over a decade, with very high quality scores and high consumer satisfaction. However, their cost is still too high for mass market acceptance and their sales continue to be almost entirely to early adopters. This presentation will discuss mainstream consumer discounting of future fuel savings and how much they might be willing to pay, then focus on the potential for future hybrid efficiency improvements, synergies with other technologies, and cost reduction. The future cost reduction and efficiency benefits of the input powersplit and the P2 (parallel twin-clutch) hybrid systems are compared and projections offered through 2030. Presenter John German, International Council On Clean Transport
Research in plug in vehicles (PHEV and BEV) has of course been ongoing for decades, however now that these vehicles are finally being produced for a mass market an intense focus over the last few years has been given to proper evaluation techniques and standard information to effectively convey efficiency information to potential consumers. The first challenge is the development of suitable test procedures. Thanks to many contributions from SAE members, these test procedures have been developed for PHEVs (SAE J1711 now available) and are under development for BEVs (SAE J1634 available later this year). A bigger challenge, however, is taking the outputs of these test results and dealing with the issue of off-board electrical energy consumption in the context of decades-long consumer understanding of MPG as the chief figure of merit for vehicle efficiency.
Toyota is researching and developing several advanced vehicle powertrain technologies that increase fuel efficiency and decrease the environmental impact of consumer transportation. This presentation will describe the Toyota Plug-In Hybrid (PHV) architecture, its major components, the Toyota PHV Demonstration program, and the benefits of the Toyota approach to Plug-In hybrids. The current Toyota PHV features all electric driving for approximately 13 miles, while maintaining the fuel economy of Prius even when the vehicle is in hybrid mode. The vehicle that will be available in 2012 will also be affordable, allowing many customers to enjoy the benefits of electric drive. Presenter Avernethy Francisco, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing

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