|Mondeo in the lab.|
A researcher at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven has developed a software patch for engine control systems that can reduce fuel consumption by 2.6%.
In examining possible fuel savings without the use of hybrid technology, John Kessels developed a patch that could shut off the generator when it is inefficient for the engine to power it, and partly shut off electric energy systems (such as the rear window and seat heating) for further efficiencies in the power supply system, all leading to reduced fuel consumption.
In approach, this is similar to what BMW’s is providing in its new 1- and 5-Series cars with its Intelligent Alternator Control system. (Earlier post.) Kessels’ patch can be implemented with a simple upload and the addition of one single small cable—no replacement of any parts is necessary.
Regenerative braking could supply additional energy for storage in the battery. Adding an idle-stop capability could boost fuel savings to 5-6%. This combination of functionality systems is what BMW is now providing: Brake Energy Regeneration, Intelligent Alternator Control, and Automatic Start-Stop. (Earlier post.)
Kessels tested his retrofit patch on a Ford 2.0-liter Mondeo with a five-speed manual transmission.