April 30, 2009
According to the results of simulation studies by a consortium including Ricardo, Jaguar-Land Rover, E.ON and Amberjac Projects, a substantial medium-term rise in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles would have a much lower impact on the UK national power grid than has previously been estimated.
The research study has been carried out by the consortium as part of the Range Extended Hybrid Electric Vehicle (REHEV) project, which is led by Jaguar-Land Rover and part-funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board.
Italian motorsport electronics specialist Magneti Marelli and UK high-speed flywheel specialist Flybrid Systems are collaborating to develop a new energy storage solution for Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS). The new product is targeted to be a high-power electrical storage system for hybrid racing cars capable of deep depths of discharge with no performance degradation and a long service life.
The new product—named the Flywheel Capacitor—consists of a high-speed carbon fiber flywheel incorporating Flybrid technology connected to a high-speed electric motor generator using technology from Magneti Marelli, all managed by Magneti Marelli’s control electronics.
Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy; Reaches Agreement with Fiat for New Company; Fiat Percentage Ownership Tied to Fuel-Efficiency Targets
Chrysler LLC has been unable to obtain the necessary concessions from all of its lenders which would have avoided the need for a bankruptcy proceeding. As a result, under the direction of the US Treasury, Chrysler LLC and 24 of its wholly-owned US subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Chrysler has also reached an agreement in principle to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat SpA to form a new company. It would allow Chrysler and Fiat to fully optimize their respective manufacturing footprints and the global supplier base, while providing each with access to additional markets. Fiat powertrains and components would also be produced at Chrysler manufacturing sites.
|Battery pack state of charge vs. distance for the ADDZEV vehicle under all-electric power on the UDDC cycle. Source: Cranfield. Click to enlarge.|
A collaboration led by the UK’s Cranfield University has developed a retrofit plug-in hybrid conversion system for a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. The Affordable Add-on Zero Emissions Vehicle (ADDZEV) technology demonstrates how it may be possible to convert segment of the existing the UK vehicle fleet into plug-in hybrid vehicles using a through-the-road approach. (Earlier post.)
Developed to reduce the carbon emissions of inner-city driving, the ADDZEV system was developed using a standard Vauxhall Combo van. The development team retained the existing conventional front-wheel-drive system of the Combo but added an electric drive, powered via low-cost valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries, to the rear wheels.
Where does all of the energy go? In a session on total vehicle energy consumption, several people shared similar pie charts showing the flow of energy within an automobile.
|Exploded view of the OX2 Engine. Click to enlarge.|
Advanced Engine Technologies Inc. says it has reached the final development stage of its OX2 rotary engine, achieving a performance objective of more than 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque along with 46 hp (34 kW) at an approximate operating speed of 760 rpm.
The OX2 engine was conceived in Australia by inventor Steve Manthey. The engine is an 8-cylinder barrel configuration, using a stationary head and cam plate, and rotating cylinder block and piston plates. Each cylinder fires twice per revolution and two cylinders fire simultaneously, resulting in four times the output per revolution of a conventional four-stroke engine at the same displacement. The engine can be adapted to run any combustible gas or liquid as fuel.
Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc. (HEC) (earlier post) will participate in a C$11 million (US$9.2 million) hydrogen energy technology demonstration project at Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport.
Physicists at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have experimentally demonstrated that the superconductivity mechanism in the recently-discovered iron-arsenide superconductors is unique compared to all other known classes of superconductors.
Journal of Commerce. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents shipping lines and terminal operators, is challenging California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulations in a lawsuit in Federal court, contending that the federal government preempts states in regulating vessel operations beyond a three-mile limit.