February 28, 2011
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final approval for HFO-1234yf refrigerant (earlier post) in motor vehicle air conditioning systems. The chemical, which does not deplete the ozone layer, may now be used in air conditioning for new cars and light trucks. When used appropriately, EPA says, this chemical can reduce the environmental impact of motor vehicle air conditioners and has a global warming potential that is 99.7% less than the current chemical (HFC-134a) used in most car air conditioners.
Ballard Power Systems has been conditionally awarded up to C$7 million (US$7.2 million) by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to extend the operating life and lower the product cost of FCgen(TM)-1300, the fuel cell power plant that powers Ballard’s CLEARgen distributed generation system.
The new company will operate out of two locations: the greater Munich area, Germany and Mulhouse, France. 400 employees are expected to work for the joint venture by the end of 2011. Subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities, the new company is expected to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011. The new hybrid components will equip both partners’ vehicles from 2014 onwards.
Freescale introduces intelligent sensor for automotive lead-acid battery monitoring; addressing increasing electrical loads and stop-start
Freescale Semiconductor introduced the MM912J637 intelligent battery sensor (IBS), which accurately measures the voltage, current and temperature of lead-acid batteries and calculates the battery state, all while operating in harsh automotive conditions. The ability to accurately assess these battery parameters is becoming more important with increases in the number of hybrid vehicles on the road and overall electronic content in vehicles, as well as the introduction of stop-start systems.
The MM912J637 IBS enables precision measurement of key battery parameters in automotive and industrial applications. The device integrates a S12 microcontroller and a SMARTMOS analog control integrated circuit in a single-package solution, enabling significant reduction of effective application board space, Freescale says.
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (OPT) has completed the first of its new generation utility-scale PowerBuoy device, the PB150. (Earlier post.) The PB150 PowerBuoy, with a peak-rated output of 150 kW, is the largest and most powerful wave power device designed by OPT to date, and is designed for use in arrays for grid-connected power generation projects.
Kia Motors Corp. signed an agreement with Vodafone Global Enterprise, the business within Vodafone which manages the communications needs of its largest multinational customers, to explore business opportunities in telematics services in Europe.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has begun i-MiEV sales in Republic of Costa Rica, mainly to fleet customers such as government affiliates and electric companies. This marks the first country to start sales of i-MiEV in Latin America.
People’s Daily. The China Iron and Steel Research Institute Group (CISRI) recently held a press event in Beijing highlighting its successful development of a third generation of automotive steel, intended to significantly decrease vehicle weight and improve crash safety.
Dong-A Ilbo. GS Caltex, South Korea’s second-largest energy company, and Japan-based JX Nippon and Oil Energy (formerly Nippon Oil) will set up a joint venture to produce anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.