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November 2014

November 30, 2014

Stanford team develops model and controller for reducing HCCI cycle-to-cycle variation

A team led by researchers from Stanford University has developed a simplified, discrete-time analytical model of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) dynamics. The model forms the basis for the design of a simple controller that reduces combustion timing variations in simulation.


November 30, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 29, 2014

Toyota Motor to consolidate development and production of diesel engines under TICO; manual transmissions under Aisin Seiki; brake systems under Advics

Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will consolidate their joint diesel engine development and production under the control of TICO. The purpose of this decision is to strengthen the competitiveness of both companies by bringing the development and production of diesel engines under one roof and enabling more efficient allocation of resources.

Further, Toyota is consolidating development and Japanese production of manual transmissions under Aisin Seiki subsidiary Aisin AI Co., Ltd. and will accelerate the consolidation of brake system engineering, manufacturing and sales under Advics, which was founded in July 2001 by Aisin Seiki, Denso, Sumitomo Electric, and TMC. (TMC, TICO, Aisin Seiki and Denso are part of the Toyota Group.)


November 29, 2014 in Diesel, Engines, Market Background, Transmissions, Vehicle Manufacturers, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MHI completes development of next-generation LNG carrier; apple-shaped tanks and hybrid propulsion

Sayaringo STaGE. Click to enlarge.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed development of the “Sayaringo STaGE,” a next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier. The Sayaringo STaGE was developed as a successor to the Sayaendo (earlier post), the company’s LNG carrier evolved from carriers with Moss-type spherical tanks that offer a high level of reliability. (Moss-type LNG carriers use independent spherical cargo tanks supported by a cylindrical skirt integrated with the hull and covered with a hemispherical steel cover attached to the main deck.)

While the Sayaendo (sayaendo = peas in a pod in Japanese) features a peapod-shaped continuous cover for the Moss spherical tanks that is integrated with the ship’s hull, in lieu of a conventional hemispherical cover, the new Sayaringo (ringo being the Japanese word for “apple”) STaGE adopts apple-shaped tanks, resulting in nearly a16% increase in LNG carrying capacity without changing the ship’s width. Further, a hybrid propulsion system has boosted fuel efficiency by more than 20% compared to the Sayaendo (and more than 40% vis-à-vis earlier carriers).


November 29, 2014 in Engines, Hybrids, LNG, Ports and Marine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2014

Lexus to introduce new active safety package from 2015

Lexus will next year launch the “Lexus Safety System +” package, a newly-developed set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. While Lexus vehicles already feature a wide range of safety technologies and systems based on the Integrated Safety Management Concept, this latest package is aimed at further encouraging the uptake of safety technologies and will therefore be rolled out across all Lexus models in Japan, North America and Europe by the end of 2017.


November 28, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

UK makes additional $336 million investment in bicycling; total of $923 million

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced a package of measures totalling £214 million (US$336 million) to expand the use of bicycling in the UK. This will bring the total invested in cycling by the government to £588 million ($923 million).The investment will include:


November 28, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ricardo study finds retrofitted Euro III bus can emit less NOx than newer Euro V hybrid

Measurements by Ricardo found that an older Euro III bus retrofitted with a selective catalytic reduction and continuously regenerating particulate trap system can be cleaner in terms of lower NOxemissions than newer Euro V hybrid buses.

The measurements of the retrofitted Euro III bus were an extension of a study of the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach company fleet in partnership with HORIBA examining the real-world emissions of buses operating through a known pollution hot spot in Brighton city center. As a result of that study, Ricardo published results earlier in the year demonstrating the important role that improving traffic flow can have upon reducing NOx emissions. That study, the findings of which were reported in July, focused on a range of buses including Euro IV, Euro V conventional and Euro V hybrid vehicles.


November 28, 2014 in Emissions, Heavy-duty | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Univ. of Manchester team finds monolayer graphene permeable to protons; implications for PEM fuel cell and other hydrogen technologies

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK have found that monolayers of graphene—which, as a perfect monolayer is impermeable to all gases and liquids—and its sister material boron nitride (BN) are highly permeable to protons, especially at elevated temperatures and if the films are covered with catalytic nanoparticles such as platinum. The finding could have a significant impact on proton exchange membrane fuel cell technologies and other hydrogen-based technologies.

The discovery is reported in the journal Nature by an international team led by Professor Sir Andre Geim, who, with Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov succeeded in producing, isolating, identifying and characterizing graphene in 2004 at the University of Manchester, an achievement for which the pair won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. (Graphene had been studied theoretically as far back as 1947; professors Geim and Novoselov were the first to fabricate and to study the material.)


November 28, 2014 in Fuel Cells, Graphene, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 27, 2014

KIT team develops electrolyte for high energy density magnesium-sulfur batteries

A team headed by Maximilian Fichtner and Zhirong Zhao-Karger from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany reports developing an electrolyte that may be used for the construction of magnesium-sulfur battery cells. Their paper is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.


November 27, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Neste Oil launching new low-sulfur marine fuel in December

Neste Oil will bring to the market a low-sulfur marine fuel in accordance with the EU sulfur Directive requirements entering into force in 2015, and will begin distributing it in mid-December. The new fuel will significantly reduce sulfur, nitrogen and particle emissions in marine transportation. The sulfur Directive sets a maximum sulfur limit of 0.1% (1000 ppm) for marine fuels in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel. Vessels operating in these areas either need to install a sulfur scrubber or make a transition to low-sulfur fuel.


November 27, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Honda begins operation of 1st wind farm by an automaker in Brazil; covering electricity needs for annual local auto production

Honda Energy do Brasil Ltda. (Honda Energy), Honda’s wind power generation business subsidiary in Brazil, has begun operation of its wind power generation facility. Honda thereby the first automaker in Brazil to start a wind power generation business. Honda Energy built its wind farm, an investment of approximately 100 million Brazilian reais (approximately US$40 million), in the city of Xangri-lá in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil (approximately 1,000 km south of Honda’s current auto production plant in Sumaré, São Paulo). Honda Energy will be proactive in promoting the use of renewable energy in Brazil.


November 27, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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