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Valeo’s StARS Micro-Hybrid System Wins PACE Award

Stars
The StARS unit.

Valeo’s micro-hybrid Starter-Alternator Reversible System (StARS) has won the 2006 PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award in the European Products category. The award, co-sponsored by Automotive News, Microsoft, SAP and the Transportation Research Center, was presented to Valeo at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit.

The 14V, belt-driven StARS system—currently available on the Citroën C2 and C3 Stop&Start—features the capacity to stop and then restart the engine immediately and silently. (Earlier post.)

The vehicle starts up again quietly and automatically as soon as it is put in gear or when the foot releases the brake. This system, which reduces pollution (both sound and atmospheric), improves cabin comfort and reduces fuel consumption by 12% on average.

Comments

Shaun

improves fuel efficieny by 12%, so long as you spend 12% of your time stopped in traffic with your air conditioning turned off and your engine has warmed up already.

sorry if i don't sound impressed.

i'd be willing to guess that real-world effiency improvements will largely go unrealized or unnoticed.

Bud Johns

Not impressive compared to my Prius, but if all cars had this alone it would be a great improvement. Plus waiting at traffic lights, jams, etc would be much quieter. Ecept, again, no air conditioning, unlike the prius.

Patrick

I wish they would make an aftermarket solution available. I'd like to add this to my current vehicle. It even has the side benefit of being capable of a 3-4hp boost in power (not that you would really notice such a little power boost unless you have a very light car with a small motor such as mine).

Justin

What kind of panzies are you. No AC? This thing is for europe where a lot of cars don't come with AC. They don't need it.

Rafael Seidl

12% reduction in fuel consumption sounds a bit optimistic for just a stop/start capability. Idling eats up 5% in city driving, which is what the C2 and C3 are primarily intended for.

The article does not articulate which storage system this ISG should be mated with, presumably just a beefier version of the regular lead-acid battery. There will be little if any acceleration boost or recuperative braking out of that.

It's possible the high number came out of the standardized NEDC test, which just like the basic FTP test in the US features unreasonably long periods of idling. Real-world fuel economy gains due to this micro hybrid should be more modest - and Europeans tend to be less enaomored of new-fangled technology than Americans are. Still, it's a cheap. lightweight solution (no more starter motor) that makes sense in this very cost-sensitive high volume segment. Small fry adds up.

Patrick - this is not a solution that lends itself to retrofitting, if only because you'd have to integrate it with the engine control system.

Jack Rosebro

Rafael, the Stop-and-Start version of the Citroen C3, (for example) comes with a 640A flooded-lead-acid battery rather than the standard 480A battery. This is an idle-stop system; no acceleration boost or regen braking is provided.

Wells

Valeo's dubiously named 'micro-hybrid' alternator/starter won the PACE award because it affords auto manufacturers a pretense of progress, while they actively thwart real progress in REAL Hybrid technologies, particularly those applicable toward the Plug-in Hybrid. Progress cuts profits and PACE is only serving the paymaster.

These so-called hybrid technologies should not receive tax credits, subsidies and rebates. Car companies everywhere are run by fascists.

Patrick

Integration with the stock ECU is quite simple. I have built my own "piggy" back style computer with little effort (much of the hard work is already available on the internet). I can use it to modify the PWM on the injectors, control frequency emitted by the Karman Vortex air sensor, and use feedback from a wideband O2 sensor to assist in properly altering the previous two factors. You don't even need hardware more impressive than an 8bit micro such as the PIC 16F88 (sufficient A-D lines, PWM, and i/o lines along with SPI or I2C hardware to communicate with a Wideband O2 controller so the hardest thing to code (comm protocols) is taken care of for you).

Hampden Wireless

While this is NOT a hybrid component its still a good thing. This should be a part of most cars because it is so cheap. It probobly is under $100. The engine can turn off during coasting towards a stop light on a car with manual steering or electric power steering.

Patrick

Not likely to be under $100. The controller would probably be $100 FOB for the manufacturer.

Albrix

Why can't someone just build a car with all these features; star hybrid, infinitely variable transmission and lightweight that burns gas or ethanol etc? We need more teamwork.

Lance Funston

"panzie" is that the British spelling... or a conjunction of "pansy" and "nazi"?

Heywood

Why shouldn't they call this a "hybrid?" A good portion of the fuel economy benefits of cars like the Prius are from non-hybrid technologies anyway (lightweight construction, low-rolling-resistance tires that make the car dart around like a ferret on meth, etc.)

And, the argument that it's not valid because it relies on idling is equally true of something like the Prius which relies on start/stop to gain efficiency. Those of us who live in areas where it's actually possible to drive rather than wait in traffic--or those who drive well enough to actually keep moving--wouldn't benefit from hybrids either.

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