The announcement follows almost three years of development, and road and laboratory testing that has that heralds full-hybrid fuel economy “at significantly lower cost” – not only for car-derived vans and light commercial vehicles, but also potentially for trucks and buses.
According to Ricardo Innovations managing director Thomas Gutwald, the ADEPT vehicle, which is to be unveiled for driving at LCV2016 (14—15 September, Millbrook), is on course to meet Euro 6b air quality and ultra-low emission requirements expected of near-term, next-generation vehicles.
He also says that the integration of hybrid and emissions control systems has the potential to deliver up to 12% better fuel economy – equivalent to sub-80g/km of CO2 emissions (NEDC).
Most importantly though, Gutwald says the technology can also be delivered at lower costs than traditional approaches, with the concept of ‘intelligent electrification’ being the key.
“While much development attention is currently focused on full hybrids and battery-electric vehicles – including by Ricardo and its customers – I firmly believe that the concept of intelligent electrification will have an extremely high level of mass market appeal,” argues Gutwald.
That, he says, is due to the ADEPT project’s adoption of cost-effective near-market and available technologies – meaning that is likely to deliver “a greater overall fuel and carbon emissions saving in the near to medium term”.
Intelligent electrification enables “highly aggressive” engine downsizing and down-speeding beyond what might be expected, other than through more expensive hybridisation.
Gutwald says this is achieved through torque-assist from electrically harvested energy, temporarily stored in a 48V advanced lead-carbon battery with a high rate partial state-of-charge capability similar to a supercapacitor.
That, combined with 48V electrified ancillaries and sophisticated electronic control of powertrain systems, ensures that performance is maintained, or improved upon, throughout the duty cycle while also reducing fuel consumption.
As for the demonstrator itself, the baseline vehicle is an already downsized, fuel-efficient diesel Ford Focus ECOnetic 1.5TDCi, homologated with carbon dioxide emissions of 88g/km.
Key new features include CPT’s (Controlled Power Technologies) water-cooled SpeedStart switched reluctance belt starter generator, capable of delivering in excess of 12kW of regenerative braking, as well as near instantaneous and continuous torque assist levels of more than 7kW. That enables significant engine down-speeding as well as stop-start.
Further energy recovery is achieved from CPT’s exhaust-mounted 48V turbine-integrated exhaust gas energy recovery system, known as TIGERS. Rated at 2.4kW, this scavenges power from the exhaust downstream of the turbocharger, with exhaust gas diverted via two bespoke emissions control valves developed by Faurecia Emissions Controls technologies.
Again, the recovered energy is stored in the lead-carbon battery pack, providing a high power, high endurance, easily recyclable, lithium-free energy storage.
Meanwhile, electrical ancillaries, such as the air conditioning compressor, are powered from the 48V system rather than from the engine.
The ADEPT project is led by Ricardo, with consortium members including the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), CPT, Faurecia, Ford Motor Company and the University of Nottingham.
It is jointly funded by OLEV (the UK government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles) implemented through Innovate UK, with match funding from the participating partners.