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No-drone zones, software to block flights into sensitive areas and registration rules are among proposals from European regulators and aviation experts to ensure growing numbers of drones don't case dangerous run-ins with passenger aircraft.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $10 million to eight incubator projects to develop innovative solutions for efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicle technologies that will help reduce petroleum use in the United States. Among the projects is a novel implementation of RCCI—Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition, usually investigated with two fuels (earlier post)—using a single fuel with onboard fuel reformation.
Through the incubator activity, the Energy Department supports innovative technologies and solutions that have the potential to help meet program goals but are not substantially represented in its current research portfolio. These projects bring a more diverse group of stakeholders and participants to address technical challenges in the vehicle research priorities. Eventually, successfully demonstrated technologies or approaches from the incubator activity may impact existing long-term technology plans and roadmaps. Awardees include:AWARD TABLE Organization Description Funding Silatronix New Advanced Stable Electrolytes for High Voltage Electrochemical Energy StorageThis project will develop an innovative electrolyte providing stable performance at high voltage (>5V).
FEV is developing a water injection system for internal combustion engines using condensate from exhaust gases, the “Extended Direct Condensate Injection” system. The concept, as reported in a new paper in the International Journal of Engine Research , demonstrates a potential for efficiency increase of 3.3% – 3.8% in the region of the minimum specific fuel consumption on a stoichiometric combustion concept with Miller cycle and cooled external exhaust gas recirculation.
Further improvement of the efficiency of up to 16% is possible at full-load operation, the researchers said. If water injection is used in addition to homogeneous lean combustion, an efficiency gain of 4.5% in the region of the minimum specific fuel consumption is achieved.
The injection of water into engine cylinders produces a cooling effect that boosts power and torque, particularly when operating at or near full throttle, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
BMW has already implemented a water injection system in its BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car, and, at the recent BMW Group Innovation Days 2015 event, presented the technology in a prototype of a model from the BMW core brand powered by a latest-generation three-cylinder gasoline engine. (Earlier post.)
The water injection system in the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car draws water from a five-liter tank in the trunk. Under grueling race conditions, when the vehicle spends a lot of time operating at full throttle, the water tank is topped up every time the vehicle is refueled.
Bosch also is developing a water injection (WI) system for spark ignition engines in partnership with a pilot customer, said Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector, in his talk on powertrain optimization at the 2015 Vienna Motor Symposium. (Earlier post.)
FEV’s system concept offers potential synergies which can be further enabled by exhaust heat recovery. There is also a possible extension of this concept, in which the condensed water from the air conditioning system can be added to a buffer tank from which the condensate is extracted and fed into the engine.
FEV began in 2014 with initial investigations on a turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine that featured PFI injection of the EGR condensate. Subsequently, the engineers extended the concept to include direct injection of the condensate into the cylinder. They changed the condensation concept to allow utilization of the condensate from the entire exhaust gas stream and not only EGR condensate. This operation principle allows the entire injected condensate to be recycled.
In an engine with a compression ratio of 13.5:1, studies of condensate injection in combination with the Miller cycle and cooled external EGR was evaluated at IMEP = 14.5 bar at n = 2,000 rpm. Despite the high compression ratio, knock was limited.
Fabian Hoppe, Matthias Thewes, Henning Baumgarten, Jürgen Dohmen (2015) “Water injection for gasoline engines: Potentials, challenges, and solutions” International Journal of Engine Research doi: 10.1177/1468087415599867
FEV Spectrum: “Gasoline Combustion Beyond 2020”
Matthias Thewes, Fabian Hoppe, Henning Baumgarten, Jörg Seibel (2015) “Water Injection for Gasoline Combustion Systems” MTZ worldwide Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 10-15 doi: 10.1007/s38313-014-1012-0
The UK Government announced that the current Plug-in Car Grant scheme will continue to offer motorists up to £5,000 (US$7,800) off the price of an electric car until at least February 2016 for all categories of vehicle, boosting further the plug-in car market.
Previously the Government had announced that grant levels would be reviewed once 50,000 vehicles had been sold, a milestone expected to be reached in November this year. As a result, all plug-in cars with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km or less will remain eligible for a grant.
The Government recently announced that a minimum of £200 million (US$311 million) has been made available to continue the Plug-in Car Grant. Further details about how the plug-in car grant will be structured beyond February are expected following the Government Spending Review in November.
Registrations of plug-in cars accelerated rapidly over the first six months of 2015, according to the Government-backed Go Ultra Low campaign, growing 256% against the same period last year and surpassing the 2014 full-year total with six months to spare.
I’m pleased to announce today that the government is maintaining the current levels of grant, even as we move past the milestone of 50,000 vehicles. The UK is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe. We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the UK’s position as a global leader.—Transport Minister, Andrew Jones MP