With much of our discussions focusing on hybrid powertrains and the electric cars of tomorrow, we occasionally overlook some of the simpler, efficiency-boosting technologies available today. A prime example of this is the second-generation micro-hybrid stop-start technology from Valeo called i-StARS. Set to debut later this year, the system will initially be featured on diesel-powered Peugeot and Citroen vehicles. A lot of them. Valeo hopes that its i-StARS micro-hybrid technology reaches one million vehicles by 2013.

Okay, let's turn to the operation and benefits of the i-StARS system. This second attempt at stop-start technology from Valeo raises the bar above its first system. This system can cut the engine while a vehicle is still coasting down to a stop. In automatic transmission models, i-StARS jumps into action at speeds below five miles per hour, but in manual transmission cars, the system cuts in at speeds up to 12.5 mph. The system can then jumpstart the engine back to life in less than 400 milliseconds, without any noise or vibration felt by the driver. Valeo claims that the system can reduce emissions by 15 percent and we'd assume that the gasoline savings are similarly impressive. Best of all, this stop-start system could be easily adapted to almost any powertrain combo out there as a quick, relatively cheap way to increase fuel efficiency. Follow the jump for more on Valeo's second-generation stop-start technology.

[Source: Valeo]

PRESS RELEASE

New Valeo micro-hybrid system to equip PSA Peugeot Citroën e-HDi diesel models

Valeo announces that its second generation Stop-Start system will be launched by PSA Peugeot Citroën in the third quarter of 2010. The system, coupled with the HDi diesel engines of the Peugeot and Citroën brands, will be featured on both manual and automated manual transmission models and will equip a million vehicles by 2013.

This new generation micro-hybrid system, called i-StARS, differs from the previous generation in that the control electronics are integrated into the electrical machine.

The micro-hybrid system automatically cuts off the vehicle's engine at a red light or in a traffic jam and restarts it when engine power is solicited. CO2 emissions are reduced by 5g per kilometer on average, and by up to 15% in congested urban traffic.

To optimize fuel savings and make driving in the Stop-Start mode smoother, i-StARS can cut off the engine even before the vehicle comes to a complete stop, that is, as soon as the vehicle's speed falls below 8 km/h with an automated transmission and 20 km/h with a manual transmission. Engine re-start is immediate (400 msec), noiseless and with no vibrations, even if the driver suddenly changes his or her mind about stopping. In addition, since the engine cut-off phases are longer and more frequent than with other systems, fuel savings are higher.

Valeo offers two micro-hybrid systems, either starter-alternator or reinforced starter-based, enabling automakers to introduce this function in line with their brand strategy. Since the system was first marketed, the Group has booked orders to equip 50 vehicle models from more than 10 different automakers.

Valeo is an independent industrial Group fully focused on the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for the automotive industry, mainly for CO2 emissions reduction. Valeo ranks among the world's top automotive suppliers. The Group has 118 plants, 21 Research centers, 40 Development centers, 10 distribution platforms and employs 55,100 people in 27 countries worldwide.


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