What does this mild-hybrid setup get you? It should improve fuel economy by up to 15 percent in city driving by automatically shutting off the engine at rolling speeds – below 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour) – such as when approaching a stop light. By 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën plans to use the new start-stop system in 30 percent of its diesel automobiles and hopes to sell over one million vehicles with this technology over the next three years.
Continental to Supply Booster Module to PSA Peugeot Citroën for its e-HDi Start-Stop Systems
Regensburg. Using a newly developed booster module for the on-board electrical system, International automotive supplier Continental has laid the groundwork for making vehicle start-stop systems even more convenient and efficient. Known as an E-booster, the new module is doing duty in the micro-hybrid systems of French PSA Group. PSA Peugeot Citroën plans to sell around one million vehicles equipped with the new micro-hybrid technology e-HDi over the next three years.
It takes a lot of power to restart a diesel engine automatically once it has stopped, at a red light for instance. To supply that power, Continental has teamed up with American manufacturer Maxwell Technologies to produce super capacitors capable of providing enough charge for the scant 400 milliseconds required to restart the engine. "This ultra-modern technology is designed for high cycle reliability, long life, and real convenience for motorists. It is emblematic of Continental's years of experience developing hybrid systems and also of our desire to do our part to reduce consumption and lowering CO2 emissions," says Bernd Neitzel, head of Continental's Powertrain Hybrid & Electric Vehicle business unit. Continental is currently the sole manufacturer of such a system, making it a leader in stabilizing on-board electrical systems.
Start-Stop Systems Increase Mileage by up to 15 Percent
e-HDi models by Citroën and Peugeot will featuring the new technology. Their diesel motors are equipped with a second-generation start-stop system. The system takes advantage of even the slightest opportunity to turn off the engine, thus noticeably reducing fuel consumption. A vehicle equipped with standard transmission will even shut off its engine when rolling at speeds below 20 kph. Under normal driving conditions, such a system can increase mileage by about five percent. That figure jumps to 15 percent if a lot of city driving is involved, with CO2 emissions dropping by 15 percent. The Microhybrid e-HDi technology uses a new 2.2 kW starter-generator, a 70-percent increase over first-generation systems.
A powerful booster module was necessary to deliver the power surge needed to assure easy starts even at below-freezing temperatures. The module needed to get the engine to idling speed quickly so as to make vibrations and engine noises practically unnoticeable and it had to do all this in 400 milliseconds – twice as fast as a normal starter motor. Based on a concept by PSA Peugeot Citroën, Continental designed and built a booster module to do all that, plus guarantee that restarting the engine wouldn't drain power away from other devices such as the radio, headlights, or windshield wipers. The electronic controls in this module known as an E-booster controls recharging super capacitors during the recuperative phase. This is the time during which the vehicle recuperates energy with the generator acting as an engine brake, when the driver lifts his foot from the accelerator or brakes.
Extensive Experience with Hybrid and Electrical Drive Systems
The E-booster is emblematic of Continental's extensive experience in developing hybrid drive concepts. Continental, which operates the world over, anticipates around two million hybrid and electric vehicles worldwide in 2012. The company has invested in research and development of components and systems for electric drive trains for many years. Continental Powertrain has devised a complete array of inexpensive drive-train components and systems and has been manufacturing them since 2003. Among key components are electric motors, electrical-power and energy-storage devices. An example of the latter is the lithium-ion battery, the first of its kind worldwide, which Continental has been manufacturing in Nuremberg since 2008.