Every year since 1988, Volvo has conducted its own awards ceremony for the designers and engineers the Swedish automaker employs. This year, the six men who created Volvo's Integrated Starter Alternator Motor, or I-SAM for short, have taken home the Technology Award trophy. The I-SAM unit transforms large commercial trucks into parallel hybrids and reportedly accounts for a fuel savings of 20 percent for trucks, 30 percent for buses and up to 50 percent for wheel loaders. Of course, burning less gas means emitting smaller amounts of pollution and carbon dioxide.
Improvements are most dramatic on vehicles that come to frequent stops, like those that operate in dense urban settings. Conveniently, it is exactly in these instances that the truck's quiet operation is also highly desirable. For these reasons, Volvo believes that the day is quickly coming when all of its commercial vehicles will be equipped with the I-SAM hybrid system. See the full press release after the break.
Volvo: Volvo's Technology Award Presented to Team behind Fuel-Efficient Hybr'id Solution
STOCKHOLM, April 1, 2009: Six engineers have been named the winners of Volvo's 2009 Technology Award for their development of the world's first commercially viable hybrid solution for heavy vehicles. The award was presented by Leif Johansson, President and CEO of Volvo, at the Annual General Meeting of AB Volvo on April 1.
Volvo's Technology Award this year recognizes the work to develop I-SAM, Integrated Starter Alternator Motor, a combined starter, generator and drive motor in a parallel hybrid that, in addition to an electric motor, also has a small compact diesel engine. The combination can reduce fuel consumption for buses by up to 30%, for trucks by 20% and, in a best case scenario, as much as 50% for wheel loaders. This reduces fuel costs and provides significant environmental benefits through lower emissions of carbon dioxide. The quiet and emission-free electric drive also improves environment conditions in the vehicle's immediate surroundings.
I-SAM was presented in March 2006 as the market's first parallel hybrid concept for buses and heavy trucks. The solution can be used in virtually all Volvo Group business areas, since it is based on a common platform with a high percentage of standard components, which also facilitates volume production.
"In the future, the parallel hybrid will not be considered a special solution, and the technology will be included in almost all new city buses and delivery trucks. We see good potential to develop the hybrid technology for all segments of the heavy trucks sector. With its leadership position in the environmental area and its stature as one of the world's largest producers of commercial vehicles, it is only natural for Volvo Group to drive the development of tomorrow's transports," says Leif Johansson, President and CEO of Volvo Group.
The parallel hybrid concept is an excellent feature for city buses, refuse trucks and delivery trucks that drive at different speeds and start and stop frequently. When a hybrid bus drives away from a bus stop, the electric motor is used first, a quiet-running unit with no emissions, and the diesel engine starts up when the bus reaches a certain speed. When the bus brakes to stop at the next stop, the braking energy is absorbed by the electric motor and stored in the batteries – to be used later during the next acceleration. Everything is controlled by a sophisticated control unit, which was also developed by Volvo Group engineers.
Engineers from many parts of the Volvo Group have taken part in the development of I-SAM. Six of these engineers were represented at the prize ceremony. Volvo Powertrain was represented by Anders Kroon, Volvo Technology by Jerker Lennevi, Joakim Lindström and Lars Carlhammar, Volvo Buses was represented by Peter Jönsson and Volvo 3P was represented by Christer Ehn.
The Volvo Technology Award was established in 1988 and was awarded this year for the 22nd time. The award is an expression of appreciation for particularly prominent technical achievements within the Volvo Group that contribute to the technological profiling of the Volvo Group and stimulate efforts that further advance the Group's technical skills and expertise.