"Smart" metals could help engines reduce emissions and invigorate US business. Metallurgist and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee professor Pradeep Rohatgi combines known metal alloys with materials like ceramics, nanoparticles, and recycled waste to produce strong, lightweight composites with self-lubricating properties that help internal combustion engines run more efficiently. Rohatgi hopes his startup, Intelligent Composites, and its products can help US foundries compete with production outsourced overseas. See the video above, and read more at Phys.org.

Almost 203 million cars will be capable of over-the-air (OTA) updates by 2022, according to ABI research. While Tesla has the OTA firmware updates nailed down, other automakers will focus on software update capability. This will take the place of dealer-installed updates and - like Chrysler did after the Jeep hacking incident - updates sent to owners via USB drives. OTA updates will enhance vehicle security and reduce recall rates. Read more at Green Car Congress.

European bus manufacturers have agreed upon a standardized charging interface for their electric buses. Irizar, Solaris, VDL and Volvo will use pantograph charging for "opportunity charging" and CCS plugs as the base for overnight charging and network communication. The manufacturers hope other bus makers and charging providers to join them in cooperation over standardized charging. Read more at Green Car Congress.

The second Audi Autonomous Driving Cup will take place from March 22 to 24, 2016 at the automaker's Museum Mobile in Ingolstadt, Germany. The competition involves eight university teams implementing basic Audi software in 1:8 scale electric Audi Q5 models, and putting them through the paces of simulated real-world driving situations. The teams develop software architecture to use the suite of sensor to have the cars drive, park, maneuver in traffic and perform emergency braking autonomously. Teams also perform a freestyle event where they put the car through an additional task of their choosing. The winning team gets €10,000, with smaller prizes for second and third place. The competition also gives the students the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a potential employer. Read more at Green Car Congress.

Rolls-Royce will provide the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion for an NSK cargo ship carrying fish food. The ship will deliver 2,700 metric tons of fish food to fish farms along the Norwegian coast. The engine also accommodates the ship's electricity needs with Rolls-Royce's hybrid shaft generator. The Bergen Gas Engine uses pure gas, without the need of diesel for ignition. It emits about 22 percent less CO2 and 90 percent less NOx than a diesel engine. "We are thrilled that our designs have contributed to the use of LNG in powering cargo vessels, therefore reducing carbon footprints," says NSK Ship Design Managing Director Kjartan Karlsen. "We commend NSK Shipping and Rolls Royce for being at the helm of a more sustainable industry." Read more in the press release from Rolls-Royce below.

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Rolls-Royce signs $6.5m to supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion package for fish food carrier

Rolls-Royce has signed a US$6.5 million contract with Tersan Shipyard in Turkey. The contract is to supply a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion package for a cargo carrier designed by NSK Ship Design for Norwegian shipowner NSK Shipping. The vessel will deliver fish food on behalf of BioMar Group.

The new cargo carrier will be a slightly larger sister ship to NSK Shipping's MS Høydal which was the world's first LNG powered cargo vessel and which was delivered from Tersan Shipyard in 2012. Both ships are designed by NSK Ship Design

The 81.5m long vessel will be able to carry 2.700 tonnes of fish food to fish farms along the Norwegian coast.

Kristian Høydal, NSK Shipping, Managing Director said: "We are proud to be trusted once again by BioMar to deliver their finished product to the fish farming industry and to be able to work with Rolls-Royce on the delivery of a more environmentally friendly and effective LNG powered vessel."

Kjartan Karlsen, NSK Ship Design, Managing Director stated that: "We are thrilled that our designs have contributed to the use of LNG in powering cargo vessels, therefore reducing carbon footprints. We commend NSK Shipping and Rolls Royce for being at the helm of a more sustainable industry."

Helge Gjerde, Rolls-Royce, President Offshore and Merchant Solutions, said: "BioMar and NSK Shipping invest in modern technology that helps reduce fuel costs and environmental footprint. They are among the absolute frontrunners in the area of short sea shipping."

The LNG Propulsion system comprises one eight cylinder Bergen C26:33 natural gas engine rated at 2160kW, Promas combined rudder and propeller system, one tunnel thruster in the bow and one in the aft, and a Rolls-Royce automation and DP system.

The vessel is also equipped with the Rolls-Royce hybrid shaft generator (HSG) propulsion system. This means the main engine also generates electricity for the ship. The Hybrid Shaft Generator will generate electrical power for the ship even if the engine power output varies, saving fuel. The HSG can also act as a propulsion motor (PTI) providing an alternative power source should LNG becomes unavailable – a prerequisite for class approval.

Bergen Gas Engines from Rolls-Royce are the only pure gas engines on the market using a spark plug ignition. Alternative "dual fuel" engines use a small amount of diesel for ignition. The B and C Series engines emit around 22% (including methane slip) less CO2 per unit of power than a diesel engine and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by 90%. Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emissions are negligible. Bergen gas engines deliver a significant reduction in fuel and lubrication oil consumption. In addition, the clean, safe engine rooms and advanced technology can reduce maintenance costs as well as providing a more pleasant working environment for the crew.

BioMar has 11 factories producing fish food, in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey and Costa Rica.

The new cargo carrier is expected to be delivered from the yard in 2017.

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