24 August 2012

Ricardo Hyboost - small in size, big in torque

Ricardo PLC, a UK-based engineering consultancy which has spearhead many of the mass produced powertrain has developed a micro-hybrid solution to be paired with a downsized gasoline engine, aimed to reduce the CO2 emission down to less than 100g/km and to boost the low-end torque, an Achilles heel to many of the small capacity turbo'ed engine.

The technology demonstrator chosen to showcase Hyboost is the 2009 Ford Focus hatchback. The original 2.0L gasoline engine was ditched in favor of Ford-owned 1.0L EcoBoost engine which is a turbo-charged, direct injection gasoline powertrain which is the sample of the mass-produced downsized engine. This tiny powertrain kicks out 123bhp and 170Nm from 1,300-4,500rpm. The figure might appears impressive considering the displacement of the engine, however, as Ricardo own study concluded, there is a problem with using a small capacity engine in large car, i.e it leads to increase the turbo lag. To counter this problem, enter the Hyboost.

CAD of the Hyboost installation - from MTZ
Hyboost is made of electric supercharge bolted on to the engine. It is developed by Controlled Power Technology, and it aims to give an instatenuous boost of torque while the turbocharger still to kick in. The electrically driven supercharger is powered by the electricity stored in ultracapacitor, which is charged by the regenerative braking. This microhybrid system (regenerative braking+ultracapacitor) is developed by Valeo Technology, and  called StARS 12+X also further lowered the fuel consumption by supplying electricity back to the engine. The component is mounted on the belt within the front end auxillary, and it acts as a starter generator, meaning that the engine can forego the starter motor and alternator.

Hyboost circuit-from theengineer
According to Ricardo, the challenge really lies in the integration of the system, each developed by different parties. There are plenty of the variables to play about, namely the micro-hybrid intervention time and managing EcoBoost own turbocharger which also comes with an overboost function that can boost early torque to 200Nm.

Ricardo is due to exhibit at Low Carbon Vehicle Event 2012, scheduled on 5-6 September at Milbrook Proving Ground in Bedford UK. The showcase will include the Hyboost equipped Ford Focus, Volvo XC60 EV and Land Rover Freelander RE-EV. The latter is powered by Fiat Twin Air engine, paired to Ricardo APU for the range extender functionality. Also on display will be the Syner-D, a Jaguar XF, a project that target a cost-effective CO2 reduction is premium diesel vehicle up to Euro 6 standard.
Syner-D - collaboration of Ricardo, JLR & Shell among others


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