Pont Saint Martin, 13 July 2016 - Podium Engineering in collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino Mechatronics Laboratory and other industrial companies of the region, Honestamp, Eltek and Vallée Trafor, opens the Research Unit HiEHyPwt (High Efficiency Hybrid Powertrain), a three year program of applied research in the automotive field with a focus on alternative energy mobility.
The proposal starts from the consideration that in current vehicles only about 30% of energy is transformed into useful power. The exploitation of part of that 70% of dissipated energy is obtained in hybrid vehicles alongside the engine with one or more electric motors and a storage system. Although nowadays hybrid vehicles are a consolidated reality, there is considerable room for improvement if the vehicle is considered as an integrated energy system. The objective of the Research Unit (UdR) is the development of components and architectures that allow such integration to reduce consumption and emissions at competitive costs. The main focus and the common denominator being energy, this theme is declined in three complementary projects dealing with the three major drivers of interest in hybrid and electric vehicles.
The battery pack is the heart of any electric and hybrid vehicle. Researching and investigating mechanical and cooling packaging solutions jointly with the innovative management algorithms for lithium base cells technology are the aims of the project. The main objective of this project is the development of technologies and architectures for compact, reliable and efficient battery packs starting from cells available on the market.
Harvesting energy from traditionally wasted energy (exhaust gas, braking etc) will improve overall efficiency and emissions of hybrid vehicles. The project goal is to develop and test an innovative regen system. The objective of the energy recovery systems project is the development of an electric turbocharger capable of recovering power from the exhaust gas and of supercharging the engine even at low revs allowing so a reduction of the engine displacement. The recovered power can be used to operate the accessories and charge the battery pack.
Innovative technology requires a complete new approach: facing the challenge of optimizing the overall energy management in complex systems is the key to make hybrid and electric vehicles the future of green mobility. The objective of this latter project is to manage the power flows in the hybrid vehicle in an integrated way. In this context, the electrification of accessories plays an important role because it allows exploiting the recovered energy, simplifying the system and reaching a better vehicle efficiency.
The program is supported by European Union ERDF Regional Operational Programme and ESF European Social Fund through the Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta two new researchers have been employed on the program by Podium Engineering.