Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ricardo set to give JAC a big boost

Ricardo is developing a production version of its ‘HyBoost’ concept to give China’s JAC a 30 per cent fuel economy gain.

Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co Ltd (JAC) and Ricardo are continuing their collaboration to develop Ricardo’s HyBoost concept, which is a combination of low-cost technologies to deliver improved performance and fuel economy.

It is planned to launch the engine into volume production on a JAC vehicle and should therefore yield Ricardo royalties which have not been disclosed.

HyBoost concept is based on a downsized, highly boosted turbocharged direct injection gasoline (TDGI) engine giving improved fuel economy at low cost.

The engine is linked to 48V electrical architecture including a belt starter generator (BSG), DC-DC converter and a lithium-ion battery for energy storage.

Ricardo claims BSG provides “highly-efficient” generation of electricity for vehicle on-board use, including short-duration absorption of mechanical power during vehicle deceleration in the form of regenerative braking. It also enables re-starting of the engine after stopping, as part of an intelligent in-gear engine start/stop strategy. Finally, BSG also provides torque assistance to the engine to improve overall fuel economy.

Significantly, in addition, a 48V electric supercharger has also been evaluated during the concept phase. It is said this has demonstrated beneficial low-speed torque augmentation and improved response.

Ricardo’s collaboration with JAC on HyBoost began midway through last year and the project has already successfully passed its ‘mule’ vehicle development gateway, a major decision event for the programme.

The project team is now working to productionize the HyBoost concept for a JAC vehicle intended for launch in the Chinese market at an as-yet unspecified date.

In the launch vehicle, the 2-litre MPFI engine has been replaced with a downsized gasoline 1.5-litre TGDI unit and coupled with the 48V electrical system. 

With this combination of technologies, JAC and Ricardo claim they are aiming for a fuel economy improvement of in the region of 30 per cent in comparison with current technology but with zero degradation of vehicle performance.

Extensive NEDC testing undertaken on the JAC mule vehicle during the concept phase of the programme has verified that fuel economy targets are achievable without compromising driveability.

Inevitably, NVH has been an area of focus in the development of engine mounting strategies.

The collaboration is also extending to the detailed development of control strategies and software as part of the necessary powertrain systems validation.

Ricardo Asia president Gary Tan said: “HyBoost technology is highly attractive as it offers a pathway for automakers to provide a very significant step forward in fuel economy without compromising performance in comparison with current products. As a result of this work, our aim is that JAC will be able to offer its customers an internationally competitive product offering class-leading levels of performance and fuel economy.”

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