VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricardo, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Ricardo plc, the leading independent provider of technology, product innovations and engineering solutions, today revealed for the first time the HyBoost project vehicle at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2011 (LCV2011) event hosted at Rockingham, U.K. The HyBoost demonstrates a combination of high impact, low cost electrical systems which offer the prospect of radical engine downsizing using electric supercharger, and energy capture and storage technologies within a conventional gasoline powertrain architecture.
The HyBoost project has been led by Ricardo in partnership with Controlled Power Technologies, the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, Ford, Imperial College London, and Valeo, with co-funding from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
The partners have sought to demonstrate an extremely cost-effective, ultra-efficient gasoline engine in a C-segment passenger car delivering the performance of a baseline 2.0L model but with significantly reduced real-world and drive cycle carbon dioxide emissions, and comparable improvements in fuel-economy.
The project deliberately focused upon technologies and systems that are already on the market or are capable of production implementation within the near future. Particular focus was placed upon sustainability, avoiding the use of scarce or expensive materials, providing the straightforward manufacturing processes and offering a high level of scalability required by the automotive sector. HyBoost provides a very practical demonstration of what can be achieved today in terms of carbon dioxide reduction using a conventional powertrain architecture and available efficiency improving technologies.
The HyBoost concept is based on a 2009 Ford Focus in which a 2.0L naturally aspirated four-cylinder gasoline engine has been replaced with a 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. In implementing this 50 percent downsizing by swept volume, the research team had the objective of delivering zero degradation in driveability, performance or acceleration. This is to be achieved through the use of a combination of technologies including a belt starter-generator to provide regenerative braking and stop/start, exhaust energy recapture through electric turbo-compounding, advanced, cost-effective lead-acid batteries and super-capacitors to provide energy storage, and electric supercharging to provide improved transient response and avoid the pitfalls of turbo-lag that otherwise place a practical limit on the potential for downsizing. A HyBoost demonstrator vehicle, including many of these technologies is being displayed at the LCV2011 event.
Commenting on first demonstrations of the HyBoost project vehicle, Ricardo chief technology and innovation officer Neville Jackson said:
"The form of 'intelligent electrification' powertrain architecture being evaluated in the HyBoost concept aims to break the previous boundaries of gasoline engine downsizing by implementing a practical mix of technologies aimed at recapturing braking energy and re-using this for supercharging at critical points in the operating envelope. Coupled with well-proven micro-hybridization techniques, HyBoost thus offers the prospect of significantly reduced carbon emissions from a gasoline engine powertrain in a more commercially attractive package than full hybridization, while delivering uncompromised or even better performance. We look forward to sharing the results of this very promising research project in the coming months."
With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, Ricardo provides strategic consulting and engineering expertise to customers in the world's major automakers and suppliers, as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean-energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo's U.S. operation, Ricardo, Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Mich. For more information, visit www.ricardo.com.
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
SOURCE Ricardo, Inc.