Inherently Clean and Energy efficient mobility
Clean and energy efficient mobility fuels from electricity, cleaner engines, electrification, bicycle technology research.
Novel Fuels and engines
Fossil fuels still cover 80% of our energy demand. We will continue to depend on such fuels well into the future. Heavy transport using ships or trucks also requires energy densities that can only be achieved with hydrocarbons. That’s why we need to master technologies for a zero-impact use of fuels.
For really sustainable transportation, you need to match new fuels with new engine techniques. That’s why we do both within this research theme.
Our fuel research focuses on second-generation biofuels from agricultural waste, such as straw. Gasification, followed by a Fischer-Tropsch step, is one means of producing fuels, but we're also researching more direct chemical processing. A more distant research goal is to cut out biological photosynthesis altogether, making fuels directly from sunlight. Catalysis is a core technology for most of the fuels that we develop.
The other research track is about optimizing engines and gas turbines. We have developed a new diesel additive, which reduces the emissions of NOx, soot, and particles. It can be made from biological materials.
This research is generated by the research group Combustion Technology led by Prof dr. Philip de Goey in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Vehicle efficiency and electrification
Improving internal combustion engine (ICE)-based vehicle design and construction to reduce fuel consumption and also emissions, by means of research concerning integrated power train control, power train designs, bodies and chassis.
Solving challenges specifically related to hybrid and electric vehicles, by means of research with respect to electric power trains, system design, peripheral systems and energy management; in the long run, electric vehicles are considered the main alternative to the ICE.
Building fundamental technologies to enable intelligent electronic applications, by means of research concerning software, mechatronics, embedded systems and nano-electronics; platform electrification concerns enablers for applications in the other innovation areas.
The Automotive System Design research is part of the Control Systems Technology research group led by prof.dr.ir. Maarten Steinbuch, department of Mechanical Engineering.
Energy Management for Automotive Systems
Reducing fuel consumption has always been a major challenge to the automobile industry. Historically, the research has concentrated on improving the mechanical side of the vehicle. Due to the growing electric power demand, the electric power supply is becoming more relevant. Energy Management (EM) is an appealing way to minimize the vehicle fuel consumption and exhaust emissions under the wide range of driving conditions.
Due to properties such as high energy density, Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in various applications such as portable devices and (hybrid) electric vehicles. To guarantee the safe, efficient and reliable operation of Lithium-ion batteries, the BMS (Battery Management System) is of vital importance. Fig. 1 demonstrates key features of the BMS. Our current work currently includes state-of-charge (SoC) and state-of-health estimation (SoH), temperature estimation, and charge control.