With its new start-stop coasting function, Bosch enables drivers of vehicles with combustion engines to travel in zero-emission, noise-free, and low-resistance mode over large parts of their journey. This innovative technology stops the engine when the vehicle is in motion, so that it does not consume any fuel. Whenever the vehicle can maintain its speed simply by rolling – for instance on a gentle incline – the engine is stopped. As soon as the driver touches the gas or brake pedal, the engine starts up again.
Tests carried out by Bosch have shown that the combustion engines runs needlessly about 30 percent of the time, meaning that the vehicle could simply coast for about a third of every journey. Although these phases are not taken into account in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), under real traffic conditions the function will give drivers a roughly 10 percent fuel saving. “The start-stop coasting function is affordable, can be combined with any type of combustion engine, and substantially reduces fuel consumption,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
NASA has a more advanced flywheel system that enables automated pulse and glide driving NASA’s pulse and glide system offers a 40-100 percent increase in highway gas mileage over existing internal combustion or battery hybrid systems. Drivers can use a “pulse-and-glide” driving technique, accelerating and decelerating an automobile in cycles of approximately 10-30 seconds. While this technique can be an effective way to improve fuel economy, it requires sustained attention from the driver. Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have automated the pulse-and-glide technique using a flywheel energy storage system. The pulse-and-glide flywheel presents an economical, reliable, and long-term solution to dramatically improve the gas mileage performance of internal combustion engines (ICEs). Unlike chemical batteries, which have a short life span and high replacement costs, flywheels provide the power and energy requirements necessary for a pulse- and-glide technique.
Today, thanks to double-clutch transmissions, some vehicles already have a “light” version of the Bosch coasting system on board. As soon as the drivers take their foot off the gas pedal, the system switches the engine to idle. While this means the vehicle is doing no more than rolling, it is still consuming fuel in order to keep the engine ticking over. Bosch start-stop systems, which have enjoyed success all over the world, stop the vehicle’s engine altogether. The first generation of the system stops the engine only when the vehicle is completely stationary, while the enhanced start-stop system cuts the engine as soon as the vehicle is coasting to a halt – for instance at a red light. In contrast, as soon as the driver’s foot is off both the gas and the brake pedal, vehicles equipped with the new start-stop coasting function stop the engine while the vehicle is in motion. That saves even more fuel. And because the engine is disengaged, the vehicle can coast for longer than it could with an overrun fuel cutoff system, for example.
As soon as a coasting phase is possible, eClutch decouples automatically and the engine is stopped. The coasting function is also available as an add-on for the Bosch entry-level hybrid, the boost recuperation system, to help it save even more fuel. Equipped with a more powerful generator and a compact lithium-ion battery, the 48-volt hybrid saves around 15 percent of fuel through electrification alone. In real traffic conditions, and fitted with the coasting function that shuts down the engine, the hybrid can achieve fuel savings of an additional ten percent – or 25 percent overall. The newly developed, economical Bosch start-stop coasting function can operate with any combustion or hybrid engine and thus has a wide range of applications.
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