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Software patch could improve car engine efficiency

发布时间:2019-03-01 04:11:11来源:未知点击:

By New Scientist Tech and Reuters Many modern cars could reduce fuel consumption by 2.6% simply by uploading new software to the engine’s computer, a Dutch scientist claims. John Kessels at the University of Eindhoven developed software to improve engine performance together with US car company Ford. Kessels’ software dynamically switches the dynamo, which charges the car battery, on and off. The software deactivates the dynamo when it is particularly inefficient for the engine to power it, thus improving the overall efficiency of the engine. “Just by adding a piece of software and a simple cable, cars can save 2.6% of fuel consumption,” Kessel says. The same approach is already used to improve the efficiency of many hybrid vehicles. The software is not proprietary to Ford and can be used in any vehicle with an engine computer, which includes the vast majority of cars sold today, Kessel says. However, the software is not quite ready for release. “We don’t yet know how much it might degrade the battery,” he adds. A more significant fuel saving of 5% to 6% could be achieved if the car engine itself were to be rapidly switched on and off, but this would mean serious adjustments to the engine, including the addition of a powerful starter motor to ensure the car gets going quickly after each engine shutdown. Fuel efficiency is a major topic for car makers as governments struggle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. Kessle says an improvement of just a few percent could be welcomed by car manufacturers. “For CO2 consumption, it’s becoming more and more important to look at small improvements,” he says. On Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled a broad strategy to cut CO2 emissions from cars, proposing binding limits for carmakers. More on these topics: