08 Mar 2013
Dana and Creation UK partner in new technology programme
Micro-Hybrid Stop-Start systems, which improve fuel economy and mitigate the impact of engine emissions, are to be developed for the retro-fit market, particularly for in-service diesel-engined van fleets. The Niche Vehicle Network has awarded a grant to support a pilot programme to be led by Dana. The engineering design and development will be undertaken jointly with partner Creation UK, part of Penman Group.
Stop-Start systems are gaining favour with fleet operators and are already being offered by a range of OE manufacturers on new build vehicles. This project seeks to fill an important gap in the market – by offering a retro-fit option for operators with vehicles already in service, but which still have a long enough working life to justify the savings and environmental benefits available from Stop-Start systems.
This retro-fit system will be particularly relevant to van and light commercial vehicle operators on urban duty cycles or delivery schedules which are frequent stop-start based – or involve lengthy periods at engine idle. The current planned growth of low emission zones in cities is based on compliance of new vehicles. However, until now, nobody has really addressed the very significant benefits available to operators and zones alike of modifying the existing fleet of vehicles already in service.
The new system will use Dana’s OpenECU hardware/software platform to control the stopping and restarting of the engine when it is safe to do so. The overall concept is to install a second battery to maintain electrical systems when the engine is re-cranked.
Dana will develop the overall vehicle control strategies, with a particular focus on the safety, reliability and integrity of the system as a whole. Creation will undertake the mechanical development of the system, including installation, plus any necessary componentry upgrades. Two in-service panel vans have been identified as trials units – a Fiat Ducato and an LDV Maxus. Funding for the project was awarded recently by the Niche Vehicle Network as part of its 2013 programme, sponsored jointly by The Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low emission Vehicles.
Dana LLC has been in the United States since 1990. The OpenECU product family (Model-Based development Software Platform) is Dana’s signature product family and by 2019 there were more than 40,000 OpenECU based ECUs on the road in production vehicle applications.
Information about Dana and its products in the USA is available to journalists online at https://openecu.com.