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Innovative component created by FCA engineers wins award

Innovative component created by FCA engineers wins award

Friday, 11 de May de 2018

Alternator equipped with electromagnetic clutch receives honorable mention at the SAE Brazil Award

A project developed by FCA engineers received an award by the Society of Mobility Engineers (SAE Brazil). The recognition ceremony was held last February 20 in São Paulo (Brazil), bringing together the authors of the best technical developments presented during the SAE Brasil 2017 Congress, the largest event of the segment in Latin America. FCA’s innovation, signed by the team in the area of Fuel Economy and CO2 Emission, won an honorable mention in the category of Vehicles and Performance. The prize was awarded for the development of an alternator (component that generates electric energy for the car) equipped with a mechanical and electrical decoupling system, equipped with an electromagnetic clutch.

The technology allows for the best energy efficiency in cars and a reduction of 3% in both fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to laboratory tests. The project is in line with global sustainability goals. The reduction of greenhouse gases that cause global warming is the goal of several countries. Only Brazil intends to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 compared to the 2005 levels. The Brazilian government offered incentives for the automotive industry to develop technological innovations in this sense, as in the case of Inovar Auto.

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The Inventor-Creator of the system, Luis Carlos Monteiro Sales has a PhD and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

The Inventor-Creator of the system, Luis Carlos Monteiro Sales has a PhD and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, and works as an FCA expert in the area of Fuel Economy and CO2 Emission. Luis Carlos explains that the project was carried out from a highly efficient conventional alternator integrated into an electromagnetic clutch.

“The electromagnetic clutch allows the alternator shaft to attach or detach itself from the internal combustion engine, depending on the level of battery charge. When the battery is sufficiently charged (more than 75% in performance tests), the alternator disconnects from the combustion engine”, explains its inventor.

The engineer clarifies that when the alternator is directly connected to the motor, there is an energy consumption that takes place in order to move that system. Thus, disconnecting the component entirely when the battery is charged means increasing the available torque. Therefore, it was possible to obtain significant results in the reduction of consumption and CO2 emissions in the urban and road cycle tests done in the laboratory, without harming the electric operation of the vehicle.

To clarify further details about the system’s operation, the engineer makes an analogy: “When we use the vehicle’s air conditioning, fuel consumption increases because the compressor is coupled to the internal combustion engine. If the air conditioner is not switched on, the compressor is disconnected from the engine and the vehicle consumes less fuel, as the energy needed for the compressor comes from that fuel. In the same way and with a similar system (electromagnetic clutch), the new alternator when connecting and disconnecting, also reduces fuel consumption”, he exemplifies.

The prototype was presented at the SAE Congress in an article signed by Luis Carlos Monteiro Sales and other FCA engineers: Lícia Gonçalves de Souza, Moisés Souza Mota, Luis Gustavo de Carvalho Monteiro and Edilson Pereira Pacheco. FCA applied for the patent of this innovative system in Brazil, Europe and the United States, which has demonstrated, with the results presented at the SAE Congress, that “it can be industrially developed in the near future”.

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