The emissions of the new Opel Corsa are very low – not only because the sixth generation of the best-selling small car is powered by highly efficient engines. The new Corsa is also optionally available with especially efficient LED lighting. Each headlight consumes only 13 Watt. That is an energy saving of 81% compared with halogen, which gobbles up around 70W per headlight. But this does not mean that customers must accept compromises in light output; on the contrary, thanks to a special reflector technology, LED headlights turn night into day.
“The new Corsa and Astra continue the Opel tradition of leadership in innovation”, said Ingolf Schneider, head of lighting technology at Opel. “Our development objective was to bring optimum light with minimum consumption to our cars. In future we want to use energy-saving LED lighting throughout the vehicle.”
On average, the LED headlights on the entry-level Corsa alone save 1.3 grams of CO2 per kilometre (according to NEDC). With the petrol turbo engine it is 1.38 g/km and 1.23 g/km with the diesel (fuel consumption NEDC1: urban 5.5-3.7 l/100km, extra-urban 4.2-2.9 l/100km, combined 4.7-3.2 l/100km, 106-85g/km CO2; fuel consumption WLTP2 combined: 6.2-4.0 l/100km, 140-105g/km CO2).
The Astra five-door saves 1.26 g/km CO2 (according to NEDC). The petrol turbo scores with 1.34 g/km CO2, the diesel with 1.19 (fuel consumption NEDC1: urban 6.3-3.9 l/100 km, extra-urban 4.3-3.1 l/100 km, combined 5.1-3.4 l/100 km, 116-90 g/km CO2; fuel consumption WLTP2 combined: 6.1-4.3, 141-112 g/km CO2; preliminary figures).
Instead of measuring emissions on a dynamometer, Opel’s engineers obtain the possible CO2 savings of a light source versus halogen more efficiently with the help of a mathematical formula. The calculation considers, among other things, how much wattage each light source actually saves in comparison to halogen, as well as the fact that drivers usually only use dipped beam in darkness, which accounts for just one third of all driving. Accordingly, only one third of the total drive-duration is included in the calculation.
The one question remaining concerns the optimum light output at reduced wattage. Opel compensates for the lower electrical power of the LEDs with special reflector technology. The reflector of each headlight is shaped like a shovel so that the maximum amount of light from each LED is projected onto the road. The new LED headlights from Opel are therefore extremely efficient, not only in energy consumption but also in terms of form and light-output.
In this process called IMD PUR, plastic parts are decorated during injection moulding by means of in-mould decorating and then overflooded with PUR (polyurethane) within the same clamping unit. This produces sophisticated designs under a crystal clear, high-gloss surface.
PUR layer thicknesses of between 0.3 and 15 millimetres can be created that exhibit a marked depth effect. Besides a glossy glass appearance, the PUR coating also provides a high level of surface protection. The decoration remains intact when subjected to scratches or stone impact, and the PUR topcoat is self-healing when scratched.
Technological advances in IMD coating and mould technology
The production and PUR flooding of injection moulded parts in a single machine pass is a known process. The novelty, however, is in combining this with the IMD process.
Kurz has developed IMD coatings that adhere perfectly to the PUR topcoat. The mould manufacturer Schöfer, a member of the Kurz Group, has also precisely tailored the mould technology to the process.
Schöfer, with its specialist experience in mould-making, complements Kurz’s comprehensive know-how in thin-layer and process technology. Thanks to the intensive development work undertaken by both parties, it is now possible to perform injection moulding, IMD coating, and PUR coating in a single clamping unit. Furthermore, the tailored formulations of the IMD and PUR layers, as well as process-optimized moulds, ensure significantly reduced cycle times.
The IMD PUR process combines the advantages of the IMD and PUR technologies. Plastic parts decorated by means of IMD PUR exhibit the high surface quality, depth effect, and glassy appearance of PUR coatings. At the same time, IMD PUR offers the great design freedom that is characteristic of IMD technology, with the ability to perform design changeovers both quickly and efficiently.
Kurz will be presenting the new IMD PUR process at K 2019. At the Kurz booth A19 in Hall 5, an Engel duo 2460/900 injection moulding machine will be producing plastic parts decorated by means of IMD PUR. The production and decoration of components with complex geometries will be demonstrated by way of an automotive front panel.
The investment is an important step towards the goal of fossil-free iron and steel production.
The HYBRIT initiative began in 2016. By using fossil-free electricity and hydrogen instead of coke and coal in steel production, the emissions will be water instead of carbon dioxide. The initiative has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by 10%.
The plan is to build the new hydrogen gas storage facility 25-35 metres below the ground surface on LKAB's land in Svartöberget, close to the pilot plant currently under construction on SSAB's site in Luleå. The hydrogen storage facility is expected to operate from 2022 to 2024.
The implementation study for the HYBRIT initiative showed that large-scale storage of hydrogen gas can play an important role in Sweden's future energy system. As well as acting as a buffer to ensure an even flow to the steel production, a large-scale hydrogen gas storage facility would offer a better opportunity to balance the electricity system with a greater proportion of weather-dependent power generation, and enable a competitive production cost for the fossil-free steel.
"I am very pleased that we, as partners, are step by step developing our joint fossil-free steel project, and the support from the Swedish Energy Agency is important. Now, with the support of the community, we are investing in the next piece of the jigsaw puzzle for a value chain in which hydrogen gas plays a decisive role in the success of the initiative and the development of competitive fossil-free electricity generation in Sweden," said Magnus Hall, Vattenfall's President and CEO.
"The HYBRIT initiative gives us the opportunity to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions completely, and to lead the work of developing fossil-free steel products. The investment in a storage facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas is an important building block in achieving our goal of a fossil-free value chain from ore to finished steel. I am delighted with the support from the Swedish Energy Agency," said Martin Lindqvist, SSAB's President and CEO.
"Hydrogen gas storage is an important issue to solve in order to bring the various elements of HYBRIT together, and we are pleased that we can make use of parts of our former ore port facility for this experiment," said Jan Moström, LKAB's President and CEO.
"Large, complex and expensive leaps in technology need to be taken for the sake of the climate, to achieve the goal of zero net emissions. Large-scale storage of hydrogen gas will be an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle for a fossil-free value chain for steel manufacturing, but also in a future electricity system with an increasing proportion of weather-dependent power," said Robert Andrén, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.
In June last year, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, the owners behind the HYBRIT initiative, started the construction of a unique pilot plant in Luleå. Work also began recently on the reconstruction of a pellet works in Malmberget to replace fossil fuel with bio oil, with the aim of manufacturing fossil-free pellets. The pilot plants for fossil-free steel production will be used from 2021 to 2024, and the partners in the initiative are already looking into the possibility of scaling up the manufacturing by building a demonstration plant in 2025, three years earlier than previously planned, to produce fossil-free steel from iron ore for commercial use. The aim for 2035 is to sell fossil-free steel on a broad scale.
Facts about the hydrogen gas storage facility:
• Hydrogen gas is climate-friendly when manufactured by means of the electrolysis of water, using electricity from fossil-free sources to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen
• Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021. When the storage facility is finished, it will be visible above the ground only as a small building and a pipeline connecting the pilot storage and the pilot plant on SSAB's land
• The 100 cubic-metre pilot hydrogen gas storage facility a quantity of energy corresponding to the annual electricity consumption (household electricity consumption, not electric heating) of 20 households
• The design is a pressurised hydrogen gas storage facility in a bedrock cavern with a steel lining as a sealing layer
• During design and construction, risk analyses are carried out and preventive measures are taken to fulfil all applicable regulatory requirements and regulations.
The Ricardo Magma concept was developed as a Miller cycle engine delivering fuel efficiency benefits while maintaining full-load specific performance. Magma xEV is an extension of these principles to hybrid vehicles, to take advantage of the new flexibilities offered by such applications. This engine concept is particularly attractive for series-hybrid and range-extender powertrain applications, where the driver experiences an EV style of driving with tractive effort provided through an electric motor. As the combustion engine acts as an electrical generator, it can be optimised to a significantly higher level of efficiency.
In the paper co-authored with Geely, Ricardo engineers describe the processes of simulation-led development and physical testing of a single cylinder prototype. The Magma xEV concept described in the paper, uses homogenous lean-burn combustion with knock mitigation assessed through approaches including both direct and port water injection. The results of this research have demonstrated the capability of the Magma xEV to achieve a brake thermal efficiency of 45% in this application, offering the potential of significant fuel economy improvements over and above those of a conventional gasoline engine used in such a series hybrid powertrain.
Alongside this impressive high efficiency hybrid powertrain research with Geely, Ricardo will also be highlighting a range of new concepts and technologies including its recently unveiled high efficiency scalable electric drive unit (EDU), battery pack and management system developments, and its virtual reality engineering review app, which enables collaborative simultaneous engineering design reviews to be carried out by multiple users in different geographical locations.