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GASTone Report Summary

Project ID: 605456
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: Italy

Periodic Report Summary 2 - GASTONE (New powertrain concept based on the integration of energy recovery, storage and re-use system with engine system and control strategies)

Project Context and Objectives:
1.1.1. Project context and objectives

The stringent requirements of the evolving European legislation in terms of CO2 emission is demanding a dramatic reduction of the fuel consumption of heavy duty trucks, which in its turn is driving the effort of the automotive industry towards the design and development of the future generation of powertrains entraining a technological change oriented to an increased electrification of auxiliaries together with an even wider uptake of NCG and biofuels.
The project objectives will be pursued mainly through three different approaches:
1. The energy recovery from the exhaust gases heat with a cascade approach thanks to the adoption of an advanced thermoelectric generator and a turbo-generator.
2. The integration of a smart kinetic energy recovery system to substitute the alternator and generate decarbonized electric energy during decelerations.
3. The electrification and control of the main auxiliaries (coolant pump, auxiliary e-supercharger, etc.) by using the produced electric energy.

The above mentioned functions were to be integrated into a multilevel board net architecture, created comprising e-auxiliaries, e-generation and energy storage, with a central control unit integrating all control and power electronic, including a DC/DC-converter to achieve an effective, overall electric energy management within the beltless engine concept.
The operation strategies for all e-components, following typical heavy duty truck drive cycles demand were to be defined and, based on this operation strategies, a control software to be developed and implemented into the e-system controller.
Furthermore, the thermoelectric generator (TEG) required specific integration into the exhaust system of the selected CNG internal combustion engine, without significant negative influences on the exhaust after-treatment and the pumping losses, on one side and the integration of the cold side heat exchanger into the engine cooling system on the other side, also considering the interaction of the thermoelectric generator and its produced energy with the power grid of the power pack.
In the end the experimental activity at bench level is a key element to enable the component and control strategies optimization to achieve the target performance, to test both the reference engine and the GASTone power pack.

Project Results:
1.1.2. Description of the work performed
During the 2nd project period WP1 was completed with the accomplishment of the development of the power-pack dynamic model which was extended for some additional months beyond the end of the 1st project period due to the lack of some information about specific components.
The model was used in the frame of Task 2.2 for the simulation of e-auxiliaries yielding deliverable D2.3 Simulation models of further e-auxiliaries.
The last deliverable pertaining to WP1, namely D1.7 – System preliminary packaging – vehicle level, was also carried out to define the system architecture by a preliminary 3D (CAD) installation study, focusing on the installation of the components developed by CONTI and MAGNA ECS and those purchased from the supplier CPT.
In the frame of WP2 the concept of an electrified drive train using a beltless engine was developed, integrating e-auxiliaries, e-generation and storage with a central control unit into a smart board net architecture.
Since the preliminary modelling of the GASTONE power-pack showed that there is no BSG application out of the Continental shelf available to fulfill the energy harvesting requirement for the planned application, complying to the reference mission profile established in deliverable D1.1, a specific development was put into execution, replacing the R&D work originally planned for the 48V electrification of the water-pump, showing no energetic benefit in comparison to the 12V version that can be procured out of the market. The also planned electrification of an oil pump would be a potentially efficient application but wasn’t implemented because of lower priority in correlation to the highest need of energy recuperation out of the BSG.
After a bench mark phase, the identification and procurement of an e-turbo charger and an e-turbo generator was achieved selecting the super charger COBRA e-Booster C80 and e-turbo generator TIGERS designed and produced by CONTROLLED POWER TECHNOLOGIES.
WP3 was devoted to the design and development of a thermoelectric generator.
The work done required to design the thermoelectric generator architecture taking into account the specifications and constrains defined in WP1.
The thermal and fluid dynamic behavior of the TEG was simulated through CFD modelling in order to predict the generator performances and optimize the design sizing and lay out; in addition to that ECS developed a Matlab/Simulink model for the internal control of the TEG system as multiple power point tracker (MPPT), which was compiled and implemented to run on rapid prototyping hardware, i.e. dspace-μAutoBox supplied by CONTI.
In the end 32 thermoelectric modules built by Gentherm were assembled and integrated with heat exchangers, coolant loop, mechanical and electric connectors into the final generator prototype; the mechanical fixation of the modules within the thermoelectric generator and exhaust housing has been a critical design challenge due to the stresses induced by differential thermal expansion under high operating temperatures.
The prototypal thermoelectric generator was eventually validated at a functional test bench engineered and built by Engineering Center Steyr.

Potential Impact:
This topic addresses the development of an advanced powertrain system based on the combination of an optimized last generation CNG engine with electrified auxiliary systems fed by decarbonized energy produced re-using part of the kinetic energy, and waste heat, The heat is converted in electric energy using with an energy cascading approach based on the use of an innovative thermoelectric generator and then a turbo generator.
It is finally important to underline that one of the electric auxiliary systems is an electric auxiliary turbocharger that combined with an optimized air intake system enables to achieve a further level of downsizing and down-speeding.

The GASTone project addresses specifically to the above mentioned being focused, as depicted above, to the development of an holistic approach to the engine and powertrain energy management to achieve a new level of energy efficiency and assessing the impact at vehicle.
The Project therefore specifically addresses many of the items listed in the work programme having a significant and positive impact on the long distance truck energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction.
The GASTone outcomes project will contribute to the Community’s societal objectives to address climate change.
The main contributions are
-• increase of the long distance truck fuel economy making available a sustainable system able to convert the vehicle waste heat in electrical energy
-• increase the competiveness of CNG powertrain thanks to the optimised energy management and the smart use of the decarbonised electric energy produced converting the on board waste energy
-• potential positive impact on all the vehicles with a thermal engine reducing the CO2 emissions (fuel economy increase) diffusing the beltless engine approach and making available a new generation of system and energy management approach.
Furthermore, improvements in air quality can be expected to result from the implementation of the technologies to be developed in this project, therefore contributing to improved health of European citizens.

List of Websites:


Maria Onida, (Public Funding Manager)
Tel.: +39 011 9083525
Fax: +39 0119083786


Record Number: 189848 / Last updated on: 2016-10-13
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