The consortium of Bionanopolys met for the first General Assembly meeting.

Unfortunately, the strike of coronavirus pandemic in Europe made impossible to celebrate a face-to-face meeting. Instead, a virtual General Assembly meeting was carried out on 21st and 22nd September.

Partners discussed the current activities and progress of the project. The meeting had as main aims to monitor and share the results of the tasks carried out in the previous 8,5 months.

Bionanopolys unites European experts in this field to transform these bio-based materials to nano-scale and, moreover, develop an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) environment. The aim is to manufacture innovative bionanocomposites from sustainably sourced feedstocks in Europe as well as bio-based nano-products for packaging, textile, agriculture, cosmetics, pharma or food.

For this purpose, Bionanopolys will use high lignocellulosic feedstocks for the production of cellulose nanofibers, cellulose nanocrystals, nanolignin and metallic nanoparticles on the one hand. On the other hand, high sugar content feedstocks will serve for the production of building blocks, organic acids, PHA and active compounds to create nanocapsules.

To speed up the introduction of biobased nano-enabled materials into the market by providing a Single Entry Point (SEP) for stakeholders, Bionanopolys aims at creating a network of 14 pilot plants and their complementary services. In this context, five pilot plants will focus on the development of bionanomaterials from biomass, three pilot plants are dedicated to bionanocomposites and six plants aim at manufacturing bio-based nanoproducts in order to reach a wide range of applications in different sectors. Pilot lines are going to be upgraded and fine-tuned across the entire Bionanopolys value chain.

Thereby, for the first time, Bionanopolys will create an integrated platform of technologies and scientific expertise devoted to the nanotechnology based on bio-based raw materials. This is complemented by a comprehensive portfolio of services for the development and integration of new bio-based nano-enabled products.

CIDAUT successfully completes the pilot tests on the use of ANG tanks in dual-fuel converted vehicle within ECOGATE project.

CIDAUT successfully completes the pilot tests on the use of ANG tanks in dual-fuel converted vehicle within ECOGATE project.

The overall objective of the ECO-GATE project (European COrridors for natural GAs Transport Efficiency) is to study efficiency improvement of conventional and renewable Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) market in the whole Atlantic Corridor (Portugal, Spain and France), the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor (France) and the Spanish Mediterranean Corridor (Spain) through new technologies and innovative solutions for supply logistic services, cleaner fuels, refuelling infrastructure, vehicle and components manufacturers and operational processes.

ECO-GATE is run by a consortium of more than 20 companies from Spain, Portugal, France/ Germany.

CIDAUT innovation in the ECOGATE project is focused on the storage of natural gas on-board at lower pressure than Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), specifically in the adsorbed natural gas storage (ANG). CIDAUT has carried out the characterization of the loading and unloading processes of this type of adsorbed natural gas storage systems in an experimental facility and as a final step, the adsorbent natural gas (ANG) storage technology has been validated in a pilot test on a dual-diesel van.

This system stores more energy per unit volume at the same pressure as the storage of compressed natural gas (CNG). ANG allows the use of tanks that work at lower pressure (60 bar), with the advantages that this entails: greater flexibility in the design of the tank, greater formability, lower refuelling costs, the possibility of home refuelling and greater safety. With the installation of a pressure regulator, it has been possible to refuel these vehicles in conventional refuelling stations, limiting their filling pressure to 60 bar.

Despite the decrease in activity due to covid-19, since February 2020, the vehicle has travelled more than 25,000 km and consumed about 100kg of NGV through this ANG tank.

During this period, vehicle operation, refuelling and vehicle operating conditions were monitored to enable conclusions to be drawn from this in-vehicle research.

The main results of this pilot test showed that the type of transformation of the vehicle to dual-fuel, as well as the operating conditions (mainly urban environment) lead to not very high degrees of substitution of diesel for natural gas. However, the possibility of using this type of ANG tanks in gas vehicles has been corroborated, allowing them to be refuelled in conventional gas refuelling stations, although they are best filled at slow-charge, low-pressure supply points where the energy cost of refuelling is optimised.

“The sole responsibility of this publication lies with the author. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.”

More info about ECOGATE project: https://eco-gate.eu/

It is possible to be small and safe

Cidaut has led STEEL S4 EV European project for the last three years. The last activity of the project has been the evaluation of the crashworthiness and stiffness of the smart urban vehicle developed by STEEL S4 EV consortium, formed by IFEVS, Magnetto Automotive, Belgian Welding Institute, Lulea University of Technology and Sphera and led by Cidaut. The four prototypes built by IFEVS and Magnetto Automoyive in Italy have been sent to Cidaut’s facilities in Spain for testing. The first vehicle has been dedicated to stiffness measurement and fatigue testing. In a first stage, the torsional and bending stiffness of the vehicle have been measured complying with the results calculated by simulation and with the requirements of the project. After that and one million load cycles (equivalent to 250.000 km of hard driving) have been applied to the vehicle and the stiffness tests have been repeated again obtaining the same performance, so it can be conclude that the vehicle has resisted the fatigue test without any damage.

The destination of the other three vehicles have been harder, they have been used for different configuration of crash tests, two of them frontal and the third one lateral. All the tests made are in accordance with the current European regulation. In fact the tests performed have been, R137, full frontal crash against a rigid wall at 50km/h, R94, 40% off-set frontal crash against a deformable barrier at 56km/h, and, R95, lateral crash at 90º with a 950 kg vehicle running at 50km/h with a deformable barrier in the front.

The behavior of the structure has been totally satisfactory in the three crash test configurations, with a suitable behavior of the energy absorbing elements and with no intrusion of hard components inside the cabin. The bio-mechanic values measured in the dummies put on-board the vehicles are all of them inside the admissible parameters of the different regulations, with the only exception of chest depletion at R137 test. However, this will be solved with the use of a collapsible steering column in the commercial version of the vehicles.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel under grant agreement nº800726.

Strategic cooperation for Integral Safety using Connected and Automated Driving Solutions

Aligned with its mission and vision of putting safety in the forefront of mobility solutions, Cidaut is participating together with CTAG, ITENE and i2cat, in a strategic collaborative project among reference Spanish research centers to create innovative solutions related to safety. This strategic network is called INTEGRA.

The projects aims at developing digital instruments applicable to assisted and automated driving solutions to increase the safety through anti-crash sensors and intelligent communication networks. The cooperation between the four research centers involved is targeting the reinforcement of their capabilities to develop innovative technologies to foster the implementation of connected and automated mobility solutions in complex environments, with a first focus on urban scenarios.

The network has fixed four technologic challenges, each of one leaded by one of the research centers integrating the project. Cidaut is in charge of the development of new safety systems integrated to the automated driving capabilities to adaptively mitigating the damage on the occupants. CTAG is responsible of creating new automated functions, enhancing the connectivity and developing anti-collision systems. I2cat is in charge of the development of advanced tools for the complex connected environments and ITENE leads the creation of safety solutions for automated last mile applications.

INTEGRA network is funded by the Spanish Government through the Ministerio e Ciencia e Investigación and CDTI, EXP 00140188/CER-2021 1031.

Cidaut: 10 years mooving electric

On 24th October 2011, Cidaut started one exciting jorney on board a Nissan Leaf. Since that day, the vehicle has been used as a laboratory for understanding the users’s acceptance, the influence of the weather and the driving style on the battery behaviour, the regenerative braking efficiency and so many other issues that have allowed our sustaineble movility and intelligent transport department to fix important knowledge to build many.

All the vehicle movements have been tracked to understand the influence of driving profiles, roads orography, weather conditions, battery temperature and vehicle payload on energy consumption. Also the charging processes have been monitored to evaluated the influence of low charging vs fast charging, battery temperature and voltage and current evolution along the charging.

Braking system has been instrumented to understand the influence of driving style and battery state of charge on regenerative braking working. Noise measurements in the interior and exterior of the vehicle have been performed and on board thermal analysis has allowed to understand some charateristics of the HVAC system. 

The vehicle has been used by more than 200 drivers that have completed surveys and have participated in interviews to better understand the initial users’ acceptance to the electric vehicle use. This information has been valuable for Cidaut in order to advance in the evolution of several projects related not only with the electric vehicle, but also with the connected one.       

Cidaut will be present at European Green Deal Projects

Probono Project has been approved for funding by the European Commission in the Frame of Green Deal. Probono brings together 47 partners all around Europe to develop innovative energy efficient buildings in connected suitable green neighbourghoods.

To demonstrate the results achieved through the project two large scale demonstrators, Madrid and Dublin, and four living labs, Brussels, Porto, Aarhus and Prague, have been proposed across Europe. Cidaut will contribute with mobility, connectivity and integration of renewable energies in Dublin and Madrid.

The large scale demonstrators will focus on new buildings, retrofitting and green districts development, energy optimization at district level, integration in the grid and electromobilty. The project will provide support at city level and will interact with citizens looking for solutions to be reproduced in follower cities.

The living labs will focus on smaller scale business driven renovation or construction projects with clear definition of value proposition and also looking for solutions to be integrated in follower cities.

The project will start on Autumn and will last for 60 months.

Rare Earth free electric motors with enhanced performance suitable to be manufactured in Europe with European Raw Materials

The finalization of RefreeDrive Project, led by Cidaut, has confirmed that it is possible to manufacture electric motors not only free of rare earths but also avoiding the use of critical materials coming from outside the European borders. The challenge was really ambitious, because the performance objective of the motors was to overcome the figures of a well-known American manufacturer. The ambition was also related to the number of motors to be developed because two technologies have been considered (induction motor and synchronous reluctance motor), two power levels (75kW and 200kW) and two manufacturing processes for each of the technologies.

The eight motors manufactured in the project have been tested stand-alone in a motor test bench to confirm the performance. Two of the solutions have been integrated with the power electronics and the cooling system and have been tested in a specific test bench. And finally, the pure reluctance motor, the power electronics and the rest of auxiliary systems have been integrated into a vehicle to perform acceleration, consumption, dynamic, and range tests.

This development has been made in the frame of the European Project ReFreeDrive, a three years European Project that has recently reached his end. The research leading to this result has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement nº 770143.

Cidaut develops a methodology to determine the effect of the welding process in the fatigue life of welded HSS electric vehicles structures

High strength steel tubular frames are a cost effective solution for urban electric vehicles. On one hand the high mechanical characteristics of HSS together with advanced design methodologies makes possible to create an almost non-deformable cabin to guarantee passengers’ and battery’s safety, on the other hand, their predictable behavior and high elongation allow to improve the energy absorption of the collapsible zones.

But one of the challenges of the high strength structures when they are highly demanded is the welding process. In this case the welding process has been optimized to nearly obtain the same mechanical properties of the base material, mainly DP800 and DP1000. But the development has gone one step forward, because Cidaut has developed a methodology to determine the effect of the welding process in the fatigue life of the joints in the vehicle structure.

The methodology is based in the use of finite elements simulations and takes into account not only the longitudinal geometry of the beams, but also the section of the beam and the influence of the welding process. The methodology has been validated through the testing of specimens at laboratory scale, and nowadays is been validated in a full vehicle structure test.

The fatigue loads have been determined thanks to the use of a multiboby analysis, where the everyday manoeuvers have been modelled (curves, braking, small potholes, braking in turn, acceleration,…) and the forces in the four corners of the vehicle have been determined to be used in both the finite element simulation and the validation test.

This development has been made in the frame of the European Project Avangard, a three years European Project that has recently reached his midterm. The research leading to this result has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement nº 869986.

CIDAUT joins BEPA, the batteries european partnership association

CIDAUT, has officially joined BEPA, the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA), confirming its commitment to improve the competitiveness of the European battery industry

Counting more than 160 members, BEPA is a leading association dedicated to create a competitive, sustainable and circular European industrial battery value chain for stationary applications and e-mobility.

The BEPA members will work together to prepare Europe to manufacture and commercialise by 2030 the next-generation battery technologies that will enable the rollout of the zero-emission mobility and renewable energy storage.

BEPA represents the private side association of the BATT4EU Partnerships the co-programmed partnership on batteries launched by the European Commission under Horizon Europe. The partnership will mobilise more 925 million euros, to boost European research and innovation in the battery sector.

CIDAUT will contribute to BEPA goals, by bringing in its expertise in the research and development of passive safety in the automotive industry and strong simulation capabilities to develop predictable models for crash optimization of batteries for electromobility.

For more information visit BEPA website !

CIDAUT launches the “OFICINA ACELERA PYME” to drive the adoption of digital technologies by SMEs, self-employers and entrepreneurs.

CIDAUT Foundation has become one of the headquarters of an OFICINA ACELERA PYME (OAP) chosen by Red.es (a public corporate entity belonging to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda –MINETAD-) which depends on the Secretary of State for Information Society and Digital Agenda -SESIAD-) with the aim of promoting the adoption of digital technologies by SMEs, self-employers and entrepreneurs (OAP users) to help their digital transformation, and, with it, the evolution of the economy and society towards a digital environment.

This advanced service is materialized both a physical and virtual space specifically oriented to carrying out support and raising awareness tasks to OAP users about the advantages and innovative methodologies to optimize their businesses operating through the incorporation of the Technologies of the Information and Communications (ICT) in their processes and boosting the data economy and digital content. In this way, the demand for innovative technologies that contribute to improving their productivity will be highly favored.

The ultimate goal is to move towards a new models of economic growth that makes it possible:  the creation of new high quality employments, the maintenance of the current businesses, and the development of new companies/businesses from local entrepreneurs. In the same way, it’s also an objective to encourage women’s digital fluency (understood as the good use and utilization of the technology to acquire more knowledge, be more effective and be better connected in the day-to-day tasks) and to allow a faster reduction of the existing gender gap in companies of our country. These actions cover a large number of technological solutions aim at helping OAP users to advance in their digital transformation processes. Specific attention will be given to: productivity solutions (ERP); e-commerce solutions; customer management solutions (CRM); actions to modernize the business IT infrastructure; cybersecurity solutions; productivity and teleworking solutions; resources to promote digital learning and training;  new digital environments solutions; and, updated information on existing financing instruments on the local, regional and national maps for actions in digitization and industry 4.0.

This action will remain in force until April 2023. It´s co-financed by Red.es (within the Acelera Pyme Program to promote the adoption of technologies by the Spanish companies -including newly created ones-, especially Small and Medium-sized Companies –SMEs-, self-employers and entrepreneurs) and by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) within the framework of Spain’s Multiregional Operational Program FEDER 2014-2020 (POPE) under the slogan “A way to make Europe“.