CIDAUT, as an expert in the use of hydrogen and ammonia in propulsion systems, participates in the NEWBunker project, an initiative that aims to analyze the state of the art in marine propulsion systems with alternative fuels to conventional fuels, such as ammonia and hydrogen. The project will make it possible to identify the different supply modalities (bunkering) of these fuels depending on the storage system and the power generation system installed on board the ship.
NEWBunker is a project led by Gasnam with the technical management of Gas Natural Comercializadora (Naturgy group) and the participation of ESK, Fundación CIDAUT, TESICNOR, Siport21 and AEI-Basque Maritime Forum. This initiative has received a grant of aid for about 175,000 euros in the 2022 call for support for innovative business groups to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies.
Step by step automated driving is becoming present in our daily driving. Some years ago, some vehicles were able to maintain the selected speed or to inform us about our position in the lane, later they increased their intelligence braking when they found an obstacle in front or steering to stay in the center of the lane. Self-parking is nowadays a reality for some models, as it is the traffic-jam chauffeur. This upscaling of the vehicles’ skills is addressing us to growing levels of automation. Nowadays level 2 vehicles are a reality in the road and level 3 are starting to be sold, and together with the conditional and high automation level, the driver of the vehicle will be allowed to make different activities while the system controls the vehicle.
These activities will be linked to new positions in the vehicle, mainly it is foreseen that the seats will move backwards, the seatbacks will be more reclined and the steering wheel will be warded off in the cockpit. Attending to this new scenario, the conventional restrain systems will totally lose their performance. The seat belt, fixed to the B-pillar will be very far from the occupant shoulder, so it will be impossible to stop the chest in the event of a crash. Similarly, the steering wheel airbag will be away from the driver, so the pressure inside the bag will not be the suitable one when the body impacts the air-bag and the head will impact both the steering wheel and the cockpit.
To tackle these new scenarios, CIDAUT, together with three reference research and development centers, CTAG, ITENE and i2CAT, is developing new passive safety solutions in the frame of Integra project. The new solutions are related to the integration of the seat belt in the seat, in order to maintain the relative position between the occupant’s body and the restraint device, and also innovative solutions of smart airbags are involved with adaptive working parameters attending to the kind of impact and the position of the passengers inside the vehicle.
In parallel, and in order to inform the adaptive airbag solutions, CIDAUT is developing an innovative artificial vision devise based on a single camera to understand the occupants’ position and the main biomechanics characteristics. Additionally, the system integrates artificial intelligence algorithms that monitors the driver and are able to decide if it is in good condition to take over the control of the vehicle.
The work driving to these results is been performed in INTEGRA project, funded by and CDTI through Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación in the frame of the funding for Excellence in Research Centers “Cervera”. CER – 2021 1031.
IFEVS is the Italian company designing smart electric urban vehicles with four main characteristics, affordability, all made in Europe, modularity and safety. The aim to obtain affordable solutions has addressed to the design of high strength steel tubular frames for different vehicle configurations. The technology is so flexible that can be applied to the frame of a bicycle and also to the frame of a van. For the last ten years, CIDAUT as specialist in crash worthiness, has established a strong collaboration with IFEVS to make these smart vehicles as safe as possible, being able to comply not only with the Regulation applicable to M1 vehicles but also with the more restrictive Euro NCAP protocols.
In TRA Lisbon, IFEVS presented the four wheels vehicle and also different configurations of the e-bike. In the case of the e-bikes the two and three wheels versions were available for testing. The vehicles received very good comments after testing mainly related to the high comfort, the easiness to ride and the progressivity of the electric boost.
Besides the positive feed-back of the tester, it is important to highlight that thanks to the modular design of the frame, its manufacturing cost is lower than the ones coming from Asian countries and also easy to manufacture in a low investment assembly line, with the competitive advantage that the design and the components are made in Europe, with innovative solutions for the energy storage system.
The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project Avangard (GA #869986)
Euro NCAP protocols are continuously evolving to warranty the highest level of active and passive safety in the vehicles available in the market. As a result of this evolution a new frontal crash scenario has been recently included, it is the Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier test (MPDB). It consists on a mobile vehicle of 1.400kg with a deformable barrier in the front that circulates at 50kph and crashes against the tested vehicle, also circulating at 50kph with a 50% overlap.
This crash configuration is especially critical for light urban electric vehicles. The fist reason for this assertion is related to the mass and size of the urban vehicle. As they are quite light, the impact against another vehicle that almost duplicates their mass is really challenging, and this fact is aggravated by the small size of the vehicle that implies a shorter space to absorb all the energy coming from the 1400kg vehicle and the ego vehicle. The second reason for this assertion is related to the need to protect the batteries from any kind of damage, which is especially critical also in a small sized vehicle.
Thanks to the development of Multi-Moby project, and together with the rest of the partners of the consortium, CIDAUT has demonstrated that it is possible to comply with this restrictive crash configuration. To achieve a positive result, and exhaustive optimization of the vehicle structure, together with the suitable design of the restraint system have been performed at the research and development center. After the optimization process, the simulations have shown that it is possible to protect both the occupants and the energy storage system from significant damage in this kind of impact.
The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project MULTI-MOBY (GA #101006953)
El Batel Auditorium and Conference Center hosted, on October 4 and 5, a forum of European technology centers: the ‘Iknowledge – Forum of technology centers’, organized by the Murcia Region Development Institute. Cartagena became the epicenter of the technology sector, bringing together more than 200 of these professionals and the main technology centers. Experts from all over Europe traveled to Cartagena to present the latest technological developments and trends within the themes: Smart & connected devices, Collaborative robotics & advanced industrial automation, Immersive experiences: metaverse technologies, Web 3.0… and Energy transition, Climate change & Sustainability.
CIDAUT has participated in Challenge 4 (energy transition) showing the main capacities in the hydrogen sector in its three main aspects: production, distribution and use. In addition, the projects in which CIDAUT is immersed were shared with the rest of the centers, such as: design of innovative renewable electrolysis systems, design and testing of non-conventional fuel cells, hydrogen compression systems for very high pressures or definition and testing of hydrogen-based combustion systems. Bilateral meetings also took place to identify partners for future projects, technological and research cooperation, as well as a technology fair and a project exhibition space.