Last November, two relevant events took place at national and European level in the field of energy and hydrogen, which CIDAUT had the opportunity to attend.
On 16, 17 and 18 November, the 24th edition of the Energy and Environment Fair, GENERA, was held in Madrid. The Spanish Hydrogen Association, AeH2, organised on 16 November, in collaboration with the Spanish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (PTE HPC), the conference ‘Green Hydrogen: towards a sustainable energy system’, which was attended by CIDAUT.
This day began with a brief welcome by Miguel Peña, secretary of AeH2, followed by a short introduction by Javier Brey, president of the Association, who began by stating that “interest in hydrogen in Spain is growing exponentially, not only in industry, but also among the population. This interest is more than justified due to the great potential of these technologies to move towards the decarbonisation of our economy”.
Subsequently, two round tables were held with the presence of representatives from the main entities involved in the hydrogen sector. The first round table, with the participation of Carlos de la Cruz Molina, Director of Evaluation and Technological Cooperation of the CDTI, and Santiago González, Head of Renewable Hydrogen in the Department of Regulatory Framework and Corporate Strategy of the IDAE, debated hydrogen as a reactivator of the economy. The second round table was entitled: “Accelerating the development of hydrogen in Spain”. It was attended by the directors and heads of the hydrogen areas of the AeH2 promoter partners.
At European level, the European Hydrogen Week 2021 (EHW 2021) was held in Brussels from 29 November to 3 December. In this edition a hybrid organisation between on-site and online was chosen. CIDAUT attended virtually to the different presentations that took place.
The Week discussed the tremendous opportunities associated with the production and use of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels in the different sectors of the economy and how hydrogen will play a key role in the European Green Deal. The EHW2021 marked the public launch of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership – as the successor of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). This edition featured sessions on the future research and deployment priorities for Clean Hydrogen as well the FCH JU Programme Review Days and the FCH JU Awards. The week will also saw the third European Clean Hydrogen Alliance Forum uniting its 1500 members. Topics covered the entire value chain needed to realise the hydrogen economy, scaling-up production, infrastructure, and end-use sectors, research and innovation priorities as well as skills and education.
Cidaut has participated in an event organized by Hewlett Packard and Sernauto with the collaboration of Optimus 3D and Industrias Alegre. The event was hold at Cidaut’s facilities on the 25th of November fulfilling all sanitary measurements derived from COVID-19.
The event started with a warm welcome by Cidaut’s president, Mr. José Oliveri, who highlighted the importance of the Research and Development Centers to introduce innovative solutions in the industry and enhance the knowledge dissemination. María Luisa Soria, Institutional Relationships and Innovation Manager at Sernauto, presented a summary of the automotive sector in Spain, playing special attention to the new challenges and plans related to the Next Generation funds.
On behalf of Cidaut, Javier Romo, presented a methodology to determine the behavior of the components obtained through additive manufacturing processes during their service live. It was highlighted that in all the components manufactured in the industrial sector there is a big influence of the manufacturing process in the final component behavior, and for this reason, it is very important to understand the manufacturing process and its influence on the material properties. Additive manufacturing is not an exception, and depending on the technology, the process’ parameters and the environmental conditions the final properties may change. Thanks to the methodology developed by Cidaut, it is possible to take into consideration all these parameters and to determine through simulation the real properties of the component and thanks to it, to determine its behavior during its service live.
In the final part of the event, Victor Vaccaro from Industrias Alegre and Alberto Ruiz de Olano from Optimus3D shown the industrial point of view showing some success solutions developed in the last years.
Outside the meeting room, all the participants could see and touch several innovative components obtained though additive manufacturing provided by the event organizers.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.