Connected and automated users’ trials in the frame of SAFE STRIP Project

Sixteen different users have tested the applications developed at SAFE STRIP Project in Cidaut’s facilities

SAFE Strip Project, funded by the European Commission, is reaching its final stage with the users’ trials. The tests are running at Italy, Greece and Spain, under Cidaut’s responsibility. The Spanish pilots have been performed at Cidaut’s facilities, a controlled test track at Mojados. Six riders and ten drivers have tested nine different scenarios, where the applications developed along SAFE STRIP Project to support the users for a safer, more fluent and more ecologic way of driving have been evaluated.

 

The solution developed can be used in any kind of vehicle, independently from its automation level, because the information can directly reach the vehicle for the higher automation levels or be presented to the users through a friendly HMI in their portable devices, iOS or Android, for the lower levels. Most of the applications tested at Cidaut are related to safety: vulnerable road user protection, wrong way driving, motorway exit, work zone detection and variable message signal for low visibility, liquid on the road or heavy traffic. Others are oriented to improve the users comfort, the traffic flow and to reduce the environmental impact, like the virtual toll or the parking and charging application.

The system is based on the use of low cost components and sensors that thanks to different communication technologies provide intelligence to the transport system, obtaining as a result the cooperation between the different users of the road and the infrastructure. All the information provided by the different stakeholders is sent to a server in the cloud where all the information is managed and suitable messages are sent to the users through a friendly HMI with simple pictograms to improve safety, traffic flow and efficiency.

The applications tested allow the driver to be aware of critical situations like a hidden pedestrian crossing the road, a vehicle driving in the wrong direction, a vehicle stopped in a motorway exit, sliding pavement, lane closed due to road works, heavy traffic in front or low visibility. There are also applications dedicated to the comfort of the users, because the system allows the user to pay the toll on the air, without stopping or going through complex gates. With the solution developed is also possible to receive information about available parking slots and to make the payment totally automatically, without walking to the park meter nor having to start and stop the application, because it works automatically when the vehicle is parked.

The tests have allowed to evaluate in real conditions the performance of all the applications and also to measure the acceptance of the future users.

ReFreeDrive 30-months General Assembly meeting

Last  March, ReFreeDrive Consortium should have celebrated the 30-months General Assembly meeting at IFPEN premises (Paris, France). Unfortunately, the strike of coronavirus pandemic in Europe was at its peak by those dates, which forced serious travel restrictions and made impossible to celebrate a face-to-face meeting as originally planned. Instead, a virtual General Assembly meeting was carried out on 17th March.

This time, the meeting had two main aims. Firstly, to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on each of the partners’ activities and try to figure out to which extent ReFreeDrive’s ongoing project tasks would be affected. And secondly, to monitor and share the results of the tasks carried out in the previous months.

At this point, the e-drive design is finished, including not only the motors, but also the power electronics and its conceptual in-vehicle integration, for both 75 kW and 200 kW applications. Now the focus is on manufacturing and testing activities. Permanent magnet-assisted synchronous reluctance prototypes have been already successfully manufactured, and now we are waiting for the re-opening of experimental facilities to begin testing activities. For the other cases (pure synchronous reluctance motor, die-cast induction motor and fabricated induction motor) some delays will be experienced, so we will work hard in the upcoming months to minimize their impact on the project development. Besides, all components required for the powertrain testing and integration such as gearbox and battery pack have been selected.

Therefore, in the following months it is planned to finalize the manufacturing of the pending prototypes, as well as its testing. Then it will be time to integrate them in the target vehicles and demonstrate its operation in a real environment.

EnerUSER launches an explanatory video for effective energy management aimed at users in collaboration with CIDAUT

With a pleasant and explanatory video that aims to raise awareness of the great problem of energy consumption in homes (which in addition to being a high expense for citizens contributes to climate change), EnerUSER presents its commitment to ensuring that users can perform effective energy management.

This cross-border cooperation initiative between Spain and Portugal, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg VA Spain-Portugal Program (POCTEP) 2014-2020El, is coordinated by the Construction Institute of Castilla y León ( ICCL) and whose partners in this project are IPB of Bragança, the Castilla y León Natural Heritage Foundation (FPNCYL), FENAGE, CIDAUT, and the Bragança City Council.

One of the objectives of the EnerUSER project is to promote new energy consumption habits, being the citizen a decisive element, relying on surveillance and control tools that will allow them to make decisions. With innovative energy control technologies that the project is going to develop, EnerUSER seeks to help citizens learn about the quality of indoor air, its energy consumption and the high cost it entails for families to propose a change, particularly in housing and / or social rent. Through new consumption habits and the empowerment of the citizen in energy control, EnerUSER will present fundamental measures in the current circumstances of climate change and energy efficiency that the citizen must take.

The video is available through the project website: https://www.eneruser.com/noticias) and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tisbYXQlum8.

CERO Project looking for CERO fatalities

Cidaut has successfully finished CERO Project, with the cooperation of three automotive companies from Castile and Leon region: Grupo Antolín Ingeniería, ZF TRW and Casple S.A. The project has been funded by the “Instituto para la Competitividad Empresarial”. The main objective achieved thanks to the development of the project has been the research and development of new urban mobility solutions based on the integration of connectivity, automation and electrification. Cidaut considers that the electrification of the mobility should start in the urban environment for several reasons: importance of the air quality in cities, better energy performance of electric vehicles in urban driving conditions and easiness for infrastructure access. In several phases of the project, Casple’s urban electric vehicle prototype has been used to demonstrate the results achieved.S.A.

The project has been divided in three main tasks, the first one oriented to determine the needs of the future urban electric vehicles, the second aimed to obtain integral safety for this kind of vehicles and the third one looking for the enhancement of the communication capability of vehicles and infrastructure. The first task has allowed to establish a deep knowledge about the new urban transport needs from last mile logistics to mobility as a service solution that will have to overcome the tight mobility restrictions that will be progressively applied in different cities in the coming years and that have been also analyzed along CERO Project.

The second activity has covered all the aspects relative to safety from an integral point of view. The automated driving blurs the limit between active and passive safety, integrating both with the final objective of reducing the fatalities to CERO. The project has advanced in this direction presenting innovative solutions not only for the occupants but also for other vulnerable users of the road. In collaboration with ZF TRW, new restrain systems for automated driving levels 3 and 4 have been developed taking into account the new positions of the occupants in the automated vehicles. The pedestrians and cyclists safety has been improved through the development of artificial vision solutions, which identifies this kind of users, evaluates the risk of accident and alerts the vulnerable user and the driver/car (depending on the degree of automation) about the possible accident.

Finally low cost communication solutions have been developed for V2X applications. The solution adopted has allowed the implementation of different advanced solutions that will allow to increase the safety, improve the traffic flow and reduce the environmental impact of the traffic. Some of the communication applications tested along CERO project are: traffic jam detection, information about road works, allocation of points of interest, and speed recommendation to optimize green light flux.

 

STEEL S4 EV reaches midterm

The European Project STEEL S4 EV, funded by the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) has successfully completed the first half of research and development activities. This item has coincided in the time with the presentation of the design of the second vehicle of the project: the threewheeler. The design presents several parallelism with the four wheels vehicle defined in the first stages of the project. The objectives behind this similarity are multiple, on one hand to simplify and make cheaper the manufacturing process, making possible to assembly both vehicles in the same assembly line, on the other hand to warranty the same level of integral safety as in the four wheels vehicle.

The solution adopted for the threewheeler is a two in line seats vehicle, with one wheel in the front, the electric motor in the rear axle, under the rear seat, and the battery pack under the front seat. The structure of the vehicle is made of different grades of Advanced High Strength Steel, where the geometry of the tubes and their thickness have been optimized to maximize the energy absorption in the frontal part of the vehicle and to warranty the undeformability of the safety cell, where the occupants are allocated.

In order to get this target, in parallel to the optimization of the crashworthiness through the finite elements methodology, advanced research is been done about the optimization of the welded joints of the advanced high strength steels. In every welding joint, not only the weld seam, but also the heat affected zone, suffers an important loss of mechanical properties due to the melting and uncontrolled cooling of the material. In the case of the Advanced High Strength Steels, this loss of properties is still more critical due to the special characteristics of the material. One of the objectives of STEEL S4 EV Project is to optimize the welding parameters, to improve the heat treatment of the joints in order to improve the static, dynamic and fatigue behavior of the welding joints of the complete structure of both vehicles, the three wheeler and also the four wheels vehicle.

In April, it has been held the Midterm Review Meeting of STEEL S4 EV Project, between the Project Coordinator, the Project Officer and some technical experts from the TGA 4. After a successful meeting, the activities of the project go on with the focus on the prototype manufacturing and the preparation of the different tests.

 

CIDAUT attends the Circular Economy Conference in Valladolid

On March 2, another of the sessions on the Circular Economy Conference in Castilla y León was held in the Prae in Valladolid. The conference was opened by the Minister of Development and Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León, D. Juan Carlos Suárez-Quiñones and CIDAUT had the opportunity to attend.

The objectives of the Circular Economy Conference in Castilla y León were to present public promotion policies in Castilla y León and in Spain in this area, present the latest technologies, trends and share business success stories in Circular Economy.

Juan Alfaro, General Secretary of the Club for Excellence in Sustainability, talked about the Integration of the Circular Economy in the business strategy and the director of Programs of the Natural Heritage Foundation of Castilla y León, Jesús Díez, presented the Regional Strategy for the Circular Economy of Castilla y León.

The day had a section on Good Business Practices moderated by the vicepresident of CECALE, Angela de Miguel. The director of the Environment of Mahou San Miguel, the director of Circular Economy of Saint-Gobain Placo, the head of Circular Economy of Red Eléctrica de España, the responsible of Waste Treatment in Castilla y León at FCC Medio Ambiente and the head of the Industrial Performance Valladolid Department, Renault Spain participated in this section.

Finally, the Circular Economy Conference in Castilla y León had a round table where representatives from León and Valladolid presented the Circular Economy Strategies in these two Cities. The Councilor for Finance of the León City Council, Carmelo Alonso Sutil and the Councilor for Innovation, Economic Development, Employment and Commerce, Valladolid City Council, Rosario Chávez were in charge of energizing this last part.

CIDAUT participates in the General Assembly ECOGATE project

On February 26th, the General Assembly of ECO-GATE Project was held in Naturgy facilities (Madrid), where all the consortium partners show the progress in the implementation of Natural Gas solutions in transport sector. 12 gas-refueling stations are already working and other 8 will be implemented in the following months. These are aimed to supply vehicular natural gas in the Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors of the road network of Spain, France, Germany and Portugal.

16 Innovative solutions in supply logistic services, cleaner fuel composition, refueling infrastructure, vehicle and components manufacturers and operational process have been successfully tested or implemented. CIDAUT innovation 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). This system store 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 refueling costs, the possibility of home refueling and greater security.

Laboratory tests have been carried out and the innovation has been implemented in a dual-fuel diesel-natural gas van, as a pilot test within ECO-GATE project. Several tests in the real-scale pilot have been already done with satisfactory results.

“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/

Cidaut supports biofuels in Spain and attends the conference organized at CIEMAT

The CIEMAT Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Unit together with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MINCOTUR) organized a conference on Biofuels in Spain on February 26 within the framework of the European project BIOFIT (Bioenergetic Retrofitting of the European Industry). CIDAUT had the opportunity to attend the conference and share experiences with the attendees.

The purpose of this conference was also to create a forum for discussion between the different actors linked to this sector, public and private, and to promote the implementation and development of biofuels to achieve the objectives established in the PNIEC, among others.

It was attended by A. Cros, representative of MINCOTUR who spoke about the Financial Support Instruments for the biofuel industry, F.J Dominguez of IDAE who presented the regulatory framework for the production and use of biofuels and J. Ferrero, representative of MITECO, who exposed the role of biofuels in the PNIEC.

Within the framework of the conference there were other very interesting presentations on the importance of sustainable biofuels in aviation by AESA and biofuels in 2030 and the Green Deal by BIOPLAT. The present and the future of biofuels in Spain were discussed by APPA and an ePURE representative offered his vision of the bioethanol situation in Europe. The president of the BIO-E association spoke about the economic and environmental benefits of the use of bioethanol and, on the part of CCAE, he presented about bioeconomics and agricultural development linked to biofuels.

SNPAA (France) discussed aid plans in the biofuels sector in that country and AOP and ANFAC discussed about the opportunities for the oil industry and biofuels for the automotive industry respectively. Finally, Novozymes company spoke about the biorefineries associated with biofuels and their possibilities.

The day was a success since the capacity was completed with an attendance of more than 170 people. The welcome of the initiative by the sector that had not had a meeting point for a long time was highlighted and BIOE was summoned to turn the event into an annual periodic appointment.

 

NEOHIRE Project closure

Last January 2020, coinciding with the end of NEOHIRE Project, several events took place at CEIT’s premises in San Sebastián (Spain).

On the 28th, the External Expert Advisory Board (EEAB) meeting was held. In addition to the project partners, Giuseppe Volpe (Motor Design Ltd.) and Mohan Pasupathy (Wall Colmonoy Ltd.) attended the meeting as representatives of the EEAB. Main technical achievements and results were shared and discussed.

On the 29th, the Final Review Meeting took place. Mr. Martti Paju attended the meeting as Technical Monitor. The overall progress of NEOHIRE project was thoroughly reviewed: milestones and deliverables status, main results per Task/Work Package and dissemination activities, including know-how generated during the project (publications and patents).

Finally, on the 30th CEIT organized a NEOHIRE showcase as project Final Event. The event, which counted on the presence of the regional deputy of economy as chairman, allowed the partners to share key project results through about 11 specific dissertations with more than 50 relevant researchers in the field. Some of the topics covered were: sustainable alternative to rare earths, key minerals for mobility avoiding the dependence on China and magnets technologies for the future.

VULKANO successfully come to the end

VULKANO team during Valji visit in the Final Event

The Final Event of VULKANO project took place in Celje (Slovenia) on 23rd-24th January 2020 in presence of the Project officer and Technical Advisor of the European Commission. The meeting gathered more than 30 members of 11 companies located in 6 different countries, in order to review the final status of the project after the forty two months of execution.

This Final Event comprised several parts. Firstly, during the morning on 23rd it was held the last General Assembly where it was reviewed internally the results of the project, mainly the implementation solutions in the demo sites.

The same day during the afternoon and with the presence of the members of the EC, a visit was made to Valji facilities where it was possible to verify in situ the implementation of the replica furnace along with the rest of the solutions: co-firing system, PCMs (phase change material), new refractory materials and monitoring and control system.  This visit offered a better understanding of the results obtained in the project which were exposed to the Project officer and the Technical advisor during the Review meeting held the next day on 24th. The review meeting included all work packages, not only technical, but also the results of exploitation and dissemination were exposed. Of relevant interest were the results related to the implementations of the pilot demos.

VULKANO SOLUTIONS SCHEME

The Final event concluded on the 24th with a presentation of the results to interested companies and stakeholders in order to show the viability of VULKANO solutions in an individual and integrated way, so the holistic predictive tool. The event was attended by a large number of stakeholders and companies from Slovenia.

As a conclusion, VULKANO project has satisfactorily achieved its objectives throughout this time, obtaining useful results. Two demo furnaces which integrate 5 innovative solutions: improved refractory materials, PCM-based energy recovery, co-firing system with renewable gases, monitoring and control system and finally holistic predictive tool. Three energy intensive sectors have been involved: ceramic and steel as demo sites and aluminium as case study in theoretical demo.

It has been a pleasure for CIDAUT to be part of this project and work on the VULKANO project with the great team that all the members of the consortium comprise. Thank you!

More info: http://www.vulkano-h2020.eu/