StARS: Start-Stop Hybrid System Reducing Fuel Consumption Up to 25%

EurokaIn the battle to have the most efficient engines, one of the biggest allies is the European Union and the laws they make to force the car companies to lower the harmful emissions. By 2012 they set a maximum of 130 g/km carbon-dioxide (CO2) emission.

Companies have to improve their technologies.

In the next years it’s going to be interesting seeing who benefits from it, though some already do.

So, here comes the company called Valeo and their device. They invented the system called StARS, which means starter alternator reversible system. What is this? Mainly, it is a replacement of the traditional alternator, but smarter.

You drive your car on the busy streets of the town, stop at 5 traffic lights. StARS will silently stop your engine and when needed, it will start it. You will not hear noises or vibrations, so it will not influence your driving experience, but it will bring you good benefits.

In busy towns, it has been proven that you can even have a 25% fuel consumption reduction using the system. In normal conditions, you will see that fuel consumption is reduced with approximately 6%. Do some math, and you will see how much it is in 6 months, or one year.

Technically, StARS is created by an European consortium, EUREKA. It was started by the French company Valeo and it brought together 2 microelectronics companies: ON Semiconductors (formerly AMI Semiconductors) and Freescale. ON Semiconductors is making the electronics controlling and driving the system and Freescale produces the power-switching transistors. In the end, the work is done by Valeo, who assembles all components and delivers to the customers.

They are developing the second-generation technology, making the first StARS better. StARS is designed to have a minimum intrusion in the car, so it can be introduced with minimum effort and investment. It does not need to change the motor and the car mainly is the same.

StARS is already on the market, Peugeot-Citroen and Mercedes having cars succesfully running the system. From 2012, Peugeot-Citroen announced that it will have one million cars running StARS. Big interest is shown by Chinese companies who are trying to lower the energy needs. In the last, but not least, in 2007 USA commited to reduce fuel consumption to 35 miles/gallon. This means something has to be done and StARS can be a good start.

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