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FPT Industrial shows powertrains of the future

At Tech Day 2018, Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), showed the engine technology of tomorrow.

FPT Industrial presented a Multi-power, Modular, Multi-application and Mindful 4.0 Power Source Concept at its Tech Day 2018 event held in Turin, Italy. Named Cursor X, “it represents a symbol of how FPT Industrial conceives innovation and reflects our product strategy vision,” says FPT.

The Cursor X Concept “would adapt to provide the most suitable solution for the customer’s business and mission, whether based on Natural Gas internal combustion, Hydrogen Fuel Cell electric generation, or on battery-stored energy.

This range allows combinations from pure electric to parallel and serial hybrid. Energy transfer to the wheels would change accordingly, with the option of a mechanical transmission to be coupled with electric drivelines.

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The Cursor X will deliver power according to specific missions and customers’ needs. Photos: Fiat Powertrain Technologies
The Cursor X will deliver power according to specific missions and customers’ needs. Photos: Fiat Powertrain Technologies

Modular

The Power Source Concept would be the same size as an internal combustion engine, with a modular architecture that allows easy assembly, vehicle integration, servicing and full scalability. The modularity would allow the solution to be implemented with all FPT Industrial engine families in a wide range of power nodes. It could also be supplied as an all-inclusive package or in a knock down configuration.

Multi-application

Thanks to its wide range of options, the Cursor X is designed to supply energy for traction, auxiliary systems, implements and PTOs to any kind of industrial vehicle or machine, from delivery vans to buses, from small dozers to crawler excavators, from specialty tractors to combines.

The solution could also be offered as a pre-validated standard package for low-volume products that require electrification.

Self-learning capability

The Power Source Concept has been designed to have self-learning capability and to provide a significant amount of information for further hardware and software design developments. It could be equipped with processors and sensors that recognize anomalies, analyze wear and tear and predict maintenance needs.

It could also be connected for continuous communication with the external environment, sending valuable operational data to stakeholders. Overall, the Cursor X is intended to be aware of its status, capable of anticipating future trends through the exploration of Artificial Intelligence and enabled to interact with the Control Room.

Up to 30% less CO2 emissions

The Cursor X will deliver power according to specific missions and customers’ needs. The Natural Gas configuration, with an electric mode option, would be ideal for metropolitan and regional passenger transport, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 30%. The battery electric configuration is ideal for urban delivery, with an estimated autonomy of 200 km. Finally, Hydrogen Fuel Cells could become the first full electric technology suitable for long-range, heavy-duty missions, with an estimated autonomy of 800 km.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain

A technology that could lead to a zero emission engine solution is one of the Research & Development projects conducted by FPT Industrial. During its Tech Day 2018 event, the company is demonstrating a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain concept designed for heavy-duty applications.
The powertrain system developed by FPT Industrial delivers maximum power of 400 kW and comprises the H2 tanks, a fuel cell module, a lithium-ion battery pack, an e-axle and an energy management system. The fuel cell supplies energy to the e-axle, which ensures that the performance is aligned with that of a diesel powertrain. The electric motor integrated in the axle gives power to the wheels and, thanks to smart logic control, ensures the lowest energy consumption possible. The lithium-ion battery supports the fuel cell during the most demanding operations and stores energy during the vehicle deceleration phase.
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Moreover, the powertrain will have smart management and controls, allowing complete visibility of each segment, such as air, integration, thermal systems, fuel and power, to deliver up to 50% powertrain efficiency.
The energy management system provides the minimum amount of energy to satisfy the specific power demand. Depending on the system condition, the software can balance the energy through battery and fuel cell to give the required energy to the e-motor. This will ensure that the fuel cell has a durability of 20,000 hours. This FPT Industrial proprietary management system coupled with Hydrogen tanks can also guarantee an autonomy of around 800 km.
Considering a future scenario, the FPT Industrial Hydrogen Fuel Cell powertrain will have among its advantages: the highest sustainability with zero emissions regarding noise and pollutants, Diesel-like performance, a similar weight to a Diesel powertrain, making a vehicle thus equipped 70% lighter than a battery powered variant (considering a 44-ton GVW truck), and six times faster filling time than a battery vehicle – the fuel cell has a refilling time of around 20 minutes, while the battery can take up to two hours.

Electric propulsion and electric assist

At Tech Day 2018, FPT Industrial presented highlights of its electric strategy, which foresees a customized solution for every specific mission and is divided in 2 groups: electric propulsion and electric assist.

Electric propulsion

FPT Industrial presented two solutions that consider electric power playing a direct role in vehicle propulsion – the E-Axle and the Transfer Box.

The E-Axle is a compact and flexible solution that transfers power and torque to the wheels through the gear unit, resulting in a modular concept which can be easily adapted to various vehicle layouts and weight capabilities. It can deliver power of up to 250 kW and 98% efficiency in the main working conditions.

The main benefit of the E-Axle is that is easily adaptable to different customers’ needs. It can support 3 vehicle layouts – front, rear and all-wheel drive – with different suspension systems – independent or rigid – simply by changing external shape, without impacting the core components.

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The E-Axle is a compact and flexible solution that transfers power and torque to the wheels through the gear unit, resulting in a modular concept which can be easily adapted to various vehicle layouts and weight capabilities.
The E-Axle is a compact and flexible solution that transfers power and torque to the wheels through the gear unit, resulting in a modular concept which can be easily adapted to various vehicle layouts and weight capabilities.

The solution can also be used in different vehicle categories. Alongside urban mission light and medium commercial vehicles, it could also be developed for compact vehicles for agriculture and construction equipment. Finally, thanks to the compact design, the E-Axle can even be installed in vehicles with very tight layouts.

Transfer Box

The Transfer Box is a different solution that adds an electric power unit to the original engine, enabling the management of all propulsion modes – electric, hybrid and thermic. It is installable on existing vehicles, scalable for different vehicle modes, with a very low impact on them. It delivers 98% efficiency and a torque at wheel of 8,000 Nm.

The Transfer Box is, according to FPT, the ideal solution for vehicles with different missions and functional requirements, such as intercity missions with the need for an electric ‘last mile’; for long-haul full hybrid applications; and for mixed usage construction equipment, in urban and extra-urban building sites.

While the E-Axle could be applicable for OEMs that are looking for a sustainable compact solution with great performance, the Transfer Box has the application scalability, range of power and energy density and durability as its main benefits.

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The Transfer Box is, according to FPT, the ideal solution for vehicles with different missions and functional requirements.
The Transfer Box is, according to FPT, the ideal solution for vehicles with different missions and functional requirements.

Electric Assist

The second group of FPT Industrial’s electric strategy focuses on the support of the thermal combustion engine in all its operational modes, with the option of a mild hybrid powertrain architecture.

The thermal engine has 2 main extra components, the E-Flywheel and the E-Turbocharger, which recover energy that can be reused. Compared to a conventional Diesel engine, these components guarantee sustainability, performance, efficiency and fuel saving.

“In fact, FPT Industrial’s mild hybrid solution can reduce fuel consumption by up to 8%, improve transient response by up to 50%, increase low speed torque, optimize the engine strategy and provide energy availability for auxiliaries and implements,” says FPT.

FPT Industrial Control Room for connected engines

FPT Industrial showcased the Control Room, a dedicated location in Turin for data analysis to improve remote customer support for connected engines. Based on FPT Industrial’s telematics solution, a trained team controls and monitors data received from engines all over the world and, to deliver added value, promotes proactive maintenance and assistance.
The FPT Industrial telematics kit is “easily installable and collects data via the existing vehicular diagnostic ports, sending all information via GSM to a centralized cloud storage. The GSM connection allows users to receive and monitor engine parameters and alerts.“
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End users can access a mobile app with a user-friendly dashboard that shows key engine parameters, such as load, fluid levels and working hours, the machine’s GPS position and service reminders. Consequently, maintenance intervals can be scheduled and potential assistance needs can be detected early, optimizing uptime.
FPT Industrial has developed a web portal dedicated to fleet owners, dealers and OEMs, providing further information about the fleet. In addition to a comprehensive set of engine parameters, service reminders (both maintenance alerts and fault codes) and GPS positions are used by the portal to present a complete overview of each equipment’s mission and engine usage. OEMs, dealers and fleet owners can follow up specific requirements with tailored actions. Fleet monitoring enables advanced service and care, improving fleet management efficiency with a positive impact on overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The FPT Industrial telematics offering also guarantees that customers master the solution to take advantage of its full capabilities. Additionally, customers can rely on FPT Industrial Customer Care Service, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, supporting dealers, service points, OEMs and end-users worldwide.

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