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IMFS differs from the current fuel and emissions efficient approaches by its new qualitative results obtained through a unique integration of proven technologies. Several functions, normally provided by corresponding several known systems, now are provided by an IMFS.
In other words, IMFS creates a synergy from several generally known systems while simultaneous performing multiple useful functions and improving overall cost efficiency. Therefore only partial competitors exist in regard to IMFS particular main functions, as follows:
» The regenerative braking is performed by the electric hybrids as Toyota Prius, etc. and by the conventional hydraulic hybrids, such as HRB of BoschRexroth, and its equivalents – RDS of Permo-Drive Technologies Ltd. and HLA of Eaton. Hydraulics are a mature technology with a proven track record around the world , and they are of much higher power density than electric hybrids. That is why the US Army decided to use the RDS of Permo-Drive on their new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.
Being an advanced hydraulic hybrid, IMFS posses all above advantages of the conventional hydraulic hybrids, and in addition it offers certain special advantages. IMFS leads by performing of exhaust energy recovery and by integrating auxiliary hydraulic systems such as power steering, winches, etc. The exhaust energy recovery makes IMFS fuel and emission efficient also during cruising, cornering, etc., while HRB, RDS and HLA are useless ballast in such regimes. Therefore, IMFS is able to recover the same overall sum of energy as a conventional hydraulic hybrids, being smaller weight, volume, complexity, etc., or able to recover a much larger sum of energy if of the same weight, complexity, etc. as an conventional hydraulic hybrids.
All above, as well as the advanced general strategy allows IMFS to be scaled to a wide range of vehicles: from subcompact passenger cars through SUVs and consumer trucks, up to heavy duty trucks, while the RDS and HLA fit well only to heavy duty trucks, or at least large SUVs and medium trucks.
Regarding exhaust gases energy recovery, the known turbo-compounds theoretically compete with IMFS. The main problems with them are three ones: the differing frequencies of pulsation of the momentary angular velocities of the gas turbine and the engine crankshaft; the slow response to the throttle changes, and the impossibility (or at lest difficulty) to provide the necessary variable gear ratio between the gas turbine and the crankshaft for regimes of engine operation. The known turbo-compound systems address these problems by relatively low efficient, sophisticated, massive and expensive solutions like hydrodynamic shaft coupling, electric transmissions, variable ratio transmissions, etc. Thus, as compromise, they are implemented in vehicles operating mostly at steady regimes, e.g. some highway heavy duty commercial trucks of Skania and Volvo. The extended IMFS solves above problems by the hydraulic accumulator that serves as a non internal friction damper of the non-harmonic frequencies of momentary angular velocity changes; as a standby resource of power for quick response, and as a devise providing variable gear ratio by at least two ways. Therefore IMFS heads of the known turbo-compound systems in efficiency, and relative mass and cost.
» Regarding the functions of any working/auxiliary systems, the competitors of IMFS are the electric demand-responsive drive (e.g. hydraulic power steering) and direct electric drive (e.g. power steering or winches). They do not recover any energy and still operate usefully only on rare occasions. Thus, they are less efficient than IMFS in terms of the exploitation of the “hardware” and costs invested, and in the number, duration and benefits of the useful operations performed.
» Regarding the functions of Start-Stop system, IMFS has not any competitor as far any heavy duty vehicles applications!
The advantages of the IMFS compared to the well-known conventional hydraulic hybrids – Bosch Rexroth’s HRB, Eaton’s HLA, etc.:
» Dramatically lower prime cost. HRB, HLA, etc. have been completely separated from the working systems of the concrete mixer trucks and waste collection trucks, while the IMFS contains most of the components of these systems. Thus the prime cost of the IMFS for concrete mixer trucks and the waste collection trucks is times lower than the prime cost of HRB or HLA
» Execution of a number of extra functions. Even the simplest version of IMFS, besides being a hydraulic hybrid, (such as HRB or HLA), implements a number of works unknown for HRB and HLA, such as: – a highly efficient working system of the ready-mix truck or the waste collection truck (such as Eaton’s POD); – a Stop-Start System for the engine (as well as Poclain’s ClearStart); – reserve starter; – and the expanded version of the IMFS – also as a turbo-compound system
» Ensures the decrease of the consumption of fuel and CO2, NÎx emissions at all truck speeds, while HRB and HLA do this only at speeds of up to 30 km/h, which sufficiently increases the IMFS profitableness and applicability
» Better general fuel and ecological efficiency. For example, according to researches of TNO Automotive (the Netherlands), the IMFS gives better results by 68% compared to the well-known conventional hydraulic hybrids upon driving of the truck according to the so-called BAC cycle (defined by the SAE J1376 Standard) and without taking into account the economy of the working mechanisms drive
» Ensures short-time silent operation of the truck and/or its operating system (which is not ensured by HRB and HLA)