Design Of The Alternate Fuel Automotive

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This ECE Project is on Design Of The Alternate Fuel Automotive discuss about various design methodologies. The output of the automobile and auto component industry would reach $145 billion by 2016, accounting for more than 10 percent of the country's GDP and in turn generate employment for more than a million people. The role of transportation sector in the economy of a country cannot be overrated. Transportation s an inseparable part of any society. It exhibits a very close relation to the style of life, the range and location of activities and the goods and services which will be available for consumption. Advances in transportation has made possible changes in the way of living and the way in which societies are organized and therefore have a great influence in the development of civilizations.

Transportation is responsible for the development of civilizations from very old times by meeting travel requirement of people and transport requirement of goods. Such movement has changed the way people live and travel. In developed and developing nations, a large fraction of people travel daily for work,shopping and social reasons. But transport also consumes a lot of resources like time,fuel, materials and land. Gasoline and diesel have been our primary fuels used in automotive, farm and recreational vehicles for decades. Recently the Government of India removed petrol and diesel from the list of subsidized fuels. This has in turn started to burn the pockets of the middle class.

Thereby lies the need for an alternate fuel. Many factors need to be considered in the search for an alternative, such as the potential size of the energy resource base, the effect on the environment, the impact of the economy,and acceptance by the consumer. Life-cycle analysis of the system, that is, the resource and its use, has come to be recognized as essential for making intelligent decisions about a sustainable energy future. Also, when designing engines and fuel systems, there are many fuel properties and combustion characteristics affecting efficiency and performance,as well as emissions, which must be considered. Many of the inherent properties of the alternative fuels choices are quite different from petrol and diesel fuel.

Methanol is one such alternate fuel. The chief advantage of a methanol economy is that it could be adapted to present internal combustion engines with a minimum of modification deliver liquid fuel. Experimental affects of dedicated methanol vehicles did well in the field, but the lack of refueling infrastructure led to the development of the flexible fuel vehicle (FFV), a vehicle that could operate on either gasoline or methanol with only one fuel system on board. Legislation was put in place to encourage the auto industry to begin production, which started in 1993 for the M85 FFV at Ford.

However the low calorific value of methanol is a serious problem. Hydrogen (H2) is another alternative which is being aggressively explored as a fuel for passenger vehicles. It can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines (ICEs). It is an environmentally friendly fuel that has the potential to dramatically reduce our dependence on imported oil. However several significant challenges such as cost and availability as well as in-situ production and storage must be overcome before it can be widely used.

An idea is to combine the best of the two fuels: burning methanol in a hydrogen-rich air. This combats the poor calorific value of methanol and will also provide a transitory option to a purely hydrogen based automotive. Because of the inherent difficulty in storing hydrogen, an in-situ generation of hydrogen is opted for. This means that the prototype runs on M50 and water. The challenges in the development of a hydrogen-generator unit demanded the study of electrolysis of water in detail. This led to the exploration of the characterization of electrolysis process.

The project aims to implement the electronic control unit of an automotive that uses an alternate fuel that is, a mixture of petrol and methanol as the fuel and a mixture of air and hydrogen instead of air for combustion. Hydrogen is a fuel with a very high calorific value. This compensates the relatively low calorific value of methanol. The development of an automotive that uses a fuel of the aforesaid form requires the development of a hydrogen generation and control unit in addition to the conventional ECU in existing vehicles. Hydrogen generation is achieved by the process of electrolysis of aqueous KOH solution. Hydrogen evolves at the cathode. Designing a control circuitry to regulate hydrogen evolution requires the characterization of an electrolytic cell and developing an electrical model for it.

Stages of Implementation

                                                         Stages of Implementation

The project hence involves characterizing a hydrogen generation cell, implementing a control circuit and also developing the ignition and injection control units of the automobile.

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