Automotive Equipment R&D: Preventing Global Warming through Improved Environmental Performance
With advances in motors, the emphasis on high-efficiency alternators is growing. The Himeji Works is at the center of development activities to ensure optimal designs with the power supply necessary for each vehicle.
The Himeji Works began developing alternators in the 1960s in pursuit of high efficiency and high power output.
In addition to the sixth-generation and eighth-generation alternators currently in use, ninth-generation models were developed in 2006 (see below).
Ninth-generation models employ improved coil density through use of the pokipoki* motor with optimized generator size, output and efficiency. This high output, combined with quiet operation, is an example of a product that accurately meets the needs of the times.
- * Pokipoki motor: motor densification achieved by wrapping coils around the extended core
Expanding Eco Products through Japan-U.S. Cooperation
Alternators and starters for the U.S. market are developed at the Himeji Works and manufactured at Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America—Mason (MEAA -MSN) in Ohio.
Despite being slow to respond to environmental needs, U.S. automakers are now shifting to the development of smaller, fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric vehicles under the Obama Administration's "Green New Deal." Mitsubishi Electric's automotive equipment business has expanded distribution of its high-efficiency, high-output alternators, which reduce fuel consumption. The Company has also increased the distribution of its small, lightweight starters. We are working with automakers to develop a full range of services, from development, production and supply, to spare parts and rebuilds.
MEAA (-DET*1, -MSN, -MVL*2) is expanding America-wide sales of automotive equipment that contributes to lower environmental burden, while MEAA-OC carries out rebuild operations that reduce resource use.
Mitsubishi Electric will continue to supply both OEM products and recycled parts to help reduce the environmental impact of the operation of automobiles in the USA.
- *1 MEAA-DET: Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America—Detroit, in Detroit, Michigan
- *2 MEAA-MVL: Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America—Maysville, in Maysville, Kentucky
Mitsubishi Electric's Contribution to the Use of Hybrid Vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are becoming a realistic environmental option. These vehicles use Mitsubishi Electric's inverters, which convert battery power from DC to AC. These inverters also regulate optimal engine RPMs to contribute to energy savings. The HEV, which has an electric motor to reduce gasoline usage, also has a large-capacity gasoline-powered motor and battery. The necessity for an adjustable range and the demand for smaller, more efficient components are increasing rapidly.
Automakers use Mitsubishi Electric's Intelligent Power Unit* (IPU), a DC/AC inverter unit between the battery and the motor that switches battery power from DC to AC. Recently, this unit has been employed in the Insight, made by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Mitsubishi Electric plans on developing this product for automakers around the world, continuing to use its vehicle components and semiconductor technologies to meet the needs of automakers and contribute to vehicle-related environmental considerations.
- * Mitsubishi Electric's IPUs are referred to by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., as Intelligent Inverter Units (IIUs).
EGR Valve: Contributing to cleaner exhaust and reduced CO2 emissions
Most vehicles run on either diesel or gasoline engines. In diesel vehicles, the emission of nitrous oxides (NOx), a cause of acid rain, is particularly problematic. NOx is rapidly produced when the engine combustion temperature exceeds roughly 1,700 degrees Celsius approximately 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit), so lower temperatures must be maintained. The EGR valve reduces an engine's combustion temperature and helps reduce the formation of NOx by governing the amount of exhaust that is returned to the combustion chamber.
In gasoline-powered vehicles, the EGR valve helps prevent the energy loss (pumping loss) that occurs as the pistons move up and down, improving fuel efficiency.
Mitsubishi Electric provides a DC motor-based EGR valve with superior output and responsiveness for diesel vehicles, and a compact and inexpensive stepper motor-based EGR valve for gasoline-powered vehicles, helping address the major issues of air pollution and global warming.
DC motor-based model
Stepper motor-based model