Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly regarded as the way forward to deliver a much-needed improvement in the transport sector's sustainability profile, and the UK is embarking on a major transition towards them. While previous studies focused mainly on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this article assesses the extent to which EVs may contribute to reducing the UK's dependence on (mostly imported) non-renewable primary energy. The study combines a life-cycle model of a compact battery electric vehicle (BEV) with a prospective energy analysis of a range of electricity supply alternatives for the vehicle's use phase. The key metric analysed is the non-renewable cumulative energy demand (nr-CED). Results show that, already under current conditions, the nr-CED of a compact BEV in the UK is lower by approximately 34% with respect to that of an otherwise similar internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV). Such reduction is then expected to improve further under all future scenarios, indicating that a transition to EVs is indeed a recommendable option to reduce the UK's demand for non-renewable energy, especially if this is accompanied by a shift to a more renewable electric grid.
A complete and fully consistent LCA-based comparison of a range of lightweighting options for compact passenger vehicles is presented and discussed, using advanced lightweight materials (Al, Mg and carbon fibre composites), and including all life cycle stages and a number of alternative end-of-life scenarios. Results underline the importance of expanding the analysis beyond the use phase, and point to maximum achievable reductions of environmental impact of approximately 7% in most impact categories. In particular, lightweighting strategies based on the use of aluminium were found to be the most robust and consistent in terms of reducing the environmental impacts (with the notable exception of a relatively high potential toxicity). The benefits of using magnesium instead appear to be less clear-cut, and strongly depend on achieving the complete phase-out of SF6 in the metal production process, as well as the establishment of a separate close-loop recycling scheme. Finally, the use of carbon fibre composites leads to similar environmental benefits to those achieved by using Al, albeit generally at a higher economic cost.
A reduced order model is developed for low frequency, fully coupled, undamped and constantly damped structural acoustic analysis of interior cavities, backed by flexible structural systems. The reduced order model is obtained by applying a Galerkin projection of the coupled system matrices, from a higher dimensional subspace to a lower dimensional subspace, whilst preserving some essential properties of the coupled system. The basis vectors for projection are computed efficiently using the Arnoldi algorithm, which generates an orthogonal basis for the Krylov subspace containing moments of the original higher dimensional system. A simply supported steel plate, backed by a rigid walled cavity is used as a computational test case , and the computational gains and the accuracy obtained via implicit moment matching are compared with the direct method in ANSYS. Further, a reciprocity check is performed on the coupled system by exciting the coupled system using unit structural and acoustic excitations. It is shown that the reduced order modelling technique results in a very significant reduction in simulation time, while maintaining the desired accuracy of the state variables (displacements and pressures) under investigation.
In this work, a reduced order multidisciplinary optimization procedure is developed to enable efficient, low frequency, undamped and damped, fully coupled, structural-acoustic optimization of interior cavities backed by flexible structural systems. This new method does not require the solution of traditional eigen value based problems to reduce computational time during optimization, but are instead based on computation of Arnoldi vectors belonging to the induced Krylov Subspaces. The key idea of constructing such a reduced order model is to remove the uncontrollable, unobservable and weakly controllable, observable parts without affecting the noise transfer function of the coupled system. In a unified approach, the validity of the optimization framework is demonstrated on a constrained composite plate/prism cavity coupled system. For the fully coupled, vibro-acoustic, unconstrained optimization problem, the design variables take the form of stacking sequences of a composite structure enclosing the acoustic cavity. The goal of the optimization is to reduce sound pressure levels at the driver" s ear location. It is shown that by incorporating the reduced order modelling procedure within the optimization framework, a significant reduction in computational time can be obtained, without any loss of accuracy-”when compared to the direct method. The method could prove as a valuable tool to analyze and optimize complex coupled structural-acoustic systems, where, in addition to fast analysis, a fine frequency resolution is often required.
Recent developments in measurement techniques enabled researchers to measure ultra-fine particulates of nano-scale range and provided more evidence that the smaller particulates typically emitted from gasoline engines may have more severe impacts on human respiratory system than the bigger particulates from diesel engines. The knowledge of the characteristics of particulates from gasoline engines, especially, the effect of fuel borne additives is sparse. This work presents the findings from a study into the effect of aftermarket additives on nano-scale particulates. Four commercially available fuel borne additives used in gasoline engines mainly by private vehicle owners in the United Kingdom were selected for this study. The combustion and emission performance of the additive fuels were compared against that of commercially available gasoline fuel using a 4-stroke, throttle body injected gasoline engine. The engine-out particulates in the range of 5 to 1000 nm were measured using a fast particle spectrometer along with the in-cylinder pressure trace. The work identified that the total particulate count for certain types of additives are two orders of magnitude greater than that of base fuel at the same engine operating condition. In contrast, other types of additives produce significantly lower levels of particulate when compared with the base fuel especially in the range of 10 nm size.