Delphi is showing off a new stop-start system that could help increase urban fuel economy of smaller vehicles by more than five percent.

The system, called Energen 5, uses a combined starter/alternator in the conventional generator position, allowing the engine to be automatically stopped when the vehicle idles and restarted almost instantaneously when the accelerator is pressed.

Compared with conventional in-line stop-start systems used in petrol-electric hybrids like the Honda Insight, Delphi drive belt system is claimed to be quieter, weigh less, have fewer components and to require almost no additional packaging volume.

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Combining the alternator and starter in a single unit, driving the engine through the accessory belt, gives a compact and affordable system for smaller vehicles. Delphi has achieved a five percent fuel economy improvement so far and expects to increase this ‘significantly’ with further development.

The elimination of the starter motor and ring gear also reduces weight, packaging, complexity and cost and allows a reduction in starting noise of at least three decibels.
The Energen 5 system is suitable for petrol engines up to 1.6 litres and diesels up to 1.2 litres, with either 12-volt or 42-volt power and an electrical draw of up to 5kW.

The basic system is air cooled, but it is also available with liquid cooling of the stator and electronics.

This can provide almost immediate heat to supplement cabin heating and will further reduce emissions by accelerating the rate of engine/catalyst warm-up.

The Energen system is also offered in larger sizes, including an in-line starter-alternator, fitted between the engine and the gearbox, to provide electrical generation, energy recovery, torque damping and power assist for mild hybrid operation.

Delphi has achieved up to 15 percent fuel economy improvements on a sport utility vehicle fitted with the Energen 10 in-line system.

Delphi expects Energen 5 to enter production for the 2003 model year with at least one major European vehicle manufacturer. A number of other vehicle makers in Europe and Asia are also evaluating the system.

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