Delphi's exhaust gas heat exchanger; Green Manufacturing 101; What is GreenED?; Ford's Sustainable Materials Shopping List
Exhaust Gas Heat Exchanger Reduces CO2 Emissions
“Many vehicles spend much of their working life in urban conditions making short trips, which may mean they reach full operating temperature near the end of the trip or not at all, especially in winter months. EGHX improves fuel economy under these conditions for internal combustion and especially hybrid powertrains.”
That’s James Bertrand, president, Delphi Thermal Systems, talking about Delphi Automotive’s (delphi.com) exhaust gas heat exchanger (EGHX). The EGHX is designed to reduce CO2 emissions, provide faster cabin warm-up, and yield savings during cold starts. In addition, it recovers heat normally expelled by the exhaust system (in a normal vehicle about one-third of the heat is wasted this way) and uses it to quickly warm up the coolant, which in turn warms up parts of the engine or the transmission fluid.
Not only is this beneficial for smaller, fuel-efficient engines that have comparatively reduced heat generation, an important potential application for the EGHX is in hybrids, which normally have to run their engines longer in cold weather to keep the cabin warm. Recovering heat from the exhaust could allow the engines to be switched off and operate in electric mode sooner.
Bertrand says that there is another benefit to the system for those who have a tendency to let their cars “warm-up” for extended periods during the winter: “Further reductions in emissions are expected when drivers realize they no longer need to leave their vehicle idling before driving off in order to defrost the windows. Drivers with EGHX will notice that they can begin driving earlier and be comfortable much more quickly.”
The product will be ready for application later this year.
Delphi’s exhaust gas heat exchanger (EGHX) is designed to utilize heat that might otherwise be wasted. One application: hybrid vehicles. It can help heat the cabin more rapidly during cold conditions so the internal combustion engine doesn’t have to run as long, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel economy while protecting battery charge by reducing the use of electric heating.
Jon Guenin, energy efficiency and sustainability specialist at Purdue University (purdue.edu), has a warning for those companies hesitating to adopt green manufacturing practices: “If you’re not willing to make these changes, your competitors are.” So not only do they have the opportunity to have a better public perception, but by going green they can eliminate waste and become more competitive.
Guenin knows his stuff. In addition to the work he does for the Purdue’s Green Enterprise Development program (GreenED; greenmanufacturing.purdue.edu
), he is part of a team that provides onsite sustainability and energy audits to places like factories, hospitals, and colleges.
Guenin understands why some people are hesitant to change to green practices and methods: “There will always be some resistance. It’s difficult to change the way you’ve been doing things because people want to see that it’s going to add real value in addition to just improving the environment.”
However if a business or organization is looking for ways to implement green changes, Guenin recommends thinking these things over:
• Green means “everybody.” “One thing that we really stress with our training is that everybody can be a green worker. It’s not unlike quality—everyone is responsible.”
• Green is an extension of the lean philosophy. “Being lean is about eliminating non-value added activities or waste. Being green is about eliminating environmental waste. Waste is waste, whether it’s water, solid, hazardous, or wasted energy.”
• Green isn’t necessarily costly. “This is not about making you spend more money. This is about invest-ing in things that make sense that you’re overlooking now.”
• Green provides multiple returns. “Becoming a more sustainable company is a way to be more profitable and build positive public relations. It improves work environments for your employees and for the communities in which you operate.”
• Green isn’t going away. “Trends show that there’s upward pressure on prices for energy and all types of commodities based on increasing global demand. Being able to manufacture in a more sustainable way is going to result not only in cost savings, but with a competitive advantage.”
What is GreenED?
Purdue’s Green Enterprise Development program offers training in sustainable manufacturing, providing participants with knowledge to succeed in green enterprises through a series of modules. The university’s Technical Assistance Program partnered with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME; sme.org
) to develop an exam and certificate so participants who successfully complete the three-part program and pass the exam receive an industry-recognized credential.
GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions (geindustrial.com
) WattStation and WattStation Connect, an electric vehicle (EV) charging station and software platform are designed to be easy:
• Easy for EV drivers to remotely locate and use via smartphone app
• Easy for businesses and municipalities to customize and upgrade
• Easy on the eyes with its sleek look from industrial designer Yves Behar.
The station has a retractable self-cleaning cord, LED indicator lights to let drivers identify the status of a charge, and a NEMA 3R indoor/outdoor rating to meet UL and fire safety standards.
Ford’s Sustainable Materials Shopping List
What do dandelions, coconuts, and old money have in common? If Ford’s current research is successful, they could be the next green materials the automaker uses to replace petroleum-derived plastics and rubber for future vehicle applications.
And it’s not just because “green is good.” It can also be more cost-effective.
John Viera, Ford’s global director of Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters, says the potential deployment of recycled and reclaimed materials is an example of what the company is doing to combat rising material costs: “Ford has a long history of developing green technologies because it’s the right thing to do from an environmental perspective. Now, finding alternative sources for materials is becoming imperative as petroleum prices continue to rise and traditional, less sustainable materials become more expensive.”
The company began researching the use of sustainable materials in the early 2000s. Today it is producing parts using such things as soybeans, plastic bottles and recycled denim—all things abundantly available.
As is old money, or “retired paper currency,” as it is properly known.
Federal Reserve banks shred between 8,000 and 10,000 lb. of retired paper currency every day (that’s more than 3.6 million lb. annually). While some of that confetti is sent to landfills or burned, Ford is looking at using the shredded greenbacks in the manufacturing of plastic trays and bins.
The Russian dandelions? A possible alternative to synthetic rubber.
Coconuts? Coir, a fiber byproduct, is being looked at as a potential reinforcement for molded plastics.
Dr. Debbie Mielewski, technical leader of Ford's Materials Research and Innovation team, says the company isn’t stopping with those bio-based materials: "We have been working with an ever-increasing list of collaborators—chemical companies, universities, suppliers, and others—to maximize efforts and develop as many robust, sustainable materials as possible for the 300 lb. of plastic on an average vehicle.”