Car Tech: Nissan’s New Fuel Cell Stack, XTRONIC CVT and New Hybrid System

Nissan has recently been investing heavily into new technologies, and improving the current ones, in hope to win the edge over the rivals in the coming years.

They announced a range of new technologies, including new Fuel Cell stacks, new generation XTRONIC CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for 2.0 to 3.5-liter engine vehicles and a new Hybrid System for front-wheel drive vehicles, both based on newly developed environmental technologies. The latest technology development is part of the company’s continuing efforts towards the realisation of a zero emission society.

In developing the new systems, Nissan is also taking weight reduction into account, as it has advantages in terms of both fuel efficiency and performance.

nissan FC1 Car Tech: Nissans New Fuel Cell Stack, XTRONIC CVT and New Hybrid System

Here’s more details on the aforementioned systems:

Fuel Cell Stacks

Through improvements to the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly) and the separator flow path, which make up the structure of the Fuel Cell, Nissan significantly improved the power density of the Fuel Cell Stack to 2.5 times greater than its 2005 model and realised a world’s best* 2.5 kW per litre.

Furthermore, moulding the supporting frame of the MEA integrally with the MEA enabled stable, single-row lamination of the Fuel Cell, thereby significantly reducing its overall size by more than half compared to conventional models. Additionally, compared with the 2005 model, both the usage of platinum and parts variation has been reduced to one quarter, thereby reducing cost of the Next Generation Fuel Cell Stack to one-sixth of the 2005 model.

Nissan continues to work on the development of practical applications of Fuel Cell electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, low emission internal combustion engines and hybrid systems.

New Generation XTRONIC CVT (for 2.0 to 3.5-liter engine vehicles)

The new generation XTRONIC CVT model achieves an improvement in fuel economy of up to 10%*[1] compared to previous CVTs for comparable vehicles. The new transmission features a world-leading ratio coverage of 7.0*[2], and friction reduced by up to 40%. Combined with Adaptive Shift Control (which adapts shifting patterns to match each driver’s style and the road), the new generation XTRONIC CVT delivers responsive and powerful acceleration. What is more, they help keep the engine from revving too fast at high speeds and minimize noise. The new generation XTRONIC CVT will be introduced in North America from 2012, then globally thereafter.

– How the new CVT achieves a ratio coverage of 7.0

By combining smaller shaft-diameter pulleys with a new and differently shaped belt, the range of ratios between the two pulleys has been expanded with only minimally increased axial distance. The resulting ratio coverage of 7.0 sets a new benchmark for CVTs for 2.0-liter-plus vehicles around the world.

– How friction has been reduced by up to 40%

The adoption of a more compact oil pump was achieved by reducing oil leak and reducing necessary oil pressure resulted from the interface increase between the pulleys and the belt. This, plus the use of specially formulated low viscosity oil, has reduced friction. Also approximately 60% of the component parts have been modified to reduce friction.

– Adaptive Shift Control (ASC)

ASC senses each driver’s intentions through the way he or she accelerates and the choices made in handling and speed. Based on these preferences, ASC selects a gear ratio optimal to the specific conditions and the driver’s intention. ASC’s linear shift control function gives the driver a more direct sense of acceleration by coordinating engine speed (RPM) with vehicle speed as the car accelerates.

New Hybrid System (for front-wheel drive vehicles)

Nissan’s new system takes an innovative approach to the hybrid challenges of affordability and packaging. It incorporates one electric motor and two clutches into the new generation XTRONIC CVT and combines this with a compact lithium-ion battery and a 2.5-liter supercharged engine. The result is a compact, versatile powertrain that does not require a specially designed body. It delivers power equivalent to a 3.5-liter engine but with much better city and highway fuel economy. Nissan plans to release a new hybrid vehicle in North America in 2013, and later in global markets.

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