Re ECF Project: 2008-17

Project Title: Development of an Automatic Switching Off System for Idling Engine to Achieve Enhanced Fuel Economy and Improved Environment

Applicant: The Hong Kong Productivity Council (Mr. Kenny Siu-wai WONG)

Total Approved Grant: $3,008,150

Duration: 5/10/2009 to 4/12/2011

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

To develop an automatic switching off (i.e. idle stop) system for idling engine; and
To conduct research on identifying the most cost effective technology and market available alternative air conditioning system, and integrate with the automatic engine switching off system

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
The project was to develop an automatic engine switching off (i.e. idlestop) system for idling engine and a supplementary air conditioning system. The concept is that the engine will stop operation automatically at idling stage, when the safety conditions are fulfilled. In contrast to common misbelieve that engine start consumes vast amount of fuel, the evaluation result revealed that engine start at its operating temperature consumes no more than 10 sec of fuel consumption in idling state or even less. Hence fuel saving and emission reduction can be achieved easily in urban traffic condition, as by average vehicles stop more than 30 sec in each stop and there are over 30% of engine idling period. Fuel saving up to 10% and carbon dioxide emission reduction up to 11% can be achieved by using the automatic engine idlestop system in urban traffic condition. In order to provide non-interrupted air conditioning during the operation of the idlestop system, the developed supplementary air conditioning system was integrated with the automatic engine idlestop system. Two supplementary A/C units, Hybrid-driven Supplementary A/C Unit and Phase Change Material A/C Unit, were developed to provide conditioned air during engine idlestop condition for upto 1 hour. In principle, the A/C Units store energy when the vehicle is running, and release the stored energy during engine idlestop condition to provide air conditioning.

After the successful development of the prototype system, a technical seminar and a press event were organized. The seminar attracted around 100 participates who were mostly fleet operators. Many of them expressed their interest in retrofitting with the System. Besides, the press event attracted reports and coverage from a wide range of mass media.