At Skeleton Technologies we are serious about making a change. We want to help people and companies to save energy, and one of the ways we do it is by manufacturing the best ultracapacitors in the world. Our ultracapacitors then in turn power solutions that can offer for example significant savings in fuel consumption and decrease the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. This blog post and infographic are the first in a series of articles that will look deeper into different industries and how much energy could be saved with already existing solutions.
Start-stop systems for passenger cars are one such solution. Start-stop systems have been measured to save up to 10% in fuel usage, so it's no small matter. Passenger cars are everywhere and a major source of pollution, which is why we chose the automotive industry as the first article in the series.
Automobiles are frequently left idling at red lights, sitting in traffic jams, or loading and unloading passengers. In a recent traffic study it was discovered that the average driver with a 30-minute commute spends 101 hours per year in traffic delays in Marseille, France, and 106 hours per year idling in Warsaw, Poland. Unfortunately, with the engine running, more than time is wasted.
All that idling burns expensive fuel. An idle car uses between 0.75 to 2.6 liters (0.2 to 0.7 gallons) of fuel per hour. Overall, the United States spends a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling, which translates to 14.4 million liters (3.8 million gallons) of fuel wasted!
Idling automobiles also produce prodigious quantities of greenhouse gas emissions - just as moving automobiles do. These pollutants have been linked to serious human illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer. In New York City alone, idling cars and trucks produce 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Start-stop systems allow the engine to completely shut down while the automobile is idle, and then start quickly, often dozens of times on a single trip. Ultracapacitors are the essential technology can provide a short burst of electricity to restart the engine. Skeleton's ultracapacitors are designed to withstand the millions of charge-discharge cycles that are expected during an automobile’s lifetime.
A 2014 European automotive industry study investigated the potential savings made possible with stop-start systems, and reported a fuel savings of 9.5% for a 2014 BMW 328i GT (2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder) and a 10.9% fuel savings for a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R (5.0-liter supercharged V8). Taxis, police, and people who live in particularly tough traffic areas with long idle times could potentially do even better.
Using less fuel translates into generating fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions. For every 10 minutes reduction in idling you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
While these figures might seem small when you think of savings for individuals cars, combined they form mind-boggling numbers. Take a look at our infographic below and you'll see how much of an impact we can make with technology that we already have. And remember, we are constantly working on more efficient solutions to help everyone save energy.
In our next article for this series, we'll take a look at the transportation industry and a new, innovative way to save fuel with a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for trucks.