In the world of automotive engineering, the quest for greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions has led to innovative advancements in vehicle electrification. One such technology is the Valeo 48 Volt iBSG (Integrated Belt Starter Generator), that promises to reshape the automotive landscape. In this article, we delve into the technical intricacies of the iBSG and explore why 48-volt systems are becoming increasingly vital for the automotive industry.
Historically, vehicles have relied primarily on a 12-volt electrical system to power various components, from lighting to infotainment systems. However, as the demand for more sophisticated electronics and improved fuel efficiency has grown, the limitations of a 12-volt system have become increasingly evident. This is where 48-volt systems come into play. Why the shift to 48 volts? Simply put, higher voltage systems offer a multitude of benefits, including:
Powering Electrification: With the growing prominence of electric powertrains, higher voltage systems are required to efficiently distribute power to electric motors and other components.
Reducing Current: When voltage increases, current decreases for the same power output. This reduction in current means less heat generated, reducing the need for heavy, expensive wiring and enhancing electrical efficiency.
Improved Start-Stop Systems: Higher voltage enables smoother and faster engine start-stop functions, crucial for improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.
Advanced Electrification: 48-volt systems pave the way for mild-hybrid and full-hybrid powertrains, enabling features such as regenerative braking, electric boost, and electric-only driving at lower speeds.
At the forefront of this voltage revolution is the Valeo 48 Volt iBSG, a compact and powerful system that brings together the functionalities of both a starter and generator. Its technical prowess lies in its ability to efficiently and seamlessly manage the electrical needs of modern vehicles.
Belt-Driven Design: The iBSG is directly integrated into the engine’s accessory belt drive system, enabling it to deliver power when needed and recover energy during braking or deceleration.
Instantaneous Start-Stop: The iBSG can restart the engine in milliseconds, ensuring that the start-stop system is practically imperceptible to the driver. This translates to improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Regenerative Braking: During deceleration, the iBSG acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy and storing it in the vehicle’s battery. This recovered energy can then be used to assist the engine or power other electrical systems.
Power Boost: In situations where additional power is needed, such as acceleration, the iBSG provides an electric boost to the engine, reducing fuel consumption and improving performance.
Seamless Integration: The Valeo iBSG is designed to work harmoniously with the vehicle’s existing powertrain, making it a cost-effective and efficient solution for automakers.
The 48 Volt iBSG addresses some of the most pressing challenges in the industry: Fuel efficiency, emissions reduction, cost-effective electrification and enhanced driver experience.