By Nick Gilbert
Siemens Vietnam has entered into an agreement with the Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation (Vinamotor) to provide its Elfa hybrid drive technology for city buses.
The transportation requirement for urban residents in Vietnam is increasing. This has posed a significant challenge to the public transport system. The Siemens Elfa system, which is a diesel-electric hybrid drive concept, is to be fixed on the city buses. This drive consists of diesel generator sets and energy storage devices. These mobile energy generators will be able to harness the energy released during braking and store them.
In normal buses, the energy generated during braking is lost in the form of heat. The Siemens Elfa hybrid technology involves a traction motor that converts the braking energy into electrical energy. This energy is then stored in batteries or high-performance capacitors. The stored energy can be utilized when the bus is started and accelerated. If the system has a large storage capacity, the bus may be driven through electrical energy. This can result in significant savings in fuel and operation costs by up to 50%. The electrical energy will be free of emission and will reduce its negative effect on the environment. The noise generated during operation will be comparatively lesser than that generated by conventional buses. The quieter operation will benefit passengers travelling in the bus.
Siemens has agreed to provide the technical support and components. Vinamotor will manufacture the other parts for the city buses. A prototype of the Siemens Elfa hybrid drive technology is to be completed in 2012.