Monday, March 9, 2009

Car Design = Rocket Science

BMW has a well-entrenched positioning as the manufacturer of sporty cars featuring cutting edge technology. A far less known fact is the philosophy of BMW EfficientDynamics which the designers at BMW has been striving towards for many decades.

The premise of the philosophy is really to produce cars that uses less fuel without compromising on the athleticism of the cars. The natural by-product when the philosophy is brought to life is the reduction in harmful emissions released by each car and therefore sustaining the environment.

To prove how serious the company is on their quest to produce cars that uses less fuel, while at the same time providing more performance, the company intends on collaborating with NASA in order to further entrench BMW EfficientDynamics in the design process.

BMW engineers are attempting to adapt the thermo electric system currently used on space ships to function in their cars. The highly complicated system used by NASA transforms heat emitted from plutonium into electricity. BMW wants to bring this system down to earth by reclaiming the thermal energy released in engine combustion process.

According to an engineer on the project, “a motor with an output of 200kW generally creates 400kW thermal energy as a waste by-product. Using that equation, a BMW sedan like the 530i could reduce its fuel consumption by as much as 13 percent, simply by equipping it with a thermoelectric generator.”

Via: Reuters