8th March 2012

Bladon Jets micro gas turbine generator is a key element of the Pininfarina Cambiano concept vehicle power train. Using its axial flow compressor technology this high performance range extender has the advantages of high power-small package density, multi fuel capability, good emissions characteristics and impressive NVH performance.

The Cambiano drive system incorporates an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) to charge the batteries and, when necessary, to supply energy directly to the motors: this is a 50 kW Bladon Jets micro turbine which normally runs on diesel but which can be calibrated to be compatible with various types of fuel. In addition to this advantage, the turbine is smaller than those of piston engines with a similar power delivery, it weighs just 40 kg, and generates low polluting emissions.

The micro turbine chosen for the Cambiano has technical features that make it particularly quiet and vibration-free, enhancing comfort for passengers. This type of extended range electric drive is thus amply in line with EURO 6 legislation, and is already compatible with possible evolutions (EURO 7 ready).

Where the energy management system is concerned, the objective is to minimise consumption and polluting emissions into the atmosphere, keeping turbine operating times to a minimum. This is triggered automatically when the battery charge falls below 20% of maximum capacity and turns off automatically when the speed is below 50 km/h (like restricted traffic areas in city centres). When necessary, the driver can activate or de-activate the turbine manually.

On the road, the need to generate energy with the micro turbine will depend on how the vehicle is used, on the type of route (urban, rural, out of town) and on traffic. This information can be obtained by GPS navigator. The turbine can be controlled ready to generate a certain calculated quantity of energy, trying to keep its ignition and operating times to a minimum.