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16 November 2010

Hybrid Bus Prototype Created with the Participation of the IREC Joins TMB Fleet

IREC i TMBThe new vehicle is part of the Retrofit programme for the mass conversion of diesel buses to hybrid technology
 
November, 15th 2010 – A new prototype of hybrid (i.e. A hybrid system uses more than one source of energy. In the Retrofit project it combines an electric engine with the bus’s existing diesel engine.) bus has joined the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) fleet. The new vehicle, created with the participation of the IREC’s Technological Research Area in Electricity and Power Electronics, will be one of five buses in the latest-generation new fleet. The prototype was commissioned in March and has been undergoing checks over the past few months. It forms part of the Retrofit programme for the mass conversion of diesel buses to hybrid technology.

The hybrid programme is aimed at technologically and environmentally updating around 100 vehicles in TMB’s current bus fleet and encouraging the Catalan industrial sector in an interesting line of research, development and innovation. There is no question that diesel buses reconverted to hybrid vehicles have direct public health benefits, not just in terms of lowering emissions, which fall by around 30%, but also because of increased passenger comfort and improved quality of life for pedestrians, as the vehicles completely suppress noise at bus stops. 
 
To implement the project, the IREC was commissioned to prepare the electromagnetic compatibility study and the energy efficiency study for the new prototype and proposed a new pattern of mobility to follow to ensure the studied efficiency is implemented on the real route.
 
About IREC. IREC is the leading centre for research in the energy sector in Catalonia. Created in 2008, it is specialised in Technological Research and Development activities related to saving energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies; more specifically, it has work lines based on technologies related to micro networks, electric vehicles, energy storage, building efficiency, bioenergy and biofuels, and offshore wind energy.
 
The institute also has an electricity and power electronics area, another aimed at research, design and characterisation of materials for energy, and a third area devoted to social and technical research in the field of energy. The Institute will gradually continue to develop until 2014, at which time it will have 160 researchers and highly qualified engineers.
 
The members of IREC’s Board, chaired by minister Antoni Castells, are the  Government of Catalonia, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Innovation, Universities and Business; the Government of Spain, through the Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology Research (CIEMAT) and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE); the University of Barcelona; the Polytechnic University of Catalonia; Rovira i Virgili University; Endesa; Gas Natural Fenosa; the Repsol Foundation, Enagás, Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) and Alstom. IREC has two locations: one in Barcelona and the other in Tarragona.