Technology options for future mobility

  • 2/5/20 4:28 PM
  • Kirsten Oswald

Final presentations of CAS “Technology Potentials”

The MAS “Future Transport Systems” is currently in its second round and 13 students participated in the CAS “Technology Potentials” last fall semester. During the semester students learned about state of the art in powertrain, energy carrier and spatial information and communication technologies as well as integrated assessment of these technologies and agile and user-oriented innovation. Based on this, student groups chose a specific problem statement to analyze in their semester projects. The final presentations of these projects were held last Friday, January 31st.

One group looked into battery cooling demand by simulating the heat generation in Li-ion battery cells. This is part of an ongoing project at Empa and can contribute to optimizing the battery and vehicle cooling systems of electric vehicles, thus improving their energy efficiency. Another semester project developed a model to estimate the energy demand, adequate recuperation and storage capacity of trains with fuel cell, battery electric and conventional Diesel powertrains. Using this model the group evaluated the potential of fuel cell and battery electric trains compared to Diesel for different route profiles. Ultimately this will help discern which technology is most adequate in terms of energy efficiency for which type of route profile. Similarly, another group analyzed the potential of busses and trams to run without overhead lines, which would increase the flexibility of the public transport network. Under the premise that trams and busses should be battery-electric and charged with renewable electricity, the students studied this possibility for two test routes in Lucerne and Basel. The last presentation dealt with a possible charging infrastructure for people without a private parking space in the City of Zurich. Using a GIS simulation, they evaluated where the city could strategically place charging stations in blue-zone parking lots, which could help lower the barrier for purchasing electric vehicles for people without private parking and charging options.

The program now continues with the next CAS “New Business Models”, which started on 4 February. Find out more on the program website.