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Goodyear’s Geneva concepts

The fruits of two of Goodyear’s applied research and development projects were recently presented at Geneva Motor Show 2015

by Rachel Evans

 

An electricity generating tire, which goes by its development code BH03, can turn waste energy into electricity. Experts envisage its application on hybrid and electric vehicles to supply the batteries as well as other onboard electronics.

Thermoelectric material inside the tire transforms heat, which is absorbed when in static condition or when the tire is rolling, into electric energy. Xavier Fraipont, director tire technology – consumer tires Europe, Middle East & Africa, explains further: “Inherently within a tire when it’s rolling there are spots that are hotter and some that are cooler. On the sidewall of this concept there are elements that cool the tire when it’s running, and when the tire is static, the ultra-black material absorbs more heat than a standard black material.”

A piezoelectric material also transforms the pressure formed due to structure deformation into energy; a usual tire deformation can be up to around 2.5cm, notes Fraipont. “The first step will be creating enough energy to put two sensors inside the tire. For sensors that communicate faster we will need to develop the technology and look at how we can get enough energy from the structure into hybrid or electric materials,” he says.

The BH03 is in its early days, so Goodyear hasn’t quoted figures for how much electricity it could potentially produce. Several key issues are yet to be addressed, as Fraipont reports: “We need to establish how we would put the materials together and how we will ensure we still achieve the best performance from the tire. We also need to consider whether the materials can be supplied at the right quantities and at an affordable price because they are expensive, and whether we can make it reuseable so it’s viable for the end consumer.”

Goodyear also presented a further development of its future concept SUV tire, which it showcased at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Badged Triple Tube, the concept can be inflated and deflated based on road conditions. “There are four chambers – the main chamber houses a pump and then there are three other chambers,” explains Fraipont. “The pump can either push more air in or transfer the air from one chamber to another.”

Fraipont emphasizes the intelligence of the technology; the tire would adapt according to the environment conditions: “It is not like having a selectable drive mode. The idea is to think about the direction of the vehicle, the fact that the windscreen wipers are moving fast, which means there is lots of water on the road. According to the GPS the vehicle is on the highway and the exit is coming where there will be a winding road – the vehicle can adapt the tire ready for aqua-planing resistance.”

Goodyear is looking to collaborate with universities and suppliers to develop and evaluate the concept further. The compound of the Triple Tube is made with silica derived from rice husk ash (see the November 2014 issue of Tire Technology International) and could also incorporate parts made from 3D printing.

Click here for videos of the concepts. 

March 12, 2015

 

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