by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Double triumph for Daimler: "Goldener Öltropfen 2013" goes to Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles

For the first time ever, a company has won the "Goldener Öltropfen" award for two developments: Daimler AG triumphed in the passenger cars segment with its NANOSLIDE® technology, while in the commercial vehicles segment the award went to the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI with recuperation module.

The KRAFTFAHRER-SCHUTZ e.V. (KS) automobile club awards the "Goldener Öltropfen" annually for technical developments or measures which promote economical and environment-friendly driving. In order to be considered for the award, such innovations must be in practical use and purchasable on reasonable terms. KS president Peter Dietrich Rath praised the decision of the neutral expert jury, noting that the two developments by Daimler represented a major contribution towards making passenger cars and buses more economical and thus more environment-friendly.

NANOSLIDE® technology opens up new avenues

The NANOSLIDE® cylinder surface finishing technology developed by Daimler AG provides for more fuel-efficient engines. Wires consisting of an iron-carbon alloy are melted in an electrically generated arc. An atomizing gas sprays the molten droplets into the cylinders of the aluminum crankcase, where they solidify under the effect of rapid cooling to form a delicate lamellar layer with an ultrafine to nano-crystalline microstructure. The cylinder barrel coating then undergoes extreme smoothing, after which it has a thickness of only 0.1 to 0.15 mm. Micro-pores are exposed as a result of the smoothing process, enabling the surface to absorb exceptionally large quantities of oil. This results in very low friction and very high wear resistance. The technology additionally helps to reduce weight and to lower fuel consumption, thereby making an important contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions. The NANOSLIDE® technology incorporates numerous inventions and ideas and is protected by more than 40 patents.

The NANOSLIDE® process has been used in series production at Daimler since 2006 for the 6.3 l V8 engine produced by AMG GmbH. The roll-out in the new V6 petrol engine (M276 DELA 30) has been underway since March 2013 – beginning with the new E-Class. In comparison to Daimler's own V6 petrol engine offering the lowest friction levels worldwide (M276 DE 35), use of the NANOSLIDE® technology has resulted in a further 2.3 percent reduction in CO2 and weight savings of 2.4 kg. In June 2013 NANOSLIDE® is also to be introduced in the new 4-cylinder high-performance engine (M133) from AMG for the A 45 and CLA 45 models.

In the NANOSLIDE® technology, Daimler has realized an effective system which in addition to benefiting passenger car engines also harbors potential for application in engines for commercial vehicles, including buses such as the Citaro.

Mercedes-Benz Citaro BlueTec 6: first series production regular-service bus complying with Euro VI emissions standard

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro is the first regular-service bus to be delivered with engines complying with the Euro VI emissions standard. Its notable fuel savings make an important contribution towards relieving the strain on the environment: emissions from the Citaro with Euro VI emission control technology are 80 percent below its predecessors' levels. As such, the buses play a key role in improving the quality of urban environments. At the same time, transport companies' fuel costs are also reduced, as the new urban buses get by on more than eight percent less diesel fuel.

"In developing the new Citaro, the onus was on combining fuel efficiency and economy with enhanced performance, safety and comfort," stresses Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses.

The development team have pulled out all the stops to achieve the outstanding economy offered by the new Citaro - a whole array of innovative measures has been applied to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

- The regular service bus saves fuel in the following way by means of a recuperation module: electricity which is generated without the use of fuel in overrun mode is stored and subsequently used when the bus is in tractive mode to supply energy to auxiliary consumers, such as blowers and lighting.

- The new, more efficient and electronically controlled twostage air compressor also contributes to the vehicle's economic efficiency. This compressor also operates in recuperative mode on the overrun. The technology reduces the Citaro's fuel consumption and, in turn, its CO2 emissions by more than three percent, depending on the vehicle's form of deployment.

- Battery and generator management also save fuel, while at the same time extending the components' service lives. The doors of entrances two and three have been lowered, thus reducing air consumption when passengers board at ground level (kneeling) and adding a further 0.4 to 0.5 percent to fuel savings.

The buses incorporate sophisticated emission control technology to meet the Euro VI standard. Together with the completely new engine generation, this technology lowers emissions to the limits of detectability. This represents a further significant step in the ongoing development of diesel technology.

To date, Daimler Buses has delivered some 350 buses equipped with Euro VI emission control technology. More than 1700 buses of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands featuring the environment-friendly Euro VI emission control technology are to be in service on the road by the end of 2013.

Credits: Daimler AG

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