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Mazda Motor Corporation has received the 2009 Technology Award from the Combustion Society of Japan for development of the combustion technology used in its unique idling stop system, i-stop.
This award, from Japan's most prestigious organization engaged in combustion research, recognizes remarkable achievements made by individuals and groups in the field of combustion technology research and development.
Idling stop systems reduce vehicle fuel consumption by automatically shutting down the engine when the vehicle is stationary. The technology is relatively low cost, which means idling stop systems can be deployed widely. They therefore have the potential to become a highly effective method of reducing automobile CO2 emissions. However, conventional idling stop systems restart the engine by using the starter motor, such as when the key is turned in the ignition. As a result, there is a delay before driving can be resumed. The noise and vibration from the starter motor are also problematic issues.
Mazda's i-stop, on the other hand, leverages the characteristics of direct injection engines to achieve a "combustion restart." While the engine is stopped, the system injects fuel directly into a cylinder and ignites it to generate downward piston force, thereby initiating engine restart. Using this technology, i-stop restarts the engine in just 0.35 seconds, about half the time of most other competing systems. It also minimizes noise and vibration to ensure a natural driving feel.
The i-stop system was selected to receive the Combustion Society's Technology Award because it demonstrates a new application of combustion technology in automobile engines and further improves the excellent environmental performance of direct injection engines.
The award ceremony will take place on December 3, 2009 at the Sapporo Convention Center (SORA) in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Mazda's i-stop has also won the following awards:
- 2010 Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan (RJC) Technology of the Year award
- 2009 Eco-Products Award from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
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