He was nearing completion of his (uncompleted) master’s degree in the early 80s when, during a coffee break, Norman Grant, Director of Technology and Engineering at MISER Hydraulic Hybrid Technologies, was challenged to find a “world-beater” concept rather than the “usual stuff”. “That was my inspiration for developing this hybrid technology. At the time, it was a throw-away comment but I always thought: ‘Why not have a go?’”
Grant admits emission reduction was not part of the thought process at the time. “During the 80s, the quest was for better fuel consumption – after the fuel crisis of the 70s – and more power. Emission reductions have become an unintended consequence and, in more recent times, are now part of our quest, in line with the greener requirements of the world.”
MISER is a fuel-and emission-saving technology and consists of a hydraulic solution that uses a combination of braking-energy recovery, engine optimisation and refined modes such as torque suming, regenerative braking and launch assist.
The system complements various technologies and promotes sustainable driving by dramatically improving vehicle performance and saving fuel in an excess of 40% in certain drive cycles. It also significantly reduces the emission of harmful gasses by up to 37%.
Apart from saving fuel, emissions and cost of ownership that a MISER installation brings about, they are also one of the few technologies in engine brake-specific fuel consumption optimisation.
“Engine optimisation is of vital importance to enhance efficiency and MISER can advance the combustion process of an engine — at all loads and speeds. The technology is inherently low-cost and more efficient than alternatives, such as electric, for modes like regenerative braking and launch assist,” says Grant.
With the decreasing demand for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles caused by emission regulations and improved electric vehicles, MISER’s system might very well be the technology that prolongs the use of ICEs. There is hope for the old-school petrolhead.
Read more in the March/April issue of Fast Company South Africa.