SEF01: Energy Systems Technology

Whole-Chain Energy Efficiency Assessment for Three Different Methods of Lighting an Automotive Headlight
T. Hurst, S. Lioutas, D. Papadopoulos. November 2010.

1. Abstract
The aim of this project was to assess the efficiencies of different supply chains in providing illumination for an automotive low-beam headlight. Three energy supply methods were chosen; a battery electric vehicle; a car running a traditional diesel internal combustion engine; a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Comparison of the whole chains leads to the conclusion that a fuel cell vehicle using Xenon HID bulbs has the best overall efficiency at 30%, with the IC vehicle coming in last with 7% for Xenon.

2. Introduction: setting up the system
To effectively normalise these different routes up to the point of power delivery to the headlight, they are given an equal starting point by using natural gas as the base fuel source. The three routes will be analysed separately up to the point of delivering the energy to light the bulb, thereafter three different illumination methods will be assessed, before the efficiencies of the whole chains are quantified. A schematic overview of the stages involved in getting power to the bulb is shown in Figure 1. The aim is to compare the separate routes, so the energy losses in producing the base fuel are briefly quantified according to the extensive research of Hekkert et al (2005) as 96%, 96% and 99% (total 92%) for extraction, production and distribution respectively. It is assumed that the natural gas has been delivered to a seaport somewhere 300 km from the city where the vehicles are to be used. Sited at this fictional port are also the power station and refineries necessary to convert the gas into the necessary energy carrier for each chain. To avoid the results becoming trivial, it must be recognised that powering the lights is not considered to be the main purpose of the engines. Had this been the case, then the energy needed to move the vehicles would be considered as a loss, leaving the efficiencies of the power-to-bulb stages at around 5% or less. This implies, for instance, that the internal combustion energy is only generating the power demanded by the systems involved in generating light.

The Battery Electric Vehicle Energy Vector
Electricity Generation Electricity Transmission Electricity Distribution Battery Charger Efficiency Battery Efficiency

The Internal Combustion Engine Energy Vector
Natural Gas Diesel Production Diesel Distribution IC Engine Efficiency Alternator Efficiency Battery Efficiency Power Available at Headlight

Hydrogen Production Hydrogen Compression Hydrogen Distribution

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Energy Vector
Hydrogen Delivery Energy Conversion Running the Fuel Cell Conditioning Electronics Battery Roundtrip Efficiency

Figure 1. Three different routes to powering an automobile headlight from natural gas.


3. The Battery Electric Vehicle Chain
The first set of whole-chain efficiency calculations are based on a battery electric vehicle as the end user. The assumed battery electric vehicle in this case runs on a Li-ion battery pack. For this scenario the Tesla Roadster battery electric car is assumed which runs on a Li-ion battery of nominal voltage 375V.

3.1 Electricity Generation
The efficiency with which natural gas is converted to electricity is the first to be considered in the chain. The electricity needed to supply an EV-battery car, is generated by a typical Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station, which operates in the UK. Specifically The Rye House, which is considered for this work is a 715MW power station (Smith & Sharpe 1995) where electricity is generated both from gas and low pressure steam turbines. The total efficiency of the station comes as a result of the energy losses that occur in the energy flow through each process. The most important losses occur in the steam condensing system of the plant, where the low pressure turbine’s exhaust steam is cooled to liquid. More precisely, the losses for the plant occur in (i) the heat recovery boilers module because of radiation and mechanical losses (0.4%) and stack losses (10.9%), (ii) the Steam turboset module because of mechanical and electrical losses (0.5%), auxiliary power (0.9%) and mainly condenser losses (35.9%) and finally (iii) in the Gas turboset where mechanical and electrical (0.5%) and auxiliary losses (0.1%) occur. The total losses described above contribute to a total electricity generation efficiency of 50.8% (Smith & Sharpe 1995). Natural Gas Electricity Generation Electricity Transmission 50.8% 97.23%

3.2 Transmission
The energy produced by the power station enters the transmission grid for delivery. The GB transmission grid operates at three different voltage levels: 400kV, 275kV and 132kV. Most power stations are directly connected to the system which consists of 25,000 circuit kilometers and more than 1000 transformers. This is the case for the CCGT plant considered for the electricity production. The generated voltage is 11kV from the gas turbine and 15.75kV from the steam turbine (Smith & Sharpe 1995). These voltages are upconverted to 400kV by the generator transformers, in order to adapt to the grid’s high voltage levels. The generated output is supplied to the grid via underground cable to the grid at a point 0.5 km away. The efficiency of the transmission system is determined by the losses that occur between the power plant and the grid supply point GSP and are made up of (i) Fixed losses (0.49%); Corona losses on outdoor transmission equipment and iron losses in transformers, (ii) Variable (I2R) losses because of transmission heating losses in the overhead lines, underground cables etc (1.8%), heating losses in grid supply transformers to low voltage level (0.19%), generator transformer losses (0.22%). The total efficiency as a result of the losses across the transmission grid is 97.23%. The losses presented above are calculated from the data available for the power losses (in MW) over the peak demand estimation for the year 2010-2011 (National Grid, 2010, nationalgrid.com)

Electricity Distribution Battery Charger


3.3 Distribution
After the electricity has been transmitted to the Grid’s Supply Point and downconverted to 132kV, it enters the distribution network. The distribution network delivers electricity to the end user at lower voltage levels and is the final stage of the electricity transfer from the plant to the final application. The distribution network in UK operates at 33kV, 11kV and 400V, with


3 conversions between voltage levels introducing additional losses. More precisely as a result of line losses and transformer load and non-load losses in 33-132kV and 6.6-11kV and line losses in 400V level, the total losses are 4.47%. This calculation was carried out by ATEN &FERRIS (2009) for E.on Central Networks, a distributor network operator. Mazza & Hammerschlag (2005) include a 6% losses in their Wind to Wheel Energy Assesment. For this work an average loss of 5.2% is used. According to this, the total efficiency of the distribution network is 94.8%

Battery Efficiency


3.4 Battery Charger
After the energy in the form of electricity has been transmitted through the grid and been distributed for domestic use, it has to be stored to the battery of the Electric Car. The Tesla roadster is charged for this case with the “High Power Wall Connector” produced by Tesla Motors. The use of this instrument introduces losses, part as a result of the conditioning (AC-DC) electronics included. The car can draw 80% of the charger’s amperage (Tesla, 2010, teslamotors.com).

Power Available

3.5 Battery efficiency
Tesla Roadster runs on a 375V Li-ion battery which can store 53kWh of energy and deliver a power of 200kW. The battery pack is made of 6800 Li-ion battery cells (Berdichevsky, Ketly, Straubel & Toomre 2006) The total efficiency of the battery is analyzed in two specific efficiencies. Coulombic efficiency and Energy efficiency. Coulombic efficiency is a result of very small side reaction currents and is near 100%, so no losses are introduced. Energy efficiency is defined as the total stored energy in the battery that can be measured as electrical energy. Because of losses as a result of heat production through the impedances, energy efficiency is always under 100% (Valoen & Shoesmith 2007). The energy efficiency depends on the rate of the current flow during charge and discharge procedure. The charging and discharging efficiency for a Li-ion battery is according to Valoen & Shoesmith’s (2007) figures 92% and 93% respectively. Mazza & Hammerschlag (2005) assume 5% charging losses and 7% self discharging losses for a Li-ion battery. Kennedy, Patterson & Camilleri (2000) give a 95% for charge-discharge efficiency while Helms, Pehnt, Lambrecht & Liebich assume 90% charging efficiency and 95% battery losses. An average battery energy efficiency of 87% is assumed for the battery pack used in this scenario. The total efficiency of the BEV to the point of delivery is ηtot = ηCCGT * ηTRANS * ηDIST* ηCHRG * ηBAT Process stage Electricity Generation from CCGT plant Transmission Distribution Battery Charger Battery roundtrip efficiency Total efficiency with intermediate battery Efficiency (%) 51 97 95 80 87 33

Table 1. Process and total efficiencies for the BEV chain up to the point of delivery


4. The ICE vehicle
The internal combustion engine (ICE) is a mature and reliable technology that has been developed over the course of 100 years and still stands as the most common option for the propulsion of a vehicle worldwide. The need for more efficient use of fossil fuels in transportation has led to a turn from gasoline engines, whose thermal efficiency rarely surpasses 25%, to diesel-engine vehicles which have thermal efficiencies higher than 35% (Crouse & Anglin, 1994, p.111). According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA, 2008), diesel-powered cars accounted for 53.3% of total new car registrations in Western Europe in 2007, up from 13.8% in 1990. In our analysis we assume that the vehicle is powered by a diesel engine which burns diesel that is derived from natural gas.

4.1 Diesel production
The basic technology used for diesel production from natural gas is the Fischer - Tropsch process. The process, which was first developed by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in the 1920’s, includes a set of chemical reactions in the presence of a catalyst (Gill et al, 2010). According to Stodolsky et al (1999) as cited by Hekkert et al (2005) the most probable overall efficiency of the F-T process is 65%. The F-T process gives a diesel fuel with higher cetane number and lower aromatic level than conventional diesel, almost zero sulfur content which can reduce particulate matter emissions from the engine and about 94% of the volumetric energy content of conventional diesel, so the diesel engine does not need to be modified to operate on it (Y.Huang., L.Zhou & K.Pan , 2007). Natural Gas Diesel Production (F-T) 65%

4.2 Diesel distribution
Distribution of F-T diesel is equal to distribution of oil-derived diesel (Hekkert et al, 2005), so we assume an efficiency of 99% (Wang, 1999).

4.3 Internal Combustion Engine (Diesel)
Most of the available energy in the fuel is converted to heat losses and other mechanical losses rather than work in an internal combustion engine. The best diesel IC engines now have an overall efficiency of 40% to 45% (IMechE, 2009) compared to only 30%, 15 years ago as a result of many different advanced techniques applied by engineers like turbocharging and common rail direct injection. It is worth mentioning that the engine’s efficiency does not have a constant value but highly depends on several factors such as load, engine speed and torque. It is a fact that during driving cycles where the engine operates mainly in part loads, the efficiency is lower. According to Achten et al (2008), a vehicle (Volkswagen Passat sedan) equipped with a 100kW diesel engine during the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), which is used for defining the specific fuel consumption (in litres per 100 km) and emissions of light – duty vehicles (Dieselnet, 2010), runs in poor efficiency areas most of the time. During 80% of the time the engine needs to deliver less than 10 kW resulting in an average engine efficiency of 18% (INNAS, 2010). The mechanical power that is produced from the engine splits up in two directions: one part goes to the mechanical driveline for vehicle propulsion, whereas the other part goes to the alternator. At steady state conditions, an average of 5 to 10 percent of the total energy in the fuel is consumed by the drivetrain and accessories like power steering, air conditioning and the alternator (Howey, North & Martinez-Botas, 2010). As explained in the introduction, we will not include this efficiency in the chain.

Diesel Distribution IC Engine

99% 18%

4.4 Electrical Systems
Electrical power supply systems of present vehicles are equipped with an alternator in combination with a 14V regulator, to maintain a constant voltage at the power net when the engine is running. In this way, the alternator supplies power continuously to all electric loads as well as the 12V battery, with the battery providing energy to the loads only during peak-power demands or when the engine is turned off (Nuijten et al, 2003).


4.4.1 Alternator
The alternator or generator is used to power the vehicle’s electric system and to charge the vehicle’s battery, ensuring that the battery’s state of charge is maintained at an adequate level. The generation of power has an effect on fuel consumption of the vehicle and depends on the alternator’s efficiency. The maximum efficiency of a modern, air-cooled alternator is around 70% at full load. In automotive applications, the alternator mainly operates in the part-load range, in which an efficiency of up to 75% is achieved (Meyer, 2007). Bosch’s 14 Volt Efficiency Line generator has an efficiency range from 70 to 77%, according to the VDA cycle, which is a German standard used to evaluate the performances of a generator in its operation area (A.Gimeno, G.Friedrich, 2008). Because the alternator operates most of the time in part load, we assume the lowest efficiency, thus 70%. There are strong interrelationships between the battery, alternator, engine speed and engine load that constantly vary during a driving cycle so the efficiencies are just a subcategory of the system’s performance used to provide an indicative case for our study. 60% Battery Efficiency



4.4.2 Battery (Lead – Acid)
Flooded Lead – Acid batteries are being widely used in car industry for many years. When the engine is running at very low speed or idling, the load demanded by the electrical equipment is greater than the current supplied by the alternator so the battery is discharged, providing the extra current. There is always an amount of energy lost during battery charging and discharging which is highly dependent on the battery’s state of charge (SOC), with higher charge efficiencies at low SOC (Stevens & Corey, 2002). For our study we assume a charging efficiency of the battery of 60% which is approximately the efficiency in the 85% and 90 % SOC range (Stevens & Corey, 2002). This number is just an approach, as no data for battery efficiency during driving cycle could be found which takes into serious account that in a vehicle the battery spends most of its working life in a SOC greater than 90% (Reasbeck & Smith, 1997). The total efficiency of ICE vehicle to the point of delivery is ηtot = ηF-T * ηDIST * ηICE * ηALT ( * ηbat) Process stage F-T Diesel Production Diesel Distribution Internal Combustion Engine Alternator Efficiency Battery Efficiency Total efficiency for direct powering of light via the alternator Total efficiency with intermediate battery Efficiency (%) 65 99 18 70 60 8 5

Power Available

Table 2. Process and total efficiencies for the diesel fuel-cell chain up to the point of delivery

5. The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Chain
The third set of whole-chain efficiency calculations are based on a fuel cell electric vehicle as the end user. There are a number of different fuel cells in production and development, but the assumed vehicle here is the Ballard Mark 902 68kW PEM fuel cell stack that runs on high-quality (over 99% purity) hydrogen, and is able to deliver electricity either straight to the headlight, or via intermediate storage through a 15 kW Lithium-ion battery.


5.1 Hydrogen production
Natural Gas Hydrogen Production 71% The first efficiency that needs to be considered is that covering the production of hydrogen from the base energy source of natural gas. In industry, the method of choice is via steam reforming (Spath & Mann, 2001). This can increasingly be achieved at a range of scales, from cars with integrated reformers (HFCN, 2010) up to full industrial systems. For this system, a mid to large, central hydrogen production facility is assumed for its higher efficiencies (Hekkert et al, 2005). When steam reforming hydrogen, a number of processes are performed on the natural gas feedstock (NYSERDA, 2006): initial syngas production; water gas shift; feedstock and product purification. While it is difficult to quantify the efficiencies of the individual steps, a number of different sources (Haryanto et al, 2005; Hekkert et al, 2005; NYSERDA, 2006) agree on a range of efficiencies for the overall hydrogen production process. The range of efficiencies is 65% - 78%, so for the purpose of this exercise an average efficiency of 71% is assumed for the production of hydrogen.

5.2 Hydrogen compression
For hydrogen to be efficiently transported, there are two available options: compression or liquefaction (Hekkert et al, 2005). Analysis of available literature (Bossel, Eliasson & Taylor, 2005; Hekkert et al, 2005) shows that liquefaction (whilst it does of course produce a more energy-dense fuel) is more energy intensive than compression, and suffers from such problems as gas loss through boil-off during distribution and storage. For this reason, the more practical option of compression is chosen. Bossel (2003), Hekkert et al (2005) and Wang (1999) agree on a representative range of 88% – 94% for the compression process, so here an average efficiency of 91% is taken.

Hydrogen Compression Hydrogen Distribution


5.3 Hydrogen distribution
Once compressed, the hydrogen must be distributed and delivered to the tank of the fuel cell vehicle. It is assumed that the hydrogen is delivered by pipeline to local delivery points, and will require some intermediate compression. Based on the calculations of Bossel, Eliasson and Taylor (2005), which give losses of 0.77% per 100m of pipeline, the total loss incurred is 2.31%. This results in an efficiency for distribution of 97% (conservatively rounding down). 97%

5.4 Hydrogen delivery
Whilst it is straightforward to transfer liquids between two containers by gravity, compressed hydrogen is still gaseous, which brings complications, particularly temperature changes due to decompression. The fuel must be transferred from a large storage tank to the vehicle’s smaller, but higher pressure tank, so will require some compression work from a pump. According to Bossel, Eliasson and Taylor (2005), losses incurred when transferring hydrogen from a large tank at 10 MPa to a vehicle tank at 35 MPa (realistic, as this is the pressure used by the Mitsubishi FCV (Mitsubishi 2010)) are at least 3%, implying a process efficiency of 97%. Hydrogen Delivery


5.5 Energy Conversion
It is now necessary to convert the stored hydrogen in the tank into electricity. The conversion of gaseous hydrogen and oxygen into water is the opposite reaction to the electrolysis of water, and according to Harrison et al (2010) will yield an available voltage of 1.229 V (calculated based on Gibbs free energy changed into a thermodynamic voltage). The voltage efficiency of a fuel cell can be calculated as: Voltage Efficiency = Operating Voltage / Thermodynamic Voltage (Harrison et al, 2010) Energy Conversion


7 According to Bossel (2003), polarization losses and ohmic resistances mean that a fuel cell with a common design voltage of 0.7 Volts may experience a range of voltages depending on load conditions, so a mean voltage of 0.75 Volts is a good value to work with. Using the above equation gives a voltage efficiency of ~61%. This is the efficiency for an individual cell; a stack will likely have a slightly lower overall efficiency due to imperfections, small parasitic losses and unwanted heat generation.

Conditioning Electronics


5.6 Conditioning electronics
According to Kreutz & Ogden (2000), a fuel cell stack able to produce a voltage in the range of 350 – 600 Volts will not require DC-AC or DC-DC voltage up-conversion. The Ballard Mark 902 automotive fuel cell stack has found use in a number of fuel cell vehicles (Fuell Cell Today, 2002; Mitsubishi 2010; HFCN 2002), and is able to supply between 250 and 450 Volts. It is therefore assumed to require no or minimal voltage / power conditioning, so the efficiency of this stage is 100%.

Running the Fuel Cell


5.7 Running the fuel cell
Not all power produced by the fuel cell is used to deliver the user’s desired functions. Some power must be used just to keep the fuel cell running, by powering pumps and heaters, for example. Bossel (2003) puts a figure of 10% on the losses caused by these systems, resulting in 90% of the power output by the fuel cell being available for use.

5.8 Battery charging / discharging
As mentioned previously, it is assumed that depending on the stage of operation, the headlight is either powered directly by the fuel cell, or by electricity from the battery’s intermediate storage. A value is therefore needed for the efficiency of charging and discharging the battery. The investigations into duty-cycle eccentricity of HEV battery packs carried out by Valøen and Shoesmith (2007) give a roundtrip efficiency range of approximately 80% - 92% for a Lithiumion cell. The average value of 86% will be used for this stage. It should be noted that a Li-ion cell’s charge and discharge efficiency is much less dependent on its state of charge than, say, a NiMH or NiCd cell (Valøen & Shoesmith, 2007), so the use of a single number to represent roundtrip efficiency is a fairer representation.

Battery Roundtrip Efficiency


5.9 Power available to the headlight
Power Available After all these intermediate stages, power is finally available to be delivered to the car headlight. Table 3 summarises the efficiencies and shows the calculated total efficiency of the fuel cell chain up to the point of delivery to the headlight.

The efficiency of FCEV to the point of delivery is ηtot = ηPRD * ηCOM * ηDST* ηDLV * ηCNV * ηCND * ηRUN * (ηBAT) Process stage Hydrogen production from NG Hydrogen compression Hydrogen distribution Hydrogen delivery Energy conversion Conditioning electronics Efficiency (%) 71 91 97 97 61 100

8 Running the fuel cell Battery roundtrip efficiency Total efficiency for direct powering of light Total efficiency with intermediate battery 90 86 33 29

Table 3. Process and total efficiencies for the fuel-cell chain up to the point of delivery

6. Illumination
There is no set unit of absolute efficiency for illumination delivered by a lighting element, so for this project, a relative value must be defined. An efficiency value is defined here normalised against the headlight (not just bulb) able to emit 1000 lumens onto the road (high-end delivered output of dippedbeam headlights (Ackerman, 2007)) with the lowest power input.

6.1 The LED headlight
Audi recently introduced the full-LED headlight in its A8 and R8 models, and for a few years the Lexus LS600h has been using an LED low-beam headlight. Previously LED’s were only available as indicators and daytime running lights, advances by Audi, Philips Lighting, Automotive Lighting and Koito (COOLON, 2010) have led to systems that are competitive in terms of output and consumption with current HID lighting. LED headlight technology had suffered from overheating limiting luminous output, but these issues have been addressed, and R8 headlights now boast a luminous output of 70 lumens per watt (L/w) (Ackerman, 2007). A contributor to this improved rating is the higher optical efficiency of an LED relative to an incandescent bulb; Ackerman (2007) claims an LED light source has an optical efficiency of 45% compared to 33%, so a lower total output is required for the headlight to deliver a given illumination on the road. This will go some way to offset the heat losses. The Audi lighting solution (Ackerman, 2007) uses fans to cool the chips, and their power consumption is not available. Koito, however, use heat fins and heat pipes (Yagi et al, 2006) to regulate temperature without extra energy input, and their 5 LEDs draw 700 mA each. Based on a nominal 12V battery supply, this implies a power consumption of 42W for each headlight. An optical efficiency of 45% means a 2222 lumen output will yield 1000 lumens for the road, giving Koito low-beam LED headlights an efficiency of (2222 / 42) 53 L/w.

6.2 The HID Xenon headlight
Xenon-based headlights are currently the lighting source of choice for the majority of car manufacturers. A representative light is chosen as the Philips Xenstart D1S Xenon bulb, suitable for use in low-beams, which has an output of 3200 lumens (at an optical efficiency of 33% this yields 1060 lumens) at 35 watts (XenonLighting, 2010). This translates to an efficiency of (3200 / 35) 91 L/w.

6.3 The halogen headlight
Halogen lights were for a long time the prevalent light source, until recently being overtaken by Xenon sources. A representative bulb is chosen as the Sylvania 9006LL halogen bulb, suitable for low beam applications, which has an output of 1000 lumens (Sylvania, 2010). Given the 33% optical efficiency, a headlight comprising three of these bulbs will be required to deliver the target luminance of 1000 lumens to the road. Each bulb requires 55W, so an efficiency of (3000 / 165) 18 L/w is calculated.


6.4 Efficiencies
The Xenon HID light source has the best output at 91 L/w, so this value is normalised to an efficiency of 100%. Based on this, efficiencies for the LED and halogen bulbs are calculated as 58% and 20% respectively.

7. Whole-chain comparisons
Summarised in Table 4 are the calculated efficiencies for each stage of all three energy delivery methods in their entirety. All three lighting methods are compared for each route, delivering three final efficiencies. In the cases of the internal combustion vehicle and the fuel-cell electric vehicle an extra three efficiencies are calculated to reflect the different operating modes, i.e. power directly from the source or indirectly via the battery. Values are rounded to the nearest whole number to reflect the uncertainties involved in generating them.
Battery Electric Vehicle Process Electricity Generation Transmission Distribution Battery Charger Battery Roundtrip Efficiency (%) 51 97 95 80 87 Internal Combustion Powered Vehicle Process Diesel Production Diesel Distribution Engine Alternator Battery Efficiency (%) 65 99 18 70 60 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Process H Production Efficiency (%) 71 91 97 97 61 100 90 86 Without Battery With Battery 30 18 6 26 15 5 Efficiency of Natural Gas Extraction, Production and Distribution: 92%

Light Source

Light Source 29 17 5 Xenon LED Halogen

H Compression H Distribution H Delivery Conversion Conditioning Running Battery Roundtrip Without Battery With Battery Light Source 7 5 2 5 3 1 Xenon LED Halogen

Xenon LED Halogen

Table 4. Whole-chain efficiencies for all three energy vectors

Figure 2. Relative losses for each route Table 4 shows that the most efficient method for delivering light onto the road is via a fuel cell electric vehicle utilising a Xenon HID headlight, at 30%. However, for drive cycles where power is being delivered via the battery, the efficiency of the FCEV drops and the battery electric vehicle becomes the more efficient option, with 29%. Figure 2 allows for the comparison of the relative losses for each of the energy delivery routes, excluding the efficiencies of natural gas extraction and delivery, and the final light sources, which are common for all three cases. It can be seen that for the battery electric vehicle, the largest source of losses is in electricity generation; for the internal combustion engine the largest losses come from the engine itself; for the FCEV most of the losses are incurred in generating electricity in the fuel cell.


8. Analysis and discussion
One of the key points to take note of is that in all three cases, the major source of loss is in the conversion between two energy forms: converting the chemical energy of the fuel into either mechanical or electrical energy. Despite choosing some of the most efficient conversion methods and technologies available (i.e. CCGT power stations and diesel IC engines), the overall efficiencies of the individual chains are disarmingly low; when taking into account the production of the fuel and the actual lighting they are even more so, for instance a total efficiency of 1% for an IC engine running halogen headlights. The areas where the greatest impacts can be made from improving efficiency (i.e. the energy conversion stages) are also the areas that are already at or close to the limits of practical efficiency. Improving on these would likely require significant investment in materials with higher heat tolerances, better durability and reduced weight. In all three cases, the introduction of a battery charge and discharge stage reduces efficiency (obviously this is unavoidable for the battery electric vehicle), accounting for between 13% and 21% of total losses. This is quite significant and there are certainly some savings to be made by utilising technologies such as regenerative breaking to reduce overall consumption. In the case of the fuel cell vehicle, improving cold-start and power-ramping technology and reducing the time that a battery is required has good potential for savings. The use of IC stop-start technology, whilst it would require more power from the battery due to the engine being off more often, would have a considerable impact on fuel economy and so overall process chain efficiency by eliminating idling losses (Achten et al, 2008). An obvious solution to improve the overall efficiency of the IC engine chain is to change the base fuel source from natural gas to crude oil, as the efficiency of refining this into diesel is significantly higher (Corbett & Winebrake, 2008). As mentioned in the introduction, however, natural gas was chosen to allow for an even-footed comparison of all three chains. Despite the production of diesel deriving from natural gas being less efficient than conventional sources, it could be a viable alternative fuel for transportation taking into account the increased availability of natural gas. It should be noted that all numbers derived are the best approximations possible with the data available. Values should be taken as indicative, as it is difficult to represent the efficiencies for every possible transient state during a driving cycle in a single number.

9. Conclusions
Based on the initial conditions defined in the introduction, it has been shown that the most efficient way of powering an automotive headlight from a natural gas fuel source is via a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle using a Xenon HID light source. The least efficient method is a diesel IC vehicle using a halogen light source. A battery electric vehicle yields similar overall efficiencies to the FCEV, and overtakes when the FCEV is using battery power. While there is scope for improving the reliability of these conclusions, the values derived are a good starting point, giving a fair overview of the losses and true inefficiencies involved in achieving a desired energy output. A particular benefit of this investigation is the ability to analyse the relative losses of the stages in the different energy chains, so allowing for identification of areas where savings and improvements could be implemented to maximum effect.


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