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Inventors of the Year 2017
An overhead power line for commercial vehicles: For congested municipal areas, this is a solution that Siemens is already putting into action. In doing so, the company faces a special challenge posed by the pantograph, the unit on a vehicle that draws power from an overhead line. The pantograph must safely move up and down, depending on whether the vehicle is being powered by electricity or its internal combustion engine. Florian Bühs developed the architecture for the pantograph.
Los Angeles has a tremendous problem with nitrogen oxide emissions and fine particulate matter. As a result of its legendary traffic, the California metropolitan area suffers from chronically poor air quality. In their search for potential solutions, scientists at the South Coast Air Quality Districts (SCAQMD), a regulatory authority for air pollution, discovered the eHighway project being conducted by Mobility.
“We definitely have to lower our high nitrogen oxide levels,” Dr. Clark E. Parker, a member of the SCAQM’s Governing Board, said during a visit to the German proving ground.
During a trip on a freeway, the pantograph must be moved up and down, depending on whether the vehicle is traveling beneath an overhead power line, passing another vehicle or using a stretch of highway that has no power lines at all. To address this need, Bühs developed sensor systems that assess the current situation and instruct the control unit to trigger the pantograph mechanism.
Above all, I want to develop technology that in some way helps humanity, be it environmental protection or power generation now, but always with some sense behind it.