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Diesel Milestone: Bosch Ships its 25-Millionth Common Rail System

Common Rail Injector System. Photo: Bosch.

At the end of July, Bosch delivered its 25-millionth common rail fuel injection system for diesel vehicles. In 2004 alone, the automotive supplier produced 5.8 million systems.

Bosch first introduced common rail injection in 1997. In 2003, Bosch launched its third-generation common rail system featuring piezoelectric inline injectors, which assist in reducing engine emissions by 15%–20%, while simultaneously decreasing combustion noise and fuel consumption.

Continuously improving high-pressure injection systems offer ever finer and more flexible control over the timing and amount of injections (pre-, main and post-combustion). This helps optimize combustion in the cylinders.

Partly as a result of that ability, particulate emissions from new diesel passenger vehicle engines have been reduced by some 90% since 1990. Other emissions, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and hydrocarbons, have been reduced by at least 95% percent, according to Bosch.

Common rail offers automakers great potential to meet stringent emissions standards taking effect in the U.S. in 2007. Additionally, diesel offers inherent environmental advantages [over gasoline platforms], such as decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 15 to 20 percent.

—Kevin DeHart, SVP North American diesel systems business unit



Bush will quash the new standard before it even comes into effect.


Because Exxon told him!


I've been reading Peter Huber's book, The Bottomless Well, about the future of oil and energy. He talks about this kind of product as part of an evolving redesign of car engines which will totally change how they work.

He sees it as a transation from a mechanically oriented engine to an information based one. These intelligent fuel injection valves replace the old mechanical timing chains, cam lifters and shafts, and all kinds of other mechanical control hardware. Not only are the new systems more versatile and flexible, leading to the emissions improvements listed in the article, they are also much lighter weight. A considerable part of an engine's mass is composed of these extra control structures whose real purpose is to pass information. More and more they are being replaced by electrical signals with (so to speak) "just in time" controls, electrically activated valves and solenoids placed right at the point of function, rather than drawing mechanical power from a distant point as with cam systems.

The next step will be the elimination of the familiar constellation of drive belts under the hood. Everything that is powered by belts now will become electrically powered. The engine will become largely an electrical generator which will run the subsystems in the car, rather than trying to extract power from it via cumbersome mechanical linkages.

Huber sees this as eventually evolving to where the engine power itself will be passed electrically to in wheel motors. This will lead to enormous savings in efficiency and mass, eliminating transmissions, differentials, drive shafts and many other extremely heavy parts of the power transmission system. Of course this is much farther out. But for now we are in the middle of the transition to the all electronic engine.

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