The UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a three-year, £2.5-million (US$3.9-million) project to improve the efficiency of Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) by cutting the amount of parasitic losses in the lower drivetrain system by 50%. The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies—BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell—and the UK Government.
Parasitic losses caused by the churning of the lubricating oil and component friction in HDVs and off-road vehicle drivetrains can account for more than 10% of overall vehicle energy losses. This project will look to improve the overall system design, with a synergistic focus on gears, bearings, surface treatments, lubricant flow and lubricant composition.
The ETI commissioned and funded project is led by Nottingham-based Romax Technology, who will work in collaboration with Castrol Ltd and ANSYS Inc. Romax will be responsible for the lower drivetrain design and analysis, Castrol Ltd will work on oil development and ANSYS will model the lubrication system with its engineering simulation technology.
Technologies advanced and developed through this project will then be available to be utilized across a portfolio of HDVs including HGVs, coaches, buses, tractors, back-hoe loaders, wheeled loaders and articulated quarry trucks.
This project is part of a £40-million (US$63 million) ETI program designed to increase HDV efficiency. Officially launched earlier this year by Business Secretary, Dr. Vince Cable, the program is designed to look at improving systems integration and technology development across the HDV sector including marine transportation, with an aim to increase efficiency in land and marine vehicles by up to 30%.
When we launched our HDV efficiency program we stated a belief that HDV carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to one-third. This next phase of the program aims to take us closer towards that end objective. It is critical that we develop technology solutions that are affordable for the industry and meet the needs of the customers. Vehicle fuel efficiency could be increased by 2 to 5% if lower drivetrain losses could be effectively halved which means this project has the potential to make a beneficial step change to the HDV industry.—Chris Thorne, Program Manager for Heavy Duty Vehicles, ETI
In March, ETI commissioned the first project in the £40m Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) Efficiency Program—a £3-million effort with Caterpillar on the concept engineering of a range of innovative and efficient land vehicles. The output of this project will help to determine which technologies are required to achieve a 30% fuel consumption reduction in the land based HDV fleet. This project builds upon the HDV Efficiency Focus Area feasibility study completed in 2010.
During Phase 2, the ETI will invest in the under developed technology areas prior to a full-scale determine which technologies are required to achieve a 30% fuel consumption reduction in the land based HDV fleet. This project builds upon the HDV Efficiency Focus Area feasibility study completed in 2010.
The demonstration vehicle will be a Caterpillar AT725 articulated off-highway truck.