[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
U Wisc.-Ford team develops more realistic multi-component surrogate diesel models for modeling of low temperature combustion
December 07, 2013
A team from the Engine Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ford Motor, and Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen have developed new multi-component surrogate models for three different diesel fuels, and then examined their fidelity in capturing the characteristics of a diesel engine operated under various conditions, including conventional and low-temperature combustion (LTC) modes.
Fuel and EGR effects were also explored in the two different combustion modes using the developed surrogate models. In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they reported that the results showed that the combustion trends in conventional combustion are less affected by fuel or EGR changes, while LTC conditions exhibit a much higher sensitivity, thus demanding more realistic fuel models precisely to describe advanced combustion modes.
New Ford Mustang receives its own 2.3L EcoBoost variant
December 05, 2013
|Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost. Click to enlarge.|
Ford revealed its new 2015 version of the Mustang (with great fanfare simultaneously in six cities on four continents and CEO Alan Mulally on ABC’s Good Morning America) with a choice of three powertrains: a upgraded 5.0L V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine developed specifically for Mustang.
Among the features of the new EcoBoost engine are an optimized intake manifold and turbocharger housing to provide better breathing and higher output. The new 2.3L EcoBoost offers a projected 305-plus hp (227 kW) and 300-plus lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque. (The upgraded V8, at more than twice the displacement, offers around 420 hp and 390 lb-ft.)
CRC ACES Phase 2 report finds emissions from modern heavy-duty diesels well below required levels
December 04, 2013
|2010 engines emissions reduction relative to 2010, 2007, and 2004 US emission standards. Source: CRC. Click to enlarge.|
A rigorous emissions testing of modern heavy-duty diesel engines in the US has demonstrated a greater than 94% reduction in the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 - an important contributor to ozone smog), and substantial reductions in all other pollutants, even when compared to engines first marketed to meet 2007 standards, according to a study released today by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC).
For a number of the most important pollutants, levels were substantially lower than required by regulations. The study, the Phase 2 Report of the comprehensive Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) (earlier post), found that emissions of NO2 and other nitrogen oxides—which can have direct health effects and contribute to the formation of smog—were approximately 61% below the 2010 EPA standard and 99% lower than in 2004 engines. These reductions came while emissions of fine particles were also 92% lower than the 2010 standard 99% lower than 2004 emissions.
Honda develops VTEC Turbo direct injection gasoline engine family, including 1.0L 3-cylinder unit
November 19, 2013
|1.0 L 3-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engine. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has newly developed the VTEC Turbo, a direct injection gasoline turbo engine family most suitable for small-to-medium-sized vehicles. The VTEC TURBO is a new addition to Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology suite.
Featuring the application of Honda’s VTEC variable valve control technology along with direct injection turbocharging with highly-fluidized combustion and a thorough reduction in engine friction, this engine achieves class-leading output and environmental performance, while downsizing engine displacement, Honda said. The new VTEC Turbo lineup currently has three members: 2.0L, 1.4L and 1.0L engines:
The new MINI makes its debut; new architecture, new fuel-efficient engines, including 3-cylinder diesel
November 18, 2013
|New MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. Click to enlarge.|
The BMW Group’s new MINI made its worldwide debut at MINI’s UK production plant in Oxford. The new MINI features an all-new vehicle architecture, an evolutionary design and a range of new fuel-efficient engines. The new MINI will make its auto show premiere in Los Angeles this week.
The biggest efficiency advance comes in the MINI Cooper with automatic transmission: the new model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h 2.6 seconds faster, while average fuel consumption is 27% lower. The lowest fuel consumption and CO2 levels comes in the MINI Cooper D with a 3-cylinder diesel: 3.5 – 3.6 liters/100 km (67.2 to 65.3 mpgUS) and 92 – 95 g CO2/km (EU test cycle figures, dependent on tire format selected).
Researchers propose new injector for shaping spray structure for different operating modes of gasoline direct injection engine
|Cross section of the proposed injector showing the major components. Devassy et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras has proposed a new injector which can shape the spray structure to suit the requirements of the different operating conditions of a gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine. (Lead author B Mandumpala Devassy is now at AVL in Austria.) A paper on their work is published in the International Journal of Engine Research.
The injector can operate in three different modes: central-hole injection for stratified mode; injection from six circumferential holes for lean homogeneous mode (six-hole injection); and injection from both the central and circumferential holes for rich homogeneous mode (6+1-hole injection). The injector switches between these modes by operating two different needles with separate solenoids.
New 4-cylinder 2.3L EcoBoost on Lincoln MKC small SUV; future EcoBoost prospects
|Lincoln MKC is the first to get the new 2.3L EcoBoost. Click to enlarge.|
The all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility, unveiled last week, offers an all-new engine—a 2.3-liter EcoBoost gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) four-cylinder unit. Ford says the engine can deliver up to 15% better fuel economy than comparable six-cylinder engines.
Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger and a three-port integrated exhaust manifold (IEM), the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder offers projected best-in-class horsepower per liter and best-in-class torque per liter, generating 275 hp (205 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque at 3,000 rpm, according to preliminary test data.
Researchers explore ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion for reduction in engine-out emissions
November 14, 2013
|Effect of ethanol energy fraction and PFI position on CO, NOx, HC, and opacity emissions. Credit: ACS, Padala et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of New South Wales (Australia) have demonstrated the potential for ethanol use in diesel engines with dual-fuel combustion, in which ethanol is injected into the intake manifold and diesel is directly injected into the engine cylinder. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
The goal of such an approach is effectively to address some of the drawbacks of conventional diesel combustion, such as higher in-cylinder soot formation associated with locally rich mixtures and high flame temperatures and engine-out emissions of NOx.
Wärtsilä introduces new low pressure 2-stroke dual-fuel engine technology; economic and environmental benefits
November 13, 2013
Wärtsilä has successfully conducted full scale testing on gas of its low-speed 2-stroke dual-fuel engine and is now introducing a full new range of engines based on its established and well-proven low pressure technology. The first engine utilizing this technology, the Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF, will be available for delivery in the third quarter of 2014.
Other engines from the company’s new Generation X series will follow and will be available for delivery during 2015 and 2016. The entire portfolio of Wärtsilä 2-stroke engines will be available as low pressure dual-fuel (DF) versions. The economic and environmental benefits of this technology are significant, Wärtsilä notes.
Audi offering three engines with cylinder deactivation technology; fuel savings up to 20%
November 12, 2013
|Cylinder on demand V8. Click to enlarge.|
Audi has three gasoline engines equipped with its cylinder-on-demand (COD) technology (cylinder deactivation): the 1.4 TFSI COD, the 4.0 TFSI COD and now also the 12-cylinder W12 COD in the new Audi A8 L. (Earlier post.) COD can deliver reductions in fuel consumption of up to 20%, Audi says.
The Audi COD technology is versatile, equally suitable for use in the four-cylinder direct-injection unit, as well as the V8 TFSI and the 12-cylinder naturally aspirated unit. In all engines, it deactivates half of the cylinders at low to intermediate loads and engine speeds in the upper gears until the driver once again accelerates strongly. Efficiency in the active cylinders increases because the operating points are displaced toward higher loads.
UK launches £75M fund for more energy efficient engines and cars; £1.5M for autonomous pods
November 10, 2013
The UK government has launched a £75-million (US$120-million) fund to speed the development of low carbon technologies for engines. Selected projects are to be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) announced in July. (Earlier post.) The APC will channel £1-billion (US$1.6 billion) investment from government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next 10 years.
To apply for a share of the £75 million APC fund, bidders must form a group which includes at least one vehicle manufacturer, an SME and at least one supply chain company. The competition, which will support a range of powertrain technologies, will open on 2 December 2013, with projects expected to begin from April 2014.
Omnitek selects DD 12.7L Series 60 and Cat C15 engine models for diesel-to-gas conversion project at Port of Seattle
November 04, 2013
Omnitek Engineering Corporation has selected the 12.7 L Detroit Diesel Series 60 and the Caterpillar C15 engine models for the beginning of the second phase of a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency pilot project, which includes the development of diesel-to-natural gas engine conversion kits for these engine models and obtaining Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval.
Omnitek’s diesel-to-natural gas engine conversion system was selected as the best technology under the competitive grant process for the agency’s “Piloting Engine Upgrade Technologies in the Freight Mobility Sector” project. (Earlier post.)
Pinnacle’s opposed-piston scooter engine can meet NOx target with lean operation and ignition delay; little fuel economy hit
November 01, 2013
In a paper presented at the recent Small Engine Technology Conference organized by JSAE and SAE International, Michael (Tony) Willcox from Pinnacle Engines reported that the 110cc version of the 4-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post) can use lean operation and ignition delay to meet Euro 4 NOx emission targets without aftertreatment and with only a negligible impact (< 1.5%) on the fuel consumption benefits of the engine (about 25-27% better than a comparable conventional engine in the relevant drivecycle).
Further, Pinnacle noted, recently developed hardware designed for additional lean limit extension is under test. The new hardware is anticipated to leave margin with Euro 5/6 NOx regulations using an oxidation-only catalyst for aftertreatment.
Fairbanks Morse Engine and Achates Power team up on opposed-piston engines
October 31, 2013
|Fairbanks Morse Model 38 opposed-piston engine. Click to enlarge.|
The leading manufacturer of opposed-piston engines, Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME), an EnPro Industries company, has signed a joint development and licensing agreement with Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), to reduce emissions and fuel consumption of Fairbanks Morse proprietary diesel and dual-fuel opposed-piston engines.
The Fairbanks Morse Model 38 opposed-piston engine was designed and developed for a wide array of electrical power generation and heavy industrial applications. OP engines are propelling ships, driving locomotives, powering natural gas compressors, running chillers and pump drives, and producing electricity in a variety of marine and stationary applications.
1.0L EcoBoost Fiesta receives EPA rating of 45 mpg highway
October 29, 2013
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated Ford’s 2014 1.0L EcoBoost-powered Fiesta sub-compact, arriving at dealers later this year, at 45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) highway. (Earlier post.) The fuel economy rating outperforms some competitors’ diesels and hybrids on the highway driving cycle. As an example, the 2014 Honda Insight achieves 44 mpg highway, while the 2014 Volkswagen Golf diesel with a manual transmission delivers 42 mpg highway.
This also makes the Fiesta the only car in its class that produces more than 120 horsepower (89 kW) and achieves 45 mpg on the highway. Officially SAE-certified at 125 lb-ft (169 N·m) of torque, the 1.0-liter engine features an overboost function that allows it to make more than 145 lb-ft (197 N·m) for up to 15 seconds.
Chevrolet previews Spark EV Tech Performance concept, other performance concepts including Cruze Diesel for SEMA
October 28, 2013
|Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance concept. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet previewed the Spark EV Tech Performance concept, as well as other performance-oriented concepts of the Sonic, Malibu, new Impala, and Cruze Diesel. The cars will debut at the SEMA Show, 5-8 Nov. in Las Vegas. SEMA is the world’s largest convention of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories.
The basic Spark EV is a battery-electric urban mini-car delivering 400 lb-ft (542 N·m) of instant torque—more than the classic 1969 Camaro SS muscle car with a 350 V-8. (Earlier post.) The EV It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The Spark EV Tech Performance concept builds on Spark EV’s performance with a unique power-delivery algorithm that enhances acceleration.
Volvo Drive-E engines delivering NEDC fuel consumption in S60 sedan as low as 62 mpg US for diesel, 40 mpg for gasoline
October 25, 2013
|The new Drive-E diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo is introducing the first engines—two gasoline and 1 diesel—in its new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family (earlier post) and has received official European NEDC certification on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when applied in the S60 sedan.
Leading with the lowest fuel consumption is the Volvo S60 D4 diesel with 181 hp (135 kW) and manual gearbox, delivering class-leading CO2 emissions at 99 g/km, which translates into fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpgUS). A Volvo V60 D4 with up to 17-inch tires also breaks the 100-gram barrier according to the NEDC certification with CO2 emissions at 99 g/km.
Fiat introducing new 2-cylinder 0.9L Turbo TwinAir in 2014 MiTo mini
October 22, 2013
|0.9 TwinAir. Click to enlarge.|
Fiat is introducing a new two-cylinder 0.9 Turbo TwinAir 105 HP engine for the 2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo sport mini. The gasoline engine delivers 105 hp (72 kW) at 5500 rpm and maximum torque of 145 N·m (107 lb-ft) at 2000 rpm/min, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpgUS ), equivalent to 99 g CO2/km. (The 0.9 Turbo TwinAir is also offered in the Fiat 500 L.)
This is the lowest consumption of any of the gasoline or diesel MiTo engines, while power delivery and torque are the second-highest of the MiTo gasoline range. Top speed for the MiTo with the 0.9-liter engine is 184 km/h (114 mph) and it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.4 seconds. Specific power is almost 120 hp/liter, a value on a par with sportier engines.
GM to introduce CNG-gasoline bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala in US next summer
October 16, 2013
|2015 Chevrolet CNG-Capable, Bi-Fuel Impala. Click to enlarge.|
General Motors will build a Chevrolet Impala sedan for retail and fleet customers that operates on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG), GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced today. This will be the only manufacturer-produced full-size bi-fuel sedan in the US, and is expected to go on sale next summer as a 2015 model.
Currently, the only natural gas vehicle from a major manufacturer on sale in the US is the Honda Civic Natural Gas. The Chevrolet Impala bi-fuel sedan features a factory-engineered and fully warranted powertrain that switches seamlessly from CNG to gasoline. Total range is expected to be up to 500 miles (805 km).
Ford study suggests GDI engines can meet coming California and US PM emissions standards over 150k miles; more work to be done
|PM mass emissions rates for the FTP and US06 drive cycles as function of vehicle mileage. Credit: ACS, Maricq et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team from Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering group in Dearborn examined how emissions of particulate matter (PM) from two gasoline direct injection engines—a very small set and not representative of the wide variety of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines currently in production or under future development, they noted—changed over time.
As reported in a paper in ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the results showed that GDI technology has the potential to meet the upcoming California LEV III and US EPA Tier 3 PM mass standard of 3 mg/mi (phasing in over MY2017−2021) over a 150,000-mile vehicle lifetime, but that further work must be done to address achieving the more stringent 1 mg/mi target (LEV III in 2025).
Volvo Trucks announces XE11 fuel efficiency package for 11L North American engines; up to 3% improvement in fuel efficiency
October 15, 2013
Volvo Trucks expanded its XE (exceptional efficiency, earlier post) powertrain package lineup with the introduction of XE11 for its 11-liter Volvo D11 engine. Available on Volvo VNM and VNL models and rated up to 80,000 lbs. GCWR, XE11 is suited for less-than-truckload, distribution, bulk haul and other regional applications. The powertrain package improves fuel efficiency by up to 3%.
Volvo first introduced XE packages for its 13-liter D13 and 16-liter D16 engines. To date, more than 24% of all Volvo-powered trucks ordered in 2013 also feature XE powertrain packages. The XE11 package includes the following components:
Chevrolet introduces second-generation Duramax 4-cylinder diesels; global engine
October 11, 2013
|New Duramax 4-cylinder diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet Sales Thailand introduced the new-generation MY14 Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in 2.5- and 2.8-liter variants. The new Duramax engine was engineered in Europe and the US, with global application as one of its developmental objectives. Applications include powering the Colorado pickup truck and Trailblazer SUV for the Thailand and Southeast Asian markets.
The new Duramax 2.8-liter diesel delivers 11% more power and 6% more torque, while consuming 4.3% less fuel. The new Duramax engine is Euro-4 compliant and can be upgraded to meet Euro-5, -6 and US emission standards.
Opposed-piston engine company Achates Power raises $35.2M in Series C Financing; new industry advisory board
October 09, 2013
Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), has finalized $35.2 million in Series C financing. The company also announced the formation of a new Industry Advisory Board, and its selection as a semi-finalist in the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Energy Security Prize.
All existing Achates Power investors participated in the fundraising round, including Sequoia Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, InterWest Partners and Triangle Peak Partners. The Series C financing follows a $19-million Series B round in 2009 and brings the total raised by Achates Power to nearly $90 million since its 2004 founding. Between the two funding rounds, Achates Power has also tripled its US patent portfolio and increased the number of issued and pending claims to more than 1,500 unique innovations.
Ricardo and Doosan DL06 diesel with TVCS achieves Tier 4f emissions without need for DPF
|Ricardo’sTwin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) reduces soot by 45- 50% compared to a conventional approach. Source: Ricardo. Click to enlarge.|
The Doosan DL06 engine is a turbocharged and intercooled 5.9-liter, in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine used in both on-highway and off-highway applications. The new US Tier 4 Final (Tier 4f) version of the DL06 includes an ultra-low particulate combustion system featuring the Ricardo Twin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) (earlier post); the engine achieves compliance with Tier 4 Final particulate emissions levels without requiring a DPF—thereby providing a cost-effective solution.
Pre-orders start for Mazda Axela in Japan; gasoline and hybrid models first, followed by diesel
|Axela Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin taking pre-orders for the new Mazda Axela sports compact (known outside of Japan as Mazda3) on 10 October 10, 2013 at its dealers throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The company expects to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Sales will begin on 21 November, starting with the gasoline engine and a hybrid models, to be followed by a diesel version. This will make Mazda the first domestic automaker to offer gasoline, diesel and hybrid versions of a single model in Japan.
Opel presents new 1.0 SIDI Turbo engine at Aachen Colloquium; below 100 gCO2/km and ~59 mpg in the Adam
October 08, 2013
|New 1.0-liter SIDI turbo with 85 kW/115 hp. Click to enlarge.|
Opel presented details of its new three-cylinder 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine (earlier post) at the 22nd Aachen Colloquium in Germany. The engine will debut in the Opel Adam next year, together with an all-new, six-speed manual gearbox.
The 1.0 SIDI Turbo generates 30% more torque than Opel’s current 1.6-liter, naturally-aspirated engine, as well as the same 85 kW/115 hp maximum power output. Peak torque of 166 N·m (122 lb-ft) is available across a wide plateau from 1,800 rpm to 4,700 rpm, while maximum power is delivered at 5,200 rpm. The 1.0 SIDI Turbo also delivers a 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to the 1.6-liter engine. In the Opel Adam, it will give CO2 emissions of well under 100 g/km, as well as combined cycle fuel consumption approaching 4.0 l/100 km (59 mpgUS).
Exploring gasoline-range naphtha as a low-soot, low-NOx alternative compression ignition fuel
Dr. Gautam Kalghatgi and his colleagues at Saudi Aramco and other organization such as FEV, RWTH Aachen University, and Shell Global Solutions, have been investigating the potential use of naphtha as an alternative compression-ignition (CI) fuel that offers a number of benefits, including efficient combustion; low soot and NOx emissions resulting in a less complicated aftertreatment system to meet modern emissions standards; and a fuel that is simpler to make than current gasoline or diesel fuels.
A number of papers from Kalghatgi and his colleagues—and now other groups, including Tsinghua University in China and the Eindhoven University of Technology—have been published recently, exploring different aspects of this approach. At the SAE/KSAE 2013 International Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting in Korea later this month, Kalghatgi and his colleagues will present two more, one exploring the fuel economy potential of partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) combustion using naphtha, the other exploring the use of larger size nozzle holes and higher compression ratio in a diesel engine for combustion of such a “gasoline-type” fuel.
Fiat 500L Living diesels average about 70.6 mpg on Turin to Paris run
October 07, 2013
|Fiat 500L running in the Bosch Diesel Challenge. Click to enlarge.|
A small fleet of Fiat 500L Living models, equipped with the 1.6 MultiJet II 105 HP diesel with Start&Stop, covered the 800-kilometer (497-mile) route from Turin to Paris on an average of 27 liters (7.1 gallons US) of fuel, corresponding to approximately 30 km/l (70.6 mpgUS, 3.33 l/100km). The drive was part of a Bosch Diesel Challenge; the 500L features a Bosch common rail system.
Similar average results were registered by the teams who travelled back from Paris to Turin, again without stopping for fuel. A professional driver drove the same distance on only 20.9 liters (5.5 gallons US) of fuel, equal to more than 38 kilometers per liter (89 mpgUS, 2.6 l/100km).
Cummins introduces 5L V8 diesel for North American light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles
October 04, 2013
|The new ISV 5.0 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. introduced the ISV5.0, a new 5-liter V8 diesel engine designed to power pickup-and-delivery vehicles, other light- and medium-duty trucks, school buses and motorhomes. The ISV5.0 extends Cummins range of on-road diesel engines for North American vehicles. Like the new 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to be used in the Nissan Titan pick-up truck (earlier post), the ISV5.0 will be manufactured at the Columbus Engine Plant, with production to start during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Cummins ISV5.0 will serve customers in the United States and Canada, and will be certified to US EPA 2013 NOx and PM emissions levels. At launch, it will also meet greenhouse gas (GHG) requirements through 2016, and 2015 California Air Resources Board (ARB) standards, including on-board diagnostics.
Coming MINIs to feature new 3- and 4- cylinder engine line-up; adjustable dampers
September 30, 2013
|The 100 kW/134 bhp 1.5-liter MINI TwinPower Turbo in-line gasoline engine. Click to enlarge.|
Future MINI models will use a new line-up of both three and four-cylinder engines. In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time.
A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimizes both performance and efficiency. In the case of the gasoline engines, this technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group’s patented VALVETRONIC system.
Ford introduces second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Diesel for F-Series Super Duty; Gen 1 hits 500,000 mark
September 27, 2013
|Second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Ford introduced the 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup at State Fair of Texas, featuring a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine and increased towing capabilities.
Ford introduced the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel in 2011. (Earlier post.) A key Ford innovation on the original 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel was its reverse-flow layout. The advanced design places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V. This segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes:
Chrysler Group files S-1 for IPO; snapshot of R&D priorities; exploring a light-duty hydraulic hybrid
September 24, 2013
Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. Details of the offering—i.e., number of shares and price range—are yet to be determined.
However, the document not only provides a detailed look at the finances of the company, it also provides a quick recap of recent technology developments and some insight into the company’s immediate research priorities. Chrysler writes that its has “made the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles a priority to meet retail consumer preferences, comply with future regulations and as part of our commitment to sustainability.”
Ford builds 2-millionth EcoBoost engine, with take rates growing globally; expected to exceed Ford’s global diesel production
September 18, 2013
Ford Motor Company reported that it has built its two-millionth EcoBoost engine since the launch of the line in 2009. With customer demand exceeding its initial projections, Ford now expects EcoBoost production to exceed its global diesel engine production. More than 100,000 EcoBoost engines are now produced every month, with a target of 1.2 million for 2013, up more than 60% from 2012.
EcoBoost technology combines smaller overall size with turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing to deliver significantly improved performance and fuel economy. Ford says its EcoBoost engines deliver up to 20% better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.
New hybrid plasma-catalyst aftertreatment system feasible for low-temperature combustion engines
September 17, 2013
|Schematic diagram of the plasma−catalyst reactor. Credit: ACS, Kang et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) have developed a new hybrid reactor for automotive exhaust aftertreatment that combines plasma and a honeycomb-structured monolith catalyst resulting in an enhanced synergistic effect of low-temperature catalytic activity.
As reported in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the plasma−catalyst synergistic reaction is more effective at low temperatures; the hybrid reaction reduces the temperature required to achieve the same level of DRE (destruction and removal efficiency) for hydrocarbon (HC) pollutants when compared to the temperature of the reaction under the influence of the catalyst alone. As a result of their work, the authors suggest that the plasma−catalyst technology is feasible to control exhaust emissions from next-generation low-temperature combustion (LTC) diesel engines.
Cummins announces new global in-line six-cylinder heavy-duty engine platform
|Cummins new ISG11 will be one of the first members of the new family. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. announced a new global heavy-duty engine platform that it has developed to complement its existing global product offering. The G Series platform is an in-line six cylinder engine and will be available in 10.5 and 11.8 liter displacements to meet a broad variety of on-highway and off-highway global market requirements and emission standards. Initial engines are designed to run on diesel fuel.
Design and development of the engine was led by a team in the United States and supported by global technical and marketing resources with deep knowledge of local market and customer needs. This global design approach utilizes the latest advanced technologies to develop an adaptive architecture, with each engine designed to meet unique performance and cost of ownership expectations for its target market and region.
Scuderi Group to build and to install LPG-powered split-cycle generator with compressed air storage capability
September 12, 2013
|Scuderi split-cycle engine in power generator/CAES application. Click to enlarge.|
Scuderi Group, Inc., the developer of the Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine for mobile applications (earlier post) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asociación de Miembros de la Policia de Puerto Rico for the first Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine to be utilized as a stationary liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generator with compressed air energy storage (CAES) capability.
The signing of the agreement begins the process of building and installing the first LPG-powered Scuderi power generator and energy storage systems. According to the agreement, Scuderi Group will build and install the power generation units at the Association’s San Juan headquarters and adjoining elderly care facility and at other locations around the island include buildings in Trujillo Alto, Ponce, and Maunabo.
Researchers identify new pathways in low-temp oxidation of hydrocarbons; important to fuel combustion, atmospheric chemistry and biochemistry
September 05, 2013
|The diagram illustrates the newly-described reaction that transforms molecules of ketohydroperoxide into acids and carbonyl molecules, after going through intermediate stages. Credit: ACS, Jalan et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at MIT, with colleagues at the University of Minnesota, have provided evidence and theoretical rate coefficients for new pathways in the low-temperature oxidation of hydrocarbons. Their paper is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The newly explained reaction—the basic outlines of which had been first hypothesized by Korcek and co-workers more than 30 years ago but the workings of which had never been understood in detail—is an important part of atmospheric reactions that lead to the formation of climate-affecting aerosols; biochemical reactions that may be important for human physiology; and combustion reactions in engines. The new study provides theoretical confirmation of Korcek’s hypothesis that ketohydroperoxide molecules (KHPs) are precursors to carboxylic acid formation.
Ricardo advancing with two novel heavy-duty vehicle technologies: cryogenic split-cycle engine and microwave fuel reforming
September 04, 2013
|The concept of the Ricardo Split-Cycle engine. The recuperated engine uses isothermal compression via cryogenic injection to enable significant exhaust to compressed gas heat transfer. Source: Neville Jackson. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo is advancing its work with two novel technologies to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty goods vehicles: a cryogenic split-cycle engine “CryoPower” (earlier post), and a low-carbon waste-heat powered microwave fuel reformer “HeatWave II”.
Heavy duty vehicles, such as long haul trucks, represent a significant challenge in terms of the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. An essential element of the transportation mix of modern industrialized society, they are inherently less amenable to the type of electrification and hybridization strategies that are already contributing to reduced carbon emissions and potential long-term sustainability for the light vehicle sector.
DSM and KACO develop crankshaft cover made in bio-based EcoPaXX polyamide 410 for next-gen VW diesels
September 02, 2013
|Crankshaft cover. Click to enlarge.|
Royal DSM, together with its automotive component specialist partner KACO, has developed a lightweight multi-functional crankshaft cover in EcoPaXX, DSM’s bio-based polyamide 410, for the latest generation of diesel engines developed by the Volkswagen Group. EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high-performance long-chain polyamide, is made mainly from tropical castor beans.
This EcoPaXX cover incorporates integral seals in PTFE and liquid silicon rubber (LSR), as well as various metal inserts. It will be used on Volkswagen’s new MDB modular diesel engine platform, implemented across its Audi, Seat, Škoda and VW brands.
New 300 hp 3.0L V6 diesel for Porsche Panamera boosts power by 20%, small improvement in fuel consumption
|New Panamera diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche is introducing a new 300 bhp (221 kW) 3.0L diesel in its Panamera Diesel. The six-cylinder V-engine increases power output by 50 bhp—equivalent to a 20% increase in performance—compared to the predecessor model. The Gran Turismo with the new engine offers NEDC fuel consumption of 6.4 liters/100 km (36.8 mpgUS)—equivalent to 169 CO2/km—a small improvement on the 6.5 l/100 km (36 mpg US) of the standard earlier 250 hp model. That model delivered 6.3 l/100 km (37.3 mpgUS) with optional low rolling resistance tires. (Earlier post.)
Acceleration time for the new Panamera diesel has been reduced by eight-tenths of a second—the new model moves from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, while the top speed has increased to 259 km/h (161 mph) compared to the 244 km/h (152 mph) achieved by the previous model.
VW introducing 1.8L EA888 Gen 3 engine in 2014 Jetta, Passat and Beetle; driving impressions
August 29, 2013
Volkswagen of America is introducing the Group’s third-generation EA888 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Jetta and Passat, followed by the 2014 Beetle. The 1.8-liter unit produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 N·m) of torque as early as 1,500 rpm. The horsepower is the same as the outgoing 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine, but it delivers 7 lb-ft more torque at 2,750 fewer revs (see chart at right).
Mated to an automatic or a manual transmission, the new EA888 offers up to a 17% decrease in fuel consumption while providing even better acceleration. In a presentation at Volkswagen of America’s 2014 line drive in St. Helena, California, Hubertus Lemke, Head of Technical Project Management for Volkswagen AG, described the advances in the new third-generation engines. (The 2.0-liter version of this engine has already made its debut in the 2013 Beetle and Jetta GLI, delivering a 10 hp improvement.)
Toyota broadly outlines next-generation Prius; developing wireless inductive charging for the plug-in model; bullish on hydrogen
August 28, 2013
Toyota’s next-generation Prius will deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost, according to Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso. Ogiso—who earlier in his career had been the chief engineer for the Prius, chief engineer for the Prius family, and chief engineer, product planning—made the remarks at the “2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour” event the company staged in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The performance of this new generation of powertrains will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies. Among the broad technology advances Ogiso outlined during his talk were:
Using ozone injection to control HCCI combustion
HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) has been extensively studied in recent years due to its potential to maintain strong efficiency similar to compression ignition (CI) engines but also to produce very low emissions of NOx and particulate matter. Control of HCCI autoignition and combustion phasing is challenging, however. Unlike CI and spark ignition (SI) engines, HCCI cannot be easily controlled by external means (e.g., injectors or spark plugs), because the process is mainly governed by chemical kinetics.
Accordingly, many strategies have been studied to control combustion. Now, researchers in France have added to that body of work by showing that ozone seeding in the intake of an HCCI engine can control HCCI combustion.
Toyota provides some details on Yaris Hybrid-R 420hp powertrain; three 45 kW motors
August 26, 2013
|The Yaris Hybrid-R features three 45 kW electric motors, one on each rear wheel and a third between the engine and transmission that operates as a generator. This third motor can act as an advanced traction control system. Click to enlarge.|
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota will showcase the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, created as a showcase of possible ideas for the development of hybrid technology for maximum performance and increased driving pleasure. (Earlier post.) Toyota has now provided a few additional details about the powertrain in advance of the show.
The front wheels are driven by a 300 hp (224 kW) 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo gasoline direct injection engine specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilized in various motorsport disciplines.
Audi banking on Gen 2 3.0L TDI diesel for US sales; calls for a “fair shot” for diesel (update w/ rally results)
August 23, 2013
|Audi's Gen 2 3.0L TDI. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America introduced four new TDI clean diesel models for the US market this year—the Audi A8, A7, A6, Q5—along with an updated Q7 TDI, all equipped with a second-generation 3.0L V6 TDI diesel engine. (Earlier post.) This week in Washington, the company held a series of media drives (“TDI Efficiency Rally”) for the Q5, A6 and A7 diesel models to highlight their efficiency and performance, and also offered up its—as well as several other experts’—perspectives on the potential for diesel in the US market.
“If we are going to reward efficiency, and that’s the goal,” said Joe Jacuzzi, Chief Communications Officer, Audi of America in opening remarks, “then diesel really needs a fair shot. Not only is it more powerful and contains up to 30% better efficiency than traditional gasoline, etc. The fact of the matter is [it requires] very little infrastructure change and secondly, its a very simple driving behavior change. You move from one pump to the other.”
Big Science tools for clean transportation: neutron scattering at ORNL
August 21, 2013
|Images of Li-air cathode produced by neutron-computed tomography. Source: ORNL. Click to enlarge.|
This begins an occasional series on “big science” tools hosted at US national laboratories that are being applied to support the development of technology innovations for clean transportation. First up is a quick look at the two advanced neutron-scattering facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, which Green Car Congress recently had the opportunity to tour: the newer (2006) $1.4-billion Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the older (1965) High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).
Neutron scattering can provide information about the positions, motions, and magnetic properties of solids. With the appropriate instrumentation and computer support, it can enable neutron radiography, which can provide images of the distributions of chemical compounds in functioning devices, and neutron tomography—3D images created by reconstructing a series of radiographs.
Viable exhaust-driven on-board ethanol reforming for improvements in fuel economy and emissions
August 20, 2013
|Schematic diagram of the successful “shoebox” reformer design and a picture of the core, after insertion of the catalyst. Credit: ACS, Sall et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team at Monsanto and colleagues at AVL Powertrain have successfully designed and demonstrated an onboard low-temperature ethanol reformer that can be driven by exhaust heat. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
The low-temperature ethanol-reforming pathway, catalyzed by copper-nickel powder catalysts, transforms ethanol into a mixture of H2, CO, and CH4 at temperatures between 300 and 350 °C. Blending 25-50% of this low-temperature ethanol reformate with ethanol or E85 fuels enables dilute engine operation, resulting in substantial improvements in fuel economy and emissions.
Volvo Car to introduce first three Drive-E engines this fall
August 16, 2013
The first three engines from the Volvo Car Group’s new two-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family will launch this fall. The diesel version features i-Art (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) injection technology (earlier post), and the most powerful gasoline version comes with a combination of a supercharger and a turbocharger.
The whole Drive-E engine range, which, during the development phase, was called Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) (earlier post), basically consists of two four-cylinder engine architectures, one common rail diesel and one direct-injected gasoline. They replace eight engine architectures on three platforms. Drive-E diesels will range from 120 to 230 hp (89 to 172 kW). Gasoline versions will start at 140 hp (104 kW) and go all the way up to 300-plus hp (224-plus kW).
New Opel Insignia to debut with three new engine options; diesel as low as 99 gCO2/km
August 15, 2013
|The new 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine with 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp enables CO2 emissions as low as 99 g/km. Click to enlarge.|
The new Opel Insignia, which makes its public debut at the 65th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) next month, will offer two new turbo gasoline direct injection units and a new turbo diesel enabling 99 g/km CO2 in its powertrain lineup.
In four and five-door models with a six-speed manual gearbox and Start/Stop, both output variants of the diesel (88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp) consume just 3.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (63.6 mpgUS) over the combined cycle (according to Regulation [EC] No 715/2007), while the Sports Tourer achieves 3.9 l/100 km (60.3 mpgUS). As a result, the Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI is the most fuel efficient diesel car in its class which earns it the German A+ energy efficiency label.
Sandia team proposes models for partially premixed low-temperature direct-injection diesel combustion
August 14, 2013
|The Sandia team has proposed extensions to John Dec’s 1997 model for diesel combustion, represented above. Credit: Musculus et al.; Dec. Click to enlarge.|
A team at Sandia National Laboratories recently proposed conceptual models for a specific subset of low-temperature combustion regimes: low-load, single-injection, partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI LTC) conditions that are diluted by exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) to oxygen concentrations in the range of 10–15%.
Their paper, which provides a detailed review and synthesis of various current experimental and modeling studies—and which extends Sandia scientist John Dec’s seminal 1997 model for diesel combustion—is published in the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.
Ford introduces more fuel-efficient Focus 1.0L EcoBoost; 99 gCO2/km
August 12, 2013
|Ford Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost 100 PS version delivers 4.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. The 125 PS model returns 5.0l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 114 g/km. Click to enlarge.|
The Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost will achieve fuel efficiency of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpgUS). Equipped with a specially calibrated 100 PS (99 hp, 74 kW) version of the 1.0L gasoline direct injection engine, the new Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost also will feature Ford ECOnetic Technology including Auto-Start-Stop, Smart Regenerative Charging, Active Grille Shutter and Ford EcoMode that supports a more economical and environmentally friendly driving style. The car goes on sale in Europe early next year.
Honda unveils new Civic Tourer with 1.6L i-DTEC diesel
|New Civic Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
Honda unveiled the new UK-built Civic Tourer wagon ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Civic Tourer will be available with the choice of two engines: the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series (earlier post) and the 1.8 i-VTEC gasoline engine with manual or automatic transmission. Applied in the Honda Civic (available since January 2013), the i-DTEC engine delivers combined cycle fuel economy of 65.3 mpgUS (3.6 l/100 km).
The new Civic Tourer will be launched in Europe in early 2014. It will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon alongside the hatchback variant and the CR-V and Jazz.
Mercedes-Benz introduces latest E 200 Natural Gas Drive and E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition
August 09, 2013
|E 200 Natural Gas Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz is introducing the latest version of the bivalent drive E 200 Natural Gas Drive (NGD) variant to the E‑Class family in Europe. The E200 NGD can run on either gasoline or natural gas; benefits of running the car on natural gas include a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with comparable operation using gasoline, and much lower fuel costs. Mercedes-Benz also introduced the new diesel E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, with CO2 emissions of 114 grams/km.
The E 200 Natural Gas Drive uses 4.3 kg of natural gas per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. If the new E 200 NGD automatically switches to running on gasoline because the gas tank is empty, the new four-cylinder engine needs requires 6.3 liters of unleaded gasoline (NEDC combined) for every 100 kilometers (37.3 mpg US), with CO2 emission of 147 g/km.
Opel launching new all-aluminum 1.0L 3-cylinder turbo for Adam; fuel economy and refinement
August 07, 2013
|The new 1.0L turbo. Click to enlarge.|
Opel will introduce the first in an all-new modular family of small-displacement three- and four-cylinder gasoline direct injection engines at the upcoming Frankfurt International Motor Show next month. The new three-cylinder 85 kW/115 hp, 1.0-liter turbo will be launched in the Opel Adam, coupled with an all-new six-speed gearbox.
The engine produces low-end torque of 166 N·m (122 lb-ft) all the way from 1,800 to 4,700 rpm. The 12-valve 1.0 SIDI Turbo (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) generates more torque throughout its operating range than equally powerful, higher displacement engines, while fuel efficiency is improved by 20% compared to Opel’s current 1.6-liter naturally aspirated power unit.
Volkswagen of America bringing new EA288 diesel to MY2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle; debuts in 2H 2014
August 06, 2013
|Main modules of development for the EA288 diesel engine. Source: Volkswagen Group of America. Click to enlarge.|
Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed that the new EA288 diesel engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are due in dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. Schmidt made the announcement during a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
The EA288 is part of Volkswagen’s MQB transverse assembly toolkit, and is also applied in the Golf GTD heading for the US (earlier post). In the MQB set, the new EA288 four-cylinder covers engine displacements ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 liters.
Audi unveils first “ultra” production model: fuel efficient A3 1.6 TDI ultra with 73.5 mpg US
August 05, 2013
|Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra. Click to enlarge.|
Audi unveiled its most fuel-efficient production model, the A3 1.6 TDI ultra. With 81 kW (110 hp) of power output, the Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra consumes 3.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (73.50 US mpg). This equates to 85 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer (137 g/mile).
This latest A3 is not only the most efficient Audi, it is also the brand’s first model designated as “ultra”. The ultra designation expresses Audi’s commitment to systematic sustainability concerning production and products. Along with Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid models and g-tron models powered by natural gas, ultra vehicles will constitute a third category in the brand’s portfolio of cars offering sustainable, everyday mobility.
U Wisc. study explores effects of biodiesel-gasoline blend in diesel engine
August 01, 2013
One high-efficiency combustion concept under investigation is gasoline compression ignition (GCI)—the use of gasoline-like fuels to deliver very low NOx and PM emissions as well as high efficiency in a diesel compression ignition engine. (Earlier post.) A challenge to be overcome with this approach is the higher resistance to autoignition of gasoline fuels.
A team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engine Research Center now reports in a paper in the journal Fuel on the effects of biodiesel-gasoline blends compared to neat gasoline using a partially premixed, split-injection GCI combustion strategy.
Chevy Cruze diesel’s variable-swirl mechanism
July 31, 2013
|The basic concept of GM’s variable swirl mechanism. Click to enlarge.|
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel’s (earlier post) 2.0L engine uses a variable-swirl intake mechanism to enhance performance while reducing emissions. The variable-swirl intake manifold design optimizes air charge mixture motion in the cylinders for a more efficient combustion.
In Cruze’s variable-swirl intake manifold, each cylinder has two separate intake ports, with one of them controlled by a valve. During variable swirl, each throttle valve varies how much it opens to create mixture-motion of air and fuel within each cylinder. The effectiveness of any such variable mechanism is linked to the quality of its controls; GM’s engineering team spent a great deal of effort calibrating the actuator precisely to open and close the valves for optimal performance.
Study investigates impact of operating conditions and load on soot particle number distribution for diesel and biodiesel
July 27, 2013
A team led by researchers from Brunel University (UK) has investigated the exhaust soot particle number size distributions obtained from the combustion of diesel and biodiesel (rapeseed methyl ester, RME) in a high speed direct injection (HSDI) diesel engine under different engine operating conditions: fuel injection pressure, injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and engine load.
Among the findings they reported in their paper in the journal Fuel was that under most of the engine operating conditions examined, RME emitted lower soot particle concentration than diesel under both nucleation and accumulation modes. The presence of oxygen in the fuel has the potential to lower the exhaust particle number concentration in diesel engines, they concluded.
Royal Academy of Engineering study examines future lower-carbon ship powering options
July 26, 2013
International shipping contributes an estimated 3% of global emissions of CO2. Although the industry has reduced its consumption of fossil fuels by a number of measures such as using increasingly thermally efficient diesel engines in recent decades, the current total fuel oil consumption is in excess of 350 million tonnes per year (about 98.5 billion gallons US).
A new study by an expert working group at the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering examines a wide range of possibilities for future, lower-emitting and cost-effective ship powering options. The report reviews a range of short-, medium- and long-term technologies and examines the advantages and limitations of systems from solar and wind power, through fuel cells to nuclear propulsion. One of the key takeaways is that an integrated systems engineering approach is required to achieve effective improvements in efficiency and reductions in emissions for ships. This integrated approach must embrace all of the elements of naval architecture, marine and control engineering alongside operation practices.
Continental XL3 solenoid injector in production in 1.5L GDI engine; looking ahead to Euro 6c
July 25, 2013
|New generation XL3 injector for GDI engines goes into production. Click to enlarge.|
Continental’s new XL3 high-performance solenoid injector for gasoline direct injection systems is currently in volume production for a four-cylinder, 1.5-liter GDI engine. The XL3 solenoid injector provides enhanced linearity due to very fast opening and closing times and multi-stream spray geometry (max. of 8 holes) enables optimal adaptation to all engine-specific requirements.
The XL3 offers high flexibility of spray characteristics to meet the requirements of side- or central-mounted engines. System pressure ranges from 40 up to 200 bar—50 bar higher than the XL2 injector. Static flow range for the XL3 is up to 20 g/s (at 100 bar at 70 °C); the XL2 had a maximum flow of up to 17 g/s.
Gevo supplies US Coast Guard with isobutanol-blended gasoline for testing in marine applications
July 24, 2013
|Coast Guard crewmembers train aboard a 38-foot Special Purpose Craft – Training Boat. Source: USCG. Click to enlarge.|
Biobutanol producer Gevo, Inc. has begun supplying the U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center with initial quantities of finished 16.1% renewable isobutanol-blended gasoline for engine testing.
The US Coast Guard R&D Center is using the Gevo-blended fuel as part of a 12-month, long-term operational study on marine engines that began during June. The testing is being performed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the US Coast Guard, Honda, and Mercury and will focus on two of the Coast Guard’s platform boats: 38-foot Special Purpose Craft - Training Boat and the 25-foot Response Boat - Small.
Volkswagen of America bringing in downsized 1.8L EA888 engine to displace 2.5L; all vehicles E15 capable
July 14, 2013
|Technologies in the EA888 engine line. Click to enlarge.|
Among the important product changes for Volkswagen of America for the 2014 model year is the introduction of the EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI engine, which will gradually replace the 2.5-liter five-cylinder naturally aspirated powerplant fitted to the Jetta, Beetle, and Passat models. As an additional change across the entire lineup, all Volkswagen models are E15 capable, across all powertrains, for 2014.
The EA888 is one of the Volkswagen Group’s three major engine lines: EA 211 (gasoline engines 1.0l to 1.6l); EA 888 (Gen3 gasoline engines 1.8l to 2.0l); and EA 288 (MDB diesel engines). The new 1.8L engine produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (249 N·m) of torque: this is the same power as the 2.5L engine, but the torque is improved by 7 lb-ft, delivered much lower in the rev range.
MAN Diesel & Turbo announces new ME-LGI dual-fuel engine for methanol and LPG; Waterfront Shipping signs LOI for four units
July 12, 2013
|New fuel booster valve for ME-LGI engine showing the main constituent parts. Click to enlarge.|
On 1 July MAN Diesel & Turbo announced the development of a new ME-LGI dual fuel engine. The new engine expands the company’s dual-fuel portfolio, enabling the use of more sustainable fuels such as methanol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
MAN has now signed a Letter of Intent with Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping for the use of four MAN ME-LGI engines on its ships. The engines will run on a blend of 95% methanol and 5% diesel fuel.
UK government and industry to invest >$1.5B in Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) for low carbon vehicles; technology roadmaps for 5 priority areas
The UK government and automotive industry are investing £500 million (US$755 million) each over the next 10 years in an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to research, to develop and to commercialize the technologies for the low carbon vehicles of the future. Backed by 27 companies in the sector, including supply chain companies, the commitment is expected to secure at least 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain.
The investment forms part of the report “Driving success – an industrial strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector”, published jointly by the government and industry. It follows the recent plans for construction, aerospace and other key sectors to secure sustainable future growth in the economy.
Advanced Biofuels USA introduces “E30 Capable” high-octane fuels concept in EPA Tier 3 comments
July 02, 2013
Biofuel advocacy group Advanced Biofuels introduced the concept of “E30 Capable” vehicles as part of its comments to the the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recently proposed Tier 3 motor vehicle fuel and emission rulemaking. (Earlier post.)
As part of the Tier 3 requirements, EPA proposes allowing vehicle manufacturers to request approval for an alternative certification fuel—such as a high-octane 30% ethanol by volume (E30) blend—for vehicles they might design or optimize for use on such a fuel. (Earlier post.) Advanced Biofuels suggests that “E30 Capable” vehicles can serve a practical key to transitioning to higher percentage blends of affordable renewable transportation fuels. Elements of the proposal include:
UC Berkeley leading project investigating partial fuel stratification and microwave-assisted sparkplugs for LTC engines
July 01, 2013
|The LTC research project has three proposed components. Click to enlarge.|
The University of California Berkeley is partnering with MIT, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs and Ricardo to investigate the the use of partial fuel stratification (PFS) in compression-ignition (CI) engines as well as the combination of PFS and microwave-assisted spark plug (µWASP) technology in spark-ignition (SI) engines to enable Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) engines to operate over the full load and speed range.
The 3-year, $1.65-million project is supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation as part of their collaborative research program for advanced combustion engines. (Earlier post.) The project is being led by UC Berkeley professors Prof. Robert W. Dibble and Prof. Jyh-Yuan Chen as co-principal investigators, with Dr. Samveg Saxena of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Prof. Wai Cheng (Co-PI), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collaborating institution). One focus of the project will be centered on light- and heavy-duty vehicles running on gasoline/ethanol blends in order to improve engine efficiency and lower emissions.
Chrysler introducing 2014 Ram 1500 pickup with new 3.0L diesel
June 28, 2013
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler’s 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Ram is now the only brand to offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of trucks.
Branded EcoDiesel, the new 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 hp (179 kW) at 3600 rpm and 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction, it will be emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
Mazda introduces 3rd-generation Mazda3
June 27, 2013
|2014 Mazda3. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda unveiled the redesigned 2014 Mazda3 (known as the Axela in Japan) in a series of launch events world-wide. The new Mazda3 is the third new-generation model to embody Mazda’s new KODO Design and SKYACTIV Technology, after the CX-5 and new Mazda6. With more than 3.5 million units sold since its original debut, the Mazda3 is now sold in more than 120 countries and accounts for 30% of the company’s annual global sales.
For the North American market, the 2014 Mazda3 will be offered with two engine choices: the currently-offered SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, as fitted to the CX-5 and 2014 Mazda6. Globally, the Mazda3 offers the widest SKYACTIV powertrain line-up in order to meet local market demands, and will be available with SKYACTIV-G 1.5- to 2.5-liter-sized gasoline engines; a SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine; and as a hybrid electric vehicle (Japan only).
DENSO develops new 2500-bar diesel common rail system; reductions in fuel consumption and emissions
|Components of the new 2500-bar DCR system. Click to enlarge.|
Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has developed a new 2500-bar diesel common rail (DCR) fuel injection system; DENSO says this is the currently the world’s highest injection pressure for a diesel common rail fuel injection systems comprising injector, fuel pump and common rail.
Based on DENSO’s research, the new system can help increase fuel efficiency by up to 3% while also reducing particulate matter (PM) by up to 50% and NOx by up to 8%. This is compared to DENSO’s previous generation system. The new DCR system will launch later this year on passenger, commercial, agricultural and construction vehicles worldwide.
Honda researchers validate PM Index for direct-injection gasoline engines; gasoline quality matters
June 26, 2013
In a new paper in the International Journal of Engine Research, Koichiro Aikawa of Honda R&D and Jeff Jetter of Honda R&D Americas report that their “PM Index”—reported in a paper in 2010—applies well to direct-injection (DI) gasoline engines as well as to the port-fuel-injection (PFI) engines of their original study.
In the original study, Aikawa and Jetter, along with Takayuki Sakurai, also from Honda R&D, investigated the relationship between gasoline properties and vehicle particulate matter emissions in order to construct a predictive model. They individually blended various chemical species with an indolene base fuel, and then measured the solid particulate number (PN) emissions from each blend over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
DOE awards Envera $2.8M to develop and to test efficient variable compression ratio engine
June 22, 2013
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Envera LLC a $2.8-million contract (DE-EE0005981) to develop and to test a high-efficiency variable compression ratio (VCR) engine with variable valve actuation (VVA) and an advanced high-efficiency supercharger to improve fuel efficiency. (Earlier post.)
The new engine will achieve high efficiency using the Atkinson Cycle with an 18:1 compression ratio, combined with aggressive engine downsizing. To attain high power levels, new high-efficiency supercharging technology will be used to boost the engine and provide V8-like performance from only four cylinders. Envera estimates that the new engine could deliver up to a 40% improvement in fuel economy over a conventional port-fuel injection engine at a relatively low cost while also delivering performance, torque and flex-fuel capability.
CPT SpeedStart technology validated for 1.2M stop-starts
June 18, 2013
|Speedstart liquid-cooled switched-reluctance motor-generator. Click to enlarge.|
UK-based Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) has completed more than two years of continuous testing to validate its SpeedStart belt-integrated starter-generator for 1.2 million stop-starts—considered the standard that will be required for a new generation of micro-mild hybrid vehicles. Developed from the outset for 12, 24 and 48 volt applications, CPT’s SpeedStart system is the first liquid-cooled switched-reluctance motor-generator developed for automotive stop-start. (Earlier post.)
Conventional starter motors typically look at 30,000 stop-starts, while current generation stop-start systems target up to 300,000 events. CPT said that no issues surfaced with the technology in any of the recorded test data throughout this extended period of stop-start testing, which was followed by a teardown and forensic examination of CPT’s compact motor-generator system.
Bosch sees future requiring multiple powertrain technologies; the larger the vehicle, the more the electrification
|Powertrain technologies outlook up to 2020. Click to enlarge.|
At the company’s 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany, Bosch senior executives outlined the company’s view on the general future of automotive technology—“efficient and increasingly electrical”, and provided a thumbnail of the way they see—and thus are developing products for—sector-specific technology trends.
In general, said Dr. Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, the pace of development continues to pick up, in the form of powertrain electrification and the automation of driving. Bosch does not believe there is just one powertrain solution for the future; most of the cars on the world’s roads are still running on diesel and gasoline, and things will stay that way for the rest of the decade, Bohr noted. However, “slowly but surely”, the number of alternatives is growing.
BMW launches new 4 Series with 1 diesel, two gasoline engines; Air Curtains and Air Breather
June 15, 2013
|BMW 4 Series Coupe. Click to enlarge.|
BMW is unveiling the all-new BMW 4 Series Coupe, previewed as a concept last December. (Earlier post.) Launched as the latest generation of BMW’s sporty mid-size Coupe, the two-door model will be available from launch powered by a six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine in the BMW 435i Coupe, a four-cylinder gasoline unit for the BMW 428i Coupe and the four-cylinder diesel for the BMW 420d Coupe. (The US market will see only the 428i and 435i models.)
All the engines use the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and deliver output ranging from 135 kW/184 hp to 225 kW/306 hp. In addition to the engines with optimized fuel economy, the car’s lightweight construction concept (although the new BMW 4 Series Coupe has grown in terms of dimensions, it is between 20 and 45 kilograms lighter than its predecessor) and aerodynamics—headlined by the Air Curtains and Air Breathers—also help to increase efficiency.
SoCalGas, California agencies funding $9M RFP to develop ultra-low NOx heavy-duty natural gas engines
June 13, 2013
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are jointly funding a request for proposals (RFP) (P2013-22) issued by SCAQMD to support the development of ultra-clean natural gas engines for a variety of heavy-duty vehicle applications in the South Coast Air Basin (SCAB) and San Joaquin Valley Air Basin (SJVAB).
The initiative, funded up to $9 million by the participating agencies together with $500,000 in matching funds from SoCalGas, aims to demonstrate natural gas engines capable of achieving aggressive, near-zero emission standards for on-road, heavy-duty vehicle applications suitable for refuse, goods movement, drayage, transit, or school bus applications.
Nissan introduces new 1.5L diesel in Juke in Europe; 56 mpg US
June 11, 2013
|Nissan Juke n-tec. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan is introducing a new 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine in the Juke in Europe. The new 1.5L engine brings CO2 emissions down to 109 g/km from 124 g/km, with fuel consumption on the combined cycle of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US)—an 11% reduction in consumption from the 4.72 l/100 km (49.8 mpg US) of the outgoing 1.5L unit.
The 108 hp (81 kW) diesel boosts maximum torque from 240 N·m to 260 N·m (192 lb-ft) at 1,750rpm, with 80% of this figure available from just 1,500 rpm to improve driveability. The new unit is now the most efficient engine in the Juke line-up, Nissan says.
Audi announces pricing and fuel economy for 2014 Audi A6, A7 and Q5 TDI diesels
June 10, 2013
At the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show in December, Audi of America announced the significant expansion of its diesel model line-up with the addition of A8, A7, A6, and Q5 TDI diesel models to the Q7 and A3 TDI already on sale in the US. (Earlier post.)
Audi has now announced pricing and fuel economy figures for the 2014 A6, A7 and Q5 TDI models, expected to begin arriving at US dealers in late Summer 2013. The 2014 Audi A8 L was already recently introduced. EPA estimated fuel economy figures for the clean diesel introductions are as follows:
New study on DME auto-ignition at engine-relevant conditions
June 08, 2013
Dimethyl ether (DME) is of interest as an alternative fuel for compression ignition (CI) engines due to its ease of production and advantageous properties as a diesel alternative. As an example of that interest, Volvo Trucks has just announced its intent to begin production of DME-fueled heavy-duty trucks in North America in 2015. (Earlier post.)
DME offers a high cetane number of 55 and low auto-ignition temperature (making it desirable for diesel engine operation), and has been shown to reduce significantly diesel engine particulate emissions as well as NOx, SOx, and CO emissions. However, the characteristics of DME autoignition at CI engine-relevant conditions have not been widely explored at this point. Partly addressing that lack is a new study by researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; their paper is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
New 2014 Toyota Corolla brings Valvematic, new CVT to North America; up to >40 mpg highway
June 07, 2013
|2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota unveiled the 2014 Toyota Corolla—the 11th generation of the car. With nearly 40 million units sold, the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car nameplate; this year marks its 47th year on the market.
The 2014 Corolla is available in four distinct grades: L, LE, S, and the new LE Eco grade. The LE Eco grade is differentiated by a more efficient 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine with Valvematic technology; improved aerodynamics; and low rolling resistance tires. The Corolla Eco-badged models will achieve an estimated highway fuel economy rating of more than 40 mpg (5.88 l/100km) due to to the new Valvematic engine combined with a newly developed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Volvo Trucks to begin limited production of DME heavy-duty trucks in NA in 2015; customer trials; Oberon partnership
|Volvo VNL D13 with DME. Click to enlarge.|
At an event in Sacramento, California, Volvo Trucks announced that it will commercialize dimethyl ether (DME)-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America, with limited production beginning in 2015. Volvo also revealed ongoing customer field testing of DME trucks in the US (with Safeway and Martin Transportation), as well as its partnership in the customer trials with startup DME producer Oberon Fuels. Oberon Fuels is the first company to announce plans to commercialize DME fuel production in North America. (Earlier post.)
DME offers diesel-quality performance with a high cetane number and low auto-ignition temperature, but burns cleanly without producing any soot. It is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and can be made from a variety of sustainable domestic sources, as well as from North America’s abundant supply of natural gas. The carbon intensity of the DME will vary with the feedstock, but with the use of bio-gas (biomethane) from an anaerobic digester as input into the Oberon process, DME can provide up to a 95% CO2 reduction compared to diesel. Volvo has been testing Bio-DME in Sweden since 2009. (Earlier post.)
VW wins “Best New Engine Award” for 1.4L TSI engine with active cylinder management (ACT)
June 05, 2013
|1.4 TSI with ACT. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen’s 1.4 TSI with automatic cylinder deactivation (ACT) (earlier post) received the “Best New Engine Award” at the 2013 International Engine of the Year Awards 2013 at Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany. This award recognizes the best engine development of the past 12 months.
The 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine from Volkswagen also won the “Engine of the Year Award” for seventh consecutive time in the 1.0 to 1.4 liter displacement category. This makes the 1.4-litre TSI the most successful engine in the 15-year history of this international engine technology competition.
SEC issues cease-and-desist order against split-cycle engine developer Scuderi Group for violations of Securities Act
June 01, 2013
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease-and desist order against split-cycle engine developer Scuderi Group (earlier post) and its president, Salvatore Scuderi, as well as a $100,000-fine against Salvatore Scuderi for violations of the Securities Act including unregistered stock offerings and “misleading disclosures regarding the use of offerings proceeds.”
The Scuderi Engine is a split-cycle design that divides the four strokes of a conventional combustion cycle over two paired cylinders. Intake air is compressed in the compression cylinder and transferred to the power cylinder for combustion. The engine has two crossover passages that connect the two cylinders, which separate the four strokes of the pistons. The combination of discrete, asymmetrically sized cylinders and fully variable valvetrain promises the ability to vary displacement ratios, bore-stroke ratios, compression-expansion ratios, compression-expansion phasing, and gas transfer phasing for engine optimization—i.e., a more efficient internal combustion engine.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu equipped with new 2.5L iVLC base engine with start-stop
May 31, 2013
|2014 Malibu. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Malibu, featuring updated styling (and more rear seat room) and a new 2.5L base engine with variable valve lift control (Intake Valve Lift Control, iVLC earlier post) and start/stop technology as standard. Estimated fuel economy with the base engine is 23 mpg US city / 35 mpg highway (10.2 and 6.7 l/100km, respectively)—5% and 3% improvement, respectively. The new 2014 Malibu goes on sale this fall.
Chevrolet will continue to offer the Malibu ECO with eAssist (earlier post), as well as the 2.0L turbo; the latter, which features a 14% boost in torque (295 lb-ft/400 N·m), does not come with start-stop technology.
3rd generation BMW X5 to offer 5 diesel variants by end of year; more power, less fuel consumption
May 30, 2013
|BMW X5 xDrive30d. Click to enlarge.|
BMW’s newly introduced third-generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will launch with two diesel engine model options, to be joined by three more in December. BMW has sold more than 1.3 million units of the X5 since the launch of the first generation model in 1999.
At launch, the diesel line-up will include the BMW X5 xDrive30d with revised six-cylinder in-line diesel unit (190 kW/258 hp) and the BMW X5 M50d M Performance Automobile with tri-turbo six-cylinder in-line diesel (280 kW/381 hp). (The xDrive30d will be badged as the X5 xDrive35d in the US, with a slightly different power rating but the same base engine.) By December 2013, these will be joined by the BMW X5 xDrive40d; the BMW X5 xDrive25d; and the BMW X5 sDrive25d.
2.5L engine for 2014 Chevy Impala features new Intake Valve Lift Control (IVLC)
May 24, 2013
|IVLC uses an all-new rocker arm that switches between low- and high-lift intake cam profiles. The mechanism is actuated by an oil control valve through a dual-feed stationary hydraulic lash adjuster. Click to enlarge.|
The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala offers as one of its three engine options a four-cylinder Ecotec 2.5L engine, featuring the debut of a new advanced variable valvetrain technology—Intake Valve Lift Control (IVLC, earlier post)—and improved fuel economy. The EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2014 Impala with the new 2.5L engine is 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway (11.2 and 7.6 l/100 km, respectively).
The 2.5L engine, which delivers SAE-certified 196 horsepower (146 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (252 N·m), achieves variable valve lift using an all-new rocker arm that switches between low and high lift intake cam profiles.
Ricardo-led technology demonstrator delivers 72% improved fuel economy over regular Humvee
May 23, 2013
|Ricardo-TARDEC FED. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo released an analysis of two years of on-the-ground testing of the Ricardo-engineered Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) showing that, when compared to the US military’s regularly outfitted M1151 HMMWV (“Humvee”), the FED experienced a 72% improvement in fuel economy. (Earlier post.) The FED’s performance was assessed using a number of realistic duty cycles including highway, off-road and idle conditions.
The FED powertrain features include a supercharged Cummins I4 diesel engine; a high efficiency 28V permanent magnet integrated starter-generator from Kollmorgen that enables electric accessories and 20 kW of power for on-board equipment; a 6-speed automatic transmission from Aisin; and an accelerator feedback pedal and fuel economy display to inform drivers how to operate the vehicle to produce the best fuel economy.
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
May 16, 2013
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
FEV analysis of automotive-scale Pinnacle opposed-piston engine finds potential for significant increases in fuel economy
May 15, 2013
An analysis by FEV of a modeled automotive scale version of Pinnacle’s 4-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post) concluded that the engine has the potential to deliver significant additional fuel economy benefits of up to 42.6% with application of various advanced technologies over a baseline naturally aspirated (NA) 1.5L configuration of the engine.
Start-up Pinnacle initially has been targeting the Asian two-wheeler market with a small-displacement version of its technology (e.e., 110 cc) to gain some market traction rather than trying to push its way into the automotive market. Automotive, however, has always been a company target, notes founder Monty Cleeves. FEV is also supporting Pinnacle on those initial versions of the engine.
IFP Energies nouvelles leading ASTRIDE project on GDI transient mode operation; targeting low engine-out particulates
France’s IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is coordinating a four-year project seeking to understand and to model the physical phenomena involved in transient modes of operation of gasoline direct injection (GDI) powertrains.
The specific objective of the ANR (French National Research Agency)-funded ASTRIDE (Aerodynamics and Sprays during TRansients of Gasoline Direct Injection Engines) project is to to develop and to validate new design tools that could contribute to the emergence of GDI engines with in-cylinder soot levels low enough to preclude the negative cost and efficiency impacts caused by the use of soot particle filters in the exhaust. ASTRIDE is run in partnership with two research institutes (CETHIL and Prisme) and three manufacturers (Continental, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault).
Volvo Car Group begins production of new VEA 4-cylinder engine family
May 13, 2013
Volvo Car Group is now starting production of the first engine variants in the new, high-efficiency four-cylinder Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) family. (Earlier post.) The development and production take place in-house at Volvo Car Group.
VEA consists of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Together with driveline electrification, VEA replaces the previous eight engine architectures on three different platforms. The new engines will be introduced between 2013 and 2015. Almost 20,000 engines will be produced in 2013, and by the end of the year the production pace will be 2000 units a week.
Cummins progressing toward ATLAS Tier 2 Bin 2 fuel-efficient diesel for light-duty pickups
May 10, 2013
In a US Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project, engineers at Cummins are developing a Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions compliant diesel for application in a light duty pickup (ATLAS, Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems, earlier post). Tier 2 Bin 2 requirements are only slightly less stringent than the CARB LEVIII-SULEV20 requirements. (Earlier post.) Fuel economy targets for the vehicle are 22.4 mpg US (10.5 l/100km) city and 34.3 mpg US (6.9 l/100 km) highway.
At the recent 2103 SAE World Congress, Cummins discussed key engine technology enablers—including air-handling, fuel system, and base engine design— and development of the combustion system that will help in achieving the target emission levels and fuel economy.
Liquid Air Energy Network forms in UK; focus on transportation and energy storage
May 09, 2013
|Example power cycle of the cryogenic (e.g., liquid air) Dearman piston engine. Source: Dearman Engine Company. Click to enlarge.|
A new new forum for the advocacy and development of liquid air as an alternative technology to harness waste and surplus energy within power and transport—the Liquid Air Energy Network (LAEN)—has formed in the UK.
The UK Centre for Low Carbon Futures published a multi-partner research report—Liquid Air in the energy and transport systems: Opportunities for industry and innovation in the UK—and presented the results at a a conference at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. The work was conducted by a collaboration including industrial partners Arup, Dearman Engine Company, E4 Tech, Highview, Messer Group and Ricardo, as well as academics from the Universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Strathclyde, Brighton and Imperial College London.
Update on the ACCESS fuel efficient engine project; simulations find up to 48.9% improvement in fuel economy over baseline
May 08, 2013
Robert Bosch LLC, AVL Powertrain Engineering and partners including the University of Michigan are working on a four-year, $24-million US Department of Energy (DOE)-supported project— Advanced Combustion Concepts—Enabling Systems and Solutions (ACCESS)—to achieve a 30% fuel economy improvement in a gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicle without compromising performance while also meeting SULEV emission standards. (Earlier post.)
At the recent 2013 SAE World Congress, engineers from Bosch and AVL presented papers on progress in the ACCESS project, describing the design, combustion development and controls development for a resulting 4-cylinder gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine with part-load HCCI capability.
New Porsche 911 Turbo improves fuel economy by 16%
May 03, 2013
The new generation Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S, equipped with new advanced engines, PDK transmission, new combined thermal management system for the turbo engine and the transmission, the new Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system, and other fuel efficiency technologies such as start/stop and active aerodynamics, have reduced NEDC fuel consumption by up to 16% to 9.7 l/100 km (24.3 mpg US); these figures apply to both models. Final US EPA label values will be calculated closer to the time the car is on sale in the United States.
The bi-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat 6-cylinder engine with direct gasoline injection produces 520 hp (383 kW) in the 911 Turbo and 560 hp (412 kW) in the S model. Porsche continues to be the only carmaker to offer two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry for a gasoline engine. Power is transferred to the drivetrain via the seven-speed dual clutch transmission (PDK), which now enables an auto start/stop function with engine shutoff that now activates earlier during coasting to a stop as well as a coasting function.
Volkswagen boosts Beetle Turbo and Jetta GLI with EA888 Gen 3 engine; more power, improved fuel economy
|The EA888 for the US. Click to enlarge.|
The Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Turbo Convertible, and the Jetta GLI receive a number of running changes to 2013 model year cars that go on sale this month. The most notable of these is fitment of a new version of the EA888 Gen 3 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI gasoline engine.
The new engine delivers a manufacturer-estimated improvement in fuel efficiency for the Beetle models of between 4-8% percent on the combined cycle and by up to 9% percent on the city cycle. The new engine produces 210 horsepower (157 kW), an increase of 10 hp over the previous Gen 2 TSI engine.
U. Wisconsin team reports gross indicated thermal efficiency of RCCI operation near 60%
April 29, 2013
In a paper presented at the 2013 SAE World Congress, a team from the University of Wisconsin reported a gross indicated thermal efficiency of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) operation of near 60%, given optimized combustion management and thermodynamic conditions. That 60% gross engine efficiency provides a pathway to meet the DOE Super Truck 50% brake thermal efficiency (BTE) engine goal as well as a pathway for reaching 55% BTE, the researchers concluded.
The findings also showed that improvements to boosting system efficiencies for low exhaust temperatures and overall reductions in friction are required to capitalize on the high gross efficiences offered by RCCI.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
April 26, 2013
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
FEV’s two-stage VCR system; 5-7% increase in fuel economy using variable length conrods
April 22, 2013
|Working principle of FEV’s two-stage VCR system. Click to enlarge.|
Use of a variable compression ratio (VCR) could be one technology approach to reducing fuel consumption in highly boosted (e.g., downsized, turbocharged) gasoline engine, as operating an engine with higher compression ratios at low load can increase fuel economy compared to operating an engine with fixed compression ratio.
At SAE World Congress 2013, engineers at FEV reported on their progress on a two-stage variable compression ratio (VCR) system based on a variable length conrod with eccentric piston pin suspension. The small end of the connecting rod in the FEV systemis equipped with an eccentric sleeve housing the wrist pin. By rotating the eccentric sleeve, the effective connecting rod length, and thus the compression ratio, can be varied. (Diagram at right.)
IEA: carbon intensity of global energy supply has barely changed in last 20 years; “window of opportunity in transport”
April 18, 2013
|The ESCII, along with projections for three scenarios. To meet 2DS targets, the index needs to decline by 5.7% by 2020, and 64% by 2050. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
In a fairly bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that, despite a few bright spots such as the rapid expansion of renewable technologies and the growth of hybrid and EV sales, the progress is far below that required to achieve a 2 °C pathway—i.e., to hold warming to 2 °C as outlined in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2 °C Scenario (2DS). The assessment came in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduced the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The global energy supply became 6% cleaner from 1971 to 1990,in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Since 1990, however, the ESCII (2010 = 100) has remained essentially static, changing by less than 1%. In 1990 the underlying carbon intensity of supply was 57.1 tCO2/TJ (2.39 tCO2/toe); in 2010 it was 56.7 tCO2/TJ (2.37 tCO2/toe).