UK EPSRC awards almost $10M to two low-carbon vehicle technology projects; energy storage, engines and fuels
Two new low-carbon vehicle technology research projects will receive £6 million (US$9.7 million) funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme. The two discrete projects—ELEVATE (ELEctrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology) and Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels—will involve academics from eight UK universities.
The announcement was made by UK Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark to coincide with the annual Low Carbon Vehicle Event - LCV Cenex 2014 at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford.
ELEVATE, led by Professor Rob Thring at Loughborough University, will develop better materials for energy storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors, along with better diagnostics for fuel cells, as well as work to improve integration between devices, vehicles and power grids.
Other participating academic partners are: University of Warwick; University of Southampton; University College London; and University of Oxford.
It will draw on expertise in departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials and Manufacturing and be informed by an Industrial Advisory Committee that includes companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey and Intelligent Energy, a company founded on Loughborough University research.
Loughborough’s principal role will be to prove that the new electrochemical energy storage devices work in an existing hybrid car, which will be made available for test drives by leaders of industry, government and celebrities. They will also feed the data back to their partners and UK industry.
Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels, led by Dr. Robert Morgan at the University of Brighton, will investigate how to improve the operation of internal combustion engines by as much as one-third efficiency and how new fuels’ performance can be used in future engines to bring emissions close to zero.
Until now there had been a lack of underpinning fundamental research to adopt these ground-breaking concepts, but this new project will address this knowledge gap and answer the question how far can you go with the ICE. The answering of this fundamental question will significantly impact the direction of ongoing research in the transportation sector and commercial investment in new low-carbon transportation technologies and fuels.—Dr. Robert Morgan
Other participating academic partners are: Brunel University; University of Oxford; and University College London.
It will involve academics from departments of Computing, Engineering & Maths, Engineering & Design, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering. Industrial partners include Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd, Jaguar Land Rover, BP British Petroleum, and Ricardo UK.
Part of the University of Brighton’s grant share will be used to buy a new single-cylinder combustion engine for the testing of the next generation of combustion systems and fuels. The research will also investigate three novel ICE concepts that have received considerable interest in industry.