As hybrid cars are becoming more common on our roads, researchers at the Advanced Engineering Centre at the University of Brighton, UK, the Université de Picardie Jules Verne and the Institut de Recherche en Systèmes Electroniques Embarqués (IRSEEM), ESIGELEC, France are focusing on how to make them even more efficient.
The €1.27m project, known as CEREEV (Combustion Engine for Range-Extended Electric Vehicle) is funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA France-Manche-England programme. The team is investigating internal combustion engine concepts, along with advanced control strategies, for a small, electric hybrid car. The car, ideal for driving in towns and cities, will be highly efficient and will need to be refuelled less frequently.
Dr Steven Begg from the University of Brighton is leading the research team.
The project ran from 1 February 2011 to 30 June 2015.
The researchers are investigating combustion engine concepts instead of refining existing four-stroke engine technology. One example, the split-cycle engine, divides the four-stroke cycle between two separate, paired cylinders: one for the compression process and the other for the combustion phase.
The team at Brighton, with backgrounds in physics, engineering, mathematics and computer science, have focused their research upon understanding the combustor performance. One of the key challenges involves timing the simultaneous injection of air and fuel and combustion of the mixture in an exceptionally short period of time when compared to a conventional engine.
A combination of computational fluid dynamics simulation, state-of-the-art optical measurement techniques and a unique research engine will be used to gather large volumes of experimental data. Advanced visual analytics methods will be used to examine the complex experimental data and simulation space in order to derive control rules for optimal engine performance in a hybrid application. The split-cycle engine concept, paired with a small, hybrid city car, has the potential to reduce harmful emissions to the atmosphere and extend the operating range beyond that of a purely electrically powered vehicle.
The team will be communicating the work to industry and academics, in order to attract interest for further research and development. They will also be promoting it to the broader societal field, through the creation of a Centre of Research and Teaching Excellence in Hybrid Vehicles, a bilingual public website and a prototype test rig to be displayed at promotional venues.
Dr Steven Begg
Dr Daniel Coren
Dr Aidan Delaney
Dr Guillaume de Sercey
Dr Andrew Fish
Professor Morgan Heikal
Dr David Mason
Dr Nicolas Miché
Professor Miltos Petridis
Dr Oyuna Rybdylova
Dr Elena Sazhina
Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France
Institut de Recherche en Systèmes Electroniques Embarqués (IRSEEM), ESIGELEC, Rouen, France
Total project value: €1.27 million