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 industrialised 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. A key global imperative is therefore the substantial improvement of heavy vehicle engine efficiency.
Our researchers are working with Ricardo on the new CryoPower engine concept which focuses on a split-cycle combustion process. Instead of refining existing four-stroke engine technology, the engine divides four strokes between two paired cylinders: one for intake/compression, and another for power/exhaust. Using isothermal compression to control temperature, this engine concept has a predicted thermal efficiency of 60 per cent, making it significantly more fuel efficient than current engine technology.
Heat exchanger specialist Hiflux Ltd and an advisory panel from the heavy duty engines and vehicle sector have joined the project.
The CryoPower engine project is supported by funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, as part of the “Low Carbon Vehicles Proof of Concept IDP8” funding call, with balancing contributions from the project partners.