HeatWave combines an innovative application of microwave steam reforming, applicable to the global on highway transport market, to generate syngas and improve overall engine efficiency. This novel system architecture deploys UK-centric technological building blocks by which engine waste heat powers a non-degrading reforming process. As demonstrated in the recently-completed Innovate UK-funded feasibility study, this innovation could lead to a step change improvement in overall engine efficiency, at favourable cost benefits compared to competitor systems. The study showed that the potential benefit of the HeatWave approach could be a five per cent fuel consumption reduction in heavy duty vehicles, at a reduced cost compared to competitor technologies.
HeatWave II will produce the next level of system validation through a risk reduction approach, to deliver a proof of concept demonstration of the technology. To deliver this validation, the programme focuses on three activities in response to key risks identified in the earlier feasibility study, namely: (i) develop reformer process and demonstrate at a suitable scale; (ii) validate the effect of reformate on engine performance through engine testing; and (iii) develop heat recovery architecture specification, including supplier sourcing. Throughout the programme focus on durability and safety will be maintained. The target application of the research is the commercial vehicle market. However, the stationary power market could also benefit from the application of this technology.