A third or more of the fuel energy is lost to the environment as waste heat in the traditional Otto and Diesel cycles. Our research includes recovery of heat energy both before and after the combustion process and integrated within the primary power cycle.
Our post-combustion heat recovery research has focused on the co-optimisation of the engine with a Rankine bottoming cycle. Analysis and experimental research on the design of novel fluid blends for the Rankine cycle has shown the overall system efficiency of the bottoming cycle can be nearly doubled using this approach.
Pre-combustion energy recovery is achieved by the steam-reforming of the fuel to produce syn-gas of higher calorific value than the primary fuel. The syn-gas is introduced via the inlet manifold and diesel is injected directly into the chamber, delivering a four to six per cent improvement in system fuel consumption and the potential to increase lean homogenous combustion to reduce emissions.
Our world-leading split cycle research offers the potential to reach 60 per cent brake efficiency at practically zero emissions. In our concept, the compression and expansion strokes are separated in different chambers and heat is recovered between the two cylinders. The precise control of the combustion cylinder temperature and burning of the fuel in the expansion stroke has shown very low emissions levels, below the current Euro VI standards for heavy duty vehicles.