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Future Propulsion Conference 2022 review Day 1: Driving change for an emission’s free future.

By March 10, 2022 No Comments

Last week (02.03.2022-03.03.2022) industry leaders from all areas of the propulsion sector gathered together at the National Motorcycle Museum for the Future Propulsion conference 2022.

Having been cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic, FPC2022 was an incredibly vibrant event, full of engineers, academics & industry leaders networking, learning about the developments in the propulsion sector.

The Dolphin N2 engine created a great deal of interest from the very start of the conference, with industry leaders, engineers & academics alike inquiring about the ThermoPower Recuperated Split Cycle Engine & how the technology can support the heavy goods/off-highway/agriculture drive towards zero emissions.

Simon Brewster  – CEO, Dolphin N2, Nick Owen – Technical Director, Dolphin N2 & Gilbert Sammut – Simulation Engineer, Dolphin N2 were all in attendance to speak with other attendees about the RSCE technology & the part it can play in dramatically reducing emissions in the heavy duty sector.

Day 1, 2nd March 2022

The keynote on Weds 02.03.2022 from Dr Matthias Wellers reminded all attendees of the challenges we are all facing in the drive towards zero emissions for the propulsion sector. His resounding & emphatic message was that the ICE is not dead & that it will be produced in one form or another beyond the UK 2030 ban, as there are so many sectors where electrification technology is not an appropriate solution.

This was reiterated by Professor Greg Offer, who remined attendees that there are currently only enough batteries for 70% of BEV’s in production & although technology is moving on apace, lithium reserves are already depleted to levels where it is predicted that they may run out by 2025 (NB: other batteries are being developed which do not use lithium).

Innovate UK Deputy Director Paul Gadd explored the ways in which Innovate UK are investing in innovation & made specific reference in his keynote address to how Innovate UK have supported the Dolphin N2 ThermoPower Recuperated Spilt Cycle Engine.

Paul Gadd made refence to the Innovate UK paper Transport Vision 2050 & recognised that although EV’s are a sensible & viable route for passenger & light goods vehicles; there is less confidence in emission free technologies for the heavy duty sector, where a blended approach of options would need to be adopted. He did however refer to how many heavy duty & off-highway manufacturers are investing in Hydrogen opportunities for their portfolio’s of HGV’s, Agriculture & Marine options.

During Day 1 the Seminar ‘Heavy Duty & Off Highway’ chaired by Dr Francesca Iudicello from Innovate UK, explored how the heavy duty sector is seeking ways to reduce emissions whilst still optimising maximum efficiency.

Ryan Ballard – Engineering Director, Powertrain – JCB, explored “Hydrogen as a Route to Zero Emissions for off Highway Heavy Duty Applications”

Ryan’s presentation explored how JCB are answering the need for electrification & have produced 7 compact electrified products & the response from their customer base was encouraging.

However, JCB are realistic when it comes to the needs of a 20 tonne excavator moving 4 tonnes of earth per minute for example & that is that electrification is simply not a viable option & therefore hydrogen has become a “compelling solution”.

Ryan noted however that hydraulic systems for off-highway machinery show huge inefficiencies in usage when using electrification & therefore alternative strategies have been put in place to mitigate this.

JCB are therefore utilising Hydrogen in an ICE model in which they have been able to use advanced boosting & hybridisation to mitigate NOx. With diesel engines still able to perform energy density efficiency, the hydrogen ICE solution is a way of mimicking the performance, whilst also moving towards a zero emissions solution.

As part of the networking process the Dolphin N2 stand was frequented by many attendees including Paul Gadd – Deputy director, Innovate UK, Ian Constance – CEO, Advanced Propulsion Centre, Dr Matthias Wellers – Managing Director, AVL Powertrain UK & Selin Tur – Vice President of Advanced Technologies & Innovations, CNH Industrial.

The first day of FPC 2022 was a hive of activity & had a genuine feeling of liberation after having not been able to run for the past two years & it genuinely felt like attendees were relieved to be back in a “3D world” as one attendee referred to the event.

Written by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2

“The Recuperated Split Cycle Engine: A Practical Hydrogen Solution for Heavy Duty?”