Future Powertrain Conference reflections & the need for pioneering powertrain developments to keep humans ‘on the road’.
Humans have a need for automotive manoeuvrability. Whether it be a small commuter vehicle, or a vast long-haul truck; the need to move people, food, goods, clothes & life around the world, will forever require some form of automotive assistance. It is with this in mind, that international companies & innovators alike are striving to perpetually re-develop automotive vehicles & whether they are powered by biofuel, electricity, CryoPower, clean fuel or an amalgam of collected propulsion materials & systems; the powertrains which support these vehicles, will need to ensure they are fit for future purpose.
In the wake of the Future Powertrain Conference in Solihull, UK last week, the conference highlighted the need for a continuation of the developments in the automotive powertrain sector. Despite the expectations of an every growing EV market, the powertrain technologies are still in need of development to accommodate an ever changing expectation in the automotive sector.
One of the many topics spoken about at the conference, was the ‘Air pollution: current and future issues and the role of road transport’ It is no secret that cars, in particular in the inner cities, have been vastly contributory to the dramatic reduction in air quality & the immense increase of emissions/GHG into our atmosphere. Therefore, although the evidence clearly proves that traditional diesel & liquid fuel commercial vehicles are contributory to 6% of the global Co2 emissions; developments in this sector are working fast to create a balance for cars, haulage & right across the automotive sectors.
Although the inner cities are combatting air quality & emissions through the use of Low Emissions Zones, electric vehicles, buses, taxis, etc; other areas of the automotive sector are still heavily reliant on a combination of liquid fuel propulsion systems for their vehicles. The powertrain industry are reacting to the ever increasing need for innovation, by ensuring their technologies can support the diversity of the automotive sector.
British companies such as Integral Powertrain, also at the Future Powertrain Conference, are pioneering systems to support the reduction of Co2 emissions in the automotive sector.
Founded in 1998 by current Directors John, Luke, Darren and Roger, the team had previously worked for a number of years at Cosworth’s road engine business. During their first 10 years they built a significant client base of OEMs & Tier 1 suppliers across the automotive & aerospace sectors. ‘The key work streams in this period were delivering high quality I/C engines and controls in addition to advanced CAE processes customised to client requirements.’ (1)
‘As the importance of reducing CO2 emissions grew, Integral Powertrain employed a strong ‘first principles’ engineering capability to develop a number of innovative technologies and services. One of these, a supercharging and mild hybrid system called SuperGen, is now the focus of a joint venture company with Magna International called “Integral Powertrain Technologies”.’ (1)
Nick Owen – Technical Director, Dolphin N2 was in attendance at the Future Powertrain Conference & presented as part of the Off Road & Heavy Duty Seminar: CryoPower – A long-haul truck engine with near zero emissions and high efficiency.
Dolphin N2, a spin off from Ricardo Plc, are also pioneering their CryoPower split cycle diesel engine technology, to support the truck & haulage sectors. The Dolphin N2 CryoPower split-cycle engine not only offers up to 90% less out emissions, but the operator & manufacturing costs are highly competitive.
Although the split-cycle engine concept is far from a new idea, what makes the Dolphin N2 CryoPower split cycle engine design so unique, is the ability to recover the exhaust gas heat as part of the compression process. As the compression process is carried out isothermally, this significantly reduces the temperature rise during compression through the use of a small jet of liquid nitrogen being added at the crucial moment. The cooled, highly compressed charge, then passes through a heat exchanger & subsequently recovers the heat within the engine, recouping energy which would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere.
With up to 20-30% reduction in operator costs & fuel consumption, alongside the comparatively inexpensive materials & processes; the Dolphin N2 CryoPower technology really is an attractive environmentally sensitive & game-changing global product.
Written by Katy-Jane Mason on behalf of Dolphin N2.