The University of California Berkeley announced today that it has partnered with Ricardo, MIT, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to conduct collaborative research for the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy on advanced combustion engines.
This project will pioneer the use of partial fuel stratification (PFS) and microwave assisted spark plug (μWASP) technology that will enable low temperature combustion (LTC) engines to operate over the full load and speed range. The initial focus of the project will be centred on light- and heavy-duty vehicles running on gasoline/ethanol blends in order to improve engine efficiency and lower emissions.
The research generated from this project will enable a better understanding of engine combustion and advance LTC and lean burning engines using PFS and μWASP across a wide range of load and speed. It will provide a detailed understanding of the chemical kinetics that cause pressure-sensitive intermediate temperature heat release and equivalence ratio sensitivity in gasoline, a current problem associated with high-load boosted LTC engines with PFS. The μWASP technology research will provide an understanding of the interactions between the spark discharge, the microwave field and the stratified mixture in the flame kernel formation process in order to better understand the PFS ignition process.
“This research will play an important role in developing the next generation of engine technologies as an important step towards achieving the EPA 2025 targets of 54.5 mpg for cars and trucks,” said Dr. Samveg Saxena, one of the investigators at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab who authored the proposal.
“Our depth of experience with downsized, highly-boosted engines will play an important role in contributing insight for the development of this project,” said Tom Apostolos, president of Ricardo, Inc. “There are a lot of talented and knowledgeable partners on this project, and we are thrilled to continue to be at the forefront of advanced engine technologies.”
Ricardo will provide its industry-leading testing and simulation capabilities for the second phase of the project, which will kick-off in early 2014 and operate out of the company’s Detroit Technical Center. During the testing phase, Ricardo will use its Extreme Boosted Direct Injection (EBDI) engine technology, which can deliver up to a 30 percent fuel economy and CO2 improvement compared with existing engines.
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