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Ricardo successfully bids for five TSB IDP low carbon R&D projects in latest round

The latest Technology Strategy Board funding awards for Low Carbon Vehicle collaborative R&D projects, IDP rounds 8 & 9, awarded funding for five projects led by, or participated in, by Shoreham-by-Sea based Ricardo.

Principle among these under the Technology Strategy Board's IDP8 - Disruptive technologies in low carbon vehicles II, Ricardo, QinetiQ and the University of Brighton were awarded funding of £394,123, which is 56% of the total costs, for their HeatWave II project that aims to demonstrate fuel efficiency savings in heavy duty vehicles.

Also under Low Carbon Vehicles Proof of Concept IDP 8 funding call, Ricardo's CryoPower engine project - also described as the Split Cycle Engine, has been funded in partnership with the University of Brighton and Hiflux Limited together awarded £430,381.

In addition, under IDP 9 Technology challenge in low carbon vehicles Ricardo will lead a £1,790,702 funded project Low Carbon Mild Hybrid Electrified Diesel Optimised Powertrain - HyBoost 2 (partnered with Ford Motor Company, Controlled Power Technologies, European Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium EEIG, Faurecia Automotive Ltd and University of Nottingham.

The awards were announced by Ricardo, to coincide with TSB's announcements for awards for both IDP 8 and IDP 9 competitions to twenty seven collaborative research & development (CR&D) projects worth more than £45 million at the Low Carbon Vehicle 2013 exhibition on 4 September.


HeatWave II - combining an innovative application of fuel reforming, and syngas generation - a technology transfer from the aerospace industry

Following on from a study that began in 2011 which suggested a potential 5% fuel consumption benefit for heavy duty vehicles at a reduced cost compared to other technologies, the project intends to combine an innovative application of fuel reforming, plus generate syngas to improve overall engine efficiency.

Syngas, or synthesis gas, is a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and often some carbon dioxide. The name comes from its use as intermediates in creating synthetic natural gas (SNG) and for producing ammonia or methanol. Syngas is also used as an intermediate in producing synthetic petroleum for use as a fuel or lubricant. It has less than half the energy density of natural gas.

HeatWave is based on technology developed by QinetiQ for aerospace auxiliary power unit (APU) applications, to assess its development potential as a low carbon vehicle technology. According to Ricardo, generating syngas from diesel fuel to improve overall engine efficiency, while using waste engine heat to offset part of the reformer’s power requirement, is also applicable to the global on-highway transport market.

The ‘HeatWave II’ project aims to produce the next level of system validation to deliver a proof of concept demonstration of the technology. The different partners will focus upon: development of the reformer process to demonstrate it at a suitable scale; validation of the effect of reformate syngas on engine performance through engine testing, and development of vehicle systems.

“Following the very promising results of our original HeatWave feasibility study, Ricardo is pleased to be leading the HeatWave II project announced today in which we will join with QinetiQ and the University of Brighton to further research this exciting fuel saving technology,” commented Ricardo chief technology and innovation officer Professor Neville Jackson.

“The microwave-based reformation of diesel fuel, harnessing heat that would otherwise be wasted, is a potentially attractive and cost-competitive means of improving the fuel consumption of heavy duty vehicles and hence reducing the carbon footprint of road-based long haul logistics.”


‘CryoPower’ - cryogenic split-cycle engine concept for improved environmental performance of heavy vehicles.

A pilot simulation study of the Ricardo ‘CryoPower’ cryogenic split-cycle engine concept  predicts a thermal efficiency of 60% – significantly more fuel efficient than current engine technology. The Technology Strategy Board supported project will allow for a feasibility prove-out study of this concept through design, analysis and rig-based testing of critical sub-systems. If successful, the research will help ultimately to deliver an engine with the potential to transform the environmental performance of long haul trucks and other heavy vehicles.

The Ricardo cryogenic split-cycle engine concept seeks to redefine the engine and its combustion process through the use of a recuperated split-cycle with isothermal compression.

Based on a concept investigated by Ricardo for power generation purposes in the 1990s, the split-cycle engine for heavy vehicle use was the subject of the TSB supported ‘CoolR’ feasibility project, commenced in 2011, in which Ricardo partnered with the University of Brighton.

The partners will be joined by high temperature heat exchanger specialist Hiflux Ltd, as well as a confidential advisory panel drawn from the heavy duty engines and vehicles sector. During the work of this new project – which aims to investigate, analyse and de-risk the crucial aspects of the Ricardo CryoPower engine concept – the partners will focus on system definition, technical risks and route to market, combustion system component development and thermal analysis, and recuperator development.


‘ADEPT’ - aims to deliver breakthrough in diesel fuel efficiency

Engine downsizing through charge boosting is a means of improving internal combustion engine fuel efficiency by increasing the proportion of the drive cycle at which the powertrain operates within or close to peak fuel efficiency. The downside of this is the delivery of acceptable driveability characteristics and launch performance.

Full hybridization provides a means of energy management that enables this limit to be exceeded, but it brings a cost premium for the electrified powertrain architecture, including the high capacity battery pack and electric motors.

In its earlier HyBoost project, which received with co-funding from Technology Strategy Board under IDP in 2009, Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC) demonstrated a concept they termed ‘intelligent electrification’. This deployed 12+X volt electrification and boosting technologies to demonstrate a high performance, low CO2 gasoline powertrain offering fuel economy benefits equivalent to a full hybrid – but at a projected cost premium of less than a diesel. 

For its Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project, the same partners will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and the University of Nottingham, to apply the intelligent electrification concept to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus). This will test the advantages from using a 48V architecture, considered most cost-effective for harvesting kinetic energy, combined with electrical ancillaries and advanced thermal systems and waste heat recovery technologies. Vehicle driveability and performance attributes will be optimized through a belt starter generator (BSG) capable of providing torque assist when required to augment engine performance.

The partners of this new project aim to demonstrate a powertrain with decent performance and less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, while capable of being made at a cost significantly lower than a comparable full hybrid electric vehicle.


Ricardo awarded grant funding in five IDP low carbon vehicle collaborative research & development projects in the latest TSB announcement

Ricardo will also lead one other project awarded funding under the IDP 8 competition with University of Bristol, GE Aviation Systems Limited and Semelab Limited for the Low cost novel GaN inverters for 48V automotive applications, receiving £647,273 overall.

Ricardo is also participant in the Jaguar Land Rover led ULTRAN - Ultra-Lightweight Transmission & Driveline project, awarded £3,143,867 of TSB funding.


IDP 10 - Building an automotive supply chain of the future

Technology Strategy Board's IDP 10 - Building an automotive supply chain of the future - competition is currently open, offering investment of up to £10m in highly innovative collaborative R&D projects in the field of low carbon vehicles.

The deadline for registration is at noon on 6 November 2013 and the deadline for applications is at noon on 13 November 2013.

To view the IDP 10 FAQs, as well as registering (above) you will need to sign in to connect and join the Low Carbon Vehicles IDP networking group.

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