Impact on the environment
Impact on practitioners
The research addressed the problem of improving the driver experience of
the sound and vibration
of their automobile operating under idle conditions in city traffic. As a
result of the research, Shell
Global Solutions UK developed and successfully adopted a test standard
protocol that changed
their R&D process for making diesel fuels. The research shifted the
process of making fuels from
one which were oriented to the product to one that was customer focused.
The new test standard
protocol and the vibration acceptability metric were also adopted by Ford
Motor Company Ltd.,
Bentley Motors, BMW, Fiat, Ferrari, Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot-Citroen and
Prof Zhao's development of an innovative hybrid engine RegenEBD was exploited by its industrial
partner, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company (Yuchai), the largest bus engine manufacturer in
China holding 80% of the domestic market. The first RegenEBD engine buses were operated in
Yulin city, where Yuchai is based, in 2011. Yuchai confirmed that these buses have demonstrated
notable fuel savings of 4.7-10% (1,100-2,200 litres of fuel saving), equivalent to 3.6-7.2 tonnes of
carbon saving per vehicle per year. This led Yuchai to re-align their manufacturing strategies and
development efforts for 3 years (2011-2013), investing significant resources to begin
manufacturing and retrofitting of RegenEBD engines in 2014. They have employed over 30 new
engineers to develop and manufacture RegenEBD and purchased equipment for RegenEBD
engine testing and operations. Yuchai expects that hundreds of buses equipped with RegenEBD
will be on the road by 2020.
The HOTFIRE collaborative research project (2004-2008) into advanced
engine combustion systems led directly to a new, high specific power
output, high fuel economy, low CO2 emissions turbocharged
`down-sized' three-cylinder engine that was demonstrated in the Opel Astra
car in 2008. The valuable new knowledge, understanding and techniques
gained in the HOTFIRE project has directly contributed to the successful
delivery of a major engine family project for an ASEAN region OEM client
of Lotus Engineering.
This research project, carried out at the University of Derby, was used
to develop an engine performance monitoring system and a data optimisation
method for engine management systems for Land Rover. The project delivered
two pieces of software developed for data modelling and optimisation with
respect to the engine test bed. This has significantly reduced the engine
test time on the test bed by up to 30%, reduced the cost of each engine
test and provided optimum engine operation parameters to the Engine
Control Unit (ECU), which has resulted in lower emissions and improved
fuel economy. The project was started in 2000 and completed in 2008.
However the outcomes of the research and developed software tools are
still used by the Land Rover engine test group.
Using powertrain system models arising from QUB research Wrightbus
Ltd developed an advanced eco-friendly hybrid diesel-electric bus
which won the New Bus for London contract worth £230M supplying 600
buses to Transport for London (commencing August 2012).
Demonstrating highly significant economic and environmental impacts the
bus has twice the fuel economy of a standard diesel and emits less than
half the CO2 and NOx. The full fleet reduces
annual CO2 emissions in London by 230,000 tonnes,
improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases.
The company continues to develop the technology in new hybrid vehicles reaching
worldwide, including USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
Loughborough University's (LU) research collaboration with The Hardstaff
Group has resulted in a commercial Oil-Ignition-Gas-Injection system
(OIGI®), which substitutes natural gas for Diesel oil in heavy goods
vehicles. Using optical diagnostics OIGI® was redesigned, increasing
average substitution rates from 45% to 60%. The economic impact for
Hardstaff was a fuel saving of £406k per annum. The research allowed
Hardstaff to create new business with Mercedes-Benz in the UK and Volvo in
Sweden. OIGI® reduces CO2 by up to 15%, harmful nitrogen oxides
and particulate emissions by 30%. The research also demonstrated, for the
first time, dual fuel technology in small, high-speed diesel engines,
paving the way for its application in passenger cars.
University of Huddersfield research into engine technologies has resulted
in a major new partnership with the UK arm of engineering multinational
BorgWarner, leading to the company increasing R&D capabilities in the
UK. This collaboration, funded partly by parent company BorgWarner US and
partly by the government's Regional Growth Fund, involves
multi-million-pound investment, as well as significant job creation and
safeguarding. It was a key factor in the company securing a substantial
contract with Jaguar Land Rover, whose decision was informed by the
University's capacity to help BorgWarner further its R&D activities
and upskill its workforce for the benefit of the UK automotive supply
chain and the local and national economy.
This research by the University's Transportation Research Group (TRG) has
contributed to the development of sustainable road transport networks both
in the UK and other leading cities worldwide. In summary: