Energy Technologies Institute launches lower drivetrain HDV efficiency project 27 July 2012

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a £2.5million project to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles by cutting parasitic losses in the lower drivetrain system by 50%.

Led by Romax Technology with Castrol and ANSYS, the project will examine losses caused by churning lubricating oil and component friction in trucks and off-road vehicle drivetrains, believed to account for more than 10% of overall vehicle energy losses.

According to Chris Thorne, programme manager for heavy duty vehicles at the ETI, this project will look to improve the overall system design, with a synergistic focus on gears, bearings, surface treatments, lubricant flow and lubricant composition.

Romax will be responsible for the lower drivetrain design and analysis; Castrol is to work on oil development; and ANSYS will model the lubrication system with its computer-based engineering simulation technology.

Thorne says that technologies developed through the project will then be available for use in trucks, coaches, buses, tractors, back-hoe loaders, wheeled loaders and articulated quarry trucks.

"When we launched our HDV efficiency programme, we stated a belief that HDV carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to one third," comments Thorne.

"This next phase of the programme aims to take us closer towards that end objective. It is critical that we develop technology solutions that are affordable for the industry and meet the needs of the customers," he continues.

"Vehicle fuel efficiency could be increased by 2—5% if lower drivetrain losses could be effectively halved, which means this project has the potential to make a beneficial step change to the HDV industry."

In terms of funding the project is part of a £40million ETI programme, launched earlier this year by Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Ansys UK Ltd
Castrol (UK) Ltd
Romax Technology Ltd

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