Wednesday 9 April 2014

EcoMotors boosts diesel R&D in China

EcoMotors Inc. has established a joint research and development centre with Hunan University (HNU) in Changsha, China to further develop and adapt opposed-piston diesel engine technology for the local market.

The new centre will be located at HNU’s Research Center for Advanced Powertrain Technology (RCAPT) and serve as a base for EcoMotors research and development in China.

EcoMotors Inc., of Allen Park, Michigan, USA, will provide funding to develop its opposed-piston two-stroke (opoc) diesel engines and associated technologies, and adapt them to the local market.

For its part, HNU will give EcoMotors use of the RCAPT’s engine testing and computational facilities, as well as other resources.

“As our first overseas R&D centre, this partnership is an important step in the commercialization of our advanced technology and a sign of the importance this market plays in our global strategy.” said Amit Soman, EcoMotors president and chief operating officer. “At this centre we will fine-tune products to meet the specific needs of the Chinese market and provide support for our other partners in China.”

Located in a province that serves as an industrial base for mechanical manufacturing, the centre also will provide EcoMotors with access to top local talent.

As part of the partnership, EcoMotors will give scholarships to graduate students at HNU’s research centre, funding their work on the opoc technology. The most promising students will be sent to work at EcoMotors Shanghai office or other EcoMotors facilities. 

“As a leading research institution, HNU is proud to give our full support to EcoMotors, a company that is redefining engine technology,” said Professor Liu Jingping, the director of the Joint Research Centre of EcoMotors and HNU. “This collaboration will enable us to play a pivotal role in creating more efficient engines and a cleaner future for China.”

The opoc engine is designed to be 15 to 45 percent more efficient, smaller, lighter, and less expensive to manufacture than conventional internal combustion engines. Its “dual-module” configurations give the engine the versatility to offer peak power while significantly lowering emissions and enhancing operating efficiency and fuel economy.

The reduced size and weight also allows automakers to fundamentally rethink the way they design vehicles, which holds the potential for further efficiencies through improved aerodynamics.

“HNU, with its advanced engine testing facilities, is the perfect partner to help tailor EcoMotors opoc technology to the China market,” said Professor Peter Hofbauer, founder, chairman and chief technical officer at EcoMotors. “With the talented individuals of both EcoMotors and HNU working together, this partnership is sure to produce revolutionary advancements to EM’s engine technology, applicable not only in China, but in the global market as well.”

Meanwhile, EcoMotors is expected to make a major statement outlining progess of its novel engine later this year. The company is also expected to reveal further detaails of its opposed-piston two-stroke diesel engine, including possible automotive applications.

                                       Achates paper

Meanwhile, at this year’s SAE World Congress in the US a new paper from David Johnson of Achates Power Inc. of San Diego, California, showed that an opposed-piston two-stroke diesel is capable of achieving 35 per cent CO2 emissions reduction and meeting the 2025 fuel efficiency and emissions regulations

Johnson joined Achates Power in August 2008 as president and chief executive officer. He is leveraging over 20 years of industry experience to accelerate development of “revolutionary internal combustion engines” that provide “superior fuel efficiency at lower cost” and ultimately further the company’s goal of enabling a more sustainable future.

Johnson was previously vice president of product operations for military and export markets at Navistar International.                                                     ∎

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