Small goes Green: Scientists at the TU-Graz push the greening of small engines
In the newly approved k-Projekt ECO-PowerDrive-2 scientists from Graz develop methods for the reduction of emission and fuel consumption of small powertrains under real world operating conditions. The international research consortium, led by the Graz University of Technology, consists of 8 company partners and 4 scientific partners and is focused on propulsion units for two-wheeler, small passenger cars as well as hand-held working and garden tools.
Standard test versus real world operating conditons
It is a well-known fact that the segment of non-automotive and small engine propulsion systems has to be included in the worldwide ambitions to reduce fuel consumption and the emission of climate-relevant and environmentally harmful gases. Due to intense research and development effort the emission and fuel consumption level of engines for these applications have been significantly lowered over the last years. These efforts have been focused on standardized operating conditions, as defined by the current legislative regulation specification, and standard fuel types. However, in recent times it turned out that real world operating conditions do have a major influence on emissions and fuel consumption. While this finding led to legislative regulations for heavy duty vehicles and beginning research for passenger cars, up to now no substantial investigations have been performed in the area of non-automotive and small propulsion systems. The same is true for the investigation of alternative renewable fuels in these engine segments.
Coordinated and concentrated research in ECO-PowerDrive-2
Therefore, the k-Project ECO-PowerDrive-2 aims at a reduction of regulated gaseous emissions and fuel consumption for small automotive and two-wheeler-applications as well as hand-held and garden equipment. This covers research on extremely downsized compression ignition engines, hybrid-powertrain concepts, spark ignition engines and alternative fuel applications with the main focus on real world operating conditions. The targeted solutions have a mid-term perspective to be implemented in market products. Explicitly defined strategic research projects cover cross-sectional research topics, for example the investigation of dedicated electronic motor management & control functions of these engines.
Based on the well-established research consortium of the actual call-2 k-Project ECO PowerDrive, an extended consortium consisting of the University of Graz Institute for Chemistry, the Graz University of Technology Institute for Electrical Measurement and Measurement Signal Processing as well as the Upper Austrian University of Applied Sciences and the company partners AVL, BMW, BRP-Powertrain, Emitec, Heraeus, OMV, Stihl and Viking has been formed under the guidance of the consortium leader, the Graz University of Technology Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics.
The research program spans 4 years and is split into three Areas: “Combustion & Emission for Small Spark Ignition Engines”, “Combustion & Emission for Small Compression Ignition Engines” and “Hybrid Powertrain for Small Engine Applications” with 8 specific research topics in total.
Special focus was set on strategic project topics with a long term implementation perspective. The research will be done at the sites of the scientific partners mainly; an intense participation of the company partners in the research is seen as an essential success factor.