Ricardo has announced it is one of 19 collaborating commercial and academic partners participating in the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Green Vehicle Initiative project called HDGAS. According to Ricardo, HDGAS aims to develop, demonstrate and optimize advanced powertrain concepts for dual-fuel and dedicated natural gas heavy-duty vehicles.
The primary objectives of HDGAS are to develop technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also meeting current Euro VI emissions standards.
Ricardo says it will focus on the development of engine and aftertreatment systems that offer the prospect of delivering real driving emissions well below Euro VI limits for heavy-duty vehicles. Specifically, the aim of the new systems is to demonstrate improvements of in the region of 10% in torque, power, fuel efficiency and GHG emissions reduction. Through use of simulation methods, Ricardo aims to create a heavy-duty natural gas version of its direct-injection combustion system that has already been used in gasoline engines. Technologies that will be investigated in this endeavor include a conceptual study of liquid natural gas direct injection and the application of a high energy ignition system based on corona discharge.
Advanced dual-fuel and dedicated natural gas aftertreatment specification, development and testing are also critical parts of the HDGAS project, and Ricardo says it will lead several partners of the consortium in this area. The work will aim to provide important knowledge around the challenge of controlling tailpipe methane emissions and the impact of natural gas on some of the conventional aftertreatment technologies that might be applied, such as the risk of methane poisoning of SCR catalysts. Having specified the system requirements based on simulation and analysis, this information will be used as the basis for rig testing and development, followed by incorporation of the technology on the four new heavy-duty natural gas powertrains developed within the project. These will include the Ricardo lean burn direct-injection engine and the three other engines being developed by the partners on the project. Ricardo will then complete a Euro VI calibration of the aftertreatment system on the lean burn engine.
“For future heavy commercial vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a critical priority,” comments Andrew Noble, Ricardo head of heavy-duty engines. “A promising route toward this goal is the more widespread use of natural gas as an alternative to conventional liquid fossil fuels such as diesel.
“However, the adoption of natural gas power for commercial vehicles faces several technical challenges, which are being addressed by the HDGAS project,” continues Noble. “Ricardo is very pleased to be a partner in HDGAS, contributing innovative technologies in collaboration with the other partners.”
More information about the HDGAS project is available here.