European EAGLE project to develop gasoline engine with 50% peak efficiency; Renault to manufacture prototype

European EAGLE project to develop gasoline engine with 50% peak efficiency; Renault to manufacture prototype

15 June 2017

European researchers have launched a new project to obtain a gasoline engine at least 20% more efficient than current engines and adapted for future electrified powertrains. The EAGLE (Efficient Additivated Gasoline Lean Engine) European research project is led by the French research organization IFP Energies nouvelles, with the participation of eight partners from Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The EAGLE project will combine and evaluate different advanced technologies to achieve its aim of developing an innovative engine able to deliver peak brake thermal efficiency of 50% while reducing particulate and NOx emissions and while using a conventional engine architecture. It will also reach real driving Euro 6 values with no conformity factor.

Among these technologies, EAGLE will consider using hydrogen as an additional fuel to boost and stabilize ultra-lean combustion, as well as developing a pre-chamber ignition system. EAGLE will tackle several challenges focusing on:

  • Reducing engine thermal losses through a smart coating approach.

  • Reaching ultra-lean combustion (lambda > 2) with very low particulate (down to 10 nm) emissions by innovative hydrogen boosting.

  • Developing breakthrough ignition system for ultra-lean combustion.

  • Investigating a close loop combustion control for extreme lean limit stabilization.

  • Addressing and investigating NOx emissions reduction technologies based on a tailor made NOx storage catalyst or using H2 as a reducing agent for SCR.

Eagle

Another of the project objectives is to reduce heat losses during combustion by applying an insulation coating to certain parts of the combustion chamber, and to predict to what extent this technique will effectively contribute to increase the engine efficiency.

For this, advanced coating materials with extremely low thermal conductivity and heat capacitance properties have to be assessed in order to ensure that the surface temperature fluctuates in phase with the temperature of the combustion gases, and so reduce heat losses.

The project foresees as well the development of a catalytic converter compatible with lean combustion and the use of hydrogen as a component to reduce NOx emissions.

This new concept will help the European automobile industry to reach the next objective of 50g CO2/km emissions and to stay within legislation on particle and nitrogen oxide emissions on hybrid vehicles.

—Jean-Marc Zaccardi, researcher at IFP Energies nouvelles and coordinator of the project

At the present time the maximum efficiency of gasoline engines is around 40%. The remainder of the energy is lost; EAGLE researchers aim is to reduce this wasted power produced by combustion, said Alberto Broatch full professor at the Research Institute CMT-Motores Térmicos of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

The ultimate objective is to increase engine efficiency while keeping emissions within the present limits and anticipating the future standards for real driving emissions.

—Cédric Libert, who is responsible for the project at Renault

The EAGLE project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Program, got under way last October and will continue until beginning of the year 2020. In addition to the evaluation and simulation phases performed by the universities and the material and technology suppliers, the final assessment of the EAGLE concept will be conducted on a prototype engine manufactured by Renault.

In addition to the French coordinating organization IFP Energies nouvelles and the multinational OEM Renault, the other partners involved in the EAGLE project are the companies:

  • Saint-Gobain Centre de Recherche et d’Etudes Européen (France);
  • Continental Automotive GmbH (Germany);
  • Continental Automotive France SAS (France);
  • FEV Europe GmbH (Germany);

as well as the following university groups:

  • the Research Institute CMT-Motores Térmicos of the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain);
  • the Engine Simulation Team (EST) of the Universitá degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy);
  • the Institute for Combustion Engines (VKA) of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen (Germany).

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