By 2015, spark-ignited engines have the potential to become a player in the diesel medium-duty commercial truck and off-road segments, including agricultural and construction vehicles, says John Pinson, vice president of Ricardo, Inc. Pinson announced his prediction at the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Directions in Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) conference, which was held in Dearborn, Mich. on Aug. 3 to 6.
The DEER Conference is a Department of Energy forum for regulators, academics and engineers to exchange information on advanced combustion engine research and development. At DEER, Ricardo showcased a 3.2-liter V-6 Ethanol-Boosted Direct Injection (EBDI) prototype, which can operating on gasoline or up to 100% ethanol.
Rod Beazley, vice president of Spark Ignited Engines at Ricardo, presented a technical paper on the collaborative EBDI research program at DEER, and he said Ricardo is able to reduce displacement by 25 to 50% while delivering torque that's competitive with direct-injection diesels in a spark-ignited engine and fuel economy.
EBDI technology relies on three-way catalyst after-treatment technology. The gasoline engine allows for OBDII diagnostic compliance due to the reduction in multiple after-treatment components and sensors. The EBDI solution features a high-energy ignition system that does not require a two-fuel (diesel – gasoline) system, which has been suggested as an alternative. The technology also requires only a single direct injector per cylinder as opposed to the dual injection (DI – PFI) options that are also currently under development.
For More: Ricardo, Inc.