Project Details


The GREEN project was a prestigious pan-European Framework 6-funded programme that aimed to research the development of clean and efficient Heavy Duty Diesel engines. Led by Volvo Powertrain Aktiebolag (Sweden), the 26 collaborating partners included leading engineering companies and research institutes across Europe.

Brighton was chosen to carry out the single cylinder engine testing using a novel EUI system, with flexible, multiple fuel injection capabilities, that enabled the investigation of a wide range of combustion modes. The results have highlighted important operating strategies, especially through fuel injection control, that can be utilised to achieve realistic emissions and efficiency gains.

Total project value: €21.75 million for 39 months with SHRL funding from FP6: £95,800 for 9 months

At the time of the project, the development of HD engines was undergoing a rapid step in its evolution. Increased demand for fuel efficiency, emissions and global competition were driving forces. The HD (Heavy-Duty) engines operated under constraints much more severe than those of passenger cars such as:
-higher durability (up to 1.000.000 km) of the engine and of the related aftertreatment,
-higher mechanical and thermal stress of the engine (heavier load factor)
-higher pressure on reliability, investment and fuel economy

The above constraints characterised the HD engines for their more general applications: not only trucks and urban vehicles but also the rail traction and the inland waterway vessels of the directive 2002/765.New technologies will help us meeting future emission and fuel consumption targets by:
-a new combustion process enabled by variable components;
-new control strategies
-considering the engine and the exhaust after treatment as ONE system;
-considering sustainable fuels

The main objective of GREEN was to perform research leading to sub-systems for a heavy-duty engine. The objectives should be achieved with strict boundary conditions for:
i) a competitive cost base,
ii) highest fuel conversion efficiency of the Diesel cycle, to achieve near-zero real world pollutant emissions and significant reduction of CO2.

The project put emphasis on diesel engines for trucks and rail applications and on natural gas engines for city transport applications. The combination of innovation and durability is strongly supported. The research targets have been chosen to look beyond all legislation known today. Targeting possible sharpening after year 2010 with focus on near zero real world emission (for Diesel NOx 0.5 g/kWh, PM 0.002g/kWh ETC Cycle BSFC=204 g/kWh and for natural gas corresponding targets are set).

For the full list of pan-European researchers and collaborators, see the Cordis European Commission website.

Key findings

Environmentally friendly gas and diesel engines for heavy-duty transport applications are becoming a reality, thanks to major advances in powertrain technology.

While light vehicles have successfully integrated efficient engines that respect the environment, large vehicle engines have not jumped on the bandwagon yet due to lagging knowledge in this area. The EU-funded project 'Green heavy duty engine' (GREEN) researched ways to develop a heavy-duty powertrain based on novel engine concepts.

The proposed powertrain would feature improved combustion, flexible components, model-based closed loop emission control, high-power density and exhaust treatment. It would also boast improved cost efficiency, the highest diesel fuel conversion efficiency and near-zero emissions, implying a strong reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.

Research priorities for the project included developing a gas engine with maximum thermal efficiency and evaluation of tailored exhaust after-treatment systems based on novel fuel injection and variable valve actuation (VVA). They also covered development of a new combustion process and the first step to model-based closed loop powertrain control, as well as an innovative brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) engine.

After 39 months of work, the project met all its objectives successfully, having tested a viable prototype for a heavy-duty engine based on flexibility, multiple fuel injections and variable valve timing. Emission targets have also been achieved in gas and diesel engine applications, realising significant fuel savings.

Project partners have recommended more work in the future on related subsystems such as the air management and cooling systems to achieve maximum benefit from the new combustion engine.

Brighton continued their aspect of the project through privately funded GREEN 2 and GREEN 3

The GREEN 2 project was a privately funded follow-up on the GREEN project, investigating highly premixed cold combustion operating strategies through injection controls.

The GREEN 3 project continued the Heavy Duty Diesel investigation on highly premixed cold combustion of the GREEN 2 project through the use of a fully flexible, state of the art, ultra-high pressure, common rail fuel injection system.
Short titleGREEN
Effective start/end date1/03/0531/05/08


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