Heatwave II

  • Morgan, Robert (PI)

Project Details


HeatWave combined an innovative application of microwave steam reforming, applicable to the global on highway transport market, to generate syngas and improve overall engine efficiency. This novel system architecture deploys UK-centric technological building blocks by which engine waste heat powers a non-degrading reforming process.

As demonstrated in the 2013 Innovate UK-funded feasibility study, this innovation was believed to be a step change improvement in overall engine efficiency, at favourable cost benefits compared to competitor systems. The study showed that the potential benefit of the HeatWave approach could be a five per cent fuel consumption reduction in heavy duty vehicles, at a reduced cost compared to competitor technologies.

HeatWave II produced the next level of system validation through a risk reduction approach, to deliver a proof of concept demonstration of the technology. To deliver this validation, the programme focused on three activities in response to key risks identified in the earlier feasibility study, namely:
(i) develop reformer process and demonstrate at a suitable scale;
(ii) validate the effect of reformate on engine performance through engine testing; and
(iii) develop heat recovery architecture specification, including supplier sourcing.
Throughout the programme focus on durability and safety was maintained. The target application of the research was the commercial vehicle market. However, the stationary power market could also benefit from the application of this technology.

The objectives of the University of Brighton's contribution to Heatwave II were to:
> identify test points representative of heavy duty truck operation to evaluate the effect of reformate on engine performance at Euro VI emissions levels using both high and low after treatment NOx control strategies
> measure the effect of a representative reformate on the fuel consumption and emissions of a single cylinder engine
> demonstrate the effect of fumigation of reformate directly from the reformer into the single cylinder engine

The research programme incorporated a number of activities with potential for improved energy conversion efficiency, new collaborations and training. This was projected to lead to:
> removing market barriers to use this novel technology;
> increasing market share and profit to UK industrial collaborators;
> training and enthusing the next generation of British engineering; and
> broadening the research activities in the Centre for Automotive Engineering.

The research also addressed the question of the effect of hydrogen fumigation on the performance of a modern diesel engine with a representative combustion system. This would have benefit to other researchers and developers of syngas production systems.

The primary beneficiaries of the research were envisaged to be the commercial partners who expect to gain commercial revenues through the sale of engineering services and licences for the HeatWave technology and application. Other researchers and SMEs and the funding Councils would also benefit from the research which plugs the gap in the fundamental understanding of the impact of a hydrogen rich reformate on diesel combustion.

In HeatWave II researchers would also evaluate the effect of reformate on a leading-edge combustion system using state of the art instrumentation. As such, the real benefit of reformate would be quantified on representative hardware which will be of benefit to other stakeholders investigating other technologies with similar principles.
Effective start/end date1/12/1330/11/15


  • TSB


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