Recuperated Engine: Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (RE-ARMD)

Project Details


The Recuperated Engine - Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (RE-ARMD) project accelerates the market readiness of the Recuperated Split Cycle Engine (RSCE), a revolutionary heavy duty thermal propulsion system with fuel-cell like high efficiency (55%BTE) and near-zero emissions (<5% of EuVI NOx) using net-zero sustainable fuels including liquids, biogas and hydrogen.

A collaborative project with Dolphin N2 and ZIRCOTEC, RE-ARMD was funded as winners of The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)'s Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) Competition 2020.

Starting with outputs of the StepCO2 project, RE-ARMD addressed three elements:
> core technology improvement for efficiency;
> development of robust virtual tools specific to this engine type;
> exploration of a direct-injection hydrogen combustion system with potential to be a "straight swap" for diesel injection.

Exploitation targets the whole heavy duty sector; first application is likely to be long-haul trucks (~350kW), meeting EU CO2 regulations for 2025-30, and EuVII emissions, circa 2027. After that, other applications, and net-zero fuelled derivatives such as the hydrogen unit, will enter the market over the following 5 years.

RSCE separates cold and hot parts of 4-stroke cycle, for optimisation of each, and waste heat recuperation (Technical Illustrations), delivering mature fuel cell equivalent efficiency (50-60% BTE), and very low NOx emissions (<SULEV / 5% Euro VI with aftertreatment).

The StepCO2 project delivered a multi-cylinder "mule" in September 2020 as a basis for REARM 0, which used this engine and its prior test data to research an upgraded Mule engine, with support from single-cylinder units, and digital tools. Isothermal compression, thermal insulation, high pressure breathing, recuperation and combustion were researched; the project also demonstrated compression ignition of hydrogen (enabling a simple fuel swap), and deliver a "digital twin" model for concept selection, design and calibration.

Planned work was as follows:
> WP1 (Dolphin) will use the existing Mule to research: Compressor water injection; Expander ceramic insulation and combustion; Airflow with valvetrain, recuperator and turbocharger improvements.
> WP2 (UoB) will research chemical and thermodynamic simulations validated with test data, to develop Hydrogen combustion; install H2 infrastructure and Titan single cylinder expander modifications; demonstrate Hydrogen starting and running.
> WP3 (Dolphin) will research 1-D and 3-D digital tools and data handling techniques to deliver an improved "Digital Twin" addressing observed accuracy issues when using existing 4-stroke tools. The aim is to enable the next generation of prototype to be optimised and calibrated digitally.
> WP4 (Zircotec) will develop materials and manufacturing processes for thermal insulation, addressing issues of durability, spatial coverage and performance. PSZ and Ceria spray coatings and slurries, targeting hard-to access ports, will be a prime focus.
> WP5 (Brighton) will install the upgraded Mule engine at the University, for demonstration of efficiency and alternative fuels, in readiness for APC17 and further long term, higher risk/ reward research.
> WP6 (Dolphin) will deliver Exploitation including Cenex and papers/presentations putting RSCE in a strong position for the continuation project APC17.

This project comes on the back of the purchase of the intellectual property developed by the university and Ricardo by Case New Holland, part of the Fiat and owner of the Iveco truck brand.

Key findings

Recuperated Engine: Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (RE-ARMD):
> accelerated advancement to market readiness demonstration for the Recuperated Split Cycle Engine
> developed revolutionary heavy-duty thermal propulsion system that offers fuel-cell levels of efficiency and near-zero emissions
> gave the ability to transition to sustainable fuels such as biomethane and hydrogen
> delivered a demonstrator engine, showcased at LCV2021.

Effective start/end date1/10/2030/06/21


  • Innovate UK


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