Researchers squeeze maximum efficiency out of ICE

December 15, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Researchers squeeze maximum efficiency out of ICE
While more and more countries plan to gradually phase out the internal combustion engine (IEC), quite a few engine developers argue that this technology still has development potential. Researchers have now investigated how far the efficiency of hybrid drives can still be increased.

If available technologies for the internal combustion engine are optimally coordinated, more than 40 percent of the energy bound in the fuel can be used in real road traffic. Synthetic fuels (e-fuels) can lead to even higher efficiency and reduced emissions due to their better combustion properties. That, in a nutshell, is the result of the studies conducted by four university institutes.

In order to achieve the CO2 fleet emission targets in 2030, automakers must also make vehicles with internal combustion engines significantly more energy efficient. In the "ICE2025+" research project initiated by the Forschungsvereinigung Verbrennungskraftmaschinen FVV (literally: Research Association for Combustion Engines), scientists from four universities in Germany investigated how far the efficiency of gasoline engines can be increased with the help of various technology combinations. What all the powertrains studied had in common was that the internal combustion engine was supplemented by an electric drive, especially in urban traffic. "However, we designed all tests and simulations in such a way that there was still just as much electricity in the battery at the end of the journey as at the beginning," explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Beidl, head of the Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Vehicle Drives at TU Darmstadt. "This makes it possible to observe exactly how the efficiency changes as a result of various measures taken on the engine."

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