Scope of the technology
Fuel economy has in the past already often caught the attention of the public. In the 1970s because of the oil crisis. In the 1980s because of increasing fuel prices which led to car advertisements mentioning the Cw value. And now in 2008-2009 again, but stronger than before, because of the combination of nearing peak oil, skyrocketing oil prices (temporarily interrupted by the financial crisis) and the impact on changing climate.
The world is changing, and it is changing rapidly. In just two years the oil price quadrupled, we became massively aware of our undesired impact on our climate with ever more frequent hurricanes, rainfall, draughts and the melting ice cap. Finally oil production seems to be near a decline but that almost passes unnoticed because of the gravity of the first two reasons. So we have three main reasons why fuel economy has caught our attention. Today we also realize that we have to do something about it and we have accepted that we have to change our behaviour, that we have to diversify our energy sources and that we can simply not go on like before anymore.
heat2power has focussed on the improvement of energy flows through an internal combustion engine to improve its efficiency. The flow through the exhaust had been identified as a potential source of energy for the generation of torque on the crankshaft. A technology has been developed to use the waste heat in a highly efficient manner. The goal as depicted in the following picture was also to realize this with a high efficiency. On top of this, high power density was aimed at in order to have an attractive solution for mobile applications.
The compact and lightweight application of this technology in combination with the original internal combustion technology enables the design of combustion engines with a very low specific fuel consumption.
The concept has taken into consideration the need for industrialisation with a very high level of carry over. The design finally does not require major modifications on current engine blocks and powertrain architecture. Automotive applications are thus possible.