CryoPower

CryoPower

Objective

CryoPower technology is a new “split-cycle” engine, using liquid Nitrogen (N2) to achieve significantly superior thermodynamic performance. This novel engine is the result of 10 years of R&D by Ricardo PLC with targets to:

  • Reduce fuel costs by 20%
  • Reduce fuel and CO2 by 30%
  • Exceed “clean air” objectives by potentially eliminating soot and NOX emissions

CryoPower is initially focused on two very large and growing markets:

  • Heavy Duty Trucks: with target savings of £9k+ p.a. per truck (worth circa £110m/year across a lease truck fleet)
  • Distributed Power Generation: with target savings of £180k+ p.a. per MW unit (worth circa £1.0bn/year across a rental gen-set fleet).

Customer Benefit

CryoPower is targeted at applications running heavy duty internal combustion engines – primarily heavy duty trucks and distributed power generation. Through providing a 20% reduction in fuel operating costs, CryoPower has a significant impact on profitability of operations as well reducing CO2 emissions by 30%. Furthermore, CryoPower technology also potentially eliminates soot and NOx emissions, thus combining both a compelling economic and environmental case.

 

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Technology

CryoPower technology uses electric energy stored in liquified nitrogen (routinely produced by the industrial gases industry) to improve the combustion process, reducing fuel use by 30%. By allowing combustion to follow a lower temperature path, soot and NOx are almost entirely eliminated. In a conventional engine a mixture of fuel and air is first compressed in each cylinder at high temperature using fuel energy, and then combusts in that cylinder at unnecessarily high temperature losing heat energy and generating NOx emissions in the expansion phase. CryoPower uses energy stored in cryogenic nitrogen to reduce fuel energy used in the compression phase, and increase the useful energy released in the expansion phase. This improves efficiency by 30%, proportionately reducing fuel use and CO2, and potentially avoiding and eliminating NOx and soot generating areas during combustion.

Emissions can be reduced further (or eliminated completely) by using bio-fuels and liquified nitrogen produced using renewable electricity. 80% of the components in the engine are of similar existing engines. The technical challenge now is therefore primarily one of integration and testing.

 

Please get in touch at innovations@ricardo.com for more information about this project.