NGDI engine development commences on IDIADA’s heavy-duty test bench

NGDI engine development commences on IDIADA’s heavy-duty test bench

One important innovation that will take place in the COLHD project is the development of a real-size working prototype of a High-Pressure Gas Injection dual fuel engine, optimised for the use of blends of LBM and LNG as primary fuels, together with diesel and HVO. The aim is to develop and demonstrate the high-pressure system for integration into an existing engine. To achieve the goal, the baseline engine D38 will count with a new prototype of a single injector that will be used for the injection of the two fuels (diesel + NG). The engine will be also equipped with a new cylinder head with two parallel intake and exhaust camshafts, both with a variable valve timing system.

The first phase of the NGDI engine development will be performed by IDIADA, on the engine test bench that you can see in the video below. This first phase consists of evaluating the performance, working conditions and thermodynamics of the baseline engine, working only with diesel. The bench is fully equipped with sensors and analysers that will be used to mainly analyse and calibrate the fuel blend injections and air quantity per cylinder, considering the analysis of the combustion, engine performance, emissions and dynamic response on multi-cylinder engine for the different HVO and alternative fuel blends. The best injection strategy will be defined considering the minimum pilot injection of HVO while keeping the efficiency of the engine as close to the baseline (Diesel) as possible.

The large interior space of this new engine bench allows testing of engines up to 660 kW and up to 4400 Nm. Its dynamometer is controlled by the test bench software, which allows monitoring important parameters such as pressure, temperature, power, fuel flow, emissions of exhaust gases, etc. There are specialised staff operating the test bench, who can also set the torque and speed of the engine in addition to the accelerator pedal angle. However, the advantage of this type of facility is the capability it has to operate the engine with different automated control modes, following precise driving profiles. Another remarkable characteristic of this test cell is its air conditioning system, that allows for controlling the temperature and humidity of the cell to mimic the environmental conditions.

This means carrying out the tests according to the latest worldwide procedure requirements. Along with the test bench controlling software, IDIADA uses additional Electronic Control Units to perform the calibration of the engine and thus achieve the highest performance and optimal operating driving conditions.

In the COLHD project, these tests and calibrations are an essential step before moving the engine to the demonstration phase, integrating it together with the other components in the HD demonstration vehicles to later perform the real-life road driving tests.