Electrified engine air intake systems to reduce fuel consumption

Home Eurotech Universities TU/e Electrified engine air intake systems to reduce fuel consumption

Reducing the dependency on fuel consumption.

A major part of the current world energy supply comes from burning of fossil fuels. This releases pollutants which have a negative impact on the environment. Consequently, the countries around the world have introduced a series of evermore stringent regulations promoting efficient fossil fuel use. Such trend is especially evident in the ground transportation sector which continues to rely on fossil fuel-driven internal combustion engines (ICEs). As a result, over the past few decades, the ICE has seen steady improvements – both in terms of emissions and fuel-economy. The research of Sava Marinkov, PhD student in the research group Control Systems Technology, investigates electrification of engine air intake systems in order to reduce vehicle fuel consumption.fig_wedacs

WETREN is an acronym for Waste Energy driven air conditioning system TRue Environment. This project encompasses research, development and validation of the Waste Energy Driven Air Conditioning System (WEDACS) technology for vehicles. WEDACS aims to recover otherwise wasted throttling losses in gasoline engines by producing “green” electricity and cooling capacity. It has three main components: a turbine, a heat-exchanger and a Switched Reluctance electric Generator (SRG). WEDACS has a potential to reduce a vehicle dependency on fuel-consuming engine-driven alternator and an air-conditioning compressor. By doing so it could improve the fuel economy of up to 15 per cent.


One of the key facilitators of the undergoing ICE revolution is the advent of powerful microprocessors enabling engine electrification and their more versatile control. The research of Sava Marinkov focuses on two air intake electrification technologies: electric supercharging and regenerative throttling. The first enables temporary engine over-powering and thus creates a possibility to replace a larger engine with a smaller, more efficient one. The second enables fuel-efficient electricity production using the energy extracted from the engine intake airflow. Analysis of both technologies has resulted in a range of modelling, optimization and control problems that have been formulated and solved. The results of the research show that electrification of the engine air intake system can help reduce the vehicle fuel consumption and contribute to an efficient fossil fuel use.

1) PROGRESSION-INDUSTRY (PI); spin-off of the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e). Main applicant PI will be responsible for the project management, overall system architecture and business development.
2) VOLVO CAR CORPORATION (VCC), headquartered in Gothenburg, SWEDEN, will be responsible for the design specifications, technical support (pertaining to specific Volvo know-how) and a test vehicle.
3) INVERTO, headquartered in Evergem, Belgium, will be responsible for R&D activities concerning the dedicated high speed alternator and related power electronics.
4) The TU/e will be responsible for the design of the turbine and heat-exchanger (1 PhD project / Combustion Technology, Prof. de Goey) and (learning) control strategy (1 PhD project / Control Systems Technology, Prof. Steinbuch).
5) Various non-participating partners: VCC NETHERLANDS (technical support and aftermarket strategy), MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES (MHI) (NL, turbine manufacturer), and KIST (KR, potential bearing R&D partner).


Financial perspectives: The annual production of WEDACS is expected to exceed 250,000 units constituting a market share of 0.7 per cent, generating a turnover of  €62.5 Million for the commercialising consortium.

SRM Solutions, the start-up created by the research group, has received an STW Take-off grant of €250,000 to continue their growth and to introduce their products to the market.

► Sava Marinkov, research group Control Systems Technology, successfully defended his dissertation on January 27, 2016.



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