6 January 2004

San Antonio, TX-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced a cooperative research program early this year to develop a high-efficiency gasoline engine for heavy-duty applications. The new consortium has been termed HEDGE, or High-Efficiency, Durable Gasoline Engine.

It is possible that the Environmental Protection Agency post-2010 emission goals will restrict the efficiency and cost advantages currently enjoyed by today’s diesel engine. With improved combustion technology, the gasoline engine will be able to better compete in the heavy-duty market.

The HEDGE program will focus on one main integration engine and will work on three to four projects aimed at developing enabling technology for the engine. The projects will focus on development of knock-resistant combustion chambers, high-energy ignition approaches, and strategies for high brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) operation. Engine control will be a key element in the development of an aggressive knock mitigation strategy.

SwRI has introduced the program to a range of companies in Europe, Asia and the United States, including light and heavy-duty engine manufacturers, component suppliers, and oil and fuel companies. “This program can serve both gasoline and diesel manufacturers, enabling each to 'hedge' their bets on the direction the heavy-duty engine will take in the post-2010 era”, noted Dr. Thomas W. Ryan III, HEDGE program manager.

SwRI has been managing engine research consortia for many years. In the fourth of a series of clean-diesel consortia, initiated in late 2003, SwRI will be conducting research in low-emission diesel engines and in ultra-clean homogeneous charge, compression ignition technology.

A kickoff meeting for the HEDGE consortium is planned for early 2004. For more information about HEDGE, contact Ryan at (210) 522-3192, fax (210) 522-2019 or e-mail at tryan@swri.org.

Source: SwRI