Issue: Apr 2009


Installation of Rolling Road Marks Significant Step in Commercialisation of Vehicle Heat Recovery Sy



by Steve Barclay

Clean Power Technologies, developer of a unique heat recovery and hybrid power system to reduce vehicle emissions, is pleased to announce a major investment at its Newhaven site with the installation of a 'Rolling Road' simulator (or 'dynamometer'). This equipment can simulate all the road conditions that a vehicle might encounter, allowing rigorous testing of Clean Power's technology and accelerating it from an advanced prototype to a commercially viable product.

Over the past two and a half years Clean Power Technologies has taken a theoretical concept for heat recovery from the exhaust of internal combustion engines and developed it into a practical working system. This has been achieved through investment in an extensively equipped test laboratory in Newhaven, UK, where intensive research and development activities have been pursued in cooperation with collaborative partners.

Development of the heat recovery system termed CESAR (Clean Energy Storage And Recovery) has now reached the stage where designs for application to vehicle installations are well advanced. Customer expectations are that any vehicle application will be fully reliable, continuously delivering the performance benefits promised in all conditions over a period of at least ten years. To this end Clean Power Technology has made a major investment of approximately $170,000 in a rolling road dynamometer manufactured by Dynomite of New Hampshire USA. This substantial piece of equipment can accommodate a maximum weight double-drive axle truck which turns the dynamometer rollers against a variable load created by applying electrical inertia. This allows the simulation of all road conditions that a truck may encounter in its day to day operation such as hilly terrain, urban stop-start and interstate highway running.

Using field data collected in mid 2008 during a three week exercise with Safeway operations in Canada it will be possible, with appropriate instrumentation, to simulate fleet routes, to develop and refine particular applications, and to deliver maximum fuel benefits with minimum emissions. The equipment will allow, under fully-controlled laboratory conditions, the speedy characterisation of any vehicle exhaust temperature, flow and constituency together with fuel usage.

The Rolling Road will provide the 'hub' of the development and validation programme for the CESAR system ensuring optimum functionality for each vehicle application. The issue of durability will also be addressed by other recent investments such as multi-axis shaker test rigs which will be programmed to home-in on harmful resonant frequencies for the system, as identified by data collected over specific proving ground surfaces. By running these shaker rigs on a 24 hour basis in environmental enclosures, capable of operating between -40 and +50 degrees Celsius, ten year life testing can be compressed into a period of only a few months.

The Rolling Road will be fully operational in mid March 2009 when testing will commence on a US specification double-drive axle, 12.8 litre Columbia Cab Freightliner truck, purchased by Clean Power at the beginning of the year. This bespoke truck, fitted with a Detroit Diesel engine and Eaton transmission, is designed to be used on highways, hectic city streets, narrow roads and can also be driven off-road. The Rolling Road, which will be able to simulate all these conditions, will be a perfect test ground for the Freightliner, and allow Clean Power to demonstrate how its CESAR technology improves the truck's fuel efficiency in these conditions.

Abdul Mitha, President and CEO of Clean Power, said: "The installation of the rolling road is a significant milestone in the development of our ground-breaking CESAR system. It will enable us to fine tune our already robust technology and prove that the CESAR system is both durable and strong enough to cope with all the different road conditions experienced by the trucks in which it will be used. Combined with our recent purchase of just such a truck and a range of other advanced simulation equipment, this new testing capability is a vital step in validating the system's suitability for real-life operating conditions. I am fully confident that our unique steam-hybrid system will stand up to the extreme testing we intend to put it through, completing the final step in making CESAR a commercial reality."

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