Ricardo’s EBDI engine technology solves many of the shortcomings of current generation flex-fuel engines, which are typically only optimized for gasoline operation and do not make full use of the properties of ethanol.
Unlike existing flex-fuel technologies EBDI takes full advantage of ethanol’s properties of high octane and latent heat of vaporization to deliver near-diesel levels of engine efficiency at substantially reduced cost. For example, a flex-fuel product derived from a standard gasoline engine might suffer a fuel economy penalty of about 30 percent when operating on higher ethanol blends such as E85.
The Ricardo EBDI engine addresses this problem by being able to adapt its operation to offer fully optimized flex-fuel performance on any blend of fuel from standard pump gasoline to E85 fuel. It achieves this through the sophisticated application of the latest in boosting technologies, fuelling strategy and combustion control, matching the effective compression ratio and in-cylinder conditions to precisely those required for optimal performance and fuel efficiency. In doing so it offers exceptional fuel economy and high specific performance without the need for complex aftertreatment technology to meet current or planned emissions regulations.
The results of test bed evaluation of the EBDI engine already carried out by Ricardo have demonstrated the potential of this technology to deliver significant fuel-efficiency improvements with uncompromised performance, in particular while operating on high ethanol blends. “People are likely to be amazed with the performance and fuel economy that can be delivered from a comparatively small displacement engine running on a renewable fuel such as ethanol,” said Rod Beazley, director of the Ricardo Inc Spark Ignited Engines Product Group. “In the project we are announcing today with Growth Energy, we will be substituting a 3.2-litre V6 engine in a 1 ton pickup truck vehicle usually powered by a 6.0l V8 gasoline or a 6.6l diesel engine. The reason we are doing this is that while the engine test results speak for themselves, there is no substitute for experiencing in a vehicle the benefits of uncompromised performance and extremely high fuel economy that can be achieved using a renewable fuel like ethanol in an optimal manner. Moreover by using a truly flex-optimized engine such as EBDI, the best possible performance and fuel efficiency can be delivered from whichever gasoline-ethanol mix is selected by the driver when next stopping for fuel.”
L'IFP, dans le cadre d'un appel à projet financé par l'AnR, pilote le projet IDETHANOL sur ce même sujet.