A Mahle Powertrain-led consortium have unveiled a combined heat and power (CHP) motor. Developed as an Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) backed venture, the natural gas motor features Mahle’s Jet Ignition pre-chamber ignition technology.
MAHLE Powertrain is supported in the project, which was announced in November 2015, by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Louthan Engineering, Kohler Company and Intellichoice Energy.
“Electricity generated at the point of use is an effective way of combating the inefficiencies of centrally produced power,” said Mike Bunce, head of research for Mahle Powertrain. “In testing, the 1kWe micro-CHP motor achieved 33% Electrical Conversion Efficiency; 20% more than the current leading unit in this power class.”
The single-cylinder CHP utilizes technology and automotive engineering principles already proven by Mahle Powertrain’s work for major OEMs. MJI extends traditional limits of lean combustion to maintain lower gas temperatures and therefore reduce harmful NOx formation.
“Downspeeding is a technique that, alongside downsizing, has brought significant efficiency benefits to the automotive and commercial vehicle markets. Alongside MJI, this has been the key to increasing efficiency of the new ultra-lean motor,” added Mike Bunce