A UK consortium led by Wrightbus and including Queen’s University Belfast, Revolve Technologies and Ricardo is to carry out research that aims to further reduce power consumption and CO2 emissions in hybrid diesel-electric buses.
The three-year TERS (Thermal Energy Recovery Systems) project aims to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 10 per cent through the use of waste-heat recovery systems while also reducing the average power consumption of air-conditioning systems by half, further improving fuel consumption.
The TERS project partners have secured the necessary funding from a research and development competition managed by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
Ricardo project director for research and collaboration, Nick Owen, said: ‘Heat lost in the exhaust of a modern diesel engine can represent up to 40 per cent of the available energy content of the fuel used by the vehicle. A major current focus of Ricardo’s research efforts is therefore on the development of solutions aimed at harnessing this currently wasted energy to improve fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions in both hybrid and conventionally powered vehicles.’
The TERS project has already created four new jobs at Queen’s University Belfast — three postgraduate and one post-doctoral position. All four graduates will be mentored throughout the development by university staff. In addition, six existing Wrightbus employees will also be heavily involved in the scheme, along with engineers and technical specialists from Revolve Technologies and Ricardo.
The consortium aims to have a production-ready system available within a six-year timeframe.