China’s leading diesel engine manufacturer has made a staggering four per cent efficiency gain in brake thermal efficiency
Weichai Group, a leader in China’s internal combustion engine industry, has officially launched the world’s first commercial diesel engine with a brake thermal efficiency over 50 per cent.
At the ceremony held on September 16, 2020 in Jinan, Shandong, world renowned testing organisation TÜV SÜD and China Automotive Technology and Research Center, China’s national internal combustion engine testing organization, both awarded Weichai certificates for brake thermal efficiency of 50.26 per cent. Ling Wen, vice governor of Shandong Province and faculty member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Tan Xuguang, chairman of Shandong Heavy Industry Group and Weichai Group, jointly unveiled the world’s first commercial diesel engine with a brake thermal efficiency over 50 per cent.
Brake thermal efficiency is a measure of the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines. The higher the brake thermal efficiency is, the less the fuel consumption will be and the better the energy saving and emission reduction performance will be. Since the world’s first diesel engine was successfully developed in 1897, after a hundred years of transformation and upgrading and new technology application, the brake thermal efficiency of the diesel engine increased from 26 per cent to 46 per cent until now.
Weichai has been deeply involved in the internal combustion engine industry for over 70 years and has a deep technical background. Consequently, Weichai has accumulated experience in the manufacturing and development of diesel engines by continuously researching key and core technologies. Weichai has invested 30 billion yuan in R&D over 10 years and recruited over 200 PhDs, more than 300 first class talents and over 3,000 graduate students. Weichai has achieved a leap-forward development of independent innovation in the diesel engine industry, and established the world’s only R&D and production base with annual manufacturing and sales of over one million units in Weifang, and promoted breakthroughs in the core technologies of commercial vehicle powertrains, CVT powertrains, and hydraulic powertrains, all of which complement China’s move into high-end diesel engines.
In recent years, Weichai has gathered superior resources to carry out special research on brake thermal efficiency improvements. Since 2015, Weichai has established a special technical research team to use a large number of simulations and bench tests for thousands of solutions and improvements on those solutions. Every arduous cumulative progress of 0.1 per cent finally led to a historic breakthrough. Weichai created five proprietary technologies: advanced field synergy combustion technology, harmonious design technology, exhaust energy distribution technology, subzone lubrication technology and WISE control technology, which all help solve a series of world-class problems and achieve high efficiency combustion with low heat transfer, high PFP with high reliability, low friction loss, low emission of pollutants, intelligent control, etc., so that the brake thermal efficiency of the base diesel engine exceeds 50 per cent.
Among these technologies, the advanced field synergy combustion technology optimises the design of the air passage, fuel injection, combustion chamber profile and other systems to make the relationship between the velocity field and concentration field in the combustion chamber more harmonious, increasing combustion speed by 30 per cent.
There are numerous highlights to this diesel breakthrough, including subzone lubrication technology, which is based on the different characteristics of the friction pairs of the system and uses different friction reduction technologies in different areas to reduce the overall friction by 20 per cent.
WISE control technology, using the advantages of Weichai’s self-developed ECU, creatively develops a series of more precise control predictive models, so that every part of the diesel engine can be more efficient.
The brake thermal efficiency exceeding 50 per cent is a historic revolution in the development of internal combustion engines. Authoritative institutions and experts at home and abroad, such as Bosch Group, AVL List GmbH, FEV, SAE, China Machinery Industry Federation, China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Association, and China-SAE, respectively congratulated Weichai on this historic breakthrough and praised Weichai for setting a new benchmark for the brake thermal efficiency of global diesel engines and making new contributions to the energy saving and emission reduction of internal combustion engines.
Weichai not only launched the first base diesel engine with a brake thermal efficiency of over 50 per cent to the world, but also met the China VI/Euro VI emission requirements, and was the first made ready for mass production and commercialisation. Industry experts pointed out that based on the current 46 per cent industry brake thermal efficiency level, when it increases to 50 per cent, the diesel consumption will be reduced by 8 per cent, and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 8 per cent. According to the current estimate of the current number of 7 million units in China’s heavy-duty diesel engine market, if all are replaced with diesel engines with 50 per cent brake thermal efficiency, we can save 33.32 million tons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 104.95 million tons per year. This will make a significant contribution to solving energy shortages and global warming problems.
The launch of the world’s first commercial diesel engine with a brake thermal efficiency of over 50 per cent shows how China has become a global leader in heavy-duty diesel engine technology. Weichai has received strong support from Bosch Group, and other global suppliers and R&D consultants in the development of this program. At the ceremony, Tan Xuguang announced that in the future Weichai will link up with global partners in a bid to move towards the goal of 55 per cent brake thermal efficiency for diesel engines.