Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Research

Hybrid Vehicles and Advanced Propulsion

Our Hybrid Vehicles and Advanced Propulsion research focuses primarily on low carbon vehicles and propulsion systems. Experimental and computational studies and research that leads to enhanced understanding relevant to industry is supported by Caterpillar, Ford Motor Company, AVL and Jaguar Land Rover.

The main aim is to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce emissions (including CO2) as well as fluid flow and combustion modelling. We have had successes in combustion of sustainable fuels, exhaust after-treatment systems, ultra-low emission combustion systems, fuel cells, battery technology and super-capacitor research.
We have also made key strides in advanced fluid and combustion modelling using Large Eddy Simulation (LES), the development of new sub-models for turbulent combustion and experimental validation.

Activities are supported by two world class facilities:

Loughborough Powertrain Facility

The Powertrain facilitiy (LPF) is a unique research and development laboratory consisting of eight purpose-built engine test cells, with a capacity of 12 engines and a chassis dynamometer.
This modern facility consists of 'state of the art' engine test equipment including AVL transient dynamometers with PUMA test cell controller, Ricardo-Schenk transient dynamometer, Froude dynamometers, Horiba and Cambustion emissions gas analysers.
The facility benefits from Lotus optical engine and AVL Single Cylinder Research Engines and Test Bed for development of engines, components, alternative fuels and lubes; with transparent access into the combustion chamber.
There is also capability for Hardware-in-Loop testing and simulation.

  • Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology:
  • Zero constraint free piston energy converter
  • Real-world duty cycle for hybrid powertrain optimisation
  • Battery testing
  • Fuel cell as range extender for electric land and air vehicles

Fuel Cell and Battery Research Laboratory:

  • Fuel cell modelling
  • Fuel cell impedance spectroscopy
  • Developing fuel cell diagnostic tools
  • SOFC sensors
  • Hybrid fuel cell powertrain
  • Fuel catalytic reforming;
  • Compact hydrogen storage using sodium borohydride

Associated research capabilities, centres and groups

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