TecKnow of the day
Researchers have decades invested in attempts to run diesel-like engines on gasoline to achieve high efficiency with low emissions. Such engines might be cheaper than hybrid technology, since they don’t require a large battery and electric motor.
Mark Sellnau, engineering manager of advanced powertrain technology at Delphi Powertrain, says the new engine could be paired with a battery pack and electric motor, as in hybrid cars, to improve efficiency still more, although he notes that it’s not clear whether doing that would be worth the added cost.
Both gasoline and diesel engines are going to get another efficiency boost from the development of fuel injection technology. As computers, sensors and injection equipment improve and become more robust we’re sure to see better exploitation of the fuel inside engines. Carburettors seems almost quaint today, throttle body injection a cheap route to better emissions and sequential injection the power and efficiency choice.
Engineering presses on solving the problems of very quick injection timing, now with three bursts per firing, higher pressures in common fuel delivery rails, and ever more precise injectors.
While the 50% improvement seems an outlandish projection, getting gasoline fuelled engines working that well would offer many more engineering choices.