Tuesday, May 21, 2024

World’s first diesel engine with 53.09% thermal efficiency

Chinese firm Weichai Power has unveiled the world’s first diesel engine with an intrinsic thermal efficiency of 53.09% at the 2024 World Congress on Internal Combustion Engines grandly commenced in Tianjin, China.

This impressive achievement was recognized by TÜV SÜD, an international testing organization, and the China Automotive Technology & Research Center, a professional testing body for Chinese internal combustion engines. Both organizations issued product testing reports and certificates to Weichai Power, confirming their new world record in the key economic index of diesel engine thermal efficiency.

Since the inception of the diesel engine 127 years ago, scientists and engineers across the world have pursued the goal of enhancing thermal efficiency as a lifelong endeavor. This intricate challenge not only encompasses a complex system engineering process but also represents a measure of a nation’s comprehensive strength in internal combustion engine technology. Over time, the continuous quest to improve the thermal efficiency of diesel engines has remained an ongoing international challenge.

Since 2015, Weichai Power has assembled a high-thermal efficiency engine research team comprising hundreds of young Ph.D. holders and thousands of engineers. This team has been collaborating with leading minds domestically and internationally, along with industry-university-research partners, to conduct cutting-edge technical research.

Their efforts have led to groundbreaking advancements, with their diesel engine achieving a record-breaking body thermal efficiency of 50.23% in September 2020. They didn’t stop there, though, as they further increased the engine’s thermal efficiency to 51.09% in January 2022.

Most recently, on November 20, 2022, the company surpassed its previous achievements, reaching an impressive 52.28% thermal efficiency. This demonstrates Weichai Power’s pivotal role in leading the global internal combustion engine industry in technological advancement.

Weichai Power’s research team spent more than 500 days focused on combustion, air intake, fuel delivery, and friction reduction. Their efforts led to advancements in high-expansion combustion, mixed-flow pressurization, high-efficiency fuel injection, and low-resistance friction-reducing technologies.

A significant milestone was reached due to these advancements, which were attained by little advances of 0.1% at a time. The most remarkable achievement was breaking through the 53% thermal efficiency barrier for the first time globally, which is an incredible feat, equivalent to a human running the 100-meter race under 9 seconds. The team was granted 176 invention patents and 68 utility model patents during this research and development process.

Upgrading diesel engines from a thermal efficiency level of 45-46% to 53% can result in a 14% improvement in diesel engine economy, according to estimates of Chinese diesel engine ownership. This enhancement can lead to annual fuel savings of around 31 million tons and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 97 million tons. A heavy-duty tractor that travels 250,000 kilometers annually can save about 12,000 liters of diesel fuel each year as a result of this improvement.

At the current market price of diesel fuel at 7.8 yuan per liter, this equates to an annual savings of approximately 98,000 yuan for the owner. This technological advancement has the potential to impact various sectors, including transportation, construction machinery, agricultural equipment, ships, and power generation equipment, and contribute to the world’s economic and social development.