Enginion AG Says New Engine is 'Cleaner Than the Air we Breathe'

Equal Zero Emission Engine uses external combustion that is based on a patented 'Caloric Porous Structure Cell' (CPS Cell), utilizing a newly developed thermo-chemical combustion reaction.

Published: 28-Feb-2001

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Enginion AG, a technology provider for the automotive and energy industry plans to demonstrate an 'Equal Zero Emission Engine' (Ezee) at next week's SAE World Congress in Detroit. The new technology does not require any catalysts.

The Ezee uses external combustion that is based on a patented 'Caloric Porous Structure Cell' (CPS Cell), utilizing a newly developed thermo-chemical combustion reaction, which drives an electronically controlled, oil free thermal engine. The technology has been developed with funding by the European Union as well as various institutions of the German government. It took six years and nearly one million man-hours of basic research to reach the stage of development presented at SAE.

"The new drive appears to have the potential of substituting conventional combustion engines," said Michael Hoetger, President of Enginion. "Its emissions profile is among the lowest of any existing combustion technology. At the same time its production price is expected to be equal or lower than current powertrains."

The technology incorporates the following benefits:

-- Lowest pollutant emissions (no HC; NOx and CO at the limit of measurability)

-- No exhaust after-treatment needed

-- Very high torque (5 times higher than regular Otto-cycle engines); power output and dynamics are equivalent to diesel engines

-- Fuel flexibility (gasoline, diesel, natural gas, biofuels, hydrogen etc.)

-- Thermal and kinetic energy (both variable)

-- High efficiency (better than gasoline engines, according to U.S. FTP75 test cycle)

-- Almost silent and vibration free

-- Compact size

-- Oil free; operation in ecologically sensitive areas possible

-- Lower cost than existing technologies

Based on the encouraging research results, Hoetger and his colleagues initially plan to develop small Auxiliary Power Units (APU), as the fuel flexible and compact technology can deliver variable heat and electricity over a broad power range. The areas of application stretch from mobile use in vehicles to stationary operation in residential and industrial environments.

"APU applications could go to production much earlier than vehicle powertrains. We have been strongly encouraged to pursue those plans, because in recent times a tremendous global demand for APU's has evolved. We hope to develop a marketable product until 2004. At the SAE exhibition we will offer a first glimpse at a versatile, ultra compact power unit. With its size not bigger than a 5 gallon water jug it can deliver sufficient energy to meet a large household's overall heat and electricity needs," said Enginion's Vice President Herbert Clemens. "Its predecessor is running successfully in our labs."

Mobile units are particularly requested by the automotive industry for their luxury passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks.

The technical innovations encompassing latest vehicle generations have led to an overwhelming need for electrical energy of up to 6 kW. However, traditional engine driven alternators can only reach a maximum of 2 kW. Even the new integrated starter-alternator devices have difficulty satisfying such energy demands due to their size restrictions and engine speed dependency. Furthermore, as today's comfort level rises, luxury vehicles are broadly equipped with powerful additional cabin heaters. "A tiny Ezee APU would be sufficient to meet all mentioned needs in only one low cost device," Clemens summarized.

Heavy-duty trucks, specifically in the United States, create a serious dilemma during their standstill times. All energy for providing air conditioning, heater, radio, TV, trailer-cooling, etc. has to be taken from the vehicle's battery. Whenever the battery voltage drops, the truck engine -- a big block of up to 20-liter displacement -- automatically starts for reloading the batteries. This causes excessive energy (fuel) losses and pollutant emissions as well as discomforting noise for both the driver and the outside environment. According to Clemens an Ezee APU could instantly solve such problems.

Other possible applications for mobile Ezee based APU's include hybrid vehicles, boats, industrial vehicles, RV's and portable power generators.

Enginion's Ezee technology is further suited to build up stationary distributed power systems. With its co-generation capabilities (heat and electricity) it could deliver clean energy for residential as well as commercial purposes. In one of the largest market segments with heat outputs of up to 30 kW and a maximum electricity of 10 kW, the Ezee APU might be up to 90% cheaper than other solutions, including fuel cells and gas turbines. The APU's electronic control shall additionally be equipped with networking capabilities for the development of small-scale local grids.

According to the American "Digital Power Report," the distributed power market is going to increase by 10 times within the next five years, worldwide. Another U.S. study predicts a total electricity output of 200 Gigawatts with small-scale power generators for 2003 (George Samerjan: "Small-Scale Power Generation: How Much? What Kind", July 1999).

This is why the development will primarily be first focused on power generation. "Unquestionably, with its list of advantages and specific characteristics the Ezee technology would be an ideal vehicle propulsion. After all, it was the original intent of our research," Hoetger outlined. But it would take about 6 years to be application ready. Therefore, before taking up broad powertrain development activities, Enginion wants to demonstrate the Ezee's capabilities under extensive static operation.

The company confirms that they are in close contact to automotive manufacturers who observe the Ezee developments with great interest.

Recently, developing countries have become attracted to the technology as well. Their idea is to propel low cost commercial vehicles, as the new technology can process multiple types and qualities of fuel by still meeting stringent emissions requirements.

Enginion plans to stay focused on research and development rather than becoming an engine producer themselves. Instead, they want to offer partnerships to professional manufacturers. "With our technology and product development skills we would develop the Ezee products ready for application" Hoetger summarized. "The production partners pay only a few dollars per unit for the production license. This way they can independently set their profit margins and use own distribution channels without our interference. But I think it might take quite a number of manufacturers in the long term. All studies we found indicated that the potential markets have a total business volume beyond US$200 billion," Hoetger said.

Enginion will additionally offer customized engineering solutions around the Ezee technology, as well as the development of specialty products for various other industries. Some examples of Enginion's know-how are friction systems that can run either dry or be lubricated with water, high-pressure gas and fluid injectors, material science, pumps, valves, combustion technologies, thermodynamics, real-time simulation, 3D animations and high-temperature resistant sensors.


Enginion AG was founded on December 8, 2000 in Berlin, Germany. It is an independent company, yet closely held by its original founders.

All six founders are leading authorities at IAV GmbH of Berlin, one of the world's largest engine research and development firms (1,900 employees). They have been guiding the basic research of the Ezee technology and are also its main knowledge carriers.

Michael Hoetger (born 1961) has co-founded IAV's "Technology Center for Zero Emission Drives" (TEA GmbH) and was the initiator of the Ezee project in 1994. Both he and Herbert Clemens (born 1958) are well known in the engineering world. They have worked for various automakers and issued numerous scientific publications.

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SOURCE Enginion AG

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