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Research & Development Request

UK SME seeks partners for proposal to Innovate UK Open Round 5 or 6, to develop a high-efficiency uncooled combustion engine

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: RDUK20180411002
Publication Date: 12 September 2018


UK London based SME is developing uncooled internal combustion engines (ICEs) for all hybrid applications and fuels, including hydrogen. The piston/cylinder assembly is being manufactured from structural ceramics. Around one third of fuel energy is currently dissipated in cooling systems - this waste is eliminated. Partners are sought with experience in fuel delivery systems, ceramic materials,  turbocharging and exhaust energy recovery for an application to Innovate UK Open Round 5 or  6.


There are no production-ready zero-carbon alternatives to internal combustion engines (ICEs)  for most large diesel engine applications. Uncooled engines would cut the energy use, operating costs or CO2 emissions of ICEs by well over 30%, including when employed as constant load or speed prime movers for generators to form gensets. (A generator set, also known as a genset, is the combination of an electrical generator and an engine mounted together to form a single piece of equipment that produces electrical power.) They would be many times lighter and smaller, nearly silent, more reliable as there are no cooling or oil systems to fail.  They would cost about the same to manufacture as current cooled engines.

Once sustainable hydrogen production or refuelling infrastructure is available, zero-emission hydrogen-fuelled uncooled gensets will enter the market with around a fifth the cost of fuel cells, greater durability, better efficiency and significantly reduced weight. In many applications, the generator would be packaged with the engine. Uncooled engines and gensets are scaleable to all ICE applications including rail, ships or cars; construction, agricultural or mining machinery; compressors, pumps or power generation, with engines of all sizes having roughly the same efficiency.

The UK SME, based in London, has successfully applied for grant funding through the Eureka Eurostars competition and intends to apply to the Innovate UK Open Round 5 or 6 competition for funding to complete all design or analysis work in the engine development programme. The SME is looking for partners with expertise in fuel delivery systems, ceramic materials, turbocharging and exhaust energy recovery to achieve this. These can be both industrial partners as well as academic or research institutes. Partnerships could then be continued into the prototype build or test phase.

Deadline for EOIs: 14 December 2018.
Call deadline: 11 January 2019.

Stage Of Development

Concept stage

Requested partner

The UK SME is looking for partners,  either industrial or academic, in order to do the following within the project under a research cooperation agreement:

Expertise of partners sought:
• Fuel delivery, combustion and emissions: Design liquid/gaseous fuel delivery systems, determine air/fuel mixing and combustion characteristics, design emissions control systems;
• Ceramic materials manufacture and testing: Select optimum ceramic material/composition for piston/cylinder assembly, evaluate feasibility for volume production;
• Turbocharging: Design/select turbocharger capable of operating with exhaust gas temperatures of ~1000°C;
• Heat recovery: Design/select exhaust gas energy recovery system capable of above operating conditions;
• Motor-Generator Units: Design/select appropriate motor-generator unit to be driven in series by engine.

Dissemination Countries

Canada, China, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA

Cooperation offer is closed for requests