Light-Duty Fuel Economy Improvement Technology
Office of Automotive Engineering

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Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is highly focused to create vehicle fuel economy technologies to support the light-duty (LD) automotive industry. A portfolio of technologies has been developed by SwRI engineers and many of these are currently being applied to production engines on three continents.

The SwRI HEDGE Consortium has developed a collection of low-cost, pre-competitive enabling technologies that have the potential to improve vehicle fuel economy as much as 30% when combined with other, synergistic technologies.

Our dual coil offset (DCO™) ignition system, was recognized by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 top technology developments of 2011.

A revolutionary engine configuration called Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) directs all of the exhaust from one or more cylinders of a multi-cylinder engine back to the intake system to provide very high levels of EGR. This strategy results in break thermal efficiency well above 40% with ultra-low emissions on a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. The French automaker PSA announced they will utilize the D-EGR technology in a production vehicle by 2018.

SwRI is a member of the test development team that is developing the new Sequence VIE standardized lubricant test that will be included in ILSAC GF-6, the next specification for passenger car motor oils in North America. The Sequence VIE test will replace the current Sequence VID test, which is included in the current ILSAC GF-5/API SN specifications. The Sequence VI tests measure the effects of new and aged oils on the fuel economy of gasoline engines.

As new technologies are applied to LD vehicles, it is important to measure even the smallest improvement. SwRI has refined our LD chassis facilities and procedures to resolve a 0.2% change in vehicle fuel economy. This capability is often used to observe improvements from different fuel or engine lubricant formulations.

Drivetrain friction is an area of interest, especially to manufacturers of drivetrain fluids and lubricants. SwRI is assisting in the development of new fluids, fluid additives, and low friction materials with facilities and test methods developed to measure small differences in driveline friction.

Additional Light-Duty Fuel Economy Improvement Technology Related Links

Related Terminology

fuel economy  •  engine  •  efficiency   •  D-EGR®  •  dedicated exhaust gas recirculation  •  dual coil offset ignition system  •  DCO  •  light-duty  •  vehicle  •  high efficiency  •  fuel consumption  •  cooled exhaust gas recirculation aerodynamics  •  cooled EGR technology  •  technologies  •  hybrid  •  powertrains  •  drivetrains  •  friction  •  VIE  •  VID

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.