Libertine’s free-piston research engine technology presented at electric vehicle conference
Award-winning technology can help combustion researchers overcome barriers to efficiency and control
Oxford, UK, 8th May 2015... Innovative UK company, Libertine FPE, presented its ground-breaking technology for free piston research engines at the prestigious IDTechEx conference "Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing" held in Berlin last week. Sharing a conference session with keynote speakers from Daimler AG and Tata, Libertine showed how its technology can be applied to accelerate combustion research necessary for the development of automotive hybrid powertrain modules, such as range extenders.
By eliminating the crankshaft and connecting rods of a conventional engine and using a linear electrical machine to generate power directly from the piston’s motion, free piston engines can generate a third more power from the same fuel input, and can be scaled to suit applications from 1kWe to over 100kWe.
“Major investment by OEMs and leading universities across the globe over the past decade demonstrates a broad recognition of the benefits of free piston engines,” explained Libertine’s CEO, Sam Cockerill. “Our patented design architecture overcomes the challenges of control, complexity and system losses that have previously held back commercialisation. We can provide ready-made research engine hardware to advanced technology groups, delivering the digital piston motion control necessary for the most demanding free piston combustion research applications.”
By including a library of lab-validated optimisation tools as a ‘developer toolkit’ with the hardware, Libertine makes it possible for customers to simultaneously optimise combustion, electro-mechanical and thermal design parameters. The flexible, modular construction means the technology is readily scaled to suit different client research applications.
Libertine’s technology won the €20,000 Climate-KIC cash prize at the London CleanTech Innovate event in February that showcased early stage companies tipped to underpin the UK’s future green economy. It was judged ‘an outstanding ambassador for UK innovation’.
In addition to transport, the company’s linear technology has potential applications in distributed power generation, heating and cooling. Research teams already using Libertine’s linear power systems include those at the University of Brighton and the PETRONAS-backed UTP in Malaysia.
Libertine makes ‘Linear Power Systems' that enable the development of low cost, high efficiency appliances for small scale power generation, heating, cooling and transport. Libertine’s technologies combine linear electrical machines with linear gas expander systems and can be applied in a wide range of small scale energy conversion applications. Libertine’s patented and lab-proven technology dispenses with the crankshaft and other mechanical powertrain components that contribute to the high cost and low efficiency of today’s small power generation technologies.
About IDTechEx "Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing"
The event "Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing" showcases advances made and planned by researchers and vehicle makers for land, water and air vehicles. Uniquely, this event looks at how everything will change in an electric vehicle. Disruptive new mechanical, electrical and electronic systems will arrive for an ever widening variety of electric vehicles. Read more at: http://www.idtechex.com/electric-vehicles-europe/conference.asp
Libertine’s presentation slides and audio can be downloaded here:
Richard Doherty of Market Engineering
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