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Design and demonstration of an electrification-enabled full-featured opposed piston 4-stroke engine for use in hybrid and range-extender applications

Pinnacle Engines
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$7,999,954
Location: 
San Carlos, CA
Project Term: 
06/21/2019 to 06/20/2023
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Nearly 30% of all the energy consumed in the United States is used for transportation, mainly in light-duty cars and trucks. Current conventional engines cannot cost-effectively achieve the efficiencies needed to significantly increase vehicle fuel economy. New approaches are needed to increase vehicle powertrain efficiency, which will enable more efficient and cleaner vehicles. The combination of opposed-piston gasoline compression ignition and electrification technologies has the potential to overcome current cost and efficiency challenges and significantly advance engine technologies for decades to come.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Pinnacle Engines will develop a highly efficient hybrid electric engine that, if successful, will significantly reduce petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. Adding a unique electric powertrain to Pinnacle's four-stroke, spark-ignited, opposed-piston sleeve-valve engine technology enables a fundamental leap forward in fuel efficiency. Electric motor-generators on each crankshaft will improve engine efficiency by modifying and optimizing the piston motion and resulting combustion process. Pinnacle will also evaluate direct fuel injection, high rates of exhaust gas recirculation, and a low-temperature combustion strategy, which will improve knock tolerance and reduce heat loss, pumping work, and nitrogen oxide emissions. Pinnacle's proposed engine technology will reduce fuel consumption and produce lower net greenhouse gases in a cost-effective manner when compared with current generation internal combustion engines and full-hybrid electric vehicles.
Potential Impact: 
Pinnacle Engines will develop an energy efficient technology that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Security: 
The new engine will have better fuel economy, which could reduce the demand for imported oil.
Environment: 
The technology has the potential to reduce CO2, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter emissions from vehicles, helping to improve air quality.
Economy: 
The engine has the potential for greater vehicle fuel efficiency at a competitive cost.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Christopher Atkinson
Project Contact: 
Clayton Naber
Partners
Argonne National Laboratory
Release Date: 
11/15/2018