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’s presentation slides and audio can be downloaded here: http://www.idtechex.com/events/presentations/linear-power-systems-technology-for-electric-vehicle-applications-006964.asp