Cutting-edge research is guaranteed thanks to top-level researchers, international networking, multidisciplinarity, and a unique large engine test bed infrastructure. We conduct research on sustainable large engines in the five research areas Combustion & Fuels, Robust Engine Solutions, Digital Engine, Integrated Systems and Simulation & Validation, whereby the Simulation & Validation area operates across domains. With the COMET Module LEC HybTec, the research focus is even more on the integration of big data methods in order to map phenomena that could not be modeled so far.
Combustion & Fuels (Area A)
The COMET Module LEC HybTec combines complementary technologies to hybrid approaches in order to derive completely new concepts for the optimization of energy and transportation systems that meet the challenges of the future.
- Hybrid simulation methods for the prediction of stochastic phenomena in combustion engines
- Optimization of overall systems combining renewable energy sources, energy converters, novel energy carriers and energy storages
- Tribological simulation of the piston/ring/liner system to predict friction, wear and lube oil consumption.
- Improving the wear resistance of spark plug electrodes by coating them with novel hybrid metal-ceramic materials.
To enable sustainable solutions for highly flexible power generation and transportation systems, large engine technology must achieve reduced emissions while maintaining optimal performance parameters and increased robustness. Furthermore, all necessary components of the overall system as well as the interactions between these components must be optimized.
The hybrid approaches considered in the research program focus on combining physical and data-driven models to understand stochastic phenomena such as cycle-to-cycle variations or knocking in engines, to improve the prediction quality of the simulation, and to increase the quality of engine and combustion control as well as overall system performance, especially with respect to operation with CO2-neutral fuels. The use of ceramic-metal material combinations in the design of highly stressed engine components such as spark plugs extends the hybrid approach.
Link to Module LEC HybTec
Module Manager: Dr. Gerhard Pirker
Simulation & Validation
The area Simulation & Validation is in charge of fundamental research at the LEC and provides methods and tools for research in the other areas.
- Simulation of ignition, combustion and emission formation in steady-state and transient conditions
- Combination of physics-based and data-driven modeling approaches
- Models and methods for analyzing and checking the plausibility of measurement data
- Comprehensive modeling of energy and transport systems by multi-disciplinary simulation methods
The knowledge gained from fundamental research is incorporated into the LEC simulation methodology. To this end, detailed models and methods that simulate all subsystems and their interactions within the overall system are developed. Relevant physical phenomena are investigated in detail and supported by in-depth basic research experiments. Stochastic processes are modeled by data-driven approaches. Following the current strategy of increasing the overall share of simulation tasks in development processes, the area Simulation & Validation focuses on establishing a simulation environment that facilitates virtual development of all processes relevant for large engine applications.
Area Manager: Dr. Gerhard Pirker
Combustion & Fuels
The area Combustion & Fuels conducts applied research and develops methods on single-cylinder
research engines as well as on a multicylinder engine and is decisively shaping the large engine of the future.
- Ultra clean and efficient combustion concepts
- Engine concepts for very high power densities
- System requirements and assessment of new technology components
- Combustion concept design for future fuels and recovery of waste
The requirements for the energy and transportation systems of the future are high: CO2-neutral fuels, high engine efficiency along with high power density in combination with the lowest possible emissions in order to protect our climate and nature. It is necessary to develop efficient and environmentally friendly large engines at the core of energy and transportation systems.
This research area encompasses all basic engine concepts—from diesel to dual fuel to gas—as well as new, progressive approaches. The focus is on developing ultra clean and highly efficient combustion concepts and especially alternative concepts for the next generation of large engines. Combinations of different fuel qualities, in-cylinder condition-based feedback control, and a variety of actuators (e.g., injection technologies, variable valve timing, and variable compression ratio) are key.
Area Manager: Dr. Nicole Wermuth
Robust Engine Solutions
The area Robust Engine Solutions is entirely devoted to the reliability and durability of engine systems and develops robust engine components as well as highly innovative monitoring tools.
- Components and systems optimized for wear and deposits
- Assessment of highly stressed engine components
- Development of sensors and CBM applications
- Lubrication optimization for effective engine operation
Large engines must be reliable and durable and have low maintenance costs.
Current challenges are increasing power output, consequential very high peak cylinder pressures, and high loads on individual engine components. The complexity of systems and the increasing use of alternative fuels also require enhancement and optimization of existing components.
Our research provides insight into the mechanisms that cause damage to the most stressed engine components and facilitates more accurate prediction of component lifetime. Our area focuses on the development of suitable tools for CBM* applications (operation monitoring and condition monitoring) as well as simulation (generation of a database as a prerequisite for simulation model validation and calibration). Our in-house developed LEC telemetry system and innovative sensors, many of which we also developed, are used in R&D as well as in field tests.
Area Manager: Dr. Michael Engelmayer
The area Digital Engine is concerned with all aspects of digital technologies that contribute to an improvement in the performance and robustness of large engines.
- Development of advanced sensor technology
- Condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance
- Intelligent control strategies
- Safe data transfer and data storage architectures
One research focus is on “intelligent components” that facilitate and improve condition monitoring of components and the overall engine using new integrated sensor technology and integrated digital systems. Wear or damage can be prevented or counteracted with appropriate control strategies so that engine performance remains at the highest possible level over the entire lifetime. The measurement database generated during engine operation with the help of new sensor concepts is essential to the set up of data-driven models that permit condition-based maintenance of the engine and thus less downtime.
Area Manager: Dr. Constantin Kiesling
The area Integrated Systems is devoted to providing environmentally responsible system solutions for the energy and transportation sector through optimal integration of all subsystems.
- Effective and durable catalyst technology
- Exhaust gas aftertreatment system integration
- Energy-efficient system solutions
- CO2-neutral power generation and transportation systems
The establishment of large engines as part of an ecologically sustainable energy transition requires innovative measures that minimize pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. Advanced exhaust gas aftertreatment systems and their optimal integration into the overall system are the key to fulfilling the most stringent emission legislation. Powertrain hybridization and waste heat recovery technologies make it possible to optimize the overall efficiency of these systems. Through the use of CO2-neutral fuels, any impact on the climate from engines can be avoided completely.
Area Manager: Dr. Christoph Redtenbacher