The Hybrid IC Engine – Challenges of Hydrogen and E-Fuel Compatibility within Current Production Boundaries



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Authors Abstract
Increasingly stringent greenhouse gas and emission limits demand for powertrain electrification throughout all vehicle applications.
Beside fully electric powertrains different configurations of hybrid powertrains will have an important role in upcoming and future vehicle generations. As already discussed in previous papers, the requirements on the combustion engine in hybrid powertrains are different to those in a conventional powertrain solution, heading for brake thermal efficiency targets of 45% and above within the product lifecycle for conventional fuels.
Focus on product cost and production and assembly facility investment drives reuse of technology packages within modular powertrain technology platforms, with different combinations of internal combustion engines (ICE), transmissions, and e-drive-layouts.
The goal of zero carbon operation requires compatibility of ICE for sustainable fuels. Ethanol, Methanol and in particular Hydrogen has significant impact on ICE subsystems within modular engine platforms. High efficiency combustion concepts with high compression pressures, increased thermal loads, chemical impact dependent on material specifications, nearly oil-free combustion with optimized piston-bore interface to avoid preignition, active engine ventilation for safety requirements are topics to be considered.
Focus of the paper is on ICE technology packages required to meet future emission and efficiency targets within hybrid powertrains, as well as system optimization to provide compatibility for hydrogen and e-fuel operation within production boundaries of existing engine platforms.
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Schoeffmann, W., Kapus, P., Plettenberg, M., and Howlett, M., "The Hybrid IC Engine – Challenges of Hydrogen and E-Fuel Compatibility within Current Production Boundaries," SAE Technical Paper 2023-01-0397, 2023,
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Apr 11, 2023
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Technical Paper