ARPA-E Awards Grant for Hybrid Opposed-Piston Engine

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March 6, 2019—Achates Power has announced that it was awarded $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for the development of a highly-efficient opposed-piston engine for hybrid vehicles. Achates Power has partnered with the University of Michigan and Nissan Motor Company., Ltd. for the project.

"The project builds on the successful development of the OP Engine and expands our research and development into the hybrid and range-extender market," said Fabien Redon, chief technical officer, Achates Power. "The inherent balance and power characteristics of the OP Engine makes it an ideal powertrain in a hybrid solution, providing vehicle manufacturers a cost-effective solution to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions."

The Hybrid OP Engine project will develop a unique single-cylinder OP Engine design with the goal to minimize energy losses typical in conventional internal combustion engines. A motor-generator integrated on each engine crankshaft will provide independent control to each piston and eliminate all torque transmitted across the mechanical crankshaft connection, thus reducing engine size, mass, cost, friction, and noise. The application of high-bandwidth power electronics will further improve engine efficiency through the real-time control of the piston motion and combustion process.

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