Perkins in partnership to develop multi-fuel ‘drop-in’ hybrid engine

A 7-liter Perkins® 1200 Series power unit A 7-liter Perkins® 1200 Series power unit (Image: Perkins)

Engine manufacturer Perkins is developing a new type of multi-fuel engine that can be ‘dropped in’ to directly replace its diesel equivalent in terms of power density and response.

Perkins is collaborating with UK-based engineering specialist Equipmake and Loughborough University’s Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering School on the initiative, called Project Coeus.

It said the new hybrid integrated power unit would accelerate the transition to lower-carbon intensity or zero-carbon fuels such as hydrogen, methanol, bio-ethanol and other eFuels. The design supports several fuel types, with the initial demonstration using hydrogen.

Perkins added that while many off-highway solutions supporting the energy transition focus on large-scale OEMs who have extensive research and development capabilities, the new power unit is aimed at smaller OEMs with more limited resources who need support to decarbonise.

Supported by UK Government funding of £11.14M through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), Perkins will develop a 7-litre 1200 Series industrial power unit with hybrid-electric components and advanced controls to enable operation on hydrogen fuel.

The 45-250 kW hybrid powertrain system will be configured with factory-installed ECM sensors, radiators, cooling packs, filtration, control systems and aftertreatment hardware in a complete, integrated package that minimises OEM development timelines and reduces engineering and assembly costs.

Launching this month, the three and a half-year project will be led by Perkins’ global engineering headquarters in Peterborough, UK, with Equipmake providing epowertrain technology and Loughborough University supporting through advanced engine analytics and emissions control.

David Goldspink, Perkins vice president and general manager, said, “We are pleased to have secured this opportunity to accelerate the development of advanced off-highway power system solutions.

“This project will explore, innovate and lead the way to solving some of the key challenges facing the off-highway industry’s energy transition and support the transition towards reduced carbon in this key sector.”

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