Wisconsin Energy Institute

Best-ever efficiency points to clean, green gas-diesel engine


David Tenenbaum


University of Wisconsin–Madison News

July 16, 2014

Sage Kokjohn, left, and Rolf Reitz check a room with test monitors and air regulators that are connected to an operating, one-cylinder diesel engine in the Caterpillar Engine Lab at the Engineering Research Building.  Photo: Jeff Miller

The one-cylinder test engine in the basement of a University of Wisconsin-Madison lab is connected to a life-support system of pipes, tubes, ducts and cables. You might think that the engine resembles a patient in intensive care, but in this case, the patient is not sick.

Instead, the elaborate monitoring system shows that the engine can convert 59.5 percent of the chemical energy in its fuel into motion — significantly better than the 52 percent maximum in modern diesel truck engines.

New engine technologies are frequently developed in one-cylinder engines like this one. And after being doctored by a group led byRolf Reitz, a professor of mechanical engineering at UW-Madison, this is the most efficient diesel in the engine-research world.

Read the full story on news.wisc.edu »