Supporting innovation for timely adoption of alternative transport fuels
Even as the transport sector transitions to zero-carbon propulsion, innovation in combustion engine technologies remains important, for example to support compliance with emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and Emission Control Areas for shipping. Use of alternative fuels may help these efforts, but any new fuel imposes significant engine development costs. Performance will be influenced by fuel properties, so engine development requires knowledge of fuel properties. For example, consumption measurements depend on the quality of fuel flow measurement, which, in turn, depends on the accuracy of flow meters.
However, there is currently little insight into how flow meters perform in real-world conditions: fuel flow measurements are calibrated at steady flow rates without considering environmental influences.
The project will provide foundations for advanced flow metrology, including for evaluating flow meter and systems accuracy for measurements of vehicle fuel consumption. Test rigs capable of generating and measuring dynamic flow changes will be set up, and the developed metrology evaluated in an inter-comparison. Protocols for a dynamic test regime will be developed and proposed to standardisation bodies, and guidelines for evaluations of flow meters in real-world operating conditions produced. New metrology will also be developed for measuring consumption of biodiesel, methanol or synthetic fuels in the maritime sector, in more representative test conditions.
The developed metrology will enable flow meters to be characterised at close-to-operational conditions. The resulting improved understanding of the influence of fuel properties on flow measurement will contribute to improved emissions calculations, so vehicle manufacturers, freight operators, ship owners, and regulatory authorities can be supported in efforts to comply with emission standards.