Oil system developed for greener, more fuel efficient mild hybrid vehicles

ADEPT 445 x 124
30 Jun 2016 10:00:00.000

The concept for a novel oil system has been developed by a researcher at The University of Nottingham as part of a bid to advance greener, more fuel-efficient, mild hybrid technology for vehicles of the future.

Paul Shayler, Ford Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University, is behind the oil system which is part of the Government-backed ADEPT (advanced diesel-electric powertrain) project. 

ADEPT aims to introduce advanced 48v mild hybrid powertrain architecture capable of delivering near full hybrid-scale diesel fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions at significantly lower cost.

Click here for full story

ADEPT is led by Ricardo and research partners including The University of Nottingham, Ford Motor Company, Controlled Power Technologies, Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium and Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd.

Following almost three years of intensive testing, ADEPT has successfully applied advanced mild hybrid technologies with intelligent 48V electrification into a Ford Focus demonstrator. 

The control strategies deployed have been developed based on extensive vehicle systems simulation work. This includes work to progress the oil system concept by Professor Shayler which can be exploited using 48v oil pump technology.  

Professor Shayler, Head of the Thermofluids Research Group, in the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham, said: “Before ADEPT, we discovered we could reduce the friction in some parts of the engine by supplying these with lubricating oil at lower pressures than normal. At the same time, we needed to continue to supply oil to other parts of the engine at the higher oil pressures used in conventional oil systems.  

“During the ADEPT project we have demonstrated the practicality of this approach to improving engine fuel economy.  It works particularly well under the important urban driving conditions experienced during most vehicle journeys. The new concept controls total flow in the oil system and, for the first time, varies the flow distribution to meet local needs.”

Ford Focus demonstrator

The baseline vehicle for the ADEPT research and development programme is based on an already downsized and competitively fuel-efficient diesel Ford Focus ECOnetic 1.5TDCi.

The final ADEPT demonstrator vehicle, which has now been completed, provides the fullest implementation of systems to be carried out by the team.

Showcasing the results  

The final results of ongoing vehicle road and laboratory tests will be revealed for the first time at the Low Carbon Vehicle Event in London in September. The project partners also intend to make the vehicle available for ride and drive demonstrations at LCV2016.  

Intelligent electrification enables highly aggressive engine downsizing and down-speeding beyond what may normally be possible other than through more expensive hybridization approaches. 

Ultra-low emissions & fuel savings

By basing the system on 48V electrical architecture, the ADEPT project aims to achieve a highly optimal cost and performance trade-off, including ultra-low emissions, while also delivering significant fuel savings. 

The integration of hybrid and emissions control systems has the potential to deliver up to a 10-12 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. The technology can also be delivered at lower costs than a more traditional approach of optimising each system separately. 

With sophisticated electronic control of the powertrain systems, torque assist can be used to ensure that performance is maintained – or improved upon – throughout the duty cycle while also reducing fuel consumption. 

This is achieved through the use of torque assist from electrically-harvested energy, temporarily stored in a 48v advanced lead-carbon battery with a high rate partial state-of-charge capability similar to a supercapacitor, in combination with 48v electrified ancillaries. 

The recovered energy is stored in the advanced lead-carbon battery pack, providing a high power, high endurance, easily recyclable, lithium-free energy storage solution at a competitive cost.  

The ADEPT powertrain includes a range of electrical ancillaries powered from the 48V system rather than directly from the engine, including for example, the vehicle air conditioning compressor.

The ADEPT research project is jointly funded by the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) implemented through the UK innovation agency, Innovate UK, with matching contributions from the participating partners.

To view the full Ricardo ADEPT press release, click here.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits


Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email: emma.lowry@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Driving the technology behind fuel-efficient electric cars

Published Date
Wednesday 13th July 2016

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk