Lancaster-based low carbon powertrain specialist OakTec has recently secured its first commercial contract from the MoD to explore the suitability of its novel Pulse-R™ engine technology to combust a broad spectrum of fuel types in the same engine.
The development work will seek to produce a demonstration engine that will combust a range of fuels including gas, petrol and heavy oils such as kerosene and ultimately have applications in both static machinery and vehicle propulsion systems.
This exciting opportunity comes on the back of a highly successful project funded by the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst programme that focussed on development of the OakTec prototype engines to efficiently combust poor quality bio-gas made from agricultural waste. This work demonstrated the exceptional combustion tolerance of the Pulse-R system and the output from it was a new Pulse-R Multi-gas prototype that can use any gas fuel ranging from bio-gas with high levels of CO2 contamination to propane, butane, CNG or domestic gas and even hydrogen.
Testing within this project showed the engine’s unusual level of tolerance to fuel quality and air fuel mixture and this encouraged OakTec to present the technology to the MoD.
OakTec commercial director Tom Harrison explains: “The defence sector has several enduring technical challenges. One of these is having flexible power systems that are robust enough to be used in any environment and are not reliant on costly and logistically complicated fuel supply chains. Power systems must also be efficient and environmentally-compliant and these factors all play into the hands of the Pulse-R technology.”
The patent protected Pulse-R is a simple low cost 4-stroke piston engine technology. It gains power and efficiency over conventional engines through an optimised combustion chamber design and through pumping efficiency from a valve system that can harness waste energy in the exhaust gas flow to assist the inlet charge without the need for a physical supercharging device.
OakTec is now raising a first round of private equity seed funding to begin commercialisation of the first Pulse-R Multi-gas engine product for a wide range of static and industrial applications.