Four World Records Set Weichai Power Unveils World’s First Diesel Engine with 53.09% Thermal Efficiency

TIANJIN, China, April 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On April 20, 2024, the 2024 World Congress on Internal Combustion Engines grandly commenced in Tianjin, China, showcasing the industry’s latest technological advancements. At the event, Weichai Power unveiled the world’s first diesel engine with an intrinsic thermal efficiency of 53.09%. This remarkable achievement was officially recognized by TÜV SÜD, an international authoritative testing organization, and the China Automotive Technology & Research Center, a professional testing body for Chinese internal combustion engines. Both organizations issued product testing reports and certificates to Weichai Power, confirming the company’s new world record in the key economic index of diesel engine thermal efficiency.

Since the inception of diesel engine 127 years ago, scientists and engineers across the world have pursued the goal of enhancing thermal efficiency as a lifelong endeavor. This intricate challenge not only encompasses a complex system engineering process but also represents a measure of a nation’s comprehensive strength in internal combustion engine technology. Over time, the continuous quest to improve the thermal efficiency of diesel engines has remained an ongoing international challenge.

Since 2015, Weichai Power has assembled a high-thermal efficiency engine research team comprising hundreds of young Ph.D. holders and thousands of engineers. This team has been collaborating with leading minds domestically and internationally, along with industry-university-research partners, to conduct cutting-edge technical research and continually push the boundaries of innovation. On September 16, 2020, Weichai Power marked a significant milestone by introducing a diesel engine with a record-breaking body thermal efficiency of 50.23%. The company continued its remarkable progress by further increasing the engine’s thermal efficiency to 51.09% on January 8, 2022. Most recently, on November 20, 2022, the company surpassed its previous achievements, reaching an impressive 52.28% thermal efficiency, which demonstrates Weichai Power’s pivotal role in leading the global internal combustion engine industry’s technological advancement.

Building on its previous achievements, Weichai Power’s research team dedicated more than 500 days of focused effort to further refine four critical systems: combustion, air intake, fuel delivery, and friction reduction. The team successfully advanced high-expansion combustion, mixed-flow pressurization, high-efficiency fuel injection, and low-resistance friction-reducing technologies. These developments, achieved through incremental gains of 0.1% at each step, culminated in a remarkable milestone: breaking through the 53% thermal efficiency barrier for the first time globally, a feat akin to a human running the 100-meter race under 9 seconds. During this research and development process, the team was granted 176 invention patents and 68 utility model patents.

Mr. Dirk von Wahl, CEO of TüV SÜD North Asia, extended his congratulations to Weichai via video message. He acknowledged that Weichai’s recent achievements are exceptional on the global stage, far exceeding current standards. This reflects not only Weichai’s robust scientific research capabilities but also its strong technical prowess in the internal combustion engine industry. Wahl expressed his belief that this technological milestone will significantly support China’s carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals and green development initiatives, while also contributing to the sustainable growth, energy conservation, and emissions reduction of industries worldwide.

Based on current estimates of Chinese diesel engine ownership, upgrading from a thermal efficiency level of 45-46% to 53% can improve the diesel engine economy by approximately 14%. This advancement translates to annual fuel savings of around 31 million tons and a reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 97 million tons. For a heavy-duty tractor that travels 250,000 kilometers annually, this improvement can save roughly 12,000 liters of diesel fuel each year. Given the current market price of diesel fuel at 7.8 yuan per liter, this equates to an annual savings of about 98,000 yuan for the owner. In addition to transportation, this technological advancement will extend its impact to various sectors, including construction machinery, agricultural equipment, ships, and power generation equipment, making new contributions to the world’s economic and social development.

Tan Xuguang, vice president of the Chinese Society for Internal Combustion Engines, director of the State Key Lab of Engine and Powertrain System, and chairman of Weichai Power, and Chairman of Weichai Power, attributed Weichai Power’s four consecutive breakthroughs in diesel engine thermal efficiency to the nearly 4,000 days and nights of intellectual dedication by Weichai engineers. He also acknowledged the crucial role of open collaboration with top global universities and research institutions, as well as the synergy achieved through innovation with the global industrial and supply chains. Tan emphasized that this achievement not only belongs to Weichai but also contributes to the advancement of the global industry as a whole.

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