Dearman has been shortlisted for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) Award for Automotive Innovation 2014. This award recognises new UK-born technologies with the potential to leave a lasting impression on the whole industry for years to come.
Dearman is developing a liquid air engine to deliver zero-emission power and cooling across a range of transport applications, from refrigerated trucks to buses and heavy-duty urban vehicles. The company is working on the first application of the engine with Hubbard Products, to drive the refrigeration motor in a transport refrigeration unit (TRU). The technology will be going into on-vehicle trials at MIRA within the next few weeks followed by commercial trials next year.
Transport refrigeration is largely powered by diesel and while primary truck engines are controlled by Euro VI legislation, the smaller engines used to power refrigeration units are unregulated. This means that in many cases they emit far higher levels of NOx (nitrogen oxides) and PM (particulate matter). A projected fleet of just 13,000 liquid air refrigerated trailers would reduce NOx emissions by the same amount as taking 80,000 Euro VI trucks or 1.2 million Euro VI diesel cars off the road.
Hubbard’s managing director, Pat Maughan, said: “Hubbard, after many years of refining design, has realised that near term future requirements cannot be achieved with existing available components and technologies. Hubbard has enthusiastically engaged with Dearman to jointly develop a transport refrigeration system that will be the paradigm shift to economic clean cold on the highway.”
To be considered for the SMMT’s Award for Automotive Innovation, organisations have to demonstrate what makes them unique and innovative, the benefits they are delivering to the industry and wider society, evidence of commercial viability, and information on how they will fare in the current global automotive climate.
Dearman’s senior group managing director and newly-appointed Honorary Professor in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, professor Toby Peters, said: “This award recognises UK innovations that have the potential to transform the automotive industry and it goes without saying that we are delighted the judges think the Dearman engine ticks this box.
“While not pitched as a silver bullet, liquid air technologies offer a compelling solution for reducing the disproportionate impact of diesel in a variety of transport applications in the UK and globally, and our place in the shortlist is welcome recognition of the role this technology could play.”
Dearman will present its technology to a panel of industry experts over the coming weeks, with the winner announced at the SMMT Annual Dinner on 25th November. In addition, as one of the shortlisted companies Dearman will attend the 2014 Automotive Engineering Show on the 12th November.