Diesel Engine Blog – Achates Power

Achates Power Under the Hood is designed for automotive enthusiasts interested in the development of a clean, fuel-efficient and low-cost engine. The blog provides commentary on the latest Achates Power clean diesel engine developments, along with our perspective on industry news and legislation impacting the global automotive industry. Contact us at 858.535.9920.

AUSA 2015

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John S. Major Jr., Regional Vice President, Mid-West Operations, Achates Power, Inc.by John S. Major Jr.
Regional Vice President, Mid-West Operations
Achates Power, Inc.

 

Heading into the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) Global Force Symposium and Exposition last week in Huntsville, Alabama, I had no idea what to really expect from the event this year.  This was my seventh AUSA, spread amongst three different locales, and I still have several stacks of business cards in my office from these events from years past, and the days of MRAP.

 

While normally at conferences such as this, I am prepared to offer published data to answer questions regarding Achates Power technology, but this time we were able to offer additional validation – the announcement of our $14 million dollar military engine project.

 

Becoming public knowledge just that day, I was finally able to talk about how Achates’ class-leading technology, coupled with Cummins manufacturing strength and design expertise had been chosen by NAMC (National Advanced Mobility Consortium) and TARDEC to develop a Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator – something that is an integral part of the Army’s 30 year strategy to modernize tactical and combat vehicles.  After a full day walking the floor and reconnecting with folks that now have business card stacks similar to mine, there was a palpable buzz about the Achates Engine leading into day two.
 
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Day two culminated for Achates Power with our CEO, David Johnson, presenting to an auditorium of over 200 people in a “Tech Ten” talk right before the Honorable Heidi Shyu took the stage.  This audience was technically savvy enough to understand the “holy grail” of Army powertrain needs, including how the importance of overall power pack volumetric density drive requirements for low heat rejection to coolant, high fuel efficiency, and high volumetric power density for the engine. David Johnson also explained more about technical achievements of these key points including benchmark comparisons to other military engines and how a combat engine family strategy can drive a cost and logistics advantage.

 

The gravity of the potential impact of the Achates Engine opposed piston design, paired with the production know-how of Cummins, could be physically felt in the room.  GEN Sullivan, USA ret, even commented on the excitement that the presentation and technology had generated.  And those who know GEN Sullivan know that when he talks, people listen.

 

Heading to the airport with a new stack of cards and a solidified sense of purpose, it was hard to lament the two months’ worth of contact follow-ups that I had helped make for myself.  It was nice to know, and see first-hand, that an organization with a mission as important as the US Army’s, that even they recognized the value and the potential of Achates Power’s technology.  All of us at API have believed in the value and potential for some time, but as we progress in our development and share our findings, it is becoming very clear to us and others, that this technology is going the change the world.

 

Achates Power Wins $14 Million Military Engine Project

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Achates Power is pleased to announce today that we have been awarded a $14 million project by the National Advanced Mobility Consortium to support research and development work of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The project, the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator, is part of the Army’s 30 year strategy to modernize tactical and combat vehicles. This new project builds upon the technological advancements and proven results we delivered during our previous TARDEC project in 2012 for the design and construction of the Next-Generation Combat Engine.
 
We are also excited to announce that we have partnered with Cummins Inc. for this new chapter of modernizing the Army’s combat vehicles. The end goal is to deliver a product that improves the mobility and performance of combat vehicles.
 
Please see below for more details.
 
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Achates Power Wins $14 Million Military Engine Project

Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator Project

Company partners with Cummins Inc. to power next generation tactical and combat vehicles

 

SAN DIEGO – March 31, 2015Achates Power, Inc., the developer of radically improved internal combustion engines that increase fuel efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cost less than conventional engines, today announced it has been awarded a $14 million project by the National Advanced Mobility Consortium to support research and development work of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The project is the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator, part of the Army’s 30 year strategy to modernize tactical and combat vehicles.

 

“This award builds upon 10 years of extensive development by Achates Power to modernize and optimize the opposed-piston engine,” said David Johnson, CEO, Achates Power. “With Cummins as our partner on the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator program, we have the opportunity to combine Cummins’ strengths in diesel engine leadership with our strengths in opposed-piston engine technology to deliver a superior engine for combat and tactical vehicles for the U.S. Army.”

 

Achates has partnered with Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) for this new chapter of modernizing the Army’s combat vehicles. Together, their technologies will be used to further refine the opposed-piston engine for lower heat rejection, greater fuel efficiency, increased power density and the ability to operate on various fuels. The end goal is to deliver a product that improves the mobility and performance of combat vehicles.

 

“Achates Power has realized the potential for impressive efficiency in their development of the opposed piston architecture. We have worked with Achates Power for a number of years now and applaud their engineers and engineering rigor, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration,” said Dr. John Wall, chief technical officer, Cummins Inc. “This contract acknowledges the U.S. Army recognizes the special value of this engine design in their application and Achates Power’s ability to optimize it.”

 

In order to create a technology foundation for the Future Fighting Vehicle, the U.S. Army has been focused on the development of a modular and scalable advanced combat engine capable of very low heat rejection, increased fuel economy, excellent durability, and outstanding overall propulsion system power and density.

 

When speaking about the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Wayne State University College of Engineering, Dr. Walter Bryzik, notes, “Three features are critically important for combat vehicles: low heat rejection to coolant, high power density, and high efficiency. The opposed-piston engine architecture – particularly with the advances from Achates Power – has strengths in all three areas.”
 
With this new contract, Achates has six concurrent customers whose contracts encompass five different engine applications: passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, military and marine/stationary power. Achates Power’s engine allows OEMs to achieve the world’s most stringent current and future fuel efficiency and emissions standards, which include EPA 2010, Euro 6 and Tier 3/LEV 3, among others, without additional cost or complexity.

 

About Achates Power, Inc.

Achates Power, Inc. has developed radically improved internal combustion engines that increase fuel efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are lower cost. Founded in 2004 with the mission to build cleaner, more efficient engines, the San Diego-based company has an experienced staff of engineers and scientists focused on applying their proven technical know-how and expertise, coupled with the industry’s leading-edge testing, simulation and analysis tools. It is backed by top private equity firms Sequoia Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, InterWest Partners and Triangle Peak Partners. For more information, visit www.achatespower.com, www.facebook.com/AcahtesPowerInc, www.twitter.com/achatespower and www.youtube.com/achatespowerinc.

 

About Cummins Inc.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 54,600 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 7,200 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.65 billion on sales of $19.2 billion in 2014. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com. Follow Cummins on Twitter at @Cummins and on YouTube at Cummins Inc.

Powering Tomorrow’s Military

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David Johnson, President & CEO, Achates Power, Inc.by David Johnson
President & CEO
Achates Power, Inc.

 
This week, I was pleased to attend and present at a workshop hosted by MITRE on the topic of expeditionary power and energy. MITRE is a non-profit organization that applies their deep technical capabilities to support the U.S. Department of Defense and other branches of the U.S. government. Topics addressed in the workshop covered every aspect of energy—from well to wheels, including biofuels, storage, transmission, conversion and usage. It is clear that an “all of the above” approach to energy is necessary to support our troops, just as it is to improve our environment and economy via better passenger and commercial vehicles. Continue reading

Developing the Next-Generation Combat Engine

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David Johnson, President & CEO, Achates Power, Inc.by David Johnson
President & CEO
Achates Power, Inc.

 
Improved fuel economy is important for many applications, but it is especially important for military vehicles. These vehicles are adding armor to protect against improvised explosive devices. They’re also adding expensive and heavy armament and communication technology. As the vehicle weight increases, so does the need for more powerful engines to maintain the same performance characteristics. And, these more powerful engines add weight.
 
One way to reduce this weight, however, is to use propulsion systems with high power density. A paper written by Charles Raffa, Ernest Schwarz and John Tasdemir of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) emphasized that the “real need is for the complete propulsion system to be power dense”. This includes the engine, transmission, cooling system, air filtration system, intake and exhaust ducting, controls, accessories, batteries, fuel systems and final drives. A key way to increase the power density of the propulsion system: use a more efficient engine, since it can dramatically reduce the volume and weight of the fuel required for a given range. Continue reading

A More Efficient Engine for Military Vehicles

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John Koszewnik, Chief Technical Officer, Achates Powerby John Koszewnik
Chief Technical Officer
Achates Power, Inc.

 
Wednesday marks the start of GVSETS, a three-day event focused on the latest technologies for military ground vehicles. Introducing breakthrough innovations designed to aid and protect our troops, this year’s symposium features a presentation from Achates Power. The topic: how can the Achates Power opposed-piston engine improve the operational efficiency of military vehicles?
 
While opposed-piston engines have been used in aviation and combat vehicle applications and continue to be used in maritime applications, there are several factors that distinguish the Achates Power engine from previous opposed-piston engines. Continue reading