Perkins collaborates on ‘drop in’ hybrid engine

Oct. 11, 2023
Project will span three and half years and includes a $13 million investment from the UK government.

Perkins is collaborating with Equipmake and Loughborough University’s Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering School to develop and produce an advanced multi-fuel “drop-in” hybrid integrated power unit.

Content provided by Perkins.

The power unit will be able to directly replace its diesel equivalent in terms of power density and response, according to the company, enabling a wide range of off-highway equipment OEMs, regardless of their size or the application they manufacture, to accelerate their transition to lower-carbon intensity or zero carbon fuels such as hydrogen, methanol, bio-ethanol, and other eFuels and harness electrification. The design will support several fuel types with the initial demonstration utilizing hydrogen.

Supported by UK government funding of £11.14 million (about $13.7 million) through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), Project Coeus will develop a 7-litre Perkins 1200 Series industrial power unit with hybrid-electric components and advanced controls to enable operation on hydrogen fuel. The 45-250 kW hybrid powertrain system will be configured with factory-installed ECM sensors, radiators, cooling packs, filtration, control systems and aftertreatment hardware in a complete, integrated package that minimizes OEM development timelines and reduces engineering and assembly costs.

The three and a half-year project will be led by Perkins’ global engineering headquarters in Peterborough, UK, with Equipmake providing e-powertrain technology and Loughborough University supporting through advanced engine analytics and emissions control.

Project Coeus will see the design, development, and manufacture of a multi-fuel drop-in hybrid powertrain, which directly replaces existing diesel solutions in off-highway machines and will support the UK and global off-highway industries to deliver reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are pleased to have secured this opportunity to accelerate the development of advanced off-highway power system solutions,” said David Goldspink, Perkins VP and general manager. “This project will explore, innovate and lead the way to solving some of the key challenges facing the off-highway industry’s energy transition and support the transition towards reduced carbon in this key sector.”

Project Coeus will be supported by funding through the APC which leverages research and engagement to provide insight that drives early-stage R&D, funding that takes proof of concepts to marketability, and strategic insight that drives the industrialisation of the best technology types to benefit the UK.