At 9:00 am on January 8, 2022, Weichai Power (HKG: 2338; SHE: 000338) released the world’s first diesel engine with a base engine thermal efficiency of 51.09% and major achievements in hydrogen technology achievements.
Tan Xuguang, CPC Secretary and Chairman of Shandong Heavy Industry Group, Chairman of Weichai Power and Director of the Academic Committee of the National Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Center, reported the research findings of the world’s first diesel engine with a base engine thermal efficiency of 51.09% developed by Weichai Power, the operation of the National Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Center and the “Hydrogen for Every Home” technology demonstration project. TuV SuD, an world-renowned test authority, issued a certificate of thermal efficiency of 51.09% to Weichai Power. Then the delivery ceremony of hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck delivery for demonstrative operation between Shandong Heavy Industry and Shandong Port was held.
FISITA, MIT, AVL, FEV, SwRI, Bosch Group and Vitesco Technology, as well as the China Mechanical Engineering Society, the China Automotive Engineering Society, the China Internal Combustion Engine Society and the China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Associations extended congratulations on the release of the diesel engine by message or video link.
Challenging Limits, Scaling New Heights
Today when green and low carbon development has become a global consensus, China has set the strategic goal of achieving carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutralization by 2060. Transportation is an important field for this target, and the internal combustion engine industry plays an important role in this process.
Thermal efficiency is the yardstick for the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines: higher thermal efficiency represents lower fuel consumption and better effects of energy conservation and emission reduction. It is also a reflection of a country’s technical strength in diesel engines. Improving thermal efficiency has been the common pursuit of the global diesel engine industry since diesel engines emerged 125 years ago. Weichai Power released the world’s first commercial diesel engine with a base engine thermal efficiency of 50.23% in Jinan on September 16, 2020, establishing a new thermal efficiency benchmark for global diesel engines, just like the first time in human history that a 100-meter sprint was completed in 10 seconds. Just 480 days later, Weichai set a new world record by increasing the base thermal efficiency to 51.09% just as a 100-meter race was completed in 9 seconds, further enhancing China’s significance in the global internal combustion engine industry.
The base engine thermal efficiency of 51.09% is another significant revolution of traditional engines, as well as a technical preparation for the implementation of the “China VII” emission standard. The application of this technology will help Weichai Power lead the world in a full spectrum of diesel engines, be of great strategic significance to promoting the energy-efficient and green development of China’s traditional internal combustion engine industry, and play a significant leading role in the global internal combustion engine industry.
According to estimation, compared with existing key products (diesel engines with thermal efficiency of 46%) on the market, those with a thermal efficiency of 51% can lead to a reduction of 10% in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions alike, saving fuel consumption by 16 million tons and costs by approximately 140 billion yuan annually, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50 million tons annually. With the massive use of the top technology in the industry, it will generate huge economic and social benefits.
Hydrogen-powered Future, Shandong Model for Hydrogen Industry
While promoting the innovative and low-carbon development of traditional engines, Weichai Power has taken the new energy industry as an important strategy. The first batch of Sinotruk hydrogen-powered heavy-duty tractor trucks with Weichai’s high-power hydrogen fuel cell systems are powerful, eco-friendly, safe, reliable and efficient for full-time use.
In 2021, the National Hydrogen Cell Technology Innovation Center, the only of its kind in China, was established under the initiative of Weichai Power. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Shandong entered into a framework agreement on the “Hydrogen for Every Home” technology demonstration project. Based on the center, the ministry has carried out multi-scenario demonstrative application of hydrogen energy in Shandong, and sped up breakthroughs in key hydrogen technologies and the development of the hydrogen industry, thereby creating a duplicable Shandong sample for the hydrogen industry.
Since the launch of the “Hydrogen for Every Home” technology demonstration project, with the strong support of MOST and Shandong, the National Hydrogen Cell Technology Innovation Center has established an innovation consortium centered on Weichai Power and constituted by enterprises, universities and research institutes, to accelerate technical breakthroughs and industrialization, and successfully develop 15-200kW hydrogen fuel cell systems. The company’s 200kW fuel cell systems were selected for the National Exhibition on Sci-tech Achievements in the “13th Five-Year” Period in October 2021. The company was the first to conduct an environmental adaptability test of fuel cell vehicles in extreme cold, achieving one-time successful start-up at a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius below zero. The company was the first in the industry to turn out products lasting 30,000 hours, pioneering the industrialization of Chinese fuel cells.
Based on its highly reliable fuel cell products, Weichai Power has carried out multi-scenario demonstrative application. In terms of hydrogen-powered parks, the company’s first large-power container-type hydrogen fuel cell heating and power generation system and 30kW solid oxide fuel cell heating and power system, both the first of its kind in China, were put into operation in Weifang; the company developed China’s first 3t hydrogen fuel cell forklift, creating a zero-carbon-emission logistics handling environment. In terms of hydrogen-powered ports, China’s first 80-seat hydrogen fuel cell passenger ship developed by the company was tested successfully with zero carbon emission in the Xueye Lake, Jinan; and the company launched China’s first hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty truck demonstration project at Qingdao Port. In terms of hydrogen-powered highways, China’s first highway hydrogen fueling station constructed by the company went into operation; a 49t fuel cell heavy-duty truck powered by Weichai operated for more than 5,000 kilometers from Taishan Steel, Jinan to Dongjiakou Area of Qingdao Port. On October 27, 2021, a Chinese original, world leading and fully-homemade Sinotruk Huanghe ski-waxing truck with a Weichai 162kW hydrogen fuel cell system was delivered for use during the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022. On January 4, General Secretary Xi Jinping inspected the ski-waxing truck. A series of outcomes marks that the “Hydrogen for Every Home” technology demonstration project is turning from blueprint into reality.
Tan said the base engine thermal efficiency of the internal combustion engines being up to 51.09%, massive application of new energy in products, and the “dual driving force” strategy, have kept Weichai Power ahead in the development of traditional high-end engines and new energy engines, and opened up a new path for diversified energy transformation under the national strategy of carbon peak and carbon neutralization.