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Next-gen EcoBoost Engines Promise More Power and Better Fuel Economy
Ford executives, speaking at the 2010 SAE World Congress, said that the next generation of the EcoBoost engines will feature cooler ECR and more advanced forms of turbocharging found in todayâ€™s modern diesels engines.Cooled EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) as applied to an EcoBoost engine can improve efficiency and reduce the tendency for an engine to knock. Cooled EGR is exhaust gas that is cooled in a heat exchanger before being pumped back into the cylinders, where it lowers the combustion temperature.
The result: a cleaner-running engine that develops more power and delivers as much as a 5 percent gain in fuel economy over today’s already efficient EcoBoost engines. Ford’s current generation of 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines deliver between 10 and 20 percent better fuel economy than comparable normally aspirated V-6 and V-8 engines, respectively.
Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost technology, which combines direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to increase performance and reduce emissions. EcoBoost gasoline engines already use much of the same technology that is found in today’s state-of-the-art turbo-diesels.
As with diesels, today’s EcoBoost engines feature:
- A high-pressure direct-injection fuel system fed by a common rail that delivers a precise amount of gasoline in the exact spot for fast and complete burn
- Turbocharging to create a more dense mix of air and fuel in each cylinder
- Special pistons with optimized bowls in the center to improve combustion efficiency. These pistons are also oil-cooled, which reduces in-cylinder temperatures
- Reduced CO2 emissions and higher fuel economy
Adapting diesel engine technology to a gasoline engine involves more than simply machining a few new parts and then just bolting them on, says Brett Hinds, manager of Ford’s advanced engine design.
“An EcoBoost engine has much higher operating temperatures than a diesel engine,” said Hinds. “Many parts had to be upgraded to special metals and alloys that hold up to that environment. Our exhaust manifolds, for example, are made of stainless steel, and the turbochargers are made from high-temperature cast-iron alloy.”
EcoBoost and diesel engines share higher pressures in the fuel system and higher compression ratios. A regular port fuel-injected gasoline engine’s fuel pressure is around 65 psi, while the pressure at which the fuel is delivered through the injectors in an EcoBoost engine can be as high as 2,250 psi.
State-of-the-art diesel engines, such as the new Ford-designed and Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8, have fuel pressures that are even higher. But in both engines, the fuel is delivered to almost the exact same area. With EcoBoost, the fuel is introduced directly into the cylinder head, just like a diesel, and the fuel injection tip is right in the combustion, just like a diesel.
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