Tightening emission norms, margins and rising pressure to address environmental concerns are pushing OEMs more than ever before to develop offerings that are more productive in nature. Volvo Trucks recently launched the upgraded version of its D13 engine that comply with Euro 3 to Euro 5 norms and EEV markets. With the introduction of new functions that embrace both hardware and software developments, Volvo Trucks claims to save up to three percent of fuel consumed even when cruise control is not activated.
The all-new Volvo Torque Assist function intends to reduce fuel consumption by adapting the truck's torque and acceleration according to the road topography, load and speed changes as well as keep the amount of injected fuel constant after the engine’s ‘green range’ has been passed and operates in high rpm during long-haul operations. The company claims that the truck is powered by full torque whenever needed during the uphill drive and the slightly compromised performance is compensated by improved fuel economy. Although i-cruise does optimise fuel consumption, sometimes there is still a need to assist drivers in saving fuel. Drivers that are less skilled in economical driving benefit more than those who already have that driving style, explains Peter Hardin, Director Product Management at Volvo Trucks.
The Swedish CV maker has upgraded the engine management system control unit for a better capacity detailed calibration and optimised several other parameters. The system gets new turbo charger with an inverse impeller that focusses on increasing the overall turbo efficiency of the engine and reduces fuel consumption. The engine has also been equipped with new cylinder liners with V-shape oil scraper ring with smoother surfaces that reduce internal friction against the cylinder wall for a further extension in more fuel efficiency. The pedal map on the truck has been also been re-calibrated to develop a smoother torque development, which helps improve fuel efficiency and makes the truck easier to control.
Many of the hardware upgrades in the Euro 6 Step D versions of the D13 engine, which the truck maker released earlier in 2019, are also being used to raise the standards of the Euro 3 to 5 engines. In all, these hardware upgrades save around 1 % fuel, while the fuel saving potential for the new software depends on driver experience and the operating conditions. The biggest gainers of the new system will be the transporters, who constantly deal with heavy loads on varied terrains that need different speed ranges.