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New Solutions for Clean, Efficient Marine and Off-Road Transport

The goal of the Clean Propulsion Technologies project consortium, at the University of Vaasa, is to develop completely new solutions for clean and effective off-road and marine transport—a Finnish response to more stringent emission legislation and increasing global competition in such segments.

Associate professor Maciej Mikulski and development manager Merja Kangasjärvi, VEBIC Energy Lab, University of Vaasa.
Associate professor Maciej Mikulski and development manager Merja Kangasjärvi, VEBIC Energy Lab, University of Vaasa. Image Credit: Riikka Kalmi, University of Vaasa.

Six research organizations and nine companies have received research funding from Business Finland to bring such new propulsion solutions from the research phase to real-world application.

The common goal is to secure the position of global technology leader for the Finnish powertrain industry by creating a common vision and sustainable business solutions.

Maciej Mikulski, Associate Professor, University of Vaasa

Mikulski serves as the responsible leader of the Clean Propulsion Technologies project.

The companies and research organizations develop the most potential, novel powertrain technologies for new products. Such advancements will ensure compliance with greenhouse gas and emission regulations in both off-road and marine transport segments by 2035.

In the long run, the objective will be realized by designing a common technological roadmap for both sectors. The roadmap offers an integrated plan for securing this compliance by 2050.

The most crucial technological highlights of the anticipated project outcomes are an innovative medium speed engine functioning in fuel-flexible RCCI, or Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition, mode and a high speed, hydrogen-powered engine concept.

The focus of the study will also be on developments in advanced after-treatment, predictive powertrain control and hybrid propulsion technology.

The entire package includes an eco-friendly, financially and socially sustainable business model.

Business Finland has awarded an astounding 7.9 million euros as financial support for the Clean Propulsion Technologies project.

We foster the competitiveness of Finnish companies and bring together key players within the smart energy ecosystem to develop new solutions. The consortium project is a great example of a well-planned improvement to combustion and hybrid technology, which aims to make a leap in environmental improvement in the area of marine and off-road transport.

Esa Lindqvist, Ecosystem Lead, Business Finland

Additionally, it offers a great opportunity to strengthen cooperation with common objectives between Finnish maritime, off-road companies, and research centers,” added Lindqvist.

Mikulski notes that the project is the first ever collaboration of this scale between Wärtsilä and AGCO Power, two pioneering powertrain equipment manufacturers in Finland. This exclusive backbone, reinforced by the expertise of all project collaborators, addresses the increasing global competition in such market segments.

Developing concepts together within the Engine Research Initiative ecosystem and with other technology leaders is the most efficient way to find solutions including combustion engines for a sustainable and decarbonised future,” stated Christer Wik, Laboratory Manager, and Lauri Pessinen, Project Controller, from Wärtsilä.

Determining new, clean and effective solutions is the main challenge for AGCO Power.

This project strongly supports AGCO Power’s new technology research for a sustainable low-carbon future. The project also establishes a Finnish research network in this technology area.

Kari Aaltonen, Director R&D, AGCO Power

As a result, the Clean Propulsion Technologies project achieves the University of Vaasa’s roadmap in relation to powertrain research, set up collaboratively within the university’s VEBIC research platform and School of Technology and Innovation.

“The infrastructural and methodological innovations of the project put us at the global forefront of this research direction, while we remain worlds-unique in terms of our capabilities to handle large-scale, combustion engine-based energy systems,” added Mikulski.

CPT consortium includes six research organizations (University of Vaasa, Tampere University, Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, and Åbo Akademi University) and nine companies (Wärtsilä Finland, Dinex Finland, AGCO Power, Meyer Turku, Geyser Batteries, Napa, Proventia, APUGenius, and Bosch Rexroth).

The entire project volume is around 15 million euros, from which 7.9 M€ comes as Business Finland support. The universities and companies provide funding for the remaining.

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