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Fuel saving invention takes out national award

20 December, 2012

An invention that uses waste engine heat to cut car fuel consumption has won Deakin University engineer Frank Will a national innovation award.

Mr Will, a senior lecturer with Deakin’s School of Engineering at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, received the Backyard Innovation prize at The Australian Innovation Challenge awards announced this week.

The annual Innovation Challenge is run by The Australian in association with Shell and with support from the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

"I was extremely surprised to win this award after I saw the other finalist’s entries that were all fantastic ideas," Mr Will said

"This award will hopefully generate further interest that we need to raise capital to be able to commercialise the invention around the world."

Mr Will’s invention, named OVER7, has been shown to reduce car fuel consumption by more than seven per cent by recovering and redirecting wasted heat to reduce engine friction. The system is currently being tested with a large European car manufacturer.

"A typical car engine emits around a third of the energy bound in fuel as gas waste from the exhaust. Around another third is lost through heat transfer into the environment," Mr Will explained.

"The OVER7 recovers and redirects some of this wasted heat and uses it to bring the engine oil up to its optimal operating temperature. This helps to reduce friction in the engine which has the potential to reduce fuel consumption significantly.

"Preliminary testing has demonstrated fuel savings of over seven per cent as well as significant reductions in exhaust emissions. It also improves engine performance and warms up the cabin faster in winter which is very important in colder regions like the US, Europe, China and Japan."

Mr Will believes the system has the possibility of being retrofit to existing engines and would be suitable for a range of vehicles, including diesels, hybrids and cars running on alternative fuels.

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Brian Rogers | Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:09 AM
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