University of Minnesota Constructing New Powertrain Research Laboratory

Achievement date: 

Powertrain research activities at the University of Minnesota will be relocating to a new laboratory in 2013. The University, which is the lead institution of the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), is investing $5M to build the state-of-the-art, 6,500 square foot facility.


The new facility will have test cells that significantly increase the laboratory’s research capabilities, thereby enabling researchers to perform relevant experimental work to meet critical challenges in improving engine efficiency and emissions.


CCEFP-sponsored studies of hydraulic powertrain and hydraulic hybrid vehicles will be a major activity of the laboratory. It will allow for significant expansion in the research areas of alternative fuels for spark-ignited and compression-ignition engines, combustion-generated particulate matter characterization, gaseous emissions, engine controls, sensor development, and fundamental combustion studies. Some of the projects to be completed in the new laboratory in the short term include an experimental study of hydrous ethanol use in diesel engines, characterization of organic particulate emissions from diesel low-temperature combustion, and quantification of ash-exhaust emissions originating from lubricating oils.