NoWaste Project

Engine Waste Heat Recovery And Re-Use

Project Coordinator: Federica Bettoja


The Rankine cycle for mobile applications has been studied for years as possible waste heat recovery method.

Mack trucks developed an organic Rankine cycle for a long haul heavy duty application in 1976 which recovered heat from the exhaust line and used a two stage turbine to recover energy and to distribute it directly to the driveline via a mechanical transmission. Due to the less efficient internal combustion engine the waste heat potential was much higher than for today’s diesel engines, i. e. the reached fuel economy was very high with around 12%.

Honda has developed a water based Rankine cycle for a personal car with and petrol engine taking the waste heat from the exhaust. A piston expander produces mechanical power which is provided to the driveline.

The BMW turbo steamer project has not leaded to a car prototype yet. A low temperature organic Rankine cycle and a high temperature water steam Rankine cycle recover heat from the exhaust line and the engine coolant, the recovered energy is converted into mechanical energy by two piston machines.

Cummins has developed an organic Rankine cycle working with the refrigerant R245fa for a heavy duty application recovering heat from the EGR, the exhaust gas and the charge air in the latest configuration. The project is funded partly by the United States department of energy. For instance a vehicle demonstrator is planned, the cycle is tested on an engine test bench. This project using advanced heat exchanger and expander technology for optimal cycle integration and heat recovery is probably one of the most innovative officially known projects on organic Rankine cycle waste heat recovery


The NoWaste Project aims to develop the Waste Heat recovery system and demonstrate its feasibility with a test ring and avehicle demonstrator.

  • definition of a reference mission
  • selection of the most appropriate architecture after a deep technology screening
  • innovative heat rejection system minimizing the cooling drag and the impact on the front end
  • development of specific heat exchangers to maximize the heat recuperation efficiency
  • Integration with the exhaust system
  • validation of the developed system at first on a test rig and then on vehicle demonstratorbased on a hybrid powertrain
  • evaluation of the system on the applicability on various power trains for heavy duty trucks bymean of a model approach

The target performance consist in a reduction of fuel consumption higher than 12% with a system lighter than 150 kg


The project plan is divided into five main work packages (WP).


Covering theoretical and numerical studies on innovative technologies in the very first project phaseallows to evaluate those concepts and to make a decision on waste heat recovery system architecture tobe developed and tested on the engine test bench and on the vehicle.

This very first project phase will extend over one year.

After having defined the system boundary conditions two work packages will cover investigations onpossible heat recovery and rejection architectures using steady state thermodynamic simulationmodels.

A specific working fluid analysis will cover all aspects beside the thermodynamic analysis of workingfluids and investigate on innovative mixtures and fluids properties which will be used in the architecture definition analysis.

After six months a pre-decision will be taken regarding possible concepts and working conditions ofthe waste heat recovery system.

Once the heat recovery and heat rejection systems have been defined a detailed numerical simulationmodel in a 1D-environment of the waste heat recovery system will be modelled in order to evaluate thesystem performance for steady-state and transient conditions as well as to be able to cover both subcritical and supercritical cycle conditions.

When the system has been defined, components and control strategies are going to be developed inwork package two. The components will first be tested separately before being installed as a wholewaste heat recovery system on an engine test bench.

The choice of the expansion device is very important for efficient power recuperation andtransmission and depends mainly on the working fluid, system architecture and cycle conditions.

Therefore the partners in this project have decided to implement the expander development by anexternal supplier once the architecture of the system and the working fluid has been defined in order tobe able to integrate the optimal solution.

For a water based waste heat recovery cycle with high pressure ratios a piston expander supplied byVOITH or BOSCH would be appropriate. In case the choice will focus on an organic Rankine cycle, aturbine (BARBER NICHOLS, CUMMINS) a scroll expander (ENEFTECH), a palette type device(MATTEI) or a Wankel type expander will be considered ad compared to identify the moreappropriate.

The development work within the partners of this project will then concentrate on the integration andadaptation to the cycle and engine as well as validation of the component.

The heat exchanger technical specifications will be made by the project partners. Depending on thearchitecture of the cycle it is planned to work together with the most experienced suppliers for thespecific component development. Today there are at several heat exchanger manufacturers withexcellent experience in heat exchanger development for automotive application and having recentlyinvestigated the heat recovery ready to supply the project with components (e.g. Valeo, Modine, Behr,Denso, Delphi,…).

Further development concerning integration and validation will be done by the project partners.

Therefore the WP1 will be fully devoted to the system specification and target performance definitionand the WP2 will focus on the system component development and prototyping.

In WP3 a first engine test bench installation shall be used for the optimisation of the control strategyand the optimisation of the system working conditions on steady state working points. In a second stepthe system shall be installed on an engine test cell that represents realistic engine environmentconditions. Here the system shall be tested on engine test cycles before being installed on a vehicle.

A vehicle demonstrator will be the realised and experimentally validated in the WP4 that includes theNoWaste system on board installation and its functionality and performance analysis will.

To promote the results exploitation and to ease the NoWaste system industrialisation complete workpackage (WP5) is devoted to the system cost estimation and technology feasibility evaluation. The WPwill run along all the project duration so to drive the development and the technical decision so toachieve acceptable system cost assuring that the results could be rapidly industrially exploited.

Finally the WP6 is concerned with dissemination and exploitation, and will ensure that the results ofthe project are known to and used by a wide audience.

It will also assess the potential application of the NoWaste project for other automotive (e.g. buses,agricultural machines,… ) applications.


As depicted in the graph, within the Consortium perimeter will be performed all the crucialactivities. During the first year the system architecture and the components specifications will beproduced. Then the components will be prototyped, in part within the consortium and in partcooperating with leader supplier that will be selected on the basis of their competencies. Once allthe component are validated a first unit will be realized and integrated on an engine test rig andthen tested.

The experimental activity will allow to evaluate the system performance and criticisms enablingthe review of the system design as well as the optimization of the components and of the controlstrategies. Therefore the NoWaste system design will be deeply reviewed on the basis of the benchtest results and in perspective of its integration on a vehicle demonstrator. A second NoWaste unitwith proper design and optimized components will be the realized and installed on a heavy dutytruck.

The vehicle will undergo to a deep experimental evaluation that will lead to the final system,control strategies and components specifications and design and enabling, this time the industrialexploitation.


In the project, six partners are involved, coming from four different European countries, their role issynthesised in the following figure and briefly summarised here below. More details on the partners of the Nowaste project are available here

CRF, will act in the framework of this project as Fiat Group representative providing expertise in thefield of product development, industrial manufacturing feasibility, model development, market aspectsand project co-ordination. Thanks to the relevant relationship with companies belonging to the FiatGroup and operating in the domain of automotive and road transport unit will assure a rapid industrialexploitation of the results n all road transportation domain including the passenger cars.

Within the NoWaste project CRF will develop part of the control strategies and the acquisition andcontrol system, will support VOLVO to developed the system test rig and will develop a prototype unitthat will be validated on a truck vehicle demonstrator. The prototype unit will be an update version ofthe one validate on the Volvo test rig (see below).

VOLVO, is a large OEM with a business field focused on large trucks and with a deep andacknowledged experience in the domain of medium and large automotive diesel engines Within theproject Volvo will develop, cooperating with the others partners a waste heat unit prototype, willintegrated it with a truck diesel engine and will experimental validate it on test rig.

AVL, that is a leader automotive engineering and research center, will support Volvo and CRF in therealisation of the first prototype that will be tested and bench and of the second prototype NoWastesystem that will be installed on a demonstrator vehicle and validated. AVL will realise themathematical model giving a crucial contribution in the system architecture definition, controlstrategies development and on board integration and final system validation. Furthermore, AVL willlead the project outcomes exploitation in all the road transport domains.

FAURECIA, is a large tier one automotive supplier, leader in the exhaust lines (cold and hot part) andin the vehicle thermal management for all the vehicle range, from passenger cars to large trucks.FAURECIA will develop a specific exhaust line integrating the heat recuperation system compliantwith the after treatment system needs and will contribute to develop the overall system controlstrategies so to achieve the emission standards allowing to maximise the vehicle performance and theheat recuperation system effectiveness.

DELLORTO is a leader tier one supplier in the domain of high temperature components forautomotive applications and will contribute to the project realisation providing KH and support in thedesign of the waste heat recovery design and developing and prototyping some system componentsand above all the exhaust.

ULG, a well-known Belgian academic and research organisation, will mainly support the Partnershipin the development of the waste heat re-use unit (Organic Rankine Cycle) providing the fundamentalKH in advanced thermodynamics, working fluids and advanced mechanics. In addition to this, ULGwill support CRF and VOLVO in the expander technology specs definition and technology selection.

ULG is suited to work on the numerical simulation of the heat exchange and has acknowledgedcompetence in Rankine Organic Cycle based on different working fluids. Simulation approach andexperimental method to the designing of both the expander and the whole Rankine system will beprovided as well as the analysis of the global thermodynamic and thermal efficiency of all parts of thesystems and the ancillary controllers.

Project progress and outcomes

The progress status of the tasks is reported in terms of percentage of completion and estimated time to completion, as well as actual man-months spent and man-months needed to complete the work package.

This is now the second year of the project.


In the first half of the project, dissemination of information about the project will remain limited to thedistribution of publishable abstracts.

This is in order not to endanger the industrial interests of the industrial partner.

During the second half of the project, articles may be published in technical journals, about selectedaspects of the project, including general features of the sorption cooling systems and preliminaryresults achieved. This will make the project better known to potential users outside the consortium andwill facilitate the future marketing of the system.

The Academic Institutions involved will disseminate general know-how obtained during the project inteaching students and participants in their seminars for professional advancement.

Dissemination activities will take place at three main levels:

  • Ensure that the developed technology matches the requirements of the European automotiveindustry on the long term as part of the project exploitation.
  • Make engineering departments from the project main stakeholders plus the supply chain awareof new technologies that should be used in future products.
  • Publish scientific and technical papers in conferences, journals, web sites, etc.

The dissemination objectives will be to:

  • Create a common roadmap for technology adoption with the different stakeholders to be able toproduce vehicles incorporating the developed technologies through future developmentactivities.
  • Prepare the European automotive industry and its supply chain for integration of INoWastetechnologies in products.
  • Strengthen academic partners in their R&D efforts to support the automotive sector in futureprogrammes.

These objectives will be achieved through the following dissemination actions:

  • Website: it is set up to present the main benefits and outcomes.
  • Internal dissemination by the participants to their own customers and suppliers. The vehiclemanufacturers represented in the project will ensure awareness of the results amongst theirsupplier community, and the component suppliers represented in the project will ensureawareness of the results amongst their customer base.

Technology transfer actions will be carried out for the engineering and manufacturing departments ofthe European vehicle manufacturers and for their supply chain. These actions will mainly aim atinforming them of the NoWaste results systems and specifications and future needs from the suppliersand gaining feedback on potential fabrication and manufacturing possibilities and constraints. Thistransfer will be done in the form of a Workshop.

The participation in different workshops and conferences according to the different partners’interest (for scientific, industrial or marketing purposes)

Road test will be carried out to demonstrate the system reliability and effectiveness and to promoteand diffuse the project outcomes. The event will be promoted trough the project web site and pressrelease. This initiative will contribute to generate discussions and further collaborations to address thenext steps to further improve the results from the lessons learnt and to identify potential issues infuture exploitation.

The project results exploitation will start as soon as the first results on the Waste Heat RecuperationUnit will be available (month 18).

A preliminary Exploitation Plan 1.0 will released in the first part of the project (month 6) to preparethe exploitation of the results that will become available within the first half of the project.

The document will be then reviewed originating the Exploitation Plan 2.0 that will be released tosupport the exploitation of the magneto caloric technology mainly in the automotive domain(passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) taking benefit of the presence within the consortium ofthe Centro Ricerche Fiat that will guarantee the information dissemination within the Fiat Group andof Behr that is one of the leading Companies in the domain of the automotive components.

The Final Exploitation Plan will be finally released at the end of the project synthesizing all theinitiatives that will be carried out by the Partners to exploit the project outcomes at first in theautomotive domain