24 July 2012

ETI announces £2.5million lower drivetrain HDV efficiency project

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a £2.5million project to improve the efficiency of Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) by cutting the amount of parasitic losses in the lower drivetrain system by 50%.

Parasitic losses – that are caused by the churning of the lubricating oil and component friction – in HDVs and off-road vehicle drivetrains can account for more than 10% of overall vehicle energy losses. This project will look to improve the overall system design, with a synergistic focus on gears, bearings, surface treatments, lubricant flow and lubricant composition.

The ETI commissioned and funded project is led by Nottingham based Romax Technology, who will work in collaboration with Castrol Ltd and ANSYS Inc. Romax will be responsible for the lower drivetrain design and analysis, Castrol Ltd will work on oil development and ANSYS will model the lubrication system with its engineering simulation technology.

Technologies advanced and developed through this project will then be available to be utilised across a portfolio of HDVs including HGVs, coaches, buses, tractors, back-hoe loaders, wheeled loaders and articulated quarry trucks.

This project is part of a £40million ETI programme designed to increase HDV efficiency. Officially launched earlier this year by Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, the programme is designed to look at improving systems integration and technology development across the HDV sector including marine transportation – with an aim to increase efficiency in land and marine vehicles by up to 30%.

Commenting on this project, Chris Thorne, Programme Manager for Heavy Duty Vehicles, at the ETI said:

When we launched our HDV efficiency programme we stated a belief that HDV carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to one third. This next phase of the programme aims to take us closer towards that end objective. It is critical that we develop technology solutions that are affordable for the industry and meet the needs of the customers. Vehicle fuel efficiency could be increased by 2 to 5% if lower drivetrain losses could be effectively halved which means this project has the potential to make a beneficial step change to the HDV industry.

Dr Peter Poon, Chief Executive and founder of Romax Technology adds: “

We have over 20 years experience of drivetrain design. The ETI has set an ambitious target for parasitic loss reduction in this project but we are confident it is achievable as it matches our thinking in this area. Romax is committed to the development of low carbon technologies and is taking on this challenge. It will make a big difference to future HDV drivetrain design technology and with our consortium partners Castrol Ltd and ANSYS we are keen to begin development.

Romax has recently announced their expansion to new purpose built premises at the University of Nottingham’s Innovation Park to meet their growth targets.

To view HDV Programme Manager Chris Thorne explaining the project click here.


Notes to editors
For further information please contact Richard Robinson, Media Relations Manager on 01509 202026 / 07500 049626

1. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a public-private partnership between a global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce & Shell – and the UK Government
2. Public sector representation is through the administration of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with funding channelled through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Department of Energy and Climate Change are observers on the board.
3. The ETI is focused on accelerating the deployment of affordable, secure low carbon energy systems for 2020 to 2050 by demonstrating technologies, developing knowledge, skills and supply-chains and informing the development of regulation, standards and policy. For further information please visit –

About Romax Technology

Established in 1989 by world renowned bearing expert Dr Peter Poon, Romax Technology has become the technology leader in high accuracy simulation and analysis of bearing, gearbox and driveline systems.

In over 20 years of providing expert engineering services to the global automotive, aerospace, marine, rail and wind energy industries, Romax created and refined RomaxDesigner, the world's first object orientated engineering analysis software package, validated through use by the world's leading companies, including 16 of the top 20 automotive manufacturers.

Building on their extensive knowledge of driveline systems, Romax is now the world leading independent designer of utility-scale wind turbine gearboxes and drivetrains. Their GL Certified high MW gearbox designs have been selected by major manufacturers for their proven durability. This experience has built a solid platform from which Romax are now developing pioneering new services to optimize operational efficiency of wind-farms, targeted at wind energy operators and utilities.

Romax serves customers across Europe, Asia and the Americas and through their class leading products and services have secured numerous awards including the Queens Award for International Trade.

For further information please visit –

About ANSYS, Inc.

ANSYS brings clarity and insight to customers' most complex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineering simulation. Our technology enables organisations ― no matter their industry ― to predict with confidence that their products will thrive in the real world. Customers trust our software to help ensure product integrity and drive business success through innovation. Founded in 1970, ANSYS employs more than 2,200 professionals, many of them expert in engineering fields such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, electronics and electromagnetics, and design optimization. Headquartered south of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., ANSYS has more than 65 strategic sales locations throughout the world with a network of channel partners in 40+ countries.
Visit for more information.

ANSYS and any and all ANSYS, Inc. brand, product, service and feature names, logos and slogans are registered trademarks or trademarks of ANSYS, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries. All other brand, product, service and feature names or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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