Combined Heat & Power Generator

MAHLE Powertrain has designed and developed a clean sheet, high efficiency, single cylinder micro-combined heat and power (m-CHP) generator within a consortium project administered by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). Working within the Generators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) program, the initial target was to achieve a minimum 20% efficiency improvement over existing alternatives in the residential, natural gas generator market.

MAHLE Powertrain took the lead role within the consortium group which also included Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Louthan Engineering, Kohler and Intellichoice Energy. Several complimentary technologies were applied to the new, single cylinder engine including MAHLE Jet Ignition® (MJI), MAHLE’s low friction Evotec 2 piston and low temperature lean aftertreatment. The resulting 1kWe power unit has achieved an electrical conversion efficiency of 33% whilst also delivering a significant reduction in NOx emissions.

The project also focused on minimizing the overall design complexity with the complete genset assembly to allow reduced manufacturing costs and improved durability compared to existing units. This approach, coupled with lower running costs, should ensure that the benefits of adopting m-CHP for the residential market are maximised.

Powertrain Test Facility

Testing of the prototype ARPA m-CHP engine and generator was conducted at our test and development facility in Plymouth, MI.

The facility includes 7 fully equipped, engine test cells with capability up to 500 kW and it has CARB certification.

Propulsion Systems Testing (US)