Innovative engine secures DTI support

7 January 2005 – A new design of internal combustion engine has secured a £75 000 ($140 000) grant from the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The funding will enable environmental technology start-up Lontra to complete proof of concept work on its Lindsey Engine.

The Lindsey Engine is a clean sheet, patented design for an engine that designers claim could deliver very significant improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. The target market is electricity generation, in particular Combined Heat and Power, where the engine’s low heat to power ratio is a significant benefit. Lontra’s initial modelling indicates an increase in efficiency in the region of 30 per cent over traditional reciprocating engines. The DTI grant will cover development work by the company and its consultants to characterise the engine.

Lontra Advisory Board Member Dr Alex Moulton CBE said: “The Lindsey Engine is an exciting concept and Lontra is a strong team, with the skills to make a success of the invention. I am pleased that the DTI has recognised the potential of the technology and the company at this early stage.”

Nigel Griffiths, Minister for Small Business and Enterprise said: “The Grant for Research and Development has helped many thousands of small businesses innovate and develop and I am delighted that the DTI has been able to support Lontra’s innovative work in the field of energy efficiency and fuel economy. “

Technical details of the Lindsey Engine are not publicly available at this stage. The company will be releasing details of the design in mid-2005, when the DTI supported proof of concept Phase 2 will be complete. Phase 3 of the development programme – developing the technology through virtual prototyping to working prototypes – is scheduled to start in 3rd Quarter 2005.

The engine is particularly pertinent to CHP, where its overall efficiency and ease of capture of good quality heat is a benefit. The engine also is suitable for other generation functions, such as back-up power, and has longer term potential in other sectors such as automotive.