Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI benchmarking program evaluates four 2007 model year diesel engines

April 15, 2008 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) is evaluating four new engines for the Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Benchmarking program, focusing on the engine performance and fuel consumption associated with new exhaust emissions control technologies. Manufacturers developed new control technologies, which uses the ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel now available nationwide, to meet 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations.

Beginning in January 2008, SwRI began benchmarking a light heavy-duty Cummins ISB diesel engine from a Dodge Ram pickup truck plus three heavy heavy-duty diesel engines: the Caterpillar C15, Cummins ISX and Volvo D13F. Other engines of interest may be added later in the year. The program already includes data from 10 previously benchmarked heavy-duty diesel engines.

"Diesel engine manufacturers responded to the 2007 EPA emission regulations by incorporating new exhaust aftertreatment systems including diesel particulate filters (DPFs) to remove the soot from the exhaust," said Mike Ross, a program manager in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division. "Similar to a self-cleaning oven, the soot that accumulates in the DPF is periodically burned-off by increasing the exhaust temperature in a process called regeneration. The regeneration process uses additional fuel to increase the exhaust temperature, so the frequency and duration of the regenerations affect the fuel consumption of the vehicle. In addition, sophisticated control logic makes the automatic regeneration modes transparent to the driver with respect to drivability and engine noise. Our benchmark testing on the 2007 engines highlights how well each engine manufacturer has addressed the regeneration control strategies and the fuel consumption penalty.

"We are looking at these engines because they represent a new level of emissions control technology. All engine manufacturers perform competitive engine benchmarking, and SwRI's program offers a cost-effective method for obtaining reliable data by pooling resources. We are a leader in the field of diesel engine benchmarking and technology development. SwRI also manages the Clean Diesel Consortium, which focuses on developing new diesel technologies."

Program tasks include 125-hour degreening, transient emissions testing, ESC (European Stationary Cycle) emissions testing, steady-state mapping, DPF evaluation, engine teardown and measurements, and cylinder head flowbench testing.

Subscribers may contract with SwRI on an individual basis to expand the scope of the program for additional measurements and evaluations.

As an independent, multidisciplinary research and development organization, SwRI provides an unbiased, third-party perspective. The SwRI Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division achieved certification to ISO 9001, an internationally recognized quality standard, and ISO 14001 certification, an internationally recognized standard for environmental management systems.

For more information or to subscribe, visit the SwRI website at or contact Ross at (210) 522-2690. For more information about Clean Diesel V, visit

For more information contact Tracey M.S. Whelan at (210) 522-2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.