Volvo Construction Equipment shortlisted for prestigious innovation award

Innovation Award

An invention from a Volvo Construction Equipment engineer designed to help the company meet the Tier 4 Final legislation has been shortlisted in the Institution of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards.  

With more than a year to go before the Tier 4 Final legislation comes into force on January 1st 2014, an aspect of Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) solution has reached the finals in the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards. Volvo CE’s preheated self-regulated air intake system was developed by design engineer Joakim Haegerstam to ensure articulated haulers meet the strict engine emission regulations with maintained or improved performance in cold climates. The system has been shortlisted in the embedded and critical systems category of the esteemed awards which attract revolutionary technology and highlight the best new innovations from across the world.  

Pioneering breakthrough   
The preheated self-regulated air intake system introduces a completely new and unique way to regulate the air intake temperature inside construction equipment. To work correctly, Volvo CE’s Exhaust After Treatment System requires high exhaust temperatures – this innovation raises the temperature of the exhaust gases without increasing fuel consumption.   

“The basic principle is that waste heat from the engine heats the intake air and that causes the machine to experience higher ambient temperature than really is the case,” explains Joakim, who is based in Braas, Sweden. “When the engine requires warmer air, the charge air fan speed is reduced so that no ambient air enters the engine compartment and preheated air enters the air intake. With this system the machine believes the outside temperature is up to 30°C higher than it actually is – for every 1°C the air intake temperature is raised, 1.5°C is gained in the exhaust gas temperature. This technology reduces fuel consumption compared to the current, conventional heat modes which raise the exhaust temperature but are known for high fuel consumption.”    

Fully committed to Tier 4 Final    
“It is an honor to be shortlisted for this internationally recognized award which celebrates the outstanding quality of the innovative work Volvo CE engineers are doing every day,” says Anders P. Larsson, executive vice president of Volvo CE’s Technology function. “Successfully developing Tier 4 Final compliant engines which meet all emission, quality, efficiency and cost targets before the legislation comes into force is one of the highest priorities for Volvo CE’s Technology function. Our engineers have been working tirelessly on this project and it’s great that we are receiving early recognition for our engineering expertise and technical advancements in this area. This technology will bring significant benefits to our customers while reducing the impact on the environment.”    

Not just for cold climates  
As well as providing hot air and enabling articulated haulers to work in a fuel efficient way in cold conditions, the preheated self-regulated air intake system also allows the machine to obtain ambient air – depending on which it requires. When the engine needs cooler air, the charge air fan speeds up so ambient air enters the engine compartment and the air intake. This means that the machine can work with increased efficiency in both extremely cold and hot environments. Another benefit of the system is that now that the air intake is located inside the engine compartment – in a much cleaner and less dusty area – the filter service interval is expected to increase. Tests to determine the extent of this improvement are currently ongoing.     

The IET Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative companies for their groundbreaking work in technology and engineering. A panel of industry and academic experts will announce the winning entries during an awards gala on November 22 in London.


October 2012  

Text: Charlie Ebers  

Picture 1: Testing Volvo Construction Equipment’s Tier 4 Final solution in sub-zero conditions is an essential part of the development process.    

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Or contact:    

Elisabet Altin                                                
Director, Communication Technology           
Volvo Construction Equipment                     
Tel: int +46 470 387809                         


Charlie Ebers
Tel: int +44 207 107 2016