Engines Design, Analysis and Procurement

Gasoline & Diesel, Automotive & Heavy Duty, Conventional & Novel, …

Powertrain Technology have experience in the design of internal combustion engines for a wide variety of markets, from motorcycles, to passenger cars, heavy duty (on and off-highway) and many others. A few examples of the most recent projects are:

  • Design upgrade of a 2.3 litre turbocharged gasoline engine with HEDGE technology
  • A range of single cylinder research engines with high cylinder pressure and cylinder offset capability
  • Clean sheet design of 9 litre Heavy Duty diesel engine
  • Design Assessment of 8.2 litre Heavy Duty natural gas engine
  • Clean sheet design of a 4.5 litre Medium Duty diesel engine
  • Clean sheet design of a 2.0 litre air hybrid engine
  • Clean sheet design of a 1.2 litre diesel rotary engine

Vehicles & Hybrids

Advanced Vehicles Design and Analysis – Drivetrain & drive cycle optimisation

Downsizing, hybridisation and electrification of powertrains has become increasingly common in the automotive sector in order to meet ever tightening global emissions regulations. Powertrain Technology, with a breadth of engine and electrical machines design and drive cycle simulation experience, is able to offer a range of services including:

  • Design and analysis of downsized engines
  • Consultation and implementation of emission reduction stratagies, with specialist knowledge of high EGR engines
  • Integration of engines within hybrid powertrain
  • Sizing of electric motors and battery storage
  • Engine, battery pack and cabin thermal management
  • Drive cycle optimisation of hybrid powertrains


Design, Analysis, prototype build & testing of innovative personal e-mobility solutions.
Powertrain Technology Ltd has experience of complete service delivery projects in the personal e-mobility sector – from initial concept design and analysis through to prototype build and testing. Our capabilities include:
  • Multi-physics assessment of complex e-bike use cases/drive cycles to enable clear project technical direction
  • Design of low friction/high efficiency drivetrain systems
  • Design of bespoke control systems
  • Procurement of prototype parts via our extensive network of world class suppliers both in the bicycle sector and the engineering sector
  • Prototype build and testing carried out by engineers with many years of experience in the bicycle industry

Electrical machines

Specification, Design, Analysis & Protoyping of bespoke electrical machines
Powertrain Technology offers services in advanced electrical machines for a variety of industries, including automotive, oil and gas, aerospace and energy generation. Products span from small-scale analysis and evaluation, through to large-scale projects requiring design, prototyping and testing.
  • We can design and procure a wide range of machines, including permanent magnet, reluctance and induction motors and actuators
  • We find appropriate solutions for difficult applications, often by developing new technology to overcome performance barriers
  • We use automated methods to speed up the design and analysis process, helping clients meet their tight deadlines
  • Not being a motor manufacturing company, our independence enables total flexibility with design, and design ownership

Prototype Electronics

PTL has electronics design expertise, which allows to quickly develop control solutions for our client’s or PTL designs. This route is often employed in cases when off-the-shelf products are not suitable.
Below are a few examples where custom electronics would be required:
  • Quick turnaround proof of concept
  • Very fast and accurate motion control, possibly multi-axis, for specialised applications
  • Customisation of on-board sensors, or communication protocols, in support of the client’s technological needs
  • Not feasible to reprogram commercial products
  • Bespoke interfacing of commercial products
  • Safeguarding of customer intellectual property
  • Small production batches
Once the prototype system development is complete, PTL will work with specialised electronics design companies to deliver robust and value optimised series production products.

Embedded Software

PTL has embedded software development expertise in a range of areas
Our track record includes:
  • Advanced motor control algorithms including field-orientated control and sensorless control of brushless AC motors,
  • Motion planning systems for robotics, CNC machine tools and other multi-axis automation equipment,
  • Temperature control systems for kilns and ovens,
  • Sensor interfaces and signal processing systems,
  • Graphical display interfaces,
  • Communication interfaces including CAN, ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, RS442/485 and SPI.
PTL can also develop bespoke desktop, phone and web applications to be used in conjunction with embedded systems, usually for the purposes of configuration, testing and remote monitoring.

Test rigs

Bespoke solutions for product development, from proof of concept to durability testing
Powertrain Technology has a wealth of experience in the specification, design, procurement, and operation of a variety of rigs for proof of concept, product development and sign-off, as well as durability qualification. A few examples of our work are:
  • High fidelity Bearing development, with either oil or water lubrication, capable of replicating the bearing load history originated by engine combustion
  • Fast acting, high acceleration valvetrain, for proof of concept, model correlation and conformance to durability targets
  • Rigs for testing of plural stage pumps for multiphase fluids, to confirm the performance of the machine to comply with the design specification, collect data for model validations and assess durability
A critical part of rig testing is the definition of the minimum set of features the rig needs to appropriately replicate the operating conditions which a machine, subsystem or component will experience in the field, as well as the instrumentation needed to monitor the operation and characterise the performance of the test subject. PTL draw on their extensive experience in system modelling, development and validation to create rig testing solutions which minimise development cost time whilst maximising the technical return of testing activities. Contact us for more information


Design, analysis, procurement and testing for all applications

From basic unit load and material specification, through to full hydrodynamic modelling and rig testing, Powertrain Technology has a breadth of knowledge and project experience for a range of bearing applications. This expertise, together with close working relationships with bearing suppliers allows PTL to offer a range of bearing related services. Recent experience includes:

  • Development of bespoke water lubricated bearings for a multiphase pump
  • Specification of bearings for a high pressure single cylinder research engine
  • Design of a bearing test rig for a technical research consortium
  • Failure investigation and design rectification of an application of taper roller bearing for Stirling engine for a mCHP system


Multi-phase pump design for the oil and gas industry

PTL routinely works with suppliers on the specification, sizing and selection of volumetric and centrifugal pumps for the operation, lubrication and cooling of engines and other machinery. Our role is to insure the successful integration of suppliers’ propositions into the machine, for optimum overall efficiency and with minimum cost and packaging claim.

An example:

Powertrain Technology has recently undertaken a project within the oil and gas industry to produce a multi-phase pump, operating within an extremely harsh environment. From first principal design, right through to product tests at our partner BHR, this has drawn on and developed PTL’s knowledge and experience in a number of key areas:

  • Design and analysis of equipment for operation in hostile environments
  • Design and simulation of a screw pump, including rotor tooth profile optimisation
  • Stacking and work balancing of several screw pump stages for the achievement of heads exceedin 150 bar
  • Development of bespoke hydro-mechanical software to support the project activities
  • Procurement and development of prototypes for field trial sign off


Powertrain to vehicle integration and simulation

Integration of powertrain and drivetrain is extremely important with regards to total vehicle dynamics, efficiency and NVH. With hybridisation further adding to the complexity of drivetrains, the design and analysis required to produce a successful product within budget is only increasing the demands on simulation effort. At Powertrain Technology we have a range of skills and experience including:

  • Vehicle and driveline dynamic drive cycle simulation
  • Design and integration of driveline components with vehicle packages
  • Driveline test facilities through our partners SwRI

Energy storage devices

Energy storage and management solutions

With increasing trends towards off grid and local generation to meet energy needs, as well as the predicted increase in electric vehicles and the associated infrastructure changes required, a whole range of approaches and solutions have been presented to add to a portfolio of energy generation and energy storage offerings. At Powertrain Technology we have recently used our knowledge base in thermodynamics and our simulation expertise to examine some of these proposals for clients, including:

  • Compressed air as an energy storage medium
  • Energy generation benefits of a novel engine architecture
  • Exhaust heat recovery for energy generation and fast warm-up

PTL has recently developed a fast and accurate algorithm for the screening, sizing and optimisation of energy storage system which also identifies the best strategy for energy storage, reuse and balancing – Engineering solutions can then be selected through quantifiable energy and financial returns.


Bespoke heating, ventilation and air conditioning solutions

Interaction between a vehicles powertrain and the ancillaries required to provide an effective HVAC system can have a significant impact on vehicle efficiency, both due to parasitic drive losses and thermal effects. This is becoming increasingly prominent with technologies such as start/stop, variable coolant pumps and switchable oil circuits, all of which must be managed to ensure the comfort of the occupants without being detrimental to vehicle performance. At Powertrain Technology we have a range of experience with these technologies, including:

  • Integration of HVAC systems within vehicle modelling environments
  • Detailed knowledge of current HVAC systems
  • Design and specification of ancillary components required for HVAC
  • Integration with powertrain cooling and lubrication systems


Development of bespoke solutions and detailed knowledge of industry standard software

At PTL we have a broad breadth of experience with a range of software platforms, including the design and implementation of bespoke in-house algorithms to achieve both calculation speed and accuracy throughtout the various stages of a project, from initial concept to full definition. Our proprietary software framework is tailored towards agile management of multiple and simultaneous simulation environments (gas exchange, CFD, FEA, structural dynamics, electromagnetism) to facilitate the simulation of multiphysics problems.Recent projects include creation of a Matlab based structural/hydraulic screw pump model for pumping multiphase fluids to high pressures. We also have experience with in house developed Fortran, C & C++ modules. Examples of our in house software include:

  • Screw pump structural and hydraulic modelling
  • Engine design analysis suite (crankshaft fatigue, torsional vibrations, bearings hydrodynamic lubrication)
  • Bolted joint and critical fastener analysis
  • Spline couplings interface design

We also carry licenses for multiple industry standard packages, including:

  • Matlab/Simulink
  • GT-Suite (mulitphysics)
  • Converge (CFD)
  • Creo
  • NX
  • Solidworks

Our Technologies

Our patented Variable Valve Actuation technologies & Single cylinder research engines


Together with our partner SwRI we have developed an advanced single cylinder engine architecture capable of running a wide range of engine sizes and configurations. Suitable for a number of development tasks, including combustion, cylinder head, valvetrain and piston development work, individual builds can be tailored to our customer’s unique needs. With our two base engines for both light and heavy duty applications we are able to cover engine bores from 65-145mm with cylinder pressure ratings of 200-300 Bar.


This is 2-step “discrete” mechanism for profile switching in engine valvetrains. Because the variability is achieved wholly within the camshaft, it is possible to switch between two valve opening events without adding to the valvetrain moving mass, with consequent speed, friction and packaging advantages. Functionalities are either:

  • 2 valve lift settings
  • Secondary valve opening
  • Valve deactivation

The parts responsible for the profile switching are entirely contained within the camshaft. The system can be packaged with minimal changes to cylinder blocks or heads and does not add to the dynamic mass of the valvetrain. LATCHCAM is applicable to a multitude of valvetrain architectures including:

  • Direct acting
  • Rocker follower (either centre or end pivoted)
  • Pushrod


This is a fully variable mechanical Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system with the unique advantage of providing full and seperate control of valve opening period and peak lift. The system is applicable to both rocker actuated and in line valvetrains. The oscillatory motion of the cam is actuated, via a mechanical linkage, by a small eccentric and is therefore positively controlled in both directions, avoiding the need for a controlling return spring and allowing high rotating speeds. OSCAM is applicable to OHC gasoline and diesel cylinder head configurations, and to heavy duty truck valvetrain arrangements, including “skewed” systems. In addition to being a production solution, OSCAM offers a robust and flexible system for research of valve timing and lift requirements for both gasoline and diesel engines and can be made available as a test bed development tool.