UTM Advanced Engine-Turbocharger Lab – A Unique Test Facility In Malaysia

JOHOR BAHRU, 5 July 2018 – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has a healthy long-term research cooperation with Imperial College London, through the Center of Excellence (COE) UTM Center for Low Carbon Transport or LoCARtic.

UTM LoCARtic boasts a unique test facility in Malaysia which is capable of advanced experimental and numerical characterization of the turbocharger as part of an engine system, with complete engine control capabilities and drive cycle testing.

The center is also the first independent R&D facility in Malaysia to provide complete engine-turbocharger performance testing services emulating real driving conditions coupled with high-level simulation capabilities.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between UTM and Imperial College London was signed in 2014, which paths the way for both the organizations to jointly offer R&D services for industry through LoCARtic.

The unique selling point for LoCARtic is that turbocharger component level design and testing could be done in Imperial College London and consequently engine system level testing could be done at UTM, completing an essential R&D cycle.

Director of LoCARtic, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo said the center which is the result of active research cooperation with Imperial Collage London, enables UTM to enhance local talents and provide R&D services for international turbocharger industry players.

Dr. Rajoo also added that LoCARtic is currently collaborating with companies in Japan and Germany to test and improve their turbocharger performance as part of an engine system.

“This shows UTM LoCARtic talents and capabilities are recognized at the international level,” he said.

Most of the testing and simulations at LoCARtic are focused on improving engine fuel economy with turbocharger application, thus reducing carbon dioxide emission, while maintaining driving demands and legislation.

According to Dr. Rajoo, in addition to turbocharger oriented testing, UTM LoCARtic also has the ability to test other components of the engine such as fuel and lubricants on a real driving ecosystem.

He also added that LoCARtic is also actively researching technologies for waste heat recovery for improving system-level efficiency.

Since its inception in 2014, UTM LoCARtic has secured research funding from various parties such as the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Authority (MTJA) which worth RM 4.9 million and the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) worth USD 50,000.00.

“The MTJA project is a 5 years research adventure to demonstrate energy recovery potentials in Oil & Gas platforms.

Meanwhile, the JICA project is quite unique in that we are given the trust to develop range extender for electric-powered vehicles focusing on Asian driving conditions,” he said.

Dr. Rajoo stressed that the strength of LoCARtic lies in its people, whose talent and expertise coupled with advanced facilities capable of gaining the trust of industry players. This is surely a winning point for UTM and the key element for LoCARtic to continue to prosper.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo, his team and industry collaborator at the UTM LoCARtic engine-turbocharger test facility.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo with his team in the control room for the test facility. This is the most advance engine-turbocharger testing facility available in UTM and in Malaysia.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo demonstrating the engine-turbocharger facility of UTM LoCARtic to industry collaborator. Also present is Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas from Imperial College London (most right)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo, his team and industry collaborator at the UTM LoCARtic engine-turbocharger test facility.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Srithar Rajoo (fifth right) and his team and industry collaborator during LoCARtic research showcase