Engines and energy conversion laboratory
The Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL) is housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The laboratory was established in the Old Fort Collins Power Plant in June 1992. In the years since then the laboratory has grown to become one of the largest and most influential engines research programs in the United States. The EECL is widely recognized as an international leader in the fields of large gas engines for power generation and compression, small 2-stroke cycle engines for use in developing countries, alternative fuels for automobiles, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling of engines, and optical combustion diagnostics. The Department has invested in the laboratory through hiring faculty members who have established new EECL programs in diesel engines, laser diagnostics, and plasma applications in engines.
Natural Gas Engines
The EECL's earliest work with natural gas pipeline engines produced a series of market driven environmental solutions that have transformed the industry. In the last five years the lab has kept the same approach, but has expanded its scope to encompass areas both upstream (fuels) and downstream (power grids) of is core engine expertise. In addition, the EECL has applied this core expertise in energy conversion technology and product development to the creation of solutions with a global impact on energy production, conversion, and consumption - testing new energy technologies around the world including India, The Philippines, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Nepal. Cumulative research awards for the EECL now exceed $25 million and in 2008, the EECL was renamed one of CSU's elite "Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence."
The Lab's main research areas include engine emissions and efficiency research, biofuel research including algae-derived biofuels through its partnership with Solix, household energy research involving cookstoves through its partnership with Envirofit International, as well as distributed power and smart grid research through its partnership with Spirae and Integrid.