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A Diesel Two-Stroke Linear Engine

David Houdyschell
Thesis submitted to the
College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
at West Virginia University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
Master of Science
in
Mechanical Engineering
Nigel N. Clark, Ph. D., Chair
Christopher M. Atkinson, Sc. D.
W. Scott Wayne, Ph. D.
Ralph Nine, MSME.
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Morgantown, West Virginia
2000
Keywords: Internal Combustion, Linear Engines, Free-Pistons
Copyright 2000 David Houdyschell
Abstract
A Diesel Two-Stroke Linear Engine
David Houdyschell
Linear, crankless, internal combustion engines may find application in the
generation of electrical power without the need to convert linear to rotary motion. The
elimination of the connecting rod and crankshaft would significantly improve the
efficiency of the engine and the reduced weight and cost are added advantages. Prior
research at West Virginia University has shown that the operation of a linear free piston
engine with a throttle to be undesirable. A Diesel linear engine prototype has been
developed for electrical power generation. The operation of a linear engine is distinct
from that of a conventional slider-crank mechanism engine, as the motion of the two
horizontally opposed pistons are not externally constrained. The two-stroke engine
prototype, with a bore of 75 mm and a maximum stroke of 71 mm tested to varying
degrees of success. The engine fired briefly on several occasions. Each testing session
ended with a failure in the engine controller, due to cranking circuit transistors burning
out. Sustained operation of the engine has not been attained at this time. An idealized
model analysis based on the limited pressure cycle also provided insight into the behavior
of the linear engine for different bore, sliding mass, and heat input. The model of the
engine was solved numerically to provide in-cylinder pressure profiles and several other
operational characteristics of the engine as a function of time.
iii
Acknowledgements
I first thank Dr. Nigel Clark for providing me with an opportunity to work with
him, and for being my advisor and friend. His guidance and comments have aided me in
my college career. Next, I thank Dr. Victor Mucino for providing support for me during
the first part of my graduate work. I thank all of my committee members, Dr.
Christopher Atkinson, Dr. Scott Wayne, Mr. Ralph Nine, for their support in my thesis
work.
I give great thanks to Richard Atkinson and Tom McDaniel for their help in the
design and construction of the test engine. Without the support and guidance of these
two individuals the engine would not have progressed to the extent that it has. Justin
Kern, John Anderson, Dustin McIntyre, Dave McKain, Ron Jarrett, and Marcus Gilbert
all deserve thanks for helping, supporting, and encouraging me.
I give my family a thanks for their support of me during this busy time. Last but
not least I thank my fianc Rayna for her, help, love and support through the duration of
my masters work. Raynas support made it much easier to carry on through any
discouraging moments.
iv
Table of Contents
Title page i
Abstract ii
Acknowledgements iii
Table of Contents iv
List of Tables v
List of Figures vi
Nomenclature viii
1. Introduction 1
2. Literature Review 3
3. Fundamental Analysis 6
4. Engine Prototype 30
a. Description
b. Engine Controller
c. Alternator Load
5. Engine Testing 38
a. Experimental Results
6. Conclusions and Recommendations 40
References 42
v
List of Tables
3.1. In-cylinder pressures and pressure force as a function of the slider displacement.
3.2. Simulation constants.
3.3. Test trials mass and bore values.
4.1. Prototype component description.
vi
List of Figures
3.1. The ideal engine model at the beginning of a left to right compression stroke
(
s
x x ).
3.2. The ideal engine model with the pistons at the midpoint position ( 0 x ).
3.3. Pressure volume diagram of limited-pressure cycle.
3.4. Four regions can be seen for the pressure balance due to the limited-pressure
cycle of operation.
3.5. Obtained half stroke can be seen to be a function of the amount of heat input and
the percentage of heat input at constant volume.
3.6. The constant pressure expansion coordinate defines how much heat is input at
constant pressure. It can be seen to be a function of the heat input and .
The compression ratio is defined by the geometry of the engine and the achieved
half stroke.
The period of the operating cycle is seen to be the smallest for a Diesel cycle of
operation. The cycle period increases as the amount of heat input at constant
3.9. The average frequency is related directly to the operational period.
Slider mid-stroke velocity is seen to increase with an increase to the specific heat
input.
Slider position versus time shows near constant velocity over the majority of the
the end of the stroke due to the heat input at constant volume. This can also be
seen in Figure 3.12.
vii
3.12. Slider Velocity versus time shows the velocity is near constant for most of the
stroke.
3.13. Work output versus time shows positive work being performed during the
expansion stroke and negative work during the compression stroke. During the
gas exchange operation when the exhaust port is open, work output can be seen to
have offsetting positive and negative work regions.
3.14. In-cylinder pressure versus time.
3.15. In-cylinder pressure versus in-cylinder volume shows a pressure trace of the
idealized model.
4.1. Diesel prototype.
4.2. Dimensional sketch of cylinder assembly.
4.3. Diesel prototype engine control module block diagram.
4.4. Overhead view of engine setup.
4.5. Front view of engine.
viii
Nomenclature
b bore diameter of the engine
s
m mass of the piston slider
v
C constant volume specific heat
p
C constant pressure specific heat
n ratio of specific heats
r compression ratio
m
x maximum theoretical half-stroke length of the engine
s
x maximum achieved half-stroke length of the engine
epr
x right exhaust port closing coordinate
epl
x left exhaust port closing coordinate
a
x constant pressure expansion end coordinate
x instantaneous piston position
f
F friction force required to move the piston
percentage of total heat input performed at constant volume
in
Q quantity of heat added during one stroke
incv
Q quantity of heat added during one stroke at constant volume
incp
Q quantity of heat added during one stroke at constant pressure
pressure ratio for constant volume heat addition
volume ratio for constant pressure heat addition
l
P instantaneous pressure in the left (expansion) cylinder
r
P instantaneous pressure in the right (compression) cylinder
l
V instantaneous volume of the left (expansion) cylinder
r
V instantaneous volume of the right (compression) cylinder
f
W mechanical work done in one stroke
th
limited-pressure cycle efficiency
ix
in
T intake air temperature
2
T air temperature at point 2 in the cycle
3
T air temperature at point 3 in the cycle
a
T air temperature at point a in the cycle
1
1. Introduction
The present day internal combustion engine has proven to be successful as a
means of producing power. In its current form, the internal combustion engine converts
the linear energy of the pistons to rotational energy by means of a slider-crank
mechanism. Components such as the crankshaft are the cause of much of the friction in
the current internal combustion engine. The use of a linear engine would eliminate this
friction by eliminating the crankshaft and other rotational components and also the
friction on the piston due to side thrust caused by the slider-crank mechanism. This
reduction in friction would greatly improve the efficiency of the engine.
Past studies of free piston engines have shown that they would be useful in
situations where linear power delivery could be used. Researchers have been studying
methods to use linear power delivery. One such method has been for fluid power
delivery either in the form of a hydraulic pump mechanism or an air compressor. Free
piston engines have also seen use as gas generators where a mix of the exhaust gas and
compressed air from the engine was sent to a gas turbine. Also, linear engines could see
use in the production of electrical power through the use of a linear alternator. Past
studies conduced at West Virginia University have concentrated on the use of a small
bore, two-stroke cycle, linear gasoline engine in conjunction with a linear alternator for
the generation of electrical power [1-4]. One conclusion from the study was that a large
bore and high compression ratio was desirable to reverse the piston motion at the end of
its stroke. Finally, it was also concluded that unthrottled operation would be desirable,
because throttled operation made the engine difficult to control.
2
The current research involved an engine consisting of two pistons, connected
solidly by a rod, such that the two pistons reciprocated with precisely the same motion.
The motion of the piston is not mechanically prescribed but is rather a result of the
balance of in-cylinder pressures, inertia forces, friction forces and the applied load.
Idealized modeling of a two-stroke linear engine, assuming a limited pressure cycle of
operation, has yielded a closed form solution for piston motion. A benchtop prototype of
a linear engine was constructed and tested. The prototype was a direct injection, Diesel
fueled compression ignition engine and was tested with varying degrees of success. At
the time of this thesis the engine has cranked and fired briefly. However, sustained
operation has not taken place due to failures in the engine controller upon firing.
There were several reasons as to why the development of this engine went to
compression ignition over spark ignition. First, it could be seen from the past study that
an increase in the compression ratio would reduce the amount of adverse work required
to reverse the piston motion making more work available for generating power. With the
higher compression ratio the piston would act as a gas spring reversing the piston motion.
Next, this engine has been developed on the basis of efficiency. By using compression
ignition, compression ratios higher than a spark ignited engine can be achieved and
therefore higher thermal efficiency is possible. Operation without a throttle would also
increase the overall efficiency of the engine. Finally, past development and testing had
shown that throttled operation was undesirable.
3
2. Literature Review
Free piston engines have been investigated for many years. A study of literature
and patents pertaining to this scrutiny has been presented in this chapter.
Achten [5] studied and documented the different types of free piston engines. His
study concentrated on the conceptual differences between the different mechanisms.
Crankless gas generator piston engines were used in the 1950s. These engines
consisted of opposed pistons that were each directly connected to an air compressor
piston. The mix of compressed air and engine exhaust was then sent to drive a gas
turbine Cleveland Diesel Engine [6]. Frey et al. [7] built and tested a free piston gas
generator turbine set that was sized for an automobile.
Galitello [8] patented a two-stroke cycle, variable compression, free piston
engine. The engine consisted of two directly opposed identical, outward compressing
pistons that were rigidly connected. Power was extracted from a central hydraulic
cylinder or by a linear alternator. The engine was spark ignited and computer controlled.
The computer control system sensed the desired power output, fuel combustion properties
and energy generated from the fuel and would adjust the combustion accordingly. This
allowed the engine to use a variety of fuels. The inventor claimed ultra high frequency
operation hence no vibration.
Bock [9] presented a two-stroke cycle compression ignition engine pump
combination. A central pump cylinder that was directly connected to the pistons
extracted power. There were inlet and outlet valves as well as a common suction
chamber in the central part of the engine. The engine had gas cushioning accomplished
by a nitrogen filled elastic annular body. The gas cushioning served as a shock absorber
4
for the engine vibration. The engine also had oil cooling by means of cooling jackets
around the cylinders.
Widener and Ingram [10] submitted a numerical model of a free piston linear
generator for a hybrid vehicle modeling study. The model addressed the use of a free
piston engine coupled with a linear generator as a potential auxiliary power unit in
hybrid electric vehicles. The feasibility of such a model was analyzed with regards to
power output and efficiency of the unit with reference to conversion of mechanical power
output of the linear engine to electrical power output. The study was conducted on a two-
stroke cycle engine and a reciprocating rig developed to characterize the operation of the
generator.
In the thesis of Goldsborough [11], a numerical simulation of a two-stroke cycle
free piston engine was performed. This study concentrated on the analysis of
homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) of hydrogen fuel. The author
calculated the HCCI process to be near constant volume which enable the engine to
operate on a very lean fuel-air charge. The study concluded that charge temperature at
the port closure had the greatest effect on the achieved compression ratio, because it fixes
the amount of compression heating needed for combustion to occur.
Past linear engine research at West Virginia University has included the
construction and testing of a small bore gasoline, two-stroke cycle engine. The design
consisted of two directly opposed identical pistons with a linear alternator in the center.
The engine development had taken two concurrent paths. First was the design,
construction, and testing of the prototype. Second was the fundamental analysis and
numerical analysis of the engine. The engine was designed and constructed around
5
components of a commercially available chainsaw engine. The testing of the engine was
performed under several loading conditions. It was found that under idle conditions the
ignition timing had to be advanced to the point that spark occurred just after port closing
to insure that the piston motion was reversed. This caused a large section of adverse
work to be performed in reversing the piston, and a high coefficient of variance (COV) in
the indicated mean effective pressure (iMEP). In a loaded highly, retarded timing case it
was found that the adverse work was eliminated and the COV (iMEP) was reduced. This
resulted in the engine operating more like a conventional internal combustion engine.
The fundamental modeling of the engine lead to a closed form solution for the piston
motion in dimensionless parameters. The numerical model of the engine then took the
fundamental model and solved it in a dimensional form. The numerical model yielded
theoretical in-cylinder pressure and displacement plots. From the different studies
conducted it was determined that the design of a linear engine should be large bore and
unthrottled, which would suggest a Diesel engine. The results of the research performed
at West Virginia University have been published in several articles. These papers include
Clark et al. [1, 2, 3], and Atkinson et al. [4].
Other significant patents include Allais [12], Deng et al. [13], Heintz [14], Iliev et
al. [15], and Rittmaster et al. [16]. The different application of free piston engines and
advantages of different mechanisms, applying to the reduction of components and cost
and to the improvement of the engine efficiency were emphasized in these patents.
6
3. Fundamental Analysis
3.1 Introduction
The analysis presented below examines an ideal two-stroke engine with two
opposed pistons connected solidly by a link rod and following the air-standard limited-
pressure cycle of operation. A simple case of an idling engine or an engine from which
power is extracted with constant force was examined. The air standard limited-pressure
cycle of operation was assumed so as to provide pressures prevalent within the cylinders
during idling operation of the engine. This created a fundamental analysis, that was
useful in the study of the effects of heat input and the percent of heat input at constant
volume.
It is understood that real systems are far more complex in comparison to the ideal
case assumed in the following analysis and that a numerical analysis, similar to Atkinson
et al. [4], might have to be employed in order to better understand the complex system.
However, the fundamental analysis presented provides a basic understanding of the linear
two-cylinder, internal combustion engine, much in the way an air-standard Otto cycle or
Diesel cycle provides basic understanding of engine thermodynamic trends.
3.2 Engine Model
The ideal engine used in the analysis consisted of a linear two-cylinder two-stroke
cycle internal combustion engine that follows an idealized limited-pressure cycle of
operation. In reality, the cylinder pressures during scavenging will stray from the limited-
pressure cycle, but this model was considered to be acceptable since major forces
occurring during expansion and compression were properly incorporated. The engine
consists of two opposed pistons connected by a rigid link rod. The pistons have equal and
7
symmetric strokes and are outward compressing. The engine was assumed to have
instantaneous intake and exhaust blow down at the opening position of the ports and
partial instantaneous heat release at the outermost position with the balance of the heat
release occurring at constant pressure. Being a linear reciprocating engine, the piston
does not encounter a top dead center position or a bottom dead center position, but rather
has an innermost (for the left piston;
s
x x ) and outermost position (for the left piston;
s
x x ). The analysis was carried out in a dimensional form on this idealized engine,
based on the assumption that an idling case of operation was in progress and the only
load encountered was a frictional force. A better understanding of the model can be
gained from the schematic presented in Figure 3.1. The maximum theoretical half stroke
length of the piston is x
m,
while the maximum actual half stroke length of the piston is x
s
as seen in Figure 3.2. The piston on a left to right stroke traverses from x
s
to +x
s
. A
fundamental analysis was carried out by taking into consideration the heat added during
one cycle, the intake pressures in the two cylinders, the friction force encountered by the
pistons during their motion from the outermost position to the innermost position and the
heat release ratio, that is, the percentage of the heat released at constant volume. The heat
release ratio values were chosen to represent realistic engines with slider-crank
mechanisms, while the ratio of specific heats was assumed to be constant. The analytical
model permits a thorough understanding of the piston motion under various heat inputs
and under different heat release ratios. It assists in developing a relation between the
piston velocity, the piston position and the time required for one stroke.
8
Link Rod
Cylinder Wall
Pistons
Figure 3.1. The ideal engine model at the beginning of a left to right compression
stroke (
s
x x ).
s
x
s
x +
s
x
s
x +
m
x
m
x +
m
x
m
x +
x=0 x=0
Figure 3.2. The ideal engine model with the pistons at the midpoint position ( 0 x ).
3.3 Assumptions
The numerical analysis was carried out on an ideal engine model using the
following assumptions:
1. A two-stroke engine concept was assumed which follows an idealized limited-
pressure cycle for its operation.
9
2. An idling case of operation with only a frictional force being encountered
during the engine operation was assumed.
3. The heat input to the engine was used entirely for the work done to overcome
the friction drag force acting on the piston (no heat loss).
The analysis was carried out on the idealized engine in a numerical form. Given
these assumptions, a numerical solution in velocity versus position, velocity versus time
and position versus time were obtained and are presented.
3.4 Dynamic Model
The model begins with a dynamic analysis of the engine. Consider the case of the
engine in a left to right movement. The force balance of the system is:
( ) ( ) 0
4 4
2
2 2 2

dt
x d
m F
b
x P
b
x P
s f r l

where P
l
is the left in-cylinder pressure, P
r
is the right in-cylinder pressure, F
f
is the
frictional force applied to the engine, m
s
is the mass of the slider, b is the bore of the
engine, t is time, and x is the slider displacement. Both cylinder pressures are a function
of the slider displacement. These two pressure terms can be combined into one pressure
force term:
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
4
2
b
x P x P x F
r l p


where F
p
is the balance of the left and right cylinder pressures. The force balance for the
engine then becomes:
( ) 0
2
2

dt
x d
m F x F
s f p
. Equation (1).
10
3.5 Thermodynamic Model
The thermodynamic analysis of the engine was performed to calculate the values
of the variables that were based on the value of the heat input into the system. The
engine model followed the air-standard limited-pressure cycle. The cycle consists of
adiabatic compression from point 1 to 2, constant volume heat addition from 2 to 3,
constant pressure heat addition from point 3 to a, adiabatic expansion from point a to 4,
and constant volume blowdown from point 4 to 1. A schematic of the cycle can be seen
in Figure 3.3.
1
2
3 a
4
Volume
Figure 3.3. Pressure volume diagram of limited-pressure cycle.
For this cycle there are two ratios that need to be defined. First is the ratio of the
pressures during the constant volume heat addition,
2
3
2
3
T
T
P
P
Equation (2).
Next is the ratio of the volumes during the constant pressure heat addition,
11
3 3
T
T
V
V
a a
Equation (3).
Where T
2
, T
3
, and T
a
are the average in-cylinder temperatures at the corresponding
points. These two ratios define how much of the heat input occurs at constant volume
and how much occurs at constant pressure. The temperatures in the cylinders during the
cycle can be defined as functions of the slider displacement and the intake temperature
T
in
and the percentage of the heat input that is at constant volume:
1
2

,
_

n
s m
epr m
in
x x
x x
T T Equation (4).
1
3

,
_

+
n
s m
epr m
in
v
in
x x
x x
T
mC
Q
T

Equation (5).
( )
1
1

,
_

+ +

n
s m
epr m
in
v
in
p
in
a
x x
x x
T
mC
Q
mC
Q
T

Equation (6).
where x
m
is the maximum half stroke, x
epr
is the right exhaust port closing coordinate, C
v
and C
p
are the specific heats for the working fluid, Q
in
is the total heat input into the
system, n is the ratio of the specific heats, and m is the mass of the air in the cylinder.
The heat input is the sum of the constant volume heat input and the constant pressure heat
input:
( ) ( )
3 2 3
T T C T T C Q
a p v in
+ . Equation (7).
The constant volume heat input is then:
in incv
Q Q . Equation (8).
Thus the constant pressure heat input becomes:
( )
in incp
Q Q 1 . Equation (9).
also defines and , such that:
12

1
. Equation (10).

1
1
. Equation (11).
With these definitions of and , stroke length, constant pressure expansion length,
frictional force, and compression ratio can be calculated. By substituting equations 4 and
5 into Equation 2, becomes:
1
1
+
1
1
1
1
1
]
1

,
_

in v
n
s m
epr m
in
T C
x x
x x
m
Q

.
thus x
s
is solved for:
( )
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
]
1

,
_


1
1
` 1
n
in v
in
epr m
m s
T C
m
Q
x x
x x

. Equation (12).
By substituting into Equation 3 the constant pressure expansion end coordinate can be
solved for by:
( )
m m s a
x x x x . Equation (13).
The compression ratio becomes:
( )
( )
s m
epr m
x x
x x
r

. Equation (14).
The friction work of one stroke is:
13
s f f
x F W 2 ,
invoking limited pressure cycle efficiency:
( )
( )
1
]
1

1 1
1 1
1
1

n r
n
n
th
( )
( )
( )
( )
1
]
1

1 1
1
1
1

n x x
x x
n
n
epr m
s m
th
( )
( )
( )
( ) 1
1
]
1

1
]
1

,
_

1 1
1
1 2
1

n x x
x x
m
Q
x F
n
n
epr m
s m in
s f
.
The frictional force then becomes
( )
( )
( )
( )
s
n
n
epr m
s m
in
f
x m
n x x
x x
Q
F
2
1 1
1
1
1
1
1
]
1

,
_

,
_

. Equation (15).
3.6 Pressure Balance
During a left to right stroke of the slider the cylinder pressures will be governed
by several equations because of the constant pressure heat addition, the placement of the
port openings and closings, and the scavenging process. Based on the prototype engine,
(described in the following chapter) it was concluded that the pressure force F
p
had four
distinct regimes. These regimes come from the equations governing the cylinder
pressure. The regimes can best be seen from a plot of the left and right cylinder pressures
versus the slider displacement x, shown in Figure 3.4 below. The compression cylinder
undergoes a constant pressure gas exchange while the exhaust port is open. Once the
exhaust port closes the compression cylinder undergoes an adiabatic compression.
Simultaneously, the expansion cylinder undergoes a constant pressure expansion during
the constant pressure heat addition, then the pressure decreases aidabaticly until the
exhaust port opens and the pressure drops to the intake pressure. While the exhaust port
14
is open the pressure remains constant. The governing equations for the cylinder pressures
and pressure force F
p
are listed in Table 3.1.
Displacement
x
a
x
eprr
x=0 x
epl -x
s
+x
s
A B C
D
Expansion Stroke
in Left Cylinder
Compression Stroke in
Right Cylinder
Figure 3.4. Four regions can be seen for the pressure balance due to the limited-
pressure cycle of operation.
15
Table 3.1. In-cylinder pressures and pressure force as a function of the slider displacement.
Component A B C D
P
l
(x) P
o
( )
( )
n
m
n
a m o
x x
x x P
+
+ ( )
( )
n
m
n
a m o
x x
x x P
+
+
P
in
P
r
(x) P
in
P
in
( )
( )
n
m
n
epr m in
x x
x x P

( )
( )
n
m
n
epr m in
x x
x x P

F
p
(x) ( )
4
2
b
P P
in o

( )
( ) 4
2
b
P
x x
x x P
in n
m
n
a m o

,
_

+
+ ( )
( )
( )
( ) 4
2
b
x x
x x P
x x
x x P
n
m
n
epr m in
n
m
n
a m o

,
_

+
+
( )
( ) 4
2
b
x x
x x P
P
n
m
n
epr m in
in

,
_

16
From analysis of Figure 3.4, it can be seen that regime A corresponds to the point
when x -x
s
and x < x
a
, regime B corresponds to the point when x x
a
and x < x
epr
,
regime C corresponds to the point when x x
epr
, and x < x
epl
, and regime D corresponds
to the point when x x
epl
and x x
s
. P
0
is the pressure in the cylinder caused by the
constant volume heat addition. P
0
is related to the pressure before the constant volume
heat addition and by:
2 0
P P
where P
2
is the pressure in the cylinder after the adiabatic compression (P
r
at x=x
s
), this
pressure can be found with knowledge of the intake pressure P
in
by
( )
( )
n
s m
n
epr m
in
x x
x x
P P

2
. Equation (16).
3.7 Numerical Integration
Once all of the above relationships were derived a computer program to solve
Equation 1 for the acceleration was developed. This program first solved the
thermodynamic model for the half stroke x
s
, the constant pressure expansion end
coordinate x
a
, and other variables. With the calculations from the thermodynamic model
complete the program then calculated the in-cylinder pressures, pressure force and
acceleration
2
2
dt
x d
by looping through x from x
s
to x
s
. This gave output of acceleration
2
2
dt
x d
in terms of the slider position. Finally, the program numerically integrated the
acceleration to show position in time.
The numerical integration worked by looping through the displacement steps
calculating the time step between data points. With the time known the velocity can be
17
calculated and the position can be related to the calculated time. The form of the
equations to calculate the time and the velocity are as follows
( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( ) 1
1 1
2
1
2
1


+


i
i i i i
i
A
x x A v v
t
i
Equation (17).
and
( ) ( ) i i i i
t A v v +
1 1
. Equation (18).
These equations can be solved with the knowledge of the boundary condition
0
0
v . The MATLAB program can be seen in appendix A.
3.8 Results
The analysis provided relationships which made it possible to obtain the velocity,
and position of the piston with respect to time. It also provided the calculation of the
stroke length, time required for one stroke, and the compression ratio for a given value of
heat input into the system. The time required for one stroke was calculated numerically
by integrating the time intervals constituting one stroke. The thermodynamic analysis
yielded relationships between the heat input and the achieved stroke length, constant
pressure expansion end coordinate, and compression ratio.
The graphs showing the relationships of achieved half stroke, compression ratio,
and stroke time with respect to the heat input were plotted for different values of the total
heat input and . The geometric parameters of the engine were specified to be consistent
with the prototype. The bore, b, of the engine cylinders was assumed to be 75mm, while
the maximum half stroke, x
m
, was assumed to be 35.5mm. By specifying these
parameters it was possible to generate plots for the achieved half stroke, the constant
volume expansion end coordinate, and the operating compression ratio versus the heat
18
input into the system. These plot can be seen below in Figures 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7
respectively. According to Heywood [17], the typical operating range for a conventional
compression ignition engine with Diesel fuel is 18 to 70. The upper limit to this range
can be seen by the vertical line in Figures 3.5 to 3.10.
Figure 3.5. Achieved half stroke can be seen to be a function of the amount of heat
input and the percentage of heat input at constant volume.
19
Figure 3.6. The constant pressure expansion coordinate defines how much heat is
input at constant pressure. It can be seen to be a function of the heat input and .
20
Figure 3.7. The compression ratio is defined by the geometry of the engine and the
achieved half stroke.
From the numerical integration the stroke time, average frequency, and mid-
stroke slider velocity can be shown relative to the specific heat input and the value of .
These plots can be seen in Figures 3.8, 3.9, and 3.10 respectively.
21
Figure 3.8. The period of the operating cycle is seen to be the smallest for a Diesel
cycle of operation. The cycle period increases as the amount of heat input at
constant volume increases.
22
Figure 3.9. The average frequency is related directly to the operational period.
23
Figure 3.10. Slider mid-stroke velocity is seen to increase with an increase to the
specific heat input.
From the numerical analysis it is possible to obtain the relationships for position,
work output, in-cylinder pressure and velocity as a function of time and pressure as a
function of cylinder volume. To show the effects of varying the bore and the mass of the
slider on the operation of the engine, several simulations were performed calculating the
above relationships. Table 3.2 lists the parameters that were held constant for each of the
trails. Table 3.3 shows the test matrix values of the mass of the slider and the cylinder
bore.
24
Table 3.2. Simulation constants.
Parameter Value
m
Q
in
1000
kg
kJ
0.5
x
m
0.0355 m
Table 3.3. Test trials mass and bore values.
Trial Slider Mass [kg] Cylinder Bore [mm]
1 5 75
2 10 75
3 2.5 75
4 5 53
5 5 106
From the analysis plots of the position, work output, in-cylinder pressure and
velocity versus time and the in-cylinder pressure versus volume were generated for the
five trials. Plots of these relationships for trial 1 can be seen in Figures 3.11 to Figure
3.15. The other plots can be found in Appendix B. These plots were produced for the
left cylinder in a left to right and back cycle except for Figure 3.12 which shows one left
to right stroke. From the simulation, it was concluded that with an increase in the mass
of the slider, the time to complete a stroke increases. The same is true for an increase in
cylinder bore. From Figures 3.11 and 3.12 it can be seen that the velocity of the slider
increases quickly then reaches a constant value and finally decreases quickly at the end of
25
the stroke. The plot of the work output in time, Figure 3.13, shows positive work output
during the expansion stroke and negative compression work during compression stroke.
Finally, Figures 3.14 and 3.15 show the in-cylinder pressure traces for the simulated
limited pressure cycle.
Figure 3.11. Slider position versus time shows near constant velocity over the
majority of the stroke. The velocity ramps up to a near constant value and then
drops to zero at the end of the stroke due to the heat input at constant volume. This
can also be seen in Figure 3.12.
Motion Reversal
26
Figure 3.12. Slider Velocity versus time shows the velocity is near constant for most
of the stroke.
Motion Reversal
27
Figure 3.13. Work output versus time shows positive work being performed during
the expansion stroke and negative work during the compression stroke. During the
gas exchange operation when the exhaust port is open, work output can be seen to
have offsetting positive and negative work regions.
Constant Pressure
Heat Addition End
Exhaust Port
Opened
Motion Reversal
Exhaust Port Closed
28
Figure 3.14. In-cylinder pressure versus time
Constant Pressure
Heat Addition End
Exhaust Port
Opened
Exhaust Port Closed
29
Figure 3.15. In-cylinder pressure versus in-cylinder volume shows a pressure trace
of the idealized model.
Exhaust Port
Opened
Exhaust Port Closed
Motion Reversal
Constant Pressure
Heat Addition End
30
4. Engine Prototype
4.1 Description
The Diesel prototype of 75 mm bore and 71 mm stroke was sized to use two-
stroke cycle personal watercraft (Kawasaki Jetski 300sx) components to reduce
development time and cost. Cylinder heads were designed and fabricated that allowed
for direct fuel injection and also provided water cooling to the Kawasaki cylinders. The
pistons also were from the Kawasaki engine but were machined to remove the lower
portion of the piston skirt. This was done to prevent the skirt from contacting the bottom
end that was designed to allow the engine to be scavenged by in house compressed air.
The pistons were directly connected by an aluminum rod that had provisions for
mounting the moving portion of the position sensor and the translator magnets for the
linear alternator. A simple I-beam frame provided support for the cylinders, alternator,
and the stationary portion of the position sensor.
A single manually operated valve regulated air pressure to the engine.
Lubrication to the engine was supplied through the intake air by means of in-line air-tool
lubricators. These lubricators provided enough oil to the cylinder to preserve the
integrity of the rings. Cooling water was forced into the bottom of the cylinder jackets
and out through the heads from the house water supply. The alternator was used to
provide the necessary motoring force for engine cranking. The engine control unit (ECU)
controlled the alternator coils in motoring the engine and automatically disengaged them
when the shaft speed exceeded a preset value, inferring that the engine had started.
Because the stroke of the engine was not mechanically constrained and therefore allowed
to vary during normal operation, optimal port location could vary with each cycle.
31
Another variable dependent on the stroke was the compression ratio, which had a
theoretical maximum, for this particular engine of approximately 50:1. This was
calculated with the knowledge of exhaust port locations, the dimensions of the cylinder,
clearance volume and assuming that the motion is reversed exactly at the point of contact
when the piston meets the head. The clearance volume was assumed to be the volume in
the head, which allows access to the cylinder for the glow plugs and fuel injectors. A
sketch of the major engine components is shown in Figure 4.1.
Fuel delivery was preformed by a common rail, direct injection system. The fuel
injectors (Bosch part # B 445 110 130) were supplied by a high-pressure pump (Bosch
part # B445 010 035-01) that maintained the common rail at a pressure controlled by the
ECM, usually set to 9,000 psi. The high-pressure pump maintained the pressure through
the use of a pulse width modulated regulator. Supplying the high-pressure pump was a
automotive fuel pump (Master part # E2000) that was regulated at 38 psi. Fuel metering
was pulse width modulated by the ECM and was manually adjusted by means of a
potentiometer for each cylinder. The ECM allowed for the adjustment of the pulse width
of injection and start of injection position for each cylinder and also the control of the rail
pressure. To ensure ignition when the engine was cold or during cranking when
compression was low, glow plugs (International part # 1820697C1) were fitted to the
heads directly in the fuel injector spray path. The glow plugs were manually switched on
or off . A dimensional sketch of the cylinder and head assembly is shown in Figure 4.2.
32
Figure 4.1. Diesel prototype.
33
Figure 4.2. Dimensional sketch of cylinder assembly (dimension in mm).
A listing of the parts and description of their geometry and function is given in
Table 4.1 below.
Table 4.1. Prototype Component Description.
Component Description
Cylinders Kawasaki Jetski 300sx with 75 mm bore
and 71 mm stroke length
Pistons 75mm Kawasaki Jetski 300sx
Connecting Rod Assembly Piston to Translator 25.4mm diameter, one
230mm and one 300mm length, translator
50.8mm diameter x203mm length. 6108
Aluminum.
Fuel Injectors Bosch part # B 445 110 130
Fuel Pump High pressure Bosch part # B445 010
035-01
Low pressure - Master part # E2000
Rail Pressure Transducer Omega part # PX 605
Position Sensor Micro-Epsilon part # VIP 50-ZA-2-SR-I
34
4.2 Engine Electronics
An engine control unit was constructed with the help of Richard Atkinson of West
Virginia University, to operate the alternator as motoring coils and to control injection
timing, fuel injection pulse width, and injection pressure. The controller was modified
several times in the course of testing. The circuit diagram of the configuration at the
point of this thesis can be seen in Appendix C. A block diagram of the ECM has been
shown in Figure 4.3. A linear potentiometer (Micro-Epsilon part # VIP 50-ZA-2-SR-I)
was purchased for use as the position sensor. The common rail pressure regulator
required a linear feedback circuit including a rail pressure transducer (Omega part # PX
605) to control the injection pressure. The position sensor and pressure transducer were
the only input into the ECM.
35
Figure 4.3. Diesel prototype engine control module block diagram.
36
In order to directly observe the nature of combustion in this novel engine,
piezoelectric in-cylinder pressure transducers [PCB Part #508 and Part #547] were
mounted with direct access to the combustion chamber.
4.3 Prototype Test Platform
The experimental engine was designed and developed in-house with the
assistance of Thomas McDaniel, along with the engine controller with the assistance of
Richard Atkinson. The engine was tested with several updates to the ECU with varying
degrees of success. Figure 4.4 shows an overhead view of the engine setup. Figure 4.5
shows another view of the engine prototype and the dedicated bench of steel plates
weighing approximately 600 lbs., constructed to reduce the severity of vibrations during
early testing. The experimental results and conclusions have been presented in the next
chapter.
Figure 4.4. Overhead view of engine setup.
Fuel Pump
Left
Cylinder
Linear Alternator
Right
Cylinder
Fuel
Injector
Engine Control
Unit
37
In the top left corner of Figure 4.4 the high pressure fuel pump can be seen. In the top
right corner is the ECM. The top middle the intake and lubrication system can be seen.
Along the bottom of Figure 4.4 is the test engine.
Figure 4.5. Front view of the engine.
38
5. Engine Testing
The Diesel prototype engine was tested several times with varying results. As the
testing progressed the engine control unit (ECU) design and other parts were updated to
improve upon the performance of the engine. The improvements have lead to an engine
that would fire but has not at this time ran in sustained operation. No attempts to collect
data from the in-cylinder pressure transducers have been made because the engine has
not ran in a sustained mode of operation.
Most of the improvements to the engine were to the ECU. The cranking circuitry
has under gone an evolution process, since the first attempts to start the engine leading to
the ECU described in the previous chapter. These changes have been performed in the
effort to make the engine crank with enough compression to ignite the fuel with the aid of
the glow plugs. Another hurdle in the engine testing has been the fuel injectors. Due to
the lack of compression in cranking, a large amount of fuel was needed for the engine to
fire in any manner. This demand on the fuel injectors caused the failure of the solenoid
in the injectors during the early stages of testing. The advances in the cranking circuitry
have remedied this problem.
The testing of the engine has followed an iterative process of testing, failure,
redesign, implementation, and testing. The first test sessions ended with the failure of the
fuel injectors. The testing at the time of this thesis has ended with engine firing and
simultaneously the cranking circuit driver transistors burning out causing the engine
cranking to stop. The engine has fired with puffs of black smoke emitted from the
exhaust only for the test to abruptly end as the engine showed signs of sustained
operation. The suspected cause of the failure is the power generated by the engine firing
39
the slider back through the alternator. This spike of current is most likely causing the
failure of the built in diodes in the cranking transistors. It is believed that the engine
would run if the cranking circuit would last enough time to allow the fueling and timing
to be set in a manner that engine operation could be sustained. Further redesign of the
ECU cranking circuitry and testing was planned at the time this thesis was written.
40
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1. Conclusions
The Diesel linear engine offers the potential to generate and deliver power with
out the need to convert linear piston motion to rotary crankshaft motion. An idealized
model of a linear engine, consisting of two pistons linked by a solid rod has revealed the
relationship between stroke, compression ratio, heat input, operational frequency and
other parameters. The model shows an increase in the achieved stroke length with an
increase in the amount of heat input. The idealized model deals with over-fueling by
increasing the stroke of the engine to the maximum. It is believed that this is not how the
engine would behave in reality. It is obvious that in the case of over-fueling, incomplete
combustion would occur. Also the effects of varying the bore and the sliding mass on
operating frequency, and power output have been shown for a given heat input. An
increase in cylinder bore or slider mass effect the system by increasing the amount of
time for a stoke.
The prototype showed successful characteristics in the testing performed. The
black smoke attained in some of the later test show that adequate compression was being
developed to ignite the fuel with the help of the glow plugs. This is important because it
in part proves the feasibility of starting a linear compression ignition engine. The
generation of compression upon cranking is the most difficult task to overcome for the
compression ignition case.
6.2. Recommendations
Further work is needed to obtain a diesel linear engine capable of sustained
operation. The area in need of the most attention is the method of cranking the engine.
41
This could be accomplished in several ways. A method of protecting the cranking driver
transistors from the current generated by the engine firing could be developed. Another
possible solution would be to implement the type of system first utilized on the gasoline
prototype develop at West Virginia University. This system used two automotive starter
pull back solenoids acting on a steel connecting rod to crank the system. This would
allow the cranking circuitry to be separate from the power generation circuitry,
preventing the current problem. This is a less appealing alternative than the previously
mentioned because it involves a redesign of both the ECU and the engine itself to provide
the cranking circuitry, a steel connecting rod and the space needed to locate the solenoids.
Once the cranking problem is solved it is believed that the engine will run and in-cylinder
data can be collected.
42
REFERENCES
[1] Clark, N., Nandkumar, S., Famouri, P., Fundamental Analysis of a Linear Two-
Cylinder Internal Combustion Engine, SAE 982692, 1999.
[2] Clark, N., McDaniel, T., Atkinson, R., Nandkumar, S., Atkinson, C., Petreanu, S.,
Tennant C., Famouri, P., Modeling and Development of a Linear Engine, ICE-Vol.
30-2 Proceeding of the Spring Technical Conference of the ASME Internal
Combustion Engine Division, Book No. G1074B, 1998.
[3] Clark, N., Nandkumar, S., Atkinson, C., Atkinson, R., McDaniel, T., Petreanu, S.,
Famouri, P., Operation of a Small Bore Two-Stroke Linear Engine, ASME 98-
ICE-120, 1998.
[4] Atkinson, C., Petreanu, S., Clark, N., Atkinson, R., McDaniel, T., Nandkumar, S.,
Famouri, P., Numerical Simulation of a Two-Stroke Linear Engine-Alternator
Combination, SAE 1999-01-0921, 1999.
[5] Achten, A. J., A Review of Free Piston Engine Concepts, International Off-
Highway & Powerplant Congress & Exposition, SAE 941776, 1994.
[6] Cleveland Diesel Engine Division, 1957, History and Description of the Free
Piston Engine- Gas Turbine Power, (authors unknown to GM).
[7] Frey, D. N., Klotsch, P., Egli, A., The Automotive Free-Piston-Turbine Engine,
SAE Transactions, Volume 65, 1957, pp. 628-634.
[8] Galitello, K. A. Jr.,Two Stroke Cycle Engine, U.S. Patent Application No.
281,530, Application filed December 8, 1988; U.S. Patent No. 4,876,991, Patent
Issued October 31, 1989.
[9] Bock, R., Gas Cushioned Free Piston Type Engine, U.S. Patent Application No.
809,999, Application filed June 24, 1977; U.S. Patent No. 4,128,083, Patent issued
December 5, 1978.
[10] Widener, S. K., Ingram, K., Free Piston Engine Linear Generator Technology
Development, Final Report, Under Contract to U.S. Army TARDEC, Mobility
Technology Center-Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, January 1995.
43
[11] Goldsborough, S., A Numerical Investigation of a Two-Stroke Cycle, Hydrogen-
Fueled, Free Piston Internal Combustion Engine, Thesis, Colorado State
University, 1998
[12] Allais, E., Free-Piston Engine with Operatively Independent Cam, U.S. Patent
Application No. 416,959, Application filed September 9, 1982; U.S. Patent No.
4,480,599, Patent issued November 6, 1984.
[13] Deng, Y. A., Deng, K., Free-Piston Engine without Compressor, U.S. Patent
Application No. 154,145 (RDG Inventions Corporation), Application filed February
9, 1988; U.S. Patent No. 4,924,956 (RDG Inventions Corporation), Patent Issued
May 15, 1990.
[14] Heintz, R. P., Free-Piston Engine Pump, U.S. Patent Application No. 150,390,
Application filed May 16, 1980; U.S. Patent No. 4,369,021, Patent Issued January
18, 1983.
[15] Iliev, M. D., Kervanbashiev, S. S., Karamanski, S. D., Makedonski, F. M., Method
and Apparatus for Producing Electrical Energy from a Cyclic Combustion Process
Utilizing Coupled Pistons which Reciprocate in Unison, U.S. Patent Application
No. 431,119 (CUV Progress), Application filed September 30, 1982; U.S. Patent
No. 4,532,431 (CUV Progress), Patent Issued July 30, 1985.
[16] Rittmaster, P. A., Booth J. L., Hydraulic Engine, U.S. Patent Application No.
110,771, Application filed January 9, 1980; U.S. Patent No. 4,326,380, Patent
Issued April 27, 1982.
[17] Heywood, J. B., Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, McGraw-Hill, Inc.,
New York, NY, 1988.
44
APPENDIX A
Numerical Analysis Program
45
clear
format long;
% input parameters
Qin=1000;
PHI=.5;
Pin=101000;
Tin=298;
Cv=.718;
Cp=1.005;
b=.075;
xm=.0355;
xepr=-.0015;
ms=5;
xepl=-xepr;
n=Cp/Cv;
Alpha=1/(1-PHI);
Beta=1/PHI;
%calculation of stroke length
xs=xm-((xm-xepr)/(PHI*Qin/(Cv*Tin*(Alpha-1)))^(1/(n-1)));
%calculation of constant volume heat input final pressure
P2=Pin*((xm-xepr)^n)/((xm-xs)^n);
Po=Alpha*P2;
%calculation of frictional force component
Ff=Qin*((1-((xm-xepr)/(xm-xs))^(n-1))*((Alpha*(Beta^n)-1)/(Alpha*n*(Beta-1)+Alpha-1)))/2*xs;
%calculating constant pressure expansion length.
xa=(xm-xs)*Beta-xm;
x=-xs:.00005:xs;
%loops to calculate pressure force components
for i=1:length(x);
if (x(i)>=-xs)&(x(i)<xa)
Pl(i)=Po ;
Pr(i)=Pin;
Fp(i)=(Pl(i)-Pr(i))*(pi*b^2)/4;
A(i)=(Fp(i)-Ff)/ms;
elseif(x(i)>=xa)&(x(i)<xepr)
Pl(i)=Po*((xm+xa)^n/(xm+x(i))^n);
Pr(i)=Pin;
Fp(i)=(Pl(i)-Pr(i))*(pi*b^2)/4;
A(i)=(Fp(i)-Ff)/ms;
46
elseif (x(i)>=xepr)&(x(i)<xepl)
Pl(i)=Po*((xm+xa)^n)/((xm+x(i))^n);
Pr(i)=Pin*((xm-xepr)^n)/((xm-x(i))^n);
Fp(i)=(Pl(i)-Pr(i))*(pi*b^2)/4;
A(i)=(Fp(i)-Ff)/ms;
else
Pl(i)=Pin;
Pr(i)=Pin*((xm-xepr)^n)/((xm-x(i))^n);
Fp(i)=(Pl(i)-Pr(i))*(pi*b^2)/4;
A(i)=(Fp(i)-Ff)/ms;
end
end
%initializing time and velocity
dt(1)=0;
t(1)=0;
v(1)=0;
v(length(x)+1)=0;
%loop for numerical integration
for i=2:length(x);
dt(i)=(-v(i-1)+(((v(i-1))^2)-2*A(i-1)*(x(i-1)-x(i)))^.5)/A(i-1);
v(i)=v(i-1)+A(i-1)*dt(i);
t(i)=t(i-1)+dt(i);
Dtime(i,1)=dt(i);
Vel(i,1)=v(i);
time(i,1)=t(i);
end
%formatting data output files
csvwrite('xout',x')
csvwrite('aout',A')
csvwrite('plout',Pl')
csvwrite('prout',Pr')
47
APPENDIX B
Numerical Analysis
48
Trial 2 Output:
Slider Mass [kg] Cylinder Bore [mm]
10 75
Slider position vs. time, (trial 2).
49
Slider velocity vs. time, (trial 2).
Work release vs. time, (trial 2).
50
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. time, (trial 2).
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. in-cylinder volume, (trial 2).
51
Trial 3 Output:
Slider Mass [kg] Cylinder Bore [mm]
2.5 75
Slider position vs. time, (trial 3).
52
Slider velocity vs. time, (trial 3).
Work release vs. time, (trial 3).
53
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. time, (trial 3).
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. in-cylinder volume, (trial 3).
54
Trial 4 Output:
Slider Mass [kg] Cylinder Bore [mm]
5 53
Slider position vs. time, (trial 4).
55
Slider velocity vs. time, (trial 4).
Work release vs. time, (trial 4).
56
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. time, (trial 4).
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. in-cylinder volume, (trial 4).
57
Trial 5 Output:
Slider Mass [kg] Cylinder Bore [mm]
5 106
Slider position vs. time, (trial 5).
58
Slider velocity vs. time, (trial 5).
Work release vs. time, (trial 5).
59
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. time, (trial 5).
In-cylinder pressure (left) vs. in-cylinder volume, (trial 5).
60
APPENDIX C
Engine Control Unit Circuit Diagrams
61
Engine controller
62
Injector drivers.
63
Cranking circuit.
64
Rail pressure control circuit.