Development of a Two-stroke Compression Ignited Linear Engine for Electrical Power Generation

S. Taylor and P. Famouri (USA)


Free Piston, Linear, Compression Ignition, Diesel, Power Generation


Research at West Virginia University has led to the construction of a prototype two-stroke, crankless, linear free-piston compression ignition engine, and an accompanying time-based mathematical model. Since the linear engine possesses no crankshaft, the direct extraction of useful mechanical work is impossible, necessitating the use of an electrical or fluid-power device. The proposed linear engine will power a permanent magnet linear alternator, for use as compact, high power, electrical power generation. The engine consists of two linked opposed pistons connected by a connecting rod with a permanent magnet alternator attached to the reciprocating shaft. The piston motion of the linear engine is not mechanically defined, but results from the balance of pressures, alternator loading, and frictional forces in the opposing cylinders. The model utilizes both thermodynamic and heat transfer models, as well as dynamic models to predict the effect of changing engine physical parameters, such as bore and stroke, as well as changing internal parameters such as alternator loading and injection timing. Results from the laboratory and the model indicate that low translating mass and high reciprocating speeds are desirable to increase engine power densities, and to decrease engine inefficiencies.

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