Thursday, October 16, 2014

Improving Grams/kWh Fuel Consumption through a modification in the configuration of the combustion chamber.

I would like to see the science and engineering world advancing beyond the "stand-alone" application of the Otto, Diesel, and Rankine cycles that waste more than half of the energy content of the fuel to the environment. 

Combined heat and power (CHP) and cogeneration/trigeneration facilities cascade energy from one stand-alone system to another system to recover energy. 

An ideal situation of using efficient stand-alone systems is the usage of the exhaust energy from the internal combustion system to become the input energy to heat pumps that perform chilling and heating. Since heat pumps "amplify" energy, the total net work output can be more than that which could come from the fuel alone. The Coefficient of Performance (COP), which is the "quantity of energy moved from a lower state to a higher state, E(c)" divided by the "input energy, E(i)" determines the amplification factor. The amount of "energy released by the heat pump, E(o)" is the sum of E(i) and E(c). Note that output, E(o), is larger than the input, E(i), thus amplified. This is because heat pumps harvest energy from the environment.

The example above combines two efficient stand-alone systems.

My question is this: "Could we bring some of the waste energy of an internal combustion engine back to the combustion chamber to augment the energy of the fuel?"

My answer is: "Definitely, YES! Why not? My estimates are rather promising."

  • I would combine the two gas cycles with Rankine.
  • My design becomes a hybrid of existing power cycles to increase the enthalpy available during the power stroke.
  • The resulting temperature of the combustion chamber would be slightly reduced, thus inhibiting the production of NOx.