Development of a Liquid-DME Fuel Tank - A Two-Fluid Thermodynamic Pump 2001-01-0652
A novel fuel tank for storing liquid dimethyl ether (DME) has been developed. This fuel tank was made of cast aluminum with a water capacity of 40 liters. It contains two fluids: liquid DME and a vapor-liquid mixture of propane. A diaphragm separates the two fluids. The propane in the tank is a pressurizing fluid that pressurizes DME into a subcooled-liquid state; and, it also functions as a driving fluid that pumps the liquid DME from the tank to the injection pump using its vapor pressure. These features characterize the tank as a thermodynamic pump. Several hundred hours of tank tests at various temperatures have been conducted. Results of tank filling-discharge cycles simulating those in vehicle applications demonstrated that the concept of the two-fluid thermodynamic pump works and that the tank design is successful.