Design, Development and Testing of Multi-Cylinder Hydraulic Free-Piston Engines 2005-01-1167
A hydraulic free-piston engine (FPE), which converts combustion energy directly to hydraulic energy, is being developed by the U. S. EPA due to its potential as a lower-cost and higher-efficiency prime mover for hydraulic series hybrid vehicles. Two prototype engines were designed, fabricated and tested: a two-cylinder engine operating primarily with a two-stroke compression-ignition, direct-injection (CIDI) cycle and a six-cylinder engine operating with a four-stroke CIDI cycle. These engines successfully achieved up to 39% peak hydraulic efficiency under continuously fired operation, while demonstrating exceptional repeatability and control of the cylinder compression ratio. A basic description of the engine design, along with the initial test results from these two prototypes, is presented below.