Effect of the Ratio Between Connecting-rod Length and Crank Radius on Thermal Efficiency 2006-32-0098
In reciprocating internal combustion engines, the Otto cycle indicates the best thermal efficiency under a given compression ratio. To achieve an ideal Otto cycle, combustion must take place instantaneously at top dead center, but in fact, this is impossible. Meanwhile, if we allow slower piston motion around top dead center, combustion will be promoted at that period; then both the in-cylinder pressure and degree of constant volume will increase, leading to higher thermal efficiency. In order to verify this hypothesis, an engine with slower piston motion around top dead center, using an ideal constant volume combustion engine, was built and tested. As anticipated, the degree of constant volume increased. However, thermal efficiency was not improved, due to increased heat loss. Accordingly more experiments, which achieved a slower piston motion around top dead center by adopting a larger ratio between the connecting-rod length and the crank radius, were carried out using direct injection stratified charge combustion, which allows selective reduction of heat loss. High thermal efficiency was attained, as expected. On the other hand, an engine with a faster piston motion around top dead center, created by decreasing the ratio between connecting-rod length and crank radius, attained high thermal efficiency with quick burn premixed spark ignition combustion.