Performance of a Low-Blowby Sealing System for a High Efficiency Rotary Engine 2018-01-0372
The X engine is a non-Wankel rotary engine that allies high power density and high efficiency by running a high-pressure Atkinson cycle at high speeds. The X engine overcomes the gas leakage issue of the Wankel engine by using two axially-loaded face seals that directly interface with three stationary radially-loaded apex seals per rotor. The direct-interfacing of the apex and face seals eliminates the need for corner seals of the typical Wankel engine, significantly reducing rotary engine blowby. This paper demonstrates the sealing performance that can be achieved by this new type of seal configuration for a rotary engine based on dynamics models and experiments. The dynamics models calculate the displacement and deformation of the face and apex seals for every crank angle using a time implicit solver. The gas leakage is then calculated from the position of the seals and pressure in the chambers and integrated over a rotor revolution. An “effective leakage orifice” area can be determined, to compare blowby between different engine types. Model results show that the X engine equivalent leakage area could be around 35% that of the leakage area of a similarly sized Wankel engine obtained from the same modeling method, which brings the X engine leakage closer to the piston engine’s leakage range. Initial experimental results support the findings from the model, as the X engine shows an equivalent leakage area of about 65% that of a scaled Wankel engine. This result demonstrates the potential of the X engine to achieve gas sealing improvements through additional seal development.