Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0075
2019-01-15

Testing of a Modern Wankel Rotary Engine – Part I: Experimental Plan, Development of the Software Tools and Measurement Systems 2019-01-0075

Wankel rotary engines are becoming an increasingly popular area of research with regard to their use as a range extender in the next generation of HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle). Due to their simple design and very favourable power to weight ratio, they represent one of the best alternative solutions to classical reciprocating piston engines. On the other hand, current Wankel engines still need improvements in terms of specific fuel consumption and emissions. This paper describes an innovative approach for the assessment of the performance of a modern rotary engine. All the activities are carried out within the Innovate UK funded Advanced Propulsion Centre Round 6 ADAPT Project, led by Westfield Technology Group, bringing together a world class team consisting of Advanced Innovative Engineering (AIE UK Ltd), Bath University, Saietta and GEMS. The tested engine is a 225cm3 rotary engine produced by AIE equipped with the patented Compact SPARCS technology that uses the blow-by gases for improving the heat rejection from the rotor to the liquid coolant. The descriptions of the experimental activities and of the test rig are provided, including the instrumentation, the gas analyser for emissions’ evaluation and the data acquisition system designed to fulfil the aims of both assessing the baseline performance and calibrating the engine. Subsequently different software tools have been developed for a detailed study on the placement of six fast-response pressure transducers used to implement a complex measurement system for acquiring the engine’s indicated pressure cycle in a real-time fashion. Then the pressure traces can be visualized on a time-base or related to the chamber’s volume in a classical pressure-volume closed diagram. In order to improve the emissions of the engine also the lubrication system is investigated, the lubricating oil mass flow rate will be measured by means of a low-flow Coriolis mass flow meter.

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