1995-02-01

ECTAM™, A Continuous Combustion Engine for Hybrid Electric Vehicles 950495

The ECTAM (External Combustion Thermal Amplification Motor) is a new engine, designed from the ground up to meet the performance needs of Hybrid Electric Vehicles and low emissions goals for future transportation. The basic design incorporates a positive displacement pinned vane rotary compressor supplying a combustion chamber with pressurized air. The air combines with fuel in the combustion phase and is ported to the positive displacement pinned vane rotary expander. In the expander the working gas pressure drops as a function of the rotative blade position. Four out of eight blades are continuously performing work as a function of the differential pressure on each respective blade. Exhaust manifold and engine housing heat energy is used to create pressurized steam which is used in cooling the continuous combustion process. This augmented steam is then mixed with the constituents of combustion and is used as a component of the working fluid which is provided to the expander. The attributes of continuous combustion, combined with continuous blade loading in this rotary system result in an intrinsically balanced and quiet engine which produces high torque at low rotational speeds. The ECTAM is compact, capable of operation using a variety of fuels and incorporates components that have the potential to be cost effectively mass produced. The prototype expander and combustor has been tested using propane. The test results have validated the potential of the components to meet the design requirements.

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