1997-08-06

Quasi-Isothermal Expansion Engines for Liquid Nitrogen Automotive Propulsion 972649

An automotive propulsion concept is presented which utilizes liquid nitrogen as the working fluid for an open Rankine cycle. Ambient heat exchangers are used to power an engine that is configured to maximize heat transfer during the expansion stroke. If sufficient heat input during the expansion process can be realized then this cryogenic propulsive system would provide greater automotive ranges and lower operating costs than those of electric vehicles currently being considered for mass production. The feasibility of meeting this engineering challenge has been evaluated and several means of achieving quasi-isothermal expansion are discussed.

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