Measurement of Loss Pathways in Small, Two-Stroke Internal-Combustion Engines
The rapid expansion of the market for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) includes a particular interest in 10-25 kg vehicles for monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Power-plant options for these aircraft are often 10-100 cm3 internal combustion engines. Both power and fuel conversion efficiency decrease with increasing rapidity in the aforementioned size range. Fuel conversion efficiency decreases from ∼30% for conventional-scale engines (>100 cm3 displacement) to <5% for micro glow-fuel engines (<10 cm3 displacement), while brake mean effective pressure decreases from >10 bar (>100 cm3) to <4 bar (<10 cm3). Based on research documented in the literature, the losses responsible for the increase in the rate of decreasing performance cannot be clearly defined. Energy balances consisting of five pathways were experimentally determined on two engines that are representative of Group-2 RPA propulsion systems and compared to those in the literature for larger and smaller engines.