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Technical Paper

Investigation of Cold Start Capability of a Briggs and Stratton Engine Using Jet A Fuel and Microwave Plasma Ignition

There is a growing interest in improving engine versatility through the capacity to run on more than one fuel. To aid in this effort, the research presented in this paper investigated a novel system using microwave plasma ignition designed with the goal of allowing standard gasoline engines to run on non-standard fuels. The fuel used was Jet A. The test engine was a Briggs and Stratton single cylinder engine outfitted with an aftermarket fuel injection system and the microwave plasma ignition system. The tests performed were to determine the cold-start temperature limit, the lowest temperature at which the engine could be repeatedly started, using microwave plasma ignition with a conventional spark plug as a reference. A detailed system outline is presented, as well as results and conclusions. Recommendations for further research are also suggested.
Journal Article

Design of a Flywheel Based Energy Storage and Distribution System for Rural Villages in China

There are 30 million people in remote, rural communities in China without access to electricity. The government of China has initiated an ongoing effort to provide constant, reliable power to these citizens. Renewable energy is being utilized to solve this problem, which necessitates the use of a storage medium for energy, because renewable energies (i.e. wind and/or solar power) are inherently intermittent, variable, and largely unpredictable. By storing excess energy when it is plentiful (for a maximum feasible time of two days) and distributing it to the community in times of scarcity, the intermittent power is effectively leveled and auxiliary power is provided. A high-inertia flywheel was designed for this application because of its simplicity, ease of maintenance, low cost, and reliability. This design addresses many problems including bearing losses, aerodynamic losses, and distribution losses. The proposed design consists of a six spoke layout with a large outer ring.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Dielectrics for Use in Quarter Wave Coaxial Resonators

Current research has involved manipulating the ignition inside of the combustion chamber. It has been demonstrated that an RF plasma flame can be generated from microwaves in a Quarter Wave Coaxial Cavity Resonator (QWCCR). By using this method, it may become possible for researchers to improve combustion and ignition characteristics of a modern internal combustion engine. Filling a plasma cavity with an appropriate dielectric medium can both alter electromagnetic properties and provide a suitable protective barrier to the harsh condition inside of a combustion cylinder. It is the purpose of this paper is to investigate both the operating frequency and quality factor of dielectric-filled cavities, as well as to suggest dielectrics that would be suitable for such an application.
Technical Paper

Continued Computational Investigation into Circulation Control for the V-22 Osprey Download Reduction; Blowing Slot Optimization

Previous studies have shown that using blowing slots can reduce the effects of the rotor downwash on the main wing of a tilt-rotor aircraft, particularly the V-22 Osprey. The current study investigates the placement and air velocity of the leading edge blowing slot for optimization of the download reduction. The realizable turbulent kinetic energy - rate of dissipation (rke) numerical model available in Fluent 6.2.12 was used to model the flow involved under the rotors and the subsequent downwash around the main wing. It was found that the leading edge blowing slot is most beneficial when it is placed just upwind of the separation point without blowing slots. In the current investigation the optimal configuration is found between 0 percent and 1 percent of the chord length.
Technical Paper

Hub Connection Simulation of a Sensor Platform System

In this analysis the structural integrity of the rotational system of a standardized roll-on, roll-off sensor pallet system was authenticated. The driving force behind this analysis was to ensure the structural integrity of the system and to locate the areas with optimization potential. This process will ideally lead to the weight reduction of individual components thereby allowing for the transportation of greater cargo during flight. Scaling down of these excessive areas will also allow for a reduced production cost and an increase in efficiency of the system. The study was comprised of the failure susceptibility of the individual components of the system. The major results include the optimization potential of individual components, as well as strategically rating and categorizing the failure capability of the components.
Technical Paper

The Coaxial Cavity Resonator as a RF IC Engine Ignition Source

The Quarter Wave Coaxial Cavity Resonator (QWCCR) plasma igniter is designed, from previous theoretical work, as an ignition source for an internal combustion engine. The present research has explored the implementation of the QWCCR into an internal combustion (IC) engine. The QWCCR design parameters of inner conductor length, loop geometry, and loop position were varied for two igniters of differing operating frequency. Variations of the QWCCR radio frequency (RF) parameters, as a function of engine geometry, were studied by placing the igniter in a combustion chamber and manually varying the crank position. Three identical igniters were fitted with dielectric inserts and the parameters were studied before and after ignition was sustained in a twin-cylinder engine. Optimal resonator geometries were determined. Radio frequency parameter invariance was found with respect to crank angle and piston distance. The first successful IC engine ignition using a QWCCR was achieved.
Technical Paper

Simulation of a Continuously Variable Power Split Transmission

Continuously variable transmissions promise to improve the performance and drivability of vehicles. The design and implementation of continuously variable transmissions for medium or large displacement (power) engines have been hampered by the power limitations of the belts. A continuously variable transmission with a power split design (CVPST) has been developed to minimize the loading on the belt while providing for increased power transfer compared to existing designs. To aid in the design and development of this CVPST, a simulator program has been developed. The simulator can be used to optimize the CVPST and to compare with other transmissions. Finally, an optimized CVPST design is presented.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Radio Frequency Coaxial Cavity Plasma Ignitor as an Internal Combustion Engine Ignition System

A quarter-wave radio frequency coaxial cavity plasma ignitor can be used to generate a combustion-initiating energy source in an internal combustion engine. This paper outlines research results on the development of such an ignitor. The system, which operates in the 820 - 900 MHz frequency range, uses a high Q quarter-wave cavity that generates plasma when resonating. Pressure testing has shown that the device can generate plasmas at spark ignition compression pressures. A resonator operating at these frequencies has been attached to a static combustion chamber and modeled numerically in order to determine the operational characteristics of the device in a combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Rotor Shaft Bearing Analysis for Selected Rand Cam™ Engine Configurations

Analysis of two types of bearings has been performed for the rotor shaft of the Rand Cam™ engine. Rolling element bearings and a combination of journal and thrust bearings for selected engine configurations have been considered. The engine configurations consist of four, five, six, seven, and eight vanes. The bearing geometry and orientation was also addressed. This analysis is crucial due to the potentially large axial loading on the bearings and the need for the bearing arrangement to be compact and reliable. An emphasis was placed on the combination of fluctuating axial and radial loads and the resulting effect upon the bearings. Tapered roller bearings were found to be effective. However, a combination of journal and thrust bearings is a more compact bearing arrangement for this application. The eight vane configuration is the most desirable configuration based upon the bearing analysis.
Technical Paper

Hydrodynamic Mobility Analysis of the Vane Lift Mechanism for the Rand Cam™ Engine

In this paper, a new method for the hydro-dynamic analysis of a sliding cylinder in a fully lubricated parallel track is presented. The method is an extension of Booker's “Mobility Method” (developed for cylindrical journal bearings) to the case of sliding cylinders, in which the clearance between the track and the cylinder, the viscosity of the lubricant, the radius and length of the pin, the sliding velocity and the applied transverse load determine the hydrodynamic behavior of the cylinder. In the Rand Cam™ Engine [1]*, the axicycloidal motion of vanes is driven by a rotor and a cylindrical cam, and one of the alternative designs to provide this function is based on a cylindrical pin sliding within a track which follows the profile of the motion of the main cams of the engine. This function is very important for the engine, since it separates the load bearing function from the sealing function left to the apex-like seals.
Technical Paper

The Rand-Cam Engine: A Pistonless Four Stroke Engine

The Rand-Cam engine is a positive displacement machine, operating on a four stroke cycle, which consists of a rotor with multiple axial vanes forming combustion chambers as the rotor and vanes rotate in a cam shaped housing. The cam housing, consisting of two “half-housings” or stators, contains a toroidal trough of varying depth machined into each stator. The two stators are phased so that the shallowest point on one trough corresponds to the deepest on the other. A set of six vanes, able to move axially through machined holes in the rotor, traverses the troughs creating six captured zones per side. These zones vary in volume with rotor rotation. Since each trough has two deep sections and two shallow sections with ramps in between, full four stroke operation is obtained between each pair of vanes in each trough, corresponding to twelve power “strokes” per revolution.
Technical Paper

Basic Design of the Rand Cam Engine

The Rand Cam engine is a novel design which avoids the use of pistons in favor of a cavity of varying size and shape. A set of vanes protrudes from a rotor into a circular trough in a stator. The vanes seal to the walls and base of the trough, which is of varying depth, and progress around the trough with rotation of the rotor. These vanes therefore pass through the rotor and are constrained to move parallel to the rotational axis. Intake and exhaust processes occur through ports in the stator wall which are revealed by the passing vanes. Advantages of the basic design include an absence of valves, reduction in reciprocating masses, presence of an integral flywheel in the rotor and strong fluid movement akin a swirl induced by the relative velocity between the rotor and stator.
Technical Paper

Analysis of RF Corona Discharge Plasma Ignition

Corona discharge from a RF quarter wave coaxial cavity resonator is considered as a plasma ignition source for spark ignited (SI) internal combustion (IC) engines. The gaseous discharge processes associated with this device are analyzed using principles of gas kinetics and gaseous electronics, with assumed values for the electric field strength. Corona discharge occurs when the electric field shaped and concentrated by a single electrode exceeds the breakdown potential of the surrounding gas. Ambient electrons, naturally present due to ionizing radiation, drift in the direction of the externally applied field, gaining energy while undergoing elastic collisions with neutral molecules. After gaining sufficient energy they dissociate, excite, or ionize the neutral particles through inelastic collision, creating additional electrons. This process leads to avalanche electrical breakdown of the gas within about 10-8 sec.
Technical Paper

RF Plasma Ignition System Concept for Lean Burn Internal Combustion Engines

This paper describes a Radio Frequency (RF) plasma ignitor concept intended for application to internal combustion engines. This system features a high Q quarter-wave coaxial cavity resonator, of simple construction, serving as a tuning element in the RF power supply, a voltage magnifier, and a discharge device attached to the combustion chamber. The resonator is filled with a dielectric and open at the discharge end. The center conductor is terminated with a revolute solid capacitive electrode which concentrates the associated electric field. This non-uniform electric field within the air/fuel mixture creates a corona discharge plasma which is excited at the RF operating frequency and the resulting ionic species recombine to initiate combustion. The RF excitation, relative to DC, reduces breakdown voltage and electrode degradation.
Technical Paper

Effects of a Non-Symmetric Stiller-Smith Mechanism on Balancing in a Small Internal Combustion Engine

Balancing to date, of the Stiller-Smith Mechanism, has been for a symmetric configuration. If two pistons are moved closer to the center of the engine to minimize spatial requirements and also reduce weight, then the mass center of the inner mechanism no longer travels in a circle about the center of the engine. It is shown how the overall balancing of the engine is not compromised using the example of a small 8-cylinder engine. The effects of the non-symmetry on the performance of the linear bearing is presented and the resulting additional engineering concerns are discussed.
Technical Paper

Use of a Cruciform Shaped Mechanism for Application to Internal Combustion Engines for Portable Auxiliary Power Equipment

The unique shape of cruciform engines provides an alternative to the typical in-line or “V-shaped” engines. The planar nature of the mechanism provides either a low profile or thin engine with the ability to stack many 4 cylinder banks into a compact large engine. The sinusoidal motion inherent in this mechanism provides unique balancing aspects which ultimately further reduce the size of the power plant. The compact cruciform shape lends itself to applications in portable hydraulic pumps, compressors, hydraulic motors, internal combustion engines, etc.
Technical Paper

Piston Motion and Ignition Delay: Details on Coal-Based Fuel Injection and Effects of Mass Leakage

In a recent study the present authors showed that piston motion in a compression ignition engine can have a small yet significant effect on ignition delay of diesel fuel. In particular, sinusoidal piston motion, or a motion with high dwell near top-dead-center, promotes reduced delay and improved cold starting relative to conventional slider-crank piston motion. This paper extends the analysis to the case of coal-diesel and coal-methanol blends, using experimental data from the thesis available in the literature. Ignition delay was shown again to be reduced with sinusoidal motion. In addition, the effect of piston motion on mass loss was considered. As expected, higher dwell near top-dead-center caused more mass loss, but there is still benefit to ignition delay of unusual piston motions unless the coefficient of leakage past the rings is very large.
Technical Paper

Supression of Bearing Vibrations by Using Fiber-Reinforced Composites

The potential benefits of using advanced fiber-reinforced composites as an alternative to metallic alloys has been investigated for the design and fabrication of connecting rods in motion conversion mechanisms for internal combustion engines. Two types of mechanisms have been selected for this analysis: the common slider-crank mechanism and the new. Stiller-Smith Mechanism, in which the crankshaft is replaced by a floating gear system. An improved finite-element elastodynamic model, which includes the effects of longitudinal, bending and shear deformations, has been developed in order to quantify the relationships between the levels of bearing loads and vibrations of such mechanisms and the material design of their connecting-rods. An extensive parametric study has been conducted on the material system, the lay-up and the cross-sectional dimensions of elastic connecting rods, made of helically wound composite materials.
Technical Paper

Potential Applications of the Stiller-Smith Mechanism in internal Combustion Engine Designs

With few exceptions most internal combustion engines use a slider-crank mechanism to convert reciprocating piston motion into a usable rotational output. One such exception is the Stiller-Smith Mechanism which utilizes a kinematic inversion of a Scotch yoke called an elliptic trammel. The device uses rigid connecting rods and a floating/eccentric gear train for motion conversion and force transmission. The mechanism exhibits advantages over the slider-crank for application in internal combustion engines in areas such as balancing, size, thermal efficiency, and low heat rejection. An overview of potential advantages of an engine utilizing the Stiller-Smith Mechanism is presented.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Balancing of the Stiller-Smith Mechanism for Application to an Eight Cylinder I.C. Engine

The Stiller-Smith Mechanism employs a double cross-slider to convert linear reciprocating motion into rotational motion. It has previously been shown that a four-cylinder configuration utilizing this motion conversion device can be balanced in two dimensions. The inherent planar nature of this mechanism makes it possible to produce a compact, eight cylinder configuration for use as an internal combustion engine which is balanced in three dimensions. This paper develops and presents the necessary requirements for such a balanced engine. Relative merits of various configurations are discussed and analytical results of different balancing schemes are presented.