Design, Simulation, and Testing of a Pressure Wave Supercharger for a Small Internal Combustion Engine
The engines used to power small unmanned aerial systems are often modified commercial products designed for use by hobbyists on small model aircraft at low altitude. For military applications, it is desirable to fly at high altitudes. Maintaining power from the engine at the reduced ambient air pressures associated with high altitudes requires some method of increasing air delivery to the intake manifold. Conventional turbochargers and superchargers are typically very inefficient for the low mass flows associated with small engines. Due to its unique characteristics, a pressure wave supercharger (PWS) can avoid many scaling-related losses. This project designed a small-scale PWS for turbo-normalization of a Brison 95 cc two-stroke engine for a small unmanned aerial vehicle. A larger PWS called the Comprex®, designed by Brown Boveri Company, was simulated using a quasi-one-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center.