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Technical Paper

Simulation of a Two-Stroke Free Piston Engine

The free piston internal combustion engine used in conjunction with a linear alternator offers an interesting choice for use in hybrid vehicles. The linear motion of the pistons is directly converted to electricity by the alternator, and the result is a compact and efficient energy converter that has only one moving part. The movement of the pistons is not prescribed by a crank mechanism, but is the result of the equilibrium of forces acting on the pistons, and the engine will act like a mass-spring system. This feature is one of the most prominent advantages of the FPE (Free Piston Engine), as the lack of mechanical linkage gives means of varying the compression ratio in simple manners, without changing the hardware of the engine. By varying the compression ratio, it is also it possible to run on a multitude of different fuels and to use HCCI (Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition) combustion.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Effect of Injection Schedule Change on Free Piston Engine Operation

In this study, the effects of varying the start of injection in a Free Piston Engine (FPE) have been investigated, using the KIVA-3V CFD code. In order to simulate the FPE the code has been modified by replacing the conventional crank shaft controlled piston motion by a piston motion profile calculated using a MATLAB/SIMULINK model. In this model, the piston motion is controlled by Newton's second law and the combustion process is represented by a simplified model based on ignition delay integrals and Wiebe functions. The results were tuned using predictions from the SENKIN software which are based on the detailed chemical kinetics mechanism of a Diesel oil surrogate represented by a blend of the main aliphatic (70% n-heptane) and aromatic (30% toluene) components. In order to help analyze the emission formation resulting from the HCCI/PPCI combustion modes in the engine, a special approach based on the temperature-equivalence ratio maps has been developed.
Journal Article

CFD-Based Optimization of a Diesel-fueled Free Piston Engine Prototype for Conventional and HCCI Combustion

This paper presents results of a parametric CFD modeling study of a prototype Free Piston Engine (FPE), designed for application in a series hybrid electric vehicle. Since the piston motion is governed by Newton's second law, accounting for the forces acting on the piston/translator, i.e. friction forces, electrical forces, and in-cylinder gas forces, having a high-level control system is vital. The control system changes the electrical force applied during the stroke, thus obtaining the desired compression ratio. Identical control algorithms were implemented in a MATLAB/SIMULINK model to those applied in the prototype engine. The ignition delay and heat release data used in the MATLAB/SIMULINK model are predicted by the KIVA-3V CFD code which incorporates detailed chemical kinetics (305 reactions among 70 species).