A Free-Piston Engine Hydraulic Pump for an Automotive Propulsion System
A free-piston engine hydraulic pump (FPEHP) is considered as a power source in the propulsion system of an automotive vehicle. The propulsion system uses a two-stroke spark-ignited free-piston engine coupled to a hydraulic pump and an accumulator where high pressure hydraulic fluid is stored for transmission of power. The energy in the accumulator is transmitted to hydraulic motors which provide the tractive effort. A mathematical model was developed for the FPEHP and computer simulation studies were performed. A particular free-piston engine hydraulic pump concept was simulated at various operating conditions and compared with a similarly-sized conventional engine. We can conclude that the FPEHP engine has no thermodynamic advantage over a conventional engine, but there are reduced nitric oxide emissions. Also, the FPEHP has a limited range of engine speed and a narrower range of ignition timing than a conventional engine.