Low-emission, high-performance engine for future hybrids

Sep 15, 2008
A cross-sectional view of the FPLA. Credit: Qingfeng Li

In an advance toward introduction of an amazing new kind of internal combustion engine, researchers in China are reporting development and use of a new and more accurate computer model to assess performance of the so-called free-piston linear alternator (FPLA). Their study of the FPLA, which could provide a low-emission, fuel efficient engine for future hybrid electric vehicles, is scheduled for the Sept. 17 issue of ACS' Energy & Fuels.

Qingfeng Li and colleagues point out that the FPLA has only one moving part and is an engine designed to generate electricity. In the device, a piston in a cylinder shuttles between two combustion chambers.

Permanent magnets on the piston generate electricity by passing through the coils of an alternator centered on the cylinder. The engine can burn a variety of fuels, including natural gas and hydrogen, and seems ideal use in a future world of climate change and possible fossil fuel shortages, they suggest.

Their report describes development of a better computer model to evaluate performance of the FPLA and guide engineers in construction of the engine. Results of their initial simulations showed that the FPLA could accelerate three times faster than other internal combustion engines and burns fuel in ways that minimize air pollution. "It is an environmentally friendly power source for the future," the report concludes.

Article: "Simulation of a Two-stroke, Free-Piston Engine for Electrical Power Generation";
dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef800217k

Source: ACS

Explore further: Pilot sites in energy from coffee waste show good results

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

1 hour ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

2 hours ago

Making something new is never easy. Scientists constantly theorize about new materials, but when the material is manufactured it doesn't always work as expected. To create a new strategy for designing materials, ...

Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic

2 hours ago

Royal Dutch Shell has submitted a new plan for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska, more than one year after halting its program following several embarrassing mishaps.

Aging Africa

2 hours ago

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

Recommended for you

Seoul to provide smartphone-charging down by the stream

Aug 29, 2014

Seoul's mobile users will be able to make use of outdoor charging stations at a popular downtown stream, powered by mini-hydroelectric turbines that use the stream's current. The city is building the recharging ...

Tesla, Chinese firm plan 400 charging stations

Aug 29, 2014

Tesla Motors Co. and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier announced plans Friday to build 400 charging stations for electric cars in a new bid to promote popular adoption of the technology in China.

Cool roofs in China can save energy and reduce emissions

Aug 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —Working with Chinese researchers, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has conducted the first comprehensive study of cool roofs in China and concluded ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

lengould100
not rated yet Sep 15, 2008
50% fuel-to-electricity efficiency. Relatively cheap engine. Greatest risk of failure of development project is lack of funding and staffing to resolve inevitable problems in development. (see last page)

http://www.eere.e...igan.pdf
jeffsaunders
not rated yet Sep 29, 2008
This does look like promising research indeed.