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: Researchers develop the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

23 hours ago

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

Apr 16, 2014

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

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.

More news stories

Net neutrality balancing act

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Bionic ankle 'emulates nature'

These days, Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs.