In the United States, the Spring season typically means the perennialramp-up to historic summer gas prices and the amplified moan and groan from those paying at the pump. This year is no different and that means the topic is getting lots of ink and air time. (An Associated Post story today tries to put the rising gas prices into perspective by answering questions about why Americans end up paying more at the gas pump.)
“In 2011, average price of gasoline was higher than ever. The average price nationwide is $3.88 per gallon, and rising. Ten states and the District of Columbia are now paying more than $4.”
When asked, our contribution to this topic focuses on the engineering side more than the economics: For us, it’s about the importance of improving the ICE when considering how to reduce global fuel consumption when generating power or driving the transportation system.
One development we emphasize frequently is the Scuderi Engine’s ability to incorporate the “Miller Cycle” to achieve significant gains in efficiency, power generation and storage that was never possible before.
The Scuderi Engine divides the four strokes of a conventional four-stroke engine over two paired cylinders. One cylinder, called the “compressor”, does the first two intake and compression strokes, while the other cylinder, called the “expander”, does the last two expansion (or power) and exhaust strokes. A specially designed crossover port to enable the transfer of compressed gas connects the compressor and expander. In a split-cycle engine, each of the four strokes is completed in one revolution of the crankshaft, as opposed to the four strokes requiring two revolutions in a conventional engine. (The split-cycle engine requires the same number of cylinders as a conventional engine, but the compressor and expander cylinders must be equally paired.)
When an air-tank is added – making the engine an “air-hybrid” – it provides even further capabilities and efficiencies for compressed air energy storage while generating power at the same time.
A technical paper focusing on the Miller Cycle as applied to split-cycle technology will be presented at the 2012 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress, taking place April 24-26, in Detroit. The paper is titled “Miller Cycle Application to the Scuderi Split Cycle Engine (by Downsizing the Compressor Cylinder)” (SAE paper number 2012-01-0419). When available, it can be downloaded from the Society of Automotive Engineers.