The Next Generation of Internal Combustion Engines | MORE POWER. MORE EFFICIENCY.
If you know what IC engines are and how are they classified then skip all this and read the last section "Future of Internal Combustion Engines" and explore some very serious shit.
And those who know only a bit about IC engines go through the whole blog.
IC engines are the most important part of the industrial revolution as they provide a multipurpose engine design for an optimized industrial growth in the field of vehicle and machine operations.
But a question arises here,
What is an IC Engine?
An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a heat engine where the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber or we can say that an IC engine is a machine that converts chemical energy into mechanical energy using closed combustion chambers.
If we study an IC engine, we can conclude that in an IC engine, the expansion of the high temperature and high pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some components of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, rotor or nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy.
TYPES OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Today, IC engines have hundreds of sub varieties from V series to inline engines, but they all are based on two basic forms, SI engines (spark ignition engines) and CI engines (Compression ignition engines). With a brief description, you can differentiate between SI engines and CI engines:
SI Engines: These engines are based on spark ignition i.e. the fuel in the combustion chamber is Spark ignited and the combustion begins at a pressure lower than CI engines. This type of engine uses gasoline as a fuel because it is highly volatile.
CI Engines: These engines are based on compression ignition i.e. the fuel in the combustion chambers are ignited due to high pressure and high temperature and this type of engines are more efficient than SI engines. This type of engines use diesel as a fuel due to its high pressure tolerance and non volatility.
So from the above, we can now differentiate between SI engines and CI engines.
FUTURE OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES
With the increase in time, technology is increasing rapidly. With the huge demand of engines comes the need of the extra ordinary skills in the field of research and development.
For this, highly skilled engineers and mad scientists, have come up with some mind blowing theories and prototypes of IC engines which can be a revolution in the field of IC engines:
1. VC Turbo Engine:
Made in the laboratories of Infiniti motors, it is claimed to be a revolutionary breakthrough in IC engine industries. Utilizing an advanced multi-link system, the VC-Turbo is able to automatically adjust its compression ratio on-the-fly and at running speed. While other engines are trapped within a fixed compression ratio – providing the same balance of power and efficiency regardless of the situation – the VC-Turbo constantly adapts, raising or lowering of its pistons variably. It uses a harmonic drive attached to the connecting rod of the pistons that make it capable of changing the compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1, hence changing it according to the situation for fuel efficiency.
2. Circle Cycle Engine:
It is a type of orbital, non-reciprocating internal combustion engine, having pistons and cylinders and it is able to run on a variety of combustible liquids or gasses. It has no engine block, no crankshaft or connecting rods, no separate flywheel, no intake or exhaust valves, no water pump and no radiator or any of the hardware usually associated with these items.
The engine uses direct injection of fuel at the center of the combustion chamber and it can be configured to run as either spark ignition or diesel. It's potential applications are pretty much what you would expect, which is anything you would use any other internal combustion engine for.
3. Skyactiv-X Gasoline engine:
If you think that there is any other IC engine more effective than this engine, then you need to do your research again.
Thanks to Mazda for their crazy innovations, the next-generation Skyactiv-X gasoline engine is a revolutionary powerplant that combines the free-revving characteristics of a gasoline engine with the fuel efficiency, torque and fast initial response of a diesel unit.
Thanks to its proprietary Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) technology, Skyactiv-X is all set to become world's first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition to attain an unprecedented level of sharp engine response and immediate acceleration combined with higher fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions than ever before.
Mazda borrowed this trick from the diesel engine, which compresses a fuel-air mixture to the point of ignition rather than igniting it with a spark plug, as gasoline engines do. It’s the biggest advance in combustion engines since electronic fuel injection, which started proliferating in the 1970s.
Mazda claims that
"the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-X provides 10 to 30 percent more torque and 20 to 30 percent better fuel efficiency than the Skyactiv-G."
4. Liquid Piston Engines:
This is the most mind boggling IC engine we've ever seen!
The Liquid Piston engine is a pistonless rotary engine that operates on the high-efficiency hybrid cycle. This cycle consists of compressing air (with no fuel) to a very high ratio, as is typical in the Diesel cycle. The air is then isolated in a constant volume chamber. Fuel is injected and allowed to combust fully under constant volume conditions, which is how Otto cycle combustion happens. Finally, the combustion products are expanded to atmospheric pressure, utilizing the Atkinson cycle.
In contrast to Wankel's rotary engine design where the housing was oval and rotor was triangular in shape, the liquid Piston design ironically reverses the shapes: an oval rotor moves within a triangular housing. The required seals (both face and apex) are mounted on the stationary housing, and are lubricated directly.
In order to use the Diesel cycle efficiently, a very high compression ratios are required. Typical piston diesel engines use 15:1or 24:1. The projected compression ratio of this Liquid Piston engine is 26:1. That's way too much than average! So from this, we can conclude that the liquid piston engines are the most effective and efficient way to use diesel as a fuel.
There are so many new engines which are under development and aren't on the list, but we can conclude from this whole blog that the future of IC engines is going to be awesome!
Till then keep learning!
- GURJIT SINGH BITTA