A Practical Recuperated Split Cycle Engine for Low Emissions and High Efficiency

The Recuperated Split Cycle Engine is a new type of ICE, offering a step change in efficiency and tailpipe emissions. It targets the heavy duty, long-haul sector (trucks, off-highway, rail, shipping), where electrification is most challenging, and distributed generation, where capacity is required to support rising electrification. The engine separates cold (induction, compression) and hot (combustion, expansion) parts of the cycle; waste exhaust heat is recovered between them via a recuperator, as in a recuperated gas turbine. Recent research presented at this conference [1] shows that the sonic airflows seen in the induction event give rise to extraordinary fuel mixing and clean, cool combustion, with potential for after-treated emission levels between SULEV and zero-impact (either unmeasurable or below ambient). Recuperation and thermal insulation of the hot cylinder (both feasible within the capability of common materials) also enable high thermal efficiency, with a flatter efficiency map than a conventional ICE. Combining the two attributes, and introducing sustainable fuels, places this readily manufactured, affordable technology on a par with battery-electric and fuel cell propulsion. Results from simulation to optimise the concept are described. A Ricardo WAVE model was built, with validation of key inputs such as valve breathing, heat transfer and burn-rates from relevant experimental research data. The model was used to develop the cycle around three concepts - a basic layout, “ThermoPower”, was shown to be capable of over 10% fuel saving; “Wet ThermoPower” uses water injection as a compression coolant for greater efficiency, while the ultimate “CryoPower” injects Liquid Nitrogen for quasi-isothermal compression and charge dilution. The optimisation process and practical details are described, especially the development of the critical recuperator, which is subjected to high pressure and temperature; management of its thermal expansion and manufacturing process have been optimised to minimise add-cost over a current ICE bill of materials.


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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01722815
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: SAE International
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 2019-24-0190
  • Files: TRIS, SAE
  • Created Date: Nov 18 2019 5:15PM