An external combustion engine design using steam is described which has good efficiency at full power and even better efficiency at the low power settings common for passenger vehicles. The engine is compact with low weight per unit power. All of its components fit in the engine compartment of a front-wheel drive vehicle despite the space occupied by the transaxle. It readily fits in a rear-drive vehicle. Calculated net efficiencies, after accounting for all losses, range, depending on engine size, from 28–32% at full power increasing to 33–36% at normal road power settings. A two-stage burner, 100% excess air, and combustion temperature below 1500°C assure complete combustion of the fuel and negligible NOx. The engine can burn a variety of fuels and fuel mixes, which should encourage the development of new fuels. Extensive software has been written that calculates full power and part-load energy balances, structural analysis and heat transfer, and performance in specified vehicles including using SAE driving cycles. Engines have been sized from 30 to 3200 hp. In general, fuel consumption should be at least 1.5 times lower than gasoline engines and about the same as diesels operating at low to moderate load settings. Due to this analysis, a prototype, when built, should perform as expected.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
A Compact External Combustion Engine With High Part-Load Efficiency
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Bourque, R. "A Compact External Combustion Engine With High Part-Load Efficiency." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability. ASME 2010 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 1. Phoenix, Arizona, USA. May 17–22, 2010. pp. 735-746. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2010-90058
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