The variable stroke length of the free-piston engine poses an interesting problem for the controls engineer. At a low level, the control system must be able to track piston position and address changes in top and bottom dead center positions. To accomplish this, a new FPGA (field programmable gate array) based engine position tracking software was developed, along with a simple method of mapping from a conventional engine control system to a free-piston control system. The tracking software was integrated into a complete rapid prototyping control system that was responsible for all control actions of the engine. The control system was laboratory tested on the HiPerTEC, an opposed, free-piston engine with a circular piston arrangement (as opposed to linear free-piston engines) developed by Applied Thermal Sciences, Inc (ATS). The control system has been demonstrated to run 8 cylinders up to an effective speed of 2,200rpm in spark ignition mode.
- Internal Combustion Engine Division
A Novel Approach to Free-Piston Engine Control Using an FPGA Based Control System
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Viele, M, Shorey, EE, Dase, CG, Hoose, KV, & Light, KH. "A Novel Approach to Free-Piston Engine Control Using an FPGA Based Control System." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference. ASME 2011 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference. Morgantown, West Virginia, USA. October 2–5, 2011. pp. 823-835. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICEF2011-60225
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