This paper presents a method for turbocharging single cylinder four stroke internal combustion engines, an experimental setup used to test this method, and the results from this experiment. A turbocharged engine has better fuel economy, cost efficiency, and power density than an equivalently sized, naturally aspirated engine. Most multi-cylinder diesel engines are turbocharged for this reason. However, due to the timing mismatch between the exhaust stroke (when the turbocharger is powered) and the intake stroke (when the engine intakes air), turbocharging is not used in commercial single cylinder engines. Single cylinder engines are ubiquitous in developing world off-grid power applications such as tractors, generators, and water pumps due to their low cost. Turbocharging these engines could give users a lower cost and more fuel efficient engine. The proposed solution is to add an air capacitor, in the form of a large volume intake manifold, between the turbocharger compressor and the engine intake to smooth out the flow.
This research builds on a previous theoretical study where the turbocharger, capacitor, and engine system were modeled an-alytically. In order to validate the theoretical model, an experimental setup was created around a single cylinder four stroke diesel engine. A typical developing world engine was chosen and was fitted with a turbocharger. A series of sensors were added to this engine to measure pressure, temperature, and power output. Our tests showed that a turbocharger and air capacitor could be successfully fitted to a single cylinder engine to increase intake air density by forty-three percent and peak power output by twenty-nine percent.