The Scuderi Group has recently received quite a bit of publicity about its efforts to develop the Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine – potentially the world’s most efficient internal combustion engine.
The engine achieves its improved performance by separating the functions of the four cycle engine into an intake/compression cylinder and a power/exhaust cylinder. Gas is compressed in the compression cylinder and transferred to the power cylinder through a gas passage. The gas passage includes a set of valves, which maintain a precharged pressure through all four strokes of the cycle. These two cylinders perform their respective functions once per crankshaft revolution, while typically conventional engines require two revolutions of the crankshaft to perform these functions. As a result, the split-cycle design provides more flexibility in how engines are built. A video showing how the engine works can be found here.
This flexibility permits the following modifications to the usual engine:
- the power stroke can be made longer than the compression stroke to over-expand the gas for increased thermal efficiency (the Miller cycle),
- the compression piston diameter can be made larger than the power piston diameter to supercharge the gas for increased power; and
- the compression and power cylinders can be independently offset to almost any angle for increased mechanical efficiency.
The unique combination of maintaining a precharged pressure in the gas passage and firing after top dead center in the power cylinder produces several additional advantages. These advantages include:
- an extremely fast combustion rate,
- a further increase in thermal efficiency, and
- a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions
The Scuderi engine is expected to:
- Improve fuel efficiency in today’s gas and diesel engines by almost one third
- Emit 80 percent less toxic emissions than today’s gas and diesel engines
- Enhances the performance of hybrid engines
- Provide significantly more power than a conventional engine
- Be easy to manufacture because it utilizes same components found in today’s engines
The Scuderi Group will unveil the workings of its air-hybrid engine at the world congress of the Society of Automotive Engineers in Detroit early next month.
The Scuderi engine design has undergone rigorous analysis through sophisticated computer modeling at one of the world’s leading independent engineering testing and research facilities – the Southwest Research Institute. Southwest Research is now producing working prototypes of gasoline and diesel versions of the engine.
The group has been successful in attracting investors. To date, Scuderi has raised $8.1 million, mostly from private investors and from a $1.2 million federal grant.
There technology is patented worldwide with four patents issued (three also pending in U.S. and three others pending in 45 countries). They plan to license the technology to qualified engine manufacturers on a worldwide basis.
Resource: The Scuderi Group LLC, West Springfield, MA
The Energy Blog: Scuderi Engine Claims Highest Efficiency