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Energies 2015, 8(2), 765-785; doi:10.3390/en8020765

Stable Operation and Electricity Generating Characteristics of a Single-Cylinder Free Piston Engine Linear Generator: Simulation and Experiments

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, No. 5 South Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China
2
Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chang Sik Lee
Received: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
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Abstract

We present a novel design of a single-cylinder free piston engine linear generator (FPELG) incorporating a linear motor as a rebound device. A systematic simulation model of this FPELG system was built containing a kinematic and dynamic model of the piston and mover, a magneto-electric model of the linear generator, a thermodynamic model of the single-cylinder engine, and a friction model between the piston ring and cylinder liner. Simulations were performed to understand the relationships between pre-set motor parameters and the running performance of the FPELG. From the simulation results, it was found that a motor rebound force with a parabolic profile had clear advantages over a force with a triangular profile, such as a higher running frequency and peak cylinder pressure, faster piston motion, etc. The rebound position and the amplitude of rebound force were also determined by simulations. The energy conversion characteristics of the generator were obtained from our FPELG test rig. The parameters of intake pressure, motor frequency, and load resistance were varied over certain ranges, and relationships among these three parameters were obtained. The electricity-generating characteristic parameters include output power and system efficiency, which can measure the quality of matching the controllable parameters. The output power can reach 25.9 W and the system efficiency can reach 13.7%. The results in terms of matching parameters and electricity-generating characteristics should be useful to future research in adapting these engines to various operating modes. View Full-Text
Keywords: free piston engine; linear generator; single-cylinder; motor rebound force; generating characteristic free piston engine; linear generator; single-cylinder; motor rebound force; generating characteristic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, H.; Song, Y.; Zuo, Z.; Shang, J.; Wang, Y.; Roskilly, A.P. Stable Operation and Electricity Generating Characteristics of a Single-Cylinder Free Piston Engine Linear Generator: Simulation and Experiments. Energies 2015, 8, 765-785.

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