The early ignition combustion engine consists of three different chambers that compress, mix, and combusts an air-fuel mixture. This design could be more efficient than the combustion engines we see today, enabling a thermal efficiency of 63%. (Image Credit: Jason Fenske, YouTube)


Not really EE related, but I thought this was cool enough to share.


Nowadays, electric cars are starting to become a lot more popular, and that alone could have an impact on the future of internal combustion engines. A brand new type of hyper-efficient engine design could help ensure that it stays around for a little bit longer. The new design, published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, utilizes pistons and fuel, and it’s dissimilar to other combustion engines that are widely used in today’s vehicles.


In a new video posted on his YouTube channel, Engineering Explained, Jason Fenske explains how the new design works. Entry ignition operates differently compared to a normal combustion engine commonly used in vehicles. Instead of using the same chamber to compress, mix, and combust an air-fuel mixture, entry ignition divides the work between three different chambers. The first chamber, which is rigged with a piston, builds pressure and heat by compressing the air. Afterward, it delivers the compressed air into a reservoir, sending it into another chamber that combines the compressed air with the fuel. Using a slider valve, the hot air-fuel mixture then gets sucked into another chamber, where it ignites due to the heat in the combustion chamber. This is where the name “entry ignition” is derived from.


This design is capable of completing the intake and combustion strokes in different cylinders simultaneously, which technically means it’s a two-stroke engine. This approach allows for a leaner air-fuel ratio and a higher compression ratio, enabling a thermal efficiency of 63%, a 14% improvement over the average conventional internal combustion engine.


However, it will be a while before we start seeing these entry ignition engines in vehicles. It’s still an unproven method, and there are a lot of questions surrounding the engine, especially when it comes to cooling, balancing and how reliable it is. It still might be a sign that fuel-powered engines might be discontinued in the future. However, one concern to note is that when the early ignition engines are fully developed, combustion engines may have already been put out of use.



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