The ultimate goal of the fuel flexibility project is to deliver on-demand, reliable, small- scale portable power using internal combustion engines that run on a variety of fuels. This will require advanced control of the combustion event, dramatic improvements to the engine sealing technology, and development of integrated sensors and feedback for optimal performance. To achieve this goal, a specialized engine test platform needs to be designed and built to accurately measure power output, torque, and efficiency. Upon collecting these data, a baseline for engine performance on its standard fuel can be established and will enable performance comparisons using other fuels, new design features (i.e. seals), and control systems. The second phase of design will begin to optimize the engine performance in real time using sensors and actuators that monitor and control engine performance parameters. Using this sensor data, feedback and control algorithms can be designed, debugged, and implemented to run the engine at maximum power or efficiency.
Project end date: 07/27/10