Will Split-Cycle Engine Compete With EV Powertrains?
One cylinder of Scuderi's split-cycle engine performs intake and compression, while the other handles power and exhaust. The engine completes all four strokes in one crankshaft revolution. (Figure courtesy of Scuderi Group.)
This sounds a lot like our two stroke engine, except for being more complicated and having six valves. Clearly it allows much more variation in timing of all the several parameters like when to start the air intake portion and when to inject the fuel. Depending on the timing requirements, the same functions could possibly be delivered by a standard two-stroke engine, even better if it had direct fuel injection. Such an engine might possibly also fare better in emissions testing, although efficiency and low emissions seldom peak at the same time. But as the split stroke is compared to a two stroke, it is clear that they are similar.
Seems to me that any kind of technology that has the potential to advance the cause of fuel efficiency is to be taken seriously. Glad to hear that analyst groups and automotive OEMs have this on their radar screens even if it's some time out before we see the actual technology in production vehicles.
I think this is going to be a good technology to watch. With the government mandating higher fuel efficiencies and "good enough" battery technology still a few years away, this might be the technology that gets us there.
Proving this works in high output engines will be an important factor. It does have some interesting characteristics, for one, the hot side of the engine stays hot and the cool side does not heat up too much. This is in contrast to the Otto cycle characteristics.
I would be very curious as to just why the retardation of the spark helps so much in this design compared to the Otto cycle. And another obvious question to me is if the split cycle is amenable to creating a split Diesel cycle? Would there be any benefits in that?
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