The Atkinson-cycle engine is a type of internal combustion engine invented by James Atkinson in The Atkinson cycle is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power density. A modern variation of this approach is used in some modern automobile engines.
While originally seen exclusively in hybrid electric applications such as the earlier-generation Toyota Prius , later hybrids and some non-hybrid vehicles now feature engines with variable valve timing , which can run in the Atkinson cycle as a part-time operating regimen, giving good economy while running in Atkinson cycle, and conventional power density when running as a conventional, Otto cycle engine.
Gingery Atkinson Cycle Engine
Atkinson produced three different designs that had a short compression stroke and a longer expansion stroke. The first Atkinson-cycle engine, the differential engine , used opposed pistons. The second and most well-known design, was the cycle engine , which used an over-center arm to create four piston strokes in one crankshaft revolution.
Building the Atkinson Cycle Engine by Vince Gingery
The reciprocating engine had the intake, compression, power, and exhaust strokes of the four-stroke cycle in a single turn of the crankshaft , and was designed to avoid infringing certain patents covering Otto-cycle engines. The common thread throughout Atkinson's designs is that the engines have an expansion stroke that is longer than the compression stroke, and by this method the engine achieves greater thermal efficiency than a traditional piston engine.
Atkinson's engines were produced by the British Gas Engine Company and also licensed to other overseas manufacturers. The Charon gas engine four-stroke used a similar cycle to Miller, but without a supercharger.
It is referred to as the "Charon cycle". Modern engine designers are realizing the potential fuel-efficiency improvements the Atkinson-type cycle can provide.
The first implementation of the Atkinson cycle was in ; unlike later versions, it was arranged as an opposed piston engine , the Atkinson differential engine. Thus, in each revolution, one piston provided a compression stroke and a power stroke, and then the other piston provided an exhaust stroke and a charging stroke.
As the power piston remained withdrawn during exhaust and charging, it was practical to provide exhaust and charging using valves behind a port that was covered during the compression stroke and the power stroke, and so the valves did not need to resist high pressure and could be of the simpler sort used in many steam engines, or even reed valves.
The next engine designed by Atkinson in was named the "Cycle Engine" This engine used poppet valves, a cam, and an over-center arm to produce four piston strokes for every revolution of the crankshaft. The intake and compression strokes were significantly shorter than the expansion and exhaust strokes. The "Cycle" engines were produced and sold for several years by the British Engine Company.
Atkinson also licensed production to other manufacturers. Sizes ranged from a few up to horsepower.
Atkinson's third design was named the "Utilite Engine". Atkinson realized an improvement was needed to make his cycle more applicable as a higher-speed engine.
With this new design, Atkinson was able to eliminate the linkages and make a more conventional, well balanced engine capable of operating at speeds up to rpm and capable of producing power every revolution, yet he preserved all of the efficiency of his "Cycle Engine" having a proportionally short compression stroke and a longer expansion stroke.
Building the Atkinson Cycle Engine
The Utilite operates much like a standard two-stroke except that the exhaust port is located at about the middle of the stroke. The exhaust valve is opened near the bottom of the stroke; it remains open as the piston heads back toward compression, letting fresh air charge the cylinder and exhaust escape until the port is covered by the piston.
After the exhaust port is covered the piston begins to compress the remaining air in the cylinder. A small piston fuel pump injects liquid during compression. The ignition source was likely a hot tube as in Atkinson's other engines.
This design resulted in a two-stroke engine with a short compression and longer expansion stroke. The Utilite Engine tested as even more efficient than Atkinson's previous "differential" and "cycle" designs. Very few were produced, and none are known to survive. The British patent is from , No US patent for the Utilite Engine is known.
In the late 20th century, the term "Atkinson cycle" began to be used to describe a modified Otto-cycle engine—in which the intake valve is held open longer than normal, allowing a reverse flow of intake air into the intake manifold. The effective compression ratio is reduced—for the time the air is escaping the cylinder freely rather than being compressed—but the expansion ratio is unchanged i.
The goal of the modern Atkinson cycle is to make the pressure in the combustion chamber at the end of the power stroke equal to atmospheric pressure. When this occurs, all available energy has been obtained from the combustion process. For any given portion of air, the greater expansion ratio converts more energy from heat to useful mechanical energy—meaning the engine is more efficient.
The disadvantage of the four-stroke Atkinson-cycle engine versus the more common Otto-cycle engine is reduced power density.
Due to a smaller portion of the compression stroke being devoted to compressing the intake air, an Atkinson-cycle engine does not take in as much air as would a similarly designed and sized Otto-cycle engine.
Four-stroke engines of this type that use the same type of intake valve motion but using forced induction to make up for the loss of power density are known as Miller-cycle engines. The Atkinson cycle can be used in a rotary engine. In this configuration, an increase in both power and efficiency can be achieved when compared to the Otto cycle. This type of engine retains the one power phase per revolution, together with the different compression and expansion volumes of the original Atkinson cycle.
Exhaust gases are expelled from the engine by compressed-air scavenging. This modification of the Atkinson cycle allows the use of alternative fuels such as diesel and hydrogen. Disadvantages of this design include the requirement that rotor tips seal very tightly on the outer housing wall and the mechanical losses suffered through friction between rapidly oscillating parts of irregular shape.
See external links below for more information. While a modified Otto-cycle piston engine using the Atkinson cycle provides good fuel efficiency, it is at the expense of a lower power-per-displacement as compared to a traditional four-stroke engine. This forms the basis of an Atkinson cycle-based hybrid electric drivetrain. These electric motors can be used independently of, or in combination with, the Atkinson-cycle engine, to provide the most efficient means of producing the desired power.
Building the atkinson cycle engine pdf
This drive-train first entered production in late in the first-generation Toyota Prius. The patent US describes the mechanical linkages necessary to obtain all four strokes of the four-stroke cycle for a gas engine within one revolution of the crankshaft. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Thermodynamics The classical Carnot heat engine. Classical Statistical Chemical Quantum thermodynamics. Zeroth First Second Third. System properties.
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Griffin and company, limited. Retrieved Building the Atkinson Differential Engine. David J. Gingery Publishing, LLC. The gas, petrol, and oil engine, Volume 2. Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals , p. Archived from the original on US: Lexus. US: Mitsubishi. Thermodynamic cycles.
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